Luke presents Jesus as the Ideal Man -- Chapter 17
LUKE 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
Human beings make mistakes in what we do and in what we believe. But we are sadly so convinced that we have got it right, and thus do not need correction. If we were less puffed up with our own knowledge and self-importance, we would check more carefully what it is that we believe, but most of us do not. We hang onto our old ideas. We desperately hang onto the cozy comfort zone of believing what our church leaders say, so that we do not have to think for ourselves. Thus, on certain issues we are going to get it wrong, and heaven help us when we do get it wrong, as we are convinced that our errors are right and therefore we cannot be corrected. Pride means we do not believe that we could be wrong, and we thus refuse to believe that there is anyone outside our church group who can correct us. There are 30 000 different kinds of denomination, all of which are convinced that they are right. So a lot of Christians are obviously fooled.
One day we will pay for our errors and ignorance of Scripture. In the meanwhile we ignore correction from anyone not in our chosen group. Governments pay an opposition to criticize them, but churches and Christians do not have enough sense to do that. That is why Christians learn so little as the years go by.
Christians do not have a ten year learning experience in a church. They have a one year learning experience that is repeated ten times. We are like frogs in a little puddle of knowledge. If the puddle is small enough, it can make us feel like big frogs.
LUKE 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
The huge number of different churches means that error is rampant in Christian circles. After all, the 30 000 different kinds of denominational beliefs are all different. Preachers happily claim that there are mistakes in the Bible. So the end-time children cannot be restored back to the apostolic fathers of the early church because they are taught that the apostolic fathers made mistakes. In other words, we think we know better than the apostles who wrote the New Testament.
In addition, we teach our children that the doctrine of evolution is true, and that we come from animals. What an insult to God Who made us in His image. Scientists have sought for 160 odd years to find the missing link between man and monkey. They furiously disagree with each other on details, but all agree on one fact: the missing link is still missing. No decent scientific theory can be built on a fact that is missing. Thus evolution is a hoax.
Evolution says that the monkey made a man out of himself. The Bible says that man made a 'monkey' out of himself. You decide who is right.
We teach our children that Genesis is just some "primitive", and not very accurate, attempt to explain creation in the pre-scientific "age of ignorance" that did not believe in the Big Bang. But top scientists like Nobel prize winner Steven Weinberg and Allan Guth, who once championed and developed the Big Bang theory, are now distancing themselves from it. The Big Bang never predicted Dark Energy and Dark Matter, about which scientists know nothing. Dark Energy and Dark matter make up 96% of the universe. So that is a huge chunk of the universe that scientists cannot explain. Thus scientists are not nearly as clever as they think they are, as the best scientist cannot get more than 4% for a test on the origin of what is in the universe. 4% is nowhere near a pass mark. Anyone who only knows 4% of a subject would be advised to keep their mouths closed.
One day we will pay a heavy price for our pseudo-scientific arrogance.
I TIMOTHY 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
At the end time, we modern Christians are the spiritual children who must return to the Bible beliefs of the New Testament apostolic fathers who wrote the New Testament. A seed is planted, and the plant then grows through different stages, but at the end it produces the same seed that was planted in the early church. Then it is time for the harvest. When the church gets back to the New Testament beliefs, Jesus will come.
Christians who criticize an individual for wanting to be Scriptural are stopping God's restoration plan. Christians, who justify their ignorance by claiming that the Bible questions that they cannot answer are not important, are also a stumbling block to progress. Children are very curious. We all need to be asking questions and searching for answers. Otherwise we are not spiritual children.
LUKE 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
Rebuke a Christian for being wrong, but forgive him when he repents.
We all have wrong beliefs and do things wrong. So we all need forgiveness. And we should all be zealous to repent. We all need to learn, unlearn, and relearn. We all know far less than what we think we do, as we are easily fooled by church traditions. Why else would we believe that the wise men went into a stable when Matthew chapter 2 said that they went into a house. They did not see a Baby, they saw a young Child. We all need to pray for eyesalve in order to see a clearer revelation of the truths in the Bible.
MATTHEW 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother,
LUKE 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
Luke is trying to tell us that we all make many mistakes and need to be zealous to repent. So do not hold it against someone else who makes many mistakes if they are repentant. In our last church age we all have far more ignorance and error than what we realize. Seven times a day reflects the idea of seven, which implies that all the errors of seven church ages have been unleashed in our final church age. We are living in the most deceptive age ever, and we foolishly believe that since we have need of nothing, we have no need of correction either.
LUKE 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
We need faith. We need more faith. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Faith can enable the impossible to happen. We have to learn that the Bible is true, and we must learn to believe what is in the Bible. That alone is the foundation for our faith. We need to understand more of the Bible in order to gain more faith.
Luke now reveals a harsh truth about how ineffectual we actually are in comparison to Jesus.
Jesus said that a servant, who works for money, does his job, but cannot expect the master who pays him to fuss over him.
LUKE 17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
:8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
:9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
This is a key verse in Luke's Gospel.
As humans we must expect no thanks from God for serving Him.
God wants to dwell in us and direct our footsteps. So whatever we do right, it is actually God in us Who is doing the right thing, and thus we deserve no credit. In essence, we are like a motor car, and He is the Driver.
When you last got out of your car that had just taken you on a necessary journey, did you thank the car?
By God's standards we are not worth much. We are more of a nuisance than a help to Him.
Please remember that we are unprofitable to Him.
So by putting up with us, God makes no profit, which means that we are causing Him to actually make a loss. We do more harm to His kingdom than what we do right.
Hopefully this will deflate each ego.
But you may think that you did certain things well for God. Perhaps you did. But in His Book you did many more things wrongly for Him, in pursuit of your own selfish gain, and in the spreading of the errors in your beliefs. When it is all added up, we do more wrong than right. That is why we show no profit. That is why we need a prophet to straighten us out.
Ten lepers approached Jesus and He healed them. But only one turned back to say, "Thank You".
Luke emphasizes how naturally ungrateful we humans are. What God does for us, we just take for granted.
We complain often but seldom give thanks.
LUKE 17:15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
:16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
Luke, who favours the Gentiles, gets in a sharp rebuke against the Jews by emphasizing that the only one who returned to say thanks was not a Jew.
LUKE 17:17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
:18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
Luke shows that the favourites, the Jews, did not perform well. A stranger, that the Jews would ignore, was the one who pleased Jesus.
:19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
LUKE 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
There are no outward visible signs that indicate the presence of God's kingdom. So Christians who regard their visible wealth and ostentatious lifestyle as a proof of God's blessing are fooling themselves. The world's richest people are not Christians.
Having the biggest church is impressive to look at. But, because it can be observed, it is no proof that the church is correct or part of God's kingdom.
LUKE 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
The kingdom of God is not visible. So it is neither political success, nor the accumulation of wealth, nor the gaining of some elevated position.
God's kingdom is when He dwells in the human heart and makes us die to ourselves.
He can only increase in the control of our lives as we decrease in the control of our lives.
As we become weaker, He becomes stronger. The kingdom of God is the inner struggle to give Him our self-will so that He can replace it with God's will. As we become nothing, He becomes something.
The kingdom of God is basically to get us to believe and follow what is written in the Bible.
You do not have to be anywhere specifically on earth. The kingdom will not appear in one certain place. You do not need to move to some specific place. You just have to be a Bible believer. You need to find your place in the Word of God. Do not look for God somewhere outside of yourself. Your contact with God will only happen within yourself. Your thinking must change. You contact God in your mind. God is a Spirit, and your mind is a spirit that somehow thinks using your brain cells.
LUKE 17:22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.
"Son of man" speaks of a prophet. A Gentile prophet will be needed to restore the last church back to the doctrines of the first church. The disciples would not see this event as it would happen almost two thousand years later. But they would be laying the foundation of the New Testament that the end time prophet would restore us back to.
LUKE 17:23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.
But do not get too excited about believers running around and trying to get you to follow themselves, or to follow a man.
God does not come as a great cloud in the desert of Arizona. So you do not have to be there.
The end time prophet cannot add to the Scripture -- he can only reveal what is already written.
So do not regard his quotes as being equal or more important than Scripture. He can only point you to what is written in Scripture. So do not follow a man. Follow the Scriptures that he points you to. Only believe what a man says if you can prove his revelation from the Bible verses that refer to a specific topic.
At the end, the world is being connected by the internet. Amongst all the error that is on the internet, there will be sites where people can still find truth. So individuals can learn truth wherever they happen to be. Cell phones and computers can download all the information needed to prepare us for the Lord's Coming. Somewhere, there will be sites that expose the current fashionable and popular errors that are not proven from Scripture. You can learn what you need to know of the Bible from the world wide web.
There are web sites where truth is presented.
There are web sites where you can send in your questions to and they will be answered.
There are web sites where error is exposed.
As an individual you can find all the information that you need on the internet.
An electric 'rain' pours down from the satellites in orbit. In there you can find the former or Bible teaching rain that will help you prepare for the latter or harvest rain, when the Lord Jesus collects His bride, which is the Bible-believing church.
Thus there is no need for you to move from one place to another place.
There is no person or church that can claim a monopoly on truth.
You, with a cellphone or computer, can download as much true information as any other person or group can do. But you have to diligently seek for the truth, and God will guide you.
LUKE 17:24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
Lightning is moving light.
Cain went east and demonology (the kings of the east) was established there. These armies of demons are now flooding into the western world to deceive us.
GENESIS 4:16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
REVELATION 16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
The Euphrates was the border of the promised land. The river drying up symbolizes that as the water of the Word dries up, then the way for demonology is opened. As we forsake Scripture, the Devil takes us over.
The dragon is the Devil. The beast is the political-religious power of the Roman Catholic church. The false prophet is the prophet of a false religion that is unscriptural, the Pope. These three have produced the doctrine of the Trinity. The Trinity is the major doctrine that is performing a spiritual miracle today, the uniting of the churches. There is very little else that the churches agree on. The uniting of the churches under the leadership of Rome brings all the Christians in the church systems into the great Tribulation. The saved Christians that are left behind and go into the great Tribulation will all die. At the end of the Tribulation, when all the saved Christians have been destroyed, Christ will return for the battle of Armageddon.
According to God's plan, in the Middle East the light of God's Word was revealed by Jesus and the apostles in the early church.
Most of this light got lost in the Dark Ages.
After the Dark Ages, Martin Luther in Germany brought back the light of salvation by grace through faith. This is called Justification. Then the Gospel light moved further west to England where John Wesley further illuminated Christians with the revelation of holiness and evangelical outreach. This is called Sanctification. Then the Gospel light moved further west to America where the Pentecostal revival of the Holy Ghost baptism illuminated the workings of the supernatural gifts of God. Then in America, because that is as far west as we can go, this move of the Holy Spirit must culminate in a prophetic teaching ministry that reveals the mystery of God, Who is the Word. The light of this revealed Scripture will be just like the light of the early church. "Son of man" speaks of Christ using a prophetic ministry which will guide the last church age back to the beliefs of the first church age.
It is essential that we learn to worship God both in Spirit and in the Truth of the Bible.
JOHN 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
LUKE 17:25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.
But truth will not be established without suffering and rejection. The Jews must reject the truth, and kill Jesus. Hardly anyone stood for Jesus at Calvary, which was His First Coming.
So it will be no surprise to find that the end-time church will also reject the revealed truth of the Bible, because only by believing what is in the Bible can we go back to the first church age beliefs.
LUKE 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
Hardly anyone stood for the preaching of Noah. Virtually everyone rejected him. Only eight people in the whole world entered the ark and got saved. This is a very scary symbol of the end time church. Very few will make it.
So, according to the comparison with Noah's day, the end time prophetic or "son of man ministry" will end up with hardly anyone believing in the Bible. Man-made doctrines based on quotes and church traditions will be rampant. Who will actually believe what is written in the Bible? Very few.
Then the great Tribulation will set in like a flood. This time it will be fire, not water. The nuclear bombs are already built and waiting.
LUKE 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Again, a scary comparison with an age when very few made it. Only three people left Sodom. Lot and his two daughters. So hardly anyone got saved from that fire that symbolize the great Tribulation that is coming at the end of the last church age.
Fire came down from heaven above. In the future Tribulation, aeroplanes will drop nuclear bombs from the air. Intercontinental ballistic missiles will rain down nuclear bombs from above. These explode several hundred metres above the ground in order to get a maximum spread of their blast, shock wave, and fire storm. It will literally rain fire. All the saved Christians who miss the catching away of the church, and are thus are left behind in the great Tribulation, will die.
REVELATION 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Saved Christians, the sleeping virgins, will refuse to worship the image of the beast. Then they will be killed.
This is the second beast referred to in Chapter 13. The first beast (or power) is the world wide Roman Catholic church. The "he" in the above verse refers to the American political beast or power that rose up in the last century (the Laodicean church age) to dominate the world in the military and financial realms. The power of this American beast is its massive financial power. Nine out of ten of the world's full time Christian workers are in America. American money supports church systems world wide. This money is the life blood of religious organizations that pays for the people who keep the system alive.
In the great Tribulation the beast that will take over the world is the Roman Catholic denominational church system. The image of the beast is the Protestant and non-denominational church systems that imitate Rome by also building up an international religious church organization that is heavily involved in politics and big money. Remember Judas who went for the money.
The churches make a big mistake when they claim that, if we repent and accept Jesus as our personal Saviour, then we will miss the great Tribulation. No. Repentance saves us from Hell. There were wise virgins and sleeping virgins who were clean women that symbolized saved church believers. But only the wise virgins met the Bridegroom, Jesus. The sleeping virgins are saved from hell, but they have to die in the great Tribulation.
How wise are you?
How much of your beliefs can you prove just by using Bible verses?
Very few Christians can prove what they believe from the Bible. There is much in the Bible that Christians cannot explain.
Adam and Eve committed the same sin. God said to Adam "Because you have done this, your punishment is ...".
But to Eve He gave no explanation. He never said "Because". Why not?
They both committed the same sin but got two very different punishments. Why?
God made all the trees on the third day, and said all were good. So why was there a bad tree in Eden?
Matthew traces a bloodline for Jesus from David to Joseph. Luke does a similar blood line, but uses different names and has 13 extra generations between David and Joseph -- Why?
Seven churches are mentioned in the Book of Revelation by the names of their cities. Six are mentioned by their usual names. But the city of Pergamum is called Pergamos, which is its Greek name. Why does this one church have a Greek version for its name, when the other six churches do not?
Modern Christianity sits with huge gaps in our knowledge of Scripture. We need an end time prophet to straighten us out.
We think we know a lot, and are so puffed up with our Bible knowledge that we feel we need no outside help.
But arrogance easily puffs up ignorance.
LUKE 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
When the end time prophet reveals the hidden mysteries in the Bible, very few will take his teachings back to the Bible, and prove that what he preached can be proven by linking Bible verses together. Only the few who do that will escape the fiery Tribulation that is coming to burn up the errors and evil of our age.
The biggest enemy of Christianity is denominational "churchianity". People say,"I belong to my church. I believe what my church says. So when the church says something different to the Bible, which all churches do, then I believe my church and ignore what the Bible says". That is the attitude of "churchianity". It is a deep emotional opposition to acknowledging the errors in the church. We do not want to admit that this kind of problem exists. We cling to our fashionable delusions, and are dangerously ignorant of our own ignorance.
LUKE 17:31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
In the last church age Jesus stands outside the church door and knocks. He asks for individuals to invite Him in, not the whole church. Luke also refers to an individual who escapes from the modern trap of "churchianity". Being on top of the house he can see further than the others in his church. Or an individual out in the field, which is symbolic of evangelical work. Having seen the errors in the organization, the individual must escape the man-made thinking and doctrines of the church.
We, as individuals, need to get away from the traditional mind set and emotional opinions of our churches. We may choose to remain attending the church services, but have leave the all the man-made stuff that they taught us. Leave it behind, and stay clear of the denominational ideas, opinions, and traditions. You can no longer afford consensus with all the ideas of a pastor-dominated church. Once you see that the Bible alone has truth, then you can no longer regard human quotes as equal to Scripture. You will lose interest in following some man, because that way you end up being unable to prove your beliefs from Scripture. You will never again begin to criticize anyone who expects you to stay with the written Bible.
Moving from one pastor dominated assembly to another pastor dominated assembly will not solve your problems, as you leave one bunch of mistakes to replace them with other different mistakes. The organizational structures and ideas of our churches do not properly follow the New Testament pattern.
The word "pastor" is only mentioned once in the New testament, so this ministry certainly did not dominate the early churches. No Scripture said that a shepherd is the pastor. Pastors claim to be the shepherd of the sheep. That makes the pastor into a superior species. A human is far superior to any animal. But elevation of a man is nicolaitanism, that conquers the laity or congregation. God hates this.
LUKE 17:32 Remember Lot's wife.
She looked back to what she had. She did not make a clean break with her past thinking as she was scared to start all over again. She wanted to have what she had in the past.
We loved human leadership and domination in the past. So if we try to escape from unscriptural beliefs we must stay with the Bible, even when the church leaders preach error, or we will die spiritually just like Lot's wife. A woman represents a church. She tried to escape from some errors, but looked back to other errors that she still wanted.
LUKE 17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
You can fellowship in a church, which obviously has some measure of truth that can benefit you, but you are not going to find the full truth in any church group. You need to search for deeper truth on your own, outside your church structure. Trying to agree with the errors of the preachers and the church that made you unable to prove your beliefs from Scripture in the first place, may make you feel safe in that holy huddle of cozy consensus, but you are heading for death in the Tribulation.
Rather let them condemn you for disagreeing with them. The 'rejects' of the churches are the ones who will make it.
Jesus now emphasizes that very few will make it for the catching away of the church, which is going to happen at some instant in time. He refers to three different times of the day: sleeping, preparing food for a meal, and working in a field.
But at any moment, three different times of the day would refer to three different parts of the world. Again, according to this parable, it is only individuals who go, not groups. Three different parts of the world, and only one individual will be taken from each part. That does not sound like there are many people who will make it. We need to be very careful as most people are going to be left behind.
LUKE 17:34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
:35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
:36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.
The Lord's body is His true church, made up from the hearts of men and women who believe the revealed Scripture, which is our spiritual meat. Eagles have a clear eyesight that magnifies details. Christ is the Word. He is the bread of life. The true church, which is the body of the Lord, lives by eating the doctrines that are symbolized by the bread or the meat of the body of the Lord, which is the Bible. Thus the true church must be a Bible-believing church.
So where must we be in order to be taken away from the wrath to come? In the Word of God.
Believing every Scripture and being able to prove what we believe from Scripture verses.
JOHN 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
I CORINTHIANS 11:23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
Spiritual eagles have a clear insight into the Word of God. They do not need to cover their ignorance by dismissing any Bible questions and passages as being unimportant. They see meanings in Scripture that the sleeping virgins cannot explain. Their lamps burn oil, and produce light which illuminates the Bible verses. The lamps that have no oil produce no light, and thus the meaning of the Bible verses cannot be seen. So the church leaders who cannot answer so many basic Bible questions have no light in their lamps. Thus they cannot guide the wise virgins to the Second Coming, but they can keep the sleeping virgin asleep.
Eagles have sharp beaks, to rip the meat of God's Word into pieces that can be eaten (understood).
Eagles can also fly high, which symbolizes the catching up of the church.