Our Lord’s Return ~ What Is Your Attitude?

Born in 1889, Ruth Paxson was a missionary in China from 1911 until about 1933 when complications of asthma restricted her mission work. She had been educated at the State College in Iowa, and the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. From 1933 to 1939 she traveled extensively in Europe and the United States as a Missionary Society and Bible Conference speaker while based out of Henderson, North Carolina. As her health worsened her travel decreased and from 1940 until her death in 1949 she spoke mainly in the US staying close to her home in North Carolina.

Ruth Paxson was a dedicated teacher and prolific writer and as a missionary to China her Bible lessons to pastors, evangelists, and teachers in the 1920s were well received. In response to requests from both Chinese and missionary friends, the lessons were expanded and originally published in three volumes, “Life on the Highest Plane” was published in 1928. This first work was followed by the booklet “Called unto Holiness” in 1930. Her exegesis on the book of Ephesians “The Wealth Walk and Warfare of the Christian” was published in 1938 and remains unparalleled in Christian exegetical works. “Rivers of Living Water” followed in 1941 and two compilations which were published after her death; “War in Your Heart” in 1953, and “The Work of God the Holy Spirit” in 1958.

Our excerpt today is from the third volume in “Life on the Highest Plane.” Near the end of the book in the chapter on “The Hope of the Spiritual Man” there is a section on our Lord’s return which deals with attitude. More to the point it deals with the attitude that we should have about our Lord’s return, if we truly have a relationship with Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. In this short section on attitude the author shares with us nine passages of Scripture and seven things which these Scriptures call us to do.
Beginning today, and over the next six weeks we propose to share the authors’ thoughts as well as our own on these seven things that deal with what the attitude of the believer should be toward our Lord’s return.

Excerpt:

Is it any wonder that Satan hates the truth of the Lord’s return and that he does all within his power to discredit, discourage and destroy those who hold and preach this blessed hope? He has no place for the second coming of the Lord in his “gospel” and his “ministers” either rail at or ridicule those who have it in theirs. One reason why we may well believe that we are in the last days is the fact of the violent and venomous attacks of Satan’s instruments upon this glorious truth on the one hand and the growing preciousness and deepening influence of this hope upon those who love His appearing on the other.

With such a glorious prospect before the believer, one would expect him to have just one possible attitude toward our Lord’s return ~ that of eager expectancy and ardent desire. Yet strange to say there are four very evident attitudes manifested in the professing church toward this blessed hope; aggressive hostility, listless apathy, fearful apprehension and loving expectancy. Some hate it; some are totally ignorant of it; some are afraid of it and some love it. In which group you find yourself?

God shows very clearly in Scripture what is the attitude of the spiritual man toward our Lord’s return. May He now speak to the heart of every reader through His own Word.

2 Peter 1:19, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy: whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” (KJV)

“Take heed.” Think of how much both of the Old and New Testament is devoted to prophecy ~ the foretelling of things to come. God tells us here that these prophetic words are reliable, they will most assuredly come to pass. Should we not then give heed to that which God thinks to be of such tremendous importance? Surely to be apathetic to that to which God commands us “to give attention with heart intentness” would be sin. In these dark days what can so truly keep us from depression over conditions in the world and in the church and from discouragement over ourselves and our work as to concentrate our attention upon and become absorbed with the sure word of prophecy that shines like a light in the darkness?

Words of Grace for Strength

In this verse (2 Peter 1:19), Peter is telling us the importance of God’s Prophetic Word… we are to “take heed” which means to “pay attention” to it. This is the first thing we need to examine as it relates to our attitude about our Lord’s return.

In 2 Peter 1:16-19 he shares his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus and gives us insight into his understanding of the importance of what transpired there as it related to the Word of God.

“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;” 2 Peter 1:16-19 (NKJV)

In verse 18 Peter recalls his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus, and how the voice of God was confirmation of the Word of God written by the Old Testament prophets about Jesus (Numbers 24:17, Psalm 96:13, Isaiah 60:1-2, Malachi 4:1-2, etc…), who is the Word and the Light. (John 1:1-5)

Old Testament Prophecy is light shining in the darkness like a lamp (Psalm 119:105). Scripture speaks of the coming day (Romans 13:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 2 Peter 3:10) of Christ’s return when a lamp will no longer be needed because the Morning Star will have come (2 Peter 1:19). So just as a lamp’s light illuminates until the coming of the morning light, Prophecy illuminates the return of Jesus as “the bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16). Until Christ returns we are to let the Word of God illuminate our hearts to all that He plans for us here, and all that will be when He comes.

Why is it that only some who read the Word of God see the light shining through it, see enough to eagerly want to take heed of what we are told through the teachings of prophecy, see enough to take heed and hopefully turn and teach it to others that they may take heed as well. Those who seek the truth of God in earnest fashion will be drawn closer by Him who wishes us to take heed; drawn close enough that by the grace of God we will eagerly seek and be able to take heed of the words that are Truth. And by His grace, the light illuminating our hearts may shine through like a dawning sunrise to light the path for others to take heed as well.

God’s Prophetic Word is a shining Lamp (Psalm 119:105) for those who will use it to illuminate the darkness of this present world. The rising of the morning star pictures Christ’s coming for His Church and portends the beginning of the Day of the Lord. So Peter is telling us in this passage to pay attention to the Prophetic Word; read it, study it, hide it in our hearts because it is the only thing which will shine the light of Christ on this dark world until He appears in the clouds and calls His bride, His Church, home to heaven.

In doing this, we place ourselves among those whose attitude is one of “loving expectancy and ardent desire” as it relates to our Lord’s return. If one has truly accepted Christ as his personal Savior there is no reason to hate or fear His return. Nor is there any excuse for being ignorant of it. Take heed pay attention. For the timing is upon us, there is nothing left to be seen or to pass by in prophetic fulfillment. The return of Jesus Christ for His Church is imminent, the Day of the Lord is near, and;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

Read Part 2 here:

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Read Part 7 here:

Awareness, Alertness, Anxiety – 2 out of 3 Ain’t Bad

I believe that those who have a view of eschatology that holds to the pre-millennial, pre-tribulation rapture is the proper way to view end times prophetic scripture. It is not escapism, wishing to get away before any of the bad end times stuff begins to happen. I think the pre-millennial, pre-tribulation view gives you the firmest, most realistic grasp on what is happening in the world, what is likely to happen next (no date setting, please), and why we should not be all that surprised by events in the world. From earlier posts, you know we believe Christians in general will face increasing persecution as the world drifts further away from God, severe persecution even in America, before the Rapture occurs. You know we believe there is a convergence of events in the world today which show growing evidence of the fulfillment of End Times biblical prophecy.

Our eschatology and the belief it is being fulfilled as we speak makes us aware, it makes us alert. But all too often, I read posts, tweets and/or articles from like-minded believers that seems to show a great level of anxiety as well. We should be anxious (eager for and joyous about the imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ) but not anxiety filled (worried about the current state of affairs, and most usually with its’ impact on our personal lives).

Let’s be honest with ourselves, a life of worry is a life of sin. We were commanded by our Savior not to worry, but to trust in Him, to trust in God. It is how we are to live our lives, trusting in the provision of the Lord. He made it clear He will meet our needs, how could we doubt it as He provides even for birds (Matthew 6:26). He will for us, for He told us we are more valuable than many sparrows (Matthew 10:31); we cannot doubt the sufficiency of God’s provision in our lives. Yet we worry, often beside ourselves with worry, often beset and nearly overcome with worries.

We are sinners and we know all have sinned and fall short in God’s eyes (Romans 3:23). We are often not the good soil that yields a hundredfold (Matthew 13:23), more often we are choked by the worry of the world (Matthew 13:22), producing nothing but our own anxiety.

It has been said ignorance is bliss, but we cannot have a blissful, unaware mindset and lead of life dedicated to serving Christ. We need to hear the words of Jesus in John 14:27 and not let our heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. Worry in the life of a Christian is an indication of a troubled, fearful heart, one that is not relying on the peace we have in Christ as much as He would have us.

However, we need be aware. We need to know what is going on in the world if for no other reason than to use it as an opportunity to share Jesus with others and explain why the happenings in the world are not as surprising as one might think. We need to be aware of the opportunity to witness and evangelize, we need be aware of the need to prepare for His Imminent Return, like the ten virgins of Matthew 25:1-13. We need to have our lamps trimmed and our oil flasks filled and close at hand. Jesus is coming soon! Even so, Come Lord Jesus.

In addition, we need be alert. The time of His Coming is unknown to us, He will call us with a shout to be with Him (1 Thessalonians 4:17). But alertness is also vitally important because of the enemy, who is seeking to devour us like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8) and will continue to seek and devour the unwary until the day our Lord stops him. We need to be alert for our Lord’s return, but equally alert to the enemy’s tricks, lies and wiles as he seeks to take us out of the battle. And as you think of how many are around you who so desperately need the good news of the Gospel, who wants to be taken out of the battle by the enemy? Fight the good fight, finish the race as the Apostle Paul did (2 Timothy 4:7). We need the same level of calm, thanksgiving and acceptance at the end of the battle in this life that the Lord has purposed for us.

All in all, I think those of us who believe the End Times view mentioned here, those of us who believe in the literal truth of the prophetic Scriptures passages, do a good job of being aware and alert, of speaking the truth and sounding the call to others.

We should stand with Israel, encourage others, including our government to do likewise. We should grieve over those of the nation of Israel who are losing their lives in the daily battle. We should grieve over the fact that it seems the world hates Israel, and grieve that it is increasingly clear that the world is hating Christianity more and more daily.

But we should not worry as if God is going to allow Israel to get wiped off the map, or that the Lord is going to abandon His church. That is just not going to happen and we know it.

I know that I wish I could view current world events with a little less anxiety and a lot more trust in the sure promises of  God. I am pretty sure others wish that as well. For we know in our hearts that the Lord is not slack about His promise (2 Peter 3:9). We know that Jesus is coming soon! We know it deep in our hearts, our minds, our souls. But maybe we do so with anxiety of how it affects our daily lives.

Awareness, alertness, anxiety. Most of us described in this post have all three.

In the world of Christian faith and obedience to the Lord,  2 out of 3 ain’t bad.

Convergence!

Every so often a new word or phrase seems to dominate the writings and messages coming from those within the ranks of teachers, preachers, and scholars in the Biblical eschatology community. For instance; “late great” has been used with regard to the planet Earth, the United States, and the church. “Left Behind” and “blood moons” are other examples, as are the words “worldview” and “globalism.” Today the word we are hearing the most is convergence. And, if we take a critical look at the days in which we are living, and compare them to prophetic Scripture, I find this word not only to be apropos, but perhaps the most significant of all descriptive words which we have used to date.

Regardless of where you place your finger in end times prophetic Scripture; whether the writings of the Old Testament prophets, the New Testament apostolic writings, the words of Christ in the Gospels, or in His Revelation to the Apostle John, we find evidence of fulfillment converging on a daily basis. In our Lord’s Olivet discourse alone, recorded in Matthew chapter 24, we read prophetic words which today are being fulfilled as never before.

Matthew 24:5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

There has never been before in history, such a proliferation of religions and religious groups as there are today, with many being led by charismatic men or women who claim divine knowledge or special inspiration. Even secular humanism and atheism have been elevated to religion status, whether they like it or not. Yet, in all of these groups the commonality is they deny the deity and sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, there are many who believe they are eternally secure who in fact are not. Narrow is the way!

Matthew 24:6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Matthew 24:7a For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

At no time in the history of the earth have war drums beat in so many different places. In Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, Indonesia, Central America, South America, the South Pacific, armed conflict is the norm rather than the exception and nearly the entire Middle East is in flames. Conflict rages because of cultural, economic, ethnic, and religious differences and man’s inhumanity to man has never been on greater display that it is today. In the Middle East, the Islamic ideology has given rise to unprecedented persecution of Jews and Christians as well as other Muslims, resulting in mass executions, beheadings, crucifixion, disembowelment, and other horrific forms of murder.

Matthew 24:7b And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

It would take 5000 words alone to describe the crisis in food production which is being experienced worldwide today. Crop failures due to weather events, whether flood or drought, are worldwide and in many areas planting and harvests did not take place because of the conflicts raging there. The possibility of famine is a reality in many countries and food prices in the US are continually on the rise because of drought and disease. The cost of Protein (Beef, Pork, Chicken, Eggs) has risen by as much as 25% in the past year, with expectations that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

Viruses and diseases are growing worldwide, many in near pandemic proportions. The Ebola virus continues to spread in Africa and because of modern transportation, threatens the entire world. Other infectious viruses such as SARS and MRSA continue to mutate and defy antibiotic treatment, and evidence of the Plague has once again appeared in the Western US. Diseases once thought to be nearly extinct such as tuberculosis, polio, measles and the whooping-cough have returned worldwide with a vengeance (and brought to the US again by illegal aliens crossing our southern border with Mexico).

In 2010 the USGS attributed the increase in the reported number of earthquakes to a greater ability to record them, but in an article published July 1, 2014 they admitted that the number of earthquakes registering 5.0 or greater had increased by 50% over the previous 12 months and 65% over the previous 24 months. In Oklahoma the number of earthquakes greater than 3.0 have risen by 23,000% (that is a real number, not a typo) over the previous 12 months. While the Oklahoma activity has been related (whether correctly or not) to fracking, the worldwide increase of earthquake activity cannot be attributed thusly. Additionally, more closely related to the seismic activity of earthquakes is the increase in volcanic activity worldwide. Currently, there are more active volcanoes spewing forth magma and ash than at any time in recorded history.

Matthew 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The “beginning of sorrows” is a phrase that is most often related to the birth pangs experienced by a woman in labor. These labor pangs occur at a point in time when there is a physical convergence of events in the gestational process leading to the birth of a baby. I am not a physician but I was present at the birth of all four of my daughters, and I am a ranch raised cowboy who has birthed horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, as well as a great number of dogs. I can tell you that there was pain associated with absolutely every one of those births. We are living in the days of convergence, the days that the Scriptures describe as “the beginning of sorrows” and the painful birth that is about to take place is described in the Scriptures as a time of “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21

The Olivet discourse in Matthew continues beyond verse eight to describe many more details which we can expect to soon come to pass. For believers, one of the most significant of these is the very fact of the increased persecution of followers of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:9) as this time of tribulation grows nearer. We see that persecution already taking place daily around the world, especially in the Middle East, and of course there is growing evidence of intolerance of, and the persecution of, Christians in the US. However, the blessed hope of the Church, the true followers of Jesus Christ, is the Rapture described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.

Convergence quite aptly describes the growing evidence of the fulfillment of End Times prophecies. Certainly the scoffers described in 2 Peter 3:1-3 are among us today, however God’s Word is true and His prophecies will be fulfilled. The convergence is real, the “beginning of sorrows” has already begun. The Rapture of the Church is imminent, the time of Tribulation is near, and;

Jesus is coming soon!

EvenSoCome

Showdown In The Land Of Babylon

From Genesis to Revelation, the land of Babylon and the city of Babylon (Iraq) occupy a prominent place in Scripture. Together, the land and the city are mentioned almost 300 times in the Bible. Without question, many of these references are about ancient Babylon, but also without question many other references are about Babylon’s future just prior to and during the Tribulation Period (Isa. 13:6-16). Also, it is important to separate the prophecies about the land from the prophecies about the city.

Some verses of Scripture tie the city of Babylon to false worship. Nimrod built a ziggurat near there called the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9). I don’t know what was on top of the Tower of Babel, but later ziggurats had temples or altars on top of them and they were used for astrology, human sacrifice, the worship of Marduk and things like that. False worship and slaying people for religious reasons are an ancient Babylonian custom that still exists today.

King Nebuchadnezzar built a statue near the city of Babylon and ordered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to worship it or die (Dan. 3:1-30). Slaying people who won’t convert is another ancient Babylonian custom. Zechariah had a vision of a wicked woman (the opposite of the Bride of Christ; a harlot religion) that will be carried to Babylon in an ephah (a symbol of commerce and trade) in the future (Zech. 5:5-11). Some believe this means that the city of Babylon will be the future home of a global false religion and economic system. The Book of Revelation speaks of Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots (false worship) and Abominations of the Earth that is also a city loved by the merchants of the earth (Rev. 17-18).

Some verses of Scripture tie Babylon to demonic activity. Many writers think the Garden of Eden was in Babylon and Satan went there (Gen. 2:14; 3:1-5). Sorcerers practiced in the city (Dan. 2:2; 3:5). Daniel was in Babylon when the prince of Persia (a fallen angel) hindered the answer to one of his prayers (Dan. 10:13). Isaiah said satyrs (demons) will dance on the site of the burned city and the Book of Revelation confirms it (Isa. 13:19-22; Rev. 18:2).

Some verses of Scripture teach that the destruction of the land (not the city) of Babylon will start before the Tribulation Period and continue on into the Tribulation Period. God will assemble a multi-national force in the mountains of Babylon to move against the evil in the land with the weapons of His indignation (a name for the Tribulation Period) when the day of the Lord (the Tribulation Period) is near (Isa. 13:3-6). God will lay the land of Babylon desolate when the day of the Lord is coming (Isa. 13:9). Then, He will punish the world in the day of his fierce anger (Isa. 13:11-13). So the beginning of the destruction of the land of Babylon (Iraq) is a sign that the Tribulation Period with its seal, trumpet and bowl judgments is drawing near.

Some verses say the city (not the land) will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah (Isa. 13:19). The city must be rebuilt because it hasn’t burned yet, but it will burn during the Tribulation Period (Rev. 18:8) between the seventh bowl (Rev. 16:17) and the Second Coming of Jesus (Rev. 19:11-16). God said the city of Babylon will be destroyed suddenly (Jer. 51:8) and in the Book of Revelation, He said her plagues will come in one day (Rev. 18:8) and her riches will be destroyed in one hour (Rev. 18:10, 17, 19). He also linked several verses in Isa. 13 and Jer. 50-51 to Rev. 17-18 (Isa. 13:21 to Rev. 18:2; Jer. 50:15 to Rev. 18:6; 51:7 to 17:4 and 18:3; 51:8 to 18:2; 51:9 to 18:4; 51:13 to 17:1, etc.).

Jeremiah tied the destruction of the city (not the land) of Babylon to the salvation of the Jews. He said the Jews will weep and seek the Lord, their God and join themselves to Him in a perpetual covenant at the time of Babylon’s (the city’s) destruction (Jer. 50:4-5). Zechariah tied Israel’s weeping to the Second Coming of Jesus, the Battle of Armageddon and His outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Zech. 12:7-14). So the city’s destruction will occur instantly at the end of the Tribulation Period after the everlasting gospel has been preached all over the world (Rev. 14:6-8).

Some verses of Scripture teach that the Medes (Kurds) will play a dominant role in the future destruction of both the land, and later, the city of Babylon. God called on the nations to prepare their multi-national forces to join the Medes (Kurds) to make the land of Babylon desolate (Jer. 51:28-29). God said He will stir up the Medes (Kurds) against the men in the city of Babylon (Isa. 13:17). He said He will use the Medes (Kurds) to destroy the city of Babylon (Jer. 51:11). [Editor’s note: See more of Daymond Duck’s views on the Medes in his earlier post here.]

It is possible that the genocidal actions of the Islamic State (IS) have started the ball rolling on the fulfillment of these prophecies. Demonic describes those who behead, crucify or bury alive other human beings. It describes those who refuse food and drink to children who are dying of hunger and thirst and those who make sex-slaves out of young girls. It describes those who make mothers watch while their babies are cut in two and their husbands are slaughtered. It describes those who kill for religious purposes and those who demand that people convert or die. It describes the Islamic State and also the satanically inspired False Prophet who will behead people during the Tribulation Period (Rev. 13:15; 20:4).

In recent years, most of the nations in the world have been reluctant to sell weapons to the Kurds (Medes), but the demonic actions and gruesome videos of the Islamic State have profoundly altered the thinking of world leaders. The UN Security Council now recognizes the dangers of radical Islam. The UN Security Council has met and demanded that the Islamic State stop their attacks, disarm and disband; and the UN Security Council did it under a section of its Charter that allows the UN to militarily enforce their demand.

God said He will gather a group of mighty nations with the weapons of His indignation in the mountains of Babylon to destroy the land (Isa. 13:3-4). Several nations have now shipped or are preparing to ship modern weapons to the Kurds who occupy the mountains of Babylon (Iraq). Some are sending troops and this could be a clear indication that the Tribulation Period is close (Isa. 13:5; Jer. 50:3, 9-10, 15, 25-26, 41, 46). It could mean that God is ready to move decisively against those in the land of Babylon (Iraq) who are robbing, killing and raping His people and destroying His churches.

Obviously, the Kurds and their UN supporters can’t use these weapons against the city of Babylon at this time, but UN involvement is setting the stage for the city to be rebuilt and its destruction won’t be many years behind. In the last two weeks, Pres. Obama has called for a multi-national force to join the U.S. and the Kurds; since Aug. 8, 2014, the U.S. Air Force has destroyed dozens of Islamic State targets; the Kurds have recaptured the Mosul Dam; the EU has met and authorized member nations to help; England has announced that it is sending troops; the U.S. has announced that it may send more troops to join several hundred that are already there; and the prophetic picture of the Bible is starting to unfold.

In closing, I am not a prophet, but as I understand the Scriptures, this is just the beginning of a showdown in Babylon that will shake the world. As we approach the Tribulation Period, I expect the Islamic State to be brutally crushed and the land of Babylon to be seized and secured by the Globalists with the help of the Kurds (Medes). Then, I expect the Globalists to quickly rebuild the ancient city of Babylon to house their Global religion and economic system. Finally, at the end of the Tribulation Period, I expect the Kurds to use some of their modern weapons to destroy that city suddenly.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymond.duck@yahoo.com

Suffering and Glory!

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” 1 Peter 4:12-14

St. Peter returns here to what he had often touched upon in this epistle, namely, to exhort the Christians to behave with patience and integrity under their present severe persecution; to which purpose he uses the following arguments: –

First, He intimates that it was not a strange or unusual thing for the people of God to be persecuted.

Secondly, That if they suffered here as Christ did, they should hereafter be glorified with him.

Thirdly, Besides the prospect of that future glory; they had at present the Spirit of God for their support and comfort.

Excerpted from “The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” a commentary by Adam Clarke 1831

Words of Grace for Strength!

In the USA, the attitude for most who claim to be Christian, is to look on suffering and persecution as strange and abnormal. It seems to come as a surprise when we face adversity of any kind. But the Apostle Peter writes that we should consider it normal as a Christian. Why should we be treated better by the world than was our Savior? The Apostle Paul warned Timothy “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 So, Christians should expect persecution, especially those who are making an active stand for Christ in these Last Days. Satan is not concerned with those who are on the sidelines of Christianity or those who only give lip service to faith, his attacks are reserved for those who are actively opposing him, those who are not only watchmen on the wall but who are soldiers of the cross, fighting him and his demonic agenda.

Peter writes that in suffering for Christ we will be glorified with Him. That should be the goal of every believer, to rejoice in the suffering because of the honor it will bring. When as Christians we are ridiculed, denounced and reproached for what we believe, when our convictions are rejected, we should rejoice in the privilege of sharing what Christ suffered as a Man. We may even receive physical wounds and scars for our commitment to Him, but even so, how much greater the rejoicing when we see Him and receive from Him our reward for having suffered in His name. We need to understand how absolutely satisfying our lives can be, how exciting it can be to live, how rewarding eternity will be, when we are sold out to Jesus Christ and are willing to endure anything to bring honor and glory to Him.

The evidence in a Christian’s life of true obedience to Christ is not wealth, health, or living “your best life now” but is in fact of facing persecution and suffering. This is the true sign that the Glory of God rests upon a Christian, because it is evidence of being in the fight. While we know every Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, He empowers in an extraordinary way those who are completely devoted to the cause of Christ. These are those the Holy Spirit is enabling to make a difference in a lost and dying world, and they experience His presence and power in a way that others do not. They, like the early believers are able to rejoice that they are “counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Acts 5:41

And yet, while the Christian can and should rejoice in the personal suffering faced is evidence of God’s glory upon a life well lived for the Lord and is the uniform of the soldier of Christ; it is not outside of personal obedience to pray for the relief of the suffering other Christians experience. A true Christian soldier will neither run from the fight the Lord has placed before them nor avoid to support other Christians in battle, in an effort to bring some measure of relief to fellow soldiers. After all, living in the True Church, His Remnant Church, requires us to  look after and fight for each other as well.

As we are living in these Last Days, as suffering and persecution is beginning to be to be in evidence in His Remnant Church in America, as well as the rest of the world, it is time for those who are in Christ to “take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

The Rapture is Imminent! The Tribulation will follow! And;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

Press on!

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:8-14

Recently, I have looked at this again in a different light. The Apostle Paul said “I press toward the mark,” as if he hadn’t accomplished enough in life already! During our Wednesday evening services, I, the pastor with very little experience concerning end time events, have begun to teach on this very subject. Realizing that the Bible, percentage wise (nearly one-third), is more prophecy than anything else, and understanding that out of all of the writings of the major religions of the world, our Bible is the only book with enough bravery to predict the very future that we are living in today.

When I was growing up we might have seen a sign of the Lord’s return every so often, but now…every day we are watching the signs unfold right before our eyes! To me, as I am witnessing it, this is one of the most exciting experiences I have ever had in my life! All of the things we have studied and heard about in our churches for years are coming to pass! But, I have started seeing and hearing of some things that are very alarming to me. Certainly people are afraid. But, even more alarming is the talk of Christians being afraid. Why? The reward that we pray for, the eternity that we wait for, the great reunion we are wanting with our loved ones, and even more important the One who died for us all, is near. How could we as believers be afraid of the time we live in?

I understand that there could be a time of persecution like we’ve never known. I know we may be driven underground to have church. We may not be able to pray in school ever again. Abortion may be an everyday occurrence with no shame. The institution of marriage may not honorable like the bible spoke of in Hebrews 13:4. Oh wait…most of this is where we are now! Now instead of making a stand and preaching on the street corner, we have practically gone into hiding. We don’t witness unless we are alone with someone and they open the door. Have we not already gone into hiding?

Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, that the coming of the Lord would not come until there be a great falling away. I have heard many teachings and ideas on this passage, even so, why would we think for any reason we should slow down in the practice of personal evangelism as we see these things happening? Instead of hiding what we hold as the dearest treasure in our hearts, we should be spreading it like never before! I look at the Apostle Paul’s instruction to the Philippians like this…Hey guys…we may have made a difference to some degree… We may have some great accomplishments… We may have the right to just sit back and wait on the Lord to take us… But! Paul said, of all my accolades, I count them all as dung, and I am still pressing toward the same mark I started after when I fell on my face on the road to Damascus.

Paul, while sitting in prison was pressing. Paul, while going from courthouse to courthouse being falsely accused was pressing, while in the storm and shipwrecked, he was pressing. While being beaten and stoned, he was still pressing, when he was on the chopping block about to lose his head, he was still pressing. Even more shocking to me than the folks who are afraid of what’s going on in our world today, as far as end time events go, are the folks who have gone into hiding and have quit pressing!

Hey church…wake up!!! We are in the greatest evangelistic era we could possibly have! Yes people’s hearts are hard, and yes people are on a moral downward spiral, but it is amazing to see some of the people who are the hardest, are realizing the signs of the times themselves! Let’s go and press harder than we ever have because;

Jesus is coming soon!

God Bless

Don’t Blame God

Jesus was talking about the end of the age when He said: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:21). “Great tribulation” speaks of planet earth’s darkest hour. The Bible calls it, “a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Zeph. 1:15). The Bible says people will “go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth” (Isa. 2:19). Yes, Jesus intends to violently shake this earth and, in addition to Jesus, at least two Old Testament prophets said there has never been a time like it (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1).

Some think this awful time will be Satan’s doing, but the Bible says it will be the Lord’s doing (Isa. 24:1; 26:21). The prophet Joel, the apostle Paul and others called it the Day of the Lord (Joel 1:15; I Thess. 5:2). John the Revelator called it the wrath of the Lamb (Rev. 6:15-17). He also called it the wrath of God (Rev. 11:17-18; 14:7, 19; 16:1). So no less than Jesus and His Father are going to send judgment upon this earth that will be worse than WWI, WWII or anything the world has ever seen. And as bad as it will be, the world will deserve every last bit of it.

The usual sins of adultery, fornication, violence, unbelief, heresies, etc. are enough to justify the Tribulation Period, but I want to limit this to just one sin that deserves and will bring down the terrible wrath of God: the world’s satanic hatred of Israel. God does not want to send the Tribulation Period (Ezek. 33:11), but make no mistake He will. This is not to say that Israel hasn’t sinned because Israel has sinned, but it is to say that the vast majority of those on earth, including many church leaders, have listened to the Devil and given their heart to the radical Islamic terrorists.

Hamas is a recognized terrorist organization that extols the actions of Adolph Hitler and his gas chambers. Its charter calls for the obliteration and replacement of Israel. It supports suicide bombings of innocent women and children on busses, in restaurants, in shopping centers and on the streets. It kidnaps and murders Israeli citizens, soldiers, non-soldiers, adults and teenage students. It threatens reporters and collaborates with Iran, the barbaric Islamic State (ISIS), al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and others; some of which crucify, behead and shoot Christians or bury them alive. It maintains its control in the Gaza Strip by oppression, threats, torture and murder. It arms itself through smuggling, subterfuge and the misappropriation of money that was given to worthy causes. It agrees to ceasefires and breaks them. It indiscriminately fires rockets at civilians in towns where nurseries, kindergartens, schools, synagogues, hospitals and churches are located in a desperate attempt to kill anyone they can.

During this present war with Hamas, Israel captured a pile of terrorist documents, training manuals and computers. The IDF found instructions on the benefits of using human shields and civilian locations when firing rockets and missiles at Israel. They found tunnels with holding rooms to detain Israeli citizens. They found plans to kidnap Israeli women and children and to start a war on Sept. 24, 2014. And this list could go on and on, but the point is that many world leaders, university and seminary professors, church leaders, pastors and Hollywood celebrities can’t see a smidgen of wrong in what these corrupt, lying, kidnapping, murderers do.

On the other hand, Israel went out of its way to protect Palestinians. Before they attacked Hamas positions in Gaza they dropped leaflets that warned the Palestinians to leave. Hamas urged the Palestinians to ignore Israel’s warnings. Then, Israel dropped more leaflets. Israel texted people and she set up an automated phone system to robocall residents of Gaza urging them to leave. Israel dropped bombs that gave the Palestinians several seconds warning before they exploded and more.

So a diabolical terrorist group called Hamas is on one side using innocent women and children as human shields and doing everything it can to boost the death toll of innocent people. And Israel is on the other side trying to defend and protect its own innocent people and, at the same time, trying to avoid killing innocent Palestinians that are caught in the crossfire.

If the world’s leaders, university and seminary professors, church leaders, pastors and Hollywood celebrities had a sense of decency, integrity or shame one would think they would readily condemn Hamas and loudly praise Israel. But no, these self-righteous bigots and hypocrites can’t find even one kind word for Israel; they do everything they can to ignore, excuse and explain away the evil doings of Hamas; and to side against, criticize and condemn Israel for trying to fight a war with one hand tied behind her back.

It is my belief that Matthew 24 is about Israel. In verse 9, Jesus said, Israel “will be hated of all nations.” The world’s hatred of Israel is on display today. In Obad. 1:15, God said, “the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.”

I take no joy in saying this, but when the Tribulation Period is near (and that could be now) those who hate Israel are going to reap what they sow. God made an everlasting covenant to give all of the Promised Land to Israel (Gen. 17:7-8). He has the right to do that. He has the power to make it stick. His holy nature requires Him to make it stick.

The bottom line: God is not like men. He is just and it will do no good to blame Him for the Tribulation Period. It will only happen because the obvious wickedness of this world deserves His judgment.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymond.duck@yahoo.com