By Wes Myhre
After pontificating in “Begin at the Beginning” blog, the previous post, let me jump down from my soapbox and look at our approach to one of Yeshua’s commandments;
“18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 (Emphasis added.)”
And to this end, this past week YHWY manifested an object lesson before me, showing me the insignia of His army of soldiers / disciples. Taking me to school brought about a reality which needs exploration, and all relevant instructions neatly stowed within the constructs of this demonstration need to be pursued through, both, an individual basis and a corporate paradigm. Furthermore, as with all YHWY’s educational classes, it takes time to unpack all of what has been shown, and often through that one incident, lessons will be revealed to other people of which the initial participant was unaware. As I am sure with this case, you are about to experience through my eyes.
About 5 minutes prior to the incident, I had just locked up from my second job of cleaning our local bank. I had clocked out, pulled my cap off the coat peg on the hall tree, located next to the rear exit door of the building. Through the glass of the metal door, I observed the rain drizzling down leaving puddles on the sidewalk and pavement. Droplets rippled through the puddles.
It would be uncomfortable walking through it on my way home, but being an old Coast Guardsman, I had a reputation to uphold, that being rain, snow, water, and all the elements would not keep a good man down. Or possibly, it could have been a pride issue, and I did not want to request help by calling and asking my wife to drive over, using one of our vehicles to pick me up. Besides, she had work of her own she wanted to complete. Why should I expect her to drop what she was doing to assist me?
So then, pulling my cap down tight, wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt and my tape-measure, yellow suspenders, I trudged on home through the cold rain, past the store, up to the highway, and southward down it walking on the left side of the road. The sky looked ominous clothed in black clouds; however, the wind stood down to a slight breeze coming out of the southeast, not the normal prevailing direction of the northwest. I felt the cold, rain droplets, causing me a slight discomfort as they splattered on my arms and soaked through my shirt. I began hoping a vehicle would stop and offer me a ride home. How delightful that would be to climb inside a warm dry vehicle to be hauled the rest of the way home.
Steadily moving on through the rain and discerning my surroundings as I crossed a side street intersection, a small, white, 2016, SUV slowed. Was it just turning or pulling up next to me? It headed straight for me. Awe, answered prayer. A warm dry car just like I had hoped.
The vehicle stopped alongside of me. Two young people dressed in white shirts and black ties. I suspected they were the young Mormon missionaries who had been about town, a common sight in our area. The passenger rolled down the window stating, “Nice suspenders. Can you use them to measure things?”
“Yea, if you don’t stretch them.” I replied.
The driver then asked, “Do you know Jesus loves you?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Do you know he died for you, and would you like to get to know him more?”
I asked them, “How do you love Jesus?”
“Keep His commands,” both said in unison.
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“Keep His commandments.”
“All His commandments, right?”
“Do you?” I asked.
“Do you? No, one can keep all His commands that is why He gives us grace,” the passenger said.
“You two are Mormon missionaries aren’t you?” I asked as I stood outside the open passenger window. Water streamed down the side of my face nearest the passenger. I wiped off the water trail with my left hand.
“Yes,” replied the passenger.
“You believe Jesus and Satan are brothers?” I asked.
The driver interjected, “You really need a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
It dawned on me at this point. Here I am standing in the cold rain, without a jacket, water running down the side of my face, and the rest of my body getting more wet and colder; all the while these two, sitting in a warm and dry environment, are asking me about a relation with Jesus. What is wrong with this picture?
I heard the driver say, “Can we give you a tract.”
“No but thank you,” I said turning away.
Simply put, here end of lesson.
A still small voice in my mind uttered, “Study this one out.”
So where to begin, the first thought I had. Then, how often have I done this to other people. Cannot say; however, I have always tried to address the physical needs of each individual of whom I engaged while working as an ambassador of the kingdom.
After arriving home, I told my wife about the incident. Her first words came from Matthew 25, “And they clothed and fed me when they clothed and fed the poor.”
Later that evening, I read the verses again, and found by evaluating the whole chapter through, it talked about more than just feeding and clothing the poor.
I must add a disclaimer here, I have many Mormon friends who would minister to people’s physical needs before visiting about there spiritual Salvation.
Here is Matthew 25 in its entirety. (Emphasis added.)
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Studying through this passage we find some commonalities of the three parables. For the virgins oil needed to be gathered. After the door was shut, the Foolish Virgins said, “Lord, Lord open to us.” The lord stated, “I know you not.” Harsh words to hear from a former bridegroom. Moving on to the servant who hid the one talent of which the lord expected him to invest, the lord called him a wicked and slothful servant, took from him his only talent, and had him cast “into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Finally, separating the sheep from the goats, the Lord advises to those individuals, who did not minister to people’s physical needs, “shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.”
Heavy! Each parable had a physical task to be completed: gather oil, invest money, and help with physical needs. We must show the love of Yeshua, a physical response, to all. This action will appear in an undisputable fashion for the “least of these.”
I have read several articles espousing the words “least of these” refer to Yeshua’s own saints. I take issue with this interpretation from a purely pragmatic point of view. However, with that being said, let us take it at face value and advance to the next logical step by discovering at what point in the parable did the Lord instruct the goats to identify the “least of these” as saints or non-saints?
Then according to the commentary, the-least-of-these-referring-to-the-saints-theory maintains an underlying assumption the non-saints can be identified through physical means? This postulation cannot be clearly identified in the passage; however, what can be established is clearly outlined in the passage. That is YHWY giving us a glimpse into the heart of unrighteous person, labeled as a goat, by seeing said person’s works or lack thereof.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Matthew 25:44-46 (Emphasis added.)
The center of this parable is not the “least of these,” but of those performing the duties upon the least of these, the goats. Here again we see a small twist to a rather straight forward message, skewing the meaning, a most obvious tactic of the enemy. A ruse supported only by the twisting of scripture.
After reading Matthew 25, this passage out of James 2 came to mind.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:20-26 (Emphasis added.)
My initial thought is that we are coming into a time in which our works will be more effective for the kingdom, rather than our words. At first our works will be simple but will build our faith increasing it, exponentially. Thus as our faith grows, so will the breadth of our works; however, the one main ingredient will continue to be our willingness to prepare. Here is where I fall short and need work. I need to love Yeshua with all my heart, mind, and soul or the physical, the mental, and the metaphysical, which leads us to Ephesians 6, not just the last few verses but the whole chapter.
1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:
22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.
23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. Ephesians 6:1-24
So then, let us dissect these verses, a little, looking at “Children, obey your parents …,” and “Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath” as well as to teach one’s progeny to fear YHWY. As a result, we find there is a physical response to obeying parents and raising children appropriately. That is “it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
The servants are to mind their masters as doing the service unto YHWY. This too is a physical manifestation of the heart as well as that of the masters respecting the servants.
This tactile expression of the heart builds our own faith, thus, allowing us to grow in truth and to flourish in righteousness. We are told to be ready to respond with the gospel of peace but be ready to defend ourselves through our faith; understanding our salvation is secure; knowing and following the Word of YHWY including His commandments; and to realize our Helper, the Ruach Hakodesh, is our mighty warrior, doing battle for us. The practice of all of this, helping of others, studying the Word of YHWY, learning the truth, behaving righteously, building faith, and standing firm on the Yeshua’s peace, allows us to hold fast the battle line in the spiritual realm through intercessory prayer, where the real war rages. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
It is a heart condition that allows us to fight the good fight. We must come to the understanding if our perceived salvation is to maintain fire insurance without growth in righteousness and holiness, then we must understand our moniker will be the label of “goat.” We will know our own our heart and possibly that of others.
As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person. Proverbs 27:19 (HCSB)
43 “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thornbushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. Luke 6:44-45 (HCSB)
Psalm 51 is an excellent prayer to begin a cleansing of the body, mind, and soul.
1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar. Psalm 51:1-19