Friday, October 6, 2017
This past Monday morning the world awoke to the Fox News headline, “MASSACRE ON THE STRIP: At least 58 killed, more than 515 hurt in Vegas attack; gunman ID’d” the worst massacre in U.S. history. Dear saints, violence, murder and death are escalating. Death and destruction is increasing throughout the earth, but of course, God forewarned us that these days would come.
The unrestrained escalation of death to humanity is end-time based, because God said, “When He [Christ] opened the second seal…Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another, and there was given to him a great sword” (Rev. 6:3–4). But is the church discerning it? Nearly not.
And is the beast-image healer emerging? Note this 9/28/2017 article at The Guardian: “Deus ex machina: former Google engineer is developing an AI god”. “Anthony Levandowski who is at the center of a legal battle between Uber and Google’s Waymo, has established a nonprofit religious corporation called Way of the Future, according to state filings first uncovered by Wired’s Backchannel. Way of the Future’s startling mission: “To develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.”” Is the church discerning of this?
And as for high profile theologians and self-appointed TV prophets who teach that America’s best days are yet ahead, please don’t listen to them. Believe and prepare in the Words of Jesus who said, “See, I have told you beforehand” (Matt. 24:25). Most cannot discern that our generation is the last by Jesus’ parable of the fig tree, Israel, (Matt. 24:32–35) which was reborn June 14, 1948.
The spirit of Antichrist is raging as God withdraws His restraint of evil. Fellow Christian, it’s time to repent from sin and unbelief, and to believe the only wise God who can save, redeem, cleanse, purify and prepare His Bride in garments of pure white, washed in the blood of the Lamb. That begins with humility, a broken and contrite spirit, and unyielding faith.
God said, “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent” (Rev. 2:2–5).
Many Western Christians are spiritually lukewarm, and pampered with believing as “they” will; that they have authority to tell God what will be rather than God telling them. But such pride will not change the course of God’s end-time Word. And for those who continue assigning Christ’s Olivet Discourse to national Israel, but exclude themselves, their snare of offense has been laid.
And God said, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you. You have a few…who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Rev. 3:2–5).
Many Christians assume identity in Israel Houghton’s lyrics saying, “I am a friend of God” without discerning the cost and conditional requirements of actually being a friend of God.
Houghton sings, “Who am I that you are mindful of me – That you hear me when I call, Is it true that you are thinking of me – How you love me, it’s amazing (Who am I Lord)
I am a friend of God – I am a friend of God
I am a friend of God – I am a friend of God
God Almighty – Lord of Glory – You have called me friend”
But as is very prevalent today, Houghton deceptively doesn’t tell us that friendship with God is conditional. Jesus said “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14). I trust you understand the difference between Houghton’s self-assured assumptions of being a friend of God, from God’s criteria of the same. Spiritually, what’s NOT said is critical.
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked – I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Rev. 3:15–19).
God also said at Pentecost, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). From the start of the gospel being preached to The Revelation of Jesus Christ, repentance is central. But that’s highly unpopular in the culture-accommodating church today because true repentance kills the very nature and self-will of the fallen human spirit.
“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). If we will be saved and endure the end-time apocalyptic storms of violence, natural disasters, deceptions and more, we must believe Christ and act upon His Word. That begins by the confession and repentance of sins and unbelief. If we submit to Christ, He will lead us in that process.
In the NKJV of the New Testament the Words “repentance” and “repent” occur 50 times, and “humility” and “humble” occur 13 times, both of which are inescapable requirements of being born again unto eternal life. Salvation is not based on one’s wishful declarations, but on God’s command to believe Christ, confess sins, repent and obey the gospel of God.
Today, many are in love with the idea that God loves them, while true repentance and humility eludes them. Many in the church say they love Jesus but produce fruit contrary to His teachings. Is this the result of true repentance and humility not being taught to the people as each are left to believe what “they” will? Have proud assumptions largely replaced the Word of God? I think so.
God assures that “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Psa. 34:18); and that, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart – these, O God, You will not despise” (Psa. 51:17); and “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). These are essential truths of salvation unto eternal life.
Exchange Israel Houghton’s proud assuming lyrics for those of Elisha Hoffman (1839–1929) who wrote the soul-searching and challenging lyrics to, “Are You Washed In The Blood?”
“Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin, And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean, O be washed in the blood of the Lamb”.
Marlin J. Yoder