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 I 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.

The 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.

I 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? I 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 I 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 Angel. 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, I do not find evidence of the Church in any of these events during the Tribulation. Let ume 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 my 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

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.
~~~~~~~
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

God Works in Mysterious Ways

America’s poor leadership, the blatant sin in our once great nation, the drought in the southwest and California, high food prices, pestilence and prepping have all been in the news lately.

There is little doubt that Ahab was one of the worst leaders to ever occupy the throne in Israel. The Bible says, he “did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him” (I Kings 16:30). At least until the end of his reign, no leader of Israel had ever exceeded him in evil. He encouraged Baal worship and was often at odds with the true prophets of his day.

He married a Phoenician princess whose name, Jezebel, is synonymous with wickedness. He allowed Jezebel’s religion, Baal worship, to be practiced in Israel and he even built a temple close to the palace to make it easy for Jezebel to worship her false gods. She led many of God’s prophets astray and ordered others to be killed for protesting against her policies (I Kings 18:4). One of her greatest sins was to falsely accuse a man named Naboth so she could have him killed, steal his vineyard and give it to Ahab (I Kings 21:1-25). Jesus compared her to a harlot who encouraged immorality in the church at Thyatira (Rev. 2:20).

Because of sin, God sent the prophet Elijah to visit Ahab one day and 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). Then, God told Elijah to flee to the brook Cherith and drink from it. Elijah did, but while he was there the brook dried up from a lack of rain. God told Elijah to go to a widow at Zarephath who would feed him (Zarephath was located out of the country between Tyre and Sidon). Elijah left Israel, found her and asked her for something to eat and drink. The loss of her husband, and the God-sent drought and famine had hit her hard and she had prepared her last meal for her and her son. Elijah’s request was a great test, but she shared with him and God sustained her, her son and Elijah through the drought and famine (I Kings 17:3-16).

Let’s look at the story about Naaman and then I will get to the point. He was a captain in the Syrian army; a great and honorable man, but he had leprosy. On one of his missions, he defeated some Jews, captured a young Jewish girl and carried her back to Syria to wait on his wife. One day, the Jewish girl said unto her mistress, “Would God my lord were with the prophet (Elisha) that is in Sararia! for he would recover him of his leprosy” (II Kings 5:3). Naaman eventually wound up at Elisha’s house and Elisha sent word out for him to go dip in the Jordan River seven times. Naaman was upset, but he eventually did as he was told and he was healed (II Kings 5:14).

This brings us to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He arrived at Nazareth where He grew up, went to the synagogue on the Sabbath, read from the Book of Isaiah and spoke, but His message was rejected (Luke 4:14-22). Then He said, “I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias (Elijah), when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias (Elijah) sent, save unto Sarepta (Zarephath), a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus (Elisha) the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian” (Luke 4:25-27).

Because of wicked leadership and sin in Israel God sent a drought and great famine that covered the land for three and one-half years. There were many widows (and probably hungry children) among the chosen people in Israel, but God sent Elijah to feed only one widow who lived in a foreign land. There were many lepers among the chosen people in Israel (and all of them probably prayed to be healed), but the only person God healed was a foreign soldier who had defeated some Israeli troops. So Jesus said God sent a drought and famine on Israel for three and one-half years and He didn’t send anyone to feed or heal any of the hungry and sick widows and lepers. What He said really upset the people in His hometown and they tried to kill Him.

When I suggest that national disasters are increasing or there could be more terrorist attacks and it might be a good idea to do some prepping I sometimes hear “God is in control. He will take care of me.” There is no doubt that God is in control and He cares for us with a love that will never end. But He does not like self-righteousness, being tempted or taken for granted; our blessings are not entitlements; He brings down godless nations (Dan. 2:21); He chastens those He loves (Heb. 12:6); Christians are suffering all over the world and Noah had to build his own boat (Gen. 6:14). My mom loved me, but she spanked me when I needed it.

In my mind, America’s leaders are the worst we have ever had. No president has ever supported some of the wicked things our president supports (abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, lying, spying on us, betraying our friends, kind words for Allah, etc.). We have great sin in America; drought in the southwest and California; soaring food prices, millions on food stamps (including widows and children), spreading STDs (especially among the gays) and more. It seems to me that America is already paying a price for sin and if the Rapture doesn’t happen soon, the price may increase. His judgment could fall harder and He could decide to feed and heal good people in other countries instead of the United States.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymondduck@bellsouth.net

The Captain’s Conquerors

Excerpted from “Life on the Highest Plane”

Hebrews 2:10 “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

The believer should always look upon Satan as a defeated foe. He has already been overcome by the Captain of our host. Any power which he exercises today is only a permitted power that God may get greater glory to Himself through the victory gained by His child before a doubting world, and also that the Christian’s life in Christ may be deepened and strengthened. Satan was permitted through his human tools to stone Stephen to death but through Steven’s gloriously triumphant martyrdom God won the crown jewel from Satan’s diadem, Saul of Tarsus. He was allowed through human instruments to put to death the Lord of glory but in doing it he sent himself to the bottomless pit.

That wicked one has no claim whatever upon one who is born of God and he has no power to harm or hurt him. The believer who is hid with Christ in God and who is one with his ascended Lord has the right to claim the perfect protection which that position provides and to reckon himself as a conqueror in Christ Jesus.

1 John 4:4 “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

Excerpted from “Life on the Highest Plane” by Ruth Paxson 1928

Words of Grace for Strength

We find four significant thoughts in this teaching from Ruth Paxson;

  • Satan is a defeated enemy,
  • the only power that he has is that which our Captain allows him,
  • and regardless of what we may suffer, or how we may be persecuted in this life, no eternal harm can come upon us because ultimately in our Captain we have won the victory.

The Captain of our salvation is Jesus Christ, and through His finished work on the cross of Calvary (His death, burial and resurrection being the proof of His victory), Satan has indeed been defeated. Yet, until our Captain returns in power and great glory to set His feet on the Mount of Olives and set up his earthly Kingdom, Satan remains the ruler of this world.

Therefore, we cannot afford to take Satan for granted even in his defeat, for without Christ we are weak, and the enemy is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). We are not to fear the enemy, for our Lord, our Captain, is greater; but we need be wise to his ways, discerning his intentions. Satan knows our weaknesses and he will exploit them unless we’re standing steadfast in the strength and power of Christ. Seeing Stephen as our example, though he faced a martyr’s death, without fear he proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and saw his Savior standing to greet him into eternal life.

There is one more lesson to be learned from this excerpt.

  • Our Captain, for His divine purpose and in His will, can change any life, even that of the vilest offender, and mold that life into one of victorious service.

Saul of Tarsus, Saul the persecutor, met the Captain in all His blinding Glory on the road to Damascus. And in Acts chapter 9 we are told that the Lord saw him as a “chosen vessel,” yet He also said; (Acts 9:15) “I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 

The world is full of sinfulness and wickedness, and Satan will use every device he has available in these Last Days. One only need to read the book of Revelation to see that in the fullness of Biblical Prophecy. Yet, the outcome is known and will come to pass as prophesied. In the meantime, we need to be obedient to our Lord, and serve Him, our victorious Captain, for there is work He would have us do.

Again, with Saul, now Paul, as our example we can say with him: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” Romans 8:16-18.

We would all like to hear a “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21) We should all be willing to do the work the Master asks of us and therefore earn His praise; thus to have the opportunity to take the crowns He will place on our heads and cast them in praise and worship at His feet.

We are conquerors, with Christ as our Captain we are soldiers of the cross and nothing can keep us from victory and eternal life. Not even Satan himself.

Romans 8:37-39 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Finally, as soldiers of the cross we need to remember Paul’s words to Timothy.

2 Timothy 3:12-14. “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them.”

Oh Captain, my Captain, my Lord and Savior be,

the Captain of my salvation, in Your death at Calvary,

Your resurrection conquered sin, now you sit at God’s right hand,

so life’s battle I can surely win, if in You I’ll therefore stand!            kdtw 1992