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   Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom, Luke 12:32.
   The accompanying image portrays an auditorium full of people. It would not be an exaggeration, to suppose tens of thousands of people are seated here.
   This setting, however, is not a New York Broadway Playhouse — though it is a Playhouse…a Mega-Ch-rch, by Webster’s definition, great or large, where theatrics are played out every week, on the day of the Venerable Sun and which boasts a weekly attendance of more than 30,000 and a weekly offertory accounted in the tens of thousands of dollars.
   And it is fair to say right here, that they which buy into the notion that supposes gain is g-dliness, do so to their peril as they succumb to that lie that suggests that, that life more abundantly consists in the abundance of things possessed, even if what is possessed pierces men through with many sorrows before drowning them in destruction and perdition (1 Tim. 6:9, 10). Little wonder that what is highly esteemed of men is abomination to Yahweh! (Luke 16:15).
   And so, Little Flocks Which aspire toward Mega-Ch-rch status, do well to remember one of the faculties of a peculiar people, are that they are loved by, and chosen of Yahweh, not because they are more in number than any people but rather, because they are the fewest of all people (Deut. 7:7) and usually, the weak, the base, and despised by them which give themselves out as wise, mighty, and noble (1 Cor. 1:26-29). It ought not to be thought, therefore, that multitudes of people assembled together on the Venerable Sun-day necessarily have obtained greater favor with Yahweh than what are found here and there, of The Little Flock — of His Elect.
   And though The Great Commission mandates even Little Flocks go forth, teaching all nations to observe whatsoever Yahshua has commanded, and baptizing them (Matt. 28:19-20), none are to compass sea and land to make proselytes to themselves, neither are they to shut up the Kingdom of heaven against men (Matt. 23:13, 15), through changing The Message.

Receiving the Message Changes Us
   Rather, the Message is supposed to change men and Little Flocks do well to consider the inherent risk of losing the Father’s good pleasure in changing The Message.
   Mega-Ch-rches, perhaps more so than Little Flocks, appeal more to people who are come with itching ears (2 Tim. 4:3) to hear at the mouth of seducing spirits (1 Tim. 4:1), smooth (Isa. 30:10), feigned (2 Pet. 2:3), fair speeches (Rom. 16:18), and great swelling words of vanity (2 Pet. 2:18) that deceive men’s hearts and make merchandise of the simple, by perpetuating the Adversary’s lie to give them all the power and glory of the kingdoms of the world (Luke 4:5-6).
These smooth, feigned, fair speeches and great swelling words of vanity are marked in contrast to THE True Message That purports to one losing his life in order to preserve it (Luke 17:13); to one looking not upon his own things, but upon the things of others (2 Cor. 10:24; Phil. 2:4) … without COVETOUSNESS, as the Master, Who became impoverished in order to make others rich (2 Cor. 8:9).
   It’s worth noting, moreover, that the popularity of THAT True Message is measured by the Greatest Speaker and Miracle Worker of all time, Who after more than three years of public ministry, would only muster 120 unlearned and ignorant, but faithful disciples to an Upper Room and endue them with Power from on High (Acts 1:13-15).
   Nevertheless, their labor in THE True Message has, these past two millennia, survived the spirit of apostasy propagated by ten thousands of instructors of every apostate false way and nomenclature — catholic and protestant, mainline denominational, nondenominational, orthodox, conservative, reformed, freewill, evangelical, Pentecostal, charismaniac — and all of which, have corrupted (2 Cor. 2:17), deceitfully handled (2 Cor. 4:2), and privately interpreted (2 Pet. 1:20) the Message. And for sure, ONEness of mind, speech, and judgment (1 Cor. 1:10) … difficult enough to achieve among Little Flocks, is rendered nearly impossible among the tens of thousands within a Mega-Ch-rch.
   Little Flocks do well, therefore, to consider sage advice come from the Apostle:
   For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise, 2 Corinthians 10:12.
   For in the economies of Yahweh,
      ◆ the race is not to the swift;
      ◆ nor the battle to the strong;
      ◆ neither yet, bread to the wise;
      ◆ nor yet riches to men of understanding;
      ◆ nor yet favor to men of skill (Eccl. 9:11)

   … and why not? because Yahweh chooses a people who will trust that He will supply all their need (and not their GREED) according to His riches in glory (Phil. 4:19) and all, commensurate to their acknowledging Him in all their ways (Prov. 3:6).
   And so, what should characterize the life-experience of the believer — overcoming infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, distresses (2 Cor. 12:10) — as that means of becoming perfected, established, strengthened, and settled in the faith (1 Pet. 5:10), is, in the estimation of the Mega-Ch-rch, unbecoming to them who think themselves entitled to an inheritance of a new heaven and a new earth without having to first qualify receiving it through an obedience that proceeds from unfeigned faith. We mean to say, who, after all, under the guise of the Prosperity Message, wants to be characterized as having not yet apprehended and attained unto the esteem accorded the wise, mighty, and noble who are persuaded that heaven can be found on earth.
   Not surprisingly, therefore, for the Mega-Ch-rchgoer, the idea of becoming rich toward Yahweh:
      ◆ is not serving, but instead being served;
      ◆ is not ministering, but instead being ministered to;
      ◆ is lending, but not without hoping to receive as much, and more, again;
      ◆ is doing good, but only to them which do good to you;
      ◆ is not spending, nor being spent;
      ◆ is not loving more abundantly, at the expense of being less loved;
      ◆ is not being kind to the unthankful;
      ◆ is not praying for them which despitefully use them;
      ◆ is not feeding the hungry;
      ◆ is not giving drink to the thirsty;
      ◆ is not clothing the naked, and;
      ◆ is not visiting them which are sick and in prison
      ◆ but is certainly, being set at variance with, at enmity against, and contrary to, what’s declared by the mouths of them which in smooth, feigned, fair speeches, great swelling words of vanity that emphasize much more the self than others!

   But be not deceived, if any speak not according to HIS WORD, it is because there is no LIGHT in them, Isaiah 8:20 and thus, the admonition, to cease from hearing the instruction that causes one to err from the Words of Knowledge (Prov. 19:27).
   What we have set before us therefore, is the Master’s reply to one who queried, "Master, are there few that be saved", (Luke 13:23). He answered then, as He would now, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able, (Luke 13:24). (Incidentally, the word strait (G.4728 sten-os’) means narrow, from obstacles standing close — which connotes the idea that entry, requires one to strive — and that lawfully — to endeavor, to press, to overcome something much more in life than finding a parking place and a good seat, up close in the auditorium and near the platform, on the day of the Venerable Sun!)

Many Seek Entry, But …
   So, let’s shift now, from disclosing the deficits found in the Mega-Ch-rch and examine the Master’s assertion, "for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able."
   Without question, Yahshua’s answer here repudiates the notion of Universalism — that all shall be saved. And one who stands for defense and confirmation (Phil. 1:7) of this Truth, needs to be prepared for the retort of the unlearned and ignorant, who will attempt to use Scripture to support their thesis, saying, “…whosoever shall call on the Name of Master shall be saved, that if you shall confess with your mouth the Master Yahshua, and shall believe in your heart that Yahweh has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved…For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Master shall be saved” (Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:8, 13).
   We submit to you, however, that first, one must give a satisfactory answer to the question, “What is His Name, and what is His Son’s Name, if you can tell?” (Prov. 30:4b). The Truth is, few can tell, leaving them a question and as importantly, “What is that other Name (Yahshua the Messiah) under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved…neither is there salvation in any other?” (Acts 4:12). And, incidentally, we offer this as a cursory apologetic: Yochanon’s entreaty at Jordan, And all flesh shall see the salvation of Yahweh, Luke 3:6 should not be construed to mean that all flesh shall be saved but should rather, be understood in the context of Philippians 2:10-11:
   That at the name of Yahshua every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth: And [that] every tongue should confess that Yahshua Messiah is Sovereign, to the glory of Yahweh the Father, though it should be a fearful thing to have pending afterward, falling into the hands of Living, Consuming Fire (Heb. 10:31, 12:29). For if all flesh shall be saved were true, so very much of the volume of This Book could be abbreviated in but a very few chapters, and there should be little treatise on the subject of commandment, sin and its wages of death.
   In fact, the book of Revelation — replete with Judgment upon a recalcitrant, disobedient, lawless and gainsaying species — could have been condensed to but a few chapters and portions of chapters by omitting so very much of Its content that addresses the end of the condemned!
   For sure, if the Scriptures would omit any mention of sin and its wages of death, the species wouldn’t have to be concerned with revenging of their disobedience when their obedience was fulfilled (2 Cor. 10:6), for an absence of judgment precludes commandment and hence, obedience to commandment which genders to life, and that more abundantly (John 10:10).
   Indeed, and, moreover, all the seven promises given in Revelation 2 and 3 to them which overcome — the exceeding great and precious promises of an inheritance undefiled and incorruptible, reserved in a heaven that fades not away to all who would become partakers of the Divine Nature (1 Pet. 1:4; 2 Pet. 4:4) — would have been moot, which does not in any way, invalidate Yahweh having so loved this evil world, past and present…as it was, and as it is, that He should not have sent an Inviolate Lamb as an Offering to atone for man’s sin (John 3:16). Indeed, is He not yet willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and a knowledge of the Truth! (2 Pet. 3:9).
   In fact, if Yahweh was allowing of anything less than what is proven to be Good, Acceptable, and Perfect, then sin wouldn’t be a word, and ha Satan would not have had occasion or reason to lie, saying to the woman, "Ye shall not surely die…in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil," (Gen. 3:4, 5). And, moreover, none would ever die in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1).

Universalism, a Damnable Doctrine of Demons
   That’s the doctrine of Universalism, a damnable heresy (2 Pet. 2:1) and doctrine of demons (1 Tim. 4:1) and giving new meaning to the Script that reads, for without the law sin is dead…for where no law is, there is no transgression, (Rom. 7:8, 4:15) and therewith, moreover, nullifying other words, as, in the latter times some shall depart from the faith…for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first…(1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Thess. 2:3) — the faith of which the Apostle Sha’ul speaks, of course, is that which Jude nominates as that which was delivered to the saints (Jude 3) and represented by such champions of faith which have their place of honorable mention in the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews, as,
      ◆ Noah, who being warned of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, preparing an ark to the saving of his house and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith;
      ◆ Abraham who confessed himself a stranger and pilgrim on the earth in search of a city which had foundations and whose builder and maker is Yahweh; staggering not in unbelief, and considering not his own body now dead, who against hope, believed in hopefully persuaded that, what Yahweh had promised – that he should become the father of many nations – He was able also to perform;
      ◆ Moshe, when he was come to years, chose rather to suffer with the people of Yahweh and to esteem the reproach of Messiah greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, and why? Because he had a respect to the recompence of reward, and;
      ◆ of so many others throughout the ages who through faith, were tortured, not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection; had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment; were stoned; sawn asunder; were slain with the sword; and having no certain dwelling place, they wandered about in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth destitute, afflicted, tormented and clothed only in sheepskins, in goatskins.

   So, though some will insist that all flesh shall be saved, what shall we make of these words, "in the latter times some shall depart from the faith…for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first…?" (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Thess.2:3).
   Of whom are they speaking? Surely not they who are earnestly contending for the FIRST FAITH delivered!
   And what of other Words as, “a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left…Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels’…And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal…And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before Yahweh; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judge out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. …And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Matt. 25:32, 33, 41, 46; Rev. 20:12, 15).
   To be sure, all will be subject to standing before the Son of Man on that great and notable day of judgment (Acts 2:20) and then, their works will follow them — whether good, or evil! (Rev. 14:13).
   So we ask, of whom are these words speaking, if indeed, all shall be saved? Surely, these words are not, and would not, apply to the heroes of faith, posthumously acclaimed in Hebrews, Chapter 11. Neither would they very much apply to us, if after we had been once enlightened and tasted of the Heavenly Gift; been made partakers of the Set Apart Spirit; tasted of the Good Word of Yahweh and the powers of the world to come (Heb. 6:4-5), we strove lawfully (2 Tim. 2:2:5), endeavored to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3), pressed toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Yahweh in Messiah Yahshua (Phil. 3:15), and endured to the end (Matt. 10:22).

   We conclude therefore, that these words — "in the latter times some shall depart from the faith…for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first — are applicable to them of every age, throughout the millennia, which have fallen into apostasy; who put the profane for the set apart; the unclean for clean; abomination for good, acceptable, and perfect…to them who will, on the great and notable day, will yet boldly exclaim, Have we not…in Thy Name? and receive His reply, Depart from Me, ye cursed that work iniquity, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels," (Matthew 7:23, 25:41).
   Sure, many are called…but it is still yet, that few are chosen (Matt. 20:16), and fewer still, that are ordained to eternal life!
   We shall not further labor the point, except to say, Yahweh sets members in His Body as it has pleased Him (1 Cor. 12:18). For sure, therefore, you need to be,
      ◆ in that place that is doing the work of an evangelist (2 Tim. 4:5) by manifesting His Word through preaching (Tit. 1:3) — Wholesome Words (1 Tim. 6:3), Sound Doctrine (Tit. 2:1) And Speech That Cannot Be Condemned (Tit. 2:8);
      ◆ permitting them which labor among you to perfect that which is lacking in your faith (1 Thess. 3:10);
      ◆ becoming renewed in the spirit of your mind (Eph. 4:23) and conformed into the Image of Yahweh’s Dear Son (Rom. 8:29);
      ◆ growing in grace and in knowledge of the Master and Savior Yahshua Messiah (2 Pet. 3:18);
      ◆ going forth, bearing fruit that remains (John 15:16) and abounds to your spiritual account (Phil. 4:17).

   If in your life, there is wanting any one of these five, then you need to discern where the deficit lies, and resolve to “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will, of Yahweh" (Rom. 12:2).

-Elder John W. Reece

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