Friday, April 21, 2017
“…know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32), and prepare for the end of this age. Jesus Christ is, “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and He said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18). And that authority includes His teaching that He gathers His elect, “Immediately after the tribulation”. I’m praying for you to that end.
In time to come, “God will wipe away every [saints’] tear…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). But first…
… “they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” (Matt. 24:9). This is now increasing globally. When the fifth seal opened the martyrs of Christ from under the altar, “cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’” (Rev. 6:10).
“Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed” (Rev. 6:11). Present-day saints are indeed, “their fellow servants and their brethren”. Herein we see that in God’s foreknowledge there are a specific number of saints He foreknew who would be martyred for their faith in Jesus.
In America we live in a proud, deceptive bubble where we have our steaks, burgers, fries, apple pie and ice cream – our way! Many demand their rights; insurances to protect our stuff; and if we are caused harm, well, the lawyer is just a phone call away; and heaven forbid should the neighbor’s dog poop on the manicured lawn, or someone dings the car in a parking lot.
A tough day is a bad hair day; losing power for a day tests our faith; rush-hour traffic tests our patience; and letting someone butt in line is counted as longsuffering. The point is that here in America we don’t comprehend persecution for being Christians. We need nothing, not even Jesus’ end-time Words; we just exchange His truth for tradition. But all that’s about to change.
The day is fast approaching when an unprecedented economic collapse will ravage America and all nations. Famines and pestilence are coming. Evil creatures will come up-on the earth. Society will sink into despair; hunger will fan the flames of violence; rioting and looting in cities will be the norm; and the glitz, glitter, light and smoke shows of carnal churches will fall utterly dark.
Have you and your loved ones prepared for the hatred and persecution coming as promised by God, or do you cling to the unbelieving pre-trib rapture deception, thinking you’ll be raptured before the coming wrath of Christ-haters? Many have been spiritually lulled to sleep and are unprepared for the tribulation and hatred against Christians now rapidly escalating globally.
In the not-so-distant future a condition precedent to employment will be forced denial of Christ; and a condition precedent to being culturally accepted will mean hating Christ-followers. Soon, the true church will meet secretly in homes, and the self-centered, have-our-faith-our-way, life, so prominent in America, will come to a much needed end. Then begins the culling of those who truly love Christ and His Word from those who merely give lip service thereto. I’m praying for you, that you believe and personalize Jesus’ end-time Words, for everything else will fail you.
False religions will be approved by the One World Order and its anti-Christ system, but only for about 42 months. Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoists, New Agers, Scientology, and others that deny Jesus as the only way, truth and life to God and eternal life, will be acceptable for the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation. But that will change at the middle of the tribulation when Antichrist sets himself up as God and demands the worship of the entire world.
Many Western Christians at that cataclysmic juncture, when Antichrist literally begins hunting down all opposition (Rev. 12:17), will be shocked and even more offended that they’re still right here on earth. “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass” (Luke 21:36). And this does NOT mean the rapture. God has a place of safety and provision for those who believe His Son and walk in holiness. Otherwise, “wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together” (Matt. 24:28).
The grace, mercy and love of God’s provision for those who believe, watch and pray, according to the Words of His Son, will, “be counted worthy to escape all these things”, when, “the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days” (Rev. 12:6), being the last 3 1/2 years of the great tribulation. These are obedient saints of, “the freewoman” (Gal. 4:21–31) who believed.
Like Moses and Israel rejoiced when God parted the Red Sea, so too shall the prepared believing saints rejoice, when, “the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood (Antichrist’s people) which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth” (Rev. 12:16). I cannot emphasize enough, this will be available ONLY to those who believe God and walk in humble and contrite holiness, for, “without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).
Being, “counted worthy to escape all these things” (Luke 21:36), means living a holy, obedient life. One will not find God’s safety and provision at the middle of the tribulation while living to the flesh and trying to make Christ fit in. Being “counted worthy” is conditional, for, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty…Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked” (Psa. 91:1, 8).
A catalyst to the public revelation of Antichrist will be widespread war that will draw nuclear nations into a massive depopulation-war, when, “power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth” (Rev. 6:8). Daily, now, for those watching the signs of the times, the world stage is being set for WW3.
The U.S. is on the brink of war with North Korea, which will likely draw China and Russia to side with the dictator, Kim Jong-un. Note these 04/17/2017 headlines: from American Military News: “Breaking: BBC: North Korean Official Vows Weekly Missile Tests In Response To Trump”. And Charisma News asks, “Are We Living in Matthew 24 Today?” Indeed, we are!
When this end-time world war breaks out, wars will continue until the end of this age. So, to men, husbands and fathers, have you prepared for your family during the coming time of grave scarcity, famine and financial calamity? Do you heed the actionable faith by men of God in the Scriptures who were warned by God of impending judgment and calamity?
If you’re a true Christian and say you love God with all your heart, you can’t say you weren’t adequately warned, because God’s Word warns of all this calamity and more. The problem in Western Christianity is unbelief of what God said. Most have been taught they have nothing to prepare for since they’ll be snatched off the earth in a pre-trib rapture, which sadly indicates just how eager many Christians are to literally divorce themselves from Jesus’ end-time Words.
Painting with a broad brush, much of Western Christianity, and especially the Word of Faith movement, would have us believe that God serves our beck-n-call. We want our faith just like we want our steaks, burgers, fries, ice cream and apple pie – our way! It’s the same deceptive spirit that has inspired the pre-trib rapture tradition, insisting the end-times be according to the proud, selfish desires of man rather than the testimony of Jesus Christ.
But God warns of such pride. “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest – when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them…then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth’…Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish” (Deut. 8:11, 17, 19).
Those holding to the false pre-trib rapture must be wandering, “Lord, how much longer must we wait?” But His Word is so very plain: He raises the righteous dead, “at the last day” (John 6:40), and He gathers His elect saints, “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), both events being the resurrection / rapture, “at the last day”. But unbelief of Jesus’ teaching largely prevails.
When end-time calamities begin as foretold by Christ, then, “many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matt. 24:10). And why will this be? Because the saints were lied to by pastors and teachers who dishonored Jesus’ Words. Not only will all nations hate Christians, but offended Christians will hate and betray fellow Christians. This is the seedbed for the sudden and great end-time falling away clearly foretold by the Holy Spirit at 2 Thess. 2:3.
Have you considered what it will be like when Christians, “will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” (Matt. 24:9)? The truth that accompanies those days requires preparation now. The foolish who do not prepare could be like the foolish virgins of Matt. 25:1–13 who didn’t prepare to endure the long dark night of the tribulation, faithfully awaiting their Bridegroom. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).
Marlin J. Yoder