In Christ There Is No Wrath

Our Excerpt today is from a paper authored by Dr. Mal Couch which was presented to the Pre-Trib Research Study Group at its annual conference a few years ago. The paper is titled: “Major Rapture Terms and Passages” and is focused on the major New Testament terms and passages that support the Pre-Tribulational Rapture of the Church. For our purposes today we wish to focus on one passage from this work which emphasizes the fact that the Church, which is the Bride of Christ, will not experience the Wrath of the Tribulation because of the Rapture.

Our excerpt begins:

The rapture has to do with the dispensation of the church or those “in Christ.” The church age is a unique period with special promises. Those with Him now by faith will not face the coming wrath (1 Thess. 5:9). There was nothing like the rapture for Old Testament saints, and there will be nothing similar for Tribulation believers.

Most of the rapture passages mention the believer’s relationship to Jesus. Paul speaks of “our Lord Jesus at His coming” (1 Thess. 2:19) and of the dead as those “who have fallen asleep in Jesus” (4:14), who are now called “the dead in Christ” and who will rise first (4:17). The reason for the rapture, Paul says, is so we might escape the coming wrath and obtain salvation “through our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:9). Awake or asleep we will live together “with Him” (5:10). The apostle continues to punctuate this relationship with our Redeemer when he reminds the confused Thessalonians of this “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him” (2 Thess. 2:1).

In Paul’s great resurrection and rapture section, 1 Corinthians 15:12-28, both events are tightly tied to our spiritual position in Christ. “In Christ all shall be made alive,” he says (15:21). Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection and then those who are Christ’s “at His coming” (15:23). And following the apostle’s great description of our “change” at the rapture and the resurrection of the dead, he concludes with this triumphant statement, “thanks be to God, who gives us the victory because of our Lord Jesus Christ” (15:57). In Titus, Paul calls the Lord “our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2:13). He “gave Himself for us,” and thus redeems and purifies “a people for His own possession” (2:14).

These statements are important because they reveal the unique position the church now has with its Savior that spares it from the coming wrath.

Words of Grace for Strength

Today the subject of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture of the church has come under fire from many directions. There are now those who deny the Rapture altogether, those who support a Post-Trib Rapture, a Mid-Trib Rapture, and the latest variation is a teaching suggesting a Pre-Wrath Rapture in which the church will endure Satan’s wrath but not the Wrath of God.

We agree that the purpose for the Rapture is to keep the Church from the Wrath of God. Paul tells us this very thing in 1 Thessalonians 5:9; “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,” however a distinction between the wrath of Satan and the Wrath of God during the Tribulation is tenuous at best. A true understanding of the Tribulation period places every event of that time in the context of God’s purposes and God’s Wrath. Satan has no power except that granted by God. Therefore, any wrath meted out by Satan is in fact God’s as He accomplishes His purposes during the Tribulation.

What is God’s purpose for the time of Tribulation as He inflicts His Wrath upon the world? We believe there are four things He intends to accomplish.

First, Satan will be given every opportunity, during the Tribulation, to make his rebellion succeed only to fail. Revelation 19 describes the defeat of Satan’s army and the destruction of the Beast (Antichrist) and his false prophet, and chapter 20 describes Satan being bound and cast into the pit. Thus, God will use Satan to accomplish His own purposes. The depravity  and sin nature of man will be seen through these last rebellious events, leaving no doubt that without the redemptive blessings through Christ, all would be lost for no man resists sin without salvation through Jesus.

The second purpose of God during the Tribulation is to bring Israel into a position of obedience and redemption. The scriptures teach us that God will use this time to bring His chosen people to Faith in Jesus as their Messiah. God will use Satan, the Beast (Antichrist) and the wicked gentile nations to persecute and punish Israel for her unfaithfulness to God. Zechariah prophesied that during this time two-thirds of Israel will be destroyed; ‘“And it shall come to pass in all the land,” Says the LORD, “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,”’ (Zechariah 13:8) but one-third will declare; “The Lord is my God” (Zechariah 13:9). With this having been accomplished the prophecy will be fulfilled; ‘“And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “THE DELIVERER WILL COME OUT OF ZION, AND HE WILL TURN AWAY UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB; FOR THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.” (Romans 11:26&27) Notice when Paul says “all Israel will be saved” he is speaking of the believing remnant of one-third because the Scripture in Zechariah 3:8 has already acknowledged the two-thirds which are cut off and die. Israel, coming to terms with Jesus as Messiah, and as a result, coming to Messiah, brings the covenantal promises of God to the nation of Israel to their ultimate fulfillment.

The third purpose we see God accomplishing during the Tribulation is to punish the world and the gentile nations for their sins against God and His chosen people Israel. (Deuteronomy 30:7; Isaiah 13:9; Isaiah 24:19&20) This purpose is retribution for the unrepentant during this time, and has nothing to do with the Church. And we of the Church need to see our blessed position in Christ and give praise that we are kept from enduring this purpose of God in these end times events.

The fourth purpose of God during this time is to evangelize the world. This is prophesied by Jesus Himself in Matthew 24:14; “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” We see the fulfillment of this in Revelation 7:1-17 through the preaching of the 144,000 Jews, the Two Witnesses and Angels. We see occurring during these most terrible of times the very thing we ourselves are now commanded to do, during our daily times in our daily lives.

So, in conclusion, we do not find evidence of the Church in any of these events during the Tribulation. Let us give one last common sense example. Since the Church is the bride of Christ, does it not make sense that Christ would protect His Bride from God’s Wrath? Realistically, what groom would beat his prospective bride before their wedding? It is our hope that this common sense evidence borne out by the Scripture should be enough to put this subject to rest. The Rapture is Pre-Tribulational… and imminent. Jesus is coming soon!

EvenSoCome

Is 2015 Just Another Year of Such A Man?

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” – Genesis 1:26-28

It is clear from the very first chapter of the Genesis what God intended for us. We were created, man and woman, in His image; we were to have dominion over His creation and rule it as He ordained it and ordered it. And in Adam and Eve, that is what we did, if even for the briefest time. Then we began, as the human race, to have a long-standing and oft-times all-consuming love/hate relationship with…sin. Starting in Genesis 3 we see the effects, the impacts and the consequences of our sin nature and decisions. Sin became a wave that has rolled through the ages, through the generations; sin is something that even we who have been born again must struggle with and deal with. And so shall all do until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ restores the world into a right relationship with God. Many lives will be lost, ruined by sin; many tears shed in agony and sorrow as we go forth until that blessed day arrives. Yes, we who are of His Church will be raptured out before the most horrible of time of the seven-year tribulation, but there is no promise of avoidance of persecution, of painful testing of faith, of possible death for just believing in the Lord Jesus Christ or having the temerity to proclaim His Name with our lips. Our Savior suffered to save us; we may well suffer before we see Him. Mankind boldly and with pride continually claims dominion over the world, and people try to claim it over each other in a continuing struggle that will culminate in the antichrist making the claim to be a god himself.

Why would we think that in our gross disobedience we have any right to exercise our claims of dominion as granted to humanity through Adam in Genesis 1?

Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility. – Proverbs 18:12

Pride, pure and simple, is our motivator, our driving force and always proves to be our ultimate downfall. Humanity revels in the self-deluding notion of being self-made. We take pride in our accomplishments, shake our fists at and openly defy a God who would rightly (and lovingly, but harshly if needed) teach us otherwise. A God who would graciously accept us into His family if we would but repent and give ourselves through faith and trust in Christ Jesus. But for the most part (and this has been true throughout the history of humanity) we choose not to accept His free gift offering but continue to build by the sweat of our brow (and the pride of our hearts) that which will never stand up and pass through His consuming fire. What are we to do with such people?

Sever yourselves from such a man, Whose breath is in his nostrils; For of what account is he? – Isaiah 2:22

We are to be in this world but not of it, we are to proclaim Christ to the ears of the world that are itching to be tickled with false teaching. We are to do it no matter what, and not grow discouraged. But we need make sure we sever ourselves from “such a man” as noted is the passage of Isaiah 2 that lives within each of us by our sin nature. For we would be no better than the world if not for trust in Christ and the indwelling Spirit that is the result. It is His Spirit that prompts and convicts us when “such a man” rears his ugly head within; it is His Spirit that prompts and emboldens us to speak the Gospel to non believers or rebuke our brothers and sisters in Christ when “such a man” rears up in others. Where is the hope as we struggle through this daily battle, which at times exhausts and discourages even the most faithful among us?

Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5

Meekness, a strength under control and discipline. Humility, an attitude that we do not accept that we are less than we are, but that we accept exactly who we are, and who we would be without Christ in our lives. Meekness and humility, lived out in a life of faith and trust in Jesus Christ, will see us though any ordeal as purposed in God’s will and bring us to the point where we will one day co-rule and co-reign through Christ in His Millennial Kingdom.

He who will make all things new has made us a new creation in Christ. 2015 may be another year of “such a man” in Isaiah 2, but it might be the year Jesus calls His True Church home. We may live in that first type of year, but should live as if the second type is coming to pass.

We should live as “such a man” as the Lord would have us, not the world. And we should do so today because…

Jesus is coming soon!

EvenSoCome

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.

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

Don’t Blame God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jude’s Warning, the Corruption of “Christian”

This morning as I reread the book of Jude, I was once again reminded that not only are we living in the Last Days, we’re living in days of incredible deception within the “church” especially as it relates to those who call themselves “Christian.” In a recent article I mentioned a Barna research study which stated that 85% of people in America identified themselves as “Christian.” However when asked a series of questions about what they believed to be True or Truth regarding the Deity of Christ, the inerrancy of Scripture, or the Biblical truth that through the completed work of Jesus Christ at Calvary lies the only pathway to eternal life, only 9% could affirm a true Biblical Christianity. Understanding this, it is quite apparent to me that in the world today, the majority of “Christians” aren’t and the “church” they may or may not attend isn’t. This comes as no surprise because even from the time of the inception of the Church, Jude warned of this very condition.

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 1:3-4 

Jude’s warning here is that certain men have crept in unnoticed and corrupted the “church.” Who are these men? Unfortunately they are men (and women) who purport themselves to be ministers of the gospel. They hold positions of leadership in churches, denominations, and seminaries with titles such as “bishop,” “apostle,” “pastor,” “evangelist,” “doctor,” or simply “minister.” Nevertheless, the one thing they all have in common is that they have corrupted the Truth of Scripture and have invented a liberal theology and a liberal “Christ” denying His authority, deity, dominion, and power.

These false teachers and preachers who have “crept in unnoticed” are no more than self-serving charlatans who use the name of Jesus for self-glorification, and to line their own pockets with what the Scripture calls filthy lucre, by promoting their own agendas and encouraging their faithful to give sacrificially to build their “church.” This is what Jude meant in verse 4 when he said they “turn the grace of God into lewdness.” The “church” of these false prophets and false teachers has no resemblance to the Church in Acts 2:42-47, and they seem only to exist for the purpose of “doing church.” Emotion has replaced Doctrine, Function has replaced Fellowship, Programs have replaced Discipleship, and sadly what passes for Prayer these days sounds more like a “give me” list to God rather than adoration, thanksgiving, and supplication. No longer do they point people to the Cross of Christ where His blood was shed for the remission of sins, but instead teach a false Christ whose inclusive love places no emphasis on their need for repentance. The Cross of Christ has become an ornament to wear rather than a symbol of the pain, suffering, and death which accomplished our Salvation. Again, Jude describes this in verse 4; they “deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Most “churches” today celebrate the humanity of men, pointing to the man (or woman) who leads them, rather than recognizing the sovereignty of God. “Christians” are no longer Christ’s ones as they were so designated in Antioch because of their desire to be like Christ, but instead today the name seems to apply to just about everyone. The name “Christian” has been opened up to so much deception that it is absolutely astounding to me. Many consider themselves “Christian” because America is supposedly a “Christian” nation, there are a plethora of cults that call themselves “Christians” and the majority of institutional and denominational “churches” as well as “Emergent” and “Mega-Churches” are dead or corrupt in their religiosity while still calling themselves “Christians,” yet they do not truly follow Christ!

In the little book of Jude, verses 5-15, God’s attitude toward these apostates who call themselves “Christians” or the “church” today is described. Their sin is defined in verse 8; because they “defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.” And in verse 10; they “speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.” Verse 11 summarizes their sin in examples from the Old Testament with a stinging indictment; “Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” Very simply stated, the way of Cain is the rejection of a blood sacrifice, in other words, they reject the blood of Christ in favor of self-improvement. The error of Balaam is the desire to attain personal wealth by making a business or profit out of the service of God. And those who perished in the rebellion of Korah did so because they rebelled against the leadership of the Lord. Verses 14-16 tell us that God will enact judgment on these false prophets, teachers, and preachers.

Friends, verses 17-23 of this wonderful little book tell us what the believer’s role is in the midst of all of this End Time apostasy. Jude instructs us to be; “building yourselves up on your most holy faith” we do this through being people of the book, studying and obeying the Word of God. He then instructs us to be “praying in the Holy Spirit” which means to be guided by the Spirit in our prayers seeking the Will of God for our lives, And then we are to; “keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” and we do this by living lives of holiness and godliness before Him as we look for and anticipate the imminent return of Jesus Christ for His True Church, those of us who really are “Christ ones” True Christians.

In the darkness of these Last Days where Satan, the ruler of this world, has taken control of so much, having invaded the “church” and its leadership, we True followers of Christ must heed the warning of the Apostle Paul and “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-18). We must Watch, Stand Fast, and be Strong (1 Corinthians 16:13) until we see Christ. It is our responsibility to be light in this world of darkness (Ephesians 5:8), and we must Watch and Pray (1 Peter 4:7), because;

Jesus is coming soon!

EvenSoCome

Why I Know There Is A God

Wherefore remember, that ye being In time past Gentiles In the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which Is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world,. But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (Eph. 2.11-13)

We ordinarily use the word “hope” in a very careless way. God always uses it with the greatest of care. No matter how strong, desire is not hope. Mere expectation is not hope. Hope in the Bible is a well-founded expectation for the future. Those who doubt or deny the existence of God stand without hope.
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I know there is a God is because of fulfilled prophecy. Every religion has its bible, but this Bible is the only one that has a word of prophecy in it. Why? Because the authors of all those other books knew that if they inserted a word of prophecy and it failed, their book would be discredited. But God’s Word, with daring boldness, tells us what will happen upon this earth to men, nations, and individuals, sometimes thousands of years in the future.

Who could write a Book like that? Only God. I can take the prophecies concerning Jesus Christ alone and prove to any thinking man that there must be a God. First of all He said He shall be born in Bethlehem of Judea. Not just in Bethlehem, not just in Judea, but Bethlehem of Judea, and thank God He was. He said He shall be born of a virgin. Thank God He was. He said they would gamble upon His garments. They did. He said they would pluck out His beard. They did. He said they would crucify Him and they did. He said He would make His death with the wicked and His burial with the rich. He died between two thieves and He was buried in Joseph’s new tomb. He said you’ll put Me to death but I’ll rise again. That’s right. You can’t kill Me but I’ll give up My life anyway and I’ll rise again on the third day. Don’t let anybody fool you. This is the Book that will stand the test.

There is one final reason I know there is a God. All of man’s rational thinking and philosophy will never give him a foundation on which he can stand and provide a reason for having any hope. The only foundation is the revelation God gives of Himself in this Book. It alone stands against the winds of criticism. The man that does not confess the Christ that this Bible presents stands without any hope.

Why do I believe there is a God, my friend? Because only He makes any sense out of this old world. Only He brings meaning to living, the hope of pardon, and a place in heaven.

From the Message; “Why I know there is a God” by B.R. Lakin in a return visit to his former pastorate at Cadle Tabernacle in Indianapolis, Indiana. Circa 1962

Words of Grace for Strength

In the day in which we now live, there seems to be very little hope in the world. On every continent man is faced with new and terrible diseases which seem to be inherently resistant to any antibiotics or other form of treatment. There is growing evidence and concern that because of various biological, environmental, and weather-related events we may be soon facing worldwide famine. Man’s inhumanity to man has reached epidemic proportions on nearly every continent, whether it be based on differences in politics, religion or ethnicity. War has engulfed the Middle East, stands on the brink in Eastern Europe and the Far East, as borders seem to be erased and redrawn on nearly a daily basis. Criminal enterprise which feeds off of the base desires of humanity for illicit sex, drugs, and wealth now reaches through every level of society and in the halls of education, government, and justice. And, there doesn’t seem to be one nation in the world which can honestly be said to be on firm economic standing. For mankind, hope is fleeting because for generations man has rejected the one True God of the universe, choosing instead to worship false gods, nature, man himself, or to deny the existence of God entirely.

Dr. Lakin rightly states that the evidence of fulfilled prophecy in God’s Holy Word is enough to convince anyone who gives it an honest examination, that not only is He the one True God, but also that the only hope that exists in the world is that which is provided through His Son Jesus Christ, who made Himself a substitutionary sacrifice for all mankind through His shed blood on the cross at Calvary. Unfortunately, even among those who claim to be Christians, less than 10% spend any time on a regular basis reading the Word of God, let alone studying it, and an even smaller number believe it is literal Truth.

Jesus Christ is the Word of God. In John’s Gospel he wrote; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:1-5

Shortly before His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Himself told His disciples; “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:25-27  The things which Jesus spoke to His disciples, which His Holy Spirit brought to their remembrance and taught them from, were the very Word of God breathed into them by the Holy Spirit, which they wrote down so that today we might know the mind of Christ, if we will only apply ourselves to its study.

The Bible, which is the Word of God, is the only hope for mankind. Without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ having accepted him as Lord and Savior, man condemns himself to an eternity in hell. Know Jesus and be eternally secure, say No to Jesus and you will be eternally lost. Having said yes to Jesus, we have the hope of Jesus within us. And as we watch the world slide further away from Him, as we watch a world grow increasingly defiant to a loving, but just God, that hope can only grow. Because those of us who study the Word, and do so in the full faith and trust in Jesus as Savior, know that which must happen before He returns first for His Church, and then to judge and rule the world. We know it has to get that bad before it can get that good. That is our hope, and for those who do not know Jesus, that is incomprehensible, that is foolishness.

The evidence of the fulfillment of Biblical Prophecy is crystal clear in the world today to those who are diligently studying the Word. Jesus Christ will soon rapture those who He has called out of the world, His Church,. And, the world is hurtling towards a time of tribulation and judgment which will culminate in His physical return to the earth to set up His Kingdom. The Scripture is clear; Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome