The Coming Birth of the Righteous King

As we are in the season in which we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, I find it is always good to focus daily on the meaning of this season of time. In an age where  holding to a Christian worldview is under increasing attack, in a time where leaving Christ in Christmas is being treated almost as if it is a sin against humanity (I find the world to be not only a sinful, dark and fallen place, but an ironic one at that), thoughtful people need make an almost concerted effort to meditate on Jesus and what this birth 2000 years ago means to our eternal destiny. We can read the Gospel accounts of His birth, and I am sure many a great sermon will focus on these birth accounts over the next few weeks.  But I would like to turn elsewhere for reflection today, I would turn us toward the Book of Psalms.

The birth of Christ has such potent meaning for us because of the death of Christ upon the Cross. His birth, if that was all that had passed in His life would not have the meaning it does without the salvation bought with His blood upon the Cross. I think it is the Cross that offends, and by association with the Cross at the other end of His earthly life, that the birth of Christ tends to offend many as well. That birth and that death will come full circle within earthly history upon His return. The work of Christ is finished on the Cross, but we will not see the fulfillment of His work until His Millennial Reign.

It is this fulfillment that gives His birth such meaning, it is this fulfillment that gives us the hope of the season. For without the birth of Christ leading to His sacrifice, the appearance of the righteous King would fill all with horror. But because of the events that started with His birth, we who have trusted in Christ will be filled with joy.

He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, And will break in pieces the oppressor. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth. – Psalm 72:4; 8

As our righteous King, He will install a reign of justice for all in His kingdom. There will be no oppression, no one will want of anything ever again. It will be a reign from sea to sea, no one but the righteous King anointed by God has the right or the ability to rule the world. Beware of anyone else who attempts to do so by force or flattery.

His name shall endure forever; His name shall continue as long as the sun. And men shall be blessed in Him; All nations shall call Him blessed. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, Who only does wondrous things! And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen. – Psalm 72:17-19

The righteous King will be blessed in His reign, and that blessing will last forever as will His reign. All are invited to share in that blessing for eternity. It takes submission to the King and obedience to His will by trusting in Him alone for salvation and accepting His gift. Why is it that so many are more willing to struggle to grasp that which is fleeting and rage against that which is freely given? Why does pride so blind so many that they would perish in their defiance and not humble themselves before the true King? A King who humbled Himself, first as a helpless child, then as a willing sacrifice, all for a people (all of us) who deserved none of what He did and offered.

For the most part the world cannot do what He should not have had to. And the celebration of His birth every year seems to be a painful reminder to many when it should be a joyful remembrance to all instead. Christmas is a time of reflection, but not only of the birth of Jesus, but His life on earth, His death on the Cross and of His Second Coming in power and glory to rule, reign and restore all things anew.

We Will Have a King Over Us And It Must be Jesus

Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man. – Genesis 9:6

In this instance in the Bible we first see the concept of government as the protection and defense of the individual. Given what humanity had become by our disobedience, God saw the need for humanity to have government as protection of the individual. The sacred nature of life made in His image  coupled with the sinful nature of man made it necessary.

You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. – Leviticus 19:15

Clearly, God desired a just and fair governmental structure. Impartiality is a bedrock premise to the proper functioning of governing and judging in a way that pleases God.

So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.” Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of the Lord. So the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.” And Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Every man go to his city.” – 1 Samuel 8:10-22

The nation of Israel was to be the one people which would be governed on this earth by the Lord, yet they sought what others had, and chose not the better way as a result. For what could be better than a nation governed by God (far superior to even a nation under God).

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. – Romans 13:1-7

Paul, in the book of Romans, lays out the Christian obligation to obey the governing authorities, as leaders are put in place by the will of God. This is sometimes hard for the Christian to understand and accept when under what appears to be bad or evil leadership. While Paul assumes the governance by righteous authorities, he makes no provision in Romans 13 for instances where government is less than the biblical ideal in his epistle.

So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:18-20

Peter and John display what is a clear reason to disobey governing authorities, a rejection or repudiation of our Lord Jesus Christ. They were willing to risk their lives for the Gospel (and indeed, all the apostles except John died a martyr’s death; and many disciples of Christ have died as such since and continue to do so to this day). It could come to a point when one need choose the condemnation of man or the abandonment of faith. The apostles chose the better way of eternal over earthly life and reward.

We hold from God the gift which includes all others. This gift is life-physical,intellectual, and moral life. But life cannot maintain itself alone. The creator of life has entrusted us with the responsibility of preserving, developing, and perfecting it. In order that we may accomplish this, He has provided us with a collection of marvelous faculties. And He has put us in the midst of a variety of natural resources…Life, faculties, production-in other words, individuality, liberty, property-this is man…What then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. Each of us has a natural right-from God-to defend his person, his liberty, and his property… If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense…God has given to men all that is necessary for them to accomplish their destinies. He has provided a social form as well as a human form. And these social organs of persons are so constituted that they will develop themselves harmoniously in the clean air of liberty…May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.  (Excerpted from The Law: The Classic Blueprint For a Just Society – Frederic Bastiat, 1850)

Bastiat in his treatise states that law should do no more than protect individuality, property and liberty, and nothing more. For more than that is a violation of rights established by God. Bastiat sees the harmonious workings of liberty as providing more than any system of rules and regulations can ever do, for they will eventually favor the few or the one over the totality, and as such, destroy liberty through improper use of law.

This was a long way to go to get to the heart of the matter. While a well balanced government, righteous in actions and placing individual liberty and property above all else may be what is divinely inspired, man on his own is incapable of that over the long run. Personal desires or greed, the sinful pull of personal wealth and power will eventually erode the most well-intentioned forms of human self-government. I believe this is the erosion we are seeing in our country at an ever accelerating pace today, but it has been building for some time. And this is no surprise given the sinful nature of man.

As Christians, we should participate in the process of electing leaders, seeking out and supporting those with a biblical worldview, with a platform that mirrors our beliefs. But as Christians, we need realize that we are only trying to hold the line, delay the continuing slide of this country, the inevitable slide towards end time events. We should be seeking to reach the lost, and be doing so by trying to elect Christian leaders. But we need recognize a key fact; we need Christ in our lives and over our lives.

We are lost without Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are incapable of true, biblical governance without Him to head it up, and this will not happen until His Second Coming and the establishment of the Millennial Reign. Jesus must return or the plans, the purposes and the very will of God for humanity cannot be fulfilled. For left to our own devices, we would have ourselves a king (or an individual or small group would force one upon us), and one which cannot, by the definition of our sin nature, be good for any great length of time (length as the Lord would count it). In Him alone can the fulfillment be.

Jesus is coming soon!

EvenSoCome.

This Generation

The disciples asked Jesus, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age” (Matthew 24:3)?

After several comments, Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34).

Controversy surrounds what He said. Some say “this generation” means the generation that was alive when Jesus was speaking. Most who believe this way spiritualize the Bible. They say Jesus came back about 2,000 years ago and that His return was a spiritual return. Others say “this generation” means the generation that sees “all these things” that Jesus had just mentioned in Matthew chapter 24. Most who believe this way take the Bible literally. And they say the return of Jesus is still future. It seems more likely that this second group is right.

For one thing, Jesus talked about “the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the Holy place” (Matthew 24:15). That didn’t happen in the generation Jesus was speaking to. But it will happen in the future when the Antichrist defiles the rebuilt Temple 3½ years after a seven-year covenant for peace in the Middle East. There’s no evidence of a seven-year covenant for peace in the Middle East when Jesus said these things.

For another thing, Jesus talked about “great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world, no nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). It’s a stretch to say that 70 A.D. was worse than the Flood, worse than WWI, worse than WW II, worse than the Holocaust, or worse than anything that will happen in the future.

For another thing, Jesus said, “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved” (Matthew 24:21). No one came close to destroying the Roman Empire or everyone on earth in 70 A.D. There’s no evidence that Jesus came back and prevented anything like this from happening.

For another thing, Jesus said, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:29-31). There’s no evidence of a darkened sun and moon, falling stars, everyone seeing Jesus, everyone on earth mourning, trumpets sounding, and all the elect being gathered together in 70 A.D.

Finally, Jesus told the parable of the fig tree (Matthew 24:32). Many commentators believe the fig tree represents Israel. Many believe that Jesus was saying when you see Israel back in the land know that the Second Coming is near. Israel had to be destroyed before she could come back into being.

How Long is “This Generation”
The Bible is vague and speculation abounds on this. After many years of saying we don’t know how long a generation is, this ministry has turned to saying, “We believe the terminal generation started in 1948 and it is our opinion that it will last 70 to 80 years.”

The major reason for this change is that we have a better understanding of Psalm 90. It is the first of eleven Psalms that were written by Moses. Many believe it’s the oldest Psalm in the Bible. It begins with a comment about all generations. Moses said, “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations” (Psalm 90:1). It talks about God forming or creating the earth (Psalm 90:2). It says, “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night” (Psalm 90:4). Peter said it this way, “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (II Peter 3:8). Psalm 90 makes a reference to the Flood and the brevity of life (Psalm 90:4-8). It turns to a discussion of our days and years (Psalm 90:9). Then, Moses said, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10). We will come back to this, but for the time being let’s stick to the remainder of the Psalm. It mentions the anger and wrath of God which could be a reference to the Tribulation Period (Zephaniah 1:14-15; Revelation 6:16-17). It asks God to teach us to number our days that we may use our precious days wisely (Psalm 90:12). It calls upon the Lord to return which could be a reference to the Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation Period and asks how long it will be (Psalm 90:13). Then, it closes with four verses that can well be applied to the Millennium (Psalm 90:14-17).

Now, let’s go back to verse 10 which reads, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten (70 years); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years (80 years), yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” We are not predicting a date, but assuming that the terminal generation started in 1948, and it will be 70 to 80 years long, it appears that God will fulfill everything including the Rapture, Tribulation Period and Second Coming, in 70 or perhaps up to 80 years (by 2018, but He may delay up to 2028). If one subtracts seven years (from 2018 or up to 2028) for the Tribulation Period, and an unspecified amount of time for the period between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation Period, it’s obvious that the Rapture could happen any time.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck

Editors Note: While we at EvenSoCome and Rafter Cross Ministries agree with the teaching on the length of a Biblical “generation” we are not necessarily in agreement with Daymond’s assumption that 1948 began the “terminal generation” of time. No one except God the Father knows the time the Rapture will take place, therefore we refrain from “date setting.”  Nonetheless, the teaching of the imminence of the Rapture is true, and we as the Church should be looking for Christ’s return.

America You’re Too Young to Die!

In the 1970’s a ministry was born under the leadership of Del Fehsenfeld Jr. whose message is to call God’s people to repentance, restoration, and revival; especially here in the USA. From 1980 to 2000 the primary program of the ministry was entitled “America You’re Too Young to Die” and was a call for spiritual renewal and revival in the church and its people to ensure God’s continued blessing on the church and the United States of America. The ministry continues today under the able direction of Byron Paulus who was named national director, after the Lord called Del home in 1989. In the late 1970’s I was a member of the “Action Ranch” staff which at that time was the youth camp ministry of Life Action. While I was not a member of the revival “Teams” or even the counseling staff of the camp (I was the resident “Real Cowboy” overseeing the trail ride horses and barns), I did experience firsthand the powerful message being delivered to churches and individuals alike. The revival message which called for the real and essential need to return to a true biblical understanding of what a relationship with Jesus Christ is, and that a failure to do so would in fact doom America as a nation to an ungodly future.

There are three things which I gained during my short time with Life Action which remain with me today. First, Del Fehsenfeld taught me how to pray. During a road trip, as I drove him from headquarters to meet one of the teams for a revival, he asked me to pray with him for the revival. I learned from his example on that trip, that prayer is part adoration, part thanksgiving, and part supplication; all accomplished in a conversational manner which can be done anywhere anytime. The second thing I learned from Del (though it would be years before I fully embraced it) is a passion for the calling of God in your life. He literally lived every day filled with passion for God’s people to be revived and have a restored, living, obedient, fruitful relationship with Jesus Christ. And the third thing I learned from Del, may have been wholly unintentional on his part, but fully intentional by the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ. During another road trip Del explained how God in His sovereignty blesses nations or destroys nations depending on their obedience to Him (he used Nineveh in the Old Testament as example). This of course was in reference to the United States and whether it would continue under God’s blessing. My take away from this conversation was that God in His sovereignty has always had a plan, and that plan has been laid out in His Prophetic Word.

My passion is Bible Prophecy. Understanding the Prophetic Word of God, and then to the very best of my ability, in subjection to the Holy Spirit, teaching that Word so that others in the Body of Christ can understand it as well, and then act on it in their lives. As much as 30% of the Bible is Prophetic in nature, yet most mainstream churches seldom teach prophecy, and the majority of pastors in the pulpits of these churches could not begin to explain the significance of the book of Daniel to the Revelation of Jesus Christ as recorded by John. Even worse, their poor theological training or willful ignorance of a literal translation of Scripture, causes, even enables, them to disseminate un-biblical teaching, such as ascribing the promises to the nation of Israel falsely to the church. It is a fact that seminaries have turned from a literal translation of Scripture, and embraced un-biblical liberal theologies that are rife with secular humanism, humanistic psychology and pluralism. Of the literally hundreds of so-called evangelical seminaries, it would be far easier to name the few who remain true to Scripture than to name the vast number of those whose liberalism relegates them to a place of opposition to the teachings of Christ and His Apostles.

We are as a nation, plagued with a form of Christianity which has a “form of godliness” but is “denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). Recently at his Bible conference, Dr. David Reagan shared the results of a Barna research study which said that 85% of Americans consider themselves Christian, and approximately 40% as evangelical Christian; but when asked a series of questions as to whether they were “born again,” or believed Jesus was the Son of God, or that the Bible was God’s inerrant Word, only 9% could affirm a true Biblical Christianity.

My passion for Prophecy brings us back to the plea, “America You’re Too Young to Die!” which was the revival message of Del Fehsenfeld. Unfortunately, in the 40+ years since his call to revival began, America has continued its moral and Spiritual decline into ungodliness. Understand, it is not for lack of dedication on the part of Life Action or the many other ministries (such as our own) who continue “rightly dividing” (2 Timothy 2:15) the Word, and calling for revival, but it is actually rooted in the Prophetic Truth of God’s Word. I believe the United States of America, like many other nations before it, as well as other nations extent, is under God’s judgment. As a nation we have turned from the very things which brought God’s blessings on us, and embraced those things which bring about our own condemnation by Him. Many have twisted and turned and tried to find in God’s prophetic Word, the United States in End Time Prophecy. It isn’t there. That doesn’t mean that the continent is gone, or that the country is gone, or that society is gone, or that there are no people there, but what it does mean is that it has no relevance in the world of the End times.

America isn’t too young to die, but there yet remains millions within her borders who need not face an eternal death. Spiritual revival is still possible in America and in the world. In order for that revival to take place the 9% who have a True Faith in Jesus Christ must be willing to pray for personal revival in their own lives, keeping their sins confessed before God. The 9% must be willing to make a spiritual stand for Jesus Christ. The 9% must find a true passion in their lives for studying the Word of God and applying it to their lives. The 9% needs to understand and affirm that Scriptures which speak to Israel are for Israel, and those which speak to the Church are for the Church. The 9% must develop a distinct prayer life which involves adoration and thanksgiving before supplication; which is both continual and effectual. The 9% must embrace the need to understand, teach, and defend the prophetic Word of God because of the times in which we live. The 9% needs to be actively sharing the importance of biblical prophecy with their children and grandchildren. It is quite probable in my mind that those who are described as being a part of the millennial generation today, or “millennial’s,” who do not come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ may in fact experience the Tribulation and could survive to see Jesus Christ return in power and great glory to establish His Millennial Kingdom. How tragic that would be, to survive in unbelief only to be destroyed at His return.

Pray for revival, pray for it to start within your own life, to start within your family, within your local church, within your community, within the United States of America. Pray for revival because the Rapture of the Church is imminent, the time of Tribulation and the Day of the Lord are near, pray for revival because;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome