In looking around at the world in turmoil in all directions, it is clear to the discerning that we are in the Last Days according to Matthew 24, experiencing the beginning of sorrows (birth pangs). Anne Theresa Garcia and Dr. Billye Brim along with numerous Rabbinical scholars have declared that the Judgment of the Nations began on Rosh Hashanah- Sept. 11, 1999. Since then earthquake activity has escalated in number and severity worldwide. There are wars in numerous parts of the globe- America currently involved in three conflicts simultaneously. The true nature of Islam is finally fully exposed: a ruthless false religion of hate against Jews and Christians- mercilessly killing and maiming all those who will not bow the knee to their false god Allah and the false prophet Mohammed. The economic crisis throughout the world is getting more disastrous daily, and politicians appear impotent to make the hard decisions that could save national economies. Rampant disease resistant to western medicine, abortion, murder, sexual promiscuity in every abhorrent form, addiction, greed, the lust for power, and every other kind of sin and calamity continue to increase… and will until individuals and nations cry out to GOD in heartfelt repentance according to His command.
2 Chronicles 7:14… If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
What must be clear to all mankind is that there are distinct levels of judgments that precede the Day of the Lord. Sin carries its own punishment- which by its very nature compels GOD to withdraw and eventually remove His Hand of Grace from an individual, a nation, or mankind in rebellion. The progression can be seen as: instructive judgment (directing one to biblical repentance), creative judgment (orchestrating circumstances to bring one to dissatisfaction- with the hope of repentance), corrective judgment (dissatisfaction morphing into discomfort and some pain- often a ‘woodshed’ experience), punitive judgment (a serious incident where the Fear of the Lord should cause one to repent), and destructive judgment (the individual or nation is removed from the planet or put on an unwholesome ‘shelf’).
What we are all experiencing in the earth today does not necessarily mean that Jesus is coming tomorrow- because frankly there are many prophecies that precede the Lord’s Glorious Appearing both in the Rapture of the Overcomers (the wise virgins ready to welcome the Bridegroom…Matthew 25), and in the Day of the Lord Judgments that come upon the earth (see Revelation 6:12-17 w/Matthew 24:29-31; and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5). Most of the church has been lulled to sleep in procrastination, with the false teaching of experiencing the Rapture of the Church at the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel. There are genuine Rapture experiences that will happen in the future, and yet I will need to devote several in-depth essays this summer to ‘unpacking’ what the Scriptures clearly teach about the great difference between The Great Tribulation and The Day of the Lord.
The Preeminence of Christ
The Holy Scriptures clearly warn us to be on our guard against false teaching in these last days. The Apostle Paul states:
1 Tim. 4:1… the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. And 2 Tim. 3:13-15… evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
The Apostle John cautions us to: 1 John 4:1… do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from GOD, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
The Apostle Peter likewise exhorts us: 2 Peter 3:17… You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of GOD’s eternal plan and purpose, Paul again speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
Ephesians 3:1-12… For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles-if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery(as I wrote before in a few words, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
To me, who am less than the least of all the Saints, this grace was given that I should preach among the Gentile the unsearchable riches of Christ,and to make all people see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence to faith in Him.
As clearly revealed in the book of Acts Paul when he was known as Saul-greatly persecuted The Way. He had a life-changing encounter with the risen Savior on the road to Damascus. After that he spent the rest of his life suffering great persecution from both the Jews and the Gentile powers alike. 2 Cor. 11:24-28 vividly detail the incredible suffering that Paul endured, while leaving a lasting legacy of 14 letters called books of the New Testament where the transforming power of the Holy Spirit is still evident today.
We must be alert and especially beware of any false doctrine regarding the person and work of Christ. He is the target of all sorts of distortion and deception. Some of the truths about Him that are under attack include His virgin birth, His deity, His uniqueness as the Son of God, His miraculous powers of healing and deliverance, His legitimate claim to be the only means of salvation for mankind, and His promise to return.
Many individuals view Jesus Christ in a favorable light as a good teacher and a prophet. They do not acknowledge Him as the One who transcends all other human beings-the One whose name is above every other name, the only One that must be followed at all cost. He is the One who was raised from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. All authority on earth and in Heaven is His (Matt. 28:18), and all things are in subjection to Him (Eph. 1:22). He alone is Lord, and by Him “are all things, and we exist to Him” (1 Cor. 8:6). He is the heir of all things, the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of God’s nature, and He “upholds all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:2-3).
Col. 1:16-17… For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
1 Cor. 15:3-4… He died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
He is the Holy One of God and He has the words of eternal life (John 6:68-69). He is the Bread of Life (John 6:35), the source of Living Water (John 4:14), the source of every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3), and in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3).
Scripture is filled with witnesses to the truth that Jesus is the unique Son of God, including the testimony of Jesus Himself in Mark 14:61-62 as well as the testimony of the Father who declared at Jesus’ baptism and His Transfiguration “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17; 17:5). The Lord Jesus was with God the Father in the beginning (John 1:1), came down from Heaven (John 6:38) and assumed human flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:23).
One of the greatest deceptions today is that Jesus is not the only way to God, but rather just one of many ways. This grave error is based on the rejection of Scripture which emphatically and clearly teaches that eternal life comes only through the Son of God.
1 John 5:11-12… He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
John 14:6… I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
The false teaching that asserts that there are many ways to God other than by Jesus alone is also based on a glaring lack of understanding of the holiness of God, the horrific seriousness of sin, and the only provided means of atonement. God is absolutely holy and man’s sin separates him from God (Isaiah 59:2) and inevitably leads to death (Romans 6:23). A holy and just God can not simply overlook or ignore sin. In His great love for mankind he provided the most costly way for sin to be atoned for and forgiven. That provision was through the shedding of innocent blood and the sacrifice of innocent life. Only the blood of the precious lamb of God, the Son of God-has infinite merit and sufficiency to atone for mankind’s sin.
Another sad dilemma is that many people wrongly believe that they can be saved by their own good works and self-righteousness. No matter how good you or I attempt to be, we can never be good enough to save ourselves before an absolutely holy God. Our sin must be dealt with in order to be forgiven, and to receive the gift of salvation and eternal life. And this is possible only through Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
1 John 4:9-10… God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
He is Coming Again!
Rev. 1:7… Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him…
2 Thess. 1:7-8… He shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not known God and to those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Those of us who know Him as Lord look forward to “the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28).
Part II will deal in greater depth with the end time apostasy and the simultaneous in gathering of the Great Awakening that is occurring worldwide (85,000 people per day are coming to the Lord, Hallelujah!).
For deeper insight into how GOD the Father sees His children; to better understand the elementary principles of Christ (Hebrews 6:1-3); the ‘mysteries’ of Christ’s Kingdom; and our individual and corporate calling, commission, and empowerment- please review my first published book and the Table of Contents on the Amazon website linked here via Book Title: “Thy Kingdom Come- Here and Now!”
Christ for the Nations- Revelation Song