Revelation 3:14, The church at Laodicea.
Life is a series of tests. We either pass or fail them. YHVH is the school teacher who determines whether we will pass or fail, not us. His Word is our text book that tells us how to pass. If we learn the lessons and put to practice the things we have learned, we will pass. If not, we will fail.
The problem is that we’re not just in a regular school classroom where if we fail, it’s really not a big deal in the bigger scope of life. Our classroom is this life. Whether we pass or fail will determine not only whether we will obtain eternal life or eternal damnation, but if we pass, the grade we get will determine our level of rewards in YHVH’s eternal kingdom. There are a couple of things going on here.
When YHVH calls us with his holy calling and we respond, we have a choice. The choice we make will determine whether we will be the least or the greatest in his kingdom (Matt 5:19). If we choose to obey him only a little, we will be least in his kingdom. If we choose to obey him all the way, we will be the greatest in his kingdom. Our level of obedience to his commandments determines our level of rewards in his kingdom.
If we give him our all, like Ruth did when she chose to forsake the world and follow Naomi, we can become the bride of Yeshua. Ruth is a prophetic picture of Yeshua’s bride. The heart-attitude of the bride is: your people will be my people, your Elohim will be mine, and where you go, I will go.
Yeshua refers to his bride in the book of Revelation. She is unreservedly faithful to him. Yeshua’s bride is comprised of those who are follow the Lamb of Elohim wherever he goes; they don’t just follow him only when it’s convenient!
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. (Rev 14:1–5)
Yeshua demands total and unreserved commitment from his disciples. He said that his followers would need to love him more than anyone else including one’s closest family members. He said that he who loves mother and father, son or daughter more than him is not worthy of him (Matt 10:37). He said that whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever seeks to lose his life for Yeshua’s sake will find it (v. 39).
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Matt 10:37–39)
Moreover, whoever seeks the world and its things more than Yeshua is an enemy of Yeshua.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? (Jas 4:4–5)
Why does James call such people adulterers? Because they’re two-timing Elohim. They love both Elohim and they’re lusting for the things of this world. This is spiritual adultery. It’s also idolatry. Anything in our lives that comes ahead of our obedience to Elohim is an idol to us.
Only those who overcome the world, the flesh and the devil will be in the kingdom of Elohim. Only those who endure to the end will be saved (Matt 10:22).
To the seven churches in chapters two and three of the book of Revelation, Yeshua commanded each church to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. He promised great rewards to those who would put him first and be an overcomer.
We’re in the spiritual wilderness right now preparing to go into the Promised Land of Elohim’s everlasting kingdom. YHVH is testing us to determine how much we love him or not. Will we be overcomers and make it into the Promised Land that he has prepared for us?
All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which YHVH sware unto your fathers. And thou shalt remember all the way which YHVH thy Elohim led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of YHVH doth man live. (Deut 8:1–4)
Ezekiel prophesied about an end times wilderness. He calls it “the wilderness of the peoples.” We’re in that wilderness right now. It’s not a literal wilderness like the children of Israel were in, but a spiritual one. There YHVH is making us pass under the rod to see if we will whole-heartedly obey him or not, or whether we still have rebellion (the love of the world, the flesh and the devil) in our hearts.
As I live, saith the Adonai YHVH, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: and I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Adonai YHVH. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am YHVH. (Ezek 20:33–38)
Yeshua is presently trying awaken his sleeping bride (the end times church) who is spiritually slumbering in the wilderness under a shade tree. YHVH Yeshua is knocking on the door of our lives at this moment. Will we open to him and let him in, or will we go back to sleep and remain in the comfort zones of our own spiritual complacency and idolatry where we, like the Laodiceans, have lifted up money, material possession and the cares of this world over obedience to YHVH?
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of Elohim; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Rev 3:14–21)
Too many of us who live in the wealthy West have given ourselves over to covetousness. We are guilty of committing this sin anytime we put the pursuit of money above obedience to the Word of Elohim. Yeshua discusses this in Matt 6:21–23.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
Yeshua then goes on to tell his disciple that his followers can’t serve Elohim and mammon.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve Elohim and mammon.
Despite Yeshua’s warning, too many of us are trying to serve both Elohim and mammon. We have bought into the secular humanist American societal lie that materialism and money can buy happiness.
You cannot serve both Elohim and mammon. Yeshua told his disciples to put him first, to seek the kingdom of Elohim and righteousness, and that all of our physical and material needs would be taken care of (Matt 6:33).
With the fall feasts coming up, we will be facing many tests. Will we pass or fail them? Will we obey YHVH and keep his feasts as he commanded? Or maybe we’ll be more like the rebellious children of Israel in the time of the judges where “each man did what was right in his own eyes.”
Remember Yeshua’s Parable of the Ten Virgins? Five were wise and five were foolish. Five were obedient and had prepared themselves for the Bridegroom’s return and five had not prepared themselves. The foolish ones were shut out of the wedding feast. They had a place in Yeshua’s kingdom, but because they didn’t put him first, they failed to become his bride, which is the place of highest reward in his eternal kingdom. The unprepared Laodicean virgins would be the least in the kingdom.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:19–20)