He Will Come Again… Be Ready

As I have studied the Olivet Discourse there have been several questions which have crossed my mind. Some of those questions I have written down, some I remember without writing them down, and some just continue to come to my mind. There is one thing I want to be sure of and that is that I interpret what Jesus said correctly, and “Rightly divide the word of truth” as Paul taught Timothy.
In studying throughout the Gospel according to Matthew, I am carrying the theme; because I see it in the writing, the genealogy, the tone, etc.; that of JESUS THE KING. There were some who wanted to force Him to be king; however it was not the time. There were some who refused to see Him as the King, and hated Him. The theme, JESUS THE KING, continues throughout this study of the Olivet Discourse.
Some of the questions I have asked myself in this study are obvious to most men who study the Word. First of all, To whom is Jesus speaking? Secondly, what is the Abomination of desolation? Third, when will this take place? Fourth, has it already taken place or is it yet a future event? Those are some of the questions I asked concerning the twenty fourth chapter.
When I came to chapter twenty five I asked some more.

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” Matthew 25:1-4 (KJV)

The first quesion I asked here is “Who are the ‘ten virgins’?” Secondly, “What are the lamps and what is the oil?” Thirdly, “Where is the Bride?”; “Has the groom already came and taken her to his home, and now has come for the wedding party?” My last question for here, but not exhausted, is “Could these ‘ten virgins’ represent Israel and Judah, and that 50 percent of them will believe Jesus?” Like I said they are only questions. Most of this study is going to come from my own heart, I pray fed by the Word and the Spirit of God, and not from commentaries – though that is not a bad thing – and I pray that there will nothing be written here that will lead any astray from God and His Word.

The last time I presented a study where Jesus had refered to the ‘kingdom of heaven’ was in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew. There are about seven parables which Jesus gives, and each of them (except the first) begin with, “The kingdom of heaven…” Luke mentions the “Kingdom of God”, and some ask the question; “Is there a difference between the ‘kingdom of heaven’, and ‘the kingdom of God’?” Of all the explanations I have heard on this; those who say there is a difference, and those who say there is no difference; I find confusing. It seems to me that they are dealing with the same “Kingdom”, and Luke was seeing the kingdom as being overseen by the Father, and Matthew seeing it after “All things were under His feet…”, after the cross and resurrection; and being ruled by our Lord and Savior.

In the first five verses of this chapter we have “ten virgins”. Virgins are seen as a symbol or type of purity. Here they represent what in the modern day wedding would be called bridesmaids. The largest wedding party in which I was a participant, was made of of one bride, one groom, six bridesmaids, and six groomsmen. My brother and I were two of the six groomsmen. The way I have understood the Jewish wedding is like this: The vows have been made a year or so before the consummation of the couple. Time is given for the groom to return to his home, prepare a place for he and his bride to live, and have a means of living the first year together without being apart, in order to get to know one another better, and grow in love with each other. After that year of the groom working, and preparing a home he would return for her at an unappointed time, and she was to be ready; the sound of the herald crying, “The bridegroom is coming, the bridegroom is coming” was all the warning she received. That brings me to the question, “In this picture, where is the bride?” Has she already been taken to the home? and now it is time to bring the wedding party together for the Marriage supper?

Leaving that final question unanswered, for now; I will proceed with the study. The ten virgins representing a people who should be prepared for the coming of the bridegroom; however, only half of them are ready; one half having their lamps and oil with there lamps, and half having the lamps but no oil. In this there is another question: What is this oil? Oil is necessary for the burning of the lamps, needed to provide light should the bridegroom come in the night. Some have said this is the symbol or picture or type of the Spirit of God [Holy Spirit]. If this represents the Holy Spirit does that mean the five lose the presence of the Spirit? Does it mean that the Spirit of God can be purchased since we are told later, “…but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy…”?

It seems to me that this parable likens the ten virgins to the nation of Israel, and/or maybe Israel and the nations. It could be Israel and the nations, since the number 12 seems to always represent Israel alone. In the events of chapter twenty four we looked at those signs and the times as being part of the time of Jacob’s trouble, or what is known to Christians as the Tribulation period. It seems that thought must contine here, and to be near or at the end of the Tribulation. If that is the case, then the bride is in the home of the bridegroom, and he is returning for the prepared wedding party to take them home for the wedding supper.

At any rate, there were five wise and five foolish. Five were prepared and five were unprepared. Could it be that only half of the survivors of the Tribulation will be going to the Wedding/Marriage Supper of the Lamb? What of the other half. I have written on that a little in the previous study (Matthew 24:36-44); ” Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” Here is the paragraph where I dealt with that:

“On that day it seems there will be a separation which takes place in that moment; at least in that very day. Two working side by side – one will be left to live on in the kingdom of Jesus because of their faith in Him, and the other will perish. Matthew’s gospel mentions two men in the field, and two women at the mill, and would probably cover every situation of the workers in that time to come. It leaves us to understand that no gender, or workplace, is without the separation. One believes and is left to live on in the Kingdom or our Lord, while the unbelieving perish, and await the final judgment.”

On that day no one will be able to stand before the Lord without being prepared. Prepared in His grace. If the foolish virgins would have been ready they would not have left, and they would not have needed to go seek more oil. When Jesus comes again to this earth, there will be no second chances for being prepared. What happens to the five foolish virgins, or the half who live through the Tribulation yet are not prepared for His coming? They will perish. The believing will continue to live in the Millennial reign of our Lord and Savior.
As Christians today, we must live faithfully, always be ready; for we do not know when our Lord comes. Even when it seems that He has delayed or is not coming; He will come.

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LAST DAYS: ABOMINATIONS THAT COME

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand: ) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.” Matthew 24:15-18 (KJV)

The Abomination which makes desolate was mentioned by Daniel the prophet, as Jesus says. Daniel the prophet wrote, “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:27 (KJV). ALSO SEE DANIEL 11:31. The apostle Paul writes of an abomination of desolation in 2 Thessalonians 2:

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 (KJV)

The temple was destroyed as Jesus said it would be in 70 A.D. Titus a Roman general ordered many trees laid up against the walls of the temple, fueled to accelerate the fire, and the excess heat cracked the white marble stone, so that it crumbled, melting the gold which was imbedded in the seams, and the Eastern front, in order for Titus and his troops to collect the gold. Is this the “Abomination of desolation” of which Jesus is speaking? There are some who think so, and some of those same people will even tell you that Jesus came back at that point and time. Yes, that’s right, there some who believe that the second coming of Jesus has already come and gone. Isn’t the wonderful peace we have on earth really amazing? Isn’t it great how the serpents are harmless to children playing over their dens? It is really amazing to see the lion and the lamb eating straw together these wonderful days. Now I am being sarcastic for a reason, and that is to make the point that Jesus has not yet returned. The destruction of the temple is not the “Abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet”.

Would not Jesus had mentioned it being the Abomination when he told his disciples, “There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (v. 2)? That was fulfilled in the 70 A.D., but not the “Abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel”. Some might even want to remind us of an abomination of desolation which took place during those 400 years of silence when Antiochus Epiphanes set himself in the temple, sacrificing a pig, and declaring himself as God. If Jesus, however, is reminding them that it was spoken by Daniel the prophet; Jesus sees it as yet a future event, but going beyond that of the destruction of the temple of 70 A.D.. It is yet, for a day and time that is to come.

It is for a time of which Paul has written. One will come making peace with Israel, and that is according to Daniel; “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:”. With the world in such an upheaval right now; in wars, poor economical outlooks, crime on the increase, the love of many growing cold, right becoming wrong, and wrong becoming right, the technology and science of man being exalted, and attempts of dethroning the God of the Universe; is the world not ripe for a world ruler to come on the scene and seemingly put an end to these things? Human ingenuity, human kindness, humanity itself is being exalted over all things. “We can save ourselves” is the words we sometimes hear.

Jesus says, “When you see the abomination…stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand: )” Jesus is not giving a command for the believer in tribulation to “stand in the holy place”. The “holy place” will be the position of the “abomination of desolation”, the Antichrist; when you see him standing in the holy place. These seeing this take place will be the Jewish people who have not yet believed, but will find it abominable for a man to be declaring himself as God. That is what makes it abomination. I may not have needed to explain that to anyone but myself, but there it is. I needed to ask myself, “Who would be standing in the holy place?” Looking at the following instruction which Jesus gives, it becomes clear that the Antichrist is the one who is standing in the holy place. Jesus’s instruction is, “Whoso readeth, let him understand”. He wants, desires greatly for His people to understand of what, and of whom He is speaking.

The command Jesus gives is for one to flee. The covenant maker, has now broken his covenant, taken away the sacrifices, and exalted himself in the place of God. For this to take place there is going to be a rebuilding of the temple. It is being spoken of by many Jewish people of Israel during these days. To my knowledge and understanding the Jerusalem temple has been destroyed at least three times; Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the raiders of the Babylonian army, then Ezra the scribe went and oversaw the rebuilding of the temple (Read the book of Ezra), then it was destroyed again, and rebuilt by Herod the great and never was completed, and this was the temple which Jesus foretold would be destroyed; which happened in 70 A.D..

This abomination will happen sometime in the future. Maybe not too far away, but very near.  Do you know Jesus died for your sins on the cross, was buried – carrying all the weight of sin, and its condemnation, guilt, shame, and death away; and Jesus rose bodily from the grave.  He is alive forever more.  He is coming soon to take His Church to a place He has prepared for us.