Fear God and Give Him Glory

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. -Revelation 14:6-7

This is a strange phenomena we see here: an angel in Heaven proclaiming the “everlasting Gospel” to all on earth. And as this angel preaches, what does it record as the words of his Gospel? “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

“What sort of Gospel is this?” I found myself almost subconsciously thinking as I thought about his words recently while reading through the book of Revelation. Why, there is no mention of the Person or atoning blood of Christ, of the Resurrection or the finished work of the Savior, of the manner of repentance or a description of saving faith, how then can this be the “everlasting Gospel”?  But then as I thought more I began to realize that this is not meant to be a thorough or exhaustive explanation of the Gospel, but rather a powerful declaration of that most important, foundational truth that the Gospel itself rests upon. And what is that most important foundational truth? -It is that the Gospel, the everlasting Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and everything in it, utterly rests upon the supremacy and glory of God, period. The Gospel is designed to exalt God above all. And this is what the angel himself declared.

“Fear God…”, the angel shouted. That is, God, the One who is infinitely exalted, who created all things, who dwells in perfect holiness and righteousness and justice and truth, the very God who rules all of creation, He is the One to whom men must give account. He is the One we all must fear. The Gospel starts here, where wisdom and knowledge start (Pro. 1:7, 9:10), with the fear of the Living God. All men must be brought to a point where the Holy Spirit so works in their hearts in the work of conviction that He shows them that they are hopelessly undone in and of themselves, hopelessly lost and unable to save themselves, and that God is a righteous judge who will punish sin, and causes them to see this and in the light of it strikes the holy fear of God in their hearts, a fear which causes them to depart from iniquity. We are commanded to fear God, but we do it not solely by necessity of command, but rather because that it is the first and proper response to having an understanding of how holy and awesome God really is. Fear Him! There is no other choice if you have a revelation of His holy character! He is jealous, He is a consuming fire, He is the great and terrible One! If you don’t fear Him, you have no idea who He really is! And thus the Gospel starts here, it starts with having a revelation of the nature and character of God, and as a result of having this revelation of who He is, of having the fear of Him strike your heart and lead you to repentance! There will be no genuine conversion and no real repentance if the fear of God is not understood in the heart -it may not be able to be explained with words or expounded upon with fine oratory, but in the heart of every true convert, there will be a healthy and real, holy fear of God.

The angel then goes on, “…and give glory to Him.” -And what is the chief, primary way in which all of us from among sinful men can give glory to God? The answer is clear: by believing in His Son! By trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ to save us and trusting solely in Him, by renouncing our own self-righteousness, our own works, our own self-sufficiency, our own self-reliance, and forsaking all of self-trust and radically looking to Christ and Christ alone for real salvation. We glorify God by turning our eyes from self and exalting the true King of the earth, the Messiah that came to redeem us. No sinner can truly glorify God as a way of life until they first believe in the Savior that God has provided, by Whose merit our offerings are made acceptable in His sight. The everlasting Gospel calls us to glorify God as our primary purpose and goal in life, and we fulfill this calling by believing in, trusting in, following, serving, and obeying the Lord Jesus Christ. When we die to self and allow Christ to manifest His real resurrection life through us, then the life we live is no longer our own, but Christ is continually glorified as He works in us and through us to fulfill the good pleasure of His own will. Our calling is to glorify God by loving Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. And we can only do this when Christ Himself lives in us by the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of the abiding Word, and we allow ourselves to be transformed by grace and become channels through which God manifests this grace to the world around. 

The Gospel starts and ends with the glory of God. The primary aim of the Gospel is not merely to meet the need of man, as great and desperate as that need is, especially in the necessity of eternal salvation. That is certainly a great aim of the Gospel, but it is not primary. The primary aim of the Gospel is the glory of God, it is to glorify God. The salvation of man is so significant only because it gives glory to God. But the order is clear, first is God’s glory, and then is man’s need. Don’t get is backwards, or else you twist the everlasting Gospel into something else. Our calling is to give glory to Him, first by trusting in His Son, and then by living for His Son. Believe in Him, and worship Him. There is no other greater reason for existance.

The angel shouting the everlasting Gospel is declaring the utter supremacy and glory of God above all peoples and things, and this should cause us all to humble ourselves in repentance and to glorify Him by trusting in and obeying His Son.

Dear soul, have you thus gave glory to God?

Just the ponderings of a foolish thing of this world.

Final Apostasy, Trying Times, and a Message for the Saints

David Wilkerson, from his message, “The Great and Final Apostasy”, said:

“God hates most of all the lukewarm gospel of half-truths that is now spreading over the globe. This gospel says, “Just believe in Jesus and you’ll be saved. There’s nothing more to it.” It ignores the whole counsel of God, which speaks of repenting from former sins, of taking up your cross, of being conformed to the image of Christ by the refining work of the Holy Spirit. It is totally silent about the reality of hell and an after-death judgment.

Isaiah warns of this smooth, non-offensive gospel, which people are clamoring for today. His prophecy applies directly to the present time, because God instructed him to write it “for the time to come” [Isaiah 30.8]

“This is a rebellious people… children that will not hear the law of the Lord: which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us” (30:9–11).

According to Isaiah, there was no preaching of holiness or repentance. Why? The people didn’t want to be corrected or convicted. They refused to hear anything but a smooth gospel. Yet a diluted gospel is no gospel at all.

Ezekiel describes such a gospel: “They have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them” (Ezekiel 22:26). He called the diluted gospel mere whitewash, or “untempered mortar” [22.28]. In other words: “You’re building walls with untempered mortar. Those walls may look prestigious and strong now, but the Lord is sending a storm, and it’s going to cause those walls to fall.” “A stormy wind shall rend it” (13:11).

Ezekiel then outlined a list of awesome judgments, through which God would say to his people: “I’m going to expose your nakedness. Severe judgments are on the way, and when they come, your blasphemous gospel will be exposed as empty and hopeless.”

Isaiah prophesied that in that day, “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day…. The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day” (Isaiah 2:11, 15, 17).

Right now, I believe we are facing Armageddon. All around us we see nations trembling and men’s hearts shuddering with fear. I tell you, this is no time for a diluted gospel. That gospel is absolutely treacherous, because it will crumble as soon as the winds of judgment blow. God warns he’ll judge those who preach this lifeless gospel:

“Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 13:22–23).

“I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy…Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted me in all these things; behold, therefore I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord God” (16:38, 43, my italics).

When judgment comes, what will happen to those who put their security in a diluted gospel? They’ll look in every direction for a true word from the Lord but won’t be able to find it. Their apostate preachers will say, “Don’t get worked up. The world has seen troubles like these before. We’ve seen world wars. All things continue as they have from the beginning. This will blow over.”

No, not so! There has never been a day like this one. There are now nuclear weapons in the hands of madmen, deadly missiles that can travel thousands of miles, dirty bombs and germ warfare that threaten to wipe out huge masses of humanity.

Just as Sodom and Gomorrah willingly ignored God’s warnings and were judged, the Lord will judge this last-day generation. But many of his judgments are redemptive, and those that fell on Sodom were examples for every generation: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah…are set forth for an example” (Jude 7).”

Josef’s comments: This is a strong cry from a watchman of the Lord that we would all do well to take heed to, and to tremble in the fear of Almighty God. Disasterous times are coming upon the face of the earth, and as God is sovereignly preparing the imminent return of His Son, fallen angels, evil principalities and powers are preparing the world for the last great and final apostasy and the revelation of the anti-Christ Beast. This watered down lukewarm “gospel” of half-truths is a serious manifestation of apostasy, prophesied by the prophets, apostles, and the Lord Himself in the holy Scriptures, and is a major signs of the times, and of the final “Laodicean” church age we are living in. As soon as the era of the Laodicean church comes to an end, then begins the great judgments of the Apocolypse, ultimately culminating into the return of Christ in flaming fire.

There may indeed be a World War III just around the corner. Could a war between the US and Iran over Israel break out and trigger such a global catastrophe in the near future? And could this coming global conflict result in mass devastation among the nations, and as it tames down, result in a new treaty with Israel, allowing them to rebuild the Temple, and pave the way for the man of lawlessness? Could this coming conflict thrust the US down on the world scene from its high throne of reigning over the nations, and cause the European Union to become the next world superpower, a revived Roman Empire that tramples everything in its path and defies God in satanic rebellion? Only time will tell.  

But the fact is, times will get perilous for Americans soon enough, and it’s during those times that the saints will have to trust in God with all their hearts. These things should not cause the saints to fear, but to watch, be sober, and prepare -not physically (unless the Lord specifically directs), but I mean spiritually. This is the time to ask the Lord to search your heart and see if there is any wicked way in you. This is the time to deeply and sincerely REPENT from everything you know to be sin, everything you know to be compromise, from every unholy attachment and reliance upon this fallen world and its ungodly system, and to see to it that you’re walking in holiness and deep, deep reliance and dependancy on the grace of God. This is the time for the Bride of Christ to make herself ready, to wash her garments, to be clothed in fine linen which is the righteousness of the saints. He’s coming back for a spotless bride, and now is the time to prepare in the fear of God. As Noah was warned of things not yet come, but prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by faith, moved by the fear of God, so the end-time saints on the earth right now are being graciously warned by the Lord that perilous times are coming and now is the time to get your spiritual ark in order that you may be saved. For only those who endure to the end during these trying times ahead will be saved. Things are going to be shaken hard, and only those standing on a solid foundation of a true and deep personal, living relationship with the risen Christ will make it.

But be warned: Don’t fall into the enemy’s traps during these times to fear with an unholy fear. But fear God alone. And trust Him. In the last days, those who know their God shall be strong and do exploits! So while this lukewarm, watered down “gospel” is going forth across the globe right now in this lukewarm church age, may the saints of God arise in the power of the Holy Ghost and lift up their voices like a trumpet and proclaim the Word of the Lord: to fear God and keep His commandments, to repent, to put away all iniquity, and to trust in the Savior, the risen Christ, forsaking all to follow Him, living a crucified life clinging firmly to the cross and embracing its death, that out of that death may come true resurrection life! Saints, don’t fear these times, but rather rejoice, knowing the return of your Lord is close at hand! And stand strong by faith in the blood of the Lamb, hold fast to the word of your testimony, and love Him more than your very own life, even unto death, and by this you have the promise of victory over the evil one in these trying times ahead. Stand firm, soldiers of Christ, and hold your ground!