Entering the Kingdom: The Two Love Tests
Many today are told they will enter the Kingdom, because they are Born Again, or saved.
But what did Yahushua say? Let’s look closely:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21)
Here we see not everyone who says — but only those who do the Father’s will — will enter the Kingdom.
When we were in school, we remember that we had to devote a certain amount of time required by all the courses. Although a student might have met the time requirement for all the courses, it was the Final Exams that determined who would graduate, and who would not.
Yahuweh likewise has Final Exams for us, in order to determine those who merely say, and those who do His will. Just as the professor tested the students to see who would graduate, and who would fail; in the same way Yahuweh tests us, to see who will enter the Kingdom, and who will not.
If we pass the first test, we are allowed to graduate, and enter in to the Kingdom. If we fail the first test, we will find ourselves repeating the course, with a new chance to pass a second test.
Scripture reveals these two tests very clearly. Just as when we were in school, if we know in advance what the test will cover, we can study those items very diligently, and we might pass the first test!
However, if we fail the first test, Yahuweh may give opportunity to take the second test. And because we do not want to fail either of Yahuweh’s tests, we will look carefully at both of these tests in Scripture.
The Two Love Tests
Yahushua has devised a two-fold test he will use to determine who will be allowed into the kingdom, into the City of the King, and who will not. Yahuweh’s resurrection harvest is a two-phase harvest of the fruit of the earth — the fruit of Love — therefore the tests are two corresponding Love tests. These two tests will determine the timing of our graduation, and tell us clearly in which phase of the harvest [which resurrection] each of us will be gathered.
Every Believer throughout history has, during his lifetime, undergone one or both of these two tests. But because these tests will soon be vividly seen and experienced by the generation that is alive when the Bridegroom returns, we must begin preparing for these tests.
Here are the two tests to be given:
First Love Test:
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
Second Love Test:
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
Each of the above verses shows the built-in test for the corresponding phase of the harvest; each passage speaks of those who pass the test for that particular phase of the harvest. The first test is for the first phase of the harvest, and corresponds to the first resurrection. The second test is for the second harvest-phase, and corresponds to the second resurrection. Let’s look at each one of these in detail.
The First Love Test: Keep My Commandments
Yahushua reveals the first love test in John 14:15:
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
In order to see the Truth of Scripture, it is often profitable to lay out the contrasts, such as wise vs foolish, and obedient vs disobedient, for our learning.
For this test, we will look at what Scripture says about ‘My’ Commandments, and then show in contrast some examples of not keeping ‘My’ Commandments.
First, let’s notice that Yahushua spoke the phrase “My Commandments” 31 times in Scripture — three in the New Testament, and 28 in the Old Testament. Thus we see vividly that “My Commandments speak” of all the words and sayings Yahushua spoke, which are the same as Yahuweh’s Commandments. This truth is verified by Yahushua Himself:
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father‘s which sent me. (John 14:24)
Thus we realise that all of ‘My’ Commandments are the same as the Father’s Commandments.
We see further confirmation of this Truth in the Book of Revelation, of these who keep the Faith of Yahushua, by keeping the commandments of Yahuweh. To do so, these must endure, and overcome, in order to pass the first test:
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12)
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)
Notice above in Rev 14:12, these end-time Believers keep the commandments of Yahuweh, ‘and’ [“which is”] The Faith of Yahushua. As a result, we see above in Rev 22:14 they are blessed. These must have passed the test, for they are granted right of access to enter into the City!
When Yahushua spoke the words, “Keep My Commandments,” the ‘New Testament’ did not even exist. Thus the Disciples understood that Yahushua’s words referred to all the Commandments of the Old Testament.
The early Believers in the first century were actively living “The Faith once delivered to the saints,” which was simply living out the New Covenant by being a DO-er of the Scriptures. They actively kept ‘My’ Commandments that Yahushua had given to ‘My’ People, which are seen throughout the Old Testament. Indeed, the first-Century Believers knew of the supreme importance of meeting with Yahushua on the special days He had appointed.
These first-century Believers understood the Scriptures, wherein Yahushua calls His People to keep and observe Yahushua’s special days and Festivals that He has set apart for the purpose of meeting with His People.
In the Gospels and the Book of Acts, we see Yahushua, as well as all the Apostles and Disciples, living The Faith that we are exhorted to live. We are then told that Yahushua, and all the Apostles and Disciples, are our examples today! (See Acts 18:4; 1 Cor 11:1; 1 Pet 2:21.)
These early Believers all chose to keep Yahushua’s Commandments, Sabbaths and Feasts, as a required part of New Covenant life. They also urge us to make the same choice today! (See Acts 15:20-21; Acts 18:21; 1 Cor 5:8; Heb 4:10, 11.)
No Life In You
Yahushua goes so far to tell us that unless we keep the Passover meal — with the new understanding that the bread and cup of Passover speak of His New Covenant sacrifice, of His Body, and of His Blood — then we have NO life in us! (Matthew 26:19, 26; John 6:53)
Yahushua is saying, No Passover = No Life in You.
That may sound harsh, but that is what He said! Today’s congregations have all but lost this fervent life of living ‘The Faith,’ which consists of keeping Yahuweh’s Passover and other Festivals, as well as His Statutes, Commandments, and Judgments.
Indeed, in John 5:46-47, Yahushua reveals it is impossible to believe [become a DO-er of] Yahushua’s words, if one does not first believe [is not already a DO-er of] Moses’ words. We recall that it was Moses’ words that tell us of salvation and redemption by the Blood of an acceptable sacrifice (Hebrews 9:22; Exodus 12:3-14; Lev 16:3-31; and many other passages).
Likewise, it was Moses’ words that are the basis for our redemption, salvation, and eternal life today, that was accomplished for us by Yahushua’s death, burial, and resurrection (Galatians 3:13; Deut 21:23; and many other passages).
Most evangelicals today understand that Yahushua is the Word of Yahuweh — but most of us have forgotten that Yahushua is the Word who spoke the words to Moses! Thus Moses’ words are Yahushua’s words!
So we see that ‘My’ Commandments are Yahushua’s Commandments, and they include the Commandments He gave to Moses!
We now turn to the contrast, for our instruction, to give us understanding of why current teaching has prevented us from keeping ‘My’ Commandments.
The Doctrine of Balaam
The Doctrine of Balaam is perhaps the most prominent feature of today’s evangelical Doctrine. The Doctrine of Balaam is simply the teaching that results in the Error of Balaam in the lives of the people. So we must look to see what the Error of Balaam is.
Scripture tells us exactly what the Error of Balaam is, and what the Doctrine of Balaam is, as we saw in The Error of Balaam, and in The Doctrine of Balaam Today: A Warning to the Bride.
Let us summarise briefly what we found. Let us ask, “What did Balaam do?”
We might say in summary that Balaam nullified the earlier word given by Yahuweh, in favour of a later word from Yahuweh, hoping that the later word might be more favourable to him.
Because Balaam disregarded Yahuweh’s earlier commandment, “Do not go with them,” but went anyway, Yahuweh sought to kill Balaam (Num 22:12, 22).
The Doctrine of Balaam today is seen in the teaching that says, “the earlier word of Yahuweh has been nullified, in favour of the later word of Yahuweh.” Thus multitudes of Believers today have learned this Doctrine, and as a result are walking in disobedience to the earlier Word. This disobedience to Yahuweh’s earlier Word is the Error of Balaam.
Many today are being taught that the ‘Old’ Testament commandments have been nullified and already done away with, contrary to all of Scripture, contrary to the Word of the Psalms and the Prophets, and contrary to Yahushua Himself.
What is the danger of the Doctrine of Balaam? Let’s look at the results of this Doctrine from Scripture.
Results of the Doctrine of Balaam
We are told in Rev 2:14 that the Doctrine of Balaam results in committing of fornication and idolatry. We have not realised that much of our evangelical religious practices are seen by Yahuweh not as worship, but as fornication and idolatry. Let us look at one example, to see why that is true.
One of the foremost practices among faithful Believers today is the practice of taking communion, also known as the Lord’s Supper, which is taken frequently, and with reverence, in remembrance of Yahushua, and of His death. We have been taught to do this, just as Yahushua and the Disciples did, as seen in (Matt 26:26-27; Mark 14:22-23; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor 10:16; 1 Cor 11:26-28).
What we were NOT taught, however, is that every instance in the Gospels show this bread and cup memorial as a part of celebrating of Passover! Yahushua did not initiate something new, but celebrated Passover, and He invites us to do so today!
Perhaps we have not realised that the current practice of taking communion or the Lord’s Supper, is simply a tradition of men, and is a substitute for the true Passover Supper, on a day that is not the prescribed day of Passover.
Thus if we practice the tradition of taking communion, or the Lord’s Supper, while rejecting the True Passover, we are actually practicing idolatry, for we have created a substitute — an ‘idol’ — in place of the Truth of Yahuweh. Thus what we are eating is thus NOT the symbolic flesh and Blood of Messiah, but things sacrificed to idols!
This is just one of MANY examples of idolatry that result from walking in the Error of Balaam — when we reject the full counsel of Yahuweh’s Word.
Yahushua then warns us, that if we do not repent of this Doctrine of Balaam, and keep the Truth, He will personally fight against us with the sword of His mouth (Rev 2:16). What is the sword of His mouth? It is His Word! But this is a two-edged sword, and it cuts both ways. If we mishandle it, or wrest [twist] it, it will cut us! If we do not have a love for the Truth, but instead choose to believe a lie [Doctrines of Men], we will be given a strong delusion, that we might believe a Lie (See 2Thess 2:11). Yahushua gives us some strong words!
Today many would say, “But we have been taught the ‘Old’ Testament Law has been nullified, and done away with.” However, most do not study the Scriptures for themselves, to see if this claim is true or not. Let’s look further.
Believe The Law Has Been Nullified? You Will Fail the Test!
As a review, let us ask ourselves, What is the New Covenant? To summarise, we might answer, The New Covenant is simply our allowing of Yahushua to live within us, as He writes the Torah on our hearts (Jer 31:31-33; Gal 2:20; Col 1:27). What does this involve?
We might summarise by saying, that everything Yahushua did while He walked on the earth 2,000 years ago, is for OUR example.
Yahushua desires to live the full, vibrant Life of Messiah [within you] each day. The life of Messiah-in-you has NOT been nullified, canceled, or done away with. In fact, Yahushua wants to live the same life in you, and in me, that He lived in His own flesh 2,000 years ago!
Nothing of Torah has disappeared — there are simply better things concerning the Priesthood, and the sacrifice, and the Blood, as described in the book of Hebrews. Yahushua tells us this very clearly:
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matthew 5:18)
In spite of this clear word from Yahushua, many today refuse to keep even the simplest Passover Lord’s Supper, just as Yahushua kept, and which He invites His people to keep. For many of us, the pagan, man-made substitute for passover has prevented Messiah-in-you from keeping the Truth of this simplest of commandments, of celebrating Passover.
Have ‘My’ Commandments been nullified? Most today, who refuse to practice the full counsel of Yahuweh, thinking they have been nullified, will not pass this first love test. They will fail the test, for they have rejected the words Yahushua gave to Moses, which are called ‘My’ Commandments. As Ephraim in Scripture is prophetic of Born-Again Believers in the Last Days, we see prophesied in Scripture that “they have willingly departed from following the Commandment” (Hosea 5:11).
So we see those who fail the first love test will be given opportunity to take the next or second test. Let’s now look at the Second Love Test.
The Second Love Test: Lay Down Your Life
Yahushua reveals the second love test in John 15:13:
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
Here we see a common feature of all true Believers down through the centuries, even unto today. However, this laying down of one’s life will occur at unprecedented levels during the Great Tribulation.
Multitudes of Believers, redeemed by the Blood of Yahushua, but who failed the first test, will have opportunity to be tested again. They will be given the chance to deny Yahushua, and His Word, in exchange for staying alive. Many, however, will lay down their lives, and will not deny their friend Yahushua.
If we could look backwards from the Great Tribulation, back to today, how could we recognise who these multitudes are today? Seeing these, perhaps we might study them, and learn from them, and change our outcome.
So let’s look at the characteristics of these that must take the second test, because they fail the first test.
Fail the First Test: Who Are These Today?
Looking backward in time, we would see who these are today:
Those Who Fail the First Test: Characteristics
- These are those who held a sincere love for Yahushua, but were afraid to venture out beyond the confines of their congregation’s token commitment to the Bible.
- These are those who believed every word they heard, from various pulpits and from many respected men of Yahuweh. They did not, however, search the Scriptures for themselves, to see if these things were true (Prov 14:15; Acts 17:11).
- These are those who also ignored the Old Testament Prophets. These Prophets pronounced coming judgment against Yahuweh’s redeemed people, for NOT keeping all Yahuweh’s Sabbaths, Festivals, ordinances, judgments, and precepts.
- These are those who were taught not to believe [to be DO-ers of] all things the Old Testament Prophets had spoken, and thus Yahushua says they were foolish and slow of heart (Luke 24:25).
- These are those who were not aware they were simply following the Theologians — practicing a combination of Scripture and Traditions of Men, combined with a few popular pagan festivals and religious practices.
- These are those whose pagan practices included the pagan winter and spring festivals, the pagan 40-day fast, and many other pagan holy days. These holy days were decreed by Rome, then adopted by many of the early congregations, having been given Rome’s new religious wrapping and stamp of approval.
- These new man-made, religious holy days were then given out as ‘New Testament’ holy days, and later passed down from generation to generation. Anything that appeared ‘Jewish’ was then prohibited; and to this day, most Believers were taught to say of Yahuweh’s Feasts and Sabbaths: “That’s Jewish — we don’t do that.” These Believers did not diligently study the Scriptures for themselves, to see whether this notion was true, or false.
- These are those who believed the devilish, man-made Doctrine of ‘Dispensations’ put forth by their Leaders. These Leaders, and their followers, did not diligently seek Yahuweh in Scripture, to see whether the notion of ‘Dispensations’ is a false doctrine.
- They had not realised that ‘dispensational’ thinking was contradictory to all of Scripture, and is a sinking-sand, man-made, foundational necessity for those who teach the Doctrine of Balaam. Every house [one’s individual life] built upon the ‘dispensational’ foundation will soon come down with a loud crash, and will result in wailing and gnashing of teeth.
- These are those who, when the tribulation came to them, began to realize their Pastors and Leaders had [unintentionally] lied to them. Their Pastors and Leaders had been taught in Seminary to obey only the ‘New’ Testament commandments, because of the un-biblical notion that the Law had been nailed to the cross, and done away with. The Pastors and Leaders then taught these man-made ideas to their followers.
- As followers of these popular Leaders, these Believers had not studied the Scriptures for themselves, to see whether this notion was true, or false. Had they done so, they would have noticed that Scripture tells them very clearly that the Greek word ‘dogma’ — the decrees and doctrines of men (Strong’s 1378 and 1379) — is what was nailed to the cross, and done away with (Luke 2:1; Acts 16:4; Acts 17:7; Eph 2:15; Col 2:14,20).
- These are those who had not read the New Testament closely for themselves. Instead, they had believed the wrested, or twisted words of these Pastors and Leaders, whose error Jude describes as the Error of Balaam, in that they denied and rejected the earlier word of Yahuweh [the Old Testament] in favour of the later word of Yahuweh [the New Testament]. As a result, Jude shows these Leaders’ true characteristics, and their expected end in judgment.
- Jude warns us (Jude 5) that these Leaders, and their followers, although they had been saved [Born again], they still had to be reminded that they must enter in by belief, which is equated to obedience in the Book of Hebrews.
- These are those who, as Believers, had been deceived, for they had not searched the Scriptures diligently on their own, to see if these things taught by their Leaders were true! Had they found their Leaders out of agreement with Scripture, they would not have disagreed with them. Rather they would compromise — for they loved unity more than Truth; they loved acceptance and praise of men more than praise of Yahuweh.
- These are those who, when the Tribulation began, they were suddenly forced to decide between two choices:
- First, they could accept the mark in order to stay alive, but this would incur Yahushua’s wrath by disobeying the command in Revelation not to take the mark. This action would prove that Yahushua is not their friend, and they would fail the test.
- Second, they could refuse the mark, and deny their own life — in order to obey Yahushua’s command. These would be memorialized in Rev 6:9,11.
- Having failed the first Love Test, they decided they would not fail this second test. So they chose Yahushua, and chose not to take the mark. Instead, they chose to lay down their life for their Friend.
- In this way they passed Yahushua’s second Love Test, and they proved their love for Him.
- Throughout history, many have been given opportunity to take both tests. Perhaps those who pass both love tests will be assured of a ‘better resurrection’ (Heb 11:35).
Those who choose to walk in the paths of Righteousness, are they who serve Yahuweh. These will pass the first Love Test.
Those who choose to continue walking in the paths of the wicked, are they who do not serve Yahuweh. These will fail the first test, but will be eligible to take the second test.
What about you, dear Reader? Which of these Love Tests do you intend to pass?
Now is the time to decide — there is not much time left, for the first test takes place when the Master returns:
Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (Malachi 3:16-18)
Final Exams are almost upon us!
and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Rev 3:3)