Setting Dates of Disappointment

Saturday, April 14, 2018

“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: 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” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 KJV).

Did you notice the precise date the Holy Spirit provided here? (Neither did I!)

Bible prophecy, already rather difficult, becomes insufferable if not approached dispensationally. Wherever dispensational Bible study is absent; deception, confusion, and disappointment are present. Failing to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) is a total disregard of how God designed His Word. Expect nothing but trouble!

Concerning Israel’s program, Scripture issues exact numbers of years, months, and/or days when God will act regarding the Jews (for instance, see Genesis 15:13-16; Daniel 9:24-27; Luke 13:7,8; Revelation 11:2,3,11; Revelation 12:6,14; Revelation 13:5; Revelation 20:2-7). However, in our mystery program, God gives no dates whatsoever: the Pauline epistles, Romans through Philemon, are utterly “calendar-less.” Consequently, we do not know the length of the Dispensation of Grace, when this Age of Grace will close.

Therefore, whenever sensationalist “date-setters” tell us, “The Rapture is coming on—” or “The Second Coming will occur at—;” they want nothing more than attention to sell their book or DVD and start a cult. Regardless of their purpose, Satan’s policy of evil has tricked them. Until our program terminates, whatever prophetic dates Scripture does provide have no meaning. People persistently attempt to limit our dispensation’s duration by using values from Israel’s prophetic calendar. Despite their best efforts, it will never work. Frustration, unbelief, and mockery are certain!

In today’s Scripture, we see the Rapture, our gathering unto Christ to meet Him in the air (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:1). If the date were so important, why did the Holy Spirit never reveal it to Paul in today’s Scripture or anywhere else? Should we thus be setting dates? No! Saints, our Lord Jesus Christ could come at any moment. Let us live like He may come today; let us plan like He is not coming for another 10 years! 🙂

Suffering!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:22,23 KJV).

Without further delay, we need to be prepared to suffer.

Dear friend, suffering is rampant—violence, sickness, injustice, cruelty, et cetera. Eventually, people get overloaded with burdens and sorrow, thus resorting to drugs, alcohol, and (sadly) even suicide, to cope.

Suffering has three sources. Firstly, we have the curse of sin: no matter what we do, we live in a fallen creation. Thus, disease, physical limitations, and death plague us. Short of the Lord’s coming for His children, they too will hurt, grow old, and die. Contrary to popular belief, Christians do suffer physical difficulties and corporeal pain—we are not guaranteed physical healing until the Rapture (today’s Scripture)! Secondly, our mistakes result in suffering. Whether deliberately or inadvertently, those poor decisions lead to terrible consequences. Someone will make a poor choice today and it will negatively affect you. You will make a mistake today and hurt someone.

Thirdly, there is the special (rare) suffering found in 2 Timothy 3:12: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (Acts 14:22 reads in part, “…we must [!] through much [!] tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”) This applies exclusively to Christians. Since we are in “enemy territory”—living as Satan’s evil world system operates—we will encounter resistance. Various degrees of persecution will follow us. The more we yield our lives to the Holy Spirit working in us, the more contrary we become to Satan’s policy of evil. If Satan cannot entice us to change the sound Bible doctrine we preach and teach, then he will intimidate us into silence (loved ones mistreating/shunning us, enemies trying to harm/kill us, governments trying to oppress/imprison us).

However, in the context of today’s Scripture, we learn: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (verse 18). No matter how much we suffer here, dear saints, the eternal glory awaiting us is infinitesimally greater!

A Better Body

Sunday, January 21, 2018

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18 KJV).

Amen!

An elderly friend and coworker in the ministry recently slipped and fell on icy pavement. His resultant severe hand injury required medical attention. Days later, his hip and leg began to hurt and now he limps—probably another injury he sustained in the fall. He will probably have to seek medical help for that as well. Now, likely due to his earlier hospital visit (regarding another sickness), he has the flu! His wife suffers chronic maladies herself. Since her immune system is so weak, she is temporarily living elsewhere so as to avoid contracting her husband’s illness.

Saints, we all have our various bodily afflictions, physical disabilities, limitations, and the like. It is certainly no fun to be sick—especially in life-threatening or terminal situations. Remember, just because we are Christians does not mean we will not suffer. We grow sick, we grow old, and we die. That is the curse of sin, one aspect of living in an unredeemed body. Therefore, we anticipate the Rapture, our gathering together unto Christ and the receipt of our new, glorified bodies that will never grow ill, age, or perish!

“[19] For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. [20] For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, [21] Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. [23] And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? [25] But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

Light Bulbs and Lenses #10

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130 KJV).

Light… bright… lenses… sight!

Dear friends, in this world of intensifying spiritual darkness, God’s Word rightly divided provides us great light. Yea, in this world of increasing obscurity, we can be blessed with great understanding from God’s words dispensationally understood. For us English-speaking people, the rightly divided King James Bible is a brilliant beacon in these times of abounding uncertainty, mass confusion, and widespread ignorance.

The Holy Spirit will teach us using the Holy Bible, provided that we pay special attention to His words spoken through the Apostle Paul. First Corinthians 2:13 says, “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.” And, 2 Timothy 2:7: “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” Finally, today’s Scripture: “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”

Dear brethren, as we let God’s grace teach us, we are, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;…” (Titus 2:13). The earthly life we have in Christ now will continue into eternity future, the heavenly places. God the Holy Spirit illuminates us about this and other important Christian truths, as Ephesians chapter 1 says: “[17] That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: [18] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,….”

In light of Pauline revelation, we understand that we are the Church the Body of Christ, never to be confused with the nation Israel. We are under grace, not law, thus free to walk in the victorious identity given us in Christ. Sin does not have to reign over us. We can enjoy God’s life, now and forever. As long as we respond positively to the spiritual light we have, God will honor that and give us more… light… bright… lenses… sight! 🙂

In a Moment, In a Twinkling

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

“Behold, I shew you a mystery [secret]; We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53 KJV).

Behold, dear Christian friend, the quickest event you will ever experience!

It covers the smallest amount of time. The Greek word rendered “moment” in today’s Scripture is atomos, “without cutting; indivisible.” Scientists claim this value is 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000033 second! (Try to wrap your mind around that!) The other descriptive term is “twinkling,” as in an eye’s jerking movement (a blink). In Greek, it is related to the idea of “scattered abroad” (Matthew 9:36), “cast down” (Matthew 15:30; Matthew 27:5), “thrown” (Luke 4:35), “cast” (Luke 17:2), and “cast out” (Acts 27:19,29). These are sudden motions. Consequently, our English word “twinkling” is defined as, “in an instant; very quickly.”

The Rapture—“our gathering together unto [Christ]” (2 Thessalonians 2:1)—will happen so swiftly, we will not even have time to realize it. We will simply find ourselves in Heaven. An eye blink is an everyday, familiar event. Hence, the Bible uses it to depict the Rapture’s duration. In that extremely, extremely, extremely small fraction of a second, Almighty God will reconstruct the corpses of the millions of Christians buried worldwide, and re-implant their souls and spirits into those glorified bodies. Also in that extremely, extremely, extremely small fraction of a second, He will give us millions of living Christians new glorified bodies too. There will be an instant assembly of all members of the Church the Body of Christ, in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. As Scripture declares, that will all happen in an “atom” of time!

Then, we will be escorted into outer space, to appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, and then Father God’s throne in the Third Heaven. Finally, we will be scattered throughout the universe to serve and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in the endless ages to come. Lord, hasten the day… hurry the day for that rapid event! 🙂

Not Worthy

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 KJV).

What hope in such a hopeless world!

Our world abounds with sickness, suffering, and death. My family recently learned a relative has been diagnosed with malignant (and terminal) brain cancer. Another relative’s great-granddaughter, age 2, just died of a defective lung. I have an online teenage friend whose cancer has returned. One elderly sister in Christ, after suffering bronchitis for days, has now developed pneumonia. Her husband suffered internal bleeding—losing half of his body’s volume!—and nearly died weeks ago. An elderly neighbor has bronchitis (which may turn to pneumonia). Another elderly neighbor died of pneumonia weeks back. Horrible!

Physical sickness and resulting death undoubtedly make this fallen creation most painful. While we should take care of our bodies, they are only temporary. No matter how much we diet or exercise, or take medications, we all have to die of something eventually (mostly true). That parenthetical statement is very important, for surely there will be a group of Christians living when Jesus Christ comes at the Rapture to take His Body to Heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:15,17). They will never, ever see death: their bodies will simply be transformed. We may be that generation of Christians—or, maybe not. I know of many Christians who have been waiting for 40 or 50 years, and they, because of advanced age, may very well go the way of death if the Lord tarries much longer. (We may find ourselves there in the coming decades.)

Remember, brethren, every day of the Dispensation of Grace holds back the wrath of God from being poured out on our world. There has been nearly 2000 years of God offering His grace, and yes, that grace will have to be withdrawn someday. Let us not be selfish. Lost souls still need to be saved in Christ before that righteous judgment comes. The only way this is possible is if God extends the curse another day, postpones the Second Coming of Christ for another day, delays that earthly kingdom of healing and restoration another day. Deliverance will come, but there are more important things on God’s schedule at the moment.:)

Waiting for His Son from Heaven

Saturday, July 1, 2017

“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:9,10 KJV).

Friend, have you ever excitedly waited for a loved one to stop by for a visit?

The Bible says that we members of the Church the Body of Christ are “waiting” for a very special Loved One to come and visit us (and He will literally “drop by” at anytime!). While many people—even some professing Christians—are waiting for the Antichrist to appear on earth, today’s Scripture says we as Bible believers are looking for Jesus Christ to appear in heaven. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ…” (Titus 2:13).

While we are waiting for God’s Son from heaven, we are not sitting around doing nothing. We are praying. We are preaching the Gospel of the Grace of God. We are studying our Bibles. We are passing out tracts and Bible literature. We are teaching Scripture to others. We are working at our secular jobs. We are being upright spouses, parents, and children. Before we leave though, others must come with us. That grace of God on display in our lives entices them to join us in that heavenly abode that awaits all those who have placed their faith in Christ alone.

Brethren, we need to be about Father God’s business. If we are to truly experience the Christian life as He intended, we must be learning and doing that which fits Pauline doctrine. We are serving “the living and true God,” not some dead idol of wood or stone. What we do for Him will matter; it will not be overlooked in eternity future. If we really honored and valued Him, we would get into His Word, get His Word into us, get off our behinds, and let that Word work in us because we believe it! We are indeed waiting… but we are working too! 🙂

Bible Q&A #395: “Should we use Bibles on electronic devices?