Everlasting Kingdom: Unraveling the Bible’s Secrets

The Book of Life, Part 2

“Reward” or “Wages”?

Missing Doctrines
INDEX

Back Next Chapter 38, Part 2 Are you expecting a “free reward” from Elohim (Yehovah) or might you perchance be expecting eternal “wages” for a job well done? This is an incredibly important concept because, after all, we’re talking about your eternal “reward”!

Names are written in heaven (as was explained in part 1) and this was intended to result in a person’s resurrection to eternal life, so we must then ask what this has to do with wages. If the gift is free, then why do some people receive it while others are burned? Is it simply the difference that some respond to an “altar call” and then say some magic words?

There are many Bible verses demonstrating that your good works or actions are absolutely required for salvation. Here is perhaps the most important of them:

James 2:14-26 What is the use, Friends, if a man says, “I have faith”, but he doesn’t have any works? Can his faith resurrect him to Life? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is poorly clothed and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace! Stay warm, and eat well.” If you don’t provide for their bodily needs, what good is that? 17 So faith all by itself, unaccompanied by works, is dead.

18 But someone might argue, “You have faith and I have works.” Show to me your faith without any works, and I’ll show you my faith by my works! 19 So you believe that there is one Aloha [God]. Good for you, but the demons also believe that, and tremble.

20 Don’t you realize, you spiritually destitute person, that faith without works is dead! 21 Wasn’t Abraham our ancestor proven righteous by works in offering his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith enabled his works, and as a result of works, his faith was perfected. 23 The Scripture was fulfilled that said, “Abraham believed in YHVH, and this is why he was considered to be righteous.” He was even called YHVH’s Friend. 24 So you see that people are deemed to be righteous by works, and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way Rahab the harlot was justified by works when she welcomed the spies and sent ‘their enemies’ off in a different direction. 26 A body without the spirit is dead, just as faith without works is dead. —The Gabriel Bible

The “proof text” that those who teach that righteous works are not required for salvation ) is Ephesians 2:9, yet even this “proof text”, in context, mentions that we were “created ... for good works”! Verse 10 doesn’t get the same respect.

Ephesians 2:8-10 ... It is by His compassion that we’re Rescued thru faith, and this isn’t your own doing, it’s the gift of YHVH, 9 not due to works, to prevent anyone from bragging. 10 We are His creation, created in Yeshua Messiah to do the good works that YHVH previously prepared for our ‘way of life’.

Yeshua was the only person whose own righteousness made Him deserving of eternal life. When He “appeared”, it was not because of, that is “not by works of righteousness, that we did ourselves”, on the contrary, He appeared to pay the penalty for our sins with His own flesh, so that we could progress to the next step, and in order to be one of the kadishea (saints) we must gladly acknowledge His ze’bak (sacrifice)—yet it is absolutely required that we continue to be “zealous for good works”! Yehovah knows that we cannot be perfect in this life, but we have the real potential to become that way!

Matthew 5:48 So become perfect, just as your Heavenly Father is perfect.

By Yehovah’s “compassion” “the gift of Yehovah” is ours, but only if we do the “good works” that we were “created” to do! So while we are not yet perfect or deserving of eternal life, because of our own righteousness, we must nevertheless earn the right to keep our crown! You don’t earn your salvation, but you must earn the right to keep it! You must keep your name written in the book of life, as explained in part 1.

John 6:37-40 Everyone who My Father has given Me will come to Me, and no one who comes to Me will ever be forced out, 38 because I came down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of the One who sent Me. 39 And the will of the One who sent Me is that I won’t lose any of those He has given Me, but should raise them up during the Last Day. 40 Because My Father wants everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him to have eternal Life, and I’ll raise them up on the Last Day.”

Revelation 2:10 Don’t fear the things you are to suffer! Look, the Accuser will throw some of you into prison to test you, and you’ll undergo tribulation for ten days. But be faithful until death, and I’ll give you the crown of Life.

Revelation 3:11-12 I AM COMING QUICKLY! Hold tightly onto what you have, so that no one takes your crown. 12 I’ll make anyone who is victorious a pillar in the Temple of YHVH, and they’ll never be separated from the assembly, and I’ll write YHVH’s name on them, and the name of New Jerusalem that descends from the heavens from my YHVH, and My own new name.

Luke 13:23-25 Someone asked Him whether only a few would Live eternally. 24 Yeshua replied, “Strive to enter by the narrow gate. I assure you that many will try to enter, but won’t be able to. 25 Once the Master of the house gets up and closes the door, you’ll stand outside knocking on the door and you’ll be saying, ‘Master, Master, open the door for us’, and He’ll reply, ‘I don’t know who you are or where you are from.’

Philippians 2:12-13 So Friends, as you have always listened to and obeyed YHVH, not only when I was near you, but now that I am far from you—continue in the necessary work to make sure of your own eternal Lives, with fear and trembling, 13 because YHVH Himself is creating within you both the desire and the ability to bring about the good things you want to do.

Notice a pattern? Both you and Yehovah must continue working to bring about your salvation!

As we are about to see in the rest of this chapter, Yehovah wants to repay us for our “good works”. Allow the Apostle Paul to explain it to you, as he did to Titus.

Titus 2:11-3:8 The Life giving kindness of YHVH has appeared to all humanity, 12 and it teaches us to renounce wickedness and the cravings of this world and to live sensibly in this world and in righteousness, and in great awe of YHVH, 13 anticipating our blessed hope and the return from heaven [Gr. epiphaneia] of the splendor of the great Aloha AND our Life Giver , Yeshua Messiah, 14 who gave Himself for us so that He could liberate us from our lawless condition and cleanse a new people for Himself who are zealous for doing good works. 15 You must teach, emphasize, and imprint these things on their minds, systematically and authoritatively. Don’t allow anyone to disregard you.

3:1 Remind people that they must be submissive and obedient to rulers and government officials, and be ready to do EVERY GOOD WORK. 2 Don’t blaspheme anyone or be argumentative, but be gentle and show courtesy to everyone in every circumstance.

3 We also used to be reckless and disobedient and deceived, enslaved to various cravings, and living with lusts and envy. We were hateful ourselves, and hated each other 4 until the kindness and compassion of YHVH our Life Giver appeared [Gr. epiphaino]— 5 not as a result of the righteous things we’ve done, but due to His mercy. He gave us Life by a regenerative washing and the renewing of the kadosh spirit, 6 that He poured out on us so abundantly thru Yeshua Messiah our Life Giver, 7 so that we can be declared righteous by His kindness and become heirs, anticipating eternal Life 8 This is a trustworthy saying, and I would strongly advise you to accept these things, so that those who have believed in YHVH will commit themselves to GOOD WORKS. These things are good and beneficial for everyone.

(As a side note about Strong’s 3824—“regeneration”: “The word [is] often used to denote the restoration of a thing to its pristine state, its renovation, as a renewal or restoration of life after death.” And “renewing”, Strong’s 342 means: “a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better”. So in essence our spirit returns to the “pristine” state that it was in when Yehovah issued it to us! Then we need to keep our spirit renewed—by our good works, until our “spirit returns to Yehovah”.)

Ecclesiastes 12:7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to Elohim who gave it.

There are also numerous articles available explaining the necessity of faith AND good works to please Yehovah, even tho it is still a tiny minority view. Yet rather than enter into that arena, the rest of this chapter will be limited to understanding what is being presented in English Bibles as a single word—“reward”.

The reason that we need to define “reward” is because far too many people feel that it can imply something free and that it only implies good things. Punishment as a reward is generally thought to be a contradiction in terms. The following definition of the word “reward”, is consistent with my modern Webster’s dictionary, except that the newer dictionaries are not literally loaded with Biblical references, and even more emphasis is placed on “compensation”. Biblical usages of the word “reward” never imply that you get something free or for very little effort!

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, Electronic Version by Christian Technologies, Inc.
REWARD’, v.t. a as aw. [L. re, denoting return.]
To give in return, either good OR evil.
Thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil. 1 Sam. 24.
Hence, when good is returned for good, reward signifies to repay, to recompense, to compensate. When evil or suffering is return for injury or wickedness, reward signifies to punish with just retribution, to take vengeance on, according to the nature of the case.
I will render vengeance to my enemies; and will reward them that hate me. Deut. 32.
The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Matt. 16.
In the latter passage, reward signifies to render with good and evil.
REWARD’, n.
1. Recompense, or equivalent return for good done, for kindness, for services and the like. Rewards may consist of money, goods or any return of kindness or happiness.
The laborer is worthy of his reward. 1Tim. 5.
Great is your reward in heaven. Matt. 5.
Rewards and punishments presuppose moral agency, and something voluntarily done, well or ill; without which respect, though we may receive good, it is only a benefit and not a reward.
2. The fruit of men’s labor or works.
The dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward. Eccles. 9.
3. A bribe; a gift to pervert justice. Deut. 27.
4. A sum of money offered for taking or detecting a criminal, or for recovery of any thing lost.
5. Punishment; a just return of evil or suffering for wickedness.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Ps. 91.
6. Return in human applause. Matt. 6.
7. Return in joy and comfort. Ps. 19.

Today the word “reward” would be better used only in the context of getting paid to catch a criminal on the loose, or for compensation for finding a lost item (i.e. if you are not your brother’s keeper).

Biblical Greek always means payment when you read about a reward. While three separate words are used to convey the thought, they all involve being compensated for good works!

Here is the most common Greek word usually translated as “reward”, according to the Online Bible Greek Lexicon. Notice that the KJV uses the easily misunderstood word “reward” 24 of 29 times—essentially whenever possible, but that the Greek definition is entirely about being compensated for works or actions—good or bad! By using the word “reward” the concept of being compensated by Yehovah for righteous actions seldom comes to mind—the obvious intent.

Online Bible Greek Lexicon
[Strong’s] 3408 misyov misthos mis-thos’
apparently a primary word; TDNT-4:695,599; n m
AV [KJV]-reward 24, hire 3, wages 2; 29
1) dues paid for work
1a) wages, hire
2) reward: used of the fruit naturally resulting from toils and endeavours
2a) in both senses, rewards and punishments
2b) of the rewards which Yehovah bestows, or will bestow, upon good deeds and endeavours
2c) of punishments

Here is the second Greek word translated as “reward” that many people assume means a free trip to heaven (as in the next scripture below). While it always means compensation the KJV always uses a phrase with “reward” in it:

Online Bible Greek Lexicon
[Strong’s] 3405 misyapodosia misthapodosia mis-thap-od-os-ee’-ah
from 3406; TDNT-4:695,599; n f
AV [KJV]-recompence of reward 3; 3
1) payment of wages due, recompence

Strong’s 591 is a third word translated as “reward”. It is most often translated correctly because these references usually refer to typical business transactions. Yet in instances where Yehovah pays or repays men the translators preferred the more vague word “reward”.

Online Bible Greek Lexicon
[Strong’s] 591 apodidwmi apodidomi ap-od-eed’-o-mee
from 575 and 1325; TDNT-2:167,166; v
AV-pay 9, give 9, render 9, reward 7, sell 3, yield 2, misc 9; 48
1) to deliver, to give away for one’s own profit what is one’s own, to sell
2) to pay off, discharge what is due
2a) a debt, wages, tribute, taxes, produce due
2b) things promised under oath
2c) conjugal duty
2d) to render account
3) to give back, restore
4) to requite, recompense in a good or a bad sense

Now let’s look at these three words in action. There are so many references to Yehovah compensating us that no matter which other Bible verses are thrown into the mix—these compensation verses must be accounted for:

Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, because your compensation in Heaven is great. They persecuted the prophets who were before you in the same way.

Matthew 5:46 Because if you only love those who love you, what compensation do you deserve? Don’t even tax extractors do that?

Matthew 6:1-6 Be careful not to practice your righteous works in the presence of others, just so that they can see you, or you’ll have no compensation from your Heavenly Father.

2 Don’t announce your presence with a trumpet like the pretenders do in the synagogues and in the streets, in order to be praised. Most surely, they’ve already gotten their compensation. 3 When you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your donation is done in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will compensate you openly. 5 When you pray, don’t be like the pretenders who love standing up in the synagogues and on street corners, praying just so they’ll be seen by other people. That’s most certainly their compensation. 6 But when you pray, enter a private room and close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Your Father who sees the unseen will compensate you openly.

Matthew 6:16 When you fast, don’t appear to be sad like the pretenders do. They try to look sad to make it obvious that they’re fasting. That’s most certainly their compensation.

Matthew 6:18 ... so that it won’t be obvious to others that you are fasting, except for your Father, who tho He is hidden from you, still sees what is done in secret and will compensate you.

Matthew 10:41-42 Whoever welcomes a prophet, because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s compensation, and anyone who is the companion of a righteous person, because they are a righteous person, will receive a righteous person’s compensation . 42 And whoever gives one of these inexperienced ones so much as a cup of cold water to drink, because they are a disciple, I tell you, they certainly won’t lose their compensation.

Matthew 16:27 The Human Son will return in the splendor of His Father with all His kadosh messengers, and then He’ll COMPENSATE EVERYONE BASED ON WHAT THEY HAVE DONE.

Mark 9:41 Anyone who gives you so much as a cup of water to drink because you are the Messiah’s followers certainly won’t lose their compensation.

Luke 6:23 Be glad at such a time and jump for joy because your compensation in Heaven is great. Their ancestors did the same thing to the prophets.

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies and do good for them. Lend to them, and don’t destroy anyone’s hopes, then your compensation will be huge and you’ll be the sons of the Highest, because He is kind to the wicked and to the unthankful.

Acts 1:18 He acquired a field with the reward for his injustice, where he fell face down to the ground and burst in the middle, and all his intestines gushed out.

Romans 4:4 Yet when someone works, their compensation isn’t considered to be a favor but an obligation.

1 Corinthians 3:8 The one who planted and the one who irrigated are equal, each receives their compensation in proportion to their labor.

1 Corinthians 3:14 The builder whose work survives will receive his compensation.

1 Corinthians 9:17 If I announce it voluntarily, I’m compensated, but if I’m unwilling to do it, the administration is still entrusted to me.

1 Timothy 5:18 because the Scriptures say, “Don’t muzzle an ox while it is threshing grain”, so a laborer deserves his wages!”

2 Timothy 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith showed bitter hostility towards me. Our Master will compensate him commensurate with his works.

Hebrews 2:2 because if the message delivered thru spirit messengers was confirmed, and everyone who heard it deliberately violated it and received a just compensation [punishment],

Hebrews 10:35 So don’t throw away your fearless confidence, because it will be greatly compensated.

Hebrews 11:26 He considered that being insulted for the Messiah’s sake was a greater treasure than all of the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead for his compensation.

2 Peter 2:13 These people will be compensated for their injustice, because their idea of fun is carousing during the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, reveling in laziness and devoted to pleasure.

2 John 1:8 Be careful that you don’t lose what you have earned, so that you can be fully compensated.

Jude 1:11 Too bad for them, they’ve followed in the way of Cain, and as Balaam did, they’ve lusted for money and died, just like those in Korah’s rebellion.

Revelation 11:18 The nations were angry, but Your anger has come, and it’s time for the dead to be judged, and for You to compensate Your servants the prophets, and the kadishea and those who fear Your name, both small and great, and to destroy those who have destroyed the earth.

Revelation 18:6 Pay her back the way she has paid others, ‘only’ repay her double, proportionate to her deeds. Pour her a double from her bowl of Cocktail [lit: mixture].

Revelation 22:12 I’ll come quickly! My compensation is with Me, to pay everyone according to what they’ve done.

Nothing is really entirely free, because someone else paid for it. The “gift of Elohim” was paid for in full by Yeshua the Messiah. And just like the sign: “Kittens free to a good home” there are conditions to free.

Romans 6:23 The compensation for sin is death, but the gift of YHVH is eternal Life, thru our Master Yeshua Messiah.

It is entirely possible that “the gift of Elohim” is not as simple as it appears to be:

The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible:

These words, at first sight, look as if the sense of them was, that eternal life is the gift of God through Christ, which is a great and glorious truth of the Gospel; but their standing [is] in opposition to the preceding words [as in the entire chapter and even before that] require another sense, namely, that Yehovah’s gift of grace issues [results] in eternal life, through Christ: wherefore by “the gift of Yehovah” is not meant eternal life, but either the gift of a justifying righteousness, or the grace of Yehovah in regeneration and sanctification, or both, which ‘issue’ [results] in eternal life; the one is the Saints’ right and title, the other their ‘meetness’ [fitness] for it: so that as death is the wages of sin, and is what that issues in, and brings unto, eternal life is the effect of grace ....

As with the other parables, they are far closer to reality than they are generally given credit for!

Matthew 25:19-21 After a long time their master returned and reviewed their accounts. 20 The one who had received five minin came and brought five more. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five minin. Look, I’ve earned five more by doing business.’ 21 His master replied, ‘You have done well, good and faithful servant! Since you’ve been faithful with a little, I’ll put you in charge of much more. Enter into the joy of your master!’

Online Bible Greek Lexicon:
* “a talent of silver in Israel weighed about 100 pounds (45 kg)”
“a talent of gold in Israel weighed about 200 pounds (91 kg)”

Unlike communism, in the Kingdom of Elohim the compensation package is based on individual merit, rather than everyone being compensated equally. There won’t be any seniority involved among the kadishea tho, because all of us will be resurrected at the end of this age:

John 5:28-29 Don’t be amazed at this, because the time is coming when everyone in their graves will hear His voice 29 and come out—those who have done good things to the Resurrection resulting in Life, and those who have committed evil to the Resurrection resulting in Condemnation.

The “gift of Elohim” actually extends considerably further than perhaps any “Church” is willing to admit—it extends way outside of their doors—and perhaps not even inside of them.

The End

Lon Martin, lonwmartin@yahoo.com
9/4/06

Chapter 39 is Seven Things That Father (Yehovah) Loves  Chapter 39

Chapters Articles Intro

Feast Days

Everlasting Kingdom
only search Everlasting Kingdom
 
Minor update January 27, 2015
 
Creative Commons License
Lon Martin’s work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.