By Ray Brubaker
Morris Cerullo, in a article appearing in DEEPER LIFE magazine, relates a speaking engagement he had at a meeting of the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship.
When he arrived, he heard a man giving this testimony:
"Last night I had a vision of the rapture. I saw the rapture
take place and 70% of the 'so-called church' was left behind."
Testifies Gerullo: "Now I couldn't believe that. I was
shook. He bothered me so much I could hardly talk that
night. And, when I can't talk, then I'm really bothered. I
sputtered and stammered and couldn't wait until I got home to
my room. I went right down on my face before God and said,
"Lord, did you hear what that man said? He's a responsible
man. He owns a million-dollar business. For a man to make
a statement like that, he's either got to be irresponsible or
you have actually spoken to him."
"Lord, I want to know," prayed Cerullo. God spoke to his heart through the Word: "Is it not written that not everybody that cries 'Lord, Lord' will be received by Jesus when He comes?" He said: "Son, why do you err,
not knowing my Scripture?"
One day the Lord spoke in a parable, saying: "Then shall
the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took
their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And
five were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish
took their lamps, and took no oil with them; But the wise took
oil in their vessels with their lamps."
We all know the story how all of the virgins slumbered and
slept while waiting for the bridegroom. Finally, there came
a lamp-trimming time as the hour of the returning bridegroom
"And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil;
for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying,
Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye
rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while
they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were
ready went in to the marriage: and the door was shut."
In our broadcast we seek to emphasize this scriptural
aspect of readiness. Remember, "they that were ready"
went into the marriage.
As A.A. Ronshausen, writing in the CONVENTION HERALD,
observes: "Half were ready and went in, eligible for rapture.
Half were not ready and faced a shut door."
Dr. William F. Beirnes, writing in the MIDNIGHT CRY,
says: "The parable of the wise and foolish virgins is a tragic
illustration of the fact that many will not be ready when the
Bridegroom comes in the air.' Indeed, how sad.
Norman B. Jerome, writing in the GOSPEL HERALD,
refers to this parable as "one of the most powerful passages
of the New Testament to urge the readers to be ready for the
return of the Bridegroom from glory for His bride, the church."
Sarah Foulkes Moore of HERALD OF HIS COMING, writes:
"Is it not solemn to contemplate that out of the ten expecting
His coming, only five were ready..."
Mervin Chaplin, in a magazine article, notes that the
question is not "Is Jesus coming back?" but "Will I be ready
for His return?" ARE YOU READY?
Lehman Strauss says: "It is sad, but true, that all saints
will not be ready to meet Christ when He comes for His
In Rev. 19:7 we read: "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give
honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and
his wife hath made herself ready."
Asks Strauss: "Why is it stated that she has made herself
ready? Is not salvation entirely of grace apart from works?"
We proceed to read concerning the Lamb's wife: "And
to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen,
clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of
Strauss again points out that the "fine linen" mentioned
here represents the "righteous deeds" in contrast to the
imputed righteousness received at conversion.
Beloved, may we see the importance of being ready when
Jesus comes. How sad to miss the rapture! And yet, the
evidence of Scripture is that at a point and time in the future
there will be a mass exodus from this earth of Saints being
raptured to Heaven. But the sad fact is, my friends, that
half of those who expected to be included in the heavenly entourage of saints missed the event.
The late Dr. M. R. Dellaart warned: "The Bible speaks
of those who will be ashamed at His appearing." This warning,
incidentally, is found in I John 2:28 where we read, "And
now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear,
we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at
What does it mean to "abide" in Christ? John goes on to
explain, "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not." (I John 3:6a)
To be ashamed at Christ's coming is to literally shrink
back--unprepared for this all-glorious event.
Stressed the late Dr. DeHaan, "Let me seriously warn you
that God wants His people clean. The Lord Jesus will not
tolerate a defiled bride .... God help us to examine ourselves
and make ourselves ready now."
Fred J. Meldau, in CHRISTIAN VICTORY magazine, says
of the foolish virgins that they were "waiting" but not "watching." He goes on to mention that "Too many today believe that
the Lord is coming but they are not "watching;" that is,
'watching for Him,' seeking His will in their daily lives, and
looking to Him for daily strength."
Billy Graham has noted: "There is a shallowness, a
surface-like quality to much of our Christianity today in
America that cannot possibly delight the heart of God." He
notes concerning these ten virgins: "Outwardly they were
identical. They were the same to the eye but not in the heart."
..... "Five of them had an inward supply of oil and five of them
did not." He goes on to say, "There are thousands of professing Christians whose relationship to Christ is all external. They serve Christ with their lips but their hearts are far from him."
May we heed this message today and make such necessary
preparation as to be ready when our Lord appears.
In I Cor. 15:23, we read of those for whom our Lord is
coming. The verse says: "But every man in his own order:
Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at
Let me ask this question, Are you Christ's? Do you belong
to Him? Do you give evidence that you belong to Him by the
things you do, by the life you live?
In Galatians 5:24, we read: "And they that are Christ's
have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." Did you hear it?
We say we are Christ's--that we belong to Him. But have
we evidenced this fact by dying to the lusts, the affections
and appetites that defile the body and degrade the soul?
Again Billy Graham warns: "Unless you are emptied of
self and filled with the Spirit, I fear for you when the coming
world crisis begins."
I must admit there is something I admire about today's
youth. Many place little value upon materialism. Whereas,
we must have the latest of everything, many of these young
people are satisfied to live apart from luxury. Yes, we may
find fault with many of their crude ways of living, their blue
denim clothing with shirttail hanging out, but as Pharisees who
look on to criticize and point the finger of accusation, we are
more guilty than they.
No wonder our Lord could say to the chief priests going
through the ritual of the temple that "the publicans and the
harlots go into the kingdom of God before you." "How can that be?" you might ask.
The fact is that when many have tried sex and suds (liquor)
and sin and have found that it brings only heartache and headache, they are oftentimes ready for the only remedy that brings
peace and comfort, and that is in knowing of the love of Jesus
Christ Who was willing to die on the cross for our sins. So
our Lord asks us to die to sin in order that we may live a
full life for Him.
Have you crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts?
Remember, the Apostle Paul says: "They that are Christ's
have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts."
The word "affections" used here is a Greek word meaning
one's inner disposition. Our affections must needs be crucified. We cannot excuse our meanness, our selfishness, our
carnality as traits of the old nature but must rather reckon it
as dead and buried.
Then the word for "lust" here is the "outward expression
of a desire or evil craving."
How much lust there is in the world today. Many who say
they are in love are really victims of lust with evil passions
taking over in their minds. If the situation presented itself,
they would commit acts they know to be wrong because they
have allowed their mind to dwell upon their evil cravings.
This is why we need the Holy Spirit--to give victory over
our lower nature and to give preeminence to the Lordship of
Jesus Christ. No wonder we are commanded to "be filled
with the Spirit" which simply means to be under the control
of the Holy Spirit.
Concerning the five wise virgins, they had oil in their vessels
with their lamps. Instead of only making a profession, calling themselves Christians, belonging to a church, being
baptized and all the rest, they also knew of a time when they
died to the affections and lusts of life and surrendered to the
Lordship of Jesus Christ.
No wonder the Scripture exhorts us to "follow peace with
all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the
Lord." (Heb. 12:14) Again we read: "For God hath not called
us to uncleanness but unto holiness." (I Thess. 4:7)
In a day of sensuality when every form of fleshly stimulation is seen--on billboards, on television, and even parading
on our streets--how necessary to have the Holy Spirit abiding
in His fullness.
Jude reminds us of those in the last times who are seen
walking after their own ungodly lusts, sensual, having not the
Spirit! (v. 18-19)
Did you hear it?
This represents the foolish virgins without oil in their
vessels, their lamps going out!
Hear me, my friend. Now is the time to have your need
met. As in the world around us there is an oil crisis, so in
the spiritual realm there is this lack of oil--symbol of God's
Yet, these are the days of outpouring and God stands ready
now to give you the best of Heaven's wealth in the outpouring
of His Spirit.
But don't think for a moment that you can receive in your
sinful, carnal state. God doesn't cast pearls before swine.
You must humble yourself, admit your sinfulness, acknowledge
your wretchedness, and accept Christ as both Saviour and
Lord to live for Him, come what may!
A wedding is in preparation! The table is prepared with
the best of everything. The bridal party is being formed.
By coming out from the crowd and identifying yourself with
the Lord Jesus Christ, you can be a part of that royal celebration.
The Bridegroom is coming. He is coming for a glorious
church, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing--a bride
that is holy and pure.
With our hearts washed in the blood of Christ and our bodies
temples of the indwelling Spirit of God, we can be in that
Remember, concerning the wise virgins, it is said: "They
that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the
door was shut."
Be ye therefore ready also, for in such an hour as ye think
not, the Son of man cometh.