The Olivet Discourse, Mt. 24 and 25,
from Pro and Con 268 and 269
by M.J. Agee
A suggestion concerning the P/C you wrote that concerned the Olivet Discourse. Would it be possible to pull that out of the P/C and make a separate article for it? It is a great piece of biblical interpretation and it seems to me, it would be a great loss if that were lost as your site gets too full and P/C's are deleted.
OK. Will do. Thanks.
Incoming Email from Pro and Con 268 I want to thank you for responding to my inquries about the Olivet Discourse. I see exactly what you are talking about.
...I've read all your books and most of your P@C 's and I don't think I've run across a place where you go through the Olivet Discourse section by section like I did with my earier e-mail and your reply to it. I know you have referred to all of Matt 24&25 many times over in all your writtings, but not as a single discussion. Since it really helped me, I bet it might help others.
Since you don't have much to do and you have all this time on your hands and are probably looking for a small project, how about a commentary on the flow of Matt 24&25?
My reply I guess it is time I focus on Mt. 24 and 25, the Olivet discourse. I will tell what I think it means. Remember that I am not a prophet. These are my views. Be sure to compare everything with Scripture and see if these things are so.
MATTHEW 24 OVERVIEW
In verse 2 Jesus foretold in 30 AD what would happen to the temple 40 years later in 70 AD. In verse 3, the disciples asked Jesus, "when shall these things be? (70 AD) and what shall be the SIGN of thy coming, and of the end (sunteleia, full end) of the world (aionos, age)." Jesus did not tell them the clue that would turn out to show us what the SIGN OF THE END OF THE AGE was until the Fig Tree Parable. I think it turned out to be the Six-Day War of 1967, because the fig tree nation (Israel) grew leaves at that time. We know that he did answer their question, for verse 4 starts out, "And Jesus answered."
From 24:5 to that clue that reveals when the end of this age will arrive in 24:34, the whole section is spread over the time from the day the disciples asked the question to the actual end of this age (sixth seal) -- and NO FARTHER. People keep reading the Second Advent into this passage, and I don't think it is there. The disciples asked what shall be the SIGN of thy coming, and of the full end of this age. That is exactly what Jesus told them. The events cover the time to the end of the age, which I think ends as the Millennium begins, Tishri 1, 5768 (Sept. 13, 2007).
What fools some into thinking the Second Advent is there is that v.30 says, "then shall appear THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN IN HEAVEN: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall SEE THE SON OF MAN COMING IN THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN WITH POWER AND GREAT GLORY."
What people see at the end of this age is "THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN IN HEAVEN." This is at the time of the breaking of the sixth seal on the last day of this age (Elul 29, 5767, our Sept. 12, 2007).
I think the seventh seal is broken the next day, the Feast of Trumpets (Joel 2:1-3), Tishri 1, 5768, our Sept. 13, 2007. It is the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord and the Day of God's Wrath. Mal. 2:3 says, "your solemn FEASTS; and ONE (the Feast of Trumpets) shall take you away with it." Hos. 9:5-7 says, "What will ye do in the solemn day, and in the day of the FEAST of the LORD" For, lo, they are gone because of destruction...The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet (False Prophet) is a fool (Satan possessed), the spiritual man (Tribulation Pope, the Beast) is mad." This gives us a bit of insight into why the False Prophet is able to take the reins of the world government and the world church into his own hands when the Beast is wounded in the middle of the Tribulation. The Beast dies, is revived (Rev. 13:12), but evidently has brain damage.
Thus, the False Prophet can pull off his bloodless coup. He shall "obtain the kingdom by flatteries" (Dan. 11:21). "The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords" (Psa. 55:21).
Following the Day of God's Wrath when the seven trumpet judgments are cast on Earth, there are SEVEN MONTHS before the Second Advent. Ezek. 39:12 says, "seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown THE DAY (I think it is Nisan 1, 5768, our April 6, 2008) that I shall be glorified (the Second Advent), saith the Lord GOD."
Rev. 6:12-17 says, "I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood (from smoke in the air). And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." Remember the string of "pearls" that hit Jupiter. What is probably a binary asteroid (Rev. 8:8,10) has broken apart releasing a shower of small debris and some larger pieces. Enough has already happened to Earth to cause a great earthquake and smoke. "And the heaven (atmospheric) departed as a scroll when it is rolled together (probably from an impact explosion); and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH IS COME (6:00 PM); and who SHALL (on Tishri 1) be able to stand?"
This breaking of the sixth seal is the last day of this age. The seventh seal will be broken the next day, the Feast of Trumpets, the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord.
In Mt. 24:29, we see the same things happening that we saw under the sixth seal: "the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." Those events begin to take place as this age ends.
From Mt. 4-14, the events seem to spread from the early part of this age all the way to what is called "the end (telos)." In verse 6, there are wars and rumours of wars, "but THE END is not yet." In verse 8, "All these are the BEGINNING of sorrows" (i.e., Israel's birth pangs). In verse 13, "he that shall endure unto THE END (of the age), the same SHALL BE saved" Soon after the Pre-Wrath Rapture. In verse 14, the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached "for a witness unto all nations; and THEN shall THE END come."
The very next verse starts smack dab in the middle of the Tribulation, when the "abomination of desolation" (idol) is placed at the temple. Therefore, the verses from 15 to 31 describe the 1040 days of the shortened Tribulation (the 2300 of Dan. 8:14 minus the 1260 of Rev. 11:3 equals 1040 days).
However, verse 20 may have a double application. It applies to the middle of the Tribulation, but it may also apply to the Pre-Trib Rapture. In verse 19, Jesus said, "And woe unto THEM that are with child, and to THEM that give suck IN THOSE DAYS." He is referring to when the Jews that know their Bible have to flee Jerusalem in the middle of the Tribulation. Rev. 12:6 says, "And the woman (Israel) fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place (Petra) prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days." This is the last half of the seven year Tribulation. In Mt. 24:20, Jesus no longer addressed "them." He may have turned to his disciples and said, "But pray YE that YOUR flight (Rapture?) be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day."
If this applies to the Pre-Trib Rapture, and if the Rapture is to be on Pentecost in 1999, this verse could indicate that it would NOT be on Saturday, Sivan 7, but on Friday, Sivan 6 (May 21, 1999). Time will tell. Song of Solomon 2:11 seems to agree that "winter is past." The Tribulation seems to begin on Sivan 6, so this date for Pentecost seems possible.
Some will say that it all has to be taken in context, but Isa. 28:13 shows that "the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; HERE A LITTLE, AND THERE A LITTLE; that thy might go, and fall backward, and be broken, an snared, and taken." Prov. 2:4 says, "If thou seekest her (wisdom) as silver, and searchest for her as for HID TREASURES; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God."
If you think all has to be understood in context, please explain how the parenthetic section in Col. 4:10,11 can be understood in context. It says, "Aristarchus my fellow prisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (TOUCHING WHOM YE RECEIVED COMMANDMENTS (Moses): IF HE COME UNTO YOU, RECEIVE HIM;) And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me." Colossians means punishment, correction. It contains information needed by the saints left behind for chastisement (Rev. 3:19) during the Tribulation. Therefore, it says, "Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea...cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans" (4:15,16). This parenthetic message is one of the "hid treasures" we are to seek as if searching for an elusive vein of silver (Prov. 2:3-6).
The parable of the fig tree in Mt. 24:32-34 answers the question the disciples asked. It shows us what was the Sign of the End of the Age that indicated that the Raptures (Pre-Trib and Pre-Wrath) are near. The rest of chapter 24, has to do with time of the Pre-Trib Rapture.
Mt. 24 ends with "The lord of that servant (the evil one) shall come in a DAY when he looketh not for him and in an HOUR that he is not aware of. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
The companion passage in Lu. 12:46 says, "The lord of that servant (the unfaithful and unwise one) will come in a DAY when he looketh not for him, and at an HOUR when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder (cut him off), and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers" (the shortened Tribulation).
Here it is evident that the wise servant will be looking for Him on a DAY that he IS aware of, and in an HOUR that he IS aware of. It is the evil servant that is NOT AWARE of the DAY or HOUR.
In Rev. 3:3, Jesus warns the churches, "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what HOUR I will come upon thee." However, if we do watch, he will NOT come on us as a thief, and we shall KNOW what HOUR he will come on us.
This helps us understand Mt. 24:36: "But of that DAY and HOUR knoweth (present tense) no man." On that day, no man knew. Isa. 28:9 says, "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts." The church is old now and can understand what the baby church could not. In Dan. 12:4, we see that in the time of the end, "knowledge shall be increased." Verse 10 says, "none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise SHALL understand."
THE 1040-DAY GREAT TRIBULATION
When the abomination of desolation is placed in the temple, "then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's (Tribulation saint's) sake those days shall be shortened" (Mt. 24:21,22). The 1260 days of the last half of the seven-year Tribulation are shortened to 1040 days. Dan. 8:14 shows that the entire time that the Jews sacrifice at the temple and the time that they do not because the temple is desolated is 2300 days (2300 - 1260 = 1040). These are 2300 literal days. Dan. 8:26 says, "And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true." From Gen. 1:5, we find that "the evening and the morning were the first day." Therefore, the 2300 days are literal 24-hour days.
When the abomination is placed in the temple, people who know their Bible will flee Judea. We find from Rev. 12:14, that "to the woman (Israel) were given two wings of a great eagle (airplane), that she might fly into the wilderness, into HER PLACE (Petra), where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time (3 1/2 years), from the face of the serpent" (Satan).
"Then (Mid-Trib) if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders (Rev. 13:13,14); insomuch that, if it were possible (and it is not), they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before (so you won't be fooled). Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert (Babylon); go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (in the future).
In verses 28-31, we are now skipping to the very last day of this age. Verse 28 is much misunderstood because of an unfortunate choice of words by the translators. In the KJV, it says, "For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together." The NIV says, "Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather." Even the note in the New Scofield Reference Bible says, "The meaning of this somewhat puzzling verse is illuminated in the final dialogue between God and Job (Job 39:27-30). The spiritual application here is that, where moral corruption exists, divine judgment falls."
Luke 17:36,37 is translated better. It says, "Two men shall be in the field (i.e., the world), the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body (Body of Christ) is (in Heaven), thither will the eagles (high flying Tribulation saints) be gathered together."
Verse 28 goes with verse 31, which says, "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet (the "last trump" of I Cor. 15:52), and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
It also goes with Mark 13:27: "And then (at the breaking of the sixth seal) shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the EARTH to the uttermost part of HEAVEN." The Pre-Wrath Rapture takes place and all the saints are gathered in Heaven for the most momentous day ever. In Heaven, it is Coronation Day, the day of the Marriage of the Lamb, the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
The way I understand Mt. 24:28 is that wherever the BODY (Body of Christ) is (in Heaven, previously caught up in the Pre-Trib Rapture), there will the Tribulation saints be gathered together. The Tribulation saints are called eagles because eagles are high flyers. Isa. 40:31 says, "they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings AS EAGLES; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
Verses 28-31 are all at the breaking of the sixth seal on the last day of this age. The sun and moon are darkened by smoke from the rocks that are beginning to strike Earth. Verse 30 says, "And then (sixth seal) shall appear THE SIGN OF THE SON OF MAN IN HEAVEN: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
When the sixth seal is broken, Rev. 6:14 fills in more details about the Sign of the Son of Man that is seen in the sky. It says, "And the HEAVEN DEPARTED AS A SCROLL when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the FACE of him that SITTETH ON THE THRONE, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great DAY OF HIS WRATH is come (6:00 PM); and who shall be able to stand?" The Second Advent is yet seven months in the future (Ezek. 39:12), but Jesus Christ "SITTETH ON THE THRONE" in Heaven on the first day of his 1000-year reign.
Isa. 34:1-10 gives us more details of the end of this age and the beginning of the millennial Day of the Lord. "COME near, ye nations, to hear...let the earth hear...For the indignation of the LORD is upon ALL NATIONS, and his fury upon all their armies (the united nation's army is attacking Israel)...And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the HEAVENS SHALL BE ROLLED TOGETHER AS A SCROLL: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword ('flaming sword,' Gen. 3:24) shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea (red, earthy), AND upon the people of my curse (Babylon), to JUDGMENT....For IT IS THE DAY (Tishri 1) OF THE LORD'S VENGEANCE, and the year (5768, 2007/8) of recompences for the CONTROVERSY OF ZION (Jerusalem). And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever." We see the controversy of Jerusalem now developing between the PA and Israel.
We have clues to the timing of the Day of the Lord's Vengeance. The First Advent was in 30 AD. Forty years later, Jerusalem was taken away from the Jews. In our days, we see the mirror image. Jerusalem was taken back by the Jews in 5728 (1967/8). Forty years later, in 5768 (2007/8), will, I think, be the Second Advent, seven months (Ezek. 39:12) after the Day of the Lord's Vengeance, Nisan 1, 2008 (Apr. 6, 2008) (Ezek. 29:17,21; Hos. 6:3). In 1967, Jerusalem became as if with child. Normal gestation is about 40 weeks. In 40 years, the number of testing and probation, Jerusalem will bring forth her children.
Isa. 66:5-19 says, "Hear the word of the LORD...he (the LORD of hosts, Christ, Isa. 44:6) shall APPEAR (the Sign of the Son of Man)...shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD....For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his SWORD will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many....And I will set A SIGN (the Sign of the Son of Man) among them."
"I will be known in the EYES of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD" (Ezek. 38:23).
Re: Babylon: "Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness: they set up the towers (UN twin towers and Tower of Babel) thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; and he brought it to ruin" (Isa. 23:13).
"BEHOLD, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down...because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath THE CURSE devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left....The city of confusion (Babylon) is broken down" (Isa. 24:1-10).
"This (the flying rolling thing, i.e., the binary asteroid, twice as long as wide) is THE CURSE that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it (i.e., as one stone tablet on which 5 commandments are written); and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it (i.e., as the other stone tablet with 5 commandments on it). I will bring it (the curse) forth, saith the LORD of hosts (Christ, Isa. 44:6), and it shall enter into the house of the thief (the False Prophet who stole the church), and into the house of him (the Beast, the Tribulation Pope) that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timer thereof and the stones thereof" (Zech. 5:1-4).
The Tribulation saints are gathered BEFORE the seven trumpet judgments are cast on Earth (Rev. 8f) on the Day of God's Wrath at noon (Zeph. 2:4,5). Therefore, the Rapture of the Tribulation saints is Pre-Wrath, before the judgment trumpets sound. It is not at the seventh trumpet, as some teach.
PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE
In this parable, Jesus gave the clue that showed those that were watching what the Sign of the End of the Age was. He said, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree (Israel, Joel 1:6,7; Hos. 9:10; Ezek 36:8; Jer. 24:5); When his branch (klados, scion for grafting, i.e., modern Israel grafted back into her old rootstock) is yet tender (apalos, young, i.e., no more than 19 years old, as when they came out of Egypt and those 20 and up were counted), AND PUTTETH FORTH LEAVES (which she did when 19 years old in the Six-Day War; Sinai, Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights), ye know that summer is nigh (the war began June 5; summer began June 21): So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things (Israel back in the land and growing), know that it (the Rapture) is near, even at the doors (there are two Raptures when the door of Heaven opens). Verily I say unto you, This generation (born in 1967) shall not pass (1967 + 40 = 2007), till all these things be fulfilled." This includes both the Pre-Trib and Pre-Wrath Raptures.
All the things up to the end of the age that have been mentioned in Mt. 24 previously, will, I believe, be fulfilled as this age ends and the Millennium begins on the Feast of Trumpets, Tishri 1, 5768, Sept. 13, 2007.
THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE
Mt. 24:36-51 has to do with the time of the Pre-Trib Rapture, when the door to Heaven opens and the Lord says with a voice like a trumpet, "Come up hither" (Rev. 4:1). "But of that DAY and HOUR knoweth (present tense, i.e., on the day Jesus said this) no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. BUT as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of he Son of man be....Two women (religious groups) shall be grinding at the mill; the ONE (Philadelphian wise virgins) SHALL BE TAKEN (in the Pre-Trib Rapture), and the other (Laodicean foolish virgins) left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what HOUR your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house (pastor of the church) had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house (church) to be broken up. Therefore BE YE ALSO READY: for in such an HOUR as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and WISE servant (wise virgin), whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them MEAT IN DUE SEASON?"
"DUE SEASON" gives us a time clue. In De. 11:14, the Lord promised, "I will give you the RAIN of your land in HIS DUE SEASON, the first (former) rain (First Advent, Tishri 1) and the latter rain (Second Advent, Nisan 1), that thou mayest gather in thy corn (grain, i.e., wheat), and thy wine, and thine oil." Since Jerusalem is in Israeli hands, we know that the DUE SEASON approaches. "Therefore BE YE ALSO READY."
Mt. 24:46-51 says, "Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing (giving them 'meat in due season'). Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that EVIL SERVANT (foolish virgin) shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of THAT SERVANT (the foolish one) shall come in a DAY when he (the foolish virgin) looketh not for him, and in an HOUR that he (the foolish virgin) is NOT AWARE OF (i.e., the wise are aware of the DAY AND HOUR), And shall cut him asunder (temporarily cut him off from the Body of Christ), and appoint him his portion (the shortened Tribulation) with the hypocrites (Pharisee types, Mt. 23:29): there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Luke 12:46,47 expands on this: "The lord of that SERVANT (the unfaithful and unwise steward) will come in a DAY when he looketh not for him, and at an HOUR when he is NOT AWARE, and will cut him in sunder (cut him off), and will appoint him his portion (the 2300-day shortened Tribulation) with the unbelievers. And that SERVANT, which knew his lord's will, and PREPARED NOT HIMSELF, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes." We must be aware of the possible DAY AND HOUR, and BE READY.
Some people write me and ask why they should confess their sins, Christ has already done it all, they are sinless. I John 1:8 says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." When we accept Christ, all our "old sins" (I Peter 1:9) are wiped off the books. Sins committed after that should be confessed. In the passage above, in Luke 12, we see that we are to prepare ourselves. Just as Peter did, we get dirty feet (i.e., our robes are spotted by the flesh). We have to bring sins committed since we accepted Christ under the blood of Christ (i.e., wash our robes in the blood of Christ, Rev. 7:14). In Rev. 19:7,8, we see that the Bride of Christ has "MADE HERSELF READY. And to her was granted that she shuld be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness (lit., righteousnesses) of saints."
This righteousness includes both the righteousness imputed to us by Christ when we accept him as our Saviour and our righteous acts when we confess our later sins so He can cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness (I John 1:9). Jesus didn't tell five of the churches in Rev. 2 and 3 to repent without a reason. Take notice of which ones do not need to repent, because they already have, Smyrna (myrrh, bitterness, the herb that has to be bruised to bring out its sweetness) and Philadelphia (brotherly love).
In Rev. 2:9,10, Jesus says to Smyrna, "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich [not like the Laodiceans]) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are JEWS, AND ARE NOT, but are THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days (maybe between Ascension Day and Pentecost): be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a CROWN of life."
In Rev. 3:9-11, Jesus says to Philadelphia, "Behold, I will make them of THE SYNAGOGUE OF SATAN, which say they are JEWS, AND ARE NOT, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy FEET, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience (waiting), I also will keep thee FROM the hour of temptation (peirasmos, trial) which shall come upon ALL THE WORLD, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy CROWN." A crown is only mentioned to these two church groups, and not to those told to repent.
Also notice that to the overcomers, Christ comes "quickly." This is the Pre-Trib Rapture. At the Pre-Wrath Rapture, the Sign of the Son of Man is seen. At the Second Advent, every eye shall see him. These do not qualify as being so quick.
MATTHEW 25 OVERVIEW
From the cutting off and the "weeping and gnashing of teeth" of Mt. 24:51 to the "weeping and gnashing of teeth" of Mt. 25:30, Jesus is talking about what happens at the time of the Pre-Trib Rapture. The Lord gives gifts unto good and faithful servants. This section ends with verse 30: "And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness (outside the door of Heaven): there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
"THEN (at the Pre-Wrath Rapture, when the Laodicean foolish virgins are cut off and left behind) 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 (the Bride of Christ), and five were foolish (the rest of the Body of Christ). They that were foolish took their lamps, and took NO OIL with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels (i.e., bodies) with their lamps" (Mt. 25:1-4).
All have lighted lamps, i.e., their dormant spirit has been kindled to life, but only the wise have enough annointing oil of the Holy Spirit. Why? they have confessed their sins and are in fellowship with our righteous God.
I John 1:5-10 says, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. IF we say that we have FELLOWSHIP with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But IF we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another (as the Philadelphians exhibiting brotherly love), and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from ALL sin. IF we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. IF we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. IF we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
Mt. 25:5-10 says, "While the bridegroom (Christ) TARRIED (maybe this year, Pentecost to Pentecost), they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps (all were burning). And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone (lit. going) out (i.e., sputtering for lack of oil)....while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were READY went in with him to THE MARRIAGE (as all in the Ark were married); and the DOOR (Heaven's door) was shut" (as the Lord shut the door in the Ark).
Notice that the "open door" is set before the Philadelphians (Rev. 3:8), and that a closed door is before the Laodiceans (Rev. 3:20). Continuing, Mt. 25:11-13 says, "Afterward (after the Pre-Trib Rapture) came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you (foolish virgins), I know you not." He has just spewed them out of his mouth. "Watch therefore, for ye (foolish virgins) know neither the DAY nor the HOUR wherein the Son of man cometh." They have not yet realized that the NO MAN KNOWS now only applies to them. They are blind Laodiceans, and none is so blind as those that won't see. They have eyes, but don't see. They have ears, but don't hear.
Believers are sons and daughters of God by adoption (Rom. 8:15). Between the two Raptures, ALL believers will be taken to Heaven before the wrath of God falls on Earth. Psa. 45:14-16 says, "The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the VIRGINS (the foolish ones) her companions that FOLLOW HER (in the Pre-Wrath Rapture) shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace. Instead of thy fathers (OT saints) shall be thy children (the remnant that believes after the second Rapture takes place), whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth (during the Millennium)."
The virgins that follow in the second Rapture seem to not be the Bride of Christ. Luke 12:28-37 says, "O ye of little faith...Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return FROM THE WEDDING (the Marriage of the Lamb takes place the same day, but just before the Pre-Wrath Rapture); that when he cometh and knocketh (to the Laodiceans, Rev. 3:20), they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching...And if he shall come in the second watch (9:00 PM to midnight), or come in the third watch (midnight to 3:00 AM), and find them so, blessed are those servants."
JUDGMENT OF THE NATIONS
After the Second Advent will be the Judgment of the Nations. Here we see another division of the righteous and unrighteous, i.e., the sheep and goats. The righteous live on into the Millennium; the unrighteous, "shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal" (Mt. 25:46).
On the first day of the Millennium, Jesus is crowned in Heaven and receives dominion over Earth. Dan. 7:13,14 says, "behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him DOMINION, and glory, and a KINGDOM, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him."
That day is also the day of the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Day of God's Wrath. "And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD" (Ezek. 39:12,13). After the seven months, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (kosmos, orderly arrangement of things; i.e., from the day when God rested from refreshing the Earth and from creating the animals and Adam)" (Mt. 25:31-34).
Verses 41-45: "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not...Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me."
Mark 13:34-37 says, "the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey (to Heaven), who left his house (church), and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter (the one at the door) to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house (church) cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."
Luke 21:34-36 says, "take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day (of the Pre-Trib Rapture) come upon you UNAWARES. For as a snare (trap) shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be ACCOUNTED WORTHY to escape ALL these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
The Pre-Trib Rapture is our "escape" and our "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13). Wherefore comfort one another with these words." I Thess. 4:18 says, "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
Expected Chronology of End-time Events
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