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The Watchman and the Wall
In Defense of the Faith
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Pete Garcia

Ever had one of those conversations about the last days where it ends with the other believer saying, ''I don’t worry about that kind of stuff, I just know it will all pan out in the end?''  My all time favorite is when a clergyman tells me that he doesn’t preach on it, because it’s 'too divisive'. 

Yet, these same churches that won’t preach the prophetic word for fear of ‘division’, will break fellowship over the color of the carpet or whether they take communion once a week or once a quarter.  I don’t know about you, but it breaks my heart to see the state of the modern day church.

Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44 NKJV)

The church today, like the Israel in Jesus’ day had gone a long time since anything miraculous or spectacular had happened.  It had been 400 years since the last prophet, and there was seemingly a silence from God for that whole period of time.  In reality, we can see that God wasn’t silent at all, but was allowing 483 years of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks to play out.  And when Israel’s Messiah did come at the appointed time, the people weren’t ready.

For us, 2,000 years has passed since that Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given.  God has not been silent these last two millennia, but is allowing the fulfillment of the chronology of the Seven Letters to unfold just like the Scriptures said they would.  When our Savior comes for His Church, will Christians today be ready?

…Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”  (Luke 18:8)

Today’s mainline churches continue to preach the same old material over and over, month after month, and year after year.  They refuse to get anywhere near the prophetic word, and by doing so, ignore over 25% of their Bibles.  In their thinking, prophecy has been relegated to fringe groups who march on the sidewalks wearing ‘REPENT: THE END IS NEAR’ sandwhich boards.  Maligned and diminished, the Pre-Millennial believer often has to resort to alternative fellowships outside the confines of their church building to even find camaraderie amongst the brethren.

"Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown." (Revelation 3:11 NKJV)

In Paul’s two epistles to the fledgling church in Thessalonica, he lays out the ‘mystery’ (muster ion: Greek) of the Rapture (harpazo: Greek) of the Church.

Many scholars believe that 1st Thessalonians was the first epistle ever written to the newly formed body of believers known as the Church.  Likewise, it is also the first epistle to introduce the doctrine of the Rapture in any kind of detail.  The ‘Rapture’ is not a Johnny-come-lately idea; it’s been around since Jesus first discussed it in the Upper Room discourse. 

2nd Thessalonians was specifically written to counter false teaching that had been snuck into that church in letterform, as if it had come from the Apostles.  It said that those Thessalonian believers were already in the Tribulation.  Paul condemns those who promoted this false doctrine in chapter one, and then goes into great detail in chapter two explaining the chain of events that would have to transpire BEFORE the Tribulation could begin.  Notice how Paul ends these two jam-packed eschatological epistles:

"But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15 NKJV)

The modern day religious authorities of both the Protestant and Catholic flavors, by and large have rejected the idea that Christ is returning for His Church and that He is coming to establish a literal 1,000 year Messianic kingdom here on earth after the Tribulation.

Instead, they come at you cloaked in religiosity with reasonable sounding reproaches attempting to silence you with shame for taking the Bible so literally.  They lump all believers who hold to a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, in the same group as those who followed Harold Camping and William Miller.  These clergy plant their battle flags behind grossly misconstrued scriptures and wave their Master’s of Divinity degrees around as if it were some sort of magical decree from God to interpret the Bible however they see fit.

"And so we have the prophetic word confirmed,which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (1 Peter 1:19-21 NKJV)

They trade the literal for the allegorical in such a free and easy manner, as if the Bible were no more literal or understandable than a Dr. Seuss book.  For them, we are but one more generation in a long series of generations to come.  They want to go to Heaven, and may even be going themselves, but they have zero interest in knowing the how or the why.  Notice how Jesus address’s the religious authorities of His day:

He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. (Matthew 16:2-3 NKJV)

They’re too busy trying to fix this fallen and doomed world system with their social gospel propaganda, church expansion committees, and seeker-sensitive training programs to realize how late the hour truly is.

It seems very odd to me considering, that even if the Lord tarried, how little time we actually spend in this life that they should be so consumed with the here and now. (Psalm 90:10)  The overwhelming bulk of our existence will be spent in eternity.  They are too busy getting their “best life now” to think about the eternal life that is to come.  These man-centric programs will be forgotten the millisecond we take our last breath.

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus joins two disciples walking and talking in a somber mood.  I’m paraphrasing here but He says:  “What’s up guys, why the sad faces?”  They said, “Dude, where have you been?  Don’t you know what’s just happened in Jerusalem?  So they retell the story of the crucifixion and how the women visited the tomb on the third day and found it empty, but did report seeing angels that told them He was alive.  They went themselves, but didn’t see anything but the empty tomb.  This conversation follows:

Then He said to them, “O foolish ones,and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.  (Luke 24:25-27)

Obviously, Jesus took the numerous prophecies concerning His first coming literally.  He believed them because He fulfilled them. Consider this then…for every verse concerning Christ’s first coming in the Old Testament, there are three that speak to His second coming.  So why shouldn’t we take the ones concerning His second coming any less literal?

I once met a brother who I have no doubt, loved Jesus.  I told him I was going to lead a bible study through the book of Revelation and he gave me the strangest look, as if I just told him I was going to sacrifice some baby goats or something.  He then proceeded to tell me he didn’t read that book because he wanted to stay focused on Jesus, not prophetic symbolism that no one could understand.  I shouldn’t have been shocked, but I was and had I more of my wits about me, I would have pointed him to Revelation 19:10.

"…For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

After we parted ways, I must admit I slowly became angry the more I considered our theological exchange.  Righteous anger or not, I prayed for him and believers like him who are somehow partially blinded by their theological upbringing.  I began to picture a scene where the ‘watchman on the wall’ is on the wall, looking out at over the horizon and can see by the prophetic word, the evil that is coming to our generation like a tsunami.  Those inside the walls are safe in Christ, and those outside the walls are not. 

The watchman is trying to warn those on the outside to come in before it’s too late.  Those outside mostly ignore the warning, but a few do come.  Ironically, the scoffing isn’t coming from without, but from within. The “learned experts” are pointing and laughing at him as if he were some kind of embarrassment to their social standing.  Yet, they sense no impending threat nor do they recognize the signs of the times.  Not only are they not on the wall, but also refuse to come up to see if what the Watchman says is true.  Oblivious to what has been made plainly clear by our Holy Bible, they would rather harmonize their humanistic work propping up a world in collapse, which is about to come to an abrupt end.  Like rearranging the deck furniture on the Titanic, theirs is truly an exercise in futility.

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”  (Revelation 22:12:13 NKJV)

About Pete Garcia

Last week: Come Undone

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