Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Part I -- "Invited" and "Chosen" at the "Marriage Feast"


This comment was left at the end of 
 "Judgment of 'Heaven' and 'Earth'"

"Pearl...you said, "Chosen ones will either pass or fail Satan's sifting".
Please don't take this as picking, but "many are Invited but few are chosen". 
"Chosen" are those who have passed all tests. 
Pearl, you should say, "Invited ones will either pass or fail Satan's sifting".
After that sifting, then they are "Chosen", and thus then fit to be Yhwh's Witnesses ---not before. 
Otherwise, all Invited could be called "Chosen", 
and they are not. :-) "
- - - - - - -

MY REPLY:

I assume you are referring to Matt.22:14?
If so, I am glad you brought this up, because the "Watchtower" has never taught the distinction between the choosing which takes place within the marriage feast, and the "calling", choosing, and sealing of the faithful which God does when he inducts a member of Christ's body (2Pet.1:10; Rev.17:14). 
God has made many kinds of choices toward individuals, both spirit and human, as well as toward groups.
Not all of God's choices (choosing) are the same one.  I hope to clarify the difference between these two particular choices of God, and those who are chosen in each setting...how they differ from each other, and how they overlap. This Part I will clarify the "choosing" which takes place at Matt.22:14 within the marriage feast.
Part II will clarify the "choosing" of Christ's Bride, and when the Chosen Ones of Christ's body are expected by God, to begin to bear witness about Him.

We should begin by going to the context of Matt.22:14, to get an overall view of the parable. Please read it.
(Matt.22:1-14  -click on to read)
All Jesus' parables about this prophetic Feast, as well as all scriptures related to it, must be cohesive and harmonious. They will be, if our interpretation of each of them, is accurate.

We learn from Jesus' reference to the marriage feast at Matthew chapter 22, that there were initial invitees to His Father's spiritual feast (Matt.22:2,3). These can correspond to the ten virgins, who knew enough to wait in attendance for the arrival of the Bridegroom, so that they could enter this Feast with him (Matt.25:1,6,7). These then, were among the initial invitees to the marriage feast. As it turns out, "half" of them were not worthy of their invitation (Matt.25:3,8,9,10,11,12,13) and were later turned away by the Bridegroom.
  Did they become anointed virgins when they were invited to the feast?...when the Bridegroom arrived?...or when they went inside the feast? Or, were they such before their invitation to the feast, their admittance, or before the Bridegroom's arrival? 
Did they have lamps to shed light before they entered the feast, or did they receive them inside?
Is being chosen as a spiritual virgin, the same as being chosen inside the marriage feast?

The foolish virgins were not shut out because they were shining their witness lamps previous to being chosen inside the feast, or as you put it...
after they prove faithful..."then they are "Chosen", and thus then fit to be Yhwh's Witnesses ---not before." 
They were shut out due to their choice of light-source. When they later arrived and spoke to the Bridegroom, he did not acknowledge them as invited to the marriage feast, any longer. Their invitation was revoked, because their contribution to the illumination inside, was now unfit for inclusion.
There is no room for darkness, inside the spiritual feast of God (Matt.6:22,23; Isa.5:20; Luke11:35; 1John1:6).

The five wise virgins, "brought receptacles" filled with oil along with their burning lamps. What is the "receptacle" that holds "oil"? We learn that at Luke6:45...
"The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart."
The light an anointed virgin shines, comes from her heart. This is the source of life (Prov.4:23), and where the truth is cultivated (Luke8:11,15). That truth comes up from the heart and forth through our lips (Luke6:45 C), like light from a lamp, to shine on all in the house (Luke8:16,17,18; Matt.5:15,16)..
What is the fuel that keeps such a heart, burning with the light of truth?
The wise virgins, kept within their heart (receptacle), their original provision of Holy Spirit ("Oil") (1Cor.6:19; 1John2:24,27,28; 1Cor.2:13), sourced in their anointing. They let no one take it from them (1John2:26; 2Cor.11:2,3,4,20,12,13,14,15; 2Pet.3:17,14; Rev.14:5,4; 3:4,11). Holy Spirit remained the source of their light (John8:12; 1:4; 2Cor.4:6).

Not so the foolish virgins. They became dependent upon those who sell oil as the source of their light (Matt.25:8,9,10; Rev.13:17). Their mouth spoke from what they sold themselves to buy (Rom.1:25,28). They became indebted to, and soiled by, a system of spiritual commerce (Matt.21:12,13; Isa.28:10; Eze.17:4; Nahum3:16; Rev.18:23), and had surrendered their virginity and freedom of speech for Christ. 
These foolish Chosen ones, are those who will have taken from them, even what they only imagine they have paid for and gained (Luke8:18; 12:19,20; Rev.3:17,18; Eze.7:12,18; Rev.13:17,8,7).

If we return to the marriage parable, we see the evening continues after the five foolish virgins are sorted and rejected (Matt.25:11,12), and many of those originally invited (to the spiritual feast), have been rejected, and judged (Matt.22:7,8).
Many of the newly invited who gain entrance, are considered unrighteous/"bad" (Matt.22:8,9,10). These are not members of the foolish virgins, nor of the wise/Bride. They are "anyone" God's servants find, "leaving the City".
     At Matt.22:9, the Greek actually says specifically...
       "diexodous"
         G1327
         n_ Acc Pl f
         THRU-OUT-WAYS
         EXITS
         ...that although it is often translated ("street corners", "broad way", etc.),
         it is those who are already on the road "leaving" the City (Rev.17:18), which are invited to
         this end-time spiritual feast of truth.
Now these ones also become invited wedding guests. Does this mean that they are now "unrighteous"/"bad" anointed... selected by God to be candidate priests and kings? 
No, all virgins have already been sorted, judged, and sealed as to whose commerce they belong (Rev.3:18; Isa.55:1,2), and whose provisions they will receive (Rev.21:6; John4:14; Rev.22:17; 19:9).
No, these "unrighteous" invitees are simply invited to have a share in a very special meal (Matt.22:9). They are among the "many invited" of Matt.22:14. Of all the newly invited that fill the Hall with guests (Matt.22:10)...there are only a few chosen virgins who entered in the company of the Bridegroom (Matt.25:10).
Yet what of those who are "chosen" inside the feast, from among the throngs (including "bad") who were evacuating from the "City" and invited off the streets?
Who will become the smaller group of those "chosen", among the "invitees" in this particular setting?

Well we get our first clue by seeing someone invited into this feast, but not "chosen". 
He is thrown out, due to not wearing the proper attire (Matt.22:11,12,13). The required wedding garment is Love and respect toward the Bride and Groom (Col.3:14,15,16,12), who have a right to expect peaceful, respectful behaviour... gratitude and appreciation for what has been prepared, honor, and humble receptiveness toward the true light of Christ (Rom.13:14,13; Gal.3:27; Eph.4:24; Col.3:10). 
  The opposite of that would be contention, criticism, disrespect, finding fault, and grumbling. 
What Host would continue to welcome such a guest? 
In this parable, the Host is Almighty God, His Son, and His new Daughter. These are who the guests must show loving honor to... Their Hosts who are providing and offering the Feast...
The Father of the Bridegroom (James1:17; Isa.65:13; 1:19; Matt.22:2,4; Isa.25:6; Ps.36:8; 46:4-5; Rev.22:1; Isa.60:14; Rev.3:9), 
the Bridegroom (Isa.55:1-2; John7:37; 4:13-14; 6:35,51,55,63), 
and the Bride (Rev.22:17; John13:20). 
  If those invited come to partake of this spiritual feast, and show a lack of loving respect for it's Hosts, they will lose out on the provisions of life...and be "thrown into the darkness outside" (Matt.22:13).
Does this mean that the "bad" (Matt.22:10) cannot be graced with spirit and understanding? No.
Even among the "bad" invitees to the marriage feast;
God does not reproach, but will give Holy spirit and understanding to those who sincerely and humbly ask for, and accept it 
(James1:5; Luke11:13).

The table is set (Matt.22:4). The nourishing provisions are ready to be taken and delighted in.
There are a wide variety of guests... each with their own palate, preferences, and ability to appreciate what is offered. What is yet needed for the guests to truly benefit from all that is presented?

Knowing that this wedding feast is not literal food, but spiritual...
what is needed for someone to benefit from God's spiritual provisions placed before them?
Well we know the one thrown out did not benefit, due to a lack of humility, respect, appreciation, and love. Why? 
What do these characteristics have to do with deriving benefit from spiritual food? 

"At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight." (Matt.11:25)
"The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, "'they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!" (Mark4:11,12)

Of all those... righteous and unrighteous, who have been invited to partake of the marriage feast,
not all will understand and benefit from what is before them. Why? What do they require in order to derive the full benefit?
Jesus referred to what is necessary for understanding....
"However, as it is written: "What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" -- the things God has prepared for those who love Him--
these are the things God has revealed to us  by  his  Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God." (1Cor.2:9,10)
"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John14:26)

Who is it that decides that the humble and child-like will receive Holy Spirit, so that they can grasp and benefit from the Marriage Feast?
"Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven." (Matt.16:17)

So when we read at Matt.22:14, that God "invites" "many" to the marriage feast, but only chooses a few among those invited...
what do you think they are being "chosen" for?
Within the setting and parable of the marriage feast, they are chosen by God to be capable of understanding the spiritual feast placed before them, with all the benefit that results from it,
or not (Matt.7:14; 22:14). 

Those invited to the marriage feast, are offered the true words of God (Rev.19:9; John16:13; Rev.1:1; 22:6; 10:7).
Yet understanding and appreciating what's offered, is still up to God, who chooses to whom He reveals that life-giving spiritual light. [(John12:40) or (2Cor.4:6; Luke24:45)]
It is not enough to be present at the feast, nor to be exposed to it's provisions.
Not all who look over the dishes, nor partake of each course, will appreciate it's true value, nor even understand it. 
God chooses which invited guests will have their eyes and ears opened to understand the final sacred secrets of God (Dan.12:4,9; Rev.5:1; 22:10; Isa.29:18; 1:19) 
(Isa.65:13; Hosea4:10,11; Micah2:11; Amos8:11,12; Rev.6:6; 18:8,3,4)
The marriage feast "invitation" is open to all, not just anointed (Matt.22:8,9,10).
The "dishes" are within reach of the entire world, including all those Chosen and originally invited. 
Those "leaving the City" in particular, are given a late invitation to partake of the meal.
But not all who are exposed to the marriage feast, will be "chosen" to understand  it.

This has nothing to do with being chosen as a virgin member of Christ's Bride.
Such chosen virgins can lose their chastity, even after they are so selected (John6:70; 1Cor.6:15,16; 2Cor.11:3; Rev.17:2). 
I will cover this more, in Part II.

The scriptures have recorded for us an actual incident which occurred with Jesus. I believe it can augment the understanding of God's "choosing" within the Marriage Feast parable.

26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe." (John6:26-32,36)

Jesus was the visible host, who provided physical bread to the crowd. They followed after him for more of that food "that spoils". Jesus told them that they should have seen the significance behind the miracle, to the fact that through the signs he performed, it was proven that God was bearing witness about Jesus (John8:18; 5:36; 7:31; 2:23; 10:37,38)... that Jesus was approved by God to be His channel of food "that endures to eternal life". 

What did the individuals in that crowd need to do to benefit from such spiritual food? 
Jesus answered, "Believe in the one he has sent." (John6:28,29), according to the witness God was already providing, which miraculous bread, they themselves ate. 
They also needed to recognize, that when such spiritual food is provided, it is not from Christ, nor from Moses, nor from the Bridegroom, nor from the Bride, nor from the Virgins.... but that God is the source (Matt.22:2; Rev.5:7; John15:15). 

Those who attend the marriage feast have the same choice of faith before them.
They will see the Virgins, both the wise and the foolish. They will see God's witness, given in fulfillment of the signs which were prophesied to occur. 
The crowd who ate literal bread from Jesus saw that miraculous sign, and yet, they still did not believe that he was the source of heavenly bread (John6:36).
Will the Father bless such faithless invitees of the marriage feast with His Holy Spirit, that they might share in the opening of the seven seals? Does He first require the "garment" of respect, humility, faith, appreciation and respect?

The events of John chapter six, continue...
"41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.” (John6:41-45,65)
So once again we see, that unless the Father chooses to enable someone by means of His Holy Spirit (Dan.12:10);
they are unable to digest the living bread that endures to eternal life. Neither are they able to ingest, understand, and benefit from, the marriage feast.

We saw that although Jesus was before the crowd, offering spiritual bread from heaven that could result in eternal life;
not many were capable of appreciating the provision of God, due to a lack of faith in God's messenger.
How might that happen, when God's prophets serve the marriage feast, under the direction of the Bridegroom and his Father?

It is one thing to enjoy literal bread appearing from the hand of a carpenter's son, and another to heed the words of the Son of God (John10:26).
It is one thing to enjoy a consideration of prophetic understanding (1Cor.14:15; Eze.33:32), 
and another to accept and heed a prophet, because you have tested (1John4:1,6; Matt.7:20), and believe they are a prophet of God (Matt.10:41; Jer.26:5; John13:20). 
It is one thing to read a blog written by a self-professed prophet, 
and another to discern, accept, and appreciate that the provisions before you are sourced in God's Word of Truth (1Pet.4:11; John16:13; 8:47), God's spirit (Matt.10:20; Eph.6:17), and are the true words of God (Rev.19:9), which is the marriage feast.

The "invitation" to the marriage feast is open to "all leaving the city" in the time of the end (Eph.3:5; Dan.12:4; Matt.13:12; John16:13; Rev.10:7; 21:6).
To benefit from that invitation and the provisions that follow, one must be chosen to understand it, by means of God's spirit (1Cor.2:10; John14:26; Ps.36:9). 
That spirit is only given to those who have clothed themselves with love, faith, humility, appreciation, and respect.
To partake of God's table; those invited must also NOT be partaking of the table of demons 
(1Cor.10:21; 2Thess.2:9,10,11; Jer.5:31) such as the 5 foolish virgins choose to do 
(Matt.25:9,10 A; Rev.13:17,18; 16:13,14,15; 1Tim.4:1; Luke11:35; Col.2:8; Rev.13:10,7,8).
Based upon these requirements, those who are chosen to understand the final sacred secrets of God, will be "few", 
despite the "banquet hall" being "filled" (Matt.22:10,14).
- - - - - - -
Next...
Part II -- "Chosen" to Belong to the Bride
(to be continued)
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