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"Jesus Has Delayed His Coming"
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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For centuries, Archbishop Ussher’s date for re-creation (Gen 1) at 4004 BC stood as a benchmark for the return of Christ in 1997 (6,000 years later). But when 1997 passed, it looked like Jesus could return round about the turn of the century or shortly after 2000. Then, the following year, in 2001, it looked like He might come by 2006. There were many indicators – none definitely saying that He would come then, but they gave the impression that His coming could be that close. We published those in the booklet How Soon Will Jesus Come?
Clearly, Jesus was trying to instil a sense of urgency!
When 2003 came and went, it was obvious that His coming would not be in 2006 – because first there is to be a period Jesus referred to as the Great Tribulation (Matt 24:21,22). Some believe that period of time to be 7 years (according to Lev 26:18,21,24,28), but Jesus said it would be cut short (Matt 24:22) because of its horrors and ferocity. Revelation gives the accurate up-to-date time scale. It will be shortened to 3½ years (Dan 7:25; Rev 12:14) – or 1260 days (Rev 11:3; 12:6), or 42 months (Rev 11:2; 13:5).
In 2004, God gave a dream to Kassahun Ayele in Ethiopia (one dream amongst very many!) that darkness would cover the earth in 2008. God hid the full meaning of that until 2008 had passed. At first I thought God was meaning that the Tribulation would have arrived by then. He may have intended us to think that. Why? To deceive us? No; to instil a sense of urgency – to try to awaken a somnolent Church!
Now in 2009, spiritual darkness covers the earth – a foreboding prelude to the coming Tribulation – yet the Church still sleeps! (Sleep is a metaphor for deception and lack of spiritual awareness.)
It’s Pride That Gets In The Way
"So, when is Jesus coming?" you may ask.
It’s natural to want to know. We yearn for it (Ps 101:2). Numerous Christians have postulated; some have been absolutely convinced that their calculation of the date or year of His appearing in the clouds was correct, only to see the date pass. They forgot something (Mt 24:42,50).
Their perception and their focus are wrong. They are looking for His physical appearing, as if that was the most important thing. It isn’t.
Surely He will come! He will appear in the sky just as He has prophesied (Mrk 13:26; Rev 19:11).
But before He comes visibly, He comes invisibly. I hasten to add, however, that He is not coming invisibly to steal away His Bride from the earth, as so many believe, in a secret rapture. That concept is false, based upon a physical appreciation. There is no inspiration of the Spirit in it.
And that is the problem that bedevils the Church – physical appreciation and a lack of inspiration of the Spirit. It is illustrated in parable in Matthew 24:36-51, where Jesus contrasts that wrong approach with the right one:
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master [a better rendition would be "placed over" – not "made ruler over" as the NKJV puts it] his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing (Matt 24:45,46).
Notice the last word – DOING. The "doing" entails deeds of love and caring, especially caring for truth that spiritually nourishes others in the faith. Those who are so engrossed in trying to figure out when Jesus is going to return in the sky have missed the mark of His desire. They are pursuing intellectual theory that serves only to bolster their pride. It’s no wonder Jesus lets them get it wrong! How else can He humble them!
When Jesus said:
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour [day] your Lord is coming (Matt 24:42),
He meant something different from what most shallowly assume. He also means an invisible coming, and it is one to test you, to try you, and to judge the wicked to whom He has offered His truth. Judgement for punishment is not something people like to hear – especially if they are ‘in the Church’ and think much of themselves.
None of those self-righteous or proud individuals would classify themselves amongst those who ...beat their fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards (Matt 24:49). But, I tell you, many so-called Christians do! Spiritually, they DO beat their fellow servants and eat and drink with drunkards! Drunkenness is a biblical metaphor for deception, one which attracts the wrath of God (Rev 14:8; 17:2). Their approach to those who bring the real truth of God is as Jesus describes it in the physical. It’s just that you don’t usually see it enacted physically (although we have been physically thrown out of churches for trying to alert people to heresy). It is a spiritual hostility, equally nasty.
They welcome false prophets and preachers, lap up their false teachings (because of selfish appeal to their unspiritual vanity and pride) and spiritually abuse anyone who brings pure truth.
Yet Jesus comes via the person who brings them pure truth – and they either castigate Him, abuse Him, beat Him verbally, or ignore Him.
Jesus First Comes To Test You
The invisible coming of Jesus occurs first. His physical appearing happens later. First, you and I must be tested. Do we allow ourselves to be swept along by the invisible currents of this world, and choose to accept the more appealing false teachings in place of teachings that are more accurate biblically but far less attractive?
Accepting pure truth carries a price tag of sacrifice, humbling, difficulties, and ostracism by friends, family and church. It’s a hard road.
That’s why Jesus asks: who then is a faithful and wise servant...? (Matt 24:25). They are in the minority amongst Christians. More people take Jesus on their lips than take Him in their hearts. And so, Jesus tests them by delaying His return – or, at least, so it appears (Matt 24:48). Whether He actually delays, or whether it is merely an apparent delay to us as humans, one day we will know. But the fact remains that, because believers sleep and don’t want to wake up, He cannot appear in the sky — not yet.
At this time – whilst the Church awaits His return, but sleeps (Matt 25:5) – a prophetic ‘cry’ goes out – a call to awaken, to repent (Matt 25:6). For someone asleep it is not welcome. You don’t want to be awoken when you are comfortably asleep! Yet ALL the bridesmaids are asleep! So ALL have something to learn and something to change, symbolised by trimming one’s lamp (understanding of the Word of God, Ps 119:105) (Matt 25:7).
There is a public ‘cry’, a call to repentance, to reform, to accept truth that is not acceptable or wanted. It sifts the goats from the sheep. Only those with pure hearts are willing to listen and obey. For them, there can be refreshing and revival from a new outpouring. It comes in unexpected places taking people by surprise, as this dream portrayed:
1st June 2009. Kassahun. I saw people gathered, looking up into the sky [symbol of seeking God]. I also looked up because there was something there. It was about 4 pm and the sun was still bright. A short distance from where we stood [symbolic of believers in general] there was a heavy downpour. People were puzzled because there was no cloud. [Jesus does things unexpectedly.]
Yes, there is revival for those who accept purer truth. God pours out as He has promised. For you, the question is whether you will partake of it, or are you only looking for Jesus physically?
6th June 2009. Kassahun. Two old men [symbol of wisdom that is certain, i.e. from God, not human wisdom] came to me, one on my right, the other on my left. They told me about the end of the world. It was frightening! They told me that it would be in the next 20 or 30 minutes!
Meaning: The men can also depict angels. The angels know that the time to Jesus’ return is very short! Of course, the time not meant to be taken literally. Jesus isn’t coming in the sky in 20 minutes, but He could come to you in an equally short time to challenge your spiritual concepts, to see whether you are pure in heart and want His pure truth more than what you want of Him for yourself. The allegory of 20 or 30 minutes is to urge you to get ready. You have much to do to prepare, and so little time in which to do so!!
Prepare! Prepare! Prepare!
25th December 2004. Kassahun. Ezekiel 9 Judgement Soon To Begin.
In this dream I heard several cocks crow at midnight. I woke up and went outside to see what was going on. A man was standing at the door. He gave me a scroll and left without saying anything. Curious, I went into my home and opened the scroll. There, written in bold letters was: "Read Ezekiel Chapter 9. The Judgment of God is soon to begin. Prepare! Prepare! Prepare!"
Comment: In Ezekiel 9, you will see that God's warning is about severe judgement to come upon all God’s people – Christians – who do not truly care about sin. They will be killed, beginning with the elders (v 6) in the Sanctuary (God's House), because people have tolerated abominations!
Most Christians don’t believe this! They think God is ‘nice’; that He is forgiving (He is when we acknowledge our wrongdoing and repent), but they don’t know His fierce judgement (Jer 8:7). They have listened to the one-sided teaching of false prophets and false teachers, and their biased concept of God is shocking, horrible and appalling to Him! (Jer 5:30-31.) Jesus comes to them at an unexpected time, in an unexpected way, and through an unexpected person. He doesn’t delay. Malcolm B Heap
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