We live in an age of DECEPTION—in politics, in the media, in healthcare, in business, and in religion.
And these are the times Jesus prophesied would immediately precede his return to earth.
That's the subject of today's newsletter.
Be aware and be PREPARED!
And be blessed.
THE DAY CHRIST RETURNS
In this world of instant access to unlimited knowledge, via the Internet and social media, there is so much uncertainty in the body of Christ as to precisely WHEN Christ will return? Of late, false prophets, false teachers and false pastors have added to the confusion. Therefore, those among us who don't rightly divide the word of truth, may well lose their salvation.
"STUDY to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the WORD of TRUTH. 16But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the RESURRECTION is PAST ALREADY; and overthrow the faith of some. 19Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 2 Timothy 2:15-19
Don't be deceived by the multitude of religious liars
There, the apostle Paul told his disciple Timothy that Hymenaeus and Philetus overthrew the faith of some Christians by claiming that the "resurrection" had already PASSED. Ironically, almost 2,000 years later, millions of Christians have been deceived into believing that they will be "resurrected" before the tribulation begins. And tragically, when they're caught in the midst of it, it will overthrow their faith too. In Matthew 24, Christ's disciples asked him how they would know when he returns, and the first thing he said was:
"...Take heed that no man DECEIVE you." Matthew 24:4
Today deception is everywhere among professing Christians. And when Jesus doesn't rapture his church—before the tribulation—as we've been told, multitudes of Christians will depart from the faith.
"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of MANY SHALL WAX COLD. 13But he that shall ENDURE unto the END, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13
Notice what Jesus said there in verse 13, "But he that shall ENDURE unto the END, the same shall be SAVED." Christians are going to have to ENDURE the tribulation, and the accompanying persecution, before the END finally comes. That's NOT what most of us have been taught by our false teachers, including Tim LeHaye, the author of the extremely popular "LEFT BEHIND" series of books and videos. In "LEFT BEHIND," LeHaye openly declares that Christians will NOT have to endure the tribulation, but they will all be "raptured" out of here BEFORE the tribulation begins. That's an attractive prospect, but it's NOT the TRUTH that Jesus taught. It's a LIE from the pits of hell, and the word of God proves it.
Jesus said: "... he that shall ENDURE unto the END, the same shall be SAVED," Matthew 24:13. And the catching away of the church is at the very END of the end of the Great Tribulation. That's when the church of Jesus Christ will be "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air: 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
The resurrection takes place when Christ returns
The gospel of the Kingdom of God, which Jesus preached, is faithfully recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And three of those four gospels document what Jesus told them about the timing of his return at the end of the world. These passages are in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. And when Jesus was sitting near the temple, Peter, James and John asked him this specific question:
"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, WHEN shall these things be? and what shall be the SIGN of thy COMING, and of the END OF THE WORLD?" Matthew 24:3
That verse in Matthew 24 appears to indicate two separate events—Christ's "coming," and later on, the "end of the world." However, if we examine the other two accounts of Christ's answer to this question, in Mark and Luke, we see clearly that these two things are combined in one event—Christ's return.
"Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?" Mark 13:4
"And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?" Luke 21:7
The "saints" will be gathered at the LAST DAY
And so, from reading Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 we see Jesus detailing the "signs" leading up to his triumphant second coming: that fateful DAY at the END of the Great Tribulation.
"For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the COMING of the Son of man be. 28For wheresoever the carcase is [the bodies are], there will the eagles be gathered together. 29Immediately 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: 30And 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. 31And 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 24:27-31
These events in verses 27 to 31 occur on the very same DAY. It's the very day that the wicked will first be destroyed, and then, God's elect—his faithful Christians—will be caught up to be with the Lord in the air. That is confirmed in these four verses in John 6.
"39And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should RAISE IT UP AGAIN at THE LAST DAY.
40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have EVERLASTING LIFE: and I will raise him up AT THE LAST DAY.
44No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up AT THE LAST DAY.
54Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up AT THE LAST DAY." John 6:39, 40, 44 and 54
If Jesus says something ONCE we should accept it as the absolute TRUTH. But if he says the same thing four times in the same chapter, the Lord is trying to make a point. The "saints" are going to be RAISED UP at the LAST DAY: not before. How Tim LeHaye, and countless other "deceivers," overlooked this TRUTH, only God knows.
The wicked are gathered FIRST and cast into a furnace of fire
In the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus taught clearly that on the DAY he returns, he will instruct his angels to gather FIRST the WICKED, and after that, they will gather his "ELECT."
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed TARES among the WHEAT, and went his way. 26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.. 30Let both grow together until the HARVEST: and in the time of HARVEST I will say to the reapers, GATHER YE together FIRST the TARES, and bind them in bundles to BURN THEM: but gather the wheat [righteous] into my barn." Matthew 13:24-30
Later in this chapter, Jesus identifies the "tares" as those saints, in the Kingdom of God, who "OFFEND" and do "INIQUITY." On the DAY he returns, they will be the first to be cast into a "furnace of fire."
"Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the HARVEST is the END OF THE WORLD; and the reapers are the angels. 40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his KINGDOM all things that OFFEND, and them which do INIQUITY; 42And shall cast them into a FURNACE OF FIRE: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 13:36-43
Notice there in verse 39, Jesus said that the "HARVEST is the END of the WORLD:" and the end of the world follows the Great Tribulation.
Only God's faithful servants will be delivered when Christ returns
Jesus warned us that when he returns he will come like a "thief in the night" for all Christians who do not know their Bible, and are not fully prepared. May that not include you and I.
"And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that DAY come upon you UNAWARES." Luke 21:34
"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have WATCHED, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man COMETH." Matthew 24:43-44
"For, behold, THE DAY cometh, that shall BURN as an OVEN; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and THE DAY that cometh shall BURN THEM UP, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 3And ye shall tread down the WICKED; for they shall be ASHES UNDER THE SOLES OF YOUR FEET in THE DAY that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 4:1-3
Beloved, the worst is yet to come—be PREPARED!
Beloved, there are some unbelievably hard times that are just ahead of us. Therefore, we need to be seeking the Lord as never before, reading the Bible more diligently, and watching and praying for all saints, and for those who have a heart to serve the living God. May we not be among those last days Christians, who Isaiah prophesied of, those who will perish because they were deceived by their false teachers; the "treacherous dealers."
"From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! the TREACHEROUS DEALERS have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously. 17Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth." Isaiah 24:16-17
"WATCH ye therefore, and PRAY ALWAYS, that ye may be ACCOUNTED WORTHY to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Luke 21:36
When God's two witnesses soon stand up in Jerusalem, commencing their 1,260 days of prophesying, the world's sinners will be tormented. And just as it was in Egypt, when Moses and Aaron delivered God's ultimatum to Pharaoh, "Let my people go," so too it will be at the end of days. When the two witnesses bring the plagues of Egypt upon the entire world, Christians will become the most hated people on earth.
"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that ENDURETH to the END shall be SAVED." Matthew 10:22
But, thank God, Jesus will return in fiery judgment putting an end to man's rulership of the earth, and commence his first 1,000-year reign in Mount Zion. Praise God!
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are ALIVE and REMAIN shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
The Authorized King James Bible
Sursa: Pett Rusu