Audio Length 32:52
Before we begin the study of “Making Disciples,” Check out the Hope For A Hopeless Generation “Mission Statement.” I would like to also point out, that I personally have a relationship with God the Father, through His Only Begotten Son (the God-Man) Lord Jesus The Christ. I hear from Him, and am guided by Him Through His Holy Spirit. And He put this burden upon my heart to post: “Persecution Is Coming To America” now instead of on a later date. I want to make sure that those who participates in these future studies truly have given your allegiance fully to the Lord Jesus The Christ. And know full well what to expect soon enough before the Lords appearance. And what I mean by this, is that the Lord will appear and take His bride away from this earth into Heaven. Those who have given to Him all of their full commitment and allegiance to Him. In short, those who believe that Jesus, The Christ is The Son of God and is doing His will. Persecution on a gross scale is coming before Christ Jesus’ appearance in the clouds, what we call the “Rapture.” It is inevitable, and all born-again Christian are subject to it.
Now the word, “Rapture,” is not found in the entire Word of God. So before you break out your exhaustive concordance, let me spare you the waste of time. The word, “Rapture,” is not found anywhere in the whole Word of God, no matter what translation you read from. We use this word to best describe this event that will soon take place between His first coming, which is His birth; Life; Death; Resurrection and Ascension. And His return, to judge all the people of the earth who rejected Him, as well as the final judgment on the devil, the antichrist, the false prophet, and on all demons (The fallen holy angels that followed after satan in the time of rebellion against God Almighty and His throne). You can read all this in the Book of Revelation chapters 19:11-20:10; and 12:7-12. For the Word of God describes this event in many places in the New Testament. But it does not name the event. We use the Word, “Rapture” because it best describes it.
Rapture means: ‘A state of being carried away, with joy, love, etc.; ecstasy.’ (According to the Webster’s New World Dictionary.) Another words, ‘being caught up or carried away swiftly in a moment.’ The Lord Jesus had given this imagery as an example for us to understand, in:
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.“Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
The Lord Jesus also taught in light of the event of the rapture in:
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Have you ever been in between the state of sleep and awake? A state of consciousness where you know what is going on around you, but enjoying the blessed bliss of sleep and are aware that you are enjoying that moment of space and time? There is no other way to describe it. In that space and time I heard an audible voice of the Lord in urgency. “I am coming back very soon! I AM COMING BACK VERY SOON!” The Lord is coming very soon. We don’t know when, only the Father knows (Matthew 24:36-44).
Before the Rapture takes place, there are hard times coming to the saints of God in America. And I am not talking about the economy, inflation, high taxation and all that jazz. I’m talking about suffering for Christ Jesus’ name sake, in the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual realms. Are you ready for this time to come? This is the time where Christ Jesus is going to separate the wheat from the weeds. Sheep from the goats. The hypocrites from the true, the righteous from the unrighteous, the godly from the ungodly and the lawless ones, in the Spiritual sense, not yet the physical sense. Jesus has told us, what’s to come. What we should expect that which is coming. He has given much warning on this. So there should be no surprise when it does come, to those who claim that they are true believers and followers of Christ Jesus.
And when the rubber meets the real hard road, and are tested and tried soon after, will we fall away from the faith? Or will we be strengthened and refined? Those who fall away from the faith after the fires of testing and trials, are simply self proclaiming Christians. Christians who are “playing Church,” “play acting” and they were not rooted in Christ. They really didn’t have this commitment, or relationship with God, through Christ Jesus our Lord. Their lips boasted on one thing, but there hearts were far from the Lord. And the Lord is separating the false from the true people of God. Not only that, He is also judging the false religious Church, to the real church of Christ Jesus. So the questions need to be asked. Who are you in the spectrum that Christ Jesus mentions? For this will determine right now, whether you are truly in Christ Jesus, grounded and rooted in Christ and in strong faith, or merely play acting. For those who are play acting will fall away from the faith. So who are you in this spectrum and be honest with yourself.
Matthew 13:3-9 & 18-23
“Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Where are you right now in the Lord, in the relationship of Christ Jesus? Have you progressed, or digressed? Is your faith in Him strong enough, to even consider honestly in your own heart without a doubt or the slightest hint of a pause. And are cock sure, of saying, “I am ready for the harsh persecution, even to the point of death,” and mean it? Are you ready to be rejected, scorned, beaten, jailed, or even put to death for the Kingdom of God, the cause of Christ Jesus and for His name? Remember, Jesus had warned us in:
it says, “And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Or in other translations, the word, “ashamed is also translated as “denies.” Found in:
Matthew 10:32-34 Confess Christ Before Men
“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”
Are you ready for the unashamed, unadulterated commitment to God? For this commitment to Christ Jesus, is a marriage covenant. What He expects of us, between a husband and wife in every marriage, which He ordains is in:
Ephesians 5:22-33 For there is two applications here.
“Wives (or Church), submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, (the illustration of sacrificing self and self interests, selfish ambitions and so forth for the benefit of the another both in physical marriage with your spouse, husband and wife,) that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
In God, there is no difference. What He expects marriage, between a husband and wife, is the same He expects between us and Him. Amen!
Most often times than not, when we see the word “promises.” We automatically associate it with blessings. There are two sides to the coin of truth. It can go both ways, both blessings and curses. And it is all in the matter of perspective. Some people believe that persecution is a curse from the devil, and it can be. But it is intended to be a blessing, in disguise, non the less. God allows it to happen, because trials and testing refines us. Burns up that chaff in our hearts and lives. Burns up the clutter. It is also intended by God Almighty Himself to strengthen us. We had it so, so good for too long, which made the church soft, weak and pathetic in these last days. We have lost much in the process and gained little that is of any value. If you think that God does not allow persecutions to happen and for reasons of strengthening the Church. Than you really don’t know God, nor His Word, and I encourage you to go back and reread the book of Acts. And while you’re at it, read human history in the time of the roman empire of the first century church. So the Lord Jesus promises in:
John 15:18-25 The World’s Hatred
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
He who remains, or abide in Christ Jesus and in the faith and confession there of, will be saved. Not delivered from persecution. But saved, which means that when you or I die, if it comes down to it, from being persecuted, we are guaranteed Salvation, and the kingdom of Heaven in glory with Christ Jesus our Lord as long as we abide in Him and not deny Him nor compromise our relationship with Him in the face of any circumstances.
In Mark 13:2-11 it say’s,
“But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.”
“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. “And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.”
But be of good cheer my friends, and fellow saints, for Christ Jesus has also promised this, found in:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Now that we know the truth, we must embrace and cling to the cross, which Christ Jesus Himself had taught. With this we must embrace the inevitable fact of persecution. For this is our Judeo-Christian heritage. From the time of the bondage and slavery of Egypt found in Exodus chapters: 1-14. To the first century Christians. And even to the time coming soon, the last generation Christians. In the Book of Acts, records Christians counted it all joy for being persecuted for the cause of Christ. Because they were found worthy to suffer for the Kingdom of God and of Christ Jesus. Why were they joyful? They already counted themselves as dead already to the world and from the ways of the world.
Philippians 3:7-10, which should be the servants creed, says:
“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,”
This is the same Apostle Paul who truly have suffered for Christ Jesus and for the Gospel of Christ, promised first in Acts 9:15&16. And then we see the type of suffering and persecution, found in:
2 Corinthians 11:23-33
“Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned,(with rocks, and left for dead,) three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.”
This is the same attitude, plus, all this we must also embrace, which is of the cross. Not one Christian is exempt! As it is written:
1 Peter 2:20-24
“For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
” Who committed no sin,
Nor was deceit found in His mouth””
As it is also written: Luke 12:4&5
“I tell you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.” (Referring to the Lord God Almighty, the Father.)
Meaning Of Communion
Again I say, the Lord Jesus had even promised that we will suffer according to: John 15:18-19 and John 16:33. And Partaking communion exemplifies this reality. Taking the bread of Christ Jesus, (which symbolizes the body of death, and drinking His bloods, the New wine or grape juice, (Symbolizes the cup of suffering.) And by taking this when ever you or I do, by this you truly proclaim the death of the Lord Jesus until He comes. As it is written:
1 Corinthians 11:24-26
“For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”
I encourage you to down load the audio sermon, “Be Fruitful And Multiply” to further understand why God Almighty calls us to suffer for His name, other than for the reason that this world hates us, and hates God. And as a reminder, Get right with God now, for those who need’s to get right. And you know who you are. And as you do, your last breath on earth, will be your first breath in glory with Christ Jesus. As it is written:
“according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
To die is great gain. Salvation, which is our Hope in Christ Jesus, as He promised. And that is why we do not fear death, nor fear anything at all. Because there is nothing to fear as long as you or I have this assurance of Salvation, And if you don’t have this assurance of Salvation in Christ Jesus, or in the back of your mind, have doubts, and/or not quite sure Check out: “There Is Hope”
(To be continued…)