The WORK OF GOD,
proclaiming to the whole world the good news of the KINGDOM
OF GOD, was started by one man -- Jesus Christ.
Jesus chose and called His disciples. The word "disciple"
means a student or learner. For 3 1/2 years, He taught them God's Message --
the Gospel -- the GOOD NEWS of
the WORLD TOMORROW.
After His death for the sins of the world, His
resurrection to make possible eternal life for us, and His ascension, to the
throne of the universe -- where He has since remained as our High Priest --
Christ sent the Holy Spirit to fill and empower His Apostles and His CHURCH.
Jesus had said: "I
will build my CHURCH." And He did!
The WORK OF GOD
was STARTED in and through the
individual personal human body of Jesus Christ. He had said that He could do NOTHING
OF HIMSELF -- it was the power of God's Holy Spirit dwelling IN
Him that did the WORK.
Now that SAME POWER entered into
the COLLECTIVE BODY of
disciples, forming the New Testament Church of God.
Thus this Church became the BODY
OF CHRIST. Its number one commission is to carry on THE
WORK OF GOD -- that is, proclaim to the world Christ's Gospel
of the Kingdom of God. In other words, the GOOD
NEWS of the WORLD TOMORROW
-- Christ's WORLD GOVERNMENT,
replacing today's world, invisibly governed by Satan.
The early New Testament Church, surcharged with the
mighty POWER of God's Spirit,
mushroomed and multiplied in growth and power. Its influence was soon felt.
Jesus had told His disciples He was going to heaven,
but would return again as supreme world RULER
to establish the Kingdom of God. They expected this to occur very soon -- in
their lifetime. It was BECAUSE
they thought that the Kingdom of God should IMMEDIATELY
appear that Jesus gave them the parable of the pounds (Luke
19:11-27). Even after His resurrection, they expected Jesus to
set up His Kingdom immediately (Acts 1:6).
But He went to heaven.
A whole 19-year time cycle went by. Then another 19
For two 19-year time cycles they had proclaimed
Christ's Message -- and had expected His imminent return -- IN
THEIR GENERATION! They had grown discouraged. Their patience
was exhausted. Then (70 A.D.),
came the invasion and siege of Jerusalem. The true disciples in Palestine had
fled to the north, disorganized. Their Messiah had not come to establish His RULE.
They had lost patience. They were discouraged.
THEY WENT TO SLEEP ON
THE JOB of proclaiming Christ's GOSPEL!
The MESSAGE of the coming GOVERNMENT
OF GOD, with Christ as returning KING,
to bring us PEACE in the world
tomorrow, was no longer being proclaimed in an organized manner to the whole
This, Christ Himself had foretold in His parable of
the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25).
These virgins, of course, represented His CHURCH.
They had expected Christ's return as conquering KING,
even in 31 A.D., the very year
the Church was actually founded! (Acts 1:6.)
In this parable of Matthew
25, Jesus explained, prophetically in advance, that when the
returning Christ "tarried"
-- DELAYED His coming beyond
their erroneous expectation -- "they all
slumbered and slept."
The WHOLE CHURCH OF GOD
WENT TO SLEEP ON THE JOB assigned to it! For more than 18 1/2
long centuries that vital Gospel Message of coming WORLD
GOVERNMENT was not proclaimed, in organized power, to the
But Jesus also had declared, prophetically: "This
Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached [and published
-- Mark 13:10] in all the world for a witness
unto all nations; and then shall the end [of this
world's civilization] come" (Mat. 24:14). This
proclamation was to be the SIGN
of His coming!
Just as God had allotted two 19-year time cycles at
the BEGINNING of this New
Testament era for the proclaiming of HIS
Gospel, so He has decreed for its worldwide proclamation AT
THE CLOSE of the age -- preparing the way for His return!
The first week in 1934
that SAME Gospel of the Kingdom
started going once again to the world. Christ had OPENED
THE MIGHTY DOOR of radio and the printing press.
hour" had struck! The LOUD
CRY began booming out, thundering to the world,
"Christ is soon COMING to RULE ALL NATIONS ON EARTH FOR A THOUSAND
YEARS!" The KINGDOM OF GOD
was once again being proclaimed! The CHURCH
had aroused from its slumber!
Read again the prophecy of the virgins: "While
the Bridegroom tarried, they all [the whole Church]
slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, 'BEHOLD, THE
BRIDEGROOM COMETH; GO YE OUT TO MEET HIM'" (Mat. 25:5-6).
The WORK OF GOD
had undergone an awakening! Once again it was active.
But notice! The parable continues: "Then
all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto
the wise, Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out [OR,
going out -- see margin]." The five foolish
virgins possessed lamps but took no oil. That is they had the Word of God, the
Bible, to light their path, but were not filled with the Holy Spirit [symbolized
by oil] to give them spiritual understanding either of the
Bible, or of the gospel, or of the times in which they live!
This was the state of the five foolish virgins who
thought themselves to be God's people when the midnight cry arose. They were
spiritually dead, having no oil left -- having quenched the Holy Spirit of
Now turn to the brief prophetic history of the true
Church in Revelation 2 and 3.
The very LAST of these seven
successive Churches is to be the self-sufficient, lukewarm, Laodicean group.
But just before it is the Church which carries this
end-time vital Message! It is small. It is weak. But it is faithful, as few
have been, with GOD'S WORD! It
rises at the time Daniel
prophesied, when "KNOWLEDGE shall be
increased" (Dan. 12:4).
But this Church, carrying God's message to the world,
is preceded by another Church era. That one is pictured as spiritually asleep
and dead (Rev. 3:1-3) -- foolish
virgins. But among them are a few -- wise virgins -- who shall walk with
Christ (verse 4). They heeded
the midnight cry.
Is it any wonder, then, that
SATAN is now aroused to sway those he can lead into
persecuting and opposing God's Work?
Remember, prophecy is DUAL.
There is a former, and a latter fulfillment of most prophecies. The first FAMINE
OF HEARING THE WORD OF THE LORD has ended. But the time is
soon coming -- probably at the end of the second 19-year time cycle of this
Work -- when the voices of God's servants shall be stilled -- the printing
presses stopped! Then will come the great tribulation, and the terrible Day of
the Lord with its supernatural plagues on the devil's cohorts! For 3 1/2 years
there shall AGAIN be a FAMINE
OF HEARING THE WORD OF THE LORD (Amos 8:11)
-- except for the voices of God's two witnesses (Rev.
Then comes the resurrection. "And
they that were ready" -- the wise virgins -- "went
in with Him [Jesus Christ] to the marriage"
(Mat. 25:10). And the others were shut out! To them Jesus
said: "I know you not."
therefore," Jesus concluded, "for
ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh"