Service Now, Rewards and Rulership: When Jesus Returns

COPYRIGHT WARNING

The prophet Isaiah, describes the return of the Messiah–to rule and reign over the earth for one thousand years. This event will take place upon Jesus arrival at the end of the seven year Tribulation Period. Coming with His redeemed church, which has been with Him in heaven, Jesus will destroy the kingdom of the antichrist, and place all governments and authorities under His rulership. No one will hurt or kill ever again. There will be absolute righteousness and peace upon the earth–for the first time in the history of mankind.

Those who have believed upon Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins, and have received Him as their Lord and Savior–will be established by Jesus, to rule over the earth with Him. The criteria for this rulership, is being determined today–by the faithful service of those who love the Lord and eagerly await His return.

Isaiah 2:2-4 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

Jesus describes His return to establish His kingdom–in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, in chapter 25 of Matthew’s gospel:

Matthew 25:31-46 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

Matthew 25:31-46 has been commonly taught as verses of scripture for salvation: Those who show mercy to the poor and less fortunate will be included in the kingdom of God. The problem with this view is that it places works as the method for obtaining salvation. Salvation is by grace through faith; not of works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

The basis for entry into the Messiah’s kingdom:

A more scholarly view of these verses from Matthew Chapter 25 is the emphasis on the Messiah’s return to earth to establish His kingdom. At that time, He will gather the nations together and separate them into the righteous and the unrighteous. The criteria for righteousness, which will allow those nations to enter the one-thousand year reign of the Messiah, is how they treated the nation of Israel during the seven year Tribulation.

Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. —Matthew 25:45

Jesus spoke the words to this text from Matthew chapter 25, during the time when He had already described for the disciples, the events of the seven year Tribulation Period in Matthew chapter 24. Chapter 25 begins Jesus descriptions of what will take place after the Tribulation, when He returns to earth—with His church.

The nations who have shown mercy to Israel during the reign of the antichrist will be allowed to go into the kingdom. Those nations who oppressed and afflicted Israel during these seven years will be cast into everlasting punishment.

“…And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” —Matthew 25:46

The text of Matthew Chapter 25, shows us the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prediction for the coming Messiah. At the end of the present age, Jesus will return to set up His kingdom and rule and reign over the whole earth from Jerusalem. He will appoint those who were a part of His church as co-rulers with Him. The redeemed of Jesus will have authority over certain parts of the earth, depending upon their previous level of faithfulness in serving Him—before He arrives at the Rapture. These individuals will rule over specific cities, predicated upon their past faithfulness in the little things that they did for Jesus during their mortal lives on earth.

Chart Rewards in Heaven

1. Serving Jesus on the earth, earning rewards after our salvation.
2. The Rapture takes place.
3. We receive our rewards in Heaven while the Tribulation occurs on earth.
4. We return to the earth with Jesus at the end of the Tribulation.
5. Jesus judges the nations.
6. We reign with Jesus on the earth.
7. The fulfillment of the Messiah’s kingdom

As Matthew Chapter 25:31-46 is the judgement of the nations to determine which will enter the kingdom age, the Parable of the Nobleman, in Luke 19:12-27, defines the judgement of the believer’s works, in determining the scope of this rulership during the one thousand years. See The Parables of the Messiah.

Parable 28: “The Minas

Luke 19:12-27 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’ And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’ Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”

This final parable of Jesus was spoken as He and the disciples drew near Jerusalem. The Lord was about to make His public announcement to Israel that He is the Messiah. He has been describing the events that will take place prior to His return to the earth at the end of the Tribulation period. With these events in mind, Luke writes, Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately.

In the context of the return of Jesus and those who will remain here on earth while He is gone, He begins to describe the work His servants should be doing until He comes again.

Do business till I come.

A mina is equal to about three to four months wages. It is interesting that the amount of the mina and the time that it will last, may be a hint for us in regards to the Rapture. Jesus fulfilled the first four feasts of Israel called The Feasts of the Lord, by becoming the Passover Lamb on Passover, remaining unraised in the tomb for three days during The Feast of Unleavened Bread, rising from the dead on The Feast of First Fruits, and sending the Holy Spirit to birth the church on The Feast of Pentecost. Between Pentecost and the next feast called Trumpets, there is a three-month Harvest Period. Jesus leaves these servants enough resources (a mina-three month’s wages) to last them through the three months of harvest, before He returns for His church during the Feast of Trumpets. In the chapters The Seven Feasts of Israel and The Rapture of the Church, I discuss this subject in great detail.

Much like the Parable of the Talents, from Matthew 25:14-30, the Parable of the Minas deals with stewardship while here on earth, with the possibility of rewards given later in heaven. This is a subject that most Christians know very little about. The principle and promise of rewards is for the believer who labors during their life for the Lord after their salvation has taken place.

• In the Parable of the Talents, the man traveling to a far country is Jesus, who gave five talents to one person, two talents to another, and one talent to a third.
• In the Parable of the Minas, a Nobleman called ten servants together and gave each of them 10 minas.

An interesting difference between the minas and the talents is seen by the response of those who receive 10 minas. They send a delegation to tell the master: We will not have this man to reign over us. When Jesus was presented to the people of Israel by Pilate, they rejected Him and asked Pilate to put Him to death.

Matthew 27:21-25 The governor answered and said to them (the people assembled), “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!” 22 Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” 23 Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” 24 When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” 25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.

With the rejection of Jesus by the people of Israel, it appears that this may have been the object of Jesus’ description in The Parable of the Minas. Jesus was sent first to the nation of Israel, in fulfillment of many prophecies of the Old Testament (see Prophecy 121). It was the plan of God that Israel should be the nation from where the whole world would hear about the Messiah and have the opportunity to be saved. When they rejected Jesus as their Messiah, their nation was left to them desolate (Titus in 70 A.D.). Jesus pronounced judgement on the whole nation, and the words of His prophecies regarding their desolation was fulfilled just 38 years later (see The Predictions of Jesus).

In this parable of the Minas, Jesus reveals that it is His plan to deliver the responsibility of making the Messiah known—to the people of Israel, specifically: His servants (the leaders of Israel).

So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’ ”

It is possible that in the Parable of the Mina’s, we see an illustration by Jesus, of the corrupt leaders of the Sanhedrin in Israel, whom He calls “ten servants.”

It is interesting that the the Mishna calls for 23 members to preside over the Sanhedrin.[1] However, the minimum number necessary to conduct any hearing by this council was 10.[2]

This number was based upon the 12 men whom the Lord commanded Moses to spy out the land of Canaan (Numbers 13:1-2). Ten of these men returned with a bad report stating that they would not be able to conquer the people who inhabited this land. This caused the people to complain against the Lord. Only two men, Joshua and Caleb, told the people that the land was good and the Lord would give them victory over all the inhabitants who occupied Canaan.

These 12 men who were chosen to spy out the land, are described in Numbers 13:4-15 (only Joshua and Caleb gave a good report):

The first name is the tribe they represented, the second: the man who went to spy out the land.

1. Reuben, Shammua.
2. Simeon, Shaphat.
3. Judah, Caleb.
4. Issachar, Igal.
5. Ephraim, Hoshea (Joshua).
6. Benjamin, Palti.
7. Zebulun, Gaddiel.
8. Manasseh (a tribe of Joseph), Gaddi.
9. Dan, Ammiel.
10. Asher, Sethur.
11. Naphtali, Nahbi.
12. Gad, Geuel.

As a result of these 10 unfaithful men, the Talmud and Mishna adapted a Tradition of the Elders of Israel that at least 10 men must be present to rule over matters that concerned the Sanhedrin. The English world “congregation” came from the Hebrew word “minyan,” which means “to count or number.” Because the Lord designated the children of Israel who were traveling through the desert as a “congregation” in Numbers 14:27, the Talmud concluded that sanctification should take place in a congregation “counted or numbered” by at least 10.[3]

In the 11th century, Rabbi Mosheh ben Maimon, known as Maimonides, who was one of the most prolific and influential Torah scholars, described, the way in which the leaders of Israel could be assembled to make up a minyan. If all the Sanhedrin could not be assembled at once, it was permissible to gather the members in two different locations as long as they were within hearing distance of each other.[4]

It is my opinion, based on the comments of Jesus that were clearly directed at the members of the Sanhedrin, that there may have been only 10 men present at the meeting to condemn Jesus to die (Matthew 27:1-2).

There were six trials that were conducted the night before Jesus was crucified, all of these proceedings were illegal, based on the rule of law in effect at the time these events took place. See the chapter: The Six Illegal Trials of Jesus.

1. Before Annas (Matthew 18:12-14)
2. Before Caiaphas (Matthew 18:19-24)
3. Before the Sanhedrin (Matthew 27:1-2)
4. Before Pilate (Matthew 18:28-38)
5. Before Herod (Luke 23:6-11)
6. Before Pilate (Luke 18:39-19:16)

Not all the members of the Sanhedrin were present at Jesus trial

In their rush to condemn Jesus to death and quickly see that He was executed; on the night Jesus was arrested, the council of the Sanhedrin did not include the complete number of 23, but perhaps only 10 members (in my opinion). These men were chosen based on their view that Jesus should be put to death. The other members who were not likely to convict Jesus were not invited to the preceding. This was perfectly legal under the Sanhedrin’s interpretation of the Mishna that at least 10 men must be present to rule over any action requiring judgement.

Evidence to conclude that not all of the members were present when Jesus was condemned by the Sanhedrin is found in Luke’s gospel where Joseph of Arimathea is described as being in opposition to condemning Jesus to death.

Luke 23:50 Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph (of Arimathea). He was a member of the Jewish high council, 51 but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. (NLT)

It is certain that Joseph was not invited to the final meeting of the Sanhedrin to condemn Jesus. Perhaps there were many others who also did not consent to this action and were also excluded from the decision of the council.

It is interesting that the number 10 is chosen by Jesus in the Parable of the Mina’s to illustrate the unfaithful men who perhaps also made up the council of the Sanhedrin on the night Jesus was condemned to die by the determination of these men.

Their unrighteous judgment of Jesus was the reason that the entire nation suffered at the hands of Titus in 70 A.D., when Jerusalem was destroyed and over one million Jews were killed. This was in fulfillment of Jesus 12th prediction that their nation would be left to them desolate because they did not recognize their day of visitation by the Messiah.

The Gospel will be declared by the Gentiles

Because Israel rejected Jesus as their Messiah, the responsibility for making Him known was passed to the Gentiles. When Jesus returns for His church at the Rapture, He will judge our works so that He might convey to us, rewards. This is not a judgement for sin, but a judgment to determine our rewards. The judgement for all of our sins took place on the cross 2,000 years ago. Therefore, those who place themselves under the protection of Jesus sacrifice will never experience any future judgment.

See the chapter in this book, Principles of Rewards, for a detailed study on the types of works that the Lord will reward.

The timing and topic of this subject is clear by the words Jesus used in describing this parable:

“And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’

The rest of the parable is directed at the time: when he returned having received the kingdom.

Upon the return of Jesus for His church—at the Rapture, He will reward all of His servants who have served Him while He has been gone, including the Jews who did receive Him as the Messiah. Jesus said that having received the kingdom, He brought these servants before Him to give an account of what they had done while He was away.

Jesus secured His right to receive this kingdom, upon His death and resurrection. He will finally receive it and begin ruling, upon His return—when He will convey to us, our appointments as co-rulers with Him.

Jesus describes this kingdom just before He went to the cross to die for us and was raised again on the third day:

Luke 22:28-30 But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29 And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The Lord will establish the kingdom that He received from the Father when He returns to the earth the second time, with His church. This will occur at the end of the seven-year Tribulation (Revelation 19). We see an description of this event in Revelation chapter 11.

Revelation 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

Based on the faithful service of each servant (believer), before the Rapture occurs, Jesus will judge our service to Him and grant rulership over a certain cities. This co-rulership by the members of Jesus church, will be instituted during His one thousand-year reign on the earth:

“Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.”

The extent of this rule will depend on what these servants did with the resources that the Lord had given them during His absence. The subject of this final parable is regarding the present time in which we live, while we are working forHis coming Kingdom. Our primary directive is to make Jesus known to the world. In response to our efforts now, we will receive a position of rulership when He returns. As a result of our diligence and the Lord’s acknowledgment of our faithfulness in serving Him, we will have incredible work to do as co-rulers. We will be established by Him in various places all over the earth. Our authority and scope of rulership during that time will be based on the faithfulness to which we served the Lord now, before He arrives.

Sadly, there are many who genuinely love the Lord who have never considered their service to Jesus a significant matter. I have been told by several Christians that they would be happy if they just make it to heaven, never mind any rewards. When we come before Jesus at His judgement seat for our works, those who did not take their service to Jesus seriously, will miss out on the glorious appearance of His servants before the Lord to receive rewards from Him (Revelation 22:12). See the chapter in this book: Principles of Rewards.

For an in-depth study on how the Messiah will rule during the one thousand year kingdom of the Messiah, see the chapters in this book: Prophecies of the Messiah’s Kingdom and Principles of Rulership.

Read all about the return of Jesus for His church, and the beginning of the Tribulation Period in the new book: “Dead or Alive

“Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.”
—1 Thessalonians 5:10

Dead or Alive Cover03



NOTES:
[1] The Mishnah (Sanhedrin 1:6)
[2] The term “congregation” is also used in another verse that describes the ten spies who brought back a negative report of the Land of Israel: “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation which murmur against me?” (Numbers 14:27) From this combination, the Talmud concludes that “sanctification” should occur in the “midst” of a “congregation” of ten.
[3] 1. The Babylonian Talmud (Megillah 23b) derives the requirement of a minyan of ten for Kiddush Hashem (Sanhedrin 74b), and Devarim she-Bikdusha, “matters of sanctity”, by combining three scriptural verses using the rule of gezerah shavah: The word “midst” in the verse: “And I shall be sanctified in the midst of the children of Israel” (Leviticus 22:32) also appears in the verse: “Separate yourselves from the midst of the congregation” (Numbers 16:21)
2. The term “congregation” is also used in another verse that describes the ten spies who brought back a negative report of the Land of Israel: “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation which murmur against me?” (Numbers 14:27) From this combination, the Talmud concludes that “sanctification” should occur in the “midst” of a “congregation” of ten.
[4] Mishnah Torah Tefillah viii

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