All posts by Tom

Dr. Noss is a spiritual pioneer, searching-out and sharing spiritually-important and Biblical end-time truths, with the specific goal of hastening the Millennial Reign of Christ on the earth. In 1972 he piloted Air Cavalry scout helicopters in Vietnam, flying at treetop level over enemy lines. After crashing upside-down into a jungle hillside, barely escaping frequent firefights, and losing close friends to enemy fire, he made a ‘foxhole prayer’ to God, promising to serve God if he survived. He subsequently witnessed at least 3 miraculous deliverances, where he should have been killed, and became a committed disciple of The Living God a year later. He met his wife in Bible College, and they married in 1975. They have 2 adult children and 4 grandchildren, and enjoy living on a small, organic farm in Virginia. He has accumulated more than 40 years of study and practical discipleship experience, having walked-out his faith in many secular and church environments. He earned his Doctor of Ministry degree in 2014 from Christian Leadership University. Website: http://StandinFaith.org Contact Info: e-mail: Tom@StandInFaith.org Twitter: @TJNOSS

Overcoming Your Fear of the Future

Trouble AheadWith all the trouble brewing in the world, it’s normal to fear the future. Nobody can expect their future to be filled only with sunshine and peace. In fact, the truth is that everyone will have many trials and tribulations in their future, and then they’ll die. But don’t despair, there is hope—not in this decaying world system, but in God.

This short article will teach you how to face the future, bravely—how to replace your fear with godly knowledge and a solid hope.

Reasons to Fear

Most would agree that 21st-century civilization seems to be unraveling.

  • Just within the last decade, powerful globalist forces intentionally destabilized many nations through warfare (i.e., Ukraine, Egypt, Libya, and Syria) and others are now being radically transformed through a Muslim immigration invasion (i.e., France, Germany, Sweden, and Great Britain.)
  • When I just typed “economic collapse mathematical certainty” into the YouTube search window, there were 1,630 videos on the topic. The USA is $20 trillion dollars in debt, with many ‘experts’ expecting a cataclysmic, worldwide economic depression to hit in 2017/2018.
  • We all enjoy the amazing food distribution system that brings us year-round fresh meat, seafood, vegetables, and fruit from countries around the world. But Western nations have now become totally dependent on this system. As a result, very few people have gardens or store emergency food, so millions are unprepared and they’ll die if any long-term disaster (i.e., economic downturn, world war, electric grid down, Yellowstone eruption, etc.) disrupts the restocking of our grocery store shelves every 3 days.

Twenty-first-century life is becoming more and more chaotic and dangerous, and there’s nothing visible on the horizon that provides an expectation that our future will be any better than today.

Fears of Personal vs Societal Death

Fear of Personal Death

Death. While we don’t like to think about it or discuss it, please take a moment to acknowledge the reality that your body is eventually going to die. Whether you’re unexpectedly killed in a car accident tomorrow, or peacefully and painlessly go to sleep for the last time when you’re 110 years old, the terminal result is the same. Our days are numbered and (unless a miracle happens) we’re all going to die.

Accepting your individual mortality usually doesn’t cause us concern, as long as you believe your death isn’t imminent.

Fear of Society’s Death

In contrast, however, the fears of global depression, famines, World War III, and the New Grime CityAntichrist stamping everyone with 666 can fill us with dread, even if these events never actually happen within our lifetime.

Here are some possible reasons why we fear society’s demise more than our own death:

  1. The nightly news makes it seem like catastrophic events could be imminent, making us feel like society’s time is running out.
  2. We have no control over world events, so we feel helpless.
  3. We’re afraid for the welfare of our loved ones.
  4. This is the world system of government, economy, and religion that we know. We can’t imagine how things will be different in the next world system that replaces it.

Fear of the ‘End of the World’

When we feel like world events could be fulfilling prophecies in the Book of Revelation, it’s natural to fear TEOTWAWKI–the end of the world as we know it. The imminent fear of society’s end often creates an emotional burden of anxiety, dread, and stress.

Today, even small children sense the trouble in our world. Recently, a young mother in Virginia wrote this:

“I feel like I am so behind on my spiritual journey. How is it that I have gotten to this point in my life and am just now starting to scratch the surface on all there is to know and understand. The part of Revelation that always makes me uneasy is not knowing and not understanding God’s timing. The world always looks like it is falling apart when you watch the news. But when I turn off the TV and look at the world directly in front of me it all seems so beautiful still. — My suggestion for a topic I’d like to know more about is, “what now?” What can I do for my family and for my soul to prepare us for eternity and for the time when Jesus returns. My 4-year-old daughter asked me just last week what it would be like when Jesus came back – I had to tell her that I wasn’t sure, but I envisioned it like seeing your best friend that you’ve missed for a very long time. She cried and said that it scared her still… I told her honestly that it made me feel the same way! But that we’ll have to be brave. (Bravery is something she and I already talk about a lot, so it felt like a comforting thought to us).”

The Remedy for Fear

In 1974, while I was sitting alone in prayer on my bed, I had a supernatural visitation from the Holy Spirit in which God revealed His love to me. It was like trying to drink an ocean of pure love. The experience was so physically overpowering that I couldn’t stand it. As awesomely pleasant as it was, I had to ask God to lessen it or I believe I would have physically died.

Since then, whenever I’m tempted to doubt God’s existence, or whether He is concerned with a situation, I remind myself of that experience and the revelation of God’s love is a solid anchor to my faith.

God is love; whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him. In this way, love has been perfected among us, so that we may have confidence on the day of judgment; for in this world we are just like Him.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:16-19)

Ask God to give you a revelation of His love. It will drive out your fears.

How Can a Loving God…?

In response to the statement “God is love” people will sincerely ask, “But how can a loving God tolerate all the suffering in the world,” or something similar.

For a detailed answer, including the purpose and plan of God through the eons of creation, please read my free eBook at  http://standinfaith.org/home/the-overcomers-treasure-map/.

How to Prepare for the End Time

So, how can we prepare for the end time, and be brave as we face it?

Whether we’re actually in the apocalyptic end time or not, troubles are certainly coming in our future.  The important thing is that our fears are real, and justified. How can we prepare ourselves, physically and spiritually?

Physical Preparation

Possessing emergency plans, supplies, and skills help defeat fear. This kind of preparation can help you survive many natural or man-made disasters.

For example, everyone would be wise to store some dried rice and beans, plant a small vegetable garden, and have a water filter to purify drinking water.

Here are a few general resources to guide your physical preparations:

https://www.ready.gov/

https://survivalblog.com/

https://www.happytosurvive.com/

Bravery

General George Patton said this about bravery,

“If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which knows no fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened.”

John Wayne said,

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”

Corey Ten Boom was a young Christian girl in Holland in World War II. Her family believed it was their Christian duty to hide Jews in their attic. Decades later, after the entire family had suffered for this act in a Nazi concentration camp, she shared this story about her fear.

One day, at the train station, I voiced my concern to my father about whether I would be brave enough to suffer for Jesus if the Germans arrested us.

My father asked me, “When you go on a train journey, when do you get your ticket?” I answered, “Papa, you always hold onto my ticket until just before I go onto the train. Then you give it to me.” He said, “Yes, and God will give you the courage you need when you need it.”

So, bravery isn’t the absence of fear. Rather, it’s doing your duty in spite of your fear, and God will give you the strength when you need it.

Spiritual Preparation

What is your duty? Your main duty in this life, living under the dominion of the current, anti-God world system, is simply to follow God wholeheartedly and trust Him with the safe-keeping of your soul.

  1. We follow God by walking in the ‘Way of the Lord,’ following truth, goodness, and holiness.
    • Follow truth by aligning yourself with reality. Reality is revealed in nature, the Bible, and the Spirit of God.
    • Follow goodness by applying the golden rule toward everyone, even your enemies. Jesus told us to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)
    • The Spirit of God in each born-again believer is holy, and each disciple’s spirit is being uniquely transformed into holiness, daily, by the renewing of his mind. (Romans 12:2)
  1. Like Jesus, we may suffer for doing God’s will in this world, but if we’re faithful to Him in this life we’ll share God’s glory in His eternal kingdom.
  2. Trust that God loves you infinitely, and nothing can separate us from God’s love. No one can snatch us out of His hand. (John 10:28)

A pregnant woman may wonder how she’ll bear the coming painful ordeal of birthing her child, but when the time comes and her contractions begin she naturally does what she has to do in spite of the pain. There is no ‘opting out’ of the experience. Then, as soon as her child is born, she forgets the pain because of the joy she feels. It will be the same for born-again Christians in the end time.

We can be brave and overcome our fears by (1) trusting in God’s love, and (2) having an eternal perspective.

Which Group Will You Be Judged With?

Everyone will eventually die and face God’s judgment; but in the resurrections to come, the decisions you make in this life will determine which of the following three groups you’ll be judged with:

1.     Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ

Definition: A disciple is an active follower of the living, resurrected Messiah. Disciples are 100% committed to eradicating sin from their lives and being transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2). They’re students of God’s word, and growing daily through prayer and spiritual relationship to God.

Today, disciples have nothing to fear from death. Their bodies will be resurrected in the first resurrection. They’ll rule and reign with Christ for 1000 years before the general resurrection. They’ll inherit an eternal reward of life and glory in God’s presence.

During the coming ‘great tribulation’ living disciples of the Messiah will be ‘sealed’ by God and glorified as God’s manifested sons and daughters. To silence their godly testimony, Satan and the Antichrist may persecute and kill them.  As a result, they’ll earn the martyr’s crown, to be worn proudly for all eternity. They’ll also sing a new song on Mount Zion with the Lamb, a song that no one else will be able to sing. Finally, they’ll earn the 8 promises to the overcomers in the Book of Revelation.

2.     Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ

Definition: A believer has asked God to forgive his sins by faith in Jesus’ sacrifice, but he’s less than 100% committed to following God daily or eradicating sin from his life.

Believers who die (today, or in the great tribulation) will regret not following the Lord 100% as a disciple. Their bodies will be resurrected in the general resurrection (after the 1000-year millennium) along with unbelievers. Their faith will save them and they’ll receive rewards based on their godly works. For those without godly works, they’ll be saved ‘as through fire:’

If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, his workmanship will be evident, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will prove the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as one being snatched from the fire. (1 Cor 3:12-15)

3.     Unbelievers

The Devil would like you to believe that living your earthly life now is more important than the state of your eternal spirit, and as long as you’re a ‘good person’ believing in Jesus isn’t required.

  1. The Devil is a liar. Everyone who follows him dies, and then their spirit will suffer burning torment in hell.
  2. The truth is that the state of your immortal spirit is infinitely more important than your temporary, physical body. Everyone’s body will die in a few years, but your spirit never dies. God’s desire (for everyone) is for our spirits to become holy, like Jesus. We become holy by choosing to walk in ‘the way of the Lord’ during our earthly life.

Judgement

If you reject Jesus as your Savior, He will not be able to receive you into heaven when your dead body is resurrected in the general resurrection. You will stand naked before God, without the free gift of forgiveness which is available now through faith in Jesus. Almighty God will judge you, pronouncing your sentence based on your unbelief and the sin you preferred above salvation.

Someone will ask, “What about those unbelievers who never heard the gospel?” God is love, and He is also good and just. His judgment will be fair and applicable to each person. Nobody, not even Satan, will challenge the fairness of God’s decisions at the great white throne judgment. (Revelation 20:11-15)

Hell

You’ll then be cast into a place of burning torment to serve 100% of your long sentence. I believe the purpose of hell is redemptive, to burn away the sinfulness from each unbeliever’s evil spirit until you’re ready to repent and ask God for forgiveness. For some, this will take thousands of years; for others, less, depending on the hardness of your heart.

Based on Colossians 1:20 (and other verses) everyone will eventually receive God’s forgiveness and be released from this place of burning torment.

“and through Jesus to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” (Colossians 1:20)

Eventually, in the ages to come, God’s plan is for everyone who ever lived to dwell in His presence in heaven, after sincerely bowing their knee to Jesus Christ and confessing that He is the only Savior and Lord.

Therefore, if you’re an unbeliever you’d be wise to repent of your sins and dedicate your life to following Jesus today. Don’t wait another day—you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Conclusion

We can’t avoid the birthing process of the coming new age, but you can be eternally blessed by deciding to follow God wholeheartedly and trusting Him with the safe-keeping of your soul.

God’s love drives out fear. You can be brave and overcome your fears by (1) trusting in God’s love, and (2) having an eternal perspective.

In this short life, your most important decision is whether you’ll choose to be a disciple, a believer, or an unbeliever. Disciples are the only ones who have nothing to regret or fear in death.

The Culmination of the Gospel

What we are is God's gift

God’s Plan

For eons of time, since before the foundation of the earth, God’s plan is ever moving forward toward His goal of complete reconciliation of all creation to Himself.

“and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:20 NASB

Despite what the media and world leaders say, the ruler and kings of this world are not in control of world events.clockwork

God is in control, and like the gears in a fine Swiss watch, God is syncronizing large and small events exactly, according to His plan and schedule.

Divine prophecy is history that hasn’t happened yet. It reveals the future outworking of God’s plan.

The Next Milestone in God’s Plan

The next major event in God’s plan is the victory of His kingdom over the kingdom of this world.

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 KJV

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 11:15 NASB

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of Empires

In a dream, ancient Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar saw an awesome statue of a man. The man had a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, and legs of iron. Its feet were iron mixed with clay.

The king ordered the wise men of Babylon to tell him both the dream and the interpretation, or he threatened, “if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap.”

Then God revealed the dream to a Hebrew captive named Daniel, who told the king:

“This was the dream; now we will tell its interpretation before the king. “You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold.

Medo-Persia and Greece
“After you, there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.

Rome (or Islam?)
“Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. “In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. “As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. “And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.

The Divine Kingdom
“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. “Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so, the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.” Daniel 2:36-45 NASB

The Statue

The statue represents the 4 pagan empires that that will dominate God’s people in this world before He establishes His kingdom rule over all the earth: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (or Islam). Most Bible teachers believe we’re now in the final stage of the fourth empire, symbolized by the feet of iron mixed with clay.

The Stone

Daniel’s interpretation plainly says the stone is the kingdom of God. It was cut out of a mountain without human hands, then strikes the statue at its feet and completely shatters it. Then the stone (God’s kingdom) grows into a mountain that fills the whole earth.

The Kingdom of This World

The kingdom of this world is ruled by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). He’s also known as:

“the great dragon, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” Revelation 12:9 NASB

The god of this world is Machiavellian; he accumulates power and rules the nations through violence, manipulation, fear, self-interest, and corruption. With few exceptions (Joseph, Daniel, etc.), success in the Dragon’s kingdom requires a person to put expediency and ambition above morality. The higher you rise in this kingdom, the more you’ll be required to compromise.

The inevitable destination for everyone in this kingdom is death, a reality most people avoid as they strive to enjoy a comfortable life before their clock runs out.

All nations, including the modern state of Israel and America, are members of the Devil’s kingdom. All have rejected righteousness. All have embraced the Machiavellian model. As a result, all will be shattered by the small stone.

The Kingdom of God

Unlike the kingdom of this world, the kingdom of God is founded upon and ruled by righteousness and peace.

No unrighteous person can enter God’s kingdom, but everyone who is born into the Devil’s kingdom has sinned. Jesus solved this dilemma by offering Himself as an offering for sin for everyone who repents and asks for forgiveness in His name. Every citizen of God’s kingdom has been born of water (baptism) and the Spirit. (John 3:5) Every citizen in God’s invisible kingdom is ‘born again,’ by faith.

The kingdom of God exists where God’s will is done, and where GrapesHis word is obeyed. It’s where we abide in Christ to produce fruit, and where we’re pruned to produce ever more fruit. (John 15)

Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the sceptre of Your kingdom. (Hebrews 1:8)

The kingdom of God is where God gives eternal life to everyone that asks.

Unlike the world’s kingdom, success in God’s kingdom requires us to place righteousness, peace, and sacrificial love above self-interest, wealth, and promotion.

To the carnal mind, God’s invisible, spiritual kingdom looks weak and insignificant compared to the Dragon’s physical kingdom, like a small stone compared to a large mountain. But this small stone is destined to shatter the Devil’s kingdom, crush it, and God’s Spirit will blow the dust away, never to be seen again. Then, that stone will grow into a mountain that fills the whole earth.

But How?

Jesus made it possible for us to literally become children of God.

“to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12 NASB

As His children, we’re to reflect His image, His nature, and His works. Our challenge:

Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

If we abide in Him and walk in His Spirit continuously, we will overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Our personal character and behavior are transformed into a unique facet of God’s image. Having been thus transformed, a day is soon coming when God will manifest His glory on His spiritually-mature, righteous sons and daughters.

The Manifestation of God’s Glory

Since the Garden of Eden, all creation yearns for the glory of God to be manifested in His children:

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:18-21)Manifestation of Sons of God

I believe the next milestone in God’s plan, before the great tribulation, is when He reveals His glory in His spiritually mature and righteous sons and daughters. This will fulfil Isaiah 60:1-3

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the LORD will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.

Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.

Almost all Bible teachers believe Isaiah chapter 60 refers to events in the Millennium, after Armageddon and Jesus’ second coming. Here’s why I believe it will happen before the great tribulation:

  1. Most prophecy teachers today either focus on the rapture, or what Satan and the Antichrist are going to do to wreak havoc against mankind. This is a defensive attitude, with the Devil on the offense against us. In their theology, we are passive and defensive, suffering helplessly while we wait for Jesus to deliver us. There’s no place in their theology or eschatology for Christians to have an active, offensive role in end-time events.
  2. In contrast, when Jesus told His disciples that ‘the gates of hell will not overpower’ the Church, it’s apparent that the Devil is the one in the defensive position, and the Church is on the offense against his gates. (Matthew 16:18)
  3. The Devil and the Antichrist are not in control of end-time events, just as they weren’t in control when they crucified the Lamb of God. They’ll really be on the defensive when God unveils His glory in His overcoming saints. The visible glory of God radiating from them will shatter the darkness and lies that the Devil’s kingdom is built on. Billions of people will jettison the Devil’s kingdom to become born-again children of God.
  4. Finally, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in 2015 saying “Something wonderful” is coming. When I searched to find out what the Spirit was referring to, I believe He led me into this teaching. As a result, I wrote The Manifestation of the Sons of God, which is available free online.

I believe the manifestation of the sons of God is the first culmination of the gospel message. It is the next step after Pentecost in the progressive, unfolding revelation of the corporate Body of Christ.

(Note: to fulfil Colossians 1:20, there will be other culminations of the gospel in ages to come, until everything in heaven and earth is reconciled to God through Christ.)

This visible manifestation of God’s glory in His overcomers is the small stone that shatters and crushes the devil’s kingdom. The glorious light of God, seen in His saints, will cause nations and kings to come to them, to learn the way of the Lord, to know the way of righteousness, peace, and life.

 

Postscript

This brief article is focused on the ‘culmination of the gospel.’ I feel like I’ve covered that topic, but I realize I’m leaving many questions unanswered, such as:

  1. Why is it critically important for believers to be holy? What is holiness?
  2. What’s the back story that explains the conflict between God and His adversaries?
  3. What are the eons of God’s plan?
  4. What will the Antichrist do to believers during the great tribulation, especially the ones who visibly exhibit the glory of God?
  5. Why doesn’t God just put a stop to all the evil in the world?
  6. What role do saints play in the end-time spiritual conflict between God and the principalities and powers?

Rather than making this article a lot longer, you can find answers to these questions in these free online resources:

Watch and Pray

Pouring molten gold

APOCALYPSE FATIGUE

If you’re like me, you sometimes suffer from ‘apocalypse fatigue.’  I’ve sincerely expected the end of the age to start (resulting in the great tribulation, the Antichrist’s defeat, and the return of Jesus) many times since 1981, but obviously it hasn’t happened yet. Here’s a short list of apocalyptic signs I have followed (or am still tracking) with interest:

  • 1981 – the planets of the solar system were supposed to align, triggering great earthquakes, etc. (Signs in the heavens and on earth)
  • 1988 – 40 years after Israel became a nation (The olive tree parable…this generation will not pass away until the end comes)
  • The Bush presidents, 9/11, and their promotion of the ‘new world order’
  • 2008-2016 – Is Obama the Antichrist?
  • 2013 – The last pope takes office according to the prophecy of St Malachy. Is Pope Francis the false prophet of Revelation 13?
  • 2015 – four consecutive ‘blood moons’ coinciding with Jewish Passover and Tabernacles festivals. Did the 7-year tribulation covenant period start on Yom Kippur, 9/22/15?
  • 2017 – Is Trump or Jared Kushner the Antichrist?
  • Possible Second Coming dates: Yom Kippur of 2022, 2036, or 2055?

I’ve made life-direction decisions based on some of these, resulting in life-long consequences and lost career opportunities. After so many false leads, over decades, it’s tempting to simply stop looking for end-time clues and just join the rest of the world—asleep in their blissful ignorance.

But, as I was meditating on my apocalypse fatigue this morning, the scripture to “watch and pray” came to me. Regarding the end of this age, Jesus warned:

Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be weighed down by dissipation, drunkenness, and the worries of life—and that day will spring upon you suddenly like a snare. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. So, keep watch always, and pray that you may have the strength to escape all that is about to happen and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)

Watch

What does it mean to keep watch? According to BibleHub.com, the original Greek word literally means “to be sleepless, intent upon a thing, Ephesians 6:18; or, to exercise constant vigilance over something (an image drawn from shepherds).”

Examples of watching:

  1. Defensive:
    1. Shepherds keep watch over their sheep, making sure they’re safe from predators and other dangers.
    2. Soldiers are routinely assigned to guard duty. They keep watch over (guard) a specific place or thing during a specified period of time.
  2. Offensive: Hunters watch intently for their prey. They constantly search for clues and signs that will lead them to success in their hunt. They focus all their senses on the hunt; looking for animal tracks, listening for twigs snapping, and smelling their upwind quarry.

What should we ‘keep watch’ for?

Watch so that no one deceives you.

In all three synoptic gospels, this is the first warning Jesus gave His disciples regarding the end time.

  1. Matthew 24:4 See to it that no one deceives you.
  2. Mark 13:5 See to it that no one deceives you.
  3. Luke 21:8-9 See to it that you are not deceived. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.When you hear of wars and rebellions, do not be alarmed. These things must happen first, but the end is not imminent.”

Watch to be able to withstand persecution.

  1. Mark 13:9-13 So be on your guard. You will be handed over to the councils and beaten in the synagogues. On My account, you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them… Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone on account of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
  2. Matthew 24:9-12 Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will arise and mislead many. Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
  3. Luke 21:12-19 But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. On account of My name, they will deliver you to the synagogues and prisons, and they will bring you before kings and governors. This will be your opportunity to serve as witnesses. So make up your mind not to worry beforehand how to defend yourselves. For I will give you speech and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you will be put to death. And you will be hated by everyone because of My name. Yet not even a hair of your head will perish. By your patient endurance, you will gain your souls.
Learn from Peter’s failure to watch

The night before Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter said: “I will die with you.” But Jesus warned Peter that he would deny Jesus three times before sunrise. Later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter was sleepy and didn’t ‘watch’ with the Lord. As a result, when the trial came for Peter early the next morning, he wasn’t spiritually prepared, and so he denied the Lord to preserve himself from pain.

Like Peter, we will all have trials, during which our faith and commitment will be tested. If you haven’t strengthened yourself through watching and prayer, you’ll naturally choose the path of self-protection and, like Peter, you’ll deny the truth.

Watch to anticipate the Messiah’s return.

  1. Matthew 24:32-51, especially verse 42, Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day on which your Lord will come.
  2. Mark 13:32-33 But as for that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.Be on your guard and stay alert! For you do not know when the appointed time will come.
  3. Luke 21:34-36 But watch yourselves, or your hearts will be weighed down by dissipation, drunkenness, and the worries of life—and that day will spring upon you suddenly like a snare. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. So keep watch at all times, and pray that you may have the strength to escape all that is about to happen and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Why is it important for us to watch for the Lord’s return?

  1. Those who don’t watch will be ensnared when that day comes upon the world.
  2. Watching and prayer are required to build the strength required to overcome what will happen and to stand before the Son of Man.
  3. Rev 12:11, “They conquered him (the dragon) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death.”

PRAY

Like Watching, prayer has both defensive and offensive components.

Defensive:

  1. Pray that you’ll have strength to prevail against all that is about to happen in the earth, and to stand righteous and victorious before the Son of Man. “Lead us not into trials, but deliver us from evil.”
  2. Pray that when you stand before Him that He will be able to say to you, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Offensive:

  1. In general, pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as in heaven.”
  2. Specifically, pray for the kingdom of God to be manifested in your family, community, and nation.
  3. The prayers of the saints fill the golden altar before God’s throne in heaven. (Rev 8:3, 8:5, 9:13, 16:7)
  4. Jesus said, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations…” (Mark 11:17, Luke 19:46). Many believe that since God delegated authority to Adam to rule the earth, God can do nothing in the earth unless it’s in response to human prayer.

Watch and Pray

So, what does it mean to watch and pray?

  1. Before the Lord Jesus returns, scripture teaches there’ll be a great delusion upon everyone who doesn’t love and follow the truth. Watch and pray to follow God’s truth and not to be deceived and deluded with the masses.
  2. Persecution against Christians is already exploding around the world. Watch and pray that you’ll remain faithful, even at personal cost.
  3. Watch and pray that you’ll be strengthened to overcome the evil that’s coming to this world.

Bottom Line—like Peter, it’s understandable if we get tired. But let’s learn from his example and overcome apocalypse fatigue.  We have two choices; (1) watch and pray to become an overcomer, or (2) follow the world system into delusion and judgement.

The True Measure of Success

This post contrasts the world’s definition of success with a Biblical definition.  Your soul’s destiny depends on which of these paths you pursue in your life.

He is the Potter, we are the clay

 

 

 

 

 

If the text is too small to read, download the PDF using the link below.

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Was Jesus Crucified to Death and Resurrected?

This post presents Quran-accepted scripture that reasonably proves Jesus was crucified to death, entombed, and resurrected after three days.

If the text is too small to read, download the PDF using the link below.

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The Manifestation of the Sons of God

I just uploaded a 7-minute YouTube video introduction to The Manifestation of the Sons of God book.  Here’s the video:

This free book is available on this Stand In Faith website at http://standinfaith.org/home/manifestation-sons-god/

The Heavenly Council – Unseen Hands Controlling World Events

Central Planning

Who is controlling world events?

Violent world events are not random, but they’re intentionally planned and executed by a common group. For example, these events all accomplished centrally-planned results:

  • 9/11
  • Boston marathon bombing
  • The ongoing Muslim refugee invasion of Europe and other Western countries
  • The destruction of a Russian airliner over Sinai
  • The terrorist massacre of 150+ people in Paris

Yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Paris were engineered to occur just before a G20 Leaders’ Summit that starts tomorrow in Turkey. The Paris terrorist attacks will now dominate the G20 Leaders’ agenda.

But, for centralized planning to be true, the planners would have to have the intelligence, influence, and power to plan and implement such things on a global scale. Who can do that?

  • Even if I believed Bush and Cheney (or somebody else) were evil
    9/11
    9/11

    enough to engineer the 9/11 attack, as some conspiracy theorists propose, that wouldn’t explain who’s planning and executing events now, long after their retirement.

  • I doubt whether presidents Obama, Putin, and Hollande are all evil enough to plan and execute recent terrorist attacks against their own people.
  • It would be stupid for ISIS or Al Qaeda to poke a stick in the bear’s eye by blowing up a Russian civilian airliner, or to kill dozens of innocent Frenchmen at random.

Rulers and Authorities

So, who’s behind all these events? The Bible teaches:

“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

These rulers and authorities (or ‘principalities and powers’ in the King James version) are the unseen brains and hands who control critical world events.

Since almost everyone is ignorant about this topic (including most Christians) here are other Bible verses to verify the reality and continued existence of spiritual rulers and authorities, according to the Bible:

  • Hebrew Bible references: These are the ‘sons of god’ or ‘gods’ referred to in dozens of places, including: Gen 6:2,4; Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7; Dt 32:8-9, 43, and Psalm 82.
  • New Testament references: Besides Ephesians 6:12, others include Eph 6:12, Col 1:16, 2:15, Rom 8:38, Eph 1:21, 3:10, Tit 3:1, 1 Cor 15:24.

The Heavenly Council

There is solid evidence in the Hebrew Bible for a 3-tiered heavenly council. Yahweh is the Supreme authority over a divine bureaucracy that includes a second tier called the ‘sons of God’ (beneh elim). These sons of God are never referred to as angels (mal’akhim) in the Hebrew Bible, as that term denotes the third tier.[1]

The ‘spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’ are fallen spiritual beings with delegated authority over God’s creation. They began ruling the earth in an eon before Adam (2 Peter 3:5-6) and they will continue to rule until Michael the Archangel casts them down to earth, after the overcomers defeat them “by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and they love not their souls unto death.” (Rev 12:7-11)

What is their goal?

To vindicate themselves, the fallen rulers and authorities need to prove that it’s impossible to live in righteousness and peace in the physical world. This is why they promote sin and violence among mankind.

But the resurrected Jesus Christ makes it possible for anyone to live in righteousness and peace, if a person will simply turn away from sin and follow His life-giving Spirit daily.

To achieve their goal, the fallen rulers and authorities will do everything possible to tempt Christ’s disciples into sin, and if that fails, to eradicate them from the earth.

But, the Book of Revelation tells us that God’s overcomers will be victorious over the fallen rulers; their testimony of righteousness and peace will result in judgement against the rulers and authorities, who will be cast down from heaven to earth, to die like men.

I explain these concepts in detail in my free book The Overcomers Role in the Apocalypse available on this website.

How do they control human world events?

Most people think heaven is full of clouds and angels, loved ones playing harps, etc., but the truth is that the heavenly realm is in conflict right now. There is conflict between celestial beings who follow God (i.e., Michael and Gabriel) and those who obstinately continue in rebellion (i.e., Baal and Molech), yet they’re all still members of the heavenly council, or council of heaven, who present themselves before the Lord, as in the Book of Job, chapter one.

The decrees of the council of heaven are the decrees of God. The Israelite conception of the divine council included deliberation and opposition, yet the will of God was ultimately done. For example, 1 Kings 22:19-23 tells us how the heavenly council works.

God had decided that Ahab should die in battle by going up to Ramoth-Gilead, and the council considered various ways to entice him to go there. Many ideas were considered before one of council suggests becoming a lying spirit in the mouths of all Ahab’s prophets. God approved this plan and said it will succeed.

From this example we learn some facts that some may have trouble swallowing:

  • God declared His objective in a matter and then allowed the heavenly council to determine how it could be accomplished.
  • God approved one of their ideas, which the sons of God then implemented, resulting in humans making choices that fulfilled God’s will.
  • The plan involved lying. God didn’t suggest the idea, or predestine it, but He did allow it, and then a fallen son of God implemented it through affecting the choices of prophets and the king who listened to them.
  • Today the heavenly council is still devising and implementing schemes to cause men to do the heavenly council’s will. Terrorist acts, false flag and black swan events, etc., are all being engineered to achieve their goal of implementing an anti-God world government and religion. They’re guiding the minds and actions of humans through pride, greed, ignorance, fanaticism, and lust for power. And God is allowing it.
  • Why does God allow such terrible things? All of this is in accordance with God’s ‘eternal’ plan and purpose—to make known to these rulers and authorities in heaven the wisdom of God through the Body of Christ. (Eph 3:10). How?
    • Just as Satan challenged God to test Job, the heavenly council challenges God to test the Church. The anti-Christ government will overcome the saints (Daniel 7:21), but the Overcomers will prevail.
    • Just as God permitted Job to be tested, for the last 2000 years He permits the heavenly council to test the Church, to prove whether the Church will stand in faith, or follow the world into suicidal destruction.

A Great Shaking is Coming

Many faithful disciples are foretelling the great shaking that’s coming.

  • God said, “Once more, I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens. The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Heb 12:26-29
  • A great falling away is now occurring in the visible Church, as the bigstockphoto_Staircase_To_Heaven__5078152masses follow the broad, seeker-friendly way to destruction. But a spiritual awakening is beginning in the true Church, among those who won’t settle for less than the narrow, hard way of truth that leads to life.
    • From AD 33 until 1900 there were 14,000,000 Christian martyrs. But since 1900 there have been 26,000,000 martyrs[2]. The books of Daniel and Revelation tell us this trend will only increase as the rulers and authorities wage all-out war against the saints.
    • God is allowing this because the apocalyptic events of the end time is the catalyst required to bring His disciples to develop into maturity, unto the fullness of the stature of Christ.
    • End time events also provide the stage for the testimony of faithful witnesses in the Court of Heaven. The testimony of the martyrs will defeat the fallen ruler and authorities in the Heavenly Court, and vindicate God’s wisdom and faith in them. They’ll prevail “by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and because they won’t love their souls unto death.”

The Sons of God

In the past, the rulers and authorities were called the sons of God.Overcomer

But now, and in the future, those who are faithful to God are the true sons of God who will rule and reign with Christ in God’s kingdom on earth during the coming Millennium, and then afterward throughout the entire universe.

[1] http://www.thedivinecouncil.com/DivineCouncilLBD.pdf page 4

[2] http://www.jmm.org.au/articles/2904.htm