Text: Mat 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. (KJV)
Now let me read from the NIV.
Mat 20:16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” NIV and most of the new bible translations do not include in their translations “for many be called, but few chosen.”
Do you ever wonder why this is so. With the emphasis on profession of faith and no emphasis on obedience to Torah, leaving out this reference to the “many called and few chosen” makes a lot of sense. Without this little phrase, that implies something other than profession, it goes well with the doctrine of Grace only.
The Greek word kletos translated “called” here means invited. The word eklektos so similar to ecclesia means chosen or elected. We all know the word ecclesia translated as “church” in English bibles actually means “called out one.” However, without this misleading translation in a litany of many Christian doctrines would have no foundation on which to stand, whatsoever. Instead, the ecclesia is a unique body of believers called out from all bodies of religion into the truth as exemplified by Yahshua’s definition of a true believer in the Book of Revelation. Unfortunately, for most, Yahshua’s definition does not embrace traditional Judaism, as we know it today nor does it describe Christianity as it has become since the hellenization of the “church.” Therefore, when we are told in Revelation to come out of her, apostate religion, we are being called into a body of believers who have discovered YHVH’s call according to the seven-fold definition of a true worshipper. We are no longer called but chosen.
We who answer to the definition of a True Believer as defined by Yahshua are a chosen remnant of a unique club. We should not be surprised for Yahshua said in:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Most of you know this by experience. When your friends learned that you are Torah observant, they are more often than not, offended. Usually, if they are the type of anti Torah (law) Christians, I spoke of earlier, they may begin a campaign to discourage you, trying to bring you back to the so-called “true faith” of profession only. They can’t seem to resist applying the epithet against you of “trying to work your way to heaven,” as though by doing good works and being obedient to G-d’s Written Torah you are in some way committing a grave sin against G-d and humanity. Were it that the entire world, practiced Torah obedience, how different the world would be.
In the area of apologetics, I would want you to know how many Christian commentators apply the text verse. Most say this verse is applied to Jews. Christians have replaced Israel as G-d’s Chosen people. Yet, they are hard pressed today to explain the reemergence of Israel as a nation and the spreading of Messianic Judaism. Many use the verse found in chapter 22, through verse 14 as confirmation of this doctrine. Let me read for a better understanding of the whole passage.
Mat 22:1 And Yahshua ( I took the liberty of changing the pagan name Jesus, Iesous to Yahshua here) answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
Mat 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
Mat 22:3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
Mat 22:4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
Mat 22:5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
Mat 22:6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
Mat 22:7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
Mat 22:8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
Mat 22:9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
Mat 22:10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
Mat 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
Mat 22:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
Mat 22:13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
To interpret this passage as specifically naming the Jews only is hypocritical. First, we must consider to whom Yahshua is speaking. To His Jewish brethren in the context of their environment. There was no gentile church. There were those Jews that trusted Him and those that did not. What we have is a parable concerning the results of a choice. Verses 4 and 5 is a reference to the Jewish leadership that rejected Yahshua, but the bible reports that a large majority of the common folk accepted Yahshua and followed Him. Even Pharisees. Verse 6 reports that only a remnant was involved, not the entire Jewish nation as some like to teach. Most commentators forget the first assemblies were all Jewish and a separation only came about thoroughly after 200 CE. Verse 7 locates the center of resistance and names it “their city.” Yahshua was most resisted in Jerusalem by the unlawful Priesthood and Sadducees. In 70 CE, the city was destroyed and the priesthood ceased to exist, but this does not prove an indictment of the whole Jewish race. The same happened in Ezekiel’s time. Later G-d gathered back the exiles from Babylon as He is gathering Israel back today. We then come to verse 10 where some of the guests rounded up, were both good and bad, but because the bad one was not dressed properly, he was ejected. Garments in scripture frequently means doctrine. He was merely telling his audience by a parable that ANYONE who rejects the King’s son (trust in the faithfulness of Yahshua’s work, if you will) and who is not dressed properly (being obedient to G-d’s Torah) will not be chosen as a guest at the wedding, but will be rejected.
Yahshua said in: Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, L-rd, L-rd, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Yahshua’s reference to fruits is works any way you cut it, Mitzvot or deeds as a result of Torah obedience. We see that many of those rejected had done mighty works themselves, but we need to know what the difference is and why Yahshua rejected them. Simply, it was works of their own making, self-Torah if you will. When we make our own Torah, we assume Kingship and replace YHVH/Yahshua. What many people fail to see who have not discovered Yahshua’s definition of a true believer is that hasatan has the authority to give to so called professed believers, power that would seemingly fool even the very elect. It is a great way to extend his kingdom. Yes, there are miracles and wonderful works even from those that are lost. Hasatan himself is a worker of miracles as the Bible attests. Such people obviously fool many, and some I believe are completely ignorant of the source of these wonderful works, the satan. Ignorant or not they are rejected. We are warned that even the very elect would be fooled by such signs and wonders if not for the returning of Yahshua HaMashiach. I think we are entering into those days right now. The big difference is works of man’s invention aided by hasatan’s power instead of works derived from G-d in accordance with His Torah. That is why we must follow G-d’s Torah, His instructions, His Word and not trust in feelings or even our eyes if something is wrought without the foundation of Torah. Too many of us don’t even know a bogus ‘miracle” when we see one for we don’t know Torah and the limitations G-d places on us through His Torah.
It was so then, and it is true still; many are called with a common call, that are not chosen for they have not recognized the ONE calling. However, all that are chosen from eternity, are effectually called, in the fulness of time, so that in making our effectual calling sure we make sure our election by obedience to G-d’s Torah.
In 2 Pet 1:4-11 we read:
4 And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature. 5 So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. 6 Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. 7 Godliness leads to love for other believers, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of Yahshua HaMashiach. 9 But those who fail to develop these virtues are blind or, at least, very shortsighted. They have already forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin.
10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away. 11 And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal Kingdom of our Adonai and Savior Yahshua HaMashiach.
Simply put, Peter is saying if called make your calling sure by first trusting in the faithfulness of Yahshua and then walking in G-d’s Torah.
Lastly, there are those that want even heed the outward call; many are called, and yet refuse. Let me read from Proverbs:
Prov 1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
Prov 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
Prov 1:24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
Prov 1:25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
Prov 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
Prov 1:27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Prov 1:28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
Prov 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of YHVH:
These are those that are called to God, but instead of coming closer they go from him, by which it appears that they were not chosen, for the election will obtain, according to Scripture. Contrary to what is taught, there are but few chosen Believers in comparison with the many that are only called. We, therefore, must build our hope for the Kingdom of G-d upon the rock of an eternal choice, trusting in Yahshua’s faithfulness and Guarding and teaching YHVH’s Torah. We cannot afford to place our hope upon the sand of an external call; and we should fear, lest we be found but false believers, who come short; not trusting or guarding, those that trust, but do not guard, or those that guard but do not trust, for we must both trust and guard the Living and Written Torah for that is what Yahshua testifies to and teaches us in His seven-fold witness of what defines a true Believer.