Sunday, September 29, 2019

Feast of Trumpets - 'Thy Kingdom Come'

by Michael C. Garrett

Hello everyone! Welcome to Owensboro, Kentucky. Welcome to NOT a weekly church service of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ – but rather – welcome to an annual Holy Day! We’re here today celebrating and commemorating, and trying to learn, the Feast of Trumpets!

So, would all of you please turn in your Bibles to Leviticus 23. Leviticus 23 is the one chapter in the Bible that gives all of the information about the holy days. And there’s a thumbnail sketch on every holy day. 

Now, there may be some of you that say, “Well, what do you mean holy days!?” Well, the Bible doesn’t talk about Christmas, or Ishtar (Easter), or Halloween. But the Bible does list a number of annual holy days. It starts in the spring with a ceremony called the Passover – or the Lord’s Supper, then Unleavened Bread for a week, and then Pentecost in the early summer. And also, all of these days you can find on our website - And then in the fall of the year, you have the Feast of Trumpets - which we’re speaking about today. And then in nine days, we’ll have the Day of Atonement, and then a few days after that begins the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day. And for those of you who are familiar with these terms, it just sounds perfectly normal. However, if you’re not used to hearing these terms, they might sound odd – like what’s those!? 

Now, the Feast of Trumpets is mentioned here in Leviticus 23:24 – “’ Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, …’” – which is early fall. “ … ‘on the first day of the month, …’” – which means a new moon. If you tried to see the moon last night, you wouldn’t have seen it. Because anytime it says ‘the first day of the month’ that means new moon. “ …’ you shall have a Sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing trumpets, a holy convocation.’” 

And, that’s why we’re here today – it’s a biblical commandment. It’s not a suggestion. It’s something you really need to do and want to do. And, when we get to the Day of Atonement, I’m going to go through some sections of the Book of Revelation – where it’s basically an outline of end-time events. And we’re going to look at that term ‘a memorial of blowing of trumpets.’ Because in the Book of Revelation there are seven trumpets mentioned. And I’ll connect all of that on the Day of Atonement – to give you a continuous flow from the Feast of Trumpets to the Day of Atonement.

Now the Feast of Trumpets is a day in God’s holy day calendar which signifies – commemorates and looks forward to – the return of Jesus Christ to this earth!

Thy Kingdom Come … Soon.’ 

Well, turn with me, if you will, to the Book of Matthew. That phrase, ‘Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done On earth as it is in Heaven,’ is a very important phrase in my life! When I was a young boy my family went to the Methodist Church in Rockport, Indiana. And, I didn’t know anything about it – I just got awakened early Sunday morning and taken off. I know about the time I was a sophomore or junior in high school I quit going – it didn’t mean anything to me. It was just sort of a bunch of weird ceremonies as far as I could figure out. Now, they had their ‘propaganda class’ – their confirmation. The Catholics use the term ‘catechism.’ They were attempting to teach you about being a Methodist. Well - and I’ve told this story before - it was Wednesday afternoon, and a lot of my buddies were there. I loved going there because they served chocolate milk. Well, I’m sitting there waiting for my chocolate milk and the teacher, the lady up there with her little pamphlet, reading through it, and she came to the so-called ‘Lord’s Prayer.’ ‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on EARTH as it is in Heaven.’ My twelve-year-old brain heard the words she read. And I raised up my twelve-year-old little hand and said, “Teacher, does that mean exactly what I think it means!?” And she said, “What!?” “Does that mean that the Kingdom of God is coming to the Earth!?” I asked. And she got very flustered, she was not prepared for this, she wasn’t trained for it. And after about thirty seconds of very quiet elongated silence, she squinted her eyes at me as if to say, “You are a no-good trouble maker!”

And He says in verse 9 – “’ In this manner, …’” – because the mislabeled ‘Lord’s Prayer’ is more of an outline of how we should pray. It’s a suggestion of how to put your thoughts together when you go to Him in prayer. “ … ‘therefore, pray: Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name.’” – and just real quick here – the word ‘Father.’ We sometimes refer to our biological father as father or dad. I often called my dad popo. As he got older and as he started to decline I called him dad more – I guess you could say I had a sense of empathy for his condition.

And on a side note – I received an email last night from Trevor up in Illinois. And I won’t describe the whole email, but he just said that his father wasn’t doing well and that he had Parkinson’s and he had some strokes – and the word strokes plural was there. And Trevor was just saying that it had been a real sort of sad day – he’d gone to see his father. But I just say for all of you – remember Trevor Koonce in your prayers and his father. Ask Father to help give Trevor the strength to help his father and to give his father and mother strength and peace. I think I even emphasized that in my short reply – that Trevor and his parents need peace. May his father get physical peace, mental peace, emotional peace, and spiritual peace.

And, he also gave a comment about some of the sermons I’ve given recently where I have read articles in the paper about the Catholic Church. How so many young people – like in one area in Pennsylvania  - a grand jury recorded over a thousand young people had been abused – sexually abused – for over seventy years! And they had at least three-hundred priests as abusers! Now, you can have a rotten apple in any bag or barrel – but this was THREE-HUNDRED! And, also, I had read how the state of New York had opened up an investigation into the Catholic churches and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York! And this thing isn’t just going to go away – the Catholic Church is in deep doo-doo! And, it’s gone all the way up to the pope and how he – alleged – helped cover things up. And Trevor had made a quick reference to that.

And, when I see the phrase, ‘Our Father’ – and  Jesus Christ said, ‘Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in Heaven.’” But here, the Roman Catholic Church – they give their priest the title of father!? And then the pope is often called the ‘holy father’!? And this is a blasphemous term!! I know that Catholics don’t see that and don’t understand it – but to an outsider that has studied the Word of God – yeah,  that’s blasphemous!! Because the title ‘Father’ – in a spiritual context – should be reserved for God the Father and only God the Father!

And here at the very beginning of this sample prayer, ‘Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name.’” And here, the Roman Catholic Church has appropriated that term and as applied it to their so-called religious leaders.

Verse 10 – “’ Your kingdom come. …’” – and this is what this woman teacher was reading, and I’m guessing at the time she was about forty-five years of age. “ … ‘Your will be done On EARTH as it is in Heaven.’” – and to me at the age of twelve, it was just so clear. Now, keep in mind, the Methodist Church – all the time that I was around it – I never heard them referring to the return of Jesus Christ, or the setting up of the kingdom of God on the EARTH. An actual kingdom with the leader being Jesus Christ. I never heard those ideas. Well, my little twelve-year-old mind – with the help of God I’m sure – saw that for exactly what it meant! That Jesus is saying, ‘Thy kingdom will come on the EARTH.’ The first time that my mind got introduced to the idea of the kingdom of God returning to the earth. And this is what the Feast of Trumpets is really all about – the ultimate goal of the Feast of Trumpets. The return of Jesus Christ to the earth – the setting up of the kingdom of God, the resurrection of the saints (living or dead) joining Jesus Christ! 

Let’s turn to Matthew 24 if you would. Now, Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 are all called the “Olivet Prophecy.” And, near the end of His human life, Jesus gave an outline of end-time events. And, indeed, He is talking about the meaning of the Feast of Trumpets as we go through these passages 

“Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.” And Jesus sensing this as a great teaching moment – verse 2 – “And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? …’” – all the magnificent buildings of the temple – “ … ‘Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’” Now, later on at His mock trial, false witnesses were basically hired to say that He was going to tear down the temple. And that’s not what He said here. He just said, ‘Look around, these walls are coming down!’

Verse 3 – “Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, …’”  -the RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST – “ … ‘and of the end of the age?’”

Now, there was an age the earth existed for a time when human beings did not exist on the earth. We know this to be true – we look around and we find dinosaur bones and deposits of oil and coal. The earth had a long history before human beings were allowed to be on earth. And then we also know there will come a time when the kingdom of God will come to the earth! Jesus Christ, the kingdom of God, New Jerusalem – and this will be another age. And so they are asking, ‘What is the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age – the end of man being in charge of mankind!?’ Because when Jesus returns – Jesus Christ and the Family of GOD will be in charge of ordering the earth and keeping the earth and in governing the earth and the people on it! 

And then Jesus said, verse 4 – “ … ‘Take heed that no one deceives you.’” – speaking of religious deception. And that’s a huge event! It’s a huge event in the mind of Jesus and what has actually happened! And it’s very difficult for people to figure it out. If you go up and speak with a Methodist and if you were to say – sort of impolitely – “Hey friend, the Methodist Church is all screwed up! It’s false teaching, false doctrine!” Well, you’re not going to win any friends, and you’re going to gain an enemy or two really quick. You can do the same thing if you go to the Baptists. You can do the same thing to Pentecostals, and it will enrage them. Lutherans, Catholics – and just go down the whole list.

The other night up at the concert for Ivan Parker. I hadn’t been there but about 10-15 seconds when the pastor from that church lights upon me like a vulture looking for new meat! And, I’m just there to hear Ivan Parker – but he comes up and says, “Well, where do you go to church!?” And, he’s trying to make a convert. And I was polite to him, but I thought – come on, come on! Back off buddy! You appear as a vulture, perched on a tree limb looking down at a carcass.

Now, if I had said – and I might not have been able to watch the concert  - “Well friend, your doctrines are all screwed up - and are not reflective of the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible. You are a false teacher and you are a false prophet!” And, if I would have said that, I probably would have been escorted out! Not a good way to handle people, you’ll not win any friends.

Verse 5 – “’ For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I [Jesus of Nazareth] am the Christ [the Messiah], and will deceive many.’ – as they use the name of Jesus and end up confusing people - they will deceive many. And – on my little perch on the world – everywhere I look I see religious deception. I see religious deception in America – with all of these groups that claim that Jesus is the Christ. And yet they do not teach His doctrine. They do not go by His Words. And, if you go into a Jewish synagogue – and I know there’s a lot of people who think there’s something “holy” about the Jewish religion – friends, the Jewish religion of today is just as screwed up as Catholicism and Protestantism. And a lot of you have this sort of “worship” of the Jewish religion – as if that’s the way to go. And many of the doctrines of the churches of God – the descendants which came from the Worldwide Church of God – are screwed up. Because they are continuing to teach Old Covenant principles – because they think the Jewish religion is somehow superior. And I’m telling you – the Jewish religion is just as out-of-step and antiquated as any other religion.

Well, let’s talk about Islam. You know there are people who go, “Well, Islam is a great religion! A religion of peace!” No, it’s not! The Muslims give very little credence to Jesus Christ. And if Jesus Christ is not the central core of your teaching – you are a false religion. So, the Muslims are all screwed up. And you go even farther – Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and all the other isms. Even including the so-called religions of the Native Americans – and I’ve heard people say, “Oh, they were such spiritual people!” No, they weren’t! Some of the tribes – if you got old they would just leave you behind and let you freeze. A civilized religion!? Civilized people!? No – ask George Armstrong Custer if he thinks the Native Americans were a wonderful people. I think he would tell you, “Hell no!”

Well, much religious deception has taken place. And Jesus said it would.

Verse 6 – “’ And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. …’

And I actually believe that verse 7 is referring to the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel 11.

Where the kingdoms of the North will engage in terrible battle in the end-time with the kingdoms of the South. That a Catholicentric European collection of nations will take on an Islamic centered collection of nations. And that will actually lead to the events of the return of Jesus Christ.

“ … ‘And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8) All these are the beginning of sorrows.’

And then, I think He’s talking directly to members of the Body of Christ. Verse 9 – “’ Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10) And then many …’” – and again I think He’s speaking to the Body of Christ – “ … ‘will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.’

And, truly, that is happening! And I’ve said this before – and by no means do I hate the so-called leader of the ICG – I am troubled by how many he is also deceiving. There are people looking to him for the path of salvation, and he doesn’t even mention nor write the name Jesus Christ – or rarely does so. And if you do not follow Jesus Christ, you will not be in the kingdom of God! And some of those people will end up in the second death – the lake of fire. That’s why this disturbs me. And I feel sorry (cf. Romans 12:14-15) for the people who are being misled by him and his little cadre – his sycophants.

Verse 11 – “’ Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.’” – and yes, have there! Verse 12 – “’ And because lawlessness will abound, the love … ‘” - the Greek word agapē. And this love comes only if you have once been in close contact with Jesus Christ and God the Father, and They have at one time shared with you Their Spirit – Their mind. Recall, the number-one fruit of the Spirit is love. Agapē love – that God-like love. And yet, it says here, that ‘the agapē of many will grow cold.’ And I’m sad to say – I think I know some people that ‘the love of God has been vanquished from their heart.’ And that’s sad – because they could very well have a future encounter with the lake of fire. Verse 13 – “’ But he who endures to the end shall be saved.’” – again, He’s speaking to the Body of Christ.

Verse 14 – “’ And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness …’” – and that word witness there is the same word as describing the Two Witnesses from the Book of Revelation.

That’s how the end-time gospel shall be preached. Now, back in the old days – for those of you who know of the Worldwide Church of God - whose leader was this so-called leader of the ICGs grandfather – and in truth, many descendants of the Worldwide Church of God continue to practice the misappropriation of this verse, reading it as– “And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a WARNING and a WITNESS unto all nations, …” Well, He just said the TRUTH OF GOD will be preached, but human beings incorrectly, I think, came up with the idea that THEY would be the ones doing the preaching! And in TRUTH – in the end-time – that Message will come from JESUS CHRIST and His very few (possibly 12) chosen “end-time prophets.” It’s not referring to printing presses, and radio stations, and T.V. and all of that, which the Worldwide Church of God tried to convince its members, “Hey, we’ve got to pump out all this information. So send more money. Send more money. We’ve got to pump out more information. Because if we don’t do this job, Jesus Christ can’t return.” Well, Jesus Christ isn’t going to rely upon the sometimes-half-hearted efforts of human beings! He’s going to take care of that job Himself! The Two Witnesses for 3½ years will have the power from God and Jesus to do untold miracles! The world has never seen nor imagined – Jesus said, they ‘will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.’ And the Two Witnesses will stand up for the kingdom of God and for Jesus Christ and the truth of God – and in the end, they will be murdered. And then a few days later they will be resurrected – brought back to life – and they, I think, get to meet Jesus Christ! And I think they’re the first two people to meet Jesus. And then later on the SEVENTH TRUMP, all the living and dead who died in Christ – who lived in Christ – will be resurrected.

“ … ‘to all nations, and then the end will come.’” – that work will be done by the Two Witnesses – and the end-time prophets! A concept that this so-called leader, his father, and his grandfather never taught.

However, once upon a time, during a holy day, I was down at a lake in Alabama with Mr. James Lamb – who died in 2011; a truly wonderful man with a wonderful spirit – and we were hanging out together and all of a sudden Garner Ted Armstrong joined us – this so-called leaders father – as we were in a motel room chatting and telling stories. And all of a sudden Mr. Lamb says, “Mike, tell Mr. Ted those things which you told me!” And I thought – I wasn’t expecting this! But I began and went through the idea of the ‘end-time witnesses.’ Something that this so-called leaders grandfather never taught. And so, Mr. Ted sat there with just a poker face – and didn’t respond in any way. And then, later on, Mr. Lamb and Mr. Ted were together, and Mr. Lamb said to him, “The things which Mike said, what do you think about them!?” And, Mr. Lamb later told me that Mr. Ted had looked at him and said, “Mr. Lamb, everything that Mike said is correct. It’s how it will happen.” But Mr. Ted never had the courage to stand up in public and announce it.

Well, He goes on to say, verse 15 “’ Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), 16) ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17) Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18) And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20) And pray that your flight may not be in the winter or on the Sabbath.’

And then, verse 21a VERY IMPORTANT VERSE – “’ For then [IN THE END-TIME] there will be great tribulation, …’” – great troubles – “ … ‘such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.’” – the worst period of human history is just beyond the horizon! It’s like Hurricane Katrina which struck Florida and Louisiana in August 2005 – causing catastrophic damage and over 1,836 known deaths! – which before this behemoth formed as a tropical depression the people had no clue of the utter devastation which would later take place. People were going to die – and they didn’t know it! Well, in a similar analogy, this end-time event is going to occur – and most of the people of this world are totally ignorant of it! And they don’t know about it because their preachers and teachers don’t know enough to tell them about it. And that is sad.

And it will be so bad, as we read in verse 22 – “’ And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; …’” – no human flesh. It’s going to get so traumatic with nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons, famine, pestilences – diseases, that human life – human flesh – is in jeopardy of going extinct. “ … ‘but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.’

Now, I’ve always thought: Well, IF God resurrects His people – His spiritual people; the spiritual House of Israel – ON THE SEVENTH TRUMP, and we know that the Battle of Armageddon is about the Sixth of the Seven Last Plagues – the Day of the LORD, theoretically, everyone who should have been resurrected has already been resurrected, so, to whom was He referring!? I think most of the decades I’ve been around the Church, it was sort-of assumed, and I think incorrectly, that those ‘elect’s’ was somehow the Church members. But keep in mind, IF you properly understand the order of events, the Church member’s – the people who have God’s Spirit – will at that time have been resurrected already. So, who are the ‘elect’? Well, notice what it says in Isaiah 45:4 – “’ For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, …’” Who’s He saving the earth for!? … He’s saving the elect as in physical Israel. For the sake of the physical people of Israel, those days will be shortened.

Verse 23 – “’ Then if anyone says to you, …’” – at this end-time trauma. And, I like to use the phrase ‘end-time trauma’ because in the old days they kept using the phrase, ‘the great tribulation.’ And I got so tired of hearing that! And I finally pointed out - look, the three-word phrase, ‘the great tribulation’ NEVER appears in your Bible as a phrase! “’ Then if anyone [during those traumatic times] says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.’” – there will be a lot of fakes and frauds! Verse 24 – “’ For false christs and false prophets will rise …’” – including some within the Roman Catholic Church. And that’s just the way it’s going to happen. “ … ‘and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25) See, I have told you beforehand.’” – implying that you won’t be deceived because you will know the truth.

Then in verse 26 – “’ Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ …” – ‘Oh, there’s a little place He’s hanging out – the Petra Desert.’ “ …’ do not go out; …’” – it’s a fraud, it’s a sham! “ … ‘or ‘Look, He is in the inner [chambers]!’ do not believe it.’ – there won’t be anything secret about the return of Jesus Christ!

There’s a term which has developed basically within the last century among some fundamentalist type churches of the Christian ilk talking about the rapture. And this is simply not a correct theological teaching. And many times when people use the words, they say, “the secret rapture.” Well, there won’t be any secrets when Jesus is returning! Because, as Jesus says in verse 27  – “’ For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man.’” – I think this verse means – that when the throne of God, when New Jerusalem, begins to return to this earth, at some point it will be a little small light in the night sky. And the next night it will be a little brighter – like the star Sirius. And then, it becomes more and more obvious – and people will look up and go, “What is that!?” Now, most of the people of the world will think it’s – and they really will – an invading alien force. Because the United States of America – especially since mid-1947 – has been fascinated with space aliens and extra-terrestrials. And friends, the military forces will actually stop fighting amongst themselves – and this is what causes World War 3 to end -  and train their weapons on this returning light which is becoming brighter in the night sky. Indeed, aliens are coming from outer space, but the aliens will be Jesus Christ and God the Father and all of the holy angels of God! New Jerusalem! And their weapons won’t have a single effect. But when Jesus returns to the atmosphere all of those armed forces will be destroyed! Well over 200 million military personnel will be destroyed by the One we call Jesus Christ! Who said it Himself in the Book of Exodus, “The LORD is a Man of war!” The first time He came He was a quiet humble lamb. When He returns, He is an avenging lion! And He won’t put up with this garbage anymore!

Verse 28 – “’ For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.’” – meaning, wherever Jesus is – eventually – the saints of God (living and dead) will be brought to Him. Verse 29 – “’ Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, …’” – now, many people think that means meteorites and comets. I think it means Satan and his demons will be expunged from the atmosphere of the earth. Remember one time Jesus said, “’ I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’”? There will be a great spiritual war we’re told in the Book of Revelation – Michael the great archangel, and all of his subordinate angels will directly engage in spiritual warfare with Satan and his demons. And Michael and all the holy angels will be victorious! And Satan will be vanquished to the earth. And I think that’s what this passage here is talking about. “ … ‘and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30) Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven [in the atmosphere], and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.’” – this is the soon return of Jesus Christ! There is nothing secret about it! Verse 31 – “’ And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, …’” – remember, FEAST OF TRUMPETS!

‘A memorial of blowing trumpets’ we read earlier in Leviticus 23. “ … ‘and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’

So, let’s now turn t0 1 Thessalonians. 1 Thessalonians was the very first Book of the New Testament which was written. And it was written by the Apostle Paul. The great warrior for Christ! What a fantastic person – and what service he gave for God!

1 Thessalonians 3:13 – “so that He may establish your hearts [unblameable – that He is Jesus Christ] in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” – the resurrected saints. And, that resurrection takes place on THE SEVENTH TRUMP.

Then, 1 Thessalonians 4:13“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, …”

Now, there will be some true Christians – who truly have the mind of Christ – that are alive when Jesus Christ returns. And there will literally be hundreds of thousands - maybe millions that have died – having had God’s Spirit and their names are written in the Book of Life. “… concerning those who have fallen asleep, …” – now the word asleep here means death. And I know that this flies in the face of what most Protestants and Catholics believe. The Bible – in the Book of Ezekiel – says, “The soul that sins, it shall die.” Yet, most of the churches of this world go, “You will not surely die!” As Satan the devil, who lied to Eve in the garden of Eden said. They continue, “No, you don’t die, you go off to Heaven, or you go to Hell.” However – death is sleep. A dead person is not in Heaven, nor are your loved ones – even your crazy uncle that loved to do things –  not in Hell! No, if they’ve died, they are only in their grave – sleeping. They have no awareness of the passage of time. My mother and father, and my grandmother – all so very important in my life – they are all sleeping together up in Patoka, Indiana. They know no pain. They’re not awake – they are like when you go into an operating room and they give you anesthesia and you become unconscious. They are not writhing in the depths of Hell. And yet, most people believe in a Hell. They believe it because they’ve been taught it since they were in diapers. When you die, you just simply “go to sleep.” 

“… concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.” – now, I’ve been to funerals where the family members and the loved ones were so distraught. So unbelievably distraught. I’ve told before about – out in Arizona a woman who used to work at the school where I taught. Sadly she developed brain cancer – probably the same type that John McCain had along with other people. They tried to treat it, but eventually, she died. And, I went to her funeral out of respect. And after the funeral, they wanted you to pass by the casket. And, I remember there was a young girl, and when she came up to the open casket, she began to scream hysterically – because of the ghastly sight! The woman’s head was swollen to the point where it didn’t look human. And I remember thinking – why are they putting people through this!? This is not how she wants to be remembered. But anyway, we got out to the graveyard, they placed her on the casket lowering device. And before they lowered her down her husband threw himself on the casket crying incessantly – unhuman sounds! And her two grown sons looked at each other – and threw themselves on the casket! And they were just sobbing! It was a hideous sight! And I’m not disputing their pain and grief – but it was such an ugly spectacle to me I left. I couldn’t take anymore. Not because I was about to cry – I remembered this very verse - “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.” So, people who say they believe in Jesus – they say, “Well, my loved one will go off to Heaven,” and yet, at the funeral, they are devastated! And every time I see it I go, “If you really believed that your loved one was in Heaven, you wouldn’t be distraught – you’d be celebrating!” If you really believed it! But deep down inside – I don’t think most people believe that fairytale. When push comes to shove – I don’t think they believe it.  

He says in verse 14 – “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” – those who have died in Christ. Now, where does this happen!? It happens up in the atmosphere – where when Jesus comes down to low-earth orbit on the seventh trump, the saints living and dead are resurrected and meet Jesus in the atmosphere – in low-earth orbit. And eventually, they all end up in Jerusalem. The site of the future New Jerusalem.

Verse 15 – “For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep [dead].” – so the dead rise first – and then the living also joins up with Jesus Christ in low-earth orbit. Verse 16 – “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven [the atmosphere] with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. …” – again, FEAST OF TRUMPETS, the trump of God! “ … And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds …” – the atmosphere! Not going off to far-away Heaven! No – “’Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit THE EARTH.’” That’s what Jesus said! So, they go up into low-earth orbit. And, as I said earlier - about a hundred years ago, the American tradition and more of a Pentecostal type – they developed this theory of the rapture. And they use this very passage to prove it. And yet, all that they do is go up into the clouds – the atmosphere – to meet the Lord in the air. Remember, when Jesus went up and the two angels said, ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing here gazing into the sky? This same Jesus, who is being taken from you up to Heaven, will also come in like manner as you saw Him go into the sky.’ The first chapter of Acts. It’s not far away outer space.  “ … And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18) Therefore comfort one another with these words.

And in 1 Thessalonians 5, notice verse 9 – “For God did not appoint us to wrath, …” – to destruction, to eternal death. “ … but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10) who died for us, that whether we wake [are alive] or sleep [are dead], we should live together with Him. 11) Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” 

Also, if you would turn to 1 Corinthians 15. Once again we hear a statement of the ‘the last trump’ – the FEAST OF TRUMPETS. 1 Corinthians 15:50 – “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; …” – and every time I read that I think about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormons believe that when they go off to their heavenly reward – they go there in a flesh and blood human body. And right here Paul says, ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.’ So, again, an organized religion saying one thing, and the Bible saying just the opposite. And yet they continue to believe the falsehood – the myth, the lie, the fake news! “ … nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51) Behold, I tell you a mystery: ….” – the great mystery of God which has been revealed to only a small handful of people. “ … We shall not all sleep, …” – ‘not everyone will be dead’ he’s saying. “ … but we shall all be changed – 52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. …” – the FEAST OF TRUMPETS! “ … For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54) So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’” – a phrase from the Book of Isaiah.  

55) “’ O Death, where is your sting? …’” – Paul is mocking Death! “ … ‘O Hades [grave], where is your victory?’” – ‘you thought you had us, but through the power of Jesus Christ and God Almighty – no, we were just sleeping.’

He goes on to say in verse 57 – “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now, read that again! ‘the victory,’ which is immortality and eternal life – ‘through our Master Jesus Christ!’ Does it say anything about Buddha!? Does it say anything about Vishnu!? Does it say anything about the Jewish religion, which doesn’t even acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God!?

Well, the so-called leader of the ICG almost never says or writes the name, Jesus Christ. He almost never references biblical passages. If he doesn’t acknowledge Jesus Christ how is he going to fare when it comes time for his judgment day!? And for all of you who are following this so-called leader of the ICG – you right now have become nothing more than a political action committee for Right-wing politics. And I’m sorry – that will not gain you entrance into the kingdom of God! But victory only comes through our Master Jesus Christ!

Now, I had mentioned Ivan Parker - the American southern gospel singer. And, if you would, go on YouTube and type in Ivan Parker, and just watch his many songs – some are better than others. But one of his most famous songs that he sang and made famous when he was a member of a group called Gold City – that’s where he got his start professionally  – is called the Midnight Cry. And, if you would turn in your Bible to Matthew 25. Now, in this relatively short article, we can’t cover every single Scripture that talks about the return of Jesus. But we’ve covered some highlights that prove that Jesus is going to return at the last trump. Verse 6 – “’ And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’” So, the songwriters Gregory Alan Day and Charles Robert Day Jr. wrote the words:





The very Scriptures we’re been reading! This song is completely accurate! And, the other night up at the concert in that church there was a lot of people singing along with Ivan, including me. And the people in that room think they were singing about the rapture. But we’ve just covered that. You meet Jesus in ‘the air’ at the blowing of the seventh trump whether you’re dead or alive. And yes, Jesus does indeed take you home – He takes you home to New Jerusalem on the earth!

Now, another great song by Ivan Parker wrote by Dallas Holm – and he does a tremendous job with it – is Rise Again:

Go ahead, drive the nails in My hands;
Laugh at Me, where you stand.
Go ahead, and say it isn't Me;
The day will come, when you will see.

'Cause I'll rise, again,
Ain't no power on earth can keep Me down!
Yes, I'll rise, again,
Death can't keep Me in the ground.

Go ahead, mock My name;
My love for you is still the same.
Go ahead, and bury Me;
But very soon, I will be free!

'Cause I'll rise, again;
Ain't no power on earth can keep Me down!
Yes, I'll rise, again;
Death can't keep Me in the ground.
Go ahead, and say I'm dead and gone,
But you will see that you were wrong.
Go ahead, try to hide the Son;
But all will see that I'm the One!

'Cause I'll come again!
Ain't no power on earth can keep me back!
Yes, I'll come again;
Come to take My people back.

And, ‘come to take My people back’ where!? Catholics or Protestants who read that says, ‘will take them back to Heaven.’ But again, “’Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit THE EARTH.’” And I could continue covering Scripture after Scripture – where Jesus Christ is on the earth. Old Testament – New Testament. Now, this idea of ‘goin’ off to Heaven’ is really hard for me to understand. Whoever came up with this theory in the beginning was not using the Bible. They simply were not! Because the Bible is very clear – at the blowing of the seventh trump, the saints of life – the people whose names are in the Book of Life alive or dead – will be resurrected from mortal to immortal, will meet Jesus in ‘the air’ – New Jerusalem in low-earth orbit. And then, they will go home to Jerusalem. And it will be New Jerusalem – ruled by God the Father and Jesus Christ. And we – who have been resurrected – can look forward to having a job serving that purpose. And what would our job be!? Is it to bounce around on a cloud all day and play a “harp”!? I think I would go insane! No, our job is going to be to deal with other human beings who are on the earth - teaching them, showing them, guiding them, helping them, advising them, mentoring them. And we get to do that for the rest of eternity! Helping human beings find the truth of God, learn the truth of God, receive the Spirit of God – and some day they too at the appropriate time will be changed from mortal to immortal.

And, I don’t know about you – I think I have three favorite things in my life:

  1. I love being in my back yard – soaking up the sun.
  2. I love my kitty cats. I truly do – they are wonderful. We are a family.
  3. I most enjoy meeting people, talking to them, and sharing information – and some day to be in a position where I can teach them the truth of God.
And so, I hope that five-thousand years from now I will still be reading these same Scriptures to people I know and trying to help them to make the conversion from mortal to immortal – to being God-like. And that’s a great joy for me!

We thank you for being with us, and we hope that you will read many more articles – and we hope that you read them more than once – we hope you will copy them and keep them handy and to share this wonderful knowledge with other people you know and try to encourage them to read these articles. And we hope that you make progress down the path – which will eventually lead to immortality and eternal life. So, we love you – even though we don’t personally know many of you – and we care about you – even though we’ve not met many of you – but I hope these words can help you. Our prayers go out for you. And in the name of Jesus Christ I pray that you advance in spiritual knowledge. Until next time, goodbye my friends. □

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be sure to leave a comment and tell us what you think.