Our Lord’s Return ~ What Is Your Attitude? Part 5

Today we continue our study series from Ruth Paxson’s writing on what the attitude of the believer should be toward our Lord’s return. This is our fifth excerpt from her book; Life on the Highest Plane, published in 1928.

Excerpt:

Matthew 24:36-42, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

Mark 13:33-37, “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

“Watch.” Life will be flowing on its ordinary channels when “the day of Christ” finally comes. We will rise to the ordinary tasks; we will be in our accustomed haunts; we will be eating, drinking, working and sleeping as usual.

No warning will be given us that we may hastily prepare ourselves to meet the Lord. No time will be given to change our occupation or our garments. So there is but one attitude for the Christian to have toward the coming of the Lord and that is the attitude of watchfulness. He may come any moment, therefore I should be watching every moment.

Words of Grace for Strength

Is this your attitude? Do you live in a state of watchfulness every day, every moment? We daresay that this is not the attitude of the majority of people who profess to be Christians. However uncomfortable it may be to admit, most Christians go about their everyday life as if the return of Jesus is still a millennium away. Who concerns themselves with events 1000 years into the future? No one, quite frankly.

Yet we are told to be watchful, to be in a constant state of alertness for the return of our Lord and Savior. There is not one prophecy that has yet to be fulfilled before His Father tells Him to step out on the clouds and call His church, His bride to meet Him in the air, and join Him at His Father’s throne. This rapture, as He appears in the clouds, is in fact our Blessed Hope, and the imminence of that Blessed Hope should be at the forefront of the mind of every believer.

From an attitude of watchfulness, expecting our Savior’s return at any moment, should grow a desire to share the reality of His return and His free gift of grace with everyone who does not already have a personal relationship with Him. In fact, from this attitude of watchfulness should grow an ever-increasing sense of urgency to do more for Christ in obedience to His instruction to go out and make disciples of all the nations. There should be an urgency for each of us to accomplish those things which He has made us responsible for in His call on our lives, living consistently in our walk and witness to others, in order to bring Christ to them, and them into a relationship with Christ, which leads to eternal life.

This is not a stand on the mountaintop and await His return watchfulness; It is living our lives daily in such a way that we are going about our Father’s business until the day of the Son’s return. Doing His will as we should every day, yet doing so in the realization that today could be the day.

Our watchfulness should be like that of any good soldier, wary of any attack or ambush of the enemy, while moving forward toward the goal which the Captain of Our Salvation has placed before us. Watching as we move, for Him and the victory He brings when He appears before us. Our watchfulness should also be like that of the faithful servant who longs for his Master’s return. Having been obedient in accomplishing the tasks He has placed before us, we long to hear Him say; “well done, good and faithful servant.”

His return is imminent! Watch therefore!

EvenSoCome

Read Part 1 here:

Read Part 2 here:

Read Part 3 here:

Read Part 4 here:

Read Part 6 here:

Read Part 7 here:

Watching For A Hook

The list of experts who teach that Russia, Iran and others will attack Israel in a future war called the Battle of Gog and Magog is impressive (Ezek. 38-39). So for the sake of brevity, I will simply state that God will put a hook in the jaws of Russia’s leader (Ezek. 38:4) and drag him and his allies into Israel in the latter days (Ezek. 38:16) and latter years (Ezek. 38:8). And I will make eight points about this in connection with current events.

First, Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities is not the Battle of Gog and Magog. But, if Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities, Russia and Iran have said they will counterattack and that could be the Battle of Gog and Magog.

Second, I agree with those who say Psa. 83 is a prayer about a war between Israel and her neighbors that will take place before the Battle of Gog and Magog. This war hasn’t happened, but events seem to indicate that it could happen soon. An Intifada has been raging in Jerusalem for more than two months; there is currently a temporary ceasefire between Israel and the PA, but Hamas is threatening to break it and no one expects it to hold.

Third, I agree with those who say Isa. 17 prophesies a war between Israel and Syria that will take place before the Battle of Gog and Magog. This hasn’t happened, but it is something else that could happen soon. The U.S. and several Arab allies have already attacked oil fields, refineries, Islamic State troops, other terrorists and weapons in Syria even though Russia, Iran and Syria warned us not to do it. In the past, Syria, Russia and Iran have threatened to attack Israel, if Syria is attacked. Israel has her troops on high alert and the IDF has just shot down a Syrian jet that supposedly strayed over Israeli territory.

Fourth, on Sept. 17, 2014, Israel’s Minister of Intelligence, Yuvall Steinitz said Iran is nine to eighteen months away from developing a nuclear bomb and Iran already has missiles that can deliver one. He pointed out that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “Israel will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.” Nine to eighteen months will quickly come and go. Therefore, it is obvious that time is running out for Israel to act and for Russia, Iran and others to respond.

Fifth, on Sept. 18, 2014, the P5 +1 (the permanent five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) began what they call their final round of negotiations with Iran over the abandonment of Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. Furthermore, the two sides have agreed to resolve all of their differences by Nov. 24, 2014. So the P5 + 1 and Iran are now less than two months away from their self-imposed deadline, the talks are going nowhere and Iran says she will not give up her nuclear program. In addition to this, because of western sanctions on Russia over her actions in Ukraine, Russia has threatened to retaliate against the west by siding with Iran in these negotiations.

Sixth, in 2013, Israel included almost three billion dollars in her budget to finance a war with Iran. In 2014, Israel budgeted almost three billion dollars more for a war with Iran. In Sept. 2014, while preparing Israel’s budget for 2015, a problem arose. Israeli Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, did not want to raise taxes on the Israeli people, but Israeli Air Force Commander, Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel, wanted more money to upgrade Israel’s Air Force and Prime Minister Netanyahu wanted more money to finance operations to deal with security threats against Israel. Some in the media took Mr. Netanyahu’s request for more money to mean that Israel will soon attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. Could it happen in the next nine months?

Seventh, Russia’s economy is in trouble. Mr. Putin is still financing a covert war in Ukraine. Western nations have gradually upped sanctions on Russia and the sanctions are finally beginning to take hold. Russia threatened to cut off the flow of natural gas to the EU, but the loss of income could be devastating. The value of the Ruble has dropped 15% against the dollar this year and a recession is looming. Russia will soon have to change her ways, deal with a recession, or find a prey with silver and gold, cattle and goods.

Eighth, based on the Jewish Talmud (not the Bible) some say a Tetrad of blood moons are an omen of war for Israel. It is a debatable issue, but no one can deny that the first blood moon in the current Tetrad occurred on April 15, 2014 (the Feast of Passover), the next blood moon will occur on October 8, 2014 (the Feast of Tabernacles) and there will be two more in 2015.

Russia is still causing trouble in Ukraine; Pres. Obama is arming the so-called friendly rebels in Syria; the U.S. and several Arab allies are attacking the Islamic State in Syria; Israel’s war with Hamas is probably not over; so it is quite possible that within months God could set the hook on Russia. Time will tell.

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

Just Living!

Some of my fondest memories, are of driving from one cow pasture to another, or from one farm or ranch to another with my grandfather and a car full of boys, my cousins. Wherever we were going, it seems we were always singing. God had blessed all of us boys with good voices and a natural aptitude for harmony. However that was not the case for our grandfather. My grandfather, R. H. Marlin, could not carry a tune in an oil tanker, but he loved to sing and did so at the top of his lungs. Some of his favorite hymns were; “Heaven Came down,” “When the Roll Is Called up Yonder,” and “Living by Faith.” As I consider his life, and the lessons I learned from it, I believe these three hymns sum it up pretty well. Having accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, heaven had come down to fill his soul; and he knew because of this, that when the roll is called, his name will be found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. But, of real significance to me, is the fact that he truly lived his life by faith. If I close my eyes and let my mind drift back, even now I can see the index finger of his right hand keeping time as his craggy voice sang;

I care not today what the morrow may bring,
If shadow or sunshine or rain,
The Lord I know rules o’er everything,
And all of my worries are vain.

I’m Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arms,
I’m living by faith and I feel no alarm.                 Wells and Winsett 1918

Living by faith is; “Just Living.”

Now over the next few paragraphs I’d like to expand on that statement. But first let me say, I love words, or more to the point semantics, and so as we expand on the statement; “just living,” I hope we will find in it, two meanings as it relates to faith in the daily life of a Christian.

What is faith?

In Hebrews 11:1 we find this statement written; “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” So faith is based on substance and evidence and not on emotion. Faith is acting on what you believe to be true, not what you feel to be true. In 2 Corinthians 5:7 we find written; “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” So then, walking or living by faith is the opposite of trusting what we see, hear, or feel (physically or emotionally). True faith, is to express belief in God who gives us faith (Romans 12:3), in Jesus Christ as the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), and His Holy Spirit who keeps us in faith (2 Timothy 1: 13-14).

Faith is the pathway God has set before us, to bring us salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. Because of His great mercy and love for us, we receive faith from Him in the form of a gift. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-9)

The fact that we are justified in the sight of God by the faith which He gives us, is explained by the apostle Paul in Romans 5:1-2; “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” And in his letter to the Galatians; “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26)

Because we have been gifted with faith by God, it should be clear that we can do nothing to earn either grace or faith, that we have received them because of Christ’s finished work on the cross. Only by faith in Christ can we be made righteous (Romans 5:19; Galatians 2:16) and John wrote in his gospel; “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36). True faith in Jesus Christ involves more than just believing in His existence, it is believing that His atoning work on the cross is sufficient payment for our sin debt.

Positionally, the risen Christ Jesus is our Savior, and therefore is the object of our faith as we develop a personal relationship with Him. We are brought to faith through the work of the Holy Spirit who acts on behalf of Christ. He originates the process of faith in us by convicting us of our sins (John 16:7-10), and draws us to the Savior regenerating our unbelieving hearts. If you are truly a believer in Jesus Christ, then positionally you are in Christ, and if you are in Christ, then you have been given the gift of faith by God. You have been saved by faith.

The Bible, God’s Word, has been given to us as the instrument of our faith. It is the tool which God uses to establish, build, and strengthen our faith and within its pages we find everything which “pertains to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1-3). Paul wrote to the church at Rome; “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) The Holy Spirit uses the word of God to convict man of sin and bring them to faith in Christ (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18). In the parable of the Sower (Luke 8:5-15) Jesus compares the Word of God to a seed which germinates into faith. And the psalmist writes that the Word is a lamp and light to keep him on the path of righteousness (Psalm 119:115).

Living by faith

Three times in the New Testament (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; and Hebrews 10:38) we find this phrase from Habakkuk 2:4 quoted; “the just shall live by faith.” Habakkuk is making the point that only man who is just in the sight of God, can and will live by faith. The three New Testament passages are repeating the same thought. So who are the just? They are those who have been made righteous by the faith which God has given them in Christ Jesus, they have been justified by God through faith (Romans 1:12; Romans 3:28; Romans 5:1, 19; Galatians 2:16; Galatians 3:11, 24).

Living by faith is what Christian life is really all about, placing our complete trust in God to supply and meet our every need. Truly living by faith will take our lives out of the realm of the ordinary world into the realm of the extraordinary, supernatural world.

At one point the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith, but Jesus told His disciples that if they had faith the size of a grain of mustard seed, they could tell a sycamore tree to replant itself into the sea and it would obey, or they could tell a mountain to move from one place to another and it would (Matthew 17:20; Luke 17:5-6). The lesson wasn’t that they needed more faith, but that they needed to exercise the faith which they already had. If they would do so their faith would grow.

Living by faith moves beyond merely believing in God, to having complete trust in Him to accomplish everything He has promised in our lives. This faith is essential for the Christian life, for without it we cannot please Him and certainly won’t receive His promised rewards (Hebrews 11:6). He promised if we ask we will receive (Matthew 7:7; John 14:14), and He tells us to ask in faith believing without fear (James 1:6).

Living by faith is standing on God’s honor and integrity, and acting on His promises to us, learning to trust Him in every part of our life. Living by faith involves believing that absolutely every bit of God’s Word is truth, and that in it we find everything we need for life, knowing that God has given it to us for that reason.

Living by faith is a lifelong process of spiritual growth and sanctification, which draws us ever closer to God the Father through our relationship with Jesus Christ, empowered by His Holy Spirit. God desires each of us to be living a life of faith, to be in that process, and that can happen when we quit doubting Him and trusting in ourselves. Imagine how much might be accomplished for the cause of Christ in these last days if we would simply trust God, live by faith, and let Him live through us.

How do we accomplish this?

Read the Word! Study it! Memorize it! Pray over it! Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you understanding and teach you the precepts found within it!

Pray for wisdom! Pray for boldness to share the Word! Pray for God to show you His Will for your life! Pray for Him to give you strength to accomplish it!

Be a disciple, find someone who is living by faith and ask them to disciple you! Learn to disciple others yourself! Get involved in a local church which is teaching the Word of God and the Word of God only! Surround yourself with friends who also desire to live by faith!

Living by faith is not for the faint hearted or those weak in character, but it is for those who realize that strength and character come from God, and that living by faith, is living in complete dependence upon God. Living by faith is something that only can be accomplished with the strength and power of God in your life, surrendering your will to His Will. Living by faith is truly life in Christ, and for the Christian, it really is; “just living.”

Just living = having been justified by grace through faith in Christ Jesus!

Just living = what the normal life of a Christian is, when he is Living by Faith!

I’m Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arms,
I’m living by faith and I feel no alarm.

Yes grandpa, I was paying attention.

Our Lord’s Return ~ What Is Your Attitude? Part 4

Today we present our fourth study from Ruth Paxson’s writing on what the attitude of the believer should be toward our Lord’s return. We again present an excerpt from her book; Life on the Highest Plane, published in 1928.

Excerpt:

1 Thessalonians 1:10“And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”

1 Corinthians 1:7“So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Wait.” Let us not miss the sweetness of this precious truth by failing to apprehend the inwardness of its meaning. We have told some of the blessings that will come to the Christian through our Lord’s return, his resurrection from the dead or his translation without dying; his removal from the very presence of sin; his release from all bondage to self and to Satan; his reign with the Lord as co-heir of the Kingdom. Yes, all these and other blessings await us upon the coming of the Lord.

Yet the chiefest of all blessings will be missed if we stop here. What we wait for is not a blessing but a Person. We wait for God’s Son, our Savior; it is the Bridegroom, our Beloved, for whom we wait. He has promised to come for His own to receive them unto Himself. When He comes, we shall meet Him in the air; we shall see Him face-to-face; we shall be like Him; and we shall forever be with the Lord.

… Our Lord has gone away to prepare a place that we may be with Him forever. During His absence our hearts are comforted and cheered through His Word and we find precious companionship with Him in its study. But He promised to come back and, as we draw nearer and nearer to “the day of Christ” with hearts fixed intently upon this blessed hope, we wait for the Son Himself from heaven.

Words of Grace for Strength

For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night. – Psalm 90:4

One extremely important fact to remember when waiting upon the Lord, whether it is for an answer to a prayer, or for His Soon Return, is that the author of time views time differently from you and me. For He is outside of time, for He created time, and He controls time. Time may wait for no man, but time is answerable to our Lord, as is all Creation.

Paxson speaks of the blessing in waiting for a Person, and it is true that we await the return of our Lord and Savior more than we await the occurrence of an event. The sweetness of the wait is that in the fullness of His timing, His plans are perfect. We are waiting on His timing for His planned return; first for His Church, and a few short years later, to return to rule and reign over all the world. In doing so we get to experience that perfect moment, the one chosen by the Lord Almighty to enact that moment we so desire, that we are so anxious for.

Oh, how sweet that chiefest of blessings will be. We are so fortunate that absolutely nothing can rush that moment preordained in His plans and purposes; that moment which will be measured out in the fullness of His Will and in the fullness of His Time.

No matter how bad things are getting in this present time, we wait, secure in His sovereignty. No matter what is said or done, threatened or carried out, we wait, secure in His sovereignty. No matter what burdens are placed on us, or possessions taken away, we wait, secure in His sovereignty.

And always remember that while we wait, our Lord is not idle. A place is being prepared for each of us by Him as we wait. A place perfect to spend eternity in His presence. Who would want to rush the rapture, knowing we need wait until all is prepared for us as He has planned?

Remember also, neither should we be idle, for our Lord has called us to serve Him while we wait. His desire is for us to be evangelists and teachers and ministers and disciples who are making other disciples; living out our faith as examples of His grace in these last days. His desire is, that while we wait for His return for us, we should call the world to repentance in His Name, sharing the very fact of His grace and mercy available to all who will trust in His salvation; and of His coming judgment, which will follow His physical return to rule and reign.

We wait, for the Son to return from heaven. We wait, for our time in His time.

We wait, and blessed are we who wait for Him.

Read Part 1 here:

Read Part 2 here:

Read Part 3 here:

Read Part 5 here:

Read Part 6 here:

Read Part 7 here:

Spiritual Warfare

There has been a rash of stories in the news lately that are related to religion. Many of them show moral failure and spiritual depravity in the world. They also show that multitudes are being misled.

The Pink Cross Publishing Company announced plans to start placing their Queen James Bibles next to Gideon Bibles in hotels and motels. The Queen James Bible is a Bible for gays, and the publishing company changed eight verses to hide the fact that homosexuality is a sin.

Some of the problems with this is that the Scriptures were given by God (2 Tim. 3:16). He cannot lie (Heb. 6:18), the Bible as originally given is true (Jn. 17:17). Changing verses that some don’t like introduces errors that lead people astray and God will hold people accountable for changing His truth into a lie (Rom. 1:25).

China announced plans to create a Chinese Christian theology to guide Christian activities in the nation— to ensure that all Christian activities conform to China’s national condition and culture. A big problem with this is the fact that China is officially an atheist nation.

Those who create this Chinese Christian theology will probably be atheists and the theology they come up with will probably be politically correct. Any theology that conforms to political correctness instead of the Bible is not Christian theology. If China gets away with this, other nations will soon follow.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis held meetings with Shimon Peres, Mahmoud Abbas, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, James Robinson and others to pray for peace in the Middle East, and to discuss the unification of the world’s religions. Some reports said the Pope read from the Koran and prayed to Allah.

One report said the Pope rejected fundamentalist Christians (those who believe in a strict literal interpretation of the Bible). The problem here is that those who voluntarily pray to Allah are religious, but they are not infallible and their hearts are not right with God.

Shimon Peres had another meeting with Pope Francis and asked him to call for a United Nations of Religions to represent the major religions in the world. Mr. Peres wants this United Nations of Religions to serve as a global moral force with authority that cannot be questioned. He wants it to be able to tell the world what God wants and what God doesn’t want.

One problem with this is that God gave the Bible to the world to tell us what He wants and doesn’t want. And what Mr. Peres wants to do would set aside the Bible and pave the way for the False Prophet to head up a one-world secular religion during the Tribulation period (Rev. 13:11-18).

Vice Pres Biden recently spoke out about the beheading of two journalists and said, “As a nation, we’re united. And when people harm Americans, we don’t retreat, we don’t forget.” He added, “We take care of those who are grieving (the reporter’s families) and when that’s finished, they (ISIS) should know we will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice because hell is where they’ll reside.”

I agree, but if those in Washington don’t stop trying to divide Israel, spread homosexuality, spread humanism, support abortion, rewrite the Bible, etc., and if the church continues to be lukewarm (Rev. 3:16; 2 Chron. 7:14), America could very well wind up at the gates of hell without having to follow ISIS.

John Kerry said the book of Genesis gives America the command to save Muslim majority countries from Global Warming. But the book of Genesis does not mention America, Muslims or Global Warming. Just because someone says the Bible says something that does not mean the Bible says it.

In this case, John Kerry added to the Word of God even though God warned us not to do that (Rev. 22:18-19). Mr. Kerry is an embarrassment because he showed a lack of knowledge and disrespect for the Word of God. Man’s fall came when Adam and Eve distorted and misquoted Scripture (Gen. 3:1-5).

What people say reveals what is in their heart. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matt. 12:34). Those whose hearts are right with God will respect the Scriptures and try to speak the truth. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things (Matt. 12:35).

Anyway, as I think about these things, I don’t think the real enemy is Pink Cross Publishing, China, Pope Francis, Shimon Peres, Vice Pres. Biden or even John Kerry. The apostle Paul said, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:11). Satan is real, he is a liar and the father of lies (Jn. 8:44).

These stories are examples of Satan’s efforts to replace true Christianity with a false religion (Rev. 13:7-8). This battle over the truth and sticking to it is here and it will get much worse. The world will eventually wind up with a global false religion (Rev. 17). When that false religion’s cup of iniquity is full God will put it into the hearts of the Ten Kings to destroy it (Rev. 17:16-17).

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

Faith; Some Truths We Should Know, On Which We Can Stand!

Recently I have received questions from more than a few folks about faith and about standing for Christ in these Last Days. Considering this, it is apparent to me that there are some truths that we should know as believers and followers of Jesus Christ, which then become the basis for our ability to make a stand in faith. If we grasp these truths, understand these truths, which are taught in the Word of God, they can help us increase our faith. Everyone who has ever trusted in Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, has at some point in time in his spiritual life, experienced weakness in his faith. But, God has the power to strengthen our faith and has given us promises to cling to and instruction to follow to do so.

Hebrews 11:1 says; “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” So faith is based on substance and evidence; these are tangible things. Faith is not based on emotion because it is intangible. Romans 10:17 tells us; “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We have the tangible Word of God, which is truth, on which to base our faith.

As followers of Jesus Christ, we believe in the truth of His substitutionary death (wherein He paid our sin debt), His burial, and resurrection proving His victory over sin and death. This of course is the very foundation of our faith. Herein we find both substance and evidence. But there is more, much more which Christ has promised us, with which we may build upon our faith. Knowing this, let’s look at some more truths that we should know.

1. We have a God who cares.

Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us that we have a High Priest in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who experienced everything that we experience in this life and yet He did so without sin. It continues saying that we can come boldly to His throne to obtain mercy and grace in our time of need.
1 Peter 5:6-7 tells us that if we will humble ourselves before God, in other words submit our will to His will, and give all of our worries, cares, fears, and concerns to Him; that He will exalt, preserve, and praise us at just the right time (in His time) because He cares for us.

2. Our God will supply all our need.

• In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus Christ Himself told His disciples that they didn’t need to worry about what they would eat, drink, or wear; or about their physical well-being or their very lives because His Father in heaven knew their every need. If they would seek first His kingdom (once again be concerned with and obedient to His will) everything they need would be provided. If obedient, they would not need to worry about tomorrow, tomorrow would take care of itself.

• After the church at Philippi had been so generous to the Apostle Paul, he wrote to them; “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) Again, the promise of God’s provision.

3. We have a God who is always with us.

• The Psalmist wrote; “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)

• And in Solomon’s Proverbs we find; “A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) Of course the friend he is speaking of here is God, and more pointedly to you and I today, the person of the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of God and Christ Jesus.

• The Holy Spirit was promised to us by Jesus Christ Himself as recorded in John 14:15-18. The Holy Spirit is the helper or comforter Jesus promised to the believer only, because the world cannot receive Him or know Him. Further, Jesus says that the Holy Spirit dwells in us and because of that He (Jesus) is in us.

• And in the book of Hebrews, we find this promise of Jesus; “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.” And the passage continues with us being able to boldly say; “THE LORD IS MY HELPER; I WILL NOT FEAR. WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME?” (Hebrews 13:5-6) Do you see that? Because we have the promise of Jesus, that He is our helper, we have nothing to fear! Friends we may face persecution, and in fact as believers we have been promised that it has been granted to us to suffer for Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:29) but; no matter what man does to us, he cannot take away from us, the presence of Jesus Christ in our life, or the promise of eternal life!

This is not an all-inclusive list of truths which we should know as Christians, with which we may build our faith and be able to make a stand for Jesus Christ. These are just some more of the basics. There is one more that I’d like to share with you. To my mind it is the crescendo of the Symphony of truths promised to the follower of Christ!

4. Jesus is coming again!

• In the Gospel of John, Jesus told His disciples; “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would’ve told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)

• After His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples teaching and ministering to them for 40 days. In Acts 1:10-11, Luke describes Christ’s ascension into heaven from the Mount of Olives at the end of that 40 days, and the declaration of the Angels to the disciples who had been assembled there to hear the teaching of the risen Christ. He wrote; “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’”

• In his first letter to the church at Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul shared the promise of Christ’s return for His Church. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” This is the blessed hope of all believers, all followers of Jesus Christ, the promise of eternal life in the presence of God. But, there is more to know about His return. In this passage we’re told that the Church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, will meet Him in the air. Yet, in Acts 1 the Angels promised Jesus Christ would return just as He left.

Zechariah 14:1-4 Describes that day when Christ’s feet will once again touch down on the Mount of Olives on the “Day of the Lord.” “Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.”

• And Revelation 19:11-16 describes His return to the earth on that day in this way; “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, wherever you may be in the world today, these are the substance and evidence of truths that you can know which will strengthen your faith and your ability to stand for Jesus Christ in the perilous days ahead. I encourage you to daily put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) so that you can withstand those who may attack and persecute you in these evil days, and having done all of this in faith, to stand. Therefore Stand!

 

EvenSoCome

Our Lord’s Return ~ What Is Your Attitude? Part 3

Once again we continue our look at Ruth Paxson’s writing on what the attitude of the believer should be toward our Lord’s return. This third part in our study, again contains an excerpt from her book; Life on the Highest Plane, published in 1928.

Excerpt:

2 Peter 3:12“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”

“Look.” Who could ever be apprehensive of our Lord’s return who understands what that coming will mean to this dark, sin-cursed world? In times of exceptional calamity the hearts of ignorant ones are terrified by the thought that it is “the end of the world.” Others, equally ignorant of the great prophetic truths, charge those who hold this blessed hope with being pessimistic and with looking upon world conditions in too somber and gloomy a way. Such men shudder at the very thought of what they call the “catastrophic cataclysm” of the pre-millennial view.

But the Christian who looks expectantly for our Lords return is the only true optimist because he alone sees things both as they are and as they will be. To shut one’s eyes to the actual conditions and to deny the self-evident trend of affairs and their logical, inevitable outcome as revealed in the Word of God is not optimism but folly. The man who believes the sure word of prophecy and takes it as his compass knows that perilous times are ahead; he sees the way the world’s ship of life is taking; he sights the rocks ahead and he knows that a frightful disaster is unavoidable.

… The existing world-system has a faulty compass. The wintry drifts of enmity toward God have settled in upon it and made it wholly inaccurate. The world is steering straight for the rocks upon which it will sooner or later be wrecked.

But back of the “catastrophic cataclysm” that ends the rule of “the prince of this world” and overthrows this world-system the spiritual man sees the glorious appearing of the great God and Savior Jesus Christ to rule the world, and beyond “the dissolving of the heavens” and “the melting of the elements” he sees “the new heavens and the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.” So with almost impatient longing he “looks” for the coming of the Lord.

Words of Grace for Strength

We need look to the future with the clearness of sight that comes only from a relationship in Christ, built on our trust in Him as our only means of salvation. We cannot predict the future, we cannot time the occurrence of future events with any sense of certitude nor accuracy. But we can see clearly through the Word of God what is to transpire according to His Will, and based solely on the fulfilling of His purposes in the measure of His time.

This is not a crystal ball to peer into to discern our fates out of the depths of a fog shrouded future. This is the crystal clear vision of faith in Jesus, sharpened by obedience to His teaching and commands, strengthened by seeking His presence in our lives.

The world is blind to the things of God, which are the only things which truly matter; so blind it cannot see how lost it truly is. Adrift and rudderless in a sea of confusion and doubt, the world drifts aimlessly, unable to get a fix upon that bright Morning Star which would lead it to eternal salvation. In the darkness of its lost state, the world turns to the master of darkness, the ruler of the present world, thinking him to be the light of knowledge and truth, not realizing that this false god of darkness will one day bow and acknowledge the true Lord of Light.

Having been made to blind to see, the world mocks those of us who live in the light and try to share with them the soon coming of the Lord, so that His Spirit may draw them to Him now in salvation. For if they have not turned to Him before His return, they will be deemed unworthy and without hope, in His divine judgment.

We who know Jesus Christ as Savior, look expectantly, perhaps even anxiously, and yet we look confidently. And because of our relationship in Christ to the Father, we have confidence that our sight cannot be blinded by the light because we are of the light. No amount of ridicule, persecution or suffering can change our position in Christ, nor will it affect the truth of the Rapture, the Tribulation or His Second Coming. Look! He is coming again, and it may be very soon.

EvenSoCome

Read Part 1 here:

Read Part 2 here:

Read Part 4 here:

Read Part 5 here:

Read Part 6 here:

Read Part 7 here: