By Pastor Hal Mayer
Welcome to Keep the Faith Ministry. I believe we have come to a time when God’s true people are going to be marginalized by their own brethren. I know that is a shocking statement to some, perhaps, but it is true. Most of God’s people have their proverbial heads buried in the sand. They don’t want to know what is going to happen in the future and they aren’t paying attention. My friends, we are coming up on the loud cry; we are coming up on the judgments of God; we are coming up on the latter rain; and they are not even interested in receiving it. They think it is fanaticism. They will label it as legalism. I can hardly believe that we’ve come to such a time as this.
Today, few pastors are really willing to preach the three angels’ messages, especially the third angel’s message that warns people to disassociate from the false doctrines and teachings of Rome and her fallen daughters. Thank God for those that are – and there are some – but as younger pastors take over from the older ones, we have a problem. They are being trained to preach evangelical sermons and superficial homilies and to avoid preaching the distinctive message God has called His last generation to give to the world. In fact, pastors today are being taught to demonize those that still teach the three angels’ messages. They are being taught to oppose those who are still defending the truth. The faithful ones are mostly seniors now and no longer have the strongest voices.
Nevertheless, we need young men and women who will be faithful to the truth and unafraid in the face of opposition. We need young men and women who will live the message and share it with their secular friends and acquaintances, as well as their fellow church members and evangelical friends. They will be ridiculed, accused, misrepresented, and pressured, but they will not fail.
Those coordinating the systematic assault on teachers of the three angels’ messages and the doctrines of the remnant and the last generation have no idea that they are fighting God. They do not realize that they have begun a prophetic movement identified as the last assault on the truth before the close of probation. They are trying to make of non-effect the testimony of the true Spirit of God. This is the last deception of Satan. These teachers want you to think that we don’t have to worry about the coming of Christ in the near future. They want you to think that we are not going to have a Sunday law any time soon nor see the fulfillment of clear statements in the book The Great Controversy about how the end time events are going to happen. They want you to sleep right through it.
So, as we begin our study today, we had better take a look at what the Spirit saith to the churches. First, let us pray.
Our dear Father in heaven, we see the final assault brewing. It is being prepared. But You are more prepared than Your opponents are. You are prepared for every emergency. I pray that we will have the spiritual eyesight to understand and know that all things are coming to an end – and soon. Father in heaven, give us overcoming power so that we can defeat the enemy at every turn. Please show us how to live for Jesus amid the dark times ahead when gross darkness shall cover the people. We want to be partakers of the latter rain. So we need purity. We need Jesus to live in us. And I pray that we will have the grace we need to deepen our walk with Christ and live with Him and for Him. Thank you for being with us today as we study the Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.
My friends, please turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew 24. We are very familiar with some of this chapter, but today I am going to focus on a part of it that is not so familiar. I would like us to think about what Jesus instructs us to do. He does not want us to miss anything, so He has warned us to do something.
Have a look at verses 32 to 51. Pay attention to Jesus’ words about knowledge.
“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh.”
So, how do you know that summer is nigh? You notice the new shoots, the new leaves, and the small tender branches. These are signs that summer is near, aren’t they? I recently went out to my garden after being away for quite some time. I noticed new leaves on the berry bushes. I saw the healthy plants glistening in the sunshine. I have knowledge and this knowledge tells me that we are going to have a good crop of blackberries. Now let us read verse 33.
“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”
What knowledge is Jesus referring to? He is talking about the knowledge that the second coming of Christ is near. Verse 31 tells us that. Here it is.
“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Jesus is trying to tell us that when we see the events that are taking place in the world around us fulfilling Bible prophecy, we know that we are very close and that we should prepare for the time of trouble, the great tribulation spoken of in verses 21 and 22. Listen to these words carefully.
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
I want to be one of the elect, don’t you? I want to be so close to Jesus that there is nothing separating me from His love and power. I need His power. You need His power. Otherwise, we will not be overcomers and we will not receive the latter rain. And we will not be the elect. Instead, we will lose our way and fight the message.
I don’t want to fight God’s message, do you? Yet it seems today that so many are teaching that we are not near the end of time. They say, “The worship laws spoken of in Revelation 13 are not going to happen any time soon. We don’t have to think about the coming crisis and the persecution. So, don’t think about it. Relax, because Jesus loves you and forgives you. You don’t have to be perfect, even in Christ.”
Let me point out to you that Jesus is very concerned about your attitude toward the Ten Commandments, because it reveals your attitude toward Christ. He wants you to live by His commandments and have victory over every sin.
But the prevailing teaching today is that we can’t overcome sin, even with Christ living in us. That is teaching a Christ who is weak and ineffective. That is making Christ powerless and making the enemy stronger than Christ.
The amazing thing about the gospel is it’s teaching that, not only does Christ forgive us and cleanse us, but He also empowers us. Our hearts, when united to His heart, become invincible against all the fiery darts of the enemy.
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6:16)
Faith in the power of Christ, not our own power, gives us power over the enemy and all – notice I said “all” – of his temptations. Satan is not more powerful than Christ in my own life.
If Christ can’t save me to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25), then He isn’t Christ. He isn’t just able to save the man in the gutter, the drug addict, or the prostitute. “To the uttermost” means that He can even deal with the little habitual evils that I allow into my life. He can save me from my socially “acceptable” sins, my little addictions, my fiery tongue and my every weakness.
This is the Christ we serve. Jesus loves us so much that He is willing to send all heaven to defeat the enemy in your life and mine. The problem is that we so often don’t want that close of a relationship to Jesus. We don’t want a heart relationship with the One who can be closer to us than a brother or a mother or a father.
Listen to this powerful statement found in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, page 91.
“It is by conformity to the will of God in our words, our deportment, our character, that we prove our connection with Him. Whenever one renounces sin, which is the transgression of the law, his life will be brought into conformity to the law, into perfect obedience. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. The light of the word carefully studied, the voice of conscience, the strivings of the Spirit, produce in the heart genuine love for Christ, who gave Himself a whole sacrifice to redeem the whole person, body, soul, and spirit. And love is manifested in obedience. The line of demarcation will be plain and distinct between those who love God and keep His commandments, and those who love Him not and disregard His precepts.”
Notice that it is love for Christ that brings perfect obedience to His law. Christ in us transforms our characters into His likeness and we obey Him in perfect obedience. Friends, this is not impossible to achieve. Every promise of Christ empowers us in the battle with the enemy.
Now let us read verse 34 of Matthew 24.
“Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”
What generation is He talking about? He is talking about the last generation. His whole discourse is about last day events, so He has to be talking about us, not those who were living in His day, the ones to whom He spoke these words. He was talking about what we are to look for and how to understand the signs of the times. And He now says that the generation on whom these things fall will not pass away until all the prophecies are fulfilled and all the enemy’s temptations are overcome. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to die, or that I’m not going to die. He is saying that there will always be those who believe and teach the living truth right up until Jesus comes. That generation will live through the last days until all is done.
Perhaps I should point out that there have often been preachers who spoke about the end of the world. Noah was one. So was Enoch who spoke directly of the second coming as recorded in the book of Jude. The generation that believes the words of Jesus, the words of the apostles and the words of the prophets will not pass away until the end.
The enemy may launch an assault on the truth of God. The enemy may use even those who are respected and revered in God’s church. The enemy may find ways to infiltrate among God’s people and try to discourage or distract them from their message, but Christ is saying that He will always have people who believe and teach a powerful Christ who is able to keep you from falling (Jude 24). Christ will always have people who will stand firm on the teachings of Scripture and heed the commandments of God through the faith of Jesus.
Those that are teaching that it is impossible to overcome sin are teaching the opposite of Scripture. They are teaching a weak and powerless Christ. This is just what the enemy wants you to think, that Christ is unable to keep you from falling into temptation, even little temptations. Yes, He can help you beat alcohol, and He can help you beat drugs, but He wants to help you beat your carnal tongue, your appetite, your coffee and chocolates, fish and chicken, movies, porn, and all your secret sins. On the other hand, the enemy wants you to give up the good fight, so his message will be that you don’t have to fight. Anyone who tells you that you can’t be perfect and can’t obey Christ completely should be utterly suspect that they are not teaching the true gospel.
What does Jesus mean when he uses the term “overcometh” over and over again in the book of Revelation? He uses the term eight times in Revelation 2 and 3, as if to emphasize the point.
“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7)
“He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (Revelation 2:11)
“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” (Revelation 2:17)
“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” (Revelation 2:26)
“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Revelation 3:5)
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” (Revelation 3:12)
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Revelation 3:21)
These promises are wonderful! They are a great motivation to live for Jesus, aren’t they? Then, to add good measure, He adds yet another promise in Revelation 21:7.
“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
Does Jesus mean what He says? There is no doubt that He is talking about overcoming sin here. There is no doubt that He is talking about living by the power of Christ in your life. You cannot overcome sin without Christ. And you will never be an overcomer unless you believe that Jesus has the power to throw the enemy out of your life.
Now let us read verse 35 of Matthew 24.
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
You see, my friends, faith is actually relying on the words of Jesus to do what they say they are going to do. If Jesus says He is able to keep you from falling (Jude 24), doesn’t He mean what He says? These words are from the apostle and brother of Jesus Himself (Jude 1), inspired and recorded for our understanding and experience. If Jesus says He is able to keep you from falling, don’t you think He will give you the experience of overcoming every temptation and every sin? Why would He say it if it isn’t true? The Bible only teaches that which is true, you know. Or is Jesus just playing games with us? Hardly!
Jesus’ words will sustain you against the enemy. Learn them. Memorize them. Weaponize them against all the evil agencies that play on your heart and emotions and get you to do things you know are wrong. When a temptation comes, pray for Christ to renew His power in your life and then throw the weapon of Scripture at the enemy. It will hit him right where it counts, like the stone that David threw at Goliath. Now listen to what Jesus says in verse 36.
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”
He is saying that we cannot know the day and the hour, but we can know that it is near based on the signs of the times, the events that are unfolding in the world around us. You know, I think it is interesting that there are those who are on both sides of the issue. Some say that we don’t have to worry about the end being near. A Sunday law isn’t in the works. We can’t overcome all sin and therefore don’t have to think about the end of time as described in the Scriptures and the book The Great Controversy. On the other hand, others are saying that the close of probation for God’s people is on a certain date. We are seeing the enemy use even good men to fight the truth of God on both sides of the issue.
In Mark 13:33, the apostle repeats and enlarges the thought by adding:
“Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.”
The enemy is doing everything he can to keep you distracted, to keep you entertained, to keep you so busy that you neglect to spend time with Jesus and learn of Him in His word. But, we are to “watch and pray that we enter not into temptation.” (Matthew 26:41)
This does not sound like we should ignore fulfilling Bible prophecy and forget about understanding the end times. We are called in this last generation to especially pay attention to the things that have to do with the coming of the Lord. Again, Jesus mentions the signs of the times. Listen to Him in Matthew 24:37-39.
“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
God’s last generation, who proclaim the three angels’ messages and the message of the fourth angel of Revelation 18 to “come out of her my people,” will be treated much like people treated Noah in the days before the flood. They ridiculed him, they mocked him, and they said how impossible it was for a flood to come upon the earth. They had their scientists proclaiming the foolishness of thinking a flood was coming. They tried to say that Noah was a deluded old man and that the end of the world was not imminent. They tried to get him to give up, stop His preaching, and stop building the ark. The same is true today. They will try to make you look like a fool and get you to give up telling people about the coming of Jesus, the coming worship laws, and our message.
Then, in Noah’s time, the liberal pastors came out and opposed Noah by proclaiming that God is so loving that He will not destroy the earth with a flood. They tried to tell the people that Noah was a false prophet and that his view of the last generation of his day was false. “The end of the world is not coming,” they said. “We are not the last generation. We are not to think that we are somehow a special people with a special message. What makes you think you’re so special, Noah?”
They paraded their theologians and seminary professors who gave academic credibility to the argument that God’s character is so full of love that He would not destroy even the wicked. They used very subtle and deceptive theological arguments to dissuade the people from accepting Noah’s prediction. And, you know what? They were largely successful! Do you think the same could be true of our time?
And what happened? The days before the flood were just like every other day. Not a cloud in the sky. Not the slightest change in the climate. The earth remained in its pristine beauty right up until the day that the floods came and washed everything away. God cleansed that wicked generation. What makes us think He will not do similarly with ours? Now, verse 40 and 41:
“Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”
Jesus is trying to tell us that life will go on just as it always has. The righteous and the wicked will live together until the harvest. They could be in the same church. They could be in the same home. One is destroyed and the other is left. What? How is this? In the days of Noah, almost all the people on the planet were destroyed by the overwhelming surprise. They were taken away. Only Noah and his family were left; they were saved. This verse is not about some secret rapture that takes some away and leaves some others behind; it is about a far more devastating event. Those that are taken are those that are destroyed by the judgments of God, just like in the days of Noah. Those that are left are those that are saved out of it, like Noah and his family.
Now we come to our main point today. We are to do something. We are to be active.
Listen to this from Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, page 452.
“God has revealed what is to take place in the last days, that His people may be prepared to stand against the tempest of opposition and wrath. Those who have been warned of the events before them are not to sit in calm expectation of the coming storm, comforting themselves that the Lord will shelter His faithful ones in the day of trouble. We are to be as men waiting for their Lord, not in idle expectancy, but in earnest work, with unwavering faith. It is no time now to allow our minds to be engrossed with things of minor importance. While men are sleeping, Satan is actively arranging matters so that the Lord’s people may not have mercy or justice. The Sunday movement is now making its way in darkness. The leaders are concealing the true issue, and many who unite in the movement do not themselves see whither the undercurrent is tending. Its professions are mild and apparently Christian, but when it shall speak it will reveal the spirit of the dragon. It is our duty to do all in our power to avert the threatened danger.”
You see, we are not to just sit idly by waiting for something to happen. We are to work for souls, studying our Bibles and sharing the truth with others. Notice that the enemy is arranging matters so that you will not have mercy or justice, and he is doing it in darkness and secrecy, concealing the truth while men are sleeping.
If the enemy is preparing for the total onslaught against God’s people in darkness and secrecy, wouldn’t you expect that just at the time when it is all about to happen, he would send his agents among God’s true people and try to dissuade them from teaching the principles that made them what they are? Wouldn’t he try to diminish the value of the Sabbath in their minds? Wouldn’t he try to bring them into conflict and confusion over false doctrine and over unbiblical practices like women’s ordination? Wouldn’t he want to get them arguing and fighting with each other over many different distractions? He’ll do anything to keep you from knowing and proclaiming the truth, won’t he?
So, what are we to do? Listen to verse 42 of Matthew 24:
“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”
Oh, so we are to watch. Wouldn’t you think that at the very time when God’s people should be watching the signs of the times and praying earnestly for Christ to rule their lives; at the very time when the signs of the coming of Christ are fulfilling before our eyes that the enemy would try to get people to turn away? And hasn’t he been successful at that?
We don’t know when our Lord will come, but we are to pay attention to the signs that tell us that His coming is near. And if we know those signs, we will know how close we are. When we are watching, if we are doing what Jesus told us to do, we are not going to be saying that worship laws aren’t coming. We are not going to argue against the principles of the last generation, the remnant, the sanctuary in heaven and the investigative judgment. If you are paying attention, it is clear that every detail of the end times that the Bible predicted is being fulfilled in our time.
Some may try to tell us that our clear biblical interpretation on Revelation 13 is not going to happen as we have thought. In reality, they are just telling you to go to sleep and not watch. How many people are going to be lost because they heeded the words of these wicked servants who try to discourage people from believing the truth?
Now, verse 43.
“But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.”
This verse has several levels. First, it is easy to be awake and watching if the thief tells you when he is coming to break in and steal. But, does the thief do that? No, he comes when least expected. He comes at a time when the attention of the householder is on other things. He comes at a time when the householder is looking the other way. If you are going to protect your house and valuables, you’d better be watching constantly.
Listen to this from The Great Controversy, page 508.
“When Christians choose the society of the ungodly and unbelieving, they expose themselves to temptation. Satan conceals himself from view and stealthily draws his deceptive covering over their eyes. They cannot see that such company is calculated to do them harm; and while all the time assimilating to the world in character, words, and actions, they are becoming more and more blinded.”
Do you see that any slackness and folding of the hands to rest will lead you to ruin by deception? Your eyes will be covered and you will not see how the enemy has ensnared you. You will then fight the message of truth.
A second level is that the house of the church has been infiltrated. While people aren’t watching, while they are sleeping in Laodicean slumber, the enemy has come in among them and has gained credibility. Now, he has placed his agents in many positions of responsibility. They are charged with the task of telling the people that they don’t have to overcome their sins. They say that God’s people don’t have anything to worry about, that the end is not near, and that they need to trust Jesus only to forgive their sins. They diminish the need to overcome, since you can’t be perfect anyway. There is no need to plead with Christ to come into your life and change you. There is no need to follow all of Scripture. Friends, these ideas are deadly. Now listen to verse 44.
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
“In such an hour as ye think not.” What is Jesus saying? He is saying that at the very time when you are not paying attention, at the very time when you have lulled yourself to sleep, at the very time when you think it is most unlikely that Jesus will come, that is the very time when He WILL come. In other words, it will surprise those who are not watching the signs of the times.
If you heed those who say that you don’t have to concern yourself with Bible prophecy and end-time events, you will be caught by surprise. If you let yourself fall into a spiritual slumber so that you are happy to hear smooth things and nice superficial homilies, you will be caught by a devastating surprise. If you let yourself become satisfied with the evangelical teachings of the fallen daughters of Babylon, you will be left without protection when the judgments of God shall fall. Isaiah 30:9-10 says this:
“That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.”
Here is a powerful statement from Gospel Workers, page 85:
“Never was there greater need of faithful warnings and reproofs, and close, straight dealing, than at this very time. Satan has come down with great power, knowing that his time is short. He is flooding the world with pleasing fables, and the people of God love to have smooth things spoken to them. Sin and iniquity are not abhorred. I was shown that God’s people must make more firm, determined efforts to press back the incoming darkness. The close work of the Spirit of God is needed now as never before. Stupidity must be shaken off. We must arouse from the lethargy that will prove our destruction unless we resist it. Satan has a powerful, controlling influence upon minds. Preachers and people are in danger of being found upon the side of the powers of darkness. There is no such thing now as a neutral position. We are all decidedly for the right, or decidedly with the wrong. Christ said, ‘He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.’ [Matthew 12:30.]”
We need to heed the words of Jesus, don’t we? He did not say them to entertain us. He did not say them because He was just trying to play a little game with us. He said them because He meant them.
“In such an hour as ye think not.” These words tell us never to think that His coming isn’t near. Yes, there are delays to our human reckoning, but they teach us not to rely on human reasoning.
Voices among us today are telling us that, instead of moving toward a Sunday law and the end-time circumstances that lead up to it, the whole of society is moving the other direction. People are becoming less interested in Sunday worship and less interested in religion all together. These voices want you to stop thinking about fulfilling prophecy and current events. They want you to stop thinking that the time of trouble and the end are near.
While it is true that society is moving away from religiosity and even a Sunday law, the elements for severe persecution of God’s people are being put in place. Everything is already in place from torture in secret prisons to unlimited detention without a trial; from trial by tribunal instead of a jury of peers to financial controls on those designated as extremists; and even massive surveillance. Yet, people hardly whimper a protest. I mean, the government has resurrected the principles of the inquisition in modern society; do you think it isn’t getting ready to use those principles?
Many of these provisions have come as a means of fighting terrorism. But the definitions of terrorism expand over time. Anyone who is labeled an extremist is going to be treated like the terrorists, right down to the no-buy-no-sell law predicted in Revelation 13:17. I believe that the enemy is stealthily stealing into our ranks and putting us to sleep by smooth things even as he is gutting the U.S. Constitution and making new laws designed to fight terrorism.
Think about it a little. Wouldn’t the enemy want to create circumstances that look like society is going away from religion rather than moving toward it? Wouldn’t the enemy encourage all manner of wickedness and evil just so that God’s people will think that the book The Great Controversy isn’t really correct? Wouldn’t he want you to think that it will be a long, long time until these things are being fulfilled? Of course he would!
That is exactly what he has done.
Can you see how the popular and influential evangelical preachers and mega-church pastors are pressing in on the president of the United States right now? They are working to overturn years of liberal and leftist progress. They are working quietly to change the courts, the military, and even the fundamental thinking of Americans. They are working hand-in-hand with the bishops who are guiding them and teaching them how to do politics.
The devil knows that, when great disasters come upon the world, human nature will naturally think that these are the judgments of God upon the nations for their iniquities. Then, don’t you think that people will turn away from their secularism and tolerance of evil and turn to God, at least in a superficial way? Just look at what happened after 9-11. The churches were crowded for a while at least. Or look at what happened with the missile scare in Hawaii a few years ago when a technician pushed the wrong button at the change of shift. People panicked and even atheists were praying.
It will be very easy for the enemy to stir up the souls of wicked men and women, making them sound religious and very committed to Christ. They will pray. They will earnestly plead for righteousness. They will ask the nation to enforce Sunday worship so that those secular people will get some religion and convert to Christ. All it takes is a few natural disasters once all the elements of coercion and persecution are in place. It’s not going to be difficult at all, because the enemy knows that most people think Sunday is the right day of worship and the day to go to church – God’s day of rest.
Now let us read verse 45 of Matthew 24.
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?”
What is that meat in due season? It is the word of God; it is deep Bible knowledge and wisdom. It is not superficial teaching. It is the truth concerning righteousness by faith and how to overcome sin. I need that in my own life, and you need it in yours. We must experience it. And, we must be faithful to teach the truth and oppose the error for all we are worth. Unless we turn from sin in our own lives, though, we will never be able to do that. Look at verse 46.
“Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.”
Luke 12:37 says, “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.”
You see, true happiness comes to us when we are doing exactly what Jesus wants us to do, feeding ourselves on the Word and then sharing it with others.
Jesus says that the faithful servant will “gird himself.” What does this mean? It means that he will study to show himself “approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). He will learn the Scriptures and put on the armor of the Lord. Here it is from Ephesians 6:13-17.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” The next verse says we are to pray and watch with all perseverance.
When you have on the armor of the Lord that means you know your Bible. You love Jesus more than anything else, and you have dedicated your life to him. You obey His instructions to pray and watch with all perseverance. Your will follows His will. You submit yourself to His control in all things, meaning that Jesus has come into your life by your daily invitation and He gives you victory over the enemy. Then, you are ready to share with others.
So, start a Bible study or a home fellowship. You can do it! Just invite your neighbors over for dinner one night a week. Show them how to cook vegan or plant-based food. Treat them well. They will ask questions. Then, when the meal is over, you can invite them to the living room for a little Bible study. Talk to them about Jesus. Tell them of His love and power. Keep it simple. But let them see that you love Jesus. Make your prayer simple and sincere, while giving others the opportunity to pray if they want to. God will reward you with new friends and He will show you those who have an interest in knowing more. Keep inviting new people. I have friends who do this and they are having wonderful experiences. People caught up in sin and addictions want freedom. They want to know God. Feed them and they will respond – not everyone, but those who have a soul hunger for Jesus.
Let us now read Matthew 24:47.
“Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.”
Friends, what are God’s goods? His goods are the principles found in the Word of God. The more you share them with others, the more you become familiar with and master them yourself. And we need to master the Word of God, don’t we? His goods become your goods. You control them in your life and in your speech, so that others see them and believe. If you want to master God’s goods and be able to be a powerful witness, then share the Word with others.
Now, verse 48 to 51.
“But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming. And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Those who tell us that the Lord’s coming is going to be delayed; that we don’t need to understand the prophecies; and that we should not concern ourselves with the coming time of trouble are really doing the enemy’s work. I don’t care if they are in very high positions in the reputable seminaries or in church leadership. They are doing the enemy’s work. They are working against Christ and they are trying to cause you to be lost. It’s that simple.
They may accuse you of being a fanatic or a legalist, but, really, isn’t that what people did to Noah? And what did they do to Christ? They mocked Him too, even though He was the King of Glory. They completely missed the boat. They were deceived into thinking that they were okay. After all, they thought they were defending the truth, while, in reality, they were crucifying the truth. And that is the way it is now. There are men and women among us who would sacrifice all that we have stood for and all that we have taught about the remnant and the three angels’ messages. They want to turn you away from the truth and turn you to fables.
Notice His choice of words in that last section of Matthew 24. What do those people, who teach that the Lord is delaying His coming, do to those that teach the truth? They begin to smite their fellow brethren. What does this mean? It means that they will criticize and accuse those who teach the truth about the last generation. It means that they will falsely say they are legalists. They will say that these people are heretics and must be shunned. It is already happening, my friends! It is already in operation.
I recently listened to a sermon by a high-placed leader who did just that. He demonized those who believe in last generation doctrines and the truth on righteousness by faith. It stirred my indignation. I can see where this is leading. I can see that it is taking us to the ecumenical movement. I can see that it will overthrow the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 and the fourth angel’s message of Revelation 18. I can see that it is leading us back to Rome just like all the other churches out there. These men have no love for the last generation. It may mean that they will even turn you over to the authorities for prosecution one day. Don’t think there is going to be mercy or justice!
As we close, I want to tell you that, though we are living in a confusing time, we are nevertheless not left helpless. Christ will help you understand these things. He will give you an experience with Himself that will strengthen you for every trial. He will give you His all-sufficient grace, which, by the way, empowers you to overcome the enemy.
May God bless you and keep you in His love and care and in His word. Let us pray.
Father in heaven, great is Thy faithfulness. And great is Thy grace. Father, have mercy on us. Help us to see the truth as it is in Jesus. Help us to penetrate the darkness with the light of truth. Give us Your presence and, most of all, make us overcomers through Your power living in us. Let every temptation fall helpless at our feet. And thank You for being such a powerful God that can save to the uttermost all that come unto You by Jesus. In His name I pray, amen.