TARRY VS. OCCUPY
While it is rhetorically correct to state that believers are to “tarry” until Jesus returns (This is not the Second Coming – it is an interesting to do a word study on the word, “return,” you will never find Jesus referring to the Second Coming as Him “returning,” or anyone else in the Bible. The return of Jesus is always a reference to the Rapture, where Jesus will return to receive His servants. The Second Coming cannot be referred to as the return of Jesus denotatively, because it would actually be incorrect in that He had returned to the Earth prior to this in the Rapture. In a literal sense, Jesus does not touch the Earth at the Rapture; this is why the Rapture always concerns Jesus meeting His followers in the air, in the clouds. He does not literally touch the Earth, at the Second Coming Jesus feet first touch earth on the “Mount of Olives.” The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is a fulfillment in prophecy where He comes to the earth second time. But why only use the word “return” concerning the Rapture? Because the first time Jesus came He came to die for the sins of the world, and to begin His ministry upon the earth with that message, referred to as the gospel of Jesus Christ. The vehicle that He chose to take the gospel to the whole earth is commonly referred to as the church. Therefore, one of the functions of Jesus First Coming was to establish the church, and when He returns it is a continuation of fulfilling that first coming by collecting the church that He started over 2000 years before. The Second Coming is a separate event distinct from the first. The First Coming is where Jesus presents Himself as the “Lamb of God” to die for the sins of the world. The Second Coming, which is a completely distinct event – Christ has a completely distinct role to perform – He is the “Avenger of Blood,” which is 1 of 2 functions that the “Kinsman Redeemer,” referred to in the Hebrew as the: “Goel,” does. The first office of the kinsman redeemer is that of the senior family member that redeems his own by paying the price for his kin – this was Jesus First Coming. The point here, is that Jesus has two roles wherein he fulfills all righteousness, that of the First Coming wherein the He redeems mankind as His kinsman, which is why He had to become human; and the second role He comes again as the “Avenger of Blood,” which we refer to as the Second Coming, to rescue Israel, but also more pointedly to avenge those that have persecuted His people. His people are the Jews, yet His people are also the church. 2 events, 2 roles, 2 timelines; with the Rapture being part “B” of the first event. I will be posting a post on the “kinsman redeemer” soon.), it is not biblically correct, we are not to wait for Christ to return, we are to work until He returns for us.
There has been a misconception that believers are to “tarry” until Christ returns; yet, this is not found within Scripture, wherein this specific word, “tarry” is utilized. The problem may be that this word “tarry” (used over 50 times in the Bible, with the vast majority in the Old Testament ~ only 15 times in the New Testament) was used concerning “waiting,” which is what the word actually means, for the disciples to be baptized in the Holy Spirit before taking the message of the gospel to the world (Luke 24:49). This word, “tarry,” was used in a number of places, concerning: Jesus prayer in Gethsemane, Jesus speaking about the potentiality of John living until Christ’s coming, the Emmaus road incident, 4 times concerning Paul in his travels, and in Hebrews 10:37 in reference to Christ not tarrying concerning the Second Coming.
Yet, there is no incident where we are told as believers to “tarry” or in the English vernacular, to “wait,” (both in the English and Greek, these words are verbs ~ they are actions, or behaviors) for Christ coming to retrieve the church, His “bride” (connotatively speaking ~ someday I will address this specific terms denotatively); commonly referred to as the Rapture - a separate and distinct event than the Second Coming, where Christ comes with His bride, the church to judge the earth.
However, there is a word – a verb, that believers are instructed to do concerning the coming of Christ – the Rapture. It is the word “occupy,” though it is given not directly, but by a direct inference through Christ using a parable.
SIDE TRIP / RABBIT TRAIL #1
If we remember correctly, a “parable” is a mysterious story that is meant to be a parallel presentation of a truth (a principal or value) presented, wherein the connection between the parable presented, and the truth (a principal or value) becomes obvious, HOWEVER, NOT WITHOUT THE CONNECTION PRESENTED. Otherwise, without the connection being made, without the definition of how the parable connects to the truth (a principal or value); the parable remains enigmatic – as an unknown mystery.
I am cognizant that many people may not be aware that parables were used to disguise a story, that some might refer to as a metaphor. The meaning of the Greek word translated into the English word “parable” is: “parabole” (gen. paraboles, fem. noun from parabállō [G3846]), means: “simile,” “comparison,” “parallelism;” yet with the connection made; which is also combined with the word for: “narrative,” and “story.”
There are different forms of teaching aids utilized in both the Hebrew and Greek, which are different words in their original languages, yet translated into the singular English word “parable;” this is where the confusion comes from. In the Hebrew, the few words that are used for “parable” do not hold the combination of words including the idea of that which is enigmatic or mysterious and hidden. This is why the teachings David utilized (along with the other writers) in Psalms and Proverbs were parables that were open and easily understood, where the parallels were obvious both concerning the metaphor and the truth (a principal or value) that was presented. However, the Greek word that Christ used, that is translated into the English word; “parable” is different, and definitely does include the concept of mystery, and hidden meaning. The following Scriptures make this more plane:
(Mat 13:10) And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
(Mat 13:13) Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
(Mat 13:34) All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
(Mat 13:35) That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
(Mat 13:36) Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
(Mat 15:15) Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.
(Mar 4:10) And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
(Mar 4:11) And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
(Mar 4:13) And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
(Mar 4:33) And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.
(Mar 4:34) But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.
(Luk 8:9) And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
(Luk 8:10) And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
(Luk 12:41) Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?
(Joh 10:6) This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
Now back to the study at hand, concerning the word “occupy.” Jesus presents a parable in Luke 19:10-28 (where He defines the connection between the parable and the truth in Luke 19:10-11, in reference to the “return” of the Son of God in reference to His servants, and how they performed while he was gone. This is not the Second Coming, where He comes with His servants on a separate mission of protecting Israel, and casting down the “earth dwellers” ~ I think I’ve made this point Ad nauseam), where He speaks about a nobleman (you will notice that when Jesus uses this term in parables it is always used concerning deity), leaving and going on a journey and giving instructions of what his servants are to do while he is gone, until his return. They are to “occupy,” as seen below:
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 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. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 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. 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: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.” (Luke 19:10-28)
We further see from this parable that the servants are rewarded according to the amount of labor that they do for the nobleman, for his estate – for his kingdom. And that the reward is commensurate with that investment made by the servant. This is a just recompense. Not everyone that gets into heaven receives the same reward. This is evident throughout the Bible, specially seen concerning the 5 crowns that the believer may achieve – see the post entitled: “Crowns,” along with many other analogies and teachings.
This parable is about rewards, not salvation. This parable is about occupying until Jesus returns for us, not simply waiting for him to return.
ADDENDUM ~ SIDE TRIP / RABBIT TRAIL #2:
Concerning the issue of salvation as distinct from re-wards, let me side trip on the issue of true biblical salvation.
I have attended over 500 deaths in the last 4 and half years, and I’ve stood at many beds and explained to unbelievers what salvation truly is, as well as what it is not. It is not, going to church, giving tithes, living a moral life, following what the Bible says behaviorally, believing that Jesus was a great prophet or teacher, or even simply to believe in that Jesus was the Savior of the world. These things will not save anyone. Passages that I have used to convince people that it is not according to their works that they are saved, entail such teachings as: “the thief on the cross” (Luke 23:43) and the workers they receive the same reward, though they had worked different hours during the day (Matthew 28:1-20).
These are great examples of individuals who were given salvation, wherein salvation is equal to all. The workers in the field points out the fact that all receive the same reward of salvation; whereas the thief on the cross, points to the fact that it’s not by works, as he had no opportunity to achieve them. And his active faith were seen in his words of justifying and defending Christ, and referring to him as Lord, and exercising the faith was in his heart, and asking to be with Jesus in His kingdom.
Yet concerning the question at hand, what is salvation. Since this ministry utilizes the word faith so often, I felt that this is the time and place to do a little defining.
Saving Faith is when a person believes that Jesus is the Savior of the world, but believes it to the extent that it is more than mere mental assent (which is what the word “believe” means), but that the belief is coupled with confidence, to the extent that the way of thinking is changed, which is so strong that it changes the behavior as well (this is what the word repentance means – “to change one’s thinking,” to the extent that their behavior changes as well). This is why the word “faith,” in its verb form is what brings salvation according to the grace of God; mere belief – which again is just cognitive thought, is not enough to save a person. James validates this insight concerning this word as seen in James 2:19, which tells us:
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
It is when an individual believes that Jesus Christ is his (not generically that Christ is the Savior of the world, which demands no submission to Christ Lordship in particular, this is what President Obama believes – it is referred to as: “Corporate Salvation,” and parallels the heresy of “Social Justice;” and makes no demands of the adherers, and is antithetical to the Bible, it does not hold the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, nor any of the other major tenants and doctrines of Orthodox Christianity; such as the deity of Christ, his atoning death on the cross, and much, much, more) Savior and Lord, that Jesus died for his sins; to the extent that confidence is gained according to God’s Word (see Rom. 10:17); which affirms a change within the persons “belief system” which directly influences, and transforms their behaviors – this is true biblical faith, wherein the person is a child of God* (these are not extra conditions, these are a breakdown of what biblical “faith” entails, according to the definition of the Greek word, which is synonymous with the word “believe” when used with in its biblical context, that of being coupled with confidence. Salvation starts with the belief, but must transcend to a place where it is combined with confidence, wherein change in thought and behavior are produced) - becomes saved.
SIDE TRIP / RABBIT TRAIL #3 – *
*In reference to the point in time that a person accepts Jesus Christ as their personal savior, which entails what is written above; for me on the point in time, was December 24, 1974. Each believer has a point in time that their salvation is secured according to their belief, yet there is a mystery concerning this in that the believer was chosen by God, rather it was according to God’s response to their belief – referred to as “foreknowledge” (Rom. 8:29-31; 1 Pet. 1:2), or simply in God’s choosing, such as in the case of Isaac and Esau; we may never be able to conclude. Therefore, it is in understanding that we do not fully comprehend how this works; we must simply take God at his word.
This is not a Calvinistic teaching. Calvinism is much more in its definition; holding many things as preeminent concerning salvation than this one aspect (my next post will address the issue of eternal security as not been synonymous with Calvinism – which many individuals have mistakenly taught). This point in time is where we refer to as the date we were saved, and is commonly referred to as salvation seen in the exactness of time.
However, there is the aspect of salvation according to the fullness of time, wherein a person becomes a child of God as referred to in Ephesians 1:4, where the person was chosen in Christ (history was played out in advance as seen in Rev 13:8, which states: “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”).
The Scripture is very clear; we were saved before the foundations of the earth, as stated in Ephesians 1:4, which records;
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love”
Concerning the word: “us”, as in” “he hath chosen us,” is not generic concerning anyone that would respond to His calling. According to the Greek grammar it is specific concerning the hearer that Paul was addressing ~ this is a personal pronoun that is parsed as follows: Person ~ first-person, Noun Case ~ Accusative (Direct Object – “This is the most frequent use of the accusative case, such as in: “I see you” which is a personal pronoun used specifically, and clearly seen here according to the Person and Number. In a vain attempt to fight against the biblical doctrine of eternal security, certain individuals have tried to state that Eph. 1:4, was a generalized statement, meant for anyone that would respond to God’s call. However, this is emphatically untrue, as the above grammatical breakdown presents).
Therefore, it is beyond my pay grade to fully explain the mystery of this verse, it is simply a grammatical fact that believers were chosen before the foundations of the earth, not as a general group, which has misrepresented concerning the grammar, but as specific individuals. Concerning the subject of “election,” which is the technical term for those that are chosen by God; I will leave you what Paul said concerning the election of Israel as God’s own people, though generic concerning this group, the point that Paul is making is that it was a specific choice concerning this group to be God’s people, in the same way that it is a specific choice that you and I as individuals – that make up the church (a separate entity other than Israel as a group), that we are saved according to God’s individual choice of you or I. ; but cannot explain how these two subjects, “Freewill,” and “Election,” work together – and I have never heard anyone that can fully explain it – even though that state otherwise.
There are certain things within Christianity that is far beyond our understanding; two simple examples are, the Incarnation of Christ concerning how He was fully man and fully God, and this issue of predestination and free-will, because I believe in man’s free-will, yet I also believe in God sovereign ability to choose.
Let me repeat, I fully believe in man’s responsibility to act in faith, otherwise it would seem that man would have an excuse for going to hell, wherein it was God’s choice for him to do so. I do not believe that God chooses for men to go to hell, yet at the same time the following versus gives God the right to choose who will not go to hell. This may seem like wordplay (play on words), but these are my feudal attempt in explaining the subjects which are beyond my ability.
Again, for those that say that they can explain it, the Greek grammar has proven them insufficient at the least, and liars at the most. It is not my desire to offend anyone in this subject because it is very controversial, yet I do know this; our God is sovereign or else he is not God.
Please do not misunderstand, I believe in our responsibility to exercise faith.
And if God is not sovereign, then how can He be trusted with our life on this earth, or in eternity. The only reason that I dare addresses subject is because it directly affects the subject of biblical faith. I teach and preach the words of Job, “though he slay me, yet will I put my trust in him.”
I put my reputation, even my spiritual life on the chopping block concerning the subject of faith – that faith is not getting what we ask of God, but it is that God is trustworthy for what we already have, and really need. There so many times I asked for the wrong things, and I am ever so grateful for His answer being “no” to those petitions. It is the sovereignty of God concerning his choice wherein it is the integrity of God that is affected by misunderstanding this question – not man’s responsibility. And concerning the question of God being fair, the following address.
The reason I’m presenting the Scripture is not that Israel is an example in and of itself, but to present God statement that He is sovereign, and He will choose who He wants to choose – if He chooses to choose Israel, it’s His choice, if He chooses to choose individuals which make up the church, it is His choice.
The church is not saved as a group, it is made up of individual members – the individuals, that are saved (otherwise you could conclude that the church are the buildings in a city, rather than those that are saved that attend those particular congregations – there are many that are sitting in pews every Sunday yet our unsaved, and if you make the analogy that the corporate body of Christ is saved that these individuals will be saved as well – hence why would Paul speak about the members of the body so in intrinsically); these are the ones that he chooses – individually according to the grammar of Ephesians 1:4.
“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Rom 9:1-16)