Are we listening to what God says through the pages of the Bible? The way we listen or fail to listen determines our eternity. The following scriptures bear this out:
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having HEARD the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience.
These are the one-out-of-four seed sown by Christ, the sower. These are the only ones who will make it into the Kingdom and they make it by listening to the Word and keeping the Word. Once God implants the Holy Spirit in a human, that person is expected to become a light to the world. We do that by listening to and obeying the pure word of God. Several verses show God’s expectations of these good seed that have heard the word and kept it:
Luke 8:16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth [it] under a bed; but setteth [it] on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Mark 4:21 And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
These instructions are written for those upon whom the end of the age is come:
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
The end-time virgins are without excuse before God. Today’s Christians have at their disposal a wide variety of biblical resources including various translations, dictionaries, concordances and on-line helps. With the proper attitude and the help of the Holy Spirit, we can rightly divide the word of truth and become lights of the world:
Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither [any thing] hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
Mark 4:22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.
“Abroad” is Strong’s #5318, and means “shining, i.e. apparent, public, external, manifest, open.”
Isn’t God saying in Luke 8:17 and Mark 4:22 that everything pertaining to salvation will be revealed to the good seed–those with the ears to hear, who have already proven themselves as in verse 15?
Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep [it], and bring forth fruit with patience.
Luke 8:18 contains both a PROMISE and a THREAT:
Luke 8:18 TAKE HEED THEREFOR HOW YE HEAR: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
All the false teachings, misunderstandings, deliberate twistings and coloring of scriptures will be exposed. Our loving, merciful God will reveal these things to the good seed–the people with ears to hear.
The virgins are judged by what is written in the books; not by what any MAN says is written there:
Rev 20: 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
If this is the source of our judgment, why do we so vehemently RESIST believing it? Why do we make excuses for the minister of our choice when he says something contrary to the WRITTEN WORD, by saying, “he really meant to say so and so.” Why don’t we confront him with the pure written word? Be careful that no one steal your crown! (Revelation 3:11) Allowing ourselves to be misled by false shepherds can keep us out of the Kingdom! We must study the Bible and cultivate our own understanding instead of relying on “ministers” to spoon feed us their personal, potentially distorted, versions of the truth.
I also suggest that a thorough study into just how the ministry is chosen (and has been in recent history) might reveal some astounding contradictions to the instructions God provides in the Written Word. The way church leaders are chosen and put in office today, in 1996, is in direct defiance of Biblical instruction.
Luke 8: 18 TAKE HEED THEREFORE HOW YE HEAR: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he SEEMETH to have.
Mark 4:24 And he said unto them, TAKE HEED WHAT YE HEAR: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. 25 For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
The NIV translates Luke 8:18 :Therefore consider carefully HOW YOU LISTEN…”
The three verses immediately above do not contain idle threats or empty promises, or even “suggestions.” They are COMMANDS. If you listen and believe what your Bible says, not what the “minister of your choice” says if he conflicts with the Written Word, God’s promise is that you will be given MORE understanding of what God is revealing to the “good seed.” If you do not have the spiritual courage and faith to believe God’s clear, written word, over what MAN INTERPRETS IT TO SAY, God PROMISES THAT HE WILL START TO STRIP AWAY WHAT YOU THINK YOU HAVE, and will even send you strong delusion TO BELIEVE A LIE. (This is explained in “People Who Love Not the Truth”)
We had better be very careful in HOW we listen to God’s written word. A deliberate rejection or refusal to believe CLEAR BIBLE TEACHING because of previously held beliefs, will certainly strip away our salvation. If we have problems with a certain point or fact shown to us, we must put it on a mental shelf. Never reject anything that the written word plainly says. Study your Bible and prove all things, right or wrong.
© Edgar Y. Bennett
PO Box 509
Black Hawk, CO 80422 USA