Special duties in heaven

(Tabitha Gallman) #1

I am currently reading in the book of Numbers, and I have to admit, this book along with Leviticus, is not nearly as interesting as the book of Exodus. There seems to be very little action going on. Then the more I think about the bigger picture (along with the comments), I can see more going on within the tedious image of taking apart the tabernacle, moving, and putting everything back up again.

The Israelites wandered 40 years in the wilderness. During that time each family of the tribe of Levi had a job of taking down and putting back up assigned parts to the tabernacle. I would imagine this could be more stressful at first, worrying about doing something wrong and ending up like Aaron’s other two sons.

Forty years is a long time to be given a “honeymoon period” to learn the job. But maybe that shows more of God’s mercy. Also, Mr. J. Vernon McGee says, (paraphrased), “Your reward is not the amount of work, but your faithfulness to do what God says.”

I really wish I had read the Old Testament earlier in life and praying at the same time for God to reveal his word to me. There is so much to learn here and you really do begin to know God on a deeper level. I think the Israelites learned to whine less and trust more. (My new favorite verse aside from Job 38:4, is Exodus 14:15. (NIV) "Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” I can just imagine an eye roll somewhere here. :roll_eyes:

I wonder if we will see any special duties being performed in heaven by the families of the tribe of Levi or anyone that has been as faithful? Afterall, they did have a lot of experience working in the tabernacle. I know the tabernacle housed God’s throne while God dwelled with the Israelites, but I can imagine all the splendor surrounding God’s throne in His kingdom that is to come and someone will need to take care of it.

(SeanO) #2

@tabby68 Hmm - not sure what duties we will have in Heaven. But I can say that I do not think the tribe of Levi will be singled out for specific priestly duties because according to the New Testament all believers are priest of the Most High God. So if there are priestly duties they will likely be performed by all believers and will have to do with exalting Christ. The Levites offered animal sacrifices, whereas Jesus put an end to the sacrificial system.

Also, Jesus is now the High Priest according to Hebrews 4:12. Jesus is King, Priest and Sacrifice all in one. So not sure what the implications are for priestly duties in Heaven? Guess we will find out :slight_smile:

I Peter 2:4-5,9-10 - As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ…But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Hebrews 4:14-16 - Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

(Tabitha Gallman) #3

Hey Sean,

I agree that Jesus made the final sacrifice for our sins, and am thankful that a blood offering is no longer required. While reading in Numbers I was thinking about the church today and how we are like the “hands and feet” of Christ.

(Numbers 3:8 reads: “They are to take care of all the furnishings of the tent of meeting, fulfilling the obligations of the Israelites by doing the work of the tabernacle.”)

I believe today God gives us (believers) skills that we use in serving God which will produce the fruit of the spirit as referenced in Galatians 5:22. The families of the Tribe of Levi served in the tabernacle as God assigned each family different duties.

I don’t know, but maybe each of us in our own skills may somehow use those skills as we serve in the kingdom of Heaven? Could our rewards for our faithful service to Him maybe have something to do with how we are serving Him today? Well, with that thought, I will probably be at the bottom of the ladder, so I need to move a little faster and be about the Father’s business. :thinking: :slightly_smiling_face:

(SeanO) #4

@tabby68 Bottom of what ladder? Haha - I hope there are no ladders. The reward I want is Jesus and for others to know Him :slight_smile: There are certainly different rewards, but I have no idea what that actually means and trust that it does not have to do with worldly hierarchies. Maybe our reward is to see others who we’ve witnessed to in the arms of the Savior and renewed by His love and glory?

It will be an exciting adventure to see what the Lord has in store!

(Tabitha Gallman) #5

Sometimes I do wonder about not doing enough as others have mentioned in other posts, but I do believe in my heart that Jesus died for my sins and that I have been adopted as a child of God. That is mainly what I am focused on.

I am still learning that parables are not to be taken literally and that we are to interpret the Bible only through the Holy Spirit. I understand that when Jesus spoke of The Rich and the Kingdom of God, and he said that many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first (Matthew 19:30) he was referring to salvation right? Because when he says the same thing in Matthew 20:16 about the workers in the vineyard, that could also apply to the thief on the cross who Jesus said he would be with him in paradise that same day?

Peter in Matthew 19:27 said: “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” Is the reply that Jesus gives in verse 28 and 29 only referring to Peter and the 12 disciples?

I noticed the translation for Matthew 20:16 is different in the KJV and the NIV. The NIV version leaves off the line: “for many be called, but few are chosen”. Is this referring to discipleship only and not salvation?

(SeanO) #6

@tabby68 I think that it is complex process for each of us to discern how God wants us to use our lives and that it is always wise to begin by resting in the grace of Jesus. If we rest in Him, the Good Shepherd will never fail to lead us where we need to be!

Regarding reward, I always think about it as Jesus being our reward. As Romans 8 says, if God has given us Jesus, how will He not also give us all things? Corinthians talks about a person’s work for God being of different value - gold, silver and straw. So, let’s say someone knows Jesus but then their teaching is unsound - perhaps they go to Heaven but the work they thought they were doing for the Lord did not have any substance. They would suffer loss because their work was in vain.

Romans 8:32 - He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

I Cor 3:10-15 - By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

Regarding Jesus’ other parables, I would need to study more to provide an in depth answer. It may even be worth starting another thread if you are interested.

What I generally do with a passage like Matthew 22:1-14 is think about it like this:

  • “Many are called, but few are chosen” is a hard to understand statement and people debate its meaning
  • However, it is clear that the people Jesus called - Israel - rejected His invitation to the wedding - Jesus is specifically rebuking the Pharisees
  • Since Jesus’ invitation was rejected, He is inviting in everyone - whoever will come - bad or good
  • Jesus talks about a man without a wedding garment - in the New Testament a wedding robe seems to symbolize salvation through Christ - having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb

So, rather than go after the cryptic statement ‘many are called, but few are chosen’ which no doubt Jesus used because it made his listeners think - I go after the more obvious meaning. At the wedding feast of Jesus all who respond to God’s call will be there, but we must be made worthy of that call through salvation in Christ. He is the gate - and we must enter through Him.

Matthew 22:1-14 - Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his slaves to summon those who had been invited to the banquet, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Look! The feast I have prepared for you is ready. My oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.”’ 5 But they were indifferent and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his slaves, insolently mistreated them, and killed them. 7 The king was furious! He sent his soldiers, and they put those murderers to death and set their city on fire. 8 Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but the ones who had been invited were not worthy. 9 So go into the main streets and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 10 And those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all they found, both bad and good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 But when the king came in to see the wedding guests, he saw a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But he had nothing to say. 13 Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

If we start a separate thread we can jump into these passages at a deeper level and take time to do a more thorough exegesis.

(Tabitha Gallman) #7

I’m gonna print off your reply and keep to study over. And, yes, I would like to start a new thread on the two parables in Matthew 19 and 20. I actually used this verse in Matt. 19:30 as my mother’s epitaph because she suffered so much here on earth. I really should have been more studied up on the Bible before putting that on her tombstone, but at the time it seemed fitting.

(SeanO) #8

@tabby68 My analysis was very rudimentary, so please take it more as an outline. Look forward to further discussion :slight_smile: