People of The Living God

Romans 10:9-10

 

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September 2010



 

PRO–ABORTIONISTS HIDE TRUTH ABOUT KILLING

Haven Bradford Gow

        According to Randall Walton, editor of Testimony of Truth (366 Cove Creek, McMinnville, TN 37110), “One of the Ten Commandments states, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’  Killing a fetus, at any stage in its mother’s womb, is a transgression of the word of the living God.  God forbids the killing of a child no matter whether in or outside the mother’s womb.”

        Julia Slocum, a retired nurse/educator in Arkansas, says, “When I was teaching nursing students, our biology textbooks clearly taught that human life begins at conception.  Modern technology like ultrasound makes it clear that a human being, a baby, is growing inside his/her mother’s womb.”  Abortion, she insists, is the murder of a baby.

        For Wisconsin pro-life psychiatrist Dr. Monte Liebman (3437 N 46th, Milwaukee, Wisc. 53216), “Killing innocent human life by (medical) professionals is a deviant, destructive and underhanded act, one that must be ended…pro-life means respecting everyone’s right to life…This unconditional ‘respect for life’ is the fundamental ingredient of civilization.”

        In an important and much needed pamphlet distributed by the Right to Life Assn. Of Toronto (215 Victoria Street, #401, Toronto, Canada M5B 1T9) entitled, “Language of Illusion: the Abortion Slogans,” we learn how pro–abortionists abuse and manipulate language to justify the killing of innocent unborn babies.  For example, pro–abortionists argue, “No one should impose their religious morality on another.”  To this statement, we must reply that history shows that long–standing anti–abortion legislation was initiated by the medical establishment to protect unborn babies.  Even Planned Parenthood, now North America’s leading advocate of abortion on demand, once held the view that “an abortion ends the life of a baby after it has begun.”  Moreover, we must say, “Religion did not discover when life begins; biologists did.  Religion did not establish that at the moment of conception a unique and separate individual exists; geneticists did.”

        Concerning the pro–abortion argument that “A fetus is not a person,” we must respond, “A person is by definition a human being, whether a man or woman or child; a human being as distinguished from animal.”  Indeed, “Our individual biological system begins at conception and ends with death, providing us with the obvious fact that life is a continuum.”  In fact, “At all stages of this continuum we are humans, as the science of genetics can document.  Thus our humanity does not depend on our size, stage of development or place of residence.”

THE WORDS OF JESUS

George Scullin

        Of all the words of the Bible, the words of Jesus are by far the most important.  The writer of Hebrews gives emphasis to this when he says in Heb. 1:1,2 – “God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son.”  God gave us a special message by His Son.  It is different from all others.  It has been said that if we had only the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we could find the way to life eternal.

        In this message we find that Jesus came not only to bring us salvation from sin and death; He also brought the Kingdom of God to men, and He established laws governing that kingdom.  He gave authority and power over all the forces of evil to His people, and He established moral principles that have swayed men for 2,000 years.  This wonderful Messenger with this message was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” (I Pet. 1:20).

        Moses prophesied of the importance of this Messenger and His message (Deut. 18:18,19).  Peter declared that Jesus was that Messenger.  He said in Acts 3:22–23, “A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you.  And it shall come to pass that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.”  “All things whatsoever He shall say unto you” includes over one hundred and fifty specific commands.

        The Father Himself authorized the message of Jesus when, on the Mount of Transfiguration He said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, HEAR YE HIM” (Matt. 17:5).

        In John 12:49, Jesus said, “I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.”  None of the apostles could say that all of their words were dictated by the Father.  Men have exalted the words of Paul above those of Christ.  Though Paul was a great teacher, he, himself gave preeminence to the words of Jesus (I Tim. 6:3), “If any man teach otherwise and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing.”  Also II Thess. 1:7–8: “when 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.”  John also endorsed the words of Jesus, I John 2:3,4: “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.  He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”  II John 1:9,10: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.  He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.”

        Concerning His words, Jesus Himself said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63); also, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away” (Mark 13:31).  He promised to send another Comforter, concerning whom He said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).  And in John 15:26, He said, “When the Comforter is come…He shall testify of Me.”  John 16:13,14: “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak and He will shew you things to come, He shall glorify Me; for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you.”  These scriptures, as well as many others, should make clear to anyone the vast importance of heeding the words of Jesus, but lest there should be the slightest doubt in anyone’s mind, be aware that every person will be judged according to his deeds (Rev. 20:12,13; Rom. 2:62), according to what he has done with the words of Jesus, for He said, in John 12:48, “He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: THE WORD THAT I HAVE SPOKEN, the same shall judge him in the last day.”

        Since these words that Jesus spoke hold such great import, it behooves all those who desire life to look into the message of Jesus.

THE MESSAGE OF JESUS

        It may come as a shock to many people to discover that the churches of this day are not teaching the message that Jesus told the apostles to teach.  Nowhere in the Bible do we find Jesus or the apostles telling people “to make a decision for Christ” and then “attend the church of your choice,” or “Come forward and accept the Lord.”

        Just what did Jesus teach?  What was the text of His message?  The answer to that question can be found in one portion of scripture.  In Matthew 28:18–20, just before He ascended into heaven, Jesus said, “ALL POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and TEACH ALL NATIONS (Jews and Gentiles), baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU.”  This was not a suggestion for ministry.  This was a DIVINE ORDER given by the King to His servants.

        In the commands of Jesus we are told how to serve God, how to serve our fellow men, and how to deal with our personal problems.  It is noteworthy that Jesus said nothing about going to church.  His message was highlighted by DOING, by action.  In Matthew 7:21, He said, “Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he that DOETH the will of My Father, which is in heaven.”

        The will of the Father is not what men seem to think it is.  Many modern Christians think that an idea that comes into their minds, or having an urge to do something, is God speaking to them.  “The Lord said to me” is a common expression among such people.  Beware of those who say, “I have a word from the Lord for you.”  Receiving an answer to prayer is considered by them to be proof that they are in the will of God.  Men need to understand that what God does for us is not the criterion by which we will be judged.  What we do in response to His words will justify or condemn us (John 12:48).

        In Matthew 7:22,23, Jesus went on to say, “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.”

        Jesus did not deny their claims, but called them “workers of iniquity.”  Iniquity is lawlessness.  They ignored the commands of Jesus, thinking that their supernatural works would qualify them for eternal life.  In John 10:1, Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.”  II John 9: The apostle said, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.  He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”

        The doctrine of Christ contains some strong meat.  Jesus commanded us in Matthew 5:48, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”  In this particular verse, the word “perfect” means “mature.”  We are born into the Kingdom as babes, but God expects us to grow and produce.  In the 15th chapter of John, verses 1–6, Jesus likens us to vines.  Vines must produce fruit, or they are cut off and burned.  It is not enough to just be born again.  We must develop.  To grow in God is costly.  It demands obedience. It costs everything.  Luke 14:33: “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.”  It demands death to self.  Luke 9:23,24: “And He said to them ALL, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it.”  It demands complete dedication to God.  “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”

        When Jesus began His ministry, one of the first things He said is found in Mark 1:15: “The time is fulfilled (arrived) and the Kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent ye, and believe the good news.”  “Repent” means “change.”  It means the man stops doing as he desires and begins living God’s way.  He confesses his sins to God, asking forgiveness, and he enters into covenant relationship with God.  He promises God that he will live as God demands.  He will turn his back on sin (disobedience).  On this basis he is accepted, and the man becomes a child of God.  He converts.  He enters the Kingdom of God (John 3:3,5).  He is born again.  The Holy Spirit makes His abode within the man (John 14:16,17; Rom. 8:9).  He is a new creature (II Cor. 5:17,18).  He is resurrected (John 5:24).  He is in the Kingdom of God (Col. 1:13), and the kingdom of God is in him (Luke 17:21).  He is a disciple IF he continues (goes on) in the words of Jesus (John 8:31).  If he does not practice doing what Jesus said, he becomes a hypocrite, a pretender, an actor.  The doctrine of eternal security, as taught today, is a lie of the devil and is ensnaring and destroying many souls.  I John 3:7: “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous even as He is righteous.”

        The most popular preachers of our time seem to be those who teach that the commands of Jesus are not binding on us.  Others say they were given for the Jews.  Some say we live in a different society and cannot possibly keep such demands; they are not applicable to modern times, and all that God expects of us is love.  Love in God’s vocabulary far exceeds the sentimentality of a warm affectionate feeling that many feel is all that God requires.  As in the physical, spiritual growth from babe to maturity is a process.  The newborn babe is not capable of assuming adult responsibilities.

Man’s Relationship to God

        “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself” (Luke 10:27).  Take note that this is an emphatic command and leaves no options to the fickle heart of man.  To love God to that degree demands man’s full commitment.  As a free moral being man can choose to serve God or not, but nowhere does God give man the option of deciding the manner, or to what degree he will serve God.  Take note of the following:

        Matt. 7:21: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven.”

        Luke 6:46: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

        John 14:23: “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.”  These words in the message of Jesus declare plainly that the Lord’s acceptance of man is contingent on his meeting the demands of the Lord, not on his own decision as to how he will serve God and what he will believe.  Jesus taught that a true believer has works that prove he IS a believer.

        John 3:18–21: “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

        He was not referring to supernatural works, but to works of obedience, as He said in John 8:30–32: “As He spake these words, many believed on Him.  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

        Doing what Jesus said to do is proof that we love Him.  John 14:15: “If ye love Me, keep My commandments.”  Emotions or sentiment may be involved in expressing love for God, but feelings are not the proof of love; obedience is.

Man’s Relationship To Man

        As in man’s relationship to God, so God has set definite rules for man’s relationship to man.  Our relationship one with another is as important as our relationship with God.  John said, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (I John 4:20)

        Love is manifested in service.  We do what is necessary for the good of our brother.  Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34).  Jesus gave His life for us, and we should have the same attitude toward our brother.

        This love that is so essential goes beyond our brother, for we are commanded to LOVE OUR ENEMIES.  Matt. 5:44: “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”  Doing good to them that hate us, and praying for those that despitefully use us, means death to self, but it converts the soul.  It does something in our being that needs to be done.

        Jesus gave over 150 specific commands and many of them have to do with our relationship with one another.  Observing them will prove our love for God.  Ignoring them will manifest our immaturity and unbelief.

Our Problems With Self

        As we endeavor to walk in obedience to the words of Jesus we find that there is something in our natures that resists doing God’s will.  In Romans 8:6,7, Paul called this the carnal mind.  Jesus told us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him.  Luke 9:23: “And He said to them all.  If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”  He is speaking of our cross.  The one we take up daily; the one upon which we sacrifice our ideas, our desires, our plans, our feelings.  We bow and say, “Yes, Lord,” to His will, to His command.  The way of life is through death.  “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24).  The Lord has given us the means to crucify self, but we must do it.  His words, His commands are the means.  If we want life, we will apply the means as found in His message.

The World We Live In

        God has not called His people to become involved in the world.  This includes the complete world system: its politics, finances, economics – everything!  In John 17:16, when Jesus prayed to the Father, He said concerning the disciples, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”  John put it bluntly in I John 2:15: “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth” (Matt. 6:19), and “Take no thought for your life” (verse 25).  “A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15).  There is a law of the Kingdom which states, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34).

        In the message of Jesus, He spoke in parables to illustrate many facts concerning the kingdom of God.

        By practicing His teachings and seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, we learn to deny self and put on the “Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 13:14).

        The inspired writings of the apostles confirm the teachings of Jesus, but do not supplant them.

        In Matt. 24:35, Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but MY WORDS SHALL NOT PASS AWAY.”

THE MILLENNIUM?

Randall Walton

        The very nature of the question contained in the above title indicates a futuristic viewpoint regarding a millennium, and it also serves to identify those who teach a millennium as futurists, or as those who believe in a future period of 1,000 years during which the ancient promises to Israel and the Jew will be fulfilled.  The hypotheses surrounding the futuristic millennium are many and varied, so we shall not attempt to deal with them all.

        The popularity of this doctrine is nearly unparalleled, exceeded possibly only by the secret–catching–away myth; and the fame of these doctrines lies not on their Scriptural authenticity, but upon their fleshly, earthly, carnal appeal.  It matters not to the futurist whether he has an unshakeable foundation of “Thus saith the Lord,” but rather he finds great pleasure in attempting to force the Scriptures to mean what he wants them to say.  So–called “prophecy” is one of the most overworked clichés of the day.

Scriptural Honesty

        Every student of the Word who possesses an honest heart must admit that there is but one and only one source in the entire Bible which gives one iota of credence to the futuristic view of 1,000 years.  Not one of the Old Testament prophecies which are so forcefully heralded about the future age mentions a time of 1,000 years – no not ONE!  The famous, “the desert shall blossom like a rose,” and “the lion shall lie down with the lamb,” etc., do not even vaguely suggest that those conditions will exist in a future setting known as a millennium, or 1,000 years.  Those passages have been lifted out of their original contexts by certain “doctors of divinity,” and have been transplanted into a futuristic utopian age of earthly and carnal splendor which is nowhere to be found in the Holy Scriptures.

        It is absolutely astounding to hear these great Bible expositors “explain” how Zechariah 14 portrays the future Messianic kingdom of God on earth for one thousand years!  The words one thousand years appear nowhere in the book of Zechariah, and yet we are encouraged to believe that the man of God was relating incidents which should take place in the millennium.  The whole idea is based upon presumption, assumption and speculation.

The Cart Before The Horse

        The millennial mirage has its roots in Revelation 20, a highly symbolic chapter in a highly symbolic Book, a very poor resource in which to establish a major doctrine.  Once the idea of a future materialistic kingdom became formulated in men’s minds, the next step was to make all other “prophetic” utterances fit into the overall plan.  The result of this method is that the plain, non–symbolic Scriptures have been brutally mutilated, torn apart, interpolated, removed from their proper setting, and made to mean the opposite of that which they state.  If the same means were used in civil courts of law to determine actual fact, such tactics would be considered criminal.

        The only safe way to approach the Word of the Lord is to go FIRST to the plain, non–symbolic portions of Scripture, and analyze the contents word by word so as to arrive at a clear understanding of what is being stated.  This makes for a solid foundation.  It is foolish to wade into the deep waters of symbolic and allegorical writings and expect to come to a place of truth and verity.  But this is exactly what men have done with the twentieth chapter of Revelation.  Laying aside the plain words of Jesus Christ and the apostles, they have plunged headlong into the quagmire of dark speech and have built for themselves a foundation of mud and mire.

The Book Is Consistent

        Inconsistency is the mark of the futurists.  For example, Revelation 20 tells about an angel who has a great chain in his hand, as well as a key to the bottomless pit (or a pit without a bottom).  The angel then laid hold on a dragon, bound him with the chain, cast him into the pit without a bottom, shut him up, set a seal upon him, and saw to it that the dragon would remain there for 1,000 years.

        I have never read of, nor heard of a commentator anywhere who believed that the above scene was 100% literal.  The dragon, the key, the chain, the pit and the seal are universally conceded to be symbolic, i.e., they represent something other than what is stated.  But then, with profound inconsistency, they all with one accord agree that the 1,000 years is a literal, actual time period of no less than 1,000 earth years and is not symbolic!  Such incongruity is difficult to comprehend.

        But then, in an effort to justify their daring inconsistency, they bulldoze their way through the rest of the Book trying to make it conform to their previous erroneous conclusions.

        For the sake of truth and consistency, let us accept the term “a thousand years” as just as much of a symbol as the key, the chain, the dragon, and the pit.  And when you have thus admitted that “a thousand years” is symbolic, or that it represents something else than a literal 1,000 years, the mythical millennium becomes just that: a myth! Thus, the entire issue rests upon the question of whether “a thousand years” in Revelation 20:2–3 is symbolic or literal.  We claim it is symbolic or figurative.  Futurists say it is literal.

        Since there does not exist one other verse in the entire Bible to substantiate the idea of a literal 1,000 years, and since “in the mouth of two or three witnesses” every word is to be established, we firmly state that the idea of a future millennium of peace and tranquility on this earth exists only in the imagination of those who refuse to adhere to the plain words of Jesus Christ and the apostles!

The Seven Thousand Years Theory

        Most millennialists attempt to make an analogy of the seven day week and a seven thousand years’ history of mankind on earth.  The “reasoning” goes something like this: God worked six days and rested the seventh.  Therefore, mankind will have 6,000 years to do his own thing, and the seventh 1,000 years will be the glorious millennium when Jesus will rule over His enemies and His saints will rule with Him.

        The basis for this reasoning comes from the necessity to uphold the literal interpretation of Revelation 20, and it gets its impetus from II Peter 3:8 where the great apostle states that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”  But notice, he didn’t say one day is equal to a thousand years, nor a thousand years is equal to one day. The context in which this verse is couched is concerning the coming of Jesus Christ to earth again.  Peter lets us know that time, as we count time, is irrelevant to the Lord.  His method of tracking time is totally different from ours.

        No way is he promoting the idea that you can exactly equate one day with one thousand literal years.  Those who draw such conclusions should read the chapter over more carefully.  Peter berates those who scoff at the belief that the coming of Jesus is close at hand, and who say, “where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”  Simple respect for the word of God demands that we keep these verses within their intended meaning and not distort them to fit a preconceived notion about an imaginary time period of one thousand years.  Such misuse and abuse of the Scriptures is most dangerous.

        Efforts have been made to place the Old Testament era into exactly 4,000 years and the New Testament period to cover 2,000 years, thus, hopefully, establishing their theory as bona fide.  But if the time periods missed their calculations by five years in either direction, that would not be enough accuracy to substantiate their speculation.  It must be precise or not at all.

        The sad fact is that futurists have grabbed for any kind of straw to support their unfounded theory at the awful expense of truth.  If only people were content to found themselves upon the plain words of Jesus and His apostles, the current confusion would not exist.

The Kingdom And The Present Age

        All prophecy, from Genesis to Malachi, pointed to the advent of the Messiah as the beginning of a time of great blessedness for all nations which was to continue to the very end of time.

        Jacob prophesied the coming of Shiloh, the Messiah, unto whom the gathering of the people would be (Gen. 49:10).

        David wrote a wonderful account of the Messiah and His rule and reign in Psalm 72: “In his days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.  He shall also have dominion from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth.  They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him, and his enemies shall lick the dust” (verses 7–9).

        Isaiah also speaks of the coming of the Messiah as the one glorious era to be looked for when God would save men and open the eyes of the blind and cause the wilderness to break into singing.  Isaiah and the other prophets spoke of the Messianic age as one of blessedness for all people.  It is during this time that the “wolf shall dwell with the lamb” (Isa. 11:6), a condition which signifies the conversion of a person with a “wolf nature.”  “If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature” (II Cor. 5:17).

        Many times the Scriptures liken people unto animals: Jesus referred to Herod as a fox (Luke 13:32).  Judah is called a lion’s whelp (Gen. 49:9).  False prophets are known as wolves (Matt. 7:15).  Jesus is called the Lamb of God (John 1:29).  Rebellious people are termed “brute beasts” (Jude 10).  Jesus also referred to some people as dogs (Matt. 15:26).  And Paul warned the saints at Philippi to “Beware of dogs” (Phil. 3:2).

        The blessings of this era are due only to the fact that the Messiah has come and has fulfilled His mission and ministry: “Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.  Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.  Unto you first God, having raised up his Son, Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” (Acts 3:24–26).

        Bro. Paul seconded this statement by saying, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:13).

He Reigns Now

        When Jesus began His public ministry He declared, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14,15).

        The good news, then, concerned the availability and accessibility of the Kingdom of God.  Repentance was a necessary means of attaining the blessedness of the Kingdom, but it was (and is) available to those who would meet the initial requirements to repent and believe.

        Jesus further affirmed that His first advent marked the glorious beginning of a time of blessing and fulfillment of prophecy: “Blessed are the eyes which see the things which ye see; for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”  And He demonstrated His supernatural ability to reign over His enemies throughout His 3½ years of ministry.  “He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil” (Acts 10:38).

        Furthermore, Peter affirmed that the resurrection of Jesus was equated with His sitting upon the throne of David (Acts 2:30–34), a spiritual fact which is denied by those who look for the restoration of the physical kingdom of David.  When He ascended upon high, the Father “set him at his own right hand in heavenly places, FAR ABOVE ALL PRINCIPALITIY, and POWER, and MIGHT, and DOMINION, and every name that is named, not only in this world (age), but also in that which is to come, and HATH PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church” (Eph. 1:20–22).

        So Jesus reigns in the earth and in the church, and the church reigns with Him; or, as Paul said, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Rom. 8:37).  After His ascension, the disciples “went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word with signs following” (Mark 16:20).  A new kingdom with a new form of government had been inaugurated and set up, not a political nor a material kingdom, but a spiritual one, which, of course, is far superior to any material kingdom.

        It is a kingdom which knows no bounds nor limits, and it offers perfect peace, universally, to all who come under its domain.  “Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” are but some of the blessings afforded in this heavenly kingdom (Rom. 14:17), and these blessings are available NOW, not in some far off distant, future, imaginary utopia.

        He “has made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Rev. 5:10).  This is also a NOW condition: we now, presently, live and reign with Jesus Christ on the earth, and we triumph over our enemies and the sins of the flesh.  This is the “day of salvation,” the day for the overcomers to overcome every human weakness and to glorify the Lord with their lives and their testimony.  Pay close attention to the following verses:

        “thanks be to God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place” (II Cor. 2:14).

        “thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:57).

        “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (I John 5:4).

        “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Cor. 10:4).

        “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:16,17).

        It is plainly evident from the above as well as other Scriptures that the church is now in the kingdom age and is enjoying all the blessings and the benefits of the kingdom.  Nowhere in Scripture are we told that there will ever be a visible, earthly, material, physical kingdom of God.  Revelation 20 says nothing about a visible return of Jesus to this earth to rule in a visible kingdom.  In fact, Jesus emphatically rejected the idea of a visible kingdom:

        “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation (visibly), neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, lo, there!  For, behold the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20).

        “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).

        “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain, himself, alone” (John 6:15).

        The expectation of a visible, material kingdom of God on this earth is a carnal, earthly idea contrary to all the plain teachings of Jesus and the apostles.  Jesus Christ and His church reign now, and the rule of the kingdom of God is evident in the lives of the true church citizens.  “The scepter of His kingdom, is a scepter of righteousness” (Heb. 1:8), a condition which is made manifest in the hearts of those who have been translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son (Col. 1:13).

Scriptures Fulfilled

        Every one of the major points of Revelation 20:1–6 can be shown to have been either fulfilled or in the process of being fulfilled.  (We’ll explain this later.)  We will make a list of these points with sufficient Scriptural references to certify this claim.

        1.  The Binding Of Satan:

             Gen. 3:15: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”  Luke 13:32: “And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.”  Mark 1:34: “And he healed many that were sick with divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.”  John 16:11: “Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”  John 12:31: “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”  Matt. 12:28,29: “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.  Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.”  Luke 11:20,21,22: “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.  When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.”  Heb. 2:14,15: “ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”  I John 3:8: “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.  For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”  Col. 2:15: “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”  Matt. 10:1: “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”  Col. 1:13: “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”  Luke 10:17–19: “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.  And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.  Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”  Mat. 28:18: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

        2.  The Thrones Of Judgment:

             I John 4:1: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”  Matt. 18:17–19: “And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.  Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.”  John 20:23:  “Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.”  I Cor. 14:24: “But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all.”  Matt. 7:15–16: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”  Acts 5:1–11: “Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.”  I Cor. 5:11–13: “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.  For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?  But them that are without God judgeth.  Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”  Eph. 5:11: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”  I Cor. 6:2,3: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  I Cor. 5:3–5: “For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”  I Tim. 1:20: “Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.”  Acts 13:10–12: “And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?  And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season.  And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.  Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.”  Acts 16:18: “And this did she many days.  But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.  And he came out the same hour.”

        3.  The Reign of Christ and His Saints:

             Already covered under “He Reigns Now.”

        4.  The First Resurrection:

             John 5:24,25: “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.  Verily, Verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”  Eph. 2:1,2: “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”  Col. 3:1: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.”  Col. 2:12: “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”  It is plain to see through these verses that every person who comes to Jesus Christ and receives eternal life has taken part in a “spiritual resurrection.”  This has not only been fulfilled, it is still being fulfilled, or as Jesus stated in John 5:25, “The hour is coming, AND NOW IS, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.”  Every sinner who is saved by grace has been resurrected from a state of spiritual death to a state of spiritual life.  Of these, it is stated that they are:  1. Blessed;  2. Holy;  3. The second death has no power over them;  4. They are priests of God;  5. They live and reign with Christ.

        All five of these prerogatives belong to the people of God now.  They are a part of their inheritance, even though most are not aware of this tremendous truth because of the depth of error which has dominated the religious scene for centuries.  But God wants His people to believe and to accept these bountiful and glorious truths so that they may truly become “the light of the world: a city set on a hill which can not be hidden.”

        May the good Lord anoint your eyes with eyesalve that your understanding “may be enlightened: that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe” (Eph. 1:18,19).

A REFUGE FOR GOD’S PEOPLE

 

We have had a number of people write to us about a place to be during the days of tribulation which is sure to come upon this world.  We do not have the addresses of the places we know about.  We only know these places because the people there have contacted us.  They have told us of their problems, and have been faithful to the Lord.  As soon as we know their addresses we will publish them in The Testimony of Truth.

DAYS OF GREAT PERIL

Randall Walton

        “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (II Tim. 3:1–5).

        This is a fair explanation of the rotten condition which has so blatantly expressed itself in these last days.  We are beholding a great display of the “Babylonian” woman in Revelation 18 who brazenly boasts of her bountiful riches and her subjugation of the people of the earth who are under her spell of gloom and disaster.

        Sadly, God’s people, the remnant, are under her dominion, and the voice of God calls to them: “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”  The mystery here is how God’s people ever yielded themselves to this cruel “woman” who has tried to make them slaves to the system of ungodliness.

        After all, don’t we have to become involved in something that pays a small pittance for our services?  Are we not obliged to offer ourselves as servants of unrighteousness for a system of greed, of wanton pride, of egotism, of inbred hedonism, of profit and gain?  Are we not better off for cooperating with the system than trying to reform it?  No!  The facts are that those in the system are being programmed to have a deeper and fuller existence within the confines of the “Babylonian” system, thus becoming a part of the entire machinery of the whole lot!

        Be aware of the second verse of Chapter 18 of Revelation:  “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.”  There is no justification for this glaring example of disbelief!  Babylon, or the commercial, political and religious systems of the world, has become the house of devils, the stronghold of every foul (rebellious) spirit, and the cage of every “unclean and hateful bird,” those entities which are forever attempting to outdo God.  That horrible city has set herself apart as if she is the solution to every problem known to man.  But she is adept at holding her victims as prisoners without any recourse or let–up of gross darkness.  She is to be avoided at any cost!

        It is very difficult in these days to find a way which is not a victim of the circumstances provided by this ungodly woman.  After all, we have to provide for our families, do we not, and that means that we may have to provide food, housing, clothes, as well as a few other things.  And she has them all under her arms and in her heart, and she demands of her followers that they obey and believe her when she calls!

        How did she ever become so cruel and demanding as she is?  Through deceit and trickery!  People have trusted her to watch over them and care for them and provide a means of making a living for their families.  But while they trusted her, she was binding them up in her clutches and making them slaves to her ungodly ways and practices, and they found no way of escaping her and her despicable deals.  It seems so natural to trust this ungodly woman who is the very image of the unclean and harlot that she is!

        God is full of mercy and compassion, and He issues a mighty call to those who have ears to hear Him.  He says, “Come Out of Her My People, That Ye Be Not Partakers Of Her Sins, And That Ye Receive Not Of Her Plagues.”  God is going to destroy this horrible woman who has misguided His people and caused them to serve her.  The sad fact remains that not everyone who is a part of this woman and does not cooperate with her will be delivered from her evil grip.  It will require a mighty work of heaven to extricate many of those so embedded therein.

        In the first part of this article, we mentioned the fact that this “woman” was over the political, commercial, and religious systems of the world.  She has found a way of combining these systems into one and convincing people that it’s all right as long as people have the privilege of choosing for themselves which system, or method, they choose to follow.  It is very plain that the present reality in Washington, D.C. is attempting this very thing, and is going ahead with plans to erect mosques all over the U.S. and its possessions.  At the same time, the political and commercial aspects of our nation are being altered and changed, and the people do nothing whatever to stop the slide into the camp of dire consequences.

        What does the future hold for the benefit of the true people of God?  Let’s be affirmative about our answer to this question!  We have already witnessed this present President explain why it is impossible for anyone to obey, or follow, the Sermon on the Mount.  He came out real plain as to the reason (?) why we should abandon any desire on our part to fulfill the words of the Good Book!  He has already declared himself a part of the muslim religion, so he has no intention of cooperating with those who uphold the authenticity of the Book of Jesus Christ!

        He has declared himself as a part of the muslim religion, and he and others pray and practice the muslim faith on the grounds of the White House in Washington.  He instituted the far reaching medical Bill which he and others had neither the patience nor the determination to know what all was in the Bill before it was signed and made the law of the land, irrespective of the Constitution of the United States of America.  He has indebted the U.S. to over 12 trillion dollars, which means that our children, our children’s children, their children and great grandchildren will be responsible for, for years to come (unless the Lord comes first).

        So we are beginning to see the final end of our sojourn here upon this earth.  But let us not grow weary of well doing, for God has in store for His own people a mighty and terrific program which He, Himself, will oversee and bring to pass while the present administration is being overcome by the servants of Jesus Christ.  It is no secret what God can and will do with those who truly love Him and serve Him with all their hearts.  He has promised that we shall be heirs of God, and shall possess all the divine attributes of the Holy Spirit (I Peter 1:3,4).  He has also declared that the people of God will put on the divine nature and become like Jesus Christ HimselfAccording to the Word of God, we shall rule the world before Jesus comes (Rev. 2:27), and will be seated together with Jesus Christ in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:6).

        While it is true that there will be many martyrs who will give their lives for the glory of Jesus Christ, there will also be those who will continue to reign and rule with Jesus and the Angelic beings during these last days. We only hope and pray that they will hear His voice calling them to come out before it is too late.  May God continue to let His glorious voice be heard before that chance has come and gone forevermore.  May God receive all the glory due unto His wonderful, matchless voice!

GOD LEADS

Randall Walton

        “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (the living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering (patience) and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Tim. 4:1–4).

        We are living in those days now.  It is not enough to find that the spiritual accountability is almost down to zero, due to the fact that too many people are glad that the Spiritual flavor of God’s people is so low that it is easily and quickly attained!  In all of our searching for the truth, and nothing but the truth, we have found few who really seemed concerned about the over–all condition of the church and its message to the rest of mankind.

        It is quite true that mankind (people, generally speaking) will not embrace truth when it is spoken to them.  This is the reason that they heap to themselves teachers with itching ears.  It is far simpler and easier to teach fables than to take a stand for truth.  It is so much easier to teach that December 25 is the Lord’s birthday, and so much simpler to teach little kids that rabbits lay multi–colored eggs just before Easter so as to give the kids some enjoyment.  We can think of nothing more repugnant than to teach the falsity of an Easter celebration!

        Going to church was a fun thing when we didn’t understand why people gathered themselves together to listen to a seminary–trained minister of the gospel declare that God never intended for His people to be the heirs of the kingdom of God, or to listen as he explains what it will be when we are “raptured” up to meet the Lord in the air, or some other unscriptural and unauthorized dogma.  Going to church is just so much ritual and following a system of dry–bones!

        In making a comparison of the church on that famous day of Pentecost, and a short time later, it is amazing how much the church has lost its power and glory over the many intervening years.  There is little left to compare it with, for so much has been lost, that there is very little to which a comparison can be made.  Some very important points may be made about that first, early gathering.  For one thing, they were all of one heart and soul; they may not have agreed on every point of doctrinal issues, but they were certainly agreed on the general direction of the church and its plans and purposes.  In the first five chapters of the Book of Acts, there is no hint of a disagreement in their daily walk with God; everything was going as planned and as called for by the living God.

        In the sixth chapter of Acts, there is the account of some of the Grecian women thinking they were being cut off from some of the services offered by the main church order.  It is possible that they were being slighted by the ranks of the present people of God.  But they complained and action was taken almost immediately.  This is the way that quarrels and other contusions started, but God provided a means through the unknown, and provision was made for the women.

        Unfortunately, it was not always that easy to find a way to solve a serious problem.  The Acts tells it the way it really was in those days.  There were many blessings, but there were many lessons to be learned from the experiences of those men and women who followed Jesus Christ.  They weren’t perfect, and God knew their weaknesses and failures, but He extended His right hand to help them in their extreme trials.

        We sometimes forget that God is in complete control of every condition and situation, and He knows the beginning as well as the ending for each of us.  Our biggest problem is getting out of the way so He can work His own perfect will on us in bringing many sons to glory through the grace and mercy of Himself. 

        One thought to be remembered is that those people did not play church!  There were those who thought they knew the power and the ability of God to do anything, but they attempted to cast the demons out of a man who had more power than they possessed (Acts 19:13–18).  It is evident to behold the power of God at work in miraculous manifestations, because God is adept at showing how powerful He truly is as compared to those who only want to play church!

        One of the vital messages which we are able to gather from Bro. Paul was when he determined to go to Jerusalem (Acts 21:4).  “And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who SAID TO PAUL THROUGH THE SPIRIT, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.”  Bro. Paul was told “through the Spirit” that he should not go to Jerusalem, but Paul had a stubbornness in his spirit that demanded recognition.  He was determined to go to the unholy city in “hope” of turning some of the Jews to Jesus Christ.  But God had sent him to minister to the Gentiles, and with the Gentiles he should have been willing to remain!

        The outcome of his failure to follow the leading of the Lord resulted in his martyrdom (according to tradition), and failing to lift up Jesus Christ as Lord and Master to all the people in the countries to which he had been sent.  We can thank the Lord for his short stay in Rome, but he went there as a prisoner of the Romans and remained there as a prisoner, because he failed to follow the leading which he had received in Tyre!  It does not pay to try to outdo God, for He has a work, a time and place in which to work; and He is willing and ready to continue to lead if a person is willing to do His will.

        And that is the BIG issue – DOING GOD’S WILL!  It is a strange phenomenon that God is willing to direct and lead a person, if that person is ready and willing to do what he is shown to do.  Too many people are willing (?) to follow Jesus Christ, if He will tell them to do what the person wants to be told.  If he doesn’t agree with what he is shown, he’ll do something else.

        But it is absolutely necessary to do what God shows a person must be done, because He has plans and purposes much more necessary and important than the individual has.  It’s a matter of the intellect of the person bowing in humble obedience to the Lord and saying, “Yes, Lord, I’ll do your will,” and then, do it!  Too many think that God wants them to preach, and the world is full of preachers and preacherettes who have a gift of gab but do not know God.

        It is time, now, to know God and to do His will.  It is not enough to know that He has a will; it is necessary to know His will and to do it.  We are most certainly running out of time, and it is imperative that we learn now to be conformed to the image of His glorious Son, and be totally lost in Him.

THE GREAT DAY OF ALMIGHTY GOD

Randall Walton

        It is a mystery to many people concerning the future and what it holds for God’s people.  It is amazing to know what lies ahead for the people of God, but it should not be so, for God has declared that “no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord” (Isa. 54:17).

        It is necessary at this point to be somewhat more correct in our understanding of the Scripture.  Not a word is mentioned in the Scripture quoted above about a place of refuge for God’s people, yet the Scriptures are quite plain that there will be many places where the servants of Jesus Christ will be cared for.  The above verse of Scripture is for the servants of Jesus who have found a place of security and safety from the work and efforts of the antichrist to overcome them.  They will be kept and preserved during the dark days which are coming on the entire world scene.

        Let us not try to be deniers of the facts of reality concerning the future of this nation.  The present administrator of this government has already stated that this is no longer a Christian nation.  He has rightfully stated that it is not Christian, not Jewish, not muslim, but a “union” of these three religions, and he claims to be a muslim.  Never in the history of this country have we had as many muslims as we have now.  And it is becoming more muslim as time goes sliding past.  We are left with the question of how, when, and where these muslims were allowed to migrate into our society so readily.

        Eventually, it will be clear to all that this is no longer a Christian nation.  It is contrary to our belief in the KJV that Christianity is so filled with all the many perversions of the Holy Bible (And they really are perversions).  Those churches which follow any of those versions is a laughing stock to the whole idea of a Christian way of life.  Almost the same perception of God is questionable, according to some of these perversions of the Holy Scriptures.  As these new versions increase, so also will the hand of Almighty God be moved further and further from the truth!

        The same, or nearly the same, can be said concerning the muslim faith.  Remember, the muslim faith has been fairly well beaten down by the many efforts of the Imans, or chief prophets.  There is probably as much effort put forth to secure a place of safety for the muslim faith as is being done for Christians.

        God is preparing places in various areas where He is working, and there He is overseeing the work which is being done in His name.  While it is true that there isn’t much truth going on in His name, He, Jesus, is still working and encouraging people to accept and believe in the plain statements that He, Jesus, has left us in the good KJVersion of the Holy Scriptures.

        God has promised in several verses that there will come a restoration of all that the prophets of old have foretold (Acts 3:19–23).  While the world is coming under the direction of the absolute orders of the dictatorial servants of carnality, God’s people will be experiencing the restoration of the mighty power of Jesus Christ which will be sufficient to withstand all the fiery darts of the wicked.  These two moves, or manifestations, will be occurring simultaneously, that is, at the same time.  While God’s people are being housed and clothed and fed and enjoying the benefits of their salvation, the other side will be filled with bitterness, hatred, anxiety, and fear of the unknown.

        God will provide for His people during this period of unrest and conflict.  Provision will be made to secure their uneventful, but spiritual, lives as they live entirely for the good and perfect will of the heavenly Father.  Not everyone who claims to be a Christian will be provided for; only those who truly love and serve the Master of their souls will be cared for.

        Consider, for example, some of the following verses from both the Old Testament as well as the New: Joel 21:23–27; Isa. 2:2–4; Isa. 4:5,6; Isa. 55:8–11; Isa. 26:20,21; Zeph. 2:1–3; Matt. 24:15–21; Rev. 12:6,14; Rev. 3:10; II Peter 2:9; I Cor. 10:13; Luke 21:34–36; Eph. 6:13.

        That God has a program or issue to be impressed upon the people is quite evident in the Scriptures.  And the antichrist also has a plan or program to be fulfilled as well.  Consider first, the plan of the Living God.  It is not a program of defeat and despair, but one of victory and power over all the efforts of the enemy to stop it.  His divine will shall be done despite all the attempts of the evil one to bring it to naught.

        We shall behold the manifestation of the sons of God as they yield themselves to be used by the Holy Spirit to put down the enemies of God and to vindicate the blessed name of the Son of God.  They, the sons of God, shall be given every opportunity to exalt and bless and praise the Almighty God.  They will be led by the Holy Spirit into a deeper walk with God as they acquire the very divine nature of Jesus Christ (II Peter 1:3,4).  They will have “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 13:14), they will have allowed the Holy Spirit to conquer and defeat the ways and practices of the flesh (Rom. 8:5–14), they will have yielded their very lives to the cause of Jesus Christ (Rom. 12:1,2; Rom. 6:12–17), they will have been “conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29), they shall be like Jesus (I John 3:2,3).

        While this work of the Holy Spirit is ongoing, the forces of evil are vainly attempting to do away with the work of God.  It appears as if “they” are trying to reclassify the people who were not prepared to enter into a place of refuge.  We believe that there will be a multitude of martyrs who have not been able to find, or locate, a refuge village or town, and will become wards of the government.  We urge people to seek God more diligently than they have ever done before, and listen carefully for the voice of the Lord telling them what to do and when to do it.  Time is of the essence, and time is running out for many people.  The TIME to prepare is NOW.

        Read carefully the verses in Luke 21:34–36 which state so emphatically that an escape is in reach for those who desire it.  It must be sought for; it is not automatic.  There are conditions which must be met, and there are requirements for those who wish to escape the terrors which will be poured out on those who wish to avoid them.  Elsewhere in this paper we have addressed the question of where these places of refuge are located.  May God help you to find a place to be during the days which are just ahead for all of us, The Great Day of Almighty God.

        God is going to let the world know that He is God!  There will be a turning to the Lord as it has never been before.  The unbelievers and agnostics will attempt to downgrade what God is doing with His own people, but it will be too late to change anything.  What is to be will be, and nothing will change for the better.  The Lord will show His own might and power and will demonstrate what could have been possible had they believed the gospel, and had turned to God with all their hearts and souls!

        The second chapter of the Psalms explains it all in detail.  God and His people will laugh at their calamity; they will exalt their King and Master and will rejoice in the knowledge that they have been faithful unto Him.  This is the time that is known as The Great Day Of Almighty God, when God’s people will glorify and exalt Him with praises and shouts of victory for all that He hath done.  And what a wonderful, glorious, and happy day that will be!  May Jesus Christ be blessed!!!

PRESSING ON

Charles Woodard

        “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

  1. There is a prize for those who PRESS ON!
  2. God is calling for His own to PRESS ON!
  3. This upward call is through CHRIST JESUS!

There is one supreme and heavenly prize above all others!  The prize is not reached by careless religion.  Neither is it obtained by harum-scarum worship.  Again, it is not found in getting in every prayer line or demonstrative road of experiences.

        It is found by walking in the Spirit and obedience to the Word of God!  It is realized as one dies to self and sin.

        This heavenly prize is not established at the baptism with the Holy Ghost.  It’s foundation is established as a believer goes forward and PRESSES ON: “If we live by the (Holy) Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit – if by the (Holy) Spirit we have our life (in God), let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25 Amplified)

        Christianity today has joined the world in a “quick-fix.”  A testimony of an emotional high is not enough to produce godliness.  We do not grow on amusement and frivolity!  Entertainment is no substitute for the fruit of the Spirit.  The super-evangelists of TV lack the true spirituality of PRESSING ON!  PRESSING ON is in essence living in the Spirit.

In Acts 4:31 the disciples were “filled with the Holy Spirit.”  I have heard this likened to a glass that is filled to the brim with water.  This is not the meaning of being filled.  One may be filled with happiness, or filled with rage, or filled with love.  This is what is meant by “filled with the Spirit”: We are controlled by the Holy Spirit!  Not amusements or show-case experiences, but PRESSING ON to a life of righteousness and true Joy in the Holy Ghost.

        PRESSING ON requires a daily study of God’s Word.  Nothing will take the place of reading and studying the Holy Bible.  Many try to live on Christian TV, seminars, meetings, testimonies, and second-hand experiences.

        To PRESS ON is an imperative course of action.  No room here for religious humbuggery or hypocrisy.  Let the actor and religious masquerader present his or her counterfeit sham.  The proof will be the fruit of the Spirit over the gifts of the Spirit!

        Read Eph.5:19; 6:9.  A spirit-filled person will lift up Jesus, not self.  A spirit-filled person will PRESS ON to letting the Word of Christ dwell in our hart richly. (Colossians 3:16)

        Christians need to PRESS ON to a total consciousness of the Lord Jesus Christ in daily life.  We do not need to be “zapped” by the Lord, but yielded to His will.  Life in Christ is a process.  It only comes by diligent study of His word (II Tim. 2:15).

        Perseverance has a prize. PRESS ON!