Yahweh desires to bring His people into His Kingdom. However, not everyone will be allowed in. The Scriptures reveal those who WILL be allowed in, and those who will NOT be allowed in.
Like Israel of old, many Believers today have come out by the Blood of the Lamb. Likewise, just like Israel of Old, they will be tested in the Wilderness, to see whether they may enter in to the Kingdom.
The Scriptures reveal that Yahweh tests His people, to determine who may enter in, and who may not. Yahweh’s testing is a continual process of teaching, testing, discerning, and separating. We will begin by looking at the future, end-time picture of the City of Yahweh, where we see some who are allowed to enter in:
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)
Now notice some are not allowed in, but are kept outside the City:
For without (outside the City) are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (Revelation 22:15)
The City of Yahweh speaks of the close-in realm of His Kingdom, and the place of His dwelling, also known as His People. Here we see that not everyone will be allowed into the City, but some must remain outside. So how does Yahweh determine who will, and who will not, be allowed to enter in?
When we were in school, we were first taught, then were tested continually. Yahweh likewise puts His people through continual teaching and testing. He then gives them a “Final Exam” just before “Graduation” time. In this writing, we will look at the ongoing testing Yahweh’s people must undergo.
The Israelites — Our Example
First let us notice what Yahweh said about His purpose for the Wilderness wanderings. First we see the forty-year period of testing:
And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove(“to test, try, or assay”) thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. (Deuteronomy 8:2)
Then we see the ongoing, remedial teaching:
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 the LORD doth man live. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
These two passages give us a fundamental picture of our teaching and testing today.
Notice above in (Deut 8:2) that Yahweh caused His people to wander in the wilderness for 40 years, to test them on only ONE issue: to see whether they would, or would not, keep His Commandments. If Israel is our example, we should expect to see the same pattern for us today.
The Same Example: But With Grace to Succeed
Notice what the Book of Hebrews says regarding the Israelites’ testing, as it relates to ours:
Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. (Hebrews 4:11)
There are two chapters (chapters 3 and 4) of Hebrews devoted to warning the Believers of today. Here we are told that Israel is our example, and we are reminded over and over again, exactly why THEY could not enter in, as a warning to us today. Israel in the Wilderness is our example today!
Amazingly, we see that Yahweh has caused His people today to wander in the wilderness for 40 jubilees, in order to test them on the SAME issue: to see whether we would, or would not, keep His SAME Commandments!
The difference is that for us today, we have the ability given to us by “Messiah-in-you,” His Grace from within, to succeed, where the Israelites failed. The entire focus of the New Covenant is on “Messiah-in-you,” and on His enabling Grace to do His will, so that He might bring us in to the City! Let’s look closely at this testing, to see if Scripture might confirm some of these ideas.
Notice the future time of testing that will occur at the time when Messiah will return:
Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (Malachi 3:18)
Part of Yahweh’s purpose is to test His people, in order to determine, and separate, those whom He WILL bring into His Kingdom, from those whom He will NOT bring in.
The Testing of the Virgins
Yahshua gives us further insight into this testing, in the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). Notice there were two groups of five virgins, all of them together, awaiting the Bridegroom’s arrival. As soon as the foolish virgins separate themselves over the oil, the Bridegroom arrives, and the wise enter in with the Bridegroom.
Yahshua then tells us the Test results, after the five Wise Virgins have gone in with the Bridegroom:
But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. (Matthew 25:12)
The above response by Yahshua tells us that a New Covenant (Eternal, or “Everlasting Covenant”) Issue had been violated. The only Everlasting Covenant issues of “knowing” are those seen in (Ex 31:13,16; Eze 20:12; Eze 20:20). Notice the following passages:
Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual<05769> covenant. (Exodus 31:16)
And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God. (Ezekiel 20:20)
The Everlasting<05769> Covenant is NOT for Yahweh’s enemies, but is only for Israel — including those Gentiles who are “grafted” into Israel through faith in Messiah. The Everlasting Covenant has been sealed in the precious Blood of Yahshua, and is eternal, and will endure forever:
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)
The “sign” of those who take hold of Yahshua’s Everlasting Covenant is that they “do His will” — as seen in the above Exodus and Ezekiel passages: they hallow “My Sabbaths.” This is very important — this is a Key issue! Notice these are not “Jewish” Sabbaths — they are HIS Sabbaths! They include all the Festivals listed in Leviticus 23:1-44.
But let’s look for further Scripture confirmation of the Virgins’ testing. An earlier passage sheds more light on the nature of this test:
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity <458>. (Matthew 7:23)
Again, we see an issue of “not knowing,” but this time we are told it is related to “iniquity.” The word “iniquity” used here is the Greek word ‘anomia,’ Strong’s number <458>, meaning “lawlessness” or “transgressing the Law, either because of ignorance of the Law, or because of violating the Law.”
Thus we see confirmation that “transgressing the Law” had occurred. It must have been related to the covenant issue of “KNOWING,” in order for the Bridegroom to have said, “I never KNEW you.” When The Sabbaths are not kept, the Law is transgressed. John tells us that this transgression of the Law is “Sin” (See 1John 3:4) by the new Testament Definition! So the Virgins are tested, and separated based on their ‘anomia’.
All Who Enter the Kingdom Are Tested
The Scriptures also have much to say of those who do enter the Kingdom. Some will be considered “Least,” and some will be considered “Great.” Let’s look at this briefly:
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. (Matthew 5:19)
In the above passage, we see a separation or ranking, even among those who do enter in to the Kingdom. Likewise in 2Tim 2:20-21, we see the same ranking among those who choose to purge, or cleanse themselves. Thus we see there is testing required, even among those who will enter in.
Notice also in the above passage what is the basis of this testing and separation. It is the keeping of the commandments — which is the same basis we have seen in all the other testings thus far.
This testing is not an issue of Salvation — of “coming out” by the Blood — but it is an issue of “entering in.”
It is also not an issue of things that one “must” do, for under the New Covenant there is nothing “required” or mandatory. No, the testing is simply a matter of Yahweh looking to see who will choose those things that please Him, without being compelled to do so.
The testing of the Believers in the “Wilderness” is an ongoing process, that has been going on for 40 jubilees at this writing.
The Believers will be either allowed or refused entry, based on their actions of keeping, or ignoring, Yahweh’s Commandments.
The time is almost here for us to take the “final exams” prior to entering in to the Kingdom!
For further discussion of these Final Exams, see Entering the Kingdom: The Two Love Tests.
- The Wise and Foolish Virgins – Based on the Parable in Matthew 25. A look at what Scripture reveals as the real differences between the Wise and Foolish Virgins, with a warning for those desiring to be wise.