When the twentieth century began, it was almost impossible to believe that the world could come to an end except by the direct and divine intervention of God. For the last forty years, it has been difficult to see how it can survive without that kind of intervention.
One thing, though, is certain: the world will not end on man's terms. God has set a time for it, and before this time can arrive, all the prophecies have to be fulfilled and every vision has to be proclaimed.
"Seventy weeks are decreed...for setting the seal on vision and on prophecy. " (Dn.9:24). Everything that is destined to be revealed must be revealed and everything that has been prophesied to happen must come to pass before the end can occur.
No one wants to hear bad news, but God has decreed that the bad news of the world's end must be announced before it happens so that the people have a chance to repent and save their lives.
Since scripture promised that God would never do anything without first warning the people through his prophets beforehand, we must take these visions seriously. "Does the trumpet sound in the city without the populace becoming alarmed? Does misfortune come to a city if God has not sent it? No more does the Lord God do anything without revealing his plans to his servants the prophets. " (Amos 3:7).
For many years the majority of Christians have ignored the dialogue flowing around this subject, but the time has come when everyone must listen. The wicked are fitting their arrows to the string right now -- sinking their shafts deep into silo's all across the earth. Only the power of faith and prayer can block the events which now loom so close ahead of us.
Never has there been a time so in need of prayer; and never have there been so many capable of implementing such prayer -- but most of these are asleep, unmindful of the alarm. This buzzing they hear around their heads, they dream, is simply the idle raving of madmen on self-appointed watchtowers. So instead of prayer, they fantasize investment strategies and sleep on. But the threat is no illusion.
We are living in a time of great change -- a time of revolt. Rejecting the Gospel it had once found so fascinating, the world has begun to raise a mortally wounded Babylon up out of its deathbed. Returning to the secular, it is becoming again as it was in the past, so we must labor just as the Apostles did. Prayer and powerful Gospel preaching are the only deterrents that will work.
The following pages treat all Christians, regardless of church affiliation, as having equal authority under God. Many might take exception to this, finding such tolerance alarming. But our need to stand together is imperative; for if we are to have any hope at all of blocking the events that have begun to cascade upon us, we must put away our differences and all come together as equal brothers and sisters in a united front of prayer in Jesus Christ.
We need to use all the power God has given us and we must direct that power, not at each other, but at our real enemy -- that vaunted, and now reborn colossus which the Bible calls 'Babylon the Great', and which we know as the secular world.
Prophecy reveals that a militant rebellion close to the End will eddy out of the Great Revolt and pit Christian against Christian. Bringing God into disrepute, this warfare between the churches will help solidify the world's anger against faith. And the divisiveness that drives it will short-circuit the powerful faith network that mutual prayer could have brought against Satan and his secular world forces.
There is no need for such hatred. The end of the world is going to involve all churches everywhere at the very same time. That end will impact everyone, almost identically, and without regard for any differences. There is only one End and the Jesus Christ who returns at its conclusion will be for everybody -- the final proof that God has no favorites.
By showing Jesus in such an ecumenical way, some of this book's tenants tamper with major barriers churches have used for centuries to try to divide God's people from one another.
In order to remove these barricades it has been necessary to sweep away certain time-honored traditions that underpin much of the dissension. Unfortunately, this housecleaning will not please the lords of the flock -- especially those who rule the churches in ways that try to promote strict and uncompromising separation. And so they may well call it heresy.
Which brings us to the question of just what is, and what is not, heresy? It is a devastating term and seems to imply instant death. But heresy is a church term. It represents a theological difference of opinion. Therefore it is different in every church. While it can relate to salvation, often it does not.
When the leaders of the Roman church decided that the Holy Spirit emanated from both God and Jesus together, the rulers of the Greek church considered that heresy and immediately severed all relations with Rome. As far as the Eastern church was concerned, the Holy Spirit came only from God -- an idea the Romans considered heresy.
Since Jesus is God the issue might seem moot, but even that thought is heresy to some. Arius was considered a heretic because he thought that God was greater than Jesus. Martin Luther considered the Pope a heretic and vice versa. The Greek Bible -- the Bible of the apostles -- is considered heretical in parts by many Christians. Jesus himself is considered a heretic by the Jews. Anybody who thinks or says anything that goes against a theological grain is a heretic. Therefore, all prophets are heretics.
The real question, then, is not whether something is heresy, but whether or not it prevents salvation. What Luther and Calvin; the Pope and Joseph Smith all proved is that heresy, while it does have power to destroy, has even more power to save. The combined 'heresies' of all these ministers have led billions of people on earth to discover and accept God's one and only offer of salvation for man. The mercy of Jesus Christ is so much greater than church rules and the opinions of men that it saves all of us the same -- no matter what our church affiliation is.
Yet there are boundaries to this salvation. Jesus himself is one. He said that we have to come to Him if we want to be saved because there is no other gate to eternal life. Another is baptism. Jesus said that we must all be baptised. Beyond that, there are really only two heresies that can hurt us -- failing to repent according to the Gospel and committing blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
Every church sees it differently, however. In the churches, the world seems to be filled with heresies: teaching evolution, eating pork, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, dancing, going to the movies, going to church on the wrong day, speaking in tongues, being too fat, belonging to the wrong congregation, or even wearing the wrong clothes, etc. In other words, disagreeing with the traditions laid down by this or that church. As a result, instead of the open love of Christ, what we see on earth is a sprawling Christian Church deeply divided among itself and rent on all sides by mutual distrust and petty animosities.
Yet the Holy Spirit sees all these churches as a single family -- as the scattered and hidden tribes of the one House of Israel. For this reason, the deepest prophecies of scripture cannot be understood until we see them in the very same way.
Few of us are geniuses and few of us are prophets, and even if we all were, Paul said that even the best prophets see into God's world only dimly and most of what they see is wrong anyway. (1 Cor.13:8-12). That means we are all heretics in one way or another. Any opinion we have about God is going to be seen as heresy by someone.
This shows that God does not see heresy in the same way that we do. This is something Jesus tried to tell the Jews, but they crucified him because they did not understand. A deeply incisive, brilliantly educated religious system crucified Him for committing heresy, and He was God.
The message should be clear. God does not mind us asking questions about Him or speculating about His world. And He doesn't mind that we make mistakes. All He wants from us is that we follow Jesus.
That itself is the whole journey: our conversion into the Word of God. And because of grace, it is a journey where progress is seen by God as perfection. "Only the man who makes progress, as the blameless do, can be my servant." (Ps.101:2,6).
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