The Night Is Far Spent

It has been nearly 2000 years since the risen Christ (Messiah), Jesus of Nazareth, the very Son of God, ascended into heaven and was seated at God’s right hand. During His relatively short life on earth, the self-described Son of Man accomplished everything His heavenly Father had tasked Him to do. Most specifically, His death on Calvary paid the sin debt of all mankind (Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23), both past and future. And His subsequent burial and resurrection proved Him victorious over sin and death enabling all who confess and believe on Him (Romans 10:9-13) to be saved from the penalty of that sin debt.

The ascension of Jesus Christ ushered in the Age of Grace or the Church Age, which began at Pentecost when the promised Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ descended on the disciples, indwelling them (Acts 2). During this Age of Grace, through the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ has been calling out (1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 3:1) from among Jews and Gentiles alike, His church; (Matthew 16:18), “thou art Peter [pétros; a small stone = Peter] and upon this rock [pétra; a mass of rock = Jesus Christ] I will build My [Jesus Christ] church.”

Jesus is the Rock the church is built on, not Peter, which is also the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:15-23; Colossians 1:13-18) redeemed to serve Him (Titus 2:14). This Age of Grace will culminate when Jesus Christ raptures His church (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17) to join Him before the throne of God in preparation for His eternal reign.

During this nearly 2000 years the church of Jesus Christ has grown despite the ever-present darkness and attacks from Satan and his demonic forces (Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Peter 5:8). But unfortunately, right alongside the true church of Jesus Christ we have witnessed the growth of a false church (2 Peter 2:1-2), a counterfeit church which has a form of godliness, religious in nature, yet its false prophets and false teachers lack the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit. They are actually doing the work of Satan (Matthew 24:11) by giving those in their congregations a false representation of salvation leaving many to believe they are “Christians” who actually have no relationship with the risen Christ.

Today, we as the true church need to heed the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 13:11-14:

“And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”

Unfortunately complacency in the true church has in many cases caused it to become as ineffectual as the counterfeit church. Many followers of Christ have grown contented with their present life, and while they believe that Jesus will return someday, they are no more looking for His return than those in the false church. Paul is telling us to wake up and wake up we should. If the imminence of Christ’s return was real to the church of Jesus Christ in Paul’s day, we need to understand that almost 2000 years later our salvation is in fact “nearer than when we first believed.” Throughout the entire Church Age the church of Jesus Christ has grown, yet too has the darkness of the demonic influence of the prince of the power of the air. Only the spiritually ignorant would in any way claim that the condition of the world is less sinful today than in the first century. In fact, man’s moral and spiritual depravity has grown exponentially between the time of the ascension of Jesus Christ and today.

However, a simple examination of the growing fulfillment of biblical end-times prophecies and the birth pangs described by our Lord in Matthew 24, should cause the follower of Jesus Christ to see, that indeed, “the night is far spent,” and “the day is at hand.” The night in which we have long been enveloped by the reign of Satan’s darkness on this earth has nearly run its course, and will soon give way for the Christian to the dawning of the day in which Christ Jesus will return in the clouds of glory to call His church to meet Him in the air. Because of this, Paul encourages us to put on the armor of light.

Notice Paul did not tell us to put on white robes of righteousness (which we will receive from Christ in glory), but armor. The armor of God, which is the armor of light, is the holy protective cover for the warrior of Christ. We are not yet to be dressed for eternity but rather for conflict. Our armor and armament are described in Ephesians 6:10-18 and are given to us in this present age so that we might be able to stand for righteousness against darkness and the demonic rulers of this present age.

If we belong to the day we must be equipped for the fight because there is always fighting to be done. The armor shows the character traits of the true Christian which are in fact a reflection of the character of Jesus Christ. Therefore when we put on the armor of God, which is the armor of light, we in truth are doing as Paul encouraged in Romans 3:14 and have “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ means that we become a reflection of Him in word and deed, desiring to have the mind of Christ, following His example of life. Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ means that in obedience we are willing to be conformed to His will for our lives, submitting ourselves to that will.

Putting on the Lord Jesus Christ requires continual effort, a daily dying to self, so that He can make of us warriors worthy of the cross. If we so put on Christ, not only will we be protected from the works of darkness, not making “provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts,” we will also be equipped to stand for Jesus Christ as He defeats the rulers of darkness in this age.

Make no mistake, the true church of Jesus Christ, the Body of Believers (Jew and Gentile) which make up His remnant church of the last days, are and will be under attack by Satan as he utilizes every weapon in his arsenal, including the apostate false “Christian” church. Until Christ raptures His church, we can only expect the battle for the souls of men to intensify and grow in graphic devastation.

In anticipation of the blessed “dawning of that day,” we as followers of Christ should be excited that we have been given the opportunity to stand with our Lord and Savior by putting on the whole armor of God which He has provided for us. For when that day has fully dawned we will be allowed to set aside the armor for the pure white robe with which Christ will clothe us. For in that day we will have been deemed to be “more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37) and standing before the Bema will hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand.”

Even So Come.

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 personal suffering faced as evidence of God’s glory upon a life well lived for the Lord, it is not outside of personal obedience to pray for relief from suffering which other Christians experience. A true Christian soldier will neither run from the fight the Lord has placed before them nor avoid supporting other Christians in battle. 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