#1831 0526 13P

            World conditions—politically, spiritually, morally, and in every other way, indicate that Jesus is waiting for the command from the Father to return.  Jesus watched people placing money in the offering box and commented on those who gave from their surplus, and the one who gave from her heart.  Mark 12:43-44 “Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

            Jesus was giving a financial lesson on trust—placing God first and putting no limits on His faithfulness to provide.  She was following Matthew 19:21—to sell, “give to the poor,” [placing the money in heaven] “then come, follow me." 

            After that lesson, Jesus spoke on world conditions—what to look for and how to be ready.  Mark 13:5 “Take heed lest any man deceive you”—because many will try to deceive.  9 "You must be on your guard,” He said, because unbelievers will persecute true believers.

            He warned Mark 13:23 ”Take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand”—of military conflicts, earthquakes, famines, false teaching, apostasy, persecution, the gospel being proclaimed globally, family members opposing each other on faith issues, and hatred toward believers in general.  When a tree puts forth leaves in the spring, then He "is near, right at the door” 28-29.

            In the meantime, Jesus said John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."  He would ascend to the Father, but He would leave His Spirit to inspire us in faith to have divine love for people and to trust God each day as He did.  John 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”

            Life today can seem stressful, but Jesus says do not be troubled, because if our trust is in God, and our faith is in Him, we will be prepared to move into the new home by believing that His Atonement for sin will cleanse our heart by faith.  We will be able to return to Heaven with Him by a trusting faith in Him for real issues—like health and healing; for protection and peace; for food and supplies each day; and for everything else just by faith in Him.

            True faith in God for all these things that were paid for by the Blood sacrifice of His Son, means trusting Him for physical healing without doctors or drugs; for daily finances without welfare or Social Security; for avenging wrongs without hand guns or legal action; for the ability to forgive people without resentment or hard feelings; and for eternal life by faith alone on the shed Blood of Christ.

            Many people are troubled by the increase of evil and violence in the world, but God has promised to protect us when we choose to trust Him in faith.  “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  This I declare of the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him” Psalm 91:1-2—not trusting Satan’s substitutes—like firearms or other worldly plans.

            We first decide to trust God in faith—then 3-6 “He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague.  He will shield you with his wings.  He will shelter you with his feathers.  His faithful promises are your armor and protection.  Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor fear the dangers of the day, nor dread the plague that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.”

            God promises to protect and to heal those who will truly trust Him in faith.  Psalm 91:9-12 ”Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”

            A paradise kingdom is promised to all who will put their trust and faith on the Atonement Blood of Jesus Christ—that sacrifice is beyond anything of earthly value.  Philippians 3:20-21 ”For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”  4:1 ”Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.”

            God cannot save us against our will, but if we make the choice to trust Him in believing faith, to forgive our sins, to heal our body, to supply our needs, and to save our soul, He will be able to prepare us to meet Him by being in His will.  We 1 Peter 1:5 “are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 

            A perfect sacrifice was required to atone for the sins of the world.  Hebrews 9:28 “Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”

            Many signs indicate that these are the last days—just before the rapture when Christ returns.  One major event was Israel becoming a nation—May 14, 1948.  Jesus spoke of the end-times, saying, “All men will hate you because of me“ Luke 21:17, but Luke 21:19-20 "By your patience possess your souls.  But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.”

            That prophecy could not be fulfilled until the Jews—who had been scattered all over the world—returned to Israel; their promised homeland.  The Jews were living in Israel when Jesus first spoke those words, but later they were scattered around the globe.  They began to return to Israel in the early 1900s.

            When Jesus spoke of Jerusalem being surrounded by enemies, He referred to the Battle of Armageddon that is to take place in Israel.  This involves the Antichrist with his ten confederated nations, and the kings of the East consisting of a 200 million-man army Revelation 9:16.  The Valley of Megiddo in Israel is the scene of this final war before Christ returns to set up His Millennial kingdom.

            Jerusalem is surrounded by enemy Islamic nations today, and even though the Muslims are determined to destroy Israel, God’s promise to Abraham will be fulfilled.  Genesis 12:2-3 ”I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you."  It will not be good for those who follow Islam when Jesus returns.

            The Antichrist is a charismatic political leader who will seem to have all the answers for a troubled world.  Posing as a man of peace, he will have the Israelis and Palestinians sign a peace treaty, and offer a solution for the third Jewish Temple to be built.  Islam’s Dome of the Rock—where Mohammed is supposed to have ascended—now occupies the place where the Jewish Temple is to be built.  Any construction near there would trigger a global Jihad.

            The Jews will be so glad to see their Temple rebuilt, that they will think the Antichrist is their Messiah.  After three-and-a half years, however, the true character of the Antichrist is revealed.  Matthew 24:15-17 "When you have seen (to use the language of the Prophet Daniel) the ‘Abomination of Desolation’, standing in the Holy Place—let the reader observe those words—then let those who are in Judaea escape to the hills; let him who is on the roof not go down to fetch what is in his house.”

            The apostle Paul had the privilege of seeing what no one ever saw.  “I was caught up into the third heaven fourteen years ago.  Whether my body was there or just my spirit, I don’t know; only God knows.  But I do know that I was caught up into paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be told” 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.

            He actually saw God’s throne Revelation 4:1-3 “Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me with the sound of a mighty trumpet blast.  The voice said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after these things.’  And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it!  The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—jasper and carnelian.  And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow.”

            Jesus died on the cross and rose to life by the power of God to deliver us from the power of the devil, and to restore the blessings lost through Adam’s sin.  The resurrection of Christ gives us peace, righteousness, health, protection, and victory in all things.  Most churches today teach a doctrine that nullifies the Gospel of Christ, which hinders any preparation for eternal life.

            They teach that God has changed, which would mean that Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Atonement have changed also.  They believe the lie that God does not do things like He did in the Bible.  Such teaching would not prepare anyone to meet Jesus, because it is not the true Bible standard of believing faith on the power of God that is required for sanctification John 6:29.

            Righteousness is possible only through a trusting faith in the Blood of Christ for all things in this life—for healing without medicine, and for protection without devices.  True faith includes real answers to prayer for money; the home; training children; employment issues; spiritual enlightenment, and everything else.  False teaching is directly from the Devil to hinder our blessings today, and to hinder our readiness to meet Jesus.

            We must put our faith and our trust on the resurrection power of Jesus for the removal of any unbelief from our heart, and for protection from the wickedness and deceit that is everywhere today.  Revelation 22:14 ”Blessed are those who do His commandments [who wash their robes; clean], that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city”—spiritually prepared to meet our Savior!


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