Beginning with Moses, God used a large variety of men to write for us His prophetic word concerning the coming events unto the end of the seventh millennium from Adam and beyond. But mostly He was telling us of the great works which He was going to perform during the time of the life of His son Jesus Christ until about the turn of the third century A.D., and during the last 120 years preceding the seventh millennium and the return of our Lord.
There are several things which must occur; some of which require our active participation to affect their fulfillment. For instance, there is the harvest in the 'parable of the tares." In this parable, Jesus pointed out that the 'time of the end" is marked by two periods of harvest, first the tares, then the wheat. He showed that the tares were sown after the good seed had been sown, and that, when the time of the end of the Grace Age would come, the tares would be gathered first, and afterward the wheat (Matt. 13:24-30; 36-43).
The Lord let the tares and wheat grow together until 1962. Then He sent Pope John XXIII to begin the Ecumenical Movement to begin the process to 'gather together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them." So began what Jesus called 'the end of the world." That is to say, the end of carnal man's six thousand years of misrule. It certainly seems that the mega-churches of today have joined in also, and are diligently laboring to help to finish that work.
The events portrayed in the parable of the tares began with the ministry of John the Baptist, and end with the 'little flock" receiving the Kingdom of God (Luke 16:16; Luke 12:32; Matt. 21:43; Daniel 2:42-45).
Throughout the Old Testament, there were two flocks of God's sheep, Judah and Israel, Judah being the 'Little Flock." Perhaps I can best describe the matter with Psalm 114:1-2, 1 Chronicles 5:2, and Psalm 60:7. 'When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was his sanctuary, Israel his dominion." 'Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him the chief ruler; but the birthright Joseph's." 'Gilead mine, and Manasseh mine; Ephraim also the strength of mine head; Judah my lawgiver."
In the New Testament, the little flock is called 'the Bride," and the rest are the 'ten virgins, some of whom will go in to the wedding as the guests (Matt. 25). Many things in the Bible are misunderstood, because this fact has been overlooked, or understated. To understand at least a little of it, you must believe the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:13. He said, 'All the prophets and the law prophesied."
In chapter 3 of Paul's epistle of to the Ephesians, he explained how that he and the other apostles and prophets had received knowledge of the 'revelation of the mystery ... to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers (Apostles and Prophets), in heavenly places (such as the offices of the Twelve, and the Seventy, and the Seven), might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God." Then there is chapter 4:11-14, in which Paul showed that the work of the gifted ministries of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers will not be finished until there is a group of saints who have 'all [Jews and Gentiles] come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Paul is speaking of the 'female" half of 'man" which must be made up of two parts, the early Jewish Church, and the Gentile Church which is alive and remaining unto the coming of the Bridegroom.
We know, from 'the parable of the tares" and the launching of the Ecumenical movement, when 'the end of the world" began, but when does it end? In Jeremiah 5:24, the prophet wrote as he was moved upon by the Holy Ghost, saying, 'He (God) reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest." That is true of the seven weeks of days which precede the day of Pentecost, as well as the seven weeks of years which precede the year of Jubilee. Those times are both, in their own way, prophesying of the last fifty years before the seventh millennium from Adam, which began in 1962.
That time - that season - is almost over. We are perilously near the end of the 'time of the end," and 'the time of trouble" is upon us (Job 38:22-23).
In the last three or four decades, we have been bombarded with a barrage of 'end-time" false prophecies, as Jesus forewarned us in Matthew 7:15-16. He warned us to beware of false prophets, who He said would come to us in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. How true those words have proved to be in our time. A whole new theology has been developed which is lovingly called 'End Times."
Even as I write, our most prominent, most visible, most popular ministers are misleading us concerning the events which lead up to the imminent return of our Lord and King. Few of us have grasped the absurdity of the promotion that Jesus will come without the courtesy of telling us when He is coming. Matthew 25 and Revelation 19 are both very specific about Him coming here for the marriage. 'They say" there will be no sign, but John told us that the angel of the Lord Jesus told him that 'the marriage of Lamb" would come when 'His wife hath made herself ready" (Rev. 19:7-8). That surely sounds like to me that 'the Church" reaching perfection will be a major sign of the very soon coming of Jesus. The other Christians, 'bad and good" alike shall be persuaded to come to the supper as guests (Matt 22:8-10; 25:1-13). These are not obscure, or difficult passages. Hear the prophet and heed them, 'The ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat" (Job 34:3).
Jesus is coming, but not until the bride has told us when. Can you imagine Jesus showing up in His tuxedo, and the bride standing there in blue jeans and with a dirty face, and others show up in even worse array? I do not claim to be an expert on what Jesus thinks His people should wear to what kind of occasions. However, in Matthew 22, when the king came in and found a man there without having on 'a wedding garment," the king ordered him to be cast out. (Well, so much for the marriage taking place in Heaven.) Apparently, the Lord will have a strong opinion about our condition on that occasion (Ruth3:1-3; Esther 2:12-16). It surely looks to me as if it is necessary for us to have enough advance notice to clothe ourselves properly. Perhaps clothing ourselves with 'true holiness" would be in order (2 Cor. 7:1).
All the males who survived the forty years in the wilderness with Moses were required to be circumcised in the flesh before they could participate in the taking of 'the promised land." The marriage of the Lamb is the prelude to our beginning to take over the world in fulfillment of the promise to Abraham that he would inherit the world (Romans 4:13). Even so, all who go to the wedding will be obligated to experience the circumcision of their hearts. Not all of us will have time to perfect our holiness (2 Cor. 7:1), but all who go in to the wedding will experience what the Apostle Paul called 'Sanctification of the Spirit (2 Thess. 2:13).
Jesus, in His parable of the ten virgins, told us that, while the foolish five went to buy oil, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready, the wise five, 'went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut." The foolish five represent foolish Christians who will, when they hear the midnight cry, awake, trim their lamps: study up on the scriptures about His coming, and go quickly to get a supply of the oil of understanding, but will not be able to get ready in time. 'Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as you think not, the Son of Man cometh." We are not appointed unto wrath, but the Christians who foolishly wait too long to prepare for the wedding will surely experience it.
What is this 'Fullness of the Gentiles" which I mentioned earlier? This is not as obscure a statement as we might first think. Paul is writing here of things which he was commanded of the Lord Jesus (Acts 13:44-48; Isaiah 49:6). His message was to both the Jews and the Gentiles, which he faithfully performed in person and in his letters.
In Romans 2:5-ll, Paul showed that whatever God did with, and to, the Jews He would also do with, and to, the Gentiles. He said, God 'will render to every man according to his deeds. Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil: of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good; to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is no respect of persons with God" (Romans 5:1-2).
Even so did God give 'glory, honor, and peace" to that faithful elect which we see in the New Testament. Those things have not yet been given to a group of Gentiles, but the time has come for that to happen.
In his epistle to the Church at Ephesus (Eph. 2:1-22), Paul explained how that when we were without Christ, we were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise. He explained how that God, by the sacrifice of His son had abolished the enmity, the law of carnal commandments which had separated the Jews and the Gentiles. He showed that we who had formerly been 'afar off" from the promises of God were thereby made near. We Gentiles had been aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise. He told us that God had done that to make it possible for him to reconcile both Jews and Gentiles into one body.
For through Jesus we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father, 'and are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building (Church) fitly framed together growth unto a holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit."
This passage clearly shows that God's Church will be a specific group of people with whom someone such as Paul, will, 'as a wise master builder," build this Gentile section of the Church, in preparation for the coming of the Bridegroom, upon the foundation which Paul laid (1 Cor. 3:10).
In Ephesians 2:15, Paul explained that God had abolished the law so that He could make in Himself of two, Jews and Gentiles, one 'new man." He explained further in chapter 4:11-14, saying that God had given the five gifts of the ministry 'For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."
God ordained that the Church should be composed of two sides in reverse from
each other, just as the human body has. God has illustrated this to us partly
by the fact the Jews write from right to left, but we write from left to right.
Up until now there has not been a Gentile Church like the Jewish one we read
about in the New Testament. However, that must be corrected by God now, bringing
the Gentile half of the Church to its fullness so that, when Jesus comes, the
new man, the 'female of the species," bone of his bone and flesh
of His flesh, will be ready for the wedding (Ephesians 5:30; Genesis 2:23).
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