What If It All Started Tomorrow?

Evacuating casualties during the Yom Kippur War, 6 October 1973

[Update 22:15 – Minor editing.]

Every year, it is worthwhile to take stock.  Passover is a good time to do this, naturally, but there are also various points in time where it is personally profitable to stop and analyze where you are and where you are going.  The Sabbath can be a good time to do this on a micro level, but there should be regular “maintenance points” throughout the year where you do this, IMO.

Then, there are the wake-up calls.  The slow, rolling boil of the Middle East is a most deceptive thing, as you never know when suddenly the heat will be turned up and the entire mixture will escalate out of control.  This past weekend, the boiler plate control just went up a notch with Israel bombing strategic sites in Syria.  Of course, the effect will continue to rise even if the control gets momentarily turned back down:

On Sunday, Senator John McCain, who has long advocated a much deeper American role in the Syrian civil war, argued that the Israeli attacks, at least one of which appears to have been launched from outside Syrian airspace, weakens the argument that Syria’s air defense system would be a major challenge.

Still, there are heretics that will point to merely a regional war in the area instead of what the Bible says to say the Great Tribulation has come, when it obviously cannot.  Saying there will be a regional war in the Middle East is a lot like saying Saudi Arabia will discover another pool of oil.  It’s a pretty sure bet.

So, will the Great Tribulation start tomorrow?  Unlikely.  If nothing else, we have more than 3-1/2 years and probably at least 7 before Armageddon occurs.  How can I say this?  Because I believe the Bible and the timeline presented in it.  Even if the number of years of the total end time Tribulation are not 7, it is a fact that Tribulation must precede the Great Tribulation.  The 3-1/2 years will not commence until America is taken out of the way.

Still, are we ready?  By “we”, of course, I mean the Church.  I have serious doubts.  I have always had serious doubts, and it seems that more will fall away before what is left of the Church will truly be ready!

How do I know?  Look around!  What is the real spiritual condition of the churches and those that attend them?

  • How many still worship a dead man, thus showing their idolatry?
  • How many are unable to make the simplest decision without consulting a minister, thus showing their lack of discernment?  I’m not talking major challenges here, either.  I’m not talking about needing a bolstering hand, either.
  • How many are afraid to leave xCOG because they are afraid of losing out on the Place of Safety/salvation?  Who does the spirit of fear belong to?
  • How many will relegate their decision making to elders and ministers who themselves are devoid of understanding?  How did that work out for Korah’s followers?  We are told instead to “prove all things”!
  • How many prefer to scratch their itching ears with gossip, innuendo, slander and lies rather than concentrating upon important doctrinal matters and their application in their own lives?
  • How many are giving their all to an organization that wants to suck the life and livelihood out of its members to build monuments to the “one man” in charge?  Tell me again, how is this “godly leadership”?
  • How many prefer to chase after the shiny baubles (thank you, “S”, for the analogy!) of Roman Catholic, Indian, Mayan, gnostic and Chinese prophecies rather than the sure Word of God?

HWA used to exclaim, “Half of you just don’t get it!”  He was wrong.  Perhaps only a third got it.

Here is a statement right from your Bible, all those who would follow a “prophet”, “apostle” or other lying heretic:

21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.

22 For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away.

~ Job 32:21-22

How about Jesus’ own words?

3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

~ Mt 23:3-11

“Rabbi” usually means “teacher”, but it can also mean “my great one” or “master”  (G4461).  “Master” is a bit more modest, as it means “guide” or “teacher” (G2519).  Notice that even this modest title is to be rejected by men according to Christ’s own instructions!

More to the point, do titles like “apostle”, “Elijah”, “prophet”, etc., exalt or abase one?

12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

~ v 12

Want to know who is a heretic above all other heretics?  Look and see who calls themselves an apostle!  Want to know who is an absolute liar above all other liars?  Look and see who calls themselves a prophet!  Flee from such men, and do not look back!  Tomorrow may be too late!  God is watching His Church now to see who will wholeheartedly follow Him!

Will even half of the church make it through all this?  I really have my doubts!

32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he [the King of the North] corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.

34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.

35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.

~ Da 11:32-35

Even up until the end, heretics will cling to God’s real people and attempt to pull them down with them.  However, Jesus said something even worse.

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

~ Mt 24:8-13

How many times have you heard this?  How many times have you had this expounded upon?  Yet, do you really understand?

8: Beginning of sorrows: The beginning of birth pains.  All of these things have existed from who knows when?  Yet, near the end, they will intensify, come closer and closer together, as a woman in childbirth contractions that come closer together near the birth event.

9: Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted.  When?  Then, as the end nears, more and more and more intensive.  They?  Who are they?

4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

~ vv 4 – 5

Those who claim to be doing Christ’s will!  That’s who!  Will that be Catholics?  Protestants?  False apostles and prophets supposedly in the Church of God branding others worthy of the tribulation because they are Laodicean?  Yes!

10: Then shall many be offended.  Who?  Who is Christ addressing?  His disciples!  Shall betray one another.  Who?  Again, those who claim to be Christ’s disciples!  He was not talking about “them”!  He was talking about those who claim to be one of us!  Shall hate one another?  In “the Church”?  You bet!

11: Many false prophets.  How many false prophets?  Is He only referring to “them” outside COG circles?  Who is Satan’s main target?  The ones already deceived?

12: Iniquity shall abound.  Look around you!  What do you see?  Has it infected the Church?  The love of many shall wax cold.  Whose love?  That of many.  Outside of the Church, this is a given; so who is Christ really talking about?

How will that love grow cold?  Perhaps by not “getting involved”?  You might get your hands dirty, after all.  By criticizing any move society makes in the right direction?  By being self-absorbed and not giving “them” a warning message because, after all, “they are not being called right now.”  Really?  Did God tell you who He is calling and who He is not?  Can I see that list, please?  How about by not giving a warning message because supposedly HWA already preached the Gospel to the world.  Really?  Did HWA say to stop once he died?  Does the Bible say to stop because HWA died?  Or, is it just cowardice at work?

There is a time to be loud and there is a time to be smooth.  HWA was rather fiery in his approach.  This isn’t much of a surprise, given he spent many of his early years giving revival style sermons.  However, it was effective for his day and age.  I submit it never really goes out of style, but there are times to use it and times to not.  Jesus was rather fiery when talking to the scribes and Pharisees, but He was rather gentle with the masses.  Still, no matter how delivered, there still is a warning message to be given!  Jesus told people to “repent and believe the Gospel” (Mk 1:15).

Yet, where is the focus?  Isn’t it on externals?  How many hits to a website?  How many booklets were published?  How effective the telecasting is?

It does not matter if the message is false.  If the message is anything but a warning message, education about what the Bible really says or preaching the Gospel in some way, then it really does not matter how many booklets, hits, telecasts or videos are produced or even how many view them.

That’s why it is important to look at the message.  It is important to evaluate the messenger.  True, no one is perfect, and no organization is perfect, but the list gets really short when you compare the message against what the Bible says!

The Bible makes it obvious that Assyria, with help from other nations undoubtedly, will dominate those descended from Israel in the last days.  This will be the Tribulation.  Anyone or anything smacking of being “Judaizing”, and especially keeping a seventh day Sabbath, will be persecuted.

It should be obvious from the 1986 – 1995 that COG members will fall into one of three categories:

  1. Those who reinterpret things according to their own desires.  This still happens, actually.  I’ve seen people fold, ironically, when persecution has already passed and they seemed to be one of the true believers.
  2. Those who will reject “new teachings” but will fall instead for some equally disastrous new teaching.  This is why LCG, COG-PKG and PCG are not good choices.  LCG keeps old false teachings, but lately they have invented some new ones.  PCG is even worse, as they pay lip service to HWA but reject what does not fit their new understandings.  Flurry even has the audacity to claim to be a prophet and receiving new prophecy, which in itself contradicts their claim to be holding on to HWA’s teachings.  COG-PKG is a delusional church that is ungrounded in anything, being tossed about by every wind and whim of Ronald Weinland.
  3. Those who will stick to the truth, the real truth and nothing but the truth.

It is time to get back to the Bible.  It is time to read what it really says, who has authority to determine what and follow what it lays out in an orderly manner.  How will you know who teaches the truth?

20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

~ Isa 8:20

What does the Law say?  What do the testimonies say?  What authority does Scripture give you?  To the household?  To the government?  To the Church?

God stated some things very clearly in the Bible.  However, He left some things open to interpretation.  Who gets to do the interpreting?  If someone has an interpretation, do they have the authority they claim they have?

Government and authority are not there to oppress the righteous or to take away choice from people seeking to do good.  They are there to punish sinner and to keep order.  Does that reflect your church authority, or is it all about ego and control?  Or, is it all about feeling good instead of doing what is right?  Do they take the Bible seriously, or do they add or take away from Scripture?

OTOH, what about your own attitude?  Do you submit in areas of authority not given to you, or have you set yourself up as the sole arbiter of right and wrong?  If the latter, then how does God view this?  If you have been given the authority in a particular area, are you exercising it with due discernment?

Speaking of discernment, have you buried it just as the one servant buried their one talent?  You are required to have discernment.  Otherwise, you will be deceived!  Those who have had their eyes open and deceive themselves are breaking God’s commands!

16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;

~ Dt 11:16

8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

~ Lk 21:8

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

~ 1Co 6:9

7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

~ Gal 6:7

I submit to you that we are not ready.  I am not ready.  You are not ready, and I don’t care if you are minister, elder or lay person.  I submit to you that some have already fallen away into heresies because of their own lusts and desires, and they will have to pay the price, which at very least will probably mean not making the first resurrection.  Only God knows the individual case.  We must hold fast and endure, but we must be willing to shed the incorrect ideas that have entered our understanding.

I can remember when the Church seemed to have it all figured out.  It seemed as though there was nothing new to learn.  Then came a massive falling away.  Apparently, we did not have it all figured out after all.

The Pharisees in Jesus’ day had it all figured out as well.  So did the Sadducees.  They rejected Christ because He did not meet their expectations!

I daresay that some will reject Christ just before His second coming as well, and it will be their human reasoning that will defeat them.  They will become offended, lose their love and will betray others.

Don’t be one of those casualties who lose out on salvation the first go around.