Hebrew Roots/The army of invaders/Call

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THE CALL TO THE KINGDOM

Yeshua preached the gospel of the Kingdom in preparation for the advent of the kingdom coming upon earth.

Israel, the nation, were called to be a kingdom of priests for the kingdom era – Exodus 19:3-6; 1 Peter 2:5-9. It was purposed that they be a nation where each was a functioning priest able to officiate in the things of God to serve Yahweh's purposes in the rest of the world. They did not rise to the challenge when they were called as a national entity, although many individuals entered into the covenant in varying measures.

The preparation and spiritual equipping of the priesthood for the kingdom era was a pre-requisite, before it could be established. The 'priesthood' nation was destined to rule and reign with Messiah during the kingdom upon earth. And so, it became necessary for God to send His Son to bring to fruition His eternal plan and establish a priesthood which would be able to serve in His kingdom rule upon earth.

As part of that, He had to redeem the nation and regather those who had been dispersed as a result of their rebellion and apostasy. As prophesied, it would be just a remnant who would respond in repentance and be gathered, of the seed which had been sown into the earth through Abraham, His faithful servant and progenitor of the race.

In His lifetime on earth, Yeshua began to recruit disciples out of those who believed in the divine calling and who were willing to lay down their own lives for its fulfillment. There were many who “followed” Him around the countryside, who were enthralled with His teachings and His miracles. There were many who listened intently to His words of wisdom and applied them to their lives. But there were not many who were willing to leave all and truly follow the Master, to be completely committed to the call.

Yeshua gave a parable regarding the call to the kingdom to illustrate the required commitment, He said, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready', But they with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused'. Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'

So that servant came and reported those things to his master. Then the master, of the house, being angry, said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.' And the servant said, 'Master it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.' Then the master said to the servant, 'Go into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste of my supper” Luke 14:16-24)

The three who were invited all made legitimate excuses – things which were their responsibility to attend to, but they gave them pre-eminence over the invitation to the Master's call. A place to live, earning one's living and family are all legitimate occupations of our time, but not to be placed above spiritual things.

The call came at a time which was inconvenient to them and that served as a test upon their priorities. They had been invited previously and had responded to the invitation, but when the time came they were too pre-occupied with the things of this life. Their lack of commitment, disqualified them from being included in the kingdom.

The call then went out to those who had not been previously invited but who, because of their needs, would appreciate the invitation and then it was filled up by foreigners to the area, out in the highways and hedges of life (Gentiles?).

The invitation was not truly valued by those who were originally invited and they took their host for granted and ended up being totally excluded. Yeshua expressed His Father's anger at those who regarded the call as a common thing, something to be accommodated into their own lifestyle and purposes. The prominent message in the parable is that at all times we should be ready, whatever our circumstances, to respond to the Master's call.

The parable of the ten virgins also illustrates the reality that the Lord will come at a time when He is not expected. His parable of Himself as a nobleman going into a far country to receive the kingdom, tells us that we are to be occupied with the affairs of the kingdom until His return (Luke 19:11-27 – see verse 14). His rewards are according to our faithfulness in service in the kingdom with what we have – not how much we do in quantity, but in faithfulness.


THE COMMITMENT

“For which of you intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it .. “ .... “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:28-33)

Yeshua made it very clear – we have to count the cost and forsake all to follow Him! It is a complete commitment of everything!

Building a tower was something undertaken to watch for intruders into the vineyards. Therefore if you are going to keep out that which will spoil and rob the fruit of your vine, you need to make adequate preparation before hand. If you are going to make war against the enemy and take his territory, then you need to assess the strength of your forces – your commitment, and your resolve to put all your forces into the effort, or else you may succumb to the enemy's attack and compromise with him.

Therefore: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27)

Yeshua said: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword [the Word]. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies shall be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me“ (Matthew 10:34-38)

“Then Yeshua said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny (deny utterly) himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to His works” (Matthew 16:24-27)

“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38)

“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” (Luke 9:8-9)

“ .. he who denies (disowns) Me before men, him will I also deny/disown ..... “ (Matthew 10:33)

“If we deny Him, He also will deny us ... “ (2 Timothy 2:12)

“This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him [in Baptism, and burial of our old nature by identification with Him in the cross], we also shall live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. (but if we deny Him, He will deny us)”

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:11-13)

“Brethren, join us in following My example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Messiah: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame – who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven [New Jerusalem], from which we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord, Yeshua our Messiah.” (Philippians 3:17-20)

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, he shall also reap. For he who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Gal. 6:7-8)

“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14