Greetings in Christ!
This week we will take another look at verses 25-29 of John 5, which touch on the rapture, a recurring theme in the Bible. Dr Chuck Missler, may he rest in peace, used the analogy of how a communications officer would increase the frequency of his signal in order to keep his transmission from being jammed. Therefore, important doctrines appear time and again throughout Scripture. Jesus will come back to the rapture in Chapter 14:1-6. The rapture of the church can be found in several other places in the New Testament, as well as in the Old Testament.
Father, give us understanding as we read your word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
25 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.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
This is our hope as Christians. It may look like the new world order is winning now, but the day is coming when our King is going to take us home. [T]he dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. It’s important to remember Who is in control. He is allowing the things that are transpiring. I believe He is watching all of us closely to see how much we are willing to go along with the new world order. The Bible says be not conformed to this [new] world [order]. The rise of the new world order is accelerating so rapidly that I don’t think we really have any idea just how ubiquitous it is. For example, a recent report has shown that Facebook is the platform of choice for those who exploit and abuse children, outnumbering all others by far, with 1561x more instances of sexual abuse than even Pornhub. I will never post on Facebook again. They freely allow predators to use their platform to abuse children but sharing vital information about health and wellness is forbidden. (Gab is an alternative that is Christian-owned and operated. Gab strictly polices their site and forbids that sort of filth.) The new world order has big plans for planet earth, but God has plans of his own. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. How then, shall we prepare? The Bible says we need to put our armor on, and above all, take up the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. If you spend much time tracking current events it’s easy to get distracted, but the answer is not to stop paying attention to what is going on. We do, however, need to keep things in perspective. Without keeping the basics of our Christian teachings in mind, one can be tempted to give in to hate. The MO of the enemy is to divide and conquer. If he cannot get you through class warfare he will try to get you through some other kind of identity politics. Failing that, he will try to make you hate those who are perpetuating these schemes to pit us against one another (and other schemes that are far worse). But keep in mind, Paul shared the gospel with Caesar Nero. Jesus taught us 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; If you love people the way Jesus commands, Satan will not be able to infuse his hatred into your soul.
Corrie ten Boom was interned in two different Nazi concentration camps where she was treated horribly. She lost her father and her sister inside those camps, but she did not give in to hate. After the war was over she forgave her persecutors and ministered the gospel to them, teaching them about the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Love is the weapon of the Christian. This principle is simple, but not easy. Here is how Corrie ten Boom explained it to someone who had been crippled by hatred. Her hatred had become so severe that she ended up in a mental institution:
…..In London I was asked to call on a woman in a mental institution. The one who had fallen victim to hatred. She had always lived in Palestine. Her husband had been kind to the Jews, and then it was the Jews who had dropped a bomb on their home. When she regained consciousness and saw that her husband was dead, she opened her heart to hatred. Now she was a complete wreck. She spent the whole day reading the newspapers in order to find news about the Jews. If something terrible happened to them she was happy.
…..As she entered the room she looked suspiciously at me. I prayed and asked for wisdom and love.
…..“I know exactly what you’re going to tell me. I must pray,” she began the conversation in a defiant manner. “But I cannot pray.”
…..I made no reply, and she continued, “I know exactly what you are going to say next; I must banish the hatred from my heart, because only then can I pray again.”
…..“Who told you that?”
…..“No doubt the chaplain is still a very young man, and he does not yet know how powerful the devil of hatred is. You and I know. Once I was with my sister in a concentration camp. When they treated me cruelly I could stand it, but when I saw that they intended to beat my sister, because she was too weak to shovel sand, then hatred tried to enter my heart. And then I experienced a miracle. Jesus had planted His love in my heart, and there was no room left for hatred. The only thing you can do is open your heart to that love. That love is a reality. If it is dark in a room, while the sun is shining out side, do I have to sweep the darkness out? Of course not. I merely have to draw the curtains aside, and as soon as the sunlight floods the room the darkness vanishes.”
…..We both knelt down, and I prayed, “Lord, here we are, weak, much weaker than the devil of hatred. But Thou art stronger than the devil of hatred, and we now open our hearts to Thee, and we give thanks to Thee that Thou art willing to enter into our hearts as the sun is willing to flood a room that is opened to its brightness.”
…..A week later the woman was discharged from the mental institution. Her heart was full of the love of God. (1)
A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that holding a grudge is bad for your health. Even secular researchers know that hatred is not the answer. Obi-Wan Kenobi told Luke Skywalker, “Don’t give in to hate. That leads to the dark side.” Even a character in a kids’ movie knows that hatred is not the answer. Is there something or someone who is consuming your heart with hate? A new world order kingpin? Donald Trump? Someone who has spread horrible lies about you? Corrie ten Boom also once said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover the prisoner was you.”
Father help us to prepare our hearts for your Son’s soon return. We pray that He may find us loving our enemies, going the extra mile, turning the other cheek, not being overcome of evil but overcoming evil with good. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prophecy Update: Two weeks ago in a prophecy update, I mentioned plans for an alternative to the Suez Canal. These plans seem to be related to Ezekiel 38, 39. In a related development earlier this week, a massive container vessel was lodged in the Suez canal, shutting down traffic through the canal. Reportedly, the vessel ran aground because of wind conditions. In Genesis 8:1, Exodus 14:21, and other places, God has used wind to change the course of history. I believe the plans I made reference to in my prophecy update on 3/14 for a new canal will be accelerated by the blockage of the Suez Canal this week.
(1) Corrie ten Boom, Amazing Love, pp 68-69.