The Daily Word of Righteousness

Fifty-two Kingdom Concepts, #66

He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. (Daniel 7:25—NIV)

Thus we see both righteousness and wickedness, God and Satan, Christ and Antichrist, the Holy Spirit and the False Prophet, coming to full expression in the earth before God announces the end of the universal drama and the kingdoms of the world become the Kingdom of God and His Christ.

God's way in the world, and also in your life and mine, is to permit sin to be revealed so it may be dealt with appropriately. All that is hidden shall be brought to the light. That which has been whispered in secret shall be proclaimed from the housetops.

Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. (Revelation 11:7—NIV)

He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. (Revelation 13:7—NIV)

Suffering and Glory

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, (Philippians 3:10—NIV)

Perhaps because of the rise of humanism, the idea has been advanced that God's people are not to suffer. The principal manifestation of this persuasion is the unscriptural "pre-tribulation rapture," the stated purpose of which is to prevent God's people from suffering under Antichrist or during the great tribulation.

The pre-tribulation-rapture doctrine is an evidence of the love of pleasure that runs deep in modern Americans. It is no surprise that the "rapture" doctrine is so popular in America. It is no surprise either that the "Jesus did it all," lawless-grace teaching, although wildly unscriptural, is so readily received.

The last days, according to the New Testament, will be characterized by a great deal of deception. There is only one action that we can take that will guard against deception: denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following the Lord Jesus each day.

We can read the Bible constantly, pray a great deal, and still be deceived if we are seeking to make this present world a pleasant place to live. It is because of the love of pleasure that we have received the "rapture" deception and the lawless-grace deception. There is widespread doctrinal error in the Christian churches because we love pleasure and tend to reject the iron discipline required in the Kingdom of God.

The fourth chapter of the Book of First Peter has as its theme salvation by means of the fiery trials of the judgment of God on our personality. The chapter begins by exhorting us to arm ourselves with a mind to suffer, because suffering in the flesh purges sin from us.

"The righteous are saved with difficulty," Peter maintains. This is referring to the fact that we have to endure fiery trials if we are to escape the bondages of sin and self-will.

We know suffering produces perseverance in us, and persevering during the trials of the Christian discipleship results in our being made perfect, lacking nothing that pertains to salvation.

To be continued.