Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LLM Question of the Day, and, Are We Close to the End?

First the Question: Was the Dispensation of the Mystery (Ephesians 3:2-9), the SECRET of God until AFTER Israel rejected Christ in resurrection. Yes or No?

Please take a moment to respond at the LLM Question of the Day

And now...

Today let us consider, Are We Close to the End?

Recently I have heard more than one person make this remark, “the next two years will tell the tale.” They, of course, were referring to the present economic and financial state of affairs, of the U.S. and the World. Many are expressing the opinion that there will be either a return to prosperity within the next year or two or a world‑wide revolution.

Most will admit that the political situation all over the world is anything but satisfactory and the immediate future does not look any too bright. Heads of State, at home, and abroad are warning the public of the present chaos and the approaching crisis, asking men and women to take an inventory of world conditions and to admit that universal, political, economical and social unrest and uncertainty prevail, and that anything more serious and disastrous is liable to happen on short notice.

Among the nations of Europe there exists not only an undercurrent of suspicion and distrust, but the acknowledgment on the part of some of them that war is inevitable, and so they are rushing on to further financial ruin in their preparation for the inevitable. No European ruler or politician is sincere if and when he declares that there are prospects for world peace.

And when we consider our own United States, there are daily reports of utter financial ruin and distressful times ahead. The world cry is for able leaders, because the current bunch can’t do the job.

In all of the discussions of depression and political unrest, and rumors of wars, comparatively few, amazingly, seem worried about the ungodliness and immorality of the present generation; and a still smaller minority are deeply concerned about what is truly the most serious sign of the times; namely, the departure on the part of thousands of so-called “Christians”, with their preachers and leaders, from the great fundamentals of the Christian faith.

This falling away from the Faith is prophesied in the Bible as one of the signs of the end time. The worldwide political and social upheavals are very significant. So also is the present activity on the part of the Jews IN the LAND. So also is the present worldwide disregard for law. So also are the rationalism and materialism and atheism of this present time, especially propagated in the name of Christianity.

Yes all of these signs combined are indicative of the approaching end. What do we mean by the approaching end: the end of what? Now, remember, if you are thinking about the end of the world that is not what I have in mind.

There have been so many wild speculations and so many fanatical religious end of the world movements, so many false prophets who have tried to set dates as to when the end of the world would be, that it is next to impossible to get very many people to seriously consider the more sure word of Prophecy from the Mind of the Infallible God.

Unto Him are known all His works from the beginning of the world. Surely the God who designed this universe, who governs and sustains it, the God, to whom it belongs, knows His present and future purposes for the earth and its inhabitants. This omnipotent and omniscient God knows how and when and why this present age will end, the climax of this present political and social order. If this God is sovereign and does purpose all things after the counsel of His own will, as He Himself declares, who can hinder or delay His movements when the appointed time for His action is at hand? And if He has been so considerate and gracious as to indicate unto His children, by certain signs, the nearness of the appointed time, certainly His children should, with eagerness and thanksgiving, study world conditions in the light of His inspired and inerrant Word.

In Matthew 13:39-49, we find three times the expression, “the end of the world.” The proper translation is, “the consummation, of the age.” “So shall it be in the consummation of the age.” We find the same thought again expressed in Matthew 28:20, wherein the Lord said to His apostles, “lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world, or unto the consummation of the age.” He did not mean as long as they lived, but as long as the age endured. Man’s history, in God’s plans, is divided into ages. The age in which we now live is designated as “this present evil age,” Galatians 1:4. This is the Day of Grace, the Age of the Body of Christ, the Dispensation of The Mystery. Ephesians 3:1-9.

There have been other ages. They have come to an end. Certainly the antediluvian age came to an end with the flood. And, let’s not forget, there will be other ages after this present evil age, mentioned as “the ages to come”. Ephesians 2:7.

This age will have a consummation. Other ages will follow. In Ephesians 3:21 we find the expression, “world without end,” properly translated, “ages of the ages.” In connection with the coming of Christ, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:23, we read in the very next verse: “Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God.” Certainly this language tells us that Christ is coming and the end is coming.

Suppose we do not believe, (like the atheists, agnostics, or whoever), that Christ is coming and the end is coming, does that affect the truth or alter the fact? NO!

This present complex civilization, with all of its unsolvable entanglements and problems, is rushing on toward the consummation of this present evil age. The end will come with the coming of the Son of God. Is not this simple language, “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven?” Acts 1:11. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation?” Hebrews 9:28. “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: Then 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. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.”

Then let us carefully read the words of admonition and warning that follow in the next few verses, 1 Thessalonians 5:2-5, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”

Do we have in these words the predictions of an ignorant or deluded religious fanatic, or do we have the more sure word of prophecy given to us through a divinely guided, Spirit filled messenger of the very Lord who is coming? The world will soon know its awful doom, which is set forth in this language:

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

“The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.”

Revelation 6:15-17

“And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come: and who shall be able to stand?”

Revelation 1:7

“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.”

Jude 1:14-15

“Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed.”

Matthew 24:38-39

“For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

Matthew 24:21-30

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

“And 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.”

Daniel 2 :44

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”

We might quote from the Word of God several hun­dred other prophecies concerning the end time, to show that the second coming of The LORD Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is imminent; that His second advent will mean one thing for those who have been redeemed by God’s grace, those who love the Lord Jesus Christ; quite a different thing for the Nation Israel, whom we call the Jews; and still a different thing for the great mass of unsaved Gentiles.

But the verses we have quoted above will enable you to appreciate the question that the Lord Jesus asked when He had been rejected by His own nation: “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?”

Surely such a question suggests that the Son of man, who was then on earth, knew that He was someday coming back to earth, and the Greek verb used by Him in this question indicated that He would NOT find the faith on the earth when He should return as the Son of man to Israel.

If the Lord Jesus should come TODAY, He would find more than sixteen million Jews in unbelief. He would find one hundred times as many Gentiles in unbelief. He would find Christendom in the throws of the apostasy from the Faith (1 Timothy 4:1). He would find the teachings and practices of Catholicism so contrary to the pure Christianity He left for the apostles to give to His Church that He would never recognize that religious political organization as His Church. He would find some in that organization saved in spite of the corruption of the Word of God and departure from the Gospel of Grace in the religious program of their system. He would find some loyal, faithful consecrated saints in many different evangelical church organizations.

BUT, He would find a far larger number of unsaved people identified with some kind of a religious organization bearing the name of Christ, in the face of the plain and simple statement of the Holy Scriptures, found in Ephesians 4:3-4, that there is ONE Church, one hope, and one faith, even as there is but ONE Christ and ONE Holy Spirit and ONE Father.

There is such a variety of different “Christs” and different “faiths” offered to humanity today that we have reached the state of religious Babylon.

Modernism has and is continuing to take over seminaries and assemblies which were once strongholds of the Faith, sweeping the deluded religious victims into the great apostasy, for Modernism in the Christian churches is nothing more than Christianized agnosticism, a complete departure from the faith once for all delivered to saints, infidelity propagated in the name of Christ. Surely a Christian infidel is a paradox, and therefore the Christian Modernist is an impossible paradox.

Then the cults most active in the propagation of their delusions and heresies are Unitarianism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventism, Mormonism, and Christian Science. If any one of these cults represent the true Christ and represent His Church, then the others are preaching a false Christ and misrepresenting the Church of Christ, for Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Science have nothing in common: neither have Adventism and Unitarianism. Yet all of these religious movements claim to be the true custodians and dispensers of the truth of Christ for this age, each with a key to the Scriptures, teaching and inviting seekers of the truth to enter the House of God by a different door. A house divided against itself cannot stand. All of these religious movements are headed for an awful judgment in the day of God’s wrath which is not far away.

Before I continue, let me say this: Children of the Living God, members of The Body of Christ, are right where The LORD Jesus Christ, wants them to be! It is what we CALL “the Church” that is in disarray. Let’s make that distinction clear.

When here on earth the Son of God said, “Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? An enemy hath done it. The enemy that sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age.” Matthew 13:27-28, and Matthew 13:39.

So we see that this unholy mixture of the work of Christ and the work of the devil is foretold in God’s Book, The Bible. And in very plain language is the great falling away from the Faith foretold. 1 Timothy 4:1

After The LORD Jesus Christ, calls His Body home to Glory, and before Christ returns to earth as King to set up His kingdom, there is to be an awful apostasy from the Faith heading up in the Antichrist, the man of sin, the son of perdition, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders.

The man in whom all these religious systems is to head up will be Satan’s man. Those who will not receive the simple and glorious truth of the Grace of Christ, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came from heaven, died on the cross of Calvary to redeem lost sinners by His shed blood, then conquered death, and went back to heaven as a man, as the Man who now sits at God’s right hand, must suffer the consequences herein stated, “For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12.

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1.

Surely the Lord knew in advance that multitudes would be swept into Spiritism and other “demon” stratagems. Surely the LORD knew in advance that the money was going to be accumulated by the very rich and the poor would have to suffer starvation in the midst of plenty, “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered, and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.” James 5:1-8.

“And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath.” Zephaniah 1:17-18.

Never before has the world, both spiritually and materially, been so restless as it is now. The whole of humanity is being crippled by a financial and economic crisis which is leaving no nation, no society, and no family unaffected, either directly or indirectly. Even those few who seem to hold in their hands with untold riches the world’s fate, and who through their own speculations were the cause of so much ill, became the first damaging victims, pulling down with them numberless fortunes. Greed is the root of every ill. From greed proceeds the unjust, unequal distribution of the wealth of nations, accumulated in a few hands with untold sufferings to the masses. Those who do not want anarchy must act energetically to prevent the enemies of religion from achieving their aims. Supplying a PRETEXT for subversive parties to launch propaganda for a drive threatening public order everywhere and increasing the danger of terrorism and anarchy. And behind it all is the unlimited greed for earthly goods which is the real cause for the present difficulties.

The prediction of God’s Word is that this accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few is to be a sign of the end time; that this universal unrest and lawlessness is to run concurrently with the great departure from the Faith. And here is God’s message to His child, “Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James 5:8.

Look where you will today for any source of relief, but unless you look to the coming of The LORD Jesus Christ, you will look in vain. So we may know, that until He comes, evil seducers will wax worse and worse. So stop being shocked.

There IS to be a reign of peace and righteousness on this earth. When? When He comes whose right it is. He will rule this earth with a rod of iron. Those who are redeemed by His blood will rule and reign with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:2, Revelation 5:9-10, and Revelation 20:3-7.

“When Christ who is our life shall appear than shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:4

The LORD Jesus Christ, is coming FIRST to call His saved ones, His Body, home to glory. THEN there will be a great time of sorrow in several years of scourging and judgment. Then the Lord will come with His saints to dethrone the great Adversary, that old dragon, Satan, the devil who has deceived the whole world. Then will come the time of earth’s blessing with the personal reign of the true King.

The hope of this world is not a great republic, or democracy, but a Great Theocracy. In the meantime whosoever will can be made a member of the Body of Christ, by the Gospel of God’s Grace through the Faith in the finished work of this wonderful Christ, who is now the living God‑man in glory.

Would you like to be in Christ, a Child of the Living God, a member of the Body of Christ? Would you like to be saved from the coming time of great sorrow and after death judgment? Salvation is available for you. It is a very simple, plain, way: Christ died for you. His judgment was for you. He was delivered for our offenses and raised for our Justification. Salvation is by God’s Grace, through the Faith in this crucified, resurrected, glorified, and coming LORD Jesus Christ. Act now. Believe and be eternally saved.

“Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” Acts 16:31, while there is still time!

So There You Have it!

Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide. The time is short

Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.

In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry

Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)

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