Full-time openings, (part time employment is not available). These are life-time positions with many incredibly fine long-term benefits. Hardship and adversity--even suffering--may occur in the short term, entirely at the discretion of the Employer. This job requires a clear cut commitment to service. (That is, if you accept the job you must show up for work). These are demanding jobs--in other words, 24/7/365.25. Paradoxically, although the Employer expects loyal obedience and dedicated service he does not value the employee's self-efforts on his behalf. Trying harder and climbing the social ladder within the Company are discouraged. The hired servants must agree to the Basic Work Law which may be summarized as, "Nothing coming from me, everything coming from Another." This means the employee can not expect to get much credit for the meritorious works which "Another" (Jesus) has done through him or her.
"Will any one of you, who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and sit down at table'? Will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, and gird yourself and serve me, till I eat and drink; and afterward you shall eat and drink'? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'" (Jesus in Luke 17:7-10)
One can be disqualified (dq-ed) and dismissed as a hired servant for chronically failing to perform according to the Employment Contract (also called a "Covenant"). For instance, while this Employer, like a rich businessman or an international statesman, is out of town on business, employees must be reliable and responsible stewards in his absence. Those who fail to perform over the long run prove they did not really agree to the terms of service in the first place and they could end up dq-ed.
"...Jesus proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they [his followers] supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. He said therefore, "A nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom and then return. Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten pounds, and said to them, 'Trade with these till I come.' But his citizens hated him and sent an embassy after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.' When he returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading. The first came before him, saying, 'Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.' And he said to him, 'Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.' And the second came, saying, 'Lord, your pound has made five pounds.' And he said to him, 'And you are to be over five cities.' Then another came, saying, 'Lord, here is your pound, which I kept laid away in a napkin; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.' He said to him, 'I will condemn you out of your own mouth, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank, and at my coming I should have collected it with interest?' And he said to those who stood by, 'Take the pound from him, and give it to him who has the ten pounds.' (And they said to him, 'Lord, he has ten pounds!') 'I tell you, that to every one who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me.'" (Luke 19:10-27)
Thankfully, the Employer is very patient ("longsuffering") and is willing to wait a long time for certain of his flaky employees to shape up. The Employer has many intimates, but no favorites!
Jesus told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, 'Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?' And he answered him, 'Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'" (Luke 13:6-9)
This Employer is quite different from any other! His quals standard for being a faithful servant is most radical--so high that the Boss establishes them by his own example:
"...as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day." Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:17-28)
For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves." (Luke 22:27)
According to these job standards, servants will be rewarded on the basis of how well they serve others. They will be given authority within the household of their fellow employees based on their faithful service-- not because of any inherent abilities, seminary degrees, or talent-based standards. In fact, all the hired servants have no inherent rights of their own. Each will, however, be very well treated because their Master is himself the model for acceptable service. The Employer is utterly fair and impartial, and asks all his staff to work together in harmony--regardless of their varied and diverse backgrounds.
The Employer works alongside each of his servants and agrees to take the responsibility for all the work which needs to be done. Paradoxically, the "work" which the servant is called to perform is often called "rest." (See Jesus is our Sabbath Rest)
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
Employees will need to constantly adjust their life-styles to the above-mentioned servant-authority standard since this job is not based on the usual hierarchical role models one finds everywhere in the outside world. Actually, the ways of the world must be renounced as part of the Terms-of-Hire-Agreement.
I appeal to you therefore, brethren [fellow servants], by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him." (Romans 12:1-3)
"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. "Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour." (Luke 12:32-40)
There aren't any at this time. Only servants are being recruited. However, everyone who signs the Basic Agreement Contract with this Employer will be tested and tried during his or her term of service. The term of service is also designed as a training program to develop the servant's individual and unique capacities for more difficult and challenging job assignments (i.e., big promotions) in the next phase of this job. Phase Two of the job occurs beyond this present life in a different space-time continuum. All Company job openings assure long term rewards based on performance as a "faithful" servant.
Many are reluctant to sign up for the above job since a total, unconditional commitment is required:
"If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build, and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace. So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26-33)
Those who wish to run their own lives and do as they please, may do well for a season in this present life, but they are actually ineligible for any of the eternal rewards the Employer gives to His faithful servants. Right now (in this life), "outsiders" to the Company are as close to heaven as they will ever be, so insiders ought not to ruin their short season enjoying God's sunshine and rain and good gifts to all men. These good things will soon be lost to these outsiders forever--because of their own refusal to accept the Basic Offer. By the way, the Basic Offer is otherwise known as "the gospel" or "the glad-tidings of great joy." In other words, the Employment Offer is all good news. Any and all are welcome to come and be hired.
It turns out that the way humans were designed and built by our Creator requires that we only serve in the role of a servant to someone else! Every one of us on earth must serve one of two masters. Unemployment is basically not a viable option in the long run. (These principles are very offensive to human pride and self-righteousness!)
"Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification. When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But then what return did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:16-23)
That is, there are actually no other real employment options in life anywhere--for anyone. Though it may at first seem otherwise, the Eternal Life Employment program can be tested and proven in experience as the only program of its kind in the universe.
"...there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:2)
Jesus said "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
Many in our world now believe they are working for this Employer when in fact they are deceiving themselves. The Employer insists on a one-to-one intimate, personal working relationship directly with each Employee! The terms of the employment contract carry a number of dire warnings to those who have not paid attention to the fine print about this matter. Here is one such warning:
"Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.' "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it." (Matthew 7:21-27)
Many potential recruits imagine that the Employer is a harsh taskmaster. The exact opposite is true. The world we all live in is permeated by lies and deceptions from an evil empire whose false god--a crooked thief--actually wants to destroy every one of us. The real God--who created us humans in the first place--chose to design us to live as the servants of Another. In this servanthood we are to find our fulfillment. We were not any of us designed to live autonomously--or to be enslaved in the "service" of any false god. Choosing to live for oneself turns out to be an especially poor choice in the end.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep...My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, 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." (John 10:10-30)
For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth--as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"--yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. However, not all possess this knowledge..." (1 Corinthians 8:5-7)
Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)
Many, who were previously the slaves of some false god (or gods)--who now serve the true and living God--describe their new employment service as "the glorious liberty of the sons of God." (Romans 8:21) Enormous freedom is to be found in dying to self and granting Jesus the Employer full permission to live through one's person.
In fact it is an amazing reality for those who commit themselves to follow the real Master in his service discover that this same Master actually comes alongside to serve his own employees! Isaiah Chapter 58 brings this out. Note the conditional terms which we employees to agree to for this to happen! Obviously servants must abide by the terms of their basic contract of employment (also called "The New Covenant"). Isaiah 58 begins with a warning against being a fake servant--a "merely religious" person. This Employer has a particular dislike for religion, for hypocrisy, and for most human traditions.
There is no fixed salary or guaranteed income level connected with this job--in this present life. Some will become wealthy, other employees will live their whole lives on a modest income, or even spend their lives in jail or in ill-health and in constant pain. Some servants of this Master will be well-known, but most will not be. Many outsiders have protested the strange Basic Wage Scale paid by this Master, (sometimes called the "first-last and the last-first principle."). The BWS turns out to be utterly fair when dealing with the Employer's sovereign grace and mercy.
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place; and to them he said, 'You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.' So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing; and he said to them, 'Why do you stand here idle all day?' They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You go into the vineyard too.' And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.' And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the householder, saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.' But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you, and go; I choose to give to this last as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity? 'So the last will be first, and the first last." (Matthew 20:1-16)
The following is a brief summary of how certain servants experienced life while working for the same Master in times past. This will give some indication of what one might expect after signing on to the program:
"For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets--who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated--of whom the world was not worthy--wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect." (Hebrews 11:32-40)
The Employer will provide as much grace and mercy as each individual needs on a day-to-day basis. Most of the dividends of this employment package are long term--not collectible in this life, as noted above. For many applicants, who insist on short-term gratification, immediate promotions, or special perks, the provisions of the Pay and Benefits Package are actually a disincentive to signing up in the first place. This is often described as the "many are called but few are chosen syndrome." A good number of individuals exhibit an initial interest in this Employer but drop out when they learn that the demands on one's private time and personal convenience are heavy duty.
Until they have actually experienced it, many people are terrified at being changed from self-righteous and self-centered into self-giving and compassionate like their Master. But when servants get to know the Employer as he really is, most all follow eagerly and are ready to die for the endeavor, if called upon for that sacrifice.
Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head." Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead." (Matthew 8:18-22)
Actually the Master is eager to employ anyone. The rich and famous and the already-religious seldom are interested at all in this form of employment since it involves serving others. Sadly, the great majority of people around us are thus usually not willing to be persuaded to take part in the eternal kingdom of a Servant God. (This is called "the problem of the narrow gate which few find," or "the eye of the needle and the camel paradox").
"For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God." (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)
ARE YOU A PHONEY, JERK, LOSER, CREEP, WIMP, FLAKE, NERD, FREAK, DORK, TURKEY, SLIDER, GOOFBALL, WEASEL, WEIRDO, DODO, OR PERHAPS A SLIME WORM?
JESUS CHRIST LOVES YOU AND WANTS YOU FOR HIS GROWING FAMILY
Jesus said, "A man once gave a great banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for all is now ready.' But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a field, ant I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them; I pray you, have me excused.' And another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' So the servant came and reported this to his master.
"Then the householder in anger said to his servant, 'Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.' And the servant said, 'Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'" (Luke 14:16 24)
The above-mentioned employment offer will not stay open forever. In fact it is a good idea to act now since the door could be shut at anytime.
And some one said to him, "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" And he said to them, "Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the householder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, open to us.' He will answer you, 'I do not know where you come from.' Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.' But he will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!' There you will weep and gnash your teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out. And men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last." (Luke 13:23-30)
P.S. The servant's training manual: The gospel of Mark which especially highlights the calling of a servant may be studied in detail with the help of brother Ray C. Stedman's expository notes based on his own long years of service to the Master.
Miscellaneous Odds and Ends from 2004: It has been more than fifteen years now since I left full-time employment as a research physicist at SRI International near Stanford University, out West in Silicon Valley, California. If anyone is interested in the "true story" of my career it is on my web site: . (Don't take this seriously--it is supposed to be entirely humorous). A couple of "Christian" web sites have drawn attention to our research projects in Egypt back in the 70's--as if we were in league with the devil, the Illuminati, and Edgar Cayce all at once. This is all nonsense of course--though I am an adventurer in heart. Our real-life SRI projects in Egypt are detailed here: .
Continuing nostalgically, my colleagues and I did go on to enjoy a great field season in Israel back in '83. The Temple Mount continues to interest me because of its central place in the past and future history of Israel. A web site on this subject was developed in '96 by Jim Milligan, Mike Kollen and me--. It's been five years now since my last geophysical work in the Philippines. No trips to Arizona lately in search of old lost mines--but no matter, I am plenty busy. I testify that Jesus meant what he said, "I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly."
Since I do not have a real job, I devote my time teaching the Bible, answering email and hanging out with people who want to know more about the New Covenant, the Exchanged Life, and Authentic Christianity--or whatever.
Current Classes in 2004: Right now my main weekly Bible teaching focus is at my home church, PBC in Palo Alto. We've just finished Ezekiel, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Esther, Zechariah and Malachi. Now we are working carefully through the main prophetic portions in the "clean-pages" of the New Testament. If you are interested, my notes and audio tapes (mp3) are here: The book Ron Graff and I wrote on Bible prophecy a few years back, Connecting the Dots, is online, and still free, . Ron and I are both amazed that this book has now enjoyed about 135,000 downloads. Help thyself.
Our Wednesday men's group, The Brothers of Thunder, is enthusiastically enmeshed in Luke at the present time. My autumn class in Isaiah at Calvary Chapel Bible College, San Jose is now nearly finished. The plan is for me to teach Jeremiah, verse by verse, starting early next year. I am excited at the founding of this new Bible College in San Jose. It is a great privilege to be invited to teach there.
End of rant.
Old-Fashioned Boarding Houses
Communal Life in the Jesus Movement Era
Manor House Living in England
Coop Apartments and Homes
Yeshivas in Israel
Moshavs in Israel
New Jerusalem Community Life
The Household of Faith
Loans, Financing and Mortgages
Slavery in the Roman Empire
Corporate Management: Top Down or Bottom up?