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One In Two
Jesus’ words about those who will not be saved are very sobering.
However, comparatively few Christians really take them seriously.
Most people are so engrossed in the physical that spiritual realities just elude them.
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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The time we are in now has to be that depicted by Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25. We have moved on roughly 1977 years from the year when Jesus gave His life to save humanity, and we are more than 2,000 years from the time of His birth.
Beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2 Pet 3:8).
This is a very deliberate prophetic statement. It wasn’t just a casual, passing remark. Peter was carried along by the Spirit when he wrote it (2 Pet 1:21).
So what am I inferring?
God deliberately made the world we live in, and the flora and fauna to support human life, in six days. That was also a prophetic statement, foretelling in type how many thousands of years would transpire from ‘Creation’ to Jesus’ Coming – the period of time allotted for man’s arduous labour under sin, before the 7th Millennium when Jesus will bring Rest or cessation from sin (Sabbath means ‘cessation’).
Peter adjures his readers: do not forget! It is something that unconverted people do not care about, and which the major part of the Church has forgotten! Most Christians have no idea how close we are to Jesus’ coming! We are a mere handful of years away! There is so little time it is frightening!
Why is it frightening? Because the Church sleeps, just as Jesus’ parable warned (Matt 25:5). Again, Jesus’ words were very deliberate, but few notice them. He said ALL the virgins sleep! (Ibid.)
How Many Will Make It
Jesus begins this parable:
The kingdom of heaven shall be likened to... (Matt 25:1).
The kingdom of heaven refers to God’s spiritual area of rule, His influence and His progress in developing people to live with God in His heavenly realm. Spiritual things are paramount to Him. They are vitally important to us, but people can’t perceive that like God does. So, to the wise and spiritually receptive, He puts in parable an analogy that can add meaning that is otherwise hidden to the human mind.
Since I have explained this parable in the booklet The Ten Virgins, I will only summarise here.
The ten virgins or bridesmaids represent the churches of man and all Christians. The Bridegroom is Jesus (Matt 25:1). The lamps depict the Word of God (Ps 119:105) and the way we utilise that Word in our lives (Matt 25:1,7-8). The oil is God’s Spirit (25:3,8).
Immediately after Jesus introduces the subject matter, He says bluntly that five are wise and five are foolish (25:2). Five, besides being a number denoting spiritual preparation, is also half the total number. It’s not a casual tally. Again it’s very meaningful.
Five are being prepared for salvation, but five are being prepared to be lost!
Of course, God doesn’t want to lose anyone, but it’s a prophetic statement of fact. It’s unavoidable. God is warning us. Jesus is warning us. The Spirit is warning us. Matthew is warning us. And now I am warning you.
Only half of those whom God calls to come to His wedding ceremony – induction into the Kingdom – will actually make it!
For many are called, but few are chosen (Matt 22:14). ...those who are with Him [with Jesus in God’s Kingdom] are called, chosen and faithful (Rev 17:14).
Faithfulness is what separates true from false.
The Midnight Cry
Midnight (Matt 25:6) is a symbol of the unexpected (Luke 11:5); of the late hour in this 6,000-year period; of the dark spiritual state on earth; and of judgement upon wickedness (Ex 12:29) and deliverance for God’s chosen (Ex 11:4; Jud 16:3).
The ‘cry’ at ‘midnight’ represents a prophetic call to all believers. It is an unexpected call to repentance. It is a wake-up call. In spiritual terms, waking someone up refers to revealing truth by which they should live. So, the Midnight Cry (25:6) presents ‘new’ truth to Jesus’ followers now at the very end of the Age, just prior to His coming. All this is contained in the symbolism of this clever parable.
How will Jesus reach the whole Church with His end-time message? How did He reach the first century ones whom He was calling to repentance? Through His death and resurrection. Death and resurrection today will create a platform for globe-girdling witness!
When the ‘cry’ goes out, ALL the virgins see the need to trim their lamps (25:7). This trimming involves adjustment, but half won’t do it. It is essential to accept new truth when it is revealed, otherwise your spiritual light goes out.
The wise will undoubtedly heed and repent, so their lights will continue to shine. But the response of the foolish is to try to ‘beg’ help from the wise (25:8), rather than go to the Supplier (25:9).
This illustrates a major problem in churches where most people are not truly following Jesus, nor listening to His Spirit and being guided by Him. Most people’s focus is on other people – principally those who humanly lead in those circles. So, when a crisis comes up, to whom do such folks look? To Jesus? No.
Their dependency is upon other people. As a result, they quench the oil of the Spirit (25:3).
Beware of that trap. It is insidious.
Part of the Midnight Cry is to call people OUT of churches of human dependency and into a complete reliance upon the Holy Spirit. Such reform cannot happen overnight. It takes time to learn to walk by faith and to learn to listen to the Spirit, not merely a church leader. But the wise virgins ARE doing this already, and so, when the cry goes out, they are able to accept it and change to be ready for Jesus’ coming.
The thrust of the parable is centred around the issue of having God’s Spirit. His Spirit will only stay with those who are obedient (Acts 5:32). Obedience is costly. Many are not prepared to pay the price.
God gave Kassahun a dream which reveals the weakness of the bulk of Christendom’s ‘faith’. It is not obedience-orientated:
Jan. 23/06. New believers with incomplete vision.
Someone took me to a hospital and showed me newborn babies. These babies had only one eye on the left. They didn’t have an eye on the right. This was very strange to me.
Comment: Left symbolises liberalism, whereas right depicts conservatism (obedience) in conduct. Babies represent new believers.
In spiritual terms, only having left eyes means that they can only see God’s grace and not the requirements of obedience (right) that He wants us to comply with to maintain practical righteousness.
A surprising number of those who start out on the road to eternal life never get much further than the initial stages. The dream is quite revealing!
Over the past decade I don’t know how many people we have challenged with the truths of Sabbath-keeping and observing God’s festivals, but it seems like 99% of them refuse to keep these days. We can present the truth in clear terms, proven from Scripture with accurate exegesis, but that makes no difference to the majority. They reject it anyway.
They either: 1) follow traditional church leaders, or 2) don’t care to be fully obedient. They are content to stay with what they have got, just as the dream above showed.
But these truths are going to be given to the entirety of the body of Christ in the West, and anyone who rejects them will be rejected by God and have to be purified through the fires of the Great Tribulation. The message to Thyatira symbolically describes their fate (Rev 2:18-23).
Presentation of pure truth presents great tests of your loyalty. 1) Are you loyal to men, or to God? 2) Are you loyal to church tradition, or to pure Bible truth? The entire Church – all Christians – will be tested.
The knowledge of God’s Sabbath and holy days which He wants people observing – because He has commanded it – will be universally made known. But the Beast in control over the Western hemisphere will legislate against such observance. Indeed, such opposition is already in place. Human tradition asserts itself against God’s truths, and has done so in the Church since Roman times. Revelation discloses the story, particularly in chapters 13 and 17.
The whole western world will be brought under God’s judgement for rejecting the truths that He is restoring through His end-time prophetic work of Elijah. Revelation 16 details the horrors of that punishment.
God holds people accountable for rejecting truth!
A pastor in Africa received MM literature for a while. A woman whom he knew had received a vision about us, and that pointed him towards us. God wanted him to take note of what we have written and to accept ‘our’ work. It is not ours, but the Lord’s.
He could not turn down the offer. He received all our literature, and passed some of it onto his church members. Some of them accepted us, many didn’t. It caused division in his churches, just as Jesus said. Truth separates men from boys.
Later, the pastor also received a revelation himself. God showed him what He wanted for him – to be associated with us and to champion this cause, promoting MM literature in his area.
For a while he did. But, later he fell out with us because he started to become deceitful and dishonest. He wanted money and power. He was not content with truth alone; that wasn’t good enough for him. Like Judas, he wanted the physical more than the spiritual. And that’s when our ways parted.
He was shown the truth. He was given the truth. He had God’s confirmation to himself and from others, that we were the bringers of truth. But he turned on me in recrimination when he didn’t get what he wanted physically. He epitomises the 5 foolish virgins, who sacrifice the Spirit in pursuit of carnal objectives.
Half the Church does it. Consequently, half the Church will not be saved. Only those who DO God’s will shall make it into God’s Kingdom of love and glory! & Malcolm B Heap
A spiritual killer!
Complacency is the common disease of our time. It’s written all over this generation. It’s also addressed in the message to the Church in Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22).
This ‘disease’ will claim many lives, spiritually. Many believers will fail to enter the Kingdom of God because they didn’t press through. They didn’t strive to take hold of what God offered (Luke 13:24).
God Tests You
1) Time. Do you endure? God tests people through the passage of time. He reveals truth, then ‘steps back’ to see whether you will love His truth.
What is the evidence that you love Him and love His truth? DOING it! And continuing to do it.
Having it is not enough – nowhere near enough! A strong delusion accompanies those who have truth in their heads, but not in their hearts. It is a delusion that makes you think that you are OK; you think that you are living out the life of Jesus, because you have His truths in your head. But are you bearing fruit?
Many are not!
If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word... (Jn 14:23). He who does not love Me does not keep My words... (14:24).
I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit (15:5).
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered (Jn 15:6).
There are many withered ‘believers’! They are withering spiritually, because they are complacent. You have got to continue to do what is right. Eternal life will only be given to those who:
...by patient continuance in doing good, seek for glory, honour and immortality (Rom 2:7).
2) Opportunities. Besides testing people through time, He also tests them through opportunities.
He gives them opportunities to see what they will do. Do they ‘go for it’ and DO something with the opportunity? Or do they let it pass them by?
Are they like the lazy man whom Jesus mentioned, who buried his talent in the ground. It was precious to him – notice it – to him, so he hid it in the ground to keep it for himself (Matt 25:18). He was selfish.
Complacency is rooted in selfishness.
So, take a look at yourself – like Paul reminded us to do (1 Cor 11:28). See what you are DOING with what Jesus has given you.
I knew a man who had lots of truth. He had learned so much from the Bible. He had time to read much of God’s Word, so he did. He loved it. However, he loved it for himself. It made him feel good. He felt special. He felt better than others because he knew all this truth from the Bible that others didn’t know. But he didn’t reach out with it to others. He didn’t really care for others. He cared more for himself. He let that self-centredness engulf him, till he lost what little love for others that he had through the Spirit.
That man withered and died, spiritually. He was not saved.
-228For it is not the hearers who will be justified, but the DOERS! (Rom 2:13, paraphrased.)
The Human Condition
Paul reveals problems of the human condition:
Take A Look At Yourself
All the above are the outcome of disregard for what is right, proper and good. Complacency drags many Christians right back into the pit from which they began to be delivered!
Jesus declared that:
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love (Jn 15:10).
It should be straightforward enough for you to see the necessity of obeying the Ten Commandments (Matt 19:17). But do you recognise the other commandments that Jesus wants you to be keeping? Besides His words in John 15:12 to love one another, there are discreet commands He issues individually on a regular basis. If you are responsive, He gives them each day.
These are prompts to your spirit to reach out to others. For example, since literature is central to what God is doing in restoring pure truth, most of these to us come in the form of words of knowledge about people. We may be reminded of particular individuals, in order to send them some MM literature, or to write to someone about a particular issue, promoting truth.
You, as you are sold out to the will of God, will receive similar ‘prods’ or reminders. If you love others, you will care for them and respond to God’s commands. Not all do, because of complacency.
When was the last time you got stirred up by the Spirit? When did you have a prompting of the Spirit and do what He asked? Or did you sidestep what He wanted you to do, and instead do something else which you preferred?
Whose heart do you respond to? God’s or your own? Selfishness and self-will will lead many into oblivion! You are meant to be led by the Spirit, not self.
James 1:22-25. We are urged to be much more than hearers! Those who hear little and do a lot are assured of a big reward. Those who hear a lot but do little will have little reward.
When was the last time you heard the ‘voice’ of God? When did you sense the anointing of God upon you to minister for Him? What are you DOING with your life? Are you serving Him, or yourself?!
2 Peter 1:9. Complacency leads to blindness.
Diligently pursue godly characteristics. 2 Peter 1:5-11. Rom 13:11-14.
2) Zeal. Psalm 69:9. You must cultivate it!
How? There’s only one way – doing good.
3) Action. Rom 15:1-3. By helping others.
Service to others. Rom 14:7. Rom 13:8.
Doing the will of God – obeying His commands – is not easy. It is confrontational. Fear holds most back. I always remember Arthur Blessit’s words: that people are paralysed by fear! Arthur walked through many countries in obedience to God’s command to him to carry behind him a huge wooden cross. He even fearlessly took it into Moscow! (In the eighties.)
We all have fears. That is natural. But don’t let Satan paralyse you through fear. Fears and inhibitions don’t begin to go until we start to DO the things we are commanded to do, but which we fear doing. Giving in to the fear solves nothing. It perpetuates it.
The problem is, many believers dismiss God’s prompts through fear or apathy, and don’t realise what they are doing! They are effectively saying ‘no’ to Him and ‘yes’ to Satan. They shut out the Spirit’s vitality.
Don’t be complacent. Be confrontational. Confront demons, and DO what God commands.
Remember, however: the prompt of the Spirit is very subtle. It can easily go unnoticed because people are not sensitive to the Spirit. If you don’t expect to hear, you won’t. So, be alert spiritually: ‘watch’!
What is the evidence like of the Spirit in your life?
A) Rom 15:16-21. Whom have you brought to Christ? Or with whom have you shared further truth?
B) Are you vilified, opposed or persecuted? John 16:1-3. That can be a sign of how much you are on fire for Jesus.
C) What God says to you. When did He speak to you last? Do you hear from Him regularly? In words of knowledge, words of wisdom – revelations to help you reach others. John 15:7. Sometimes in dreams.
Jn 15:5. You can’t do anything without Him!
If you just amble through life by yourself, He won’t go with you. You’ve got to take Him with you by being responsive, expectant and zealous.
1) An unteachable (rebellious) spirit. Prov 1:5.
Someone said, "The future belongs to those who can lay aside things that have served their purpose and move on." But people don’t want to put aside their habits, and what they have become comfortable with.
The comfortable armchair fellowship or church is a hindrance to zeal. It breeds complacency, because you get all you want. It encourages selfishness.
2) Lack of initiative or drive.
You’ve got to reach forward, and press into new areas. You’ve got to dare to do what you would never have dared before. You’ve got to risk losing popularity or anything else you want for yourself.
You’ve got to be unhappy with yourself spiritually and with the fruit you are bearing (Lk 14:26), otherwise you won’t change. Pruning has to take place. Are you hungry for change, or satisfied and ‘stuck in the mud’?
3) Unpaid vows. Ps 50:14-15.
God means what He says. He is a God of integrity. He expects you to be like Him, too.
You made a vow to Him at baptism, and we renew that vow each year at Passover (and more often too, in repentance each day). Nothing will rob you of confidence before Him more than your broken promises. The devil will remind you of them.
You will feel a failure until you confront your failings with zeal (‘guts’), humility and honesty. Start fulfilling your vows and God will bless your life.
What you respond to and do becomes a habit, and it’s your habits that determine your destiny.
Gal 6:3-4. Gal 6:8-10. & Malcolm B Heap (First published in Newsletter 35, June 2006.)
Why Human Life? (WHL); The Ten Virgins (10V); Preparing A Flock For Slaughter! (Sla)
God’s Church – Whose Authority? (GC); Meetings With Jesus (MWJ) ; Dismantling Churches (Dis)
The Controversy Concerning Law and Grace (LG) ; The Faith Once Delivered To The Saints (FOD)
The Missing Dimension In Christian Living (Mis)
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