Message NotesOne Taken, One Left – Part Three Page 1
Sunday June 9th 2013
One Taken, One Left
1). Mt 24:40 "Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 "Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 "But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
a). There is a sequence of four parables given in Matthew Chapters 24-25 that deal exclusively with a particular group of individuals – the eternally saved of this dispensation.
b). This particular group, Christians, are seen in our first parable here divided into two categories – those who are ‘taken’ and those who are ‘left’ – and from our previous study we will remember that those who are taken are not ‘taken away’ in the sense of being removed, but rather ‘taken alongside’ another as an intimate companion and those who are left are denied this position of intimacy.
c). What we can clearly see then through this parable is an unspecified present action undertaken by the two groups during this dispensation, that has a future consequence – there is no distinction made in these verses between the two sets of two other than some are ‘taken’ and others are ‘left’ – we are not told why.
2). The reason for the distinction that is made, the reason why, is then given in the next parable in this sequence – and in this parable we continue to deal with the same group of people, Christians, within the same time frame, a present action during this dispensation, with the same end in view, a future consequence – Mt 24:45 "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 "Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 "Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 "But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' 49 "and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50
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"the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 "and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
a). In this parable of the Householder and his Servant we see both the opportunity for faithfulness and unfaithfulness on the part of the servant; the servant’s present course of action during the master’s absence is a matter for his personal choice – If he would choose to be faithful then his present activity is connected with the giving of ‘meat in due season’ – this is a choice that results in being found faithful by the master of the house upon his return thereby receiving a reward.
b). So to see that pictured for us in this parable - when the time comes for us to appear at Christ’s Judgment Seat, upon our Lord’s return –
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
The Christian who has made the choice to faithfulness, whose present activity is governed by the ‘meat’ of the Word, is seen as ‘blessed’ and has the promise from the Householder, from the Lord, that he will be made ‘ruler over all His goods’.
c). But as we said before, faithfulness, being full of faith to the saving of the soul, is a matter of personal choice – it is a choice we have to believe that which God has said concerning the coming of Christ’s Millennial kingdom and then organizing our lives accordingly; the very thing which would be the subject of the ‘meat in due season’.
d). And because this is a matter of personal choice, we can make the wrong choice and according to our parable the wrong choice is inextricably connected to conforming ourselves to the patterns of this world, ‘eating and drinking with the drunkards’, having convinced ourselves that the ‘Master has delayed His coming’.
e). The one found faithful then in this parable is the same one who is taken alongside as an intimate companion in the previous parable, the same one who receives the ‘good things’ which he has done whilst inhabiting his mortal body.
f). On the other hand the one whose choice is to unfaithfulness receives the ‘bad things’ which he has done whilst inhabiting his mortal body – this is the one who is left, who is denied a position as an intimate companion, who
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will have his portion with the hypocrites – this is the ‘just reward’ of Hebrews 2:2
g). All of this constitutes the very scene that we have looked at many times before recorded in - 1Co 3:11 ¶ For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
h). To build with the gold, silver and precious stones is present activity during this dispensation carried out in connection with the ‘meat’, acts of faith to the saving of the soul which must result in blessing and reward [the one taken/the faithful servant] – on the other hand building with wood, hay, straw is present activity apart from the ‘meat’, activity that is apart from having faith to the saving of the soul, which can only result in suffering loss [the one left/the ‘evil’, unfaithful servant].
3). Mt 25:1 ¶ "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 "Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 "Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 "but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 "But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6 "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' 7 "Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 "And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' 9 "But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' 10 "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' 12 "But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' 13 "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
a). The next parable in the sequence, that of the 10 virgins, deals with exactly the same group of people as the previous parables, within exactly the same timeframe, with the same end in view – only in this parable the Master’s return is pictured though the coming of the Bridegroom resulting in participation in or exclusion from wedding festivities for the virgins – the
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‘wedding festivities’ provide another facet of the overall picture here, as it should be, as the fulfillment of God’s purpose is expressed in the marriage of God’s Son to His Bride for the purpose of rulership during the coming 7th Day - Ge 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion…….
Ge 24:4 "but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac."
2Co 11:2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Re 19:7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."
b). And again here, as in the previous parables, we see a distinction drawn between the ‘wise’ and the ‘foolish’, which pictures the same distinction as ‘one taken, one left’ and the ‘faithful/unfaithful’ servant.
c). And again we are looking at a choice to a present course of action with a view to a future consequence.
d). The issues of the Judgment Seat of Christ, which correspond to the Master’s return, presented in the coming of the Bridegroom, do not come into view until v10 – the opening 4 verses describe all Christians appearing at the Lord’s Judgment Seat and then v5-9 drop back to show the activity on the part of those Christians during the present dispensation that leads up to this appearance - activity having to do with the things ‘done in the body whether good or bad’ – issues of faithfulness and unfaithfulness.
e). We are told in the opening verse that all the virgins, ‘took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom’ – and it will be very easy for us to see here that all Christians, regardless as to whether they realize it or not, are destined to ‘meet the bridegroom’ – in this sense we can understand that the time is coming when we will all have ‘gone out to meet Him’, but in the meantime, until this happens, we are to await His return engaging ourselves in activity in preparation for it.
f). And as we see from the parable and we will remember from our previous study, the time in which we wait for His return is a time associated with slumbering and sleeping, a time of darkness, a time of night, governed by the rulers of the darkness of this age - Joh 13:30 Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.
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g). And during this time the One who is ‘the light of the world’ is absent, but He has provided ‘light’ for us to navigate through this time of darkness through His Word– which as we know – Ps 119:105 ¶ NUN. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
h). That which the Lord has provided to light our way in the darkness is provided through that which the parable calls ‘the oil in their vessels, with their lamps’ – an extra supply of oil only possessed by the ‘wise’ virgins – a work of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
i). This extra supply of oil speaks of exactly the same thing as the ‘meat in due season’ from the parable of the householder – those whose activity in the present, while in their mortal body, is connected to the ‘meat’ are the same ones seen here as having an extra supply of oil.
j). The ones without the extra supply of oil, whose activity is not connected to the ‘meat’ are described as ‘foolish’ and would correspond to the unfaithful servant, the one who is ‘left’, who is not granted an intimate position alongside their Master.
k). The cry concerning ‘midnight’ would also have to be seen as a facet of the ‘meat’, but it would be the Christian’s response to this ‘midnight cry’ that would determine whether they chose to have the extra supply of oil.
l). Now there are 2 things we might note here concerning the cry with regards to midnight and the first would take us back to that which the Lord taught in the Matthew 13 Parables, things concerning the unnatural growth of the mustard seed and the outworking of the leaven placed in the 3 measures of meal – because of the corruption that has taken place with regards to that which the Lord calls ‘the word of the Kingdom’ the majority of Christians know that they will appear before their Lord, but they see their appearance solely in connection with commendation and rewards – they have been taught and have readily wanted to believe that there are no negative consequences for Christians’ present actions – to be eternally saved is the beginning and the end of it all – Mt 13:31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32 "which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches." 33 Another parable He spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened."
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2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
m). For those who would walk this broad path they would not see a need for the extra supply of oil as it is presented in the scriptures, but instead seek after what is in effect a counterfeit.
n). The second thing we might note would be concerning those who have heard the ‘midnight cry’ and know what is to take place at Christ’s Judgment Seat, those such as ourselves, who then either because of believing a lie, or complacency, or outright willfulness refuse to make the proper preparations for meeting the Bridegroom – we might remember the 5 part warning from the Book of Hebrews.
4). The proper preparation for meeting the Bridegroom which would be encompassed in the concept of having the extra supply of oil and would comprise our present activity, we studied a long time ago in the Book of Ruth - Ru 3:1 ¶ Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? 2 "Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3 "Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor;
a). Ruth is the typological embodiment of the Christian who has faith to the saving of the soul – she would correspond to the one ‘taken’, the ‘faithful servant’; to the ‘things done in the body whether good…’, the works of ‘gold, silver and precious stones’, from our previous scriptures.
b). And we are shown here in concise form exactly what is necessary to be properly prepared to meet the Bridegroom, to have the extra supply of oil, to be a ‘wise’ virgin – ‘wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment’.
c). Now all 3 of these things are to happen concurrently, but it is not arbitrary that they are written in this order – washing ourselves is exactly that seen in - Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
And in - 1Jo 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us
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from all sin. 8 ¶ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
d). We are eternally saved, but we still retain a depraved and corrupt sin nature that never goes away nor gets any better and dealing with this is of primary importance – God has provided the means through the High Priestly ministry of His Son by which the sins of the saved may be cleansed and we need to unashamedly take full advantage of that which He has provided for us Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
e). Although it is Christ alone, our High Priest, who is able to bring about our cleansing from sin we are told to ‘wash yourself’ because we must first recognize our sin and we must choose to confess it and receive forgiveness – all of which is a matter of personal choice, of having faith to the saving of the soul.
f). Anointing ourselves is that which we see in - Eph 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
And this corresponds with having the extra supply of oil – and we know from our previous studies that being filled with the Spirit is to be filled with the Word - Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,
g). To let the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom is to be filled with the Spirit and conversely, to be filled with the Spirit is to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly in all wisdom.
h). The word of Christ is the ‘meat in due season’.
i). Here then is our continual, proper engagement with the Word of God
2Ti 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
j). Putting on our best garment is explained for us in - Re 19:7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Out of our being filled with the Spirit will come acts of righteousness as the metamorphosis works within us - Jas 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
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k). Here then is our present preparation, our present activity, as we get ready to meet the Bridegroom. How blessed we are that we have another day in which to do so.
5). 10 "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
Re 19:9 Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."
a). Our time for proper preparation is not inexhaustible – the day will come, and it may be much sooner than later, when either we shall experience physical death or we shall be raptured to Christ’s Judgment Seat just as the two in the field and the two at the mill – When that happens our time for preparation will be over, there will be nothing more that we can do – whatever we meant to do remains undone; whatever we should have done is gone forever; whatever we chose not to deal with will now be dealt with by the Lord.
b). In our possession will be our works, that which we have done in the body whether good or bad and our works will be tested by fire.
c). Those who were ready for this moment, those who chose to organize their lives in preparation for meeting the Bridegroom, who washed themselves and anointed themselves, put on their best garment, will go in with Him to the wedding festivities – and at that point He will shut the door and once shut it will not be reopened - 13 "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
d). And those on the wrong side of this door will have the awful realization that a position of intimacy with the King of kings and Lord of lords within the Millennial Kingdom is lost to them for all time - 11 "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' 12 "But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.'
e). And with this will also come the dreadful realization that they have no one to blame but themselves – how many at that moment will wish they could have had just one more day?
f). Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,'
All of scripture and all of human history is marching inexorably to this pinpoint in time when the purposes of God are fulfilled and the 7th Day dawns
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in all its glory – do not miss this - 2Pe 1:19 ¶ And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;
g). At all cost – be prepared.
6). Mt 25:14 ¶ "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.15 "And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 "Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 "And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 "But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money. 19 "After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 "So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.' 21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' 22 "He also who had received two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.' 23 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' 24 "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 'And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' 26 "But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 'So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 'Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 'For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 'And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
a). The words ‘the kingdom of heavens’ in the opening line of the parable of the talents has been added by the translators and are not present in the original language. According to the original language we should understand that the parable of the talents is ‘just as’ the parable of the 10
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virgins – in other words this parable deals with exactly the same group, Christians, during exactly the same timeframe, this present dispensation, with exactly the same end in view as the parable of the 10 virgins and the parables that preceded it.
b). The parable of the talents is also a companion parable to the parable of the minas/pounds in Luke Chapter 19 and both deal essentially with exactly the same thing – the present activity of servants with a view to their Lord’s return – Lu 19:12 Therefore He said: "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 "So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, 'Do business till I come.'
c). And needless to say there is much to be learnt from both these parables that will give us additional light on that which we have already seen – but this will have to wait until next time – if the Lord is willing.