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by Pastor Gordon Brubaker

Christ Meeting the World

"Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them,
for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you."

1 Timothy 4:16


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CONTINUE Lesson 12, Part 2

(Matthew 24-25)

For many the study of the final consummation of all things is a study is despair. But the Scripture speaks of this "glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" as "our blessed hope" (Titus 2:13).

The Appearing of Christ: I Tim. 6:14; II Tim. 1:10; 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; I Peter 1:7.


Jesus speaks in these chapters of the final "Days of the Lord" which signify the return of Jesus Christ and the consummation of all things. In response to the question, "What shall be the sign of thy coming?" Jesus shares five (5) events that MUST take place, then He shares seven (7) parables representing the number of maturity, of what is to come before he closes with another event that must occur, bringing this total events to six (6), which is equal to the number of man.

EVENT #1: Matthew 24:4-14 - DECEPTION!

There will be increased DECEPTION before Jesus returns, along with WARS and RUMORS OF WARS. Jesus warns us that these signs do NOT signify the end, "the end is not yet!" Instead "these are the beginning of sorrows." After this will come PERSECUTION OF THE BELIEVERS! And then there will be more FALSE PROPHETS which will deceive great numbers of people. Jesus said, "If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," John 8:31-32.

Amid all of these tragic events Jesus lets us know that "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; AND THEN SHALL THE END COME!" The great "sign" we should look for is a mighty outpouring of the kingdom of God, not the deception or wars, etc! In these last days the church is going to be a strong witness or martyr of God to ALL the nations! This is that which Joel prophesied and of which Peter spoke on the day of Pentecost!


This will really happen! Jesus says, "When you shall see...!" You have to understand Daniel 9:20-27 and Daniel 12:1-13. Jesus is not just stating random facts, but is indeed outlining the progression of these "end times". Following the abomination of desolation comes the "great tribulation".

EVENT #3: Matthew 24:21-23 - GREAT TRIBULATION!

Although there will always be degrees of "tribulation" for the saints there is yet to be a "great tribulation" that exceeds any before! This is stunning when we remember the intense persecutions of many saints before us in the Roman Empire and the persecution that came from the ecclesiastical authorities over printing God's Word in English! Couple this with recent compulsions to eradicate Christianity among Communist, Moslem, and Hindu nations which accelerated in Uganda's "final solution" of the Christian problem. In the midst of this time we find God intervening on behalf of His people as Jesus assures us that "but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. This is to be a brief period of time filled with great intensity!


During the "great tribulation" there will be many false Christs and prophets speaking spuriously in the name of the One True God! They shall show forth great signs and wonders that only the true believers will know the difference. Obviously this implies that they will gain a great following. This behooves us to know the truth of the true doctrines and to know our God intimately that we may not be deceived!

Jesus will come as lightning and be known by all even as one sees and knows lightning when it flashes from the east to the west.

EVENT #5: Matthew 24:29-31 - THE REAPING OF THE HARVEST!

"Immediately after the tribulation" there will be a great darkening. This may be literal as well as allegorical! The sun, moon and stars may represent the world leaders and their main backers who are found in this day to not have the answers that desperate men seek! II Corinthians 4:4 tells us that Satan blinds "the minds of them that believe not." This may represent a time of intellectual darkness and depravity that loses the ability and even the pretense to save men from their troubles.

At any event the true event that Jesus is revealing to us is the coming of the Son of man "in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory"! But BEFORE Jesus comes, he will send forth His laborers, His angels, "and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

PARABLE #1: Matthew 24:32-35 - LEARN THE SIGNS!

This first of seven parables of Jesus is an interlude to help us understand what is taking place. The parable is about a fig tree which gives signs of the approach of summer. The point is that we should also learn to tell the times by what Jesus has just told us! There will always be deception, but the things Jesus is speaking about will occur across the entire globe in a brief period of time for ALL mankind to see! And as the fig tree that gives signs of summer will see the fullness of that summer; so those who see the signs Jesus is revealing will see the fulfillment of those same things! That generation will NOT pass away, till ALL these things are fulfilled!

Jesus seals this with a strong statement of its validity! "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." In other words, what Jesus has just said is true!

PARABLE #2: Matthew 24:36-39 - RAPTURE OF THE SAINTS!

This parable and the following parable are NOT one and the same! They are two very different illustrations of two very different events!

Jesus' reference to Noah is NOT accidental but very intentional. Life will continue as normal and routine up to the point of the flood, as in the days of Noah! UNTIL THE DAY THAT NOAH ENTERED THE ARK! This is a story of the safety of the saints! Notice that Noah and his family are removed from the wicked world! This is a concrete example of what we refer to as the "rapture", a time when the saints are removed from this world. Notice that this occurs BEFORE the flood! Noah and the family were not affected by the flood, yet the whole world was washed away in their sin! Christ is coming to remove us and save us from the great tribulation!

PARABLE #3: Matthew 24:40-41 - END OF THE TRIBULATION!

This parable starts out, "Then..." This is NOT another interpretation of the former parable but a continuation of where the other has left off! While the former spoke of delivering believers from the tribulation, this speaks of those believers who are alive during the tribulation! Jesus does not comment on how they came to be here during this time so I will not debate it either.

In the flood of Noah's day after Noah entered the ark, the wicked were removed from the earth! Death is the penalty for sin! Jesus says there were two in the field; "the one shall be taken, and the other left." The one taken signifies the wicked being removed from the earth! The one that remains signifies the righteous that inherit the earth! The same with the two women grinding! The wicked one is removed and the righteous one remains!

The Bible speaks of Jesus reigning over a populated earth! Who is going to populate it? The wicked? If so where is their judgment? The raptured saints? Once raptured we have a spiritual body and we are not given in marriage any more! The earth will be repopulated by those who live through the tribulation who believe on the name of Jesus Christ!

PARABLE #4: Matthew 24:42-44 - ALERTNESS COUNTS!

This is why this parable is so important. Jesus is commanding us to stay alert! Too not be deceived! He says, "WATCH!" We do not know what hour Jesus will come so let's live a life of watchfulness! Let's be alert to the will and the events of God! Jesus ends telling us, "be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."


After commanding us to watch, Jesus asks a question, "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom the Lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?" Jesus then compares a faithful servant with an evil servant. Only we can decide which servant we will be.

PARABLE #6: Matthew 25:1-13 - ISRAEL!

I believe that all ten of the virgins represent Israel! Remember Jesus is speaking to the Jews! Virgins represent those consecrated, in this case to God! If Jesus were speaking of two different groups He would have used two images, such as sheep and goats, but He does not! The virgins represent the faithful Jews who are searching for the Christ, their bridegroom. The distinction between the two groups are that five were wise and five were foolish. The foolish were not prepared. They all slept and they all trimmed their lamps, so this cannot be the point of separation. Five had brought extra oil which according to verse 10 made them "ready" to enter with the bridegroom.

Some Jews were "ready" to believe in Jesus, others were not. Some Jews were wise to accept Christ, while others were foolish and sought entrance in the kingdom of God by their own standards even though they had no oil!

Jesus in parable is warning the Jews to be wise and not foolish! To believe in Jesus as the Christ for He is their bridegroom. What a shame to wait and wait for the Anointed One and then have Him say, "I know you not."

Again the emphasis of the parable is verse 13, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."

PARABLE #7: Matthew 25:14-30 - END OF THE TRIBULATION!

In its actual context this is a parable of faithful and wicked servants. This is a parable of the kingdom of heaven. A man who is traveling to a far country calls his servants and gives them talents or valuable gifts. When the man returns, at the end of the tribulation, the faithful are rewarded while the wicked are sent away into everlasting punishment.

At the beginning of the parable the giver of gifts seems to be just a man, yet his greatness is shown in his ability to cast the wicked man into outer darkness.

EVENT #6: Matthew 25:31-46 - THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN!

Jesus finishes up this mini book of Revelation stating the fact that when the Son of man returns it will be in full glory with the holy angels of God with Him. All the nations or peoples of the earth shall be gathered before Him and He shall separate them one from another! One goes into everlasting punishment, the righteous into life eternal.


I Timothy 4, II Timothy 3:1, II Thessalonians 2:3 and II Peter 2-3 indicate that there shall be a general trend of apostasy within the church that will end in the failure of the church. Simultaneously with this development in the church there will be fulfillment of the divine plan of God in calling out a true church designed to be a holy bride (Ephesians 5:25-27) for the Son of God AND a promised translation from the earth BEFORE the final tragic scenes of the tribulation are enacted.


1) Denial of the Doctrine of the Trinity (I John 2:22-23);

2) Denial of the Incarnation of Christ (I John 2:22; 4:3; II John 7). This may involve either the denial of Christ's true and real humanity OR denying His true deity;

3) Denial of the doctrine of the return of Christ.

B. Revelation 17 speaks of "Mystery Babylon" the great harlot.

Many believe this to be the organizational or ecumenical church. The intent of such a church has to include moves toward unity in Christendom as well as the ascendancy of doctrines to which diverse groups can give support.



The belief which holds "that the kingdom of God is now being extended in the world through the preaching of the Gospel and the saving work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of individuals, that the world is eventually to be Christianized, and that the return of Christ is to occur at the CLOSE of a long period of righteousness and peace commonly called the millennium...the second coming of Christ will be followed immediately by the general resurrection, the general judgement , and the introduction of heaven and hell in their fullness" (Basic Theology, Ryrie, Page 441). Hebrews 10:13 could be used to defend this view as Jesus is expecting His enemies to be made His footstool. They believe the kingdom of God is an earthly and carnal kingdom.


This belief claims there will be NO millennium before the end of the world. Until the end there will be a parallel development of both good and evil, God's kingdom and Satan's. After the second coming of Christ at the end of the world there will be a general resurrection and general judgement of all people. They believe that the church is a heavenly spiritual kingdom.

Much debate has ensued over the "proper" interpretation of Revelation: should it be literal (carnal) or spiritualized (heavenly). The answer is easy, interpret end times as literal where they are literally speaking, and figuratively where they are using figures. People then and now speak of both in the same context. We MUST allow the Biblical writers the same privilege!


When persecutions ceased and Christianity received a sure footing in the Roman Empire, eventually becoming the state religion, the passionate longing for the appearance of Jesus Christ gave way and the Church began to adapt to its present task.

Augustine was instrumental in turning the thoughts of the Church from the future to the present by his identification of the Church and the Kingdom of God. This is the AMILLENNIALISM view.

During the Middle Ages Millenarianism was generally regarded as heretical. The millennium was rejected by the Protestant Churches, but was revived by the "more fanatical Anabaptists." Luther scorned "the dream" and the Augsburg Confession (1530) condemned those "who scatter Jewish opinions, that, before the resurrection of the dead, the godly shall occupy the kingdom of the world, the wicked being everywhere suppressed." The Second Helvetic Confession says: "Moreover, we condemn the Jewish dreams, that before the day of judgement there shall be a golden age in the earth, and the godly shall possess the kingdoms of the world, their enemies being trodden under foot" (The History of Christian Doctrines, Berkhof, Page 263).


This view holds that the second coming of Christ will occur PRIOR to the Millennium which will see the establishment of Christ;'s kingdom on earth for a literal 1,000 years. It also recognizes that there will be several occasions when resurrections and judgements will take place. Eternity will begin AFTER the 1,000 years are concluded.

This view is held by the more fundamentalist, however there is much difference along the lines of sequences of events.

Some of the early Church Fathers took Revelation 20:1-6 literally which caused them to distinguish between a first and a second resurrection, and to believe in an intervening kingdom, although this view was not generally accepted in the first three centuries (The History of Christian Doctrine, Berkhof, Page 262). This is the PREMILLENARIAN View. Ryrie (Basic Theology, Page 451) says that a general PREMILLENNIAL scheme was widely held in the first centuries of the church, but never embodied in any creed or form of devotion.

(I Thessalonians 4:17)


It is usually argued that the word rapture does not appear in the Scripture and thus is NOT Biblically sound. "Rapture" comes from the Latin word "rapio", which means to seize or snatch in relation to an ecstasy of spirit or the actual removal from one place to another. In other words it means to be carried away in spirit or in body. The Rapture of the Church means the carrying away of the Church from earth to heaven. The Rapture usually refers to both the translation of living believers from earthly mortality to heavenly immortality and to the resurrection of the dead and corrupted bodies of believers to heavenly incorruption.

The Greek word from which we take the term "rapture" appears in I Thessalonians 4:17, translated "caught up." The Greek is "harpazo" which means to snatch or take away. The Latin translation of this verse uses "rapturo". This same word is used in Acts 8:39 and II Corinthians 12:2-4.


The hope of the rapture is found in I Thessalonians 5:9, in that God has NOT appointed us to wrath. The Greek is "orge" and came to signify anger as the strongest of all passions. It is used of the wrath of man; the displeasure of human governments; the sufferings of the Jews at the hand of the Gentiles; the terrors of the law (Romans 4:15); the anger of the Lord Jesus (Mark 3:5); God's anger with Israel in the wilderness (Hebrews 3:11; 4:3); God's present anger with the Jews nationally (Romans 9:22; I Thessalonians 2:16); His anger with those who disobey the Lord Jesus in His Gospel (John 3:36); God's purposes in judgment (Matthew 3:7; Luke 3:7; Romans 1:18; 2:5,8; 3:5; 5:9; 12:19; Ephesians 2:3; 5:6; Colossians 3:6; I Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9).

The book of Revelation points to a great outpouring of God's wrath upon those living at that time on the earth for their unbelief. The Rapture is seen as God rescuing His own people, the Church from such a period of judgment.


Beginning in the 1800's a great interest arose concerning the Rapture of the Church which brought forth a fresh teaching.


There are those who propose only a PARTIAL RAPTURE (1835, Robert Govett) which stresses that ONLY those who are "watching" and "waiting" for the Lord's return will be found worthy to escape the terrors of the Tribulation. This view also holds to a "series" of raptures during the Tribulation as well as a final Rapture, including both believers and unbelievers.


1-1) I Corinthians 15:51-54, speaks of the dead being raised FIRST, then those that are alive! Nor does it speak of different "groups" who are to be Raptured.

2-2) It divides the Body of Christ. Who or what declares that we belong to Christ's Body? I Corinthians 12:13-14.

3-3) The Tribulation is NEVER referred to as a time of chastening for the Church or part of the Church. It is the time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).

4-4) The Rapture is NOT a reward for godly living; rather godly living will be rewarded with crowns, NOT Rapture (II Timothy 4:8).


There are three basic positions regarding the timing of the Rapture: PRE-, MID-, POST. We accept the PRE-TRIBULATION position as being the MOST accurate Biblical interpretation. John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) saw the Church as a special work of God, distinct from His program for Israel. This led him to the position that the Church would be Raptured BEFORE the Tribulation period when God would again deal specifically with Israel.


1-1) John 14:3 - Jesus promises to return for us.

2-2) Revelation 3:10 - States that believers WILL be kept from that hour of Tribulation! Those who oppose pre-tribulation understand the phrase to mean "I will guard" the believers throughout the seven years until Christ returns at the close of the age. However a close study in the Greek reveals that this phrase DOES NOT MEAN "GUARD", but to remove from the trial or difficulty itself, i.e. Proverbs 21:23; Joshua 2:13; Psalm 33:19; 56:13; Acts 15:29; James 5:20.

3-3) I Thessalonians 4:15-17

4-4) I Thessalonians 5:1-11

b. Other arguments FOR pre-tribulation include the absence of the Church in Revelation 4-19 which describes the events of the Tribulation in great detail. Also II Thessalonians 2:1-9 speaks of the Restrainer being removed BEFORE the Day of the Lord.

1-1) Revelation 7:1-17 shows that the Church (7:9-17) is in heaven before the throne of God during the marking of the 144,000 Jews who are representative of Israel.

(Daniel 9:24-27)

The Tribulation period is a period of seven years (Daniel 9) which begins after the Rapture of the Church and precedes the Advent of Christ to establish the Messianic Kingdom of 1,000 years. Israel (Revelation 7:1-8) and the judgement of this world (Revelation 4-19) are the principal concerns addressed in Scripture.

The first three and one half years are marked by peace then, the Abomination of Desolation (Daniel 9:27; 12:11; Matthew 24:15) is set up in the Temple Mount, which marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation and Judgement upon the earth.

During this period the Gospel will be preached accompanied with great persecution of those who believe on Jesus Christ (Rev 7:9-17).

(Zechariah 14:1-11; Revelation 19:11-20:6; Ezekiel 38)

Speaking generally the Second Coming of Christ usually involves ALL the events from Christ returning for His Church, the Rapture, through the millennial period including the final judgement of the wicked. This period actually involves two appearances of Christ. One at the Rapture which precedes the Tribulation (II Peter 2:5-9). Matthew 24:36-39 speaks of this first appearance while 24:40-51 points toward Christ's second appearance, the one removed now representing the evil servant. The second is at the end of the seven year Tribulation period to establish His Messianic kingdom (Matthew 13:37-43, 47-50 - the tares and the bad fish are gathered first, indicating the removal of the unbelievers).

Jesus comes in Judgement. The Beast, False Prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire. The Devil will be bound for 1,000 years. There is the First Resurrection of the martyrs (The Church was Raptured earlier), the judgement of the just (Revelation 20:4). Those who participate in this shall be "priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6). The wicked are killed and await the second death and their final judgement (Revelation 20:5).



1,000 years (Revelation 20:2-7)


1. A theocracy ruled personally and visibly by the Lord Jesus Christ over the affairs of ALL mankind (Daniel 7:14). There will be perfect and complete justice for all, and sin will be immediately punished (Isaiah 11:4; 65:20).

2. Jerusalem will be the seat of government.

3. RULERS shall be made up of the Old and New Testament saints.

a. Jesus Christ will be the head.
b. DAVID will rule Israel (Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 37:24-25).
c. The 12 APOSTLES will rule over the 12 tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28).
d. OTHERS will have governmental duties (Isaiah 32:1; Jeremiah 30:21).
e. THE FAITHFUL (Luke 19:11-27) will be given much authority.
f. THE CHURCH (Revelation 5:10).


In Psalm 2:7-8 King Jesus was promised authority to rule the earth in righteousness. This is the Messianic Kingdom the Jews are still waiting for, which Jesus did NOT fulfill in His first Advent; since He came to free us from sin and death and NOT to establish an earthly kingdom which would demand justice upon our sin.

Genesis 3:15 promised a Messiah to restore the kingdom Adam lost. Since this lost kingdom is earthly, so Christ must also reign in an earthly kingdom. Jesus is also called the seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:8, 16) which was promised an earthly kingdom!

In Revelation 5:5, 9-14 and 11:15, Jesus is proclaimed worthy to open the sealed book and receive the inheritance that is rightfully His.

An earthly kingdom is necessary BECAUSE Jesus MUST be triumphant IN THE SAME ARENA where He was seemingly defeated. Because His rejection by the rulers of this world was on this earth (I Corinthians 2:8), His exaltation must also be on this earth.


The Millennium is the Messianic Kingdom of Christ in the earth. Jesus will rule and reign over two types of people:

1. Those with natural bodies. Isaiah 65:20 and Zechariah 8:1-5 indicates that during this time there shall be people of ALL ages including children. Thus we can see that there are people living that do NOT have resurrected bodies who will repopulate the earth.

a. THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL: which had been hidden away for 3 1/2 years (Revelation 12:13-17). These PARENTS of the Millennial Kingdom will come from the survivors of the Tribulation, the "sheep" of Matthew 25:34 and the faithful Jewish survivors of Ezekiel 20:38.

b. THE UNSAVED: The children of the Remnant. Revelation 21:24 shows that nations will be converted during this time. Rev. 20 shows that after the 1,000 there will be unsaved who will follow after Satan. Rev. 2:26-27 and 19:15 tell that the Church, the overcomers, will rule with the rod of iron implying firm authority. If only the righteous occupy the earth, why would there be any need for "firm authority"?

2. Those with resurrected bodies.

a. SAINTS FROM HEAVEN: (Zechariah 14:5; Revelation 17:14).
b. RESURRECTED MARTYRS: (Revelation 6:9-11; 11:11-12; 20:4).

CONTINUE Lesson 12 to its conclusion!

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