Yoking yourself together with Jesus Christ and with all the people you are in relationships with, is you being ready for the day of the end that will come when we least expect it! Do not anyone tell you otherwise.
The Israelites went from enslavement in the natural three-dimensional life into freedom in the natural three-dimensional life, and in their earthly bodies; but the believers of Christ will go from spiritual enslavement by the devil in the natural three-dimensional life into spiritual freedom in the kingdom of heaven (supernatural), and in glorified bodies (supernatural).
Moses, a godly man led the charge against Pharaoh, a physical oppressor of God’s people and triumphed; Jesus, the Son of Man, led the charge (His first coming), against Satan, a spiritual oppressor of God’s people and triumphed. Joshua, a godly man, led the final charge to take God’s people into the Promised Land and he triumphed; Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, will lead the final charge (His second coming) to lead God’s people into the kingdom of heaven, and He will triumph.
For the church, these two thousand and some years that had elapsed since Jesus Christ came into the world, defeated the devil and liberated us from spiritual bondage from the hands of the devil, and set us on our way towards the church’s Promised Land (which is the kingdom of heaven) corresponds to the forty and some years the Israelites were in the desert, after being freed from bondage from the Pharaoh in Egypt, and setting them on their way to the Promised Land. The Israelites were freed from physical slavery from the Pharaoh while the church was freed from spiritual slavery from the devil. The land of bondage for the Israelites was Egypt and the land of bondage for the church is the earth as a whole.
In Egypt, God physically kept the plagues away from the Israelites by keeping the plagues away from Goshen, where the Israelites lived while they were slaves in Egypt; God will spiritually buffer each believer’s spirit with His Holy Spirit through faith in the blood of the Perfect Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, to give him protection from the events of the tribulations and God’s wrath. The church of Jesus Christ is one but its members are all over the earth, and not in one physical location as the Israelites were in Egypt. But the blood of Jesus Christ will provide each and every one who truly trusts in the Lord the spiritual protection he/she needs against the devil, and we are already experiencing that protection everywhere we are.
And to protect the Israelites from the tenth plague, God had them physically place the blood of the spotless lamb on their door posts, to protect their firstborns from the slaughter of the firstborns by the angel of death. The blood of Jesus Christ (the perfect Lamb of God) is spiritually placed on each believer, through faith, and will get the believers through the tribulations and the wrath of God. That is why Jesus Christ is adamant in His warning for the believers to be ready because that readiness will release the power in the blood of Christ in every believer, to prepare the believer for what is to come.
The power is already in every believer and only the strength of the believer’s faith can release it and make it work for the believer. If any believer focuses on the protection he/she has from the blood, and not consumed by the viciousness of the events of the tribulation, the believer will have the power to escape and be safe. That is why Jesus said, “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen,” (Luke 21:36), because when we pray and believe that God heard us and will give us what we asked for, we receive it, if we ask according to the Will of God.
But if you allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the extra-ordinary events happening all around you, you will lose your will power to continue to hold on to your faith. That is why Jesus warned us: “Be careful, or your heart will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36).
To be ready is not simply to pay attention to the world events for signs of trouble, but to strengthen your faith and make your calling sure. That is the most critical part of your readiness. If you are obedient to Christ as He commanded you, you will be ready to go through it all and survive it, and be able to stand before Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ warns:
“At that time, the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who 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 the coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.” (Matthew 25:1-5).
“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him! Then all the virgins wake up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'” (Matthew 25:6-8).
“‘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. Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.'” (Matthew 25:19-12).
“Therefore keep watch, because you did not know the day or the hour.”(Matthew 25:13). As you can see from the parable, your readiness is not something you put on when you see the sign of the end. It is something you have to do in advance in preparation for the end. Just like the virgins were all supposed to get oil well in advance of the wedding banquet, the believers of Jesus Christ are warned to cloak themselves with faith that is sure, by doing the things Christ commanded them to do in their everyday life:
Deny yourself and pick up your cross daily and follow me; be salt and light to the world; in all things acknowledge God; place other people’s interest above your own interest; be generous and willing to share with others; choose to live a holy life; do not be arrogant but continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling; love your neighbor as yourself; put on the whole armor of God; and so on.
You do not go on living life like you have always lived it, and when signs of trouble appear, you run around to get yourself into spiritual mode in the hope you will be found acceptable to Jesus Christ when He shows up. Jesus himself is saying that it will not work if you do it that way. By integrating the things He commanded you into your daily life, you will reach that state of preparedness that will be acceptable to Him. His commands have to be part of your daily life to get you to the matured state in your faith which will make you ready for anything the devil throws at you, and also for the last day.
The so-called five foolish virgins in this parable missed out on the event they have been waiting for because it happened later than expected so they ran out of oil since they did not prepare well enough. It is interesting how that point fits into the ongoing debate on whether the tribulations will happens after rapture or the rapture after tribulations. The parallel between the debate and the parable of the ten virgins is eerie. If a believer of Jesus Christ is persuaded that he will not be around at the time of tribulations because he would be gone already with Jesus Christ at the rapture, that believer will be in for the greatest surprise of his life if Christ did not come before the tribulations.
Because the believer hoped he would not be around for the tribulations, he failed to prepare for them as Jesus Christ warned:
“Be careful, or your heart will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36).
If you thought you were not going to be around and you end up being around, you may be in over your head in difficulties. ‘Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen.’ That is the warning, but if you feel something does not pertain to you, how can you be prepared for it? You wouldn’t and that is the tragedy of believing incorrectly. We saw from the parable of the ten virgins that their readiness was not from being awake and watching for the arrival of the bridegroom. Their readiness was from something they needed to do well in advance: purchasing extra oil and bringing it with them as they went to meet the bridegroom. Five virgins got the extra oil and five did not! All ten virgins fell asleep because it took longer than expected for the bridegroom to arrive and they were all tired. Yet when the bridegroom finally arrived, all ten virgins woke up to the call about his arrival, but only five who brought extra oil were ready to go in with bridegroom. So, they went in with him and the door was shut, locking out the other five who had to go get ready because they failed to do so earlier.
On the other hand, if you believe that tribulations would happen before rapture, and you prepare yourself for the worst, if Christ shows up ahead of tribulations, you have lost nothing. You go with Christ and are spared the bad experiences of tribulations. You will even savor your victory more if that were to be the case. So, do not be misled, prepare as Jesus Christ said to. It will be to your advantage as opposed to the other way around. It is your life and your salvation and you will be the only person paying the price if the experts were wrong in their predictions. Deny yourself and pick up your cross daily and follow Jesus Christ so you can be salt and light to the world. That ought to get you ready. Even if you are sleeping at the time Jesus Christ shows up and was awoken to His arrival, you are ready to go with Him.
Jesus Christ also said: “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm till the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:10-14).
Look at the underline word “most” in the preceding passage for a second. Jesus Christ Himself said that at the time of the end, the love of majority of those who believe in Him will grow cold. We know He was talking about the believers and not the world, because in the same sentence he added: “but he who stands firm till the end will be saved.” And also in the sentence prior, he had said “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.”
And what Jesus Christ described in the passage above is already happening: The church is excessively fragmented and many Christian groups frequently take shots at other Christian groups and undermine their message. That is in contradiction a church that is in “complete unity”(John 17:23) that Jesus Christ called for in the gospel of John; which apostle Paul also describes in the book of Ephesians:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope when you were called — one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:2-6).
Be careful what you listen to and who you listen to. Sometimes, bad messages are not deliberate but due to lack of the correct information. Remember that the Bible says: “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.” (Proverbs 29:18).
Seek the truth of God directly from God by always asking God for His truth in spirit, and He will give you revelations. Trust God completely, and the Holy Spirit of God will help your heart accept only the right message and keep you from the wrong message — but you must let Him.
The blood of Jesus Christ does not only provide the Christians with a license into eternal life in the heavenly kingdom, it also offers them protection, even immunity, from the devastation of the great tribulation. In the same manner, the blood of spotless lamb placed on the door posts of all the Israelites’ household in Egypt gave them the protection required to prevent the death angel from killing their first sons as he killed those of the Egyptians. The blood of spotless lamb, sacrificed annually, also provided the Israelites with annual atonement of sins.
So the blood of Jesus Christ is the one powerful instrument needed by the Christians for everything in their current lives and beyond, and only time will show the full powers of ‘the blood':
The blood of Jesus Christ is our access to holiness through the help of the Holy Spirit; it is our gateway to joy and peace, rest and the fullness of the Spirit of God; it is our protection from the devil and all of its exploits; it is our pass into heaven; and it is the title of the deed to our inheritance in the kingdom of heaven. It is costly to Christ and His Father but given to us free of charge out of His immense love for us.
The way God gave his grace to Israel and the world is described in Christ’s parable of the workers in the vineyard: A vineyard owner hired people to work at his vineyard for a day, and they agreed to work for one denarius for the whole day. He also hired others six hours into the work day, others at nine hours into the work day and yet others at one hour to the end of the day.
And at the end of the day he paid those who put in a whole day’s work, 12 hours in the scorching heat, a denarius for the day, as they agreed to be receive at the end of the day. But out of his own generosity, the owner of the vineyard decided to pay those who worked six hours, and those who worked three hours and those who worked only one hour, each a denarius for the day, as well.
The ones that worked the longest hours started grumbling, saying that the method of compensation was unfair to them. And to that, the owner replied:
“Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I give you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 20:13-15). And Jesus concluded this philosophy with: “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
God gives as He sees fit. He ensures that the needs of everybody who is obedient to Him are met. Look at the following passage: “The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed.” (Exodus 16:17-18).
The key is always obedience to God. Do all He tells you to do, and all your needs are fully met. In the parable, because the laborers who worked only one hour, those who worked three hours and those who worked six hours complied fully with the commands of the owner of the vineyard, in much the same way as those who worked twelve hours, the owner paid them enough to take care of their needs for that day. God reacts that way to obedience. People are called to come to Christ from different generations, different walks of life, different circumstances in life, and at different times in their lifetime. And God ensures that the needs of all His workers are met when they fully obey Him and follow His instructions. That’s the way it has always been with God. And it is not only with our daily bread and our earthly needs, it is also the same way with our salvation through our obedience to the things God commanded us.
You are called when you are called and given all the pertinent information. Your complete obedience, in accordance with the terms of your calling (just like in the parable about the workers), is required for you to receive the rewards you were promised. How God chooses to deal with others is not your business, but it is guaranteed to be fair to everybody. God commands us to be generous and share with others. So what is wrong with Him being generous to those who, by virtue of the opportunity available to them, worked less hours but receives enough pay to take care of their needs for the day?
First the Jews received God’s grace through their forefather Abraham. Then the Gentiles were brought in through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. The Gentiles then took the gospel back to Jerusalem and Israel and many Jews came to Christ and received salvation through the blood of Christ (just like the twelve apostles and the rest of the first century Jews that became followers of Jesus Christ). And finally, 144,000 Jews are brought in to complete the body of Christ. That is God being generous to who He wants to be generous to.
You should be concerned only with what you are receiving and let others worry about theirs. Christ is the only begotten Son of God and everything that God has belongs to Him, yet Jesus Christ chose to not only sacrifice His life to restore “Adam” (that is all of mankind); He chose to allow us to share in His inheritance. That is the picture He painted to us in the parable of the prodigal son, with the older son a shadow of Him and the younger son, a shadow of Adam and all of mankind, and the father, a shadow of God.
It boils down to what the Bible says: Nobody knows the mind of God. One thing is certain, however. That He gives to everybody what He promises them. He does not compromise or shortchange anybody. He does not answer to anyone as to why He does what He does, and He does not appreciate anyone questioning His righteousness in doing whatever He chooses to do. Anyone who truly knows the might of God will only be surprised that He bothers about us. All we should have is thankfulness and gratitude to Him for caring about our welfare. Nobody loves us more.