Weeping and Gnashing

And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here, not having wedding clothes?’ But he could say nothing. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Tie him up 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 22:12–14 (LEB)

In the last Blog post we saw people that Yeshua said would get the wrong gospel and be outside gnashing their teeth because they could see in to where the people, who received the right message, are able to fellowship with Abraham, Isaac and the prophets. These people followed the narrow path or entered through the narrow door. The purpose of these blog posts is that I do not want to be responsible for anyone to be sitting outside gnashing their teeth and wailing. I certainly do not want to be there myself. We are told not to listen to any other gospel, yet seldomly look around to see if the ones teaching us actually have the right gospel. We create a god in our head based on what we are taught and what we perceive. We say things like, “I believe what I believe” or “that’s not what it means to me” as if it matters to God what we think He should be and do.

In many cases the gospel being taught as correct is simply “believe in Jesus”. Anything else is considered “another gospel”, or a works based gospel. One of the verses this comes from is found in the letter Paul wrote to the Romans.

Romans 10:9 (LEB)

that if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Even the verses around this statement explain what it means.

Romans 10:10–13 (LEB)

10 For with the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who is rich to all who call upon him. 13 For “everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Strong’s G3933 is the Greek word translated “confess” and it means to agree and confess guilt before, or bind oneself in an oath with a deity. Confessing and believing implies a covenant relationship, which is just like Mount Horeb. We must find our role to play in the new covenant, and it is not doing whatever we want while we “believe in Jesus”.

ὁμολογέω G3933 (homologeō), promise, confess, declare, praise; ἐξομολογέω G2018 (exomologeō), promise, confess, praise; ὁμολογία G3934 (homologia), confession.

CL homologeō (Soph. onwards) and homologia (Hdt. onwards) are compounds of homos, the same, similar, and legō, say, or logos, word, speech. Hence homologeō means to say the same, i.e. agree in one’s statements, and homologia means agreement, consent.
The legal connotation is dominant. A man agrees with another’s statement, concedes or confesses something (e.g. his guilt before a judge), agrees to something (e.g. another’s wish) and so promises. This agreement expresses itself in an act of commitment, promise, or confession in a court or legal contract.
The religious use of the words is probably derived primarily from their use in the language of treaties and the law-courts. The man who binds himself by an oath (homologeō) enters into a treaty relationship with the deity. This concept was then transferred from the solemn confession of wrong-doing before a court of law to the confession of sin to the deity.

D. Fürst, “Confess,” ed. Lothar Coenen, Erich Beyreuther, and Hans Bietenhard, New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 344.

Paul also quotes Joel the prophet as he spoke about the great day of the Lord, Yahuah, in Romans 10:13.

Joel 2:30–32 (LEB)

30 And I will set wonders in the heavens, and on earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31 The sun will be changed to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahweh. 32 And it will happen—everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be rescued, because on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as Yahweh said, and among the survivors whom Yahweh is calling.

There is a correlation between calling on the name of Yahuah and having faith in His salvation, Yeshua. The thief on the cross confessed his allegiance to Yeshua and was promised a place in the kingdom. Would he have the same future if he had lived longer and turned back to a life of sin? Over and over the scriptures tells us to stop sinning, repent and conquer.

Revelation 2:7 (LEB)

The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will grant to him to eat from the tree of life which is in the paradise of God.’

I love the Logos Bible software packages. I have the modules that focus on original languages, plus countless Bible dictionaries, translations, commentaries and theological resources. I also have a decent physical library. There are different ways to view the scriptures. One can view them through their denominational lenses, so there are Logos modules from everything such as Anglican to Pentecostal, each tailored for that belief system’s literary resources. Then there is the purely academic modules which weed out the denominational bias and try to be honest with what the words are trying to convey. This word that is translated “conquer” is Strong’s G3771 and is defined as victorious. If we were left to our own devices we could assign being victorious to anything our imagination would allow. With the help of the solid, academic work of Greek and Hebrew scholars, we can see this word is used in the Septuagint Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures at least once for the Hebrew word meaning to be morally clean, pure and speaking justly, Strong’s H2131.

How can we know this is the Hebrew word John would have used if we had the Hebrew translation of Revelation? It is easy because we find out again what it means to conquer and have access to the tree of life towards the end of the book.

Revelation 21:7–8 (LEB)

The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowards and unbelievers and detestable persons and murderers and sexually immoral people and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their share is in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.

This is all after the death, burial and resurrection of Yeshua. Many churches do not allow anyone to preach from the book of Revelation. I suppose this book ruins the dispensational narrative once people actually start reading and understanding it. There are many commands Yeshua gives us in Revelation, just as He did in the gospels.

Revelation 2:14–17 (LEB)

14 But I have a few things against you: that you have there those who hold fast to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat food sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. 15 So likewise you also have those who hold fast to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent! But if you do not, I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war with them with the sword from my mouth. 17 The one who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give to him some of the hidden manna, and I will give to him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, that no one knows except the one who receives it.’

There is a mystery about the teaching of the Nicolaitans and why it was so offensive to Yeshua. It probably remains hidden because there are people who would be exposed today if we knew exactly what they taught. Thankfully, we do know in part, because Yeshua implies they are the same as Baalim with the word “likewise”. Balaam was a prophet for hire that showed Balak that the way to curse Israel was to lure them with pagan idolatry. They went with the women of Moab and basically had their first “Christmas” festivities with Baal Peor, thereby cursing themselves.

Baal-peor. Moabite god worshiped on Mt Peor. It is probable that this god was Chemosh, the national deity of Moab. While camped in Shittim the Israelites were seduced by Moabite women who persuaded them to worship “Baal of Peor” (Nm 25:3). For that act of idolatry God struck Israel with a plague that killed 24,000 persons (Nm 25:9; Ps 106:28–31). Baal-peor is also spoken of as the place where Israel worshiped “the Baal of Peor” (Dt 4:3; Hos 9:10). That location may be identified with Beth-peor near Mt Nebo.

Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, “Baal-Peor,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 241.

NICOLAITANS (Νικολαΐται, Nikolaitai). An enigmatic group condemned in Revelation for its heretical teachings and practices. Little is known about the Nicolaitans, but they appear to have advocated participation in pagan religion and immoral behavior.

Andrew Coutras, “Nicolaitans,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

Mixing the practices of other religions and gods is very offensive to both the Father, Yahuah, and Son, Yeshua. It is the broad gate that leads to destruction. I don’t want to be guilty as the ones who tolerate pagan idolatry as Baalim, Jezebel and the Nicolaitans apparently did. I also do not want to see anyone else be led astray by a false gospel that mixes these religions with the one true God.

Matthew 7:13–23 (LEB)

13 “Enter through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it, 14 because narrow is the gate and constricted is the road that leads to life, and there are few who find it!

15 “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits: they do not gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles, do they? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree is not able to produce bad fruit, nor a bad tree to produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 As a result, you will recognize them by their fruits.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many miracles in your name?’ 23 And then I will say to them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Who are the people who Yeshua tells to depart? For one, they practice lawlessness. He is not talking about getting a parking ticket. The whole Bible tells us plainly what lawlessness is through example and word.

Matthew 13:41–43 (LEB)

41 The Son of Man will send out his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all the causes of sin and those who do lawless deeds, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth! 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears, let him hear!

We see Yeshua quoting Malachi concerning the people who do lawless deeds and cause sin. This is one of the reasons the pretribulation rapture is so hard to reconcile with scripture. That theory has believers taken and the sinners “left behind”. The people that hold to this doctrine do not think the Old Testament scriptures apply to them.

Malachi 4:1–3 (LEB)

“For look! The day is about to come, burning like an oven, and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble. The coming day will consume them,” says Yahweh of hosts. “It will not leave behind for them root or branch. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise, with healing in its wings, and you will go out and leap like fattened calves. You will trample down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I am going to act,” says Yahweh of hosts.

This is the same gospel Paul told us to adhere to. The words of Yeshua. Peter told us the same thing in Acts. Yet teachers are saying’ “Jesus does not condemn you, go in peace my son”. When the Savior comes back He says we will be judged.

John 5:25–30 (LEB)

25 “Truly, truly I say to you, that an hour is coming—and now is here—when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and the ones who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in himself, thus also he has granted to the Son to have life in himself. 27 And he has granted him authority to carry out judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 “Do not be astonished at this, because an hour is coming in which all those in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and they will come out—those who have done good things to a resurrection of life, but those who have practiced evil things to a resurrection of judgment. 30 I am able to do nothing from myself. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the one who sent me.

We are being afforded a great window of opportunity to be able to repent and be part of the kingdom. In Revelation, he was telling the people in the churches to repent or else be on the outside looking in gnashing their teeth. It is hardly a “just believe in Jesus” sermon that was preached after the death and resurrection of the Messiah.

Photo by MEHRAX on Unsplash.

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