THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST, AND THE FIRST LAST

“…for many be called, but few chosen.” (Matthew 20:16)

This scripture has been an enigma for many in the churches, and it has rarely been examined by the most highly trained theological scholars. But it has tremendous significance to those who will be living right before the return of Jesus Christ.

It also has been so misunderstood in days past, that it has caused great harm in the universal Body of Christ by those who think of themselves as the “chosen ones”, while the rest of the members of the Body are looked upon as 2nd class brethren … as though the individual members of the Church are in competition with one another to be the “first” in the Kingdom of God or, in other words, the “chosen ones”.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Let’s examine this.

As a Body, we know that we are all called to be laborers in the Kingdom of God. As we grow from being a “babe” in Christ and start “maturing” in the Word of God and walking in the Spirit, we realize that every member in the Body has gifts and talents given to him in order to minister (i.e. labor) for the edification of the Body of Christ and to shine as lights unto the world.

We also know that he who labors in the Kingdom of God receives “rewards” (i.e. wages) for his service. It’s kind of a mutual agreement (i.e. benefit) between the Church and its Master.

This has been going on since the first church began to operate by the Spirit of God immediately after the resurrection of Christ and the Day of Pentecost. It’s what comprises the Book of Acts.

Since then, each subsequent generation of Christians have demonstrated the power and light of God even in the midst of intense persecution (which mostly appears to have been administered by whatever institutionalized “church” had preeminence at the time).

But down through the centuries, God has always had an “elect” group of Christians who have always been faithful (i.e. uncompromising) witnesses in spite of the corruption created by false apostles, prophets, teachers and religious institutions.

Matthew presents a picture of this succession of generational Christians in terms of “hours” in a typical “work day”:

“For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.” (Matthew 20:1)

“And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.” (Matthew 20:2)

According to this scriptural analogy, this would have been the first hour of the workday in the kingdom of heaven for Christians … laboring to shine the light of Jesus Christ throughout the Earth.

“And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace (i.e. the next generation possibly hundreds of years later), And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.” (Matthew 20:3-4)

“Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.” (Matthew 20:5)

Now we come down through the centuries and find a group of laborers who, by all intents and purposes, will be “working” when the Lord returns:

“And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.” (Matthew 20:6-7)

Notice these are standing around “idle” just LOOKING for someone to hire them … like those standing in an unemployment line wanting to “work”!

If you stop and think about it, that’s the very state of a few Christians in the Body of Christ today.

Many of them have already witnessed the “move” of God back in the 70’s & 80’s when God seemed to be pouring out His Spirit through all that would seek Him. But starting in the 90’s, the church as a whole started to descend into chaos with false teachers, prophets and apostles. This apostasy has been growing until, today, the mainstream mega-churches (along with their pitifully-deceived copycats strewn all over smaller American cities) are nothing more than entertainment centers that pacify the flesh of those who have no desire to truly seek God though the Word and prayer!

They are not waiting in line earnestly seeking employment (like those in the eleventh hour). These “apostates” have already created their own “workday” with the false wages of pleasure, insincerity, glibness, deception and lukewarmness. They have become the Laodicean church spoken of in Revelation.

But there are a “few”, who even now are feeling the call to enter into a time that Daniel spoke of concerning the soon return of Jesus Christ. The angel of the Lord said to Daniel of those “few”:

“…but the people that do KNOW their God shall be STRONG, and DO EXPLOITS. And they that UNDERSTAND (the time in which they live) … shall INSTRUCT MANY…” (Daniel 11:32-33)

That time which the Angel spoke of is fast approaching. There are even elderly people alive today who have persevered through the decades, watching true Christianity disintegrate in front of their eyes … waiting patiently for a FINAL and MIRACULOUS move of the Holy Spirit before the return of Christ.

Over the past 40 years, there have been children who were born in the 70’s, 80’s and all the way up until now who have been “chosen” to be a part of this end-time move of the Holy Ghost. They can sense the call of the Spirit upon their lives and are preparing diligently to fulfill that call in the days to come. They will not only witness its grandeur and glory, but they will be “fulltime” participants (i.e. laborers) in the “work”!

Nothing will deter them … they will not compromise with the corruption in the mainstream churches, nor will they participate in powerless “worship” services. For the “work” which they enter into will not be created by the religious institutions which exist now, but by the very sovereign actions of the Holy Ghost and the determinate will of our Father in heaven!

And most importantly (now get this!!), they will not only consume and digest the rhema of the Word of God very quickly…

…but they will ultimately BECOME the rhema of the Word of God!!

This is something that the church has NEVER witnessed in the last 2,000 years!

“So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, BEGINNING from the LAST unto the FIRST. And when they came that were HIRED about the eleventh hour (i.e. the “last”), they received every man a penny.” (Matthew 20:8-9)

“But when the FIRST came (the many who were called to work 2,000 years ago and onward), they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.” (Matthew 20:10)

“And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,  Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day (down through the centuries of persecution and corruption).” (Matthew 20:11-12)

“But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this LAST, even as unto thee (i.e. the “first” and those that soon followed). Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?” (Matthew 20:13-15)

“So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but FEW CHOSEN.” (Matthew 20:16)

In other words, there are going to be a FEW who are CHOSEN (right towards the end) to not only witness, but to also experience the “manifestation of the sons of God” and literally walk into their own bodily “transfiguration” on Earth  … transformed by the power of Christ from their carnal bodily flesh to their eternal substance (just like Jesus did on the Mount)!

No wonder the scriptures declare that in the days that God shakes the nations, the heavens and the earth that:

“The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Haggai 2:9)

“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:19)

“Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the GLORIOUS LIBERTY of the children of God.” (Romans 8:21)

And sometime later, after their “work” (that they were “chosen” to do from before the foundation of the world) is fulfilled unto perfection:

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump … the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (all) shall be changed.” (1Corinthians 15:52)

Or, as it is written in Daniel:

“…at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be DELIVERED, every one that shall be found written in the book.” (Daniel12:1)

“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2)

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3)

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