Sunday, December 4, 2016

THE SAINTS SHALL OVERCOME




By Pastor Mike Taylor






Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)



 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)



When you consider the Bible's prophecies and take a position, based on scripture, that the Church will not experience the horror that is coming to this world, you wonder why others cannot see the same thing you see?



There are many denominations that do not embrace the coming end of this age, known as the Age of Grace before the tribulation spoken of in Revelation even begins. Many, even in my own family, do not appear to grasp what the Bible has hidden from view in plain site, but there are select group of believers that have that blessed hope:
13 “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
14, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:13-14)

According to the Book of the Revelation the antichrist will declare war on the followers of Jesus and will also have the power to “overcome” them.  That seems a glaring contradiction with other Scriptures that promise that the enemy cannot “overcome” them under any circumstances.



Although the doctrine of the Pre-tribulation rapture of the church is NOT a salvation issue, some may wonder why I teach it. I am a firm believer in this doctrine, based on solid scripture support for it's existence. And we must teach the whole counsel of the Word of God, not just part of God's truth. I teach it to warn those who think they have plenty of time to get their life straight before God, that they could suddenly find themselves thrown headlong into the most horrible period of time that is beyond imagination of that time coming. I wouldn't want any man or woman to endure if at all possible and I can persuade even one to change their mind about the destination of their “immortal soul”. It is a hidden point in time, that no “man knoweth the day or the hour”. It will come suddenly and without warning. It will give signs and clues, but it will only let you know the season, not the actual event.
WHERE IS THE DOCTRINE OF THE RAPTURE IN THE BIBLE?



Concerning the doctrine of the rapture/the harpazo of the Church, it is not found in one place that states unequivoably that the church is removed from this earth prior to the beginning of God's wrath. You won't find a passage that confirms it with undeniable proof and spoken in clear language that is undeniable. What you will find are passages that are scattered around the Old Testament and the New Testament that gives the evidence that God is coming to remove His church before His wrath falls on mankind in a period known as the “Tribulation”.
But let us take a few moments to discover the contradictions that those who don't embrace a pre-tribulation removal of the church, must overlook to make their position truth in their own eyes. First the Bible does not contradict itself. The only contradiction is the blindness of those who are not discerning of what the Bible actually says in its entirety, not just picking and choosing those scriptures taken out of context, to support their pre-conceived notions.



Let us go to the Old Testament first, where the doctrine began to be revealed in a piece by piece construction, much like a puzzle that you must put together to understand what the picture actually is or gold that must be mined out of solid rock. As the prophet Isaiah wrote:
13But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; ….(Isaiah 28:13a)

Beginning with the man called Job, in the book that bears his name, was written:

25For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
27Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27)

This was the beginning of scripture passages of what we call the resurrection of those who have died in faith, but this doesn't given us enough evidence of when this resurrection will take place. We must read further...I go to Isaiah where the prophet gives us the reason to begin to believe that Jesus will hide those who are found in Him, when He comes to destroy the rebellion that is rampant on this earth during the coming Tribulation.

19Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise.
Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
20Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
21For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” (Isaiah 26:19-21)

The prophet speaks of hiding and entering into our chambers, and shut the doors until the indignation be past. God, the Lord Jesus Christ, will come out of His habitation called the “third Heaven” and slay those who are in rebellion and their blood will stain His vesture with their blood as written in Revelation chapter 19, but we'll go there in a bit.

But where are these chambers, the prophet, (by Holy Spirit inspiration) speaks of? The answer is what Jesus told His own disciples and I call the companion verses related to what Isaiah wrote:

2 ,“ In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3)

Note that Jesus said He would come to receive us unto Himself, that where He is, there we will be also. He is preparing a place for us right now, and when it is time, He will come to bring us into His Father's house. Jesus is with the Father in glory, and He will bring us to where He is, not coming to us, but bringing us to Himself, not the other way around.

18For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whoseglory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
20For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:18-21)

Jesus made us many promises that we will receive “VICTORY” over this world, throught belief in Him and covered with the atonement of His own shed blood for our salvation.

10Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Revelation 3:10-11)

51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal mustput on immortality.” 1st Corinthians 15:51-53)



As the above verses proclaim, our Lord and Savior will keep us from the hour of temptation and change us into what His glorious body is..Immortal and glorified. How will He keep us from this time period? See Isaiah 26:19-21, and John 14:2-3 quoted above. But I want to get back for moment and answer the question about be “overcomers” just as Jesus overcame the world. Our Lord makes a statement here, just as He overcame the world, so shall we.

THE APOSTLE JOHN PROCLAIMED OVERCOMING



In the Apostle’s First Letter, written as a general sermon to be circulated through the churches of Asia Minor, John takes pains to explain the believer’s position as a vessel of the Holy Spirit as it relates to the spirit of antichrist.  
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)


The apostle John was given special insight into the the dispensation known as the Tribulation to come by Divine Revelation of Jesus Christ. John had written four New Testament works that three bear His name, and then Revelation that was dictated to him, by the Son of God glorified.

The Apostle John was writing to the Church at the beginning of the Dispensation of Grace in his epistles.   Later, the Apostle John is given a revelation from Jesus Christ with more specifics about the antichrist during the Tribulation Period.
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)
The word translated as “overcome” in both these texts is the Greek word, “nikao” which means, ‘to conquer, prevail, get the victory over”.  
John speaks of the same word in 1st John and it is in Revelation 13.
Except in one case, the saints have overcome the spirits of antichrist (past tense) and in the next, the antichrist overcomes (prevails, gets the victory over,) the saints!
So which is it? The Bible can't contradict itself, and here it still holds true. The only thing that is in contradiction is our understanding.

Jesus spoke to His disciples, and by extention those would become His church through their efforts by the Holy Spirit's power. Our Lord told them:

19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20, Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

16“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever. (my emphasis)
17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
18, I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18)

And as Paul quoted Joshua 1:5 in his letter to the Hebrews “ I will never leave you or forsake you.”

You see there really is no contradiction, as John is writing to the saints of the beginning of the Church Age who are indwelt with God's Holy Spirit and “greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world”.

As John wrote in Revelation 13:7 quoted above, the Anti-Christ will overcome the saints :

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)


Do you see the difference in the two groups of “saints” spoken here in relation to God's Holy Spirit?
The Saints in the Age of Grace are indwelt by God's Holy Spirit and Jesus has proclaimed that He would never leave us or forsake us. But as is revealed in 2nd Thessalonians:

3
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:3-10)

The saints during the Age of Grace have a deposit of God's Holy Spirit, as the saints in the Tribulation, must guard their salvation everyday of their existence on earth, so that no one takes it from them, or they succumb to the Anti-Christ and take the Mark of the Beast. That is the difference between groups.

WE ARE TO ASK FOR DISCERNMENT OF TRUTH

As God Word says, we must rightly divide the word of Truth.

"Study to show thyself approved of God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)



What does that mean to the believer? The Word divides itself if one will simply allow it to -- without going all symbolic and metaphorical on it. By following a simple rule, “when the literal sense makes literal sense, take it literally” the Word divides itself according to Dispensation of Divine Revelation.
Currently, we are in the dispensation of Grace which is followed by the “dispensation of the fullness of time”, for which we of the Dispensation of Grace:
have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” (Ephesians 1:13)



So if we have been sealed with God's Holy Spirit, and God cannot lie, then as Paul spoke of in 2nd Corinthians 2:3-10, when the Holy Spirit is removed, all who have the Holy Spirit as a deposit (an earnest of our future inheritance) will be removed from this planet as well.



Note the underline portion of Ephesians 1? .  Trusted in Christ, heard the Word of Truth, after that you believed, and were sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise! Then, ilogically if you follow the words, if the indwelling Comforter is gone and the saints are overcome, conquered, defeated, by the antichrist -- who is given power to gain the victory over them. We see a conflict...BUT is there one?
And what is that Promise, again?
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever . . . I will not leave you Comfortless: I will come to you. (John 14:16,18)
If it be any other way, then the verse would have to be amended that “God's Holy Spirit will be with you, until the Tribulation and when you need Him the most, He won't be available as He was before”???...Now that would make God a liar, would it not? And we know that God cannot lie, so the contradiction is our understanding of God's Truth and not putting the puzzle pieces together to get a clear picture of what God is literally trying to tell us.

Right now, we are in that Dispensation of Grace and when that age is finished, we see the coming period of the last 7 years of Daniel's 70 week years of prophecy that is still to be completed concerning God's chosen people, the nation of Israel, called the time of Jacob's trouble. Note that is about Israel when he speaks of Jacob's trouble, as the Tribulation is about the Jewish people accepting their Messiah through much persecution that they call out “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord”...Otherwise, God is taking Divine judgment on a rebellious world, called the nations, headed by the Anti-Christ.
Were the judgment of the Tribulation imposed upon the Church, that would be a contradiction. . .
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”(Romans 8:1)
So if the Church is in the Tribulation, it also means that it is under judgment, a believer can be overcome by the antichrist and believers will face the choice of a horrible death for refusing the mark or eternal damnation for accepting it. That in itself is a glaring contradiction, when there really is no contradiction, just loss of discernment on our part. We have already been judged as righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ, and are not subject to God's wrath, which will cover the whole earth...(see Revelation 3:10 again) which would negate the work of the cross, as there is no purpose for us being refined, as Jesus paid it all once for all time. To be a post-tribulation believer would smack of the concept of a “Catholic purgatory” that the blood of Jesus was just not quite good enough for us to enter the presence of a Holy God. You can see the problem here.

Here is the sequence of events that I believe fits the puzzle pieces together in a literal interpretation of the whole of the counsel of the Word of God.
  1. The Holy Spirit indwelt the Church at Pentecost is where it all started.
  2. Before the beginning of the Tribulation, the Holy Spirit is withdrawn
  3. With the Holy Spirit being withdrawn, those He indwells are withdrawn as well. That would be the Church saints.
  4. This ends the Dispensation of Grace, and the beginning of Daniel's last week of Jacob's troubles.
  5. At some point after that, the first seal of judgment is broken by Jesus Christ, (Revelation 6) which reveals the Anti-Christ riding in on a white horse with a bow, but no arrows, which the Word says “He goes forth conquering and to conquer. (v. 1-2)
  6. The antichrist is the first of the twenty-one judgments to be imposed against they “that dwell upon the earth” during this time.  Judgment, in order to be judgment, can only be imposed upon those who have been condemned. 



Near the end of the book of Revelation, we see the culmination of what is the revealing of the Church once again. God's Word speaks of those who are called to the marriage Supper of the Lamb.



7Let 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.
8And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
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.”

Note that the Bride of Christ, the Church is arrayed/clothed with linen, clean and white, which is a sign of the righteousness of the saints imparted to her by Jesus Christ and His saving grace. And then comes a clincher for me that in the same chapter, we see the “armies of Heaven” coming with King Jesus riding in the lead.

11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Revelation 19:11-14)

As was spoken in the chapter about the sign of the saints being linen, white and clean, the armies of heaven come back riding on white horses, clothed with line, white and clean...again, a sign of the saints. Note the the vesture or the cloak of King of kings is dipped in blood? It is NOT His blood, but those who have been slain in righteous indignation of the wrath of Almighty God.

But wrapping this message up, I want to point out a passage that speaks to those who have missed this blessed event and have been cast head long into the time of great sorrow and temptation, the Tribulation. The Lord God, our Savior Jesus Christ stands with His bride and beckons to all who will listen:

16I, Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
17And 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 22:16-17)

Remember what John wrote prior to this that I underlined in v. 9 of Revelation chapter 19?
And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

The Bride is already there. The Bride and the Groom, Jesus Christ, beckons to all who will listen, to join them “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.”

It is a glorious and final invitation to those who enter into the Tribulation to endure till the end. It is a call to the Tribulation saints, the Jewish nation and Gentiles who have believed through much pain and persecution. It won't be easy, and it won't be without much sorrow and suffering. Many will die a martyrs death because of their faith. They are being called as “guest” to the marriage of the Bride and the Bridegroom. They will not be the Bride, as that Age of Grace ended with the removal of the Bride of Christ at the rapture of the believers in His atonement on Calvary's cross. But remember what I spoke of when I mentioned “VICTORY” in Jesus ? How does one get this victory and enter into the time of the joining of the Bride of Christ with the Bridegroom, our God, our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ?

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He 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)

What you have to do is decide. Do I want to be part of the Bride, or a guest? One is glorious filled with joy...the other is pain and suffering, persecution, and probably martyrdom, but does end with joy, if you endure to the end. To be neither the Bride or a called guest, is to enter into what my last message was about “HELL HATH OPENED HER MOUTH WIDE”. But as a saint of the Age of Grace, or a saint of the Tribulation period, we shall overcome, just as our Lord overcame.


These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33)

12That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:12-14)




Let us praise His Holy Name!!...Won't you join us?



This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying for your redemption and as a saint overcoming to His everlasting praise. If you need counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, send me an email to realteam1999@sbcglobal.net,. God bless you all



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