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PARABLES OF JESUS

MYSTERY  PARABLES
INTRODUCTION

We all have a mind and are capable of figuring out things in life. I realize there are different interpretations to these parables. Many well-known theologians will most certainly disagree with my interpretation, but that is their right and yours, if you disagree with me. Let the Spirit guide you in this, and all things. As I stated in the book, I’ll take my stand with the “few.” THRU THE BIBLE WITH J.VERNON McGEE is an excellent commentary. I highly recommend it. He is a good evangelical teacher. CHARLES HALFF (now deceased), founded the Christian Jew Foundation in San Antonio, Texas also is another that spoke and wrote the Truth of God’s Word. I praise God for men like these. May God gives us more!        
Jesus, in these parable, is simply telling us what the era in which we live (the kingdom of heaven) will be like. He prophesies so very accurately what has and will happen. This ‘kingdom’ consists of the time between His first and second comings. Like any other kingdom, there is good, and there is evil. Satan is very powerful. He is called the “prince of the power of the air” (Ep.2:2), and “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” Believe this! The old devil is very hard at work! He has only a limited time and he knows it. He and his followers, are working overtime. I pray you are NOT one of his followers (children), for ALL who follow the devil will end up where he’s going . . . Hell (Rev.20:10). Hell does exist! God prepared it for “the devil and his angels” (Mt.25:41), and ALL who follow him. There is no gray area; it is either black or white. You cannot sit on the fence. You belong either to Jesus by believing God and accepting Him, or you belong to Satan (1 John 3:10). By rejecting Jesus, you automatically accept Satan. By accepting Jesus, you reject Satan. Which will it be for you?
Jesus tells us there will be only a “few” who choose the narrow road (Mt.7:13-14). Most choose that broad road the leads to Hell. These parables are telling us this same Truth!
WHICH ROAD ARE YOU TRAVELING?

SALVATION

Jesus said “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God..” (Jn.3:3). What does it mean to be “born again”? When we are born of our mother (our physical birth), this is our ‘first birth’. Your second birth, your spiritual birth, comes the moment you accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord (Jn.1:12-13).
Jesus said you can’t even see Heaven without being “born again”. If we call on the Name of the Lord, we shall be saved (Ac.2:21; Ro.10:13). Salvation is possible to all people, to “whosoever”!
Salvation (eternal life in Heaven) is readily available to ALL! It is NOT something you buy, or work for; it is a “gift”! God made salvation so simple that even a child could understand and accept it, yet it seems the more education a person has, or the older he is, the harder it is to reach him (or her). God loves you. God does not want you to go to Hell, yet if you refuse to accept the “Gift” of His Son, which is eternal life, you most certainly will end up there. If you do not know Jesus as your Saviour, you are God’s enemy! But once you accept God’s salvation (Jesus) you are reconciled to God, by His Son (Ro.5:9-10). Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. [KJV] . . . ‘Justified’: another term that confuses some people. Justified . . . just as if you’d never sinned! Justified . . . you are declared ‘not guilty’ in the courts of Heaven! This can happen only through Jesus! God forgives all our sins the moment we turn to His Son to save us (from God’s wrath, the penalty of sin, and Hell).
(1.)  No one is righteous in God’s eyes, without Jesus. Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. [KJV]   
(2.) We are all sinners, every last one of us. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. [KJV]
(3.) We are all spiritually dead, without Jesus. John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not  perish,  but have eternal life. [KJV] John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath      everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son  shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. [KJV]
(4.)  Because of our sin, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8-9 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. [9] Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. [KJV]
(5.)  If we ‘keep on’ in sin, we receive eternal death. Romans 6:23-a  For the wages of sin is death. - - - - - - - -  [KJV]
(6.)  If we accept Christ, we have eternal life.  Romans 6:23-b - - - - - - - -  But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. [KJV]

PARABLES OF JESUS

Contents                                          
Copyright page                                          
Mystery Parables Introduction                            
Salvation                                                   
Contents
    MYSTERY PARABLES                                                    
Parables of Matthew 13                             
Parable of the Sower                                 
Parable of the Tares                                   
Parable of the Mustard Seed                      
Parable of the Leaven                                
Parable of the Treasure in the Field           
Parable of the Pearl of Great Price             
Parable of the Net                                      
    MORE OF JESUS’ PARABLES
Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders 
Parable of the Hired Laborers                    
Parable of the Two Sons                                     
Parable of the Wicked Husbandman          
Parable of the Fig Tree                              
Parable of the Marriage Feast                    
Parable of the Ten Virgins                         
Parable of the Talents                                
Parable of the Sheep and Goats                          
Parable of the Lost Sheep                                   
Parable of the Cloth and Bottles                         
Parable of the Unclean Spirit                     
Parable of the Barren Fig Tree                   
Parable of the Friend at Midnight              
Parable of the Good Samaritan                           
Parable of the Unmerciful Servant             
Parable of the Man on a Trip                    
Parable of  the Rich Young Ruler              
Parable of the Rich Fool                                      
Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus                 

POEMS
Our Clock #245
Luke 16:23 #306                                       
Dialogue From Hell #486                                    
Transition Time #296                                         
Your Choice         #194                                      

PARABLES OF JESUS
Written and compiled by: HIS SERVANT
Connie Kramer

Scripture verses taken from: [KJV] King James Version
Yellow bold italics is Jesus’ Words.
John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
[KJV]

Written and Compiled by:
His servant, Connie Kramer
Revised from original 10-2015

THIS BOOK IS NOT COPYRIGHTED,
AND IS NEVER TO BE COPYRIGHTED.
This book is free and not to be sold.

It may be used by whosoever to honor and glorify God!

TO EDIFY THE CHURCH, AND TO
HONOR AND GLORIFY GOD.

I always try to make understanding God’s Word as easy as I possibly can for all. God will truly bless your efforts as you strive to learn more about Him. All praise and glory be to the
One and Only, Almighty God!

PARABLES OF MATTHEW
‘MYSTERY PARABLES’

What is a ‘parable’? It is a simple yet obscure story from which we can learn a lesson. It conveys a truth, yet for most people, that truth is hidden. A parable is a comparison, a similitude, an allegory. It compares things of the earth with heavenly things. It is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
         
Why are the parables in Matthew chapter 13 called the “Mystery Parables”? It is because in them, Jesus explains the direction that the ‘kingdom’ is going to take; in the time period between the rejection of Jesus, and the time when He returns to set up His Kingdom on Earth (this present age). This particular time period was not revealed in the Old Testament. A ‘mystery’ in the Bible is something revealed in the New Testament that was not known (or shown) in the Old Testament.
         
Matthew 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. [KJV] . . . If a person wants to know the Word of God, it will be revealed unto them! BUT, if you shut your ears and heart, there is NO way it will be revealed to you. Not only do you fail to ‘hear’ God’s Word, but even if you heard it, you couldn’t possibly understand it. Your ears must be spiritually receptive; coming from a soft, tender heart that has an earnest DESIRE to learn more about Jesus! When this happens, you shall HEAR and you shall UNDERSTAND God’s precious, Holy Word!
                  
What is the “Kingdom of Heaven”? It is a limited kingdom, and it is “at hand;” for this is the period between the Messiah’s First and Second Coming . . . which is the time in which we live. As with ALL kingdoms, it consists of both the good and the bad, the wheat and the tares, the wise and the foolish. This time period, this ‘kingdom’, this intermingling of ‘good and evil’ will continue until our precious Lord returns at the end of this age and sets up His rule of righteousness over the entire Earth.
         
Scripture tells us that Satan is presently in control (only temporarily) of the space between the sky and Earth (Ep.2:2; Jn.12:31; 14;30; 16:11). But because God is sovereign over all His Creation, we find a mixture of good and evil. God allows us to make our own decisions. He gave us a free will . . . to choose good over evil . . . or the other way around.
Matthew 13:34-35  All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: 35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. [KJV]    (Quoting Ps.78:2)
         
Matthew chapter 12 provides the setting for the ‘mystery parables’. The Jewish leaders crossed the point of no return. They completely rejected Jesus. The evidence was quite clear that Jesus was the Messiah, the Anointed One of Israel; yet He was deliberately rejected by them. His supernatural power, which they absolutely could not deny, was attributed to Beelzubub (Satan), the unpardonable sin (both then and now).
Matthew 13:1 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. [KJV] . . . The Bible is filled with ‘symbols’; so many that I would not venture a guess as to the amount. We have two in this very short verse. (1.) House . . . represents Israel. Jesus leaving “the house” indicates that He has severed His special relationship with His people (Jn.1:11), after she totally rejected Him. (2.) Sea . . . is a symbol for Gentile nations, or many people (Is.17:12; Rev.13:1). When Jesus took His place “by the sea”; it is showing that His ministry will now cover a much wider area. He will now reveal the ‘mysteries of the kingdom of heaven’, and these mysteries are not only for the destiny of Israel, but to ALL nations, to “whosoever” would believe and accept Him as the Christ (Messiah). Your race does not matter, nor your color, nor your culture, nor your education, etc. God is NOT prejudiced! God is NOT a bigot! He loves ALL races equally!

PARABLE OF THE SOWER
         

Matthew 13:3-9  And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. [KJV] . . . This parable is not at all difficult to interpret, for our Lord Himself explains this one.
Matthew 13:18-23  Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. [KJV] . . . (1.) WAYSIDE . . . is hard packed ground along the road; symbolizing hard hearts, no understanding and not wanting any. Verse 4 says the ‘FOWLS’ came and devoured the ‘seed’. In verse 19, Jesus tells us that the WICKED ONE who is Satan is responsible for the birds taking away the seed. The birds represent Satan. The ‘wayside’ represents those who have heard the Word of God (the SEED), including church members (professing Christians), but have not added any faith to it. Their heart is hard and the ‘seed’ (Word of God) simply does not take root, and the ‘birds’ devour it.
(2.) STONY PLACES . . . is rocky ground with very little earth; no depth. The outward appearance of these people is that they have received the Lord Jesus as their Saviour, and have been born again; but in reality, their zeal soon comes to an abrupt halt. The ‘seed’ sprouts (briefly) but because of the shallowness of their hearts, (rocky ground) the sun (troubles) soon dries up the germinated seedling. These receive the Word at first very warmly and emotionally, but when any persecution or tribulation comes their way, they back away from Jesus.
(3.) THORNS . . . represent the ‘world’. The ‘seed’ in this case does sprout into a seedling; but the thorns and weeds (riches and material things) choke out the young plant. It cannot grow to maturity, and it cannot produce fruit. It lives, but it certainly is not a productive life. These hearers are destined to remain carnal Christians because they will not separate themselves from the so-called good things of the world. 
(4.) GOOD GROUND . . . are those who hear the Word of God in faith, receiving it with a warm and open heart, understand it  and then go on to bear fruit. If a person truly wants to understand, truly wants to learn more of God and His goodness, God will NOT hold back wisdom, and that person will produce fruit!
Please remember that the “fowls” (birds) symbolize Satan, his demon army, and his children. Yes, Satan has children; MANY of them (Mt.13:38; Jn.8:44; Acts 13:10; 1 Jn.3:10), just as God has children (Mt.5:9; Lu.20:36; Ro.8:16, 21; 9:26; 1 Jn.3:10). If you are not a ‘child of God’ then you are a ‘child of the devil’. You are one, or the other!
         
It is important to remember what the ‘birds’ represent when we come to the parable of the mustard seed. Jesus is consistent in His usage of symbols. He does not use a symbol to represent evil in one parable, and good in another parable. Birds symbolize evil.

PARABLE OF THE TARES
         

Matthew 13:24-30 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. [KJV] . . . Jesus is stating that the ‘kingdom of heaven’ will be a mixture of good and evil, of true believers and false professors. The true believers result from the sprouting of the good seed that fell on the fertile ground. False professors (cults) result from the sowing of bad seed by the enemy, Satan. BEWARE of cults! What is a ‘cult’? It is any organization that does not teach the Truth of God’s Word.

Jesus also explains the parable of the Tares.

Matthew 13:37-43 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. [KJV] . . . The MAN (sower) is Jesus. The FIELD is the world. The GOOD SEED are God’s children. The TARES are Satan’s children. The ENEMY is Satan. The HARVEST is the end of this age (judgment). The REAPERS are His (Jesus’) angels. The FURNACE OF FIRE is Hell. Jesus doesn’t say so here, but the BARN (Mt.13:30) is Heaven. The main concern in this parable is the enemy, and his evil work. Those who hear, believe and accept the TRUE Gospel message are the WHEAT, the ‘sons of the kingdom’. Those who reject and refuse the Truth and accept “another Gospel” (2 Cor.11:34, a counterfeit gospel of Satan) are the TARES, and are doomed to Hell.  
         
Jesus is very plainly telling us that there will be many evil things done, and many false doctrines taught in the name of Christianity. There are thousands of ‘cults’ out there, each with many zealous members. Each of these cults teach some truth. That is why it is so important to study the Bible; to KNOW what God’s Word says. Then, when you hear false doctrine (teaching) you will be able to recognize it, and RUN the opposite direction. Satan is very capable of motivating those who are his. It is such a shame TRUE Christians do not have the zeal of the cults.
         
What are some of the counterfeit seeds sown by Satan?
(1.) Denying the deity of Jesus (that He is 100% God).
(2.) Denying the Incarnation of Jesus (that He is 100% Man)
(3.) Denying Jesus’ virgin birth.
(4.) Denying His Bodily resurrection.
(5.) Denying the existence and power of the Holy Spirit.
(6.) Denying that the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit of God; and that it is 100% true.
(7.) Denying that salvation is solely by God’s grace and there is nothing we can do to earn it. (8.) Denying there is indeed a Hell.
(9.) Denying there is life (eternal life OR eternal destruction) after physical death; teaching that when you die . . . there is no more.
(10.) Denying that after physical death, there will be judgment; (Hebrews 9:27; Isaiah 38:18).
There are MANY false doctrines being taught worldwide; and MOST of them are being readily accepted. Satan is very powerful, and he is brilliant. He teaches what people WANT to hear, not the Truth of the Bible. He dilutes the Word of God, he transposes it, he subtly twists it to serve his purpose, which is to lead people away from the goodness and love of God. Please do not become one of his victims; and if you are, please turn around and run to Jesus! Only Jesus has the ‘key’ to Heaven, and only He can keep you from Hell. Trust Him today! There is one major lesson in the parable of the tares. This age in which we live is evil and will continue to worsen, NOT get better, as some teach. Satan is still the ‘god of this age’ and the continuance of his wickedness will not lessen, but increase. His ‘tares’ will keep trying to snuff out the good wheat. Jesus makes it quite clear that the wheat and tares will grow (live) together until the end of this age (harvest). We cannot eliminate all false doctrine, nor can we reform all false professors in Christendom as we live our lives. What we can do is separate ourselves from any group or organization that teaches falsely (man made doctrines Matthrew 15:9). All the world will NOT be evangelized. These parables tell us this, over and over again. And though good and bad are together in this world, yet at the great day (the harvest) they shall be separated. Then the righteous and the wicked shall be plainly known. Sometimes here, it is hard to distinguish between them. Let us, (as God’s children) knowing the terrors of the Lord, live in righteousness and obedience to God. Believers should shine forth in this world; shining by reflection, with light borrowed from the Fountain of Light (our precious Lord).
         
Let us remember four facts about this parable. (1.) Jesus sowed only good seed (True Gospel). (2.) The devil stepped in and sowed bad seed (false doctrine). He’s been at it a long time. (3.) Both good and evil exist together and will continue until the harvest. (4.) This mixed condition will one day terminate. God will tolerate evil just so long! He is in charge!

PARABLE OF THE MUSTARD SEED
 

Matthew 13:31-32  Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: [32] Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.  [KJV] . . . Most people, including well educated theologians interpret this parable and the next (leaven) quite differently than I do. I’ll take my stand with the ‘few;’ including two men whom I consider to be excellent evangelical teachers; J. Vernon McGee and Charles Halff. I do not think Jesus had in mind TRUE Christianity in these parables; but instead false doctrines (cults) under the control of Satan. Look around you. Is TRUE Christianity flourishing? Are people living by the Word of God? I hardly think so! Take for example just two subjects: abortion and homosexuality. BOTH of these are an absolute abomination to God, yet the ‘world’ has accepted them both! Who is in control of these matters? The ENEMY . . . Satan! And things will continue on, in complete opposition to God! They will continue to grow in an unnatural way, as we will see in the parable of the mustard seed.
         
The parable of the mustard seed shows us the outward growth of Christendom. The true church (Body of Christ) has not, and cannot convert the whole world, but we certainly CAN be a positive influence on it. (Any place that Christianity has gone can be called Christendom.)
         
This tiny grain of mustard seed was planted in the FIELD (world). It sprouted, and indeed did grow. Normally, mustard is an herb, a small plant, but not so in this situation. It roots itself deeper and deeper into the Earth, and the upper portion of this plant grew to an extraordinary, unnatural size. Instead of a small garden plant, it grew to an enormous tree. This to me is picturing a religious system deeply rooted and aiming at power and greatness. This is not a picture of TRUE Christianity! The church’s mission is to reflect the glorious Light of Jesus and to witness of His marvelous grace; not control and overshadow the world.
         
The MAN (sower) is still the same as in the first two parables . . . Jesus. He began (planted) TRUE Christianity in the FIELD (world) while He was on Earth, but it developed into an unnatural thing when left in the hands of men, who decide to follow another master (Satan). This is professing Christianity. They say: “I’m a Christian” . . . but have neither Christ as their Master, nor His Spirit in their heart (Ro.8:9).
         
This tree grows very large, so large that the ‘birds of the air’ find lodging there. Remember, Jesus said BIRDS are a symbol of evil. Rev.18:2 states that it (false religion) shall become the habitation of devils, foul spirits, every unclean and hateful bird. The parable of the mustard seed is NOT about true Christianity, but about the unnatural growth of false cults. Too, true believers are associated with fruit-bearing trees, not herbs! This parable accurately portrays professing Christendom as we see it in the world today. This parable joins with the first two in showing us what the ‘kingdom of heaven’ is like today. What I write is my interpretation. Ask for the Spirit’s help, that you may decide what is right or wrong! 

PARABLE OF THE LEAVEN
         

Matthew 13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.  [KJV] . . . We must remember that this parable, and the others in Matthew 13, are picturing what happens to God’s Word in the time in which we live (between Jesus’ First and Second Comings). Let me give you what I believe to be the wrong interpretation of this parable.
         
INCORRECT: The WOMAN is the true church (the body of Christ). The LEAVEN is the true Gospel of Christ. The MEAL is the unbelieving world. IF this were so, this parable would teach: (1.) that as a result of the leaven (the Gospel) , the whole world would eventually be won over to Christ. (2.) And it would be in direct opposition to the other parables, which would be inconsistent with the teachings of our precious Lord.
         
This is what I believe to be CORRECT: LEAVEN is a symbol of evil. Leaven is used almost 100 times in the Bible, and it is NEVER used as ‘good’, always evil, false doctrine and corruption. Check for yourself! (Ex. 12:15, 19; 13:7; 34:25; Lev.2:11; 6:17; 10:12; 23:17; Amos 4:5; Mt.8:15; 16:6, 11-12; Mk.8:15; Lu.12:1; 13:21; 1 Cor.5:6-8; Gal.5:9, etc.). The WOMAN is the “Mother of harlots” (the false church, Rev.17), under control of Satan. The MEAL is the ground grain or wheat, the product of “good seed” only. The MEAL represents the Gospel (the Person and the Work of our precious Lord Jesus), pure, undefiled, holy, good!  MEAL always symbolizes purity and goodness.
         
So, let us consider . . . the doctrine of Satan (leaven) is introduced into good, pure meal (the Gospel of Christ); and it will eventually permeate the whole world! The intrusion of the leaven will finally lead to total apostasy (Luke 18:8). This brief parable pictures the ‘internal’ condition of Christendom, as the mustard seed shows the ‘outward’ growth.
         
Those who have made bread know the only way to stop the leaven from working (rising the bread) is to place the bread in the oven to bake. Consider this fact in this parable. If heat is the only thing that will stop the leaven (false doctrine), then it shall keep working in the world until the end of this age when the fires of Hell (judgment of God) make it cease. Only the fires of Hell will stop Satan and his cohorts from spreading their “damnable heresies” (2 Peter 2:1). One last thought on making bread; those who have made it, know that it takes only a small amount of ‘leaven’ to do the job. As you take into consideration this parable, and these times; just a small amount of false doctrine can be very detrimental to the True Gospel of Christ. Always be on guard! Check out everything you hear or read with God’s great Book, including what I say! (Acts 17:11). Take only God’s Word as true!

PARABLE OF TREASURE HID IN A FIELD.
         

These last parables of the kingdom of heaven were told only to the disciples. The multitude had been “sent away” by Jesus (Mt.13:36). The parables of the Treasure and the Pearl go together, as did the Mustard Seed and the Leaven. The Treasure and the Pearl are two things for which God has great love, concern and compassion. They are of extreme value to Him.
         
Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.  [KJV] . . . Again, I will give you what I consider to be the wrong (but highly accepted) interpretation of this parable; and I will explain my thoughts on it. You make your own decision.
INCORRECT: The MAN is the unsaved sinner. The TREASURE is salvation. According to this very popular interpretation, an unbeliever must sell (buy or work for) ALL he has to obtain  eternal life. This goes against all that God has to say! We CANNOT buy, NOR work for our salvation! It is a “GIFT’ as we have already discussed. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9  Not of works, lest any man should boast. (KJV)  . . . Salvation is a gift from God, NOT a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. We CANNOT work for or buy our salvation; God plainly states it is a GIFT (something given or bestowed; a present). Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV) . . .  IF the “treasure” were the Gospel, and the “man” the unsaved sinner, then this parable teaches that it is necessary for the sinner to buy the whole world in order to obtain salvation of our souls. Does this make sense to you? According to God’s Word, it does not! Christ Jesus and our salvation are NOT for sale! This interpretation directly contradicts the heart of the Gospel.

This is what I consider to be CORRECT:  The TREASURE in the FIELD (world) is Israel. Israel is called a “treasure” in Scripture, and not only a treasure, but a peculiar (belonging to only One) treasure. Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: [KJV]  Psalm 135:4  For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. [KJV] . . .  “Jacob” is Israel.
         
Matthew 13:44 states that the “treasure” is “hid in a field.” She (Israel) indeed is hidden, scattered by God, from one corner of the earth to the other because of her disobedience. (See: Jer.16:15; 24:9) Deuteronomy 30:4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: (KJV) Isaiah 11:12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (KJV) Jeremiah 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. [KJV] . . . ISRAEL is still God’s “treasure” no matter what the world thinks. God loves Israel; He always has loved her, and He always will love her.

The MAN has not changed. The MAN is still Jesus! The MAN has been the Son of Man (Mt.13:37) in every parable so far, and is here also! The symbol is the same. Matthew 13:44 says that the MAN sold all that He had in order to purchase the FIELD wherein the TREASURE is hidden. Jesus did indeed give all for the treasure. He gave His life to redeem the nation Israel. He purchased that TREASURE with His life’s Blood!
         
Israel is still hidden in the field; the fig tree withered by the Lord’s curse because she was unfruitful. Matthew 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. [KJV] . . . But when Jesus returns, He will at that time claim what is His; His Treasure, Israel.

PARABLE OF THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE.

Matthew 13:45-46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: [46] Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. [KJV] . . . Again, we have a MAN (merchant man). He is not the unsaved sinner, for the same reason as above. This MAN is still the same as in all the other parables, Jesus! We are not required to sell anything to obtain salvation! Notice that the Man found ONE pearl, of great price, and went and sold all that He had to buy it. The PEARL OF GREAT PRICE is none other than the True church (the Body of Christ).
         
Let us consider the pearl, and how it comes into being. It is not a stone like a diamond or gem that can be enhanced by cutting it. Cutting a pearl in any way would ruin it. Pearls are formed by a living creature, an oyster. When a tiny grain of sand or other foreign matter embeds itself between the live oyster and its shell, it causes great pain to the creature. In response to the pain, the oyster sends out a secretion to coat the sand (intruder).The fluid eases the pain and discomfort temporarily, but soon, the pain starts again. Again, the oyster sends out the secretion to coat the sand, and again, the pain stops for a while. Each time the oyster sends out the fluid to coat the sand, the result is a layer of the pearl. The pearl has countless layers, as does the church have countless members, known only by our supreme and sovereign God. The church is from the pain of our dear Saviour; the pearl from the pain of the oyster. As the grain of sand or foreign matter intrudes the oyster and causes it great pain; our sin intrudes the heart of Christ and causes Him great pain. He sends out His righteousness to cover us (and our sin) in the sight of God, as the oyster sends out its secretion to soothe the pain from its intruder. We (the church) are the workmanship of Jesus, as is the pearl the workmanship of the oyster. The ‘pearl’ is formed by a living organism; so too, the ‘church’ is formed by a living organism (Christ). Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. [KJV] . . . The “merchant man” (Christ) sold all that He had (gave His very life’s Blood) that He might buy the “pearl” (church). Have you thanked Him today?

PARABLE OF THE NET

Matthew 13:47-50 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: [48] Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. [49] So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, [50] And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  [KJV] . . . The world is like a giant sea; and people are like the fishes. Preaching the Gospel is like casting a net into this sea, to catch something. When the “end of the world” comes, (and it will), hypocrites and true Christians shall be separated. Just as fishermen separate fishes, so too, God shall separate the wicked (unbelievers) from the just (believers). The eternal judgment and condition of those cast away shall be miserable to say the least. We dare not dictate nor try to determine just who is part of God’s Kingdom, and who is not. That is why it is so important to witness! Tell others of Jesus and His saving power! Surely, we want no one cast into the “furnace of  fire” where there shall be “wailing and gnashing of teeth.

PARABLE OF THE HOUSEHOLDER

Matthew 13:52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old. [KJV] . . . Both the Old and New Testaments are great treasures, giving wise guidlines for faith and leading us ever onward to Christ and eternal life. Anyone who brings God’s Word, must bring the new and the old!

 

*** MORE OF JESUS’ PARABLES ***
Parable of the wise and foolish builders

         

Matthew 7:24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (KJV) . . . According to the Bible, there are just two foundations upon which we can build: the ROCK, or on the sand. If you have accepted Jesus as your Saviour and Lord, you are “building on the Rock” and you are resting on Him!
1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (KJV) . . . To build “on the Rock” means to be a faithful, willing and responsible disciple, NOT a hypocrite! When we are in obedience to Christ, He becomes our Solid Foundation on which we can fully depend, to weather any and all storms of life of which we will come in contact with. It is extremely important to listen to what God’s Word says to us; but it is much more important to obey it (James 1:22-23). We can measure our spiritual growth by the effect God’s Word has on our behavior, speech and attitudes toward God and other people, and our love for each other. Do you practice what you have learned?
         
It is NOT enough for Christ to be our Master, only in word and tongue. We must believe in Christ, repent of our sin, live a life that is pleasing to Him, and we must love one another with Godly love! Only by doing this are we building and resting on the Rock. Let everyone that names the Name of Christ depart from all sin.
         
Christ is given to us (by God) for a Solid Foundation on which to build. Everything else besides Christ is sand! Some build on worldly riches, power, fame; others on an outward profession of religion, other gods; others on works, etc. There shall come a time that will try every man’s works (1 Cor.3:11-15).
When the soul goes “back unto God who gave it”  (Ec.12:7), what will happen to the hope of the hypocrite? All houses shall fall with a terrible thud, if they are not built on the Solid Foundation (the Rock), which is Christ our Lord. And they will fall when it is way too late to build another! May we be wise contractors as we build; realizing that we are building for eternity! Then nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ Jesus. Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (KJV) . . . Are you a wise builder?

PARABLE OF THE HIRED LABORERS

Matthew 20:1-16 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2  And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3  And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4  And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5  Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6  And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7  They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 8  So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9  And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10  But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11  And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12   Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13  But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14  Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15   Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16  So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. (KJV)

Jesus is quite clearly showing us what the membership rules of the “kingdom of Heaven” are. Very simply, entrance is by God’s grace alone! This parable portrays God as the landowner, the believers as the laborers (hired hands). This parable shows that although the Jews were first called into the vineyard (to be God’s chosen people), the Gospel is also preached to the Gentiles (all non-Jews), and they are admitted with equal privileges and advantages as the Jews.
         
This parable shows us: (1.) That God does not owe any man anything. (2.) That many who turn to Christ late in life, sometimes acquire, by the grace of God, great knowledge, wisdom and usefulness, just as those who were Christians from their youth. (3.) That the wages (eternal life) will be given to ALL saints, and not according to their seniority. (4.) Until we turn to Jesus, we are standing idle.
         
The “marketplace” is the world, and from there we are called by the Gospel. A person may go idle to Hell, but if you expect to go to Heaven, you must be sincere, diligent and faithful. God is not going to reward you for how much work you have done, but according to your faithfulness to Him, and to the job He has given you to do. Your reward will not be in accordance to your prominence or importance, or how great your job is; but how well and faithfully you do your job, (no matter how small you think it is.)
         
We see the nature of envy in this parable. Envy is evil. Envy is sin! Envy is malicious; it is displeased and distraught at any good that befalls another. It desires their hurt, not their good. It is bitter grief to ourselves, it is displeasing to God, and it is hurtful to others. Envy can grant neither pleasure, profit nor honor to you. Let us abstain from all envy and jealousy, and proud claims, and instead seek the salvation of our souls with fear and trembling (Phil.2:12), as a free gift from God. We should NEVER envy or begrudge, but always rejoice and praise God for His mercy and grace, to us, as well as to others.
         
Matthew 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. (KJV) . . .    In this last verse of this parable, Jesus turns the world’s values completely upside down, and backward! Do you think that the most wealthy, most powerful, most well-known or famous people in the world got where they are by being humble, inconspicuous or gentle? I would say the chances of that are very slim! BUT . . . in the realm of eternity, God has things planned quite differently than this present life. The last (in the world’s eyes) will be first . . . IF they got in last place by their choice to follow Jesus. We should not be eager to obtain benefits of this world, which are temporary, by forfeiting eternal rewards! If we are willing to serve Jesus (working in the vineyard) and make sacrifices for Him now, God will see to it we receive rewards later on (in Heaven). If we are willing to accept human disapproval here on Earth (for Christ’s sake), it is very clear that we have God’s approval. Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (KJV) . . . Jesus gently shows us how difficult it is for a person who has an abundance of this world’s riches and power to receive salvation. Anyone who eagerly desires and seeks the wealth, fame and power of this world, will never give Christ and His grace their rightful place in their heart. On the other hand, salvation of those souls who have little in this world, and leave it for Christ, will receive from God an unequaled reward in Heaven! Truly, those who are first, shall indeed be last, and those who are last (in the world’s eyes), shall be first (in God’s eyes). We may face great trials concerning our loyalty to Jesus, our Saviour and Lord. Our love for Him may cause us to give up friends and relatives. When we gain Christ and the salvation He offers, we very well could suffer for His sake, until we reach our Heavenly Home! But we MUST put Him FIRST . . . above ALL things and ALL people!
         
Matthew 10:37-38 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (KJV)
Matthew 19:29-30 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30  But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. (KJV)

To “take up your cross” is misunderstood by so many people. It simply means saying “NO” to yourself, (denying self) and saying “YES” to Christ. It is to deny your worldly wants, and follow Jesus! We MUST put Jesus FIRST in ALL things, IF we are to be worthy of Him! In the end, we will never be sorry! Let us be content in whatsoever state God has placed us, and guard against the love of riches and possessions (which is to covet). Our Heavenly inheritance is not given as earthly ones are, but according to God’s pleasure.

PARABLE OF THE TWO SONS
         

Matthew 21:28-32 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. [29] He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. [30] And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. [31] Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. [32] For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.  [KJV]
Have you ever wondered why Jesus so often taught by the use of parables? Parables can give reproof (scold, correct), they speak plainly to offenders, and parables judge people by their own words. The parable of the two sons who were requested to work in the vineyard, was a terrible insult to the ‘religious’ rulers. Our Lord, Jesus, plainly stated that tax collectors and prostitutes (great sinners in the Jews’ eyes) would get to Heaven before they did! This parable teaches that those who would not accept John’s (the Baptist) baptism to be of God, were shamed by those who did accept it. The rulers did NOT accept it, but repentant sinners did!
         
Does this parable apply to us today? Most certainly! Everything in the Bible applies to us in one respect or another. Many people ‘join’ church, go to worship services, and are considered ‘religious.’ They ‘profess’ that they are Christians, but in fact, they are not! If you were to take a survey, and ask 100 people if they were Christians, I would say that 99 of them would say yes. But, if you take C-h-r-i-s-t out of Christian . . . what do you have left? Nothing, my friend! A TRUE Christian must have accepted Christ as their Saviour and Lord, must possess Him in their heart, or their professing to be a Christian is all hypocrisy! They are liars! The tax collectors and prostitutes in this parable recognized their sinfulness, and came to Christ for forgiveness and salvation of their souls; whereas the pious religious rulers are like those today who are all show and no go (all goody, goody on the outside but no Christ on the inside).
         
The so-called Christian society of today are like the sons in this parable. Some have openly rebelled against God, but later repent and obey Him; while others seem trustworthy and valid in their obedience to God; while in fact, they do not obey God.  Oft’ times, the smart-Alek rebel is brought to repentance and becomes the Lord’s servant, while the formalist continues to harden in pride and enmity. Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (KJV)  Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: (KJV)
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (KJV) . . . Stay away from people like that.

PARABLE OF THE WICKED HUSBANDMAN

Matthew 21:33-45  Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: [34] And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. [35] And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. [36] Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. [37] But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. [38] But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. [39] And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. [40] When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? [41] They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. [42] Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? [43] Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. [44] And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. [45] And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.  [KJV] . . . The symbols in this parable are: (1.) the landowner is God, (2.) the vineyard is Israel, (3.) the tenants are the Jewish religious leaders, (4.) the landowner’s servants are the prophets and priests who remained faithful to God and preached to Israel, (5.) the son is Jesus, and (6.) the other tenants are the Gentiles (all non-Jews). Jesus comes right to the point in this parable. He was exposing the religious leaders’ murderous plot to kill Him. He was giving them a final warning.
         
This parable plainly sets forth the sin and ruin of the Jewish nation. What Jesus spoke to convict them, is to be used as a warning to all that enjoy the privileges of the ‘church.’ We need to remember that the way we treat God’s people, would be the same as we would treat Christ Himself, if He were with us (Matthew 25:40, 45). If we remain faithful to Christ and His cause, we cannot expect a favourable reception from a wicked world, or from the millions of ungodly professors of so-called ‘Christianity’ (cults)!
         
Our Saviour declares that the Lord of the vineyard will come, and when He comes He will destroy the wicked. The chief priests and the elders were the builders, and they would not accept His doctrine or His laws. They cast Him aside as a refused stone (Psalm 118:22). He who was rejected by the Jews (John 1:11), but He was warmly embraced by the Gentiles (non-Jews). Christ Jesus knows who will bring forth Gospel fruits. The unbelief of sinners (Jew or Gentile) will bring about their utter ruin. But God graciously restrains His wrath that more souls might come to Jesus. May Christ become more precious to our souls each day, for He and He alone is the firm Foundation and Cornerstone of His church. May we follow Him willingly, though we are despised and hated for His sake.

PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE

Matthew 24:32-34  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: [33] So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. [34] Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.  [KJV]
The “fig tree” is the nation of Israel (Jeremiah 24; Hosea 9:10). In Matthew 24, Christ foretells His Second Coming. When you read the ‘things’ which will happen before Christ returns, you know His Coming is not far away. (Also see 2 Timothy 3:1-7; 4:1-4). It was common for prophets to speak of things as near, and just at hand, to express the certainty of them; for we do not know when we will die. The Day of Judgment to you, is the day of your death (Hebrews 9:27), for there is NO second chance! 
         
At some point in time, all sinners will be mourners; repenting sinners humbly seeking Christ, and impenitent sinners shall see Him whom they have pierced. Although they laugh and scoff at our precious Saviour now, the day shall come when they shall mourn and weep in endless horror, agony and despair.
         
At Christ’s First Coming, He was a poor, humble servant (Matthew 8:20), who was looked down upon, laughed at, scorned, ridiculed, mocked, spit on, beaten almost beyond recognition, and finally crucified on a horrendous Cross. But at His Second Coming, things won’t be that way! He shall come as KING and Almighty Judge!
         
The elect of God (Israel) are scattered abroad, the world over. God has declared that the Jews would never cease to be a distinct people. His prophecy reaches to the day of final judgment; and my friend, it is impossible for the Jews to ever be destroyed (Jer.31:37). Men of the world have schemed for thousands of years to try to eliminate the Jews; Pharaoh, Haman, Hitler; none of whom were able to destroy them. The suddenness of our Saviour’s Coming shall bring fear to many hearts. What about you? Are you prepared to meet Him? Are you ready to stand before Him? ISRAEL is the key to end time events. Keep your eyes on Israel.

PARABLE OF THE MARRIAGE FEAST
         

Matthew 22:2-14 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, 3  And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. 4  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. 5  But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: 6  And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. 7  But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8  Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11  And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12  And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13  Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14  For many are called, but few are chosen. (KJV)
Two invitations were sent when feasts were given in the Old Testament. The first asked the guests to attend; the second stated that all was ready. In this parable, the king invited his guests three times . . . and every time they rejected his invitation. It is quite obvious that the “King” in this parable is God. The “guests” that were invited was the nation Israel. Verses 5 and 6 refers to Israel’s rejection of God’s invitation, by killing His messengers (including the Lord Jesus Himself). Verse 7 is undoubtedly referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by Titus. Verse 8 shows God is not happy about the rejection, and verses 9 and 10 shows God’s reaching out to the Gentiles.
         
God wants us to join Him at His feast, which will last for eternity. That’s why He sends us invitations again and again. Have you accepted His invitation?
         
It was customary in those days, for wedding guests to be given clothes to wear to the feast. To refuse to wear these garments would greatly insult the host. The wedding clothes symbolizes the ‘righteousness’ we need to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Christ provides this garment of righteousness for everyone, but each person must choose to put it on in order to enter the King’s banquet (eternal life). Many are called to the marriage feast (salvation), but few choose to put on the wedding-garment (the righteousness of Christ). Far too many refuse the invitation altogether; and then there are those who try to ‘go to the feast’ with their ‘own clothes’ which cannot be done! No one has the wedding-garment by nature, nor can they form it for themselves. 
         
Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.  [KJV] . . . God sends out an open invitation to all; but we must be willing to accept the invitation, and ready to put on the marriage clothes. Whether or not you accept the wedding garment is completely up to you! But, I must warn you, if you do not accept it, you, like the man in the parable will one day have no reply (excuse). You too, like he will be “speechless” in the presence of Almighty God, when He sentences you to an eternity in Hell, where there shall be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” You can access this marriage feast (eternity in Heaven), ONLY on the King’s terms!

PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS
         

Matthew 25:1-13 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (KJV)

Jesus told this and the next two following parables to make more clear what it means to “be ready” for His return and just how we should live until He does come. In the story of the ten virgins (bridesmaids), He teaches that every person is responsible for his or her own spiritual condition. NO parable by itself, can completely describe exactly how we should prepare; instead, each of these three parables portrays just a part of the completed picture.
         
This parable is about a wedding. In those days, on the wedding day the bridegroom went to the bride’s house for the ceremony; then the bride and groom, along with all the guests, returned to the groom’s house where a feast took place; which often lasted a full week.
         
These ten virgins were waiting to join the procession to go back to the groom’s house, and they hoped to take part in the wedding banquet. But when the groom did not come at the time he was expected to come; five of them ran out of oil for their lamps. By the time they had bought oil to replenish their lamps, it was too late to join the feast.
         
When Jesus returns at the Rapture to take His people home to Heaven (His House), we must be ready. This preparation for our spiritual condition cannot be bought or borrowed at the last minute. Our relationship with God must be our own; it must be a ‘personal’ thing. As Christians we “profess” to serve Christ, to honor Him, to love Him, also to be waiting for His Coming. TRUE Christians are the wise virgins, and hypocrites are the foolish ones. Many profess Christ with their mouth, but do not have Him in their hearts. Their hearts are not filled with holy attitudes, brought about by the Spirit of God. The “oil” in this parable symbolizes the Holy Spirit of God! Our light must shine before men in good works; so we must keep enough oil on hand. We must not run out of oil for our lamps! Let the Spirit control your life, and in doing so, your light most certainly will shine out to all.
         
They all slumbered and slept, but the wise virgins kept their lamps burning. The difference between the wise and foolish virgins is that some had the Holy Spirit and some did not.
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (KJV) . . . Those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians. Far too many Christians grow negligent and neglectful in their relationship with God; and one careless slip up makes way for another. Continual slumber will lead to spiritual decay. When Christ comes at the Rapture, will we be ready? Will we be prepared? Even those best prepared for death have work to do to actually get ready. 2 Peter 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. (KJV) . . . The day of the Rapture should greatly concern us. Just how will our Lord find us when He returns? If you are living short of the true grace of God, you will certainly be grasping for it in that day. An outward profession of faith may light a man’s path in this world, but “the valley of the shadow of death” will put out all such lights. Those that would be saved, must have grace of their own; and those that have most grace, have none to spare. The best Christians always need more wondrous grace from Christ. Only those that are made ready here in this life shall go to Heaven. Should our death come with great suddenness by some freak accident, or should Christ come for the church at the Rapture, nothing will hinder our happiness, if we have been prepared.
         
Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. (KJV) . . . When the door is shut . . . and one day it shall be so (Gen.6:3; Mat.25:41; Luke 13:25,27; 1 Thes.5:19); many will seek to gain admission into Heaven, but it will be too late! The vanity of the hypocrites, that causes them to have confidence, will lead them in hopes of happiness, but the unexpected summons of death one day will alarm these false Christians. These will knock and cry out: “Open to us” but to no avail! The “Bridegroom” (Jesus) will answer: “I don’t know you!” (Mat.7:22-23; 25:12). What a sad and miserable time this will be for them! We must proceed without delay to get our lives in order, for His grace will cause our light to shine more brightly; while the hypocrite’s life shows that his lamp is getting dimmer by the minute. We should watch and tend to the business of our souls. Be in the fear of the Lord all the day long, every day you live, for we know not when the Bridegroom will come! Are you ready? Are you a “wise virgin”?  Do you want Jesus to say:  “I don’t know you.” The “virgins” represent all Christians, male and female!

PARABLE OF THE TALENTS
         

Matthew 25:14-30 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16  Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18  But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20  And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21   His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22   He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23  His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26   His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (KJV)

Talents” here symbolizes whatever God has given to us, be it money or gifts He gives to His children. If we bury our “talent” (gold) we are NOT being a faithful servant. We are to USE it to glorify God and better the church. Everyone who has ever lived will one day stand in the awesome Presence of Almighty God to give account of just what they did with what God has given them.
         
Determine just what your “talent” is that God has given you; and be faithful in your use of it. God gives more to some people than to others; but if He gives more, He will require more of you! If we have one talent or many talents, God expects faithfulness!

Jesus is coming back . . . this is a true FACT!  It means we are to use our time, talents and treasures diligently in order to serve God completely and faithfully in whatever we do. For some people, this may mean changing professions. For most of us, it means doing our daily work out of love for God. Christ wants no servants of His to be idle. We have received our all from Him; we have nothing we can call our own . . . only our sin. When we accept Christ to save us, from sin and Hell, we automatically become His servants. We are given the Holy Spirit, which is a great blessing and profit! The day of account will finally come just as surely as if it had already happened! Our account with God will be brought into light. The good we have brought to our own souls, the good we have done to others, is by the advantages we have enjoyed from God’s mercy and grace. Our natural powers cannot entitle us to God’s Divine grace. It is our liberty and privilege to be employed as our Redeemer’s servant. We should promote His glory, and the good of His people. The love of Christ constrains us to no longer live to ourselves, but to Him that died for us, and rose again. Some complain that God requires too much of them. The fact is, they hate the character and work of the Lord. The lazy servant will be deprived of his talent. We must be ever so careful of our spiritual investments. We all want one day to hear our Lord say to us: “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.” (Verse 21). The parable of the talents shows the necessity of using well and wisely what God has entrusted to us each day we live, for we do not know when Christ shall return!

PARABLE OF THE SHEEP AND THE GOATS
         

Matthew 25:31-46 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32  And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33  And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38   When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39   Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43  I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV)

This parable vividly portrays the last judgment. Jesus used sheep and goats to picture the division between believers and unbelievers. Sheep and goats grazed together but were separated when it came time to shear the sheep. (Ezekiel 34:17-24 also refers to separation).
         
This parable describes acts of mercy we all can do every day. These acts do not depend on wealth, ability, or intelligence; but are simple acts freely given. There is no excuse for us to neglect those who have needs. We cannot pass over this responsibility to the church or someone else. Jesus demands our personal involvement in caring for others’ needs (Isaiah 58:7-8).
         
God will absolutely separate His obedient followers (sheep), from ALL pretenders, hypocrites, and unbelievers (goats). The hallmark of a TRUE Christian is the fact that he or she does whatsoever the Lord asks. The evidence of our belief (our faith), is the way we act and the way we treat others. All persons we encounter are to be treated as if that person were Christ Himself! This is no easy task! How we treat others demonstrates what we really think about Jesus, and His Words to us . . .  feed the hungry, look after the sick, visit those in prison. Does your life separate you from pretenders and unbelievers?
         
The point of this parable is not the who but the what . . . the importance of serving where service is needed. We should love every person and serve anyone we can, as did Jesus. Loving, being gentle, kind and patient, and helping others, glorifies God by reflecting our love for Him.

Eternal punishment takes place in Hell (the lake of fire), the place of punishment after death for all those who refuse to repent and believe God. Hell is the final and eternal state of the wicked after the resurrection and the last judgment. When Jesus warns against unbelief, He is desperately trying to save us from eternal, agonizing punishment.
         
This parable is a clear description of the last judgment. It explains the previous parables. There is a sure judgment to come, in which every man shall be sentenced to a state of everlasting happiness, OR everlasting misery. Christ shall come, not only in the glory of His Father, but in His own glory, as KING and Judge. The wicked and Godly dwell together here on Earth, in the same cities, the same churches, the same families; and they are not always known one from the other. The hypocrite is very ‘religious’ and pious. They are very good at fooling people. The many weaknesses of saints and the hypocrisies of sinners makes it hard to discern ‘sheep’ from ‘goats’ here on Earth at times. But, death takes both, and in that day they will be parted for ever. Christ Jesus is the great Shepherd; He will one day distinguish between those that are His, and those that are not His! You CANNOT fool Him! All other (earthly) distinctions will be done away with; but the great one between saints and sinners, the holy and the unholy, will remain for ever. The happiness and joy that the saints “sheep” shall possess will be unequaled. The wicked “goats” are condemned sinners, and in vain, they will make excuses. The punishment of the wicked will be everlasting punishment; their final state cannot, nor will not, be altered in any way whatsoever (Isaiah 38:18; Luke 16:26; Hebrews 9:27). Life and death, good and evil, blessings and curses, are clearly set before us, that we may choose our own way; and whatever way we choose, so shall our end be. Please, do choose wisely!

PARABLE OF THE LOST SHEEP
         

Matthew 18:11-14 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. [12] How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? [13] And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. [14] Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.  [KJV]
Why did Jesus come? To “save that which is lost.” Save is a ‘key’ word in this parable!
What causes the Lord’s “sheep” to go astray? We must consider the deceit and malice of Satan, and just how cunning he really is. We also must consider how weak we are, and the depravity of our hearts. God tells us our heart is deceitful! Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (KJV) God clearly permits offenses for wise and holy reasons; so that those who truly love the Lord, and those who do not, might be revealed.
God tells us plainly that there will be seducers, tempters, persecutors and bad examples. We should always be on guard. We should do our very best not to go astray, not to get lost in the worldly maze of sin. Christ came into the world to save souls, and He will reckon severely with those who hinder the progress of others who are looking to Jesus, so they might go to Heaven one day. Pastors and teachers who do NOT bring the whole Word of God, (Heaven and Hell) will one day stand before an awesome Judge to give account! Jesus, the Son of God came to seek and to save those who are lost. So it is plain we should be very attentive to them also!  A father takes care of all his children, but he is particularly loving and tender to little ones, and the ones who get lost.
Matthew 18:10
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. (KJV) . . . Our attitude for children must match God’s concern for them, whether they be young or old physically. We must remember, the soul has no age! Angels are assigned to watch over them, and these angels have direct access to God. These words should put the fear of God into people today, where children are taken lightly, ignored, abused, molested or aborted. We must care for all God’s children, but we must make a special effort to find those who are lost. We must reach out to all lost souls.

PARABLE OF THE CLOTH AND BOTTLES
         

Matthew 9:16-17 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. [17] Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved. [KJV] . . . If an older piece of clothing needed to be repaired, they would not use a piece of new cloth that had not been washed (so that it would shrink), for the old garment would tear all the more when it was washed, and the new cloth shrunk.
         
Neither would men put new wine into old goatskin bottles, for when the wine fermented, it would be more than likely burst the old, stiff, skin bottles. But by putting new wine into strong, new, skin bottles, both would be preserved.
         
I think what Jesus is saying to us in these verses is that the old covenant and the old dispensation of the law was ending; for He (the Substance, the Mediator, and the Messenger of the New Covenant) was here! (Isaiah 42:6; 49:8, Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24, Malachi 3:1).
John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. [KJV] . . . The Law was given through Moses; God's unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 8:6-7  But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. [7] For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. [KJV]
         
Jesus came to provide for us a new garment (that of His righteousness). There are no ‘patches’ with Jesus’ garment. Our beautiful robe will not tear, for Jesus will see to that! Only the garment He offers makes us “right” in God’s eyes. ALL our efforts (under the law) are like dirty, moth-eaten rags (Is.64:6).
         
Jesus did not come to extend or project the Old Testament Law or ‘religion.’ He came to introduce something “new” that would surely burst any old bottles! His ‘new wine’ goes into new wine skins (us). Natural man (the unbeliever) likes his “old wine” (his old religion).  Jesus brought something new, and better! His “new wine” (Gospel of grace), must be placed in a wineskin of “faith.”

Run, run and do, the Law commands, But gives me neither feet nor hands. Better news the Gospel brings, It bids me fly, and gives me wings. (Author unknown)

PARABLE OF THE UNCLEAN SPIRIT
         

Matthew 12:43-45 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44  Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. (KJV)
Jesus was describing the attitude of the nation of Israel (especially religious leaders). If you clean up your life of evil things; you must fill it with God and His things, or it is wide open for Satan to re-enter. The book of Ezra shows how the people turned away from idolatry, but did not replace it with love and obedience to God. Ridding our lives of sin is only the first step; but we must keep on going! We must then fill our lives with God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, and obedience.
         
This parable also applies to all those who hear the Word of God, and are partly reformed, but not truly converted. People decide to ‘clean up their act’ and the unclean spirit leaves for a while, but he will return (to check things out) and when he finds Christ Jesus is not there to shut him out; he goes right back into that person.
         
The hardest people in the world are unsaved church members. They ‘go to church’ and they consider themselves to be a ‘good, moral person’. They took it upon themselves to undergo ‘self-reformation’ and this is good! It is a step in the right direction. BUT they do not fill their lives with Jesus and the Word of God! They are like an empty house! And Satan and his cohorts are ready and willing to move in! The devil owns them, but they don’t recognize this fact, and they most certainly won’t own up to it.
         
To ‘reform’ means to correct, improve, become better. We can reform our lives on or own to some extent, but that does not make us a Christian! To ‘regenerate’ means to be spiritually renewed and spiritually reborn (into God’s family). We cannot do this! Jesus must do this, and He does, when we turn to Him in faith! If you have not filled your ‘house’ with Jesus, then it is open season for Satan and his unclean spirits!
John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (KJV) . . . This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, this rebirth comes from God.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9  Not of works, lest any man should boast. (KJV) . . .  Eternal life in Heaven is a Gift!
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV) . . . Eternal life in Heaven is a Gift from God and comes only through Christ Jesus!
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV)  . . . The “Father” is in Heaven. Do you want to go where He is? Do you want to go to Heaven? JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THERE!

           

PARABLE OF THE BARREN FIG TREE
         

Luke 13:6-9 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. 7  Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? 8  And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: 9  And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. (KJV)
The “fig tree” is a symbol for Israel (Hosea 9:10; Matthew 24:32). The “man” is God. The owner of the tree was sadly disappointed when there was no fruit! God has the sovereign right to “cut the tree down” if He so chooses, when there is no fruit; whether it be Israel, or us! This parable of the barren fig-tree is intended to WARN us, that except a “tree” brings forth fruit, it will be cut down. In the Old Testament, a fruitful tree was often used as a symbol of Godly living (Ps.1:3). 
         
This parable refers to the nation Israel, yes! But, it also refers to us today. God is extremely patient (back then and now). We can hope that He will bear with us a little longer, but we do not have His promise that He will. We do not know when our time to leave this Earth will come. Jesus warns what will happen to a barren tree; the kind that took valuable time and space and still produced nothing for the patient gardener. Jesus warns His listeners (and us) that God will not tolerate their (or our) lack of productivity forever.
Luke 3:9
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (KJV) . . . Every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
         
Some of Jesus’ harshest words were spoken to the religious leaders who were well respected by the people. They really did not want to change. They wanted people to honor them and to be known as religious authorities, but they did not want to change their hearts and minds. They were unproductive. Repentance must be tied to action, or it isn’t real. Faith without works is dead (James 2:17-20). Following Jesus means much more than just saying the right words; it means acting (in willing obedience) to what He tells us in His Word.  Trust and obedience are tied together in the same package!
1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (KJV)

We must be holy, both in our heart and in the way we live. ‘Holiness’ means being totally devoted or dedicated to God, set apart for His special use and set apart from sin and its influence. We are NOT to blend in with the crowd; NOT go along with the world, NOT ‘go with the flow.’ We are to be different, because God’s qualities are in our lives. We must focus on being His. All this is in direct contrast (completely opposite) to our old ways. We cannot be “holy” on our own. God gives us His Holy Spirit to help us obey and to give us power to overcome sin, and to be productive! Holiness should be the desire and duty of every TRUE child of God (Christian).

When we ‘profess’ to be Christians, we should bear fruit, for we enjoy very special treatment from God. Are you a productive tree? Or do you just take all you can get, and not give a thing in return?

PARABLE OF THE FRIEND AT MIDNIGHT
         

Luke 11:5-9 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6  For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7  And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 8  I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 9  And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.(KJV)
This parable is about prayer. I was brought up in a home where I never heard a prayer . . . ever! There was no family Bible either. I was the only one in our family who ever went to church. It was about two miles to church, and my friend and I walked, rain or shine. My father didn’t want me to go to church, so he surely wouldn’t give us a ride. It is truly strange how God works. He knew I was His!      
         
Jesus encourages us to be earnest, ardent, firm, unchanging, and sincere in our prayer time. Just what is “prayer”? It is our communicating with God, our Heavenly Father. It is simply making known to Him what is on our mind and hearts. Although He already knows, He wants to hear from us. Prayer is simply ‘talking to God’.
         
We must go to God for what we need, as a man at times goes to his neighbor or friend for help. This parable shows us: (1.) Our needs at times are great. (2.) Hospitality is a sacred duty. (3.) His relationship with his neighbor was good. (4.) If a friend will grant us our demand, by our being persistent (actually our shamelessness), God will most certainly do so. Persistence or boldness when we pray does not overcome God’s reluctance to give to us. He wants to give us good gifts. When we are persistent, it changes our hearts and minds, much more than His. It also helps us to understand and express the intensity of our need.
         
There are times when God does not answer our prayers speedily (on our timetable), yet He will answer, IF we continue to pray. God will answer in one of three ways: (1.) Yes (2.) No (3.) Wait a while. We as impatient humans nearly always expect a YES answer. When He tells us NO we think He has not answered us. And when He tells us to WAIT A WHILE, that is hard! We must ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph.5:18), and for the Holy Spirit to assist us in our prayer. This is not only necessary in order for us to pray well, but because ALL spiritual blessings start and are included in that one request. For it is by the influences of the awesome Holy Spirit that we are brought to know more about God and ourselves, to repent, believe in, and love Christ. By this we are made comfortable in this world, and are fitted for happiness in the next. ALL these blessings our heavenly Father is more than ready to bestow on every one that asks for them. There is great advantage in prayers of faith, persistence, boldness and sincerity; for it pleases the very heart of God.
         
One last comment on prayer: first we should praise God and thank Him for previous blessings; then make known our requests. Praising God first puts us in the right frame of mind to tell Him about our needs.  We should focus on several aspects of prayer: (1.) praising and thanking God (2/) its content (3/) our boldness and persistence (4/) our sincerity in our needs . . . not our greed (5.) God’s continual faithfulness to us. All too often our prayers are more like shopping lists than conversations.

God’s provision is daily. We CANNOT store it up and then cut off communication with God. He does NOT provide all of life’s needs all at one time, but day by day, just as He provided the manna in the wilderness (Exodus 16:4, 21). We should NEVER be self-satisfied. Is your strength running low? Ask yourself: “How long have I been away from the Source?”

PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN
         

Luke 10:25-37 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26   He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28  And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29  But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30  And Jesus answering said,
A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, 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 on him, 34  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. (KJV)

In this parable we learn three great principles about loving our neighbor: (1.) our lack of love is often very easy to justify, but it is never right; (2.) our neighbor is anyone (whosoever) of any race, creed, or social background and; (3.) love is action, . . . not just words (James 2:17-20).
         
There was deep hatred between Jews and Samaritans. Samaritans were the new and mixed inhabitants whom Esarhaddon (B.C. 677), the king of Assyria, brought from Babylon and other places and settled in the cities of Samaria, to replace the original inhabitants whom Sargon (B.C. 721) had removed into captivity (2 Kings 17:24; Ezra 4:2, 9-10). The Jews figured they were pure descendants of Abraham, but the Samaritans were a mixed race produced when Jews from the northern kingdom intermarried with other peoples after Israel’s exile.

DIFFERENT ATTITUDES IN THE
PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN

         
*****(1.) To the expert in religious law, the wounded man was just something to discuss.
*****(2.) To the robbers (bandits), the wounded man was someone to use and exploit. Their philosophy was, “What you have is mine.”
*****(3.) To the religious men, the wounded man was a problem to be avoided. Their philosophy was, “What I have is mine.”
*****(4.) To the good Samaritan, the wounded man was a human being worth being cared for and loved. His philosophy was, “What I have is yours” which should be the attitude of ALL God’s children.
*****(5.) To the innkeeper, the wounded man was just a customer to serve for money.
*****(6.) To Jesus, He loved all of them and all of us, and considered we were worth dying for. Love beyond degree!
         
When the needs of others are brought into view, it brings out very different attitudes in people. Jesus used this story of the good hearted and merciful (although hated) Samaritan, to clearly
show us just what attitude was acceptable to Him.

If we are truly honest with ourselves, we will often find ourselves in the place of the religious experts, with the need to learn just who our neighbor is.
Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? [KJV] . . . If we speak of eternal life, and the Way to it, in any careless way, we are taking the name of God in vain. We must be extremely careful of this.
         
No one can ever love God and their neighbor unless they have some degree of pure, spiritual love within them, and this is not possible without the converting grace of God. The proud heart of the natural man (unbeliever) strives hard against these convictions. Jesus gave us an example of a poor Jew in great distress. This poor man was attacked by thieves, who left him barely alive. Was he helped by those who should have been his friends, his own people, people who knew what God’s law stated? NO! He was cared for by a complete stranger, a Samaritan man, which the Jews greatly hated and detested, and had no dealings with, whatsoever! This shows us how the selfishness of mankind empowers all ranks, and shows us how people will make many excuses to avoid helping others.
         
The true Christian has God’s law of love written in their heart. The Spirit of Christ dwells in them, and Christ’s image has renewed their soul. This parable explains beautifully the law of loving our neighbor as ourselves (Mat.22:39), without considering nation, color, party or any other distinction. It also shows us the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward sinful, miserable men. We (without Jesus) are like this poor, distressed traveler. Satan, our thief and enemy, robs and wounds us by the wicked sin  done in us. But our blessed Jesus had compassion on us. He is our “Good Samaritan” in today’s distressful times! Jesus loves us, and gave His life for us, when a robber attacked us; and having shown us mercy, He expects us to go and do the same for our fellow man.

Are you a good Samaritan? Or are you one who turns and walks quickly away on the opposite side of the road?

PARABLE OF THE UNMERCIFUL SERVANT
         

Matthew 18:23-35 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24  And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25  But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26  The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27  Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28  But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29  And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31  So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32  Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (KJV)

In this parable of the servant who was completely forgiven, but then refused to forgive another, Jesus is painting a picture for us all. It is because God has so graciously forgiven us our debts (sins), that we MUST forgive others. If we do not forgive others, Jesus plainly states that God will NOT forgive us! Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  [KJV]

James 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. (KJV) . . . There will be no mercy for you if you have not shown mercy to others. But IF you have been merciful, then God will be merciful to you on Judgment Day.
Even though we live solely on God’s mercy and forgiveness, we are very hesitant to forgive someone when they do us a wrong. This parable shows how much provocation God takes from His family on Earth; also how stubborn, unruly and hard to manage His servants really are. Three things come to mind in this parable: (1.) How lenient and forebearing God truly is with us. Our sin debt is so great, that we are in no way able to pay it. Every sinner really   deserves the death penalty; (the wages of sin is death . . . Romans 6:23). It is the sheer folly of millions to fancy they (and not Christ) can make God satisfied for all the wrongs they have done to Him. (2.) The servant being so severe and unreasonable toward his fellow-servant. We should not take up the practice of revenge (malice). All our complaints should be brought to God, and left with Him. (3.) The master will reprove His servant’s cruelty (unwillingness to forgive).
         
We do not TRULY forgive our offending brother, IF we do not forgive from the heart. The humbled sinner relies only on free, abounding mercy and grace of Almighty God, through the ransom of the death of Christ. Let us constantly seek the renewing grace of God, so as to teach us to forgive others as we hope for forgiveness from Him.
Psalm 103:12  As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. [KJV]
Micah 7:19  He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. [KJV]
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. [KJV]
Hebrews 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. (KJV)

Forgiveness is a main principle of the Christian faith. We must truly strive for grace to forgive; to forgive others . . . like God forgives us! If God forgave us, the way we forgive others; none of us would be forgiven for all the horrible things we say and do and think! 

PARABLE OF THE MAN ON A TRIP
         

Mark 13:34-37 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (KJV)

People spend much time planning for a wedding, a career change, a vacation trip, the purchase of a home, etc. But what about the return of Christ? How much importance do you place on preparing for His return? You may never have even considered it; but His Return is the most important event in your life! The results of Christ’s Return will last for eternity! Should you gamble, by puttung off preparing for it, just because you do not know exactly when He will come? So . . . just HOW do we prepare? We must be persistent in the study of God’s Word and live by it!  Only then will you be ready. Trusting Him is not enough; we must obey!
         
The end of the world is NOT known to anyone, (for of that day and hour knoweth no man, Mat.24:36, 42). When our Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven (trip), He left something for all His servants to do. We should always be watching, expecting Him to return. This applies to Christ’s Coming: (1.) at our death, (2.) or at the Rapture. We do not know whether He will come when we are young, middle age, or old age. But, we must consider this fact; as soon as we are born, we begin to die, and therefore death must be expected. Every living thing dies! Great care must be taken that whenever our Lord comes, He may find us secure (only Jesus can make you secure). We should not be lazy or mindless of our work and duty. He tells us all, “Watch,” that you may be found secure and in fellowship with Him, in peace, without spot, and blameless. Are you ready for His coming? Are you ‘watching’ as He commanded us to do?

PARABLE OF THE RICH YOUNG RULER
         

Luke 18:18-25 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? [19] And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. [20] Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. [21] And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. [22] Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. [23] And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. [24] And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! [25] For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. [KJV]
         
Matthew’s account is the only one that states that this man was “young” (Mat.19:20). Mark’s account tells that this man “came running and kneeled to Him” (Mark 10:17), and that “Jesus beholding him loved him” (Mark 10:21). This is the only place in Scripture that comes to mind, where someone came to Jesus and left grieved (Mark 10:22). Most often, people went to Him grieved and sorrowful and left in a joyous state, but in this case it is opposite!
         
The young ruler calls Jesus “good.” Jesus quickly responds: “Why do you call me good?” I think what our Lord wants of this man is for him to think; of God and His commandments. When Jesus replies: “No one is good except God” He is NOT stating that He is not good, for He plainly states: John 10:30 I and my Father are one. (KJV) . . . Jesus is NOT admitting sinfulness when He says “Only God is good,” He is simply directing attention AWAY from Himself, and TO God!
         
Luke 18:20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. (KJV) . . . The five commandments Jesus stressed are focused on social relationships (those with man). The young man stated he had kept all of these. Jesus does not accuse him of hypocrisy, but instead delves deeper. The ruler has placed something above God, and that is his riches! In this parable Jesus is teaching us about riches, and in today’s world, it is most certainly applicable, as it was then. The young ruler was told by Jesus that he lacked one thing, and that simply boils down to a relationship with God. His many riches stood between God and himself. When Jesus told him to sell all he had and give to the poor, he could not do it. He went away very “sorrowful” (Luke 18:23).
         
Must we “sell all we have” to be right with God? NO! God does not expect us to do that. But, He does expect us to be ready to do it if He asks us to do that. We must love God (first) with our all, and love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). We must place God FIRST in all things! NOTHING must be placed before Him! We must serve God with our all! We must love each other! We must never love money, riches, possessions, etc.! That is a sin!
         
1 Tim. 6:9-10 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. [10] For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  [KJV]
         
It is sad to say, but true, that most people still think money brings happiness. Rich people crave more and more riches, and can be caught in an endless cycle that will lead only in ruin and destruction. Let’s get one thing straight! Money is NOT evil! It is the LOVE OF MONEY that is evil! How can you keep away from the love of money? Here are some guidelines that may help: (1.) one day all earthly riches and possessions will be gone (1 Tim. 6:7, 17); (2.) be content with what you have (1 Tim. 6:8); (3.) seriously consider just what you are willing to do to get more money (1 Tim. 6:9-10); (4.) love people more than money (1 Tim. 6:11); (5.) love God’s work more than money (1 Tim. 6:11); (6.) freely share what you have with others (1 Tim. 6:18) (7.) distinguish between your needs and wants.

Anyone coveting something they don’t have, and are eager and determined to pursue it, are giving Satan the opportunity of tempting them, leading them astray by dishonest means, and other bad practices. People will be drawn into MANY sins by the love of money! Love God instead! Store your treasures in Heaven where they will withstand all eternity!
Matthew 6:19-21
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [KJV]
         
Just what are “treasures” we store up in Heaven? It is anything you do for the cause of Christ (after you are saved). Anything done for Christ will stand, anything else will be burned up (1 Corinthians 3;13-15).
Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. (KJV) . . . Beware! Don't be greedy for what you don't have. Our life is not measured by how much we own.

Here are some words of wisdom someone once wrote.
Money will buy a bed, but it will not buy sleep.
Money will buy food, but it will not buy an appetite.
Money will buy medicine, but it will not buy health.
Money will buy a house, but it will not buy a home.
Money will buy a diamond, but it will not buy love.
Money will buy a church pew, but it will not buy salvation.
         
Fellowship with God, and receiving His wondrous blessings are much more important than earthly riches. Love, joy, peace, His Holy Spirit within us, knowing we have forgiveness of our sins, knowing we have a Home in Heaven! There are many more! Praise and thank Him every day you live!

PARABLE OF THE RICH FOOL
         

Luke 12:16-21 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17  And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (KJV)

Why do you want to save money? To retire? To be secure? To buy more expensive cars, houses or toys? The rich man in this parable died before he could begin to use what was stored in his big barns. Planning for retirement . . . preparing for life before death . . . is wise, but neglecting to prepare for life AFTER death is disastrous. If you accumulate wealth only to benefit yourself, and have no concern whatsoever for serving God or helping others, you will enter eternity empty-handed (Mat.6:19-21). Faith, service, and obedience are the way to become rich toward God.
         
Christ’s kingdom is spiritual, and not of this world. The rewards of Christ’s disciples are of another nature. Covetousness (greed) is a sin of which we need to be constantly warned against; for happiness and comfort do not depend on the wealth of this world. The things of the world will NOT, and CANNOT satisfy the yearnings of our soul. This parable shows the folly of carnal greed. The character shown is exactly that of a worldly man, who has NO gratitude whatsoever to God, nor does he have any right thoughts of human affairs, the worth of his soul, or the importance of eternity. There are many, even among professing Christians, who look up to similar characters as models for imitation, and not to our Saviour and Lord Jesus.  It is a huge mistake if we think that our thoughts are hidden from God. When this man saw a great crop upon his ground, instead of thanking God for it, he was in a tizzy over where to store his bumper crop. It seems the more men have, the more confusion it causes. This reaction is very common among people, even those who are Christians. All he could think of was his good fortune and indulging and gratifying his sensual appetite, with never a thought of doing something good for others less fortunate OR his eternal soul!  
         
This night thy soul shall be required of thee was God’s statement to this man. NONE of us know when our time will come. We should live this life accordingly; preparing for the life that is sure to come. The man in this parable had stored up many treasures on Earth, but NONE in Heaven! May this be a warning to us all!

OUR CLOCK

Our clock keeps ticking, the hours rush by,
We cannot stop time, no need to try.
God gives each soul, a number of days,
When our time is gone, He’ll take us away.

Then shall the dust return to the Earth,
No matter who, or how much your worth.
When our Creator beckons, we must go,
And leave all we have, here on Earth below.

But you do have an eternal spirit,
At death, your spirit will still exist.
God’s Word is as plain as it can be,
Just read with an open mind, and see.

Our spirit shall return unto God,
He gave it; He’ll take it; the world abroad.
There is no soul sleep as some do say,
Your soul is awake, for ALL your days.

Just what will God do with your spirit?
It goes back to Him, you must admit.
Will your angels carry you to Heav’n?
Or will the prison of Hades be giv’n?

Our clock keeps ticking; time on Earth is brief,
When God takes your soul, will it find relief?
Christ can grant the key to Heaven’s door,
And Hell will be gone from you, for e’er more.
****************************
By: His servant, Connie Kramer Aug.18, 1996 # 245
Scripture references for poem follows: Jer.31:35; 33:20; Ps.148:1-6; 89:37; 104:19, 29; Ec.12:7; 3:20; Gen.2:7; 1:27; Job 32:8; Ac.7:59; 2 Co.5:8; Lu.16:19-26; Phil.1:23;1Thes.4:17; 1 P.3:19-20; 1:10,24; 2 P.2:4; Jam.4:14; Ps.91:11;Heb.1:14; Jn.14:3; 17:24; 3:15-18,36;
5:24; 8:24; 14:6. Check it out!

PARABLE OF THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS
         

Luke 16:19-31 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (KJV)

Some people say: “This is just a story (fiction), and we should not take this as the truth of the Bible.” I strongly disagree. This is a story, YES, (as are all the parables) but it is NOT fictitious. I truly do believe Jesus drew this from real life. This is the only parable that has a person’s name. Jesus would NOT have used a name of someone who did not exist. This Lazarus is NOT the Lazarus Jesus brought back to life (John 11:1).
         
In this parable, we see two men of completely opposite lifestyles. One was an extremely wealthy man, the other represents the lowest possible form of poverty. The Pharisees considered wealth to be a proof of a person’s righteousness. Jesus really turns their way of thinking upside down! This parable shows how a diseased beggar is rewarded and a rich man is punished. Did the rich man go to Hell because of his wealth? An emphatic NO! He went because he was selfish; for refusing to feed Lazarus, take him in, care for him, or do ANYTHING for him. The rich man had a heart like a rock, even though he had blessings galore. The amount of money a person has is not as important as the way they use it. What is your attitude toward your money and possessions?
         
The rich man had five brothers, and he did not want them to come where he was. He thought they would surely believe someone who had been raised from the dead. But Jesus said that if they did not believe Moses and the prophets, who spoke constantly of the duty to care for the poor, not even a resurrection would convince them. Jesus made this statement, on His way to Jerusalem to die. He knew that even when He had risen from the dead, most of the religious leaders would not accept Him. Some people are so set in their ways, that neither Scripture nor God’s Son Himself would change their minds.
         
We are not told how the rich man got his wealth: by fraud, oppression, inheritance, or perhaps honestly. But Jesus plainly shows, that those who have a great deal of the wealth, splendor, power, fame and pleasure in this world, are most likely to perish for ever under God’s wrath and curse; simply because they have the same attitude as the rich man in this parable. His sin was providing only for himself (selfishness, greed).
         
The conditions of these two men AFTER death, is something we must take into consideration . . . very carefully! The rich man (because of his greed and hard heart) ends up in Hell! He lifted up his eyes, being in torment. Please NOTICE: this is immediately! The Hell here is actually Hades (the holding place of the dead). Even in Hades, the horrors and agony place him in a state of torment. The destination of Lazarus is quite different! He was “carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom” (Heaven). And again, this is immediately upon his death! When a child of God dies, he (or she) goes immediately into God’s Presence (Ecc.12:7; 2 Cor.5:8).
         
It is not probable that there are discussions between glorified saints and damned sinners, but we see in this parable the hopeless misery that all condemned spirits will experience (John 3:18). One day things will change; those who now hate God’s children, would gladly receive kindness from them. But those damned to Hell shall receive the torment that awaits them. We must realize that the wicked (those refusing Jesus) have good things only in this life, and at death will be for ever separated from all good. On the other hand, God’s children have bad and evil things only in this life, and at death they will be for ever be separated from them.
         
I am going to conclude with this last parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, but I am going to bring forth some of the poems the Lord has given me, that go along with this parable, and some of the others.

LUKE  16:23
Luke 16:23 And in Hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. [KJV]

Luke’s Gospel; sixteen, verse twenty three,
These words say so much, to you and me.
So few words, yet God’s children they bless,
Yet too, we see, the world’s wickedness.

These words show, there are two roads ahead,
One leads to bliss and comfort; one to dread.
You are on one of those roads today,
One leads to Glory Land; one Hell’s way.

The words tell us, we’ll live eternally,
In Heaven, OR in Hell, verily.
When we leave Earth, we’ll go anoth’r place,
Hell’s torment, or the Light of God’s Face!

The words reveal, you’ll have mem’ries there,
Hell will be torment; beyond compare.
You’ll wish you could live life o’er again,
But there’s no such luck; you are condemn’d.

The words say; those in Hell see Heav’n far off,
But they refused His “Gift;” God they did scoff!
There’s no turning back; once you are there,
You rejected Jesus; you did not care!

You’ll be in torment, for ever more,
Without Christ, you’ll not live on Heav’n’s shore.
No mercy; just torment, and agony,
For you cast off God’s grace, eternally!

If you are reading these words today,
It’s still not too late, God to obey.
Accept His ONE Plan, to save your soul,
Jesus will grant Heaven, as your goal!
*************************
By: His servant, Connie Kramer Mar.11, 1997 # 306
(Lu.16:19-31; Ec.12:7; Heb.9:27; Jn.3:15-18,36; 5:24; 8:24; 14:2-3,6)
Scripture reference for above poem: Lu.16:19-31; Ec.12:7; Heb.9:27;
Jn.3:15-18,36; 5:24; 8:24; 14:2-3,6.

          This next poem is quite different from any of the others God has given me. It pictures a lost soul in the depths of an agonizing Hell with memories of times they could have turned to Jesus and did not! God has placed in me, the desperate need to reach the lost ones for Jesus. When Jesus was on Earth, I think He taught more about Hell than any other subject, for the simple reason He loves people so much that He wants no one to go there! Many accuse me of teaching too much about Hell and God’s wrath and not enough about God’s love. I must teach what God places on my heart, and so often it is HELL! When I go back over the poems He has given, it amazes me as to how many are about Hell. Several years ago, I felt that I did not have a sincere care about lost souls. I asked the Lord to show me a little about what Hell was like.  Oh! How I wished I had not asked for such a thing! The poems at that time were nearly all about Hell. God answered my prayer. All poems are His poems . . . not mine! I cannot write a poem unless God gives me the words. I have tried! It’s totally useless without Him!

DIALOGUE FROM HELL

In Hades am I, awaiting judgment,
For rejecting Christ, here I was sent.
Suffering memories, as I look back,
Salvation thru’ Jesus; this I did lack.

Memories, cause great anguish to my mind,
Peace in this place, I will never find.
My unquenchable thirst is agony,
The darkness so deep, is sheer misery.

Separated from the goodness of God,
I wish on that broad road, I’d never trod.
But I had great pride, and kept on in sin,
Ne’er humbling myself, nor to Christ gave in.

To my fam’ly, PLEASE, of Jesus do tell,
That they might not come to the horrors of Hell.
Tell them just Jesus, can give Heaven’s ‘key’,
Just He can spare them from Hell’s agony.

If I could go back, I’d do diff’rently,
I’d grasp Jesus’ love, and have victory.
I would NEVER again, Jesus reject,
Too late I see, just Jesus, can protect.
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By: His servant, Connie Kramer Aug.19,1998 # 486
Scripture references for above poem: Rev.20:13; 14:11; Jn.3:15-18, 36; 5:24; 6:28-29;
8:24; 10:9; 12:48; 14:6; Luke 16:24-25, 27-31; Acts 4:12; Mt.7:13; 8:12; 18:4; 22:13;
2 Thes.1:9;1 Jn.2:16; 5:4; Jam.4:10; Ro.5:1, 10; Pro.16:18.

TRANSITION TIME
Life on Earth is a time of transition,
We must take this into consideration.
This time is given for us to decide,
Where, for eternity, we will abide!

This is a topic most tend to neglect,
And only on today, do they reflect!
I ask that you consider, seriously,
Just where will you live, for eternity?

Belief in Jesus, will place you in Heav’n,
Reject Him my friend, and Hell will be giv’n!
Believe on Jesus; God will not condemn,
Instead you will be, one of His children!

Transition from Earth, to another place,
I ask you this day, will you see His Face?
He’s not willing that any should perish,
But, His Son you must accept, and cherish!

Your soul lives forever; the Bible tells,
In Heav’n OR Hell; which place will you dwell?
Heav’n is where our awesome God does abides,
But Hell is where Satan’s children reside.

Transition time; have you thought about it?
Where will God send your eternal spirit?
For all God’s children; blissful Heav’n awaits,
But those who reject Christ will be shown Hell’s gate.
******************************
By: Connie Kramer Feb.20, 1997 # 296
Scripture references for above poem: Ec.12:7; Luke 16:22-23; Mt.10:28;
1 Cor.15:53-54; Jn.1:12; 3:15-18, 36; 5:24; 8:24, 51; 17:3; 1 Thes.4:17;
2 Tim.1:10; Gal.6:8; 2 Pet.3:9; 1 Jn.3:10; 5:10-12.

YOUR CHOICE!

The soul of man for e’er does live,
Your v’ry soul, our great God did give.
It will live for e’er, in Heav’n OR Hell,
It’s up to you, where you will dwell.

You have a choice while on this Earth,
How much do you think Christ is worth?
Jesus is God’s beloved Son,
He paid it ALL; His work’s all done!

Have you thought ‘bout eternity?
Do you want bliss? or agony?
The choice is yours; it’s up to you,
Just what, with Jesus will you do?

You have a choice, if breath’s in you,
Will you accept our Saviour so true?
Trust and accept; in Heav’n you’ll dwell,
But if you reject; you’ll go to Hell!
*********************
By: Connie Kramer Apr.4, 1996 # 194
Scripture references for above poem: Jn.3:15-18, 36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:37; 8:24; 11:26; Ec.12:7; Lu.16:22; Rev.20:4; Josh.24:15; 1 K.18:21; Ro.5:1; 10:12; Ac.5:31; 10:34-35,43; 1 Jn.2:22-23; 3:10; Heb.7:25)

1 John 5:9-13 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10  He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (KJV)

As I stated in the beginning of this book, many highly educated theologians (great scholars) will disagree with my interpretation of some (if not most) of the parables set forth in this book. That is their right, and yours, if you disagree with me. I simply must write what God lays on my heart. I constantly ask God for “wisdom and words” that I may serve Him in a pleasing manner. He chose me as His child; and then He gave me the “gift” of teaching His awesome Word! He has led me in paths I would never have taken on my own, but He has never, ever forsaken me nor left me in the times I have been serving Him. The job of teaching actually terrifies me (James 3:1), for I know I will be held accountable! But, it terrifies me much more to disobey God, so I teach what He tells me to teach. He has always equipped me to do the job He has set before me, for if He did not, I could not teach His precious Word! Praise His Holy Name, and His Holy Word!
         
May His Holy Spirit help you to discern Truth from error; not only in what I write, but in all that you hear and read. I heartily encourage you to check out everything I write with God’s Word, for I’m just human. I make mistakes, and I could certainly be wrong, but God is NEVER wrong!  God is always right!

Books You Should Read

A Loving God Would Not Send me to Hell. Would He?

???Death, THEN What???

ELIJAH!

God CANNOT Lie

God Controls His Greation

God's Wrath

???Is There Really a God???

Judgment in the Great Tribulation

Judgment IS Coming!

Living With Eternity In Mind

Me? A Pharisee???

MONEY? Is It Your God?

NOAH!

Parables of Jesus

Righteousness

Second Coming of Jesus

Sin and Forgiveness

???What Does GOD have to Say???

???What Must I Do to be saved???

Why Do I Need Christ?

Why Do We Suffer?

Wicked People Described

Home Page

For our other web sites:

http://www.godcannotlie.org

http://www.hisservants.org

Poetry . . . http://www.hisservantsministry.org . . . Poetry

http://www.judgmentcoming.org

http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org

http://www.worldlychaos.org

 

The BIBLE has the answer