What If You’re Not Ready?

Q: What Happens to Believers Who are Not Ready?

A: It is common knowlege that Matthew 24 and 25 are the techings of Christ on End-Time events in response to questions by His disciples. Often overlooked in End-Time teachings is Matthew 25:1-13. The parable of the Ten Virgins.

“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 in which the Son of Man is coming.”

These are the words of Christ. He tells us that this parable relates to His coming. Some have suggested that this is the division of the saved and lost and those left out were lost. Not so! All were saved! Five were wise; five were foolish. The Ten Virgins represent ALL believers, hence the church.

In Matthew 7:23 where Jesus says to those who ministered in His Name, “I never knew you.” The word used, (gunos’ko) means, “I have no knowlege of you.” They were lost!

In Matthew 25:12 where Jesus says to those outside the wedding feast, “I do not know you.” The word used for ‘know’ (oida) refers to intimacy. He is saying…”you and I are not intimate, You’re not my bride…”

Isn’t this exciting! The Bride of Christ is purifying herself. The Bride of Christ is eagerly awaiting the coming of the Bridegroom. Those in the church who are not being purified, who are not getting ready for the Bridegroom, who are not watching and waiting, not ready for His coming to take them to the wedding feast are saved, but they are not the Bride. THE BRIDEGROOM IS COMING FOR HIS BRIDE! …and she is pure, clothed in white!

Yes, I am saying that Matthew 25:1-13 teaches a partial rapture of the church. He is coming for those who love His appearing! This corresponds with the admonition to ‘keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

Many who are saved, but are double minded (foolish), not intimate with the Bridegroom will be left behind to endure Great Tribulation.


What is Great Tribulation?

Q: What is Great Tribulation?

A: Great Tribulation is the correct Biblical term for the last seven (7) years before Christ returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The Great Tribulation is the last week of Jewish prophecy. Daniel divides Jewish history into ’70 weeks of years’. (Daniel 9:20-27) When Christ was crucified sixty nine weeks were completed, leaving one more week of years or seven years till the end. There, enters a parenthesis in time. God’s plan for his people Israel is put on hold as the Jews are dispersed into all nations having no homeland of their own from AD70 until the Balfour Declaration in 1917 allowed them to begin returning to their homeland. They became the nation of Israel in May 1948. By the way, this was the first time the nation of Israel had existed since before they went into exile in 587-86 BC. During the time of Christ, this country was Judea. Another note of interest overlooked today, at the same time the Jews were given Palestine for their homeland, Jordan was established for the Arab/Palestinian people to have their own homeland. This seems to be forgotten or overlooked in our current political climate.

During this parenthesis, salvation is extended to ‘the nations’ or the gentiles. Other names for this period of time are: The times of the Gentiles, The Age of Grace, and The Church Age. Prophecy indicates as we’ve discussed previously that the age of the Gentiles has officially ended. According to Luke 21:24, “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” So, Biblically, the age of the Gentiles ended in 1967 with the six day war.

The Age of Grace ends with the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit from the Earth. The Age of Grace began with Christ and His death, burial and resurrection, and the subsequent pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. (Birthday of the Church, beginning of the Church Age). 2 Thessalonians 2:7,8 says, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; ony He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming…”

The ‘lawless one’ is commonly accepted as referring to the Anti-Christ. The ‘one who restrains’, “He” (capitalized) is the Holy Spirit. Accepting these identities, we see that the exit of “He who now restrains” is an event preceeding the revelation of the Anti-Christ. The chronological order is thus:

  • The Holy Spirit leaves, thus ending the Age of Grace, The Church Age, and the Parenthesis;
  • The Anti-Christ is revealed, and sets into place a seven year peace treaty with Israel; thus beginning the 70th or last week of Jewish prophetic history.
  • Christ returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and destroys the Anti-Christ in the ensuing battle at Armageddon. This is the Anti-Christ who the Lord “will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”

A minimum of seven years lapses between the exit of ‘He who restrains’ and Christ’s Second Coming. As indicated above, this seven years relates to Jewish prophetic history. It is during this time that the Jewish people turn ‘en masse’ to Messiah. This is a time of Judgment upon the Earth. It is in this seven year period that “The bowls of wrath” are poured out upon the Earth representing God’s Judgement ‘poured’ out against ungodliness

We will next discuss:

1. The pre-great tribulation rapture of the Bride of Christ, and

2. Not all believers/Christians are a part of the Bride of Christ, thus there will be a partial rapture of the church.

Will Christians Endure Tribulation?

Q: Doesn’t Revelation teach that Christians will endure persectuion and tribulation? Aren’t Christians deluding themselves to expect deliverance from Great Tribulation via a rapture?

A: This is a misunderstanding of God’s timetable. The Church has been in tribulation and has been persecuted for centuries. Revelation was written by the Apostle John in about AD96. At the time of his writing, Christians were already enduring their 3rd great persecution. John says, in Revelation 1:9; “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation…” (KJV) Persecution and Tribulation for Christians had already began prior to the end of the first century, and has continued. More Christians were martyred for the cause of Christ in the 20th Century than all 19 previous centuries combined (see Fox’s Book of Martyrs). To teach that persecutions has not occurred or is yet to occur is just plain wrong. We have been so blessed in the USA that it’s just now becoming fashionable in America to persecute Jews and Christians.

Great Tribulation, that future event lasting 7 years in the Book of Revelation, has nothing to do with the Bride of Christ. The Bride will escape this period! This is the 70th week of Jewish history spoken of by the prophet Daniel. (Daniel 9:20-27)

    Luke 21:36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass,

    In my opinion, this speaks of the rapture and the possibility of escaping Great Tribulation.

    Some will escape; who?
    Will you?

  • We’ve demonstrated scripturally that we are in the last days.
  • We’ve demonstrated scripturally that we are living on borrowed time in that the ‘age of the gentiles’ has ended.
  • We’ve demonstrated scripturally that Christians were in tribulation prior to the end of the first century.

THE END of The Last Days is Near

Q: Why do you think we are living at THE END of The Last Days?

A: Luke 21 is the parallel passage to Matthew 24. This was recorded as Jesus’ own words to four disciples who asked when the end of the age would come. In Luke 21:20 ff, we read; “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you will know that it’s desolation is near. (NOTE: Jerusalem, not the temple) Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

This passage refers to Jerusalem and the Jews living in Jerusalem. It also refers to a past event. The siege and destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman General Titus in AD70 to be exact. Many believe it refers to the end of the age but this passage referst to the beginning of the Age of the Gentiles. No one teaches that the dispersion of the Jews is yet to come and that is what is revealed in this passage. “They…will be taken as prisoners to all the nations.” So, the beginning of the Age of the Gentiles is AD70. When will it end? Next verse: “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

Has that happened? Yes! When did it happen? Jerusalem reverted to Jewish control in the ‘six day war’ in 1967, and made Capital of Israel in 1978. The times of the gentiles ended in this generation, opening the way for the endtime events described next.

It is an odd scenario where Matthew 24 and Mark 13 refer to the Temple and the ‘abomination of desolation’ that is yet to occur. (The Abomination of Desolation refers specifically to the Holy of Holies and the desecration of that place by the Anti-Christ halfway through the 70th week of Israel’s history or what we call The Great Tribulation.) However, Luke does not address the Temple or the desolation of it but instead addresses the destruction of the city and the Temple, which occurred in AD70. The city will not be destroyed again nor the Temple but it will be desolated by the Anti-Christ.

The Age of the Gentiles is that time that corresponds with The Last Days in the preceding question. The time when a ‘parenthesis’ occurs in Jewish history between Daniel’s 69th and 70th week. That ‘parenthesis’ is ‘The Age of Grace’ when salvation is extended to the gentiles, when the Holy Spirit is poured out into the hearts of all true believers. And that Age of the Gentiles has ended in our lifetime. We are living on borrowed time! What’s next?

Are We Living in the Last Days?

Q: Can You show me in the Bible that we are Living in the Last Days?

A: In Acts 2:16, Peter addresses the crowd on the Day of Pentecost, saying, “…this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days,… And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Peter said on the Day of Pentecost, they were witnessing the fulfillment of the prophesy of Joel (Joel 2:28-32) that The Holy Spirit would come upon all believers in the Last Days; so scripturally, The Last Days began on the Day of Pentecost; this is also the birthday of the church. Other synonyms with varying time lines are: The Church Age, The Age of Grace, The Parenthesis, and The Time of the Gentiles.

The whole period of time from the Day of Pentecost until ‘The Day of the Lord’, or Jesus’ Second Coming IS The Last Days. We are living in the Last Days and have been for nearly 2000 years. This scriptural Truth is vital to a correct interpretation of Revelation and End-Time events.

(next question – Why do you think we are at THE END of the Last Days?)