Will You Miss Him?
Jesus said He is coming
in a day or hour which you do not understand. To those not ready, His
coming will be as a thief in the night. Those not ready will not be part
of the "watch" in which He will come and they will miss Him. Mt. 24:42-45.
To be alert to the hour of His coming requires getting ready. Readiness
requires preparation. Besides understanding, one should also do
some things before He comes. Or, as Jesus said, you will miss the event.
The Bible also says the children of Light will not be surprised. 1Thess.
5:2-6. Here, Light describes those being enlightened, with facts clearly
in mind. If they are not surprised, those must previously have been in
possession of true facts on what He will find acceptable at the time of
Can there be any
other reading of these passages? Read them again carefully, and then associate
them with Amos 3:7, Mk. 4:22 and Jhn. 16:4. It is not the Lord who keeps
man in the dark about anything He is about to do. In order not to miss
out on the event and the concurrent events of His coming, one should involve
himself. For adequate preparation he should accurately gather the truths
enabling qualification prior to the time of His coming. He says we surely
can! Deut. 30:14.
How many of these
Christ-spoken facts do Christians know? How many work hard to better understand
more of them? Understanding is different than being aware. How is adequate
preparation completed? Anyone "just resting in the Lord," anyone "just
trusting in Jesus," or "just loving Him," will surely miss Him. Actual
truths He taught must be applied, in order not to miss Him. Would an instructive
example be useful?
Perhaps you recall
that John the Baptist described himself as the voice in the wilderness,
preparing people for the Lord's coming. He did a good job. It was John
the Baptist who subsequently introduced the Lamb of God. He was very accurate
in recognizing the beginning. Surely he should have had possession of
the necessary facts; surely he should have known much about the Lord's
coming. Jhn. 1:23-24. But do you realize that although John knew His assignment,
ultimately he was deficient in understanding enough of the facts concerning
the Lord's purpose at His coming?
You have read that
he sent two of his disciples to further investigate this Jesus. Why did
He refuse to keep God's "promise" to use His mighty power to neutralize
and terminate Rome's rule over the Holy Land - for all time? Seemingly,
this Jesus was refusing to set up His Kingdom on earth, as prophesied.
Could He really be the promised Savior of the Chosen People? John stumbled
over what he saw, because he had preconceived ideas derived from what
the priests and theologians had taught. Lk. 7:18-23. John stumbled because
he could not recognize the "day" he saw, and he missed out on deliverance
from prison. He literally lost his head over what he thought he should
ideas of the Lord's actions at His second coming are in your own mind?
Will they match what He taught about His coming? Or are they derived
from the teachings of ministers and theologians who have received their
information from other ministers and other theologians? Remember that
both Daniel and the Apostle John were instructed to "seal up" certain
previews given them so that there would not be full revealing until the
end of the age in which we live. Dan. 12:4, Rev. 10:4. How could some
of our fathers and their fathers be so sure they knew so much about the
time and the manner of our Lord's coming? That is only now being revealed
within and to the generation which shall not pass away before all these
things prophesied are completed. Mt. 24:33-34. Only man's inventiveness
has made so much "knowledge" available previous to about 1930. It failed.
Because of preconceived notions, most people will miss the coming of the
Lord. Will you?
How often the Lord
emphasized dangers in Satan- devised traps! The ways of God were well
known in the days of Noah. Adam had died only about 126 years before Noah
was born and only about 14 years had elapsed from the death of Seth. Noah
was born only 69 years after Enoch was translated. Methuselah lived as
a contemporary with Adam about 242 years; he was a contemporary of Noah
about 600 years. It was a time when relatively few men populated the land.
The knowledge of God's requirements was readily available through a plurality
of human sources. However, not being coordinated with God's ways, most
men, except Noah and seven others, missed preservation in the boat - a
type of Christ.
During the time of
Sodom and Gomorrah, the ways of God were not hidden. Abram was born about
60 years before Noah died, and Abram's life was contemporary with that
of Noah's son, Shem, during 210 years. Lot was also contemporary with
Shem. Isaac was contemporary with Shem during 110 years. But of all people
living in the fertile valley of Sodom, only Lot and his family knew enough
about God's requirements to pull away - and preserve their lives. As a
young man, Joseph received visions from God describing his family's inter-
relationships. The family had other views, and totally missed what God
was doing. As a result, wheat harvests were poor and they left the Promised
Land. During the Exodus wilderness travels, the Chosen People insisted
on following their own ideas, instead of what God was showing and doing
through Moses. The whole adult generation missed preservation in the Promised
Land - except for two who prefigured two groups and the Rev. 11 two witnesses
in our time.
Although much warning
and exhortation was given the Hebrew people prior to the victories of
the Assyrian and then the Babylonian armies, the Hebrews stuck to their
own ideas and lost even what they had. The church- nation of the Jewish
people had all the information needed, and more than it wished to use
about the timing and work which their Messiah would undertake. The priests
and learned men could tell Herod, a Gentile, when and precisely where
the Messiah would be born. But because of preconditioned notions of Christ's
coming and the work of His ministry, they willfully missed taking part
in His Kingdom. They said Jesus was an anti-Christ, an outgrowth of Satan.
Man-organized Christendom has long held to its own opinions and views
of what Jesus is doing to form His Glorious Church on earth, full of power
and with no blemish. Eph. 5:27. Because of that, Christendom failed to
cooperate and has a lame, ineffective part in building the Kingdom Christ
came to establish on earth. Further, all in Christendom adhering to its
man-conditioned ideas will yet miss any function in the heavenly New Jerusalem
What is necessary
to ensure enlightenment by which one can make himself ready for the Lord's
coming? One reason for His first coming was to bring the gift of His immortal
seed for immediate preservation from death of the human soul. Ro. 6:23,
1Pet. 1:23. He intended that would then initiate a process leading to
inner Kingdom rule and then physical immortality on earth. Jhn. 6:49-51,
Heb. 9:28. However, when He comes the second time, it will be not to deal
with either sin or man's total preservation. He comes to lift all who
are prepared into glorified heavenly Kingdom status in the New Jerusalem
above (Rev. 12:5) and to put the rest of the world back on the course
rejected during His first coming. When He comes again, He will bring wages
for work accomplished. Rev. 22:12. When He comes again, it will be to
shake down and pulverize into "dust" everything not pure and having God
as its source. Heb. 12:26-29, Dan. 2:35.
A reward is different
than a gift. A reward is paid only to those proven worthy to receive,
having earned it. Therefore, after granting the gift of preservation for
the soul, God's plan moves on into the preparation phase so that the one
preparing may become ready and worthy to stand in His presence
- before He comes. Lk. 21:36. He will reward and recompense those who
have worked and sacrificed to make themselves ready. Man's initiative
in responding, man's cooperation in working out the Lord's plan, is the
only way provided toward adequately earning the prize of the heavenly
calling. Phil. 3:13-17. But there can be no timely and objective cooperation
at all, without adequate specific and accurate knowledge of God's requirements
for qualification. What are you doing now to gain this specific and accurate
knowledge of His righteous requirements and how and when He will reveal
Himself? What is being done to prepare for it?
Transmission of specific
and accurate knowledge requires teaching. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will
teach all things - and that is true. But we also need to note the manner
of His teaching. The Holy Spirit will teach and guide in (clarify) only
what has been spoken by the Christ-Spirit (Old and New Testament) - as
all the Word of God is being studied and compared within itself. Jhn.
14:26, 16:13, Mt. 4:4. Always in the Record, God has chosen to bring His
teaching through the mouths of men who are His specially chosen vessels,
those who have made themselves available exclusively to the Lord's training.
Isaiah was such a vessel; the Apostles were trained to be such vessels.
Of course, those men were not the only vessels chosen to bring illumination
on how to become ready and worthy through cooperation. Nor has the Lord
withheld His vessels or His illumination in this final decade of the Church
Age. Nevertheless, most church groups still fearfully refuse association
with "controversial" teaching on how the Lord will bring about His work
of consummating all that the Prophets have spoken throughout the ages.
Acts. 3:21. Very few, though the number is growing, have begun to take
interest in associating current events with Bible prophecy. A few of the
few are motivated by desire to know so as to cooperate in the Lord's work
and become prepared and useful. Others are motivated by intellectual curiosity,
to learn what is going to happen, just for the sake of knowing.
If you are among
those receiving teaching of the Faith from the Word of the Lord, you now
know there is more in His plan than soul preservation and more than a
subsequent Holy Spirit Baptism. In that case, you may be motivated to
go far beyond that "nursing infant" stage and on toward maturity. Heb.
5:11-14, 6:1-3. Eph. 4:12-13. Christ has provided the way, but the way
is the Lord's way and not man's way. It is needful to home in on the Lord's
requirements for qualifying and it is necessary to have been cooperating
prior to His coming again among men. There are no acceptable substitutes.
It is fruitless to
learn and accept the man-developed opinion pervading Christendom about
what is acceptable to the Lord when He comes. It is fruitless because
that faith is not at all the Faith presented by Christ. Lk. 18:8. All
of religious man's brainwashing taken in has to be blasted out and removed
before the Lord's Truth can replace it. Blasting and removal is painful
- almost unbearable for some. Those who would prepare may have to make
Will you continue
in Christendom's presentation of (and in teaching it, for that matter)
the alleged requirements of Jesus Christ? Is a claimed "born again" status
sufficient? Or will you freshly learn about His new and strange (not as
expected) work - differing in all aspects from traditions of man - and
learn only through the revealing of Jesus Christ? Isa. 28:21-24, 43:18-19.
The question is not whether you should engage in preparation. It is vital
for pleasing the Lord, because He yearns to give out His rewards. The
question is how to go about preparing. Man's traditions always lead one
way. The revelations of Jesus Christ lead another way.
In the period preceding
His first coming, the traditions of man became the stumbling block for
almost the whole Jewish nation. Only a few hundred out of several millions
were willing to accept even a portion of what our Lord was offering. The
pattern is true. Today in the period preceding His second coming, the
traditions of man have become the stumbling block for multitudes. Again,
leaders in tradition have themselves refused to enter into the fulness
of God's Truth and have obstinately prevented multitudes from entering
in. Lk. 11:52.
How important it
becomes for all people living in this decade of the 1990s to learn what
God Himself has said. How important it becomes to back away completely
from all doctrine of man-chosen teachers - and permit God to teach new
and fresh from His sound foundation.
Once more He will
shake all things. "Once more" indicates the final removal of that which
can be shaken, all that does not have its source in God. Only that which
can not be shaken will be able to stand. Heb. 12:26-29. No person, no
person at all, lacking prior and adequate preparation, readiness and worthiness
will be able to stand and overcome the unimaginable, unthinkable, intolerable
pressures now mounting to engulf every nation and every individual not
the teaching of the Lord will be fruitful. There is blessing in studying,
teaching and conforming to the whole Word of God. In the Book of Revelation
is a special and noteworthy statement not occurring in any other Book.
"Blessed are those who read aloud with comment the Word of this
prophecy. Blessed are those who hear it and who obey it, for the time
is near (once these things begin). Rev. 1:3, 22:10, Jhn. 14:21.
How can any thinking
person neglect such specific admonition to prepare for the time and manner
of the Lord's coming? The title of the Book means revealing or unveiling.
To the wise, it is the unique unveiling of God's end-time work.
The man who either
ignores the call or refuses to cooperate with the end-time unveiling will
surely miss the Lord's coming. Without change of heart and mind, he will
be unable to stand through 3.5 years of "shaking." But to him who refuses
the tradition of man and accepts full revealing from the Lord Jesus,
there is strengthening into invulnerability. In the midst of terrible
pressures and environment of intolerable anguish man is now swiftly bringing
upon himself, the overcoming one will be as a spectator - it cannot touch
him. Mt. 24:21-22, Lk. 21:25- 26, Ps. 91:1-10. In the world, men will
have tribulation, but in Christ, not a touch of tribulation. Jhn. 16:31.
How is the Lord calling
to you? Are you actively engaged in preparation? Will you adhere to comfortable
traditions of religious man, or do you insist on preparing exclusively
within Jesus Christ's current prophetic revelations, as confirmed by His
whole Word? Both approaches are available. Will you know when He is coming?
Will you know precisely how He is coming to put down the foolishness
of man and establish His Kingdom? If you know and conform, you will meet
Him as He comes. If you "know" something different, you will miss Him
- as a householder who belatedly discovers a thief was there.
Preparation is not
so much having well developed religious skills, but is more in having
learned to trust the Lord in "impossible" situations - all of them.