Preparing For The Soon Coming KING, part 8

There is much in Scripture concerning this entity called “The Bride Of Christ”.  Many people in reading the Scriptures skim through the passages that talk about this; others just skip it totally.  For a lot of men, they have an aversion to being called a “bride” of anyone!  This is understandable—maybe especially in our day and age when state after state in America is legalizing unions between same sex couples.  It has been made of utmost importance and the terminology has been used quite often in our Guidebook, The Bible.

It is important to get an understanding what this terminology is really talking about.  Because it is spoken of so much in the Bible it must have a great significance for those of us who desire Heaven as our home for eternity.  To ignore the subject due to our aversion of the wording used by God is foolish and for more than one reason.  One has been mentioned already.  God’s choice to speak of His true remnant on this earth as the “Bride of Christ”, means that it cannot just be ignored.  There was a reason for the “words” that God used.  I also happen to be a “literalist”, which means that I believe the Bible needs to be interpreted as literal as possible.  If there is no possibility of something in God’s Word to be understood literally, the context will show this, and we then look for what is “picture” is intended by what is written.  This is what we have with the “Bride of Christ”.   Rather than avoid the subject we need to see what God is saying by using the words or description He does, and why. 

The Bride of Christ consists of both male and female followers of Jesus Christ—those that really love Him and cannot wait to be joined with Him.   As a reminder from a previous article, Jesus said this:  “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”.  This is a statement that has a condition to it.  As much as we would like to avoid there being any conditions attached to our relationship with God, only a fool will ignore this statement and the numerous others along the same line that God put into His Word to mankind.

In short, here is one thing that contributes to the confusion of many.  “Salvation”, which was provided by God coming to earth in the form of a man and at about the age of 33 being crucified on the cross, on which He literally took all the sins of the whole world, was provided absolutely free—no charge; not a one of us no matter how “holy” we might think we are, being able to come up with the necessary price.  This is pure fact.  One of the thieves on the cross next to Him provided a perfect example of this gift and his inability to offer any payment for it.  He recognized that the man being crucified next to him was not an ordinary man, neither was He guilty of anything that put Him on the cross between him and the other criminal.  He then humbled himself and asked to be remembered when Jesus entered paradise (this paradise spoken of providing interesting subject for another time).  Jesus’ response to him was that he would be with Him that very day in paradise.  This is interesting because of how crucifixions were traditionally carried out.  Some do not know this, but crucifixion as a means of capitol punishment was happily carried out by men that had given themselves over to evil; in fact, crucifixion was straight from the pit of hell.   This form of death was known as the most brutal and excruciating form of means of killing a human being ever thought up.  It usually took men about three days to die.  So as not to lengthen this article more than necessary, I won’t go into all the physical / medical detail that caused the death process to be so agonizingly slow.

In the case of the three being crucified at this specific time on the Hebrew calendar though, there was a time limit imposed by the Jewish religious leadership.  This was due to the Sabbath on the next day which on this occasion was considered a “High Sabbath”.  Because of this the Jewish leaders did not want dying bodies hanging on their crosses on this day.  The means the Romans used to speed up the death of those being crucified when necessary was to break both their legs.  This prevented them from being able to go through the endless process of pushing themselves up in order to get air into their lungs.  It’s a pretty horrific thought if you take the time to analyze what was really going on with the physical body during the process of a crucifixion.  As I said above, hell itself devised this extremely brutal form of death.  By the way, just a thought in passing, crucifixion has been instituted once again in Egypt to murder political dissidents as well as Coptic Christians and Jews—and it has been performed right in front of the presidential palace!  It does make one wonder why we don’t hear about it on our news channels.  Hardly any news service touched it.

So, what is meant when the Holy Scriptures describe the true remnant of believers to be “the Bride of Christ”?  Maybe it would help to take a moment and think what a nice wedding and its preparations are meant to be like.  What is the waiting period like?  What about the commitment involved in the betrothal?  The traditional Jewish betrothal and wedding, along with all the festivities involved are rich with detail, and much of it mirrors the meaning attached to the Biblical term used to describe those that are seen as so very special by Jesus.  It is well worth the time it would take you, the reader, to do at least a little research on how the Old Testament betrothal and marriages were carried out according to Jewish custom.  It is fascinating and provides great insight into what is meant in the New Testament when it speaks of the relationship between Jesus and the “Bride of Christ”.  It also gives real meaning to the importance of our time now, which truly is the time of betrothal between us and our soon coming KING, Jesus.

I really don’t understand why He would do it, but when God created man and woman in the Garden of Eden, His purpose along with the lofty position offered to them, was a close intimate walk with them.  What do we really have to offer?  Yet God is the One that created us and He did it intending it to be a “walking / talking” type of relationship where God dropped on His created beings just to spend quality time, talking with them, and building what was to become a great love-affair with them.  Can you imagine what it must have been like when the Almighty Himself showed up in this beautiful garden, and His only purpose being just to spend some time with them and enjoy their company?  Can you imagine God enjoying the thought of your company?  I have always had a hard time imagining something so seemingly unreal.  Yet, the longer I walk with my God, the softer I get when I think of what He has in store for me—just the way He created me.  Yes, I am quite imperfect, and I’ve been guilty of many missteps in my life, but I have bowed my knee many times before Him and humbly asked Him for His forgiveness for these sins, often just pure stupidity.  As I get older, I look back at the many obvious flaws in my life, and the fact that they quite often affected others.  Yet, God put plenty of examples of His own people that did the same, and yet God restored them.  King David was a great example of this.  I’ve had my battles with this as many others have, because memories can be cruel, and the enemy knows how to use them against us.  Yet, I have never been closer to my Lord God than today.  Never!  I can honestly say that the thing that matters the very most to me today is to hear Him say someday soon, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”  I live for that!  No price is too great a payment to hear this.  I am a stoic old German who rarely ever had tears come to his eyes, yet these days it happens often when I think of how deep the love of God has been in my life and what He has in store for me when I arrive on the other side.  How about you?  If you’re not sure, you need to make sure—TODAY!  We are dangerously near God’s clock announcing the midnight hour… but for the moment I have more things to share that the Lord has given me to put into print.

There is a reason why God’s Word says, “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints, or ‘friends’” as some translations have it” (Psalms 116:15).  How is that possible?  Could it be because He is anxious to have us home with Him where we belong?  God does not just see us as insignificant “ants” on a rebellious planet.  For those of us who are part of His true remnant, we are the object of His tremendous love.  This is something that we really need to catch the enormous significance of.  If we don’t, we will have no idea what we have really been created for.

This brings me back to the traditional Old Testament betrothal and wedding.  God’s love for us is based on the very same principles.  I intend to spend one whole post on this subject alone soon, but allow me to give you just some of the basic thoughts needing to be brought out for this article you are taking the time to read!

God put a special blessing on the marriage relationship immediately upon the creation of Adam and Eve.  Through disobeying God on the one thing he asked of them, they did die, just as God had said they would.  Spiritually, they died immediately and blood had to be spilled and a sacrificial system instituted to provide covering for the sin of mankind until the ultimate, permanent Sacrifice came which not only covered sin, but totally eradicated it.  This of course happened through the death of the seed that God promised Eve she would eventually bear which would crush the head of the serpent.  The bodies of the first couple however took better than 900 years to learn how to die.  They had been created to live forever.  The curse brought on the earth did not hit in full force at its initiation, but gradually degraded creation as well as mutating everything into one form of chaos or another.   God had originally provided a perfect creation and intended Adam and Eve to care for it and tend it.  In fact, they had been told to repopulate the entire earth and subdue it all.  This is another great subject…for another time!

Even after Adam and Eve fell, the amazing Tree of Life having been removed from the Garden of Eden, and the first couple barred from the garden completely, God’s blessing on the special relationship between man and his female mate held a special place.  God designed it this way.  God our Creator created us the way He did for a purpose; this is why we dare not change what marriage and family was originally designed to be at God’s creation.  When we do—as we have done, it brings destruction and chaos to God’s design, and it vehemently is condemned by Him.  All one has to do is look back at the story of Sodom and Gomorrah to see how much God hates his original creative design perverted.

Skipping ahead generations from the original garden, we come to Abraham and the covenant he was offered by God, and then accepted.  This was the initiation of a nation that would be used as the vehicle to bring the Promised Seed to mankind, via a young innocent Jewish teenager named Mary.  Abraham however, long before the time of the Messiah being birthed through Mary, was used through his lineage to bring Moses into the picture.  Moses was used to deliver, written in stone by the finger of God the original ten commandments.  Through his leadership he was also given many other laws for the Jewish nation to live by and to enforce that no other nation on earth followed.  These were recorded in the original Torah.  Some of these had to do with marriage.  They reflected how “holy” God considered the relationship between a man and his wife.  The nature of a Godly male and the complimenting nature of a Godly female made for a completed unit.  Any distortion of this brought nothing but chaos and destruction.

Now I wrote all this to lay groundwork for the traditional Jewish marriage.  In a world that is advocating the destruction of marriage as God has designed it, it is important to understand why God’s wrath is eventually unloaded on a creation that purposely distorts His creation and the limits He has sovereignly put on it.  This leads to another subject that will need to be tackled in another future article about trans-humanism and singularity.   So much to write…so little time to get it done!

In Jewish tradition, when a young man has his eye on a girl that he has grown an interest for, there was a series of actions that were done to move the process along, hopefully to bring about an agreement for betrothal, and then marriage.

The betrothal was binding and could only be undone via a divorce with proper grounds, such as the bride being found not to be a virgin, (see Joseph and Mary – Math. 1: 18-19).  The potential groom would prepare a marriage contract or covenant which he gave to his intended bride and her father.  Included in this was the “Bride Price”, which was appropriate in Jewish society in order to compensate the young woman’s parents for the cost of raising her, as well as being an expression of his love for her.  To see if this proposal was accepted, the young man would pour a cup of wine for his beloved and anxiously watch to see if she drank it.  This cup represents a blood covenant.  If she drank the cup, it was a sign that she accepted the proposal and they were then betrothed.  Gifts would then be given to the girl and the future groom would leave her for a time.  The future bride would then have to wait for him to return and “collect” her.

The betrothal was much more meaningful than in much of the way our modern society sees the “engagement”.  The future bride would not go out in public without wearing a veil after the betrothal so that it was clear that she was already spoken for.

The future groom would leave after the betrothal was confirmed by announcing, “I am going to prepare a place for you and I will return when it is ready.”  Tradition was, he would go back to his father’s place and build a honeymoon room there.  This is symbolized by the “chuppa” or canopy used in most Jewish weddings.  The groom was not allowed to skimp on the work of the honeymoon room and had to get the approval of his father before he could say that it was ready for his bride.  When asked the date of his wedding he would have to answer, “Only my father knows!  During the time that the bridegroom was preparing a place for his bride, she was making herself ready so that she would be pure and beautiful for her bridegroom.  She would also keep a lamp, her veil and her other things right by her bed because the bridegroom could come at any time.  It was not pre-announced.  When he and the groomsmen came with him, the shofar would be blown and she had to be ready.  No exception was made.  Her bridesmaids would also have to be ready at any time, day or night, just like the bride.  If not, they would miss the whole thing.

A Jewish wedding was really a spectacular event and everything else was considered much less important, at least for the time being.  Jewish people love to celebrate.  It was and is part of their culture.  If you ever get to watch a Jewish wedding, and particularly the celebration after the ceremony, you will see people leaving all the troubles of the world behind and enjoying the wonderful moment in honor of the newlyweds.  They laugh much, dance much, love much, and are pretty noisy.  It is the nature of the event!  Actually, this is the case with many cultures of the old world, but my concern in this article has to do with Jewish tradition and what it has to do with us today.

When it came time for the wedding and the wedding party’s arrival at the groom’s father’s home, the newlyweds went into their wedding chamber for a seven day honeymoon.  The groom’s best friend stood outside waiting for the groom to tell him that the marriage had been consummated—the proof being the bed sheet with a small blood stain from the bride’s first intercourse.  This is important for two reasons.  It obviously speaks of purity but also speaks of the blood covenant, which was a symbol of God’s covenant with His people.

Then all the friends and family would celebrate for the seven days of the couple’s honeymooning.  When the couple finally came out of the honeymoon suite, there would be much congratulation and then, and only then could the actual Marriage Supper begin.

So, much can be gleaned by the little bit of information that I written above.  By the way, in order to give credit where credit is due, I gained much information from different sites that I researched in order to get some accurate detail of what was traditionally done at Jewish weddings.

There are applications that pertain to God’s relationship with the Jewish nation, and there are the things that we can apply which apply to us, the Gentiles, who have had a relationship provided for my Jesus when He died and rose again.  I would like to make a few comments about this because it is of great importance at this time in history.  I will just mention a few key points for us to ponder, but I would like to include a very special parable that is connected to everything being said.  It is called the parable of the “ten virgins” and is found in Matthew 25: 1-13.

  • At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish and five were wise.  The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.  The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.  The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.  At midnight the cry rang out:  “Here’s the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him!”  Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.  The foolish ones said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.”  “No,” they replied, “there may not be enough for both us and you.  Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.”  But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived.  The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet.  And the door was shut.  Later the others also came.  “Sir! Sir!” they said.  “Open the door for us!”  But he replied, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.”  Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Here are some of the main points we dare not miss.  Let’s look at the Jewish wedding to begin with and then tie it together with this important parable Jesus told which is so timely for our generation today.

The Bible has both laws and covenants within its writings.  The laws were exemplified by the ten commandments which were written in stone and given to the people through the prophet Moses.  Covenants however had to do with two parties coming to an agreement, the covenant being sealed in blood.  The first example of a covenant is found to have been made in the Garden of Eden when God performed surgery on Adam, removing a rib, building a woman around this flesh and bone, replacing the missing rib within Adam and then closing him up again.  All surgery brings blood flow.  The covenant made was with the first couple and had to do with their relationship which was to become the pattern of marriage between a man and a woman from that point on.  Later of course, there was another blood covenant instituted when Adam and Eve sinned and God killed an animal to take its hide and make coverings for Adam and Eve due to the loss of the glory that had been their covering before their fall.  This also provided a sacrificial blood covering for their sin of disobedience.

The bride deciding to drink the wine provided in hopes of an agreement of betrothal was a symbol of this very blood covenant God had instituted thousands of years earlier.  In accepting the proposal, the tradition as you read above, states that the groom would then give leave, announcing that he was leaving to go prepare a place for his bride, but he would come back to take her home when it was finished.  If you remember, this is exactly what Jesus had promised the disciples in John 14: 2 & 3.  Jesus was going to prepare a place for His own—but He would come back to “collect” His own (His bride) when all was completed.

Then there was the matter of the honeymoon cottage or room itself.  In Jewish custom, it was the father of the groom that determined when the honeymoon chamber was finished up to his standards.  Now I would hardly question Jesus’ ability to fulfill His promise to His followers, but it is interesting to note that Jewish tradition says that it was the father that determined when the wedding was to happen.  Jesus did make the comment that no one knew the time of His return for His bride, not even the angels, but ONLY His Father.  I hardly think that this part of Jewish tradition came about by accident or coincidence.  It came about by the guidance of God Himself, so as to leave us an example to help us  in understanding  Scripture.

Another important point not to be missed is that the bride from then on protected herself from any other suitors by wearing a veil that everyone in Jewish culture knew was a sign of her being spoken for.  She was not available.  She also took the time from when she officially became betrothed (or engaged in our culture), to prepare herself for the man she was going to marry and the life they would share together.  Adding to this, she kept the veil as well as her immediate belongings by her bedside at night, so that she could respond immediately when the call came that the bridegroom was arriving.  She additionally kept a lamp in the window which was kept lit.  She never let it go out!  Her flask of oil was always kept topped off so that there was no chance of her running out, particularly so that there would be no chance of her missing the call when it came.  There is great depth to these seemingly insignificant traditional things that were done, generation after generation in Jewish betrothals and subsequent weddings.  There was nothing insignificant about this at all though.  We dare not miss the point that God is making here, because it is going to affect a great many people positively and negatively in our day.

We, the true Bride of Christ, as we’ve been called many times in God’s Word, are to live up to the same things that the traditional Jewish bride did.  A betrothal was a decision for life.  I know many have gone through the great pain of divorce in their own marriages, and God through His great grace has forgiven—for those that have humbly sought it, but let’s apply this to our spiritual betrothal to Jesus Christ, our Savior, Redeemer, and as the Bible many times calls Him—The Bridegroom of the true unadulterated Church—the genuine Christ-followers whose names are written in the Lamb of God’s Book of Life.  When we bowed our knee to Jesus of Nazareth, asking Him for forgiveness of our sins, and then making Him the LORD of our lives, we became no longer our own, because we were bought at a very great expense!  Please think this thought through for a moment before going on…It’s well worth the extra time.

The problem with many people is that they made a “flash in the pan” decision at a time when God was moving on their hearts is this:  Many just went through the motions of reciting a sinner’s prayer and considered themselves “saved” from that point on.  That is also the place where they stopped!  The problem is that they refused to allow the Spirit of God to be LORD of their lives.  Mankind is naturally self-centered and absolutely rebels at being told what to do—by anyone, even GOD!  I know men who refused to go into the armed forces for the simple reason that they did not want anyone telling them what to do.  They intended to be their own man.  This is not just a male problem.  Women can be just as guilty.  The point is this:  If GOD is who He is, there is no good option to being in total submission to Him.  Nothing else will bring us through the betrothal we claim we initiated with Him.  Remember, it was based on a covenant.  A covenant requires the actions on one side in order for the other side to be able to reciprocate with the other end of the transaction.

Abraham was approached by God and received a great promise IF he would allow God to be LORD of his future.  This required him to implicitly trust and obey Him.  God would prove to direct Abraham to do things that he never would have dreamed of doing on his own.  Abraham did obey, and God recorded it as such.  As a result God fulfilled His part, and is continuing to do so in our world today, even though the whole world is turning against God’s “client nation” Israel.  God promised that the whole world would be benefited by the Jewish people, and that has proven out in astounding ways (details to be given at another time).  God also promised that no matter the fact that the whole world will turn on the Jew, every single nation that curses them; every nation that abuses them; every nation that tries to destroy them, every nation that tries to trap them, will in fact be crushed themselves instead.  God will see to it Himself.  Just read the results of the millions that are going to attack the Jewish nation in Ezekiel 38 & 39!  God destroys 85% of them on the mountains of Israel.  God also said that after this, the WHOLE world will know that there is a God in Israel—which immediately means that no one will have an excuse for not submitting to Him.  He will prove Himself the Almighty, with no competitors, especially not Allah!

It is the same with us.  We as Abraham, also need to live up to the requirements of the covenant which was sealed—this time not by the blood of animals as in Abraham’s time, but with the Blood of Messiah Jesus Christ Himself.  How can we expect it to be any different?  Do we dare minimize the price paid for us?  By our actions we too often do just this.  I am fully aware that there will be many that disagree with some of the things that I am bringing to the table with this series of articles, and it will probably become more so as I dig deeper into the subject.  I have not gotten to the climax of what this series is all about yet.  This is a subject of utmost importance to our generation and not many are catching it.  But– back to the Jewish wedding we were discussing…

Once the wedding party arrives at the bridegroom’s father’s house, the wedding itself is formalized with the ceremony, and a short time afterwards, the bride and groom enter the bridal chamber built by the groom.  It is a bit difficult for us in western culture to picture the bridegroom’s best friend waiting outside the bridal chamber just to be informed of the consummation, and as tradition dictated, the proof being a bed sheet with the typical small amount of blood brought about by the bride’s first intercourse, but that is the way it was done.  God’s laws of abstinence before marriage were very strict, and for very good reasons.

After the couple was pronounced man and wife, and after some celebration, the bride and groom retreated to their honeymoon suite, and they were there for seven days without mixing with the crowd of people who were obviously having a good time.  During this time, of course everyone else celebrated, but the actual “Marriage feast” was saved for when the couple came to the end of their seclusion.  Then, the great feast was enjoyed by everyone that showed up, and the unending marriage of the bridegroom and bride began afterwards.

I would like to tie this all together quickly now with the parable of the ten virgins.  There is food for a written article all of its own using the principles imbedded in this parable, but for now would like to at least share some highlights of what Jesus was emphasizing that we dare not miss, because, who knows?  That great shofar may blow before I get the next post out!!

This parable follows the traditional Jewish wedding to the letter, which leads me to believe there is a whole lot more to it than most churches are willing to teach.  Here though are some important facts to recognize.  The bridegroom in this parable is obviously Jesus Christ, the risen Messiah Himself.  He, in referring to Jewish wedding tradition, said that He was going to go away, but would come back.  He also said that He was going to prepare a place for us all, and He would come back at a day and time that only the Father knows and would disclose at the fulfillment of all necessary to complete God’s overall plan.  Does this limit Jesus from His claimed “omniscience” (knowing all things) because only the Father would know this exact time?  Not at all.

God is a triune Being whom we have a great difficulty comprehending, but need to accept by faith that there is much about Him we do not understand.   There is a whole lot more to God than any of us can comprehend.  The plan of God required the second personage of the Trinity to limit Himself to living the life of a flesh and blood human.  Many have mistaken this and have gone to one extreme or another, in trying to explain what is difficult at best, but suffice it to say that Jesus of Nazareth was not just ½ God and ½ man.  He was totally ALL God and ALL man.  There is a huge difference.  Yet, God’s plan required Jesus to walk something out that none of us can even begin to fathom.  He allowed Himself to be murdered, but that was not even the worst part.  He also had the sins of the whole world laid on Him while hanging there, but that was still not all.  We find in Isaiah 52 that he had taken such a beating, as well as having the effects of the entire curse including every disease known to man put on Him at His last that it was nearly impossible to even recognize that it was an actual man hanging on that cross in the middle of the three being crucified on that infamous day.  Let your imagination run a little and think of a person hanging there not only with the sins of the entire world before, during, and after His journey on this planet being laid on Him, but also cancer, gruesome sickening skin diseases, TB, leprosy, and hundreds of other sicknesses and diseases put on Him—all this after having received the most brutal beating that most likely any man ever condemned to the death of crucifixion had received.  I could go on…  Mel Gibson’s “Passion” movie did about the best job of showing at least a little of what really happened.  Mel himself said that he had to back way off on what he was going to show about Jesus’ death process due to the fact that so many said that the majority of the viewers would not be able to handle it.  I suspect not.  It would break me for sure.

Then there was still another thing laid on the Son of Man.  He not only visited Paradise, which happened to be located somewhere below the crust of the earth, but also visited the abode of the damned, which was the other part of Hades at that time.  Then, I believe there is ample evidence that He even went to the lowest region of hell which is called Tartarus.  This is the abode of the fallen angels that had been guilty of the worst of the rebellion which is detailed in Genesis 6.  The Book of Jude says that they crossed Divine barriers in their interactions with the human race and so were chained up before the rest of the fallen angels.  Another fascinating subject needing to be covered soon…

As it has turned out, Jesus the Bridegroom has taken much longer in returning to this fallen world than most expected, including the original apostles themselves.  The apostle Peter warned that there would be an abundance of scoffers saying, “So where is this promised coming?  Things have gone on just as they always have been!”  This is a warning to us not to be deceived.  It’s also a warning not to fall asleep!  HE WILL COME!  We have now entered a time like none other.  I know many have said this for a long time, but the proofs are now so very abundant.  Unfortunately, most church people don’t want to hear about these things because they are not convenient to their comfortable, entertained lifestyles.  WE are however the generation that will see the culmination of it all.  Don’t be fooled!

I believe the tradition of the bride preparing herself and seeing to it that she is ALWAYS ready at a moment’s notice is crucial for us to understand and put into practice today.  It is also so very important for us not to be drawn away by other suitors, and these tempters and temptations are all around us today.  How many of us have become so relaxed in our walk with God that we hardly have the desire we should have for His return?  How many of us are having such a good time with all of the entertainment we have available that we hardly give God the time of day?  How many of us live from one materialistic gain to the next?  How many of us judge our actions by the question, “what if Jesus were here right now, would I watch what I am watching?  Would I participate in what I am doing now?”  Could He peel us away from that important football game or episode of a series we don’t want to miss?  Likely not for many.  But, what is it all going to matter if we have such a poor connection with the Master, poor enough that we miss the blast of that great horn?  That means that we will have to go through the worst time in the history of this world—and very likely not make it.  It’s a fact!  We need to follow the example given us of the soon to be bride who takes no chance on missing the coming of the Bridegroom.

The Bridegroom will come as a thief in the night!  Most will be asleep and will not have made themselves ready—and so like the five foolish virgins mentioned in this parable will miss their opportunity to participate in the great event told about so long ago by Jesus Himself.  What a price to pay by giving so much importance to the things we think are so important here.  We don’t really even belong here!!  Why are we getting so hung up in the affairs of this life?   Let’s not miss God’s provision which will take us out of the way while He judges a very rebellious planet.  That is not meant for us!

The thing that strikes me again and again is that “The Bridegroom” says that He does not know these five foolish virgins when they later come banging on the door.  Can you imagine the despair?  There is no changing what they will face!  Here is what plagues me day after day:  How many of you have made sure that all is really well between you and your Lord.  We have been fooled with our “name it and claim it” phony theology to think we can call someone a follower of God regardless of what their life shows.  I have a difficulty with this, although I know that only God can judge a person’s heart.  Jesus did make clear though that there needs to be fruit produced.  Do we earn our salvation?  Absolutely not!  But if there is continually no fruit, eventually the branch is cut off.  I do however believe that many will miss the “harpazo” or rapture as we know it, and will still get their hearts right with God after the event.  They however will for the most part pay the ultimate price and be martyred for their faith during the Tribulation.  The Book of Revelation shows that there is a mass of murdered redeemed Christ-followers showing up in Heaven after the Rapture has happened.

This however is not the way I want to go!  If it is in God’s plan for me to lose my life for Christ, I want it to be before this event, not after.  I don’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to escape the terrible times ahead, and so I keep pounding on this subject.   Luke 21:36 promises an escape for those that are watchful and ready when this wonderful event happens.  This is what it says:

  • “Always be on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

In the continuing segments of this subject I will cover why I believe this is a promise that God’s faithful remnant has this escape available to them—in spite of all the naysayers that have a hard time believing God’s promise on this.  I also believe there is a sharp contrast between the Philadelphia Church and the Laodicea Church, which I have touched on some but will bring back into the discussion for a conclusion.  There is also a powerful message in the Book of Lamentations that I have brought up in an earlier segment and still intend to develop as soon as I get to it in order to prove a point needing to be made for us in America today.

Please, do some soul-searching of your own.  The message from God’s Throne today is a very clear call to repentance, holiness, and intimate communion with our Lord.  It is about time to go home and we need our lamps filled to the brim with the oil of the Holy Spirit.  Nothing less is acceptable—NOTHING!

God Bless You All, and KEEP LOOKING UP!


To Be Continued

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