Esther

Esther – The Name

Esther is the Persian name meaning “star” which reminds one of Daniel 8:10, speaking about the persecution of the Church, “It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them.” The stars here would be Christians. Esther’s Hebrew name was Hadassah, which means a “myrtle tree” which is featured in the vision granted to Zechariah where he saw the invisibly present Lord riding upon a red horse standing amongst the myrtle trees “that were in the bottom (the shady valley)” (Zechariah 1:8), which was a place of lowness and dis-esteem. This would well represent the position of the Jews at this time in the Book of Esther. They were a chastised people, slow to recover from their self-brought captive state, and not highly regarded in the eyes of the world. Just as a myrtle tree has a sweet smell and a bitter taste, so too Esther was “sweet” in character and was adverse (“bitter”) to the wicked Haman. These two opposites of character are also found in Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

Ahasuerus

In Chapter 1 of the Book of Esther we are told of how the King of Persia, King Ahasuerus (also known as Xerxes), divorced his wife Vashti following her insubordination. The king’s advisers suggested that he get a new wife and queen to fill her place, and Esther was chosen as Queen. The king represents Jesus. The name Ahasuerus means Lion-King. Jesus Christ is designated “The lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5). Ahasuerus was one of 11 rulers of the MedoPersian Empire. He was preparing his conquest of Greece. In picture, this represents that Jesus also was preparing for a conquest of the Gentile world, represented by the Greek-speaking believers who were served the Gospel by Paul and others. Xerxes made great in-roads into Greece, but he did not conquer the country. Likewise, Jesus made great in-roads into the Gentile world with the Gospel, but he did not convert the world in this age. His conquests, “thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies” (Psalm 45:5, Revelation 6:2), cause arrows of truth to enter the hearts of unbelievers, converting them to be followers of Christ. Thus the historical background of the book of Esther fits well as an episode depicting the beginning of the Gospel Age selection of the Church.

Vashti

The name Vashti means beautiful and she represents the nation of Israel who had exclusive favour for 32 years from when Jesus (the Seed of Promise) came, but then went into disfavour because of their rejection of Jesus and disobedience. As the Apostle Paul said, “Blindness in part is happened to Israel” until the full number of Gentiles is found to complete the Bride class (Romans 11:25). When king Xerxes called Vashti to appear before him in her royal robe and golden crown, she refused to obey him. The lesson for us is that if the Lord invites us to put on the royal robe of Christ’s righteousness, wear the golden crown of the divine nature, and appear before the great king in beauty of character as his bride, we should not refuse such an invitation. We should consider it as a great honor and should obey eagerly and promptly. Those contemplating consecration should also think about this. Vashti’s situation reminds us of the case of King Saul who also was disobedient. “And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you” (1 Samuel 15:28). Vashti and Saul both lost their crowns. If not obedient, any one of us can be replaced and our crown assigned to a better person. Jesus said, “Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Revelation 3:11). There is a very sobering thought here. We can lose our crowns by not holding fast to that which we have, by being disobedient to the truth. This test is even now upon the church.

“The king’s daughter is all glorious within” (Psalms 45:13). Vashti was very beautiful, but only on the outside. She did not exhibit the inner beauty that is pleasing to the Lord. “Your beauty should not be dependent on an elaborate arrangement of the hair, or in the wearing of jewelry or fine clothes; but on the inner personality, the unfading loveliness of a meek and gentle spirit, a thing very precious in the eyes of God” (1 Peter 3:3, 4, Weymouth). We want to be beautiful and precious in God’s sight, who looks not on the outward appearance, but on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

Mordecai

“(5)Now there was a Jew in Susa the citadel whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, a Benjamite, (6) who had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away” (Esther 2:5-6).

Esther was the daughter of Mordecai’s uncle; that is, Esther and Mordecai were cousins. After her parents died, the older Mordecai brought up Esther as if she were his own daughter. Mordecai, a Jew, courageously refused to bow to or reverence Haman (King Xerxes’ Prime Minister) and this was noticed by others, as well as by Haman himself. The king’s servants confronted Mordecai and asked why he transgressed the king’s command. In the beginning Mordecai probably delayed the revealment, but after the pressure increased, “he told them that he was a Jew” (Esther 3:4).

At the time of the beauty contest, Esther humbly listened to Mordecai’s advice and obeyed him, not disclosing her identity as a Jewess. In the antitype, the world does not recognize the true Church, the “little flock,” in the present age (Luke 12:32). Nor did the world know Jesus. Thus, the mystery of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” — the secretiveness — is a real factor (Colossians 1:27). Even though Jesus sent out the gospel call through his apostles and, generally speaking, the world is familiar with that call, true Christians are not recognized. Later Esther needed prodding from Mordecai to go in to see the king on behalf of Israel.

Mordecai seems to represent the Ancient Worthies, who will be “princes in all the earth” during the Kingdom Age (Psalms 45:16, Isaiah 1:25-27, Micah 5:5, Ezekiel 44:1-3). The “house” (the earth) was the possession of Esther (the Church), but the king (Jesus) was behind the whole arrangement. Since Haman represents Satan, the god of the present evil world, the elevation of Mordecai would indicate the transfer of power to the Ancient Worthies at the beginning of the Kingdom (2 Corinthians 4:4). Mordecai’s name means “dedicated to Mars,” and with Mars being the god of war, that name also describes the Ancient Worthies, who will be strong for the Lord and for a sense of justice. When Jesus rules with a rod of iron, he will rule through the Ancient Worthies, his earthly representatives, who will be backed by authority and power. The Great Company will be in the role of subservient messengers and servants.

The Beauty Contest

(8) So when the king’s order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in Susa the citadel in custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king’s palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women. (9) And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king’s palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem (Esther 2:8, 9).

For this contest, “many young women” were to be brought to the palace in Shushan and given into the “custody of Hegai (the King’s eunuch) who had charge of the women,” for preparation of the women. Like Eliezer with Rebekah, Hegai pictures the Holy Spirit. God gives the custody, care, and nurturing of Christians, His children, to the charge of His Holy Spirit, which enlightens, feeds, and nourishes them (John 14:25-26, Romans 8:26-27).

The process of selecting a queen to replace Vashti corresponds to the high calling of the Church, which come “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). Those who appeared to be promising candidates were screened and then inducted into the court of the king for further screening and selection. Psalms 45:10-15 fits in nicely here.

“(10) Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house, (11) and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him. (12) The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts, the richest of the people. (13) All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. (14) In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her. (15) With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.”

When we consecrate, we leave our father’s house, the house of Adam, and we leave the things of this world including human relationships, hopes, aims, and ambitions. Our heavenly king greatly desires to see inner beauty of character in us (1 Samuel 16:7), and he gives us needed experiences to develop it. We are spiritually nourished so that we can be “complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). We add to our robes the beautiful adornments of the Christian graces. Psalm 110:3 refers to these as “holy garments” and Galatians 5:22-23 talks about the fruits of the spirit, which we are to bear. 2 Peter 1:5-7 instructs us to add to our faith seven qualities: virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity. Thus, we are to be moral, understanding, self-controlled, enduring, godly, and have two kinds of love: phileo (brotherly affection) and agape (unselfish love for the other). When we finally enter the king’s presence, our clothing is of wrought gold, symbolic of the divine nature, and we receive a golden crown, the crown of life.

The seven maidens assigned to Esther during the preparation were not contestants. They were supplied to Esther, and represent guardian angels who provide us with custodial care through the seven periods of the Gospel Age (Matthew 18:10). Once we enroll into battle as soldiers of the Cross, we too, like Esther, are given special spiritual “food” — the Word of God and an understanding of it, through the holy Spirit (Matthew 4:4, John 6:35, 50-71).

Esther 2:12, 13 — (12) Now when the turn came for each young woman to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their beautifying, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and ointments for women — (13) when the young woman went in to the king in this way, she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace.

The 12 months of Esther’s purification were “six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours.” The myrrh pictures bitter experiences, whereas the sweet odors and fragrances are the joys of the truth. God balances these opposite experiences for the Christian. “The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” God adds no unnecessary sorrow (Proverbs 10:22). Thus the Christian has a checkered life of summer and winter, of light and darkness experiences. Opposition, persecution, and ostracism — disciplinary experiences — are mixed with joy. The Manna comment for June 4 says: “In the calmer days, when the sun[shine] of [God’s] favor shone brightly upon you, you were quietly laying the foundation of a knowledge of the Truth, and rearing the superstructure of Christian character. Now you are in the furnace to be proved.” There comes a time for change, for hard experiences with a dark cloud and a chill. In Song 4:16, the Bride class says, “Awake, O north wind; and come, O south wind! blow upon my garden, let its spices flow.” The true Christian must have both experiences. Therefore, he asks God for this. “Send sorrow, send pain; sweet are thy messengers, sweet their refrain” are the sentiments of a hymn. The Christian is willing to suffer for Christ, but he wants uplifting experiences too. Thus, Jehovah blesses His children with measured and balanced experiences.

During our selection period on earth, we are to hold our hope firm, steadfast, unto the end (Hebrews 3:6). We should be “faithful unto death” (Revelation 2:10). To give up because of thinking he or she has failed, results in disaster. You may recognize that you have not made the highest grade, but you must keep the hope to the end of your course. Even Paul said, “I do not even judge myself” (1 Corinthians 4:3) — though in another place he did advise us to examine ourselves (1 Corinthians 11:28). Paul did not condemn himself, for God is the Judge. However, we should judge our actions by inspecting them daily. We are not to reason, “If I do not make the Little Flock, there is always the Great Company class,” for that attitude diminishes the prospect of making the Little Flock. We are to run the race until we reach the finish line. What God thinks in the meantime is His decision. Thus, the 12-month period of Esther’s preparation applies to the lifetime of each one in the high calling.

“In the evening” a candidate came before the king, but the decision was made “in the morning” (Esther 2:14). Each Creative Day began with an evening and ended with a morning (Genesis 1:5,8,13, etc.). “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5). The Gospel Age is a “nighttime,” as shown by the Passover picture. Joy will come in the morning, not only for the world in the Kingdom, but also for the Christian who makes his calling and election sure. We are to “pay attention” to prophecy “as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star (Jesus) rises” in our hearts (2 Peter 1:19). If we follow properly, Jesus will rise up in our heart and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). Each one has had the “evening” in which to please the King. At the end of our course we die, and when the “morning” comes, a decision is rendered.

(15) When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch [the keeper of the women, KJV], who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. (16) And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign …” (Esther 2:15-16)

When a candidate was to be presented to the king, she made herself as attractive as possible. She fixed her hair, wore a becoming dress, used a certain perfume, etc. How did Esther handle this? Verse 15 states that Esther “required nothing except what Hegai … advised.” She acquiesced fully to Hegai and left the choice with him. She did not exercise her own will, but complied with his decision, trusting in God’s keeping power, instructions, and advice for attaining the throne. In the antitype, the consecrated are instructed what Jesus would like to see in our characters. God and Jesus instruct us, but compliance is largely a voluntary matter. To be faithful, we have to acquiesce, submit, and be beheaded for the witness, or testimony, of Christ (Revelation 20:4). The truly consecrated, those who attain the high calling, will leave the choice with the “keeper.” John 6:38, “I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” Romans 6:4, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” At consecration we vow to be dead with Christ, meaning we give up our earthly rights and acquiesce to the will of God, preferring to suffer with Christ and lay down our lives in sacrifice (1 John 3:16, 2 Timothy 2:12).

When Esther was presented to the king, she “obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.” So we hope to be viewed by the holy angels, specially our guardian angels. They did not decide her acceptance, but they were impressed, feeling she would be selected as the queen. Over the 2,000 years of the Gospel Age, some guardian angels may have successively guarded 20 to 40 Christians. As they watch those they are assigned to, they know everything about them. God makes the final decision, but the guardian angels could approximate their destiny.

Esther “was taken to king Ahasuerus into his royal palace” “in the tenth month” of “the seventh year of his reign,” still future in the antitype. The Esther class comprises all 144,000 faithful saints. They will enter the King’s royal house at the marriage. The risen saints wait with Jesus for the arrival of the feet members. When complete, all will be introduced to the Heavenly Father at the wedding.

The “seventh year” suggests the seventh (and last) stage of the Church, the end of the Gospel Age. As a class, the feet members will be caught up in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52). Then the Little Flock will be presented complete. Emperor Jehovah will be seated on His throne, with Jesus on His right hand.

“(17) … the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. (18) Then the king gave a great feast for all his officials and servants; it was Esther’s feast. He also granted a remission of taxes to the provinces and gave gifts with royal generosity” (Esther 2:17-18).

In the story of Esther, the virgins who failed to become the bride were not sent home, but were given a secondary place in the king’s household. These represent the Great Company, referred to as “the virgins, her companions (Psalm 45:14),” also termed “foolish virgins” in Matthew 25:3,8.

The feast that followed Esther’s selection, the second gathering called “Esther’s feast,” corresponds to the marriage supper, which the Great Company class will attend (Revelation 19:9). They will serve “before the throne” (Revelation 7:15).

The Ancient Worthies

Esther 2:19, 20, “When the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king’s gate. Esther had not yet shown her kindred, as Mordecai had charged her.” Mordecai represents the Ancient Worthies.

Verse 21, “In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.” The king’s gate was a place of judgment, and the Ancient Worthies will have a place of prominence in the earthly kingdom, that will begin at Israel. “The law” will go forth from Zion, and “the word of the LORD” from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3). Later, in the due, the general resurrection of mankind will begin.

As Mordecai wrote a new law in the king’s name which counteracted and Haman’s wicked law of death (Esther 8:8-10), a New Law Covenant will be inaugurated with Israel that will bring life to mankind. Haman was hanged upon gallows he had prepared for the innocent (Esther 7:10), and Satan will receive the penalty of death that he inflict upon humanity. Haman fortune was given to Esther who turned it over to Mordecai to administer for her, representing the transfer of Satan’s usurped dominion of the world to the church, reigning with Christ, who will be represented by the Ancient Worthies. This will fulfill Daniel’s prophecy, “The kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:27).

Haman’s ten sons were killed, as the powers of this world will pass away also (Esther 9:10). The narrative closes with Ahasuerus (Jesus) in control (Esther 10:1), Esther his queen vested “with all authority” (Esther 9:29), and Mordecai “advanced” by the king, as will be the Ancient Worthies. The human family will be blessed evermore.

References:

  • Br. Frank Shallieu, Old Testament Studies – The Book of Esther, 1996 Study
  • Queen Esther, Beauties of the Truth, Volume 25, Number 3, August 2014
  • Br. Donald Holliday, Esther and Our Times – The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom 1999 – Sept-Oct

The URL for this post is: https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2022/11/17/esther/

Phileo & Agape Love – Helpful Reminders

1 JOHN 4, 8.jpg

Love is …

perfection of character.

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” – 1 John 4:16

The LOVE that our Heavenly Father seeks to have us develop is a love which is in full harmony and in total surrender to God’s will. When we please our Divine Father of Life, He will bless with eternal life,

“To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor an immortality, he will give eternal life” (Romans 2:7).

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

One element of Love is MEEKNESS.

Meekness does not mean weakness.

Consider Moses. He was a meek man and did he have a weak character? Not at all. He was humble-minded, not boastful, not proud or haughty.

“Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men who were upon the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3).

So the New Creatures in Christ, must develop and maintain this quality of meekness, from the divine standpoint.

Another element of love is GENTLENESS.

Does this signify weakness or fear? No.

Gentleness is part of a character of love.

Jesus said, “take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

In Galatians 5:22-23, the Apostle Paul writes, that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

To the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul writes, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:1-6).

“Let your moderation be known unto all men” (Philippians 4:5).

“Moderation”reasonableness, gentleness—the spirit of a sound mind, of gentleness, meekness.

This attitude of mind comes in large measure as a result of knowledge of God and his plans (R5840:3). Surely there never was a time when this counsel was so much needed as now!

Let the fact that we know only in part and understand only in part keep us humble and moderate in word and deed and thought (R5249:6).
Temperance, self-control—let men see by our thoughtful (not rash and hasty), careful and considerate demeanor in every affair of life, that we honor our profession (R4809:1, R2460:4).

Here is a practical example:

If we feel the leader of a meeting is not following the best Scriptural course, we must show moderation in our approach—approving what we can, objecting in kindness, meekness, and brotherly love. R3866:2 The Greek seems to carry the thought of reasonableness, of not exacting our rights too rigorouslymercy and leniency (R3128:2). Keep yourselves well in hand, subject and obedient to the will of God.

In 2 Timothy 3:3-5, the Apostle Paul warns against those “in the last days” (today) who he describes as “lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.” The Apostle Paul then states, “have nothing to do with such people.”

Even in discussing the time of trouble, emphasis should be laid upon the glorious Kingdom which will be inaugurated (R5716:4). We should be using the knowledge we possess, doing with our might what our hands find to do (R5249:3).
Let us be specially on guard that the influence of every word and act should be in accord with law, order and peace—“live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).

Our gentleness toward all men would begin at home—more particularly in the Church—but should be manifested toward all with whom we have dealings (R5840:6).
Messiah’s Kingdom is shortly to be established—this should help the Lord’s people in living an exemplary life (R5840:6). This clause implies the exhortation belongs specially to the closing of this Gospel age—thus, to this time period we are currently living in.

We are expecting great changes soon and can well afford to be generous and liberal in our sentiments toward others (R3128:3).

PATIENCE is another element of love and a part of the true Christian character.

“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).

Patience is an element of character. We read in Revelation 3:10,

“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth.”

When examining the word “patience” we find that two quite distinct words in the Greek are translated by our English word patience in the New Testament:

  • hupomonee: this is used in the Revelation text quoted above which has a much deeper and fuller significance than attaches to our English word patience. It signifies rather constancy,—the thought being :

An endurance of evil in a cheerful, willing, patient manner. It represents, therefore, an element of character, and not merely a temporary condition or restraint of feeling or action.

For instance, a worldly man might have a great deal of patience in connection with the running of his business;—he might be very attentive to his customers, very obliging, very painstaking, and show no dissatisfaction in connection with the inconsiderateness of his customers; and “patience,” in its ordinary sense, might be ascribed to his conduct.

But the word in the Revelation text rendered patience” signifies such a development of heart and character as manifests itself in an endurance of wrong or affliction with contentment, without rebellion of will, with full acquiescence in the divine wisdom and love.

In Luke 8:15, in the parable of the sower, we read:

“That [sown] on the good ground are they which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience [with cheerful endurance, constancy].”

The thought here is that in order to be of the fruit-bearing class which the Lord will approve and accept to his Kingdom, it is necessary TO DO MORE than to receive the word of his testimony, even thou we receive it with joy—for that class in the parable is represented by the stony ground, which at first gave evidence of great fruitfulness and vigor, but which, when the sun of persecution arose, withered, because of lack of depth of soil. That stony, shallow soil represents, the Lord explains, a class of hearers who rejoice greatly in the truth, but do not endure, such as cannot withstand persecution or opposition, but wither under it, become discouraged. Such cannot be of the Kingdom class, all of whom must be overcomers.

In this parable our Lord shows us that patient endurance, constancy, is the final test, following after the readiness of preparation to receive the seed; following after the seed has been received and has sprouted; following after love and hope and joy and faith have caused it to spring forth and to give fruitage (R.2791).

Patient endurance, then, is necessary, in order that the grain may be developed and thoroughly ripened, and made fit for the garner.

Ah! how important patient endurance seems to be, in the light of this our Lord’s word—cheerful endurance; for we cannot suppose that he who judges the thoughts and intents of the heart would be pleased with his children, even if he saw them enduring much for his sake, if they endured in an impatient or dissatisfied or unhappy frame of mind. They would not, in that event, be copies of God’s dear Son, our Lord, whose sentiment is expressed in the words,

“I delight to do thy will, O God!” (Psalm 40:8)

All of the Royal Priesthood are sacrificers, as was the Chief Priest, our Redeemer and example, who offered up himself: we, as the under priests, have also presented our bodies living sacrifices, and are to lay down our lives for the brethren—in the service of the truth. And God, who accepts these sacrifices through the merit of Christ, informs us that he appreciates or loves the cheerful giver, those who perform their sacrifices of a willing heart, cheerfully.

The other instance in which our Lord used the word “patience” during his ministry is recorded in Luke 21:19. He had just been telling his followers what they must expect as the result of being his disciples during the present time, when sin abounds, and when Satan is the prince of this world—they must expect tribulation, opposition from various quarters; but he assures them that they would nevertheless be fully and completely under divine care and protection, even though the persecutions would be permitted to reach and to affect them. Then follow the words,

“In your patience [patient endurance, cheerful constancy] possess ye your souls” (Luke 21:19).

BROTHERLY KINDNESS is another element of love.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8).

The Greek word “Philadelpia” signifies brotherly love (R3949:4; Q449:1).
“Phileo”—is duty love, a love which has a cause or demand upon it (R2807:4).
Phileo love is evidenced in the natural family relationship, and also in the spiritual family, the Church. We may not love our brethren’s peculiarities, their features, but we love them as brethren, whether black or white, bond or free, because they are brethren, comrades in the same race (Q449:1).

Phileo love means to make due allowance for inherited weaknesses and circumstantial misfortunes of others—to deal patiently and helpfully so far as wisdom may dictate, with a view to the correction of those faults, even at the expense of self-interest, if necessary and prudent (R4809:2, 1114:5).

Phileo love means to meekly bear reproof, determining to overcome deformities of character, and prove a help rather than a hindrance to others; no longer fostering old dispositions (R4809).

Phileo love allows one to exercise and manifest the principles of the divine character toward our fellow-men (R3090:2, 1628:2).

Phileo is a love for all who are brethren and yoke fellows in the cause of righteousness and truth, the cause of God (R2037:3).

Instead of disdaining those who are ignoble, instead of putting them away, treat them kindly (R448:2). This of necessity grows out of godliness. As god-likeness presupposes the other graces mentioned, so its development implies an enlargement of our hearts to all who are of the household of faith (R2155:5).

There is also “AGAPE” LOVE…

This is known as Charity (R5693:1, 5208:5).

Greek, agape, is the higher grade of disinterested love; the broader, more comprehensive, or divine love (R3949:4;Q449:1).

Love as a general expression covers all the elements of character which are really parts of love (F186).

We might divide the race-course into four quarters:

(1) duty-love;

(2) love for the Lord because we see something of the glorious majesty of his character;

(3) love for the brethren;

(4) perfect love—for all, even our enemies. (F187-189)

As we get agape love it means that we love all (Q449:1). We must reach this climax of love before we can be counted worthy of a place in the new creation (F190).

Agape Love:

  • Is deep, pure and true.
  • Thinketh no evil.
  • Does not puff itself up.
  • Is not easily offended;
  • Rejoiceth always in the truth and never in iniquity;
  • Is the climax of Christian attainment in the present life, the grace of all graces, which never fades, and which will be perfected when we receive the new resurrection body (R2037:3, 2155:5).
  • Is sincere love for the unrighteous and unlovely, as well as for the good and beautiful (R4809:3, 1114:5).
  • Is a love which is ever ready to manifest itself in wise and helpful activity for saint and sinner; and which pities, helps, comforts, cheers and blesses all within its reach—manifesting and cultivating the disposition which must be found in every member of the Christ company (R4809:3, 1114:5).
  • Is a broad, generous love, taking in the whole world, even our enemies (R5678:2, 5757:2, 5460:1).

We do not attain to the perfection of love at the beginning of our course, but it is the mark or standard which indicates the end of the course (F186).

Love is the chief of all graces.

Acts of kindness will gradually lead to an attitude of love, even where the subject does not seem to deserve it (1628:2).

Love is an experience, and includes in it an earnest desire for the well-being of the object loved (R78:5).

Love excels all the other virtues, because it is the most enduring (R4732:4).

True love on our part will manifest itself in obediencedisobedience is an evidence of the loss of love as viewed from the Lord’s standpoint (R2466:5).

“WITHOUT LOVE I AM NOTHING”

If we could speak all the languages known amongst men and even the angelic tongue as well, and if we were to use these talents in preaching, if we were to preach without being inspired by love, it would be completely unprofitable.

God would esteem it no more than the sound proceeding from cymbals or any brass instrument. Does GOD want to give cymbals and brass horns glory, honor and immortality? Of course not!

If man were to preach the whole Truth in all its grandeur, and have the ability to comprehend it even through the holy Spirit yet if there be a weakness in character development of love towards the brethren, then we could not be fit enough for divine favor and a share in the Kingdom, just like that brass horn would not be.

What a glorious lesson as we attempt to sound forth the praises of Him who has called us from darkness to light! How necessary it is that we speak the Truth in the love of it, with hearts full of devotion and appreciation!

By quieting the mind… and heading to the voice of our Heavenly Father through the inspired words of God in Bible and through prayer, we may learn to absorb and appreciate each lesson step by step as God unfolds it to us. God is the ultimate example of PATIENCE, waiting perhaps billions of years before finally confronting the pain of watching His own firstborn Son being sacrificed on Calvary and be the ransom for all mankind.

And Jesus… has been waiting for the completion of His Bride… His Body members of 144,000 since 33 A.D!

JAMES 5, 7-8.jpg

Everyone knows the saying “take time to smell the roses.”

And in the same way let’s remember to TAKE TIME TO HEAR GOD SPEAK
digest it…
absorb it…
and grow from it…

The Apostle suggests that if he had mountain-moving faith, if his knowledge of Divine mysteries were very great, superior to those of all other men, and even if in his zeal for man or for God he should become a martyr and permit his body to be burned, yet, notwithstanding all this, if the primary influence in these matters were not love, all the sacrifice, all the self-denials, all the labors, even the burning, would profit nothing.

Dear friends,

When we come to get the Divine standpoint of things we find indeed that we have a very high standard to achieve; and yet our judgment assures us that it is right, that it is just, that it is proper, that God should thus set the standard of love as the only standard by which we shall ultimately be measured. But whoever thinks to have this perfect love for God and for man and make no manifestations of it is equally mistaken.

Wherever love is in the heart words, works, thoughts and looks will testify to it, so that he who loves much will serve much.

If we love the Lord we shall delight in His service regardless of failures, regardless of fame, regardless of any earthly consideration; yea, even though the service of the Lord should cause us the loss of human approbation, fellowship, etc…

Hence every true Christian may link the two words love and service, and be sure that his love will manifest itself in zeal. Similarly, love of the brethren will mean a desire to serve the brethren; love of the home and family will mean a desire to do good to them; love of our neighbor will signify a desire to do for his interests according to our knowledge and limitations.

THE RESTRAINTS OF LOVE

The Apostle points out some of the restraints of love.

It cannot be quick, irascible; for “love SUFFERS LONG and is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4).

  • He who is loving cannot be envious of others, nor covetous of the blessings and favors they are enjoying; for “Love envieth not.”
  • He who is loving cannot be boastful and proud; for “love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.”
  • He who is controlled by the spirit of love will not be ungracious, unkind, rude; for “love doth not behave itself unseemly.”
  • He who is full of the spirit of love will not be selfish, grasping, neglectful of the interests of others; for “Love does not seeks its own” (1 Corinthians 13:5).
  • The truly loving one will not be quickly angered, will not be easily offended; for “Love is not easily provoked.”

The one controlled by the spirit of love will not be imagining unkindness and rudeness nor seeking to interpret the words or conduct of others unkindly; for “Love thinketh no evil”.

What a beautiful example we see in our Master’s words to Simon:

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”(Luke 22:32).

Let us not neglect to pray for our fellow brethren in CHRIST always.

“LOVE NEVER FAILS” (1 Corinthians 13:8).

Reference

The Reprints of the Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, http://www.htdbv8.com

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