FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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RICH MAN, POOR MAN

24And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it. (Ezek 17:)


I'm going to paint you a picture.

Imagine a room. In this room there a

re two chairs; one a very large, expensive recliner; and the other a low footstool with one leg broken and wobbly.

Now place a very finely dressed, distinguished man, full of self confidence and prosperity in the recliner, smiling as he counts his money.

On the footstool picture a downcast, grubby-bearded man wearing shoes with souls that lap like a dog at a water dish, and clothes that smell as if they hadn't been removed for several weeks.

Picture yourself entering this room. Now look in your right hand and you will see a paper with instructions that say: "Before you are two men. Select one of them to take home with you for the evening meal and put him up in your own bed while you sleep on the sofa. Ignore the other man."

Which would you choose?

Which would Jesus choose?

"Sell all you have, give to the poor, and come and follow me." (Luke 18:22).

This is the instructions Jesus gave the rich young man who asked what he had to do to be accepted into Heaven.

The rich must give all they have to the poor, and in the beatitudes Jesus gave instructions to the poor on how to have riches in heaven (Matt 5:1-12).

There was another rich man Jesus told us about, who had a poor man right outside his door:

19There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (Luke 16:)

I see a paradox in these passages. In both we have a rich man who faces destruction because of his riches, and a poor man who is offered Paradise because of his being poor.

Here I pose a question: let us say that this rich man was to follow the dictates of Jesus whereby he gave everything to "the poor," which happens to be the beggar of this story.

We now have a reversal of roles; the poor man is the rich man, and the rich man is now the poor.

As a poor man, the former rich man, barring other issues not covered here such as repentance, receiving the Holy Ghost, etc, has now secured for himself a place in Heaven.

But the poor man, who is now rich, has at least for the time being, lost his place in Abraham's Bosom.

Will he sell all he now has in order to secure his place in Heaven? I would assume all that time the beggar lay outside the gate of the mansion that he dreamed of just such a thing happening.

And I suppose others of us who are a bit better off dream of similar things happening to us. (And no matter how much we get, it seems we always need more to make us happy. The carrot before the mule.)

What is the answer to the above question? Me, I don't know. Perhaps there is no answer, other than, possibly; that God knows our heart and judges accordingly.

I just find it an intriguing question.

As a side note, and an interesting "coincidence," I learned just today of a man who was cast down ("body-slammed," he called it) from robust self-sufficiency to dependent and humbling health. He said a surprising thing; "I'm afraid of regaining my health for fear that I will stray from the closeness with the Lord that I have found because of my condition."

I have heard of such people, and now I have met one.

Perhaps the beggar in question would desire poverty again for that very reason; especially in this day and age when we have the overflowing wealth of the Holy Spirit that anyone who has truly received, wouldn't give up for any earthly riches.

 

REFERENCES


21Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me (Matt 19: )

44Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (Matt 13:)

8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Matt 13:)

37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; (Matt 13:)

31Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. (Matt 13:)

3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1)

23And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.(John 12: )

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Gal 5: )

7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (John 16:)

22And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (John 20:)

37In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:)

1And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Rev 22:)

3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1)

18Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 19Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, (Rom 9: )

12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. (1 Pet 4:)

15If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14: )

25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14: )

 

 

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