DRESSED AND WORTHY OF THE CALL! - Matthew 22:1-14

15th of the 5th month 2015/2016

Shabbat Shalom,

Yeshayahu/Isaiah 61:10 “I greatly rejoice in יהוה, my being exults in my Elohim. For He has put garments of deliverance on me, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

This is the response of those whom יהוה has blessed, as they acknowledge that which He has done by providing His called out Bride the necessary garments of deliverance that cause Her to adorn Herself and be ready for the Wedding Feast! One translation says it like this: I will rejoice in יהוה with a display of gladness. My whole self will be exuberant in My Elohim, because He has arrayed me with the cloak of safety. He has dressed me in the right clothes for the occasion, as a bridegroom is decorated in his splendid adornment and as the bride puts on her accessories.

We have much to rejoice about in our Master and Elohim, for He has clothed us with deliverance and righteousness! Deliverance and righteousness are symbolically pictured as the proper clothes that true believers wear and guard to keep pure and set-apart at all times! Deliverance and righteousness are inseparably connected together as one cannot go without the other. By the Blood of Messiah we have been given a deliverance that we could not work for ourselves and our immersion in Him has caused us to put Him on, and enabled us to work out our deliverance with fear and trembling as we guard to do all He has commanded us to – that is to walk in, and be clothed in, righteousness!

Galatiyim/Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.

Iyoḇ/Job 29:14I put on righteousness, and it robed me; right-ruling was my cloak and turban.

Tehillah/Psalm 132:9 “Let Your priests put on righteousness, and Your lovingly-committed ones shout for joy.

Romiyim/Romans 13:13-14 “Let us walk becomingly, as in the day, not in wild parties and drunkenness, not in living together and indecencies, not in fighting and envy, 14 but put on the Master יהושע Messiah, and make no provision for the lusts of the flesh.

These are just a few verses that highlight for us the clear need for us to ‘put on’ the Master and righteousness! To put on righteousness is to put on the Master and vice versa! Many who claim to have put on the Master יהושע Messiah, yet show no regard for walking in righteousness (which is to guard the commands of Elohim), are clearly deceived and are not dressed as the set-apart priesthood and bride should be, but are simply lawless counterfeits who will be cast out of the Master’s presence when He comes for His ready Bride! In a message tonight called, “DRESSED AND WORTHY OF THE CALL!” I would like us to be reminded of how we are to make sure that we have put off all darkness and been clothed in true righteousness, as we walk in the Master and be the faithful remnant Bride that waits with endurance for His imminent return!

To do this I would like us to look at the parable our Master gave on the wedding feast.

Please turn with me to Mattithyahu/Matthew 22:1-14 (Read)

While this may be a very well-known parable to us all, what we can certainly acknowledge is that while this may be well known by most, most refuse to heed the vital lessons contained herein!

This parable is clear in giving us a message of a call that had gone out and was ignored by most and after getting whoever would come, the clear standards for a required dress code is enforced!

The biggest question that should come before anyone who looks intently into the mirror of the Word at the hearing of this parable is that of whether the garments they are wearing are worthy to be deemed as acceptable before the Master!

In the few verses I quoted before reading this passage we are able to see the thread that runs through them all as being the need to ‘put on’ righteousness and the Master יהושע Messiah. The Greek word for ‘put on’ is ἐνδύω enduō – Strong’s G1746 which means, to clothe or be clothed with (in the sense of sinking into a garment), and is made up of two words:

1 - ἐν en – Strong’s G1722 which is a primary preposition denoting a fixed position (in place, time or state) meaning, in or on, with, by; and 2 - δύνω dunō a form of δύω duō – Strong’s G1416 which means, to enter, sink into, setting. With the idea of ‘setting’ we can see how the 12 stones of the breastplate of the High priest were set into the ephod. This word simply carries the understanding of putting on something or clothing oneself with something! In the LXX (Septuagint) this Greek word ἐνδύω enduō – Strong’s G1746 is mostly used to translate the Hebrew word לָבַשׁ laḇash – Strong’s H3847 which means, wear, put on, be clothed, apparel, dress. In addition to simply referring to clothes as something to be put on, we recognise that clothes reveal something about the one wearing them. In Scripture we are able to see various garments worn by various people in order to reveal their status or position. The sovereign’s daughters wore long coats, like Tamar who was Dawiḏ’s daughter. Kings and officials wore special garments with unique colours, and most importantly we know that priests wore linen garments, which we know is a great lesson in teaching us about our need to be dressed in righteousness, as we see in:

Ḥazon/Revelation 19:7-9 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him praise, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife prepared herself.” 8 And to her it was given to be dressed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the set-apart ones. 9 And he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who have been called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true words of Elohim.

Blessed are those who have been called to the marriage supper of the Lamb! Messiah tells us in His parable that many are called, but few are chosen, and the reason for this is that the call has clearly gone out to all, yet few are actually dressed and worthy of the call, making it very clear to us that while only few will be chosen many will be rejected and cast out!

The Greek word for ‘parable’ is παραβολή parabolē  - Strong’s G3850 which means, a placing beside, comparison, parable, proverb, symbol, type. This Greek word is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of Tanak) for the Hebrew word for ‘proverbs’ – מִשְׁלֵיMishlĕ, which comes from the root noun מָשָׁל mashal – Strong’s H4912 and means, a proverb, parable, a byword’, which in its primitive root form means, to compare, to represent, be like, and comes from the root verb מָשַׁל mashal – Strong’s H4911 which means, to use a proverb, speak in parables or sentences of poetry’. That is why we understand the words of Messiah when He spoke in parables by using terms such as, “The reign of the heavens is like…”, or, “The reign of the heavens shall be compared to…”.

A ‘parable’ actually presents the truth very clearly by putting a fresh light on the matter, as it is often presented in a ‘story’ format that represents the message being given, using imagery known to the hearer, in order to illustrate and shed light on the result of past, current and even future events as determined by choices that are made.

Parables can only be understood by the attentive hearer and doer of the Word, while those who do not hear, in order to do, are never able to fully understand the teachings of or Master!

In this parable what we can defiantly recognise is that the invitation has already gone out and been extended to all. Those who were invited would not come! The Greek word used here for ‘invited’ is καλέω kaleō Strong’s G2564 meaning ‘call, to call, called out, invited, summoned’, and from this word we get the Greek word ἐκκλησία ekklēsia – Strong’s G1577 which means ‘assembly or congregation’, coming from the words ἐκ ek Strong’s G1537 which means ‘from, from out of, belonging’ and καλέω kaleō Strong’s G2564. The True assembly are the ones who have responded to the invitation to come out, or rather they are the true called out ones! This word καλέω kaleō Strong’s G2564 is also used in:

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light

We were called out of darkness into His marvellous light, which clearly implies the responsibility for us to make sure that we have ‘put off’ darkness and have ‘put on’ the armour of light!

Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the complete armour of Elohim, for you to have power to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:23 tells us that the command in a lamp and the Torah a light, showing us exactly what Sha’ul is teaching us by telling us to put on the armour of Elohim, or armour of Light – that is to put on the Torah! Our garments reflect who we are and therefore should reveal that we are children of light as we clothe ourselves in the Master, giving no room for the works of darkness but putting on the complete armour of His Torah!

Eph’siyim/Ephesians 5:8 “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Walk as children of light

Just as one’s dress or garments reveal much about the identity of a person we can also say that one’s walk can reveal what garments they are dressed in! Are you dressed in light or darkness – what does your walk reveal?

In verse 3 we are told that those who were invited ‘would not come’. 3 words that reflect a clear heart of rebellion to the invitation and summons of the King! The Greek word translated as ‘would’ is θέλω thelō – Strong’s G2309 which means, to will, have in mind, intend, willing, delights, desire, wanting, and the Greek word translated as ‘not’ is οὐ ou – Strong’s G3756 which is an adverb that is used as an absolute negative that simply means ‘no’ or ‘not’, and the Greek word for ‘come’ is ἔρχομαι erchomai – Strong’s G2064 which means, to come, go, arrive, brought’.

What is being made very clear here in the Greek that those who were invited had ‘no desire to come’!!!

To ‘come’ to the Master’s call and invitation to set-apartness comes with a clear call to hear, guard and do all He commands us to, yet we see that the majority of people have no desire to do what is commanded, and this will render them not being worthy to attend the Great Wedding Feast nor enter into the reign of the Master!

In verse 4 the message is clear that all had been prepared and while being told that all had been done and all they had to do was come, they still disregarded the call! We know that the price of redemption has been paid by our Master and Elohim, by His own blood, yet so many disregard His urgent invitation that has gone out through His faithful servants who proclaim His Word! The Greek word used here for ‘prepared’ is ἑτοιμάζω hetoimazō – Strong’s G2090 which is a verb that means, to prepare, get ready, make arrangements, and comes from the root ἕτοιμος hetoimos – Strong’s G2092 which means, prepare, ready, ready at hand, prepared, accomplished. This parable is a clear call for us to make sure that we are ready and prepared in garments of righteousness, lest we find ourselves being thrown out! So many are not ready as they are being consumed by the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth, or are running after the lusts of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, rendering their hearts as being unprepared and far from Elohim! In verse 8 of this chapter – the message is clear – “The wedding feast is ready”, and the big question is - ARE YOU???

In a chapter where יהושע Messiah speaks clearly on the end times He tells us in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 24:44 “Because of this, be ready too, for the Son of Aḏam is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.

Once again in referencing the wedding feast we see in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 25:10 “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut.

Those who were ready went in and the door was shut! Those who were not ready would not get in – because the doors were shut!

While all has been prepared by our Master, we have a huge responsibility of ‘preparing the way’ for His soon return! It was a common custom in ancient times for people to be sent on ahead of their king’s journey so that they could level the roads and make them passable for their king, and we see this Greek word ἑτοιμάζω hetoimazō – Strong’s G2090 being used in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 3:3 “For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Yeshayahu, saying, “A voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of יהוה, make His paths straight.’

This is a quote from Yeshayahu/Isaiah 40:3, and the Hebrew word translated as ‘prepare’ is פָּנָה  panah – Strong’s H6437 which means, to turn, turn towards a direction, and in order for us to ‘turn towards a direction’ we must ‘turn from’ another direction! We must learn to ‘turn our backs’ on many things that we picked up in the enslavement of Mitsrayim and all its inherited lies and dogmas of man, especially after the hearing of the Torah, in recognition of where and what we are heading for! A derivative of this word פָּנָה  panah is פָּנֶה  paneh or פָּנִים  paniym – Strong’s H6440 meaning, face, faces.

What we see here is the need to hear the clear invitation and call of our Master and literally  ‘turn our faces toward יהוה’ and keep our eyes fixed on יהושע and walk in Him as we guard to do all He commands us!

This Greek word ἑτοιμάζω hetoimazō – Strong’s G2090 for ‘prepared’ is also used in the verse I quoted from earlier in Ḥazon/Revelation 19:7 which tells us that the Bride has ‘prepared’ Herself, showing us that the True remnant Bride has indeed turned away from darkness, and turned her face to her great Redeemer, Husband and King!

We must respond correctly to the call and prepare ourselves, for our King has prepared all for us. While He has prepared all, many disregard the need to respond to the invitation and disregard the need to turn to Him!

Everything has been prepared, and once again the urgent call is given in verse 4 – “Come to the wedding feast”!

The Greek word used here for ‘come’ is δεῦτε deute – Strong’s G1205 which means, come, come away, follow, come now, which is the plural of the Greek word δεῦρο deuro – Strong’s G1204 which means, come here!with the implication of urgency, as in, come here now!, or in a little older English, come hither!, implying an urgent response to the call being required! This is not a ‘come when or if you feel like it’, NO! It is a COME NOW!!!

This same word is used in:

Mattithyahu/Matthew 4:19 “And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I shall make you fishers of men.

Here it is translated as ‘follow’ and when the Master said this He certainly meant, ‘follow Me now!’, which implies leaving all you are doing and following Him! While this urgent call to come went out, implying that all were to stop what they were doing and come at once, many disregarded this clear call!

The Greek word translated as ‘disregarded’ in verse 5 is  ἀμελέω ameleō – Strong’s G272 which means, neglect, disregard, make light of, careless, and is constructed from two words: 1) α alpha – Strong’s G1 which is used as a negative prefix, and 2) μέλω melō – Strong’s G3199 which means, to be an object of care, care about, take care, to concern oneself, to of interest to. What is very clear here is that the invited did not care! Today we see how so many just simply could not care what the Word says, and are careless in their assumed walk of faith! We know that ‘coming to the wedding feast’ implies a proper preparation, and when we understand the Sabbaths and Feasts of Elohim we know that Sukkot represents for us the Great Wedding Feast, which we must respond to the invitation and call to come by keeping His Sabbaths and Feasts so that we are made ready as a prepared Bride, yet so many are careless in their need to embrace a proper Sabbath keeping, showing that they disregard the call to come and follow the Master and be dressed in His Torah!

So many people, like those written of in this parable, disregard the call to obedience and could not care about the Sabbaths of our Master as they go, each one, to his own field or trade, which is symbolic of putting work and family first, revealing that they are not dressed and worthy of the call!

As we guard the commands of Elohim and guard to keep His Sabbaths and Feasts we make ourselves ready, and in doing so we must always be ready to give an answer for the hope we have!

Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:15-16 But set apart יהוה Elohim in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to everyone asking you a reason concerning the expectation that is in you, with meekness and fear, 16 having a good conscience, so that when they speak against you as doers of evil, those who falsely accuse your good behaviour in Messiah, shall be ashamed.

If we are dressed correctly then we will always be ready!!! How readily dressed are you? Are you readily dressed at all times, or are you often ‘caught with your pants down’, so to speak? By that I mean, have you found that you have let your guard down and put off the armour of light and found that your works have been careless and not in line with the clear standard of righteousness that we ought to be clothed in as the set-apart, chosen and royal priesthood? Have some of your actions of late revealed that your dress code is not in line with the Torah due to a disregard for what His word clearly instructs, and have found that you have put family and work before the Master?

We need to take heed of the danger of not been dressed in righteousness and the danger of being declared ‘not worthy’!!!

In verse 8 we see the sovereign declaring that those who disregarded the call were not worthy!

The Greek words used for ‘not worthy’ are: 1) οὐ ou – Strong’s G3756, as already mentioned, which is an adverb that is used as an absolute negative meaning, not, and 2) ἄξιος axios – Strong’s G514 which means, worthy, due reward, befitting, deserving, and this can have both a positive and a negative meaning, as we know that each will get what they deserve and will be rewarded according to the works of their hands! In the message given to the assembly in Sardis we take note that the Master said that there are a few names in Sardis who had not defiled their garments and that they would walk with the Master in white, because they are worthy!

These few were worthy to walk with the Master – a few who had forsaken all to walk in life and not fall asleep!

Mattithyahu/Matthew 10:37-38 “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. 38 “And he who does not take up his stake and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

The parable of the wedding feast continues on and tells us that because those who were invited were not worthy, that the servants were to go an call anyone off the streets and gather whoever could be found. The banquet hall was filed with guests, both wicked and good! When the Sovereign came in he saw that there was a man who had not ‘put on’ a wedding garment and he was speechless when confronted by the king! This man was not dressed in proper garments and therefore was not worthy and was thrown outside! This man who did not have the proper wedding garments on and was thrown out is a clear lesson for us of how those who are not dressed and worthy will not get in! This man was not ‘ready’ to give any answer for the reason he had as he was not dressed and worthy as a set-apart chosen one should be!

Nobody will be able to ‘sneak in’, so to speak – remember that this is a parable that is intended to teach us a very vital lesson!

The Greek word for ‘garment’ is ἔνδυμα enduma – Strong’s G1742 and comes from the verb we have looked at tonight – and that is the word for ‘put on’ which is ἐνδύω enduō – Strong’s G1746. Why I mention this is to simply highlight that the garments we are to have on are to be ‘put on’, which teaches us that we are required to do something. Righteousness has been given to us, but unless we put on righteousness and allow our actions to line up with our proper dress code in the Master, we will be like the man who did not have on the proper wedding garment!

Many are called but few are chosen! While the call has gone out to all, so many refuse the call, and we see Shelomoh telling us, in:

Mishlĕ/Proverbs 1:24Because I called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one inclined

The Hebrew word used here for ‘refused’ is מָאֵן maen – Strong’s H3985 which means, to refuse, absolutely refuse, and represents an intentional action as opposed to one of ignorance. So many today willingly refuse to hear the Truth that we as ambassadors of the Coming Reign are proclaiming together with His Spirit, calling people to come out and be separate! Pharaoh refused to let Yisra’ĕl go; Eḏom refused to give Yisra’ĕl passage through its borders; Yisra’ĕl refused to listen to the voice of Shemuʼěl the prophet when they demanded to have a king! Yisra’ĕl refused to repent and refused to receive instruction, and so what we can clearly see from the use of this word is that those who ‘refuse’ the call of Elohim to come out and be separate simply reveal a hardness of heart and that they are stiff-necked and unwilling to submit to the Master and King of all creation, showing that they are not worthy of the call!

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 12:25-26 “Take heed not to refuse the One speaking. For if those did not escape who refused the warning on earth, much less we who turn away from Him from heaven, 26 whose voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.

The Greek word used here in Iḇ’rim/Hebrews for ‘refuse’ is παραιτέομαι paraiteomai – Strong’s G3868 which means, to have nothing to do with, excuse, refuse, reject, and this word is used in this Parable recorded of in Luqas/Luke, which speaks of a certain man who gave a supper and invited many and sent his servant to those who had been invited to come for the supper was now ready, and we see some of the responses to the invite, this word παραιτέομαι paraiteomai – Strong’s G3868 being used 3 times in:

Luqas/Luke 14:18-19 “But one by one they all began making excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I need to go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 “And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out. I ask you to have me excused.’

Excuses to be excused!!! I find this a very powerful and sobering lesson being given here in terms of what excuses actually represent – and that is that they represent an intentional refusal to submit to the call of Elohim. So many today make a wide range of excuses as to why they cannot do what is required in the Word, and will even justify these excuses in their own minds as being a valid reason, when in fact it is nothing more than a deliberate refusal to obey! Many who claim to walk in the Torah make numerous excuses as to why they cannot gather and assemble as commanded on the Sabbaths and Feast of Elohim, be it because they are tired or feel they need space or whatever other vain excuses they give! Any excuse to deviate from the pure plumb-line of the Word is a deliberate and intentional refusal to submit and obey, and will even refuse to obey those leading them in the Word, refusing to submit to the appointed offices that Messiah has clearly given in His body for the perfecting of the set-apart ones, to the work of service to a building up of the body of the Messiah.

Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:17 “Obey those leading you, and be subject to them, for they watch for your lives, as having to give account. Let them do so with joy and not groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Those who refuse the instruction and guidance of those appointed by Elohim for the perfecting of His Bride, are refusing Elohim!

Those who refuse the call and make vain excuses are not dressed and worthy of the call, for only the remnant few who have not defiled their garments will be chosen!

The Greek word for ‘chosen’ is ἐκλεκτός eklektos – Strong’s G1588 which means, chosen, elect, favourite, picked out. The Greek word for ‘called’ is κλητός klētos – Strong’s G2822 and means, called, invited (to a banquet), and so we are able to see how the wedding invitation has gone out to many, yet as in the Parable of the Wedding Banquet, יהושע Messiah tells us how many are too busy with their own agendas, and were found not worthy.

For more on this please see the notes from a message I did last year called, “THE CHOICE OF THE CHOSEN!”, which you can see on our site (http://atfotc.com) under the ‘sermons 2014’ menu or by clicking the following link:

http://atfotc.com/~atfotc/index.php/our-sermons/sermons-2014/537-the-choice-of-the-chosen

What we must continually glean from this parable is our need to always be dressed and worthy of the call!

In making sure that we are indeed dressed and worthy of the call, we should therefore be able to respond as the blessed should! Are you greatly rejoicing in יהוה and is your whole being exulting in our Master and Elohim? If you are properly dressed in that which He has prepared then you should!

Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:22-23 “Keep back from every form of wickedness. 23 And the Elohim of peace Himself set you completely apart, and your entire spirit, and being, and body - be preserved blameless at the coming of our Master יהושע Messiah!

DRESSED AND WORTHY OF THE CALL!

This is the call – to be dressed and worthy! As we consider this urgent call may we take heed of the clear dangers of carelessness and the many things that can cause one to be classified as not being worthy, be it even because of compromise for family or work or any other things that are put before the Master!

As faithful servants of the Most High let us go out there and proclaim this invitation and call, for the harvest is full but the workers are few! Being dressed and worthy of the call, as you walk in the Master, must cause you to call others out and show them what the garments of righteousness look like, as you diligently hear, guard and do all that our Master had commanded us, shining the light of His Torah as a trustworthy witness and ambassador of our King and His coming reign, in a darkened world! And always be ready and make sure that you are:

DRESSED AND WORTHY OF THE CALL!

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you and show you favour; יהוה lift up His face to you and give you Shalom!