Friday, November 22, 2019
Though I’m not a prophet, God revealed to me by His Word the enormity of “the falling away” (2 Thess. 2:3) just as it was millennia ago when ancient Israel saw giants as an impossibility to them entering their Promised Land, and in offense, unbelief and rebellion most of ancient Israel lost its otherwise intended inheritance. Likewise, in offense and rebellion many Christians being ignorant and unprepared about the coming Antichrist and tribulation, will rebel when they see the son of perdition, for God said “That which has been is what will be” (Eccl. 1:9–11). And God’s justice for those having led Christians away from the testimony of Jesus by the false, devil-inspired pre-trib rapture narrative, is His sovereign decision.
God’s justice declares one innocent till proven guilty as a lawbreaker, rebellious or unbeliever. “For as many as have sinned without the law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law” (Rom. 2:12). Therefore, infants and children are innocent before God until they hear the gospel and discern God’s provision in Christ for their redemption from sin, unbelief and rebellion, at which point one becomes accountable to God.
Because of innocence it’s evident from God’s Word that each person’s name was written in the Book of Life since before the foundation of the world, for “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Rev. 3:5). [My bold emphasis added] While, to overcome does not mean to be sin-less, it does mean to believe God and His Christ by faith through grace the whole gospel of Jesus Christ, and to then bear fruit accordingly.
However, through unbelief or rebellion one’s name can be blotted from “the Book of Life”. All people created by God are known by Him “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). But not all choose to believe. In fact, most choose to disbelieve the gospel and thus fall under judgment. And though “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31), it’s obvious that many in the church have little to no holy fear of God, for their public rejection of explicit biblical teachings bear witness to it.
The same occurred under the Mosaic Law, see Num. 13 and 14. Ancient Israel having received God’s Word became accountable to Him for her rebellion and unbelief. God said “The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness” (Num. 14:29). Today, the pre-trib rapture is likewise a scathing complaint against God, and when the end-time tribulation settles upon this world, many in “the falling away” will perish in the wilderness of this world.
Eternal life is based on believing God by faith and then acting on that faith, for truth says “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18), not meaning works of religious traditions, but works that bear fruit to believing God as a result of having heard the gospel and responding lovingly to it. This goes to the root of today’s message.
True Christians “are now the people of God” (1 Peter 1:9–10), a people who by faith profess and are supposed to believe and love God’s commands, and prepare them not only for living day to day, but necessarily to be prepared to endure to the end of this age as Christ taught. Professing Christians having the Word of God are accountable to Him, for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). But one will not obey if one does not love God.
Today, however, many men and women openly and publically rebel against God in order to protect traditions – traditions that bury much truth of what God has revealed in His Word. For example, those believing the pre-trib rapture lie silence the testimony of Jesus Christ because they know it destroys man’s creation of the pre-trib rapture tradition. But the men and women who teach that lie will come under God’s divine justice, being accountable to Him for “the falling away” of many who were led to disbelieve God’s plain truth, as was ancient Israel.
I cannot forget a university professor, who, preaching the pre-trib rapture while simultaneously excoriating the post-trib rapture belief, boldly said “I cannot conceive of a God who would drag his bride through the mud of the tribulation, to then turn around and marry her”. Well, that was also ancient Israel’s complaint. They couldn’t conceive of a God who would put them through battles with giants, saying “Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” (Num. 14:3). They were offended, and so died without their eternal reward!
Today, many men and women in church leadership rebel against God who explicitly said “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak…If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:34–37). That command was reaffirmed by God who said “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived fell into transgression” (1 Tim. 2:12–14). In this, many display their contempt for God.
When you see a woman preaching or teaching the congregation from the pulpit, you witness a hostile rebellion against God’s commands; you witness the woman usurping her authority above her husband who is her head, Gen. 3:15 and Eph. 5:23; and she usurps her authority above God, 1 Cor. 11:3. Consider, would you entrust your child to anyone who usurps their authority above yours? Certainly not. Then why entrust the hunger of your soul to the ministry of the rebellious?
When you hear a man or woman preach or teach the pre-trib rapture, you witness the covert and hostile deception of Satan coming from the pulpit with a smile; you witness the Lucifer-inspired avoidance and rejection of the testimony of Jesus Christ intended for your safe passage from this world to our reward of eternal life. Consider, would you entrust yourself and family to the care of one who seeks your destruction? Certainly not. Then why entrust your journey to heaven to anyone who avoids the testimony of Christ who is “the way, and the truth, and the life”?
The Spirit reminds us that “Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet [meaning Christ] like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people” (Acts 3:22–23). This truth is confirmed again by the Spirit of God, saying, “and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36b). Many in the church live as though God doesn’t mean that.
How God will judge the unbelief and rebellion of those claiming to believe, is His sovereign decision. But as for me and my house we are not willing to invite God’s judgment as did ancient Israel “who, having heard, rebelled…So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” (Heb. 3:16–19). Moreover, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor. 10:11).
Marlin J. Yoder