In the Image of God
Prepare for the Day of the Lord
Prophecies tell us about the Day of the Lord, the time just before Jesus returns to Earth to take over all the kingdoms and governments of the Earth. Jesus, with his face shining like the sun and his horde of angelic warriors, would be an appropriate description of invaders from outer space. But, no, it is an earthling coming home after being away in the heavens for over two millennia.
And what a terrifying time it will be, filled with unnatural disasters and plagues destroying much of civilization and the worst wars in the history of mankind. The apostles thought it would be a few years after Jesus ascended into the heavens. But, it wasnt. Then students of Daniel thought it would be in the mid-nineteenth century. But, it wasnt. A few thought it would be in the faux millennium last January. But, it wasnt. But only Our Father in heaven knows when. We do know the day, however. Jesus will arrive on the Feast of Trumpets, which will be on the new moon in the seventh month of Our Fathers calendar.
When the terrible Day of the Lord comes, Our Father warns us to:
Be Wary of
As everything on Earth becomes incredibly bad, scoffers will point their fingers at believers and flout their derision at them.
And they will continue to mock the People of Our Father: God never punishes our evil. We get away with everything; not even your God can stop us. Their boast will no sooner be spoken than they will be gone forever.
The Man of Lawlessness
Who is this man of lawlessness Paul spoke about? He said he existed even as he wrote the letter to the Thessalonians. The man of lawlessness then was the Pontifex Maximus, the Caesar, and the demigod, who was the head of the Roman religion, spoken of as the Babylon Mystery religion.
At the time of the end, the Roman Empire will be resurrected with a new religious head, a Pontifex Maximus, who will set himself up in the temple in Jerusalem and proclaim himself to be god, which is not unusual for all the Caesars considered themselves gods. This Caesar in conjunction with Satan will display all manner of counterfeit miracles, wonders, and signs. Finding these miraculous marvels potent enticements, all but a few thousand will be deceived and join the Satanic cult. Delighting in wickedness, they rush like lemmings off the cliff into the sea of damnation.
The man of lawlessness with Satan will change the times the days of the week and the months. How will the saints know and keep the Sabbath and Holidays? Even if they kept careful records, the inhuman persecutions will dominate their lives, the ones who are not martyred, for three and a half years.
Even now Germany has changed the week. Monday is now the first day of the week instead of Sunday. Then Sunday becomes the seventh day, a counterfeit sabbath.
The Roman calendar, which caused so much controversy last January as beginning the millennium, controls time in most of the world. In Gods calendar, the year is in the fifty-seven hundreds, not 2000 AD. So the times are Roman, adjusted by the Roman Catholic Church about 1600 AD.
So watch for a religious oriented Roman Empire to gain ascendancy; for then the end is near.
Slavery to Evil
Like in an election, where people must be convinced to vote for a particular candidate, the people of the world will not prostrate themselves to a Roman Empire religious emperor unless they become convinced in their minds that this dictator will provide, say, bread and circuses, or relief from conditions that scourges them. What has to happen is they must be deceived by evil. They need to say, what difference does it make if we keep Our Fathers way or not. They will be convinced that Our Father only cares if we believe in Him and try to be nice people do a favor here, help an unfortunate there, and be courteous and considerate. But, Our Father does care; He said so over and over in His Word. But, people are ignorant of His Word or are aware of just parts of His Word to prove their particular theories or tenets.
So how will they be deceived? Jesus keeps talking about the end coming as in the days before the flood or before Sodom and Gomorrah. Why did he select these events aside from the catastrophes Our Father visited on them? It is the same prevalence of evil that will characterize the end time.
Evil practices will gain public acceptance, such as divorce becoming prevalent because Hollywood legitimized it, even as they promote promiscuity and homosexuality. Or, many people now consider abortion as legitimate. Peoples consciences become hardened even as their education leaves huge areas of knowledge of history, science and morality untaught.
These promoters of depravity will be filled with all evil, greed, depravity, envy, murder, strife, malice, gossiping, slandering, God-hating, insolence, arrogance, invention of evil, disobedience, senselessness, faithlessness, heartlessness and ruthlessness. This catalog of perversion once stunned normal peoples senses. But, these malevolent individuals will continue to prey on the weak and ignorant to convert them to ways of wickedness.
In the days just before the flood, all but Noah and his family went on with their lives as if there were nothing wrong. In those other days, all but Lot and his family went on with their lives as if there were nothing wrong. How did they go on with their lives? They lived and promoted all manner of depravity. They disregarded all who would criticize their behavior. Worse they would attack and kill any who might deign confront their evil practices.
But, be wary. Like the pendulum, morality has its ups and downs. Ancient Egyptians, for example, decried the wantonness of its youth thousands of years ago. Many things must happen before Our Father will send Jesus to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth.
Regardless, of the events leading up to the end times, Jesus encourages believers to be ready and watch, but not for the signs of the end times. He said we must watch out that we are not relaxing our responsibilities and duties. He said to keep up the faith, to replenish the Holy Spirit by Bible study. And, he said to make sure that the love of God, keeping the commandments, is strong in our thoughts, words and deeds. Jesus did not want his people growing weary in waiting for his return. He wanted the believers to keep the Kingdom of God in mind continually, and dont worry about when he will return because we can only live now, not in the past nor in the future.
Keeping in mind the Word of God, we should be a light shining in a dark place, until we enter the Kingdom of God by our death and subsequent resurrection or Jesus returns to change his own to spirit beings.
So while some may be trying futilely to figure, their misguided brand of watchfulness, the events leading to Jesuss return, the believers know that they must first search for their righteous faith. Other things are of little value. So watch for the Kingdom of God by building each other up in the faith so that the Kingdom does not come upon us unaware.
Do Not Be Deceived
The great deception, Jesus said, is people will claim that he is the Christ. Huh? What he is saying is that people will define him according to their traditions instead of learning of him from the pages of the gospel. If, for example, Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, instead people make him centerpiece of Sunday worship. If, for example, Jesus is the Son of God and the son of man, they make him into God, the Son, part of a trinity of beings in an unbiblical Godhead. So traditions change the real Jesus into a deceptive fiction. Dont be deceived, he warns.
He continues that many false prophets and miracle workers will appear, as they have for two millennia to try to deceive the believers into going astray based on wonders instead of judging their works by Gods Word. By their fruit, their willingness to keep all Gods Law, all Ten Commandments, shall you know them, not by wondrous works.
The Lord Prepares Us
Can we fight deceptions alone? Can we fight against the onslaught of evil alone? Can we seek safety in times of peril alone? No! But, we are not alone. We have Gods Word, to start with, which will give us insight into deceptions, spiritual warfare, and protection even against armies. But, we also have a Living Father in heaven, who will move even mountains to get us to a safe haven. Jesus calmed the storm that lurched the tiny boat the disciples were pitching in. Can he not do it for us as well? Will he not save us as he did his disciples? The Bible answers thunderously, of course, because he loves us and died for us.
He will further strengthen our hearts to make us blameless when the terrible end time comes. After calling us into His blessed Kingdom by the blood of His Son, He will never leave us or abandon us. He is as close as our latest prayer or Bible study. He comes on the wings of the wind to save us.
Our Father proved His faithfulness; He will do it.
During times of political instability, we must remember that our citizenship is in heaven. We are exiles in a foreign land because we are subjects of the Kingdom of God. While Our Father has made us emissaries of the Kingdom of God, we must adhere to the laws of the land and behave responsibly to the governing authorities, for all authority comes from Our Father. When Jesus returns in the end time, he will bring everything Our Father as given him under his control, even our bodies will be changed from mortal weakness to spiritual power.
Having been called by hearing the glorious gospel, for which we must express great thanksgiving through obedience to the Word, we hold fast to the teaching passed on to us. Remember, Our Father chose His people from the beginning of creation to be saved through the work of the Spirit and faith in the Truth. Even as Our Father knew He would have a son in the beginning, he knew who His believers would be. Therefore, He will encourage and strengthen His People to be able to perform every good deed. So when the end comes, believers will be ready to enter eternal life.
The whole world will marvel when Our Father reveals to them the ones who endured to the end as faithful sons and daughters. If destruction must come on the faithless evil ones, let not your hearts be discouraged, but live as ones in the service of Our great and glorious Father in heaven.
Encourage One Another
Meanwhile, we can help one another with the reassuring Word from Our Father. Just as lightning can be seen from horizon to horizon, so will the coming of the Son of Man be visible in the heavens. He will not sneak up or hide in some corner of the world. No, indeed, he is coming as a conquering hero to restore order and sanity to this troubled world. Behind him will be the host of angels, the great army of Our Father.
Suddenly, with a loud trumpet call, first the dead in Christ will be resurrected as spiritual people and then the angels will be sent to retrieve Our Fathers faithful children, who will also be changed and brought up to Jesus to become part of his entourage to take over the governments of Earth.
How will the true believers be changed? Jesus brought Peter, James and John to a high mountain. Then he was transfigured before them. His face shone as bright as the shining sun, his eyes became as fire, his feet as bronze, and his clothes as white as light. I challenge the worlds greatest artist to depict Jesus as he really looks now. If one could, we would not be able to look at Jesuss face, just as we cannot look at the sun without being blinded. And, that is exactly the appearance Our Father has in store for His Beloved Children when Jesus returns. Never again will faithful human beings ever have to put up with disease, infirmity, weakness, weariness, aging, or death. And, just as Jesus arose into the heavens, so too well will the future humans be able to flit throughout the world and the universe in a blink of an eye.
So encourage one another with these words.
Walk the Walk
In spite of popular opinion, Our Father will not give the gift of life to any but those who are entirely dedicated to following His Way. In those future days, people look askance at those determined to enter the Kingdom of God and become like Jesus in look, power, and eternal life; they just raise an eyebrow and shrug. If striving with all your being is not your thing, Our Father understands, but He wants only those who are completely devoted to Him and Him alone. Nothing and no one must stand between a person and his God. Those are the only ones Our Father wants in His Kingdom. He doesnt want obedience when it suits a person, who ignores what Our Father wants when something else more interesting comes along.
He wants His People to use every talent and gift for His glory, not bury them in the ground of convenience. What He wants us to bury is anxiety and worries about what we will eat or wear, or where we will live and how to make the next dollar. He wants His People to bury their natural earthly nature, such as immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Instead believers must flee these base desires.
Fight the good fight; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, and gentleness. Prove to Our Father, you want to live forever by walking the walk. But, Our Father knows we cannot do it alone.
The Armor of God
On the Day of the Lord, or anytime indeed, Our Father gives us special armor, which is impervious to all manner of attack, any weapons or projectiles. Our main enemy is Satan, whether directly, or indirectly through its wiles foisted on a gullible public. The armor defeats the powers of darkness and the inhuman forces of evil.
Our Father gives us the belt of truth, which girds us against all misrepresentations and falsehoods. Of course, Our Fathers Word is Truth. So constant Bible study is the first defense we have.
Then Our Father gives us the breastplate of righteousness. Doing right and faith in Jesus comprise righteousness. If the enemy attempts to attack the Truth, righteous behavior strengthens the defense.
Our Father further fits our feet with the boots of the gospel. These boots follow in the ways of Truth and righteousness as demonstrated by the example given to us by Jesus. Walking on the path of the gospel quickly removes us from the fire power of the enemy.
Our next defense is the shield of faith. When the assaults become furious, we fall back on our faith, our intelligent awareness and assuredness of all the good Our Father has done for us, and the love of Jesus, who died for us.
Our last defense is the helmet of salvation, which protects our minds from the dissembling efforts of Satan. When our minds are focused on the Kingdom of God, we doggedly pursue our goal without letting any interference or challenge trouble us.
The best defense is often the best offense. So Our Father, the Lord of hosts, fashioned for us the Jedi-styled sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. With this weapon we slice through all temptations and devices with one swift thrust. No evil can stand before the armor of Our Father.
Victory in Christ
Always the winner, never the loser, Jesus assured our victory almost two thousand years ago and by his continued loving kindness to us now. We take heart in the times of trouble, whether the Day of the Lord or any other crisis, and we have peace because Jesus has overcome the world. The victory we have obtained is our faith; so do not be afraid.
We are more than conquerors because of Jesuss love, which he proved by his death for our sins, not his. He reconciled our sins by his body broken and spent on the cross. His blood made peace between our sinful nature and the goodness and holiness of Our Father.
Finally, the obedient believers from Our Father have received His Holy Spirit, which gives them the mind of Our Father. And this Spirit of Our Father is greater than the damned demon, who is in the world.
So watch, walk, fight, and win in the Day of the Lord or any day by being workmen accustomed to the service of our Lord and Our Father in heaven.
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