PREPARING FOR WAR

PREPARING FOR WAR Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

It is time now for the Lord to present us with a true vision of His return. The purpose of Christ’s return to earth is to bring justice to the nations. In order to bring justice to the nations, Christ must destroy wicked spirits and people from the earth. The Lord Jesus could have done this at His first coming. Instead He desires to have an army of saints with Him so He and they can divide the nations and the earth as their inheritance.

PREPARING FOR WAR

Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; He will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope. (Isaiah 42:1-4)

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. (Revelation 19:11-14)

It is time now for the Lord to present us with a true vision of His return. The purpose of Christ’s return to earth is to bring justice to the nations. In order to bring justice to the nations, Christ must destroy wicked spirits and people from the earth.

The Lord Jesus could have done this at His first coming. Instead He desires to have an army of saints with Him so He and they can divide the nations and the earth as their inheritance.

We know the Bible says the saints will return with Christ. We know the Bible says we will be with the Lord forever. We know the Bible says we will govern with Christ. We know the Bible says we will govern with a rod of iron.

I wonder if we have given serious thought to what we say we believe.

First of all, we need a biblical view of the Day of the Lord. The Lord Jesus is not coming to "carry His waiting Bride to Heaven," as our mythologic teaching asserts. In any case, the greatest part of His Bride is in Heaven already. Only a very small fraction is present on the earth at any given time.

Rather, the Lord Jesus is coming to destroy evil from the earth so the meek of the earth can receive the justice they deserve.

The Lord is not coming to catch His Church away. There is no scriptural basis whatever for this popular belief. The Lord is coming to alleviate the conditions on the earth so God-fearing people can do the Lord’s will without the continual resistance of Satan, his demons, and wicked people.

Christ could have established righteousness on the earth as soon as He was raised from the dead. But He has chosen to surround Himself with brothers who will assist Him in the destruction of the wicked and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on the earth.

"Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." This prayer shall be answered through the efforts of Christ and His saints.

This is the true vision of the Day of Christ. The currently expressed vision of the Lord coming to catch His Church to Heaven is not scriptural.

The purpose of the present essay is to provide understanding concerning the preparations we must make if we hope to be part of the Lord’s return to earth. Because the Christian churches of the present hour are so far from what will be required of us if we are to return with the Lord, we can expect substantial change to occur in our circumstances over the next few years. We simply are not nearly ready to ride behind Christ on the white war- stallions. We are not nearly ready to judge righteous judgment, to dispossess the wicked from their entrenched positions—wicked spirits and wicked people.

When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)

I expect that not every believer will respond to the true vision. The strongest type in the Old Testament of the coming of Christ is that of Gideon and the 300. This is to say, only a warlike remnant of the Church will return with the Lord. The remainder of the elect will be somewhere in the spirit realm, perhaps being taught by stronger saints and perhaps by angels. This may seem mystical to us, but we are approaching the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth and additional understanding of the Scriptures is being given to us.

The warlike remnant that will return with Christ will be a large and mighty army.

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. (Revelation 19:11-14)

The armies of Heaven are the saints. The "fine linen" is their righteous behavior, a righteous behavior created by Christ who has been formed in them and is dwelling in them.

Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) (Revelation 19:8)

No individual who continues to behave in an unrighteous manner has any hope of riding behind Christ in the Battle of Armageddon.

Membership in the army of the Lord is available to whoever cares to avail himself or herself of the current grace. This window of opportunity will not last forever, so if we have any intention of returning with the Lord, or being transformed when He appears, we had better begin to seek the Lord in earnest.

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones To judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (Jude 1:14,15)

"These men" refers to the sinful members of the Christian assemblies. The "holy ones" are the warlike remnant of saints who will appear with Christ.

The trumpet is blowing in Zion today. Let the lukewarm believers tremble!

Before we can appear with the Lord we must learn the difference between good and evil. This is the present burden of the Holy Spirit. We must be baptized with fire. We cannot judge people and angels until we ourselves have been judged and delivered.

Do you not know the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! (I Corinthians 6:2,3)

To grow in Christ means to grow in the ability to distinguish between good and evil, and in the strength to embrace the good and firmly denounce and renounce the evil.

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:13,14)

The Holy Spirit continually will provide opportunities for you to recognize the evil in your personality. The moment something arises that causes you to react in a manner that is not Christlike, bring it to the Lord. Confess it as sin. Firmly denounce it. Renounce such behavior. Then turn to God and receive forgiveness and cleansing. This is how you grow in Christ, in the ability to judge what is good and what is evil.

Think about the following:

Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, To inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, To bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, To carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints. Praise the LORD. (Psalms 149:5-9)

We are speaking of being prepared for the coming battle. First we said you have to practice righteous behavior. Then we asserted you must be judged yourself before you can judge others.

Now we are saying you have to sing for joy on your bed. This means you do not execute judgment out of your personal anger but out of your joy in the Lord.

There is so much evil today that Christians are drawn into fighting evil with their own anger. This will never work. It is only when we are rejoicing in the Lord, free from all personal desire for vengeance, that we can judge righteous judgment.

God has commanded us not to fret concerning evil. We are never to go forth to try to execute judgment on sinners unless we have been commanded to do so by the Lord. We are to rejoice that the Lord takes delight in us, and sing for joy while we are resting in the Lord.

Sometimes people shoot abortion doctors. How can we bring them to Christ if we shoot them? How can we bring homosexuals and lesbians to Christ if we keep cursing them? How can we win anyone to Christ if we keep pronouncing how rotten they are?

We simply cannot inflict vengeance on the nations until we are singing for joy on our beds, so to speak, and praising the Lord. Then we will behave as the Lord Jesus does; and He is the Judge of all!

Three very important preparations for the coming war are discussed as follows:

They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12;11)

We overcome by the blood of the Lamb. This means we walk at all times in the light of God’s perfect will for us. When we do this we have fellowship with the Father and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

When we thus are in a state of continual cleansing there is nothing Satan can do to harm us. But when we are living a careless life, Christian or not, we are exposed to the attacks of the enemy. No careless Christian will rise to meet the Commander-in Chief when He appears in the air above us.

We overcome by the word of our testimony. What we are, what we think, what we say, what we do—all must bear a true testimony of the Person, will, way, and eternal purpose of God in Christ. When our words and actions are not bearing a true witness of God we cannot win against the enemy. We are easily defeated. There is no possibility that we will be raised when the Lord appears if our life is not a true witness of God and His will for mankind.

We overcome by loving not our life to the death. This is the issue the Holy Spirit is pressing today.

The Christian preaching in America is a false gospel. We are presenting the Lord Jesus Christ as Someone who will give us whatever we want if we think the right thoughts, or say the right words, or do whatever else the current teaching is stressing.

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is not a method of getting what we want. The Gospel of the Kingdom of God absolutely requires that we deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow the Lord Jesus Christ to the point of death.

There must be nothing—absolutely nothing—that we are clinging to. If we attempt to save our life we surely will lose it. All must be put on the altar of God.

Until we declare that we are a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we will remain patiently in the situation in which He places us, that we will endure any distress, any deprivation, until the day we die, we have no chance of being changed and caught up to the Lord when He appears in the air.

We have lived in our self-seeking, sinful nature, and from that very nature we will reap corruption in the Day of Resurrection.

Every member of the army of Christ is a dead-living person. Every member has been crucified with Christ and is living in and by His Life. There is not one exception to this.

Notice the following qualifications:

They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers. (Revelation 17;14)

To ride with the Lord we first must be called. Then we pass into the ranks of the chosen provided we give ourselves to the Lord in total consecration.

After we have passed into the ranks of the chosen we will experience numerous fires, a multitude of testings, in order to demonstrate our faithfulness. Only those who remain absolutely faithful to Christ will rise to meet Him as He descends into the air in preparation for the Battle of Armageddon.

One of the clearest description of the many passages dealing with the return of the Lord with His army is contained in the Book of Joel.

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand— (Joel 2:1)

The Holy Spirit is blowing the trumpet of God today. An alarm is sounding. It is not an alarm to the world but to the churches of the Lord Jesus. The alarm is sounding on the Lord’s holy hill. We already have come to Mount Zion, to the holy hill, to an innumerable company of angels in joyful assembly.

Those of us who know the Lord rejoice at the thought of His return. But like the Prophet Habakkuk, we tremble at the fierceness of the army of the Lord.

A day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come. (Joel 1:2)

The true vision of the Day of the Lord is that of a large and mighty army, an army of unprecedented strength. Can you see how silly, how fatuous the present grace-rapture-Heaven vision looks when compared with the true biblical portrayal of the Day of Christ?

Before them fire devours, behind them a flame blazes. Before them the land is like the garden of Eden, behind them, a desert waste—nothing escapes them. (Joel 2:3)

The earth shall be cleansed from all sin. This shall be accomplished by the Lord Jesus working through His saints, and God working through Jesus.

The brief reign of Antichrist had filled the earth with the polluted works of the flesh—fair to the eye but inherently evil and morally unclean. These all shall be destroyed by Christ and His army.

They have the appearance of horses; they gallop along like cavalry. (Joel 2;4)

We see the horses also in Habakkuk the third chapter, and also in the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation. The descent of Christ and His army will be a ferocious cavalry charge. It is my opinion that the Euphrates will be dried up in order to provide a staging area for the cavalry from Heaven.

With a noise like that of chariots they leap over the mountaintops, like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle. (Joel 2:5)

Are the Christians of America prepared to participate in the installation of the Kingdom of God on the earth? Or are they dreaming of reclining in the mansions while they eat ice cream without getting fat?

God is preparing His soldiers today. We are learning to leap over the mountains that stand in our way. As we pray we are enabled to run through a troop and leap over a wall.

The preparation for the conflict of the ages is taking place today, on earth, and also I believe in the heavenlies. The whole Body of Christ is approaching perfection together.

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:16)

God had planned something better for us so only together with us would they be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:40)

The crackling fire will consume the stubble. The crackling fire is the Presence of God who rides with this army. Our God is a consuming fire. All that has not been established in the Lord Jesus Christ shall be consumed, whether or not it participates in the Christian religion.

Mount Sinai represents Pentecost. After the Israelites left Sinai they were occupied with two responsibilities. The first was the construction of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, including the Ark of the Covenant. The second was the organizing of the Israelites into an army.

The purpose of the invasion of Canaan was to bring the Ark of the Covenant into the land. So it is that we must have the holy Throne of God established in our personalities, for it is the Divine Throne that Christ and we shall bring into the world. At the same time we must be being prepared to accept the discipline that is absolutely necessary if we are to ride behind the Lord in the Battle of Armageddon.

At the sight of them, nations are in anguish; every face turns pale. (Joel 2:6)

We may think when the Lord returns He will meekly ask the officials of the United Nations if He might have a "place at the table."

The truth is, if all the officials and workers of the United Nations do not stream out of the headquarters building and fall prostrate before Him, Christ is liable to pick up the building and throw it into the Hudson River.

I think we have a pretty good knowledge of the gentleness and love of the Good Shepherd. But we may have little concept of the ferocity of the Lord—strong and mighty in battle.

Yes, the nations will be in anguish. Gone will be the arrogant posturing of those who believe themselves to be more important than God.

They charge like warriors; they scale walls like soldiers. They all march in line, not swerving from their course. (Joel 2:7)

Looks like we have some preparing to do if we are to participate with the Lord Jesus Christ in the work of installing the Kingdom of God on the earth.

The Lord’s people of today, for the most part, have no intention whatever of marching in line or of not swerving from their course. They have been babied to the point they think of God as Santa Claus and the Lord Jesus as their servant who waits breathlessly to hear what they desire.

If the whole group were to be caught up to the Lord today, I believe there would be few who could stand the glory and majesty of His Presence. They think they are going to be whisked away to an expensive mansion where they will spend eternity engaging in idle talk with their neighbors.

But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. (Malachi 3:2)

Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light—pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness? (Amos 5:18-20)

When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops. (Habakkuk 3:16—KJV)

The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?" (Isaiah 33:14)

And then the answer:

He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil— This is the man who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him. (Isaiah 33:15,16)

Christian teachers are telling us we do not have to live righteously in order to please Christ. They are deceived. They are preaching destructive lies. God and Christ never change. New-covenant grace is not an alternative to righteous behavior, it is the means of gaining righteous behavior.

Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. (Psalms 24:3,4)

Are we ready for the coming of Christ? Are we living as offerings to the Lord? Is our consecration blameless? If not, we are not prepared to go with the Lord Jesus when He appears. Do not let anyone, preacher, teacher, or anyone else, lie to you about this.

They do not jostle each other; each marches straight ahead. They plunge through defenses without breaking ranks. (Joel 2:8)

God’s people jostle each other. They slander, gossip, become hostile, bitter, critical. Satan need have no fear. The believers destroy each other.

No such individual has any hope of going to be with Jesus when He appears. They do not belong with Him. They break ranks according to their notions. Their path is crooked.

Today the Lord wants the depressed lifted up; the arrogant humbled; the crooked straightened out; the stony hearts made smooth. He will not come to any individual until His way has been made straight.

They rush upon the city; they run along the wall. They climb into the houses; like thieves they enter through the windows. (Joel 2:9)

Today’s believers to a great extent do not rush anywhere except to satisfy their fleshly desires. They are lazy, indifferent, careless, neglectful of the possibilities inherent in the Christian salvation.

They are not ready to ride behind Christ in the war of the ages. They do not carry their cross behind the Master. They do not deny themselves. They have been robbed and cheated by those who should be placing the demands of Christ on them.

Their ministers are falsifying the account, telling them that they do not owe Christ that much—certainly not their whole life! These ministers need to make friends with their congregations so someone will receive them in the Day of Christ. The Lord already has deemed them unfaithful servants.

Before them the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine. (Joel 2:10)

The shaking of the heavenly bodies and the earth, the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars, are the signs of the Lord’s return. They shall take place immediately after the great tribulation.

Then the great trumpet of God shall sound and the elect shall be gathered from every place under the heavens.

The elect shall be called up to Christ—those who have prepared themselves by serving the Lord diligently. Now the vials of wrath will be poured out to prepare the earth for the onslaught of the Divine cavalry.

The terror of earth’s multitudes will be intense, but nothing to be compared with the anguish of those who were called to be of the Lord’s elect and then spent their days in the worthless activities of the flesh and soul. The terror and anger of the sinners in Zion will know no bounds. They will gnash their teeth and gnaw their tongues in their panic.

They will throw the money in which they trusted into the dirt, just as Judas hurled the pieces of silver onto the Temple floor. They had their chance to serve Christ but they found the world so appealing they forgot the truth they had heard. I am not speaking now of the unsaved but of the believers in the Christian churches.

There are some who are insisting that Jesus will return at any moment. What are they thinking of? Have they no knowledge of the pitiful immaturity of the Lord’s people? Are they ignorant of the hundreds of thousands who have been deceived by the so-called "faith" and "prosperity" doctrines, who suppose the sign of God’s blessing is an abundance of money?

They are not rich. They are poor, naked, and blind.

Hopefully the Lord will come upon the United States in great power and bring the Christians to their knees in repentance. We simply are not ready to follow the Lord Jesus in the conflict of the ages. Our talents will be removed from us and given to those who have been faithful to Christ. Our home will be the outer darkness.

The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? (Joel 2:11)

The only people who can endure the Lord’s coming are those who have served Him diligently and faithfully; those who have denied themselves, patiently carrying their cross after the master.

Such seem to be in short supply today. Let us all pray that God will visit America, and Europe as well, until the current delusions have been burned up by the fire of God’s eternal Word and a Bride appears who is not blemished with the filthy behaviors of the flesh and soul.

Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? (Song of Solomon 6:10—KJV)