Friday, November 24, 2017,
In this national season of Thanksgiving for God’s blessings, we Christians ought to give thanks every day for “God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love in which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:4–9). With that backdrop, consider that God also said…
…“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near…Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty’” (Rev. 1:3, 7–8).
God’s promise is blessing for “he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy”; that is, The Revelation of Jesus Christ. Yet, The Revelation is one of the most ignored Books of the Bible today. Why – because many cannot discern that the end-times are upon us, and also leadership fears losing people, money and popularity if all biblical end-time truths are taught.
If the time of Christ’s return was “near” 2,000 years ago, how much closer are we now to The Revelation of Jesus Christ, than then! The signs are everywhere. And God said, “do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). Therein, it’s been only about two days since Christ suffered Calvary!
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand” (Joel 2:1). “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14).
Some say I’ve been teaching the end-times for many years and nothing has come of it. But having spiritual eyes that saw and ears that heard, Christ’s apostles taught the same truths two millennia ago. They did not entangle themselves with pleasing men. The late David Wilkerson, Founding Pastor of Times Square Church, New York, NY, equally scorned a culture-pleasing message and sharply warned the church of the end-times and God’s imminent judgments.
Last week’s CBN article I shared stating that a former Google executive started a church called “Way of the Future” and its “worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI)…and through understanding and worship of the Godhead, contribute to the betterment of society”, is very significant in light of Rev. 13:11–15. The “mark of the beast” (Rev. 13:16–17), and “image to the beast” (Rev. 13:15), being “a foreign god” (Dan. 11:38–39), are now being prepared.
As Antichrist develops his “image”, the church largely acquiesces, being a mirror of ancient Israel in Babylon bowing down to King Nebuchadnezzar’s image, see Daniel 3. Antichrist’s spirit is stealthily deceiving many Christians, like the frog in the kettle not knowing destruction is imminent. The snare of Antichrist is coming with humanistic legitimacy, and “when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:3). It’s the promise of God!
Just because a global end-time apocalyptic event has not yet affected you, is no reason to doubt. We have the certainty of God’s Word that it will and the time of its occurrence is imminent. The gathering of Christ’s saints in the rapture is not imminent, but the apocalypse of the end-times, the Seal, Trumpet and Bowl judgments of The Revelation, most definitely are.
But note this truth: “scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:3–7). This is the promise of God.
When Christ descends from heaven at the last day, “He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him”. We will all see Him, including the redeemed saints, all unbelievers, atheists and agnostics globally! “A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains” (Joel 2:2). This is the promise of God. I ask you, who, at that last day, will be your advocate? Will the unbelief of your own heart serve as your defense, or will you “have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1)?
“And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him”. Why – because they believed not the Son of God, and were thus unprepared to see Him! They lived for themselves and their own lusts, they rejected Jesus as their Savior and Lord; “they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts” (Rev. 9:21). Yes, repentance is essential to salvation! This is the promise of God.
Certainly you’re aware of the burgeoning number of Hollywood elite, corrupt politicians, Catholic priests, Protestant pastors and leaders, and many others being exposed for their sexual immorality, embezzlement of funds, murders and witchcraft. But God says to Christians, “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5:11).
Jesus Christ said “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End”. Believe that, for you will not escape coming face to face with the Judge of all the earth. And to every believing Christian, please consider that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). Only repentance, confession, and personal faith in Christ brings salvation.
In, The Judgment, every unbeliever will stand before “a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the [spiritually] dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books…Then death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:11–15). This too is the promise of Almighty God.
Christ returns in power and glory, and “out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:15–16).
On that glorious day when Christ gathers His saints from all the ages, and our faith becomes sight, then occurs the “restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). In that day “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new’” (Rev. 21:4–5). Let all God’s saints give thanks and shout for joy!
Marlin J. Yoder