Friday, October 21, 2016
Victory is lost if truth is suppressed; that is, whole-truth. Remember, a half-truth equals a whole-lie. Most product advertisements are based on half-truths, because that’s the way of the world, and people feel justifiably disenfranchised upon discovering the whole truth.
More often than not sales of virtually anything in this world are crafted to draw you in by half-truths which is deception. And unless you make the difficult effort to educate yourself for the fine print of whole truth, you will remain ignorant and be drawn into a so-called “good deal”.
And you should never think that the church has ignored this world-class marketing of sales and enrichment. This is why the gospel is watered-down by so many. This is why select portions of, “the testimony of Jesus Christ” are deliberately withheld.
Only the truly repentant and born again would agree that: “narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:14). And that, “he who does not believe the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).
And, “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). And, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). And of the end-times, Jesus’ teaching that, “then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:21).
From many pulpits today, half-truths of the gospel of Christ are marketed to be appealing; that conversion faith is just a few simple words, and that in this world it’s the “happy” life, where prosperity and popularity flourish. But this is one of the great deceptions of the end-times.
Thus, God said, “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Tim. 4:3–4).
Consequently, whole truth is literally barred at the doors of the church, believe me, I know firsthand. The church says Jesus gathers His saints before the tribulation, despite the truth Jesus preached that He gathers His elect saints, “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31).
I’ve tried to understand why evangelical church leaders will not break forth in a comprehensive, church-wide, Jesus Christ-centered teaching and preaching for the end-times; teaching the truth of both resurrections and when each occurs; and to teach that we now live in the days of Noah (transhumanism), and in the days of Lot (transgenderism), just as Christ warned.
Why will the evangelical church not pick up the mantle that God has placed upon it to teach the truths of the end-times that people would be warned and informed on what they must expect, and how they must endure to the end as Jesus taught at Matthew 24:13?
The evangelical church largely rejects whole-truth for the end-times, and thus selectively eliminates Christ’s teachings of it, refusing even to allow His Words into the conversation, claiming all the while how much they love the Lord Jesus. But true love for Christ will boldly defend and teach His every Word for the end-times and prepare saints accordingly.
Charisma News, 10/14/2016, posted an article by the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God Church, entitled, “George O. Wood Offers a Grievous Warning [the] American Christian Should Read Right Now”. In his five-page article Dr. Wood laments the loss of religious liberty the church has suffered over the past 25 years, but doesn’t mention the end-time relevance of it.
Dr. Wood: “The threats to religious freedom that are now upon us can be likened to the frog put into a pan of water placed on the stove. The water warms gradually and the frog does not realize its peril until it is too late to jump out of the pan…Many evangelical and Pentecostal believers and leaders have not been previously alarmed at how the “pan” has been gradually heated in the assault against religious liberty.”
He said Bible-believing Christians have been negatively characterized by the secular left as “‘Hateful, mean, bigoted, narrow-minded’ and a host of other terms”. And after being negatively characterized, Christians are then marginalized, then discriminated against, and finally persecuted, he said.
Dr. Wood continued, “I have never written anything like I am writing to you now. I realize that what I am writing paints a very dark picture. You are now asking yourself, but what can we do? Here are some suggestions.” He calls us to “Pray”, and to “Engage”, and to “Watch Your Spirit”, and to “Do Good”, and to “Keep Doing the Main Things”, and realize that “Our Battle Is Spiritual”, and finally to, “Rejoice”, all good advice, yet avoiding the end-time relevance.
I respect Dr. Wood in his high position. But it troubles me deeply for what he did not say. Though he identified the hatred by the secular world of the church, he did not disclose to his millions of readers that followers of Christ yet face Antichrist’s seven-year tribulation as Jesus taught. He didn’t even allude to it though Jesus warned of this for the time of the end.
Not only will the loss of religious freedoms increase, but events of the entire tribulation will yet befall the church before the rapture occurs. Imminent tribulation events are the things for which the church is unprepared due to ignorance. Christ warned of this, but Dr. Wood remained silent.
One of the political slogans being trumpeted this election cycle is “America First”. But as saints of the Most High God our slogan must be “Christ First!” for He paid our sin-debt and gave us eternal life; that is, if we believe Him and do not give up but endure to the end as He taught.
We must be a holy people set apart to defend “the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9), not at all unlike, “the testimony of Jesus Christ” for which the apostle was exiled to Patmos. We must prepare to be isolated, negatively characterized, marginalized, discriminated against and persecuted.
The same Jesus who taught, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3), also said He gathers His elect saints, “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31). Yet, Dr. Wood and thousands of his ministers and millions of his followers believe the former but not the latter for present-day saints. How can endurance break forth in the face of unbelief?
Jesus said He is “the truth” (John 14:6). The psalmist said, “His truth shall be your shield and buckler” (Psa. 91:4). We need truth to defend and hold together all parts of our Christian faith. But if we reject Jesus’ truth, our shield and buckler have fallen, leaving us exposed and naked.
Consider: if a structural engineer designed a multi-storied office building using only dead load calculations (a half-truth), but ignored the live loads (the whole-truth), the building would stand only until the live loads were introduced, then it would collapse. Why? Because the whole-truth of engineering values were not applied to ensure the building would endure the combined loads.
Likewise, we need whole biblical truths that we are equipped to endure Antichrist’s seven-year tribulation, because there will be no pre-trib rapture. And unless the church teaches whole-truth as taught by Jesus and His Spirit, “then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matt. 24:10), and many will be caught in, “the falling away” (2 Thess. 2:3).
Globally, religious freedoms will not become better, but much worse. That’s not being negative, but owning the truth in Christ. Saints will increasingly be isolated, negatively characterized, marginalized, discriminated against, and persecuted. Just read your Bible and see that, “It was granted to him [Antichrist] to make war with the saints and to overcome them” (Rev. 13:7). Are you prepared?
The church has bowed the knee to and blessed selective belief resulting in much unbelief. Jesus said of His earthly ministry, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:24). Thus, non-national Jews were excluded. But after His resurrection He said to all the true Jews, those born again, (see Rom. 2:28–29), to, “make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19–20).
When Jesus commanded to, “make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all things”, it includes His end-time Olivet Discourse teaching of the times of the end and that He gathers His elect saints, “Immediately after the tribulation”. Yet, the church with its pretentious pre-trib rapture tradition refuses, “the testimony of Jesus”, and many will consequently perish.
What about you? Are you willing to defend, “the testimony of Jesus Christ” who promised to gather His elect, “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31) and prepare accordingly? Are you willing to be isolated for the sake of Jesus Christ? Have you sought out the truth that, “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–6) of the dead occurs, “at the last day” (John 6:40, 44)?
Do you know the truth that, “at the last trumpet” (1 Cor. 15:51–52) when “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God” (1 Thess. 4:16), that this occurs at the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15–19? Why? Because Christ, “must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything” (Acts 3:21)! Do you love Jesus Christ enough to receive and believe His whole-truth? I’m praying for you.
Marlin J. Yoder