Humanity has been cut off from God the Father by our sins.
Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
It is very important to study the first six lessons about the Sovereignty of God.
Sin Separates Humanity From God, Requiring an Intercessor (Is 59:1)
Mankind being separated from God the Father by their sin; humanity needed a High Priest [A Mediator between humanity and God the Father] to reconcile humanity back to God the Father!
God, knowing that man could sin and would therefore need reconciliation, from the every beginning the two Beings who became the Father and the Son, together established the means that such a reconciliation could be effected.
That plan of reconciliation between man and God required the sincere repentance of the sinner, an effective sacrifice for sin, and a commitment by the repentant to stop sinning and sin no more. The plan also called for a Mediator or High Priest to reconcile the repentant sinner to God the Father. This spiritual High Priest Intercessor between God the Father and humanity appeared to Adam and Eve in the form of a man and spoke with Cain, Noah, Abraham and doubtless others.
The last time we hear of him in the scriptures before he became flesh, was by he name of Melchizedek when he spoke to Abraham, and later a few times he was seen by Ezekiel and certain prophets. Later this spirit High Priest of God was made flesh and known as Jesus Christ the Lamb of God allowed himself to be sacrificed for the sincerely repented sins of humanity, thus opening the way for reconciliation with God the Father. For more on the priesthood see this lesson. The Passover and Wave Sheaf articles which can be found in the Spring Festivals category explain this subject.
The plan for the harvest of created humanity involves the two harvests in Judea with a smaller spring harvest and a much larger main harvest. The Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures God calling out a small number of people for seven thousand years from righteous Abel. This is studied in our articles on the Feast of Unleavened Bread which are found at the Spring Festivals category on the sidebar.
The purpose of calling a few people to God and allowing them to live in a wicked world is so they can learn to love godliness and to hate and loathe evil,and to train and prepare them to be resurrected to become laborers to help bring in the main harvest. For this reason many are called but most of them will fail and only few will be chosen to have a part in the resurrection to spirit of this early harvest of humanity.
Once changed to spirit they will become kings and priests of God.
The godly priesthood of the resurrected chosen is the priesthood of Jesus Christ, and works to reconcile the sinner to God the Father by teaching people to live by every Word of God. The priests are the teachers of godliness reconciling the people to God by calling all people to God and to the reconciling atoning sacrifice of Christ.
Godly kings are righteous judges and administers over the physical needs of the people.
From righteous Able to the end of the seventh thousandth year God calls people to Christ and to himself. At the end of six thousand years a resurrection of the chosen takes place and ten over the remaining one thousand years God’s calling will expand to include all flesh then living, and those who were chosen at the end of the first six thousand years will work to bring in the millennial harvest,during which millennium every person will be changed to spirit at the age of 100 or destroyed if they will not sincerely repent.
The word “call” or “calling” refers to opening the mind of a person to godliness. During the first six thousand years only a very tiny number will have their minds opened to godliness while the vast majority of mankind will live out their lives with no understanding of the things of God. Then during the millennium God will call all humanity then living by pouring out his Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28).
After that time the main harvest of humanity who have not yet been called to God as pictured by the High Days and Festivals of the fall main harvest, will be resurrected back to flesh and will also be called to sincere repentance and godliness in their billions.
Calling and Reconciliation to God the Father
Jesus Christ is the Door (John 10) which controls access to God the Father. This is because access to God the Father can come ONLY through sincere repentance and the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Only by the application of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ can we be reconciled to and access God the Father.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Yet no person can understand godliness and sincerely repent, coming to accept the application of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God Jesus Christ, unless God the Father draws or calls him to Christ and sincere repentance.
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Only God the Father chooses those individuals whom he wants to call to sincere repentance and reconciliation to himself, through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God Jesus Christ. How does this work?
The first step in the reconciliation of any individual to God the Father, is that we must be called out of bondage to sin, just as physical Israel was called out of physical bondage in Egypt. They could not deliver themselves just as we cannot deliver ourselves from sin.
Sin has separated mankind from God and being cut off from God, human beings cannot understand spiritual things
The mind of man, cut off from God; simply cannot understand spiritual things:
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded [cut off from God] is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity [hostile against] against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
How then can mankind be called to follow Jesus Christ out of bondage to sin?
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
God the Father himself calls us to sincere repentance and to follow Christ’s example in living by every Word of God, by sending his Spirit to work with people opening up an initial understanding of the way of life eternal. At this point God’s Spirit does not dwell in us, but works with us revealing to us the transitory nature of physical life and the need for something more.
Sowing the Seed of the Word of God
We are called to reconciliation to God the Father through Jesus Christ the Lamb of God, yet God tells his faithful to spread the seed of the Word of God and God sends the Holy Spirit to call and work with individuals. At this point God’s Holy Spirit is not IN a person but is outside the person; working with the person by opening minds to a very slight initial understanding of the Word of God. It is God that calls people and opens minds, men can only spread the Word, no human person has ever called anyone to salvation.
Very many have studied the scriptures all of their lives and have not found the way, although they longed for it, and many have even had these things explained to them by God’s servants and have not understood.
Sometimes people say “I was called by such a person and I will remain loyal to him.” Is it wise to follow the messenger and not the God who sent the message?
It is God the Father who calls us to sincerely repent and to live by every Word of God, so that the redeeming blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God may be applied to us; thereby reconciling us to himself! We are not called to follow messengers who are mere mortal men subject to error!
We are called to live by every Word of God (Mat 4:4), and to follow men ONLY as they are faithful to follow Jesus Christ and to live by every Word of God (1 Cor 11:1). We are to prove all things and to be faithful to live by every Word of God (1 Thess 5:21) and to be as the Berean’s (Acts 17:11).
The Parable of the Sower and the Seed
Luke 8:4 And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
8:5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 8:6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture [spiritually the water of God’s Word]. 8:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 8:8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
8:9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
The explanation begins with explaining that the seed is the whole WORD OF GOD; ALL SCRIPTURE; not just some talk of a coming kingdom.
8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
Some hearers immediately forget or dismiss what they have heard. These are those who turn away from the message, which is most of humanity; and refuse to sincerely repent because they have NOT been called by God the Father and do not understand.
8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Some who hear initially respond with repentance and a baptismal commitment, but later fall under trials and stress. These are people, many of whom have been called to repentance by God, but Satan brings trials and persecutions on them and they fall away.
Baptism and membership in some corporation is NO GUARANTEE of salvation; for many are called but few remain faithful to the end and are chosen.
Matthew 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 22:12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment [is not clothed with the righteousness of godliness] ? And he was speechless. 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. 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
It is zeal for all the things of God, and a diligent study of God’s Word, together with faithfully living by every Word of God, through every temptation and even through serious trials and persecutions if necessary: which brings eternal salvation.
The sacrifice of Christ will only be applied to and will only justify: Those who live by every Word of God!
Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Luke 8:13 They on the rock [the seed falling on the stony ground are those] are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
Many who are called by God and respond positively with repentance and baptism, are later tempted back into sin by the pleasures of this society. They hedge on God’s Sabbath to save a job or make money or they pollute the Sabbath for their own pleasures. They are unable to cope with trials or lust after physical pleasures etc; or they follow men and their traditions rather than living by every Word of God.
8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
It is the KEEPERS and OVER-COMERS among the called out, those who endure to the end of their lives; who shall be saved!
8:15 But that [which falls] on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
What are we called to do?
The vast majority of people in corporate assemblies attend services and are involved with a church congregation because of the social benefits and because they want to avoid God’s correction or to gain a reward.
In the church of God this is no different; most people just go along for the social benefits and because they want eternal life and a reward of leadership over others for eternity. The brethren are constantly reminded of these rewards for holding fast and continuing with their organization.
Of course this is a deceit, for all spiritual reward comes from God and is given by God, because of our loyalty to God; and not because of any loyalty to any idol of men or corporate entities.
The statement that “We are God’s chosen leaders and you must obey us” becomes nonsense as soon as such men depart from the Word of God. Were not king Saul and Judas Iscariot chosen leaders of God? Those episodes was recorded for us so that we would learn to prove all things by the Word of God and NOT to follow any man in sin.
Back to the subject of the purpose of our calling. What is the godly purpose to which all of the called out have been called to focus on? Was it really this selfish “GET” motive of acquiring eternal life and a kingdom and dominating others? NO!
Yes, God’s kingdom will come and it will be glorious and it would be great to have a part in it; but we are putting the reward before the job!
Eternal life and an office of responsibility is the reward; and that is great to remember; but we cannot allow this reward to be a distraction from the purpose of our calling!
The destination is wondrous, but the key issue for us is The Getting There, which is achieved only by learning to live by Every Word of God and by fully internalizing the very nature and Spirit of godliness!
We have been deceived into a certain idea that if we just obey the elder we have a ticket to enter eternal life and the kingdom of God.
No, we must each work out our own salvation personally through sincere repentance and living by every Word of God; and we will each be held accountable for what we personally do, and the excuse that “I was only following the elder” is not going to get us anywhere at the judgment.
Jesus warned that just going through the motions and doing what we feel we must; is NOT ENOUGH! (Luke 19).
We must consistently and diligently seek spiritual treasure in heaven [eternity]. We must focus on overcoming all sin and on becoming LIKE God our Father in heaven and becoming LIKE the Son!
Brethren, our calling is to the hard work of internalizing the very nature of God the Father!
Which comes through a continual night and day zealous study of, and meditation on, God’s Word; and through passionately living by every Word of God, and through teaching the Word of God to others beginning with our children.
We must be practicing for the job of setting an example for the rest of mankind, for leading the nations to righteousness as kings and priests, and practicing to be teachers of the Word of God to humanity forever!
Yes, keep the goal in mind, but do not neglect the job at hand; which is to:
We are called to: 1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation [conduct]; 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Leviticus 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.
Holiness means “of or pertaining to the God who cannot sin”, therefore holiness is purity and freedom from sin: To be holy is to become like God, to internalize the very nature of God, so that we think and act as God would!
Brethren put out all sin from among you and be pure from all sin, just as God is pure from all sin.
The good ground are those who wholeheartedly BELIEVE the Word, and begin to work to learn and to diligently keep the whole Word of God, and endure all trials patiently persevering to the end of their lives.
We are to let the light that God has lighted in us shine forth; and we are to live as an example of true godliness which will light up the world!
God sends messengers to spread the Word of God and those who respond positively and receive the Word with joy; BELIEVING God’s Word and hungering and thirsting after every Word of God to learn it and to live by it; will learn and grow, being led by God’s Spirit to a point of conversion where a decision is made to STOP sinning and to go forward living by every Word of God.
What is God calling us to do?
First God calls on us to BELIEVE the Gospel, to BELIEVE every Word of God! God’s calling is foundational to belief, and belief is foundational to faith and the works of faith, which are sincere repentance from all sin and a dedicated commitment to live by every Word of God forever more!
How can we follow Christ to live by every Word of God if we do not believe in him? and how can we obey God if we do not believe the Word of God?
Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 1:5 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
- People are cut off from God by sin, therefore they cannot understand spiritual things,
- God must call people out of sin and does so by granting an initial small understanding,
- If we respond to God’s calling by hungering and thirsting for more understanding and acting on what we learn, more understanding will be given, until
- We reach a point where we believe God’s Word and we are ready to make a solid sincere commitment [sincerely repent] to stop sinning and to begin to live by every Word of God,
- We then make a baptismal commitment to continually work to internalize the very nature of God, to become holy as God is holy, rooting out all sin, and
- Then Jesus Christ will apply his atoning sacrifice to us, reconciling us to God the Father,
- Who will then give us the gift of the indwelling of his Spirit enabling us to live as Christ lived, by every Word of God, and
- If we remain faithful throughout our lives, continually overcoming and growing more and more in godliness, God will give us the gift of eternal life!
- God is calling out only a very few over the fist six thousand years of human history, then
- After Christ comes God will call all humanity then living, and
- Finally God will resurrect back to flesh and will call all of humanity who have not yet had their chance, during the Feast of Tabernacles main harvest.