Friday, September 8, 2017
God said, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8). The context is provision for the physical but it necessarily includes the spiritual, without which, one’s charge is left to wander in the ways of the world, deception and traditions of men which make God’s Word of no effect.
God is concerned about our physical and spiritual needs. He looks closely at how fathers provide for their children and families in both realms. In fact, Jesus taught, that, “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matt. 18:6). And not teaching the whole truth of God’s Word, or simply ignoring it, is in fact teaching, and a cause to sin.
If we provide physically but not spiritually we ignore God who “is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Leadership for that rests on fathers who in faith are led by the Holy Spirit, who, convicted “the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). The wife is not the spiritual leader or head of the home, nor of the church, but many having rejected God’s authority have made it so.
God said, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). That’s a great two-part promise, the first of which requires diligent and faithful work, not just when they’re toddlers but especially from the age of five to when they leave home. The latter part God will accomplish if we faithfully obey His Word. That’s not to say that God cannot save children who have been spiritually neglected, because He surely can.
God said, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 5:4). Herein, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deut. 6:5–7). This is how God commands fathers to train up their children in truth.
But there’s a great dichotomy today. The father who teaches the unedited truth of God’s Word will find himself at irreconcilable odds with most of today’s organized church which adheres to traditions of men. This dichotomy causes division as many trust the organized church with its traditions more than God’s inerrant Word, which caused the 15th century Reformation.
A similar, but likely too late, reformation from the divided denominations will occur again upon the offending revelation of the tribulation. This will occur when the pre-trib rapture lie is proven false, at which time, “many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matt. 24:10). But you can avoid that if you believe the testimony of Jesus for the end-times.
God clearly said that before He gathers His elect “the falling away comes first, and the man of sin [Antichrist] is revealed” (2 Thess. 2:3); and that He gathers His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31); “at the last trumpet” (1 Cor. 15:51–52); “at the last day” (John 6:40, 44, 54); at “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–6); “when the Lord Himself will descend from heaven” (1 Thess. 4:16); because Christ “must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything” (Acts 3:21 NIV). These imperative truths require much preparation.
Traditions of men are deceptive as they benefit to the praise and wealth of those who create and sustain them. The evangelical church needs an immediate reformation to expose the heinous end-time lies to which it holds. Without such a reformation advancing Christ’s end-time truths, many will be offended and eternally lost because they believed a false tradition that tickled their ears.
Fathers, I exhort you in the love of Christ to teach your family the truth of what’s just ahead. Be discerning by the Word of Truth, and His Holy Spirit and the signs of the times. Jesus said, that, “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). We see this daily as the threat of global war escalates, and the mark of the beast technology is marketed as the solution to failing national monetary systems, cash and credit card fraud.
Love is not silent in the face of impending danger, but teaches the truths of Christ that prepares saints to endure the 7-year tribulation. Love does not hide behind tradition, but unbelief does, even to “the falling away” (2 Thess. 2:3). Therefore, “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Eph. 5:11).
President Trump’s administration and civil authorities are increasingly opposed with vitriolic speech and violence. Ungodly rhetoric by both Democrats and Republicans is intolerable. The nationalists gnash their teeth at globalists and vice versa. And influential sports figures instigate nationalist hatred at sporting events. Many secular, and even so-called Christian educational institutions, increasingly embrace radical and ungodly left-wing liberal thought and agenda.
Hatred, specifically against Christians, will ultimately spiral downward until, “It was granted to him [Antichrist] to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Rev. 13:7). This is the mid-tribulation event when God has a place of safety and provision for those who actually believe His Word and have actually prepared to endure to the end as did the five wise virgins of Matthew 25:1–13.
Storms and natural disasters are increasingly destructive. Hurricane Harvey was the worst natural disaster Houston, Texas has ever seen, and is followed by Hurricane Irma that destroyed much in the Caribbean islands and now threatens Florida, Georgia and the Carolina’s. Storms are normal, but not their increasingly destructive ferocity. And worse is coming, though our land being filled with false prophets, prophesy prosperity, American greatness, and spiritual revival in Congress.
In this age, revival of national leaders unto loving Christ will not occur, for they never have and never will have in mind the things of “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). They oppress. They instigate wars. They are a god unto themselves. Therefore God said, “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us” (Psa. 2:1–3).
Last night southern Mexico was struck by a killer magnitude 8.0 earthquake with a mounting death toll. My heart breaks for people in the church who should be being led in end-time truths, but are deceived by false teachers / prophets, having little to no discernment according to “the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9). Many people in the church prefer the smooth, articulate, well-crafted words of false prophets teaching things that sound good to people’s itching ears.
False prophets often led ancient Israel astray with lies and deception, for which God said, “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests [pastors] rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end” (Jer. 5:30–31). Truly, what will the people of this final generation do in the end?
Fathers, it’s our obligation in love for Christ to teach and equip our families in the end-time “testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9) for the tribulation because the organized church will not do it. Many prefer false traditions of men and will consequently suffer offense and the falling away the Spirit taught. But Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed” (John 8:31), and again, “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14).
Marlin J. Yoder