"... The prophet is a troublesome ... voice, hated by the church's leaders and out of favor with the church's members. Like a wild, ragged, unkempt coyote scenting from afar the smell of carrion, like a raven always croaking out the same cry, like a ... wolf howling on the mountain top, the prophet travels throughout the church ... followed by suspicion and hatred... He is ... a man who sees with a troubled heart - but with clear eyes - the compromises the church is making with the world today, and the consequences that will accrue to it tomorrow ... Like all truthtellers who disturb the slumbering majority and who unsettle the peace of the church's leadership, he is avoided like a leper, persecuted like an enemy and those with a reputation in the church for 'being somebody' detest him. The prophet is an accuser, but today's Christians do not want to admit their guilt. He is an intercessor, but Christians do not want to be shown their error ... He is an announcer, but Christians do not want to hear ..."
The serious study of the Prophetic Scriptures is very difficult to "come by" in today's church, the leaders of which are DRUNK (Rev. 14:8) with the love of this world and INTOXICATED (Rev. 14:8) with the wine of the American New World Order System. The Bible says:
"... they are swallowed up [with the] wine [of this world] ... THEY ERR IN VISION, THEY STUMBLE IN JUDGMENT.
"For all tables are full of [their] vomit [i.e., their false teachings] ... " (Isaiah 28:7-8)
They teach error for truth; and like Balaam's ass, they prophesy for money. Still, God's Word abides true, despite the false teachings of today's Apostate Church, and what it has to say continues to be AUTHORITATIVE and CONCLUSIVE; indeed, insofar as the Book of Revelation is concerned, the Bible says:
"Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand." (Rev. 1:3)
No other book of the Bible contains such a promise. The fact is, God wants us to know what His "Plan and Purpose" in the "end of days" is so that we can prepare ourselves for those things "which must shortly come to pass." (Rev. 1:1) Specifically, the Bible says:
"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO STAND IN THAT EVIL DAY, and having done all, to stand.
"STAND THEREFORE HAVING YOUR LOINS GIRT ABOUT WITH [THE] TRUTH [OF GOD'S WORD] ..." (Eph. 13-14)
Concerning God's desire to bring us into His confidence in these "Last Days," J. Dwight Pentecost has written,
"God, the architect of the ages, has seen fit to take us into His confidence concerning His plan for the future [of mankind and planet earth] and has revealed His purpose in DETAIL in the Word [i.e., the Bible]. A greater body of Scripture is given to prophecy than any other subject; approximately one-fourth of the Bible was prophetic at the time it was written."
But the study of the Prophetic Scriptures CANNOT be approached in a casual fashion, and it cannot be undertaken by DILETTANTES and DABBLERS; it can only be undertaken by those who are willing to give themselves over to the occasional DISCOMFORT of serious study. The Bible says:
"[To] whom shall He teach knowledge? and [to] whom shall He make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts [i.e., those who want to get serious with the Lord].
"FOR PRECEPT MUST BE [PLACED] UPON PRECEPT, PRECEPT UPON PRECEPT, LINE UPON LINE, LINE UPON LINE; HERE A LITTLE AND THERE A LITTLE ..." (Isaiah 28:9-10)
The fact of the matter is, if people truly desire to come to a FULL and THOROUGH understanding of what God is doing in the world today, what His "Plan and Purpose" is for them in these "Last Days," they must give themselves over to the RIGOROUS and STRUCTURED study of the Word of God - "precept upon precept," "line upon line."
These are the kind of people that the Lord is interested in today - not the DILETTANTES and DABBLERS of the Word of God who pick at this delicacy, poke at that morsel; taste that dainty here, savor that goody there - whatever suits their taste and pleases their palette. These are those people who have in these "Last Days" given themselves over to "old wives' fables" (1 Tim 4:7); people who -
"... will not ENDURE sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
"And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Tim. 4:3-4)
These are those who are -
"... tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive ..." (Ephesians 4:14)
God is NOT interested in such people, and neither are we; but the sad fact of the matter is, when we open up our training to "all comers," we inevitably attract such people - people who are unwilling to ENDURE the rigor that training in the Prophetic Scriptures demands, and - as a result - walk away from such training with "half truths."
I repeat, the study of the Prophetic Scriptures is NOT an easy undertaking, and it cannot be approached in a casual fashion. Indeed, John Walvoord says:
"Biblical eschatology (i.e., the study of "end times") is the CAPSTONE of systematic theology. It is not only climactic, the terminus and consummation of theological study, but the presentation of eschatology is also the supreme demonstration of theological skill. Here as in no other field, except perhaps the doctrine of the person of Christ, are the important tools of exegesis, synthesis, hermeneutics, and theological system displayed."
In other words, trying to understand biblical eschatology without a thorough understanding of the other great themes of the Bible - themes such as the nature of man, the deity of Christ, salvation, grace, how to walk in the spirit, the church, etc. - is impossible. To jump into the study of biblical eschatology without an understanding of these themes is like trying to understand advanced calculus without understanding the basics of arithmetic. This is especially true of people whose first "contact" with the study of "end times" themes originated not from an interest in the Bible per se, but in an interest in conspiratorial thought (e.g., the Illuminist Myth and its various manifestations, the New Age, political beliefs, racist ideologies, economic perspectives and so forth) and then who "bleed" these "extra-biblical" perspectives into their study of biblical eschatology.
Contra wise, the study of "end times" has suffered from Christians who - while they might have more than a "nodding acquaintance" with the Bible itself - have no corresponding foundation insofar as history, culture, economics, etc. are concerned. This is especially true of the graduates of today's Bible Schools and Seminaries.
Our first chapter in this book deals the "Nature of Man;" we begin there because unless one understands what man's nature is all about, it is impossible to have a real understanding of what it means to be "born again." From there we proceed to our second chapter, "Salvation" - that is to say, what being "born again" actually constitutes. Because we are building "precept upon precept" and "line upon line," the transition between the two subjects is effortless.
This leads easily into our third chapter: "God's Grace as Contrasted to God's Law." Again, "precept upon precept," "line upon line." Here we begin to realize that we are entirely dependent on God's grace - and that the only way we can fulfill the Law of God in our lives is not by endeavoring to keep the Law now that we are saved, but by "beholding and reflecting" Christ who is now resident as a living Person in our spirit. Moreover, we learn that it is not our duty to enforce the Law of God on our brothers and sisters in Christ, but to get them to "behold and reflect" Christ in their spirits - and everything will follow from that. Again, "precept upon precept" and "line upon line."
From there we transition naturally and quite effortlessly into what the church-life is all about: that it is God's testimony to the world, and that testimony is predicated on the love we have one for another in the church, which in turn is predicated on our willingness to extend grace to our brothers and sisters in Christ (the same grace that God extended to us), which, in turn is being worked into us as a reality as we "behold and reflect" Christ in our spirit. Again, "precept upon precept," "line upon line."
Our next chapter deals with the ETERNAL and UNCONDITIONAL
nature of God's four great covenants with
We then take this great fact of God's GRACE insofar as Israel is concerned, and use it as a springboard to shred the conspiracy theories which swirl and surround the Jewish people and which form the basis of the "Old Wives Fables" generated by IDIOTS and NINCOMPOOPS such as Alex Jones, Pat Robertson, Tex Marrs, Paul Joseph Watson, Jeff Rense, ad nauseum - conspiracy theories which inevitably CONTAMINATE any serious study of the Prophetic Scriptures and which eventually lead to ANTI-SEMITISM.
From there we move on to the matter of the Rapture; will it be before the Tribulation, during the Tribulation, or after the Tribulation? This is an extremely important matter because it clears up innumerable misconceptions concerning the Tribulation Period, and will impact on our future study of the Seven Seals, the Seven Trumpets, the Seven Vials, the Abomination of Desolation and countless other eschatological subjects. Again, "precept upon precept," line upon line" - all of the preceding material being the building blocks of our discussion of the rapture, and this discussion then becoming an important building block for our further discussions on other eschatological matters.
The point to be made in all of this is, PLEASE DON'T SKIP AROUND. Read this book sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, and chapter by chapter. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.