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    PARABLE OF THE TALENTS

    At this point in our Saviour’s discourse, He introduced the parable of the “talents,” in which He points out the duties and dangers of those who have the light concerning Christ’s present position—judging the righteous dead, soon to pass to the judgment of the righteous living. After the parable of the talents is the literal second coming, and the final separation of the righteous and wicked, as shown in the following scriptures:—LDT 188.2

    “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” 6Matthew 25:31-34.LDT 188.3

    In that time when the Master has gone in to the marriage, when the cleansing of the sanctuary (the investigative judgment) is going on, when the Lord’s people are “watching” and waiting, not knowing the day or hour of His coming,—in that day, and to that people, does the parable of the talents apply; and by it we of this time are instructed. With this thought in mind, we will read the parable:—LDT 189.1

    “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.LDT 189.2

    “After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. “Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath [improved upon that entrusted to him] shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not [rightly used that entrusted to him] shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 7Matthew 25:14-30.LDT 189.3

    While it has ever been the duty of the Lord’s people to be diligent in using their entrusted abilities in extending the cause of God, it is more emphatically so with those who are waiting for the immediate return of the Master. The Lord has said to His people, in that time when He is to “come quickly:” 8Revelation 22:12. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” 9Revelation 22:17.LDT 190.1

    One essential lesson to be learned from the parable of the talents is that when the Lord and Master is about to come, all who have a knowledge of the event should be doing all in their power to extend the light respecting His coming, and should be making the needful preparation to meet Him in peace.LDT 191.1

    It behooves all who have named the name of Christ, and especially those who are making a wise use of the talents entrusted to them, to be admonished by the Saviour’s caution to “take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” 10Luke 21:34.LDT 191.2

    In our Saviour’s approval of those placed on the right hand in that day, we may understand the nature of the work which should now more especially engage the attention of His professed people. He says: “I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was stranger, and ye took Me in: naked, and ye clothed Me: I was sick, and ye visited Me: I was in prison, and ye came unto Me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, Lord, when saw we Thee an hungered, and fed Thee? or thirsty, and gave Thee drink? When saw we Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? or naked, and clothed Thee? or when saw we Thee sick, or in prison, and came unto Thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” 11Matthew 25:35-40.LDT 191.3

    We are in the very time when this parable has its special application. Poverty, affliction, suffering, and distress abound on every side. And this condition of things is not to diminish, but, rather, to increase. Happy will it be for all who improve their talents in ministering to the needy in this time. Such, and such only, will receive at last the plaudit of the Master: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”LDT 192.1

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