Monday, December 29, 2008

We (The Body) Will Not Be Surprised

I have seen many predictions of when the rapture and tribulation will occur in
just the last year of 2008. I do not see that it is wrong to WATCH for the Lord’s return
for us. I do believe from what I have seen, that we probably will not guess the exact day,
but......WE WILL NOT BE SURPRISED if we are WATCHING. He will come as a thief in the night only to those who are not watching. I for one, will keep watching and passing on the TRUE
GOSPEL in contrast to the much published false gospels out there everywhere. May you have a
wonderful new year in the Lord. Sincerely, Your Brother Mark

Can We Know?

By Jim Bramlett

It is mind-boggling to think that our generation alone is uniquely standing on the precipice of time and where no generation has ever stood. We are living in the days spoken of by the ancient prophets.

These prophets spoke of the Israelites being gathered back into their own land, in passages such as Ezekiel 37:21, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.” This began in 1948. The “dry bones” of Ezekiel 37 have come alive.

As also prophesied, we are seeing the world turn against Israel. “On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations” (Zechariah 12:3). The catalyst for this is oil, or petro-dollars, causing the world to sell out tiny, democratic Israel to despotic Muslim nations for purposes of greed.

These signs are historically unprecedented. Only this generation has seen them. But there are many other biblical signs, such as: increased violence worldwide (as in the days of Noah), increased apostasy, increased cults and false religions and false prophets, increased natural disasters such as frequency of earthquakes, and more.

For these and many other reasons, is it any wonder that millions believe the return of Christ is so near? Polls show that even non-believers think the world is at such a point. This is the most exciting time in all history to be alive!

But when is He coming?

Just the question -- when? -- causes some Christians to cringe, protest, or even scoff! They quickly point out that Jesus said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man" (Matthew 24:36 KJV).

Some believers criticize other believers who are seeking God’s clues, either from the Scriptures or by personal revelation. It is interesting that it was apparently by personal revelation, not Scripture, that many people knew the exact day of Elijah's rapture (2 Kings 2)! Are there types in the Old Testament? Do God’s principles repeat themselves?

Some claim we should focus only on the Great Commission and evangelism and not be concerned when the Lord will return. However, the Bible repeatedly tells us to “watch” for the signs, so not doing so would be disobedient. Also, those who are watching and expecting Jesus’ soon return are probably the most zealous group of witnesses for the gospel among all Christians.

The doubters may mention Paul's words that the day of the Lord will come like "a thief in the night" (1 Thessalonians 5:2). But many believers have so misunderstood these verses that they are oblivious to the times, not watching for the Lord as He commanded, and are often absorbed by the cares of this world and their own agendas.

As to Matthew 24:36, some scholars point out that Jesus' words here are in the present tense, addressed to His hearers at the time, and not to those alive at the end of the age when Daniel's vision would be unsealed (Daniel 12:9). This would be similar to Matthew 16:20: "Then he warned His disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Christ." As evidence, many other Scriptures reveal to us that God will reveal at least the approximately time. (Even if the "day and hour" restriction is literally valid today, it may be because the Earth is in 24 time zones and always in two different days.)

Jesus also said, “but my Father only” knows, which pins the statement to His hearers at the time, when Jesus was still on the earth, because surely there are now no secrets in the Trinity between the Father and the glorified Son, who are truly One. Also, in context, He seems to be speaking of heaven and earth passing away (v. 35), not other end-time events. In addition, Jesus said, “If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee” (Revelation 3:3). He is obviously saying that to the one who watches, He will not come as a thief and that person will know the hour! (Hour -- Greek hora -- Strong’s 5610; various meanings, including, “any definite time, point of time, moment.”

God’s Promises of Revelation

It is clear that Jesus will not come as a "thief in the night" for watchful believers, because in the very same passage, verse 4, Paul tells us, "But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief." If we are trusting in Christ and looking for His coming, Paul said that even the very day does not have to surprise us!

Also, Jesus exhorted, "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief" (Revelation 3:3, KJV), obviously saying He will come as a thief only to those not watching! It is obvious that for those watching, He will NOT come as a thief.

Jesus rebuked those who did not understand the signs of the times in His day: "O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky, but can ye not discern the signs of the times" (Matthew 16:3).

Of the end of the age, Jesus said, "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh"(Luke 21:28). He said we would know when it is near!

God said, "Surely the sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing it to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7, NIV). God said "nothing," and He did not exclude Christ's return. I take Him at His word.

God not only knows the end from the beginning, He tells us that He makes it known! "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come." (Isaiah 46:10). He has already made it known! I personally believe it has been hidden in His Word all along, to be unlocked in His timing. There is nothing wrong with seeking! No doubt, it pleases God.

God said, "I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee" (Isaiah 48:5, KJV).

Jesus said the Holy Spirit "will teach you all things" (John 14:26). He said "all things." Did Jesus make a mistake, forgetting to exclude when He will return? I don't think so.

Friends confide in one another. Abraham was called God’s “friend” (Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23). “And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do” (Genesis 18:17). Now, because of Jesus’ atonement, we are called friends of God: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends” (Jesus, John 15:15). The Bible also says that Jesus was crucified so that the blessing of Abraham, part of which was friendship with God would come upon the Gentiles -- us (Galatians 3:14).

Ecclesiastes 1:9 says “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (NIV). Many Bible students believe that ancient events and dating in the Bible are shadows and clues that foretell the coming of the Lord, even the timing. An example is the six days of creation, seen as 6,000 years of man’s dominion over the earth, before the return of the Lord and the seventh, or Sabbath Millennium of peace, with Christ ruling in Jerusalem. According to scholars, we are now at the end of 6,000 years since Adam.

There are other such passages. God clearly promised that we would know at least approximately when Christ will return, and even "the day" will not surprise us, as the Holy Spirit reveals through Paul!

In addition, there is ample precedent for God revealing specific times in advance.

He gave Noah advance notice of when the flood would be (Genesis 6,7).

He told Abraham how long the Israelites would be in Egypt (Genesis 15:13).

As mentioned, He revealed to many the very day of Elijah's rapture (2 Kings 2).

He told Jeremiah how long the Babylonian exile would be (Jeremiah 29:10).

He told Daniel exactly when Messiah would come the first time (Daniel 9:25-26).

Some, including the brilliant Sir Isaac Newton, believe this same passage holds the key to the timing of His return.

There is evidence that the Bible reveals the exact number of years of "the times of the Gentiles" and the exact span of time to Israel's rebirth in 1948 and the recapture of Jerusalem in 1967.

Obviously, leaving us clueless now would violate God's own established pattern as revealed in His Word!

Also obviously, we are not left clueless. There are many signs. Let us remain watchful and ready, and be found doing the Master’s work.

He lives and He is Coming Back Again ! How would that effect your plans today ?
Click pause if you want to hear audio from another post as to not conflict with it:
How would this affect your current planning for the 'big day'?

1 comment:

Brother Mark said...

I really love this sister's blog,
but we all grow in grace at different
times. Rest assured we will all be perfected. When she rights this,
she does error not rightly dividing
the scriptures and does not yet understand the difference between
the program God has for Israel and the one he has for His body:

The problem with date-setting, setting a specific or vague date of the return of Christ, is pretty obvious, despite that, many date-setters twist scripture to justify their disobedience.

"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come -- Matthew 24

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." -- Matthew 24:36

"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." -- Matthew 25:13

"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" -- Mark 13:32

"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." -- 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2

"When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power." -- Acts 1:6-7

...the problem is clear, it is a direct disobedience, deviation and a mishandling of the holy Word of God. Many justify their position by interpreting out of context scripture in a way that complies with human thoughts and reasoning and in turn defies the truth of God's written Word.

It is quite simple and there is no confusion, God, our Father, Creator of us all does not contradict Himself. He is a God of order, having things, people, places and yes TIMES under His power. Do not be fooled.

We live in a time where human intellectualization has become our vanity and pride. Foolishly, many believe the smarter we are in accordance to the standards of man, (Theological degrees etc.) the closer we are to God and the better we can understand Him. Many of these date-setters claim a message spoken to them by God. "God told me..." they claim and many simply believe. Listen to the sound rationale of Saint Paul:

"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." -- 1 Corinthians 2:11

Focusing on the question of Paul, What man knows the things of a man, but his own spirit (spirit of man as defined by Paul) which is in him. Pausing to think about this simple, yet true question. HOW do you know another's spirit? The answer is you DON'T.

Even so, says Paul, in other words, in the same way, the things of God knoweth NO man, but the Spirit of God.

True Believers are ONE in the fact that they have the Spirit of God and can understand and receive what is said of another Believer.

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." --1 Corinthians 2: 13-13

I don't care too much for other's proclamation of what "new" prophecy God has told them. Furthermore, I care even less what kind of Theological degrees they tout, nor what church they lead and the number of congregants they have. Those whose eyes are fixed on physical "proof" for spiritual things are the ones easily led astray. The Word is clear, true Believers are to walk in the Spirit. Romans 8:1. In the 2nd chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul makes his case and his point is clear, direct and simple:

"That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" -- verse 5

It saddens me truly, when people, and many have, fallen to the falsehoods of date-setting and the "wisdom of men". It shows a fundamental lack understanding of the Gospel of Christ Jesus. He died on the cross and was resurrected, so EVERYONE has direct access to the FATHER by His Holy Spirit. Yes, even YOU.

I have oft heard many say that they do not "hear" God or God does not speak to them. I can not and will not address those statements, but the Word does. The 4th book of James has some pretty strong things to say in this regard...

2Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

4Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

5Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

6But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

If we agree that God is perfect, just and righteous in His stead, then we agree, we, quite simply, are not. If we, by nature, are prone to sin, which is departing from the living God in thought and actions, then we need to do some honest, humble self-examination. The Word tells us that we shall be saved from wrath through Him, Romans 5:9. Christ tells us that true Believers will be kept from the hour that is to try the whole world, Revelations 3:10. Why are those clear, simple declarations not enough? Why do so many who are attracted to a specific date, do not find comfort in His words? A better question is, what do YOU think "having" Faith means? Moses never saw the promised land that he worked so hard to bring Israel to and many have said it was his "punishment". I say that short-sighted statement reflects the errors in what is called "Christianity" today. How can Moses be "punished" with Heaven?? He was a man who loved the Lord and proved it with His Faithfulness in acting out the commands of the Lord. Anyone who believes that Moses is sitting up in Heaven regretful of the fact that he has never stepped foot into a physical promised land has completely missed the truth of this statement, "The just shall live by faith". Habakkak 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38

"And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." -- Hebrews 11: 39-40

In this law-suit prone society, Americans are compelled to feel as if they are always due something from someone. Do not be fooled into thinking God owes YOU anything...not even a explanation of a date! The question becomes would you be satisfied with that??

Proclamations "new" or "different" prophecy/message in the face of CLEAR scripture.

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein." -- Hebrews 13:8-9

The same Jesus that declared, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power." is the same Christ that sits at the right hand of the Father. It will be the same Christ who will reign when this world comes to an end.

A more complete understanding on the verses quoted above can be
gleaned here:

Read more!