THE BIGGER PICTURE, UNDERSTANDING GOD AND THE DEVIL, IN THIS DAY AND HOUR
We as humans, have a tendency to only look at the physical world we live in while the spiritual world we live in is important too.
Spiritually, we are living in the middle of a war between the devil and God. The Lord's former leading angel has never given up on usurping Him. While we really cannot be just in the middle, as we are on one side or the other, what goes on effects us all. Christians know that the Lord is all-knowing and all-powerful and is the indisputable winner. Christians also know that the devil is limited as he can only be at one place at one time, and with limited power. Amazingly enough, the devil thinks he can change the future. Understanding the battle is important as well as how close to the end of it we all are.
Ever since the devil chose to have pride in his heart, he has tried to usurp God.
And God has allowed it. One can look at what happened in the Garden of Eden and know that God knew what would happen ahead of time, He has always known the end from the beginning and He allowed the devil in the Garden for His purposes.
God wanted and still wants a family.
It is why the Lord originally made us in His image. We are different than angels. But the Lord uses the enemy and our fallen natures to find out who will choose Him and His righteousness and be true to Him and who won't. God Himself does not tempt anyone. But our fallen natures do and the devil and his minions help in the process.
God knew what the devil (and mankind) would do before the global flood of Noah's day.
The Lord let him get away with it until there was only one righteous man left (Noah) and his family. The Lord knew the devil would try it again with the insurrection led by Nimrod at the tower of Babel. God used it to “divide man up” by location and language. God used it for His purposes. We can go through history and see over and over how the Lord allowed the devil to do harm and God would make it work for good despite all the devil's efforts. God knew the devil would raise up Adolph Hitler and his supporters to try to annihilate the Jews, just as Haman (see the book of Esther) had tried and so many others before. But what did God birth out of World War 2? The nation of Israel. All along the way, God knew what the devil would think and try to accomplish, coming against the descendants of Eve, that the Messiah would come from, the Messiah who would make the way back to the Father for us. Later, the devil realized Jesus would come from the Jews, so he went against the Jews. Through Herod, he killed countless male children just to try to kill Jesus. He eventually did kill Jesus through human means on the cross, even though, Jesus gave Himself willingly. But did Satan know that Jesus would take the keys of hell and death and rise again? Praise God. The devil played right into God's hand. Over and over, the devil has thought he had it all figured out and wound up on his face.
A serious thing happened when the devil used Hitler to try to annihilate the Jews prior to and during World War 2.
It backfired on him. Now the devil has gone to his next plan. He still hates Jews but his plan now is to have a false Messiah that will denounce the real Messiah, Jesus Christ. And lead the Jews like the Messiah they wanted in the first place. Remember, they rejected the real Messiah because they were looking for one to deliver them from Rome, not sin. They are looking for a “man” who will help them lead the world in peace. And the devil has his top leader in mind for the job. He has been working night and day for global power and to set up his demon-king/man.
Some people do not realize the mission and agenda of the Antichrist, even though there is much about it in the Bible.
Many people are looking for an “Adolf Hitler type” of antichrist. There is such hatred in this world against the Jews and most of it comes from years of build-up purported by the devil himself. Unlike what many expect the Antichrist to be like, this “false Messiah” who is against the real Messiah, Jesus Christ, will come and save Israel from physical attack and destruction. And he will use them as part of his global empire.
At the same time, the enemy will use people and laws to come fiercely against Christianity and Christians.
The devil fears what constrains him. He is constrained by God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the good Angels, God's character, God's people who are true Christians who have accepted His Son, the real Messiah, etc. The devil has had to bow to God's power and authority including through Christians. Humans that are pawns of the devil will, attack Christians, Christianity and all that is good more and more. Even more than ever before, the following will be tremendously attacked: the blood of Jesus, the Gospel, the Name of Jesus, Christian Bibles, true churches, etc. The enemy has tried to eradicate crosses that truly get people to think of the Lord and eternity while at the same time, glamorized crosses as cutesy jewelry or wall decorations to dilute the real significance of them. Corruption has allowed the Name of Jesus to be used as a curse word, in ugly ways and in vain, but banished using His Name to give Him glory or lift Him up so that He can draw people to Himself. The enemy has done and will continue to do all he can to thwart the Lord.
Wherever darkness is empowered, the devil thrives.
The devil himself cannot hurt Christians or the authority God has given us, so he does everything in his power and influence to turn other humans against Christians. Buddhists are not a threat, Hindus, Muslims etc... They are all deceived people under his thumb already. True Christians are the threat to darkness and corruption.
So what “on earth” is going on?
Many Christians and others have chosen to believe "man's theology" rather than what the Lord says in His Word in regard to the last days and end of this age.
Escapism theology will cause many to fall when things do not go as they expected. Instead of preparing and keeping their spiritual lamps lit, many Christians are just waiting to be “invisibly beamed up” as if in a science fiction movie. Even that is a lie from the devil. The Bible says the earth will shake when the Lord comes, the sun will go black and the moon turn blood red and even stars will fail and fall. It will be very dark and then as the sky rolls up like a scroll and the Lord Jesus comes through with all His glory, angels and even the saints (who preceded the living believers) who are coming to get their new resurrected bodies. King Jesus will illuminate the whole earth and all will see Him. The word "harpázō" that we get the word rapture from, is used in1 Thessalonians 4:17, means to suddenly, decisively and openly seize or take. And that is exactly what our Lord Jesus will do. The Two Witnesses will be dead for three and one half days while the world celebrates and they increase the persecution against Christians like never before and the Jews eyes will be opened when their “Messiah” wants them to bow to his image (which is totally sin to have any graven image and even more so to bow and worship it). When the wicked cry peace and safety (1 Thessalonians 5:2-6) because the Two Witnesses are dead and the persecution that the Two Witnesses held back to some degree is unleashed. See the 5th seal, then the rapture is at seal 6 and 7 (Revelation 6:9-16,8:1); then the Lord will suddenly appear and overturn the table on the devil and his followers rescuing His own (confirmed in Matthew 24:27-31).
So much deception has run a muck in the modern day “church” - that much of the church has become "Christian" in name only.
Where the people who attend churches do not even read or know their own Bibles. They believe “selective Scripture only” and especially in places like Matthew 24:1-51, Mark 13:1-37, Luke 17:20-37, Luke 21:5-36, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, and the books of Revelation and Daniel that they hear from others because they want to believe what is more pleasant than the idea of global persecution against Christians and to live through the tribulation that Jesus said Christians will go through. False teachers and false prophets deny the truth that Jesus spoke of and have lead and are continuing to lead many astray.
The Lord said through John the apostle, that three things will save Christians of the last days. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelation 12:11
The blood of the Lamb: If one is not truly blood bought and had their sins washed in the blood and kept covered by the blood, then the blood of the Lamb does not cover them. Christians "in name only" whose sins are not currently washed in the blood, will not make it.
The word of their testimony: People who are not truly born-again have no testimony. The Word of God cannot be made alive in a dark place or in people who do not have the Holy Spirit. It is unimaginable how many people are walking this earth right now who think they are Christians, but have never repented and truly followed Jesus. Some have even repeated a dictated prayer without any repentance and giving total Lordship to God. Sadly, these people are easy prey for Satan.
They did not love their lives unto death: which is just as important as the first two. This kind of heart and mindset is so important that one will not make it without it in the last days. People who are sitting around thinking they will just be beamed up from earth and never suffer, seriously need to address this. People need to set their hearts and make their minds up now to do what Jesus said to do: to endure to the end!
There is a strong message in the Parable of the 10 Betrothed Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).
Five were serious about their groom and staying true to him and ready for the wedding call, while the other five were foolish and not serious of heart. When the door was shut to the wedding, it says they cried and begged to come in. Can you imagine some of what would be said? “But we were engaged! He purposed to us! We had his ring! We had all the attire picked out and were registered at Macy's bridal department.” Or how about the reality of: “but I was baptized by my parents, I got a certificate” or “I said the prayer when I was in elementary school.” “The devil fooled me, you know what a good liar he is, I had to take the mark and go along with things or we would not be able to keep our jobs and roofs over our heads or even have food to eat, etc.” But it will be too late. Those five did not have the right commitment or mindset. And that wrong mindset comes in many forms today.
Just look at the devil's infiltration and deception in “modern-day alleged Christianity.”
Many preachers are nothing more than modern day preachers for prosperity or coaches for positive thinking. Many are just motivational coaches on how to apply God's principles to benefit the lives of people who many of which, think they are Christians but have never even repented or that that did, but did not stay repented “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27). Many who were never “spiritually made alive from death to life in Christ” have no idea they are still lost and thinking they are found. This is a very, very dangerous place to be at this day and hour.
It takes being more than “being good” to be a Christian and a Christian who is not blood bought, born-again, walking in the power of Jesus Christ is no threat to the devil.
Many churches today are just places that say they worship God, but in reality are where people come for motivation to be good (worldly moral though, not biblical) or successful or how to prosper. They sing worship songs that true Christians wrote and have no idea what the songs even really mean. More than not, they have no real worship or prayer, no altars are being used, no tears are being shed, just trusting a man or woman that is paid to read the Bible for them and find encouragement from without having to be truly born-again and living righteous lives unto the Lord. It is so subtle that it is incredible. Having a form of godliness but no power. People who only “change in their head” are not a threat to the devil and his side. They have no testimony to share and many of them even think there is something wrong with those that do. This is a very, very dangerous place to be at this day and hour.
Will the bride of Christ make it? Yes of course. But who is the real bride?
She is the one who will overcome the devil by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of “their testimony” and will not love their own lives unto death. The true bride/true church/the faithful betrothed virgins will be the men and women who know their Bibles and not only live righteous lives but live Holy Spirit empowered and directed lives! People who will not bow to ungodly laws as the world grows darker and darker and find themselves “still here” when a lying angel of light appears and is declared the real Messiah; when he will seem to have been killed but is alive and the lost say, "Who is like this incredible guy? Who can stop him?" He will come with all manners of lying wonders. People who do not really know their God and His Word will fall. Without the Word of God in them and the active influence of the Holy Spirit, there is no discernment to save them from the delusion. Real Christians who know and have the truth of God's Word living and working in them, will go through a tribulation foretold of by the Lord Himself, staying true to the Lord and will enter into the eternal history books of the Lord, as the saints who stayed true to Him during the darkest hour in history.
Even if this is unpleasant and hard to consider for you and I, it will still happen.
It is better to realize it and develop a strong inner posture and deeper walk with the Lord, than go into these days like an ostrich with its head in the sand waiting for a dream way out. In the words of our Lord, "Do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear God, who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell." So let's get God's Word embedded and working in our hearts while it is still available and get to know our Lord more deeply and pray that when tribulation comes as Jesus said it will, (tribulation means: squeezed from pressure) that we will be strong and faithful to Jesus Christ after-which He will then come to gather His own.
"He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Revelation 21:7-8
If you have never made repented and given your life to Christ, see the article, Salvation
If you once were right with God, but somehow got off the path, see the article, Return To The Lord
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6
While we do believe in a mid tribulation rapture, we are not saying we know the day or the hour. The Lord makes it very clear that no one but the Father knows that. While we do believe it is at or near the middle of the last 7 years of this age, the Lord says that He has to cut the time short for the elect's sake in Matthew 24:22 and who knows the amount of time that will be?