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Time VI – Set Times V

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Peter asked, “Lord, are You telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”  The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.”

The greatest truth that we have constantly failed to learn, apart from all that we have already failed to learn, is the times set by the Father by His authority for His children and servants to be fed.  As the Lord said, “…give them their food allowance at the proper time…” The food allowance that Jesus spoke of to Peter is in the context of being ready for God’s plans for you when He was asked by Peter, “Lord, are You telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”

By Luke 12 Peter may have noticed and realised that even though Jesus would teach and preach, there were some teachings that were the exclusive privilege of just the twelve, such as when He taught the Parables of the Sower, the Weeds, the Yeast and the Mustard Seed to the crowd and the disciples, but when they were alone with Him and asked Him, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field,” not only did Jesus explain the parable, He then went on the teach them (the disciples) the Parables of the Hidden Treasure, the Pearl and the Net about the Kingdom of Heaven.  And when they had understood these parables of the Kingdom of Heaven, He then spoke again and taught them the parables of the Kingdom of God – the Parables of the Growing Seed and the Mustard Seed as applied to the Kingdom of God as well.

So that if you care to master the timeline of events as described in the four gospels, you would see that Jesus on that one occasion taught first the four parables to the crowd in Matthew 13, then another three Kingdom of Heaven parables to the disciples when they asked Him about the second parable, and seeing that they understood and were ready for more, gave them the first two parables of the Kingdom of God. So that had you been there that day as a disciple, you would have heard not only the nine parables taught, but also that there is a difference between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God, and a similarity, for both are like a mustard seed planted in a garden.

We are interested in the times set by God for the big events, like the next earthquake or even the return of Christ, when we have not had the faithfulness or the wisdom to learn to feed on the proper food at the proper times.

As the shrewdness of the shrewd manager is needed to have the Spirit of Kingship, so now faithfulness and wisdom are needed to know the set times.  That which we desire to have and to know is always given to us after we have made ourselves worthy to receive that which we desire… that is the goodness of the Father.  He does not give us that which we want, desire or ask for, even wish for, when He knows we are not ready to receive the blessing.  We are not speaking about basic needs like food, clothing and shelter… no, elect, but of luxuries like the luxury of knowing when the set times are.

As an example, if you are sick you will be healed if you believe and have faith, for by your faith you are healed.  If you preach the gospel faithfully, the Holy Spirit will heal the sick to confirm the gospel you have preached for Jesus.  And if you have constantly practised laying hands on the sick for healing, then one day He will give you the ability to heal the sick with a spoken word like Jesus did with the centurion’s servant.  However, if you have not done the former things, you will find that you cannot come to the place where a word from you will heal the sick.

So it is when we have done the practice of the basics that the luxuries are given… not the other way around.  The practice of the basics makes you eligible to receive the luxuries without ruining you.  However, when you have not practised the basics but already desire to know the luxuries, then you might find God will give it to you to humble you.  A disciple who has not practised the words of Jesus he has heard but yet desires to be a great prophet who can tell the people when Christ would come, would be given the desire of his heart so that he may be humbled, when that which he has prophesied is proven wrong.  That is why evangelists who often prophesy of things that are beyond them are proven wrong so that they may be humbled and the people no longer fear them, but yet God continues to allow them to function as evangelists.  Why?  Because God is the shrewd and wise Master who is seeking a return – a harvest – on his investment… and if a humbled servant who has been taught his place can still do the work of his position, then so be it… it is cheaper than raising up a new servant.  That is why when David committed adultery, murdered and lied, he was not stripped of his kingdom, but permitted to continue his rule… simply because there was no one else more suitable.  David was exposed and humbled, but continued as king.

So the principle of knowing the set times of God begins not because you are called, chosen or even elected, but when you have shown yourself to be shrewd, faithful and wise, and have learnt not only to keep awake for the Lord’s return, but while He is gone you have learnt to feed your fellow servants their proper food at the proper time.  Put simply, the words of Jesus are the food for our lives, for as we listen to them and practise them, we live them… but they are not meant for everyone everywhere, anytime, every time.  And that is something I have had to learn and you will have to now learn, elect – the proving of your wisdom and faithfulness.

Some of the words of the Lord are meant for unbelievers only – “The time has come.  The Kingdom of God is near.  Repent and believe the good news!” or, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is near.” And even then it would be given to unbelievers who are destined for the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of God, for you must learn to know if the person you are speaking to is fit for the Kingdom of Heaven at best or whether he has the quality to be made a disciple for the Kingdom of God.  Some of Jesus’ teachings are for the crowds and disciples like the Parables of the Sower and the Weeds.  Others are for His believers who may have the ability to become disciples like the Jews who believed Him.  To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Unfortunately that group of believers He was addressing in John 8 were not fit for discipleship, for their reply showed them to be proud liars. They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone.  How can You say that we shall be set free?” They were proud to be descendants of Abraham, but denied the truth that for 400 years they were slaves in Egypt until God sent Moses to save them… that is why Jesus said, “You belong to your father, the devil…” for the devil is proud and a liar, not holding to the truth.  And their descendants are still like that to this day.  And still some teachings are only for disciples who have stood the trials and have come to the place where Judas Iscariot was excluded – the time and place of the teachings of John 14, 15, 16, 17 and so on.

No one who has not learned to listen to Jesus by a dedicated study of His available written word and the steady practice of them, will have gone through the entirety of His words in sufficient detail and repetition to come to this place where they can see the times set when Jesus taught and spoke and to learn to see them in the context of their applicability based on the audience they were directed to and the circumstance of that audience.  So it is unlikely that the skill – the faithfulness and the wisdom to give the food to fellow servants at the proper times – has been displayed, although some teachers have openly proclaimed the level of their teachings so that those who seek to be of that level know what they are getting.  An example is those who hold a ‘believers’ convention.’  They are not in error if they are teaching believers to be better believers.  Error enters their camp and ours when we try to be that which we are not.

You see, the manager who receives a manager does not get into trouble… it is the servant who tries to become the master who gets into trouble.  As Jesus said, “But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.  He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.”

It is when those who have been given the work of an evangelist, but then presume that their success permits them to be prophets, who are then in error.  Or those who are assigned to teach believers about having faith in God, but then present their teachings as if they are teachings for the mature, who are in error.  And likewise those who have the teachings of the mature, but give them to newborn babies in Christ and choke them, are in error.  By the grace of God, as we each repent of our inaptitude, it has pleased God to let us remain at our posts… if we have not overstepped our mark.

The antichrist who is to appear soon – the man who is the false prophet – is the servant who so wants to be master that not only will he beat up his fellow servants, but seeks to murder the Master when He returns.  He is not assigned a place amongst the unbelievers, no… for he is the first to be disposed off in the cesspool of God – the lake of burning sulphur – alongside the beast who failed to learn his lesson even after millenniums of incarceration in the abyss for the murder of his brother.

So, elect, continue your most holy duties and be all that you are called to be and learn to set before your fellow servants their food in the proper times so that the Master who is watching might come to you and reveal the set times to you because you have shown yourself not only shrewd, but faithful and wise… for if you are a shrewd, faithful and wise servant, what master, what good Master, will not promote you to manage H/his affairs and later, as Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.”

So, elect, is it time to build or time to tear down?  Is it time to plant or time to harvest?  What is the season?  Have you not seen the times you live in?

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