Friday, July 22, 2022
About two thousand years ago, Satan, the Deceiver, tried three times to overthrow the authority of Christ Jesus. And three times Christ responded with “It is written…It is written…It is written” (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10). When Satan realized his efforts to deceive Christ were futile, he has ever since tried to destroy the testimony of Christ through people. That’s important to realize, because Satan’s attacks against the testimony of Jesus did not cease, but continue even stronger today, and many times those destructive attacks come from the least suspecting places, or should I say from people who are least suspected! Therefore, Jesus warned “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15); yes, even in the church!
And we must never be so spiritually naïve as to think that deceptions come only through atheists or God-haters. No, Satan’s deceptions too often come from very highly trusted people: professing Christian theologians, pastors and Bible teachers, authors and movie producers. And do not be deceived because the love of money is still the root of all evil, 1 Tim. 6:10 KJV. And Christians must still rely on that ancient truth that indeed “It is written…It is written”, affirming what Christ specifically said, that “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18).
Considering an ordained minister, one who is supposed to preach Biblical truths and knowledge of God and salvation through faith in Christ, whether in an organized church, house church, or online: is it acceptable that any portion of the gospel message be concealed and kept from people? Absolutely not! It’s mandatory of every minister of the gospel to defend and declare “It is written” of real enduring faith in Christ and His testimony, and being equipped to complete the faith journey to hear God’s Words “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matt. 25:21).
The journey of Christian faith is perilous to put it mildly. Jesus, at the beginning of His ministry made it very clear that there are two paths in this life which He described like this: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:13–14), [my emphasis]. It’s not he or she “who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles” (Matt. 13:20–21) who is saved, but “he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces; some a hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matt. 13:23) who proves faith by their works. It requires acting on and defending the whole gospel, not just select portions. Yet, most organized church leaders hold the gospel of Jesus Christ in partiality, silencing by exclusion portions that do not support their traditions of men, making many stumble at errant teachings.
In context to one of those traditions, Dispensational pre-trib rapture churches silence the testimony of Christ that He gathers His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31). The 19th Century organized church and beyond, has by works of evil tradition silenced the testimony of Christ who said that “he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13). And in that process has stripped tens of millions of believers from bearing right fruit, or prepared to endure to the end. False teachers who teach the people the tribulation-free pre-trib rapture, that began in earnest with John Nelson Darby (1800–1882), have taught a most hideous lie that will bear fruit to the sudden falling away of many, simply because ministers did not have the courage to defend the testimony of Christ, but preferred a people-pleasing, Word-destroying, deceptive, end-time pre-trib rapture that God would snatch them off the earth before Antichrist’s seven-year tribulation even begins!
Shall we today think we are above the tribulation reproaches of saints who have gone before us? Absolutely not! Are we better than they? Certainly not! The ancient prophets and apostles all suffered the wrath of Satan and his evil agents. And make no mistake, in these end-times we also will be subjected to the wrath of Satan and his agents, but at the height of Antichrist’s rule, when he issues his mark of the beast, Rev. 13:16–17, God has prepared an escape for those taught and trained in the FULL GOSPEL message, and who “are counted worthy to escape” (Luke 21:36) for which I have written and taught much. The untaught fear suffering the wrath of God in the great tribulation, but you must know that no true believer will ever suffer God’s wrath, for, just as God rescued Noah and Lot, so to “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:9). As true believers, fear has no place in our life because God’s love casts out fear, 1 John 4:18. Believing Jesus destroys fear.
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Heb. 1:1–4). Amen!
Read the above Scripture again, paying close attention to every Word, especially the Words saying of Christ, that God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things”. God has spoken to us by His Son! Do you hear the authority? And do you also hear the evil that exists when theologians, pastors and so-called Bible teachers ignore or silence the Words and testimony of Jesus Christ regarding the end-times, specifically His Olivet Discourse, because, they say, He wasn’t speaking to the would-be church! They are self-deceived! Yes, every time you hear the false Dispensational pre-trib rapture taught, that preacher or teacher is leading you away from the Lord Jesus!! Because God “has in these last days spoken to us by His Son”!
Further, the Holy Spirit said, “In the beginning was the Word, [Jesus] and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:1–5). Yet, when it comes to the end-times, most theologians, pastors and so-called Bible teachers don’t even bother with the Words of the very Author and Giver of life, instead routinely silencing the testimony of Christ that He gathers His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31). The public dishonor to Christ by those who preach the Dispensational pre-trib rapture proves their own agenda! Ignoring or silencing Jesus’ end-time Words is equal to destroying Jesus’ testimony.
And the Holy Spirit further said “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17). This includes being equipped to endure to the end as Jesus taught. Thus, the Scriptures given us that are not red letter, (the Words of Christ), are yet the Words of Christ because He was the inspiration by which all Scriptures of the New Covenant were given without disagreement between Him or the apostles. Thus, the Dispensational pre-trib rapture screed forces the exclusion of Christ’s testimony in order to support an evil tradition of men! And in defense of their traditions they also silence the warnings the Holy Spirit gave at Rev. 22:18–19 regarding their liability of adding to or deleting from the prophetic truths and testimony of Jesus Christ. The authority of God’s Son will be realized by all “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:7–8). Time to believe and prepare in the authority of God’s Son is short.
I urge you to break free from traditions of the organized church that make “the word of God of no effect” (Mark 7:13). While that might cause you the loss of membership-status in that organized church, it will promote you into wonderful freedoms of the Word that otherwise remain silenced. In your search for the truth, put aside the false, people-pleasing and corrupt traditions of men.
Marlin J. Yoder