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The first arrival of Jesus Christ and the preparations for His arrival, as far as the number of guests who were invited, was by and large a low key event, even though the event may have been huge in terms of the heavenly guest list, as a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”

However, as far as human guests were concerned, there were only a few more than five:- Mary and Joseph who had to be there; there was a group of shepherds, although we are not aware of the numbers, but certainly not large enough to wake up Bethlehem; and there were the three wise men from the east. So it was five plus the shepherds in a little stable, so say about twenty people…

Let us look at the guest list:

  1. Family was there – Joseph and Mary
  2. Kings (wise men) to honour Him were there
  3. Shepherds, who would know how to watch over lambs, were there – for after all, this is the Lamb of God’s birth – that is, servants appropriate for the time were there, and diligent servants at that, for they were watching the flock by night.

But absent from the guest list were enemies and those who did not know Him.

Likewise now, we have to draw up a guest list of those who must be left on this Earth to greet Him. Unlike the first time, this time the whole world will see His sign. “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the Earth will mourn” …and then see Him… “They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.”

So this time, many more than five plus some shepherds are going to witness His second arrival. The book of the Revelation tells us that a third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. We know that the rest of mankind still does not repent, so the question that you and I must answer is, this time who will be invited to witness His arrival with honour to receive His Glory?

  1. Family – His brothers, sisters and mothers – that is, those “who hear God’s word and put it into practice,” “Whoever does God’s will,” “whoever does the will of My Father in Heaven.” Some of these may or may not be the elect of the Holy Spirit. The family members must be brothers, sisters and mothers who believe Him and do not consider Him mad. Remember, even His mother and brothers considered Him out of His mind. When His family heard about this, they went to take charge of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.” For even His own brothers did not believe in Him. Indeed, if Jesus is to be received with honour, no family member who considers Him out of His mind or does not believe in Him should be there… A family feud flaring up in the midst of proceedings would bring dishonour.
  2. Kings or wise men who have been watching the skies for His arrival as mentionedThe sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. In order to honour the Lord, who is the King of kings, there must be kings, His kings, there to meet Him.
  3. Likewise, there should be servants appropriate for the occasion. The first time, it was shepherds who watched their flocks by night. The servants who should be there are:
  • Those who shepherd the flock, staying awake through the night; that is, no sleepy virgins should be there, but rather only those who are prepared to go the extra mile as the Lord said. Those who are prepared to keep working even though the day is over and night is come. Certainly no servant who wants to be raptured out before the Tribulation starts or those who want to drop out mid-Tribulation will be there.
  • Amongst the servants in the Kingdom of Heaven, there should be no servants like the virgins, who do not have enough oil and servants who will not share their oil. Those who are not prepared to have an abundance of the Holy Spirit to freely share with those who do not have enough, should not be there. Only those who have an abundance of the word, which is the lamp and the Spirit, which is the oil and who are prepared to share what they have, to keep each other’s light shining and burning, needs to be there. Those who are fearful that they do not have enough to share and those who do not come prepared should not be there. It is a dishonour to the Lord to be greeted by selfish servants and unprepared servants.
  • In both the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God, all lazy and wicked servants should be retired. It does the Lord no honour to arrive only to have to rebuke and dismiss His servants who have thought Him hard and are themselves lazy and wicked. However, since it does bring honour to the Lord to have as large an entourage of servants to be there to greet Him as possible, so we must now seek to:

a) Appoint as many shepherds as possible who are prepared to watch the flock by night.

b) Appoint shepherds who are prepared to be carrying as much oil (Spirit) and word as possible.

c) Warn the lazy and wicked servants to repent, so that indeed, as many of the servants are available as possible.

Likewise, those who are children of God through faith in Him are encouraged to grow up and come to know Him as much as possible, without disbelieving Him and saying that He is out of His mind.

In order to avoid dishonouring the Lord at His arrival with unbelieving and unruly family members and lazy and wicked servants as well as shepherds who are only hired hands, those who will not repent but choose to remain unbelieving family members, lazy and wicked servants, selfish and foolish virgins as well as cowardly shepherds, should all be retired away from the reception area. And since this time, the whole world will see Him, the reception area is not just a little stable in Bethlehem, but the whole world, so we should not be surprised to see many family members and household servants removed from the Earth to Heaven prior to His arrival.

However, to honour the Lord properly, this time, to add to His glory that He is arriving with, included in His reception party this time, must be:

  1. His enemies – those who did not want Him crowned King and those who have attacked and tormented His family as it is written: “But those enemies of Mine who did not want Me to be King over them—bring them here and kill them in front of Me.” These are also the enemies of the brothers, sisters and mothers of Jesus. Hence, in our love for enemies, we must not ask for their death, but for them to be kept alive through the Tribulation to witness with us the arrival of Jesus – remembering that one of the things, which God commended Solomon for, was “nor have [you] asked for the death of your enemies,” so likewise, we do not ask for the death of our enemies, but for them to be kept alive until He arrives, so that they will experience the days of distress with us. Remember that they will have to go through it without the power of the Holy Spirit. What a blessing! And they will live to see the One they were persecuting, just like Saul of Tarsus – another great blessing! It would give Jesus great honour to have His enemies present to see His glory as well, and also to have them kneel before Him and beg for mercy, to fulfill that which the Lord said, “The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush, and those tall Sabeans— they will come over to you and will be yours; they will trudge behind you, coming over to you in chains. They will bow down before you and plead with you, saying, ‘Surely God is with you, and there is no other; there is no other god.'” And, “Before Me every knee will bow; by Me every tongue will swear. They will say of Me, ‘In the LORD alone are righteousness and strength.'” For He had said, “By Myself I have sworn, My mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked.” So we must ensure that, for His honour the preparations are done to ensure that which He had sworn by Himself is prepared… not by Himself alone… not this time… but by us as well. This time we will not permit the Lord to say, “I looked for a man among them… but I found none.” But rather, we would have as large, if not larger of a multitude of His servants to greet him as He has coming back. This way, we can show the world not only the glory of Jesus, but His mercy to His enemies and the enemies of His Father, His brothers, sisters and mothers. Now those are His enemies… those who know who they are fighting against.
  2. We must also ensure that those who do not know Jesus, but have fulfilled either of these words: “’I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’” “‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these; you did not do for Me.’” – are also there to fulfil what He said concerning the separation of the sheep and the goats from the nations gathered before Him. “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory.” This does not refer to the Great White Throne of Judgment that occurs at the end of the Millennium, but refers to the judgment that begins at the start of the Millennium. Eternal life will begin for those who did not know Him, yet fed, clothed, visited, gave water to the hungry, naked, sick and thirsty brothers of Jesus because “this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” And since Jesus is back on Earth, it is on Earth then that those who do not yet know Him can begin their eternal life, not by faith but by works. These are those who did not know Jesus, yet He said of them, For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me. Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’” He declared them righteous, not by faith, but by the Law written on their hearts, which said, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” They proved it by works, and will now learn of Jesus just like the first disciples did, seeing Him in their midst and hearing Him as the first ones did.
  3. To complete the reception committee, there must be a large crowd of witnesses – those who are neither family, servants nor enemies, nor those who are heirs of the Kingdom prepared from the creation of the world – who are the rest of the world, for whom the Gospel of Jesus was not personally preached and to whom no personal witness was made. Indeed, amongst these whom I call ‘the rest’, is included those who are descendants of those who would have believed if the servants of the household were not lazy, wicked and belligerent and had preached the Gospel truthfully and faithfully with a clear demonstration of power.

Thus, the guest list is extensive and inclusive more than exclusive. Indeed, it is exclusive more towards His own household than to those outside of His household. Why? Because it does not honour the Lord to have to openly correct His own family members in the sight of His enemies, nor does it honour the Lord to have to publicly rebuke and reject His servants who are lazy in the sight of His enemies. Rather, it honours Him to be greeted only by family members who love Him and believe in Him and by good and faithful servants who have gone the extra mile.

As such, as servants who have been given the guest list, we must not make the mistake of the servants of the King who prepared His wedding banquet and none of the invited guests came. Having only utter strangers at our Lord’s arrival reception does not bring Him honour, but rather, we must be persuasive, persistent and insistent that those who are on the guest list be present, without excuse.

If they pay no attention, we will get their attention. If they have a field or a business to go to, we will destroy that field or business. Any who tries to seize and restrict us, we will seize and take as prisoners and drag them to the reception as enemies who should be kept alive. We must be servants who are jealous and zealous for the Lord’s honour and glory, so who He has invited must be there. The choice is the Lord’s, not theirs. They can be there to share in the glory and be honoured by Him or be there to be shamed and dishonoured by Him – that is their choice. But being at the reception of the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ is not the choice of those who are on the guest list – not this time. This time, He is not coming as the Baby in a manger, but as the Lord Almighty whom He has always been. AMEN.

Applying yourself now to this task of understanding and preparing the guests for His arrival reception, is a business of the Kingdom of God, whether you are doing it by prayer or in the spirit or in the flesh. If you would make this one of your many tasks, and there are many, then you have begun to seek first the Kingdom and the Righteousness of God, and all that the pagans run after must be added unto you… Security, power, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, knowing the future, health, wealth, peace, fame, fortune, youth, material supplies, holidays, etc, etc, etc, winnings of the lot, whatever the pagans run after – even deliverance from evil and answer to prayers as well as the forgiveness of their sins and righteousness with their gods, their sacrifices accepted by their gods. Truly, as you hallow the Name of the Lord and prepare for His Kingdom’s coming, everything is added to you – everything – and that is just the start.

“Father, as surely as I have sought first Your Kingdom and Your Righteousness, all that the pagans run after is added unto me.”

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