with Despatch Comments on the following Audio Transcript.
firstname.lastname@example.org - http://www.cth.com.au/corp/despatch/
DR Y. BEGINS:
Now we need to understand and I will explain this as we go through - the difference between the Millennial Reign of Christ and the Eternal Reign of God the Father - or, of the Godhead.
The Millennial reign is an `ideal state'. It is the reign of Jesus Christ, physically, on the earth as we know it today, albeit amended, altered and certainly there will be a lot of changes because of the tribulation judgements. But it is Jesus Christ physically on this earth.
At the end of that time there is going to be destruction of this earth, the destruction of the atmospheric heavens because it is contaminated with sin. Satan has been the Prince of the Power of the Air, and after he is finally destroyed into the Lake of Fire - remember he is chained for a thousand years and then released. He is released because during the thousand years people will not have to make a decision until the end of the thousand years.
Everyone has to make a decision to go to heaven. When you are born, you are on your way to hell. When you are born into sin you don't have to make a decision, you automatically go to hell. You have to make a decision to change course and go to heaven. You have to make a conscious decision and recognition that you are a sinner, turn from your sin, repent and accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Then you are truly born-again of the Spirit.
So at the end of the Millennium Satan will be released to tempt all the people. The Bible says that the number that follow him will be as the sands of the sea and then finally there is the Great White Throne Judgement, Satan is thrown into the Lake of Fire, the Anti-Christ and the Beast are the first two people in the Lake of Fire, then Satan and then all of those - all of the fallen angels and all those who have rejected Jesus Christ.
This world is going to be destroyed and we are going to live on a new earth and a new heaven and the new Jerusalem is going to come down and we are going to live in God's front garden-bed. That what it says. That is in a nut shell.
So we need to understand there is the Millennial Reign and there is the Eternal Reign and I hope that this will come out tonight.
This morning, we talked about the sign of the end of the age.
Remember, for those who were present, the Disciples asked three
We scanned over it in the time that we had and we looked at many of the signs that Jesus gave the Disciples. We came to the conclusion that the key sign that was in the Lord's mind was not one of the questions asked by the Disciples.
It was basically a sign of false prophets in the Disciples' day in the last two thousand years and in the day that we live - many, many false prophets.
We came down to verse 44 in Chapter 24 (Matthew). I want to take is up from basically chapter 25 and looking backwards to verse 45 of chapter 24 where we have the story of the `Faithful Servant'. Now chapter 25 is a continuation of chapter 24, began by Jesus when He took His disciples up to the Mount of Olives and they asked three questions and He gave them a whole number of signs of the end of the times.
Matthew 24 from 45 where we finished this morning is a parable of the faithful servant which emphasizes communal responsibility. Our responsibility is to the community, our inter-action with our fellow brethren.
* ? Now when we come to chapter 25 we have the story of the 10 virgins and I believe it is one of the most difficult passage in the end- time scenario and it has been a passage which has not been interpreted in its correct sense down through the ages. I will explain that.
What do I mean by that? It is our responsibility to the King of kings and Lord of lords. When you read that - our responsibility to the Master as servants. All three of these stories emphasizes life rather than labour.
How to live our life, what we do with our life, rather than what we achieve with that life, our labors for the Lord. He emphasizes life rather than labour. And the theme is `watching' and `faithfulness'. The key theme is our faithful service to the Lord.
Now all three stories speak of an absent Lord, a Lord who goes away for a long time. He returns to reward His servants or to deal aright with people, who during His absence, have been entrusted with certain responsibilities. You see we need to understand that we are servants of the Lord and this will come out as we go through.
"The parable must not be confounded with the parable of 'the pounds' in Luke 19:11-27. The 'Man' is Christ; the far country is heaven; the 'departure', Christ's ascension; the 'return', His second Coming. The parable of the pounds is Jewish and pictures what will happen when Christ 'having received the Kingdom' returns to the earth and rewards His servants by giving them authority over different cities. The 'one pound' man loses his pound and the right to rule, but is not cast out. In the 'talents' the 'one talent' man is cast out. This parable is one on Christian stewardship; and the fact that he complains of the exactness of the Master shows that the 'one talent' man is a mere professor and his character is revealed by his commission of the 'napkin sin'. The time of the accounting synchronizes with that of the separation of the 'wheat and tares', the 'good and bad fish', and the 'wise and foolish virgins.'"
"At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like 10 virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the Bridegroom."
Now immediately when you come to a passage of Scripture that says `at that time', you need to ask yourself the question - "What time?" Now in the context of chapters 24 and 25 which is called "The Olivet Discourse", the Discourse that Jesus gave to His disciples on future things. Invariably, when you see the words "at that time" it means the time that God or Jesus Christ, His Son, bursts into the affairs of mankind.
You see the world does not finish,as we know it, until Jesus Christ physically places His feet upon the Mount of Olives. Even though there is a period of tribulation, even though the Church has been raptured and there is the Tribulation on the earth, God out-pouring His wrath on unrepentant Israel and the Gentile nations that would want to destroy His chosen race - the Jews, that the world is still continuing on as we know it - there is going to be catastrophic events. But it does not change it until Jesus Christ physically places His feet upon the Mount of Olives and commences a Reign of Righteousness for 1,000 years called The Millennium.
* ? So when we come to the point when it says "At that time", we must ask ourselves `what time?' And it is a time in the future when Jesus is about to burst upon the affairs of mankind. And it goes on and says - "The Kingdom of Heaven" and here is the key to understanding the passage.
* ? At that time the Kingdom of Heaven will be like, or will become like - so it says it sets the whole scene because it says "The Kingdom of Heaven will be like...." So immediately your mind needs to go into gear and say `everything that follows relates to what happens in the Kingdom of Heaven'. It does not relate to what happens in the kingdom on earth or in Satan's kingdom.
So it is talking about the realm of God, everything that concerns Heaven relates to what God has in His Kingdom or is doing in His Kingdom.
the Lord's return testing:
1. mere profession (versus the truly born-again "virgins")
But just because the Kingdom of God is within you, and we are part of the Kingdom of God, it does not negate a physical reign of the King on this earth, you cannot put the two together, you must separate it and put it in perspective.
And so it says here that the Kingdom of Heaven will be like 10 virgins. It doesn't say there will be 10 virgins, it says it will be LIKE 10 virgins. Now Jesus was the master teacher, He knew the human mind because He was the Creator and He used the word virgins specifically and I will explain that in a moment.
I notice some of the modern translations say "At that time the Kingdom of Heaven will be like 10 girls who took their lamps". They have absolutely `butchered'the translation by mentioning `girls'; `virgin'is very, very important and we are going to look at it in one moment.
But let us just relax and look at the Kingdom of Heaven as opposed to the kingdom of man and the kingdom of Satan because if we don't get this concept right, then we are not going to get the rest of the interpretation right.
So come with me, we are going to do some Bible searching tonight and look at the best reference to the kingdom of man. It can be found in Daniel chapter 2 verses 37-44. This is relating to man's kingdom:
And Nebuchadnezzar - Daniel is talking to Nebuchadnezzar in verse 37 and he says: "You O King, Nebuchadnezzar are king of kings [it is the small `k' of small `k' - king of kings, the God of heaven has given you a kingdom and power and might and glory."
Verse 39 of chapter 2 of Daniel: "After you another kingdom will rise which is inferior to yours, next a third kingdom of Iron will rule over the whole earth."
Finally in verse 40: "There will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, iron breaks and smashes everything and the iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others".
And in verse 44 it says: "In the time of those kings the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed." And so here we have a reference to man's kingdom and suddenly the language changes where God is going to set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed indicating that these other kingdoms will. So man's kingdom will be destroyed, God's kingdoms won't. Let us have a look at some of the references of God's Kingdom.
Matthew chapter 4:17-23 - and I am going to be skipping through these fairly fast, but they are on tape. It says: "From that time when Jesus began to preach - repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near".
And so we have seen that there is a man's kingdom but there is a Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus went through Galilee so the Scripture says, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom - preaching the good news of the Kingdom. We all know the beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5 verse 30 and one of the thrills that I have had is standing on the Mount of Beatitudes with an open Bible and reading the beatitudes to the number of people who toured with us in Israel. "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of God" and we can get all the references of what the Kingdom of God is like. Jesus is trying to give these earthly people who live on planet earth, on terra firma where there is more `terror' than anything `firma' - He is trying to give us a picture of what our glorified state or what the kingdom is like. And it is so far removed from what we know here, it is difficult for the Lord to be able to explain to us in the language that we should understand. And He does it periodically throughout the Bible.
In Matthew chapter 6 verse 10 He says "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth". Here is the Lord's prayer and every time we pray the Lord's prayer we are not saying "Lord, don't come, I am having a time on this earth", we are saying "Lord, your kingdom come" - because it is a kingdom of righteousness and it involves and embrace the Millennial reign, the thousand year reign is part of the kingdom. We are part of the kingdom now if we are a child of God. God is growing His kingdom. Let's have a look at Satan's kingdom. Yes, Satan has a kingdom - man's got one, God's got a kingdom, Satan has got a kingdom. The two best references of Satan's kingdom is Matthew 12:26 - which says "If Satan drives out Satan he is divided against himself - how then can his kingdom stand?" So he has got a kingdom. Matthew 12:26.
And Revelation chapter 16 verse 10 - this is what is says about Satan's kingdom: "The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast and his kingdom was plunged into darkness". Satan's kingdom! So we see from the passages of Scripture that the Kingdom of heaven is totally opposite to the Kingdom of man and to the Kingdom of Satan.
Matthew chapter 13 is your best reference for 7 parables on what the kingdom is like. The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed. The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed it in a large amount of flour. The Kingdom of heaven is like the treasure in a field. Its like a pearl. I wish I had time to preach that message. Its like a net let down - it is talking about the judgement.
And so Jesus is giving us a little window into what the Kingdom of heaven is like. And then before Pilate in John chapter 18 in verse 36 Jesus said this and these are great words: "My kingdom is not of this world." There is your `key'. You see, God's Kingdom is not of this world. "If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews, but now my kingdom is from another place."
And the passage of Scripture says "At that time the Kingdom of Heaven" and as soon as it says that - everything to follow relates to the Kingdom of Heaven. So get out of your minds, Hell, Satan, Man's Kingdom. The Kingdom of heaven will be like 10 virgins.
Why the number 10?
At that time, at a moment of history, the Kingdom of Heaven is going to be complete. Now how do I know it means completion? In 1 Samuel chapter 1 verse 8 there was a conversation between Hannah and her husband Elkanah. Hannah was down-hearted, she was crying because she could not have a child. And Elkanah said to Hannah "Hannah why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you down- hearted? Don't I mean more to you than 10 sons?"
And in ancient days, as it is today, you could not form a synagogue, and remember the synagogues were formed out of the Jews in captivity in Babylon when the temple was destroyed.They could not build another temple, but they could build a synagogue which always faced towards Jerusalem and in synagogues you can't sacrifice, you can only worship.
That is why they want to build a temple to sacrifice under the Mosaic Law because they believe that they need to sacrifice, they have forgotten that Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice. And even today, I heard of a story where they were 9 Jews in a community and they could not even have a synagogue. As soon as they got the 10th Jew they were able to form a synagogue. So in Biblical numerology, or in God's economy 10 meant completeness. So here we have 10 virgins. Well, we have got a story that represents a bridegroom, and He is obviously the Christ. There are 10 virgins, and we need to ask "Who are they?" There is no bride mentioned in this particular passage. But I want to suggest to you that the presence of the Bride is implied. Is not the Church the Bride of Christ? Is not the Church to be presented as a pure virgin without spot or blemish to the Bridegroom? And so verse 1 of chapter 25 could read like this:
"There is going to come a time in God's economy that the Kingdom of Heaven will be finally complete, representing all those people who took their lamps and went out to meet the Bridegroom." Now at this point, Jesus is trying to get the message across to His disciples about something that was very common in ancient times, and I am going to explain it to you.
But in this completeness - and it is the Kingdom of Heaven- got nothing to do with the kingdom of Satan. Verse 2: "5 of the virgins were foolish and 5 were wise". There was completeness but there was not equality. There was completeness in God's Kingdom but there was not equality. And verse 3 says: "And the foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise however, took oil in jars along with their lamps".
Now from verse 3 we have two thousand years of history. Because from verse 3 to verse 5 we have the two thousand years of the church age. We have a picture of the bride over two thousand years of the history of the church.
And verse 4 says: "The wise however, took oil in jars along with their lamps." The Bridegroom was a long time in coming and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. Now at that point I want to pause and to explain to you the Hebrew bridal system over the last two thousand years and as I do, I want you to remember one thing. I want you to picture Jesus Christ in this. Now when a young man and a young woman came together and decided it was time to get married, this was the process - it doesn't generally happen to the same degree today, but it does in Hebrew marriages. It never does in gentile marriages. So the young man and the young woman would communicate and decide that it was time to get married.
And so the bridegroom would then take the bride to his home and the bride price would be established. There would be a discussion of what price was going to be paid for the bride. Have you got Jesus Christ in your mind? And so once the bride price was established, certain papers were signed and the bride and the bridegroom were married or betrothed. They were betrothed - they were married but the marriage would not be consummated until at least a period of time over 12 months had taken place. You see in the Hebrew system, they were married, but not yet. They were effectively married, they didn't live together, they communicated, they had fellowship, the bridegroom was in his father's home and the bride was in her home - her father and her parents' home. And over a period of time there would be preparation being made - you see that is why Joseph and Mary were betrothed, they weren't engaged - they were married and that is why they could travel together. There are many critics of the Christian religion that say that Mary and Joseph give credence and approval for unmarried relationships. Wrong! They were married, but the marriage was not consummated. The marriage had not come together - there was no physical union. This is what happens in the Hebrew bridal system. But as the time got closer to the end when the Bridegroom would come and fetch, or snatch his bride, there was obviously a lot of preparation taking place in the bridegroom's home to which the bride would see it and become prepared herself. She would select a number of virgins that would be her attendants on the day. And as the time got closer, there was an awareness that all of a sudden the bridegroom was going to come for his bride. The bridegroom never told the bride - and listen to this ladies, the bridegroom never revealed the exact day or the hour when he would come for his bride. That was the system. On the night before the marriage would be consummated there would be the attendants of the bridegroom and they would go out with a crier on the street - "Behold the bridegroom cometh - behold the bridegroom cometh" and there would be a flurry of activity in the bride's home. The attendant would rush around and get the bride ready. The bridegroom would leave his father's home and he would go to the bride's home and he would literally snatch her and he would take her back to his home to the wedding chamber. And where there would be physical union.
The virgins would stand outside the room and there would be great joy because the two had become married. And they would go into the bridal chamber. After they came out of the bridal chamber there would be great rejoicing and all the invited guests would be invited along into the bridegroom's father's house where there would be a 7 day period of celebration - called "The Marriage Supper". 7 days would take place. And to a lesser extent that happens today and I want you to keep in mind of the relationship of Christ to the Bride and he being the bridegroom in the story. And he is trying to relate to these disciples and he is trying to tell us down through the ages something of what the kingdom of heaven is like and what is going to happen in the kingdom of heaven. So from verse 5 on and verses 6 to 12 there is a call to meet the bridegroom and let me read it to you:
* ? "At midnight the cry rang out - here is the bridegroom - come out to meet him. Then all the virgins woke up to trim their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise "Give us some of your oil our lamps are going out".
"Manners and Customs" of the Bible by James
Freeman tells us an interesting thing about those lamps of
Israel, as pictured here:
The above comments by Freeman introduce an intriguing variance
on our understanding of the parable of the ten virgins.
The Holy Spirit is NOT present in the lives of the foolish virgins, therefore they are NOT saved people. Keep this in mind as you read Dr Y.'s message.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like 10 virgins, you cannot have the lost in the Kingdom of Heaven. It has absolutely nothing to do with the unsaved. And also many people say that `Well, the virgins that were prepared had the Holy Spirit, the others didn't really have the Holy Spirit'. Let me tell you you can't have a `bit' of the Holy Spirit. Excuse the expression but it is the best I know - you can't be a bit pregnant. You are either pregnant or you are not. You either have the Holy Spirit or you don't.
And so here we see that the foolish ones had oil in their lamps but it was going out. They had not prepared. So what did they do? Then all of the virgins woke up to trim their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise "Give us some of your oil, our lamps are going out". "No", they replied, "We may not have enough for both of us, instead go out to those who sell oil and buy some for yourself."
(See also Matthew 7:21-23). The parable shows we cannot distinguish between the saved and the unsaved until the Bridegroom comes at the Rapture. The presence of the Holy Spirit (the oil) is the test, not whether they 'slumbered and slept'. Lots of believers today are not aware that the Rapture is close, yet they will go in the Rapture because they are saved (they have oil), actually the majority are slumbering! Yet, half (or more) are the "foolish virgins" who have never been saved at all, i.e. half or more in the churches are not truly born-again!
You see the Kingdom of Heaven is like 10 virgins. All about the Kingdom of Heaven. It is about complete but half the group weren't and half were. And an hour later the others said "Sir, sir, open the door to us", but he replied "I tell you the truth, I do not know you." Therefore keep watch because you do not know of what day or hour the Lord may come.
* ? Maybe it is, I am not absolutely certain, but I cannot see any other - what I am suggesting to you is maybe the Marriage Supper of the Lamb - that unique union of all of God's people, the Jews, the Church and the 144,000 only those who are prepared and are at the marriage supper will return and reign with Christ. Keep that in the back of your mind. I am going to cement that thought in a moment in the parable of the talents.
* ? We are going to be rewarded, not on the basis of genius, but on the basis of goodness. My friends, we are the children of God by grace through faith, I think you would all agree with that. (repeated). But at the same time we are also the servants of God. We are entrusted with certain responsibilities, certain talents and the privilege of helping God in His work of redemption NOW! NOW!
I want to make sure I have got enough money to be able to do what you want me to do. If we say that we will never ever achieve greatness for God. We are to do what we can, with what we have got, where we are, now. And as I go through and finally conclude tonight, in another little while, you will see some of the responsibilities we need to exercise as children of God. We are children of God by grace through faith. But we are also servants of God.
You see we were saved not to stagnate, but to serve. We are saved to serve, not to stagnate. Let me read from verse 14. "Again it will be like a man the Kingdom of Heaven going on a journey. He called His servants and entrusted His property to them. To the one he gave five talents of money, to the other two, to one - one talent, each according to their ability." Do you note that? Mark that in your Bible - each according to their ability. The Lord does not give you something that he knows that you cannot cope with.
He will never allow you to be tempted and go through trials through which you are able to bear. They are all Scriptural quotes. "The man who had received five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also the one with two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money."
* ? Now here is the key in the next verse - "After a long time the master of those servants" - the unregenerate had never been referred to as `servants of the master.' We are talking about Christians, we are talking about believers.
*If in doubt re Eternal Security issues see subject #3 in The Home Assemblies Booklet
Now we know how the story goes on. Let me read it. "The man with the five talents brought five more and God said `Well done, thou good and faithful servant come and share in your masters happiness'. The man who had two talents also said "Master," he said, "you entrusted me with two talents, see I have gained two more". The master said "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, you have been faithful in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things." You will start to see that this is relating to the Millennial Kingdom and the rewards we are going to get for faithful service now. That is what it is all about.
Then the man who had received the one talent, said "Master, I knew you were a hard man, harvesting where you had not sown, gathering where you had not scattered seed, so I was afraid and I went out and hid the talent in the ground. See here, this is what belongs to you." And what did the Master Jesus in this instance say to him? He said in verse 26 "You wicked and lazy servant". He didn't' say "You lost person". He said "you wicked and lazy servant".
"So you knew that I harvested where I had not sown and gathered where I had not scattered seed, well then you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers so that when I returned I would have received at least the interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents, for everyone who has will be given more and he will have abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
Now, here is the climax - Brian has been waiting for this all night - and throw that lost person into hell. It doesn't say that - got nothing to do with hell, got nothing to do with the lost. "And throw that worthless servant - he who puts his hand to the plough and turns back is not fit for the kingdom of God" it says in the Bible. It doesn't say he won't get into the kingdom of God, he says he is not fit for the kingdom of God because the Kingdom of God is all these things that are outlined in the Bible which we read.
* ?And it says "Throw that worthless servant - where? Into darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Now keep your finger there and go back to the story of the faithful servant back in verse 45 through to the end. And it is very very similar language.
Read John 3:16-21 for a description of light and darkness,
Christians who are saved are in the light of God, in the Saviour. The one talent man goes into everlasting punishment, to hell/lake of fire. He has never known the Saviour, and the Saviour does not know him! In Christ we have forgiveness and restoration, note the verses in Romans 8: 32-34 and Romans 8:38,39.
Dr Y. would have us believe that CHRISTIANS can be separated from the Heavenly Father for a thousand years, as a sort of punishment for shoddy servanthood. It sounds a bit like the Purgatory beliefs of the Catholics.
In verse 50 it says "The master of that servant - here is the master/servant relationship - will come on a day when he does not expect him, at an hour that he is not aware of him. He will cut him to pieces. Now that is not literally with a knife, it if literally with the words and the brightness of Christ's coming, coming to that person with the words that He speaks.
* ? He will cut into pieces and assign him a place in hell? No. He will assign him a place with the HYPOCRITES where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Now I want to suggest to you that this passage - both of these passages - clearly describe a place of darkness in heaven. How can that be? Jesus is there - there is light! Well if Jesus is not in heaven and has returned with the faithful to earth - is it the absence of Jesus going to be darkness to a lot of people?
Now you have read that passage of Scripture. They always did their good works with a great lot of noise so that man could see them - to be seen by man. Now the verb translated "to be seen" in the Greek - and here comes our little bit of Greek for tonight - is the Greek word from which we get our English word "theatre" - it is a picture of actors on the stage, acting out these parts - their parts. And these religious leaders were engaged, in Jesus' day, in a theatrical religion. In every Greek play they tell you the actors always wore a false mask. And from the Greek word "false mask" we get our English word `hypocrite'.
.................tape fades out.
but in the fire and they will burn up as hay, wood and stubble. So where will the hypocrites and worthless servants spend the Millennium? In a place called darkness.
There was a conversation in Job 1:6 between God and Satan. God said "Where have you been Satan?" "Oh, roaming to and fro throughout the world." You see we must understand that Satan is not God, he is not omnipresent. He is not all powerful, he uses his demons to report to him. He can only be in one place at one time.
* ? And so there is a little chamber in the outer heaven away from the eternal throne so there is no contamination, so that Satan can accuse us before God day and night. We find that in Revelation 12. So I have no problem with the fact that there is going to be a place of darkness where many will be held for 1,000 years. But it only happens for 1,000 years.
It says: "I heard a loud voice from the throne saying `Now the dwelling of God is with men and He will live with them. They will be His people and God Himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes.' "
* ? Now when we are reigning with Christ in the Millennium we are not going to be crying. We are going to joyous and when we are with Christ having that intimate fellowship for a 1,000 years as we come back and reign with Him, we won't be crying. But he is going to wipe someone's tears away, it is those who are weeping and wailing in darkness for the Millennium.
And this parable tells me three things:
* ? And if that is only doing the church flowers every Sunday morning faithfully being available to do that then that is the only talent that God has given us, I tell you that that little lady that does that job in the church will receive the same rewards as Billy Graham (?????) who has been entrusted with so much.
* ? Let us look at the man in the parable. We are looking from verse 14. First of all, he failed to trust in the good character of his Lord. (sentence repeated). And from the dawn of history it has been the strategy of Satan to question the goodness of God. Right back there in the Garden of Eden Satan came to Eve and said "Did God say that you would die if partook of the tree? God didn't mean that, God meant that when you do partake of it your eyes will be open, you will know the difference between good and evil".
So this man failed to trust in the good character of God. Secondly, this man was not a bad man - got nothing to do with the unsaved, he is not described as cruel and merciless, he is not described as wasteful, he is not a slave to his passions, he is not described as a bad man.
Thirdly this man counted his one talent as being of no real importance and how often have I heard people in churches saying `I have no talents'. Everyone has a talent. This man failed to appreciate the fact that every talent that God gives to us is precious in God's sight. There is not one person in this world who is a believer that has missed out on a talent.
You might say to me "Well, I haven't discovered it yet". Well the reason you have not discovered it is because you have not cultivated a desire to know what that talent is and allow the Lord to flow through you. And the Spirit who administers talents according to the needs of the church and according to the person - and this man counted his one talent as being no real importance.
Fourthly, this man lacked the faith and courage to take a risk. And my friends, I want to give you another principle tonight. I want to give you this principle. If we are not risk-takers in the Lord's business, then we are going to stagnate in a pool of mediocrity. (repeated last sentence).
* ? Let me give you an example - if Abram had not taken a risk and said "Lord, I've got all this cattle, I've got all this wealth down here and Ur of the Chaldees and ................ no way am I going to go to that. If Abram by faith had not taken a risk, who would have been the father of the Jewish nation?
* ? If Moses, well, Moses didn't want to take a risk, he made every excuse in the book. "Lord, I can't do it". And the Lord said to Moses "Moses, is my arm too short, is it not long enough to do anything with you". And when Moses stepped out a took a risk, look what happened. He took the two million people or so out of the land of Egypt into the promised land or to the threshold of the promised land.
* ? What if Jesus hadn't taken a risk? I would not be here tonight. You would not be here tonight. He took a risk and left Glory and came to earth to die for you and me and if Paul hadn't taken a risk with the Gospel would not have been taken to the rest of the world. It probably would have still been over there in the Middle East.
* ? You see, they were risk takers and we need to step out in faith and take a risk otherwise we won't achieve anything. You need to respond to the opportunities NOW. We are to do what we can with what we have got, where we are NOW.
end of side one of tape.