Ten virgins 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” (Matthew 25:1-10).
The secrets of the kingdom of heaven are woven carefully into a story for all the read, but few are willing to take the challenge to find the keys and unlock the meaning. Christ provided the keys of this story. The keys identify: the time period, the kingdom, the condition of the ministry, the condition of the congregation, the outcome and a 21st century warning.
“The kingdom of heaven,” Christ said, “will be like ten virgins: five wise and five foolish.” These ten virgins appear at a specific time period, AT THAT TIME refers to the Great Tribulation.
TIME PERIOD: “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom” (Matthew 25:1).
“A day of wrath is THAT day, a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness…” (Zephaniah 1:15).
“At THAT time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till THAT time” (Daniel 12:1).
The word of Jesus in the New Testament supports the Old Testament prophecy. “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again” (Matthew 24:21).
“Behold, you [Moses] will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant, which I have made with them. Then My anger shall be aroused against them in THAT day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in THAT day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ And I will surely hide My face in THAT day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods” (Deuteronomy 31:16-18).
A KINGDOM IS IDENTIFIED: The kingdom of heaven will be like 10 virgins who took their lamp to meet the bridegroom. The key to identifying the kingdom is first identifying the bridegroom.
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready" (Revelation 19:7). Christ is the bridegroom and his bride is the faithful church.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).
The kingdom awarded to Christ and his faithful church—the saints in Daniel, is an everlasting kingdom that will never be destroyed.
“In my vision… before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroy… Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His [Christ’s] kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him [Christ].” This is the end of the matter (Daniel 7:13-14, 27-28a).
THE KINGDOM WILL BE LIKE: 10 virgins who took their lamps. The ten tribes of Israel were once an adulterous people living in the ways of the pagan nations, but they repented and were later redeemed. Into the 21st century, they are to God—virgins.
“Again I will build you, and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out in joyful dancing” (Jeremiah 31:4).
The kingdom of heaven will be like the people of the 10-tribed house of Israel—a redeemed people.
THE KINGDOM WILL BE LIKE: 10 virgins who took their lamps.
The lamp is the mechanism where the "oil" flows
The lamp is a key that images the word of God. Jesus Christ is also the Word of God for he is immersed in God’s knowledge and ways.
The New Jerusalem has no temple “because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp” (Revelations 21:22-23).
Listen to Solomon’s wise admonition from God-fearing and God-serving parents. “My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck… for these commands [the word of God from a God-fearing and God-serving father] are a lamp, this teaching is a light…” (Proverbs 6:20-23).
This scripture takes on both a heavenly and earthly view. Father is our Father in heaven commanding His people to obey the full word of God and mother’s teaching is the faithful church instructing her congregation.
The lamp is the mechanism [Christ] from which God’s word shines through.
These ten virgins have their lamps with them. Christians who accept Christ and follow him have “the lamp” and as they live the word of God, they produce a radiant light.
“The light from all the lamps flicker as the night drags on and that is to be expected in the slumbering party. But, at the midnight hour comes crunch time and the resource outside “self” is either there or it is not. So, the lamps either burn out in the midnight hour or find resupply in God to recharge the lamps to full brightness, thereby, allowing the wise virgins to go out from their comfort zone to meet the coming Bridegroom. In the manner of the eastern wedding ceremony He is approaching them in the night.” (Gavin Finley from http://www.endtimepilgrim.org)
Christ urges his seven churches in Revelation to overcome; their light is flickering and he identifies their weakness that is causing the light—good works to fade:
The wise virgins are rich in the word of God and in strength from God. During times of darkness, they are not afraid to stand up to wickedness and proclaim the testimony of Jesus. They will not shrink back from death.
ALL OF THEM GO AND MEET THE BRIDEGROOM: All of the redeemed go out to meet Christ, though he has not yet arrived. This brings to mind Ezekiel 20 where all of Israel, that is, ALL of the twelve tribes of Israel, is brought to one location before re-entering the land of their fathers—a time still in the future. There, God tests them and makes a judgment.
“I will bring you into the desert of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment upon you. As I judged your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign LORD: I will take note of you as you pass under my staff, I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I WILL PURGE THOSE OF YOU WHO REVOLT AND REBEL AGAINST ME. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet THEY WILL NOT ENTER THE LAND OF ISRAEL. Then you will know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 20:36-38).
JUDGMENT DETERMINES THAT FIVE ARE FOOLISH: The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any extra oil with them.
The foolish virgins do not know the word of God very well because they have limited the receiving of God’s Holy Spirit. They have limited knowledge of the word of God and become easily confused during deceitful times, hoping to just hold onto the coat-tails of the wise virgins, without searching for truth themselves.
Characteristics of fool:
The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. Fools mock at making amends for sin, but goodwill is found among the upright.
OIL IMAGES GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT THAT BRINGS BELIEVERS TO BIND WITH GOD: The foolish virgins put confidence in themselves. They do not fear that they may run out of oil. It doesn’t seem to be important to them. Oil is the key that images the receiving of God’s Holy Spirit that forges an intimate and unbreakable relationship with God. Without God’s Holy Spirit, God’s word cannot be understood.
Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
When the cry was made, the five foolish virgins realized their relationship with God was only superficial and they go to buy oil from the “buyers” who are teachers, to ignite their desire for God’s word and forge that intimate and powerful relationship they recognized the five wise virgins had for God. Now, they see the importance of a deep relationship with God.
They “buy” and confident of their spiritual progress, they run back to find the door is closed. They cry, “Sir! Sir! Open the door for us!”
Christ opens the door and says, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you” (Matthew 25:12).
Christ does not recognize them as his sheep—his followers, because they were only doing what it takes to get what they want when they are in trouble. They had no lasting relationship with God nor did they have Christ dwelling in them.
GOD’S WARNING TO 21ST CENTURY CHRISTIANS: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” God is warning Christians not to behave like the ancient Israelites who have a long history of a fleeting relationship with God and call out only when they are in trouble.
“What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears” (Hosea 6:4).
God is perfecting His people and His people are building a lasting and enduring relationship with Him.
“No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62).
The delay of the Bridegroom could be intentional, so that God can sift out the pretenders from those who are truly committed to obeying God and living in harmony with Him. “In the last days, scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and with water… By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men” (II Peter 3:3-7).
The Apostle Peter reminds 21st century Christians, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (I Peter 1:22-23) and “make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him… Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Peter 3:4b, 18a). Such are the wise virgins.
Apostle James reminds the wise virgins, “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near” (James 5:7-8) and “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that GOD HAS PROMISED TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM” (James 1:12).
The keys to the story and their meaning:
· Wise: God-fearing and God-serving servants of God who have an enduring relationship with Him.
· Foolish: Believers who have a superficial relationship with God. They still hold onto their self-directed ways.
· The time period: During a time prior to Christ’s return.
· The Kingdom: God’s everlasting kingdom with Christ at God’s right side, ruling with the saints, his bride over heaven and earth.
· 10 virgins: A redeemed people often in scripture refer to the 10-tribed house of Israel.
· Lamp: is the mechanism from which the word of God travels through before radiating out. Christ is the lamp and these Christians have all accepted Christ’s sacrifice. Living the ways of God through Christ produces light, which shines out for all to see.
· Oil: is an enduring relationship with God from the inflowing of God’s Holy Spirit that is forged through pressing and tribulation.
The secret of the kingdom of heaven reveals an unfortunate statistic. Fifty percentage of redeemed people will not be ready when Christ returns. The warning—be vigilant, waste no time drawing close to God. He loves all of us so much that He gave His beloved Son, Jesus Christ to die for us. He is molding a redeemed people into a humble and teachable holy nation of royal priests whose loyalty and love is eternal.
The hand of the LORD brought Ezekiel in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.
“There were a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.” The house ofancient Israel had become systemically spiritually sick and they died.
“Son of man, can these bones live?” What is the chance that these ancient people could be resurrected for a second opportunity to choose life?
“Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.’” The Almighty God announces that He will resurrect them back to life.
So, Ezekiel prophesied as he was commanded. “There was a rattling round, and the bones came together, bone to bone… Tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.” The ancient house of Israel is resurrected back into their physical bodies.
“Prophesy to the breath and say to it, ‘Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live… they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army’” Ezekiel did as he was commanded and before him breath entered these slain. These people were killed for they were at war with their God. Their heart began to beat, their lungs inhaled then exhaled and they opened their eyes. They stood up and before Ezekiel millions appeared!
Conscious of their spiritual state, they say, “Our bones are dried up.” They know they have been resurrected back into their physical bodies and they admit defeat—they are spiritually dead and have been for many generations.
“Our hope is gone.” They understand that there is no hope of eternal life for them, for they are boththe divorced house of Israel—the faithless and the unfaithful house of Judah.
“We have been cut off.” Both houses of Israel exasperated the Almighty God with their perpetual rebellious and treasonous ways. He gave the house of Israel a bill of divorce, severing them from His covenant people and sent them away forbidding them from returning to the Promised land.
Yet, despite what these people have done, His timeless love for them endures. “I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.” In God’s great mercy and enduring love for His people, He announces their resurrection and promises to bring them back home. The return to the land is God announcing and accepting their repentance at this resurrection. Israel is God’s first-born son—first-born nation.This resurrection could take place at the first resurrection. Will it be the fulfillment of a promise? Or, a witness to the nations watching—the beginning of similar things to come?
“‘I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it,’ declares the LORD.” Christ’s sacrifice paid the penalty for all of our sins. This vast number of people have now the opportunity again to choose, but with the help of God’s Holy Spirit their choices will be different from their destructive choices of the past.
“No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale. When they see among them their children, THE WORK OF MY HANDS, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction” (Isaiah 29:22-24). The resurrection of the ancient house of Israel will be their great awakening to the magnitude of their God—His mercy, His grace, His longsuffering, His generosity, and His enduring love will finally be visible for all to witness. Their hearts will melt at the sight of their repentant descendants who matured through the work of God’s hands and walk among them resurrected into their glorious bodies. Who would have known that that could be possible? That—these angry, rebellious people could give birth to children many, many generations later who mature into humble, God-fearing and God-serving people. They turn to their God in awe, fall to their knees and worship their God.
“I will put my Spirit in you and you will live.” These ancient Israelites will receive God’s Holy Spirit for the first time. Now, they will live.
That is just the beginning! “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘I am going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim’s hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick and the Israelite tribes associated with him, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’” A reunification of the two houses will take place—still a future event.
“This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel.’” God will gather the repentant people, forming one united government of Israel and bring them home.
“There will be one king over them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols… vile images… their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people and I will be their God.” Finally, after approximately 4,000 years of rebellion and treachery, the people of Israel will sincerely and deeply repent and follow the instructions of the God of Israel, the Almighty—the Creator.
“My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.” Jesus Christ will rule as King of kings and Lord of lords and David will rule over the kingdom of Israel. This is a millennial setting. The saints, at this time, will be resurrected and ruling with Christ. Israel fulfills their calling as a holy nation of royal priests. The law of God is carefully kept and grace extended as they mature into humble, God-fearing and God-serving people, looking forward to the second resurrection when they will become glorified.
“I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant… My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I, the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.” The Millennium will begin with the reuniting, re-establishing of a holy kingdom of royal priests. These people will teach the world the way of God. That was God’s plan from the beginning. What He sets out to do, He will accomplish. It may not seem clear at first. Too much trickery from wicked heavenly beings and suspicion will linger after the events of the Great Tribulation. But truly, the nations will be amazed with the character change of thirteen nations who behaved badly for generations.
“The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light and your God will be your glory” (Isaiah 60:19). When God arrives, the international news reporters will go wild. He will set himself over Jerusalem; all of the nations will watch in awe. They will know that the Almighty God has set the kingdom of Israel apart from other nations to be His servants—a kingdom of humble teachers putting the needs of others before themselves, peacemakers taking the loss to bring reconciliation, and loving their brothers and sisters—all of mankind as themselves.
“Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, THE WORK OF MY HANDS, for the display of my splendor. The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly” (Isaiah 60:21-22). It seems unlikely today that there are righteous people or a nation of righteous people, never mind thirteen nations, but under the dark robes of their national leaders, are people who acknowledge God. Though some are weak, the upcoming trials will strengthen them. This millennial picture describes a people who have come out of the Great Tribulation—the work of God’s hands as He purifies them of their misunderstandings and misconceptions of God’s truth. Their leadership will be God-fearing people. No longer will they be seeking superpower status, control over global economics, and making war. They will respond to God’s correction; they will repent and overcome. God will use them to correct the wicked governments in other nations.
“‘Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you,’ declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains [governments] and crush them, and reduce the hills [lesser governing bodies] to chaff. You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up, and a gale will blow them away. But you will rejoice in the LORD and glory in the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 41:14-16). Satan is the prince of the power of the air. He will do all he can to keep the nations in rebellion against God, but as hard as he may try, he will fail. God Almighty will prevail, using His people as a tool to bring the nations to Him. Wickedness will be crushed; the people will be saved. Righteousness will triumph.
“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3).
“To whom, then, will you compare God? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, then he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff” (Isaiah 40:18, 22-26).
God our Creator—the Almighty God asks, “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal? Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing” (Isaiah 40:25-26).
“I am the LORD, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King” (Isaiah 43:15).
“Gog, of the land of Magog… ‘I am against you Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal… Persia Cush and Put will be with them… After many days [1,000 years Revelation 20:8] you will be called to arms.
“In future years you [Gog] will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land… You will say, ‘I will invade a land of unwalled villages. I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land… This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused… In my zeal and fiery wrath, I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel… all the people of the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the hills will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog… I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD’” (Ezekiel 38:2, 8-23). “On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you” (Ezekiel 39:4). The blessed kingdom of royal priests may appear to be an easy target in the millennial reign of Christ, but they have learned to trust in their God, the Almighty. They know God will protect them and He does with a fervor that will be witnessed by all of mankind. Gog and his armies come from the far north [the heavenly far north]. He is what is left of the rogue sons of God and he has an army. In time, God brings all of His enemies into judgment by using them as a tool to test the loyalty and faithfulness of His people and to show the nations that He is supreme and He will not tolerate rebellion and wickedness.
God has a plan for every nation on earth and an inheritance for those who repent. Turn to God now, do not wait. Repent, do not linger. Come into God’s shelter and rest.
Compiled by Janette Andrejowich @ sharingsharpens.ca
At the return of Christ when he comes as King of kings and Lord of lords, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory and claim judgment over the people on earth.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31-32).
The reference to “all the nations” identifies all nations that are not God’s covenant people as God does not consider His people part of the nations of the world. These nations will worship Satan when he is thrown down to earth. It will be, “As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. And they were oblivious, until the flood came and swept them all away. So, will it be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:37-39).
The people before the flood were oblivious of their destruction; this will be the same condition when Christ returns. The people of the nations will be celebrating life having fully accepted Satan’s and the Beast’s rule over them. They will surrender and declare, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?” (Revelation 13:4b) They will fully engage in trading with Babylon, selling everything they have to buy alien technology, their science and healing, their doctrines and theology. God Almighty will watch from His throne in the third heaven and His jealousy will burn as His creation worships the rogue heavenly rulers, powers and authorities of Ephesians 6:12—the created, not the Creator.
Prior to Christ’s return, God Almighty and Jesus Christ will bring their wrath onto the nations demonstrating their righteous judgment on wicked behavior.
“I have cut off nations; their strongholds are demolished. I have left their streets deserted, with on one passing through. Their cities are destroyed; no one will be left—no one at all. I said to the city, ‘SURELY YOU WILL FEAR ME AND ACCEPT CORRECTION!’... But they were still eager to act corruptly in all they did. ‘Therefore, wait for me, for the day I will stand up and testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them—all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger. Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him should to shoulder” (Zephaniah 3:6-9).
During the Great Tribulation, a great multitude that no one can count will surrender and turn to obey God Almighty (Revelation 7:9-10), “from every nation, tribe, people and language, will stand before the throne of the Lamb. They will be wearing white robes and hold palm branches. They will cry out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”
Their conversion will come from the captive slaves of the 21st century people of Israel. They will witness in the homes of the Gentiles, while in servitude to them. God’s Holy Spirit will pour out into this remnant people and they will prophesy (Joel 2:28); they will teach them one-on-one, face-to-face God’s law and grace. They will distinguish Satan’s selfish, self-centred and self-destructive theology from God’s righteous life-bringing and loving theology and urge these people to turn away from serving Satan and the Beast. Christ sees these covenant servants as himself. To Saul when he was persecuting the church, Jesus said, “Why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4) These humble captives are the body of Christ. He feels every action, every kind word, every need filled and the warmth of their compassion. Christ responds to their masters who can’t remember when they cared for him, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:40).
Christ, the King will say to those on his right, “take your inheritance.” The inheritance for the children of God is rulership in His holy, royal family. This inherited gift of rulership in the kingdom was prepared since the creation of the world (Matthew 25:24). It was prepared in the beginning when God [Elohim, a masculine plural Hebrew word] created the heaven and earth, long, long ago.
While these people from the nations may feel the crushing force and power of this rogue heavenly coalition, they will be taught that there is no need to fear because the God of Israel is supreme and He can rescue them as He will again rescue His people after they cry out to Him, in a second exodus that will far outshine the first one out of Egypt.
During the captivity of God’s covenant people, those Gentiles who listen to the witness and turn to God become His sheep that Christ assigns to his right when he returns. The cruel and malicious Gentiles who refuse to listen to the 21st century Israelite captives will be separated and moved to Christ’s left. These people won’t accept the teaching of God’s covenant people in their homes, hence, it would not have mattered to them who spoke God’s word, they would have rejected it regardless. The uncaring actions and neglect the wicked have towards God’s people even the least among the covenant people during their time of great distress is felt by Christ. It will be a time when the nations will mock God’s people and ridicule them for their saving hope in the God of Israel.
“Because I have sinned against Him, I must endure the rage of the LORD, until He argues my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me into the light; I will see His righteousness. Then my enemy will see and will be covered with shame—she [likely Babylon of Revelation, and the false prophet] who said to me, “Where is the LORD your God?” My eyes will see her; at that time, she will be trampled like mud in the streets” (Micah 7:10).
“Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will arise; though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light” (Micah 7:8).
The repentant people of the nations of 21st century Israel will suffer mockery and ridicule by their own people as well as those who enslave them. These wicked will be sentenced to be destruction.
“The humble will increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who look for evil will be cut down—those who indict a man with a word, who ensnare the mediator at the gate, and who with false charges deprive the innocent of justice” (Isaiah 29:20).
Before this judgment is made, the final great display of God’s power is the final battle of a small remnant of God’s people against the vast multi-national military of Satan and his coalition. God Almighty will lead His people, while Satan leads the multi-national military. “Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle of the great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:13-14).
The details of this explosive battle are not recorded in Revelation but picked up in Zechariah. God’s people of the twelve tribes of 21st century Israel will come weeping back to God, both houses together at the same time. “In those days and at that time, declares the LORD, the children of Israel and the children of Judah will come together, weeping as they come, and will seek the LORD their God. They will ask the way of Zion and turn their faces toward it. They will come and bind themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten” (Jeremiah 50:4-5).
God will hear them and in His great power and might He will give them a double blessing. He will RESCUE them and give them VICTORY.
God will not forget His covenant with Abraham. “As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. Return to your fortress [victory is on its way], O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore TWICE as much to you [a double blessing]. I will bend Judah as I bend my bow and fill it with Ephraim. I will rouse your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword, Then the LORD will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. THE SOVEREIGN LORD WILL SOUND THE TRUMPET; HE WILL MARCH IN THE STORMS OF THE SOUTH, and the LORD ALMIGHTY WILL SHIELD THEM. They will destroy and overcome with slingstones… The LORD their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown” (Zechariah 9:11-16). Humble and repentant people are precious in God’s eyes.
God Almighty will lead them and be their shield in this final great battle. The world will see beyond the physical battle between a small covenant people and the rest of the world into the real battle of God Almighty—the God of the 21st century nations of Israel and Jesus Christ against Satan, the Beast coalition and fallen angels. God’s absolute supremacy will be no match despite Satan’s extensive build-up of massive supplies in military resources, weaponry and the multi-national vast sea of raging demonic-possessed combatants on earth.
The people of the nations of 21st century Israel will fight beyond their ability. “The Ephraimites will become like mighty men, and their hearts will be glad as with wine. Their children will see it and be joyful; their hearts will rejoice in the LORD” (Zechariah 10:7). After 3,000 years of rejecting God and fighting against Him, the people of the redeemed ten tribes will be ecstatic that their God—the Almighty God is now fighting for and with them. Their hearts will be like they are drunk, overwhelmingly joyful and free of worry. Their children will know that it is the great God giving them victory and they too, will rejoice in God, their Creator—the source of all power.
So long God held out His hands waiting for His people to return to Him and He waited patiently for He foreknew the outcome. “In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD, we trust in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation’” (Isaiah 25:9).
Finally, at the end of the age after rogue alien beings arrive to enslave mankind, the veil of mythology is ripped off from their eyes. God’s people are the first casualties and the nations witness a power that is terrifying and devasting. God’s people are forced to remember their past. Under extreme duress, their amnesia is healed and they do what God foreknew from the beginning. “Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands THEY WILL REMEMBER ME. They and their children will survive, and they will return” (Zechariah 10:9).
God uses the image of sheep to identify people who follow Christ. Out of the Great Tribulation from the nations of the world, a countless, great multitude will come. God will identify them as His sheep and they will be given the great honor of serving Him in His temple. “They are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them… And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:15-17).
God vows to save the people of this world. “On this mountain the LORD of Hosts will prepare a banquet for all the peoples, a feast of aged wine, of choice meat, of finely aged wine. On this mountain He will swallow up the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; He will swallow up death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from every face and remove the disgrace of His people from the whole earth. For the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 29:6-8).
Those who listen to the witness of 21st century Israel will receive an inheritance that was prepared for them from the beginning of creation—an inheritance of being a ruling, royal member of God’s holy family living eternally with bent knee before God in glory and power never forgetting God’s law and grace, His generosity, and His great love.
Compiled by Janette Andrejowich @ sharingsharpens.ca
THE FIRST RESURRECTION
Christ is the first of the first to be resurrected: “But each in turn: Christ, the first-fruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him” (I Corinthians 15:23).
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" (I Corinthians 15:19-23).
“I am He that lives, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18).
The saints will be part of the first resurrection: "And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth" (Revelation 11:18).
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their right hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:4-6).
“We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from Heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first, after that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage each other with these words” (I Thessalonians 4:14-18).
"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory" (I Corinthians 15:51).
“Our conversation is in Heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself” (Philippians 3:20, 21).
Many suffered in life and died in the faith not having received the promise of eternal life, still await the better resurrection: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets, so many more “who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to fight the armies of aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection" (Hebrews 11:33-35).
“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Psalm 17:15).
The saints are active and dynamic believers who live each day in obedience to God; they are judged daily and upon repentance forgiven—their sins forever forgotten. “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God” (I Peter 4:17).
“According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:20-21).
"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:24-26)
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
“Make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him” (II Peter 3:14).
“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name… He forgives all my sins…he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:1-12).
Daily devotion to God is a believer’s highest priority. “He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:39).
They are the remnant of believers who Joseph [a mirror of the suffering Christ] was tasked with to preserve; he was sent ahead to preserve these people (Genesis 45:7). They are the overcomers growing in grace and knowledge. They pass the baton of truth on from one generation to another. “Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. ‘They will be mine,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘in the day when I make up my treasured possession.’ I will spare them… And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not” (Malachi 3:16-18).
These special people love their heavenly Father: they know Him. They accept his graciousness, they feel his power, and they rejoice in his righteousness. They are forever grateful for His generosity to gift them salvation through the sacrifice of His beloved Son and only heir, Yashuah HaMashiach/Jesus Christ. "Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power…" (Revelation 20:6).
"He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches; He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death" (Revelation 2:11).
They were predestined to be part of the first resurrection. “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).
“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Ephesians 1:5).
These people will NOT be part of the grand and fearful formalities of the divine court on Judgment Day. They will have received the better resurrection—the first resurrection. They will be wearing their crown of life. "Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature. . ." (II Peter 1:4).
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (I John 3:2).
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever" (Daniel 12:3) .
THE FINAL RESURRECTION
“ORDER IN THE DIVINE COURT! YOUR JUDGE—THE ANCIENT OF DAYS HAS ENTERED THE ROOM—STAND!”
GOD, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER APPOINTS JUDGES: "I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels were a burning fire. A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; thousands upon thousands were attending Him, and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:9-10).
“But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth but now he has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens’” (Hebrews 12:23).
CHRIST IS THE APPOINTED: “For he has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by that Man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
"For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22).
"And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42).
“On the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus” (Romans 2:16).
“When the thousand years are over… Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works… If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:7-15).
“Enoch, the seventh from Adam, also prophesied about them: ‘Behold, the Lord is coming with myriads of His holy ones to execute judgment on everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of every ungodly act of wickedness and every harsh word spoken against Him by ungodly sinners’” (Jude 1:14).
"But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. "All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left” (Matthew 25:31-33).
“SILENCE! THE RESURRECTED SAINTS WHO RULE WITH YASHUAH/CHRIST HAVE ENTERED THE COURT ROOM AND THEY TOO PARTICIPATE IN YOUR JUDGMENT.”
"You are those having continued with me in my trials. And I appoint a kingdom to you, as my Father appointed to me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Luke 22:28-30).
"And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to pieces: even as I received of my Father" (Revelation 2:26-27).
“Or do you not know that the Lord's people will judge the world?” (I Corinthians 6:2)
“Do you not know that you will judge angels?” (I Corinthians 6:3)
“EVERY MAN AND WOMAN MAY NOW SIT. AWAIT PATIENTLY UNTIL YOUR NAME IS CALLED.”
“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:17-18).
Some will be judged harder than others because of their stubborn unrepentance: “Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. ‘Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you” (Matthew 11:20-24).
“The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she cam from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here” (Matthew 12:41-42).
Mankind will give an account for themselves: “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).
“You, then, why do you judge your brothers? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat… So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10-12).
“There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day” (John 12:48).
"So, it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous” (Matthew 13:49).
“The enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness…” (Matthew 13:39-43).
“Therefore, do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God” (I Corinthians 4:5).
“But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:12).
"Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2).
“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses” (Hebrews 10:26-28).
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-21).
REPENT NOW: "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life” (John 5:24).
Since Christ’s sacrifice, the veil has been rent and we have been given God’s Holy Spirit and direct access to Him so that we can grow in grace and knowledge, that we may present ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service, making every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 21st century believers have God’s word at our fingertips; truly we are without excuse. Choose now—the better resurrection.
“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection” (Revelation 20:6)—the BETTER RESURRECTION.