The Truth - Our Only End-Times Hope

Posted in Teachings on August 5, 2015
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The average person is awake somewhere around 100 hours each week. (Some more, some slightly less.) When you consider that if you go to church anywhere from 1 to 3 hours a week, you realize that you probably are in church less than 3% of your waking hours per week. I bring that up because occasionally I hear people gripe about "negative" teaching and preaching. They don't want to listen to "negative sermons" or hear teaching that is "critical". They want happy sermons. They love "positive" messages. That is understandable.

But even if the entire 3% of your church attendance was negative – it's silly to complain about how only 3% of your week wasn’t happy positivity. Aside from realizing how little time we spend hearing preaching or in church, the more important concern that we should all have is "is what I am hearing TRUE"? Not, "does it make me feel good" but "is this correct" and "do I need to hear this"?

Our study will attempt to explain…
1. What has happened, and is happening
2. What to expect to happen in the future
3. How to react

The Truth

First, a question: "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16)

We see that truth can cause two people to become enemies, when one person values the truth and the other doesn't.

Truth is a divider. It always has been. Today it divides more than ever.

People show an attitude especially when it comes to God's truth, because God's truth tends to be very clearly delineated. And God's standards are very high and restrictive, while mankind's tend to be very low and permissive. People have a tendency to rebel against rules imposed by God, as they sought to do at the Tower of Babel. They say, "As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth" (Jeremiah 44:16-17)

Truth is good, but it angers people who prefer lies. When confronted with truth, these people are unable to speak against it with logical, thoughtful, honest words. So they react emotionally, sometimes even turning to violence or use of force. They are like selfish children who want what they want, and can do nothing but throw a tantrum.

It doesn't take real provocation to bring forth action from truth-opposers. Words - or even ideas - are all that is necessary. An example in John 10:30-33. Jesus said: "I and my Father are one. {31} Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. {32} Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? {33} The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." Refer also to the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7, and numerous incidents during the Inquisition, or if you prefer modern-day incidents - the numerous Christians killed by ISIS in 2015.

Truth is under assault possibly more than ever, right now.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED?
Let's be clear, in regards to truth in 2015. Our world - and our country even more recently - has turned against God. Our leaders have stated very plainly their decisive conclusions - and their decisions directly oppose God's words of Truth. Our highest leader has even gloated over what they've accomplished, and reiterated that "it's a good thing". People called his reaction "touching" and his comments "beautiful". Hashtags were placed all over social media saying "LoveWins". Rainbows were superimposed on everything from the White House to people's Facebook profile pictures, to pictures of national landmarks. People - people who evidently have no understanding of scripture - said we "joined the civilized world", and that they're "so proud of America". And anyone who disagrees is called a hateful, bigoted homophobe.

You are being told that you MUST agree. You MUST accept the "new normal" spoken of by Bruce Jenner. Speaking in any way against America's shift is "hate speech" because "Love won, and hate lost."

We each must realize that just because something is popular, doesn't mean it's good or true. Popular opinion in deciding something is no different than mob rule. Just because something is repeated over and over does not make it a fact. Truth comes from God, because God "is true" and His Spirit "is truth".

This world has fully substituted evil for good, and good for evil, as spoken of in Isaiah 5:20. Perversion is revered. Righteousness is opposed. Soon, it will be prosecutable. Laws have changed and will continue to change in the same direction. A follower of Christ - a lover of truth, of all things right, of all things pure - cannot help but be saddened.

In the Puritan John Winthrop's 1630 sermon, he essentially foretold America's future greatness when he said their new settlement would be "as a city upon a hill", watched by the world. He also warned that if the Puritans failed to uphold their covenant with God, "we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world" of God's judgment. He apparently was a man who took God seriously.

When you see your countrymen in 2015 not taking God seriously, it’s because they reject His truth, and His will.

Jeremiah 6:16 "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken."

Jeremiah 18:12 "And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart."

With the madness and wickedness overtaking us - by our own choices - you have to ask: How could people want to destroy their own future? How could people want to purposefully destroy their families' future - the future of their own country, in which their children will live?
- Because they can't understand or even see the ultimate goal. The goal isn't theirs - it didn't come from human minds. And these people have been blinded. They were blinded long ago.

2 Corinthians 4:4 "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

WHAT IS HAPPENING…AND WHAT WILL HAPPEN?

Division
The tactic of "Divide and conquer" is being used successfully on Americans. It's always been used on groups on people. It was used by Nazis – turning the Germans against the Jews. It was used by Communists to pit class against class. It has always been used on different ethic groups, in various countries around the world.

America will not remain unaffected by similar tactics. They are being used within our country now.

Thought Control - ("thoughtcrime" from the book 1984)
Consider that truth is a crime against the State. (i.e. the seemingly all-powerful earthly federal government)

Conflict
Consider that a person who is today your friendly neighbor is able to turn on you if the circumstances are right.
- The 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard on trial in Berlin today has said he still doesn't understand how he obeyed the SS and performed his duties as a Nazi. He said that his "blind obedience" was "impossible to explain".
- Otherwise normal American people, when confronted with the issue-of-the-day, are willing to threaten or do violence to others. Ironically, all in the name of being against what they call "hate".
- Words have changed meanings. Not only is "hate" used wrongly, but words such as "tolerance", "love", and "inclusive" have been twisted. Today, hate can mean mere disagreement (instead of a feeling of hate). "Love" has been substituted for "lust" or "perversion". "Tolerance" is now really "intolerance" - because for someone to be tolerant means they allow other points of view, and maybe even co-exist with those points of view. "Inclusive" means to include everything you agree with - but it's never Christianity.

Destruction of Institutions
Consider that we are a debased people now, with all of our major institutions either under attack, changed, or destroyed. Marriage, family, society (Boy Scouts)

Revisionism
Consider that history is being erased in our country. The saying about those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it suddenly becomes ominous.

(No matter what a person's feelings about the Confederate flag, it is indeed part of history. When there's a mass movement advocating the annihilation of all signs of the Confederacy (not just its flag), it means that someone wants parts of history erased, forgotten, and perhaps re-written. Every thinking person needs to take notice and realize that something significant is afoot.)

These things are significant as signs of the times. It's evident now that the U.S.A.'s days are numbered. Whether it has a decade left, or just a year is unknown. No one knows what God will permit to happen, or what God will cause to happen.

Vilification and Persecution
[What will happen if you are unlucky enough to be "outed" as a white male straight Christian conservative southern gunowner? That's the worst thing you can be today. If I said that in 2005 no one would understand what I meant. In 2015, you might still see the humor or irony in that question. I know you can imagine that in 5-10 more years, all those labels put together would equal labeling someone as a "domestic terrorist" or a "domestic enemy". Homeland Security won't protect you - they will seek you out as the enemy.]

It's easy to become disheartened, as you see these cataclysmic changes happen in your country. Those who oppose the truth are claiming victories. But we should all realize that this is ALL a temporary situation, and all the economic and political systems on earth right now will be replaced. Sure...first they will be replaced by an imitation of God's kingdom - and then that will be overthrown and the true Kingdom of God will come to earth.

These events are real, and they are literal.

So what is really going on? What actually matters? What should you do? How should you think?

Let's examine some truths, and see how to react.

1. This world is not run by humans. The "god of this world" is currently influencing major world events, world rulers such as presidents and prime ministers, political leaders, economies, religious leaders, and of course all major media (meaning news and entertainment). Lucifer, personally, might not be overseeing every single detail. It is evident from the Bible that lesser entities are given rulership over certain areas. These areas are called "principalities" and these entities are "princes". Daniel 10:20, Eph. 6:12
- As with every real truth, the dark side reveals a counterfeit lie so people reject the real truth. So we have numerous movies, shows, and video games with storylines depicting things such as the "New World Order", the "Illuminati", fallen angels come to earth, humans and aliens interbreeding, etc.
- The echoes of Biblical and spiritual truth can be seen in all these major-media revelations, but the truth is obscured by lies and fantasy. For instance, "Illuminati" is a widely-known and accepted term. For those who don't know, it is supposedly a secret group of powerful people who influence and control world events. The name means "enlightened ones" and there are many books written about possibly who they are and how they operate. Is it true? Very, highly doubtful. What is true is that spiritual forces are doing exactly what the legendary illuminati are said to do, but they do it in the spiritual realms. They do it by influencing the framework of human kingdoms and politics. The truth is that they aren't "enlightened" and have nothing to do with "light" - they are darkness. The dark ones. Not the light ones. Do they want a New World Order? Actually, they want the old world order that previously existed under Nimrod at the tower of Babel (Gen 11).
2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

- The true light – Illumination - comes from God, the Lord Jesus. You can see it and begin to understand it only from hearing the word of God and from God giving you understanding.

2. Humans can and will do evil things, if they don't see the light. Another lie that's propagated is that "people are basically good". People have told me essentially that they had a problem with the Bible because it's says our hearts are wicked – and they just can’t accept that. Even though it's an unpleasant truth, an honest person has to admit that all the evidence is there for Jeremiah 17:9 being 100% true and accurate. The myth that people are basically good is only believable when you live in a prosperous society, governed by laws. As I said, people can turn - easily. A thin thread separates seemingly good people from evil behavior. Given opportunity and necessity (and maybe the chance to get away with something) many otherwise good people would surprise you and I. We would surprise ourselves, if we knew no one was watching.
- This is one reason why church "fellowship" is important. At the practical level, it not only provides teaching, but accountability and good influence from other believers in Christ.
- A bigger issue, at the heart level, is the need for the new birth. If the heart is desperately wicked, it needs a complete overhaul and replacement. When a person gets saved and accepts what the creator wants to provide for them, they get a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26)

3. Persecution is coming to God's people. 2 Timothy 3:12 says "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." This world is constantly talking about things that offend them - whether it be hate speech (which is any Biblical opinion, any name calling of any kind, or any criticism of anything the world system does, or anything that hurts leftists' feelings) or hate chicken (Chick-Fil-A a few years back) or hate flags (such as the Confederate flag - while ironically the ISIS flag gets no criticism and no calls for banning) or hate memorials (such as the Jefferson Memorial) or hate groups (such as the American Family Association). It's now called "hate speech" to refer to someone as their true gender (i.e. Bruce Jenner).
- There is nothing more offensive to this world than Christ. If you name the name of Christ, if you stand for Him, if you say He is the only God, if you say "ye must be born again", you will be accused of "hate". Even if you speak mildly and with a spirit of love – because like the three Hebrew children in Daniel who would not bow down and worship the image, this world wants to force you to bend. Not only has George Orwell's 1984 come true, but the Bible is becoming true to American Christians. Some Christians are about to learn the consequences of standing for truth.

4. Compromise is not an option. What is compromise? It is agreeing with something you know to be wrong. It is obeying orders you know defy God. It is doing something bad so that you may have a chance to do something good later. I am talking about compromising Biblical convictions. Ultimately compromise is denying you know Christ or follow Christ. If you deny Christ, can you justify that in front of Him when you face Him?
- There are many who take the wide path with no hesitancy
- There are many who resist at first but then give in and compromise
- There are very few who totally resist all compromise.
- It matters how you finish – not how you started. Make your mind up to finish well. 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

5. You may have to stand alone. When you feel outnumbered, remember that those who absolutely will not compromise are in the minority. Don't ever expect the crowds to support you if you stand with truth. There are few, who stand firmly with God. That is why there is always a "remnant" when the going gets tough. But the LORD is fine with that. He knows it's going to be that way. Just be sure you're in the remnant.
- God used Gideon's small remnant to defeat the Midianites in Judges 7:2-3

6. God's opinion of you is what matters. When you feel insufficient to oppose evil because it's supported by the educated, the powerful, the rich, and the influential - remember that all of those things are inconsequential. Do not become enamored with the things the world values. Instead, place importance on what the LORD values. God looks at the heart. And He chooses those who are just barely "good enough" ability-wise. (Think of David.)
- 1 Corinthians 1:27 "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;"
- Remember that all the supposed great minds of this world are merely fools when they oppose God's truth. Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
- 1 Cor 3:18 "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain."

7. Loyalty to the truth will guide you. Word of God? Truth. Jesus Christ? Truth. Holy Spirit? Truth. Love of the truth brings excellence. It brings clear thinking. It promotes all good things. It results in God's blessing and favor.
- Daniel 6:3 "an excellent spirit was in him" no doubt because others saw unfaltering truth in him
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

8. The only hope - and the only comfort - is reliance on Jesus the Messiah. We know that there is a practical use for "prepping" since we live in hurricane country. And we can see that when the world is experiencing financial crashes, it would be wise to have some actual cash in your possession (see Greece right now). But earthly things only have so much usefulness. They are temporary. They are unreliable. They get used up. And they can be taken from us. The biggest, most important, lasting, and strengthening "prep" is living a godly life. Reliance on God.
- Psalms 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
- There is a name for the Holy Spirit - the Comforter. When do you need comfort? When tragedy, difficulty, hardship, opposition, and persecution come.
Sometimes you may think like Ecclesiastes 4:1 "So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter." But this has changed; a believer in Christ DOES have a Comforter:
John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 15:26 "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:"

Ultimately, how do we react to all these things we see? We remain loyal and committed to God’s truth – no matter what comes. We speak the truth to others – no matter what they say. We accept the consequences of the truth – no matter what they are. We give out truth the way we are instructed to:

2 Timothy 2:24 "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."

John 8:40 "But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."

Again the most important truth is the Gospel – that Jesus died to save sinners and offers eternal life to anyone who will believe.

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