Matthew Chapter 24
Verse 43 KJV “But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.”
We have intentionally returned to Matt 24:43 in order to consider it in detail at this time.
The “goodman of the house,” the householder, is Satan. The “thief” in this instance is Jesus. Verse 43 is saying that if Satan knew in what hour Jesus was coming, he would not let his house be broken into (see RSV—paraphrased). The Pastor assumed this verse applied to the initial coming of Jesus in 1874, to the beginning of the presence, but such an application has several problems. The word “coming” can refer to any of several events during the Second Advent, just as it did at the First Advent.
Which “coming” is referred to here?
First, however, let us consider what “house” is to be broken into. It is Satan’s personal headquarters in earth’s atmosphere where his power is especially entrenched. Here is an example: Russia and the United States both exist on the same planet earth with two entirely different philosophies. Yet the two countries with their citizens are thousands of miles apart. Satan, the prince of the power of the air, and his angels are in earth’s atmosphere, confined to tartaroo. The returned invisible Lord is also in earth’s atmosphere.
How can two antagonistic powers occupy earth’s atmosphere at the same time?
There is no problem— they do this the same way that two antagonistic powers can simultaneously occupy the surface of the earth. Just as Russia has its capital, Moscow, in a certain area of earth’s surface and the United States has its capital, Washington, DC, in another area, so Satan and his angels have their headquarters in one part of earth’s atmosphere (probably over Rome), and Jesus and his angels have their headquarters in another part of earth’s atmosphere (probably over Jerusalem). Thus two alien powers coexist above, and two alien powers coexist down here.
Jesus had no problem returning to earth’s atmosphere in 1874. Satan could not in any way have prevented his coming here. And all down through history, holy angels have materialized off and on, even though Satan was the god of this world. Consider the Apostle Paul, for instance. Angels appeared to him and he had visions. Also, at the time of the French Revolution, Jesus came here to stabilize conditions lest worldwide anarchy break out prematurely (Rev. 10:1, 2). The fact that Jesus ascended to heaven after his resurrection did not mean he could not come here at any time if he so desired, but his abode was in heaven (“whom the heaven must receive [retain] until the times of restitution”—Acts 3:21).
It wasn’t that Jesus could not come, but that he could not come for any length of time (the “appointed day”, Acts 17:31, the 1000 year day, had not yet come). And even now that it is here, and he is here for his 1000-year Second Advent, it does not mean that he cannot go back to see his Father any time during this period. The following illustration is helpful. We have an ambassador in Moscow who represents our country. That ambassador is in Moscow most of the time, but he can return for vacation and consultation. Similarly Jesus’ being in earth’s atmosphere for 1000 years does not mean he is in prison down here. He can return to the Father just as an ambassador goes back to his home country to get further instruction. Jesus can go back and forth, but Satan, being confined in chains of darkness, cannot. He is limited as to what he can do.
In other words, it is very difficult to see how the Adversary could be a deterrent force to the personal coming of Jesus. Therefore, the usual explanation of this verse does not fit. The point is that the “house” Satan would not have allowed Jesus to enter is not simply the earth’s atmosphere itself, but his own personal headquarters—the area in earth’s atmosphere where Satan and his evil angels are resident. It is this specific area which is to be broken into and Satan bound for the duration of the Millennium, until the Little Season when he will be loosed.
Verse 43 cannot refer to Jesus’ coming in 1874 because he came into earth’s atmosphere on several other occasions in the past when Satan, the god of this world, could not stop him. And holy angels likewise have come during Satan’s operation as prince of this world. Dan 10:13 says that the prince of Persia (Satan) withstood Gabriel for 21 days until Michael came to assist Gabriel and overpower Satan. Thus there is no problem in Jesus’ coming here, or for the Logos or Michael.
The point is that if Satan could know in advance the very moment Jesus will come to his personal headquarters to bind him; the Adversary would be prepared and would put up a strong fight, thus throwing off God’s timetable. The timing of the divine plan would be disrupted by such a confrontation. Therefore, Satan will not know in advance the moment his house will be entered.
We continue with our next post.
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