January 18, 2009
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
Presently we are looking at prophetic passages that have been difficult to understand. This difficulty has arisen by looking at the Bible merely through Western eyes. The Bible is an Eastern book. We are receiving light on these passages by joining them back up with their Hebraic roots. I am going to attempt to expound on a couple of these passages this week in the space that we have.
4. KEEPING YOUR LAMPS TRIMMED & BURNING:
Jesus said, “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning.” [Luke 12:35 NKJV] Most people in the west are familiar with candles. However, few are aware of the oil lamps that were used in the Roman time. There were two major types of lamps: one was a common oil lamp used in the home and the other, used at night, was an oil lamp connected to a large pole that looked like a large torch.
The oil lamps were formed out of clay. Various designs were imprinted on the clay while it was wet, and the clay later hardened. There was a small hole in the center to pour in the olive oil, and a small opening on one end to place a wick. The oil lamps were placed on windowsills or on a stone that protruded out of the wall of the house. Every room had a place for an oil lamp. The oil in the lamp had to be renewed from time to time, and the wick had to be changed often.
When a wick was not trimmed or replaced, it would burn and eventually produce a black smoke that would fill the atmosphere of the house. Keeping the lamp trimmed and burning involved keeping fresh oil in the lamp. Keeping it trimmed alludes to trimming the wick to prevent black smoke from filling the atmosphere. What is the picture here? Oil I believe alludes to the Holy Spirit and the anointing. We are to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. The Bible says,
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit. [Eph. 5:18 NKJV] The Greek tense doesn’t translate easily into English, but the thought here is, be BEING filled with the Spirit. You may have been filled with the Spirit years ago, but you need to be re-filled on a regular basis. In these last of the Last Days we need a fresh touch from God. We need to be filled again! You need your “wick” trimmed and to receive fresh oil!
In the Parable of the Ten Virgins, the call came at midnight that the bridegroom was coming (Matt. 25:6). At that moment, the 10 virgins awoke, only to discover that five of them were short of the oil needed for their lamps. The oil lamps in this story would have been the types that were placed on top of a wooden pole. It was common to keep a pouch of extra oil in case it was needed. The message here is that we should always be prepared, stay awake, and stay filled with the Holy Spirit!
5. AS FAST AS LIGHTINING:
27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. [Matt. 24:27 NKJV] I don’t know about you, but I read this passage for years and really didn’t understand it.
In this scripture from Jesus’ “Olivet Discourse”, the speed and swiftness of Christ’s return is compared to lighting, which sweeps from east to west in a moments time. Let’s examine this from a stand point of physics, shall we? The speed of light is slightly over 186,000 miles per second. The earth is 25,000 miles in circumference. Follow me here.
This means that if lighting struck in one spot and traveled around the earth, it could sweep around the globe seven and one-half times per second. The return of Christ will be so swift it will be as fast as lightning rushing from the east to the west.
When Paul wrote about the Return of Christ, he indicated that those living at that time would be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye [1 Cor. 15:52a NKJV]. The phrase “in a moment” indicates the quickness of the activity. There is more here that we need to see.
The Greek word for moment is atomos, from the word tomoteros. The word alludes to a single, swift action. The phrase “twinkling of an eye” also indicates the sudden physical change that will strike a believer at the very second Christ returns. There will be no time to pray, repent or intercede.
Years ago, a minister stated that a major computer company tested how long it takes to blink an eye. He indicated it was a single hundredth of a second. This is why Christ continually demanded that His loyal disciples should consistently watch and pray, so that they would not be caught unaware at His Return.
Some people believe if they are unprepared for Christ’s Return, that they will have time to repent of their sins moments before the living believers are changed and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. They assume that the “shout, voice of the archangel, and the trump of God” mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 will take some time to occur and during this brief moment, they can repent and make it by “the skin of their teeth.” I am sorry, but I would not count on this scenario playing out.
I believe only those who are looking for the Return of the Lord will actually hear the shout, the voice and the trumpet of God. An example of this can be seen when God the Father spoke audibly to Christ in John 12:28 – 30. Christ has asked God to glorify His Name. God spoke from Heaven in an audible voice. Those who were standing by reacted in different ways. Some said the voice was only thunder, others said it was the voice of an angel, and others recognized it was the voice of God.
Not everyone heard God’s voice, just as not everyone will hear God’s voice at the Rapture. The reaction to what you will hear is related to whom you are listening to! On seven occasions during the messages to the seven churches, Christ said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
I have much more to share on difficult prophetic passages, please join me next time!
The Weekly Word is found in Matthew 24:40 – 42. Here the Bible says,
40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. [Matt. 24:40 – 42 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson