Friday, April 23, 2021
This end-time generation is now rapidly moving from one crisis to another. Agents of deception, however, will always detract from the truth. That occurs in both the unbelieving world and in the church. Agents of deception are numerous in both. But only with the defense of God’s Word and discernment by the Holy Spirit can we be equipped to endure to the end as Christ taught at Matt. 24:13. If one is not equipped in the knowledge of God’s Word, neither will that one be equipped to discern the grave error spoken by many false prophets, pastors and teachers in these last days.
God’s Word is prophetic. Some has been fulfilled, but some has not been fulfilled. And anyone purporting to speak for God had better speak that which God has spoken, that people be warned in truth, and not by some flesh-pleasing, flesh-exalting, sensational decree. False prophets were popular millennia ago like they are today, for “there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies” (2 Peter 2:1). And you must be Spirit-led to discern God’s voice, which always confirms His written Word, from the thrill of feel-good deceptive noise of self-exalting false prophets.
“Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, ‘who steal My words every one from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets,’ says the LORD, who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ ‘Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,’ says the LORD, ‘and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,’ says the LORD” (Jer. 23:30–32). The prophesying of false dreams is utterly rampant today. The problem is that most professing Christians cannot discern false prophetic dreams for what they are – lies from the devil – lies to detract from God’s truth – lies that sound good but ensnare to unbelief – lies that please the flesh – lies that discount self-denial, holiness, tribulation, and endurance.
False prophets do not remind people of the cost of being a true Christian. Instead, they shut down the testimony of Christ, or spin it in a way to mean what He never said. They deceive to promote themselves in order to gain favor with people. You must discern to whom you are listening. True prophets, pastors and teachers approved by God will always point to the exaltation of Christ and His testimony. False teachers will hide certain truths to advance their own narrative, or tradition. False prophets suggest the road to eternal life is easy, though the Lord Jesus taught that it’s the narrow and difficult way, (Matt. 7:13–14). Immediately after saying that, Jesus said “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15). Indeed, they have the appearance of being harmless, but spiritually they’re corrupt and deceitful. You won’t discern them visually, but only by the Spirit and God’s inerrant Word.
The single most important thing for you, your loved ones, and all with whom you have influence, in these ever-worsening, ever-darkening, end-times, is to make certain that you are born again by new birth faith in Jesus Christ. In this regard Jesus said “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). This is not by works, because “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8–9). And the Spirit describes that process, saying “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has 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). The consequential fruit of that decision is to have counted the cost of following Christ, and then continue faithfully, to the best of your ability, and by the help of the Holy Spirit to live for Christ, set apart unto Him, knowing His Word, guarding your heart, and enduring until the end when we see Christ descending on the clouds of heaven, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days” (Matt. 24:29–31).
That’s the most important thing. And no matter what comes, persecutions by unbelievers, threat of death or execution which occurred to all of Jesus’ apostles, or imprisonment, which happened to many saints before us, hold fast the testimony of Jesus Christ, because when Antichrist comes to ravage this world “they [those born again] overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death” (Rev. 12:11). Eternal life in the glories of heaven await all who remain faithful to Christ until the end, but eternal fires of hell await all who reject God’s gift of life by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The second most important thing to remember is this: the tribulation is seven years in duration. We know that by this: “And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth” (Rev. 11:3). This is the first half of the tribulation, or 42 months, or 3 1/2 years. Immediately after the first 3 1/2 years, there’ll be a small window of opportunity for prepared believers, the true Church to flee to the provision and safety of God, similar to Lot’s escape with his wife and daughters for the last 3 1/2 years, when “the woman 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 ~ 12:14). But finding that place of provision and safety for the last 3 1/2 years depends largely on believers living a holy and attentive life to Christ, set apart from this world, as Jesus said, “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). Otherwise, one becomes open game for Antichrist.
In light of the foregoing, Jesus said “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; [meaning, out from your place of provision and safety] or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:23–27).
COVID-19, the ensuing lockdowns, masks, social distancing, and now mandatory vaccines, are the real beginnings of the New World Order, the fourth beast-kingdom of Dan. 7:7, setting upon the world with its iron grip. But world conditions, loss of freedoms, a failed world fiscal system, a redistribution of wealth, and overwhelming wickedness, will increase until the end of this age.
SPECIAL NOTE: TheFrdiayLetter.com will take a one-week break after today’s Letter. The next Letter, Lord willing, will be Friday, May 7, 2021. My wife and I will be taking a ten-day break to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary which occurred this past February 14, 2021. I pray for all who read the Letter and those who will yet come to find the Letter in the future, that all would be equipped to endure these increasingly evil days to the end. God bless you in Christ Jesus!
Marlin J. Yoder