SAVED TO …...

 
 

 

As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets … that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us… To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand
of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness
 before Him all the days of our life.
 Luke 1:70-74

 

Over the years, I have wondered why the various denominations differ so dramatically in doctrinal beliefs. Basic Christian doctrine generally teaches Jesus came to save us. He died on the cross to save us from our sins and to give us eternal life. Then the question becomes, “What do we do now?” It is at this point various denominations take divergent paths.

 

Some teach, “Once saved always saved.” They hold to the belief that once you declare Jesus as your personal savior and Lord, you have a free ticket to heaven no matter what future sins you may commit. One group teaches that if you just believe Jesus died on the cross for you, you are now free to carry on as you please. Still others adhere to belief in God’s commandments and try to live accordingly. Another group proclaims, “You must be born again.” There are of course multiple variations of these beliefs and a growing list of others. Nevertheless, what does the Word of God have to say? Is there any Biblical truth in the midst of so much confusion? Yes there is!

 

A major key to our understanding (putting it all together) is found in Luke 1:67-75.

 

 

Luke 1:67-75

Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
       68 “ Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people,
       69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David,
       70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began,
       71 that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us,
       72 to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant,
       73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: 74 To grant us that we, being delivered

from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear,
       75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

 

 

The Complete Jewish Bible translates the above passage as follows.

 

Luke 1:67-75 (Complete Jewish Bible)

His father Z'kharyah was filled with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and spoke this prophecy:    68 "Praised be ADONAI, the God of Isra'el, because he has visited and made a ransom to liberate his people 69 by raising up for us a mighty Deliverer who is a descendant of his servant David. 70 It is just as he has spoken through the mouth of the prophets from the very beginning -- 71 that we should be delivered from our enemies and from the power of all who hate us. 72 "This has happened so that he might show the mercy promised to our fathers -- that he would remember his holy covenant, 73 the oath he swore before Avraham avinu 74 to grant us that we, freed from our enemies, would serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

 

 

If we can believe and accept what it says in Luke 1:67-75, than it becomes clear that we are ‘Saved’ to serve.

 

Visit (1980)  ἐπισκέπτομαι, episkeptomai ep-ee-skep’-tom-ahee; middle from (1909) ἐπί - epi and the base of (4649) skopoV - skopos; to inspect, i.e. (by implication) to select; by extension to go to see, relieve: — [Translated in King James version as] look out, visit.

 

Redeemed (3085)  λύτρωσις, lutrosis loo’-tro-sis; from (3084) λυτρόω, lytroō ; a ransoming (figurative): — [Translated in King James version as] + redeemed, redemption.

 

Raised (1453)  ἐγείρω, egeiro — eg-i’-ro; probably akin to the base of (58) ἀγορά - agora (through the idea of collecting one’s faculties); to waken (transitive or intransitive), i.e. rouse (literal from sleep, from sitting or lying, from disease, from death; or figurative from obscurity, inactivity, ruins, nonexistence): — [Translated in King James version as] awake, lift (up), raise (again, up), rear up, (a-) rise (again, up), stand, take up.

 

Saved, Salvation (4991)  σωτηρία,  soteria — so-tay-ree’-ah; feminine of a derivative of (4990) σωτήρ - soter as (properly abstract) noun; rescue or safety (physical or morally): — [Translated in King James version as] deliver, health, salvation, save, saving.

 

Enemies (2190) ἐχθρός,echthros ekh-thros’; (to hate); hateful (passive odious, or active hostile); usually as a noun, an adversary (especially Satan): — [Translated in King James version as] enemy, foe.

 

Hand (5495) χείρ, cheir — khire; perhaps from the base of (5494) χειμών - cheimon in the sense of its congener the base of (5490) χάσμα - chasma (through the idea of hollowness for grasping); the hand (literal or figurative [power]; especially [by Hebrew] a means or instrument): — [Translated in King James version as] hand.

 

Hate (3404) μισέω, miseo  — mis-eh’-o; to detest (especially to persecute); by extension to love less: — [Translated in King James version as] hate (- ful).

 

Grant (1325) δίδωμι, didomi did’-o-mee; a prolonged form of a primary verb (which is used as an alternative in most of the tenses); to give (used in a very wide application, properly or by implication, literal or figurative; greatly modified by the connection): — [Translated in King James version as] adventure, bestow, bring forth, commit, deliver (up), give, grant, hinder, make, minister, number, offer, have power, put, receive, set, shew, smite (+ with the hand), strike (+ with the palm of the hand), suffer, take, utter, yield.

 

Delivered (4506) ῥύομαι,  rhoumai — rhoo’-om-ahee; middle of an obsolete verb, akin to (4482) ῥέω - rheo (through the idea of a current; compare (4511) ῥύσις; to rush or draw (for oneself), i.e. rescue: — [Translated in King James version as] deliver (- er).

 

Might - an added word.

 

Serve (3000) λατρεύω, latreuo — lat-ryoo’-o; to minister (to God), i.e. render religious homage: — [Translated in King James version as] serve, do the service, worship (-per).

 

Without Fear (870) ἀφόβως,aphobos — af-ob’-oce; adverb from a compound of (1) ἄλφα (as a negative particle) and (5401) φόβος - phobos; fearlessly: — [Translated in King James version as] without fear.

 

Holiness (3742)  ὁσιότης, hosiotes — hos-ee-ot’-ace; from (3741) ὅσιος - hosios; piety: — [Translated in King James version as] holiness.

 

(3741) osioV, hosios — hos’-ee-os; of uncertain affinity; properly right (by intrinsic or divine character; thus distinguished from (1342) dikaioV - dikaios, which refers rather to human statutes and relations; from (2413) ieroV - hieros, which denotes formal consecration; and from (40) agioV - hagios, which relates to purity from defilement), i.e. hallowed (pious, sacred, sure): — [Translated in King James version as] holy, mercy, shalt be.

 

 

Righteousness (1343) δικαιοσύνη,  dikaiosune dik-ah-yos-oo’-nay; from (1342) δίκαιος  - dikaios; equity (of character or act); specially (Christian) justification: — [Translated in King James version as] righteousness.

 

Equity (Dictionary.com) the quality of being fair or impartial; fairness; impartiality

 

 

This prophecy is referring to the people of God – natural Israel AND transformed Gentiles (individuals from other nations) in Christ. This encompasses all who belong to Christ Jesus. Christ makes no distinctions and neither should we.

 

 

Jesus said,

 

John 6:37-38

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

 

John 10:14-16

“I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

 

 

It is also recorded in John,

 

John 1:10-13

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

 

In the book of Peter it is also written,

 

1 Peter 2:9-11

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

 

 

It was my initial desire to present a study that would cover all of Luke 1:67-75. However, I now believe a separate study on “service” and “works,” from a Biblical perspective, as opposed to a church doctrinal slant, is urgent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Serve

 

Just like Salvation is not new to the New Testament, neither was salvation to serve God. Of course we have been delivered from a far greater than Pharaoh and Egypt but it is important to consider the similarities.

 

In the Book of Exodus, we find this,

 

Exodus 8:1

And the LORD (Yehowah) spoke to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD (Yehowah): “Let My people go, that they may serve Me.

 

Exodus 8:20

And the LORD (Yehowah) said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he comes out to the water. Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD (Yehowah): “Let My people go, that they may serve Me.

 

Exodus 9:1

Then the LORD (Yehowah) said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the LORD (Yehowah) God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me.

 

Exodus 9:13

Then the LORD (Yehowah) said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD (Yehowah) God (Elohim) of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me,

 

Exodus 10:3

So Moses and Aaron came in to Pharaoh and said to him, “Thus says the LORD (Yehowah) God (Elohim) of the Hebrews: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me.

 

Serve  {5647} עָבַד, `abad — aw-bad'; a primitive root; to work (in any sense); by implication, to serve, till, (causatively) enslave, etc.: —  [Translated in King James version as] X be, keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, do, dress, ear, execute, + husbandman, keep, labour(-ing man, bring to pass, (cause to, make to) serve(-ing, self), (be, become) servant(-s), do (use) service, till(-er), transgress (from margin), (set a) work, be wrought, worshipper,

 

 

*      I am certain many of today’s Christians will see this type of service as outdated - strictly Old Testament. After all, most will declare, we have been saved by grace. Jesus died for us on the cross. The following verses may even come to mind.

 

v  Titus 3:5

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

 

v  Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

 

               

 

I agree, we are indeed saved by grace. This is a wonderful word, however, do we really understand its meaning? Before we get into the primary study, let us take a quick look at the meaning of the word “grace.”

 

According to the Blue Letter Bible, the Greek word transliterated “Charis” was translated into English as “Grace” 130 times and as “favor” six times. However, it is through our English word “favor” that I trust we will gain a better understanding of the meaning of “grace.”

 

The gospel according to John tells us,   

 

John 1:14

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

Grace (5485) χάρις, charis khar’-ece; from (5463) χαίρω- chairo; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): — [Translated in King James version as] acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

 

(5463) χαίρω, chairo khah’ee-ro; a primary verb; to be cheerful, i.e.calmly happy or well-off; impersonal especially as salutation (on meeting or parting), be well: — [Translated in King James version as] farewell, be glad, God speed, greeting, hail, joy (-fully), rejoice.

 

Grace (Dictionary.com)

1. Elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action

2. A pleasing or attractive quality or endowment

3. Favor or goodwill

4. A manifestation of favor, especially by a superior

 

Favor (Dictionary.com)

1. Something done or granted out of goodwill, rather than from justice or for remuneration; a kind act

2. Friendly or well-disposed regard; goodwill

3. The state of being approved or held in regard

4. Excessive kindness or unfair partiality; preferential treatment

5. A gift bestowed as a token of goodwill, kind regard, love, etc.

 

 

Following are the six passages the King James Version translated as “favor” instead of “grace.”

 

Luke 1:30

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor [grace] with God.

 

Luke 2:52

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor [grace] with God and men.

 

Acts 2:44-47

Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

 

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor [grace] with all the people. And the LORD added to the church daily those who were being saved.

 

Acts 7:9-10

 “And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor [grace] and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.

 

Acts 7:44-46

“Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing Moses to make it according to the pattern that he had seen, 45 which our fathers, having received it in turn, also brought with Joshua into the land possessed by the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers until the days of David, 46 who found favor [grace] before God and asked to find a dwelling for the God of Jacob.

 

Acts 25:1-3

25 Now when Festus had come to the province, after three days he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem. Then the high priest and the chief men of the Jews informed him against Paul; and they petitioned him, asking a favor [grace] against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem—while they lay in ambush along the road to kill him.

 

 

Now when we read in John 1:14 Jesus “full of grace [favor] and truth” and then read Luke 4:16-22 we can perhaps get a richer understanding of what “full of grace” means.

 

Luke 4:16-22

So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

 

18 “The Spirit of the LORD (Yehowah) is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD (
Yehowah).”

 

20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious (5485) words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

 

 

John 1:14 also says in part, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” This reminds me of Exodus 33:12-15.

 

Exodus 33:12-17

“Then Moses said to the LORD (Yehowah), “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace [favor] in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace [favor]  in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace [favor]  in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”
14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace [favor] in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”
17 So the LORD (
Yehowah) said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace [favor] in My sight, and I know you by name.”

 

Grace to Moses was the Lord’s presence.   Grace, or favor in God’s presence, heals, delivers, restores and sets us free. Jesus was and still is full of grace [favor] and truth.

 

Grace {2580} חֵן — chen, khane; from 2603; graciousness, i.e. subjective (kindness, favor) or objective (beauty): — [Translated in King James version as] favour, grace(-ious), pleasant, precious, (well-) favoured

 

{2603} חָנַן— chanan, khaw-nan'; a primitive root (compare 2583); properly, to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow; causatively to implore (i.e. move to favor by petition): — [Translated in King James version as] beseech, X fair, (be, find, shew) favour(-able), be (deal, give, grant (gracious(-ly), intreat, (be) merciful, have (shew) mercy (on, upon), have pity upon, pray, make supplication,

 

 

There are numerous Old Testament examples that show Israel was saved numerous times because of Yehowah's (the LORD’s) grace and mercy. They were saved from their sins and their enemies; from Egypt, other nations and individuals who rose up against them. However, their salvation was for a greater purpose.

 

Their salvation could be considered a type or precursor to the great salvation and deliverance from our sins and our enemies that has come about through Jesus Christ, who is Yehowah's salvation for humanity. In like manner, this great salvation and deliverance has a far greater purpose.

 

However, it appears many have viewed Christianity only from the vantage point of salvation for self; with little, if any, understanding that by the “grace” or “favor” of God we are saved to serve Him. This service is a great honor.

 

 

Psalm 100

“Make a joyful shout to the LORD (Yehowah), all you lands!
Serve (5647) the LORD (
Yehowah) with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the LORD (
Yehowah), He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the LORD (
Yehowah) is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

 

Mercy {2617} חֶסֶד — checed, kheh'-sed; from 2616; kindness; by implication (towards God) piety: rarely (by opposition) reproof, or (subject.) beauty: — [Translated in King James version as] favour, good deed(-liness, -ness), kindly, (loving-) kindness, merciful (kindness), mercy, pity, reproach, wicked thing.

 

So, what does it mean to “serve” in the New Testament? According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, there are three primary Greek words translated “serve” in our Bible.

 

 

1) Serve (1398) δουλεύω, douleuo dool-yoo’-o; from (1401) douloV - doulos; to be a slave to (literal or figurative, involuntary or voluntary): — [Translated in King James version as] be in bondage, (do) serve (-ice).

 

(1401) δοῦλοςdoulos  — doo’-los; from (1210) δέω - deo; a slave (literal or figurative, involuntary or voluntary; frequently therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency): —  [Translated in King James version as]  bond (-man), servant.

 

2) Serve (3000) λατρεύω, latreuo lat-ryoo’-o; from latris (a hired menial); to minister (to God), i.e. render religious homage: — [Translated in King James version as] serve, do the service, worship (-per).

 

3) Serve (1247) διακονέω, diakoneo dee-ak-on-eh’-o; from (1249) διάκονος - diakonos; to be an attendant, i.e. wait upon (menially or as a host, friend or [figurative] teacher); techn. to act as a Christian deacon: —  [Translated in King James version as]  (ad-) minister (unto), serve, use the office of a deacon.

 

(1249) διάκονος, diakonos  — dee-ak’-on-os; probably from an obsolete diako (to run on errands; compare (1377); an attendant, i.e. (genitive) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties); specially a Christian teacher and pastor (technically a deacon or deaconess): — [Translated in King James version as] deacon, minister, servant.

 

 

 

Now we will do a brief study on each of these three words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVE (1398) - To be a slave to

 

Matthew 6:24

 “No one can serve (1398) two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve (1398) God and mammon.

 

Mammon (3126) μαμωνᾶς, mammonas mam-mo-nas’; of Chaldian origin (confidence, i.e. figurative wealth, personified); mammonas, i.e. avarice (deified): — [Translated in King James version as] mammon.

 

 

The above account in Matthew appears to be a capsulized version of the below parable found in the Book of Luke.

                                                                                                  

Luke 16:1-13

He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’

 

“Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’

 

“So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

 

“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?

13 “No servant can serve (1398) two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve (1398) God and mammon.”

 

Luke 15:11-40

“ Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

 

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’

 

20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

 

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

 

25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’

 

28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving (1398) you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

 

31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

 

 

  • Verse 29 – Serving and never transgressing the father’s commandment appears to go hand in hand.

 

  • Verse 32 – It is important to note that in the eyes of the father, his prodigal son was both dead and lost until he repented or turned and came back to the father. The son, who served his own wants and desires was still a son, but he was dead and lost in the eyes of his father.  This is a word of caution from Jesus to the children of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 SERVE (3000) – A Hired Menial; To minister to God

 

Matthew 4:1-11  (Luke 4:8)

“ Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

 

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

 

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

 

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’

 

and,

 

‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”

 

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD (Yehowah) your God.’”

 

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

 

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD (Yehowah) your God, and Him only you shall serve (3000).’”

 

11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

 

`

Worship (4352) προσκυνέω, proskuneo pros-koo-neh’-o; from (4314) πρός - pros and a probably derivative of (2965) κύων - kuon (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literal

or figurative) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore): — [Translated in King James version as] worship.

 

(4314) πρός, pros pros; a strengthened form of (4253) πρό - pro; a preposition of direction; forward to, i.e. toward (with the genitic the side of, i.e. pertaining to; with the dative by the side of, i.e. near to; usually with the accusative the place, time, occasion, or respect, which is the destination of the relation, i.e. whither or for which it is predicated): — [Translated in King James version as] about, according to, against, among, at, because of, before, between, ([where-]) by, for, x at thy house, in, for intent, nigh unto, of, which pertain to, that, to (the end that), + together, to ([you]) -ward, unto, with (-in). In comparative it denotes essentially the same applications, namely, motion towards, accession to, or nearness at.

 

 

Luke 1:74

To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve (3000) Him without fear,

 

 

In the Book of Hebrews it says,

 

Hebrews 9:14

“ How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works (2041) to serve (3000) the living God?

 

  • Hebrews 9:14 shows the distinction between salvation, through the shed blood of Christ on one hand and our service to the living God on the other.

 

  • The blood of Jesus cleanses our conscience FROM dead works  TO serve the living God.

      

 

Conscience (4893) συνείδησις, — soon-i’-day-sis; from a prolonged form of (4894) (συνοράω); co-perception, i.e. moral consciousness: — [Translated in King James version as] conscience.

 

(4894) συνοράω, — soon-i’-do; from (4862) (σύν) and (1492) (εἴδω); to see completely; used (like its primary) only in two past tenses, respectively meaning to understand or become aware, and to be conscious or (clandestinely) informed of: — [Translated in King James version as] consider,  know, be privy, beware of.

 

 

The author of the Book of Hebrews also points us back to the Old Testament and Israel’s exodus from Egypt.

 

Hebrews 12:18-29

18 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.” 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)

 

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

 

25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.

 

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace [favor], by which we may serve (3000) God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

 

Fear (2124) εὐλάβεια, — yoo-lab’-i-ah; from (2126) (εὐλαβής); properly caution, i.e. (religiously) reverence (piety); by implication dread (concrete): — [Translated in King James version as] fear (-ed).

 

  • This brings to mind Luke 1:74 - 75

To grant us that we, being delivered   from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear,   75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. “

 

Fear (870) ἀφόβως, — af-ob’-oce; adverb from a compound of (1) (ἄλφα) (as a negative particle) and (5401) (φόβος); fearlessly: — [Translated in King James version as] without fear.

 

 

  • There is no contradiction between Hebrews 12:28 and Luke 1:74. Hebrews 12:28 speaks about “godly fear”, whereas Luke 1:74 is referring to fear of your enemies and other people.  

 

Church (1577) ἐκκλησία, — ek-klay-see’-ah; from a compound of (1537) (ἐκ) and a derivative of (2564) (καλέω); a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both): — [Translated in King James version as] assembly, church.

 

                                                                                                                                                                         

Revelation 7:9-17

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

 

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
Amen.”

 

13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”

 

14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”

 

So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve (3000) Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

 

Revelation 22:1-7

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants (1401)shall serve (3000) Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the LORD (Yehowah) God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.

 

Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the LORD (Yehowah) God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants (1401) the things which must shortly take place.

 

“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

 

We could never earn salvation. Salvation is indeed a gift from God. However, service did not end with the cross. Salvation now gives us an opportunity to serve God according to His will, standard and purpose – not ours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SERVE (1247) – To be an attendant, wait upon

 

Of the three words translated “serve” the Greek word “Diakoneō” appears to deal more with service to others, which in turn renders service to our Lord.  Bible passages, that include this word, give us practical examples on how we are to serve and the importance of our service.

 

 

Luke 12:32-40

32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants (1401 ) whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve (1247)  them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants . (1401 ) 39 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. 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

 

Luke 17:5-10

“And the apostles said to the LORD, “Increase our faith.”

 

So the LORD said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. And which of you, having a servant (1401 ) plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve (1247)  me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant (1401 ) because he did (4160)  the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants( 1401 ) . We have done  (4160)  what was our duty to do (4160)  .’”

 

  • Verses 9-10 – Remember “did”, “done” and “do.” We will discuss this in detail as the study progresses.

 

 

Luke 22:24-30

Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. (1247) 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? (1247)   Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves. (1247)  

 

28 “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29 And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

 

 

The Book of Matthew gives us more detail.

                         

Matthew 20:20-28 (Mark 10:35-45)

“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him.

 

21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?”

 

She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”

                                                                                                                                                                                        

22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

 

They said to Him, “We are able.”

 

23 So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.”

 

24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. (1249)  27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave (1401 ) 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served  (1247), but to serve (1247), and to give His life a ransom for many.”

 

  • Verse 26 – The Kingdom of God does not operate like the nations and kingdoms of men.

 

  • Verses 26, 28 – In these verses “serve,” “served” and “servant” were translated “minister” or “ministered” in the King James Version.

 

  • Verse 27 – this verse uses the word “slave” instead of “servant” but both are from the same Greek word.

 

 

Slave (1401) δοῦλος, — doo’-los; from (1210) (δέω); a slave (literal or figurative, involuntary or voluntary; frequently therefore in a qualified sense of subjection or subserviency): — [Translated in King James version as] bond (-man),  servant.

 

 

John 12:26

But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves (1247) Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant (1249) will be also. If anyone serves (1247) Me, him My Father will honor.

 

 

Jesus said, “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also.” But how do we serve the LORD? Jesus gives us a prime example.

 

 In Matthew 25:44, the  Greek word “Diakoneō” is translated as “minister” instead of “serve.”

 

 

  

Matthew 25:13-46

13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

 

14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants (1401) 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 (1401)  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 (1401), 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.’

 

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

 

37 Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘LORD, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

 

41 Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

 

44 Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘LORD, when did  we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister (1247) to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

 

According to Jesus, this is service or ministry to Him. Yet, ministry or service to Yehowah and Jesus Christ requires that we do something. Ask yourself, can a servant serve without “doing” or performing a task?  Moreover, could that “doing” be classified as works?

 

Yes, we are saved by the grace [favor] of Yehowah. However, we are saved to do, to serve.  In addition, according to Jesus, how we serve, or choose not to serve, will depend on our eternal outcome.  The lazy servant is not cast into outer darkness because He did not believe in Jesus. He was cast into outer darkness because of what he chooses not to do. And note, neither his excuses nor his belief in Jesus saves him from everlasting punishment. Therefore, our understanding of “service” and “works,” from a Biblical perspective, is crucial.

 

 

 

 

 

WORKS

 

 

*      When it comes to “works”, many Christians are quick to quote Ephesians 2:8-9.

 

Ephesians 2:8-9

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

 

 

As stated earlier, I too agree that salvation is a gift of Yehowah. However, I also believe Ephesians 2:8-9 is taken out of context to make the claim that “works” are not important. However, is this true? What did Jesus have to say on the subject of “works? “

 

This study will include many passages on this subject to help you draw your own conclusion. Let us begin with one of the most quoted verses in the New Testament, John 3:16, and include a few verses beyond it.

 

According to the Book of John Jesus said,

 

 

John 3:16-21

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

 

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds [works] were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds [works] should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds [works] may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

 

Practicing (4238) πράσσω, prasso pras’-so; a primary verb; to “practise”, i.e. perform repeatedly or habitually (thus differing from (4160) ποιέω - poieo, which properly refers to a single act); by implication to execute ,accomplish, etc.; specially to collect (dues), fare (personally): — [Translated in King James version as] commit, deeds, do, exact, keep, require, use arts.

 

 

 

1.       One of the primary words translated “deed,” “doing,” “labor” and “work” comes from the Greek work “ergon.”

 

Deeds (2041) ἔργον, ergon er’-gon; from a primary (but obsolete) ergo (to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act: — [Translated in King James version as] deed, doing, labour, work.

 

 

According to the above definition, the word “deeds”, in John 3:19-21, could also be translated as “works.”

 

This word “deeds” also appears in 1 John 3:16-19

 

1 John 3:16-19

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

 

18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed [works] and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

 

 

 

2.       The word “does” in John 3:21 above is from the Greek word “poièō.”

 

Does, Done (4160) ποιέω, poieo poy-eh’-o; apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do (in a very wide application, more or less direct): —  [Translated in King James version as] abide, + agree, appoint, x avenge, + band together, be, bear, + bewray, bring (forth), cast out, cause, commit, + content, continue, deal, + without any delay, (would) do (-ing), execute, exercise, fulfil, gain, give, have, hold, x journeying, keep, + lay wait, + lighten the ship, make, x mean, + none of these things move me, observe, ordain, perform, provide, + have purged, purpose, put, + raising up, x secure, shew, x shoot out, spend, take, tarry, + transgress the law, work, yield.

 

 

3.       Another primary word translated as “do,” “labor” and “work” comes from the Greek word “ergảzomai.”

 

(2038) ἐργάζομαι, ergazomai er-gad’-zom-ahee; middle from (2041) ἔργον - ergon; to toil (as a task, occupation, etc.), (by implication) effect, be engaged in or with, etc.: — [Translated in King James version as]  commit, do, labor for, minister about, trade (by), work.

 

 

Following is a passage from the New Kings James Bible that uses the English word “practice” instead of “do”, “labor” or “works.”

 

Matthew 7:21-23

 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does (4160) the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘LORD, LORD, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done (4160) many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice (2038) lawlessness!’

 

  • Verse 23 – the King James Version says, “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

 

 

It seems obvious that the people Jesus is referring to in the above verses believe in Him; or at least believed in the power of His name.  In His name, demons were cast out and miracles were performed. However, based on Jesus’ response, this belief in Him is not enough.

 

Of course casting out demons and working wonders are also considered works; but apparently not the works Jesus is looking for. Jesus is looking for those who will “do” the will of His Father. This is along the same lines as Matthew 25:31-46 (See page 17).

 

For those who want to make the case that Jesus was just talking to the Jews only or that this was done away with on the cross I say read the passage again. Jesus is referring to His second coming and the time of judgment. Verse 22 says, “Many will say to Me in that day.”

 

 

Lawlessness (KJV – Iniquity) (458) ἀνομία, anomia an-om-ee’-ah; from (459) ἄνομος - anomos;  illegality, i.e. violation of law or (genitive) wickedness: — [Translated in King James version as] iniquity, x transgress (-ion of) the law, unrighteousness.

 

 

So far we have briefly looked at three Greek words pertaining to “works”, “deeds”, “labor” and “doing.” These same words are used extensively throughout the New Testament. They are so interwoven that often a single Bible passage may use various combinations of these words. As a result, I will continue to include the Strong’s Concordance number next to each to help us identify them.

 

 

Jesus goes on to say in Matthew 21,

 

Matthew 21:28-32

“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work (2038) today in my vineyard.’ 29 He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did (4160) the will of his father?”

 

They said to Him, “The first.”

 

Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.

 

Matthew 26:6-13

And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.”

 

10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done (2038) a good work (2041) for Me. 11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. 12 For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. 13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done (4160) will also be told as a memorial to her.”

 

Matthew 5:14-20

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works (2041) and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does (4160) and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

  • Verse 16 – What good we “do” glorifies our Father in heaven.

 

Good (2570) καλός, kalos kal-os’; of uncertain affinity; properly beautiful, but chiefly (figurative) good (literal or moral), i.e. valuable or virtuous (for appearance or use, and thus distinguished from (18) ἀγαθός - agathos, which is properly intrinsic): — [Translated in King James version as] x better, fair, good (-ly), honest, meet, well, worthy.

 

 

Matthew 5:44-45

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do (4160) good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

 

  • Verse 44 – According to this verse, doing good to others in all situations and under all conditions is a determining factor if God is your Father or not. A loving, righteous, forgiving and forever giving Father wants children in His image and after His likeness – like Jesus.       

 

Good (2573) καλῶς, kalos kal-oce’; adverb from (2570) καλός- kalos; well (usually moral): — [Translated in King James version as]  (in a) good (place), honestly, + recover, (full) well.

 

Enemies (2190) ἐχθρός, echthros  — ekh-thros’; from a primary echtho (to hate); hateful (passive odious, or active hostile); usually as a noun, an adversary (especially Satan): — [Translated in King James version as]

enemy, foe.

 

Curse (2672) καταράομαι, kataraomai kat-ar-ah’-om-ahee; middle from (2671) κατάρα - katara; to execrate; by analogy to doom: — [Translated in King James version as] curse.

 

(2671) κατάρα, katara kat-ar’-ah; from (2596) κατά - kata (intensive) and (685) ἀρά** - ara**; imprecation, execration: — [Translated in King James version as] curse (-d, -ing).

 

im·pre·cate (Dictionary.com) verb (used with object), -cat·ed, -cat·ing. - to invoke or call down (evil or curses), as upon a person.

 

ex·e·crate (Dictionary.com) verb (used with object)

1. to detest utterly; abhor; abominate.

2. to curse; imprecate evil upon; damn; denounce: He execrated all who opposed him.

 

Damn/ (Dictionary.com) verb (used with object) verb (used with object)

1. to declare (something) to be bad, unfit, invalid, or illegal.

2. to condemn as a failure: to damn a play.

3. to bring condemnation upon; ruin.

4. to doom to eternal punishment or condemn to hell.

5. to swear at or curse, using the word “damn”: Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!

 

 

(2596) κατά, kata kat-ah’; a primary particle; (preposition) down (in place or time), in varied relations (according to the case [general, dative or accusative] with which it is joined): — [Translated in King James version as] about, according as (to), after, against, (when they were) x alone, among, and, x apart, (even, like) as (concerning, pertaining to, touching), x aside, at, before, beyond, by, to the charge of, [charita-] bly, concerning, + covered, [dai-] ly, down, every, (+ far more) exceeding, x more excellent, for, from...to, godly, in (-asmuch, divers, every, -to, respect of),...by, after the manner of, + by any means, beyond (out of) measure, x mightily, more, x natural, of (up-) on (x part), out (of every), over against, (+ your) x own, + particularly, so, through (-oughout, -oughout every), thus, (un-) to (-gether, -ward), x uttermost, where (-by), with. In composition it retains many of these applications, and frequently denotes opposition, distribution or intensity.

 

(685) ἀρά, ara ar-ah’; probably from (142) αἴρω - airo; properly prayer (as lifted to Heaven), i.e. (by implication) imprecation: — [Translated in King James version as] curse.

 

 

Matthew 12:11-12

Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do (4160) good on the Sabbath.”

 

John 4:34

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do (4160) the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work (2041).

 

John 6:27

“ Do not labor (2038) for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

 

John 14:10-13

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does (4160) the works (2041). 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works (2041) themselves.

 

12 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works (2041) that I do (4160) he will do (2041)also; and greater works than these he will do (4160) , because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do (4160), that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

 

 

  • We, apart from Jesus Christ can do nothing. It is Christ in the true child of God who does the works.

 

 

Some of Jesus’ parables also give us an indication that to “serve”, “do” or “work” is required. Following are three well-known parables.

 

 

 

 

 

The First ParableThe Parable of the Talents

 

Matthew 25:14-30

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants (1401) and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave (1325) 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 (2038) 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 (1401) 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 (1401); 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 (1401); 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.’

 

  • The “good and faithful” servants had to work to gain more. It was not handed, or imputed, to them.

 

  • Likewise, the “wicked and lazy” servant was not cast into outer darkness for not believing in Jesus. He is cast into outer Darkness for what he chose not to do.

 

  • All three were servants. All three believed. But all three did not “do” what was expected of him. Therefore, all three did not have the same outcome. Their choices resulted in where they would spend eternity.

 

  • The word “gave” in verse 15 is from the same word translated “grant” in Luke 1:74.

 

 

Delivered (3860) παραδίδωμι, paradidomi par-ad-id’-o-mee; from (3844) παρά - para and (1325) δίδωμι - didomi; to surrender, i.e. yield up, intrust, transmit:  — [Translated in King James version as] betray, bring forth, cast, commit, deliver (up), give (over, up), hazard, put in prison, recommend.

 

(3844) παρά, para  par-ah’; a primary preposition; properly near, i.e. (with general) from beside (literal or figurative), (with dative) at (or in) the vicinity of (object or subject), (with accusative) to the proximity with (local [especially beyond or opposed to] or causal [on account of]): — [Translated in King James version as] above, against, among, at, before, by, contrary to, x friend, from, + give [such things as they], + that [she] had, x his, in, more than, nigh unto, (out) of, past, save, side ... by, in the sight of, than, [there-] fore, with. In compounds it retains the same variety of application.

 

(1325) δίδωμι, didomi did’-o-mee; a prolonged form of a primary verb (which is used as an alternative in most of the tenses); to give (used in a very wide application, properly or by implication, literal or figurative; greatly modified by the connection): — [Translated in King James version as]  adventure, bestow, bring forth, commit, deliver (up), give, grant, hinder, make, minister, number, offer, have power, put, receive, set, shew, smite (+ with the hand), strike (+ with the palm of the hand), suffer, take, utter, yield.

 

Goods (5224) ὑπάρχοντα, huparchonta hoop-ar’-khon-tah; neuter plural of presumed participle active of (5225) ὑπάρχω - huparcho as noun; things extant or in hand, i.e. property or possessions: — [Translated in King James version as] goods, that which one has, things which (one) possesseth, substance, that hast.

 

Ability (1411) δύναμις, — doo’-nam-is; from (1410) δύναμαι, dunamis ; force (literal or figurative); specially miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself): — [Translated in King James version as] ability, abundance, meaning, might (-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle (-s), power, strength, violence, might (wonderful) work.

 

Hid (613) ἀποκρύπτω, apokrupto ap-ok-roop’-to; from (575) ἀπό - apo and (2928) κρύπτω - krupto; to conceal away (i.e. fully); figurative to keep secret: — [Translated in King James version as]  hide.

 

(575) ἀπό, apo apo’; a primary particle; “off,” i.e. away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literal or figurative): — [Translated in King James version as]  (x here-) after, ago, at, because of, before, by (the space of), for (-th), from, in, (out) of, off, (up-) on (-ce), since, with. In composition (as a prefix) it usually denotes separation, departure, cessation, completion, reversal, etc.

 

(2928) κρύπτω, krupto kroop’-to; a primary verb; to conceal (properly by covering): — [Translated in King James version as] hide (self), keep secret, secret [-ly].

 

Wicked (4190) πονηρός, poneros pon-ay-ros’; from a derivative of (4192) πόνος - ponos; hurtful, i.e. evil (properly in effect or influence, and thus differing from (2556) kakoV - kakos, which refers rather to essential character, as well as from (4550) σαπρός - sapros, which indicates degeneracy from original virtue); figurative calamitous; also(passive) ill, i.e. diseased; but especially (morally) culpable, i.e. derelict, vicious, facinorous; neuter (singular) mischief, malice, or (plural) guilt; masculine (singular) the devil, or (plural) sinners: — [Translated in King James version as] bad, evil, grievous, harm, lewd, malicious, wicked (-ness).

 

Lazy (3636) ὀκνηρός, okneros ok-nay-ros’; from (3635) ὀκνέω- okneo; tardy, i.e. indolent; (figurative) irksome: — [Translated in King James version as] grievous, slothful.

 

Tardy (Dictionary.com) –

1. late; behind time; not on time: How tardy were you today?

2. moving or acting slowly; slow; sluggish.

3. delaying through reluctance.

 

Indolent (Dictionary.com) –

1. having or showing a disposition to avoid exertion; slothful: an indolent person.

2. Pathology . causing little or no pain; inactive or relatively benign: an indolent ulcer that is not  painful and is slow to heal.

 

Irksome (Dictionary.com) –

1. annoying; irritating; exasperating; tiresome: irksome restrictions.

2. Obsolete . causing weariness or disgust.

 

Unprofitable (888) ἀχρεῖος, achreios akh-ri’-os; from (1) (ἄλφα) (as a negative particle) and a derivative of (5534) χρή - chre [compare (5532) χρεία ; useless, i.e. (euphemism) unmeritorious: — [Translated in King James version as] unprofitable.

 

 

 

 

The Second ParableThe Parable of the Good Samaritan

 

Luke 10:25-37

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do (4160) to inherit eternal life?”

 

26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”

 

27 So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the LORD (Yehowah) your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’

 

28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do (4160) this and you will live.”

 

29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

 

30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”

 

37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”

 

Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do (4160) likewise.”

 

  • The “doing” deals with our love toward God and our fellow man. This brings to mind Matthew 22:35-41.

 

Matthew 22:35-41

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

 

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD (Yehowah) your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

 

 

 

 The following is in line with the second parable.

 

Matthew 6:1-4

“Take heed that you do (4160) not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do (4160) a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do (4160) in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do (4160) a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing (4160), that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

 

Charitable deeds (1654) ἐλεημοσύνη, el-eh-ay-mos-oo’-nay; from (1656) (ἔλεος); compassionateness, i.e. (as exercised towards the poor) beneficence, or (concretely) a benefaction: — [Translated in King James version as] alms (-deeds).

 

(1656) ἔλεος, — el’-eh-os; of uncertain affinity; compassion (human or divine, especially active): — [Translated in King James version as]  (+ tender) mercy.

 

Reward (3408) μισθός, — mis-thos’; apparently a primary word; pay for service (literal or figurative), good or bad: — [Translated in King James version as] hire, reward, wages.

 

 

Unlike what many of us were told, according to definition, our reward is wages or pay for what we have done; whether we do good or do bad. I will say, I do agree with Paul when he said in Galatians,

 

Galatians 6:7

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

 

 

 

  

 

 

The Third ParableThe Parable of the Sower

 

Mark 4:1-20

And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:

 

“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

 

And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

 

10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to them, To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 so that

 

‘Seeing they may see and not perceive,
And hearing they may hear and not understand;
Lest they should turn,
And their sins be forgiven them.’”

 

13 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. 18 Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20 But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

 

  • The “doing” in this parable is “hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit.”

 

  • Verses 10-12 give the true reason why Jesus spoke in parables. These verses are taken from Isaiah 6:9-10. Yehowah declared this over the people because of their hardness of heart and their unwillingness to follow His commandments and His ways.

 

Isaiah 6:9-13

9 And He said, “Go, and tell this people:

‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

 

10 “Make the heart of this people dull,
And their ears heavy,
And shut their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And return and be healed.”

 

11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?”

 

And He answered:

 

“Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant,
The houses are without a man,
The land is utterly desolate,
12 The Lord has removed men far away,
And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13 But yet a tenth will be in it,
And will return and be for consuming,
As a terebinth tree or as an oak,
Whose stump remains when it is cut down.
So the holy seed shall be its stump.”

 

 

The Book of Matthew further elaborates what Jesus said.

 

Matthew 13:10-17

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

 

11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

 

‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed
,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’

 

16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

 

 

Tribulation (2347) θλῖψις, — thlip’-sis; from (2346) (θλίβω); pressure (literal or figurative): — [Translated in King James version as] afflicted (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.

 

Stumble (4624) σκανδαλίζω, — skan-dal-id’-zo; (“scandalize”); from (4625) (σκάνδαλον); to entrap, i.e. trip up (figurative stumble [transitive] or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure): — [Translated in King James version as]  (make to) offend.

 

Deceitfulness (539) ἀπάτη, — ap-at’-ay; from (538) (ἀπατάω); delusion: — [Translated in King James version as] deceit (- ful, -fulness), deceivableness (-ving).

 

Riches (4149) πλοῦτος, — ploo’-tos; from the base of (4130) (πίμπλημι); wealth (as fulness), i.e. (literal) money, possessions, or (figurative) abundance, richness, (special) valuable bestowment: — [Translated in King James version as] riches.

 

Desires (1939) ἐπιθυμία, ep-ee-thoo-mee’-ah; from (1937) (ἐπιθυμέω); a longing (especially for what is forbidden): — [Translated in King James version as] concupiscence, desire, lust (after).

 

Unfruitful (175) ἄκαρπος, — ak’-ar-pos; from (1) (ἄλφα) (as a negative particle) and (2590) (καρπός); barren (literal or figurative): — [Translated in King James version as] without fruit, unfruitful.

 

Accept (3858) παραδέχομαι, par-ad-ekh’-om-ahee; from (3844) (παρά) and (1209) (δέχομαι); to accept near, i.e. admit or (by implication) delight in: — [Translated in King James version as] receive.

 

Bear fruit (2592) καρποφορέω, — kar-pof-or-eh’-o; from (2593) (καρποφόρος); to be fertile (literal or figurative): — [Translated in King James version as] be (bear, bring forth) fruit (-ful).

 

 

 

*      Still, some might say, “Well, what about Matthew 11:28-30? Jesus nailed our labors to the cross!”

 

Matthew 11:28-30

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

 

  • The above verses do not say we will no longer labor (work, toil). It says if we serve Jesus our labors will be easy. We still have to work, but in Christ, the work is light and not laborious.

 

  • The word above translated as “labor” is from the Greek word “kopiảō.” It primarily means “to grow weary, tired, exhausted.”

 

Labor  (2872) κοπιάω, — kop-ee-ah’-o; from a derivative of (2873) (κόπος); to feel fatigue; by implication to work hard: — [Translated in King James version as]  (bestow) labour, toil, be wearied.

 

(2873) κόπος, — kop’-os; from (2875) (κόπτω); a cut, i.e. (by analogy) toil (as reducing the strength), literal or figurative; by implication pains: — [Translated in King James version as] labour, + trouble, weariness.

 

Heavy laden (5412) φορτίζω, — for-tid’-zo; from (5414) (φόρτος); to load up (properly as a vessel or animal), i.e. (figurative) to overburden with ceremony (or spiritual anxiety): — [Translated in King James version as] lade, be heavy laden.

 

Rest (373) ἀναπαύω, — an-ap-ow’-o; from (303) (ἀνά) and (3973) (παύω); (reflexive) to repose (literal or figurative [be exempt], remain); by implication to refresh: — [Translated in King James version as] take ease, refresh, (give, take) rest.

 

Yoke (2218) ζυγός, — dzoo-gos’; (to join, especially by a “yoke”); a coupling, i.e. (figurative) servitude (a law or obligation); also (literal) the beam of the balance (as connecting the scales): — [Translated in King James version as] pair of balances, yoke.

 

Easy (5543) χρηστός, — khrase-tos’; from (5530) (χράομαι); employed, i.e. (by implication) useful (in manner or morals): — [Translated in King James version as] better, easy, good (-ness), gracious, kind.

 

Burden (5413) φορτίον, — for-tee’-on; diminitive of (5414) (φόρτος); an invoice (as part of freight), i.e. (figurative) a task or service: — [Translated in King James version as] burden.

 

Light (1645) ἐλαφρός, — el-af-ros’; probably akin to (1643) (ἐλαύνω) and the base of (1640) (ἐλάσσων); light, i.e. easy: — [Translated in King James version as] light.

 

(1643) ἐλαύνω, — el-ow’-no; a prolonged form of a primary verb (obsolete except in certain tenses as an alternative of this) of uncertain affinity; to push (as wind, oars or daemoniacal power): — [Translated in King James version as] carry, drive, row.

 

(1640) ἐλάσσων, — el-as’-sone; or el-at-tone’; comparative of the same as (1646) (ἐλάχιστος); smaller (in size, quantity,age or quality): — [Translated in King James version as]

less, under, worse, younger.

 

 

 

According to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia,

 

 A yoke is a wooden beam, normally used between a pair of oxen or other animals to enable them to pull together on a load when working in pairs, as oxen usually do; some yokes are fitted to individual animals.”

 

“The yoke1 has connotations of subservience; in some ancient cultures it was traditional to force a defeated enemy to pass beneath a symbolic yoke of spears or swords. A remnant of this tradition is the saber arch seen at some military weddings. The yoke may be a metaphor for something oppressive or burdensome, such as imperialism, or for a link or bond between two people, such as marriage. The yoke is frequently used metaphorically in the Bible, first in Genesis regarding Esau.”

 

 

Wikipedia is referring to the following passage:

 

Genesis 27:38-40

And Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me—me also, O my father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.

39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him:

“Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth,
And of the dew of heaven from above.
40 By your sword you shall live,
And you shall serve your brother;
And it shall come to pass, when you become restless,
That you shall break his yoke from your neck.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following are additional passages from the Old Testament showing a link between a yoke and service.

 

 

Leviticus 26:13

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves;

I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright.

 

Jeremiah 28:14

For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him. I have given him the beasts of the field also.”’”

 

Isaiah 10:24-27

Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: “O My people, who dwell in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrian. He shall strike you with a rod and lift up his staff against you, in the manner of Egypt. 25 For yet a very little while and the indignation will cease, as will My anger in their destruction.” 26 And the Lord of hosts will stir up a scourge for him like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; as His rod was on the sea, so will He lift it up in the manner of Egypt.

 

27 It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.

 

 

 

*      Regarding “works” some might also  be quick to remind us of John 6:28-29.

 

John 6:28-31

Then they said to Him, “What shall we do (4160), that we may work (2038) the works (2041) of God?”

29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work (2041) of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

 

30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work (2038) will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

 

32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

 

34 Then they said to Him, “Lord give us this bread always.”

 

 

Who is the “you” Jesus is referring to in verse 29? It is the “they” in verse 30, or the group of people who asked Him the question.

 

Now think about this. Today many say all that is required is that we believe Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Yet in this passage, Jesus had not yet been crucified and these people, including His disciples, were not aware of His impending crucifixion.  So what did Jesus mean when He said, “that you believe in Him whom He sent?”

 

Notice in verse 30 that the people wanted Jesus to perform some sign. Actually, they wanted to see another sign. Jesus had already performed many. From the verses above these people were just interested in being fed. However, Jesus wanted them to realize that He is the bread of life. He wanted them to know who He is – the Son of God, their, and our, Savior. Yehowah had sent His salvation in the person of His Son. Jesus wanted the people to see Him, the true and living Bread and provision from God and to believe in His teachings (doctrine) and the gospel (good news) concerning the Kingdom of God. To seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and He said then all the things they needed would be added.

 

Is it unreasonable to say the process of “seeking” requires that you “do” something?

 

 

Matthew 6:31-33

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

 

 

*      I am certain another argument against “works” would come from one of Christendom’s most beloved verses - John 3:16-17.

 

John 3:16-17

“ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  “17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

 

 

But how many read and meditate on the verses beyond John 3:17? These verses were introduced on page 18 of this lesson. However, now I would like to go a little deeper.

 

 

John 3:18-21

18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds (2041) were evil. 20 For everyone practicing (4238) evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds (2041) should be exposed. 21 But he who does (4160) the truth comes to the light, that his deeds (2041) may be clearly seen, that they have been done (2038) in God."

 

 

Verse 20 – According to John who is the Light?

 

John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

                         

John 8:12

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

 

John 9:4-5

I must work (2038) the works (2041) of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work (2038). As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

 

John 12:36

While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.

 

 

          According to John, what did Jesus have to say about “truth?”

 

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

 

John 8:31-32

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

 

John 16:13

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

 

John 17:17

“ Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

 

 

Consider the following:

 

§   It appears in John 3: 19 -21 that both groups believe there is a light. But only one group “believes in” the light.

 

§   These verses also show something is required of us. There is something we must do that will determine which group we are truly a part of. The distinction - one group will “come to the light,” the other will not.

 

§   Our deeds, actions, what we do or do not do, prove whether we truly “believe in” the name of Jesus (Savior, Salvation), the Light, or whether we hate Him.

 

§   In the end, the bottom line is, God does not condemn us. We will condemn ourselves if we refuse to obey His instruction to “come to the light” - His Son Jesus Christ.

 

Now let us re-read John 3:20 again:

 

John 3:20

But he who does (4160) the truth comes to the light, that his deeds (2041) may be clearly seen, that they have been done (2038) in God.”

 

 

For more on “The Word”, refer to the Disciples Project Bible Study entitled “The Word of God is Forever.

 

Believe (4100) πιστεύω, — pist-yoo’-o; from (4102) (πίστις); to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ): — [Translated in King James version as] believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with.

 

(4102) πίστις, — pis’-tis; from (3982) (πείθω); persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstract constancy in such profession; by extensive the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: — [Translated in King James version as] assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

 

Hates (3404) μισέω, miseo mis-eh’-o; from a primary misos (hatred); to detest (especially to persecute); by extension to love less: — [Translated in King James version as] hate (- ful).

 

Abides (3306) μένω, — men’-o; a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): — [Translated in King James version as] abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), x thine own.

 

 

Matthew 13:36-41

Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”

 

37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice (4160) lawlessness.

 

 

Believing is synonymous with obedience.

 

Hebrews 3:7-19

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,

 

Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works
(2041) forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’”

 

12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:

 

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

 

16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

 

Recall, these are the very people the LORD (Yehowah) saved and rescued from the clutches of Pharaoh and Egypt. The very people He wanted Pharaoh to let go so they might serve Him.

 

Jude 1:5 says,

 

Jude 1:5

“ But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the LORD (Yehowah), having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

 

§  Jude 1:5 gives us the end result of Hebrews 3:7-19.

 

§  According to Jude 1:5 the people did not believe after they had already been saved. So this had nothing to do with believing for salvation. They believed the signs and the plagues because they saw them first hand. So what was it they did not believe that resulted in their destruction?

 

 

Not Obey (544) ἀπειθέω, — ap-i-theh’-o; from (545) (ἀπειθής); to disbelieve (wilfully and perversely): —[Translated in King James version as]  not believe, disobedient, obey not, unbelieving.

 

Unbelief (570) ἀπιστία, — ap-is-tee’-ah; from (571) (ἄπιστος); faithlessness, i.e. (negative) disbelief (want of Christian faith), or (positive) unfaithfulness (disobedience): — [Translated in King James version as] unbelief.

 

Destroyed (622) ἀπόλλυμι, — ap-ol’-loo-mee; from (575) (ἀπό) and the base of (3639)  (ὄλεθρος); to destroy fully (reflexive to perish, or lose), literal or figurative: — [Translated in King James version as] destroy, die, lose, mar, perish.

 

(575) ἀπό, — apo’; a primary particle; “off,” i.e. away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literal or figurative): — [Translated in King James version as]  (x here-) after, ago, at, because of, before, by (the space of), for (-th), from, in, (out) of, off, (up-) on (-ce), since, with. In composition (as a prefix) it usually denotes separation, departure, cessation, completion, reversal, etc.

 

(3639) ὄλεθρος, — ol’-eth-ros (to destroy; a prolonged form); ruin, i.e. death, punishment: — [Translated in King James version as] destruction.

 

 

 According to the Book of Numbers the people, Israel, did not believe or have faith in the LORD (Yehowah) to go into the promise land; the land that Yehowah   promised them - the glorious land that flowed with milk and honey. Why? Because of the giants who lived there. After all the signs and wonders they had witnessed first hand, they did not trust the LORD (Yehowah) to go in and possess the land. The giants were more powerful in their eyes than their God. They said they would rather return to slavery in Egypt. After all He had done on their behalf, how do you imagine the LORD (Yehowah) felt hearing this? How would you feel

 

 Let us read the entire account in Numbers 13 and 14.

 

Numbers 13

And the LORD (Yehowah) spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.”

 

So Moses sent them from the Wilderness of Paran according to the command of the LORD (Yehowah), all of them men who were heads of the children of Israel. Now these were their names: from the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur; from the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori; from the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh; from the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph; from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Nun; from the tribe of Benjamin, Palti the son of Raphu; 10 from the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi; 11 from the tribe of Joseph, that is, from the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi; 12 from the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli; 13 from the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael; 14 from the tribe of Naphtali, Nahbi the son of Vophsi; 15 from the tribe of Gad, Geuel the son of Machi.

 

16 These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Hoshea the son of Nun, Joshua.

17 Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, 18 and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; 19 whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; 20 whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.

 

21 So they went up and spied out the land from the Wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob, near the entrance of Hamath. 22 And they went up through the South and came to Hebron; Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the descendants of Anak2, were there. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 Then they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and there cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. They also brought some of the pomegranates and figs. 24 The place was called the Valley of Eshcol, because of the cluster which the men of Israel cut down there. 25 And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.

 

26 Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of the children of Israel in the Wilderness of Paran, at Kadesh; they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.”

 

 30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”                                                                                                                                                  

 

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

 

Numbers 14

 “So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the LORD (Yehowah) brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”

 

Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.

 

But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD (Yehowah) delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the LORD (Yehowah), nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD (Yehowah) is with us. Do not fear them.”

 

10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the LORD (Yehowah) appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.

 

11 Then the LORD (Yehowah) said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? 12 I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”

 

13 And Moses said to the LORD (Yehowah): “Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, 14 and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, LORD (Yehowah), are among these people; that You, LORD (Yehowah), are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. 15 Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, 16 ‘Because the LORD (Yehowah) was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.’ 17 And now, I pray, let the power of my LORD (Yehowah) be great, just as You have spoken, saying, 18 ‘The LORD (Yehowah) is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation. 19 Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”

 

20 Then the LORD (Yehowah) said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; 21 but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD (Yehowah) 22 because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, 23 they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. 24 But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it. 25 Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valley; tomorrow turn and move out into the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea.”

 

26 And the LORD (Yehowah) spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 27 “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. 28 Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD (Yehowah), ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: 29 The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. 30 Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. 31 But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. 32 But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. 34 According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection. 35 I the LORD (Yehowah) have spoken this. I will surely do so to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.’”

 

36 Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, 37 those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the LORD (Yehowah). 38 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive, of the men who went to spy out the land.

 

39 Then Moses told these words to all the children of Israel, and the people mourned greatly. 40 And they rose early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, “Here we are, and we will go up to the place which the LORD (Yehowah) has promised, for we have sinned!”

 

41 And Moses said, “Now why do you transgress the command of the LORD (Yehowah)? For this will not succeed. 42 Do not go up, lest you be defeated by your enemies, for the LORD (Yehowah) is not among you. 43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword; because you have turned away from the LORD (Yehowah), the LORD (Yehowah) will not be with you.”

 

44 But they presumed to go up to the mountaintop. Nevertheless, neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD (Yehowah) nor Moses departed from the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah.

 

 

  • This was Israel’s first defeat. It would not be their last before their children entered the promise land.

 

  • Numbers 14:9 Caleb and Joshua told the people not to rebel against the LORD (Yehowah) or fear.

 

  • Numbers 14:20 Yehowah said He had forgiven the people because of what Moses had said, but because they tested Him ten times and did not obey (v22) He would not allow them to see the promised land.

 

  • Numbers 14:11 Yehowah said to Moses, ““How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe [support, be faithful, trust] Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?”

 

This brings to mind the following passages:

 

1 Samuel 8:7

And the LORD (Yehowah) said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.

 

Rejected {3988} מָאַס,  ma'ac — maw-as'; a primitive root; to spurn; also (intransitively) to disappear: — [Translated in King James version as] abhor, cast away (off), contemn, despise, disdain, (become) loathe(some), melt away, refuse, reject, reprobate, X utterly, vile person.

 

 

1 Samuel 10:19

But you have today rejected your God, who Himself saved you from all your adversities and your tribulations; and you have said to Him, ‘No, set a king over us!’ Now therefore, present yourselves before the LORD (Yehowah) by your tribes and by your clans.”

 

1 Samuel 15:23-26

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD (
Yehowah),
He also has rejected you from being king.”

 

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD (Yehowah) and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the LORD (Yehowah).”

 

26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the LORD (Yehowah), and the LORD (Yehowah) has rejected you from being king over Israel.”

 

Isaiah 53:1-3

Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD (
Yehowah) been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

 

Jeremiah 6:19

Hear, O earth!
Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people—
The fruit of their thoughts,
Because they have not heeded My words
Nor My law, but rejected it.

 

Hosea 4:6

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,

I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

 

Matthew 21:42  (Mark 12:10 Luke 20:17)

 “Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the LORD (
Yehowah)’s doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes’?

 

Mark 8:31

And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

 

Luke 7:30

But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.

 

Luke 17:22-25

Then He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ Do not go after them or follow them. 24 For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. 25 But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

 

John 15:19-21

If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

 

John 6:22-66

On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone— 23 however, other boats came from Tiberius, near the place where they ate bread after the LORD had given thanks— 24 when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?”

 

26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

 

28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

 

29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

 

30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’

 

32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

 

34 Then they said to Him, “LORD, give us this bread always.”

 

35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

 

41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”

 

43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

 

52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”

 

53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”

59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

 

60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”

 

61 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64 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 would betray Him. 65 And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”

66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

 

These people partook of the signs but they did not believe. How many of us today seek the LORD like He is Santa Clause- wishing and hoping - but do not believe.

 

  • Num. 13:16 - Hoshea is the only one of the twelve men whose name Moses changes.  The verse states Moses called “Hoshea,” which means “salvation,” to “Joshua,” or as the King James version renders it “Jehoshua” which means “Yehowah is salvation.” ‘Jehoshua,”  or “Yehoshua is  our Savior’s Hebrew name.

 

It was Yehoshua, the son of Nun, who would later lead Israel into the promise land. He was a type of our Yehoshua (Jesus) who is leading His people into the promise land - the Kingdom of God.

 

Will (2307) θέλημα, — thel’-ay-mah; from the prolonged form of (2309) (θέλω); a determination (properly the thing), i.e. (active) choice (special purpose, decree; abstract volition) or (passive) inclination: — [Translated in King James version as] desire, pleasure, will.

 

 

This brings us full circle back to Hebrews 3.

 

Hebrews 3:7-19; 4:1-10

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:

 

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’”

 

12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:

 

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:

 

“So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest,’”

 

although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”

 

Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:

 

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”

 

For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

 

§  Verse 8 – Is the author of the Book of Hebrews speaking here of Joshua (Yehoshua), the son of Nun, or Jesus (Yehoshua), the Son of God?

 

§  Hebrews 3:12-13 – If Jesus took away all past, present and future sins, what does this verse mean?

 

§  The above verses testify to the fact that true belief is manifested in obedience and obedience requires that we “do” what God tells us to “do.”

 

 

Hebrews 5:8-9 speaks to us about  Jesus’ obedience to the Father:

 

Hebrews 5:8-10

Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”

 

§  Eternal salvation for all who obey, not just believe.

 

Jesus’ chosen Apostles had this to say:

 

Acts 5:29-33

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

 

33 When they heard this, they were furious and plotted to kill them.

 

Matthew 8:26-27

“Are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

 

The Book of Mark records this,

 

Mark 1:21-27

Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. 22 And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

 

23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”

 

25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”

 

§  The winds, the sea and the demons obey the Son and Holy One of God. Does He expect any less from us?

 

 

Matthew 9:36-38

“ But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the LORD of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

 

Laborers (2040) ἐργάτης, — er-gat’-ace; from (2041) ἔργον; a toiler; figurative a teacher: — [Translated in King James version as] labourer, worker (-men).

 

 

 

Matthew 7:13

 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

 

§  To “enter” is something we have to “do.” To “watch” is also something Jesus said we must “do.”

 

Mark 13:33-37

Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work (2041), and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

 

Watch (1127) γρηγορέω, — gray-gor-yoo’-o; from (1453) (ἐγείρω); to keepawake, i.e. watch (literal or figurative): — [Translated in King James version as] be vigilant, wake, (be) watch (-ful).

 

 

Matthew 8:5-13

Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “LORD, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”

 

And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

 

The centurion answered and said, “LORD, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do (4160) this,’ and he does (4160) it.

 

10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.

 

 

Do (Dictionary.com) verb and auxiliary verb, present singular 1st person do, 2nd do

1. to perform (an act, duty, role, etc.)

2. to execute (a piece or amount of work)

3. to accomplish; finish; complete  

4. to put forth; exert  

5. to be the cause of (good, harm, credit, etc.); bring about; effect

 

 

The following verses sum it all up.

 

Matthew 12:50

“ For whoever does (4160) the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

 

Matthew 7:12

Therefore, whatever you want men to do (4160) to you, do (4160) also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

 

 

 

*      After all of this, there are still those who choose to believe “works” were nailed to the cross. In addition to Titus 3:5 and Ephesians 2:8-9 they are often quick to remind us that Paul also said the following:

 

 

v  Romans 3:23-28

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

 

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works (2041)? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds (2041) of the law.

 

Faith (4102) πίστις, — pis’-tis; from (3982) (πείθω); persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstract constancy in such profession; by extensive the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: — [Translated in King James version as] assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

 

But it is written that  Jesus said,

 

Matthew 12:35-37

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

 

Luke 18:9-14

Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

 

 

§  It is recorded that Jesus said in Matthew 12:36, “that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.” This would mean Jesus did not nail  this to His cross?

 

Justified (1344) δικαιόω, — dik-ah-yo’-o; from (1342) (δίκαιος); to render(i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent: — [Translated in King James version as] free, justify (-ier), be righteous.

 

(1342) δίκαιος, — dik’-ah-yos; from (1349) (δίκη); equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolute or relative): — [Translated in King James version as] just, meet, right (-eous).

 

Redemption (629) ἀπολύτρωσις, — ap-ol-oo’-tro-sis; from a compound of (575) (ἀπό) and (3083) (λύτρον); (the act) ransom in full, i.e. (figurative) riddance, or (specifically) Christian salvation: — [Translated in King James version as] deliverance, redemption.

 

(575) ἀπό, — apo’; a primary particle; “off,” i.e. away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literal or figurative): — [Translated in King James version as]  (x here-) after, ago, at, because of, before, by (the space of), for (-th), from, in, (out) of, off, (up-) on (-ce), since, with. In composition (as a prefix) it usually denotes separation, departure, cessation, completion, reversal, etc.

 

(3083) λύτρον, — loo’-tron; from (3089) (λύω); something to loosen with, i.e. a redemption price (figurative atonement): — [Translated in King James version as]  ransom.

 

(3089) λύω, — loo’-o; a primary verb; to “loosen” (literal or figurative): — [Translated in King James version as] break (up), destroy, dissolve, (un-) loose, melt, put off.

 

Propitiation (2435) ἱλαστήριον, — hil-as-tay’-ree-on; neuter of a derivative of (2433) (ἱλάσκομαι); an expiatory (place or thing), i.e. (concretely) an atoning victim, or (special) the lid of the Ark (in the Temple): — mercyseat, propitiation.

 

Demonstrate (1732) ἔνδειξις, — en’-dike-sis; from (1731) (ἐνδείκνυμι); indication (abstract): — [Translated in King James version as] declare, evident token, proof.

 

(1731) ἐνδείκνυμι, — en-dike’-noo-mee; from (1722) (ἐν) and (1166) (δεικνύω); to indicate (by word or act): — [Translated in King James version as] do, show (forth).

 

 

Evil (4190) πονηρός, — pon-ay-ros’; from a derivative of (4192) (πόνος); hurtful, i.e. evil (properly in effect or influence, and thus differing from (2556) (κακός), which refers rather to essential character, as well as from (4550) (σαπρός), which indicates degeneracy from original virtue); figurative calamitous; also(passive) ill, i.e. diseased; but especially (morally) culpable, i.e. derelict, vicious, facinorous; neuter (singular) mischief, malice, or (plural) guilt; masculine (singular) the devil, or (plural) sinners: — [Translated in King James version as] bad, evil, grievous, harm, lewd, malicious, wicked (-ness).

 

§   On page 24 the word “evil” was translated as “wicked.”

 

Idle (692) ἀργός, — ar-gos’; from (1) (ἄλφα) (as a negative particle) and (2041) (ἔργον); inactive, i.e. unemployed; (by implication) lazy, useless: — [Translated in King James version as] barren, idle, slow.

 

(1) ἄλφα, — al'-fah; of Hebrew origin; the first letter of the alphabet; figurative only (from its use as a numeral) the first: — [Translated in King James version as] Alpha.

 

§  (2041) – we started this section on “works’ with this Greek word “ergon.” The definition of the word can be found on page 19. If you remember, the King James Bible translated this word as  “deed,” “doing,” “labor” and “work.”

 

 

Condemned (2613) καταδικάζω, — kat-ad-ik-ad’-zo; from (2596) (κατά) and a derivative of (1349) (δίκη); to adjudge against, i.e. pronounce guilty: — [Translated in King James version as] condemn.

 

 

*      Here is another popular passage attributed to Paul.

 

v  Romans 4:1-3

What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works (2041), he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

 

It appears Paul is referencing Genesis 15.

 

Genesis 15:1-6

After these things the word of the LORD (Yehowah) came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

 

But Abram said, “LORD (Yehowah) God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”

 

And behold, the word of the LORD (Yehowah) came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

 

And he believed in the LORD (Yehowah), and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

 

Believed {539} אָמַן,  'aman aw-man'; a primitive root; properly, to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; figuratively to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; morally to be true or certain; once (Isaiah 30:21; interchangeable with 541) to go to the right hand: — [Translated in King  James version as] hence, assurance, believe, bring up, establish, + fail, be faithful (of long continuance, stedfast, sure, surely, trusty, verified), nurse, (-ing father), (put), trust, turn to the right.

 

Accounted {2803} חָשַׁב, chashab — khaw-shab'; a primitive root; properly, to plait or interpenetrate, i.e. (literally) to weave or (gen.) to fabricate; figuratively, to plot or contrive (usually in a malicious sense); hence (from the mental effort) to think, regard, value, compute: — [Translated in King James version as] (make) account (of), conceive, consider, count, cunning (man, work, workman), devise, esteem, find out, forecast, hold, imagine, impute, invent, be like, mean, purpose, reckon(-ing be made), regard, think.

 

Righteousness {6666} צְדָקָה, tsdaqah — tsed-aw-kaw'; from 6663; rightness (abstractly), subjectively (rectitude), objectively (justice), morally (virtue) or figuratively (prosperity): — [Translated in King James version as] justice, moderately, right(- eous) (act, -ly, -ness).

 

{6663} צָדַק, tsadaq  — tsaw-dak'; a primitive root; to be (causatively, make) right (in a moral or forensic sense): — [Translated in King James version as] cleanse, clear self, (be, do) just(-ice, -ify, -ify self), (be turn to) righteous(-ness).

 

 

  • Many fail to note that the “works”, or test, came later for Abraham.

 

Genesis 22:1-18

Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

 

Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

 

So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”

 

So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”

And he said, “Here I am, my son.”

Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

 

And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.

 

Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

 

11 But the Angel of the LORD (Yehowah) called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”

So he said, “Here I am.”

 

12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

 

13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD (Yehowah)-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD (Yehowah) it shall be provided.”

 

15 Then the Angel of the LORD (Yehowah) called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD (Yehowah), because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

 

  • In Genesis 15 the LORD (Yehowah) accounted Abraham’s word of belief as right or righteous. Still, it was not until after the test that Abraham’s words were confirmed – proven true or false.

 

  • Notice too that it began with belief and ended in obedience, which confirmed his belief – what was really in his heart.

 

Done {6213} עָשָׂה, `asah aw-saw'; a primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application (as follows): — [Translated in King James version as] accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, bruise, be busy, X certainly, have the charge of, commit, deal (with), deck, + displease, do, (ready) dress(-ed), (put in) execute(- ion), exercise, fashion, + feast, (fight-) ing man, + finish, fit, fly, follow, fulfill, furnish, gather, get, go about, govern, grant, great, + hinder, hold ((a feast)), X indeed, + be industrious, + journey,keep, labour, maintain, make, be meet, observe, be occupied, offer, + officer, pare, bring (come) to pass, perform, pracise, prepare,procure, provide, put, requite, X sacrifice, serve, set, shew, X sin, spend, X surely, take, X thoroughly, trim, X very, + vex, be (warr- ) ior, work(-man), yield, use.

 

Obeyed {8085} שָׁמַע, shama` shaw-mah'; a primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively, to tell, etc.): — [Translated in King James version as] X attentively, call (gather) together, X carefully, X certainly, consent, consider, be content, declare, X diligently, discern, give ear, (cause to, let, make to) hear(-ken, tell), X indeed, listen, make (a) noise, (be) obedient, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim(-ation), publish, regard, report, shew (forth), (make a) sound, X surely, tell, understand, whosoever (heareth), witness.

 

Voice {6963} קוֹל, qowl kole; or lqoqol, kole; from an unused root meaning to call aloud; a voice or sound: — [Translated in King James version as] + aloud, bleating, crackling, cry (+ out), fame, lightness, lowing, noise, + hold peace, (pro-) claim, proclamation, + sing, sound, + spark, thunder(-ing), voice, + yell.

 

 

James 2:19-24 adds the following.

 

James 2:19-24

You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works  (2041) is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works (2041) when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works (2041), and by works (2041) 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 (2041), and not by faith only.

 

Working together (4903) συνεργέω, — soon-erg-eh’-o; from (4904) (συνεργέω); to be a fellow-worker, i.e. co-operate: — [Translated in King James version as] help (work) with, work (-er) together.

 

Perfect (5048) τελειόω, — tel-i-o’-o; from (5046) (τέλειος); to complete, i.e.(literal) accomplish, or (figurative) consummate (in character): — [Translated in King James version as] consecrate, finish, fulfill, make) perfect.

 

Righteousness (1343) δικαιοσύνη, — dik-ah-yos-oo’-nay; from (1342) (δίκαιος); equity (of character or act); specially (Christian) justification: — [Translated in King James version as] righteousness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, Paul goes on to say in Romans 4,

 

v  Romans 4:4-8

Now to him who works (2038), the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

 

But to him who does not work (2038) but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works (2041):

 

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;

 

Blessed is the man to whom the LORD (Yehowah) shall not impute sin.”

 

 

  • This appears to be a quote from Psalms 32:1-2.

 

Psalm 32:1-2

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD (
Yehowah) does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

 

 

§  It appears Paul’s quote missed a key line, “And in whose spirit there is no deceit.” Again, it appears Yehowah is looking at the heart. 

 

 

I believe the total meaning of these words can only be revealed in the reading of the entire Psalm.

 

Psalm 32

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD (
Yehowah) does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.

 

When I kept silent, my bones grew old
Through my groaning all the day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD (
Yehowah),”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
Selah

 

For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You
In a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters
They shall not come near him.
You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

 

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you.

 

10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
But he who trusts in the LORD (
Yehowah), mercy shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the LORD (
Yehowah) and rejoice, you righteous;
And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

 

  • This Psalm goes right back to Matthew 12:35-37 (page 45).This speaks of the individual’s righteous and upright heart, not the righteousness of Christ Jesus supposedly imputed to him. We must keep the word in context.

 

  • Verse 5 also reminds me of Acts 2:38 which says,

 

Acts 2:38

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

  • Romans 4:4-8 could give the “ungodly” a false impression that they are now righteous. As long as they believe Jesus justifies their ongoing sins, they may be deceived into believing there is no need to repent of their “ungodly” ways.

 

 

Do the quoted passages attributed to the writings of Paul pretty much sum up Paul’s discourse on works? No. Paul also had this to say:

 

v  Romans 2:13-15

(for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God [Yehowah], but the doers (4163) of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles [nations], who do not have the law, by nature do (4160) the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work (2041) of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them).

 

Now compare Romans 2:13-15 with Romans 3:23-28.

 

v  Romans 3:23-28

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

 

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works (2041)? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds (2041) of the law.

 

  • Does there appear to be a contradiction in the two passages?

 

 

Doers (4163) ποιητής, — poy-ay-tace’; from (4160) (ποιέω); a performer; specially a “poet”: — [Translated in King James version as] doer, poet.

 

 

Following is more of what Paul had to say.

 

v  1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work (2041) of the LORD, knowing that your labor (2873) is not in vain in the LORD.

 

v  Galatians 6:1-5

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work (2041), and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.

 

v  Ephesians 4:17-19

This I say, therefore, and testify in the LORD, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles [nations] walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God [Yehowah] because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work (2039) all uncleanness with greediness.

 

Work (2039) ἐργασία, — er-gas-ee’-ah; from (2040) (ἐργάτης); occupation; by implication profit, pains: — [Translated in King James version as] craft, diligence, gain, work.

 

 

v  Colossians 1:9-10

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the LORD, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work (2041) and increasing in the knowledge of God [Yehowah];

 

v  2 Timothy 2:20-22

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work (2041). 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the LORD out of a pure heart.

 

v  Titus 1:15-16

To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works (2041) they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work (2041).

 

v  Titus 3:8

This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works (2041). These things are good and profitable to men.

 

 

v  2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

“ Now may our LORD Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work (2041).

 

 

 

 

 

After Christ Jesus’ Ascension, Others Had This to Say on the Subject of “Works”

 

 

There are those who dare teach that Jesus’ teachings were only until the cross. The following passages refute those false teachers and supposed prophets.

 

 

Hebrews 6:9-12

But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work (2041) and labor (2873) of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered (1247) to the saints, and do minister (1247). 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

 

James 2:14-26

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works (2041)? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works (2041), is dead.

 

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works (2041).” Show me your faith without your works (2041), and I will show you my faith by my works (2041). 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works (2041) is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works (2041) when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works (2041), and by works (2041) 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 (2041), and not by faith only.

 

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works (2041) when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

 

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works (2041) is dead also.

 

Working together (4903) συνεργέω, — soon-erg-eh’-o; from (4904) (συνεργός); to be a fellow-worker, i.e. co-operate: — [Translated in King James version as] help (work) with, work (-er) together.

 

Justified (1344) δικαιόω, — dik-ah-yo’-o; from (1342) (δίκαιος); to render (i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent: — [Translated in King James version as] free, justify (-ier), be righteous.

  

 

 

 

James 1:21-25

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

 

22 But be doers (4163) of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer (4163)  , he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer (4163) of the work (2041), this one will be blessed in what he does (4162).

 

Does (4162) ποίησις, — poy’-ay-sis; from (4160) (ποιέω); action, i.e. performance (of the law): —[Translated in King James version as]  deed.

 

 

James 3:13-18

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works (2041) are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

 

Hebrews 13:20-21

“ Now may the God of peace who brought up our LORD Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work (2041) to do (4160) His will, working (4160) in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

 

 

Before moving ahead to the next section, I want to add a passage that came to mind when I read James 2:14-26.

 

Isaiah 58:1-11

“Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek Me daily,
And delight to know My ways,
As a nation that did righteousness,
And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;
They take delight in approaching God.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?
Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’

 

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
And exploit all your laborers.
4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate,
And to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You will not fast as you do this day,
To make your voice heard on high.
5 Is it a fast that I have chosen,
A day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast,
And an acceptable day to the Lord?

 

6 Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,

And that you break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.

“If you take away the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,

10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul
,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

 

§  Verses 6-7,9-10 – This is ministry to the Lord.

 

§  Verses 8-10 – Did you notice the word   “then” in each one of these verses?” When we “do” what pleases Yehowah “then” He promises great blessings will follow.

 

 

 

 

 

  

This is What Jesus Had to Say About “Works” After His Ascension

(His words are recorded for us in the Book of Revelation)

 

 

Revelation 2:2

 I know your works (2041), your labor (2873), your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;

 

Revelation 2:5

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do (4160) the first works (2041), or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

 

  • Note – it says He would remove their lampstand if they did not “do the first works.” Not just any works are accepted.

 

Revelation 2:9

I know your works (2041), tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

 

Tribulation (2347) θλῖψις, — thlip’-sis; from (2346) (θλίβω); pressure (literal or figurative): — [Translated in King James version as] afflicted (-tion), anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble.

 

Poverty (4432) πτωχεία, — pto-khi’-ah; from (4433) (πτωχεύω); beggary, i.e. indigence (literal or figurative): — [Translated in King James version as] poverty.

 

 

Revelation 2:13

I know your works (2041), and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.

 

Revelation 2:19

 I know your works (2041), love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works (2041), the last are more than the first.

 

§  Verse 19 shows works; love, service, faith and patience are not one and the same thing.

 

 

Love (26) ἀγάπη, — ag-ah’-pay; from (25) (ἀγαπάω); love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast: —  [Translated in King James version as]  (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.

 

Service (1248) διακονία, — dee-ak-on-ee’-ah; from (1249) (διάκονος); attendance (as a servant, etc.); figurative (eleemosynary) aid, (official) service (especially of the Christian teacher, or technical of the diaconate): — [Translated in King James version as]  (ad-) minister (-ing, -tration, -try), office, relief, service (-ing).

 

Faith (4102) πίστις, — pis’-tis; from (3982) (πείθω); persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstract constancy in such profession; by extensive the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: — [Translated in King James version as]  assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

 

Patience (5281) ὑπομονή, — hoop-om-on-ay’; from (5278) (ὑπομένω); cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: — [Translated in King James version as] enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

 

Revelation 2:23

I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works (2041).

 

Revelation 2:26

And he who overcomes, and keeps My works (2041) until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—

 

Keeps (5083) τηρέω, — tay-reh’-o; (a watch; perhaps akin to (2334) (θεωρέω)); to guard (from loss or injury, properly by keeping the eye upon  —  [Translated in King James version as] hold fast, keep (-er), (pre-, re-) serve, watch.

 

 

 

Revelation 3:1

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,

 

‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works (2041), that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

 

Revelation 3:2

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works (2041) perfect before God.

 

Revelation 3:8

I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

 

Revelation 3:15

I know your works (2041), that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.

 

 

Jesus said “I know your works” to seven out of the seven prophetic churches listed in the Book of Revelation. If believing that Jesus died on the cross is all it takes to get you to heaven why didn’t Jesus say so? If “works” are not important, why does Jesus place so much emphasis on them - especially to the churches?

 

 

I believe it is important that we read all that Jesus had to say to these seven churches.  These messages that originated from Yehowah are extremely important for us now.

 

Revelation 1-3

1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

 

 

 

Greeting the Seven Churches

 

John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:

 

Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.

 

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

 

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the LORD (Yehowah), “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” 

 

 

Vision of the Son of Man

 

I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the LORD (Yehowah’s) Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

 

12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. 20 The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

 

 

The Loveless Church

 

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,

 

‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: I know your works (2041), your labor (2873), your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

 

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’

The Persecuted Church

 

“And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,

 

‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: I know your works (2041), tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

 

11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

 

The Compromising Church

 

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,

 

‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 I know your works (2041), and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

 

17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’

 

The Corrupt Church

 

18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,

 

‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 I know your works (2041) , love, service (1248), faith, and your patience; and as for your works (2041), the last are more than the first. 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds (2041). 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works (2041).

 

24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works (2041) until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—

 

27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—

as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star.

 

29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

The Dead Church

 

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,

 

‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works (2041), that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works (2041) perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

 

The Faithful Church

 

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,

 

‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: I know your works (2041). See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

 

13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

 

The Lukewarm Church

 

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

 

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works (2041), that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

 

22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

 

  • Revelation 1:3 reminds me of the parable of the sower and those that “here the word, accept it, and bear fruit.”

 

  • Revelation 2:5 – The Complete Jewish Bible translates the first part of verse 5 like this:

“Therefore, remember where you were before you fell, turn from this sin, and do what you used to do before.”

 

  • Revelation 3:21 - Did you notice Jesus, the Son of God, said He “overcame?”

 

  • Revelation 2:7 says “to him who overcomes…” To Overcome implies work; you have to put forth the effort to do it.  Jesus does not say He’s going to do it or has already done it for us. He says “to him who overcomes.” We, individually, do our own work. This reminds me of Revelation 7:13-14.

 

 

Revelation 7:9-17

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

 

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
Amen.”

 

13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”

 

14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”

 

So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

 

 

Repent (3340) μετανοέω, — met-an-o-eh’-o; from (3326) (μετά) and (3539) (νοέω); to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider (moral feel compunction): — [Translated in King James version as] repent.

 

Overcomes (3528) νικάω, — nik-ah’-o; from (3529) (νίκη); to subdue (literal or figurative): — [Translated in King James version as] conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory.

 

(3529) νίκη, — nee’-kay; apparently a primary word; conquest (abstract), i.e. (figurative) the means of success: — [Translated in King James version as] victory.

 

Subdue (Dictionary.com)

1. to conquer and bring into subjection.

2. to overpower by superior force; overcome.