The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,on them has light shone….For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:2,6-7)
Rejoice O all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. He has redeemed us from sin and death. Give thanks to the Lord God that he sent us his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. Give thanks to the Holy Spirit for making the incarnation of the Word of God in human flesh possible. Give thanks to Jesus who in humility and obedience came to earth to fulfill the Law and for his finished work on the Cross. He is the eternal king of Israel and the head of the Church. Love him with honour and sincerity. And trust in him forever!
Have faith in the Lord as you honour his birth, death and resurrection. Believe he will come again to earth in glory. Wish you all the peace, love and joy of Jesus Christ who was born for all mankind.
Christ be with you!
Your walk with Christ calls for faith in him at all times. You must have faith in him, in good times and in bad times, in poverty and in riches. Believe in Jesus even if billions don’t believe in him. Don’t stop at this, even if you see the people who profess Christ suddenly turn away from the Lord, you shouldn’t get perturbed but simply continue to follow Jesus. Don’t lose your spiritual balance when this happens. After all its your personal walk of faith with Jesus which no one else can walk on behalf of you.
We are already warned not to get trapped by any wrong philosophy. Because the purpose of the Evil One is to take your loyalty to God and place it anywhere else as long as it away from Christ. It doesn’t matter to the Devil if you are enamored with hedonism (pleasure centered living), partying excessively, lasciviousness etc as this will all get you on the many roads away from the Gospel.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them (Ephesians 5:5-7)
Now, the Bible warns us about something serious in the future. This was prophesied so that you don’t lose heart but instead be strong in the faith. Why, because there will be many believing Christians who will turn away from the Christian faith, which is to believe in Jesus and the Gospel. In certain Christian circles this is also called as the Great Apostasy. Now some believe that it has already happened years back. For this they refer to denominational break ups and schisms. They point to doctrinal deviations as the defining point to this. Now I do agree that we must not give into any lies that deny the truth of the Gospel and the salvation that comes Jesus Christ. And also that we must hold on to the true doctrine of the Christian faith which comes through Jesus our Lord.
What I maintain however is that the Great Apostasy is still a work in progress, despite the increase of false prophets and wicked cults. The reason being that this wicked event will followed by the manifestation of the Anti-Christ and also the return of Jesus our Lord. I will cite two specific places in the Bible to shed light on this. These scriptures themselves are abundant in meaning not just about the falling away but other things too.
Firstly, lets read Matthew 24:3-14 which shows that the falling away from the faith will happen. Here the context is in regards to the return of Jesus Christ and the preaching of the Gospel to all the ends of the earth. Here were go:
Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.
Secondly, there is also 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 which again confirms that the Great Apostasy or falling away from the Christian faith will happen. Here its associated with the return of Christ our Lord and also the manifestation of the man of sin also know as the Anti-Christ. Lets read on:
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
You might wonder. Why is all this warning given? There is a good reason, it’s so that you don’t lose courage on seeing so many Christians leave the faith and that you continue to be rooted in Christ. You may have felt bad about the hypocrites in the Church but that doesn’t mean that you give up on Christ. In the same way the Apostles even during their time on earth faced lots of challenges seeing other Christians martyred, some in chains etc but they didn’t give up on the blessed hope that comes from Jesus Christ alone.
If someone doesn’t want to fall away but instead wants continue with Christ right until the end, then I recommend that you pray daily and try to read the entire Book of Jude and understand the reality of it. Especially the following verses:
Jude 1: 20-25 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Glory to God. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior,Who alone is wise,Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
Prophecy has always been a part of the will of God. Even before Jesus formed the church there have been prophets sent by God. Prophets were those who gave messages from God especially about the future concerning blessings and judgements.
The Lord doesn’t want to hide prophecy. He wants people to know what he has planned out so that they can be secure in him.
Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.(Amos 3:7)
Jesus said, “So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time”. (Mark 13:23)
So pay attention to true prophecy because it will give you hope.
And we have the word of the prophets made more certain,and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
(2 Peter 1:19)
Biblical prophecies were always due to inspiration by the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures themselves attest to this.
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21)
So a true prophet is to be heard and prophecy is to be acknowledged positively. Its very important to always check if the prophecy is consistent with the Bible. Otherwise it could lead to deception.
Now only a false prophet would say there’s no Judgement day at all and you realize that the Bible clearly speaks of Judgement day. So would you do then? I’d reject the false prophecy of no Judgement day and then denounce the false prophet if he persists in that perversion of truth. I will also reject any prophecy that says that pay so and so amount of money to guarantee your salvation. Because the Bible says “believe in Lord Jesus and you will be saved” but it doesn’t say pay money for salvation.
However, sometimes instead of discerning prophecy by the scriptures people use a wordly approach. They simply ignore prophecy or act like sceptics. Scepticism is not a substitute for discernment. Also labelling every prophecy as false without even checking may cause you to miss being part of a great move of God.
Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.
(1 Thessalonians 5:19-21)
People have got into trouble because they have either rejected or ignored prophecy. Due to legalism in certain churches, only prophecy that comes from the top leaders is considered valid while other people who gave prophecy are told to keep such things to themselves and repent of their ‘sins of pride’. By such standards of legalism, great prophets such as Daniel, Isaiah etc wouldn’t be heard if they were on earth today just because they are not ordained religious leaders. Yes that’s the logic of legalism though it always claims to ‘defend’ the faith. So even legalism is a bad way to interpret prophecy.
Sometimes there’s outright rejection of prophecy and sure enough disaster and death follows. The ancient Israelites most of the time rejected the call to quietness and trust in the Lord and instead they kept worshiping false gods. Though they sometimes did heed the prophets and repent of idolatry, they later back tracked on prophecy and they rejected it.
What followed next was the defeat of Israel by various kingdoms. Israel cried out for relief and God forgave them and did restore them. However, their heart was not fully with God. So, God again sent his prophets to them. Yet they didn’t listen to prophets who spoke of God’s sovereignity, love and mercy. They kept sacrificing not just animals but even fellow humans and kids to false deities!
Due to this, severe judgement arose from God with the result that an evil and sadistic empire known as Babylon attacked Israel like a ravenous wolf tears up its prey on a dark winter day. Empires such as it spread terror where they went and even more in Israel. Most Jews then were either killed or exiled over to far off lands, with only the poorest of the poor left to tend the land of Israel. The glory of Israel was dimmed out due to their repeated rejection of prophecy. Even to this day Israel never experiences true peace and security. Please don’t think that God has forgotten about them. There’s Biblical prophecy about them and Jesus reconciling in the future. Amen.
Now not every rejection of prophecy brings instant death. Sometimes you just miss a brilliant opportunity to improve yourself or others in the mental, physical and spiritual without much effort. You miss a time of God’s favor and then replicating the benefits yourself would otherwise take years of self discipline to achieve or even be unachievable by human standards.
If Peter wouldn’t have given heed to visions related to Cornelius the Roman and Gentile then the church today would never open its doors to people who are Gentiles. (A person who is not a Jew is called a Gentile by the Jewish people). God never intended salvation through Jesus be only limited for the Jews but rather also to everyone else who believes in the Gospel. Peter’s reaction to this prophecy changed the future for many Gentiles yet to be born. Thus we see that a positive response to genuine prophecy affects both the present and the future dramatically.
Prophecy can sometimes be very time specific, so avoid an indefinite delay tactic in discerning. Write down or make a recording of the prophecy you got. Make note of the time, place etc. Then simply pray in the Holy Spirit and remember the words of the Bible. Ask the Lord for wisdom on this. Have hope in Christ!
I remember an incident when a man in a room where people were gathered for prayers got a shocking revelation. It was that a young woman among them secretly had hidden poison in her bag and would commit suicide later. The prayers were slowed down and after some discerning he made known the prophecy to all over there. That woman started panicking and others in the room found out that she indeed had poison in her bag. After being found out, nobody started a blame game on her. Instead they prayed for her and with her. This woman with much tears repented of her desire to kill herself and is still alive today. Just imagine for a moment that the person who recieved the prophecy decided not to bother about. That woman wouldn’t be alive today.
Here are a few scriptures to reflect on which pertain to prophetic blessings, warnings, affirmation of prophecy and discernment as well :-
1) I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come,scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?” (2 Peter 3:2-4)
2) Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it. (Revelation 1:3)
3) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
4) And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)
5) You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. (Matthew 24:6)
However, for those who are righteous in Jesus there is much hope and comfort in his coming back. Because Jesus will glorify those who are faithful to him. There are a lot of verses in the Bible that point this out very clearly.
Mark 13:26-27 At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
John 14:1-4 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
The Bible encourages us to be holy and faithful to the Lord Jesus in the hope of his return. It also tells us to honor and remember his second coming. We are to honor him in the partaking of the Lords supper. We are to be pure and away from the ungodliness of this age.
1 Peter 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Corinthians 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
1 John 3:2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.
Philippians 1:10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.
Titus 2:12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
It is God’s will to reward all those who trust in Christ when he returns. Jesus himself attests to this in the book of Revelation.
Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End”
Revelation 3:11 “I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it”
Therefore, those who trust in the Lord Jesus must continue in the faith. This is the most important thing that you could be doing on earth. Never lose your identity in the Lord Jesus and exchange for the things of the world.
1 John 2:28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Matthew 24:30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
The most important event that is still pending in the history of the world is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. This time he won’t come as a Lamb. He will come a fearsome judge and ruler putting an end to injustice on the earth.
The Bible speaks of people who will mock the prophecy of the return of Christ. They have made their vile thoughts known in literature, movies and online forums. The Holy scripture also speaks of what will be their ultimate fate.
2 Peter 3:3-7 3 First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, 6 through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
Woe to all atheists and god haters when Jesus Christ comes on earth. They tell Christian people to keep their faith to themselves by being silent but themselves proclaim their hate towards God blatantly and openly.
They won’t be able to cite any evidence of Jesus not existing when Jesus is right in front of them. They won’t be able to question him with their so-called rational questions. It won’t be a time for debate. He will judge them because they hated him despite his great work of the creation of the world mentioned in the Bible and reminders from the believers of God that he loves those who turn to him.
Christ will also judge all those who rejected him and much more those who once professed to love him but later turned away from him. It will be an awful and eternal judgement that he will render to all sinners.
Matthew 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
Mark 8:36-38 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with holy angels.
The coming of Christ is going to be sudden because no one will be able to tell the exact time.
Matthew 24:27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mark 13:35-37 Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’
Jesus is coming to judge the world. He will finish the job really well.
Jude 1:14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”