God always has had, and ever will have a faithful remnant!

Excerpt from: Jesus is Coming!

1 Corinthians 5:6-9 Here then we are most emphatically taught not only that the world is growing no better, but that the professing Church itself will lose its saltiness, becoming nominal and lukewarm, fit only to be spewed out of the Masters mouth. (Revelation 3:16) The entire teaching of the Word of God, we believe, agrees with this.

And we have but to take an unprejudiced survey of the Church even now, to see the truth of it. The loss of spiritual power in the different branches of the great nominal Church has not resulted from the casting out of truth, but from imbibing and internal workings of false doctrine, which, like leaven, has fermented the mass. Little by little the ordinary Bishop of Rome has developed into an infallible Pope. Image worship, the confessional, world conformity and post-millennialism have all worked out their enormous growth like the little leaven in the meal. How do the great Papal and Greek churches in their stateliness, formality, popularity and spiritual weakness of today, compare with the despised Nazarene and His followers (1 John 4:7), or the persecuted, consecrated and godly congregations (Ecclesia) of the first two centuries?

And are not the present evangelical denominations, by worldly conformity and creeping doubts regarding the inspiration of the word, etc., dangerously trending in the same direction? How very few of the members in them are today crying out for separation in holiness. Surely, no one can fail to see the corrupting influences of the leaven permeating them. We realize that this is an awful fact. It’s not even pleasant to state it. But, while Noah’s preaching was not pleasant to them that heard it, still it was true and the flood did come. Likewise the prophesying of Jeremiah was exceedingly unpleasant, but it was true and was followed by the terrible fate of the city, and the Babylonian captivity. The preaching of Jesus was at times of fearful severity (Matthew 11:20-24, 18:7-9, 23:13-15 & 23:27-33), but was it not true? So would we humbly and faithfully proclaim the Word of God. We would “cry aloud and spare not” (Isaiah 58:1), fully believing that, upon an apostate church (2 Timothy 4:2-4), rebellious and murderers Israel (Matthew 27:25), and a sinful world, the day of darkness is coming (Joel 1:15, Amos 5:18-20, 2 Peter 2:17).

But even in the darkness, so gloomy for the ungodly, there is hope – bright, glorious hope for the faithful (1 Thessalonians 5:4-8). For God always has had, and ever will have a faithful remnant. [Emphasis mine] There were those, in blind unbelieving Israel, who waited for and accepted the Messiah. (Luke 2, see Anna and Simeon etc…) So there will be those in the church who will wait for (1 Thessalonians 1:10) and welcome the coming bridegroom (Matthew 25:10). And there will be a remnant in Israel, who passing through the darkness and fire (Zechariah 13:9), will you accept their King. (Zechariah 12:10; Romans 9:27; Romans 11: 25 & 26) And there shall even be a remnant (residue or remainder) among the Gentiles (ungodly world) who shall seek after the Lord (Acts 15:16 & 17).

Excerpted from Jesus is Coming! by W.E.B. (William Eugene Blackstone). (Published in 1878)

Words of Grace for Strength;

“God always has had, and ever will have a faithful remnant!” This thesis, put forth by Blackstone in 1878 is perhaps truer today than it ever has been. For the remnant of Israel is found in its first fruits, those Jewish followers of Christ who are the foundation of the early church in Acts, continuing even today in the messianic Jews within the body of Christ, the True Church. And the True Church, the church in Acts, is Biblically described as believing Jew and Gentile together as a new creation (Galatians 6:15, Ephesians 3:6). And so we find in Revelation 2 & 3 evidence of a remnant True Church, His Remnant Church, which has the attitude and practices of the church in Acts, a church willing to suffer for the cause of Christ, who hold fast to His name and remain faithful, whose love and service and faith and patience are born out in their works, who have kept their lives pure, and have their doors open, teaching the Truth of the Word of God.

Unfortunately, tragically, we find a picture of the “church” today in (Revelation 3:14-22) the church at Laodicea. The pursuit of personal wealth and luxurious living proliferates incessantly while people with poverty-stricken souls are dying eternally because no one shares with them the riches of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those within this “church” are wearing crowns rather than bearing the cross, they pursue self-satisfaction rather than sanctification, and they teach tolerance and compromise rather than commitment and separation. Today people become more emotionally stirred over politics, television, and sports than they do about Jesus Christ. People are concerned only with temporal things, success and materialism, and having almost no thought of spiritual need they cater only to their bodies, which in a few short years will return to dust. Accumulating rather than forsaking they lay up treasures on earth rather than in heaven. This is the hallmark of the apostate, humanistic, mainstream, denominational, prosperity, word of faith, emergent, institutional “churches” today. Their attitude is that there is nothing too good for the people of God and if they don’t pamper themselves who will? How heartbreaking it is to see that this is the state of the “church” today on the very eve of Christ’s return.

But, “God always has had, and ever will have a faithful remnant!” And the simple fact remains, ever constant, that God’s sovereignty, power and might, remain undiminished; the glory of His light undimmed. It is humanity, in the form of a failing or weakening “church,” which loses power, which shines less brightly. It is up to the remnant, His Remnant Church, to remain true and to cast light upon a dim and darkening world. Christ calls us to humbly serve Him in these Last Days, preferring others before ourselves. Are you living in light of His soon return? Are you Serving Christ as a part of His remnant of true followers today? The Lord’s power is sufficient, and more than so. It is we who will fall short if we waver from His will, His Word and His way. There is no help for us if not from the Lord; there is no hope for us if not for the Lord. Serve Him.

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

Signs of the Times: Our Economy and Financial System – A Time For Caution?

There are many things going, and all of them at once. There is confusion and contradiction in the world, on a daily basis we are required to sift through the noise and try to make sense of the world around us. And try as we might, we are quite often quite unsuccessful at it. This is a lengthy post covering a lot of ground quickly. I encourage you to do some of your own research on these topics. You may agree or disagree, but I want you to think about and think through these subjects.

Painting the landscape – It doesn’t take an advanced degree to figure out (that is good because I do not have one) we have financial problems as a nation and that these problems are growing, and quite possibly growing at an escalating rate:

  • In the past five years, the national debt has doubled. In the latest budget deal done by Congress, they just did away with the debt ceiling rather than wrestle with the issues of learning to spend less than we raise in tax revenues, I say less because in addition to spending we have to service the debt by paying interest and, may we see the day, actually pay down the debt.
  • As an agent of monetary and fiscal policy, many believe that the Federal Reserve is out of gas, or bullets or whatever else they can think of throwing out at us as economic stimulus. The feeling is that the Fed has artificially suppressed interest rates below a real rate of inflation to stimulate the economy. This allows businesses to report artificially inflated earnings (fueled by lower than realistically set interest rates) to continue the stock market run up. As Fed Fund rates (what banks charge each other to borrow money) are approaching zero and with the US as a sovereign entity is borrowing money at unrealistically low rates from foreign investors, there is little the Fed can now do to offset a shock to the system (like geopolitical turmoil) and there are enough potential shocks that could stall the US economy. Think a mid-East crisis (pick any one of them), the Ukrainian situation, a major terrorist event on US soil.
  • Looking at a charting of the DJIA for the 1928/29 time frame, it looks as some describe “eerily similar” to that of 2013/14, with the possibility if the timing were to continue to track and trend the ’29 history, some massive market correction in the not too distant future; if you hold to charting theory, which not everyone does or at least admit to. But it is occurring during a period with stock indices at all-time highs.
  • Is our big government spending and our risky policy of stimulating the economy with artificially low-interest rates a financial bubble ready to pop?
  • The US central banking authority may no longer be able to take actions to bolster the domestic economy through monetary policy
  • The federal government seems to have thrown in the towel in trying to control a burgeoning national debt, and the towel has been tossed from both sides of the congressional aisle. And remember the debt levels you hear about, in the $17 trillion range, do not include the unfunded liabilities based on current entitlement programs (like Social Security and Medicare) that have some economists thinking the actual obligations may be 5 times that amount. And that is not the high-end of the range
  • The US economy is no longer the dominant global economy, and shows signs of internal stress fractures
  • There is a little mentioned provision in a bill passed in 2010 (H.R. 2847) that takes effect in July of this year. It in effect requires any bank operating in the US to give records access to the US government or get out of the US banking industry. Compliance with the bill could be so costly as to make global banking institutions willing to shed US customers rather than comply. Some banking institutions are already restricting international activity within the US, are they getting ready? Such moves would reduce the influence of the US dollar in international trade (see the discussion on China next for more on this) and put pressure on the US economy. Such moves would make it harder for Americans to invest outside the US. Sounds quite a bit like currency or capital control, making it easier for the government to control wealth within its’ own borders. A government that knows it is broke would likely look to keep its’ citizens money at home while it planned some form of banking system adjustment to reduce debt burden. Think it never happens. Take a look at what happened in Cyprus in early 2013, and paint that on a much larger canvas
  • China appears positioned to make the 21st century a Chinese one – strong gold reserves that are building daily, a possible desire to dump US debt (the only economy in a position to threaten a possible future Chinese economic hegemony), and a possible willingness to go on the gold standard to become preeminent in international trade; which would have devastating effects on the US economy as the US dollar would lose the position of the currency of choice for international trade. A drop in demand for dollars on the international scene would bring inflation, higher interest rates and economic turmoil. But if China went on the gold standard (meaning that there are hard gold reserves backing up the value of the Yuan, the Chinese currency), international trade would seek to be settled with the currency with the most intrinsic value, one that was backed by gold. Meanwhile, China is our largest trading partner and holds a huge amount of US debt. Dumping that debt (China reduced US debt holdings by about $50 billion in December of last year, but still holds around $1 trillion) would also roil the US financial markets as we sought to replace that debt buying capacity to feed the voracious (and growing) national debt. Yet all this is taking place during periods of time where even the Yuan shows huge fluctuations in value (Late February and early March saw the largest sell off of Yuan in history, attributed to either US fiscal policy tinkering, or Chinese purposeful intervention to weed out currency speculators, depending who you read or talk to). Some claim the Chinese economy is just as fragile as ours and will soon be going through its’ own turmoil, as the Chinese deal with their own peculiar blend of economic and environmental issues. It may be possible that all of China’s moves would allow them to weather the coming storm better than the US, but not necessarily dominate the world economy like the US once did. Volatility, rapid and widely swinging volatility, might be the harbinger of major shifts in how this world operates and who runs it (at least until the Lord’s return).

40 year economic cycle – You may have seen some research regarding a forty-year economic cycle, which will culminate in a period of correction (read that: drop in stock prices) in the near future. Without getting into all the technical analysis surrounding this charting theory, let’s just say there are many credible economic analysts and researchers who hold to this view and many feel we are entering a period of correction, possibly a massive correction. We will stay away from explanations of the Kress Cycle or the Elliott Wave Principle (because I do not understand them either) and other technical, socioeconomic or psychological theories. What would drive the economy to move in a regular, systematic pattern that could be traced to a specific period of time? Essentially it comes down to basic human thoughts and actions. A lot of economic activity is driven by what we believe about the present, and how confident we are about the future.

You start with a period of rising optimism in business (and with life in general) which gets coupled with an easing of intervention into doing the business of business, making growth and wealth creation easier. As things become better and more prosperous, thoughts and actions in the next period or phase start to shift away from external factors like business productivity and profitability into a more inward focus on things like personal interests and family matters. Wealth becomes more concentrated, economic outcomes appear more predictable. Such a sense a security leads to a period of more speculative behavior, more risk taking; people begin to question decisions of the past and trends start to take on an aura of the “bubble”, maybe price levels are getting to a point that seem to some as irrational or excessive.

Eventually a period or phase dawns that sees feelings of unrest and skepticism build; the social fabric of the culture begins to show signs of wear and fraying at the edges. The economy enters a more stagnant period while at the same time people are seeking progress towards more equality in resource distribution and sustainability in resource access (or the good life). At some point, a “reset” button is hit, triggering a new period of growth and prosperity. Think of that reset button as a market correction of some sort, the adjusting of prices and defined wealth; think of these 4 basic stages happening over a period of roughly 40 years, possibly each lasting around a decade.

There you have a layman’s definition of a very technical and complex economic model, which is the American economy, functioning under a slightly esoteric theory, the 40 year economic cycle. A lot has been left out or glossed over in this explanation, but you can see the basic point.

If you go back to 1773, to the very dawn of America as a nation, we would appear to be wrapping up the sixth 40 year cycle (in regards to our economy, and even more specifically, gold and silver prices which can be a large driver of the economy), and if the past is an indicator of the present, we are due for the period of correction (the time-frames usually pegged to a 4 year period, this one from 2013-2017); that point of time when the reset button gets pushed. Given nothing is ever as precise in life as in mathematics, the feeling is that correction needs to occur in the time-frame of 2014 to 2016, with many believing earlier in the period rather than later. In fact many speak of something happening in the next few months.

Can we pin it down? No. Is it guaranteed to happen? No. But cycles have repeated in the past, and it is no secret how fragile or economic base has become, how overstressed our financial and monetary system has grown, how much more difficult it is for America to drive or manage change in world events or maintain policy that other nations are willing to follow (or at least are unable to stop us from implementing). Is the past always an indicator of the future? No. But past 40 year cycle correction periods have yielded some interesting times, especially in light if the currency/fiscal policy of this country:

  • 1773-1776 – the Boston Tea Party, a protest against taxation without representation and a period of warfare for political and economic independence
  • 1813-1816 – Much discussion around formation of a national bank within the US, with some market fluctuations around perceived courses of action and political responses to such activity
  • 1853 – US reduced the weight of silver in coins (1857, US banks stopped payment of debts in silver)
  • 1893 – Collapse in the price of silver when the US government stopped price supports
  • 1933 –Citizens no longer allowed to own gold, which was basically a government confiscation and revaluation, a giant tax on gold-holding citizens in the midst of the worst stock market collapse in history. The government took and didn’t give full value back in the exchange
  • 1973-1976 –Skyrocketing oil prices, the birth of the petrodollar (US dollars held offshore in foreign hands), and an international agreement to manage the float of gold prices against the US dollar.

All of these events had implications on US political and economic policies, and huge impacts on its’ citizenry. Looking at 40 year cycles, you can see why some are very nervous about the next few months and years, especially given the state of our economy, the size of our national debt, the limits of what we can even do with fiscal policy (extension/restriction of credit through interests rates and size of available money supply) to drive economic results, the seeming lack of fear others have for the US on the international scene, the concern of China as the next economic superpower and the fact no one knows what they are really doing with gold reserves, their desire for a gold standard currency, or even just how strong their own economy is.

But if you try to connect the dots you will struggle with a lot of moving parts, a lot of conflicting messages, a government that seems more secretive and intrusive than ever and not a whole lot of reliable information. Depending on who you read and who you believe, everything is going to turn out just fine or implode within a very short period of time. A brief summary:

  • A weak US economy, a burgeoning national debt and no political will to correct the situation by reducing spending
  • An obscure provision in H.R. 2847 that would restrict international banking in the US, force global banking to seek international venues and could result in some form of domestic wealth confiscation possibly starting in the second half of 2014
  • A diminished US role in world affairs, or the ability to impose our will or moves in our best interests on other nations
  • The world’s biggest trading partner, China, hoarding gold and making people think a shift to the gold standard is imminent, which would tie nicely into the provisions of H.R. 2847
  • An economic cycle theory that would say a market correction is due within a few years at best

What to do?

  • Stay calm. You are a child of God and He is still the sovereign ruler of creation. He has not given up control to any of us.
  • Be prudent. Avoid large and costly decisions and expenditures that might overtax your own personal finances if we enter periods of adjustment and possibly scarcity impacting prices.
  • Seek counsel. Speak to your financial advisor (especially if that advisor is a Christian who follows Bible Prophecy) and other trusted sources. But remember, it is quite possible that no one but the Lord Himself truly understands and grasps the full extent of what is happening.
  • Invest wisely. Financial assets (the dollar, stocks and bonds) may not hold value if the debt bubble pops, but real estate would probably be a safer (comparatively speaking) bet to make.
  • Prepare realistically. Make sure you are taking steps to be ready for large and possibly catastrophic changes in our economic and politic structures.
  • Stay tuned. Be aware of current events and trends; keep your eyes, ears and minds open.
  • Pray fervently. We should be before the Lord in prayer at all times. And maybe if we were praying diligently during the good times, the bad times that are coming would not be so hard to bear and get through.

And always remember, Jesus is Coming Soon!

Biblical Prophecy; what is still to come? ~ Part 1

If you have become a follower of this blog, I’m sure you are aware that I believe we are living in the Last Days, and if you are a first time reader I hope this post will encourage you to continue to follow, and to explore our previous posts. While we continue our teaching on His Remnant Church in other posts, today we will begin a new teaching series on as yet unfulfilled Biblical Prophecy. While we cannot be certain of an exact chronological order of things to come, we can definitely identify prophetic events in the Scriptures, which will affect mankind as well as all creation, as these Last Days culminated in the End Times of the Great Tribulation before the return of Jesus Christ to begin his Millennial Kingdom reign.

In beginning this new study, the first thing we need to understand is that there is nothing that has to happen before the rapture of the church. The rapture of the church closes out a parenthesis in time called the church age, or the age of grace, in which God has called out a people for Himself from all nations. The rapture begins again the prophetic time clock for national Israel. God’s divine purpose for this age has been twofold; first Israel has experienced a partial hardening or blindness because of their rejection of Jesus as the Christ or Messiah, therefore enduring God’s judgment, and second the Gospel was then preached to the Gentiles giving them the opportunity to become members of God’s “Ecclesia” the church. Of course, as evidenced in the book of Acts, the church is comprised of both Jews who have recognized that Jesus Christ is Messiah, and Gentile followers of Jesus Christ.

In the Apostle Paul’s great teaching on Israel and the church in the book of Romans, we see that Israel has been set aside until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, that is, until the full number of Gentiles who will recognize Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior have in fact done so (Romans 11:25). The Jews sought a relationship with God not by faith but by works. But James 2:10 tells us that for people to obtain salvation by observing the law, they must keep the law perfectly, which of course no one is capable of doing. Because Jesus did not fit their preconceived notions about who the Messiah was to be or act, the Jews rejected Him. As a result of this rejection, the gospel was preached to the Gentiles to create jealousy among the Jews, so that they too might accept Christ (Romans 11:11). So the true church is made up of Gentiles and Jews who believe that Jesus is the Christ.

Today we live in the church age, and the true church, His Remnant Church in these Last Days, made up of believers who are truly following hard after Christ as Bereans (those who diligently study the Word of God), comprise the bride of Christ whom He will redeem at the rapture. The true church represents all those whom God has called out from the world, both Jews and Gentiles, and the mission of the church is spelled out in the great commission (Matthew 28:16-20), and the great commandment (Mark 12:29-31). No one knows when the church age will end, when the rapture will take place, but we do know that God is giving every opportunity for men to turn to Him. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Unfortunately despite God’s patience many will refuse to turn to Him and therefore spend eternity apart from Him (Matthew 25:46). And, this is one of the very reasons for the horrific judgments to come during the tribulation (Revelation chapters 4 through 19).

As we begin our look at the as yet unfulfilled Last Days and End Time prophetic events, I would first like to make some things clear about the United States of America. I can find no evidence of the United States in End Time Biblical prophecy. I have been often asked why I think that is. I can give several reasons to account for this truth, any and all of which could be the reason:

  • The first is the spiritual and moral collapse in the United States of America. Proverbs 19:21, Isaiah 14:24, and Isaiah 46:10 tell us that God is absolutely sovereign. In Job 12:23 we read, “He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them.” And  Daniel 2:21 says that God “removes kings and raises up kings”. It is quite possible that God is going to judge the United States because, even though it was founded on Christian principles, it has turned away from Him. Observe what Paul writes in Romans 1:18-25. This passage tells us that God will exact judgment on any nation that deliberately continues to disregard His word by allowing the people of that nation to bear the full weight of the consequences of their sin. History is replete with nations who have collapsed because of immorality and wickedness. Unfortunately that is where we find the United States today. In fact, in Romans 1:26 to Romans 2:11 you find a very apt description of the spiritual condition of mankind in the United States today and God’s declaration of judgment because of it. Premarital sex, extramarital sex, pornography, homosexuality, abortion, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, the destruction of the family unit, and a narcissistic humanistic form of religion in the mainstream church, is all evidence that this nation has turned its back on God.
  • A second possible reason the United States is not mentioned in End Time prophecy is that this nation will have collapsed due to a nuclear attack. One only has to take a brief look at the news to see that this possibility exists and could come from Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, or perhaps a Terrorist Dirty Bomb. There are many possible candidates that might precipitate such an attack.
  • A third possible reason is an electromagnetic pulse attack EMP. A nuclear explosion in the atmosphere over the US could blanket the entire US and wipe out our entire electrical power grid for a period of months if not years. Again, Russia, China, and North Korea are all possible candidates for such an attack, while China reportedly has the most advanced military satellite technology.
  • A fourth possible reason could be the collapse of the United States economy. Because of our unsustainable national debt the possibility that the US dollar could be replaced as the world’s reserve currency. In addition, there is the volatility of the stock market in the United States, and the unsustainable bubble created by the Fed’s printing and inserting money into the economy without any hard assets to back it up. Even the most conservative of economists are warning of a correction (read crash) sometime in the period between now and 2016.
  • A fifth possibility is a crippling natural disaster of some sort,
  • And a sixth possibility is the rapture of the church…

In our next post in this series we will examine the Rapture of the church in 1 & 2 Thessalonians as well as other passages. Remember, there is nothing which remains on the prophetic calendar of things yet to be fulfilled which has to take place before the rapture the church.

So once again I encourage you to be certain of your relationship with Jesus Christ. Have you accepted Him as your personal Lord and Savior by receiving His free gift of salvation? At Calvary He paid your sin debt and mine. If you haven’t yet turned your life to Christ, there’s never been a better day than today to do so. If you need help in accomplishing this or simply would like more information, you can contact me at my personal email address at drtwhitaker@gmail.com or contact me on Facebook because Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

Living in the Last Days… His Remnant Church ~ Part 10

Once again we return to our teaching on His Remnant Church in the Last Days. In our last two posts we have been looking at four of six responsibilities we see for His Remnant Church. Those first four are; (1) To understand Worship, and to Worship God in spirit and in truth; (2) To study and discern the Word of God; (3) To speak, preach, and teach sound doctrine; and (4) To defend sound doctrinal teaching while standing for Jesus Christ in these last days.

And so the fifth responsibility of His Remnant Church is watchfulness.  Jesus is coming soon; the signs of the times get clearer every day.

Understanding Christ’s teaching in Matthew 24 brings us to the conclusion that the end of this age must be near. Seeing the fulfillment of prophecy as God’s chosen people Israel are a re-established nation in their own land, allows us to look at this passage and know that the end of all things is at hand. The wars and unrest in the Middle East, the signs of worldwide economic collapse, the cataclysmic events in nature all point to the end of days.

Yet we do not know when Christ will return for his church.  In Matthew 24:42 Jesus said “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”  And in Matthew 25:13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”  With this truth before us, we must become watchmen in these last days. In Luke 21:36 Christ warned us, “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.” The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong” 1 Corinthians 16:13, and to those in Thessalonica, “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:6. In his first Epistle Peter wrote this warning to the church, “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” 1 Peter 4:7

So we begin to see now how important is the command to watch. And, the biblical command to watch is several times coupled with the command to pray. Is prayer important? Extremely so!

Watching means correctly using our minds, and it is watching coupled with prayer that gives one the strength to survive temptations and difficult situations.

Watchfulness is needed now more than ever before in the history of the church. Those who are a part of His Remnant Church will not encumber themselves with legalistic denominational regulation, materialistic prosperity pursuits, self-centered promotion, humanistic compromise, or the vulgarity of an edifice designed for the glorification and comfort of man. The watchful believer will turn his eyes away from the sinful objectives and pursuits of this life, and instead will rebuke and reprove the wicked and their wickedness.

As long as Satan is the god of this world, he will continue his constant effort to co-opt the message of the true church, marginalize the gospel, and destroy God’s chosen people the Jews.  Because Christians have neglected the need for watchfulness and prayer, their hearts and the heart of the church have been left open to the assaults of Satan. Spiritual and moral decay has crippled both the church and individual Christians because we have become lackadaisical in guarding our hearts and minds from the subtle compromising influences of the world. Tolerance and compromise have institutionalized a form of religion which has no foundation in the finished work of Christ on the cross. Only by returning to a state of watchfulness and prayer as Paul encouraged us in Ephesians 6:8, can the true believer and the true church, be prepared to truly serve Christ in these last days; and not only be prepared for, but truly long for and love His appearing.

We are to “eagerly wait for” Christ’s return, not just passively wait around (Hebrews 9:28). Jesus was emphatic that His followers should hope for His return, expect His return and pray for His return! In addition, our eager anticipation and delight should intensify as we see more and more world events fulfilling Bible prophecies—especially those that point to the increasing nearness of Christ’s return.

Peter warns us, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8. Staying aware of the powerful behind-the-scenes role of Satan and his demons enables us to understand the atrocious evil and wickedness of this world. It also enables us to “resist” them James 4:7.

In light of this, we are clearly also to watch, listen and read to keep up with world news, events, conditions and trends. God equipped us with the ability to study, learn, observe, analyze, judge and think. We must understand that God wants His people to ardently read and study, to think and contemplate. He wants us to be well-informed regarding the major geopolitical, cultural and spiritual issues and events of our time. God abhors ignorance, indifference and being “dull of hearing” Hebrews 5:11.

This is why God has given us His Holy Word the Bible, the True Word of God. It is the compiled spoken and written messages inspired by God and given to holy men of old so that we might have an example to live by and aspire to in life. The Bible is God’s divine revelation of absolute truth, which is just as relevant today as it ever was. God’s people are to be “people of the Book.” By contrast, most religions emphasize images, idols, symbols, feelings, and rituals.

The closer we draw to the second coming of Christ, the more urgent it is that we are watchful of the events in the world around us as we discern the signs of the times in which we live. We are living in the last days and soon this world will enter the fearful End Times of the Tribulation. If ever there was a time to pay attention and get prepared, it is now! His Remnant Church must have a clear, doctrinally sound, Biblical understanding of End Times prophecy.

By watching and praying, we are strengthened. We can help others understand what’s happening, plus we are more effective servants in God’s work in other ways! Our God-ordained responsibility is to watch and pray. Ignorance comes from ignoring, and God does not want us to be ignorant and “in darkness” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-10. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, as our role model certainly understood the issues, politics and personalities of His day. We should do likewise.

At the same time, we must avoid the mistake of going to the extreme; studying world affairs, history and even conspiracy theories more than the Bible. Without a sound understanding of God’s Prophetic Word and a dedication to live in light of it, we would risk being swept up in false teaching and dangerous doctrines. We need knowledge of End Time prophecy to know where to focus our attention and to know how to prepare ourselves and others for the things to come.

Take note of the watching, waiting, anticipation and preparedness in the following passage: “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching” Luke 12 35-36.

So then, this call to watchfulness and prayer is a call to understand the times, the coming tribulation, and to follow Christ now to avoid the things which will transpire after the rapture of the church.

This message is not a popular one in the world today. Those of us who hold a pre-tribulational, premillennial understanding of the Word are finding ourselves under continual attack from not only the world, but especially from within the “church.” There has arisen a new movement within the mainstream “church” that call themselves the “religious left.” They along with others reject the sovereignty of the covenant relationship God has with His chosen people, Israel.  They follow a false theology which says that the church has replaced Israel, becoming “spiritual Israel.” This false doctrine permeates most denominational churches as well as Catholicism.  They choose to ignore scripture, and denigrate those of us who hold to a literal translation and understanding of God’s word.

The result of the false doctrines being followed by most of the mainstream, modern, denominational, emergent, apostate churches and the false religions and cults, is that the remnant of believers who I believe make up His Remnant Church are about to face unprecedented persecution worldwide.

This then brings us to the sixth responsibility I see of His Remnant Church; to suffer persecution for the cause of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Our Lord promised us it would be so. John, Peter, and Paul also write of persecution to come for true believers. Yet Christ has promised also, that He will preserve us and protect us.

I believe the responsibilities of His Remnant Church are very clear. Our calling is to worship, study, teach, defend, watch, and even to suffer. I believe we will suffer persecution, but in the end we will wear a robe and crown, and we will reign with Christ for eternity. We will look further up the responsibility of suffering persecution in part 11 of our study on His Remnant Church.

Until then, continue proclaiming to the world, Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

Signs of the Times: SIN is SIN; Israel, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, US, China, North Korea… oh; and the Weather and Natural Disaster!

Weather

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, for the fourth week in a row a winter snow storm has descended on the East Coast and Washington DC. Of course while this is more than a little unusual, in light of our update over the past month it certainly shouldn’t be unexpected. Even as President Obama meets with European leaders at The Hague in the Netherlands, his administration continues to hold out hope that they can force Israel and the Palestinian Authority into accepting their “Framework for Peace.”

Israel

On Saturday Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s defense minister, said in a March 21 speech at Tel Aviv University that the United States is “demonstrating weakness” around the world. And, Caroline Glick, a senior contributing editor to The Jerusalem Post, says America, through President Obama, is “inviting this sort of aggression by countries like Russia, by countries like Iran, by showing such profound weakness in foreign affairs.” The Washington Times reported, Secretary of State John Kerry called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to complain about his defense ministers comments, and he continued his pressure on Netanyahu to make concessions with the Palestinians in the so-called peace process.

Meanwhile also on Saturday morning March 21, a rain-soaked hillside collapsed swallowing dozens of homes near Oso, Snohomish County in Washington State.

Rescue workers searched through mucky rubble on Tuesday with hopes dwindling of finding any more survivors from among as many as 176 people still missing from the devastating weekend mudslide which killed at least 14. More than 100 properties were hit by the mudslide. John Pennington, Snohomish County’s director of emergency management, said that after three days, the operation was shifting from a rescue operation to a recovery mission.

Is this merely coincidence, or another instance of another severe weather natural catastrophe resulting from continued pressure by the government of the United States on Israel to divide their land and eternal capital of Jerusalem? (Once again I encourage you to review our past Tuesday posts for more information.)

In other news concerning Israel, a rising chorus of Israeli voices is again raising the possibility of carrying out a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in what appears to be an attempt to draw renewed attention to Tehran’s atomic program — and Israel’s unhappiness with international negotiations with the Iranians. Despite ongoing talks and negotiations between Iran and the West over the Iranian nuclear program, Israel is taking no chances. Based on recent statements by senior military officers, a whopping amount of at least 10 billion shekels ($2.89 billion) has been set aside by Israel for a potential unilateral military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities in 2014. This decision reflects the determination of the Israeli government not to be bound by the interim accord that was reached between Iran and the US led Western nations.

Israel’s decision is based on the stated need to ensure its self-defense even as it becomes clearer that the Obama administration and the U.S, is not going to lead the campaign against Iran or to be a dependable ally for a military solution against Iran.

Joel Rosenberg has recently commissioned McLaughlin & Associates to take several Polls which have noted some interesting results.

In one exclusive new poll: 72% of Americans see Putin as a “clear and present danger” to U.S. and Israel. While other polls showed that 85% of Americans are concerned young people don’t know enough about the Holocaust or are learning lessons of how to confront evil.

In another new poll conducted at the request of Rosenberg: 68% of Americans fear a “nuclear holocaust” here in U.S. if Iran is permitted to build nuclear weapons, and the most recent of these polls find that: 59% of Americans support “decisive” US strike on Iran to prevent “Second Holocaust,” if diplomacy & sanctions fail. All of these polls seem to reflect a completely different attitude by the American people than that of our present administration.

Russia & Ukraine

As of Monday Russian troops have completed the takeover of all military bases in Crimea, and Vladimir Putin continues to ignore pressure from the international community. As I stated last week, the takeover of Crimea is a done deal, and as Russian troops continue to mass on the Ukrainian border, I believe it is only a matter of time, perhaps days, that Russia will invade and take over the rest of the Ukraine. President Obama’s war of words with Russia and Vladimir Putin continued on Tuesday from the Hague, as Russia was removed as a member of the G8. However, Russian leaders continue to mock the weakness of Obama’s leadership.

In other International News

North Korea fired 30 short-range rockets into the sea off the east of the Korean peninsula early on Saturday in response to continued joint defense drills by the US & South Korea.

China continues to help in the search for the missing Malaysian Jet, yet has used the experience to move more of its naval fleet into positions in the disputed territorial island groups in Japanese and Philippine waters.

The Malaysian Prime Minister meanwhile announced that they have determined that the jet crashed in the South Indian Sea and that there were no survivors. Chinese authorities have demanded to see all of the radar and satellite information which precipitated this announcement.

In an interesting commentary on the incident, Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Christian evangelist Billy Graham, recently drew a connection between the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and the Rapture, as described in Thessalonians 4:16-17. She made the connection on her personal blog just after the plane went missing, suggesting that the feeling of unknowingness and helplessness that has affected the world since the flight disappeared on March 8 will be the same feeling experienced by mankind when the Rapture happens and Jesus calls his church to meet him in the air and join him in heaven. She concluded, nonbelievers will be left to wonder: “Where have all the people gone?”

On the Culture front

Nabisco has added its voice to the current trend of forcing liberal social agendas on the rest of us by producing a commercial for their Honey Maid graham crackers and Teddy Grahams snacks showing a homosexual couple raising two children with a voiceover stating “this is wholesome.” The ad concludes by saying; “No matter how things change, what makes us wholesome never will. Honey Maid — everyday wholesome snacks for every wholesome family. This is wholesome.” So Nabisco has joined Coca Cola and Chevrolet in specifically marketing homosexuality.

Make no mistake, no matter what the LGBT groups, leftist liberals, and liberal theologies postulate, the Bible calls homosexuality a sin. And, God’s word is Truth and as such not open to revision or private interpretation. Sin is Sin no matter what the sin is, and there are no degrees of sin, in God’s eyes all are inseparable and all require repentance. Only the righteousness provided by Christ at the Cross can pay the debt of sin we owe. The good news is that while God hates sin, He loves the sinner and has provided the righteousness of Jesus Christ, through His shed blood, to redeem any who will accept Jesus as Savior and Lord of their lives, repenting of their sin.

Please be watching for our update on Friday as we take a look at the world of Finance.

Remember what our Lord Jesus said to His disciples about the events we are seeing happen around us today… Luke 21:28 “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

EvenSoCome

Exhortation and Encouragement for the daily battle!

A revival which does not rest solidly upon the Word of God will ultimately either fade out, because there is no fountain of divine truth continually refreshing it or it will run into dangerous and sensational emotionalism, which after it has passed, will make those who have been the subject of such an experience exhausted, and indifferent to the things of God, at times more easily accessible than ever to the inroads of Satan himself. There is something about the Word of God that men recognize as divine: when it is preached men know that they are hearing the Word of God, and nothing less will ever arouse a nation sunk in selfishness, self-satisfaction, and godlessness.

In this battle of increasing intensity, in an hour when the waves of unbelief are striking at, and have even broken through many of the doors of our churches, and have already overwhelmed too many of our more important educational institutions, the Church needs, for its own life, for the protection of its young, for power in meeting attacks upon her beliefs, for vigor and strength, for courage and hope, for power in winning souls, the Church needs to return to the Word of God. I do not know if it will; I do not know when it will; I do not know how it will do this. Certainly many sections of Christendom are deliberately and intentionally walking straight away from the Word of God. That does not in any way alter the fact that what we need today, as a Church, is to go back into that divine revelation, to understand it anew, to believe it, to proclaim it.

Excerpted from Therefore Stand by Wilbur M. Smith (Published 1945)

Words of Grace for Strength:

The battle Dr. Smith so aptly described in 1945 is still raging today. It is the battle which had its beginnings, for the True Church, in the book of Acts, and will only be finally won at Christ’s return. Not only did the early church in Acts face persecution from forces externally, it was also assailed by false teachers and false prophets within the church just as His Remnant Church, the True Church of these Last Days is today. The attacks on the True Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ have taken many forms throughout the centuries, but the adversary remains the same. The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us both; who we battle against, and how to withstand him. It is from this passage Dr. Smith drew his inspiration, and it is this passage which we must stand upon in the battle we face in these Last Days. The Sword of the Spirit in this passage is the Word of God, and it is in and on the Word, we make our Stand. Though this battle has raged on for years, decades, and centuries, we understand it will continue tomorrow, yet His Remnant Church still stands undefeated through it all and eagerly awaits the soon return of Jesus Christ. Although we may feel the struggle daily; although we may need to encourage and exhort one another to “Therefore, Stand”; we can take great comfort in this one simple fact, Jesus is Coming Soon!

Meanwhile

We are waiting, Lord, and not always patiently and obediently, for Your Soon Return. We are waiting, faithfully, knowing You will return as You have said; eagerly, for the joy that we know we will have in Your eternal presence. Yet we know not the day nor time, and therefore, we often wait anxiously.

So, what are we to do in the meantime? Just sitting around waiting is not what You had in mind for us.

  • Praying – In all things, at all times, we should be turning to the Lord and seeking Him out in prayer. Because it draws us closer to Him. Because we need it, and He wants us to do it. Because it is the way to learn our Father’s will and purposes for the time remaining to us here. Because Jesus did so in His earthly ministry and He is our model to follow.
  • Proclaiming – In all things, at all times, we should be teaching, talking and telling others about Jesus. What He has done in our lives, what He wishes to do in theirs. The blessing of grace, the bestowal of salvation. The peace of mind, the calm of heart, the warmth of love. From Him, as from an unending fountain. How easy it is to have, this gift unmeasurable and unmerited, to any who turn to Jesus, trusting in Him alone as Savior, through grace by faith.
  • Preparing – In all things, at all times, we should be living as if today is the Day of His Soon Return for His Church. The end of our beginning, and the beginning of our eternity in the Divine Presence. The Eternal State for all His children. It is our hope and desire that He will return for all we know and love. He wants the world, it is His desire that none remain outside His grasp. Although that may not be as it will turn out, should we not try to reach the outcome the Lord’s heart desires?

There is so much to do, and there may be so very little time to do it. The world appears to be slipping away at an ever quickening pace, even as we struggle to slow the tide and reap a harvest blossoming white about us. So run the race, fix your eyes on Jesus, and run as if to win. Because win is what we will ultimately do, even on those days, even on most days, when it surely feels we will not. We will, because He will prevail and we are His children. We will, because…

Jesus is Coming Soon!