Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
LUK 19:2, And behold, there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; and he was a chief tax‑gatherer, and he was rich.
There are two principles that are brought out here:
First of all, this individual was said to be a rich man was called a “chief tax‑gatherer” whose one responsibility was collecting money from other Jews, as well as being rich himself. In fact, being someone who was known as a “chief tax-gatherer” or someone who was also “extremely wealthy as a chief tax-gatherer,” our Lord did not let Himself be controlled by anything that He was trying so hard to get away from.
Our Lord was trying very hard to destroy the motivations that He had to have to be motivated by the inner happiness and contentment that God the Father had for all of us to operate in while serving our Lord with the “Divine Call” from above.
A few of these principles and “Are you ready to increase rather than to decease your spiritual relationship with our Lord”? Therefore, we read that in passages such as the ones before us which says;
JOH 3:16-29, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and they were coming and were being baptized. For John had not yet been thrown into prison. There arose therefore a discussion on the part of John’s disciples with a Jew about purification. hey came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have borne witness, behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him.” John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but,’ I have been sent before Him. He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. And so this joy of mine has been made full.
Now then, here it is in totality JOH 3:30-36, “He must increase, but I must decrease. He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. What He has seen and heard, of that He bears witness; and no man receives His witness. He who has received His witness has set his seal to this, that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
What about the words that you studied and that you also stopped them from multiplying God’s life within you or with anyone!
Are you ready to believe what those words that you said were just for you or are you ready to increase your love for our God who lives and abides upon us forever?”
So again, first of all, this individual was said to be a rich man was called a “chief tax‑gatherer” whose one responsibility was collecting money from other Jews, as well as being rich himself.
The second major doctrinal principle that cause us to be ready for anything is that that we are ready because He made us ready.
Now, we are still ready for anything!
Once we did that and we saw what our Lord had accomplished on the cross, then we also noted that our Lord was very happy and content then we noted that the blessings that we received were outstanding blessings that we enjoyed habitually, from that very same goal.
This is when our Lord revealed that in JOH 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
Now, look at JOH 10:28, and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.
Notice the last part of JOH 10:28, where we read and where I read in JOH 10:28 and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and [Now, here it is, because here it is;] because – [and here it is] no one shall snatch them out of My hand.
Now, in JOH 10:29, our Lord says, “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
Next, He reveals His equality with God.
JOH 10:27-33, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”
Now then: We are now ready and prepared to satisfy our Lord in revealing God’s plans for changing our plans over to Him.
It is here under this principle of doctrine that we all have a unique spiritual life which also has way of doing such things that our enemy desires to trap us with , Satan, and the Kingdom of God wants to fight with.
Now, in LUK 19:3-11, the passage says, And he was trying to see who Jesus was, and he was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. And he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” And he hurried and came down, and received Him gladly. And when they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” And while they were listening to these things, He went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.
ECC 3 teaches that everything in life is a matter of timing. And what Solomon says in this chapter is basically right, however, without a relationship with God and seeing things from the divine viewpoint of life, all of these things are meaningless. What Solomon is involved in this however is what we call fatalism! Fatalism comes from the Latin fatum meaning that which the gods ordain to happen. It is the belief that all things are determined by fate and our therefore unalterable. And that’s why Solomon says what he does in this passage!
Let’s listen to the philosopher!
ECC 3:1-9, There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven ‑ A time to give birth, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; A time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace. What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils?
Now, although we believe in divine timing and that there is a time ordained by God for us to function in these areas, when Solomon writes this, he is not viewing it from divine viewpoint!
We believe that God gives you a certain amount of time that you might use it for His glory! Remember why you were created and why you are here? ISA 43:7 says “Everyone who is called by My name, I have created for My glory, Those whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”
God has created you for His glory and until you believe that and then live for that purpose, you will never find true happiness and contentment in life. So God does give you a certain amount of time that you might use it for His glory! This is why the mature believer regards every day as the Lord’s day, ROM 14:5‑6.
ROM 14:5, One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord.
Every day we live is a gracious gift from God and it should be a day that we have time set aside for our relationship with Him. Remember that the only time we possess to honor God in this life is the number of days He provides for us in the Christian life, PSA 90:12; JAM 4:13‑15.
James reminds us how frail our life really is in JAM 4:14, “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.”
And the fact that the believer lives another day is a sign of divine grace and the faithfulness of God, LAM 3:22‑23, “The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.” This is why it is important to learn Bible doctrine every day as MAT 4:4 teaches.
Remember what Job said in JOB 23:12, “I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”
The Hebrew word for treasured is the verb tsaphan which means to esteem; to admire, appreciate, respect, and even worship.
And remember that it is Biblical to praise God’s word as David did in PSA 56.
PSA 56:4, In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust;
PSA 56:10, In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, Whose Word I praise,
So, every day is a day when we should be learning doctrine and preparing ourselves to glorify God. And if we do not purchase time by taken in doctrine consistently, we lose days! This is why we are told that days of life are lost through divine discipline, PSA 102:23, “In the course of my life, He broke my strength, He cut short my days.”
This is also the reason why we are told to purchase time each day or to buy back the time in EPH 5.
EPH 5:16‑17, “Constantly buying time, because the days are evil. [you purchase time with doctrine, doctrine is the capital needed to but time] Because of this, stop being ignorant, but completely understand the will [purpose] of the Lord.”
So in ECC 3:1, Solomon from the viewpoint of fatalism says, There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. Now, one of the things that make time so important is the fact that it is so rare! It is irretrievable! You can never do it again! You can never get back the time that you lost or wasted...it’s gone forever!
God’s timing is perfect and if you are in fellowship with Him, you will have peace of mind with everything you do. However, if you are not in fellowship with God and you do not have doctrine resident in your soul, you will concede with Solomon in ECC 3:9, What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils?