Friday, September 29, 2017
God’s purposes in the gospel are critically important to the true conversion of the fallen heart. The main thing must always be the main thing, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20). This requires true leadership in spiritual matters for personal, familial and occupational pursuits as God’s own presentation of the gospel proves.
If God didn’t have an intentional plan for the creation of earth and mankind, chaos would have reigned. If Noah hadn’t embraced God’s vision of the Ark, it would not have saved his family. If Joseph in ancient Egypt didn’t have a Spirit-led dream of the 7-year famine, provisions for it would not have borne fruit to the saving of many lives, including the children of Israel.
Likewise, God gave us His priority for the preaching and teaching of His Word which was clearly revealed at the first preaching of the gospel in Acts 2 and 3, which serves to teach us God’s intended priority, commission and assignment for teaching His Word. But the devil has largely derailed the priority of, repentance, being Spirit-filled, and disclosure of the end-times.
The priority of the gospel from its inception, is the crucified and resurrected Christ, with consequential sights set on enduring the end-times. But today the latter is largely lost as the church has exchanged the priority of conversion, the resurrection, and end-time gospel, in order to sustain its traditions of men. This is why confusion reigns about the end-times having birthed the pre-trib, mid-trib, pre-wrath, post-trib and post-millennial gathering of elect saints.
Just as there’s no multiple choice to eternal life, neither is there a multiple choice of when Jesus Christ gathers His saints. There is only one Truth: Jesus Christ. And all Scriptures relevant to the resurrection of Christ and His saints support His testimony. There is no contradiction of Truth, but man has made it so. Consequently, to keep the peace, (but is not peace) the church largely ignores the end-time subject that the apostle Peter so powerfully preached by the Holy Spirit.
Note the Holy Spirit’s immediate end-time focus and response to those who witnessed the manifestation of the Spirit’s gift of tongues, saying: “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’” (Acts 2:16–21).
The Spirit then continues the prioritized theme of the end-times, saying, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19–21). [emphasis added]
But so often Acts 2 and 3 is taught without expository teaching because it exposes the pre-tribulation rapture lie and confirms that Christ gathers His elect saints “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), at “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:4–6), “at the last day” (John 6:40, 44, 54), “at the last trumpet” (1 Cor. 15:51–52), because Christ “must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything” (Acts 3:21 NIV) which is at the last day.
Yet, many evangelicals “speak in tongues” but disconnect from the Spirit’s consequential focus of the end-times. How can that be; that is, claiming to be Spirit-filled and speak in tongues but ignore the critical truths Christ taught for the gathering of His elect? “Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh” (James 3:11–12).
God said “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Rom. 8:16–17). But the pre-trib rapture lie of Satan rejects the reality of suffering the tribulation. But God’s Spirit does not bear witness to anyone of anything that disagrees with “the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9).
So, the question and self-judgment must be asked: what spirit, then, dwells within the one who believes the devil’s pre-trib rapture lie, for Christ and His Spirit taught truth. But deception and half-truths reside comfortably in many today, not only concerning the rapture, but on numerous other critical points of living a Spirit-led life versus one led by deceiving spirits.
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11) how can a qualified minister or other Christian contradict the order and priority of the gospel message revealed at Acts 2 and 3? The point is, the qualified minister and Christian will not, but will disclose the whole truth, while those with their own agenda or something to hide will not.
A minister / teacher called by God must not teach repentance and then ignore that God’s Spirit immediately joined that repentance and conversion to the end-times. Repentance, conversion, and the Holy Spirit’s gift, together with the end-times of Acts 2 and 3 are indivisible. That’s God’s own presentation of the gospel and He expects us to follow His leading in this.
A minister / teacher called by God must not ignore what God’s Spirit immediately revealed at Pentecost concerning repentance “that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). Yet, the widespread ignorance of this critical truth in the church is the work of deceiving spirits.
“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). [emphasis added] Has God poured out His Spirit in your life to believe the end-time testimony of Christ, or has a deceiving spirit sent forth to corrupt the authoritative Word of the Lord caused you to assign His Olivet Discourse for the end-times to others? This is spiritually very serious and time is running out.
Marlin J. Yoder