We Must Keep Our Promise to God as Our Faith and Patience Will Be Tested!

“Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your cloths did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.

Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to Him and revering Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land – a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have I multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 8: 1-20)

The promise that God gave the Israelites is no different than the promise of salvation given to the Church by Jesus Christ. In both cases a promise was made to prepare a place for them where they would long for nothing. Every need would be taken care of and all of their dreams would come true.  Everyone in the world today can see the promise that God gave the Jewish nation has come true with the establishment of the Israeli Nation in 1948.

Not only has the Jewish nation received their land back after an almost two thousand year hiatus, but Israel has prospered and thrived within this barren land. Jews from all over the world have come back to the Promised Land to repopulate the land God proclaimed to be theirs.

Christians have been promised to have a place prepared for them by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He promised that if we fulfilled our obligation that He would return one day and bring us to our Promised Land. The only difference between the promise God gave to the Jews and the promise Jesus gave to the Christians is that the Jews have received their Holy Land and the Christians have not.

These promises also have come with an obligation that must be fulfilled for the promise to remain intact. We must not forget the Lord our God and we must never bow down to another god or we will be destroyed.  This is consistent with both promises.

All around the world people are proclaiming that the end of the world is at hand and that the Great Judgment is almost upon mankind. The Jews are watching for their messiah to come and to have the Third Temple built with the reintroduction of the sacrifice where Christians are proclaiming that Jesus is returning and will destroy the Anti-Christ.  Even the non-believer can see that the world has gone crazy and that we are headed for a major crisis.

The Prophetic Scripture tells us that all of these events will happen and they will happen at a time of great peril.  The entire world will be filled with crisis and everyone will be looking for a Messiah to save the world from destruction.  The current developments within the Middle East and the buildup of the world’s armies in Syria have everyone looking toward the Old Testament prophets for answers. By reading these prophets and looking at the news, we are seeing Bible prophecy being fulfilled.

The Prophet Ezekiel speaks about the gathering of armies against the land of Israel in chapters 38 and 39, while the Prophet Isaiah describes the total destruction of the city of Damascus in chapter 17. These events combined with the gathering of the world’s armies happening in Syria, which is described in Revelation chapter 16, we can see the Living God coming alive within these events.

What must be understood is that we must be careful what we wish for! Yes we want to see our promise fulfilled just like the Jewish promise was but we must be prepared for what comes with it.  God’s Judgment is nothing to take for granted and nothing to wish upon others. What He has promised to do to the sinners of the world is truly horrific.  Actually looking at these events would make anyone with a heart wish that we could find another way.  A way that does not include so much death and suffering but this is the only way.  That is why we have been warned for thousands of years, so that we may be worthy enough to not partake of God’s wrath.

We as believers must do everything in our power to make sure that the truth is upheld and that as many that would listen are told the goodness of our Lord. This is our obligation by being alive during this time.  We are told that we will be tried and that our faith will be tested to see if we are true.  By the testing of our faith we will show our goodness and love toward our Creator.  We are all made of sin and we all deserve eternal death. None of us are good enough to enter eternal salvation by our works and we must be granted His grace to enter the presence of the Lord. This is the only way and once we understand that then we know what we must do.  We must proclaim the truth and hold true to our promise to not worship anyone above our God. This will be the true patience of the saints:

“Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth – to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.’

A second angel followed and said, ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.’

A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they too will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.’ This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, They will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.’ (Revelation 14: 6-13)

 

Clinton Kowach

9/29/18

Our Long Suffering Will Produce the Strength We Need

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put use to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5: 1-5)

We study, we ache. We watch and we suffer. These are what the final saints persevere. Those that came before us provided an example of how we must look at our pain and suffering.

This seems like an impossible task as we struggle between the trials of the day and the evil among the world. Our vision of His coming only complicates things as we struggle to remain focused on Him as the world darkens around us. We must struggle. We must persevere as we must remain the light in this dark world.

We all look at those that came before us and see them in their glory. The Disciples as they walked with Jesus, Moses as he parted the Red Sea, Noah as he built the ark, all of these great men were a shining light for our example.  We all see them in their glory but we do not focus on their suffering.  How did Moses suffer while he wandered for 40 years in the desert? How did the apostles suffer when they saw their Hope die and became the hunted?  The pain these men felt was equivalent to the light they shone.  There must be balance and as the Lord gives greatness, darkness also comes.

We understand this when we look at prophecy and the Apocalypse.  Everyone can see the darkness that unfolds and engulfs the world but the Church is taught that we will not be here to see it. But we are still here. Christians are being tormented every day for their faith, in one way or another, and their persecution is going to get stronger. We know this.

How do we remain strong among the darkness? How do we continue the fight when it seems like darkness is overcoming the world?

It’s easy to say that we must remain faithful and persevere. It’s easy to say but to do is the complete opposite. We falter and waver every time we are tempted. That is our society. We are foretold this in Scripture, that this generation stands for nothing and is neither not nor cold.

But we must remain strong. We must keep our eye on the prize, as it is the mother of all prizes. We will gain everything if we only stand and stand alone for our God.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For 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.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” (Ephesians 6: 10-20)

 

Clinton Kowach

9/18/18

Watchmen, The Time Has Come. We Must Be Ready!

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days on Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Two men will be in the field, one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at the hour when you do not expect him.

Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servant in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “(Matthew 24: 36-51)

We have been told that the coming of our Savior will come at a time when we are not aware, that only the Father knows the day or hour of His coming.  This is very true and Scripture tells us exactly this.  The portion that modern believers have neglected is the fact that we will know the season of His coming and if we watch, we will know his arrival is soon.

Our society is inundated with teachers telling us of Jesus’s imminent arrival and to make sure that we have our lives in order.  This is due to the fact that the prophetic events foretold about the end of the age are appearing everywhere and many are sounding the horn of warning.  This is by design as the Watchmen are doing what they were instructed to do:

“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own heads. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves.

But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.” (Ezekiel 33: 1-9)

This is the reason that society is hearing so much about the arrival of our Savior. It is the duty of the Watchman to do what he promised God he would do.  His own salvation depends on sounding the trumpet of warning.  We are told in Scripture that one will be taken and one will be left.  We are told that the good servant will take care of his master’s estate while the wicked servant will do the opposite.  This explains the gravity of the world situation toward salvation.  We as Watchmen will be sounding the horn to everyone but not everyone will listen.

If someone does not listen to the warning, that is their decision and not to the detriment of the Watchman.  The only responsibility the Watchman has is to tell everyone what is happening and that judgment is coming. We are not told to change people’s minds or to convert them to our way of understanding.  Not everyone will have the ability to understand, but they must repent as we have all fallen short of the glory of God. Watchmen are told to sound the trumpet of warning that danger is coming. Our way to Salvation is an individual journey that all of us must take.

“But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done.’ To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism. “(Romans 2: 5-11)

So Watchmen, sound your trumpets, sound your warning cries as the time is at hand. We are witnessing the coming of our Lord and His arrival is imminent. We may not know the exact hour or day of His arrival but we can know His season.  We can tell all those who will listen that the time has come to repent of all of our sins.  We must all repent as none of us are allowed entry into Heaven without first passing God’s judgment.

Go be proud of your title. Be proud of your duty to warn the masses.  Receive your redemption and your reward. Sound the trumpet and fulfill your obligation to your Lord and Savior!

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.” (Philippians 2: 12-18)

Clinton Kowach

9/15/18

False Predictions Will Cause The Great Falling Away

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasured in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2: 1-13)

Our world is filled with perplexity as we watch the unfolding of our society. Many teachers are proclaiming that the end of the world is becoming a reality and we are inundated with “prophets” proclaiming that the Rapture will occur at any time.  All of this is happening as the Catholic Church is in turmoil and religion is intruding on our political establishment. There is no wonder why a portion of society is becoming tired of religion and the radical followers it has produced.

It seems that every month there is another prediction as to when the Rapture will occur and dates are being given.  As these dates come and go, those who lack strength in faith or sound doctrine are wondering if Biblical prophecies are untrue, like so many predictions that have come prior. This confusion is causing many to question their faith and turn from the prophetic word. This turning away is growing and is impacting our world and will continue to do so.

Those that study Scripture understand that the Rapture does not occur at some random time or that we must be on-guard every day for His coming.  The Scripture is very specific about events that must happen prior to Jesus’s second coming and without these events occurring, His coming does not happen.

Two events that no one talks about are the Great Falling Away and the Great Deception that occurs during the end of the age.  We are told very specifically that this must occur prior to Jesus’s return but modern Christians believe that the falling away happens after their Rapture.

This paradox is producing fatigue within the Christian Church.  As teachers conclude the next date of the Rapture, and its subsequent prediction failure, people are starting to question the prophetic word. This questioning is not because prophecy is wrong but due to the prophetic teachers who are incorrect in their interpretation and belief.  Calling these teachers false prophets would not be far-fetched.

We all long to see our Lord but we must hold true to what Scripture tells us will happen.  We were never told that we would be removed prior to the coming of the Anti-Christ. Instead we are told the complete opposite. 2 Thessalonians specifically states that there would be a falling away from Christ, a great deception and the Anti-Christ would be revealed, before his second coming. This Anti-Christ revealing was also spoken about in Daniel:

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9: 24-27)

The Abomination that Causes Desolation is also referenced in Matthew:

“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: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his cloths.

And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24: 15-21)

Scripture tells us the moment the man of perdition, the Anti-Christ is revealed as he desecrates the Holy Temple of God. The Jews are instructed to watch for this event and when it occurs to flee into the mountains, not even gathering their belongings prior to leaving.  Anyone seeing this occur and knowing Scripture would have no doubt as to what happened and according to 2 Thessalonians, this event must happen prior to the Rapture. This is significant as the most quoted verse pertaining to the Rapture is found in 1 Thessalonians:

“But I would not have you be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18)

If Scripture clearly tells us events that must happen prior to Jesus’s second coming, why are so many leading the masses to believe His arrival will happen any day? Why are so many willing to believe what they are being told instead of what the Scripture tells us? Again, a prophetic warning was given to us:

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. “(2 Timothy 4: 1-4)

Everything has been told to us as to what will happen during the end of the age.  There is no need for misinterpretation but too many want to be told a feel-good story.  Too many want to be told that they are special and that they will be taken away from the judgement that unfolds on the Earth.  This is not the truth and unfortunately this teaching will lead to the Great Falling Away. Christians will be asked where their God is when the populace gets tired of hearing about their savior’s coming.  These same Christians will not be able to explain why their Messiah has not taken them from this Earth and why they are here going through tribulation.  The anger these lukewarm Christians possess will lead to their turning from the faith. Woe be to the inhabitants of the Earth.

“That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3: 2-4)

Clinton Kowach

9/13/18