The Red Thread

“Lot was a Christian. Remember, he followed Abraham.”

That rather intriguing comment was made by the seminary professor teaching the class I am currently auditing at Dallas Theological Seminary. It was made in the context of looking at the Book of Genesis and reviewing what is disclosed in Scripture regarding people who believe the promise of Messiah, the promise first disclosed all the way back in Genesis 3:15, the people who follow the seed of the woman as opposed to the seed of the serpent. Now by the logic of the reasoning of that comment, Abraham, the father of many nations, was a Christian as well. As was probably most of the line of Seth, at least that portion of it detailed in Genesis 5 (remember that these individuals had many sons and daughters besides the men named). You would think that Adam and Eve, after the Fall and facing God, believed the promise of redemption a stated by God (although Eve might have originally believed in the promise manifesting itself in Cain, and we know that wasn’t right), making them the very first Christians under the caveat of following the logic of that opening quote.

The point being made in class was that there was a promise of Messiah that runs through almost the entirety of Scripture, and that the Bible isn’t being viewed correctly if the meaning doesn’t center on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. A kind of red thread is woven into Scripture, and it proves to be unbreakable, and it proves to be unbeatable. People following the promise of the seed of the woman of Genesis 3:15 are woven deeply into the Biblical story, and one can do worse than to call them Christians, although their faith predates the knowledge any on earth would have had of the person of Jesus Christ.

There is, of course,  the portion of Acts 11:26 that states “…And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” And that is true, believers, the body of Christ, followers of Jesus Christ were first called Christians there. As such, all believers are woven into the red thread, because we believe in the promise of Messiah, for we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior. We believe in the promise manifested in the person of Jesus. But there were many who believed God’s promise before Christ came to save us through His death, resurrection and ascension into heaven; these are woven into the red thread as well.

I called the thread unbreakable and unbeatable, just think of all that was done to try to stop fulfillment of the promise. Think of the twists and turns of the lives of those God selected to be in the line of the seed of the woman. Think of the triumphs and tragedies, think of their failings as humans but their sustenance through faith in the promise.

Think of the crucial pivot of history in the earthly ministry of Jesus, how He obeyed the Father’s will, how He accepted that will in the Garden of Gethsemane and vanquished the enemy once and for all, if even the final victory has been deferred. Think of the power and durable strength of the red thread at that moment in time. Think about what transpired after.

Remember, Jesus was mocked, lied about, beaten, spat upon, scourged, stripped naked, and in fact, Jesus Himself was abandoned by all of His disciples except John when He was nailed to the cross.”

This I quote from an earlier blog post on our site. We put our Savior through hell on earth. But even what we put Him through could not snap the red thread, tempered by the sinless and obedient nature of Christ on earth, and woven by the love and grace of God in heaven.

Nothing can break the red thread. We, as believers, as members of the body of Christ, are blessed to be called Christians. Those who believed the promise before there was a church are deeply blessed as well. I have no problem thinking of them as Christians, for they believed the promise before it was manifested in Christ’s sacrifice, and isn’t belief the bedrock to anchor one’s faith on?

The red thread began before eternity passed and flowing, runs into eternity future. And we are woven into it in Christ. So share that thread with someone today, for all need to be woven into it as we are.

True Grace for True Disciples

David Wilkerson was truly a modern-day prophet, calling people to repentance, and especially calling out the “church” for its apostasy. He was unapologetic in his criticism of the false teachers and preachers of the “Prosperity Gospel” and “Word of Faith” movement and of those who expect favor from God without submitting to His will. Our excerpt today is from his message “True Grace” from 1993.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14

According to Paul, we are not walking in grace until we have broken from worldly corruptions. Unless we are endeavoring through the power of the Holy Spirit to lead godly and righteous lives, looking for the Lord’s coming in our every waking moment, we do not know God’s grace.

Many Christians want forgiveness, but that is all. They do not want to be delivered from this present world, because they love it. They are attached to their sins, not wanting to give up the pleasures of this earth. So they cling to a doctrine that says, “I can live as I please — as long as I say that I believe.”

They do not want to hear about obedience, repentance, self-denial, picking up their cross, taking on the yoke or burden of Christ. They simply want to be excused on Judgment Day — to have all their iniquities overlooked. They expect Jesus to open up the pearly gates, put His arms around them, and lead them down a golden street to their reserved mansion, even though they have never broken from the spirit of this world!

Paul writes, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2). We are to break from this world completely and be conformed to Christ alone!

Words of Grace for Strength

Unfortunately, the “church” today is filled with “Christians” who reflect the very attitudes that David Wilkerson spoke of 20 plus years ago. More than ever before the church has adopted the ideas and appearance of the world. Rather than being separated to Christ, the church has embraced materialism, and humanism in a culture of tolerance and compromise. In today’s culture, man’s will rules supreme.

Those who call themselves “Christian” in many cases are no different from those who claim to be atheist, or agnostic. Not only have they not broken from worldly corruption and desires, they have no intention to. They speak of a god of love who will not condemn anyone to a literal Hell because of his love for man. Unfortunately, they are half right. God is a loving God, but it is they who condemn themselves to Hell because of their unrepentant disobedience to His will.

So, the problem with many who identify themselves as “Christian” today, is that they believe Jesus is the Son of God (but even the Demons believe this), and that He loves them (which He does), and that He died on a cross and rose from the grave (which He did), but they have never truly repented and turned from their sinfulness, they are still living worldly lives. Because this is the state of their belief, they believe Jesus is God, just not their God. Their gods are all of the worldly pleasures and things they will not turn away from. Ultimately then, they are their own god, which means they have completely bought into Satan’s lie. They have not placed their faith and trust in Jesus  as their Savior, faith and trust in Him alone as the means of their salvation. Their faith and trust resides elsewhere, as a result it resides nowhere of significance and eternal import.

True Christianity requires one to have experienced God’s forgiveness. Forgiveness is conditional on man accepting the gift of Grace which Jesus Christ provided and paid for by His finished work at Calvary. By accepting the free gift of Grace, man acknowledges his sinful state, the debt he owes, the need for repentance, the price which was paid, and the need to surrender his life and his will to the sovereign will of God. When one accepts the gift of Grace, he is acknowledging Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of his life, he is forgiven and becomes a follower or disciple of Christ. It is at this point that obedience, repentance, self-denial, picking up his cross, and taking on the yoke or burden of Christ becomes important in his life. This is what it means to experience True Grace, he has become a disciple of Jesus Christ. One can only do so because he has faith and trust in Christ to carry him through.

Disciples of Jesus Christ expose and reject ungodliness, they have broken away from worldliness and worthless pursuits, they do not tolerate or compromise with unrighteousness, they Study the Word of God so that they may live in obedience to God while pursuing God’s will for their lives. Disciples of Jesus Christ are indwelt by His Holy Spirit who opens the Word to them as their teacher and comforter. The Disciple of Jesus Christ desires a closer relationship with Him as he longs for and looks for His return. True Disciples of Jesus Christ have experienced forgiveness and deliverance because of True Grace. And, that is the reason for the transformation which takes place in their lives. True Disciples do not just believe in Jesus, they know Him as their Lord and Savior. True Disciples have counted the cost of walking away from the ways and values of the world, and have counted it as nothing when compared to the incomparable riches of a life with Christ, a life in Christ.

Do you know Him? Are you His disciple?

God Reveals Himself

Elijah was one of the greatest prophets to ever walk the face of this earth. He changed the culture of his day (I Kings 18:36-46). He was raptured without dying (II Kings 2:11).

God ended the Old Testament with the promise that Elijah will come back (Malachi 4:5-6). He was so great that some thought Jesus was Elijah (Matt. 16:14). And many think that Elijah is one of the Two Witnesses that will come back to prophesy, cause a drought and lash out with fire during the Tribulation Period (Revelation 11:3-12).

Ahab and Jezebel, two of the most evil people to ever live, ruled Israel during Elijah’s lifetime. They were immoral idol worshippers. They killed many of the true prophets and established false prophets, false religions and false worship in Israel. During their reign, the tide of evil was so strong they almost wiped out true worship and probably would have—if God had not intervened.

The story of God’s intervention is one of the most famous stories in the Old Testament (I Kings 18). Ahab and Jezebel’s sin, and the impact they had on Israel, was so great that God sent Elijah before them to say:

“As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (I Kings 17:1).

Elijah told that evil couple God intends to send a devastating drought on Israel and it won’t end until I announce its end.

To make a long story short, Elijah left Israel for three and one-half years (Luke 4:25; James 5:17). During his absence, severe drought, accompanied by a terrible famine gripped the nation. Ahab and Jezebel’s false gods were helpless to stop it, and before it ended the children of Israel were ready for revival. It is a fascinating story, but I want to skip to the end.

God finally sent Elijah back to Israel to face Ahab and to announce an end to the drought (I Kings 18:1-2). Following an incredible encounter with Ahab and 450 prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, Elijah built an altar, placed a sacrifice on the altar and started to pray: “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again” (I Kings 18:17-35).

“Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God” (I Kings 18:38-39).

God answered Elijah’s prayer. Fire fell from heaven, consumed the stones of the altar—including everything on and around them, and this great miracle left no doubt in the minds of the people that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel is God. Then a little cloud formed, it grew and the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain (I Kings 18:41-45). The drought was over (see II Chronicles 7:13-14).

Let’s fast forward to the battle of Gog and Magog (Ezek. 38-39). There will be another mountain top revelation when God pulls Russia, Iran and others onto the mountains of Israel in the latter days and latter years (Ezekiel 38:1-6; 8, 16). At that time, it is clear that none of these nations, including the nation of Israel, will know that Israel’s God is God (Ezekiel 38:23; 39:7).

But God will send an overflowing rain, great hailstones, fire and brimstone on Israel’s enemies. Five sixths of them will be destroyed (Ezekiel 38:23; 39:1-2). Then many nations, including Israel, will know that Israel’s God is God (Ezekiel 38:23; 39:7).

This is God’s creation, He is Israel’s God, and He intends for the nations, including Israel to know this. He used fire from heaven in the past to reveal Himself (Genesis 19:24; Leviticus 10:2; II Chronicles 7:1; I Kings 18:38). And He will use fire from heaven (and more) in the future to reveal Himself to Israel and multitudes of unbelievers.

If the battle of Gog and Magog is close, God’s revelation of Himself is close.

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