The Life of a Bondservant
The Book of Revelation
Last week we reviewed the life of a bondservant and the time that is coming when no one will be allowed to buy, sell, or trade without worshipping the beast and taking his mark.
The Lord’s bondservants will not have to take the mark or worship the beast because it is the Master’s responsibility to provide for His servants. The Lord’s bondservants have the surest Source for all their needs. Therefore, a basic discipline in our bondservant calling is growing in dependence on the Lord as the Source of our provision.
Now is the time for us to commit to be His bondservants and to come to know Him experientially as our Provider. The angels are now holding back the four winds before they are released to blow with all of their fury. As we are told in Psalm 32:6:
Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to Him in a time when He may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not reach Him.
When the flood is upon us, it will be too late to try to build our house on the Rock. In the time that is coming, we will not be able to trust in ourselves either. We must know the Lord as our Source, and He must be the Rock we have built our lives upon. The key to being a bondslave is to trust in the Master to provide for His slaves, and we have the most dependable Master of all.
The mark of the beast is an economic mark. The last and ultimate trial of man is whether he will worship God or the ultimate idols—money and the humanistic system, which depends on mankind rather than God. Money itself is not evil, but when we put our trust in it in place of God, it becomes an idol. The ultimate test is whom we will worship and whom we will put our trust in.
If we simply obey the biblical commands as to how to handle our money and resources, we will not have to worry about the mark of the beast—we will be prepared for this ultimate test. It has been estimated that about one third of biblical teachings on righteousness is about stewardship—how we handle the resources entrusted to us. In His Parable of the Talents, the Lord taught that we are determined to be a “good and faithful servant” or a “wicked, evil slave” by how we handle what is entrusted to us.
The first biblical principle of stewardship is that the firstfruits are to be given to the Lord for the services of His house. Many think that this is an Old Covenant law, but it is in the New Covenant as well. In the New Covenant, we are called to be a part of the Melchezedek priesthood. As we are told in the Book of Hebrews, Melchezedek received tithes. Tithes were pre-law—even the patriarchs tithed.
We may say that in our commitment to be bondservants, we have given everything that we have to the Lord. This obedience begins with taking the first 10% to the service of the house of the Lord as a tithe. After that, we are required to give offerings and alms to help the poor and needy. (It should be noted that of the two hundred and sixty-one references in Scripture to caring for the poor, two thirds of these are given to individuals and families, one third is given to the church, and none are given to governments).
The promise of the Lord for faithfulness in this is that He will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing until it overflows. However, as bondservants we do not receive anything as our own, but rather as stewards. So as His blessings and provision increase in our life, we do not just consume them on our own desires, but we see the blessings as being entrusted with more with which to do His will.
The Lord also taught that if we could not be trusted with unrighteous mammon, who will trust us with the true riches of the kingdom? So our goal is to be found trustworthy with natural things so that He can trust us with the kingdom’s greater resources.
We should treat all things with the respect that the King’s resources deserve, but our hearts must be on heavenly things, not just the things on earth. This is why the patriarchs, who were wealthy enough to possibly have built the best palaces of their time, were content to live in tents.
They had seen the city of God and lived for something greater than anything man could build on this earth. That is what bondservants must be devoted to building.