If the goodman had known, he would have watched, and not suffered his house to be broken.
Christ’s words in Matthew 24:43 should be seen in a broader context that we often overlook. His visible return is in the middle of the chapter, verse 30, as it is in middle of Matthew 25, verse 31. The seven examples between Matthew 24:30 and 25:31 are like a parenthetical “heads up” for sudden events and we look at support for them all to have a similar timing at the beginning of the endtimes.
- Suddenly a fig tree flaunting its pretentious leaves with promise of fruit withers.[i] It happened to the Jewish nation in Christ’s time, but could it represent America now? If we look, maybe we can see some fig leaves turning brown!
- “As it was in the days of Noah,” suddenly the Flood came and took them all away. Paul warns that the day of the Lord comes with sudden destruction.[ii] Ellen White said “Christians should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise.”[iii] These comments suggest something big is coming unexpectedly.
- 3. Two shall be in the field; one shall be taken, the other left. This is often cited in reference to a sudden rapture, but Christ’s statement in Luke supports them as taken to the dinner of the birds in Revelation.[iv] Suddenness is implied. Could this be about martial law when the economy crashes with FEMA camps or worse for those who don’t do well with New World Order re-education?
- Suddenly the goodman awakens to loss from a thief.
- The evil servant thinks the Lord delays his coming and begins to smite his fellow servants. This is Matthew 24 where Christ also urged our understanding of Daniel which shows the little horn that persecuted the saints. Historians say history repeats. The UN image beast of New World Order will resemble the Old World Order, probably because of the woman who is riding that beast.[v]
- 6. Asleep with our lights out in Matthew 25:5 implies that we don’t understand this wedding parable. Suddenly there is a cry at midnight. This links to Egypt when the Bridegroom came and took Israel to a covenant at Sinai and later said, “I am married to you.”[vi] Paul includes the Exodus in “all those things happened for examples…ends of the world.”[vii]
- Suddenly the master returns from a long journey and surprises a slothful servant.
Since those events happened suddenly, we should see that suddenly means quickly without warning. We should understand them as impending from signs of the times, even when we don’t see them coming.
Since God will not do anything without revealing it,[viii] we should consider that when He will do it is revealed. Let’s look again at the above list to see how many clues we can find. It might surprise the average reader to discover there’s a link to Passover timing in most of Christ’s examples,
- It was the week of Passover, after Christ’s entry into Jerusalem that the fig tree withered. “When summer is nigh”[ix] also fits the next clue for 2nd Passover.
- “As the days of Noah, the Flood came with Passover timing, but in the 2nd spring month because Noah buried Methuselah whose name meant, at his death, the sending forth of waters.[x] Noah entered the ark on the 10th day, the same day the Passover sacrifice was selected in Exodus 12:3. When people refused Noah’s invitation, they selected themselves for sacrifice. The Flood’s Passover timing in the 2nd spring month was according to the provision in Numbers 9:10,11.
- After “one shall be taken, the other left,” the next word is Watch. This is translated from the Greek word, gregoreo, meaning to be awake. Passover was the only night in the year when everyone was to be awake.[xi] “You don’t know the day or hour was probably an idiom. “Know” is from the Greek word, oida, meaning to be aware, perceive, understand. Christ was saying, You don’t understand and each time He said it, He gave an example that fit the provision in the law for a late Passover.
- We will discuss the goodman later.
- The lord of the evil servant comes when he is not looking for him. Could this mean not watching like the other references to “watch”? And getting cut asunder with “weeping and gnashing of teeth” is the same destiny as the man without a wedding garment in Matthew 22 where that parable is linked to Passover by verse 7. It was Passover when Titus began his siege in 70 AD.[xii]
- The midnight cry in Matthew 25:6 is linked to Egypt’s Passover where a midnight cry is first found.[xiii]
- Christ punctuated His last two parables with the word watch, meaning be awake, a clue for Passover, but not as the disciples were thinking. Christ said, You don’t know [understand], for it’s like a man traveling to a far country.
The Israelites often traveled in spring when winter was past, but if it was a long journey and they couldn’t get back to Jerusalem for Passover, they were to keep it the 2nd month as shown in Numbers 9:10,11. Christ was taking a long journey. His return as Bridegroom (not His visible return, but as in Egypt when calamity fell and there was a cry a midnight) will conform to the provisions of the law that is in effect till heaven and earth pass.[xiv]
So who’s the goodman in Matthew 24:43? There is only one reference to goodman in the Old Testament, KJV. It’s in Proverbs 7 where a harlot tempts a young man saying, The goodman is gone a long journey. He has taken a bag of money and he won’t come back till the yom kece [full moon]. Passover comes on a full moon, but long journey is specific for 2nd Passover.[xv]
During the week of 2nd Passover in 2009, Pope Benedict went to Jerusalem. Could he represent the goodman? Married to a harlot, Bene [dict] means good. He was on a long journey and he had a bag of money, possibly buying property for when the King of the North[xvi] will move “his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain.”[xvii]
The goodman doesn’t know when to watch and has his house broken by the thief. The papacy boasts that they abolished the Jewish festivals which included Passover as a time to watch (be awake) and pray.[xviii] Due to poor translation that added “is” to Colossians 2:17, Christians think those times ended, but Paul says they are “shadows of things to come” and, therefore, not all fulfilled.
Paul kept the week of Passover with Greek believers in Philippi and Corinth.[xix] His warning in 1Thessalonians 5:1-6 has clues supporting Passover as when to watch, but first, let’s look at Acts 1:6 where the disciples asked Christ, Will you restore the kingdom to Israel at this time? He replied, It is not for you to know the times and seasons–the same phrase as in Daniel 2:21,44 where it says God will set up a kingdom (the stone strikes the toes of time).
And Paul uses the same phrase to tell us, “Of the times and seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write, for you know perfectly the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night, for when they shall say ‘Peace and safety,’ sudden destruction comes upon them as travail on a woman with child…watch.”
Let’s unpack each phrase for what we might see:
- “The times and seasons” was the phrase that Christ linked to the setting up of the kingdom and Paul said we [should] know them perfectly. Could we be missing something?
- “The day of the Lord” is the Old Testament apocalyptic term and it is linked to Passover as “the day of the Lord’s sacrifice [when God] will punish the king’s children clothed in strange apparel.[xx] Ellen White cited this text commenting on her vision of an earthquake in which “it seemed that Judgment day had come.”[xxi] We are the king’s children as implied by her vision at Loma Linda. Does strange apparel mean no wedding garment? Could we be thrown out of the wedding?
- “As a thief in the night.” We showed a connection between the coming of the thief for the goodman and the goodman’s long journey and return at the full moon—clues that point to 2nd Passover.[xxii] Passover was also the time when watching, being awake, was enjoined. Watching would spare loss by the thief.
- “Sudden destruction comes on them.” The Flood brought sudden destruction and had Passover timing in the 2nd spring month.[xxiii] ”As the days of Noah”–could “as” include timing?
- “As travail on a woman with child” God birthed Israel, His “first-born” from Egypt. The cry at midnight on Passover was part of the childbirth process. Again, could “as” include timing?
- “Ye are all children of light…let us not sleep…let us watch.” Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, praises God’s law in each verse and calls His Word a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Could it be that Laodicea is blind and doesn’t see the light in His law which includes Passover designed to memorialize the greatest events of the Old and New Testaments—freedom from physical bondage, and freedom sin with hope of eternal life. Christ took our beating that night. Can we not watch (be awake) and pray?
“It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour…in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones… If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross.”[xxiv]
Why not on the night set apart for that memorial? We’ve looked at clues “as in the days of Noah” that point to 2nd Passover, for the coming of the Bridegoom because Christ ended that parable by saying Watch, it’s like a man traveling to a far country. This year 2nd Passover comes on Wednesday evening. May 14 is the 14th day counting from the visible crescent seen in the western sky after sunset on the eve of May 1. Those seeking Christ’s return should be found in prayer meeting. (Ellen White)
It would be great to see the church packed for the Lord’s Supper and a focus on Chjrist’s sufferings for us. If not, could we be speechless like the man thrown out for no wedding garment? Is it I, Lord? We will all have to answer that for ourselves, but one person who doesn’t have a wedding garment on is the aggelos, [Greek] the messenger to Laodicea, because the True Witness says he is naked.”[xxv]
Some may think this is taking things out of context, but the Laodicean message is also a wedding message with six parallels to Luke’s wedding parable! “Naked” in Revelation 3 explains who has no wedding garment in Matthew 22:11.
- “loins girded” in Luke 12:35 is like our need of white raiment in Revelation 3:18.
- “lamps burning” (same verse in Luke) is like the need of eye salve to see.
- Each passage has a knock. Luke 12:36; Revelation 3:20
- Each is to open.
- “Ruler over all that He has” in Luke 12:44 is like “sit with Me on my throne” in Revelation 3:21.
- Laodicea is the last church. The word means people [laos[ judging [dicea, decree].
Historically, Adventism grew out of the Millerite movement as pioneers gave the message of judgment and the Bridegroom’s coming in 1844.[xxvi] Neither message fit as they expected. It was the prophetic “bitter belly” experience of John in Revelation 10 as he typified the Advent movement. But the chapter ends, “You must prophesy again,” implying that a message of judgment and the Bridegroom’s coming must be given again.
Adventists are big on the investigative judgment that began on the Day of Atonment in 1844. But are we like the goodman when it comes to the executive phase of the judgment?
God said, “I will execute judgment” in the context of Passover.[xxvii] Israel had to put blood on the doorpost and be awake that night.[xxviii] We no longer kills lambs, but being awake, (gregoreo, watch) isn’t said to be optional; we just don’t do it. Could we be presuming like Moses when he went to Egypt for the time of judgment but faced death because he was out of compliance with the law?[xxix]
We hear of all night prayer vigils for evangelism or some other cause. Why not to remember what Christ did for us that night. This year 2nd Passover on May 14 (Wednesday evening prayer meeting) could be a communion service like the Last Supper with a focus afterwards on the closing scenes of Christ’s life.
There were probably people who saw the animals going into the ark and who might have wanted to go in, but they were afraid of what others might think. Maybe we need to get over similar feelings. If not, we may play the role of the goodman who doesn’t know when to watch.
Didn’t Christ say, If you don’t watch, I will come on you as a thief.[xxx] The goodman had his house broken by the thief. Serious loss! The man without a wedding garment is thrown out—weeping and gnashing of teeth—serious loss of destiny. Beaten with many stripes is for those who knew to prepare and did not.[xxxi]
Pastors have a special responsibility because it is their privilege to have great light, and to whom much is given, of him much is required.[xxxii] Those words end Luke’s wedding parable. Ellen White says the coming of the Bridegroom is the same event as Malachi 3 where “who may abide the day of His coming…He is like a refiner’s fire and He shall purify the sons of Levi.” [ministers?][xxxiii] Let’s not be the goodman, when we could be “ruler over all that He has.” Why not plan something special for prayer meeting and invite the church!
[i] Matthew 21:19
[ii] 1 Thessalonians 5:2,3
[iii] Prophets & Kings, p 626
[iv] Luke 17:36,37, Revelation 19:17,18
[v] Revelation 17:3-6
[vi] Jeremiah 3:14
[vii] 1 Corinthians 10:1,11
[viii] Amos 3:7
[ix] Matthew 24:32
[x] Genesis 5:21, KJV margin
[xi] Exodus 12:10; Matthew 26:38-41
[xii] The Great Controversy, p 31
[xiii] Exodus 12:29,30
[xiv] Matthew 5:18
[xv] Numbers 9:10,11
[xvi] Ezekiel 26:7; Revelation 17:5
[xvii] Daniel 11:45
[xviii] Matthew 26:38-41
[xix] Acts 20:6; 1 Corinthians 5:8
[xx] Zephaniah 1:7,8
[xxi] Testimonies, Vol 9, p 93,95
[xxii] Numbers 9:10,11
[xxiii] Genesis 7:4,11
[xxiv] The Desire of Ages, p 83
[xxv] Revelation 3:17
[xxvi] The Great Controversy, p 398
[xxvii] Exodus 12
[xxviii] Exodus 12:10
[xxix] Exodus 4:24
[xxx] Revelation 3:3
[xxxi] Luke 12:47,48
[xxxiii] The Great Controversy, p 426