Isaiah chapters 40-66, part 2
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Compare Isaiah 40-66 with the New Testament books - Aspects of the seven Church Ages.
In the previous study we looked at the New Testament books from Matthew to Galations, and how they compare to the book of Isaiah.
Few Christians are aware of how the history of the church unfolded with the Devil changing his tactics on how to attack Christians and God sending messengers who could guide those who listened through the troubled waters of their age.
The next seven Books follow the theme of the seven church ages.
This is a major theme that links up the 2 000 years of church history.
Each age is represented by a Book of the Bible.
Book 49 Ephesians.
This refers to the first church age. Paul laid a foundation in this first church age that we are supposed to copy in the church ages that would follow.
Ephesians 2: 7 That in the ages to come…
Ephesians 2: 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.
Ephesians 2: 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord
ISAIAH 49 :6 give thee for a light to the Gentiles
The first church age was when the New Testament was written by the apostles. And this is the spiritual Light that the Jews would reject and the Gentiles would accept. This first age began in the year 33 AD when Jesus was crucified and the Holy Spirit descended fifty days later on the Day of Pentecost. This age then ended a few decades before the year 200 AD when the churches drifted away from Scripture and began to appoint bishops as the Christian leaders of cities. Human leadership was taking over. The second church age was an age of violent persecution of Christians. Marcus Aurelius became emperor in 160 AD and launched the first of about eight savage persecutions. Somewhere around this time the first church age of believing what the apostles said faded into the second church age of human leaders called bishops who got people to follow their opinions, which were partly right and partly wrong. These unscriptural opinions soon became church traditions.
Human leadership is a fundamental error that has plagued the Christian church after the death of the apostles. The apostles knew the truth and wrote the New Testament. Then people should have followed the leading of the Holy Spirit. But that would not have built up big denominations, which is where the money and the power lay. So church leaders moved away from the apostolic teachings and competitive Christianity reared its ugly head.
ISAIAH 49 :9 thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth
Gentiles were imprisoned in the pagan traditions of the Babylonian mysteries, and the fleshpots of worldly Egyptian customs. The Gospel would allow the Gentiles to break these pagan bonds and worship God in the freedom of His Word.
ISAIAH 49: 22 I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles
Isaiah thus prophesied that God would turn from the Jews to the Gentiles in this chapter which represents the first church age. At the beginning, most of the Christians were Jews but as the Gospel spread, more and more Gentiles accepted Christ and the church became predominantly Gentile.
Book 50 Philippians.
The second church age.
This was an age of persecution of the Christians. These started with emperor Marcus Aurelius 160 – 181 AD who unleashed the first of eight savage persecutions that eventually ended in 312 AD.
Here we learn a sad truth. It did not take the early church long before they began to rely on human leaders to tell them what to do and what to believe. Slowly these beliefs became traditions and drifted further away from the written Scripture. So Satan infiltrated the church leadership and exalted their status to all-powerful bishops, each of whom could rule the church in a city. Different opinions and doctrines spread. To counter this God sent savage persecutions. Christians were on the run. Almost three million got killed by the Roman emperors. Having a hard time kept them reasonably on track.
That tends to be a trend with us Christians. When we have a hard time, suddenly we try harder to serve God.
Difficulty and defeat is where Christian character gets hammered out and strengthened.
Philippians 1: 29 …but also to suffer for His sake.
Philippians 2: 8 Christ Jesus… humbled Himself and became obedient unto death.
Philippians 3: 8 for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things.
And today the focus is on prosperity and name-it-and-claim- it. I think we are missing something today.
Philippians 4: 11 For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
Good advice for this age that had to endure ongoing persecutions as the pagan Roman emperors murdered millions of Christians. The unfolding seven church ages is God's Big Picture in His plan for humanity. This Big Picture over-rides the personal ambitions of our small-picture ambitions and interests.
This was the age of human leadership of the church when a man elevated himself up to become the bishop of a city. All Christians had to obey this leader.
ISAIAH 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
With the church enduring fierce persecution, Isaiah reminds them of the sufferings of Jesus.
ISAIAH 50:7 For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint,
Only the strongest willingness to obey God would see the Christians through their agony.
Philippians 1: 1 ..to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops (plural) and deacons.
There were many bishops in the city of Philippi. There was no rulership by one man.
Philippians 2: 7 Christ Jesus… made himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant.
Instead of being servants, bishops competed for superiority in order to be the "top dog".
ISAIAH 50:11 Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.
Bishops and church leaders were creating their own doctrines and walking in this man-made light as they took control of the churches. Clever opinions and traditions crept in to guide the Christians away from Scripture. Bishops wore purple robes and mitres on their heads.
Things were getting more and more unscriptural.
Book 51 Colossians.
This describes the third church age.
The third church age was from about 312 to 600 AD. The church combined with politics as emperor Constantine took control of the church, making the Bishop of Rome head of the western church. Constantine was a strong man who forced his ideas on Christians, and made them start merging their beliefs with pagan philosophy and pagan festivals. By 350 AD the birthday of the sun god on 25 December became the birthday of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Roman Catholic ceremonies are called a mass. So this became Christ's mass which soon became Christmas. Certain mysteries of Babylon became official Christian doctrine. The Trinity of three Persons in the Godhead was the first major doctrine, that is not actually written in the Bible, to be forced on the people.
ISAIAH 51:12 I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die,
Constantine was very forceful and powerful. Many accepted the Bishop of Rome as their spiritual leader because they were scared of Constantine. In 325 AD, many were forced to accept his Nicene creed of the Trinity, which is unscriptural. But that was a big mistake as his ideas were very wrong.
The church had made a colossal mistake. Because he stopped persecuting them, Christians allowed the strong man Constantine to rule the church and tell them what to believe. This did more harm to the Christians than the persecutions did. The Trinity doctrine, based on the Babylonian mysteries, is not actually written in the Bible and this unscriptural belief now became the excuse to introduce more unscriptural beliefs. The church moved away from being strictly scriptural. Christianity was replaced by churchianity. Tradition and opinion replaced the Bible.
Colossians thus stresses the Godhead of Jesus.
Colossians 1: 15 Christ… is the image of the invisible God.
God’s invisible Spirit is within Christ, and expresses Himself through the physical Man Jesus who is God’s outer “body of flesh” that we can see.
Colossians 2: 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy (Greek philosophy involves expressions like three-in-one, one-in-three, Father and Son are of the same essence. All these are unscriptural.)
Colossians 2: 9 For in Him (Christ) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Jesus is the outer “human flesh” that the invisible God lives in.
Nowhere does the Bible say that Jesus is the Second Person of the Godhead.
Colossians 3: 17 Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Do all - this includes water baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus.
Hardly any church baptizes this way today.
Between 250 – 500 AD the Catholic church developed and refined the Trinity doctrine. When the Trinity became the official Roman Catholic doctrine in 325 AD, then they could not find one Name for three separate Persons so they had to sanction baptizing in the Name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Slowly everyone became convinced that the three titles was the Name of God.
Jesus lost His position as Almighty God and became demoted to the second Person of the Godhead.
REVELATION 1: 8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Jesus is the human Name of God.
The Catholics claim that Peter was the first Pope.
Peter baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2: 38).
Thus the Popes no longer follow the example of their first Pope Peter, who also had a wife.
Baptism symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If the Father and the Holy Spirit are separate Persons, then they never died, were never buried and never resurrected. Thus baptism does not refer to them.
ISAIAH 51:10 (The Lord) that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?
As Jehovah, God got the Jews across the Red Sea. Even more impressively, as Jesus, God made a way for Peter to walk upon a stormy sea. So Jesus is Lord.
One of the biggest mistakes that Christians made was to elevate human leaders and then follow their denominational ideas in big crowds.
Colossians 3: 25 There is no respect of persons (with God).
God is not interested in the elevation of bishops who take authority over people and cities.
Colossians 4:15 Salute … Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
The early believers used to meet in small groups in houses. This stopped one man exercising authority over big groups. Because of this method, no one man could claim to be the bishop of a city.
ISAIAH 51:16 And I have put my words in thy mouth
God only wants us to speak His Word, not the opinions and traditions of human leaders.
Recently, the underground church in China had to meet in houses. This led to the growth of a powerful Christian movement in China that was not dependent on charismatic leaders who controlled big groups.
ISAIAH 51:2 Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.
God deals with individuals. The fact that people form a big crowd does not mean that they are right.
Book 52 First Thessalonians.
Both of the letters to the Thessalonians refer to the fourth church age. This fourth church age is the middle age of the seven church ages. These Middle Ages are also known as the Dark Ages. The 900 years of spiritual darkness or night that is called the Dark Ages lasted from about 600 AD to 1500 AD. This was the darkest period of pagan superstition being absorbed into the Roman Catholic church. This was also an age of mass murder of tens of millions of non-Roman Catholics. Christians saw their earthly hopes destroyed and thus had to focus on the Coming of the Lord, Who comes as a thief in the night.
First Thessalonians 1: 10 And to wait for His Son from heaven
1 Thessalonians 5: 2 the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night
ISAIAH 52:8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.
The only consolation during this darkest of times was that one day the Lord would return. Zion is a symbol of our future hope. Zion represents the fulfilment of God’s perfect plan. Whatever Christians suffer on earth, Zion represents a goal that makes the troubles of this life seem little more than “a light affliction”.
ISAIAH 52:14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
Jesus was brutalized at Calvary and the church was brutalized during the Dark Ages and just after the Dark Ages during the counter Reformation when about 68 million opponents of the Roman Catholic church were murdered,
ISAIAH 52:4 For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
The Jews were oppressed by the world power of Assyria. In the Dark Ages the Christians were oppressed by the dominating power of the Roman Catholic church that had a powerful hold over politics and religion in Europe.
ISAIAH 52:5 … saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed.
The human name of God is Jesus Christ, and that has been rejected and replaced by three titles: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Book 53 Second Thessalonians.
II Thessalonians 2:3 for that day shall not come , except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed.
The night of the Dark Ages had to first come before Jesus can return. The leader of the Roman Catholic church, the Pope, was the most powerful man in Europe . He forced everyone to bow down to Catholic doctrine, which revealed him to be the man of sin. Sin is unbelief. Believing anything different to what is written in the Bible is unbelief and thus sin.
II Thessalonians 2: 7 For the mystery of iniquity (knowing that it is wrong but doing it anyway) doth already work.
Way back in the first church age people were already believing things that were different to the Bible. In the Dark Ages the Popes really developed this trend of getting even further away from Scripture. They had the power to force everyone to submit to their traditions and beliefs.
People knew it was wrong to be different to the Bible, but agreeing with Catholicism was the majority will, so they were forced to go with the flow. The alternative was death.
II Thessalonians 2: 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.
Peer pressure forces us to delude ourselves in order to belong to a church group.
"Churchianity" replaced Christianity. They believed what the church said, not what the Bible said.
The seeds of denomination were firmly planted. They belonged to their church, not to Christ.
In 1302 Pope Boniface 8 established “Unam Sanctam” (One Holy Church) which means that there is no salvation outside the Roman Catholic church. Salvation was only possible to those who were in full subjection to the Pope. This was the most extreme statement of papal supremacy that came out of the Dark Ages.
The man of sin was revealed.
It is sin not to believe that salvation is only possible by your personal relationship with Jesus Christ, whereby you confess your sins to Him and ask Him to cleanse you of your sins, and thereby He becomes your personal Saviour. This is a personal experience as there is no man between you and Jesus.
The Dark Ages were the longest age of suffering for the church, about 900 years, from 600 AD to 1500 AD.
So Isaiah devotes a special chapter to the suffering of Christ to encourage the believers in the Dark Ages. They are really suffering through what seems like an endless night but Jesus suffered far more than any of them did. So they had to just keep believing as God worked out His hidden plan.
ISAIAH 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
An arm is another word for a weapon. God's sword is His Word. Who believes the Word the way it is written. Hardly anyone as people glibly change the words that are in the Bible.
The Roman Catholic church had mainly turned away from Scripture. True believers were a minority.
ISAIAH 53:2 he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
This was an age of persecution and death. There was little natural advantage or success for being a Christian.
ISAIAH 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Christians were despised, rejected, and hunted down and killed.
ISAIAH 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Whatever Christians had to go through in the Dark Ages, Jesus had gone through it worse.
The first church age was the Seed of Eternal Life on earth. This seed had to be buried, and die and rot underground in order to bring forth more abundant seed. The Dark Ages were the time when Truth got buried, and died under the extreme dirt and error of that age.
ISAIAH 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death:
The suffering of Christ bought Him Heaven and earth. So the suffering and death of these strong Dark Ages saints enabled them to claim their share of the future rewards of the righteous. They suffered long and hard, but their future reward is great.
Then the long night of the Dark Ages ended and the Gospel sun of the glorious Reformation began with Martin Luther in Germany.
Book 54 First Timothy. The Reformation of Luther starts.
Both of the letters to Timothy refer to the fifth church age that began with the Reformation of Martin Luther in Germany.
ISAIAH 54:2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
The basic belief that the just will live by faith was freely spread out by the reformers. God's grace can spread out to cover anyone who wants to be saved.
ISAIAH 54:9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth;
Noah’s flood covered the earth and destroyed life. Then the waters were made to recede. So the murderous terror and error of the Dark Ages had covered Europe and now God was using the reformers to make the influence and power of the Pope recede.
I Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
This was Luther’s stunning reply to the Roman Catholic’s claim of “Unam Sanctam” that the Pope stood between God and men. Only the human Jesus stands between us and God. Jesus the Man, is the “human flesh” that the invisible Spirit of God hides inside in order for the invisible Father to manifest Himself through the works of the visible Man Jesus, Who is the Son of God.
I Timothy 3:16 … great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh
No Pope is required for salvation. The church requires no one man as its leader.
I Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour.
Each group of Christians was to be ruled by elders, not dominated by one man.
One-man domination of a church was the product of denominational thinking that Roman Catholicism developed and then inspired in the Protestant movement.
I Timothy 4: 1 doctrines of devils… Forbidding to marry…
This is a clear cut rebuke of the Catholic rule that priests, bishops and Popes cannot marry. Today there are still so many cases of abuse that are being investigated or covered up in the Catholic priesthood.
ISAIAH 54:5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name
Marriage is good for all. God uses marriage as a description of His relationship with His people. Priests, bishops and Popes would be better off if they got married.
Book 55 Second Timothy
The Protestant Reformation did much good but made the mistake of forming denominational camps that then bitterly opposed each other. Each group felt that they had the full truth. The denominations died because they refused to move on when new light was revealed by John Wesley, which would lead to the great missionary age.
II Timothy 1:15 …that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me
II Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth
The followers of the reformers began to bind themselves into denominational groups, and turn away from Scripture (written by Paul) to their own catechisms and doctrinal traditions. The reformation began to splinter with the different Protestant groups fighting each other, as well as fighting against Rome. The great reformer Calvin even had Servetus burned at the stake for opposing the Trinity and infant baptism. Each Protestant group thought that they had the final truth and that there was no new light to be revealed. Protestants drowned many Anabaptists who practiced baptism by full immersion.
ISAIAH 55:2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? (they pay their tithes but the church leaders preach human opinions) and your labour for that which satisfieth not? (they serve their denominational church traditions which cannot be proven from Scripture) hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. (Protestants need to become strictly Scriptural).
The Protestants did not realize that when a plant germinates it goes through different stages.
The Reformation was but the leaves.
Then pollen was needed to blow over the whole field as the missionary age took the Gospel around the world.
Then the Pentecostal husk developed, that looked just like the seed.
Then finally the seed develops as truth is restored which looks just like the original seed of the first church age that had been buried under the dirt of the Dark Ages, before it burst into life as the green leaves of the Reformation.
ISAIAH 55:10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
The leaves come forth, then the bud and finally the seed. Isaiah is referring to the different stages of the growth of a plant.
II Timothy 2: 6 The husbandman (farmer) that laboureth (to get the plant to grow) must be first partaker of the fruits.
The farmer has to put in a lot of effort to weed, water and fertilize the plants in order to get them to grow. Thus Jesus has a struggle to get His church to grow in truth and do what He wants them to do.
ISAIAH 55: 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
ISAIAH 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Each age did not realize that they were only a stage in the growth of the plant of eternal Life.
We get trapped in the circumstances of our time. We then fail to understand that God has got a much bigger picture that He is fulfilling. Thus we must obey what is written in Scripture as that is our only guide as we go into the unknown.
I Timothy 2: 15 Study to show thyself approved unto God….rightly dividing the word of truth.
We need to know which stage of the church’s growth is being referred to in Scripture. We need to know where we are in terms of God’s big picture.
The followers of the reformers entrenched themselves in their denominational beliefs and traditions and refused to move on.
Thus God began a new missionary church age that was inspired by John Wesley’s emphasis on holiness and outreach.
Book 56 Titus The holiness age of Wesley and the missionary age
ISAIAH 56:8 The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
This was the golden age of Christianity when missionaries went far and wide around the world to gather in converts for Christ, beside those that the Reformers had already gathered unto Christ in Europe.
ISAIAH 56:1 Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
The missionary age began just before 1800 AD. Europe had used their ocean going boats and cannons to conquer most of the world. Now the missionaries from Europe and America were able to spread out through the world.
First, the missionaries taught salvation by accepting Jesus as one’s personal Saviour.
Then they taught righteousness.
God’s righteousness is holiness. Anything that is unrighteous cannot be holy.
ISAIAH 56:2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
Living holy was the best way to avoid doing any evil. Holiness is the best antidote to pollution.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.
The missionaries took salvation world-wide so that all men could hear the gospel of salvation.
Titus 2:14 …to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works
The hardship and trials that the missionaries endured were fires that purified them and made them holy.
Book 57 Philemon
The Laodicean church age.
The last church age. A slave Onesimus, an individual, had managed to escape from his slave owner and came to believe the doctrines of Paul. Today we need to escape from our big, wealthy and self-satisfied churches that have need of nothing. Christians have become slaves to their churches because the churches compel them to follow church traditions and beliefs.
Meanwhile Jesus (the Word) stands outside the door of the church building.
Jesus appeals not to the church, which He condemns, but just to individuals who still want to be Scriptural.
Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write :…..
:20 Behold I stand at the door and knock (the door of the church, not the door of a sinner’s heart): if any man hear my voice, and open the door..
Paul saved Onesimus from certain death. We must return to the teachings of Paul and the apostles in the New Testament if we are to be saved from certain death in the Tribulation.
ISAIAH 57:1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart:
Sincere Christians are losing out in our modern churches that have moved away from being strictly Scriptural. Worldly lifestyles and permissive preaching have made these modern churches popular. True believers in the Bible are not wanted. Character assassination brands Bible believers as fanatics who are rejected by church members and their dictatorial pastors.
ISAIAH 57:1 and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.
Thus Isaiah prophesies that at the end of this seventh age the Lord will return to catch away His true church so that they are taken away from the great Tribulation.
ISAIAH 57:3 But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore.
As the serpent beguiled Eve, so Satan has beguiled our modern churches. Our denomination traditions come from the wrong sources. Our churches are thus harshly condemned as apostate.
Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
ISAIAH 57:8 Behind the doors also and the posts (of the church buildings) hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another than me,
The church prefers human leadership. Pastors claim to be the head of their churches, which is why Jesus stands outside. Jesus Christ should be the Head. No body can have two heads.
ISAIAH 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
The great beast or satanic power that rose up out of the sea in Revelation 17 had a woman rider. A woman represents a church. When churches become unscriptural, they give rise to powerful but restless spirits. Standards drop due to the mire and dirt of immodest dress, divorce and remarriage, and churches that get involved in the corrupt world of politics. The situation again becomes as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah.
ISAIAH 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
When Jesus is outside the church then those who are inside, even if they are saved, are heading for the Tribulation. There will be no peace there.
Philemon 1:2 and Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in thy house:
Paul recommends a church that meets in a house. Big churches are subject to human leadership, power squabbles, and pastor domination. This is a recipe for disaster in our blind age.
Are things really this bad?
Luke 18:8 Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
This does not sound like millions of Christians being ready for the Lord’s Coming.
Matthew 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son
:3 and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come…
:5 but they made light of it, and went their ways..
:6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them
:8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
So the saved Christians of today who should be caught up to the Wedding of the Lamb are too involved with their own personal and denominational ideas and interests. They are not interested in following the Bible, and reject those who do follow the Scripture. They make light of the Bible facts and questions that they cannot answer, and dismiss these points as irrelevant. Ignorance of the Bible is the norm. "So what?", they say, "It is not important". They rely on the fact that they go to church regularly. But their church is what is keeping them in their ignorance of Scripture.
Look at the parable of the ten virgins. Women represent churches. These are clean women so we are dealing with saved people in these churches. But what do they do just before the Lord returns as the Bridegroom? All of them are fast asleep. This is not complimentary. Our churches need a wake-up call.
Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried they all slumbered and slept.
Thus the great Tribulation makes a savage end to this apostate last church age of Laodicea which means Peoples' Rights.
The wise virgins go to Heaven. The sleeping virgins go into the great Tribulation. The Gospel turns away from the Gentiles and goes to the Jews. So the next Book is "Hebrews".
Next we will look at Hebrews to Revelation