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GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 5: Make Your Calling and Election Sure]

The Gideon Paradigm was invoked by the Lord Jesus. He claimed that only a relative few would gain salvation. The same is true for “Christianity.” Only a small percentage of “Christians” will be saved.

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“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” [Matthew 7:13-14]

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” [Matthew 22:14]

Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. [2Peter 1:10-11 KJV]

DEFINING THE NEW COVENANT AND THE NEW COVENANT BELIEVER

In the beginning every believer knew that becoming a real follower of the Lord Jesus was a life-changing event. He demanded that every candidate for inclusion in His Community must effectively destroy his former life. He demanded that every candidate must undergo complete repentance, which amounts to sacrificing oneself on an altar of burnt offering. It means everything about one’s former life must be subjected to destruction in order for a complete new life to come forth.

The Lord taught on this theme always. It was a vital component of the new birth. He said there MUST be a new birth. He said one must be “born of the Spirit.” Is this not a commandment? A new birth demands an end of whatever existed before. The new life demands the death of the former life. There is the first birth that every person experiences as a baby being born into this world. Every human birth is a momentous miraculous event, especially, of course, for mother and child. It is an event that demands total participation of both and no mother ever forgets the experience. Family and friends mark the great event and honor the annual anniversaries—birthdays—with celebrations. Nevertheless, the Lord referred to this event as being born “from below.”

It is exactly the same regarding one’s new birth. It is a momentous, miraculous event. Being born again spiritually is actually a much greater event than one’s natural birth. When the early believers were born again they were totally changed. They had surrendered their old life. It ceased to exist. Each of them then became a new person, a completely new creation, with new spiritual desires, new intentions, and new ambitions and aims. They became totally dedicated to their Lord and Master and sought only His will for their lives. Each became real disciples. Each was born “from above.”

There was clear separation between the old and the new. There was a sharp line of demarcation between one’s old life and new life. This was illustrated perfectly in the historical record of those early initial days of real Christianity. There was no blurring of the lines or gradual transformations. Lives were changed quickly and completely. Bridges were burned. They never looked back. They had no rearview mirrors. There was no possibility of returning to one’s old life since it had been destroyed. Putting Him first meant replacing whatever was previously first. The early believers loved the Lord Jesus so much there was never any thought of not giving Him their entire hearts. This is the very definition of the New Covenant.

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” [John 3:5-7]

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [2Corinthians 5:17]

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” [Matthew 10:32-39]

THE EXAMPLE OF PENTECOST

The greatest case in point regarding the Gideon Paradigm was what happened on the initial Day of Pentecost when the New Community of the Lord was birthed. This Community, otherwise known as the Ekklesia (Greek), or Church, or Qahal (Hebrew), or spiritual Temple built with living stones, was brought forth with the simultaneous new births of 120 people. Though this might be characterized as a large group, especially since they were congregated in a single Upper Room, it was actually an extremely small group compared to the multiple tens of thousands that heard the Lord’s teachings, and the likely thousands of those who followed Him.

If the 120 in the Upper Room represented Gideon’s 300, which was chosen from 32,000, then the total from which the 120 were chosen was 12,800.

It is entirely possible that there were 12,800 people who followed the Lord during His ministry. They were dedicated enough to follow Him to varying degrees but the vast majority were not chosen for Pentecost.

The powerful impact the initial 120 made is still being made today. They were the initial seed of the entire worldwide Body of Christ of which the Lord was the initial seed of them. Just as He was planted into the ground in death to bring forth new life, so were the 120 planted in death, characterized by their absolute repentance and sacrificial offering, to bring forth new life.

Regarding the Great Awakening in America, it is no different than what happened in the beginning or at any other spiritual awakening in history. It began small, behind the scenes. It grew in strength and numbers. It is not connected to Christian business as usual, in which there is no spiritual power or dedication toward great change for the better.

Unlike Unreal Christianity, which refuses to fully submit to and honor the Lord Jesus, has made friends with the world and declines to engage in spiritual battle, is complacent under the ever-restrictive yoke of the enemy, serves money rather than serving the Lord, and embraces spiritual pride to the nth degree (sound familiar?), the relative few real Christians in this country have been chosen “for such a time as this.”

DESTROYING THE ALTAR OF BAAL

When we last left off with Gideon in Part 4 of this series, he had overcome his fear, obeyed the Lord, and destroyed his father’s altar of Baal and accompanying wooden Asherah, a female goddess totem. This altar and graven image obviously was honored by the entire village which chose to serve Baal and his consort rather than God. As the Lord had done so many times before and afterwards with specific chosen ones, he directed Gideon to the location where the devil had made an outer monument to lay claim to that particular territory, which was both physical and spiritual. One might recall the Lord did the same with Abraham when He first brought him to Canaan. Abraham effectively placed a spiritual flag in the ground on the very spot of the devil’s seat of power and spiritual war for the rights to that land was inaugurated. This is exactly what the Lord called Gideon to do, as follows:

Now on the same night the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s bull and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it; and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly manner, and take a second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.” Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had spoken to him… [Judges 6:25-27] [1]

An Altar of Baal has been established in America for a very long time. It has grown more pronounced and powerful. What is much worse, however, is that this altar has been extended to exist within the realm of American Christianity in general. Large numbers of Christians have accepted this demonic altar, whether they know it or not. Most have likely been entranced, unaware that their leaders, who they have pledged themselves to, are compromised. Because most of these reject the actual new birth, they do not possess the “eyes to see” what is actually transpiring in the spiritual world and are thus deceived.

To counteract the enemy, the Lord Jesus brings forth new spiritually born-again believers to do as Gideon did. He begins the process of reformation by destroying the altars of Baal belonging to “their fathers.”  Before Gideon acted, however, he had to experience his own personal Great Awakening. It is the same with all such new believers.

VALIANT WARRIORS

Like these new believers before their born again experience, Gideon had been convinced that he was worthless and inferior, that he was a totally ineffective and obscure nothing of a man. He was in the same fight for survival as everyone else and had no clue what he really was. His true identity, that of a valiant warrior, had been attacked by an unrelenting vociferous enemy—possibly beginning in childhood—the same enemy that attacks all real believers and real believers to be. What is probably the most important point here is that Gideon was likely made to feel this way about himself by his own father Joash and members of his household, society, and sect. They forced and browbeat him into compliance with their socially mandated dead religion and threatened disfellowship and abandonment if he wavered.

It is often the fear of social rejection that keeps people bound to groups that oppose the Lord Jesus or pretend to be Christians. When God called Gideon out and raised him up, He also called him to expose and oppose his former errant religious affiliation and all others in contention against the Lord.

Indeed, it takes a valiant warrior to do that.

Then the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has torn down the altar of Baal, and indeed, he has cut down the Asherah which was beside it.” But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal, or will you deliver him? Whoever will plead for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because someone has torn down his altar.” Therefore on that day he named him Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he had torn down his altar. [Judges 6:30-32]

© 2021 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 1: Take My Yoke Upon You]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 2: The Attack of the Midianites]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 3: Introducing Gideon]

GIDEON’S 300: WHY A SMALL GROUP OF REAL CHRISTIANS IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN 32,000 PRETENDERS [Part 4: Destroying Spiritual Strongholds]

 

The Real Chosen People (Part 2)

         “BEHOLD, MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN; MY BELOVED IN WHOM MY SOUL is WELL-PLEASED; I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM, AND HE SHALL PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES. HE WILL NOT QUARREL, NOR CRY OUT; NOR WILL ANYONE HEAR HIS VOICE IN THE STREETS. A BATTERED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK OFF, AND A SMOLDERING WICK HE WILL NOT PUT OUT, UNTIL HE LEADS JUSTICE TO VICTORY. AND IN HIS NAME THE GENTILES WILL HOPE.” [Matthew 12:18-21]

         In these days when seemingly everyone but the devil is gaining heaven and “Christianity” is watered-down to a consistency barely above water itself, why do we think God even cares about doing any choosing? This is how far fake Christianity has traveled. There is hardly any distinction at all between so many so-called Christians and a world going to hell. And it is the touchy, thin-skinned, aggressively defensive and convicted Unchosen itself that is first to speak out strongly against any perceived judgment, however slight, regarding its perceived standing in God.

         The motto of real Christians, on the other hand, is thus:

         “Talk about me if you please, but I’ll talk about you on my knees.”

         Where in this country is there a voice that represents the real presence of God? Where is the voice that distinguishes truth from error and fake, dry, dead, boring lifeless expressions of faux Christianity from the real thing? Those who have dissolved the life-giving Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ will have to account for it. All those who have been deceived by their “other gospel” will rise up against them at the Judgment, not that it will matter then.

         Why does one think the people in hell will be gnashing at each other with their teeth like a pack of wild dogs? There is the clear indication that the Unchosen do not agree with their ultimate status.

         “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.

         “Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them.

         “But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire.

         “Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.

         “But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

         “For many are called, but few are chosen.” [Matthew 22:2-14]

         This is a perfect illustration of God’s selection process. It goes like this:

         (1) The first thing the king does is send out invitations. He makes his choices based on his own criteria. But these criteria must be based on those whom he considers His friends, relatives, and select subjects of his kingdom.

         (2) What do the invited guests do? They refuse. They ignore him. They ignore the invitation. They treat the king with supreme indifference and disrespect. They are all completely unwilling to attend the wedding feast.

         (3) Curious as to why no one wants to come after having been chosen, the king sends out another group to ask the invitees yet again, explaining how much trouble he has gone to, how much He has prepared, and how much he really wants them all to come and share in his joy. The slaves tell everyone what a great time will be had. There will be barbecued oxen and fatted livestock and a great dinner! My son is getting married and I want you all to come!

         (4) This time the invitees not only continued to reject the king but some of them actually mistreated the king’s slaves, and they even killed them! What would compel the invited guests to resort to killing the messenger boys sent out by a loving king? (“Hey Joe, check out this story in the paper. Some dude up north was throwing a wedding for his son and one idiot killed the mailman when he got his invitation.”)

         (5) The king was enraged! So He sent his army, executed the murderers, and torched their sorry city. I mean, all they had to do was politely decline. Why all the rage and murder about a simple wedding invitation?

         (6) Now the king decides He is just going to invite everyone he can find. He no longer makes any judgment whatsoever on who may be qualified to come to the wedding. Those who were qualified, by a particular standard anyway, proved themselves to be completely unworthy. He therefore sends out his slaves to invite one and all, whether good or bad. This time, he ended up with a packed house. His estate was filled to the gills with the rabble of the countryside. They must have thought themselves to be impossibly blessed. No one had ever done anything like this for them before. “Huh? You want little old nobody nothing me to go to a wedding at the king’s estate? Woo Hoo!” They all wasted no time in taking showers and getting their fancy wedding duds on, however humble, and high-tailed it to the big barbecue. The king was most happy!

         (7) But all was not perfect. You see, there was this one guy who made no acknowledgement at all of the great thing that happened to him. He didn’t consider himself fortunate and honored to be invited. He didn’t try to get cleaned-up. In fact, he had so little respect for the proceedings that he didn’t even put on a wedding garment. He just kind of wondered in off the street with no expression on his face loosely holding an invitation. The king confronted the man. He even called him his friend. But the man had no answer regarding his lack of proper attire. As a result, he was effectively thrown into hell. To close out the story, the Lord Jesus said:

         “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

There are three kinds of people in this parable:

         (A) Those who are called and chosen but do not respect the king and reject his invitation, some of whom even kill the king’s servants. By their own decisions, they revoke their called and chosen status.

         (B) Those who are called but are not chosen because they do not properly respect the king or his invitation and dress incorrectly.

         (C) Those who are called and chosen because they respect the king, honor his invitation, and dress correctly.

         The man without the wedding garment was masquerading as a real Christian. The “wedding clothes” represent the robe of righteousness. Righteousness is a gift.[1] It cannot be earned but can be accepted after one shows the proper respect and honor for the King, who made payment for sin. Those who wear the robe are those who properly repent (turn from sin), trust (turn to the Lord), and obey (do His will). To be righteous means to be cleansed of all sin by the sacrifice of the Lamb.

         I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. [Isaiah 61:10]

         The following verses give us an indication of what God requires with reference to the proper wedding clothes:

         “But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” [Revelation 3:4-6]

         “Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. [Revelation 3:14-20] [2]

            © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 2]


[1] Romans 5:17

[2] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.