In a previous article,we mentioned that revival is coming. We stated our belief that this will occur after God has intervened to save the tiny nation of Israel. This battle and intervention are seen in Ezekiel,Chapters 38 and 39.
At the present time,many Christians seem to fit the description given in Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins,found in Matthew’s gospel,Chapter 25. In that parable,Jesus said,“While the bridegroom tarried,they all slumbered and slept.” (Matthew 25:5) Perhaps God’s intervention and the destruction of 5/6ths of the army which dares to attack Israel will be the wake-up call that will alert the Church to the nearness of Christ the Bridegroom coming for His espoused bride.
Here’s the way I believe the scenario may play out.
The destruction of the vast majority of the army that will attack Israel will likely be seen on international television. Pictures of the huge hailstones,the fire and brimstone,will be seen by multitudes around the world. This is likely the way God will be glorified in the eyes of the nations. (Eze. 39:13)
As to the following revival,Jesus said in Matthew 24:14 that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the entire world for a witness to all nations.
For years,we pondered the question:“What is the gospel of the kingdom?” Most expositors seem to assume that this statement by Jesus simply meant “the gospel” would be preached globally. But,when we examine the Biblical use of the term “gospel of the kingdom,” we see that it may mean much more than that.
Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom. As He was speaking deliverance to the man having a dumb spirit,the people accused him of doing so by Beelzebub,the prince of the devils. Jesus asked them,“…if I by Beelzebub cast out devils,by whom do your sons cast them out?” Then,He explained from where His power derived. He said,“But if I with the finger of God cast out devils,no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.” (Luke 11:20 )
Jesus had authority from God the Father to perform miracles. You will notice Jesus didn’t,during His earthly ministry,“pray” for people to be healed or delivered. He had authority from God the Father to do so by His command.
When Jesus sent His twelve disciples in Luke,Chapter 9,He gave them authority to perform miracles. (Lk. 9:1) They didn’t pray for the people. They ministered by the authority they had been given. Likewise,in Lk. 10,Jesus sent “other seventy” to minister. He gave them the same authority. In Luke 10:9,we read that Jesus sent them,saying,“…heal the sick that are therein,and say unto them,The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” Notice that they were preaching the gospel of the kingdom.
Jesus clearly said this phenomenon would be repeated in the last days. We believe it will follow God’s being glorified by destroying Israel’s enemies as foretold by Ezekiel.
You will remember that the original Bible texts weren’t separated into chapters and verses. When Jesus made the declaration about the gospel of the kingdom,in Matthew 24:14,He followed that a few verses later by saying,“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins,which took their lamps,and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” (Matthew 25:1) Notice that he is speaking about the gospel of the kingdom,when the saints will,once again,exercise their authority to perform miracles.
From the parable of the ten virgins,we learn that five of the virgins were wise,and five were foolish. The difference was in the oil. The wise had extra oil in their vessels with their lamps. The foolish hadn’t any. Oil is used as a type of the Holy Spirit. We see this in the anointing of the Old Testament kings and prophets. Similarly,in the New Testament,oil is used in anointing.
While it is true that every born-again child of God has the Spirit of Christ,not all are filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul,speaking to the Church at Ephesus,said,“And be not drunk with wine,wherein is excess;but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephes. 5:18) A contemporary believer questioned why Paul would encourage Christians to be filled with the Spirit. Another answered,“Because we leak so badly!”
The foolish virgins had salvation. They were born-again children of God. At one time,their lamps had shined;but now,they had “gone out.” (Mt. 25:8) If they had needed salvation,the wise could have helped them in their pursuit;but,they were commanded to “…go ye rather to them that sell,and buy for yourselves.” Salvation isn’t to be bought! It is the gift of God! (Eph. 2:8)
As the foolish virgins went to “buy” the oil they needed,the wise entered the place of the marriage,and the door was shut. (Why did it take so long to acquire the oil? We’ll discuss that in our next article.)
We are speaking of that time when the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world just prior to the end of this dispensation. We are reminded of Paul’s words when he said,“For he will finish the work,and cut it short in righteousness:because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.” (Romans 9:28)
There were two special fishing trips recorded in the Bible. One was at the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The second was after His resurrection. We believe each has a lesson for us. The first typified the harvest of souls in most of the Church age. The last (Jn 21:11) is the harvest of souls that characterizes the last days,when the gospel of the kingdom will be preached. The lesson in the 153 fish may prove quite interesting.
To be continued.
Photo credit:Fr. Stephen,MSC (Creative Commons)