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No Room for Us

by Jill Martin Rische 
February 7, 2014
 The world is at war. It is entirely at war whether our days seem peaceful or filled with the burden of whatever cross God has given us to carry. Illness, poverty, pain and sorrow — all manifestations of a world in conflict. We know this because Jesus warned us the end was near and the final days would be filled with battles. He said, “I have come not to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt 10:34)

The Apostle Paul detailed the nature of the war when he said, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) The ruler of this dark age is at war against God and against His children, and the state of the earth reflects this tumult.Everywhere we see war and rumors of war. There are earthquakes, famines, droughts, and fierce in-fighting — not only among those who do not know God — but among those who claim to be His people. Our world is transforming before our eyes into a landscape where there is no room for us.

The biblical warning of Gog and Magog is a tangible reality even as we speak. America the beautiful is feared not only by those outside of it, but by those within. She is a police state, and there is no chance of going back. The world as a whole recognizes her descent, and where once she offered hope — give me your tired, your poor huddled masses yearning to breathe free — we now see her very dark side.

Soon, very soon, we are going to see the King but until then, there is a choice to be made by the people of God in the midst of all this uncertainty and fear: we can prepare ourselves and our families to stand against it or we can go the route of so many and choose to appease our enemies, a position history tells us is never successful.  

Fighting against evil means using every means at our disposal to disperse the truth and it means sharing our hearts with the people around us — no matter what the cost. It means loving one another deeply, “from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22)  

We are surrounded by darkness but in the middle of it all shines the light of hope because we know the Day of the Lord is approaching. God has given direction for this dark time to enable us to be the Church Triumphant. The book of Revelation is our guide and its secrets are slowly being revealed. It brings light into the darkness of a war-torn people, and it promises a special blessing for those who read it.

That’s right — God tells us that if we take the time to read and study Revelation, He will give us a special blessing. “Blessed is he who reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is near.” (Rev 1:3)  

We hear so much today from self-appointed leaders who say prophecy is not worthy of study, that it’s not meant to be a focus. But God’s Word says something far different, and it is our standard.

Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse, a renowned scholar of theology and prophecy, put it this way:

“What right does the Word of God give us to look at any problem of the future? We know that God tells us the end from the beginning. This is one of the proofs that He adduces as to His deity: ‘I am God, and there is none other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose….’ ” (Isa 46:9-11).

So God declares the end from the beginning, and promises a special blessing for studying His Revelation. The Church Triumphant is the Church who studies the Word. (2 Tim 2:15)  

Dr. Barnhouse goes on to point out the method for understanding prophecy. “The only things in the world of current events for which the student of prophecy has any right to look, are the tendencies. Let us turn to the Scriptures and see what the Word of God has to say on the subject.”  

Prophecy throughout the Bible tells a fascinating story, and Revelation reveals even more intriguing details. 

We must track the tendencies of God’s prophetic Word without falling into the trap of setting dates or arguing with each other; time grows short and the world shifts and changes.  

The Church Triumphant rests in obedience, maturity, wisdom and joy. We are to stand and fight against evil, preach the Word in season and out, study the gift of His prophetic Word, and eagerly pray for His return because the shame is not in studying prophecy, but in ignoring it.

Awaiting His return,
Jan Markell
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