Be Very Alert!- By Val Hollard (NZ)
On Watch at the Door No 229, October 25, 2016
I recently received a copy of a little 40-page booklet from the Maranatha Revival Crusade titled GONE! MISSING! The first 11 pages are a story similar to the beginning of the Left Behind series. The next section is based on Scripture supporting the idea of a Rapture, and there is no doubt at all that a Rapture is described in the Bible and it will happen in the not too distant future.
The next section discusses what it means to be a believer, followed by a discussion on the timing of the Rapture. A pretribulation view is presented but I do agree with them that Christians will not face the wrath of God. As I have said before, we can expect tribulation (thlipsis), but not wrath (orge).
What saddened me is that there is extremely little in the whole 40 pages that would prepare people for a time of great persecution of Christians worldwide which is coming rapidly. Not all pretribulationists avoid this issue and do acknowledge that there is increasing persecution in Western countries, and they do help people prepare for it. In Matthew 24, Jesus says clearly that one of the signs of the end of the age is that believers will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and that they will be hated by all nations because of Him. As Western nations turn away from their godly heritage, and they are doing that rapidly now, severe persecution will come.
The Maranatha booklet is in sharp contrast to the recent videos of a mini conference on Keeping the Faith in the End-Times with speakers Jacob Prasch, David Nathan and Marco Quintana.
There are some bad ways to prepare. “I’ve got Jesus. I trust Him.” “I’ll just trust the Lord!” “Oh, but we just need to be led by the Lord!” Attitudes like this are not going to get you through hard times ahead. Neither will believing that you can take the mark of the beast and repent and still be saved, as John MacArthur teaches.
There are many obstacles to being well prepared. One is the tendency of people to put family and friends first. Some parents won’t leave a bad church because the kids like the youth group or because it would separate them from family and friends. In the last days there will be people who let relationships come between them and the Lord. (Matt 10:34-39) But house churches will increase in number.
In these last days we need to know God’s Word, have a personal relationship with Him and have a good dose of faith. We need a faith that is unshakeable. However, just knowledge of the Word won’t help us stand when persecution comes, the economy collapses, when there are food shortages, all sorts of disastrous natural events, ill health and much more. We must practise acting on our knowledge.
There are promises of God that will help us through these times but they require faith plus action on our part. Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Heb 11:6)
Just knowing the Word won’t help, but successfully applying it to our lives with lesser problems will help us cope when bigger trials come. We need confidence to trust that the promises of God are true.
So if the world appears to be collapsing around you and your anxiety levels are soaring sky high, you will recall Philippians 4:4-7. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” I know from much experience that this works in a miraculous way. But in order to have faith that God will answer this prayer when you are anxious, you need to believe that His Word is true and that He answers prayer and will give you this peace. We need to live out our daily lives in a continual relationship with Jesus, appreciating Him and being grateful for everything. Your strength comes from Him.
In Hebrews 11, we read of people who lived by faith but never received things that were promised to them. These people suffered in various ways while on earth, but they knew there were better things to come that God had in store for them in heaven. They longed for what they hoped for. In times of trouble we should look up too. Habakkuk’s legs trembled when he realised that the invading army was coming and the disaster that would bring, but he still remembered to look up and rejoice in the Lord as he knew that the Sovereign Lord would be His strength through it all. (Hab 3:16) Paul tells the Philippians to look up because their citizenship is in heaven. (Phil 3:20-21) Creating a habit of setting your mind on things above and the glory that is to come will help get you through difficult times. (Col 3:1-4)
There is a lot of confusion in the church about Holy Spirit baptism. The apostle Paul considered it important for all believers to have this baptism. Evidence of Holy Spirit baptism is not always praying in tongues. It is power in the gifts God has given each of us so that we produce more fruit, and a fearlessness that enables people to face persecution and martyrdom. You will be better prepared to die for Jesus if called to do so. Before I had Holy Spirit baptism I feared dogs having been bitten by one. Ferocious looking dogs no longer worry me, though I am cautious of them! If you are lacking Holy Spirit baptism, ask your Father in heaven for it. (Luke 11:9-13)
Christians in the last days will be living in exceptional circumstances as the Antichrist is given power to make war against the saints and to overcome them. Patient endurance and faithfulness will enable believers to stand firm. (Rev 13:10)
The believers who will remain faithful in the last days and persevere are the ones who have always been faithful and persevered in their daily life. We should be doing all we can now to make sure we will be steadfast when things get really tough. Be warned! Satan doesn’t want you to be prepared!
JEWS AND CHRISTIANS UNDER SIEGE FROM THE UN
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has passed a resolution titled “Occupied Palestine” which fails to acknowledge any Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and Western Wall. The Temple Mount is only referred to by its Muslim name, Al-Haram Al Sharif.
Israel tried to delay the vote but that was blocked by a group of nations led by Morocco. The head of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, is also not happy with the decision and has received death threats following the resolution.
Netanyahu has slammed the decision to adopt the resolution, saying, “The theatre of the absurd continues with UNESCO and today the organization has made its most bizarre decision by saying the people of Israel have no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Obviously they have never read the Bible.” He advised UNESCO members to visit the Arch of Titus in Rome where they can see what the Romans brought to Rome after they destroyed and looted the Temple Mount 2,000 years ago. Engraved on the arch is the 7-branched menorah which is the symbol of the Jewish people as well as the symbol of the Jewish state today.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett immediately decided to freeze all Israeli cooperation with UNESCO. Due to Bennett’s decision there will be no meetings with UNESCO officials, cooperation in international conference or professional cooperation with the organization.
To deny Jewish history is also a decision to deny Christian history. Six centuries before Muhammad was born, Jesus our Messiah came to the Temple to worship and pray to the God of Israel.
Antonio Guterres, age 67, is a name you will hear a lot more of when he takes over as the UN Secretary General on the 1st of January. He started climbing the ladder to international politics as prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002 as leader of that country’s Socialist Party. He claims to be a Christian. He has headed the UN refugee agency and many claim he is responsible for the mass migration into Europe of thousands of healthy male migrants seeking to take advantage of wealthy welfare states like Germany. There has been only a small minority of true refugees among them. Only a very small minority of Middle Eastern Christians have been able to find refuge in other countries too. Of over 10,000 Syrian refugees taken into the US only 56 were Christian.
Guterres shows little concern for the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. He has mentioned the Middle Eastern origins of Christianity and said a religious cleansing of Christians from that part of the world would be “an amputation in the DNA of Christianity and in the DNA of the Middle East.” Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom has laid much of the blame for this abandonment of Middle Eastern Christians at the feet of Guterres. They have been left to face ISIS and other hostilities alone.
WARS AND RUMOURS OF WARS
Ominous signs show that Russia is preparing for war. Government workers have been told to bring back their children studying abroad in the US and Europe immediately. Russia has also held a large-scale drill meant to prepare people for disasters, including a nuclear catastrophe. It has recently deployed nuclear-capable missiles to Kaliningrad which puts the weapons in striking distance of Western capitals. Intercontinental ballistic missile tests have also been conducted and their northern fleet is being sent to the Mediterranean.
Most analysts believe that the Kremlin isn’t actually preparing for a military conflict with the US. They see it instead as a move to deter Western countries from intervening in their military activities in Syria. However, the Turkish deputy PM has warned that Russia and the US will engage in ‘global war’ unless the ‘proxy’ Syria conflict is resolved. The present conflict could escalate beyond the Middle East.
Meanwhile, US vice-president Joe Biden has threatened Russia with an unprecedented cyber-attack in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election. Biden warned. “We have the capacity to do it. It will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact.” The Kremlin has vowed to respond.
Taken in isolation such actions may not seem that troubling, however mounting tensions between Russia and the United States, as well as with other NATO block countries have been a source of concern for months now.
As of early this year, the number of countries that employ surveillance drones stood at 78 and those that have equipped their drones with weapons is now at least 21, with 7 of these actively using those drones in combat operations. The US, with a fleet now over 500 strong, claims to have killed approximately 3,800 militants and around 400 civilians across 7 countries over 10 years.
Eric Barger speaking at Bill Randles’ church: New Age or Not. Hillary Clinton’s involvement in the occult
Preparing for perilous times
Keeping the Faith in the End-Times conference. You will also find some of the Moriel Canada conference there too.
Session 8: Marco Quintana. Habakkuk
Regarding worship, is the mood of the music befitting the presence of the Lord, and is there moral, spiritual, and doctrinal content that convicts sinners, edifies worshippers, and exalts the Lord? The Scriptures tell us to test all things. Without straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel, we should consider whether or not music pleases the flesh more than it does our Saviour. Does a particular song lead you to worship Him in spirit and in truth? Can you listen without any doubt (anything done without faith is sin)? Is there false doctrine or heresy in the song? Is it worldly, ritualistic, purely emotional, unbiblical, raucous, impudent, or unholy? – TBC
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