And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Matthew 24:12.
Just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads—it is not any seal or mark that can be seen, but a settling into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, so they cannot be moved—just as soon as God’s people are sealed and prepared for the shaking, it will come. Indeed, it has begun already; the judgments of God are now upon the land, to give us warning, that we may know what is coming.
The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect. There will be gods many and lords many. Every wind of doctrine will be blowing….
The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. True godliness will be clearly distinguished from the appearance and tinsel of it. Many a star that we have admired for its brilliancy will then go out in darkness. Chaff like a cloud will be borne away on the wind, even from places where we see only floors of rich wheat. All who assume the ornaments of the sanctuary, but are not clothed with Christ’s righteousness, will appear in the shame of their own nakedness.
But there are men who will receive the truth, and these will take the places made vacant by those who become offended and leave the truth….
Men of true Christian principle will take their place, and will become faithful, trustworthy householders, to advocate the word of God in its true bearings, and in its simplicity. The Lord will work so that the disaffected ones will be separated from the true and loyal ones…. The ranks will not be diminished. Those who are firm and true will close up the vacancies that are made by those who become offended and apostatize.
Maranatha p. 200
—–D and M and friends will be praying specifically for direction on Sunday afternoon. Please join them for God’s leading. L
—–Asking you to pray for my sister, Marie. Earlier this week she was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, and she started chemotherapy yesterday. She is in a lot of pain and very weak. Please pray that the cancer cells will NOT be resistant to the chemo and that the tumors will shrink as her treatments continue. Pray that God will grant her peace from all the stress and worry, and that she will have relief from the pain. Annette
—–Jeff Kyle and Steve Wohlberg are in Salmon, Idaho, for a weekend seminar called, “America, the Beast, and the Devil’s Deadly Mark.” The church has done major advertising to the community and expect a good crowd starting Friday night. [If you live near, plan on attending.] Pray for good success.
After work some years ago, Ron and I went to the transmission shop to pick up Ronnie Jay’s car. We had hoped to be able to fix it but did not have the $1600 that it would cost. We decided that instead of taking it to a junkyard, we would try to sell it for whatever we could get from it. Ron used his boss’ pickup truck to tow it. My part was to sit in the car and make sure that the tow rope stayed taut. This would not be hard while we were going fast, but whenever we had to slow down or stop it was difficult.
We had about eight miles of town driving to get home. One never realizes how many stops there are in eight miles. My whole attention was focused on that rope and any hand signals Ron would give me to tell me that we were going to be stopping. Every nerve and muscle was ready to spring into action in order to keep that rope tight. It was a little scary and very intense. Besides keeping focused on that task at hand, I was praying that God would help me keep that rope taut. When we got home, Ron told me what a great job I did, but I knew where the praise belonged. Without help from Above, I could not have had the necessary focus or skill.
So it is in the Christian life. We must keep focused on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith with as much intensity as I followed Ron that night. (Heb 12:2) We must keep our eyes on the task at hand and not get distracted by the world’s allurements. We must “pray without ceasing.” 1 Thes 5:17 Paul’s experience must be ours, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” Phil 3:12-15
Solomon advises, “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” Prov 3:1-7 John tells us, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:15-17
Paul instructs, “whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” Col 3:23-25 Like the Philadelphia church, whose members were willing to keep their focus, to give their all that they might be ready to meet their Soon-coming King, we must so live that the Way, the Truth, and the Life will say to us as He said to them, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Rev 3:10, 11
May we seek him with our whole heart, walking in His ways, keeping His precepts diligently from now until we reach that Heavenly Goal. (Ps 119:2-4) May we declare as did the psalmist, “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God.” Ps 123:2 May we so keep our focus on Him that someday soon we will hear those blessed words, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matt 25:34