What Saith the Scripture?
Rapture And Judgment Are At Hand
Or, It Shall Be No More Prolonged
"For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the Word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the Word, and will perform it, saith the LORD GOD"
by Tom Stewart
The Watching and Waiting Saints need to be encouraged to continue their abiding in the LORD Jesus Christ. "And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His Coming" (1John 2:28). We must stand confident in hope and in His Word. "Uphold me according unto Thy Word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope" (Psalm 119:116). Coming judgment for America and the world, will be preceded by the Rapture deliverance of the Saints. "To slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from Thee: Shall not the Judge of All the Earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25).
However, the modern prophecies of America's soon destruction-- have also drawn the attention of skeptics and mockers. "17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the Apostles of our LORD Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit" (Jude 17-19).
We would do well to evaluate our present circumstances in light of the Scriptures. "Now all these things happened unto them [historical Israel in the wilderness] for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1Corinthians 10:11).
Ezekiel Compared to Today
Ezekiel prophesied concerning the coming judgment of the nation of Israel-- both the northern ("house of Israel") and southern ("house of Judah") kingdoms. The iniquity of Israel and Judah had to be punished by a longsuffering but holy God. Though the 430 Days of Ezekiel prophecy-- 390 days for Israel plus 40 days for Judah-- dealt with the ancient history of Israel, it also pointed to events of the 20th century. [See the "Ezekiel Predicted the 1967 Recapture of Jerusalem" -- http://Whatsaiththescripture.com/Timeline/1998.Year.of.Apocalypse.2.html#Ezekiel Predicted -- section of our article, "1998: Year of the Apocalypse (Part 2)" -- http://Whatsaiththescripture.com/Timeline/1998.Year.of.Apocalypse.2.html -- (when we were hoping the Rapture would occur on Pentecost 1998), for a discussion of Ezekiel 4:1-8's time oriented prophecy.] "4 Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. 5 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year" (Ezekiel 4:4-6).
As in these Last Days, the prophet Ezekiel was faced with the plague of scoffers. "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts" (2Peter 3:3). There were perhaps other Godly prophets warning of coming judgment, but Ezekiel had to contend with the "foolish prophets" that "prophesy out of their own hearts" (Ezekiel 13:2). "Thus saith the LORD GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!" (13:3). No doubt, Ezekiel was lumped together with the "foolish prophets" by the "scoffers" who sought to discredit him. On the other hand, "Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper" (2Chronicles 20:20).
The Days Are Prolonged, And Every Vision Faileth
The mockers of Ezekiel's day coined their own parable about all the prophecies and visions that predicted a coming judgment for the iniquity of their nation-- "The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth" (Ezekiel 12:22). In other words, the scoffers were saying that the prophesied days are extended to some future time-- if at all. Besides, all the other visions and prophecies have failed to materialize, as well. The LORD's response is to silence the scoffers' parable with the fulfillment of the vision. "Tell them therefore, Thus saith the LORD GOD; I will make this proverb to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect [fulfillment] of every vision" (Ezekiel 12:23). Again, today, we must remind ourselves of the imminent fulfillment of our Rapture, America's destruction, the judgment of the world, and the Second Coming of our LORD. "For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry" (Hebrews 10:37).
But, to continue, the LORD made clear that He would not tolerate any more "vain vision [or] flattering divination within the house of Israel" (Ezekiel 12:24). This is in reference to the "foolish prophets" (13:3). The commentator, John Gill (1697-1771), believed that there was a period of "three years time" between Ezekiel's prophecy of the besieging of Jerusalem (4:6) and its fulfillment-- from "An Exposition of the Old and New Testament" (1760), commenting on Ezekiel 12:23. In the meantime, Ezekiel would have been open to the mockers' criticism of giving a failed vision or prophecy, i.e., the "days are at hand" (12:23). Perhaps the scoffers would have even turned the LORD's words against Ezekiel, i.e., saying that his prophecies were a "vain vision" or a "flattering divination" (12:24). This is akin to some attacking the Christians, who are preaching the LORD Jesus' message, "Behold, I come quickly" (Revelation 22:12), when the LORD has yet to return all these years later. But, "Wisdom is justified of her children" (Matthew 11:19).
It Shall Come to Pass
Moses asked the question, "Who is on the LORD'S side?" (Exodus 32:26), when calling the people to separation from the sin of the golden calf. Likewise, we are "in meekness instructing" (2Timothy 2:25) the Body to be "sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work" (2:21), as well as to be living in expectation of our LORD's Coming. "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure" (1John 3:3). This sanctified living must be in keeping with the force of the LORD's Words to Ezekiel, "The days are at hand" (Ezekiel 12:23).
Man's tendency is to measure things by himself, and not to measure things by God. "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD" (Isaiah 55:8). When the Alpha and Omega declares, "I will speak, and the Word that I shall speak shall come to pass; It shall be no more prolonged" (Ezekiel 12:25), "those that oppose themselves" (2Timothy 2:25) will attempt to find a way to despise that "Word of the Holy One of Israel" (Isaiah 5:24).
To emphasize the fact that the fulfillment of the LORD's prophecy through Ezekiel was certain, the LORD said, "In your days, O rebellious house, will I say the Word, and will perform it" (Ezekiel 12:25). "19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it" (Isaiah 1:19-20). In their life span, every hearer of Ezekiel's prophecy concerning the LORD's judgment of Israel and Judah's iniquity, would know the reality of the prophecy's fulfillment. "For all the Promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen" (2Corinthians 1:20).
Because man is not inherently good, apart from the LORD Jesus Christ, "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (2Timothy 3:13). For this reason, the rebellious house of Israel said, "The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off" (Ezekiel 12:27). They opposed not only God, but themselves as well. "Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of Salvation" (2Corinthians 6:2). God always calls men to faith and obedience in the present tense. "Again, He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts" (Hebrews 4:7).
In simple response to the gainsayers, the LORD declared through Ezekiel His opinion of their statement that the "vision that [Ezekiel] seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off" (Ezekiel 12:27). The LORD said, "There shall none of My Words be prolonged any more, but the Word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the LORD GOD" (12:28). "God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19). In Solomon's dedicatory prayer of the First Temple, Solomon rightly stated the certainty of the Good LORD's Words. "Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto His people Israel, according to all that He promised: there hath not failed one Word of all His Good Promise, which He promised by the hand of Moses His servant" (1Kings 8:56).
What This Article Has Not Attempted to Prove
My intention in this article:
However, what we are desirous of accomplishing is your encouragement. "For now we live, if ye stand fast in the LORD" (1Thessalonians 3:8). If you become discouraged and quit hoping that the LORD will fulfill His Word in your soon Rapture, as well as the other End Time events associated with His Second Coming, then you will "come short" (Hebrews 4:1) of entering into His Rest. We must be like Abraham, "who against hope believed in hope" (Romans 4:18). We must stagger "not at the Promise of God through unbelief" (4:20); but instead, we "have need of patience, that, after [we] have done the will of God, [we] might receive the Promise [that is, the promised results]" (Hebrews 10:36).
We need to "continue in prayer" (Colossians 4:2) that we would be "accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass" (Luke 21:36). Praying not only for ourselves, but that the Body would be "ready" (12:40) to answer the Rapture Call, "Come Up Hither" (Revelation 4:1). "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41). What intercession we give at this time will be the difference between many going or not going. "Stand in the gap" (Ezekiel 22:30) through intercession and a "word fitly spoken" (Proverbs 25:11) in "due season" (Galatians 6:9). Continue to obey our LORD's command, "Occupy till I come" (Luke 19:13).
May our entrance into His presence be with great rejoicing! "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Psalm 126:6).
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