Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
May 31, 2011
Last Updated :
June 1, 2011
A Treasure In Earthen Vessels, The Earnest Of The Spirit And The Promise Of The Spirit Are All The Same Thing, Lights In The World, Parable Of The Five Wise Virgins, Being Faithful In Our Work For The Lord, God's Ministers Are Flames Of Fire, Seven Lamps Of Fire, Watch Out For Enticements Of The World, Redeem The Time, There Is No Guarantee Of Tomorrow So Remain Faithful Today And Burn Brightly For Jesus While You Can
Continuing with our list of Bible verses regarding God's promise concerning the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, consider the following:
"And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:4-8, KJV
"Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear."
Acts 2:33, KJV
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."
Romans 8:9, KJV
"That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
Galatians 3:14, KJV
"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise . . . That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,"
Ephesians 3:13, 17, KJV
"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"
Colossians 1:27, KJV
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
Colossians 3:16, KJV
"Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit."
1 John 4:13, KJV
So as you can see from the previous verses, the "earnest of the Spirit", the "promise of the Spirit" and the "treasure in earthen vessels" are all basically referring to the very same thing; that is, God's Spirit dwelling within us, and the spiritual light which emanates from us as a result of it. While we may not possess the full measure of the Spirit as Jesus did -- would we even be able to bear it in these weak, mortal vessels of flesh? -- nevertheless, even this small spark of faith that we do have, this small light that burns within us, this small down payment of the Spirit, is so much more valuable than all of the gold and silver in the world. It is a priceless treasure which we should not abuse or waste. Rather, we should use it for God's Glory.
The Scriptures make it very plain that it is our God-given responsibility to allow this light within our weak earthen vessels to shine before the world. We must not attempt to hide our light, or our candle, under a bushel, as we see by the following verses:
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16, KJV
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;"
Luke 12:35, KJV
"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"
Philippians 2:15, KJV
In fact, based upon the previous verses, we can better understand that the Lord's Parable concerning the Five Wise Virgins who retained oil in their lamps, was in fact a reference to the Oil of the Spirit which burned within each one of them. In other words, they were in effect the lamps themselves. They were the earthen vessels which held the Oil of the Spirit. The lesson which Jesus is teaching us through this Parable, is that we must remain faithful, well oiled with His Spirit, and keep busy working for Him, feeding His precious sheep, until the Day of His Return. Consider the following verses which confirm these points:
"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."
Matthew 25:1-13, KJV
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."
Luke 12:35-48, KJV
"Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."
1 Corinthians 4:2, KJV
I am also reminded of the following verse that is found in the Epistle to the Hebrews where we are told that the Lord's ministers -- or servants, from the Greek word "leitourgos" -- are "a flame of fire":
"And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire."
Hebrews 1:7, KJV
In fact, if we turn to the fourth chapter of the Book of Revelation, we discover that the Seven Spirits of the Lord are represented by seven Lamps of Fire, as we see here:
"And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God."
Revelation 4:5, KJV
If you are interested in examining further this topic of burning brightly for Jesus, please consider reading such articles as "Are You A Burning Ember For The Lord?", "The Parable Of The Sower: Salvation And Service" and "The Children Of Light : Are You One Of Us?".
In conclusion, we must not allow anyone to control or hinder our light, or to extinguish our flame of faith. Furthermore, as the Lord explains in the Parable of the Sower, we must be very careful that we don't allow ourselves to be enticed by the temporal things of this current world which will choke our faith, and reduce our effectiveness for the Lord. As I explain in the article "Are You Redeeming The Time?", we all need to watch out for time wasters which will rob us of valuable time which could be better used in the Lord's Service. We must remain faithful, and burn brightly for Jesus, until the day that He and His Father choose to call us Home. In this current world which grows spiritually darker by the year, this will not be an easy task; for as Jesus Himself hinted at in the Gospel of Luke, our faith will be tested:
". . . Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
Luke 18:8b, KJV
However, as the Apostle Paul also informs us, God will provide a way for us to escape the temptations of the world, as we see here:
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
1 Corinthians 10:13, KJV
So what will you do? Will you remain faithful? Will you remain grounded in God's Word so that you will have the necessary spiritual stamina and won't be moved by the lies, deceptions and enticements of this current world? Or will you be overcome and led astray by the cares and riches of this temporal earthly life? The choice is up to you. Just remember one thing: time may be shorter than you think; and while you may not be expecting it or anticipating it, your sojourn on this Earth could end today or tomorrow. As the Apostle James and other writers inform us, there is no guarantee of tomorrow, so we must remain faithful today. Consider the following verses:
"The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."
Psalms 90:10, KJV
"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."
Isaiah 40:7-8, KJV
"But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?"
Luke 12:20, KJV
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
Hebrews 9:27, KJV
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
James 4:14, KJV
Think about it, and act today, because tomorrow may be too late. I pray that this article has been a blessing and an inspiration to many.