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Jesus ascends

 

It is written,

” And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

Acts 1:9-11

What I wish to talk with you today about is submission to the word of God.  By way of example, there are some, many in fact, that deny there is a rapture. There are those who adamantly preach and teach that their is no “catching away.”  In fact, they view those who believe in “that blessed hope” as somehow weak for hoping to escape the coming tribulation.

The fact of the matter is that Jesus himself was “raptured” in front of the disciples.  Moreover, two angels testified that he would come back to earth someday in the same manor in which he ascended. Therefore, there is a phenomenon that involves being caught up into heaven.  Therefore, those who say there is no rapture are simply wrong.

This type of willful ignorance of plain scriptural truth is not limited to the doctrine of the rapture.  Many people believe that, although God says He is one, that He is somehow three in one. God also plainly states that He is going roll up the heavens like a scroll.  Peter writes that the elements will melt with a fervent heat and that the Earth itself will be burnt up, yet there are those who steadfastly believe that God is going to “refurbish” this creation.  So what is going on? Why do so many not accept to the plain truth of the word of God?

Here is a truth,

 

“People are self-blinded to the truth because they do not wish to submit to the truth.”

 

In other words, because people do not want to align themselves to what God plainly says, they pervert God’s word to fit what they want it to say.

It is obvious that Jesus was taken up into heaven.  Yet, regardless of this fact, many still maintain that there is no rapture of believers. Unwillingness to simply let God be whatever He wants to be causes them to be unable to see and accept what is plainly in front of them. Can you imagine someone who does not believe in the rapture standing there on the day Christ ascended?  What would they sound like if they started telling the disciples that God does not catch people away? Yet, today, those same people say there is not rapture.

We are to submit to God’s word no matter what it costs.  We cannot determine what God can and cannot say simply because it makes us uncomfortable.  In reality, knowing the truth of God is not a matter of having the intellect to understand it, but rather it is a function of having a heart attitude and humility to accept it.

Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and raised the dead yet the religious people of the day wanted to stone him.  To anyone without an agenda Jesus was plainly a man approved of by God yet those who should have been best able to accept Him ended up shouting “crucify him!”

It is written,

“For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

Matthew 13:15

It is vitally important that we cultivate a heart that reverences God’s word and is open to receive His instruction.  We must fear God for, the scriptures state, that is be beginning of wisdom.  What people think of us or how people react to us is not relevant when it comes to seeking to know who God is and what God wants of us.  If we place anything before God’s word as revealed in the scriptures or through His Spirit we are not worthy to be called Christian.

Brethren, we are in the time of  “Strong Delusion” and most do not fully understand what that means.  People will depart from the truth, not because what they think is reasonable, but because of the demonic power of the lie that they believe.  It is written,

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

Matthew 24:24

What drives people to accept false doctrine is not reason but deception.  This deception is driven by demons.  This is not a intellectual debate where one side “out argues” another, but it is a process by which people “feel” that what they think is right without any proof and without reason.  This is the spirit of Antichrist that is manifest in the world through followers, however wittingly or unwittingly, of Satan.

I am warning all those who still have ears to hear that we are entering into a time where people who oppose all that is good, all the is righteous, and all that is holy will not listen to sound doctrine.  We are entering a day when unbelievers and even some believers will literally want to kill those who speak the truth in love.  Those who are under strong delusion cannot be reasoned with but literally have to be delivered from the demons that inhabit them before they can come back into their “right” mind.  Without the Spirit of God binding the spirit of Antichrist in them nothing we say or do will make the least iota of impact upon them.

People who have not dealt with demonic power do not fully realize what I am talking about.  However, the next time someone, who is usually reasonable and sane, starts to act all out of character know that you are dealing with a demon and not the person you know.  At that time all you can do is speak the name of Jesus and let God deal with the situation through binding that spirit within them.

People may think that holding false doctrine in some areas is not that bad.  After all, isn’t everyone a little bit wrong?  The problem is that there is two types of deception.  If you hold false doctrine simply because you do not understand the scriptures but would be willing to accept the truth if shown then there is hope for you.  However, if you hold false doctrine, having been shown the truth, and you steadfastly decide to believe the lie then you have literally set yourself against God in that area.  By refusing to submit to the Holy Spirit you have aligned yourself, at least in that area, with the spirit of Antichrist.  If you have set yourself against God in one aspect of your life then you are vulnerable to further deception and no one can change you mind. By willfully believing a lie now you open yourself up to the following.

It is written,

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:”

2 Thessalonians 2: 7-11

In the end, it all comes down to our heart condition before God.  If we are humble and willing to accept who Jesus was and who God is, then we can be led by His Spirit into all truth.  I pray, in the name of Jesus, that those bound in deception will consider these words and be loosed from the spirits that bind them.  I pray that the light of Almighty God will penetrate the darkness that permeates these areas in your life and allow you to see, if only for a brief moment, the reality of God that is in Christ.  Let our Father, which is in heaven, show us all mercy and help us to stand strong in this time of “Strong Delusion.”

Amen.