I think (if you have any Bible teaching) you would have to be as dumb as a red brick not to be able to see we are living in the day and hour that Jesus Christ could return from heaven as the men in the crowd promised when Jesus ascended on high.  In Acts (the only history book of the Bible) we read, “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”  (Acts 1:10-11)  Now it does not say Angel, it says “two men stood by them in white apparel.” When Jesus was born heaven’s angels heralded His humble birth and when He went away, “two men stood by them in white apparel” gave the world the blessed news of some day He would return.  During Jesus’ time on earth He told the disciples and the crowd that followed Him He was going away, but they never really understood.  But, we would have to be almost blind not to be able to understand how close the return of Christ is. I would think there is nothing to be added to the wicked, evil heart condition of this world for these words of Jesus to come to pass in our life time, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38For 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, 39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”  (Matthew 24:34) The wickedness and perversion of man ever increases, yet I do not believe (today) man needs to do any more to equal the debauchery of the people of Noah’s (Noe) day. Jesus could make His return at any second of the day.  The last few years I believe (in my spirit) the second hand on God’s clock has moved closer to His return. I cannot explain it or define it, but I feel in my spirit Jesus’ return could happen (come Lord Jesus) at any time.  In verse 39, the Lord confirmed a thought to me that I have been saying for years.  I do not believe the people in the world today will really know when Jesus comes back for the third time, as the men in white apparel said in Acts.  It will be His third coming not His second.  I do not know why we call it His second coming. Jesus came as a child (first), was put to death, went to hell and preached, came back to life, was seen of the disciples and others, ascended to heaven (Acts 1:10-11) (second), and will come back a third time to receive His bride unto Himself, a time no man knows the day or hour.  In verse 39, in Noe’s day it says the people “knew not until the flood came” so too in our day.  I believe a very very small number of people will be caught away to be with the Lord when He returns and the world will not even miss us. The world will go on living life as it did in the days of Noe, “so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” today.  May we be ready when the Lord comes calling.  I have thought what will be the qualifications for those who will be taken when Jesus returns?  I feel sure it will be more than just being a Christian because the Christians in the Book of Hebrews endured,   “Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. 39And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:” (Hebrews 11:34-39)  Did you get that they “received not the promise.”  These dedicated and faithful, highly exalted by God Christians thought they were going to see Christ return as the two men in white promised. All they went through in suffering, in tribulation, in sorrow, in death, and in spite of “obtaining a good report” yet they did not receive the promise.  And we think we will sing and dance our way into heaven, oh no my friend we are woefully mistaken God will require more of us to be able to be raised with Him when He returns.

So far in this article all that I have shared has been background, but what I feel the Lord wants me to talk about is how we must not use the Bible (God’s written word to man) as a way to validate what we believe the future holds for the world and even the church, but we must have His word settled in our heart and mind.  The Bible is a Spiritual book and can only be understood and interpreted by the Spirit of God any attempt without the Holy Spirit is presumption, thinking they are right, but in reality they are wrong. Today we find “end-time Bible teachers” (you know their names I am not going to mention any just watch TBN) who take events happening in the world today and pick Scripture after Scripture to lay over the events happening in the world to see if they kind of fit, to be able to say this day prophesy has been fulfilled, then throw it all against the wall to see if it sticks in the hearts and minds of Christians who do not know really know better. These bad actors (hypocrites) are the false teachers (as Jesus promised us) unskilled in the word of God, who have pedaled and sold the word of God for favor, influence, and financial gain.  Let us be honest no man knows the future if they did they would be God at the very best these liars are guessing as they change their words as events change in the world.  Brethren be not deceived by the “end-time Bible teachers” they are thieves and charlatans. The Bible is the standard and means to be used to define what the future holds.  How foolish we are to think we can guess the future with events of the world.  If God is not telling us something then we do not need to know about it.  Man always wants to know; well wanting to know got Eve and us in a lot of trouble.  If God is not telling us then we need to go along for the ride in faith (and not guess) and let God be God to handle the future.  Our guessing and false teaching is wrapped up in greed and arrogance this will never do. The written word of God is always the predictor of the future and it is our responsibility to study it and discover what the Spirit is telling us not the 6 o’clock news, CNN, or FOX.  It is no wonder the folks in the world want little to do with the nominal church.  We must get serious souls are at stake.  All throughout the Old Testament the birth and coming of Christ was foretold and the spoken and written words were manifested in the New Testament.  The Bible foretold (in detail) what was going to happen and it did.  This is still the method God intends for us to use today.  The Bible means what it says and not what we want it to say, even if we think it makes God more powerful and mighty in the eyes of the world. We often think by embellishing the word of God we can make God look bigger and better, but not so. The Bible is written to complement line upon line, verse upon verse, precept upon precept, and concept upon concept.  If we change the order or add to the thought God has intentioned (in any line, verse, precept or concept) then we have changed God’s word to man, a crime punishable by death.  This is a critical point we must understand when studying the Bible, yet daily many make a fortune in misrepresenting the Bible and worse use the Bible to convey an idea or understanding that are not laid out in the Bible, but are used to support lies to win hearts, minds, and money.

Now it is true Jesus ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father (because the Bible tells us so), but it is not true Jesus left us.  Please let me say that again, Jesus has never left us.  In John we read about Jesus departing and the coming of the precious Holy Spirit, but even in this Jesus never left us, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  9Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”  (John 16:7-13)  WOW what sure help in present troubles.  WOW what a truth, “he will shew you things to come” not the guessing we call end-time prophesy.  What will the Holy Spirit use to shew us all things?  That’s right the word of God.  But, even though Jesus departed earth that does not mean Jesus has left us.  Later on we will look at verses where Jesus says He will never leave or forsake us. While on the cross Jesus cried out to His Father, “why have thou forsaken Me?”  Did the Father forsake Jesus?  I think not the Father raised Jesus from the dead.

Karen and I have four wonderful kids who we love very much and are proud of; they were born in two groups: Dave 1980 + Dan 1981 and Connie 1986 + Joshua 1987.  When Dave and Dan were babies I would take them to the park to play on the swings.  They were about three or four year old babies.  I would put Dave in one swing and Dan in another.  I would push Dave and then Dan faster and higher they would go you should have seen the look on their face what joy and pleasure, total happiness.  They would look over at each other with shouts of glee and say, dad really loves us we are so lucky to have such a loving father.  Is this not the way we felt when we first gave our hearts to the Lord?  But after a while I would not push every stroke, maybe every other stroke, then every three strokes and when they realized I was not pushing them their faces really changed.  As the swing got slower and almost stopped I would jump behind a tree and hide so I could listen to them cry.  Dan where is dad?  Dad?  Dad where are you?  Dave dad does not love us.  Is this not the way we act when things do not go our way?  You should have heard them cry and seen their faces as tears streaming were down, it was a sight to see.  Suddenly I would jump out from behind the tree and say Dave! Dan! They would go Dad! And I would push them again and all would be well again in their little world.  A question, did I leave my boys?  No of course not I was right there with them all the time.  It was not I left them, but they could not see me.  Did Jesus leave us?  No of course not He has been here with us all the time it is just at times we cannot see Him.  Jesus said, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway (Strong’s #3956 individually), even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  (Matthew 28:18-19)  Now Jesus was not saying He would be with everyone at the same time, His words were not directed to many people His words were directed to the heart of one person, individually, who believed His words. In a congregation of people the preached word will only take root in the hearts of the people who believe.  Jesus was not speaking to the masses here, but to the one who needs Him to speak words of strength and comfort.  Jesus was giving to the one who believes a personal promise “lo, I am with you.”

In the First Chapter of Genesis 10 times in the 29 verses it is recorded, “And God said.”  These my friend are more than words they are a life-long revelation we must possess deep within our heart and mind of God speaking a word to us and we know it will happen not because we believe or have faith, but because God spoke and in obedience we believe. Do you see the difference? Without this critical revelation the best we will be able to do is guess what God wants us to do and this my friend will never bring us to the end and purpose God has planned for us. The question today is do we really believe what God’s word says or will we believe a liar of the world who would deceive you and rob you of your very soul. Jesus warns us time and time again to take heed to ourselves in this area, yet again these liars increase daily.  We do not need to have someone try to convince us of their spiritual ability to understand the Scriptures oh no, what we need to do is study the Scriptures for ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into all truths.  We need to believe Jesus when He says “lo, I am with you” my friend He means it.  If it is written in the Bible then it will happen no matter what people say or what the news reports.  If God’s word says it then it must be settled in our heart and mind.