Friday, June 29, 2018
As you consider your response to the biblical end times, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:11–12). Amen!
God’s Spirit said of Satan: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations” (Isa. 14:12). And Jesus said of the devil: “I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Yet, though he is “fallen from heaven” Satan still has access to heaven according to Job 1:6 and 2:1, where he is the “accuser of our brethren” (Rev. 12:10). But, “war broke out in heaven…” (Rev. 12:7–8).
At the mid-tribulation point, Satan will no longer be just “fallen from heaven” yet having access to it, but will be forcibly “cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him…[For which we are warned] Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Rev. 12:9, 12).
When Satan and his angels lose access to heaven, they cause great tribulation on earth. But as a Christian, you need to understand that you will never suffer the wrath of God which is reserved for all who take the mark of the beast. But there is no promise whatsoever in God’s Word that Christians will not be subject to the wrath, the hatred and the persecutions of Satan, his angels, his returning hybrid Nephilim beings, and of Antichrist. Christians must prepare in that truth.
This is why it’s vital that we, now, immediately, while we have time, prepare ourselves and loved ones to “Put on the whole armor of God”. Begin now to walk in peace and holiness with the Lord our God who said, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14); for, “as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:5–6).
If we live in holiness to the commands of Jesus to “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36), then, at the appointed time of mid-tribulation we have confidence that we are part of “the woman [who] 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).
But, if through false teachers one is led astray from Jesus’ end-time truths, to trust in the false pre-trib rapture, he forfeits God’s provision and becomes open game for Antichrist, when, “the dragon 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. 12:17). For, “Wherever the [dead] body is, there the eagles will be gathered together” (Luke 17:37).
Remember that due to ancient Israel’s unbelief, their dead bodies littered the wilderness where they were consumed, Num. 13 & 14. And “That which has been is what will be…” (Eccl. 1:9).
Some believe the truth, are wise, and watch, and pray and are prepared, but not others. “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise, the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife…I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed; the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together; the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field; the one will be taken and the other left” (Luke 17:31–36).
This defining time will separate the wise who believe Jesus, from the foolish who do not. “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matt. 24:10). At Luke 17:31–36 Jesus’ disciples understood that He was telling them there is a place of safety and provision for believers, for “they answered and said to Him, ‘Where Lord?’ So He said to them, ‘Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together’” (Luke 17:37).
Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish virgins at Matt. 25:1–13 confirms the need for preparation. The wise knew their wait would be difficult and long, and prepared sufficiently. But the foolish never expected a long difficult wait, and prepared insufficiently. Finally, when the Bridegroom was revealed, the wise were prepared and went into the Wedding Banquet, but the unprepared foolish, having gone out to buy, were too late and were excluded from the Master’s Banquet!
When Satan is cast out of heaven he fully embodies the Antichrist who issues his mark “that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev. 13:17). Here, Antichrist breaks his seven-year “covenant with many” (Dan. 9:27), and standing in the temple “opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:4). Jesus warned that “when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, (whoever reads let him understand)” (Matt. 24:15).
“For 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). Are you part of God’s “elect”? If yes, then why not believe that Jesus gathers His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31) and prepare accordingly? To believe otherwise is utterly foolish.
Eternal life is this: “if you confess the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:9–10). This is conditional, however, on your faithful continuation, that, “if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard” (Col. 1:23); “for there is no other name under heaven given among men [Jesus] by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Marlin J. Yoder