Bible Study Service in Surabaya, June 09, 2014 (Monday Evening)

Speaker: Rev. Youpri Ardiantoro

Peace and grace in the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Mark 2: 13-17
2: 13 Then He went out again by the sea; and all the multitude came to Him, and He taught them.
2:14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me." So he arose and followed Him.
2:15 Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi's house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him.
2:16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the
tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, "How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?"
2:17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."

Levi did not follow Jesus only, but also ministered to Him and became one of the twelve apostles.
Formerly, in the days of Israel, the tax collector meant the sinners.

There were four reasons why the tax collectors were called the sinners as follows.

  1. Luke 3: 12-13
    3: 12 Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?"
    3:13 And he said to them, "
    Collect no more than what is appointed for you."

    Because they collected more, so there were disadvantages to others. They took the other's possession.

  2. Matthew 5: 46
    5: 46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

    Because they only loved those who loved them.

  3. Matthew 18: 17
    18: 17 "And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

    Because they did not want, even they refused to be advised. Such person is said in Titus 3 as a divisive man.

  4. Matthew 21: 31
    21: 31 "Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said to Him, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.

    Because they did not do the will of Father God.

Levi was a tax collector sitting at the tax offfice. It means as follows.

  • Enjoying the sins.
  • Being in the circumstances of the sinners like Isaiah who was unclean in his lips and lived in the midst of people whose lips were unclean.
  • The sins have become roots or characteristics.

Although Lewi is one of the Israelites, the wage of his sinful deeds and characteristics is death.
God is not willing that His people keep on wallowing in the sins. Therefore, Jesus comes to call the sinners, heal, correct, and justify them to have the ministry like Levi who could be one of the twelve apostles.

How is the process of the sinners' having the ministry?

  1. Ephesians 4: 8-12
    4: 8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men."
    4:9 (Now this, "He ascended" --what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?
    He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
    4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
    4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

    As for God:

    1. ' He who descended is also the One who ascended' refers to The Lord's death and resurrection.
      Jesus dies and resurrects in order to redeem, sanctify, and equip us with the ministries.

    2. Jesus calls refers to the preaching of the true Teaching Word.
      The calling of God when the Word is preached is private to each person.
      The content of the calling is as follows.

      • Showing us the false things.
      • Rebuking.
      • Exhorting.

  2. As for the sinners whose representative is Levi:

    1. Levi heard the calling of God or the Teaching Word seriously to understand and belive in it to become the faith.
    2. Levi immediately left the tax office or his job as the tax collector, so he could minister to God.

      'immediately' means he could please God.

    3. Levi followed Jesus.

The facts found in the following to Jesus are as follows.
1 Peter 2: 21-24
2: 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
2:22 "Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth";
2:23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed.

  1. Following the step of death and resurrection.
    The step of death means being dead to sin or repenting.
    The step of resurrection means living in righteousness.

    What were the sins of Levi?

    • Giving disadvantage to others or seizing their possession.
      Luke 19: 8
      19: 8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold."

      Righteous life can return and give to others and the work of God.

    • Loving those who loved him.
      Repentance happens when one can love the enemy.

      Matthew 5: 43-45
      5: 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
      5:44 "But I say to you,
      love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
      5:45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

      It means one has followed Jesus.
      The proof of lovimg the enemy is praying for them, accosting them friendly, not repaying evil for evil, and so on.

      Loving those who love us means being the same as the sinners or tax collectors. Hating those who love us means being the same as Satan or under the level of the sinners or tax collectors.

    • Rejecting the advice.
      By what can we advise one like Levi?
      2 Timothy 4: 2
      4: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

      By the true teaching Word we know correctly.

      We have to avoid those who cannot be advised after the first and second admonition, or else we will be in their sin.

      Titus 3: 10
      3: 10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition,

    • Not doing the will of Father God.
      We must repent until we can do the will of God correctly because all things we do without doing the will of Father God are useless. Although we are great in doing our service and ministry as if we are used by God and there are miracles, someday God will say "Depart from me you who do lawlessness!"

      Doing the will of God starts from the marriage as follows.
      Ephesians 5: 22
      5: 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

      1. Wife must be submissive to the husband in all things as the submission to God.
        The wife may be more in intelligence or riches than the husband, but the one who takes the decision is the husband.

        1 Timothy 2: 11-12
        2: 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.
        2:12 And
        I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.

        The husband will face Jesus, the Head, if he disregards his submissive wife. .
        The submissive wife is doing the will of Father God. Although she is suffering, she will be lifted up when Jesus comes a second time.

      2. Husband must love the wife as himself and not do bitterly towards her.
        Ephesians 5: 28
        5: 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.

      Afterwards, we do the will of Father God in our service and ministry to Him like the Tabernacle that was made according to the will of God.
      All things must be in line to the pattern of the Tabernacle or the true Teaching Word and there is no uselessness. For example, the repentance is stopping sinning to return to God, believing in Jesus through hearing the Word, the infilling of Holy Spirit, shepherding, perfection, and all things must be in line to the true Teaching Word.

  2. Being shepherded or following Jesus as the Shepherd.
    John 10: 27
    10: 27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

    The requirements of being shepherded are as follows.

    • Being righteous.
      Proverbs 12: 26
      12: 26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

      We will be shepherded well if we are righteous. Keeping sins or unrighteousness, it will be difficult to be shepherded.

    • Being the sheep of God.
      Who are the sheep of God?
      Matthew 15: 21-28
      15: 21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
      15:22 And behold,
      a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed." |
      15:23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, "Send her away, for she cries out after us."
      15:24 But He answered and said, "
      I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
      15:25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, help me!"
      15:26 But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it
      to the little dogs."
      15:27 And she said, "Yes, Lord,
      yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
      15:28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

      Actually, the sheep of God are the house of Israel. The Gentiles are dogs. Nevertheless, if the dogs willingly eat the crumbs or use the tongue to lick the crumbs of the true Teaching Word, the Gentiles will become the shepherded sheep of God.

      Thus, the one that determines the Gentiles' being the dogs or sheep is the tongue whether it willingly licks the crumbs of the Word to consume it or not. Not licking the crumbs of the Word means licking vomit or unclean things as follows.

      1. The sore is the weakness or mistake of others.
      2. The blood of one who is not sinful is the slander or derision to him.

    The shepherded sheep is inside the sheepfold that refers to the three main services to God as follows.

    • Golden Candlestick or perseverance in doing General Service.
    • Table of Showbread or perseverance in doing Bible Study Service with Holy Communion.
    • Golden Altar of Incense or perseverance in doing Prayer Service.

    We must be shepherded to the true Teaching Word, not to any human, as a branch that dwells in the True Vine.

    The sign of the shepherded sheep is hearing one voice, namely the voice of the Great Shepherd or the true Teaching Word.

    The sinful will keep on sinning if he is not shepherded well because there is no sanctification.

  3. The following of the body to the head.
    Matthew 8: 19-20
    8: 19 Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, "Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go."
    8:20 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but
    the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."

    The head is upon the body. It means that the body must follow the head.
    The head refers to Jesus or the true Teaching Word.

    Following Jesus as the Head means that we are obedient and faithful to the true teaching Word regardless any risk we have to face.
    It is like Levi when he was called by Jesus. He immediately followed Jesus without asking anything.

    As a result, the Word sanctifies our life.
    If we are holy, we will be given the ministry (Ephesians 4: 11-12) like Levi with his ministry.

    We must immediately minister to God because we are being pursued by the time of Jesus' second coming that is near. If we do not immediately minister to God, we will be caught up.

    The ministry is our place in the body of Christ. Whatever ministry we have, we must do it faithfully, patiently, and correctly.

    The results of ministering to God faithfully and correctly are as follows.
    Matthew 19: 27-29
    19: 27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, "See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?"
    19:28 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory,
    you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
    19:29 "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake,
    shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

    • God gives us the guarantee of assurance in physical life.
      ' shall receive a hundredfold' means the guarantee of assurance for preserving and protecting our life.

    • God gives us promise to sit on His throne or the guarantee of eternal life forever.

God blesses you.