Noah preached the gospel and warned of impending disaster for 120 years, then the end came for all who were not in the ark. Why did God wait for 120 before destroying the wicked? That none would be lost that could be saved. We serve a long-suffering God whose grace abounds around us as thick as the air we breathe. This probationary period was not accepted by most. Some did respond and were laid to rest before God brought a flood of water that covered the entire Earth.
The time of the end began 218 years ago. The anti-typical Day of Atonement began almost 172 years ago. No matter how we look at it, God has delayed His coming for more than 120 years. Why so long? That none will be lost who can be saved. But, why is it taking so long? Noah preached for 120 years, why have we been here preaching the soon coming for 172 years?
It is not Christ's desire that time continues. The latter rain began to fall in 1888. But, few were ready to receive it. Unless we are in a converted condition we cannot receive the latter rain.
Many have in a great measure failed to receive the former rain. They have not obtained all the benefits that God has thus provided for them. They expect that the lack will be supplied by the latter rain. When the richest abundance of grace shall be bestowed, they intend to open
their hearts to receive it. They are making a terrible mistake. The work that God has begun in the human heart in giving his light and knowledge, must be continually going forward. Every individual must realize his own necessity. The heart must be emptied of every defilement, and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now. Then the human agent had only to ask for the blessing, and wait for the Lord to perfect the work concerning him. It is God who began the work, and he will finish his work, making man complete in Jesus Christ. But there must be no neglect of the grace represented by the former rain. Only those who are living up to the light they have, will receive greater light. Unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues, we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain. It may be falling on hearts all around us, but we shall not discern or receive it. RH, March 2, 1897.
Those who encourage a Laodicean church to pray for the latter rain, make a serious mistake. The church must first receive the former rain and be converted. As long as the church believes itself to be "rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing," the latter rain will not fall. Revival and reformation must begin first. The Spirit is being poured out upon God's church in former rain power. He is seeking all who want to serve Christ with the whole heart.
|The heart must be emptied of every defilement, and cleansed for the indwelling of the Spirit
God is warning the church and the world in the same manner He warned the world through Noah, that the end is near. The Bible has spoken through prophets and Christ that we might know the nearness of the end. Jesus answered His disciples when they asked "what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Jesus responded "nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they
deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand." Matthew 24:7-15.
We have not seen the "abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place." We have seen false prophets who have deceived many, and we do see iniquity abounding all around us. But what of the gospel being preached in all the world? No, we have not seen this. To the contrary, Satan has stolen a march on God's own people. As he did with Israel of old, so has he accomplished with modern day Israel. He so deceived God's people when Jesus came to His own, His own received Him not (John 1:11). Even John the Baptist did not know Jesus, the Lamb of God, had to die. Nicodemus was so deceived he thought himself worthy of eternal life. Jesus gently but firmly reproved him and told him he did not have life. He educated him about man's nature. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John 3:6,7. Some ultra conservatives reject the Words of Christ. They believe they came into the world, born of the flesh, and were worthy of eternal life. Others, do not think they must be filled with the Spirit of God in order to be "born of the Spirit." They believe they can walk after the flesh and retain eternal life (justification). Such deceptions!
|And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world
And, these false gospels are being taught around the world by God's church. No, the gospel has not been "preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations." So, we see at least two
things are lacking before we will see Jesus coming in the clouds of glory. The abomination that causes desolation must come, and the gospel must be preached to all people. God's people do not directly bring about the abomination, but we are to take the gospel to the whole world. In other words, we have delayed the second coming of Christ. He would have come long ago if we had done that which was entrusted to us. We have delayed His coming. And, the world and all in it continue to suffer. If the church had accepted the message of Christ's righteousness when it was preached in 1888, the latter rain would have continued to fall. Then, we would have taken the three angels' message to the world. The terrible suffering since then need not have happened. There would not have been a World War II, and the many other wars since then. Delaying the second coming of Christ not only delays our joy of seeing Jesus, it also extends the suffering of humanity.
|We have delayed His coming. And, the world and all in it continue to suffer
What was the message given to the church in 1888? It was the true gospel message, sent to correct the false gospel being proclaimed. The church had been preaching the law, the law, the law without Christ in the law. This is not the gospel message.
"As a people, we have preached the law until we are as dry as the hills of Gilboa that had neither dew nor rain. We must preach Christ in the law, and there will be sap and nourishment in the preaching that will be as food to the famishing flock of God. We must not trust in our own merits at all, but in the merits of Jesus of Nazareth. Our eyes must be anointed with eye-salve. We must draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to us, if we come in his own appointed way. O that you may go forth as the disciples did after the day of Pentecost, and then your testimony will have a living ring, and souls will be converted to God." 1888 560.
The message was "justification by faith", faith in the atoning blood of Christ to cleanse us from sin. Faith that brings about a new creature in Christ Jesus. Saving faith that cleanses the heart, the whole heart, not part of it. This faith being spoken of is the same faith Jesus manifested in His Father's love. "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12. Notice keeping the commandments of God and this "saving faith" are connected. You cannot have one without the other. Either we are converted by having "saving faith" and then reveal His righteousness by keeping His commandments and walking in His Spirit, or we do not have "saving faith" and do not keep His commandments and walk in His Spirit.
We are judged by our fruits, the fruits of His Spirit. Either we have them all, or we don't have any. Either we are filled with His Spirit or we are not. We cannot serve two masters. "If we
have not His Spirit, we are none of His. Romans 8:9 . It is impossible to get good fruit off of a bad tree, or bad fruit off of a good tree. "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh." James 3:11,12. This is the truth, this is good news proclaimed by the gospel of grace. We are indeed new creatures with a new heart when we make a full surrender to the Lord Jesus. We still live in sinful flesh, but we are partakers of God's divine nature. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4.
Thus, when born again of His Spirit, we have a dual nature. We retain our sinful nature, but are empowered to keep that nature under at all times by the power of the indwelling Christ. When fully surrendered we have a new heart and a new mind filled with the Spirit which brings with Him all of the fruits of His Spirit, not one is missing. "When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." Desire of Ages, pg 676. Miracle of all miracles!
|By these ye might be partakers of the divine nature
This is the gospel we are to proclaim to the whole world. Before we give the second and third angel's messages, we are to give the gospel which is the first angel's message. We cannot give the three angels' message if we do not know the gospel and are not filled with His Spirit. Thus, we have not taken the gospel to the world. A Laodicean church cannot give that which it does not have. We must first have Jesus.
Jesus does not wait on us to fulfill many end-time prophecies. While the abomination has not yet been revealed, there are other prophecies fulfilling before our eyes that we might know
how near is the second coming. How about the earthquakes in diverse places? And, the other natural disasters that are becoming more frequent. One of the most striking fulfillments is the "deadly wound" which has been healed. The whole world is wondering after the beast. When the Roman Pontiff stands in the Capitol building of America and addresses the Congress, we may know the end is near. Behind him were the leaders of both houses of Congress, both Roman Catholics.
|The whole world is wondering after the beast
God does not leave us with any excuse for not knowing the end is near. Those who will say "my Lord delayeth His coming" will be seen to be blind to what the Bible reveals. The seven trumpets in Revelation also tell us the end is at hand. Each of the trumpets reveal God is in control and uses sin to punish sin. False religion beginning with the first trumpet is seen to have sown to the wind, and have reaped the whirlwind. "Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity." Hosea 10:13 Again, the blind do not understand what is written. The fifth and sixth trumpets have already been fulfilled as all before them. They are noted as the first and second woes. Like the first four trumpets, they reveal the punishment of Rome for her iniquity. They reveal how God used Islam to bring down Eastern Rome headquartered in Constantinople. Islam also was used to attract the crusaders to keep the pope's army away from the reformers. Thus the Reformation was allowed to succeed.
Those who deny the true interpretation of the trumpets in order to keep the attention on Rome
miss the importance of understanding the trumpets speak most directly to Rome. But, rather than focus on her success, we see her failure to succeed in her battle against God and His truth. So it is with the seventh trumpet which is the "third woe". Only, now Rome is not alone in her rebellion against God and His truth. Protestant America has joined the rebellion. "Babylon" is now involved in the seventh trumpet. She will not succeed any more than has Rome in the past. She too will reap what she has sown. And, like the sixth trumpet, there is a period of time in which she will be attacked, where sin is used to punish her sin.
|We see her failure to succeed in her battle against God and His truth
The most glaring example of what has happened to Babylon and what will happen can be seen by what happened 15 years ago. Five days from today, the world and America will be reminded of Islam's most successful attack on Babylon. Some will not see the attack as an attack on America and her sins, but we have a most precise statement made by a professing Protestant preacher that is almost perfect in the truth. Jerry Falwell, just after the 9/11 attack on the Trade Towers, said the immorality in America was in part responsible for the tragedy. While the preacher was correct as he listed a number of things that revealed the fall of America spiritually, he added one additional subject that reveals an even greater departure from Bible principle. It was last on his list. He stated that America was guilty of building a wall of separation between church and state.
The moral fall of America is blamed on different groups that advocate immorality. But, not much is said about who is responsible for the spiritual condition of a nation. America was a Protestant and republic nation. As such, the officials elected to national office reflect the morality of the electorate. Bill Clinton was re-elected after the nation learned of his lack of morality. Barrack Obama was re-elected after the nation better understood his immorality. These men reflect a large portion of the American public.
How did American society fall to such a low level? Religion is the domain of morality. The churches are responsible for America's spiritual degredation. Protestant America failed her people. The fall of Babylon could be seen by the continued lowering of the standard of piety in her churches. Look at the children of professing Christians. Here we see a fairly good measure of what is being taught in the churches and lived in homes. By the 1960s, morality was moving very quickly downward. Christian character was not being reflected in most American homes, nor in her schools. While Mr. Falwell correctly assessed the immorality of American society, and pointed to organizations and government that encourage and support immorality, he did not accept responsibility on the part of organized religion in America. And, he publicly stated a doctrinal heresy being proclaimed by professing Protestant and Catholic churches in America. He stated that America was creating a "wall of separation" between church and state, as if it were wrong.
While it is true the ACLU is supporting immorality, and has gone way past following Constitutional law in pushing for laws founded upon a false concept of separation between church and state, it is also true Babylon seeks to remove the Protestant principle of separation between church and state. Satan is working both sides. Blindness has come upon Babylon. What she seeks supports not only the Roman Catholic Church which has a history of using the state to enforce her false doctrine, but it would also support the religion of Islam and her intent to use the state to punish what she labels as doctrinal heresy.
When Rome and apostate Protestantism join to make of no-effect the Constitution of the
United States and Bible truth, what do we expect will be the response from God? Do we think judgment will be held off until the final judgment after the thousand years? Or do we think God will not act until the last plagues are poured out upon the wicked? If we understand Bible principle, if we are Bible scholars studying the Scriptures as our only guide, then we will see a consistent pattern where God punishes sin with sin. Most pointedly we see God punishing Rome, beginning with pagan Rome, who worshiped their emperors as gods. They persecuted the early church. The first trumpet reveals God using sin to punish pagan Rome.
|Most pointedly we see God punishing Rome
God does not change. Why would God not continue to use Islam to inflict punishment on apostate Babylon? And, in the very last days, after almost 4,000 years of patience, is it possible that God would even use sin to punish the sins of Israel? While they are no longer His chosen people, He still has great hopes that some will turn their hearts to Christ. How much easier it is for the natural branch to be grafted into Christ than the wild branch, Gentiles. Does the Bible reveal this, that God will use sin to punish the sins of Israel? I believe so. We have been pointing to the seven trumpets of Revelation, but there is another Book that also reveals endtime prophecies that bear on this subject.
Daniel 11 is a most impressive account of history during the Christian age. The chapter begins before the Christian age, but moves in verse 22 to the time of Christ and then the church age. We see Rome, France, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey along with other nations and their interactions in a geographical context with Israel. Verbiage is used to describe powers to the south and to the north of Israel. That is, King of the North and King of the South. This is a geographical feature used to identify the ruling power of those areas. That which has a bearing on our concern is verse 45. "And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him."
The time of this verse is just before the close of probation for the world, when Jesus finishes His mediatorial work on behalf of sinners, throws down His censor and leaves the heavenly sanctuary never more to forgive sins. The next verse 12:1 tells the story. "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book."
There ought to be a sense of urgency as we see time drawing to a close. The King of the North is he who rules the area of Turkey. In our day, this is the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Does anyone find it amazing that this man wants to establish a caliphate, that he wants to restore the Ottoman Empire? 15 years ago, it would have been hard to see, even though the Book of Daniel reveals it will happen. The seventh trumpet reveals the power of Islam to punish apostate religion, most pointedly Babylon. This has already begun. The power that rose up from the bottomless pit has seen new life. ISIS is nothing compared to what is coming. The power Erdogan has taken to himself has placed Turkey outside of its place in the West, especially in NATO. It has happened so very fast that those who are not educated in Bible prophecy don't understand where Erdogan is going. Turkey has resources beyond that of other Muslim nations. It is well placed to become the leader once again of the Islamic world.
What are the intentions of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan? Will Turkey remain an ally of the United States? Not unless the United States gives up Israel. Erdoğan has stated his intentions to
conquer Jerusalem, just as prophecy has stated in Daniel 11:45. "Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for the re-establishment of the Ottoman Empire. . . During the ceremony, both Turkish leaders spoke of their desire to conquer Jerusalem and to re-establish the Ottoman Empire." Jerusalem Online
|Conquer Jerusalem and to re-establish the Ottoman Empire
None need speculate on the meaning of Daniel 11:45. It is fulfilling right in front of our eyes. "He", Erdogan, the King of the North, will conquer that area which is "between the seas in the glorious holy mountain." Thus, God will use sin to punish both Israel and Babylon. Will Islam escape punishment? No, finish reading verse 45. What happens to the King of the North after he conquers Jerusalem, the "glorious holy mountain"? "He", the King of the North "shall come to his end, and none shall help him."
Wars and rumors of wars, famine, and pestilence. Yes, we are nearing the very end of this
world's history. Let us turn to Christ with the whole heart that we might redeem the time the locusts have eaten. Jesus stands at the door of many hearts knocking. If we would learn of Him, if we would behold His loveliness, we would all be converted. His grace would transform us into His image. We must feed upon Jesus, we must drink His blood and eat His flesh if we are to be His followers. By beholding His glory we shall be changed into His character. It is a promise (2 Cor. 3:18 ).
|By beholding His glory we shall be changed into His character
Then, we will go forth "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners." Song of Solomon 6:10. Nothing can withstand our onward progress. The church will advance from victory to victory, gloriously fulfilling her divine mission of proclaiming the gospel to the world.
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