|Luke 14 |
1 Now it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat on the Sabbath, that they watched him closely.
2 And there was a certain man there who had dropsy.
3 And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?"
4 But they kept silent. So Jesus took hold of him and healed him and sent him away.
5 Then he asked them, saying, "Which of you having an ass or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?"
6 But again they could not answer him.
7 Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he saw how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,
8 "When you are invited by anyone to a wedding, do not sit in the place of honor, lest a more distinguished man than you has been invited,
9 And he who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this man your place.' Then, with shame, you will have to take the lowest seat.
10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes, he may say to you, 'Friend, go up higher.' Then you will be honored in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.
11 For whoever exalts himself shall be abased, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted."
12 Then Jesus also said to the man who had invited him, "When you make a dinner or a supper, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and so you are repaid.
13 But when you make a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind.1 [Love is giving with no expectation of return. Jesus is telling us to forego inviting friends and relatives to our suppers and feasts, and instead to invite those who cannot return the favor: the poor, lame, maimed and blind; then we are showing love. Any favor we expect to receive in the next life is credited to faith. George Fox wrote that this is a cross to people, but must be obeyed.]
14 Then you shall be blessed, for they cannot repay you, and you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
15 And when one of those who ate with him heard these things, he said to him, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God."
16 Then said he to him, "A certain man made a great supper and invited many people;
17 And he sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.'
18 But they all began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land, and I must go and see it. I beg you to excuse me.'
19 Another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I beg you to excuse me.'
20 And another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'
21 So the servant came and reported these things to his lord. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in the poor and the crippled and the lame and the blind.'
22 And the servant said, 'Lord, it has been done as you have commanded, and still there is room.'
23 Then the lord said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.2
24 For I say to you, not one of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.'"
25 Now there were great crowds with him, and he turned and said to them,
26 "If any man comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters — yes even his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.3 [You must value the approval of the Lord far more than the approval of your family that will likely strongly oppose your obedience to some of the Lord's commands to you. You must mourn your compulsive anger, lust, emotions, and selfishness enough to hunger to be different: at peace, able to truly love, virtuous, without anger, without lust, and pleasing to your creator; if you don't hate your life, you don't have the motivation to bear the inward cross of self-denial.]
27 And whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.4 [The blind guides of Christendom ignore the cross and tell their followers that they are already saved just by believing in Jesus; but unless you carry the inward cross of self denial to crucify your selfish lusts, passions, and desires, you will be banned from heaven at death. To come after Christ you must wait in humble silence, listening for Him to speak to you from the Word within your heart; faith is to hear Him, and then you must obey Him. Self-denial occurs by obeying the Lord's spoken commands instead of your will, (His will, not your will); this is bearing the cross — the inward cross of self-denial.]
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost to see if he has the money to finish it?5 [Count the cost of forsaking all to be a disciple of Jesus and enter the kingdom, you must forsake all. He who loves his life shall lose it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life (of God) eternal. John 12:25. From the Word of the Lord within: "The sacrifice of life is given to those who can afford it. Thou art the sacrifice."]
29 Lest, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will mock him, [From the Word of the Lord within: I work with the blind; but if you think you can see, and you are not with me in heaven, I will make you a laughingstock.]
30 Saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'
31 Or what king, when he is going to make war against another king, does not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the king who comes against him with twenty thousand?
32 Or else, he will sends a delegation and asks for conditions of peace, while the other is still a long way off.
33 So likewise, whoever does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple.6 [Everyone who has forsaken houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit everlasting life. Mat 19:29. When you continually deny yourself and obey the Lord's commands, you will forsake your entire selfish life, and thereby save your soul to live Life in union with God.]
34 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it's saltiness be restored?
35 It is neither fit for the land nor for the manure pile; men throw it out.7 He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
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1 Love is giving with no expectation of return. Jesus is telling us to forego inviting friends and relatives to our suppers and feasts, and instead to invite those who cannot return the favor: the poor, lame, maimed and blind; then we are showing love. Any favor we expect to receive in the next life is credited to faith. George Fox wrote that this is a cross to people, but must be obeyed.
2 Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. The guests of the great supper (like the wedding supper in the Kingdom of God) are filled from three events:
William Penn writes of forced repentances in the next life, (Hell), for those who do not repent through the cross in this life. God only indirectly forces our repentance. He gives everyone the desires of their heart. He places us in darkness without His restraining influence so that we indulge in our heart's desires to the point that we become satiated with them and they become burdensome, unpleasant, and finally horribly oppressive — so horrible that we desperately choose to repent out of them.
In the end, the great supper will be filled.
Then will they call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me early and diligently, but they shall not find me.
Because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord.
They would accept none of my counsel; they despised all my reproof,
Therefore they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be satiated with their own desires.
For the turning away [from my counsel ] of the ignorant shall slay them, and the careless ease of fools will destroy them. Pro 1:28-32
And on this mountain the LORD of hosts will make to all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
And on this mountain he will destroy the covering of the face that is cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken it. Isaiah 25:6-8
Those who do not die to self through the cross while on earth, go through forced repentance until they are under control and governed by the Lord, (therefore He is truly their Lord), but they: a) are not kings and priests, b) do not live in the higher dimension of the inner court where the kings and priests dwell, c) will live forever in the lower dimension while fully aware of the higher dimension, d) will regret forever that they wasted their time on the earth in foolish pursuits, and e) forever suffer that regret plus the deprivation of the higher dimension.
3 If any man comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters — yes even his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. A man must want to please God more than to please his wife, children, friends, etc.; otherwise that man cannot be a disciple of Jesus. A man must want the approval of God more than the approval of men, particularly your family. Do not ignore a command from the Lord because your family disapproves of your obeying it; if you do, you risk not hearing anything further from Him.
Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not came to bring peace, but a sword.
For I have come to set a man at variance against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter in law against her mother in law.
A man's foes shall be those of his own household.
He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
He who does not take his cross, and follow after me, is not worthy of me. Mat 10:34-38.
(To follow after Him is to expose yourself to the Lord's commands and then obey Him; to obey all of his commands, you must love the Lord more than you love your family; so, despite their opposition, you obey his commands — that is following Him.)
A man must hate his own life too, or he will not be able to lose it, or be a disciple of Jesus. When you are a true seeker of God, denying your former evil activities in the world, (including the deficit sects), the basis of your friendships will diminish. As you deny foul language, revelry, drinking, carousing, etc., your friends and family will become uncomfortable and begin to attack your commitment to goodness. If you and your spouse have been attending a deficit sect, your spouse may become your worst enemy, leaving you or threatening to leave you. Your family will be used to attack you; they will be your worst enemies. This is part of the cross, to suffer from your family's opposition. But this forces you to have patience, forgive, have mercy, love, and live by faith. From the Word of the Lord within: "after a man has demonstrated his faith, do I give him peace."
When someone becomes convinced of the true hope, the true gospel, and the only way; and when they leave their deficit sect, several of their spouses have threatened to leave, a few even leaving. Most spouses get over their opposition and have even heard from the Lord of their spouse's correct seeking of Him. The Lord has no desire to destroy a marriage, so things usually work out; but it is a painful trial at least. The maxim of the world in negotiation is: the party that is afraid of losing a negotiation is the party that loses. Count the costs, and be ready to forsake anything and everything of your former life.
You must hate your selfish, prideful, emotional life enough to hunger to be different: at peace, able to truly love, virtuous, without anger, without lust, and pleasing to your creator. In the beginning of your searching for God, you will not be aware of how evil your life really is until God shows you the extent of your evil behavior. The more you learn about evil in yourself, the more you learn to hate evil. To become a saint, you must learn about the evil in yourself and how the whole world is immersed in sin. To hate your life increases your motivation to bear the cross. If you don't hate your life, you don't have the motivation to bear the inward cross of self-denial. Only a man who hates all evil is entrusted with true treasure for to hate evil means after you have been freed from sin, you would not ever be attracted to it again. The more your learn about the evil in yourself, the more repelled by evil you become; and when you are repelled by evil, you naturally gravitate to the goodness of God.
Once you have found the true way of the cross, it is still too hard for many to travel; so few will enter the narrow gate. It is not easy to lose your life. It is not easy to persistently and patiently sit in humble silence and wait on God as you listen, watch, and then obey completely. It is not easy to look at your will and what is in your heart as the Lord shows it to you. To be successful, first you have to have been drawn in love; you cannot come to the Lord and suffer through the cross just to avoid Hell. From the Word of the Lord within: "People can't come in fear; they have to come in love;" the Father has to have drawn you with a revelation that instills a hunger in you for more because the love of God and hunger for more-of-Him is the only lasting motivator. Those who have not been drawn by God with a spiritual experience that gives you a taste and hunger for more, you must turn from evil as best you can, distribute liberally to the poor, and pray to God to give you that experience, promising in return that you will seek Him with your best effort. Even after being drawn and given the hunger, many cannot bear the cross to the end because they love their life too much to let it all go. So count the costs before beginning, and be sure you are willing to give all, if and when ordered.
4 whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. You must bear your cross daily to be a disciple of Jesus, the inward cross of self-denial. You must crucify your selfish spirit, your fleshly nature, and your lusts and affections, before you can belong to Christ and receive salvation. For those who would live in the flesh (sinful nature) cannot please God.
The cross is bearable, but not easy. It is not easy to lose your life. It is not easy to forsake everything. It is not easy to find the narrow gate to heaven, which entry many will try and be unable pass through. It is not easy to suffer. So any alternative to the cross, which supposedly allows one to escape Hell, is eagerly received; and false doctrines and lies have quickly become pervasive. (See Suffering and Tribulation for more on suffering.)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end? Jer 5:31
For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. Phil 3:18-19.
5 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost to see if he has the money to finish it? To seek union with God is not always pleasant, especially the crucifixion of self. Jesus said that before beginning, one should first sit down and calculate the cost whether he has sufficient means to finish it? Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete, all who see it will begin to mock and jeer at him. Saying, This man began to build and was not able (worth enough) to finish. He is telling us to not even start, unless we are committed to going all the way, including death of self through suffering and tribulation. From the Word of the Lord within: "The sacrifice of life is given to those who can afford it." This commitment comes from a deep hunger, a hunger established by God to draw you to him. He already has far too many, calling themselves "christians," who never even started, much less finished, building his temple to completion in their hearts. Despite much suffering and tribulation, the pain is nothing compared to the reward of knowing God. For God has created us to be loved by him and for us to love him. He is pure, clean, holy, righteous, merciful, truthful, faithful, peaceful, full of joy, and abounding in love for us — eagerly awaiting the opportunity to show his love for us. But to be in his presence and receive his love, we must be changed to become pure to able to receive his spirit in measure — our old wineskin can't hold the new wine — we must let him prepare us a new wineskin — so we can possess and enjoy the superior wine. The cross is different for each man, taking each to the limit of their ability to endure through seven troubles. From the word of the Lord within: "Trust him. He will lead you and watch over you continually. He will never leave you."
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 1 Pet 4:1-2. Tribulation is not a hard day at the office, a car wreck, or some natural difficulty; it is unmistakably, supernaturally imposed.
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. 1 Pet 2:21
You must have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. 1 Pet 4:12-13
If you will reign with him, you must suffer with him. 2 Tim 2:12
if you will live with him, you must die with him. 2 Tim 2:11 (there must be a "dying daily.")
And if you die with him, you must be buried with him, Rom 6:4
and being buried with him in the true baptism, you also rise with him. Col 2:12
6 So likewise, whoever does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple. To forsake all that you have, does not mean give everything away and live like a pauper in a cave. It means: when you go to the Lord to be taught and changed by his grace to become pure, you must be ready to give up anything the Lord asks. But don't worry, he will never cause you to be unable to care for yourself or your family. He will only ask you to give up those unnecessary things that you idolize, those pleasures to which you are enslaved, those pastimes that lead you into immorality, etc. You must go to him with total trust and understanding that he wants only the best for you; and since he has created you and all things in heaven and earth, he knows what is best for you, even better than yourself. So, you eagerly go to him, knowing that whatever he asks you to forsake, it is done for your benefit.
In his early seeking George Fox had the Lord tell him: "You see how young people associate in vanity, and old people into the earth; but you must forsake all, young and old, keep out of all, and be as a stranger to all." Today this command is still true, and it applies to us also. Watch the young; they are obsessed with beauty, looks, and appearance, which is nothing but vanity. The older people look to the pride of possessing the things of the earth for their happiness. No only must we forsake vanity and pride of possessions, we must also forsake the company of the people of the world because as Paul said: "Do not be deceived. Evil companions corrupt good manners, morals, and integrity. 1 Cor 15:33." Evil companions are those who are still sinning, still wrapped up in their vanity, still seeking the things of this world for their happiness. Of necessity you maintain polite contact with the people of the world in your occupation and in your everyday business, but you don't socialize with them.
Naked you came into the world, as God created you. To receive his changing grace, only naked, (of all your pride, of your love of life, of your lusts, of your self-righteousness), can you leave the world to enter the Kingdom; you must stand before the Lord with nothing to hide your unrighteousness. As you stand, you are judged sympathetically and freed from sin; your consciousness then leaves this world, to enter the dimension of the Kingdom of Heaven.
7 When the salt has lost its flavor, men throw it out. And when the sects have lost the Holy Spirit's inspiration, guidance, and direction — then many sincere men reject the false church's hypocrisy and emptiness — because it is dead; so why should they seek the living among the dead.
When men do not speak words as prompted by the Spirit of God, when they speak from their carnal minds, when they give their own opinions as to what the Bible means; their words are without salt, and they are trampling on the words of Christ, destroying the true meaning, destroying the life in their listeners, and trampling on the blood of Jesus — because they are speaking without life, they are speaking lies, they are speaking errors, they are speaking from the Spirit of Satan instead of the Spirit of Christ. They don't understand that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin if we walk in the light as he is in the light. 1 John 1:7. Those speaking from their carnal minds, (not speaking from words taught and supplied by the Spirit), are ministers of Satan, transformed to appear as ministers of righteousness. 2 Cor 11:14-15; and they don't know they are Satan's ministers; they think they are Christ's, even though Christ never called them, never trained them, never perfected them, never authorized them, and never gifted them with the ministry.
If you claim to be a Christian, but you have not produced fruit, reached purity, joined in union, or entered the kingdom while on earth — you are like salt that has lost its flavor; you will lose your soul, but your spirit will be cast into outer darkness, (Hell) to be satiated with your heart's desires, until you have paid the last penny for all of the selfish acts of your life on earth; not as punishment, but the time it takes to undo the evil built into your heart by each selfish act. In this way, you learn to hate the evil that you have nurtured in your lifetime on earth; and then after it is removed, you hate evil so much that you would never even consider another evil act in the future.
Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me early and diligently, but they will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the reverent fear of the Lord.
They would accept none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof.
Therefore they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be satiated with their own desires.
For the turning away [from my counsel] of the ignorant will slay them, and the careless ease of fools will destroy them. Pro 1:28-32
But when you have borne the many stripes [blows] , when you have paid the last penny, then you live forever in the outer court of New Jerusalem. (See: Is there Hope for ALL Men). Because the disobedience of one man led all men to condemnation; even so one man's act of righteousness exculpates (pronounces not guilty of offences) all men to right standing with God and righteousness of life. Romans 5:18. For we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 1 Tim 4:9-10. and "I will put My law in their minds [inward parts], and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jer 31: 33-34. And God purposed that through the intervention of Him [Jesus] that all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, having made peace by means of the blood of His cross. For God has sealed (penned up) all men in disobedience, so that He may show mercy on them all. Rom 11:32.
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