Bible Study in Context
Gifts or Rewards
The radio was playing in the background at the house this past Sunday morning, a local radio station had a one-half hour program featuring a local pastor. He’s been on this station for many years and his message is pretty much the same every Sunday.
I find it incredible that so many people are content to listen to the same mundane words every single Sunday morning, year after year after year. Oh, wait a minute! The churches understand it as well, that’s why they have Revivals every so often! Get ‘em all lathered up a couple times a year and that will satisfy them.
Sadly, most people don’t even realize the joy of discovering something new in the Scriptures that really applies to you. That’s why I write what I do; maybe I’ll write something that will make you pick up that Book on your own and read it for yourself.
The gist of his message that morning was that no matter how you have lived your life you can always get to heaven and avoid hell in the end. All you have to have is Jesus.
Yep, I would have to agree with him on that. But let’s think about this for a minute. Let’s say that we have two people. Robert lived a life that basically revolved around the Ten Commandments. he prayed frequently, asked for his sins to be forgiven now and then, he loved the Lord and tried to live according to the laws of our Father as best as he could.
The other person, ‘ole Charlie, didn’t really care about any of that stuff. He lived his life according to what made him happy. Mainly, the pursuit of money, nice things, and our Father really never was allowed to enter into his daily life.
Robert dies at a relatively old age and enters heaven to receive his blessings in the Eternity.
‘Ole Charlie dies at a relatively old age but just before he died he had a change of heart, asked for forgiveness of his many sins and enters heaven to receive his blessings in the eternity.
Will both of these people receive equal favors in the Eternity? They were both told that all they had to do was believe; that’s all there was to it. Just believe and receive the glory of the Eternity.
Robert believed his entire life and acted that way; while ‘ole Charlie took an entire lifetime before he finally believed. Is it fair that they both should receive equal benefits in the Eternity?
If both of them receive equal glory how does it profit the one that lived an entire lifetime according to the laws of our Father?
When it’s put this way, it really doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Now, I know that the Robert lived his life, having the security of knowing that when he died that he would probably go to heaven, while ‘ole Charlie lived his life betting that, before he died, that he would ask forgiveness of his sins. It was a crap-shoot for him. It wasn’t for Robert.
Is that the only benefit that one receives? The knowledge that if you live your life according to the laws of God that you will go to heaven for a certainty while the other person rolls the dice to see if, at the last minute, they can just barely squeak into heaven.
What, exactly, is it that these two people will receive when they do get to heaven? Is one going to get more of it than the other?
I did a search and found that the word rewards is only found in the Old Testament and it’s there only five times. If rewards are what we are expecting when we get to heaven it doesn’t seem to be a very important word in the Scriptures. I mean, it’s not even found in the New Testament after Christ died on the cross for our sins.
Are we going to get gifts when we get there? In both the Old and New Testaments gifts seem always to be a donation, a present, something that is taken from someone else, like a gift, a gratuity or an act of graciousness.
Doesn’t seem to indicate that we’re going to get gifts when we get up there either, at least, not as we perceive them.
Maybe what we receive in heaven is based on what we can take up there with us.
“Well, I’ve never seen a U-Haul following a hearse to the cemetery before. Everybody knows that we can’t take anything with us when we go, don’t they?”
Maybe, maybe not.
Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. KJV
Yea, saith the Spirit. That’s the Holy Spirit speaking, people. What He's saying is that once we have rested from our labors, the acts of our works, that these works do follow us.
We can take something with us, we can take our righteous acts, our good deeds, the nice things we do for people, the Commandments that we follow. All of the good things that we do in this life are written down in that Book of Life. It is a book or a record of YOUR life. What you’ve done with it over the years.
Now we’re getting somewhere. That first person that I spoke about, Robert, who lived his life according to the will of our Father, what a list of things he is going to have written after his name in that Book.
But the person that did nothing but seek money and the pleasures of this world, ‘ole Charlie, he’ll only have a couple of things written in their Book.
Now we’ve got a little fairness coming into the picture.
And it’s not just the works of individuals that are written down, the works of the churches are written as well. What did the Lord say about the church of Ephesus?
Revelation 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: KJV
Revelation 2:3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. KJV
Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. KJV
Verse 2 is talking about preachers that don’t teach according to the Word of God. Their works and their labor are in vain because of that.
What about the church of Smyrna?
Revelation 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
This is talking about the Kenites. Those that claim to be of Judah but are not, they are of the synagogue of Satan, their father. These people go to a church run by Satan and his buddies.
The church of Pergamos?
Revelation 2:713 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. KJV
Revelation 2:714 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. KJV
The doctrine of Balaam was false teachings. They didn’t teach from the Word either.
Our Father goes on with some more of these churches which are representative of any church, back then or today, that does not follow the Scriptures and teaches church doctrine and false religion. He doesn’t really like that all too much.
But the point is that it’s the works that you do in this life that are important. They are recorded; good and bad, and the blessings that you receive in the afterlife, if you prefer it to be said in that way, are based on them.
The person that had many good works over the years is going to receive more rewards than the person that lived according to the world and ends up with only a few.
How is life in the Eternity different for these two people? Here’s one example from Zechariah;
Zechariah 3:7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. KJV
If we walk in His ways He’ll make judges and keepers out of us, we will go and come as we please, to the presence of our Lord, through His Holy angles.
I will give you places to walk among those that just stand by. That’s the difference in what the Eternity will be like for those two different people that I proposed at the beginning of this lecture.
Heaven is not a place where we stand around singing Alleluia all the livelong day. We don’t just have a presence there, we have a life to live there.
The person that lived their life according to the laws of God will be the ones walking and those people that lived according to the ways of the world and just barely made it into the Eternity will be those that stand by.
Of course, those walking are the Elect of our Father and those standing by are not. Father will make the Elect judges among the people during the Millennium.
If you can get a picture in your mind of billions and billions of souls in spiritual bodies being in the Millennium, the time just before the Eternity, a time of sorting out those souls that were honestly deceived by false religious teachings in this life and those that were not.
Those that were deceived will be given a chance to see the light without false teachings and temptations from Satan. Remember, Satan will be locked, literally, in the pit during this 1000 years, he will have no influence on others at all.
Our Father’s Election will be teachers and judges to those people during that time.
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. KJV
Those that followed the Commandments of our Father, in this age and the one before, they will be allowed into the Sanctuary to minister to the Lord while the person that lived according to the ways of the world will live without, outside the Temple area. They will not be able to come close to our Lord. But His Election shall;
Ezekiel 44:15 But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord God: KJV
Ezekiel 44:16 They shall enter into my sanctuary, and they shall come near to my table, to minister unto me, and they shall keep my charge. KJV
They will not only be allowed access into the Temple to minister unto the Lord but they will live just outside the Temple walls in an area specific for them, separated from those that liked the world better than the Lord in this life.
They will be able to walk among the ethnos, the many nations and different races, anywhere that they like, while the others will not.
They will be allowed to go to a father, mother, brother, or sister and council them if they keep screwing up during this time;
Ezekiel 44:25 And they shall come at no dead person to defile themselves: but for father, or for mother, or for son, or for daughter, for brother, or for sister that hath had no husband, they may defile themselves. KJV
The dead person mentioned here is one who is spiritually dead, not one that is physically dead because on the first day of this Millennium all flesh died, never to be resurrected again.
So, are there different blessings for someone who followed the laws of our Lord in this life and those that didn’t? You just read about some of the differences. It would seem that one would try to accumulate as many good works in this life as they possibly could.
Not only will the Elect be separated from the masses, they will wear white robes;
Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. KJV
Everyone in the Millennium will have a pretty good idea of how you lived your life by the length of the white robe that we wear. Every righteous act that you make is another thread in the robe that you will wear in the Eternity. Are you going to have a long flowing robe or be naked as a Jay bird? It’s up to you.
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__30 March 2014___