Assignment: Matthew 24-25
There is a marvelous book called The Reader’s Bible. I have the KJV of the New Testament on my kindle and so enjoy the format! This version of the Holy Word has no chapter divisions or verse numbering. It is simply the stories and letters written as one unit, and the flow is actually revelatory.
When the eyes and mind are not stopped by the divisions and numbers, the voice of the writer and the intent thereof becomes clear, powerful and uninterrupted.
So, enter the book of Matthew. In our numbered volume, chapter 22 begins with Jesus telling a parable about a wedding feast. The Pharisees of his day are there listening (and fuming!) At verse 16, they begin their attack in an effort to trap him. Even the Sadducee leaders get in the act raising questions about the law in an effort to catch Jesus in some misstep that will turn the people against him.
As we read on, we can feel the fury rising in the Lord as the chapters continue. By our numbered book, chapter 23 finds Jesus in quite a state! I can see him rising to his full height and dramatically gesturing the “Woes” to these false leaders who refuse to acknowledge his deity and submit to the wisdom of his Word.
Finally, Jesus leaves the temple (I see him rather stomping out!) and takes a seat to rest on the Mount of Olives surrounded by his disciples. They ask him to explain the end of days and the judgement pronounced on the Jewish nation. He tells them many things concerning Jerusalem and the Jews even referencing the Prophet Daniel. He concludes with the warning to be watchful, for the end of those who are not, will be horrible.
His fury exhausted, he goes back to where he was so rudely interrupted by those Religious Leaders and tells of The Wedding Feast once again. For his disciples, and, yea, for the Church as his Bride, the parables of the ten virgins and the three servants speak more of the ‘catching away’ of the faithful and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb than of the “Woes” of wrath.
He brings them together in the Final Judgement telling of his return. Know this, The Rapture of the Bride and the Coming of the Lord are two completely different and distinct events; and to the careful reader, this becomes clear throughout scripture and in these chapters in particular; especially when read straight through with no stops.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 says we meet him in the air. He doesn’t arrive on the Mount of Olives with the Armies in white linen (the bride) until the beginning of the 1000 year reign on Earth. How could we come down with him if we were not first taken up? The pure linen clothing is the clue.
(Matthew 27:59, Revelation 19:7-8 and Revelation 19:14)
So, when discerning the teachings and the red letters, be sure to read enough forward and backward to hear His voice and understand His temperament. Especially ask, who is he speaking to and why. And, as time allows, take a walk in the Reader’s Bible; you will find it truly valuable.
Assignment: Matthew 24-25