GWEA Monthly Message, November 2018
REVEREND GORDON WILLIAMS
I received some interesting comments following October’s newsletter regarding "when Jesus will return." Firstly, God warned us in the Old Testament about prophets. He said:
"An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what they do when the end comes" (Jer. 5:30–31).
Most of these so-called prophets today are false in their prophecies. They travel using TV and radio; they write books full of prosperity teachings telling us God wants us to be wealthy; they misuse the scriptures to support their greed; they preach another gospel as Paul described in Galations 1:6; they boast about the millions of dollars that they have accumulated and spent upon themselves; and as a result, they have placed themselves and their followers in the judgement of God!
All of the false prophets today flaunt their wealth, just like the TV and movie stars. James warns us, “Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire (Jas 5:2–3). The third Commandment said, “You shall not make for yourself a graven image” (Ex. 20:4). That is what the media has become. Paul explained, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in Christ Jesus” (Philip. 4:19). That means our needs not our greeds! "The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Tim. 6:10; Heb. 13:5).
Today the number of false prophets is far beyond those mentioned in the Old Testament! Under the New Testament, the Gift of Prophecy is one of the 15 Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 12:6–8; 1 Cor. 12:8–10). It is to be received by people who are involved in local churches, as are all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Paul lays out the rule for using them in 1 Cor. 12–14. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the “signs following” (Mk. 16:17–18) are critical for our personal growth, and for the healthy growth of our churches. Without them, churches die! Jesus shuts them down (Rev. 2–3). The marks of a good church are what Paul tells us: “While God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by Gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his own will” (Heb. 2:4).
Jesus Himself did not know when He was coming back. He made it clear, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only (Matt. 24:36- 44). We have the assurance of our Salvation when we receive Salvation and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the proof of speaking in tongues - the language that the Holy Spirit equips everyone with so He can guide us daily.
You can identify today's false prophets (and those who believe them) by their false prophesies of "when Jesus will return." The Bible tells us He will not return in our lifetime. We were warned by Jesus about such people who go beyond the scriptures (1 Cor. 4:6-7). Before Jesus returns, there must be enough saved people to accommodate the New Jerusalem. I asked a friend who is an engineer, if he could estimate according to today's measurement the number. He estimated the number was 26,050,114,285,080,000 quadrillions... More than we could ever imagine!
The scriptures reveal that when Jesus died on the Cross, He went to the place of the dead and woke them all up. He preached to those who were not saved and placed them in Paradise, the temporary Heaven; the fallen angels (demons) were placed in the Abyss, and the unsaved into Tartarus, the temporary Hell.
We are told in the scriptures that there will be two resurrections of the dead. (Rev.20:4-8). The first resurrection will include those who were beheaded for their testimonies (martyrs) and they will live and reign with Jesus for a thousand years. The second resurrection will happen after a thousand years as Paul describes in 1 Cor. 15:1–58. “Then comes the end which in Greek is called Telos/Teleo (1 Cor. 13:10).
False prophets today are like the Sadducees whom Jesus told, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scripture nor the power of God” (Matt. 22:29).
Do you have questions about when Jesus will return? Do you need prayer for Salvation and/or for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? I invite you come to one of our house meetings or to contact me to request prayer and guidance.
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