John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Behold! The Bridegroom has Come...!
Behold! The Bridegroom has Come...!
by Robert Ardis
“The Bridegroom has come…” is an exciting announcement taken from Jesus Christ’s parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25. Many of the more modern versions of the New Testament translate that phrase from verse 6 as: “…the bridegroom is here” (Jerusalem Bible); “…the groom is here” (International Standard Version); “…here is the bridegroom” (New English Bible and Today’s English Version). The Revised Standard Version and the Authorized Standard Bible render the phrase: “Behold, the bridegroom!” Thus they are all saying the Bridegroom is here—Christ has come! But the parable cannot apply to today—can it?
In our booklet, The Midnight Cry, we emphasize that the Bridegroom has come—and the time most certainly applies to right now! But how can that be? I will explain as we proceed, but first let’s add the next surprising phrase in the parable that urgently declares; “Come out to meet Him!” Do you realize that we, the Church of God’s Faithful (CGF), proclaim that the Kingdom of God is at Hand! We are preaching that the Bridegroom has come—and we are not crazy!
Jesus Christ stated publicly during His ministry that “the Kingdom of God is at hand!” He was God in the flesh walking among the people of His day, thus He commanded his disciples to go forth and to preach the Kingdom of heaven is at hand—the King was there walking among them (Matt.10:7).
The CGF is the only Church that preaches that same announcement today! We proclaim that Christ came suddenly to His Temple and the Day of the Lord came as a thief in the night on the Feast of Trumpets of 1997.
At that precise time over ten years ago, 6000 years allotted to man to go his own way came to an abrupt end and God’s time began once again. Therefore, the CGF is privileged to announce that Christ came secretly and suddenly to His Temple as Malachi 3:1-2 has prophesied:
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth 7200? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap…”
“Then shall ye return, and discern7200 between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Mal 3:18)
Christ came suddenly – as a thief!
Notice, Christ came suddenly—as a thief—not to “appear” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #7200 as in verse 2), but to “discern” (Strong’s #7200 as in verse 18) who the pillar members of the Temple are—those who are able to stand (Luke 21:36)! Christ is preparing His pillars to help the other lively stones that will be made to come as part of His completed Spiritual Temple—His one true Church. Therefore, believe it or not, the Bridegroom has come—and you are being given the opportunity to go out to meet Him.
Our booklet The Day of the Lord makes plain how we can make these fantastic statements. This booklet proves beyond doubt that the Day of the Lord and the Day of the Lord’s Wrath are two entirely different events. The apostle John was “in” (Strong’s #1722) the Spirit “on” (Strong’s #1722) the Lord’s Day before any of the Seven Seals of the Book of Revelation were opened (Rev. 1:10).
Please understand; if our proclamations are indeed factual and true, they create a vitally important decision that you must make. If Christ has come suddenly, like a thief, secretly, not visibly, then—the Bridegroom has come—and as an obedient, begotten child of God you must go out to meet Him! But, how do you do that?
First, don’t believe me—you must prove that our statements come directly from the Bible. And let me tell you very frankly; you can absolutely prove these statements and thereby know where Christ is—and what He is doing! Request and carefully read our booklets, The Midnight Cry and The Day of the Lord—or you can download them from our website.
Study to Show Yourself Approved
A few very alert and sincere brethren who are studying and proving at this very time have wondered about Matthew 24:23-27:
“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
Is the statement the CGF is proclaiming that “the Bridegroom has come” condemned by these warning words of our Lord? Are we false Christs and false prophets—are we bringing a false message—are we attempting to deceive you? NO! Absolutely not! The Bible never contradicts itself (John 10:35). Jesus said, “Thy Word is Truth…” (John 17:17). When all the “Words of Truth” concerning the visible return of Christ are correctly put together, by no stretch of the imagination is it possible that His “coming” would be secretly or as a thief. No! Revelation 1:7 plainly states: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him…”
Christ’s Visible Return Not as a Thief
Christ’s visible return at the last trump will not be secret or as a thief! Absolutely not! His coming will be heralded by the seven trumpet plagues and the two witnesses announcing to the entire world when His return shall occur. The two witnesses will certainly know their ministry lasts for 1260 days after which they are to be put to death (Rev. 11:3; 7-15)! But then the resurrection occurs 3-½ days later at the sound of the last trump. These two faithful prophets will inform the entire earth of what shall happen—and the exact time of the visible return of Jesus Christ!
He will not come suddenly to an unsuspecting world! No! The entire world will be fearfully expecting His Return. The world will have been warned! The faithful brethren protected in the place of safety will also be counting down the days of the two witnesses’ ministry and will be anticipating Christ’s appearance. His sudden, unexpected coming as a thief in the night has already occurred—over 10 years ago!
So, how does Matthew 24:23-27 correctly fit into the stream of prophecy and who are the false prophets Christ warns about? Look at verse 21: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
Now read verse 29: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” The time of Christ’s warning about the false prophets in verses 23-27 is sandwiched in between verses 21 and 29 and is plain and clear that the warning is not for the immediate present, but for the time just over the horizon—during the Great Tribulation!
Certainly, that is the time when the Beast and the false prophet will bring worldwide deception and the Great Tribulation to the entire earth for 42 months. Through these two evil individuals, Satan will use his power to deceive the whole world into worshipping him—even calling fire down from heaven. Deception will be so intense that the very elect would be deceived—if they were exposed to the deception—but, thankfully, the very elect will be protected in the place of safety that Christ, the Bridegroom, will have prepared for them. The very elect will not be exposed to the wicked deception.
Consider for a moment the splits and splinters of the former WCG and what will happen to them if the Great Tribulation began tomorrow. Wouldn’t the hireling leaders of many of those splits and splinters cry aloud to their flocks to flee to the desert of Jordan and the caves of Petra, looking for safety? There are also others hirelings who believe in a secret place “somewhere” and will try to lead their people there for safety—but it would be too late then.
Those hireling leaders are the false prophets and false Christ’s our Lord is warning about in verses 23-26 along with their deceived flocks who were too busy with their own pursuits to be accounted worthy to escape (Luke 14:16-24). They should have all heeded the midnight cry as wise virgins and hurriedly fled to meet the Bridegroom—before the Great Tribulation began—but they wait too late and the door is closed upon them (Matt. 25:10-12). They are then plunged into the Tribulation with God’s Spirit nearly quenched within them. Therefore the hireling false prophets lead the foolish virgins—and the Laodiceans—to face the Beast and the super-deception of the false prophet during the Great Tribulation—the most horrible time ever on earth.
Then they must qualify as Firstfruits by giving their physical lives: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Rev. 12:11 and also see Rev. 15:2 and 20:4).
Over beyond the Tribulation and a part of the Day of the Lord’s Wrath will be the visible return of the Mighty Christ: “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matt. 24:27). Christ has already come as a thief (Rev. 3:3), not to appear but to discern. He is determining who are His Pillars (Rev.3:12) in the re-construction of His Temple: next comes the other lively stones who are the wise virgins presently snared in the Laodicean PCG and the scattered churches of god, the synagogue of Satan (Rev. 3:9).
A great Work has begun! The Midnight Cry is sounding forth and the mighty Christ will awaken every one of the sleeping virgins. I hope you have become wide awake now and will come quickly to help Christ in this great Work—and then shortly after enter in with Him into the place of safety—and finally, the Kingdom of God.
The Day of the Lord is here! The Bridegroom has come! Now it is time for you to prove it—and go out to meet Him!
© Church of God's Faithful 2017