Wednesday, January 23, 2019

WATCHMEN CRIES, “YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH”







by Pastor Mike Taylor



1  “Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2  Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
3  If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
4  Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5  He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
6  But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.” (Ezekiel 33:1-6)

We are in unsettled times. Dark clouds are gathering and danger is all around us. As it was in the days of Israel and Ezekiel was called to be a watchman of their spiritual condition, so today God has set up men who will warn His people of the coming dangers in their world, either spiritual and/or physical.

In the history of the Israel, the people would appoint a man to stand guard on the wall towers, or along the wall and he would scan the horizon for signs of danger. He was the ancient idea of a first warning system. When an enemy was spotted making advances on the city, the watchman would 
sound an alarm. It could be his voice calling out, or could be blasts of a trumpet, or a striking of a large gong. Whatever was used, it was designed to give the people first hand warning of impending danger and give them time to prepare for the coming advance on their city. Today, as times have changed, so too have the methods of warning the people of impending danger. To reach as many people as possible, the best method is use of the internet. This warning system can spread to all corners of the globe and to those who will listen, give them an advance warning of the coming disaster.

In this era of the last days of modern history before the coming of the tribulation, men stand on the proverbial wall and scan the news of the day, the signs of impending danger that threatens all of us, and then send out warnings based on a solid 
foundation of events foretold in the only true predictor of human events to come, your bible.

A DANGEROUS WORLD

Everyone knows that danger is in the air, if they have their senses alert. They feel it, they see it, and they even smell it. This sense of something big is about to happen is coming from all avenues of life on this planet including the secular humanist, the man on the street, especially the awake Christian, and every human being that sees the conditions of this dying world. Everyone has their feelings of dread and fear what is coming upon the population of earth. The only portion of humanity that has a handle on what is coming, is the bible believing Christian, as they have the playbook right in front of them and they know how the history of mankind is played out to it's divinely appointed conclusion. The rest are in confusion and fear grips their minds or embrace a false hope.

Jesus gave us the signs of the coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven and spoke of the conditions that will be the first signs of His impending return. Matthew 24 gives us a play by play of those signs. But let us explore how this passage is being enacted right before our very eyes, in real time. Let us take portions of this passage and see how it is being fulfilled in our eyes and ears. Begin in Verse 4:


4  “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4-5)

How many men have proclaimed to be the chosen one, the Messiah? You say, many and you would be right. From Jim Jones, David Koresh, Sun Myung Moon, to individuals whose followers claimed them to be the messiah coming from Jewish, Christian, and even Muslim sects. All are leading up to one man, when the world is in ultimate chaos and they look for someone to make sense of this world and give them some type of “hope”. This ultimate evil ruler is known as the Anti-Christ.


HOPE AND CHANGE??

What gives me pause was the advancement of an unknown political figure, a junior senator from Illinois, that came out of no where and became president of the United States. I don't mean this to be a political piece, but we must understand that a man will arise that will fulfill what Jesus said. Many believed that Obama was the prophesied “man of sin”? I don't know as I don't have evidence that he is or was, but I believe he is a precursor if nothing else. Obama embodies  the level men and women will give their allegiance to one man and blindly follow him. Many have called this man, the “black messiah” that has come to liberate his people and the African-American community has been looking for such a man for 200 years. I was reading an article that caught my attention and the details put me back in my chair of a man by the name of Paul Robeson. Doesn't ring a bell? Neither did it me, until I saw the connection to previously labeled Mr. Hope and Change. Here is the excerpt of that article:

“Paul Robeson was called the “Great Forerunner” (of the black messiah to come). For a time it was thought that he could be the prophesied, black messiah, who has been anticipated in the black community for 200 years or longer, a mystical leader, who would overturn the satanic white system and liberate the blacks of the world.

Robeson was the mentor of Frank Marshall Davis, Obama’s own mentor. For this reason it is believable that Davis put the idea of the mystical black messiah in Obama’s head at a very early age. He had contacts via Paul Robeson to people, who could provide funds and help advance Obama in his education and in politics. It was no accident that Obama joined Jeremiah Wright’s church which has a black liberation doctrine, based on a black messiah, who would be an ordinary man.”

How else can we explain the sudden meteor like rise of an unknown junior senator from Illinois, the lack of facts surrounding his background, the sealed documents of his schooling, selective service, and even his birth certificate that came into question? Now, I'm not into conspiracy theories, but the facts surrounding this man are most troubling to even a casual observer that has their ears and eyes open and not “drinking the Kool-Aid”. The main stream media had nearly deified this man in their zeal for their liberal philosophy and may be playing into a nefarious plan to bring America to embrace social justice, a buzz word for spread the wealth around …AKA Fascism. What is Fascism? On page 
218 of author Robert Paxton's ground-breaking book, "The Anatomy of Fascism", Paxton defines Fascism as, "...a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which is a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants..." Therefore, Fascism is an extremist ideology. Is this where America is heading? Now Obama is no longer President, but he lurks in the background with his “deep state” cohorts trying to sabotage anything that benefits this country.



JESUS FURTHER WARNED

Let us go on with what Jesus spoke of further into these verses:
6  “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.7  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.8  All these are the beginning of sorrows.(Matthew 24:6-8)

You say there have always been conflicts in our history, and the history of the world. Correct, except for one thing, not to the extent that has been our history in the last 100 years. I wrote a sermon on that very fact of the amount of people who have died in wars in the last 100 years compared to all of human history that is recorded. It is known that over 250 million people have died in just the last 100 years or the population roughly ¾ of the USA. That's more than all of recorded human history combined. But this is just the beginning. I went on to say that in the pages of the book of Revelation, God reveals and numbers the amount of the slain to be 2/3 of all mankind or roughly 5 billion people at the end of the age called the Tribulation. Makes the last 100 years of the war dead pale in comparison, doesn't it? That's 20 times the amount killed in the last 100 years in only 7 SHORT years. Can you smell the loss of life? If you witness it, you most undoubtedly will. Folks, the wars being fought now, are just the warming up for the carnage that is coming. We read or hear nightly of the dangers of a Middle East conflict involving Iran and Israel and possibly sending the world into WWIII. It's not a possibility, it's a fact that will be played out, just as the bible spoke about and will happen in the future sooner than any of you may want. Even now a general in the Iranian army says that they have enough firepower to destroy Israel completely. And you see the build-up of forces from Turkey, Iran and Russia coming ever closer to the Golan Heights preparing for an “invasion”? Can you say Gog-Magog war brewing?



NATURAL DISASTERS INCREASING.

What about famines and pestilences? Have we ever seen the amount of drought, loss of crops, and natural disasters that we have seen in the good ole' USA that we have seen in the last 10 years that has been growing in intensity since the mid 60s? America has by history been the bread-basket of the world, but we may be fast approaching being unable to feed the world, let alone ourselves. What happened in the mid 60s? Oh, yeah, we ended, by Supreme Court decree of the right of prayer in our schools brought about by a lawsuit by an atheist known as Madelyn O'Hare. We have been ever more kicking out our Creator from the halls of the government ever since. A nation that was founded upon the principles found in our bibles embodied in the Ten Commandments has steadily become more and more secular and abandoning our founding principles. How about earthquakes? The earth is violently shaking to the point that a day doesn't go by that you don't hear about another quake and loss of life. Like a pregnant woman, the birth pains are drawing closer and closer. Then you hear the prediction that if the Yellowstone Cauldron Volcano erupts, not if, but when, then it would destroy most of the USA by impact and the famine it will produce.

As the USA has become more and more a nation with a government that defends every conceivable deviate notion of live and let live, we have entered into the age of “tolerance” that only come from one place, demon and satanic inspiration. In the last 50 years, what have we done, or should I say allowed into our land? First came the misguided “separation of church and state” which is not found in our constitution or bill of rights, then Roe V. Wade that made it legal to kill an unwanted child. The Supreme Court granted evil men and women to have illicit sex without the fear of raising a child, which could be conveniently and without remorse, aborted in the beginning of the gestational period. Oh, but we didn't stop there, as it evolved into partial birth abortion that allows a “doctor” (sic) to either severe the spinal cord of a half birthed baby from the mother's womb or stab it in the back of the head and suck out it's brains before it is fully delivered....We have destroyed in this nation a full generation of tax paying citizens that deserved the right to live. How dare we say we need entitlement reform, when what we needed was a transformation of the heart to prevent such an atrocity to be perpetuated in the first place. God help us, as we have become an abomination in the sight of God for killing our children. There was another time and place where God pronounced judgment on a people such as ours:


4  “Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, that they knew not, they and their fathers and the kings of Judah; and have filled this place with the blood of innocents,
5  and have built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons in the fire for burnt-offerings unto Baal; which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:
6  Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.
7  And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.” (Jeremiah 19:4-7)

This was the disgusting practice of appeasing a pagan god by giving their little ones, sons and daughters to be burned in the fires of an idol. Have we not done the same? Has this nation killed their sons and daughters in the name of their pagan god, “sexual immorality” and lust of the flesh? We all know it has been done to the tune of 60+ Million of potential USA citizens whose only crime was their right to be born.

Let's us not forget those who wish to be a privileged class amongst us!! I speak of the homosexual crowd. Since the beginning of ancient history, there has been evil among us. God has shown His disgust and condemnation of those who practice this deviate lifestyle. When God came to Abraham during the time of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and it's surrounding cities, the sin was mainly the sin of homosexuality. Genesis,


4  “But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house;
5  and they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them." (sexual perversion of the same sex)”(Genesis 19:4-5)

It's quite possible that disease was rampant among these people because of their sin, the bible doesn't say, but it would be in line with what has happened in our own society in the scourge of AIDS. God wiped the earth of these people with fire and brimstone that could be correlated to what a nuclear blast would be like...it was complete. Paul speaks of this abomination in Romans,


24  “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet............
32 “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:24_27, 32)

Even from ancient times, homosexuality was condemned by God along with sexual uncleanness: Leviticus,


21 “ And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
22  Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.(Leviticus 18:21-22)


Does that not describe our culture and it's “tolerant” view of this change to human existence? Of course it does. Jesus goes on to warn of the sign of the end of days, Matthew,


12  “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:12-21)

Most all of these signs have been fulfilled. The love of a neighbor, or fellow human being is non-existent. More so in other countries, as women and children are viewed as cattle and expendable, but we are just as guilty here in other ways as they are. The murder rate is exponentially increasing. Men destroy other men financially, emotionally, physically, and ultimately spiritually. Jesus said that the gospel will be preached in all the world, THEN the end would come. In the age of technology, the use of satellite TV and more importantly, the internet, the Gospel has reached the four corners of this world. No one who is listening and willing to repent, has failed to hear the name, Jesus Christ and the coming Kingdom of God. In the last part of what Jesus warned, comes the warning to Israel, the only part starting in verse 15, that is still future, as I have many times advocated that Jesus was speaking to Israel in particular and the focus of the coming tribulation is bringing that nation to the realization and acceptance of their Messiah, Jesus Christ.


WHAT TIME IS IT?

But back to what I started. I believe this country is scheduled for judgment. That judgment has been slowed due to the administration that we have now, because of Trump being a nationalist instead of “One World Advocate” and is reported to have been saved by the leading of an Evangelist that prayed with him and other ministers laid their hands upon him and confessed Jesus Christ as Savior. It is why the left and the leftist media hate him so much..He is standing in their way...Otherwise, although we may have received a short reprieve from judgment, it has been coming on for a generation or more. No nation in all of the annals of history has been so mired in the sins of the flesh, that has not had the judgment of God come down about their heads. The USA was an idea like no other in all of history. In a sea of human suffering, men who put their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor on the line for freedom to speak their mind, to worship or not to worship the God of the Bible, and to be responsible for their own destiny as found in the opening lines of our Declaration of Independence. 
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” formed this republic called the United States of America.

What can we do? Much like Israel and other nations who turned away from God, maybe not much as there comes a time when God's patience wears out and He passes judgment and the sentence is carried out. When it comes past the time of delaying judgment, God's will may be set and it will come to pass. Can I say that it is too late for America? No, I'm not a prophet, only a watchman sending out a warning who sees what is happening and am sounding the alarm to any and all who will listen. We as citizens of this country, and citizens of the coming Kingdom of God in the near future, must stand for righteousness. We cannot stand silent and by our silence condone what we know is against the laws of Almighty God.

We look at the political climate that affects all our lives and wonder what has become of our government and our God given freedoms? Is this not what we sent our elected officials to do in our name? Are not our elected representatives there for us, not for themselves or their own lust for power?


IS AMERICA TO BE DESTROYED?

I was truly saddened by the debacle that was displayed by the party of Truman, Roosevelt, and Kennedy at a prior Democratic (sic) convention. It seems the “party of the people” is now populated with atheist, Muslims, and secular humanist liberals who have a disdain for their Creator. How can any Christian support a political entity that takes three voice votes on if God should or should not be part of the language of the party platform? If you saw the proceedings, you know that 2/3 voice vote was not achieved to ratify the words God and Jerusalem, the latter as the capital of Israel. I believe that at least half of the party delegates are anti-God and antisemitic. This party has added to their platform language positions that support abominations that I have just covered. This is on top of where our country is economically, politically, and ultimately spiritually. Economically, we have been at the cliff's edge. The stock market is at an all time high, but everyone knows that it sits on a very inflated bubble. Collapse could happen at any moment. It could get really hard to feed your family, or yourself. Marshall law could be enacted to bring order of the resulting chaos of people looking out for #1 and riots like in Greece could develop. Things could get really dicey, really quick.

 
                                          
A LEADER PLACED BY GOD FOR JUDGEMENT


So what have we got to look forward to in the next two years or beyond, if we have that kind of time before Jesus Christ burst through the clouds and says, “come up hither”? If you look at the last administration, I expect more of the same or worse. There is no doubt in my mind that the job Mr. Obama wished to finish, or the final nail in the coffin that was the United States of America that we have grown up with. I believe that is what he means when he said “Forward” which is a Marxist slogan of days gone by. If it comes to pass, gone will be our freedoms we have enjoyed. Gone will be our right to speak our mind. Gone will be the ability to worship as we choose. And gone will be our rights given to us by God, but replaced with the government who knows all, sees all, and controls all. It is all falling into place. We are being invaded right now, by illegal immigration and those who are bringing diseases into this country in the name of “amnesty”. There is a big push for a physical wall to protect this country from this southern invasion. What president would allow an invasion of our country by executive order, all for political gain to swell the ranks of his party and destroy the American dream? Obama sure tried, and Trump is trying to push it back, but those in Congress that used to want a border wall, now are against it, because Trump is for it.


What president in the past upholds the right to destroy human life through abortion and claims to be a Christian? What man, be he president or the common Joe, embraces every secular humanist philosophy known to man and claims to be a proponent of the Bible's clear teachings? You can put lipstick on a pig, but it doesn't make him a Christian pig. This big brother government has attempted to muzzle the religious community by enforcing by intimidation a law called the “Johnson Amendment” passed in 1954 by voice vote, that prohibited the right of Christian pastors to speak politically in the pulpit. I, for one, won't be silenced. (Praise God, our POTUS signed a religious freedom act to protect our God given rights) As men ordained by God, pastors must stand for what is right in this country. Who do we follow, God or man? After all, this is not Iran, yet! America could very well be in the throes of judgment right now. Have you ever seen the like of natural disasters that have come upon our own land from the West, into the Midwest, and up into the Northeast down to the Gulf? We’ve all seen things get pretty crazy before, but not to the extent we have seen in the last, say 10 years. It seems to me, that our nation has gone near stark, raving crazy in it’s lunacy surrounded by natural disasters.  Until that time comes when Jesus breaks through the clouds with a trumpet call, all we can do is be in faith and believe Psalm 91 and it’s  promises of protection and continue the work Jesus proclaimed us to do, in His Name.
ISRAEL IS AGAIN FRONT AND CENTER IN PROPHECY



The political climate is near ripe for the coming of the lawless one. We see Israel and the Palestinians right now, fighting a long overdue war from Gaza and Israel believes it has a right to defend herself from non-stop salvos of missiles being fired at their citizens. Or the trouble at the Gaza border trying to invade the country...Or the push for a two state solution that the Arabs do not want. The only thing Abbas and his kind want is to push Israel into the sea and drown them. I hear many pundits calling on Israel to stop “war crimes” against humanity. What other country, and especially here in the USA, would allow missiles to rain down on their citizens? Would we tolerate Mexico or Canada doing the same as Hamas? No, we would not tolerate it, and invasion would be imminent against the perpetrators for this act of war. Human rights bleeding hearts and the lame stream media  fail to realize that Hamas started the fights, and I pray Israel finishes them with God's help.

I read just the other day, that many of the surrounding nations are considering coming to assist and fight along side Hamas in this Gaza conflict….if that happens, can you say Psalm 83 that is prophesied that Israel will destroy those who come against them in a siege to remove them as a nation and as a people? Read the passage and judge for yourself.  With God’s help, (behind the scenes for the moment), Israel will be victorious and it is promised that they will own or conquer land from the great river in Egypt to the Euphrates to the east and north into Syria and south into Arabia….It will be the only time that Israel can claim to be in safety and security when their surrounding enemies are neutralized. How long will that security last? Will it be two years, ten years, or will it be less. If Israel is allowed to control their own economy and expand their discovery of natural gas and oil, they will own a majority of all oil producing wells in the world, plus billions of metric tons of natural gas to be exported to Europe and the surrounding Middle East. Who is the major supplier of natural gas for that population now? That would be Russia, the old Soviet Bear is rising in the region and will it allow a major competitor into their territory? Can you say Ezekiel 38-39?


 AGAIN, WHAT TIME IS IT?


Readers, how much time do we have? A week, a year, two years, or maybe a little longer? God only knows, but Jesus said “
Occupy till I come”Luke 19:13b. We must be about our Father's business, and that extends to our obligation to promote what is right in our own lives, our community, our town/city, and by extension to our country reaching as many as we can with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot be silent. We cannot stand idly by and say there is nothing we as God's people can do. In all things, exercise your individual convictions based on your only source of truth, God's Holy Word. Time is running out for salvation for your neighbor, your family member, or even yourself to make a decision for Jesus Christ. When America falls, you may just look around and wonder where everyone went? I for one, will be at a marriage feast. Till then I plan to fight the good fight and stand for up for righteousness...won't you join me?



We are at the very end of the Age of man's rule of this planet, as Jesus proclaimed that when these things begin...that's BEGIN to happen, then...

28 “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:28-32)


As I have spoken of many times, Israel is the door to end time prophecy and Jerusalem is the door. Jesus said the generation that saw Israel reborn in 1948 will still be alive when Jesus breaks through the clouds and cries, “Come up hither” and we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. That generation according to Psalm 90 was completed last year, as Israel turned 70 years old as a nation again. The outside is 80 years by strength, so how much longer will Jesus tarry? No predictions allowed, but it reveals just how close we actually are to the end of this age, known as the Church Age, and the beginning of the Tribulation.

We see all this happening around us now. And ask you, ARE YOU READY for the return of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ? It could happen at any moment. Don't be caught by surprise and drowning in your own sins without forgiveness or repentance. How must you be ready? Two short passages give you the way to be ready to meet the Lord in the air, what we call the rapture...

16 “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)


AND..........

8 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)

There are many other verses that address your lost condition, but these two passages give you the recipe to find forgiveness of your sins, and become a child of God. Don't wait, for as a minister that sees the landscape forming for the coming of our Lord.....remember these words again.

28 “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21-28)




This is Pastor Mike Taylor praying God's salvation comes into your life through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a friendly ear, email me at realteam1999@sbcglobal.net, or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com, for more biblical lessons from the Word of God.
 God bless you all, till we meet at Jesus feet.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

JESUS IS COMING, ARE YOU READY?





By Pastor Mike Taylor
1  “ And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
2  The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
3  And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
4  Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.”(Matthew 22:1-4)



Do you remember the day you were married to your spouse? In it was much joy and expectation. For me, it was a joy to finally find my soul mate that God brought us together against all odds. We put much effort into that ceremony that would join us as one flesh. God has been doing the same for thousands of years. In the Old Testament, God sent His servants to the nation of Israel. We know these servants as the prophets sent by God to His chosen people, Israel. It was our Father's 
invitation to come to a planned wedding of His only Son, who had not even yet come to this earth in the form of a man. What did they do?

5  “But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
6  And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.”(Matthew 22:5-6)

Israel was given the first invitation to come 
to the wedding, but they were too busy with their own interest, their own desires, to even respond to the invitation in a positive manner. More importantly, they responded to the invitation with wrath, as they were told how they must present themselves with a wedding garment by the prophets sent. So they killed them in their ignorance of what this invitation was really meaning. Notice two things here:


The nation of Israel was being invited as guest, not part of the wedding procession, but attending as a people supporting the Groom and the bride and entering into joyous celebration. Secondly, they receiving invitation after invitation, but treated the invitation and the King's command with contempt and ridicule that led to murder.


God in His knowledge of all things, knew that they would not accept this calling to come to the marriage of His Son to His chosen Bride. Jesus emphasized this in this passage. So what did the King do in His wrath of their continued contempt of listening to His call?

7  “But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.”(Matthew 22:7)



This second round of invitation noted in the New Testament was met with no more success than the first in Old Testament. The apostles and the followers of 
Jesus Christ were slain, as well as their brethren, the prophets before them. They even slew His only Son upon a cross. Finally swift judgment came and destroyed their city and their nation in 70 AD when the Roman armies of Titus razed and burned the city of Jerusalem to the ground and destroyed the temple, the symbol of their national identity. The ones who were not slain were dispersed to other countries and the nation of Israel ceased to exist for almost 2000 years.

8  “Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
9  Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10  So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.”(Matthew 22:8-10)



Jesus prophesied here that the grace of God would be extended to the Gentiles, as the nation of Israel did not answer the call, so the invitation was given to the good, the bad, and the all who would answer the call to come to the wedding of His Son by repenting of their sins and accepting the substitution, the propitiation for their transgressions, the blood and body of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In verse 10, who are the servants? The answer is, we are. Starting with the apostles including Paul, the message was proclaimed to the gentile nations. Those who have been called and accepted the payment of sin through Jesus Christ our Lord's sacrifice have been commissioned to reach as many people as time will allow to fill God's wedding chamber with guest. But notice the end of this parable:

11  “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12  And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13  Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14  For many are called, but few are chosen.”(Matthew 22:11-14)

The parable suggests that, not only did the man not have on a wedding garment, but he did so intentionally. He decides against clothing himself properly, even though the appropriate clothing is available. His presence at the wedding is a sign of his rebellion against the king's authority and majesty, symbolized by the feast. When the man realizes his sin against the king's order, he is speechless as his judgment is pronounced. You can't fool God and think you can get to this wedding feast on your own merit. You won't be good enough, righteous enough, or a moral person enough to qualify entry into this ceremony. The ones clothed with the correct wedding garment have put on Jesus Christ being covered with His righteousness by the covering of their sins by His own blood. They have accepted His call of grace and have been obedient to follow Him and being transformed into His likeness. Of course, first you have to have the righteousness of Jesus Christ, by accepting His blood payment for your sins, but from there forward, it takes some of us a lifetime to be even similar to the life the Jesus exemplified while on earth. We do this by submission, being obedient to please our Lord, and grateful, even thankful that His love extended to each of us who heeded the Holy Spirit's call.


SO WHAT ABOUT ISRAEL?


But what of Israel? Are they cast away? If you read the Bible and understand, it would seem to the casual reader that God has done away with Israel. Jeremiah wrote by Holy Spirit inspiration a frightening indictment of the nation of Israel for their refusal to accept His call.

7:20  “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
7:21  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.
7:22  For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
7:23  But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
7:24  But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
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:25  Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:
7:26  Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.”(Jeremiah 7:20-26)

It was a scathing indictment as judgment was declared upon the nation of Israel. They were dispersed by Assyria in the north kingdom, and Babylon in the south. But God gave them mercy and allowed them to come back to their homeland, again as is written in Ezra and Nehemiah. But beginning in the account of the birth of our Messiah, Jesus Christ in Matthew and proclaimed by the Gospel account of Mark, Luke, John and finally Paul, Israel was blinded to the coming of their Messiah, which had been prophesied for thousands of years and they knew that they were in the season of His coming, but rejected Him. He just didn't fit their idea of a conquering King to deliver them from the Romans. They had the Lord God right in front of them, but they didn't recognize Him. Some will say, “Why did God allow them to be blinded to His coming and allow the nation to be destroyed?” Good question, and the answer is summed up in two words ….
mercy and grace. It has been extended to all in the fullness of time.




Jesus said in Matthew chapter 21:

21:42 “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
21:43  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
21:44  And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
21:45  And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.”(Matthew 21:42-45)


God in His wisdom has put Israel aside, for a time, until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled and the end of the age of grace. The Gospel (good news) has been proclaimed by the Apostles and the disciples of Jesus Christ even unto this day. Why? To show mercy on all. God desired to be the God of all people, not just Israel. God knew their hearts and their past performance proved it, that they would keep this blessing unto themselves, and not share it with other nations, so God planned that Israel would be blinded and not see, and deaf so as not to hear what was meant by this Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. But it has been a road marked with persecution and faith tested. Paul writes in Hebrews chapter 11:

11:32  “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
11:33  Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.
11:34  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
11:35  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
11:36  And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
11:37  They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
11:38  (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
1
1:39  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
11:40  God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”(Hebrews 11:32-40)


God's invitation has been given for 1000's of years to any generation that would listen, but most did not. Most turned a blind eye and desired more from this life, not looking forward to the next. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Why is this so? I'll try and answer fully that question further on.


OUR MESSIAH REJECTED

Let us return to my prior thought about why Israel has been blinded to their Messiah, but for a time. Paul speaks of this in Romans chapter 11:
11:25  “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
11:26  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
11:27  For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
11:28  As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.
11:29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
11:30  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
11:31  Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
11:32  For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!”(Hebrews 11:25-33)
ISRAEL , THE CHURCH AND THE OLIVE TREE

To any and everyone that is a proponent of Replacement Theology and Israel being replaced by the Church and is without hope, I would point you to this passage, and to encourage each and every Christian who calls upon the name of the Lord to read the full 11th chapter of Romans. Paul explains that we have been grafted into the Olive Tree that is Israel’s call to be a chosen people. But let us not boast:
11:15  “For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
11:16  For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
11:17  And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
11:18  Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
11:19  Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
11:20  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
11:21  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
11:22  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
11:23  And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
11:24  For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
11:26  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
11:27  For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”(Hebrews 11:15-27)

In this passage, God through Paul speaks of Israel being set aside, for a short while, so that a people who were not His people would be called. Those chosen are the bride of Christ that are being readied for the coming Marriage Supper of the Lamb, but never fear, Israel will be called and purified in the last days, before the coming of Jesus Christ Kingdom rule upon earth for 1000 years.
THE COMING WEDDING OF THE BRIDE OF CHRIST

I pray that we have established that there is a difference between the Bride and the guest of the coming wedding of our Lord and Savior to His chosen bride, the Church. The guest have been being called from the beginning of the fall of man, leading right up to the time of the appearing of our Messiah as a man on earth. Israel rejected the call during the Old Testament times, and even during the New Testament writings proclaiming Jesus Christ as the Son of God, slain from the foundation of the world. Thus began the Age of Grace, from the time of the death and resurrection of our Savior, until modern times that we live in. Israel is still blinded even as I write this, save for a few that have been able to believe on their Messiah, but as a majority, they are still blinded. It won't always be so.


As we draw closer and closer to the appearing of Lord God in the clouds of heaven to remove His people out of the way of His coming wrath, a ceremony will be taking place in realms of glory. It is described in Revelation 19:


19:7  “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
19:9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”(Revelation 19:7-9)

I see a difference in the guest and the Bride herself. The guest are the ones who believed the report of the prophets down through the ages, but were not part of the Church. I point to the parable of the 10 virgins given by Jesus Christ while on earth, as an example. For brevity, see Matthew chapter 25, starting verse 1. Five were foolish and were denied entry as guest to the wedding reception. Five were wise and had oil in their lamps, a symbol of the Holy Spirit. I believe this is a period in the Tribulation where those who believe but are NOT part of the Bride, are allowed into the wedding feast that is taking place in Glory during these 7 years of Tribulation. Note that in both passages, the Bride is already in the wedding banquet. She is not invited, she is the focus of this wedding ceremony. Every parable in this 25th chapter of Matthew given by Jesus Christ points to that time of the Church being removed, and the nation of Israel being tested and refined, as silver is refined in the fire. 


When the time of the marriage of Jesus Christ to His Bride has arrived, then will be the time for the resumption of gladness and rejoicing. Not forgetting that it will also be a time for giving additional glory and honor to our great God, this gladness and rejoicing—shared with God the Father, His Son, and all the angelic host of heaven—will exceed anything that we have ever experienced. It is very important to note that Christ's Bride will have "made herself ready" for the wedding. She will not have allowed anything to sidetrack her from her preparation for this most wonderful occasion.'


THE SAINTS  HAVE A GLORIOUS FUTURE


What a glorious promise. What a glorious future that each of us will experience that call upon the Lord Jesus and are saved this side of the coming of the Kingdom of  God. The Nation of Israel and the Gentile Church will stand with our God, our Savior, our King and sing His praises for saving each of us. We will sing for 10,000 years and forevermore, the Lamb that was slain, because of love for His creation. I want each of you who are reading this sermon to be with us, singing songs of heartfelt praise. There is only one way, and one way only. And  that is Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, that was slain before the foundation of the earth. God knew that He Himself would have to come in the form of a servant to become the perfect sacrifice to pay the price for the sin of mankind. May the Holy Spirit speak to your heart and you search out to seek His Face. Matthew chapter 7:


7:7 “ Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
7:8  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”(Matthew 7:7-8)

The Lord of Creation is calling all who will respond to His invitation. He calls come to the marriage of my Son. Will you answer and heed His call? Don’t make the mistake to think that you have time. “I’ll put it off  until I feel like it, when it’s more convenient” when that time may never come. Israel is prophesied to get another chance to accept their Messiah during a time of great Tribulation that is coming. Will you have the same chance? If you do get that one chance, it will be at the expense of your life. But what if you don’t get the chance and your heart is hardened to the calling of God to repent and accept His Son as payment for your sins? To anyone reading this message, don’t wait and don’t procrastinate, as you may NOT get that chance if you miss it this side of the coming of the Bridegroom for His bride. At the end of the book of Revelation, God makes a clear statement of the Bride being removed before judgment comes upon this earth…they each speak to someone else as an invitation to a wedding banquet, as quest,


“ And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”  Revelation 22:17

(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” (II Corinthians 6:2)

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”. (John 3:16-18)


8 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)


ARE YOU READY?




This is Pastor Mike Taylor praying God salvation comes into your life by His Son, Jesus Christ. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, email me at
realteam1999@sbcglobal.net,  or visit me online for more biblical lessons from the Word of God at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com. God bless you all,


till we meet at Jesus feet.