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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Will The Rapture of the Church Happen on the Feast of Trumpets?

Summary of reasons why Christians expect to see the rapture happen on the 
Feast of Trumpets / Rosh Hashanna
Article Link
1.  All the Spring Feasts were fulfilled at Christ's first coming, and on the exact day of the feast.  All the Fall Feasts picture the second advent, and the Feast of Trumpets is the first of the fall feasts, picturing the rapture.
2.  The Feast of Trumpets is when the "last trump" of the rapture of 1 Cor 15 is blown.
3.  The Feast of Trumpets is known as the Wedding of the Messiah, and the Church is the Bride of Christ, and the rapture is when the Church is caught up to heaven to be wed with Christ.
4.  The Feast of Trumpets happens on the "new moon", which is 29.5 days after the last one, meaning it might occur on the 29th or 30th day, nobody knows for sure.  "Of that day or hour no man knows" is an expression referring to this feast, and thus, the rapture.
5.  "Of that day or hour no man knows, but my Father only" is an expression used by a groom when asked when his wedding will be.  He says this because it is his Father that will tell him when his preparations on the bridal chamber are completed and it is time.  Again, the wedding pictures the rapture.
6.  The "Open Door" of the rapture in Matt 25, and Rev 3, & Rev 4:1 is a symbol of the Feast of Trumpets.  [Ezek 46:1] "Thus says the Lord GOD: The gate of the inner court that faces east shall be shut on the six working days; but on the sabbath day it shall be opened and on the day of the new moon it shall be opened.
7.  We are told that the new moon and the Feasts of the Lord are a shadow of things to come in Col 2:16,17.  Since the Feast of Trumpets is the only Feast of the Lord that falls on a new moon, we should take particular note.
8.  There are seven days of awe in between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement.  These picture the seven years of tribulation.  Atonement pictures Satan being defeated and cast away at the end of tribulaion.  If you add the two day Trumpets feast, and the day of atonement, the 7 days of awe are "ten days of tribulation" which might be referred to in Rev. 2:10.
9.  In the Jewish Wedding, a marriage takes place over a period of time known as the "bridal week".  During the bridal week, the groom and bride have sex in the bridal chamber.  At the end of the week, there is a marriage supper.  Compare Judges 14, Rev. 19, and Gen. Genesis 29:22-28  This bridal week will be the tribulation week on earth, while the bride of Christ is in heaven.
10. In the Jewish Wedding, the groom comes for his bride "like a thief in the night" to take (size / rapture) her away and into the bridal chamber for the bridal week at his father's house.
11.  The Feast of Trumpets is also known as the coronation of the Messiah, when he will start reigning as king, thus the beginning of the "Day of the Lord", which includes the tribulation.
12.  It is also time for the bema judgment, or the judgement of the works of the righteous, and judgement must begin at the house of the Lord.
[2Cor 11:2] For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Rapture parallels with the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh HaShana)
  1. Feast of Trumpets in Scripture 51K, 12-15-00 My own study.
  2. Rapture symbols associated with Feast of Trumpets & Joseph in Egypt in Genesis/Psalms
  3. Jesus may have been born on the Feast of Trumpets (or Tabernacles, which sometimes refers to all the fall feasts collectively) (Sept 11, 3 BC.?), which tradition would suggest (the World, Noah, Jacob and Abraham were born at Trumpets and it was coronation day for kings, 1 Kings 1:34,2 Kings 9:13,11:11)
  4. The Feasts of the Lord, Chapter 7, online book (Eddie Chumney) 79K!
  5. The Feast of Trumpets in the Old Testament (Quotes Eddie Chumney)
  6. No Man Knows The Day or The Hour -->Rosh haShanah (Joseph Good)
  7. Feast of Trumpets "At the instant that the Jewish workers heard the trumpet sound, all would immediately stop harvesting, even if they were not finished (think about that!) and go to the Temple for worship!

  8. In those days, as it is sometimes today, a Jew & an Arab might be working side by side in the fields - but when the trumpet sounded on this particular day, the Jew would stop and go to worship, while the Arab kept on harvesting.
    Jesus used this same analogy in Matt. 24:36-44 of the 2nd Coming."
  9. ChuckMissler - The Feast of Trumpets - Koinonia House
  10. Daily Bible Study - The Feast Of Trumpets
  11. Rosh HaShana Information & Links

The Feasts of the Lord essays, relating to the Rapture, by Jackie U's summary of Eddie Chumney's work:

  • Introduction:
  • Pesach / Passover
  • Hag HaMatzah / Feast of Unleavened Bread
  • Bikkurim / First Fruits
  • Shavout / Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) Holy Spirit outpouring.
  • Yom Teruah (Rosh HaShanah) / Feast of Trumpets The rapture; the last trump; wedding of the Messiah; New Moon; Open Door
  • Yom Kippur / Day of Atonement
  • Sukkot / Feast of Tabernacles (Booths)

  • Is "Date Setting" BIBLICAL? 20 verses say the wise will know!

  • Does God do things on Appointed Times? 12k YES! GOD IS A DATE SETTER!

    Unmatched Biblical Ignorance

    We are living in a time of perhaps unmatched Biblical ignorance ­ a general lack of Biblical understanding. Many professing Christian pastors and leaders have given in to the culture and attempt to defend or reason without resorting to God’s Word, (or not at all).
    1­ They are abandoning our most powerful weapon ­ God’s Holy Word! They have capitulated to the culture on the issue of Creation.They have capitulated to the culture on the basis that science (so called) has now “established that God did not “create the Heavens and the earth and all that is therein in six days and rested on the seventh”.
    2­ They have capitulated to the culture on the issue of The Truth of God's Holy Word! They have capitulated, the ungodly myth of evolution over millions and billions of years and many are constantly defending the indefensible Darwinian Theory of origin of species and evolution, in the light of real scientific discoveries that reveal the falsity of the theory of evolution!
    3­ Even where they profess Christ there is almost no call to “live as becomes the Gospel of Christ”; no call to repent and surrender one’s will to God’s will; and no call to be “doers of the Word and not merely hearers”! 
    This devotional will take a brief look at each of these three points and see how these positions are undermining God’s Word.
    I.          CREATION:
    ●    The history of Creation by the only One who was present states in Genesis 1:1 the following:
    “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
    There are some who say that between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 millions or billions of years elapsed (i.e. The Gap). Not only is this not recorded in scripture, such a position DEFIES scripture and logic. It is recorded in the second Chapter of Genesis that “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished, and on the seventh day God ended his work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done”. (Genesis 2:1­2)
    Many other passages of scripture affirm the six days of Creation. For example, in Exodus
    Chapter twenty Moses received these words from the Lord God on Mount Sinai, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of The Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8­11) See also Exodus 31:12­17, where He concludes speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai with these words regarding  the Sabbath day, “It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days The Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.” (Genesis 31:17) The Psalm, 104, praises the
    Sovereign Lord for His creation and for His Divine Providence.
    Jesus declares that “....from the beginning of the Creation, God made them male and female. “ (Mark 10:6) To the same effect in Matthew 19:4, thus Jesus destroys the argument that there are millions/billions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 by simply stating that God created Adam and Eve “from the beginning”.  Perhaps the leading atheist/evolutionist, Richard Dawkings, says, “Evolution is not compatible with the Bible”. Of course his position is to throw out the Bible.
            ●    The DNA Code
    The discovery of the DNA Code and what many scientists have learned about it
    leave no chance that Darwin’s theories are true! Our experience and history show that codes are invented only by intelligence ­ not some natural process as a result of chance. Consider the Morse Code of Communication or even Braille for the blind. The German Naval Codes in World War II required an “enigma machine” to break them and when England obtained the “enigma machine” from Poland just before Germany invaded Poland, England was able to decipher the German orders almost before the Germans could! Clearly these codes were a product of a designed creation. Dr. Walter Brown (Walt Brown, In the Beginning) also speaks of the “genetic material that controls the physical processes of life” as “code information”. (Brown page 19)
    Dr. Stephen Meyer in his work on DNA has written in his book Signature in the Cell, of the probability of “producing a single 150­amino­acid functional protein by chance stand at about one in ten to the 164th power.” This is more than the maximum number of opportunities “that any particular event would have to take place since the origin of the universe, which,” which is one in ten to the 140th power and Meyer points out “for the event to occur in the history of the universe the first number would exceed the second number by ….roughly a trillion trillion times” No CHANCE­.
    “The calculations presented in the previous section meet both of these conditions. DNA and proteins manifest functionally significant patterns. And, given all the probabilistic resources of the universe, the odds of producing a functional protein of modest length stands less that one chance in a trillion trillion.” (Meyer pg. 219) “And beyond that, of course, the odds of producing the suite of proteins necessary to service a minimally complex cell by chance, in ten to the 41,000th power completely dwarfs the probabilistic resources of the whole universe, taking all those resources ­ ten to the 140th power possible events­ into account only increases the probability of producing a minimally complex cell by chance alone to, at best, one chance in ten to the 40,861st power, again unimaginably small probability.” (Meyer pg 219)
    Even Carl Sagan, an atheist, showed, using straightforward calculations, why one cell’s worth of genetic information approximates 4000 books of printed information. Each of Sagan’s 4000 books had 500 pages with 300 words per page [see Carl Sagan, The Dragons of Eden­ New York Random House, 1977 page 25] [Walt Brown, PhD, In The Beginning ­ compelling evidence for creation and the Flood pg. 75]
    Brown points out that “the moon is 240,000 miles from earth. If the DNA in a human cell were stretched out and connected, it would be more than 7 feet long. If all the DNA in one person’s body were placed end to end, it would extend to the moon 552,000 times”. (Brown pg. 75)
    Thus, even a brief look at the science that is currently available renders the Darwinian theory of evolution completely without a chance. God created the heavens and the earth by design, by His Word, and without Him was not anything made that was made.
    “God declares that He is not a man that He can lie. Jesus, God the Son, states that He (the
    Living Word who became flesh) is Truth. (John 14:6) He also says that “Thy Word (the Father’s
    Word) is Truth.” (John 17:17) See also Psalms 119:142 and Psalms 119:160
    When Satan attacked Eve in the Garden (Genesis 3), he attacked the Word of God and said that God was lying to Eve and Adam. It is the same attack that is going on today regarding God’s Word and many professing Christians are falling into the trap and helping the Evil One by saying that God did not create in six days because science has shown that the universe is 14.5 billion years old (give or take a few billion). They say that there are galaxies that are 14.5 billion light years away, therefore it took that long to create. Those who are duped into these positions fail to realize that God “set the stars (galaxies) in their courses when He created them”. (Psalms 8) Indeed, when Eve was created for Adam to be a “helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2), He made a woman (not a baby) and He brought her to Adam. When Eve was one minute old she was a woman and Adam took one look at Eve and celebrated! He did not say “Oh no. Now I’m going to have to change diapers.” She was his helper. “Bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh”. His companion. When Jesus changed water into wine, it was the finest wine one second after being created. When God created the heavens they had position and appearance of age. After Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, the rocks created from the eruption have been carbon dated at hundreds of thousands of years even though at the time they were measured they were less than twenty years old.
                                        Finally, the fossil record, which is available to everyone, shows the very evidence one would expect to see from a global flood. “Fossils all over the world show evidence of rapid burial” (Brown, pg. 11), not hundreds of millions of years. God’s Word is TRUE and “righteous all together”.
                                        Jesus called all who would, to “come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest for your souls, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light”. (Matthew 11:28-30) To “as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to be the children of God, even to them who believe on His name, who are born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”. (John 1:12-13)
                                        Note that the call is to “come” unto Christ. The gift is “rest”, and it is not hard- it is “easy”! This is the “rest” that God gives to His people. But one cannot just “say” they are coming, nor just “say” they believe in Jesus. They must come to Him. They do this by surrendering their will to the Lord’s will in true repentance and placing their trust in Jesus alone for their salvation, not trusting in their own record, which is what everyone needs saving from- their own record.
    That is what is involved in taking Jesus’ yoke upon them. That’s repentance. I’m giving up my will and becoming yoked to Jesus. Where He leads me, I will go too. If I’m yoked to Him, I’m going where He goes. I am also to learn of Him. That takes study. He came not to do His own will, but the will of the Father who sent Him. He is “meek and lowly in heart” and I become His “bond-servant” and God makes me an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. We too can say as the hymn writer, “Make me a prisoner Lord and then I shall be free; Force me to render up my sword and then a conqueror shall I be; I sink in Life’s alarms when by myself I stand; Imprison me within Thine arms, and strong shall by my hand.”
    He tells us that He came to seek and to save that which is lost and to give His life a ransom for many. He told those who would not come that “you will not come unto Me, that you may have life.” It is the gift of eternal life that is everlasting that He gives to those who come. Clearly then one does not receive “rest” or “everlasting life” by believing in the six days of Creation, but those who are attacking God’s Word as untrue on this or any other point are undermining God’s Word, and willingly, or unwillingly, doing the work of the enemy of the Cross of Christ. The result is many have stumbled and do not come to Christ.
                                        Because salvation is all of God’s sovereign grace, i.e. a sheer gift, no one should ever fear that they cannot come because they have sinned too much or too badly, or are not “good enough”. Come unto Christ! Take His yoke upon you. Learn of Him. Ask God to shed His grace on you (and your children and grandchildren). He will give you rest, for His Word is True! Then seek to “live as becomes the Gospel of Christ”. Do not be conformed to the world, don’t look-like the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind in Christ Jesus.
                                        Thus, as Jehovah God said through the prophet Isaiah more than 2700 years ago, “My children do not know. They do not consider! I have nourished and brought up children and they have rebelled against Me.” Biblical ignorance is what we are seeing again in our day. The answer God gave then is again relevant. “Come now, let us reason together sayeth The Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” The Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin! Think about it. Tell everyone you care about, of Jesus who is mighty to save. He came to seek and to save the lost. He came not to condemn the world, nut that the world through Him might be saved. Why should any perish? Only those who will not come to Him that they might have life. Come to Jesus. Take His yoke upon you and learn of Him. Dare to be a Daniel. Dare to stand alone. Dare to have a purpose firm. Dare to make it known. Purpose in your heart to live as becomes the Glorious Gospel of Christ. Let “Truth” be your worldview! God’s Word is Truth. Be sanctified by it!
                                        “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you[d] what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-12)
    Your Brother In Christ,
    Bill Gray

    Fellowship: Fortification against Apostasy

    by T.A. McMahon - Article Link - thebereancall.org
    Sep 1 2015
    Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.    —Ecclesiastes:4:9-12
    Warning against apostasy in our day seems to be akin to alerting Christians to the potential coming of a flood when they are already up to their knees in incoming tidewater. Sadly, for many, not even floating objects (i.e., the very obvious corruptions of Scripture) seem to get their attention. Nevertheless, we keep hoping and praying that the message will reach those who have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Word of God clearly foretells. For those who do acknowledge things happening as the Bible describes, it can be a bittersweet experience. The unhappy part is the recognition of the overwhelming, destructive consequences of the apostasy that is taking place in the world, in the church, and among our friends and loved ones who have succumbed to the increasing deceptions and seductions. Yet, on the other hand, we can rejoice that the Bible is confirming its miraculous prophetic nature, as it is in truth the Word of God! Furthermore, the fact that such events, long ago foretold, are taking place indicates that our blessed hope, the return of our wonderful Savior for His saints, is drawing closer, although no man knows the day and the hour.
    In the meantime, how should we go about dealing with these troubling times that aggressively oppose the Bible’s instructions for living our lives in a way that is pleasing to the Lord? The simple answer is: Learn what the Bible teaches, and then do what it says, in spirit and in truth. Such understanding and doing in the life of a believer is possible only by the Holy Spirit who dwells within every born-again Christian. Rarely, however, does the Spirit of God work in a vacuum, which means that the believer must fill his heart and mind with the teachings of Scripture so the Holy Spirit can give him understanding and help him to apply the wisdom that God has provided in the Word.
    One such teaching that is an issue of increasing concern is  fellowship (or the lack thereof) among believers. An all-too-common request from readers of The Berean Call is that we might help them to find a truly Bible-believing church. To participate in such fellowship and teaching, some are willing (as many already do) to drive for hours to be fed from the Word of God. Our response is that we can’t recommend anychurches. That isn’t because there aren’t some solid churches around; it’s because we’ve seen so many churches buy into questionable teachings and unbiblical programs, seemingly overnight. Our counsel for those who are earnestly seeking a church is to call and question the church’s pastor or an elder regarding the fellowship’s view of God’s Word, i.e., how serious the church is about it. A statement of faith, although it may appear biblically sound, is rarely a true indicator of the biblical discernment and practice within that church. Again, questions need to be asked and acceptable responses need to be followed up by personal attendance to see if indeed the church lives up to what has been claimed.
    Often, the reasons why Christians leave one fellowship for another have more to do with a “consumer attitude” rather than from a desire to hear God’s Word and to serve their brothers and sisters in Christ. A “feed me” mentality often transcends scriptural edification and prioritizes things such as a worship music preference, the length of a sermon or service, the pastor’s charisma, availability of popular programs, a lack of pew cup holders, etc. Although such thinking can creep into even the most committed believers, it’s the seeker-friendly, market-driven churches that have led the way in compromising biblical doctrine. The seeker-sensitive approach (see TBC articles) may increase a church’s numbers (usually by drawing from the “have not” churches mentioned above), but it has also created refugees who are looking for doctrinal integrity. The bad news/good news is that both will increase in the days ahead.
    Biblical compromise, the bad news, is on the rise. This will compel true believers to find fellowship with believers who are standing fast according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians:16:13). The good news is definitely good, but even it is not without problems. As has been noted, it can be quite difficult to find a biblically solid church. Some simply stop looking and give up on attending a church. They begin to seek “fellowship” through ministries that communicate via the media, and although the teaching may be edifying, it doesn’t satisfy the scriptural mandate regarding fellowship (Hebrews:10:24-25). Such an approach may foster a self-focused mentality and hardly ever lends itself to the biblical admonition to serve others (Galatians:5:13). Moreover, what may be the most spiritually damaging consequence of disregarding fellowship is that the believer risks becoming a “Lone Ranger” Christian. Such a person is an easy target for the one who goes about as a “roaring lion…seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter:5:8).
    Christians who have no fellowship, regardless of the reasons or rationale, have consequently brought upon themselves more than a few potential problems. To begin with, as the verses above from Ecclesiastes assert, they have put themselves into a weak and vulnerable position: Two are better than one… . For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up . A believer who has no one to support him spiritually will find himself in trouble sooner or later. When any of us gets knocked down spiritually, we need a fellow believer to help us up—mentally, emotionally, and, most important, spiritually .
    As for those who declare, “The Lord is all we need,” too often, their subsequent thinking is out of line with God’s Word. Jesus said inLuke:6:46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Certainly we need Jesus first and foremost, but He has given us instructions that we are to follow, and they include involving other believers in our lives. His Word tells us that we are not to forsake “the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is” (Hebrews:10:25). That isn’t merely a suggestion! Even if we weren’t aware of the reasons for our Lord’s mandate , it must still be obeyed, and numerous reasons are given throughout Scripture. Included among those are accountability, encouragement, praying for others and being prayed for, edification of one another through the Word, correction, personal support and strengthening in the faith, showing empathy and compassion, helping others to use discernment, increasing in our love for one another, and sustaining biblical steadfastness.
    Practically speaking, avoiding or disdaining fellowship eliminates our ability to fulfill the important exhortations for believers to serve one another. Anyone’s claim that they “follow Jesus” rings hollow at the very least if he evades our Savior’s example of coming not to be served but to serve , even to give His life for others (Matthew:20:28). We are to “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians:6:2). Paul’s epistles to the Corinthians are replete with examples of believers ministering to each other, accepting one another, edifying each other, correcting each other, meeting the needs of other saints, and so forth. Too often, we miss the fact that in Paul’s writings to the churches he gives us a wonderful example of how we are to minister to one another. That should be evident to us when we read, “Brethren, join in following my example , and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.” His commitment to and love for his fellow believers throughout his God-inspired writings is both extraordinary and convicting.
    Even if our future holds persecutions, which have not formerly been much on the horizon in the West (but are a fact of life for many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in numerous countries), the importance of fellowship is even more imperative for believers, as the Scriptures make clear. As the persecution of biblical Christians in the West will surely increase, those who desire to be true to the faith “which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3) will be marginalized at least, with even worse experiences in the days ahead. After decades of spiritual seduction due to unbiblical teachings, false practices, compromise with the world, the pervasive acceptance of the pseudo sciences of evolution and psychotherapy in the US, the acceptance of social “correctness” regarding homosexuality, and the eagerness to do things man’s way rather than God’s way, we have arrived at the time when “judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter:4:17). How exactly that will take place remains to be seen, but the history of persecution within Christendom indicates that it more than rivals martyrdom executed by governments. One needs only to consider the historic religious inquisitions to recognize that.
    Will the world really turn on Christians? Some governments already have, but it will soon grow worse. Why? Because our planet is headed for a one-world government that will be under the rule of the Antichrist.  The religion of the Antichrist, as Dave Hunt has pointed out, is not just in opposition to biblical Christianity; it is a seductive counterfeit of Christianity. Retaining a form of biblical Christianity without its truth, without its gospel, without its instructions, it will become a self-love-oriented, self-deifying belief system that initially has “a form of godliness” but denies its power (2 Timothy:3:5). Professing Christians will therefore be given a pass—but not biblical Christians, those who stand steadfast in God’s Word.
    Could the Christian church ever turn on its own? Yes, but that will be the professing Christian church, with its blinded leaders and deluded hirelings. They will pose as true shepherds, but they are really ravenous wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing, and in fact are those who have acted the part but were never truly born again. In Acts:20:28-31, Paul warns the Ephesian elders of what will take place in the church after his departing: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”
    What then is the biblical Christian to do as we see these situations proliferating prior to the return of Jesus for His bride? Much of what we are being told and sold by some Christian websites and Christian bestselling authors who disregard the imminent return of Jesus and the pretrib Rapture is that we must prepare to physically survive the seven years of tribulation.
    These individuals conveniently have survival gear and food for sale for what the Bible describes throughout the Book of Revelation and declares in Matthew:24:21-22 as a time “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, nor ever shall be, and except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved.” Even a cursory reading of Revelation demonstrates clearly that cataclysmic events, martyrdom, and God’s wrath will leave only a remnant of believing Jews and non-Jews alive at the Second Coming of Christ with His saints. Yet one Christian documentary promotional trailer chides pastors for not preparing their flocks to go through the “great tribulation” (Matthew:24:21).
    Believers shouldn’t be surprised or overwhelmed when they are called upon to endure tribulation (John:16:33) but the Great Tribulation is not in our future. Christ will remove His bride in the Rapture before the “time of Jacob’s trouble,” an event so devastating that Jeremiah declares, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it” (30:7). How then should believers prepare for potential troubles, especially within Christendom, prior to the Rapture? The prevention program is hardly complex, although it may be a real struggle for some, depending on where they are in their walk with the Lord. Like any exercise program, it can be initially difficult for those who are new to it. The struggle has to do primarily with discipline. Daily reading of God’s Word is a foundational exercise that needs to become a habit for every born-again Christian. The content of the Scriptures—what one reads—must then be lived out in the believer’s daily life. That disciplined familiarity with God’s instructions is not only necessary to guide one’s life, but it forms the basis for protecting one against spiritual deception.
    Fellowship with likeminded brothers and sisters in Christ is a major part of the Lord’s instructions, given for our protection, strengthening, and fruitfulness. We need to “circle our wagons” now and in the days ahead. Our best option is in a church fellowship, supporting the leadership that is steadfast and staying the course of God’s Word and serving the body. When that is not an option, we must ask the Lord to help us find another committed believer or believers with whom we can have a Bible study, with whom we can pray, with whom we can minister to one another, encourage one another, and, again, with whom we can circle our wagons for spiritual protection. “ And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken .” Let that third strand be the Lion of Judah, our Lord Jesus himself.   TBC

    Victory Over Sin

    by Dave Hunt - Article Link - thebereancall.org
    Aug 1 2015
    Last published in October 2006
    Torn between their sincere desire to serve and honor their Lord and the inner turmoil of fleshly lusts and the seductive pull of worldly pleasures and honors, many Christians struggle to live for Christ. For them, Christianity involves great effort, little joy, much frustration and disillusionment, and the loss (when they have enough will power to deny themselves) of so much they once enjoyed in life. They struggle to avoid Paul’s list of “don’ts” in Colossians:3:5-8: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry...put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” Failing repeatedly, they repent remorsefully and puzzle over their inability to live as they know they should—but seemingly can’t.
    They fare no better with Paul’s list of “do’s” that follows (vv. 12-25): “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving...put on charity....Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly....And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him...[etc.]”
    Is it really possible to be sweet, kind, humble, loving, and forgiving at all times? The spirit is willing, but the flesh proves ever to be embarrassingly weak. How can one live up to the high standards the Bible sets for Christian living? Is there some secret to victory we are overlooking? The two key expressions, “mortify” in verse 5 and “put on” in verse 12, only increase the bewilderment and sense of failure. Is it really possible to “put to death” ungodly desires and, shedding that body of evil, as it were, to be clothed in a resurrection body of godliness? Surely Paul, led of the Holy Spirit, is not taunting us with goals that cannot be attained and that, in fact, are not at all practical. Was he not, himself, an example of this kind of life, and did he not say more than once, “Be ye followers of me even as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor:11:1, etc.)? Then why do we fail? From whence comes the motivation and the strength to accomplish what is at once so desirable and yet so seemingly impossible?
    There is a general failure to recognize the importance of one little word that occurs in both verses 5 and 12. It holds the answer to our dilemma. Paul does not say, “Mortify your members” and “Put on...bowels of mercies, kindness....” That would impose a “do-it-yourself” religion of gritting one’s teeth in determination and struggling to live up to high moral standards—no different from the atheist’s or Buddhist’s attempt to do the same. That is not Christianity! Paul carefully and pointedly says, “Mortify therefore ... Put on therefore ....” Clearly “therefore” refers to something that Paul is convinced gives the Christian the motivation and power to do what he is commanding and lifts the Christian above the impossible struggle of flesh trying to live a godly life. It is, therefore, the Christian’s secret to a happy, fruitful and holy life pleasing to God.
    The mortifying of the old deeds and the putting on of the new is possible only because, as the previous verses declare, “Ye are dead, and...your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col:3:2). Certainly the same thing could not be said of the followers of Buddha, Muhammad, Krishna, et al. Christianity is thus unique and separated from all religions. Herein lies the secret dynamic of the Christian life. Why, then, doesn’t every Christian experience this power in daily living? Sadly, many who call themselves Christians have a very superficial understanding of the gospel they claim to have embraced: “[H]ow that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day...” (1 Cor:15:3-4).
    For many who believe that Christ died for their sins, this event is more mystical than historical. The horrible death on the Cross is something that happened to Christ but has only a theoretical rather than practical connection to them. They have such a faulty understanding of what Christ’s death means that they are not true Christians at all. They have imagined that the death of Christ in their place delivered them from their deserved eternal punishment in hell, so that, like Barabbas, they could live as they pleased. They have never desired what Paul rejoiced in: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal:2:20).
    Paul was not expressing an inspiring but empty platitude. For that great apostle, the Cross was no mere religious symbol, but the place where he had died to life as he would have lived it and had begun to experience the very life of Christ being lived in him. He knew that Christ gives resurrection life; therefore only those who have died can experience it. With wonder, amazement and deep gratitude he realized that Christ had actually taken his place before a righteous, holy God—and that God had put Christ to death in payment for his (Paul’s) sins. Therefore, Paul was a dead man. Christ’s death in his place was literally his own death, and he rejoiced in that fact. If he was to experience life thereafter, it must be the resurrected Christ living in him.
    The transformation in Paul was at once remarkable, yet not surprising. The most seductive temptation Satan can devise will arouse no response from a dead man. Insult a dead man to his face, and he will not retaliate in anger. As a dead man, Paul experienced a new freedom over sin that he had never known before! Yet, in spite of being dead, Paul was more alive than he had ever been: “I am crucified...nevertheless, I live.” Dead to sin, he was alive to God through Christ. So real was this to Paul, that it was as though Christ himself were living in him—and, indeed, He was! Christ had become his very life—and this, said Paul, was what Christianity was all about!
    Paul reminded the saints at Colosse that victory over sin and self was not possible through willpower and fleshly struggle. True victory could come only through understanding and believing what it really meant that Christ had died for their sins and had been resurrected for their justification. Paul declared that this was the secret of his own complete transformation—and so it must be with them.
    But how could Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection be as real to them as it was to Paul—so real that their very lives would be totally transformed? Paul explained: They must believe that Christ was coming any moment to take them to heaven, where they would thereafter appear with Him in glory! It was the hope of Christ’s imminent return that would make the difference between victory and defeat in the Christian life!
    That this hope is the key to victorious living is clear. Notice again Paul’s staggering declaration: “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory[!] Mortify therefore....” That was such a vibrant hope and of such certain accomplishment that Paul began this entire section with the statement, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col:3:1-2). Herein lay the secret to the godly life that Paul himself lived and expected of the Colossians as well. They were to be so heavenly minded that the things of this earth would have no appeal and thus no power over them.
    Nor was this orientation away from earth toward heaven to be merely a “mental attitude” they had adopted without any basis in reality. It was not wishful “positive thinking” but truth that would change their lives. Through Christ’s cross Christians have been crucified to the world and the world has been crucified to them, as Paul had firmly declared (Gal:6:14). A man who has just been taken down, dead, from a cross has no interest in this world nor does it have any claims upon him. The person crucified and those who crucified him have nothing further to do with each other. So it is with the Christian and the world through the cross of Christ. The vicious hatred this world has for Christ, and its irreconcilable animosity against all that He stands for, have been fully exposed in its rejection and crucifixion of our Lord. Christ declared that the world would hate and persecute us as it had Him (Jn:15:18-20;16:2;17:14). By His cross we have been cut off from this world just as surely as He has been.
    Death, however, did not end it all. Christ rose triumphant from the grave and ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven. Moreover, He is coming again in power and glory to judge and take vengeance upon those who have rejected Him—and we, who have identified ourselves with Him in His rejection and death, will participate in His triumph and glory. Nor is that Second Coming so far in the future that it has no practical meaning for us now. On the contrary, it could occur today. The glorious fulfillment of the hope that the gospel has instilled within our hearts could burst upon us at any moment! This fact causes eternity to invade the present and makes the Christian no longer of this world!
    Hear Paul say it again: “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Consenting to be dead and willing for Christ to be their life was not only the Colossians’ basis for victory but the essential meaning of the gospel they must embrace. Otherwise, there could be no salvation. Without that, they were mere Barabbases, grateful that Christ had died in their place but mistakenly assuming that they had been “saved” in order to live for self. If they were not willing to acknowledge Christ’s death as their very own and to give up life as they would have lived it so that Christ could become their life, then they could not experience the victory over sin and self that Paul preached. Indeed, they had not consented to the message of the gospel at all!
    And what made the fact of their death, burial, and resurrection with Christ the dynamic power that transformed their lives? It was this promise: “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Once that truth had gripped their hearts so that His “appearing” had become their daily expectation and hope, Christ’s death and resurrection were so real to them in the present that they were changed into new persons. As such, Paul told them, they were to “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” May we each pursue that challenge wholeheartedly!
    The “pretribulation Rapture” is thus no mere hair-splitting thesis for theologians to discuss, nor is it a theory without practical effect. It is the overlooked secret to victory in the Christian’s life. John said, “Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he [Christ] is pure” (1 Jn:3:3). Paul indicated that it had been his love of Christ’s appearing that had motivated him to holiness and faithfulness and had made him victorious—and that the same “crown of righteousness” was for “all them also that love his [Christ’s] appearing” (2 Tm 4:8). On the other hand, Christ associated wickedness with failing to love His appearing: “But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken...” (Mt 24:48,49).
    Let us diligently and enthusiastically “seek those things that are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Let us “set [our] affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Why? “For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Phil:3:20-21). Praise God!  TBC