Lesson 4 of 12
We learned that the things of Moses are called the articles of “divine service”. But now that Christ has come, we cannot use the tokens of Moses to worship God. We must use the tokens of Himself (Christ) to worship God. When we do that we then increase the kingdom of God by the talent (tools) of Christ.
The tools of the Second Covenant bear the image of Christ. We reflect His image in our faith. This is the purpose of the tools to reflect Him. He is the token of divine service to God. The more we use His tools, the more we grow in His likeness and increase His kingdom. Let’s examine the Lord’s teaching about tokens from Luke 19 to see how He speaks of the importance of His tools and His intent that we use what He gives us for the increase of His kingdom.
12. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
15. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
17 . And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
18. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
20. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
21. For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
22. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
23. Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
Of course, Jesus is speaking of Himself in this parable. He is the nobleman that came to earth, set the terms of the covenant in Himself, gave us His tokens to trade, and will return to receive His kingdom. While Jesus is gone we are to use the pound (tokens) He gave us because on His return He is going to ask us how much we gained.
To understand this properly, highlight the word "money" in verse 15 and write the word "token" over it. The Lord provided the tokens of Christ for us. Now, we know that money is a tool for bartering. This helps us to understand what the tools are to God. God has given us tokens (tools) of faith to barter in His kingdom. He gives us grace (in each tool) that with this we would barter (trade) in His kingdom. So that God might know how much every man had gained by trading.
Each Tool of the Covenant is Designed for Trading
Write the word “reciprocate” over the word “trade”. Each tool of the covenant is designed for trading, for reciprocation. Because Christ is the token, the image of Christ is upon each token. This is why the value of the tools is Christ. It is His grace. It is His truth. Each tools carries His grace and truth for our reciprocation. As we exercise our faith with these tools, God reciprocates to us more grace, more peace, more joy, more revelation, more understanding, more wisdom, more gifts.
In this parable God is defining our position as servant to His wishes. A servant is one that bows the knee to his Master’s wishes and we also bow our knee to the commandments of this covenant. We bow the knee, so we are good servants. It is our good pleasure to do the will of our Father in heaven. God points out to us that He will reward our yielding will and heart:
Verse 16 - Now the first came and having received the tokens of bartering he said this, "Lord, your pound has gained ten pounds." Now that's good. That is the same thing we are doing. The more we sow, the more we grow. The tokens which God has provided for us: Government, Truth, Spirit; The Gifts, Calling, Graces of God; Prayer, Preaching, and Prophecy, we increase His house by these tokens. You can look at these tokens as bartering in God’s kingdom.
The Lord is teaching us that His grace and truth give substance to our faith, and that when we use His tools we increase in the likeness of Christ, and that’s good. We have to understand that God is not punishing us by setting the terms of the covenant for our co-laboring with Him. It is because of His great love for us that He came to shed His blood to provide in Himself a gift of salvation. It is because of His great love for us that He provided the tether of our faith in these 9 spiritual tools, to keep us tethered to Him and His grace.
It is because of His great love for us that He made a way for us to prove our love for Him. “If you love Me, use these tokens to increase My house.” And Paul, understanding this says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places,” (Ephesians 1:3). Paul saw by the Spirit the rewards that await the righteous in heaven, so he speaks of our blessings in heavenly places.
God Is Giving His Children Pocket Change to Increase His Kingdom
The Master of the house gave His servants pocket change. That is how God views the tokens of the covenant, as pocket change compared to the eternal riches to come. Not to diminish Christ, but to show us that this is just a taste of His glory. So, in comparison to the future baptism of light, we would then look at these tokens as very small (like the mustard seed). But right now these tokens are our lifeline. It's like a life jacket. It's a token that our life depends upon.
So He says to the one who used his talent to increase His Master’s house, "You have been faithful and consistent in that which is a very little thing. Have you authority over ten cities." Look at the comparison. I gave you some small change (tokens for your faith to express Christ) and if you prove faithful to that, I am going to give you something on a much grander scale. Ten cities! “Just for that you are going to give me ten cities?”
Of course the Master has the authority to do that. But what the Lord is conveying right here concerns the small token of faith. Do you believe My claims as the Messiah? Do you receive the grace which I am providing for you? It is a very small price to pay in regard to what I will truly give to you for your rewards. It is a very small price to pay to set aside the boast of our aspiration for the true riches of heaven.
Now the second came and he says, “Lord your pound has gained five pounds.” And Master responds in joy, “Wow that is good too!” He says likewise to him, be you also over five cities. Of course this is a position of authority as a throne. He is the authority. The Lord is leaking certain information to us. The word authority has to do with being seated as a king or as a throne, a governor. As Jesus is governor over the church we will be governor over other dimensions.
So he said unto him, likewise be you over five cities. Have authority, sit on the throne, take your ease. If you could be trusted to barter with these small tokens which I entrusted to you, then I know that you can also be merciful and longsuffering to oversee something that is on a grander scale.
God Placed Faith in an Environment Where it Could be Tested
Understand that God has to place faith in an environment where it can be tested. The Master called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But upon His return, the Master of the house is going to ask each servant to give an account of their use of His talent.
God is trying the heart, “Do you love Me, more than your comfort zones? Then use My tools. Increase My kingdom.” Even now, God daily rewards our labor of faith by increasing His grace towards us, by multiplying His mercy, thus teaching us to trust Him. “Yes, My eternal blessings await you. See, even now, you taste of My glory when you engage Me with these very small invisible tokens of My kingdom.”
But look at what happens when people neglect the tools of the covenant and set them aside because they don’t want to be bothered with them; they don’t want God to assign a responsibility to their faith, they want to use grace to define their freedom from responsibility to His kingdom. We often hear this preached today about the “dispensation of grace” or the “covenant of grace”. It is thought that grace was a season where God did not expect anything from you. The Lord Himself dispels that rumor in this parable. We are talking about the person in the parable that received one token from His Master, but did not put it to the exchangers. He refused to perform the task that was assigned to this token. So let's see what happens in verse 20.
verse 20 - Another came and said, "Lord, behold, here is your pound.” God gave him this pound, and he did call God, Lord. And we have a lot of people today claiming that Jesus is their Lord, but what are they doing with the token of bartering, the tokens of the Second Covenant? Many are hiding the tokens of Christ, even as this man did. He hid what His Master gave him. This means that he refused to reciprocate with it, to build with this bartering token.
And so he says, “Lord, behold, your pound has not gained anything. I have kept laid up in a napkin. For I feared you.” Now where does fear comes from? Uncertainty breeds fear. Because fear has torment. But love casts out fear, which means that those who utilize the token for this bartering are not withdrawing in confusion or being confounded.
Those which have a lot of questions are confounded, aren't they? They do not understand the conditions of this bartering. The Master would say, “ I gave you a token and you were supposed to reciprocate with this. Why didn't you do that?” Most today say, “Well, I was not really sure what to do with it, so I just went out and hid it in the ground.” And like the man in the parable, they busy themselves with other things. They busy themselves with things that are not profitable for them.
The Lord reveals further about this man’s fear: I feared you because you are an austere man. I know that you are fair and that you stand to your word and that you have no respect of persons. You take up what you did not lay not down, you reap what you did not sow. Let's see what is going to happen here. So this particular individual is already laying out for the Lord concerning his own judgments. He says, "I know".
The Lord Prospers Our Understanding for Charity
And the Lord responded, saying, “Out of your own mouth will I judge you.” There is nothing for me to measure to you. Because there is nothing you gave. If you giving sacrifices of praise if you are utilizing these tools then there is something for me to measure to you. But out of your own mouth, you have nothing to measure. There is no charity. If there is no charity, there is nothing for me to mete back to you and to reciprocate and to reward you with. The tokens for bartering which I gave you was for the purpose of prospering your understanding for your charity. Out of your own mouth, you have nothing to reciprocate. So God calls him a “wicked” servant.
Out of your own mouth will I judge you, wicked servant. He is a wicked servant because he lived by a completely different standard. Instead of building he began to challenge God, he was challenging God’s perceptions. That is all he did. He was a challenger, not a builder.
You knew that I was an austere man. That I am very faithful and that I exact faith according to My standard, taking up where I laid not down and reaping where I did not sow. For you were to be saved by trading with this charity, but instead you withheld. Here the Lord shows us that we gain by trading in His kingdom.
And so the Lord ask the wicked servant, “Why didn’t you at least deposit My money (My tokens) in the bank that at My coming I might have required My own with usury? You didn’t even do the least because you saw no value in that which I gave you.
Disambiguation: This is a good time to insert a disambiguation point into the lesson. The current Christian culture flooded the market with education about God’s “talent” being your unique signature gifts, the talents of your signature. The reason why this appeals to the masses is because it was easy for believers to draw from within themselves to serve God. You are told, you can do this for Jesus, you can do that for Jesus, to show your love for God.
But, this is in error. The talent is not man, it is Christ. The measure is not found in the nature of man, the measure is found in Christ. We love God by giving Christ back to Him. That is true reciprocation. Jesus is the talent. We are not the talent. We cannot increase the kingdom of God by sowing our talents into His kingdom. Please see S8W glossary for more information about the difference between the signature of man and the signature of Christ.
God Designed Grace and Truth Into Each of the 9 Tools
The Lord calls the wicked servant His “enemy”. And He calls to His angels, “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me,” (verse 27). Here we see that God designed grace and truth in each of the 9 tools that by our labor with His tokens, He might reign over us.
The enemies of righteousness receive the revelation of His grace, but they refuse to build with it. They elected to do what they wanted with it. And what they did with it is that they buried it. It gained no recognition -- the gifts which God gives to us is for recognition. But if you bury it there is no longer any recognition. The calling he gave you is for recognition for His kingdom. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a sign and recognition of His kingdom. Truth is a sign and recognition of His kingdom. The prophecy of your priesthood is a sign and recognition of His kingdom. There will be those who will hear, those who will either receive, but they will bury it. They refuse to identify with it. They will bury it.
We bury death, we bury a corpse, and he buried the token. Do you see what God is saying? This man, by neglecting the tools, put Christ to death. The token which God gave them was not to be buried as a corpse, but rather to be set on the market for exchanging. It was to be active in commerce.
That is what we do. As you continually use these tokens, praying in the Spirit, offering your spiritual sacrifices of prophecy, preaching the word of God, putting God's word on the market, you are bartering, you are sowing in the assembly and in the world and in your own heart. You are increasing the kingdom of God with the tokens of Christ. You are not burying it. You are using it and it is increasing.
But to the wicked servant who refuse to increase God’s house with His tokens, He says, “Remove the image of death that they have embraced. They refused to allow me to reign over them through these tokens and bartering tools. They buried My tokens, they refused my image, and it corrupted. Bring them here and slay them before me.”