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Luke Chapter 16 1. And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. This steward was guilty of misusing the goods of the rich man he worked for. He was caught and was being fired by the rich man. 2. And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. 3. Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. The steward was not skilled in other jobs so he became afraid of what he would do for income. His pride would not let him beg for money if need be. 4. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. This steward convinced himself that while he still held the position he needed to work out deals with the debtor’s of the rich man so he could obtain a friendship that would lead to the debtor’s helping the steward when he needed it. In this case it was going to be very soon. 5. So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? This steward began to work in the favor of the debtor’s and no longer the rich man. Unfortunatly the rich man decision to fire a thief and an abuser of his riches cost him with his debtor’s. The steward did not lose any wealth in his dealings with the debtor’s, he lost his wealth by taking advantage of the rich man he worked for. 6. And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. 7. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. 8. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. In this story the Lord commended the steward, don’t extend the meaning to believe this is what God and Jesus do with a questionable person. God never commends unrighteousness. The rich man or lord was not patting the unjust steward on the back because of the deals he made with his debtor’s, he was commending him for finding a way out to reduce the pain and suffering he was going to endure after his firing. Jesus was not stating that anyone who does not have a relationship with God is wise; he was stating that the wicked were wiser to ensure that while they were on the earth even without God they make a way to be taken care of by other wicked people who have the ability to eat, drink, party, and live their lives in somewhat of joy. 9. And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. What “I say unto you” should read “Do I say unto you”, it should be a question and not a statement. It makes no sense for Jesus to state make friends with mammon then turn around and state a person can’t serve God and mammon, it is impossible. Every person has a choice, serve God or the creation. No one is forced into this decision. God won’t make you serve Him and the devil can’t make you serve him, it is choice you make not somebody else for you. 10. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. A person whose ways are right will not faultier from his/her ways no matter what the circumstance. A person whose ways are wicked may get by for a time but sooner or later it catches up with them. If the steward had been loyal to the rich man then he would have never been in this position to make friends with the unrighteous. 11. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? Jesus is stating if you can’t be trusted to be honest of doing the right thing in a wicked world then how can you be trusted with the riches of God. 12. And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? Here we a have a two-fold meaning. 1) if you will misuse others riches then you will miss use your own. This kind of person can’t be trusted with anything rather from someone else or of themselves. 2) If a person is not willing to be honest with themselves and take the best care of their own lives and riches then how can anyone believe that they would be willing to be trusted to take care of someone else’s life or riches. Example, I find it hard to believe that anyone who abuses their own bodies and health (abusive drinking, smoking, illegal drug use) would do what is right to help another person’s life. I will love you with everything I have, I would give you the world, yet they don’t love themselves with everything they have. Besides if you really love someone would you really curse them by giving them a world not worth having. God created the world yet He doesn’t want this world, He is going to make a new one worth having. If a person won’t love God who is love then how can they love His creation that most of the time possesses a poor version of that love. 13. No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Jesus is stating you can’t be loyal to unrighteousness and righteousness. 14. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. The Pharisees had the ideals of, how dare Jesus put down us religious leaders of this generation. Everything was going fine until Jesus came and messed up a good thing going. This is how lost the child of God were; they sought after wealth in temporary things yet forsook the wealth of the permanent things of God. They did not know it at the time but the very God they professed to serve was standing right in front of them telling them differently. 15. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. Very few people in this world are concerned of what God wants. All creation was created to be a pleasure to God. Most of the creation on this side of heaven has been a huge disappointment to God not even close to being a pleasure to Him. The great United States makes laws that oppose God’s will yet feels it has done a good thing because it has brought equality to its people. Homosexuality is a right or sexual preference of a person and under the Constitution they have a right to be this way. We have sexual immorality in the Orthodox Church who hide it so people will not condemn their wickedness, yet don’t care about the God they represent. Some Christians are more concerned about saving a babies life that they destroy the lives of those who need saving. We allow our entertainment to become wicked yet justify it as not being real or its just acting; that is not me or the freedom of speech routine. Even myself I justify the things that are an abomination to God, while I am sorry and beat myself up later for doing these things, I seem to not adjust my ways to prevent the same pattern from happening again. We have governments that exploit their citizens and make laws that benefit themselves yet never admit they let their people down. Corporations abuse their employee’s retirement systems and go to jail yet Politian’s do the same thing and reap a pension not a penitentiary. God will not be mocked and He will have the final word on the final day of this world; depart from Me or enter into your rest. 16. The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. Jesus is not saying everyman will enter the Kingdom of God. He is saying that everyman who enters the Kingdom of God will have to overcome sin, evil, distress, unjust decisions, wickedness, ect. If the Kingdom of God was open to all then there would be no pressing needed; all one would need to do is walk in. There is a struggle to get into the Kingdom of God. If you do it Jesus’ way there is still a struggle just not near as hard or burdensome. Jesus never stated take of me and you will not have a burden, he stated the burden would be much lighter and the yoke would be much easier. His outcome leads to rest for your souls. On this side of heaven no one should be resting. The church gets accused of sleeping and maybe sometimes it is, but no one can afford to rest now, we are in a race. Not a race that rewards first, second and third place but a race that rewards a finisher. The more you press, the closer you are to entering the Kingdom of God. 17. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. Even though in Christ we have inherited a better new covenant; the old covenant did not fail. The law was a success. It gave power to death via sin. The law condemned every man that was sinful and it showed no mercy not even to Jesus. The law taught the way to be free of its choke hold. The law was fulfilled not destroyed through Jesus. At times Christian’s tend to express that the new covenant is an extension of the old covenant just an easier one. While this seems true the new covenant cannot be compared to the old covenant. The law brought death not life. The law condemned. The law was a school master. The law was for the unrighteous. The new covenant brings life not death. The new covenant is for a righteous person not an unrighteous one. The new covenant does not possess the old law, it is in the grave. It possess 2 new laws that are very easy to uphold and these laws are in the aspect of you shall do them not you shall not do them. 18. Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery. Divorce was a real problem that led to a large dysfunctional society not only for Israel but for the world as well. Man had justified the reason for divorce but Jesus stated it plain as day, if you give yourself to marriage and find reason to terminate it and then remarry you are committing adultery, this was a violation of the old covenant law. The only provision was if one of the spouses committed adultery then divorce and remarriage could happen without breaking the law or death which terminated the marriage bond. Today many hold on to this concept and live in false fear or torment of others for no reason at all. Today Christians are under the new covenant which is far more forgiving in remarrying after divorce. “Know ye not, brethren, (for I (Paul) speak to them that know the law, how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth: but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be remarried to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from the law; so that she is no adultress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead (Jesus Christ), that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” Romans 7:1-6. 19. 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. Jesus does not state that an angel carried the rich man to the torment part of hell. He states the rich man opened up his eyes and he was in torment, unlike Abraham’s bosom; where an angel did carry Lazarus waiting for the arrival of Jesus Christ. 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. The expanse between Abraham’s bosom (paradise) and the torment part of hell could not be crossed. I am not sure if the righteous angels were allowed into the torment part of hell. This part was created to torment the devil and his angels so one might conclude that a righteous angel might be affected by this torment as well. 27. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: The rich man seemed to know that Abraham and all the saints were not condemned to remain there. He seemed to believe unlike himself they could go back and visit the living on earth. This did happen but only after Jesus came to take them back with him. In the transfiguration of Jesus, we are told Moses and Elijah were present with the Father and Peter, James and John saw them to verify this. Elijah was in heaven already never experiencing death and Moses was in Abraham’s bosom since he did die. So it must have been possible to leave Abraham’s bosom but not without the help of an angel. 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. Look at yourself as an example to these last few verses. If not for the Holy Spirit and the continued visits of God calling on your hearts you would not be saved right now. How many people came into your life and you refused to accept God’s invitation of everlasting life. Just because somebody comes back from the dead does not mean a change of heart in a lost person. How many people accepted Jesus’ offer of salvation when Lazarus was raised from the dead (not the poor man here but the person Jesus raised from the grave). How many people accepted Jesus when he raised the little from the dead? Life experiences can help in the softening of a heart but someone has to plant the seed of God (His Word), someone has to water and God has to give the increase. This is the only equation that will bring forth good fruit. God is the God of the living and not the dead, so a dead man coming back to warn about destruction looks good for a story book (A Christmas Story) but in reality it would have no affect.
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