Friday, August 11, 2017
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17). [emphasis added] Every Christian needs “All Scripture”. Yet, today, “prophecy”, nearly a third of God’s Word, is being harmfully ignored.
What pastor or teacher would ignore voluminous prophetic truths of Christ that would otherwise equip the saints to faithfully endure to the end unless they don’t actually believe Him? What true shepherd of God’s people would ignore “the testimony of Jesus Christ” for the times of the end?
Would a construction team use only architectural details and gracious floor plans, but ignore the tough structural disciplines critical to a building’s endurance? No, the project will fail. Would a finance manager use only assets, but ignore liabilities? No, such incompetence will fail. Will a garden produce good fruit without weeding? No, the weeds will choke the good plants.
The same is true with Scripture: ignore any part of it and you sow the seeds of spiritual disaster. If we ignore God’s design intent of end-time prophesy we have the certainty of spiritual failure, with the result being that “many will be offended, and will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matt. 24:10). That’s a promise from the Almighty, but do you actually believe Him?
To love God in Christ is to love His Word; to love His Word is to teach His truths; to teach His truths prepares one to endure to the end as Jesus said “he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13). But to teach truths of the end and be equipped in them requires knowledge of and faith in God’s “prophecy”, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10).
Yet, because leadership largely avoids prophecy, it creates an approved dissonance of what God said about the times of the end, and many like it that way. So, how can the church be equipped to endure the tough times of the end in light of such ignorance? Well, the truth is, that, like ancient Israel, the majority is not equipped because it doesn’t believe Christ’s prophetic end-time Word.
This raises a far more sinister issue: if one’s heart has truly been born again, that person will discern the times and will study to show himself approved whether or not his pastor or teacher does so. But if neither the pastor nor teacher upholds the testimony of Jesus for the times of the end that saints be warned and prepared, how is that love for Christ and fellowman? It’s not.
Jesus said, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit” (Matt. 12:33). A good tree has roots that go deep into the tough ground where it finds resource to endurance. Is your faith in Christ just architecturally pleasing, or is it structurally sound, and rooted deep in the tough prophetic Word of God?
Great trouble is near, not just for America, but the world. This isn’t end-time hype, but truth founded in the deep prophetic Word of God and Christians need to start paying attention if they care about enduring the times ahead. The worst part of this: the church has largely stripped away the need for Christians to know the prophetic Word by its teaching of the pre-trib rapture, and as a result we will see the sudden “falling away” (2 Thess. 2:3) as the offense will be unparalleled.
Jesus taught the end-times, the tribulation, the mid-point, and the final 3 1/2 years of great tribulation when Antichrist’s mark of the beast is forced upon all in order to buy and sell. God tells us what is to come and as regards the great tribulation, how we can be “counted worthy to escape all these things” (Luke 21:36). After Jesus’ ministry, death, resurrection and ascension, His disciples and apostles through the Holy Spirit affirmed the same things Jesus taught.
Note what will occur in this final generation: “The earth is violently broken, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; its transgression shall be heavy upon it, and it will fall, and not rise again” (Isa. 24:19–20). Unless you die first, you will see the fulfillment of this prophetic Word regardless of how many lying pre-trib-rapture-promising theologians and pastors tell you otherwise.
Here is the result of those lies. Jesus said, “then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matt. 24:10). Jesus taught specifically about offenses saying, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!” (Luke 17:1). Pastors and teachers should note well, that, silence, teaches, and will result in offense.
What’s the relationship between you and Christ? Is your trust and faith in traditions of men or in Jesus’ prophetic truths? Are you even aware of the differences? Conditional salvation faith is like Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed” (John 8:31). Do you desire to see Christ face to face? Yes? Then prepare to endure the tribulation, because what you do in the tribulation will reveal the true condition of your faith. Believe Jesus, “the spirit of prophecy”.
Marlin J. Yoder