Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
What Did the Messiah Mean --
"Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen"?
If YEHOVAH God is calling you, you will be ready to do the hardest thing any human can do -- admit you are wrong. This is the beginning of real repentance. You will want to change your life -- stop following Satan's way and do what YEHOVAH God tells you to do, no matter what. You will begin to have the power to say no to the wrong urges, habits, desires and attitudes that have always propelled the things you did. You will come to understand YEHOVAH's true doctrines, realizing that they are far different from what you have probably been taught or heard all your life. The truths about heaven and hell, about the doctrine of the immortal soul, about holidays such as Christmas and Easter, about YEHOVAH's Sabbath, will surprise and move you.
by HOIM Staff
Let's face this question -- it concerns our eternal future!
Exactly what did the Messiah mean when he told the disciples, "Many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14)?
What does it mean to be "called" or to receive a "call" from YEHOVAH God? And what is the significance of being "chosen"? Is there any difference between being called and being chosen?
Could you confidently and correctly explain the Messiah's statement?
Christianity today is confused! Most professing Christians, even some who are supposedly in YEHOVAH's true Ecclesia, have not realized that before anyone can become a bona fide member of YEHOVAH's Ecclesia -- the Messiah's body -- that person must first be both specially called and chosen by YEHOVAH God.
"I Have Chosen You"
Yeshua the Messiah told the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you" (John 15:16). The Messiah elsewhere intimated, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44).
This statement from the founder of Christianity knocks in the head the most widely believed error in today's so-called Christian churches -- that YEHOVAH God is desperately trying, right now, to save the world!
It simply is not true.
Religionists will tell you that a great battle is taking place, this very minute, between YEHOVAH God and the devil.
On the one hand YEHOVAH, through the hopelessly confused and conflicting myriad of Christian denominations, is trying to get people to "give their hearts to Him" or be "born again"; or join some church so that they can be "saved" and whisked off to heaven when they die.
On the other hand, the devil is working -- and quite effectively, too -- to keep people from hearing about and submitting to YEHOVAH God, trying to deceive and trap people into rejecting YEHOVAH God so that they end up burning for ever in hell fire.
Nothing could be further from the truth! The plain teaching of your Bible tells a much different -- and much more positive -- story.
The plain truth is that YEHOVAH God is NOT trying to save the whole world now .
A World Cut Off from YEHOVAH God
Adam and Eve, the first humans, chose to decide for themselves what was right and what was wrong, instead of abiding by YEHOVAH's definitions and living YEHOVAH's way of life. Deceived by Satan, the progenitors of all the human race rejected YEHOVAH's rule over them and chose to go their own -- actually Satan's -- way. You can read about it in the first three chapters of Genesis.
And YEHOVAH God allowed them to decide which way they would go. He allowed them to choose to sin. But YEHOVAH thereafter barred Adam and Eve and all succeeding generations from open access to Him, including open access to the tree of life and His holy spirit (Genesis 3:22-24).
For 6,000 years now, man has been going his own way, cut off from YEHOVAH God. And he has reaped the awful results -- the sick, decaying, evil world you live in.
Notice this statement from YEHOVAH God Almighty who holds all power and all destiny in His hands: "Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2).
There is no battle between YEHOVAH God and Satan. YEHOVAH is NOT trying to save the world now. He has allotted 6,000 years of a 7,000-year plan for man to go the way that leads to death (Proverbs 14:12) and learn that obeying YEHOVAH God is the only way to happiness.
A Few Called Now
For now, the world IS cut off from YEHOVAH God. Except --
YEHOVAH has reserved to Himself the right to work with selected individuals now, during this 6,000-year period, to perform special tasks. As the Messiah said, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him" (John 6:44). YEHOVAH God is calling some today, for a special purpose. And He reveals Himself and His truth to those He calls.
How? Notice what the apostle Paul said: "But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.' But God has revealed them to us through His spirit" (I Corinthians 2:9-10).
YEHOVAH God opens a person's mind with the power of His holy spirit. When one answers YEHOVAH's call through repentance and baptism, YEHOVAH actually places His spirit within the person's mind.
YEHOVAH's spirit gives a human being the mind and will of YEHOVAH God, along with the power to obey YEHOVAH God. The person can then, for the first time, really understand spiritual knowledge. He is completely different from any person without YEHOVAH's spirit, and functions differently. He becomes an actual begotten child of YEHOVAH God: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14).
Notice another statement from Paul: "The carnal mind [the mind without YEHOVAH's spirit] is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His" (verses 7-9).
Get that last sentence. It is what separates true Christians from those who are not Christians at all: "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His"!
Unless YEHOVAH God personally, directly, miraculously intervenes in a person's life and opens that person's mind -- unless that person submits his life to YEHOVAH God and receives YEHOVAH's holy spirit -- unless that person has YEHOVAH's spirit leading him, motivating him, guiding his thoughts and actions, he is not a true Christian!
To know YEHOVAH God and be a true Christian now -- to be qualifying for salvation -- YEHOVAH God must call you and make you part of His Work.
It's not something you can choose to do, no matter how much you may want to. YEHOVAH God must make the choice to call you and begin working with you.
The apostle Peter, addressing true Christians -- true members of YEHOVAH's Ecclesia -- wrote: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God" (I Peter 2:9-10).
Peter further admonished YEHOVAH's people -- YEHOVAH's elect, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall" (II Peter 1:10).
What is this whole business of "calling" and "choosing" and "election" about? And why were the saints admonished to make their calling and election "sure" -- certain?
Bidden to the Wedding
Since the beginning of YEHOVAH's Ecclesia in 31 A.D. millions of people have been reached, in one way or the other, with the true Gospel -- by way of publishing or personal evangelism.
But of those who have been reached or witnessed to with the Messiah's true Gospel and who have been actually called by YEHOVAH God, only a very few have ever fully accepted and responded to that call. The vast majority seem to pay little or no attention.
If we diligently study the parable of the king who made a marriage for his son (Matthew 22:2-14), we can better understand the meaning of the Messiah's statement that "Many are called, but few are chosen."
In this parable, the king "sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come" (verse 3).
How does YEHOVAH God call us? By the preaching of His Word. But the majority spurn that call. They pay little or no attention to YEHOVAH's royal invitation (verses 4-7).
Finally the king said, "Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid [call] to the marriage" (verse 9).
Of the millions who have heard YEHOVAH's Word preached over the ages, few ever pay serious attention to that message.
Primarily, it is the "poor " of this world -- those who are dissatisfied with their lot and who are willing to give YEHOVAH the time of day -- who pay any real attention to YEHOVAH's message: "Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?" (James 2:5).
The rich, the noble, the powerful and the wise are too self-satisfied with their lot in this life to heed YEHOVAH's call. They don' t need YEHOVAH God -- so they think!
"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called" (I Corinthians 1:26-31).
Parable of the Sower
Yeshua the Messiah commissioned his apostles to preach the true Gospel to all the world (Matthew 28:19-20). The apostles were to "shake off the dust" from their feet when they left any house or city whose inhabitants would not heed their message or receive them (Matthew 10:14).
In Luke 8 the Messiah spoke a parable to a great multitude of people who had come to hear him teach. The Messiah's disciples (along with the crowd) did not understand the parable. They questioned the Messiah (verse 10) -- asking why he spoke to the multitudes in parables. To his disciples, called out of the world to a special commission, the Messiah replied, "It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them [the multitudes] IT IS NOT GIVEN." This shows that YEHOVAH God is not now calling the world to understanding and salvation. The Messiah spoke to the UNCALLED WORLD in parables to HIDE the meaning (verse 13). He explained the parable to his CALLED disciples (verses 18-23):
The parable of the sower (Luke 8:4-15) reveals that when the "seed" (YEHOVAH's Word) is sown, some seeds fall by the "way side" (verse 5). The vast majority who hear the Gospel do not let the Word of YEHOVAH God take root in them. They hear YEHOVAH's Word, but they do not act on it (verse 12).
The "seed" that fell on "a rock" (verse 6) represents the Word of YEHOVAH God being actually received by certain careless ones. They do not, however, lay a good foundation -- do not put down deep roots. In a time of temptation they fall away (verse 13).
The "seed" that fell among the "thorns" (verse 7) represents those individuals who actually receive the Word of YEHOVAH God and begin acting on it -- even let it take root -- but then allow various things to "choke" the Word so that it does not bring any fruit to full maturity or perfection (verse 14).
Only some of the "seed" falls on "good ground" (verse 8), representing "they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience" (verse 15).
In which of these four categories -- the seed by the wayside, the seed on a rock, the seed among the thorns or the seed on the good ground -- are you? If we are in YEHOVAH's Ecclesia -- if we are part of YEHOVAH's elect -- then we have been both called and chosen.
The seed along the wayside represents those who were called, but were not chosen. It appears, however, that the seed on the stony places and among the thorns were both called and chosen by YEHOVAH God but did not endure.
The seeds that fell on good ground represent those who hear the Word of YEHOVAH God, receive it, are faithful to their call and endure unto the end, finally bringing forth good fruit: "But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word [that's his call], and understandeth it [because YEHOVAH God opens his mind]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty" (Matthew 13:23).
The Ecclesia is that body called out from Satan's world being prepared to restore, with and under YEHOVAH God and the Messiah, the GOVERNMENT of YEHOVAH God. That will be a time when Satan has been removed. It will be a time when all living will be called to repentance and salvation with eternal life through the holy spirit of YEHOVAH God! The Ecclesia, immortal, will be RULING with YEHOVAH God and the Messiah -- replacing the present rule of Satan!
The Ecclesia, then, is that body of called-out-ones who, at the resurrection, will form the first-fruits of YEHOVAH's harvest. That harvest is the reaping of physical flesh-and-blood, matter-composed human beings converted into spirit beings.
The Bible often speaks of YEHOVAH's "elect." Who are these "elect"? They are YEHOVAH's chosen ones. YEHOVAH God is the one who chooses us, as the Messiah told his disciples (John 15:16).
YEHOVAH's elect are the ones He calls out of this world. He opens their minds to grasp and understand His Word, His plan and His will.
Those whom He calls out of this darkened world and into "the light of the glorious gospel of Christ" (II Corinthians 4:4) collectively form the Ecclesia of YEHOVAH God. The English word Church is derived from the Greek term ekklesia and means "the called-out ones."
Now notice the three important steps we must take before we can actually be born into the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God as YEHOVAH's very children:
1) We must be called by YEHOVAH God.
2) When we respond to YEHOVAH's call, then YEHOVAH chooses us and grants us repentance, forgiveness, His holy spirit and His grace.
3) After YEHOVAH God calls us and chooses us, we must "endure unto the end" (Matthew 24:13). We must hang in there -- must be faithful unto death -- or we will never be born, as glorified, spirit-composed beings, into the very Kingdom of YEHOVAH God (John 3:3, I Corinthians 15:50).
When the glorified, crowned Yeshua the Messiah returns to this earth as King over Israel, he will immediately gather unto himself his elect (Matthew 24:31).
Who is it who will be united with the Messiah at that momentous occasion? It will be those in the Ecclesia who are clothed in "fine linen, clean and white" (Revelation 19:8) -- those who are without "spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing," those who are "holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 5:27).
"Called, and Chosen, and Faithful"
When the Messiah returns to this earth as King of Israel -- he will be joined by those and only those who have faithfully kept his Father's commandments: "And they that are [at that time] with him are called, and chosen, and faithful" (Revelation 17:14).
Yes, "Many are called, but few are chosen." Few ever become part of YEHOVAH's Ecclesia -- part of YEHOVAH's elect, His specially chosen ones.
And, even if YEHOVAH God chooses us and puts us into His Ecclesia, we will not be with Him at His return to this world and to Jerusalem to rule over the entire world unless we remain faithful unto the very end (Revelation 2:10)!
Some who have been called and chosen have not been faithful unto the end. Look at the many YEHOVAH God has called and chosen -- placed in His Ecclesia -- who have not remained faithful. It is truly saddening.
Those who haven't endured this life's trials will not make it into the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God at His return unless they deeply repent of their faithlessness, throw themselves on YEHOVAH's mercy and receive the grace and strength from YEHOVAH God to be counted faithful at His return.
When you study the parable of the sower, where do you think you fit in? Will you be among those seed that fell on the stony places? Or will you be among those that fell amid the thorns?
Or will you be counted among the seed that fell on the good ground and brought forth good fruit -- 30-fold, 60-fold or 100-fold?
What Are We Called To?
YEHOVAH's Word clearly defines the commission -- the Work -- that YEHOVAH's called people are to be carrying out at this time.
Notice Matthew 24. The Messiah was describing the signs that would precede his arrival to restore YEHOVAH God's government to the earth. In verse 14, he predicted what would happen just before the end of this age: "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."
YEHOVAH's called people in this age are given the commission of carrying the Messiah's Gospel message -- the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God -- to all the world. That is the message you read about in the Hope of Israel Ministries articles. That is the Work every true Christian will be part of.
The other main part of what YEHOVAH's people are called to do is to grow in godly character -- come to think and act just as YEHOVAH God does. YEHOVAH's begotten children are to be preparing to be married to the Messiah at his arrival (Revelation 19:7). YEHOVAH's Church is actually being judged by YEHOVAH God now, in preparation for birth into YEHOVAH's very Family at the Messiah's return (I Peter 4:17).
Is it any wonder that Paul says true Christians are called with a "holy calling" (II Timothy 1:9), or that he tells YEHOVAH's called people to "walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called" (Ephesians 4:1, AV)?
How does a called and converted person "walk worthy of the vocation" ?
Peter says, "As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct" (I Peter 1:15). Peter later noted that true Christians should live as Yeshua the Messiah lived (I Peter 2:21-22).
Is YEHOVAH God Calling You?
Have you truly been called by YEHOVAH God? Is YEHOVAH calling you now -- leading you by His holy spirit? How would you know?
If you are being called by YEHOVAH God, you will come to have a deep, abiding belief that YEHOVAH God exists, and that He is in charge of everything that goes on in this physical realm: "He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).
If you are being called by YEHOVAH God you will believe that the Bible is YEHOVAH's Word -- YEHOVAH's instruction book for man -- that every word of the Bible is true. What's more, with the holy spirit guiding your mind, you will begin to actually understand what you read in the Bible. You will begin to actually want to study the Bible, striving to dig out every gem of truth it has to offer (II Timothy 3:16-17).
You will desire a closer relationship with the great God who created you and who is revealing His truth to you. This type of relationship is fostered through intensive Bible study and fervent prayer. You will understand as you never have before the importance of prayer and how to pray, and you will want to do so regularly. "Draw near to God," writes James, " and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8).
If YEHOVAH's spirit is actually leading you, you will begin to feel a sense of purpose in your life, perhaps for the first time. You will develop an inner sense of urgency about the times we live in, an excitement over the truth you are coming to understand and an expectation about what is ahead. And yet, you will feel an inner peace and calm unlike any other you have ever known. This is the "peace of God, which surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7), which YEHOVAH's spirit offers.
You will come to understand YEHOVAH's true doctrines, realizing that they are far different from what you have probably been taught or heard all your life. The truths about heaven and hell, about the doctrine of the immortal soul, about holidays such as Christmas and Easter, about YEHOVAH's Sabbath, will surprise and move you.
You will come to know deeply that YEHOVAH's law is in force today. The Messiah himself said: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill" (Matt. 5:17).
You will realize the importance of what happened in the Garden of Eden -- understand the events that occurred before man's appearance on earth -- begin to get a glimpse of the incredible human potential.
If YEHOVAH God is working in your life, you will start to see how you, just like Adam and Eve, have been taking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil -- how, all your life, you have been following your way -- the way that leads to death (Proverbs 16:25) -- instead of YEHOVAH's way.
You will come to know the meaning of sin, and you will be broken up inside because you yourself have sinned, bringing the death penalty on yourself and requiring the death of Yeshua the Messiah to pay that penalty in your stead (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8). You will come to see how evil this world really is, and you will want to detach yourself from it -- have no part in its hellish ways.
If YEHOVAH God is calling you, you will be ready to do the hardest thing any human can do -- admit you are wrong. This is the beginning of real repentance. You will want to change your life -- stop following Satan's way and do what YEHOVAH God tells you to do, no matter what. You will begin to have the power to say no to the wrong urges, habits, desires and attitudes that have always propelled the things you did.
Your life overall -- your main motivation and disposition -- will be characterized by the word give rather than the word get.
You will want to do all you can to serve and help this wretched world, and a true Christian achieves this, first and foremost, by doing YEHOVAH's Work -- sharing the precious knowledge of YEHOVAH's truth with the rest of mankind.
You will put your whole heart into YEHOVAH's Work. You will completely dedicate yourself to having a part in warning the world of the dramatic events to occur just before the close of this age, and of the fantastic, beautiful world that awaits just beyond the horizon. You will be thrilled to have a part in telling the world there is a better tomorrow -- that YEHOVAH God cares and is about to act.
If you are being called by YEHOVAH God, you will soon realize that nothing else matters.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
Hope of Israel Ministries
Scan with your