The Days of Noah
The Doctrine of Eternal Security The Deity of Christ Reasons to Believe Doctrinal View The Tribulation Exists The Works of Grace
The Partial Rapture Debated Tithing, is it New Testament? The Ten Commandments The Hour You Think Not
The Holy Commandment Identified A Like Manner Return The Parable of a Fig Tree
Second Coming Only Theology The Pre-Trib Rapture Christ Returns In All Of The Seven Letters
The Rebuilt Jewish Temple The Restrainer
Midnight Ministries, Inc.
"Rapture and Second Coming"
A Light For The Coming Night!
Looking Deeper At The Pre-trib Rapture & Second Coming Only Theology Teachings!
Initially the Lord comes as a thief in the night (Rev. 16:15), not pre-trib or pre-night (Matt. 24:8; 1 Thess. 5:1-3), or at the Second Coming dawn!
The midnight cry of the Ten Virgin Parable symbolizes a new day, which is the Day of the Lord in That Night (1 Thess. 5:2)—or the Day of Jesus Christ (Philp. 1:6, 10)—being the Day of Christ wherein the Thessalonians had thought that they were left behind (2 Thess. 2:2-3). In this vein, it is that future Day when Christ actually returns for the Church. Indeed, it is the Day of Redemption (Eph. 4:30), being the Day that Christians are to look for and provoke one another to agape love, and all the more so as it approaches (Heb. 10:24-25). Indeed, the Day of the Lord is That Day that Christians are to "hasten," meaning in the Greek—to earnestly expect (2 Pet. 3:12). Of course, the Day will dawn (2 Pet. 1:19) at the Second Coming when all the nations shall see Christ as the sign of the Son of man, or as the first light AFTER the night—the Bright and Morning Star; that is, when our God shall come with all His saints at the traditional Second Coming (Duet. 33:2; Zach. 14:5; 1 Thess. 3:13, 4:14; Jude Vs. 14; Rev. 19:8, 14).
There is a night segment before the Day dawns, and early in the night the foolish weren’t ready to meet the Bridegroom. They didn’t keep their lamps burning. Light in the New Testament is equated to the use of agape love (1 John 1:7, 2:9-10, 4:6-21), the use of which fulfills or stuffs full God’s entire Law of God (Matt. 7:12; Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:14). The foolish neglected this process of righteousness; faith without godly works is dead—or better yet, faith without the use of God’s inner deposit of agape love, is neglecting the truth (Gal. 5:5-6). Thus the foolish will face a later return; a return of a closed door (Luke 12:36; James 5:9; Rev. 3:20). They are given this opportunity to really know God and open their door upon our Lord’s return from the Wedding Feast and knock (Luke 12:36; 1 John 4:8).
Now the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night (1 Thess. 5:4, 2 Pet. 3:10)—just like Christ Himself will return (Rev. 16:15)—not to just the world, but again, also to much of the Body of Christ. Simply, not only do the major denominations fail to teach the looking for and the earnestly expecting of That Day, so does every denomination in the Church, the living Body of Christ.
In this vein, if the literal chapter division is removed between 1st Thessalonians 4 & 5, we don't see an at-once pre-trib Rapture, but a return of Christ in the night of the Day of the Lord, which in that passage, Paul describes as beginning with birth pangs, just like Jesus described the beginning of the Tribulation (Matt. 24:8). Additionally, we immediately behold the times and seasons, and Christians are then told to watch (1 Thess. 5:6-8). Yet the world will face sudden destruction, which in the Greek means inescapable destruction. And this, as the night of That Day progresses until the Second Coming dawn (2nd Pet. 1:19). Incidentally, biblical watching is the act of putting on genuine faith (the Jesus of historical Christianity) that works by His inner agape love (2 Thess. 5:6-8).
The greatest detriment to the Christian today is the lack of agape love in action. Agape love is really Christ's inner love flowing out toward others. Now again, the use of agape love is the complete fulfillment of the Law of God (Gal. 5:14), wherein sin doesn't exist. So, when agape love grows within and becomes dominant, sin is no longer is practiced. Indeed, the greatest battle in getting the Church to recognize the power to overcome sin—is the battle of making faith which works by agape love preeminent in all of our teachings. Not only does the use of agape love in servitude fuel our faith (Luke 17:5-10), it also increases our faith (Eph. 3:19; 2 Thess. 1:3); increases Grace (2 Pet. 3:18).
No wonder, then, that the Scripture tells us that we have passed from death unto life because we agape love the brethren (1 John 3:14); and, that we have none occasion of stumbling in our walk; that is, when we abide in the light of agape love toward others (1 John 2:9-10). Certainly, He that loves not, knows not God, for God is agape love (1 John 4:8). Simply, it is to truly have Christ within, the nourished seed of God, who ultimately keeps us from all sin (1 John 3:9)!
Christians are commanded and to watch and keep their garments (Mark 13:33-37; Rev. 16:15). As demonstrated, Second Coming Theology negates all surprise in That Night, just focusing on the dawn. Likewise, any at-once redemption, including the automatic pre-trib Rapture of the entire Church, is very misleading. Conversely, we are to watch in That Night; we are to watch in the Tribulation. You see, again, to watch by New Testament standards is to use Christ's inner agape love toward others (1 Thess. 5:6 thru 8)—faith which works by love, lest we be hindered from obeying this outstanding New Testament truth (Gal. 5:6-7). So again, not only is the looking for the Day of Christ negated in the Church, also the proper teaching concerning watching is not taught in the Body of Christ.
Of course, many Christians from various denominations are in the flesh. Oh, they think they are serving the Lord—but more often than not, a real faith that works by agape love relationship with the Lord is lacking, even though they adhere to their rules of conduct. So there you have it; that is, the strongholds of the Devil within the Church—it is that simple. In other words, it is the Law of Faith that is neglected! Watch therefore!
The Ten Virgins
In no uncertain terms, the Parable of the Ten Virgins is more than worthy of our attention. And, if anyone should truly seek Christ’s meaning of the parable, they will gain considerable insight. For amid some divine truths, the parable holds vital information in answering a really serious concern: an untimely and early return of the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, which is not a pre-night return.
Admittedly, parables are allegorical depictions, however, clear and divine pictorial truths invariably remain in each parable that Christ gave. With that said, it must be borne in mind that just because parables are allegorical in composition, doesn’t mean that they lack absolutes. Knowing this, Christ gave parables for a distinct purpose—so that all who search for a clear-cut definitive would have a special joy in seeing it. For the record, those who are truly spiritual know the mysteries of the kingdom through the understanding of parables (Matt. 13:10-13).
It is the overall consensus among biblical expositors that the number ten is symbolic of completeness. By that standard, the ten virgins represent the total end-time Church. Championing this view is the fact that all ten in their virginity were chaste. All ten, including the foolish, expended the oil of God’s Grace before the lamps of the foolish went out. All ten, then, being blood-bought and justified through Jesus Christ alone, had the Spirit of God. No, none were tares. None were reprobates.
The purity of the virgins can be further substantiated by Scripture, which, when read, singularly conveys the idea that salvation is by grace, the gift of God: “Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:9). Applicably, God instills the seed of the living Christ1 in the Christian by faith, making a Christian virtuous by Christ’s merit (1 John 3:9). In reality, the Grace of God symbolized by the chastity of the virgins is self-evident in the parable; all ten in their purity were awaiting the Lord by faith. However, by allowing God’s love to flow through them to others, the wise had reason for a greater hope, being the sooner redemption of an open wedding door (Rev. 3:8-10).
Although the Bible doesn't come right out and state it, common sense tells us that the door to Heaven was open for the wise before being shut to the foolish (Matt. 25:10). Matching the importance of being knowledgeably prepared, the work of love through an inner Christ must empower our faith, lest the door is shut in that coming critical hour.
By custom, the virgins attended the awaiting bride. Relevantly, the ten virgins are the Bride of Christ by attending to one another’s needs, which is a very Christian trait. Somewhat touching on this note, it is significant that Paul also pictured a husband and wife as Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:24-31). Further support for the Church marrying Christ can be found in 2 Corinthians 11:2. There, Paul equated the Corinthian Church as an espoused virgin to Christ, even though the Corinthians were most carnal of New Testament Christians. By heeding the consensus of Scripture, the Church today is clearly pictured as the ten virgins in the end-time, who, indeed, have drunk the wine of the New Covenant, betrothing them to Christ by faith alone (Mark 14:24; John 6:47, 54).
To truly fathom the parable, it must be affirmed that it is the end-time living Church portrayed by the ten virgins, not the nation of Israel or any other end-time people. To verify this, we must only realize that the parable dramatizes the midnight hour, the Second Watch of the night, not the later fourth watch of morning. The parable highlights the ten virgins slumbering and sleeping while awaiting the bridegroom. By comparison, if all Israel accepted Christ as their Messiah, they would astonish the world with their newfound spirituality. Hardly would they slumber and sleep while awaiting the Lord. In itself, here lies convincing evidence that Israel doesn’t embody the already-believing ten virgins, who alone own the quirk of sleeping while awaiting Christ by faith.
Now, no reference can be found in the Bible stating that the Church goes to Heaven at the traditional Second Coming. Suitably, the Body of Christ must embark on that trip much earlier (Heb. 12:22-23). In support of this fact, Jesus will take His rightful place on David’s Throne upon the traditional Second Coming (Luke 1:32); that is, when He delivers the faithful of Israel from its oppressors (Zech. 13:9). Then, upon that coming with all of His saints and glory, our Lord will not lead a marriage procession back to Heaven at the Second Advent, but will rule Earth from David’s Throne in Israel (Matt. 25:31; Amos 9:11; Zech. 6:12-13).
If the parable epitomized the Second Coming after the Great Tribulation, half the Church would be lost. Contrary to that assumption, 50 percent of the sheep will not lose their salvation. For in plain, nondebatable terms, the virgins of the parable were foolish, not wicked. In depicting the Church, Paul tells us that a Great House has many vessels, some to honor and some to dishonor (2 Tim. 2:20). Not to our dismay, each varying vessel still belongs to the Master of the Great House, even if a believer is temporarily dishonorable by being out of oil. Jesus said, “My Father which gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:29). He also said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will no wise cast out” (John 6:37).
What is profusely clear, then, is the fact that the foolish largely personify the sheep that Christ “will no wise cast out,” especially since virginity implies separation, cleanliness, and chastity through Christ’s justification of grace. Coinciding with these virtues, the foolish possessed the Spirit in their regeneration or they wouldn’t have utilized the oil: “Our lamps are gone out.” In essence, it is no great deduction to conclude that the foolish are also of the Household of Faith, the Great House, even if they are far from perfect in all of their ways.
Recognizing their tardiness in the wee hours of the night, the foolish will scurry out to buy the truth of God’s Word. Indeed, there will be a great awakening of knowledge and truth. Meanwhile, the wise with their fully trimmed lamps will keenly perceive that salvation is “at the doors,”2 and will enter at the Lord’s appearing (Matt. 24:33; 25:10; 2 Tim. 4:8; 1 John 3:2).
On the surface, the four watches of the night may not seem that important. But, as we will see, they more than unlock an integral part in understanding the Day of the Lord and its prior night, wherein Christ will initially return. Rest assured, the four Roman Watches will not be discarded in That Night, as they typically are among biblical scholars today.
More often than not, the Parable of the Ten Virgins is either slighted or overlooked by those who think they understand the initial coming of Christ. The underlying reason for this is that the parable neither fits the At-Once Rapture Teaching or Second Coming Only Theology, of which, both assure the salvation of the complete Church upon Christ’s return.
Despite the duplicity of these two teachings, only half the Church initially meets Christ in the parable. And here lies a “hard apple to swallow.” For many won’t admit the reality of preparedness (whether they believe in the Rapture or not), even though the Scripture is filled with much testimony on this subject, not to mention numerous blatant warnings. Yes, again, only a few in Sardis will watch; only few in Sardis will walk with Christ in white, which by no means can be understood as the entire Body of Christ in at-once Rapture.
The Light of the Parable
Only by biblical truth will Christians have light to see their way in the coming darkness of That Night. In the parable, all the virgins excitedly arose and trimmed their lamps; all were eager to meet the bridegroom. However, the way to meet Christ required light in That Night, or rather, oil burning in their lamps. As most agree, the oil signifies an active Holy Spirit in the Christian’s walk, directing the understanding of His Word: “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa. 119:105).
The lamplight of the foolish went out, stranding them behind in That Night. Biblically, besides symbolizing Jesus and the Word, “light” also equates in meaning to brotherly love (1 John 2:10). Thus, in this sense, the foolish ran out of God’s power to love others through the Spirit (Gal. 5:6-7; 1 John 4:6-8, 13), which resulted in the hindrance of their faith growing. Simply, they ran out of oil, or the inner power of God to love. More than just perceivably, if one is to go back to them “that sell,” they must again seek Christ, as He so pertinently testified to the already saved Church at Laodicea: “I counsel thee to buy of me” (Rev. 3:18). Although the oil represents the Holy Spirit, it doesn’t signify the total substance of the Spirit, but the energy of the Spirit when burned. Otherwise, upon the consumption of the oil, the Spirit of God wouldn’t remain in us.
Oil was to be stored in the vessels of the virgins, besides that of their lamps. Meaning, God and His Word are to be in our hearts (the inward man), and not just in our minds. To this regard, Christ wants to change hearts by the inner reshaping power of God: “But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” The oil is also indicative of faith. This is especially seen in the nurtured faith of the wise who increased their oil, or more of God within them. Concerning this very point, Paul wrote: “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Eph. 4:23); “the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16).
In suit, Christians are to be a knowledgeable people in tune with the Spirit, who competently base their faith on the reality of God’s Word. So much so, that their faith remains activated. Of course, faith only works by love (Gal. 5:6). In sum, the knowledge of Christ’s Word, quickened by the Spirit of Truth (1 John 4:6-8), provides a continuous light of direction (1 John 1:7; 2:10).
Now believers can only really know God one way: “He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8). From this view, we can detect why Jesus told the foolish, “I know you not.” The foolish thought they knew God by their profession of faith. Yet lacking the use of Christ’s indwelt love, the light of the foolish ebbed into darkness. So it isn’t hard to see that the foolish didn’t abide in the light of Christ, or His will of “faith which worketh by love.” No wonder, then, that there is a vast difference between being inhabited by the Spirit and His presence, compared to that of being filled by the Spirit with His agape love (Eph. 3:16-20).
When Christians of various denominations partake of the “light,” or partake of God’s deposit of love within them (Rom. 5:5; 2 John Vs. 1- 2), they abide in God Himself (1 John 3:9). Forthrightly, to such a one who uses God’s love there is “none occasion of stumbling” (1 John 2:10), for that person abides in the light of Christ’s power to love. Even so, it isn’t rare to hear the darkened claim that one must belong to a particular organization or they’re not saved. Yet the Scripture is strong on this point: “none occasion of stumbling.”
Christ told the foolish, “I know you not.” Dissimilar to the common assumption that Christ never knew them, the foolish will still have the opportunity to renew their chastity by believing in none other. Discarding all compromise with the world in That Day, the tarrying foolish will quickly increase their biblical knowledge while experiencing God’s power to love. Only then will they learn to hold fast to their profession of their faith, which isn’t to be a one-time experience: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering . . .” (Heb. 10:23).
In comparing the Scripture, we can see that Christians who are born of faith are born of love (1 John 4:7; 5:1). In fact, love is the core of the born-again experience. John penned: “And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God” (1 John 4:7). The words every one applies to all. Or to everyone who will love within the Christian realm, inasmuch that inner godly love has its uniqueness from the one true God (Rom. 5:5; Eph. 3:16-17). Jesus affirmed this when He said, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46).
Understanding a Jewish Wedding
By custom, after the parents had decided on a price, a Jewish engagement began by the groom offering a glass of wine to the prospective bride. If she accepted his proposal by drinking the wine, he would then go home to his father’s house for approximately one year and prepare a place for her. Upon the father’s approval of his preparations, returning, he would then call on his prospective bride at nighttime with two male witnesses. Expectantly waiting that hour, the bride was always to be ready; she was to watch in the night for the bridegroom’s surprise return.
During the interim, the prospective bride had several bridesmaids attending to her needs, who, if they were wise, kept her alert and ready for that surprise moment in the night. Speaking of which, the attending virgins joyfully would follow the bride and bridegroom (Psa. 45:14), including the two witnesses, in a wedding procession back to his father’s house.
Upon arriving home, the bridegroom would then prepare a meal for his bride, which betokened the actual marriage by its eating. Here, unveiled, lies the New Testament theme of Christ initially returning: the Church has drunk the wine of His very Jewish proposal, the New Covenant. We, then, the living end-time Church, promised through Christ’s blood of the New Covenant, await the Marriage Supper of the Lamb at His Father’s House. For which reason, our Lord told the Church:
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you [the marriage]. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And whither I go you know, and the way you know (John 14:1-3). By far, the majority of scholars concur that Christ’s language in the above articulates, in nonparabolic language, that He will return for the Church as a Jewish Bridegroom. For which reason, Christians not only await for their Lord’s return, but also are “bought with a price” by the blood (“wine”) of the New Covenant (1 Cor. 6:20). Thus, “and whither I go you know, and the way you know.” Or better yet, where I go and how I return—you now know!
This return is what the New Testament calls Christ’s “Like Manner Return,” or a return that was after the manner in which the Lord ascended. Fittingly, Christ’s Like Manner Return will be an intimate return in the presence of prepared believers, quietly accompanied by two male witnesses (Acts 1:10). Note: This is not a return identified by the shout of the Lord and the voice of Michael the Archangel, or by the Last Trump. Nor is this a return with those who sleep in Jesus, for vice versa to that fact, Christians go the heavenly city to meet all the saints, and the just spirits of men made perfect long before Christ returns with those who sleep in Jesus. In sum, this again is an intimate return only seen by prepared believers, quietly accompanied with “TWO MEN” witnesses, wherein we shall instantaneously be like Him and see the Lord as He is (1 John 3:2).
Moreover, if the literal chapter division is removed between 1st Thessalonians 4 & 5, we don’t see a pre-trib Rapture, but a return of Christ in the night of the Day of the Lord, which in that passage, Paul describes as beginning with birth pangs (Also, see Matt. 24:8 where Jesus describes the start of the Tribulation with birth pangs.). Additionally, we immediately behold the "times and seasons," and Christians are then told to watch (1 Thess. 5:6). Yet the world will face "sudden destruction," which in the Greek means "inescapable destruction." And this, as the night of That Day progresses until the Second Coming dawn (2nd Pet. 1:19). Again, at that time, God who is Christ returns with all of those who sleep in Jesus, and "all His saints" (1 Thess. 3:13, 4:14; Jude vs. 14). Lest we forget, Christ is the Bright & Morning Star, or the first light after the night when He returns with all His saints.
It is a biblical certainty that Jesus gave four prophetic watches in illustrating the coming Tribulation Night, in which, all four Roman Gentile Watches occur before the dawning of the Lord’s Day (2 Pet. 1:19). That is to say, Jesus equated the time of His initial coming to that of nighttime, by quoting the four Roman Guard watches of the night (summertime). Moreover, if we are to watch in the night, that means that the Day of Redemption (Eph. 4:30), being the Day of Jesus Christ, must also occur in That Night. Certainly, then, Christ, who allegorically is the Bright and Morning Star, or the first light after the night (the dawn of That Day in 2 Pet. 1:19), expects us to watch for His earlier Bridegroom Return with two male witnesses in That Night:
Watch you therefore: for you know not when
the master of the house cometh, at even, or at
midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning.
Get Ready is Robert’s new book and is available at Amazon.com. Also, just give the title and name of the author at any book store.
The Night-trib View Is That Christ Returns in The Spiritual Night Of The Tribulation!