Ken Paginton - Dunbar - September 11, 1996

Luke 22:28, "Ye are they which have continued with Me in My temptations.  And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my father has appointed unto Me, that ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom.”

 

I Corinthians 11:27, “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the LORD unworthily, shall he guilty of the body and blood of the LORD but let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of THAT bread and drink of THAT cup. For he that and drinketh unworthily, eat drinketh damnation to himself not discerning the LORD's body.

 

Having cancer concentrates one's thoughts, makes one look at life more seriously. Recently, when I found out I have cancer of the lungs, I said to the oncologist, "Please you can be straight with me, I have been a missionary for fifty years and death has no terror for me." Something that's true for all of us, whatever our situation we're in might be, the very best is yet in store for us, as long as we entrusted our life to His hands.

 

The words I just read were spoken by Jesus in his last meeting with His disciples--you have continued with Me in My temptations.  Some of the temptations Jesus had to go through the disciples knew nothing about, like those He had to face in His forty days out in the wilderness, but some they went through with Jesus; they were learning some lessons that would fit them to sit at His table in His kingdom.

 

The place of the servant.  When there was strife amongst them as to who would be  accounted the greatest, Jesus said "I am among you as he that serveth." He took a basin and washed their feet--he gave an example of what to do to one another. The true depth of that action they would only understand later and not then.  Later, they would understand  that Jesus knew already that they would run away; He still washed; He knew that Judas would betray Him; He still washed. If in our life here we want to be number one, have a big place--can we sit down with one who would choose the lowly place of a servant?

 

Deceitful popularity. When Jesus fed the multitudes, it resulted in a wave of popularity.  People wanted to elevate Him and worship Him--and Jesus chose to f1ee on board ship, for Him popularity was a dangerous atmosphere, a situation to be avoided. If in our life we seek praise and popularity, we cannot sit at His table.

 

Willing to be broken. When the five thousand were fed, at the end they picked up what was left, so nothing was lost and twelve baskets were filled. What they found were not whole loaves and whole fish but only fragments. Only fragments that had been willing for the breaking, that can be used. We must be willing for the breaking up of our own ideas, friendships--He taught them what to do when they would receive human popularity

 

Removing the dross. In Luke 9:54, the most gentle and loving disciple John asks Jesus, after the Samaritans refused to receive them, "Lord wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" This would be the same if workers, after having no response to gospel meeting, contemplate using machine guns to mow them down. Jesus replies, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of." John learnt something. Something had to be refined out of him.  At the British Museum I inquired about the way gold was refined 2000 years ago. It had to go through great heat and the dross had to be brought to the surface to be taken out.  Sometimes circumstances come that bring up the worst of human nature, evil things.  Just be honest about it, and let the LORD refine it out, let the LORD deal with it.

 

Lowering the standard.   In Mark 10:17 we read about a young man wanting to know what to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus reminds him of the commandments and is told that he observed them from youth.  Jesus, beholding him loved him. But when this rich young man is asked to give up his riches and follow him, the young man was sad at that saying and went away. Jesus did not go and say, "In your special case, we change the conditions." The conditions never change.  If they would change, we would never be allowed to sup at the table.

 

Start of the Gospel Doctrine:  Often we are asked who started our fellowship, our doctrine, ministry?  We are not interested in tracing personalities.  Some say this way started with Jesus, but it began earlier.  It began with God.  He gave Jesus the Gospel, the Doctrine. 'As thou hast sent me, so have I sent them'--the same way--God started it all--it's the foundation on which we stand.


Accepting suffering. When Jesus started to show His disciples how He would suffer many things from the chief priests and scribes and be killed, Peter rebuked Him and said, "Be it far from thee LORD, this shall not be unto Thee" (in the Greek it is translated as “Jesus, pity Thyself.”)  Self-pity would not allow us to sit down with Him. Whatever our LORD was willing to go though, we must be willing for. In Jesus, we have the right teaching, the teaching that will be the same, right through till eternity; that prepares us to sit at the table.

 

Purge out wrong leaven. At the last meeting Jesus had with His disciples, He gave out the bread and wine, and they partook of the emblems. As they did eat, He said that, "One of you shall betray Me," and they asked "LORD is it I?" Let every man examine himself when he partakes of the emblems. This is our own responsibility, to examine this personal relationship we have with GOD.  If we partake of it unworthily, we eat and drink damnation unto ourselves. Every time I partake of the emblems, I feel that I am unworthy, as the greatest sinner of all does.  That I would eat and drink damnation unto myself? This could happen if I would not discern the LORD's body. If we are conscious we are partaking of the LORD's body, then despite our shortcomings, we may partake worthily. At that time they most likely broke unleavened bread.  Jesus' life was like unleavened bread, with not wrong leaven of this world in it.  Purge out old leaven.  Examine yourself if you are leavened with wrong leaven.

 

Leaven of Hypocrisy.  In Madagascar, 20 years ago nobody professed, and now there are 180 attending convention, 12 were baptized and 10 Malagasy are in the work--things are going well. There, they have a name for hypocrisy; the rush mat off the wall.  They keep a mat on the wall that is always kept clean. When visitors come, they quickly take off this mat and place it on the floor, on top of all the dirt, to make the room look nice.  When the visitors are gone, the rush mat goes back up onto the wall. On Sunday mornings, examine yourself for the leaven of hypocrisy.

 

Leaven of our own doctrine.  The Pharisees had their own doctrine, their leaven. There is only one right doctrine, one right standard, and that is the standard of Jesus. If someone tells you of different levels of truth, it's a lie; don't listen.

 

Forgiveness. When the angel of death came to Egypt, the Israelites were found having their door frames marked with the blood of the unblemished lamb. The blood marking the upper post sheltered them from above.  But if we want true forgiveness, then we also have to forgive our neighbours; the blood also has to cover our sideposts.

 

Doctrine without blemish.  The lamb whose blood was to be used to mark the posts had to be carefully chosen and examined. It had to be without blemish, only then was it to be slain. We have the teachings of Jesus, acknowledge them untainted. The teachings, like the lamb, must be without blemish. The doctrine that Jesus brought is the only doctrine that will give us the right to claim shelter. If you have examined the lamb, found it without blemish, then go inside and feed upon it, "Ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning."

 

Show TRUE Standard. There is only one truth, one standard, the standard we have in Jesus. In Psalm 48 we read of the city of great King. GOD is known in her palaces. What makes a residence a palace?  The sovereign is living there. At Buckingham Palace people always ask, “Is the Queen inside?”  There is one sure sign she is in--when the royal standard, the royal flag, is flown on top of the roof.  If she leaves the palace, then the flag goes on to her car. There should be evidence of a royal standard on us because the King reigns within. When the Queen visits the Duke of York, the moment the front wheel of her car touches the moat, his standard is lowered and hers is raised.

 

Keep standard high, no matter what.  It should be like this with the gospel, when it takes root in our heart a new standard is displayed. When a British ship of war had to fight 53 ships of the Spanish armada, it did not look well, and the captain gave order to nail the standard to the top of mast so nobody can take it down.  It should be like this with us too. One day an old lady came to me and said, “I know that you people have no wireless and no papers, I just come to say, ‘The king is dead.’” That day the royal standard was lowered, it was flown at half mast. The king is dead.

 

Show Different Standard.  If the king is reigning, then the royal standard must be found at the top of the mast. We must show a different standard, a right standard to the world. We must have a different standard in business, no tax evasion, not with a child of GOD. We must have a different standard in our home, in bringing up our children, the standard of the right doctrine that we have in Jesus. Sometimes we don't attain to it, but that does not give us the right to alter the standard. We must just try harder. When the soldiers practice target shooting and miss, they adjust their sights on the guns; they don't change the target.

 

Struggle to attain standards.  “I have found David, My servant, in whom My hand shall be established.” When GOD chose David, he was still a young shepherd. What qualities did he have to make the LORD choose him? He had learnt how to play the harp, the harp he later played to King Saul when the evil spirits were upon him--and they departed.  He also learnt how to use the sling.  He had plenty of target practice so when he was chosen to fight Goliath, it was not the first time he used the sling.  Keep trying.  The Lord knows our frame and remembers that we are but dust, so don't struggle to lower standard, but struggle to attain it.

 

Beware of the leaven of Herod.  Herod was a prince of this world, this social set. It is so easy for worldly things to creep into our lives, into our homes, if we are not careful. In Madagascar, there was a rich lady that professed and her home was about the only one suitable for fellowship meetings. The problem was she also had a television set. When we asked her about the meeting and told her about the TV, she just said "What's stopping you from taking down the aerial?" and sold her TV too. Something else that takes away our time is computers. All kinds of programs are available and some young people get hooked on them, same way as being hooked on TV. Be careful about the way young people use computers.

 

Appearance. Another sign of Herod's leaven is Fashion.  Fashions change and hardly ever last longer than some years. There is no change of standard in God's kingdom; modesty and moderation. Obviously, one would dress differently on the beach but one can always stay modest. In Madagascar, the first lady who ever professed was my language teacher. When Lucie professed her dresses were okay, but not what we like. One day I got a picture from her to send to friends. It was an old picture, and I got a felt tip pen, lowered the dress and asked a photographer if it's okay to take a new photo of the picture. I showed Lucie, and within two weeks all her dresses were long.

 

Hair.  Sometimes we see hair cut shoulder length, sometimes cut short. The Bible teaches us that sisters serving the LORD should have long hair, as a sign of submission. Jesus was begotten of the Father, everything else was created. There was an order, the angels were put into position of power and man below the angels. Unisex fashion is contrary to GOD'S order.  Some angels also rebelled against the order of GOD and broke away. When women grow their hair long, they show they are willing to fit into GOD's order of creation. When they start cutting it, they show they are not willing to fit in. I visited a home once with four daughters, teenagers. Two of them set a good example, no trousers, hair okay. We asked the two if they get much reproach at school and they said, “Yes; but what hurts is the reproach we get from the other professing girls.” Some might think uncle Ken is a bit of a Fuddy-Duddy. People should not be careless in dressing.  On a very hot day in Madagascar, I wore just open sandals, pants and an open necked bush shirt. At the post office, I met an American lady who could not speak the language, and I helped her. She asked me what I was doing and when I told her I was a missionary, she said, "Well, you are the swingiest missionary that I have ever seen."

 

Example to Children.   As parents, always direct your children's interest towards the kingdom. In England, we had tent missions--the outlook your children will get will always depend upon the way your tent is pitched. Take care yours is pitched right, way towards the kingdom. Tell them low much it means to you, tell them about the time when workers came. When Moses grew up, he was surrounded by the riches of Egypt, but his mother managed to hold on to something for him that after forty years, he came out of it all right.  We must be careful to put out of our heart the leaven of hypocrisy and worldliness.

 

Borders. In Australia, I visited in an area where there were thousands of sheep. I was thinking about all the work that had to go into repairing the fences.   One day we were driving and came across four lonely sheep, on the middle of the road.  They were in a very dangerous place, dangerous to themselves and dangerous to cars. If the sheep would have kept near the shepherd, they would not have needed fences. If you see people looking for loopholes in the fences, they are not close to the shepherd where it is safe.

 

Malice. Look into your heart and see if there is something you are not prepared to forgive. When we die, there is only one thing that we can give to GOD and that is our spirit.  Some of the most serious words mentioned in the Bible are in chapter 18, verse 23 of Matthew.  A servant who owed ten thousand talents to his master, after pleading was forgiven the debt. That servant found a fellow servant owed him hundred peace, but would not forgive him his debt and cast him into prison. When his master was told about it, he was wrath and delivered him to his tormentors till his debt was fully paid. Through Christ, GOD has forgiven us every sin, from youth up. But if I am not willing to forgive others, all my sins will come back again.  Be careful to root out the leaven of malice.

 

Despite of our own unworthiness we can partake of the emblems if we have no leaven in us. In the book of Revelation, we read in chapter 5 how John is told of one of the elders, "Weep not, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book." We think of greatness, power, fearlessness.  But when John turned around, in the midst of the throne stood a Lamb as it had been slain. Sometime in the world's history, we hear of great victory parades, but none is greater than the parade when Jesus walked from the judgment hall to the Mount of Calvary. We should follow him down this narrow lane. When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption and this mortal shall have put on immortality . . . then death is swallowed up in victory. Not the victory we obtained, but because of Christ's death on Calvary. In Colossians 1:2, we read of the greatest miracle ever mentioned in the Bible. Greater than creation, the miracles performed in Egypt.  In the body of his flesh through death our LORD Jesus can present us unblameable, unreproveable and undefiled; can take our mere mortal body and present it without flaw. If I would not believe, this I would not be standing here.

 

Sometimes our vision is so limited. Sometimes we need to lift up our eyes to see the KING in all his beauty, what He is leading us on to--the day when He comes again. Lazarus was not dead, he was just asleep, asleep in Christ.  When Christ will wake us up, He will wake us to no more tears, no more pain. A holy city coming down out of Heaven, prepared as a bride for her husband... “and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” Live for nothing else and keep the royal standard flying at the top of the mast.