You can quote scriptures from the Apostle Paul, from James, from Isaiah and Malachi, but only when you hear the words of Jesus does it have power. I’m not saying there is no power in the others, but when Jesus speaks we listen! And this is what he says:
“Strive to enter in at the narrow gate, for many I say unto you will seek to enter in and shall not be able” (Luke 13:24).
Now there’s a companion text to that in Matthew 22:14:
“Many are called, but few are chosen.”
This is a sobering kind of text. It shakes me up!
Are you one of the many called, or are you the one that’s not chosen?
Most of you are called, but will you be the one chosen? This is a powerful idea. It circumvents all the things in the scriptures—the Tabernacle and the shadows.
If I asked, what is the foremost question in your mind? What is the question you want answered? If a call came in and God’s on the phone and He says I will answer any question as long as it’s one question, what question would you ask? Would it be whether the Levites are in the Great Company class? … What’s the question that burns in your mind?
Have I made it in the Little Flock?
The Apostle Paul even wanted the answer to this question. In 66 ad when he was martyred, the Apostle Paul said, I have made it! Did God give him that answer? I don’t think so. I think he just had the confidence – I’ve done the job, I’ve executed the mission, I’ve done what the Lord wanted me to do. Can you say the same thing? Do you have that confidence?
Jesus said, Strive to enter in. Does the word “strive” mean relax, take your lounge? The word means “to vigorously apply oneself with great strenuous effort toward a goal or a mission.” “Strive” means to unceasingly reach for success, to battle, to fight.
What’s the opposition preventing you from making it?
Satan’s one. He doesn’t want you to make it, not because he has anything personally against you, but only because he knows that when the 144,000 is complete that’s the end of him!
The second opposition is our inherited imperfection. We are not born perfect. We’ve got a lot of imperfections, we’re in captivity, in slavery. It restrains us. Then we have the opposition of the government, from poor education, from poor relationships, opposition from poor health. All these weigh heavily on you and these restraints prevent us from striving, because striving means to struggle with these captivities, to fight these restraints.
Didn’t Jesus say that many will not be able to enter in? These are the words of Jesus.
Look around you – you’re not all going to make it! I’m sorry but I have to say it, and I’m saying it to myself because it burns within me.
I want to be in that Little Flock and I will do anything that’s necessary to do it.
Do you have that same determination, that same fight?
Striving is the process for releasing these captivities; it’s the path toward freedom from restrictions. Striving is the process of becoming better, the road to perfection. This is what the Holy Spirit does for us. It gives us the strength to rid the captivities, moving us toward being part of that divine family.
We’re not all going to make it!
Striving is the benchmark, and benchmark means a marked point of evaluation that indicates you’re doing what is expected. It is the standard model, a kind of touchstone. God sees your striving as a benchmark. God does not look at your imperfections, He knows you’re already imperfect, but He’s looking to see how you’re striving. Do you get it – striving to move ahead?
Remember what Jesus said:
Strive, strive, strive!
Many will not be able to do it.
- We strive for knowledge, but how much knowledge is enough? You will never reach the ultimate knowledge but we strive to get as much knowledge as we can.
- We strive for sacrifices, but how much sacrifice is enough? We don’t know how much. How much sacrifice does the Lord accept?
- We strive for goodness, but how much goodness is enough? We don’t know. Jesus said there’s only one that’s good and that’s God. You’re striving to be good when there’s only One that’s good, so how much goodness must we do to be acceptable?
- We strive for services, but how much service is enough? We strive to do as many services as we can, but can we really be perfect? What is the answer if we cannot reach the absoluteness of these values?
It’s striving, acting and reacting strenuously to go as high with these values as we can. God sees the striving; that’s what He’s looking at.
If you’re not striving it means you feel you have arrived, but if you keep striving you are recognizing that you’re going towards where He wants you to be.
Time Is Running Out.
God’s time clock for those of the high calling will shortly shut down.
Don’t look at the high calling and think it’s going to go on and on and on. It won’t!
It’s going to shut down one day.
There’s a spiritual urgency and we can no longer delay.
We can no longer defer what we must do while the door is still open. It may close next year or in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years but probably not beyond that.
What’s sobering about this kind of evaluation and appraisal is your destiny in a class where you will remain in that class eternally.
Do you understand that? Do you know what destiny means?
It means future living, the provenance of life, the inevitability. Whatever class you achieve – the divine class, the Great Company class, the human class, or the second-death class – whichever class you’re in you will be in that class not 100 years, 1000 years, 1,000,000 years, 100,000,000 years, No, for ever and ever and ever because we have no indication that there will be another change of nature.
NOW is the time for you to affect your destiny. Get to it! There is an urgency.
Fight, and fight hard for your destiny.
Destiny is only a word but you know that it means forever.
Don’t get fixed on earth!
Time is short and drawing to an end.
The lesson is that if you’re going to make your calling and election sure, you must get with it because the door to the high calling will not be shut until all who are called will have the opportunity to crystallize their characters and show themselves approved unto God. All the prophetic events, all the promises and all the due-time accomplishments will be completed – we’re not discounting them. Everything has to be done, but you’re the most delayed element in all of them. The rest of them the Lord God can change overnight.
There’s another issue here: the validation of God’s Plan. Do you want to help God with His Plan? Most of our prayers are Lord, help me, I’ve got this problem. Lord, we need this. Always me, me, me.
How many of us have ever said, Lord, what can I do to help you? How many have asked that question? I’ll give you the answer because the answer is intrinsic in the divine plan:
Make your calling and election SURE!
When you do that you validate His Plan because He called you to do that. If you don’t make it He will call someone else to replace you. When you make your calling and election sure, things will move more rapidly.
There will be no kingdom, no resurrection, no eternity, nothing will happen until that Little Flock is completed and they help God with His Plan. That’s YOU!
It’s frightening and sobering to think we are such an important part of God’s Plan. We must remember what’s happening: God is re-creating us. To create means to originate a new form, a new design. We were created once but it didn’t work out well, so we are being re-created. In our first creation you didn’t have a choice. We didn’t pick our parents or our genetic package, our style of imperfection. But here God is saying you now have choice. You can choose who you want to be in those ages of ages, you have choice. Jesus says, Strive to enter into the narrow gate for many will not be able to.
God is not trying to make us clones of Jesus even though we try to be like him. We can never be like him because Jesus was the Logos, he has a different genetics, he was the son of God, he was perfect – we cannot be exactly like him but we can have a likeness of him.
How Are We Like Jesus?
We’re like him in the way he lived, the principles he lived, those divine principles of God. Do you know what those principles are?
I want to share a few with you and light a fire under you.
1. Upgrade your consecration. Most of us are consecrated to a model we had years ago, and I’ll refer to that later.
2. Incorporate these divine principles into our re-creation. That’s how you have to think of yourself. You are changing your nature, you are going to be a divine being. That’s what Jesus meant when he said about John the Baptist that he was greater than any of the prophets. That’s quite an evaluation! Then he said, The least in the kingdom is greater than John the Baptist. WOW!
That means you’re greater than Abraham, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Daniel and all these great prophets!
How are you greater than them? Not one of them was being changed into the divine being.
YOU are! That’s what the Lord Jesus meant.
You are going to acquire a kind of inheritance that no one has ever had, not even the angels who were not begotten but created.
Back to Point 1: increasing our services. Upgrade your model of consecration: I hear it so often said that “if I follow the beatitudes I’ll make it.” Another will say, “if I can follow the fruits of the spirit and do a good job there I’ll be in the Little Flock.” These are notions of yesterday; the new consecration model is to recognise that there are many models in the Bible, not just one. The beatitudes is one, fruits of the spirit is two, John’s message to the churches is three, Peter’s Christian virtues is four, Moses’ tabernacle processes is five, James’ spiritual fruits is six, and Paul’s mark of the four quarters is seven. There are seven models. Which one do you want to fill?
I suggest you put them all together into a composite model, that is, statistically see how many of these various virtues are found in every one of them. I did that for you and found:
- The first is to love. That’s the big one.
- The second is to sacrifice, and that’s big, too. It isn’t giving up a meal but sacrificing on behalf of other people.
- The third is to learn. Learning is not preparation for the Little Flock, it is part of it.
- The fourth is to be holy, sinless. Sinning is serious with God. He doesn’t want sinners in the holy family.
- The fifth is to serve, serving to reconcile.
- The sixth is to be zealous for God’s work
- The seventh is to be re-created and loyal to God Himself.
That’s the composite model. Let’s take a second suggestion: Re-examine and change your attitude about the divine nature.
When does the divine nature begin?
Most of you would say, at the resurrection. When Jesus was resurrected, was he resurrected to a spiritual nature and then later given the divine nature? Or was he resurrected with a divine nature? I’m only saying that we have to address ourselves to divine nature because what does “nature” mean. I like the word “likeness”. We are like Jesus; we are like God, but we’re not God. How? We live like He does with the same principles. What are they?
- To love first: (John 3:16). In the 2 billion Christians in the world today, most practice a reaction love – I will love you if you love me. God doesn’t have that love. God practises a first love. GOD first initiates the love.
- Loving without reward: (Matthew 6:3). We’ve got to stop asking, What’s in it for me? Do something without getting any credit for it. That’s a hard thing to do – I want my name on that!
- Giving to others: (Luke 6:38). “Give” should be your middle name. Keep giving until it hurts. I sometimes wonder why the Lord wants us to be like that. It’s because the Lord is going to give you the divine power, a divine body. What are you going to do with that? Are you going to keep it to yourself? Oh, I’m a divine being! God doesn’t want that because God doesn’t like that way. He gives and you too must give when you become a divine being but you have to practise it now as a principle.
- Loving your enemy: Don’t take revenge if someone does an injustice to you. How many times among the brethren injustice has happened to us? Do you try to get even? We’re not going to invite them to our convention any more! That’s getting even. Don’t get even. Loving your enemy means for any injustice, not judging according to external appearances. If you can’t get along with people here on earth, brethren with the holy Spirit, what makes you think you’re going to get along with them up there?
- Upgrade your services: Our call to be re-created to the divine nature is also a call to service. Once we get into the Little Flock we’re not going to lie in a hammock and someone will bring us cold drinks!
It’s very simple:
The Lord has called you to go to work. There’s a big work.
It’s been estimated 20 billion has ever lived. Science says there have been 100 billion people since the Ice Age — that’s a lot of people. And we’ve heard the sort of things that have to be done. We have to reconcile a lot of people. That’s work! Just wait to see what has to be done. And the Lord says, Do it now! This is the work of the Kingdom.
[NOTE: There are currently seven billion people alive today and the Population Reference Bureau estimates that about 107 billion people have ever lived. (According to the BBC News in 2012)]
Brethren in Christ,
Let us get with divine principles, as many as we can, incorporate them into our lifestyle, because we want to please God and be part of the Little Flock.
Make sure you don’t lose it!
I am going to be in that Little Flock if it kills me, and it may kill me, but at least I can say I tried.
I am going to fight, to struggle.
We know we’re not perfect and our failings have been numbered, but what is precious in God’s sight is our striving.
If you’re not striving, you’re not trying to get into the Little Flock.
The gift of grace from God is precious. USE every moment you got now in the service of the Lord, and get to work like never before with the mind FIXED… SUPERGLUED to Jesus, to bring GREATEST JOY to our Heavenly Father!
Acknowledgment & reference:
Br. Paul Mali – his discourse.