Friday, March 30, 2018
This weekend as you celebrate Easter, don’t become entangled in the world’s commercialized version of this core Christian truth. Paul said to the Corinthian’s that he chose to know nothing among them except Christ crucified (1 Cor. 2:2), and raised from the dead (1 Cor. 15:20). Yes, Christ died for the remission of our sins, but without His resurrection from the dead, we would remain hopelessly lost in our sin. Eternal life is only possible because of Jesus’ resurrection.
Do you need to validate Christ’s earthly ministry and title, King of kings and Lord of lords? – find it in His resurrection! Does the tempter, Satan, trouble you? – confess Jesus’ resurrection! Do you desire holiness? – meditate on His resurrection! Do you desire victory over sin? – think on Christ’s resurrection! Do you want hope for the future? – it’s found in Jesus’ resurrection!
Now, today’s Letter:
Thus saith the Lord God: “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished” (Prov. 22:3). Noah, a prudent man, believed God about the coming judgment, and by faith prepared accordingly. He did not listen to false prophets, nor was he unprepared like the five foolish virgins, and thus Noah saw the punishment of the unbelieving, see Psa. 91:7–8.
That day millennia past came forth bright and fair, and with its cloudless sky the promise of another day to advance the desires and will of man. People went to work, some to war, some to their business, some to places of worship, while still others fornicated with fallen angels. They tilled the soil, planted and harvested. Only a fool would try to change their selfish culture, for that day was just another day to produce even more of the desires of their own fallen hearts.
They planned weddings, they ate and drank, while others reveled in immorality. Having spurned the wisdom and preaching of the “fool” as they called him, they sacrificed infants and engaged in worldly violence and war to protect their way of life. (Sound familiar?) They mocked the fool for preaching righteousness and coming judgment, just like that of our present day.
But, speaking of the fool, who, for many decades preached righteousness and coming judgment, strangely, both he and his family were nowhere to be found. Perhaps, some may have thought, he finally gave up preaching the coming judgment. After all, no one ever paid attention to him as he built the Ark, not even the fallen angels from heaven who took for themselves the daughters of men as wives, who gave birth to giant offspring. People likely thought that if there were any merit to the fool’s preaching, surely, those fallen from heaven would validate his message.
What a reprieve it was to no longer hear the fool’s preaching, warning them to believe God, to repent and turn from unbelief, and flee the coming judgment. Out of sight, out of mind. Good riddance! The day continued bright and fair and all seemed normal. Their self-centered culture pleased their unbelief. But unbeknown to them, the fool was a prudent man who believed God, but now, could not be found because he and his family had entered God’s safety and provision for the judgment that would soon envelop the world of that time.
Then strangely and suddenly, the sky grew dark. But it wasn’t time for the sun to set, so what was now happening? The sky and clouds turned frighteningly angry, and the sun was hidden as the heavens roared and violent clouds turned black as night. One drop of rain, then another, what was this! Then the heavens produced a judgmental downpour and the fountains of the deep broke forth as water also gushed upward from the earth, for judgment had arrived!
Fear-stricken, the people soon found themselves in flooding waters! So they headed for higher ground seeking refuge from this dreadful deluge that now encompassed them. Escape was now impossible as fear gripped their hearts! Then they realized the fool and his family had gone into the Ark, and that this was now the judgment he had preached. But God had shut the door!
Frantic screams turned to pleas for help. Fearfully, men bellowed: WE BELIEVE YOU NOW! YOU WERE RIGHT! SAVE US! HAVE MERCY! Men, women, children and the elderly all drowned as the raging waters of judgment covered the earth, and everything with the breath of life perished from the face of the earth! Thus saith the Lord God: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:37). Yet, the majority do not believe.
“There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown” (Gen. 6:4). Satan’s fallen angels had corrupted the genealogical bloodline of man in order to destroy the “Seed” of the woman, Christ, who would crush the Serpent’s head. Today, artificial intelligence, robotics and DNA corruption is leading to the irreversible mark of the beast, when the world worships the “image of the beast” (Rev. 13) which speaks.
Today, Satan’s dragnet of the pre-trib rapture lie has taught many to disbelieve that Christ’s Words even apply to them for the end-time. “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 3:5–7).
Likewise, false teachers have led many to ignore Christ’s warnings for the coming judgment and tribulation. But, “concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you…Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thess. 2:1–3). One cannot fall away from that to which he didn’t once belong; in this case, the Christian faith.
Jesus Christ warned everyone who would by faith believe Him, that, “then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matt. 24:21–22). Noah’s family believed God, and were the few who were saved, for they had taken the Matt. 7:13–14 narrow gate and difficult path to life.
Similar to Noah’s Ark, God has a place of safety and provision for those who believe Him. “But the woman [the freewoman of Gal. 4:21–31, the prepared church] was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, [3 1/2 years] from the presence of the serpent…And the dragon [Satan] was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:14, 17).
The inference can be made, that, those who helped Noah build the Ark perished in the flood. Though they worked alongside Noah and his sons in the building of the Ark intended to save them, they disbelieved God. Likewise, today, many work for the Church, but in their hearts they disbelieve Christ. In that context Jesus said, “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not…done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matt. 7:21–23).
Noah, being an example to us, was a prudent man who hid himself and his family in the safety and provision of God because he actually believed and acted upon the Word of the Lord. The time is now urgent to cast off the dragnet of false teachings and believe what Christ taught.
Marlin J. Yoder