YAHWEH, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, IS WITH US!

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins...”
( Isaiah 58: 1)

Another Great Earthquake?



Another Great Earthquake?

1. Introduction

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Ė (Acts 16: 25-31)

2. A Word Missing?

There seems/appears to be a word missing from the above scripture text that is vastly more important to the church today than in Paulís time. Do you know what that word is? Youíre probably hearing it more and more these days in spite of the fact that it never came up in the conversation between the Apostle Paul, Silas and the prison guard.

Acts 16: 25: And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26: And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.
27: And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
28: But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
29: Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
30: And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

Frankly, the word never appears in the Authorized King James. But, lest you King James Bible haters out there try and use its absence to make your case against the KJV, I should warn you that it doesnít appear in the American Standard Bible either and only once in the New American Standard. Even there, itís not used in reference to salvation. In fact, it may surprise some of you to learn that this key and most commonly used church word appears only four times in the comparatively modern and enormously popular, New International Version® NIV® of the Bible; originally ©1973, 1978, 1984 and now again in 2011. And, even there, only once is it used with respect to God. No, the only ďbiblesĒ that use this word repeatedly are the more recent paraphrased (interpreted) versions of ďscriptureĒ like, The New Living Translation and The Message.

3. What Word am I Talking About?

Iím talking about the word, ‘relationship.’ That prison guard did not fall down trembling before Paul and Silas to casually inquire: “How can I have a relationship with God?” No, in fear for his life, he sprang in, and came trembling, asked them: “What must I do to be saved?”

4. The Word Saved

‘Saved’ is another of those archaic and potentially offensive words that donít play well in the postmodern church; increasingly avoided by modern day preachers and teachers, because it indirectly refers to the ultimate negative; ‘Hell’ and might frighten away seekers by threatening their self-esteem; sinís greatest ally. The fact is; you canít talk about being saved without at least some appreciation of what youíre being saved from. You can, however, talk about a “relationship with God” and avoid the hell issue altogether. The trick is to focus on nothing but the positive. The devil is doing one hell of a good job at tricking! He can make you feel like you are full of the Holy Spirit, but let me warn you, there is nothing Holy about it. The upside is; you really donít have to address your terrible condition; consider your precarious position; acknowledge the eternal consequences of your actions; surrender anything of value; confess your sins or even admit that youíre a sinner Ė much less repent. The downside is a fraudulent faith and a surprise sendoff to a very permanent place in perdition. The terrified prison guard, you see, was frantic to be rescued from impending doom. Todayís seekers however, are merely offered an “awesome” bonus to their narcissistic lives. You see there are only two choices. One is a fearful, repentant and humble exchange Ė the other Ė just an added benefit. It's your choice.

5. A Shrewd and Subtle Effort

Some years ago, in a shrewd and subtle effort to facilitate a more marketable gospel, the church began using, rather liberally, I might add, the generic word ‘relationship,’ to convey and comprehensively define, in a psychologically inoffensive way, the Christian life, for a new and self-absorbed generation. Some preachers used to be a little more specific, calling for a ‘right relationship’ with God, that at least suggested some requirements and qualifications that now, regrettably, amount to little more than the building and sustaining of ‘loving’ (sin tolerant) acquaintances at church.

Colossians 2: 8: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

6. Absolutely Not!

Am I suggesting that a person doesnít need a relationship with God? Absolutely not! Am I implying that a person can be saved apart from a relationship to Christ? No way! Not a chance! What I am saying is; Judas Iscariot had a relationship of sorts with Jesus; but it wasnít enough to save him. He walked and talked with Jesus daily, ate with Him in the upper room and even served as the groupís treasurer. Though considered a disciple himself, in reality, he had no faith in Jesus as the Lamb of God. Even though Judas aligned himself with Jesus and the other disciples, he was lost Ė lost because, in the void of that wrong relationship, where an obedient faith was missing, burned a misguided passion and purpose that resulted in blindness, confusion and the quiet rejection of Godís Divine plan and authority; a rejection that would eventually ignite into open rebellion and betrayal.

Matthew 27: 3: Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
4: Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
5: And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
6: And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.
7: And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.
8: Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.
9: Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;
10: And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me.
Though Judas associated with Jesus, he didnít really believe Him until he saw him codemned and then he repented with great remorse and took his own life.

7. Modern Day Christians

Most of those associating with Christ today are far worse than Judas Iscariot. The fact is, when it comes to God, many who claim to know Christ are largely ignorant and apathetic toward His Word and His Will Ė if not at times, in complete opposition to it. Oh, they come to church almost every week to join in with everyone else and serve the collective in some capacity, just like Judas; accepting all the positive, loving and exciting things the Lord has to say, but not the difficult and costly things that interfere with carnal appetites and agendas. So, how can we have a right relationship with Christ and not believe and obey Him? The truth is; we canít Ė not because I say so, but because Godís Word says so.

Luke 6: 46: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
1 John 2: 3: And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4: He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5: But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”

You see, even though God requires a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; that relationship requires that we first believe Him to the point of obedience. By faith, we believe first and repent in submission to His Word and Will Ė then comes a right relationship. The above scripture goes so far as to say that we canít even know Christ if we donít believe and obey Him. We are liars! Thatís not salvation by rule keeping; thatís simply Godís definition of love. If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

John 14: 23: Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24: He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

John 15: 10: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

8. Contagious Christianity

My dear children; there is no ‘Contagious Christianity.’ It is not a communicable disease that we lovingly spread to others through casual contact. One doesnít acquire a right relationship with God by simply socializing well with others in the faith or become His child to merely reap rewards. That relationship must be the direct result of a God-given individual faith, belief, conviction and repentance Ė not a means to. One cannot simply pray into existence a relationship with Christ and THEN, at some later point and time, accept what that right relationship requires. If we attempt to assume eternal life while unrepentantly living in willful disobedience and disregard for His Word, our relationship, like our faith, is fictitious and wholly fraudulent.

Matthew 7: 15: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

9. Another Great Earthquake?

In many churches today, the priority and focus is wrong Ė dead wrong. Our attention ought to be first and foremost on hearing, believing and obeying Godís Word, not on manufacturing and marketing relationships in the name of Jesus for the sake of church growth. If we try and relate to Christ before we repent to Christ, we are arrogantly attempting to micromanage what should have been surrendered Ė resulting in the hypocrisy of calling Christ King, but stubbornly remaining on the throne of our own lives; giving Him what amounts to lip service. Is there a better description of ‘Christianity’ today? I suppose it will take another ‘great earthquake’ for todayís churchaterians to sober up and get their focus off of building mega churches through meaningful relationships and back on hearing, believing and obeying the Word of God. Only then will the lost tremble in His presence and ask: “What must I do to be saved?”

Will there be another great earthquake? It's guaranteed! A Global Earthquake! Here it comes!

Revelation 6: 12: And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13: And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14: And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15: And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16: And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

Speaking of these same events in Matthew's gospel the Master said this:
Mattew: 24: 29: Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.

The prophet Joel writing of this same period wrote:
Joel 2: 30: “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
32: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

In the sixth seal the reader is given a preview of that same end-time celestial display. It will be witnessed throughout our galaxy. The language of these prophecies seems to indicate that besides their spiritual counterparts, these signs will also be literally fulfilled. In other words, the whole earth will be shaken to its very foundations; the literal mountains will heave and swell like the waves of the restless sea and every island will be shifted from its primeval moorings.
Jeremiah 4: 23: I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
24: I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
25: I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
26: I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and ALL the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.”

Panic, blind, uncontrollable panic will sweep across the globe when the events under the 6th seal occur. Earth's terror-stricken inhabitants will incorrectly conclude that the universe is beginning to disintegrate. The sun, we are told, will become black as sackcloth. It will disappear for a short period of time and the moon will glow like blood. Falling stars (meteorites) in their thousands will criss-cross the sky and the heavens will be rolled back as a scroll. In that day, every man, woman and child the world over will be filled with the fear of the Almighty and nobody will then doubt his existence. Indeed, all mankind will realize that the day of God's wrath has arrived. (Revelation 6: 17)

The events under this seal have obviously not yet happened. Admittedly there have been a few isolated instances in history when unusually large numbers of meteorites have been sighted from certain parts of the globe, or when the sun was darkened for a few hours; but it is forcing the issue to suggest that those local happenings are the fulfilment of this awesome 6th seal, because they are not.

Why not? Simply because all the events under the 6th seal are to occur more or less at the same time, and will be witnessed by the entire population of the earth.

All these signs happen concurrently and that has never happened before: nor has the world's population ever exhibited the kind of blind panic described in (Revelation 6: 16) when mankind en-mass cried out:

“Hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne,
and from the wrath of the Lamb”
.

Believe me, it will even terrify the most sincere, obeying, true believer when it hits! Are you ready?

And there you have it. As I said above, not because I say so, but because Godís Word says so. How will you stand? How will I stand? Only by having a rich supply of the Holy Spirit on hand, not only in our lamps, but also in our vessels. obedience. and faith are our best stand when this terrifying event takes place. Might it happen this year? We will have to wait and see. If not, it's sure to come soon. Scriptures cannot be broken!

Isaiah 42: 9: Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
John 10: 35: “... the scripture cannot be broken.”


AMEN!

In the Son’s Name - For the Father’s glory.
Elder: Max W. Mader

www.avoiceinthewilderness.org
www.avitw.ca