Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Luke 12:35-40
I was listening to one of my favorite podcasters the other day, and he made the comment (paraphrasing him here) about the need to "temporarily unplug" from tracking all of the prophetic events. To him, things were happening so fast, with such intensity that it was extremely wearisome. I would agree, especially considering the storm brewing on the horizon. I myself have had to unplug from time to time, or else I would have had a mental breakdown years ago. Being a watchman is not for the faint of heart, because keeping a perpetual state of mental and spiritual readiness is difficult to do. In fact, both watching and waiting on the Lord has become a rather soul-grinding business as of late given the frequency and intensity of prophetic events flooding our world. But why has it become such a “soul-grinding” business? I mean, even non-believers watch the news and occasionally feel the need to unplug because it just becomes too much.
The unbeliever’s frustration is in seeing a world falling apart, and having no real answers for why things are happening the way they are, nor any real solutions. For the serious and discerning student of Bible prophecy, however, the problem is the exact opposite. It’s the weight of knowing both the answers and the solutions because we take God’s Word seriously. The truth is this world is soon coming to an end, and the return of the King is imminent. Now, this is great news for the believer…but terrible news for those who are not in Christ. Thus, the weight then becomes like an overwhelming secret that we’ve burdened ourselves with carrying…only, it’s not a secret. It’s there for all to see, but most choose to not have eyes to see, nor ears to hear. Perhaps the reason why the axiom “ignorance is bliss” is so true, is because it is…for a season.
Consider these poignant thoughts by David Jeremiah regarding the schemes of the devil and how they work to disrupt and destroy our faith.
If you could sneak into Satan’s office, wherever that might be (he’s not in hell yet), and take a peek into his files, you might be surprised to find a file folder with your name on it. I’m not exaggerating. He keeps a file on you, and inside that file are all the strategies he’s tried on you—the ones that have worked and the ones that have failed. He doesn’t waste his time with the ones that don’t work anymore. Instead, he uses variations on the strategies that have caused you to stumble in the past. As long as they keep working, he keeps using them. Somewhere in that file cabinet there’s a file labeled: Jeremiah, David. In this file, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there was a notation that reads something like this: Subject may be prone to discouragement, especially if he becomes overly weary. This has worked several times before and seems a promising method of attack. Suggestion: Make sure he stays very busy, overcommitted, and physically tired. At all costs, keep him from extended times of Bible reading and prayer.
So what is Satan’s strategy for me? He looks for ways to discourage me, and if possible, cause me some depression. He will use whatever people, means, or circumstances it takes to achieve his goal.
It’s the same for you. Maybe your file says, “Frequently tempted to gossip,” or “quick temper,” or “prone to coveting and jealousy,” or “weak in the area of lust.”
Don’t kid yourself, he knows very well where your vulnerabilities lie. It’s all in his file. You’ve heard, perhaps, that God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. That’s very good news, but it is also true that Satan hates you and has a plan and strategy to destroy your walk with Jesus Christ.
That’s one big reason why you experience struggle and discouragement in your Christian experience. Sometimes I hear people say,
“Well, if you’re a Christian, you shouldn’t have any struggles. You shouldn’t ever feel discouraged. All is peace and joy and love and happiness.”
I don’t think so. I personally think that description fits better with life before you found salvation in Christ. Do you know why? Because you only had one influence in your life at that time. There was no contest for your heart. There was no tug-of-war for your soul. (Jeremiah, D. . God In You: Releasing the Power of the Holy Spirit in Your Life. Multnomah Publishers) (Source)
The two most dangerous threats to Satan and his kingdom, are the Holy Spirit-filled, soul-winning believer, and those who are serious and discerning students of Bible prophecy. More often than not, these two are one and the same, as they go hand in hand. Nevertheless, the enemy is not ignorant of our efforts and has created a “dual-edged” attack to offset and nullify our calling. These attacks continually threatens to wreck our faith and our work for the Lord.
First and foremost, is in exhausting the believer through spiritual “attrition.” In ancient times, when the Romans wanted to sack a well-armed city, they wouldn’t attack it, they would encircle it. They would then allow no food, water, or any other goods or services to pass through. Eventually, the city would run out of resources, and the citizens would either starve to death, resort to the basest of human behaviors (such as cannibalism) before ultimately collapsing. Then the Romans would attack.
Satan does this by putting a hedge around you (the believer) not to protect you, but to thwart you at every turn. He wants to exhaust you into quitting and giving up, by working in the lives of the unsaved to continually tell you no, or their not interested. He wants our pleading to fall upon deaf ears and blinded eyes, so we eventually stop pleading. To combat this, we must never forget how terrifying this world is about to come, and even more so, how horrifying the next life is apart from God.
The second danger is in the theological ruts we dig ourselves into, by continually looking at things from one perspective. Now, I’m not saying we need to open our minds and look at everything from preterism to Hinduism because we already know those systems to be doctrines of demons. There is still much biblical precedence to ‘contend for the faith.’ What I am saying, is there is enough variance within the confines of the Biblical, Premillennial, Pre-Tribulation position, that we shouldn’t be so wedded to one view so that anytime anyone disagrees with our placing of the Gog-Magog War, the Gap, Psalm 83, etc.… we immediately draw pistols and start shooting holes in each other over it.
First and foremost, Bible prophecy is being fulfilled. It’s often being fulfilled in ways we hadn’t anticipated. For instance, we know according to Revelation 13:16-18 that a “mark of the beast” system will one day be enforced inside the 70th Week of Daniel upon pain of death. This is perhaps one of the most well-known prophecies in the Bible that even non-believers are familiar with.
However, no prophecy teacher or expert that I either know or have heard of anticipated a worldwide pandemic happening in 2020, thus speeding up the global digitalization efforts by some six years. Nor could they have anticipated early on in this pandemic, the demand by governments to mandate an mRNA (DNA altering) vaccine, or now, attempting to mandate an implantable medical chip be put into every citizen. You see, we would all agree that a mark of the beast system has to happen, because the Bible says it does. But how we get to there from where we are today, is still a mystery that is continually unfolding. I don’t have it all figured out, and neither does anyone else. We can read the outline in the Bible, but the details are still being fleshed out so to speak. There is no sense in coming to fisticuffs every time a news story breaks and we think we have it all figured out.
Trust me, Satan loves nothing better than watching well-intentioned Christians voluntarily draw up their own circular firing squad and starts shooting blindly at each other.
Aside from the schemes of the devil in his efforts to derail the believer, there are some internal cautions with our prophetic burden (if I can put it that way). In contrast to the weight of the burden of knowing and warning of those things to come, are the callouses we develop in handling this prophetic knowledge. We have all the verses bookmarked, the order of events committed to memory, and our talking points so well-rehearsed that we sometimes lose sight of just how horrific things will actually become. Put another way, even for those of us who teach and expound upon Bible prophecy so many times that the sheer horror of what’s to come for those left behind, sometimes gets lost in the repeated telling.
In the seal judgment alone, around two billion people will lose their lives in a few short years as a consequence of the Four Horsemen (Seal Judgments 1-4). That number is simply too large for us to really wrap our minds around in our present age, given the fact that around 150 million people have died over the last five thousand years due to war. That’s 150 million people over the course of five thousand years, versus, two billion people over the course of just a few years. The sheer amount of death and destruction that is coming after the Rapture is so unimaginable, it will make World War II and Holocaust look like an afternoon picnic.
Being serious and discerning students of Bible prophecy is not like some whimsical hobby we can put away anytime we tire of it. It is both a gift and a burden God has given us to be His spokesmen in these last days. Granted, we are not running around saying “thus sayeth the Lord” and then declaring Obama the antichrist or anything. We are sticking to scripture and only stating certainly, what God has given us in His Word. Everything else is just conjecture and we must be cautious to never confuse conjecture with dogma.
What’s been the biggest source of frustration for most of us living at such a time as this, is not the pandemic, progressive liberals, or even despotic tyrants (these are to be expected), it’s the apathy amongst other believers. The apathy amongst the church is fueled by the silence in the pulpits. Here we are, living in the most prophetically-charged times since Christ first coming, and the church is sound asleep. This is doubly troublesome when a growing number of pastors are abdicating their duties as shepherds over their flocks, choosing rather to side with the media (mainstream propaganda) or just remain apolitical altogether for fear of diminishing tithes and offerings.
I suppose, if everyone watched already, there wouldn't be a need for a watchman. Everyone would observe the world with a heightened sense of awareness and constantly keep their guard up. Had that been the case, much of the wicked machinations we've seen playing out in recent decades would have never progressed beyond the theoretical stage. However, because people are continually defaulting back to varying states of normalcy bias, the need for someone to stand vigilant remains a constant necessity.
Besides, it's easier to turn away or turn a blind eye to some new evil in the world. It's easier not to do something than it is to challenge it. It's easier to focus on your own life than on the lives of those around you. Because getting involved is hard work. Getting involved costs you time, money, and even your livelihood. Getting involved is exhausting, soul-wrenching work because evil doesn't take it lying down. Evil fights back, and evil doesn't fight fair.
Take for example how the Democrats and progressives operate in our society. If they want to push a bill to legalize, for example, pedophilia, and it gets shot down, they don't just throw up their hands and say...oh well, we gave it our best shot. No, they plot and scheme and figure out a dozen new ways to get the bill passed (or something like it) regardless of whether it's legal, ethical, or constitutional. They work like the servants of Satan himself, as if he has the whip to their back...because he does. Evil never takes a day off. Evil works 24/7, 365 days a year to destroy all that is good. The reason why he (Satan) is so relentless, is because he knows what awaits him, and they will do ANYTHING to prevent that from happening. They know how awful hell and the lake of fire truly are, and they don't want to go there. That is why evil never quits...they know how serious this business is.
Were Christians that driven. Were we so driven to warn our friends and family about such a place as hell?
Let me leave you with this. Now, a warning for those who are squeamish about what hell might be like, be forewarned that I’m not sugarcoating anything here. If you must skip down to the un-indented portion.
Imagine taking your last breath in this life and waking up in the eternal realm. As your consciousness is revived, your body feels like you, but you know you're already dead. Your senses are heightened, and everything you feel is magnified tenfold. In that millisecond of recognition, you take in your first breathe of a putrid, foul-smelling, garbage dump, overflowing with maggots and worms feeding on the carcasses piled up beneath you.
You scramble off the bodies of whom, you have no idea. You move to where there weren't carcasses, but the ground is filled with sharp, jagged, rocks so that every step you took, was unimaginable pain. Likewise, there was no place to rest. No place to sit or lay. The very air you breathe in is acrid with smoke so filthy, it causes you to vomit almost instantly. After vomiting, you gasp for air, but the odor and smoke cause you to vomit and cough all the more.
Now, imagine that place it in complete darkness, yet, has fire burning all around, but the fire does not give light. The heat is already unbearable, and you have only been there for a few moments. There are things moving all about you in the dark, some of which you can see, most you cannot, and they begin hurting and violating you in the most awful and painful ways. So you begin to run, tearing your feet up in the process, not even knowing where you're running to.
In the distance, you can hear people weeping, crying, cursing, and screaming, and above the sound of them all, are the sounds of the demons hunting you. If this weren't bad enough, you somehow know this place will at some point in the future, be cast into the lake of fire which will be like drowning in burning lava, but never dying. Now, the absolute worst part is (aside from knowing it will never end), is knowing you could have chosen not to go there, but in your vain arrogance and pride, decided you would save yourself. As a result, you are now damned forever and ever with no end.
Now, I'm not even a good writer and I can already shudder at any one sentence above. Imagine how much worse the real place will be. This is what Satan and his demons know awaits them. This fate is why they are working so hard to undo it. The fact most humans are ignorant of it and really don’t think about it until the moment after they’ve died is tragic beyond compare. This place is so horrifying, that this is why Jesus spoke more of hell than anyone else in the Bible.
This terrifying reality for millions upon millions is why we shouldn’t waste time arguing amongst ourselves over who we think the False Prophet is, or the Antichrist, or even when the Rapture is going to take place. Don’t get me wrong, the Rapture is going to happen exactly when the Bible teaches us it will…that is, before the 70th Week of Daniel. But I don’t care if you’re the most ardent Amillennialist/Post-Millenialist/Preterist/Pre-Wrath Christian on the planet, if you are alive, and a born-again believer, you’re going up in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. You can apologize to the rest of the group on the way up.
So the takeaways
Be mindful of Satan’s attempts to derail your calling. Be mindful of your ability to sabotage your own efforts by infighting over non-critical issues. Be cognizant that your calling comes at a cost, and that to be a watchman in these final moments of human history is no easy calling. It will mean being alone. Being ostracized by others. It means losing jobs and friends because of the knowledge we are burdened to share.
We can’t make anyone give their lives to Christ that is the work of the Holy Spirit to draw them. However, we must be dutiful in the telling, serious in the warning, and patient in the pleading. And although we may not see the results of our efforts today, the seeds we plant today, might well bear much fruit in the near future. For many, it will take the fulfillment of the Rapture, and the subsequent chaos that results in, for them to finally have the veil lifted from their hearts.
Lastly, remember, just as God chose us in Him, so too, has He chosen us to be His messengers of the things to come in these last days. There might be tales told of us in the ages to come of our work here and now, just as we read back about those saints who fill the pages of our own Bibles.
Therefore, be joyful in the knowledge that God selected you and I before the world began to live in such a time as this.
Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” Mark 13:35-37