GOD’S TRIUNE NATURE
God is light (1 John 1:15). He is the light of the world (John 8:12). Jesus took more than three years to explain Himself to the apostles. I shall attempt to explain God’s triune nature of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three separate persons in just a few pages. They are a true trinity, three yet one in thought and deeds, even as Moses declared, ‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD‘ (Deuteronomy 6:4). In the cultural darkness of this world They are the light of the world who refuse to be hidden though Satan attempts to hide them by deceit. Their light shall prevail! May God illuminate your spirit.
The three members of the Godhead are often referred to as the Trinity, though the Bible never uses the word, but we can deduce the reality of the trinity very easily from the scriptures, especially from the New Testament. When God said ‘Let us make man in Our image‘ He meant US, plural. The name of God used in the first chapters of Genesis, Elohim, is a plural word in the Hebrew language. The prophet Agur knew that God had a son as did King David, which the apostle Peter used very effectively in his sermon on the day of Pentecost.
‘Who has gone up to Heaven and has come down? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in His garments? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name and what is His Son’s name? Surely you know‘ (Proverbs 30:4).
‘Therefore, being exalted to the right of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured out this which you now see and hear. For David has not ascended into the heavens, but he says himself, “The LORD said to my Lord, sit at My right hand until I place Your enemies as a footstool to Your feet”. Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God made this same Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ‘ (Acts 2:33-36).
The members of the Trinity love and honour each other. They are never bored. Sometimes silence is golden – we don’t always have to talk. God wants to share with us Their love and friendship as we express our thanks and love in return. They want a personal relationship with us. So as I give you understanding as to who They are individually, I desire for you to realize that through Christ They have opened themselves to have the same kind of relationship with us. They are God, we will never be, but that makes no difference. We are the Father’s children and a brother or sister to Christ. This is why They chose to make us in Their image (Genesis 1:27).
What I am about to present is a composite essay of:
1. What was publicly taught in sermons at my home church. 2. My own insights gained from the Lord. 3. Public events held by various other congregations since 1976.
We shall also investigate the mystery of the Star of David that can only be understood through Christ.
GETTING TO KNOW GOD BETTER
1. God’s Fatherhood
Have you ever wondered why it has to be the Father, Son, and His or Him when referring to any member of the Godhead? Why not mother and daughter? Why can’t the Holy Spirit be motherly? Why are all the named patriarchs males, scriptural genealogy mostly that of males, the apostles of the lamb males, angels look male (though some of us have personally experienced angels that took up the bodily form of a woman) and most elders and preachers are male ?
I am aware that there is a movement in Swedish churches to remove all reference to gender when referring to any member of the trinity. I can see why they want to do it because God is spirit and has no gender, except for one important fact. There now is gender in the Godhead because, when Yahweh Son who was spirit became the Son of Yahweh, He took on male form. Yahweh Son, the Word, now dwells in human flesh, in the flesh of Jesus. I am convinced that there is neither sex nor marriage in heaven, but when the resurrected Jesus spent 40 days with His disciples He appeared as a male in outer form. Nobody can deny that. The apostles and the women accepted Him as a male, the Jesus they had known. In the resurrection I am convinced that in our new bodies we shall retain a female or male characteristic about ourselves, but to what extent is anybody’s guess. Sex and sexual attraction will no longer be on our agenda.
Having said that, we remember that God is spirit. Following the resurrection the only flesh in the Godhead is Jesus Himself, fully God and fully man. Knowing that in our present state we would not understand heavenly things God uses Father-Son, headship and marriage analogies; the only analogies we can faintly hope to grasp while we are in our mortal bodies on earth. We shall only truly know Him once we meet Him face to face. Nevertheless, the scripture says that we can know in part.
- ‘For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known‘ (1 Corinthians 13:12).
So what can we say? Biologically speaking, males are givers of seed and females are receivers of seed. God uses nature to teach spiritual principles. We are born of women, but the immediate seed comes from the man. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are givers! The Father gives the incorruptible seed of which we are born from above. He gives us the Word. The Son and Holy Spirit are also givers of life and gifts.
We who receive are referred to in the feminine – we are of His body, but made to be His bride, the church. Just like Eve was formed from Adam’s side so the church was formed from His side when the blood and water poured forth. We all participated in piercing Him. We do it daily.
Just as in a normal godly marriage, we are given opportunity as the bride to initiate certain matters and busy ourselves to supplement, expand and complement the work of the husband – to bring home the fruit of her hands; like a virtuous wife described in the scripture, the woman becomes His crowning glory (Proverbs 12:4; 31:10-31). Supplementing this analogy, the scripture also calls us sons because, in love and obedience to the Father, we can offer to God and to one another.
- ‘For your Maker is your husband; Jehovah of Hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called‘ (Isaiah 54:5).
‘But the Jerusalem from above is free, who is the mother of us all‘ (Galatians 4:26). ‘And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come; and he who is hearing–let him say, Come; and he who is thirsting–let him come; and he who is willing–let him take the water of life freely‘ (Revelation 22:17, YLT).
- ‘No one shall appear before me empty‘ (Exodus 23:15).
2. His Name: One, yet the sum of all diversity. He is the origin of first love.
When ‘I AM’ proclaims His name as ‘Yahweh’, He reveals Himself as One. The Jewish people recite daily the words of Moses, ‘Hear, Oh Israel. The Lord (Yahweh, Jehovah, JHVH) is our God, the Lord is One‘ (Deuteronomy 6:4). We absolutely agree. I AM that I AM explains the word Yahweh. I AM is different to the word ‘I’ in Hebrew. I AM is a single word. When Jesus said I AM in the garden of Gethsemane the arresting crowd fell backwards (John 18:6). Had they really understood they would have run away ashamed of themselves. However, the Father blinded them and blinded Satan as well, because His lamb had to go all the way to the altar to be slain.
- ‘Yet it pleased Yahweh to bruise him. He has caused him to suffer. When you make his soul an offering for sin, he will see his offspring. He will prolong his days, and Yahweh’s pleasure will prosper in his hand‘ (WEB, Isa 53:10).
When I AM proclaims His name as ‘Yahweh Elohim‘ (LORD God – in Hebrew, KJV) He reveals Himself to be three individual and distinct Persons in one Godhead. Elohim is a plural in Hebrew; One life yet three distinct expressions. The three live in a fellowship of one life and one spirit. ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come‘ (Revelation 4:8). Each is holy. That is why ‘Holy’ is repeated three times!
- ‘And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness‘ (Gen 1:26). In this case the Hebrew word for God is Elohim, the plural. This came from the counsel of the Trinity.
The clearest expression of God (Elohim) is when for a brief moment in time God revealed Himself as three Persons during the baptism of Jesus. The Father spoke from heaven, while Jesus was on earth rising from the water, as the Holy Spirit in the symbolic form of a dove alighted on His head baptizing Him with the person of the Holy Spirit. What clearer image of the Trinity could one ask for?
- ‘And the Holy Spirit came down in a bodily shape, like a dove on Him. And a voice came from Heaven, which said, You are My Son, the Beloved; I am delighted in You‘ (Luke 3:22).
Yahweh is the personification of love. They never act independently. Two always honour and offer to the third. For example, the Father and the Holy Spirit gave Jesus to empty Himself. Jesus, now vulnerable and incarnate as a baby, had to absolutely trust the Father and the Holy Spirit to raise Him again to the glory He had before. The members of the Godhead are co-equal in every aspect yet different in expression.
‘I have glorified You upon the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now Father, glorify Me with Yourself with the glory which I had with You before the world was‘ (John 17:4-5).
This is known as First love or Love at the First. It is from this quality of trust and dependence on each other from which the presbytery (Angelos) at Ephesus had fallen.
‘But I have against you that you left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen and repent, and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and will remove your lampstand out of its place unless you repent‘ (Revelation 2:4-5). The lampstand was their source of divine illumination. In the Old Testament Tabernacle the lampstand provided the only source of light in the Holy Place. In the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the apostle John Jesus treated each lampstand as the church in a local region.
Jesus is the light. Even if some semblance of the old tabernacle is rebuilt in Jerusalem it will only be a place of grievous idolatry. The chief role of the tabernacle and Solomon’s Temple was the spilling of innocent animal blood foreshadowing the blood of Christ for atonement. ‘But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right of God‘ (Hebrews 10:12).
Jesus and the Father are co-equal and in perfect union. Jesus can only do what He sees the Father doing; Whatever the Father does, the Son does too (John 5:19).
‘I and the Father are one! ….If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me. But if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works so that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me and I in Him‘ (John 10:30,38).
3. Fellowshipping with God
We cannot know Yahweh apart from fellowship in communion with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
The apostle John began his first letter, ‘What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ‘ (1 John 1:3). It is the Holy Spirit who enables and convinces us to come into fellowship. Our inclusion in this fellowship is the greatest privilege and honour that has been given to Christians. The prophet Hosea declared, ‘So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord‘ (Hosea 6:3).
Prayer is vital, of course. Jesus recommends we address the Father in prayer just like He always did (Matthew 6:9). Enabled by the Holy Spirit, we worship the Father and the Son.
He is the source of all giving and life. He possesses the capacity to set apart from Yahweh other spiritual identities (mankind, the angels), to whom He is able to give gifts. His name describes Himself – He is the giver of life. He desires to multiply many sons to glory. As such, it is impossible for the Father to empty Himself in any way. We are born by Him, born from above, through the incorruptible seed of the word of God via Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus never followed His own will or did His own works. He only followed the will of the Father. Even His miracles were the works of the Father! ‘I must work the works of Him (the Father) who sent Me, while it is day.’ (John 9:4)
‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness nor shadow of turning‘ (James 1:17).
‘You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden‘. (Matthew 5:14)
‘And this is the record that God (the Father) has given to us everlasting life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.‘ (1John 5:11-12)
‘Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue, through which He has given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, so that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also in this very thing, bringing in all diligence, filling out your faith with virtue, and with virtue, knowledge; and with knowledge self-control, and with self-control, patience, and with patience, godliness, and with godliness, brotherly kindness, and with brotherly kindness, love. For if these things are in you and abound, they make you to be neither idle nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he in whom these things are not present is blind and cannot see afar off and has forgotten that he was purged from his sins in the past‘ (2Peter 1:2-9).
He is the full expression of sonship desiring to fulfill the Father’s will from before the beginning. Only He can, and did, empty Himself of all His former glory to become the Son of God and made room for us in Him. In the resurrection of the godly and the ungodly, at the final judgement, the Father will only recognize those who are in Him. His Son alone is worthy! Everyone else in the whole Universe will be excluded. This is a stark reality that all must learn to grasp because God is Holy.
Jesus declared Himself to be the one and only doorway by which we can enter for salvation. No one can come to the Father directly and circumvent the Son. We see and come to Jesus first. Jesus help me, save me, we cry! Jesus is our redeemer. Those who try to come to the Father, without the blood of Jesus that was shed for them, will find themselves judged by the Law of Moses (John 5:45). Who can satisfy the law in every single aspect, 24 hours per day, every single day of their lives? Impossible!
‘Then Jesus said to them again, truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters in by Me he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture.’ (John 10:7-9)
‘…be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, in this name does this man stand before you whole. This is the Stone which you builders have counted worthless, and He has become the Head of the Corner. And there is salvation in no other One; for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved ‘ (Acts 4:10-12).
God the Son created the universe. The Father couldn’t empty to make the space, but God the Son, the Word, could. The Holy Spirit couldn’t do it – the Holy Spirit only does what He hears from the Father.
‘….who (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the First-born of all creation. For all things were created in Him, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the Head of the body, the church, who is the Beginning, the First-born from the dead that He may be pre-eminent in all things (Colossians 1:15-18).
‘He was in the world, and the world was made by Him (or in some translations through Him), and the world knew Him not‘ (RV, John 1:10).
Yahweh Son humbled Himself to become incarnate in the womb of Mary – The Son of Man who could feel all the temptations of the flesh; Hunger, thirst, pain, suffering and become exasperated. He became the Father’s lamb for our sake. His blood dropped to the ground all the way from Gethsemane where He sweated clots of blood, to Calvary.
A spiritual transaction took place when He poured out His blood for all who would believe on Him. His life that was in His blood is transferred to all who believe. Remember the scripture that ‘the life of the flesh is in the blood‘ (Lev 17:11). The blood is not His life, but His life was in the blood – a subtle difference. The transfer of His life to those who choose to believe is a miraculous spiritual process that continues until the present time.
At His resurrection He received the power and authority of His former glory. He brought new creation into the heavens. As fully man and fully God, he brought flesh into the Godhead. Staggering thought – the triune Godhead was only Spirit before. By faith, a further spiritual transaction takes place each time at our communion tables. We must not treat communion just as a ritual of remembrance, as many do.
‘Then Jesus says to them, truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. Whoever partakes of My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who partakes of My flesh and drinks My blood dwells in Me and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me, and I live through the Father, so he who partakes of Me, even he shall live by Me. This is the Bread which came down from Heaven, not as your fathers ate the manna and died; he who partakes of this Bread shall live forever‘ (John 6:53-58).
‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood. And I have given it to you on the altar to make an atonement for your souls. For it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul‘ (Leviticus 17:11).
‘But we all, with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord Spirit‘ (Corinthians 3:18).
Christ also gives gifts. To the church He continually gives apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists and teachers for the purpose of equipping and perfecting members of the church unto the fullness of the stature of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 4:11-13). Many are being processed.
John the Baptist prophesied that Christ is also the giver of the Holy Spirit. Receiving the Holy Spirit is a two-step process. This is illustrated in the experience of the disciples at the time of Jesus and verified by examples set by the apostles in the New Testament. The second step is optional, just like water baptism by immersion is optional. Yet those who participate in them consider their experience as growing in Christ. Who knows how God will look upon those who have wilfully resisted to proceed and grow in Christ?
Note the first phase, which occurs when we are first born from above. The resurrected Christ breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit‘ (John 20:22). From then on the Holy Spirit was with them. The second phase came when He commanded his disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they be endued with power. Ten days later the Holy Spirit fell on them with a great noise and power. (Acts 2). This is what the Baptist referred to when he said ‘ He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire‘ (Mat 3:11). Of the 500 disciples who heard only 120 obeyed and followed through. In scripture 10 is the number of testing. 120 signifies the end of all flesh. Baptism in the Spirit is an unforgettable experience and opens the door to the nine supernatural power gifts of the Holy Spirit. He wants each of us to possess some of them. The apostle Paul exercised at least seven power gifts, if not all of them, according to need.
We have the assurance of eternal life when we live and have our being in Him. ‘Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in him and he in God’ (1 John 4:15).
YAHWEH HOLY SPIRIT
He is the sanctifying member of the Godhead. He is the gentle Holy helper (paraclete) and dynamo of God. He alighted symbolically as a dove on Jesus. He sanctifies each member of the Godhead to their unique identities and each member of the body of Christ to their unique identities and expression. The Holy Spirit is the fellowship of Yahweh. He is the one who links us to the fellowship of Yahweh. He never speaks of Himself (just like Jesus who always referred to the Father). His life gives us the capacity for worship and for fellowship. It is because we have received the person of the Holy Spirit that we are able to be joined in one Spirit with each other. The Holy Spirit facilitates the power of God. It is the Holy Spirit who raised Christ from the dead. It is the Holy Spirit who gives the church the nine power gifts. It is the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth. Love is the fruit of the Spirit.
‘May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen‘ (2 Corinthians 13:14).
‘However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive of Mine and will announce it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and will announce it to you‘ (John 16:13-15).
‘But, if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you‘ ( Romans 8:11, RV).
‘Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?’ (1 Corinthians 3:16).
The nine fruits of the Spirit are a direct outcome of the divine nature that God cultures in us by the trials and fire orchestrated by the Father through the Holy Spirit.
‘But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law. But those belonging to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts’ (Galatians 5:22-24).
‘Beloved, do not be astonished at the fiery trial which is to try you, as though a strange thing happened to you, but rejoice according as you are partakers of Christ’s suffering so that, when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. If you are reviled for the name of Christ you are blessed because the Spirit of God and of glory rests on you. Truly, according to them, He is blasphemed, but according to you, He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief, or an evildoer, or a meddler in the affairs of others. But, if one suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God because of this. For the time has come for the judgement to begin from the house of God. And, if it first begins from us, what will be the end of those disobeying the gospel of God? And, if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Therefore, let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls in well-doing, as to a faithful Creator‘ (1Peter 4:12-19).
TRANSITION FROM GOD THE SON TO SON OF GOD – THEY ARE NOT THE SAME
In eternity, before the Creation, was the Word in person, as John the apostle explains, ‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men’ (John 1:1-4).
The book of Hebrews makes it clear that the Father created the universe through His Son, ‘Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds‘ (Hebrews 1:2). ‘And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth‘ (John 1:14). The book of Genesis clarifies that the entire trinity was involved because, in the Hebrew language, Genesis 1 and 2 says that Elohim (a plural word) made the heavens and the Earth. As we have said before no member of the Godhead acts independently.
Therefore, before the man Jesus ever was, there was Yahweh the Word. Yahweh the Word became incarnate in Mary’s womb to become Jesus the Son of God – fully God and fully flesh – Son of God and Son of Man. The Father Himself testified when Jesus was baptised, ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased‘ (Matthew 3:17).
Yet, the prophet Agur already testified in the Old Testament that God had a son whose name was a mystery (Proverbs 30:34). Only after His emptying and incarnation would God be able to say ‘today I have begotten you‘. Jesus was a new creation, the first-born, the Seed, the forerunner, the pioneer of all the subsequent spiritual sons of God to come.
To summarize: Before the creation there was Yahweh Father, Yahweh Holy Spirit and the Word (Yahweh Son), the only one who could empty Himself for us. So God the Son became the Son of God bringing flesh into the Trinity for the very first time at His resurrection. Therefore, in terms of terminology, strictly speaking, God the Son (spirit only) is not the same as saying the Son of God (flesh and spirit).
THE GLORY OF OUR RESURRECTION
In Him we are raised up far higher than any of the angels in God’s spiritual order or ranks of the throne, ‘who (Jesus) is at the right hand of God, having gone into Heaven where the angels and authorities and powers are being subjected to Him’ (1Peter 3:22).
‘and has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenlies, in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus. For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast’ (Ephesians 2:6-9).
The New Testament speaks volumes on the glory of our resurrection bodies that will be commensurate with the works of Christ we have done by the Spirit in our flesh. For example, Paul used the varying intensities of light reaching earth radiated by the Sun, the moon and the myriads of bright, and faint stars as analogies of variations possible in individual resurrection bodies (1 Corinthians 15:40-42). We shall reap in heaven what we have sown on earth.
There are layers upon layers in scripture on the theme of rewards in heaven. We will only look at four of them.
- Three levels of fruitfulness; 100, 60 and 30-fold (Parable of the Sower and the Seed, Matthew 13:3-9; Luke 8:5-15).
- Three glories in the resurrection (Sun, Moon and star glories, 1 Corinthians 15:40-42).
- Three parables of the kingdom with varying rewards (Talents, Minas and the Denarius).
- Three compartments of the tabernacle and temple (Most Holy Place, Holy Place and the Outer Court). God manifested Himself usually in the most Holy Place, once annually or on special occasions. Who was allowed to enter these?
Before we look at the three parables we also need to be reminded of what Jesus said, “Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God, but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables” (Mark 4:11). Three parables of Jesus help us to clarify the point we are making.
Although estimates of currency equivalents in the time of Jesus vary somewhat, the usually accepted equivalents are that 6000 denarii = 60 minas = 1 talent. One denarius was worth a day’s labour. A labourer would have to work 16 years to earn just one talent. One talent was perhaps about 20-40 kg of gold or silver – a huge amount in any case! In view of the number of talents David had in his personal treasury it highlights the difference between the fabulous wealth of a king and an ordinary labourer. The Mite, donated by the widow in the temple who gave two mites, is not even used in these parables. It was so worthless.
The thief on the cross beside Jesus got into Paradise by the ‘skin of his teeth’. He had not served the Master at all, except at the very last minute, yet was admitted into Paradise. In the first parable we read that the labourer hired in the last hour received the same pay as the labourer who had toiled all day.
Keeping this in mind, let’s begin with the coin of least value mentioned in these parables, the denarius. What is the smallest spiritual reward any believer will get? Huge though its spiritual value is, the smallest common denominator is getting into heaven. Isn’t that true? This is represented by the denarius. All true believers will get into Paradise. That is the least that all of us shall receive.
But Jesus and the apostles added that He will return with varying degrees of rewards for an individual (Matthew 16:27; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Some will get in by ‘the skin of their teeth’, others with something extra and some others with much more, with talents! That is what Jesus and the apostles taught.
Only the works done in accordance with God’s will and purpose shall survive the testing fire of God (1 Corinthians 12:12-15). Those works become your personal and eternal possessions. They define you in eternity.
Let’s return to the three parables. Those who traded with minas were promised to become rulers over cities because they demonstrated that they could be trusted with the gifts they had been given during their lifetime. Those who traded with talents, the measure of greatest value, profited the greatest.
- Labourers in the vineyard working for one denarius. Everyone receives the same small reward. “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’ “So, when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius” (Matthew 20:1-10).
- Parable of receiving up to 10 minas. People are rewarded according to their deeds by moderate rewards. “Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. Therefore, He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So, he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘do business till I come’. But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘we will not have this man to reign over us’. “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, ‘master, your mina has earned ten minas’. And he said to him, ‘well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities’. And the second came, saying, ‘master, your mina has earned five minas’ Likewise he said to him, ‘you also be over five cities’. Then another came, saying, ‘master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit and reap what you did not sow’. And he said to him, ‘out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas’ (But they said to him, ‘master, he has ten minas’). ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me’” (Luke 19:11-27).
- Parable of receiving up to 5 talents. People are rewarded greatly according to their deeds.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them and made another five talents. And likewise, he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground and hid his lord’s money. After a long time, the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. “So, he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them’. His lord said to him, ‘well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord’. He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed. So, you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So, take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:14-30).
The reward of those who had traded with talents was not specified except that they would become rulers. By implication, they shall surely end up ‘seated’ closest to the Lord. And what is the greatest of all rewards? In ancient Israel, the Levites who served regularly in the temple did not receive inheritance in the land, as did members of all the other tribes, because God promised that He would be their reward.
The progressive and increasing nature of these parables, taken together with other sayings of Jesus, imply that our mansions in heaven will also be located at corresponding distances from the presence of the Lord.
THE STAR OF DAVID
The Star of David is our daily reminder of the greatest treasure that God has promised mankind – to be in total fellowship with God. We are not God, but we shall have absolute fellowship with God. This is depicted in the intertwining two triangles that form the Star of David. God is triune and so are we – body, soul and spirit.
The triangle pointing downwards represents the triune God stooping down to bring us to Himself. The triangle pointing up is that of our body, soul and spirit coming into total fellowship with Him as we are raised up in Christ Jesus. The same quality of relationship that Jesus has with the Father, for that reason Jesus is not ashamed to call us brethren!
We remember that Eve was formed from Adam’s rib, from Adam’s body, to become Adam’s wife. The spiritual parallel occurred when the soldier pierced His side on the cross and out poured blood and water. Seeing this, grace illuminated the Roman soldier prompting him to remark, ‘Truly this was the Son of God‘. The corporate body of Christ was born by blood and water with Him as the head. We could say that the thief on the cross became the first to die in Christ. We could also say, as did Adam of Eve, that we who believe, become bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh. That is what communion on Sundays is all about. If you have read my article on the two houses of Israel then you will discover that every Passover meal, the Seder, is actually a symbolic participation of communion with Christ. Amazing – and the Jews don’t even realize what they are doing! (See articles on my primary website www.creation6000.com )
It stands to reason that the triune creator would leave a suggestive imprint or watermark of Himself on the creation. He did this already in the very beginning when He created the Sun, Moon and stars. They are the light of the world in the natural. He is the light of the world spiritually!
The Sun is figurative of the Father whose brightness and heat no man can approach. The marred face of the Moon that reflects the light of the Sun mirrors the Son reflecting the glory of the Father. The multitude of the stars speak of the Holy Spirit indwelling every born-again Christian, whether on a mountain peak or in a submarine. Of these three glories only the Son can be approached by man, whether we think of them spiritually or physically. It is impossible to land on the Sun nor is it possible to land on any of the stars. However, mankind can touch Jesus, represented by the Moon, which has been visited by man.
In biology the unifying fundamental law of genetics is the interdependent trilogy of DNA, RNA and proteins. Their synthesis is entirely dependent on one another, as explained in the article on Irreducible Complexity (on my primary website www.creation6000.com ). They are the ONE of the genetic machinery – Three essentials, yet one in co-operation and purpose!
In physics there are three primary colours of light red, green and blue. A combination of these three wavelengths can produce any colour visible to the human eye, from white to blue to red and any shade in-between. God created the receptors in the human eye sensitive to three wavelengths of light, red, blue and green. They are indicative of the triune God that created them. A Dutch Nobel Laureate in physics said to an audience in Australia that there is much in physics that comes in threes. “Why is that?”, he asked. I felt like jumping up and telling him.