Friday, March 15, 2019
“EF Hutton is an American stock brokerage firm founded in 1904…[and] was best known for its colorful TV commercials in the 1970s and 1980s based on the phrase, ‘When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen.’” (Wikipedia) I remember those ads very well, but EF Hutton is not the point, the testimony of Jesus is. If Christians can be savvy investors and profit listening to their financial planners or advisors, (and they do) then how much more important is it that when Jesus talks, Christians listen and profit to victoriously endure to the end of this present age!
Jesus told us what’s coming in these end-times, and unlike the unbelieving world which doesn’t love Truth, professing Christians must actually believe Him and prepare in His testimony. That it will be a pivotal moment at mid-tribulation when Satan and his angels are permanently cast out of heaven to the earth, and for believers to then “be counted worthy to escape” (Luke 21:36) to God’s provision and safety on “eagles’ wings”, (Rev. 12:6, 14) is a huge understatement.
At mid-tribulation Antichrist breaks his (Dan. 9:27a) covenant, and “shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering” (Dan. 9:27b); “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), and issues his “mark of the beast” (Rev. 13:17). Powerful evil entities and hybrid beings of Noah’s day whose eternal abode is hell will suddenly ascend from the pit (Rev. 9:2–3), “coming on the earth” (Luke 21:26) and will cause men’s hearts to fail for fear of those things.
Therefore, Jesus said, “when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place,…[the third temple] then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes…For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time” (Matt. 24:15–21).
Speaking to the urgency of that day, Jesus said, “Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 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 17:32–36). Verify the below with your Greek Lexicon.
Be discerning, that, to “be taken” is the Greek word paralambanō Strong’s #3880 meaning “to take to, to take with one’s self, to join to one’s self”, to move under one’s own power, and “not to reject, not to withhold obedience”. This is imperative, because, to “be taken” does NOT mean to be supernaturally caught away as taught by false teachers of the pre-tribulation rapture tradition!
Similarly, Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins, comparing the wise to the foolish, (Matt. 25:1–13), clearly makes the point. All ten were virgins, symbolic of believers; all ten had lamps; all ten had oil, albeit in unequal amounts; and all ten were expecting the Bridegroom, but obviously at very different times. The five foolish were convinced of His early arrival, similar to the ever-popular but false pre-trib rapture, and had not prepared for the difficulty and protracted wait. But the wise forsook the ear-tickling early-arrival report and believed the Word of the Bridegroom, and thus prepared for the difficult wait and time of the tribulation. You know the account: the wise were welcomed to the Wedding Banquet, but the foolish were denied entry by the Bridegroom!
Understand that ever since the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, His words and teachings have been under attack. Today, many pastors falsely teach that there is no literal hell, though Jesus taught more about a literal hell than anyone else. Others falsely teach that miracles and tongues ceased with the first century Church. Many falsely teach that people are so depraved as to have no free will of choice to believe the gospel. Yet others teach that The Revelation of Jesus Christ is simply allegory, not to be taken literally. There are even professing Christian witches who say the Bible is a book of magic. Attacks on the testimony of Christ now increase exponentially.
The end-time liberal attacks on Christ was spearheaded by John Nelson Darby (1800–1882), wherein he taught the Church would be raptured pre-tribulation, which deliberately denies the teachings of Christ who taught that the righteous dead are raised “at the last day” (John 6:40, 44, 54), and that He gathers His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 29–31), and that Christ “must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything” (Acts 3:21 NIV). Darby’s dispensational teaching claims that the Church-age ceases seven years before the end of this age, though Jesus taught, saying, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Who do you believe, Jesus Christ, or Darby and his deceptive false teachers?
Consider the days of the great tribulation: Jesus said to “pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape” (Luke 21:36), which infers that some, like the foolish virgins, will not endure because they were not prepared to endure to the end. This is crucial as the Church is ignoring the truth that to “be counted worthy to escape” begins with actually believing Jesus and forsaking false teachers. If professing Christians actually believed Jesus, they would rightly prepare in His testimony. It’s a matter of believing Jesus, or not; of preparing in His testimony, or not; of being wise, or not; of enduring to the end, or not. God will not force you to believe Jesus’ testimony.
The decision to believe and personally apply the testimony of Jesus is an individual choice. We all have free will, that’s how God created us. And some of the most difficult things to overcome are those things in which we have been indoctrinated, specifically religious indoctrination, where traditions are assumed to be right just because that’s what’s been handed down to us generation after generation, but upon careful examination in light of God’s inerrant Word have no factual or theologically sound biblical standing. Quite literally, the pre-trib rapture tradition overtly opposes the testimony of Jesus Christ. When one comes to terms with that vital truth, why believe its deceptively false narrative; “let God be true but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4)!
2,000 years ago Scripture records that “there was a division among the people because of Him” [Christ] (John 7:43). And to this day that hasn’t changed, but we can change that by making this powerful hymn the theme of our hearts: “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live”. The music and full lyrics of this great hymn can be found here. Turn up the volume and be blessed! Commit to love and trust the Lord Jesus enough to believe Him for the end-times, and to “take Him at His Word”, and be set free!
Marlin J. Yoder