Thursday, May 26, 2011

TWO DISTINCT EVENTS

Two Distinct Events



Matthew chapters 24 and 25 have nothing whatsoever to do with the Rapture of the Church. Have I got your attention? Good. Now let’s proceed.



Jesus’ Second Advent and the Rapture of the Church are two completely different events. Believe it or not, many Christians lump them together. It’s important to understand the difference between the two so as not to be confused.



“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4. Daniel is told to seal the book until the end. What book? Knowledge will be increased, knowledge of what? God’s Word. We can go back in time and study many of the great expositors of God’s Word, men respected throughout the ages, and as we do we can find that in some instances they’ve erred in their interpretations. Why? Because the knowledge they needed to fully grasp God’s word was sealed up until the last days. Now, God is unsealing the book for those who will diligently seek His truth. Hold on to your seats, you might find this commentary to be a bumpy ride.



The Rapture will occur just prior to the 70th week (seven year period) prophesied by Daniel. At the end of those seven years Jesus Christ, with all His Raptured saints, will return to put an end to the war of Armageddon. Placing the Rapture of the Church in the same time frame as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is erroneous biblical teaching.



The Rapture was a mystery until Paul began to explain it in his letters. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” I Corinthians 15:51-52a. Paul’s teachings make it clear what will transpire at the Rapture of Christ’s Church. What we don’t know is when that awesome event will occur. But we have a great clue given to us by Paul in the book of Romans “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” Romans 11:25. The mystery Paul alludes to in this instance is the mystery of the Church. Fullness refers to an amount of something, in this case it’s a God ordained specific number of born again believers in Christ that must be accomplished before the Church disappears. When that number is reached the Church will, in the twinkling of an eye, be removed from planet earth. There is nothing other than that specific number standing in the way of Christ removing His Church. Something to keep in mind is it could happen with the very next person you witness to.



Much of the confusion regarding the Rapture vs. the Lords Second Advent is centered in Matthew chapter 24 with the following verse “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Matthew 24:36. Jesus, speaking to His disciples, lays out how things will occur during the seven years prior to His return. Verse 36 has nothing to do with the Rapture of the Church, but everything to do with Christ’s Second Advent when He returns with His saints.



In perfect view in chapter 24 of Matthew is the nation of Israel. This is the time when God concentrates His attention exclusively on His chosen people. The Church is not mentioned even once in this chapter. Jesus is speaking to the Jews of His day about the Jews of the last days remaining on earth just prior to His Second Advent (This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Matthew 24:34). The Church is still a mystery at this point in Jesus’ chronology of the last seven year period; why then speak of the Rapture of His Church to His disciples, if the mystery of His Church was still hidden?



Now let’s stop here and back up to the third verse in Matthew chapter 24. “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Matthew 24:3. Four of Jesus’ closest disciples (see Mark 13) came to Him with three enquiries. First they wanted to know when these things would take place. What things? “…and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:1b-2. The buildings of the Temple would be completely destroyed and all the stones of those structures thrown down. This occurred in 70AD when Titus, the Roman general, took siege of Jerusalem and killed every Jew that remained.



The second and third questions posed by these four disciples are “and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and the end of the world?” Jesus goes into great detail as we read the rest of this chapter to answer their questions. We’ll touch on a few of those verses as I attempt to explain the circumstances surrounding them.



I’m going to veer off subject just a bit here as we read verse 13, notice that Jesus makes a very interesting, and what some might see as contradictive, statement. “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13. Wait just a minute. As much as I’ve studied the Bible I can’t find anywhere in scripture where Jesus tells us, concerning His free gift of salvation, that we must endure (persevere) to the end to be saved. No, all that is necessary for salvation to be imparted to us is to believe. We place our faith, our trust, and our hope in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord and Him alone as the propitiation for our sins. Can you see that something is amiss here? Jesus can’t be referring to His Church saying we must endure to be saved. Justification (salvation) is instantaneous when we first believe, there’s no enduring ‘til the end attached to our justification. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” John 3:36. These are Jesus’ own words; why would He purposely contradict Himself by saying we had to endure ‘til the end to be saved? Answer – He wouldn’t. So, there must be another explanation.



As I’ve mentioned, Jesus is addressing His disciples, and was teaching them the chronology of events that would occur during the last seven year period culminating in the battle of Armageddon. These events would precipitate His Second Advent. He speaks about things the Church can certainly see approaching as we occupy these last days.



Back in Matthew 16, where Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees, He explains to them that they should have been able to read the signs of His first coming “He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye 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 lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” Matthew 16:2-3. We are born again believers in Christ; certainly we can discern the signs of the times. Today birth pangs are increasing and they indicate that we are very close to the end. But we are not in the prophesied 70th week of Daniel yet, which will produce the many signs Jesus speaks about.



Matthew chapter 24 must be read in context. It is talking about Israel, not the Church. It is Israel that will endure those final seven years prophesied by Daniel. This includes, of course, the Great Tribulation of the last 3½ years of that period in which God pours out His wrath on a Christ rejecting world. Christ rejecters, not Christ accepters.



Jesus speaks about the Gospel being preached in “all the world”. We see that this phenomenon occurs in the book of Revelation “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. At this point in earth’s history the Church has been missing from planet earth for quite some time.



“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place” Matthew 24:15. Jesus then speaks of the abomination of desolation which can only occur after the Temple is rebuilt, which won’t occur before the Church is Raptured. Those who are in Judaea must flee into the mountains, clearly a reference to Jews. Jesus tells them to pray that their flight be not on the Sabbath day, again a clear reference to Jews because they observe the Sabbath, which was specifically established for them.



“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:21-22. These two verses clearly point to a huge amount of destruction coming on the world. If God doesn’t put an end to it when He does, no flesh would be saved. By the way, the “elect” are those individuals who’ve become born again during the Great Tribulation.



In verses 25 and 26 Jesus begins to reiterate His warning about all the false Christ’s that will show up claiming they are the Christ. He tells them to look for Him as one who comes like lightning from the east and His light will shine all the way to the west. Then Jesus continues His chronology of events describing just how things will unfold for those who remain alive during the Great Tribulation.



“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Matthew 24:30. Everyone remaining alive on earth will see Jesus coming, that’s not the Rapture of His Church, since we’re told the Church will meet Him in the air, Jesus doesn’t set foot on earth again until He returns with His saints. The Rapture event will take place in what the scientists confirm is the smallest measurement of time known to mankind. No one left on earth will observe its occurrence. All they will know is a lot of folks have gone missing.



The survivors of the last seven year period just prior to Jesus’ return must discern the signs indicated by Jesus in Matthew 24. They should be fully aware of the Pharisees and Sadducees lack of discerning abilities and not follow in their footsteps. Jesus gets His point across this time as He uses the parable of the fig tree. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:32-33. At this point in Jesus’ chronology tour, it’s just about time for His Second Advent when He returns to earth to take over as her perfect King.



“Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Matthew 24:34-36. After all we’ve just discovered how can these three verses refer to the Church? They don’t. The generation Jesus is referring to is the last generation of Jews on planet earth. Heaven and earth passing away and His words not passing away means that everything Jesus teaches in this chronology will come to pass without fail.



Now here’s the part that so many misunderstand about the Rapture of the Church. Jesus tells the four disciples, who began all this with those three little questions, that of the time of His Second Advent no man, no angel (and in Mark chapter 13 not even the Son) knows the day and the hour of His return to earth. There are a few other scriptures that sound similar to this verse in Matthew 24 (no one knows the day or the hour). But they are all addressing the Jews who will occupy earth’s last seven year period.



“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37-39. These verses can be confusing if you’re still determined to place the Church in Jesus’ chronology tour. It will be a very devastating period, how can there be anyone who hasn’t noticed the carnage and catastrophic occurrences of God’s wrath? Who would be involved in pursuing any form of pleasure at a time like that? What has happened is Jesus has returned to the beginning part of the 70th week of Daniel to explain that not many will notice anything different going on. The Church is, in the twinkling of an eye, missing. This means millions, possibly even billions, of earth’s inhabitants have disappeared and yet those remaining simply return to business as usual. The word that must be inserted here is delusional. “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” 2 Thessalonians 2:11.



“Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Matthew 24:40-41. These two verses point to the end and Jesus is using an analogy here that everyone should be familiar with. Not everyone will remain on earth when Jesus returns to set up His millennial Kingdom. Those who became saved and lived through this period of God’s wrath will go into His 1,000 year reign; those who remained alive and in their rebellion to Christ during that horrible period of time will be separated into outer darkness. These two verses have nothing to do with the Rapture of the Church.



In the next few verses Jesus takes us into the realm of the possibility of losing one’s salvation. Again, the Church cannot be seen here. We now see that there will be faithful servants and unfaithful servants during these last few years. Jesus continues, “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.” Matthew 24:45-47. Some servants will faithfully occupy until He returns. But then there are the other servants who become unfaithful.



“ But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint [him] his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 24:48-51. Putting the finishing touches on this chronology, Jesus inserts a most perfect explanation of what happens to those who grow tired of waiting for His appearing and begin to revert to all sorts of evil.



It’s important to understand the quandary these folks who become born again remain in. They must keep themselves saved. In other words, they will not be indwelt with the Holy Spirit of promise as the saints are today. Today the Church is kept saved by God; this is a promise from God to His Church. But to the tribulation saints He makes no such promise. It will be quite possible to fall away and become unsaved during earth’s last seven year period.



Jews and Gentiles alike will be left on planet earth after the Rapture of Christ’s church. Many people will become believers and many will be martyred for their faith. A better solution is to place your faith in Christ today before He removes His Church from among the Christ rejecters. Today the Church is still here and until the Rapture occurs we must continue with Christ’s great commission and spread the good news to as many as possible, letting them know the lateness of the hour.



God bless you all,



Ron Graham

All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed

Sunday, May 15, 2011

CALL NO MAN YOUR FATHER

Call No Man Your Father

5/12/2011



“And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” Matthew 23:9. In response to a portion of one of my past commentaries, an individual stated that he spoke, in German, with the “Holy Father” and was told that my commentary was in error. So I asked this man if he was referring to the Creator of the universe or to a mere man who had been elevated by other mere men to the position of god on earth. I received no response.



Jesus’ words in the above verse are clear; we aren’t to refer to any man as Father as we have only one Father which is in Heaven. Imagine referring to a “man” as Holy Father; besides being against the word of God, it just doesn’t sit well. What are the implications of any man desiring to be so revered on earth? “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased…” Matthew 23:12a. Abased means to be humbled. If you continue reading Matthew 23 you’ll discover one of many heptadic (sevenfold) structures in the scriptures. The seven woes outlined by Jesus are a condemnation of the Pharisees and scribes of His day. Seven times Jesus refers to these men as hypocrites. Then He drives the final nail into their coffin with these words “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Matthew 23:33. Although Jesus’ words were pointed at the Pharisees of His day, they also paint a perfect picture of the popery of the Roman Catholic Church as we can plainly see their hypocrisy displayed throughout its bloody awful history.



Jesus is very specific about all who wish to be first. “And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.” Mark 9:35.



There is a religion where the leadership is elevated to such an exalted position that these men actually believe they are Christ on earth. They refer to themselves as “Vicarius Christi” which is Latin for Vicar of Christ. “The Latin equivalent of the Greek word “anti” is “vicarious” from which comes Vicar. So those who refer to themselves as Vicar of Christ are actually calling themselves anti-Christ, or another Christ.” “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24:4-5.



The question is, who would follow such men? Why would anyone want to replace our Lord Jesus the Christ the Creator of the universe with a mere human? The answer can be found in the above verse “Take heed that no man deceive you”. The deception has been with us since the Apostles wrote their epistles. In the fourth century AD Constantine became the first pope. From that time on the popery began their reign of terror by deceiving and murdering the masses. When the word of God is not taken seriously the deception is easily manifested.



A short history lesson:



During the 14th century AD a devout Christian man stood up against the evil of the anti-Christ system. John Wycliffe was one of the first to translate the scriptures from Latin into the language of the common folk. Wycliffe was hounded by the Catholic Church because of his stance against it. Wycliffe said “The authority of the scriptures was greater than the authority of any man.” And that “We ought to believe in the authority of no man unless he say the word of God, that if any man in earth, either angel of heaven teacheth us contrary of holy Writ we should flee from him as from the foul fiend of hell, and hold us steadfastly to the truth and freedom of the holy Gospel of Jesus Christ.” The Catholic Church hated Wycliffe so much that 44 years after his death they had his remains exhumed, his bones smashed, and then burned. The council of Constance then condemned Wycliffe and had him anathematized.



Down through the ages the popes have condemned any and all who would stand against them and their doctrines. Jan Huss was another that was condemned by the council of Constance at the same time as Wycliffe. Huss was burned at the stake in 1415 for his opposition to papal infallibility and because he stood on the authority and infallibility of the Bible. When the Roman Catholic Church caught Huss’ followers, they burned them at the stake. A century later, inspired in part by the sermons of Huss, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Church door in Wittenberg, Germany.



Jan Huss, Jerome of Prague, and many others believed the Bible and placed its authority over the Roman Catholic popery, thus the popery condemned them all and burned them all at the stake. These were true Christians being burned at the stake; true believers in Christ who knew the truth about the popery, that all the popes were and are anti-Christ. Following this religion and believing in their doctrines will get you to only one location upon your death, and it isn’t Heaven.



Martin Luther made the following statements “The Pope, possessed by demons, defends his tyranny with the canon ‘Si papa’. This canon states clearly: if the Pope should lead the whole world into the control of hell, he is nevertheless not to be contradicted. It’s a terrible thing that on account of the authority of this man, we must lose our souls which Christ redeemed with His precious blood.” Luther also declared “I believe the Pope is the masked and incarnate devil because he is the anti-Christ.” All the reformers from Wycliffe to Spurgeon believed the pope to be anti-Christ. Charles Spurgeon wrote “It is the duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is, no sane man ought to raise a question. If it be not the popery in the Church of Rome, there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name.”



William Tyndale was another who was terribly persecuted by the Roman Catholics. They hated Tyndale because he was determined to translate the New Testament scriptures from Greek into English. Rome’s position on this subject was as follows: Simple and uneducated men were not to touch the Bible or venture to preach its doctrines. After completing his translations of the Bible, Tyndale was put to death by the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church (basically that means the pope). One of Tyndale’s statements that so infuriated the Roman Catholic Church and which put the final nail in his coffin was “I defy the pope and all his laws if God spare my life here these many years I will causeth the boy that driveth the plow to know more of the scriptures than thou dost.” He was speaking to a Roman Catholic priest in his own home. Of course, I would be remiss without saying that the Roman Catholic Church did take pity on William Tyndale as they first strangled him before burning him at the stake



But murdering William Tyndale was not enough for this most ungodly religion of anti-Christ. They also burned all the Tyndale Bibles they could get their hands on, as well burning at the stake all those who were in possession of a Tyndale Bible. The Roman Catholic Church is as bloody as any tyrannical ruler in earth’s history.



Looking back through the whole ungodly history of the Roman Catholic Church it’s not hard to discover that they have always stood contrary to the truth of the scriptures. The popes have always claimed to be Jesus Christ on earth. Anyone who knows their Bible and believes it to be the inerrant Word of God must be appalled at the Catholic popes and their horribly blasphemous statements.



From the inception of the Roman Catholic Church, the popes have declared themselves to be equal with God. They took to themselves the title of Holy Father with full authority over the Church. Pope Innocent III, who fathered the inquisition, said “The Pope holdeth place on earth not simply of a man, but of the true God” Pope Nicholas said of himself “I am in all, and above all, so that God Himself, and I, the vicar of God, hath both one consistory and I am able to do almost all that God can do. I then, being above all seen by this reason, to be above all Gods.” Pope Nicholas also claimed that the popes themselves had the power to change the Gospel itself saying “Wherefore, no marvel if it be in my power to dispense with all things, yea, with the precepts of Christ.”



The Lateran Council, while addressing Pope Julius II, said to him “Take care that we lose not that salvation, that life and breath which thou has given us for thou are shepherd, thou art physician, thou art governor, thou art husbandman, thou finally art another God on earth.” Pope Pious X declared “The Pope is not simply the representative of Jesus Christ; on the contrary he is Jesus Christ Himself, under the veil of the flesh. Does the Pope speak? It is Jesus Christ who is speaking. Hence when anyone speaks of the Pope, it is not necessary to examine but to obey.” Pope Pious IX blasphemously declared “I alone am the successor of the apostles. The voice of Jesus Christ, I am the way, the truth, and the life…” Pope Boniface VIII said “We declare, say, define and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” Pope Clement VI said “No man outside obedience to the Pope of Rome can ultimately be saved. All who have raised themselves against the faith of the Roman Church and died in final impenitence have been damned and gone down to Hell.” Pope John XXIII said “Into this fold of Jesus Christ no man may enter unless he be led by the Sovereign Pontiff and only if they be united to him can men be saved…”



In 1984 Pope John Paul II was quoted as saying “Don’t go to God for forgiveness of sins: come to me.” Catherine of Siena, one of the patron saints of Italy, said “Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest in his bosom. He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him, we do to Christ. We honor Christ if we honor the Pope.”



There is no doubt in my mind that the Roman Catholic Church is pure evil in origin; they remain so even in today’s enlightened society. Why do I say this? Even though our current society is supposed to be enlightened there are few that know and understand the word of God. Therefore many remain susceptible to the deceptions of Rome while ignoring Jesus’ admonition to beware of such deceptions.



This commentary is just the tip of the iceberg when compared to the volumes of heresies which would describe even more of how horrible the Roman Catholic Church has been to the true Christians over the last 1,700 years. Suffice it to say, Jesus told us about this evil that would appear on the scene claiming to be Him, but since they wouldn’t listen to Him why would they listen to me? The Apostle John wrote about the anti-Christ’s that would come and who were already among them. “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” 1 John 2:18-19.



Charles Spurgeon wrote “For truth’s sake, our Protestantism must protest perpetually…No peace with Rome…” Yet what we currently see taking place is many evangelicals running back to the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. This is a hard thing to witness, as we who are true believers in Christ know how obscene the Roman Catholic Church actually remains.



The way to enter Heaven is not by elevating ourselves to a position of prominence resulting in men bowing to us with much pomp and circumstance, but to humble ourselves as little children. “…Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3. Sometimes it takes a lot of humbling to become as a little child in the eyes of God. For some of us it may take a lifetime to understand how to become “as little children”.



The Catholic popery work to elevate themselves to positions of exaltedness above the laity thus they are in for a huge surprise. First of all it’s obvious these popes have no fear of God. Secondly, they can’t be believers in Christ as all indications are that they disparage God’s Word. Instead of cherishing the Word of God as true believers do and adhering to God’s precepts as the truth they simply ignore God as they make themselves out to be god on earth.



Study your Bible. Don’t be one of those who have been, or are about to be, deceived in these end times. Call no man your Father on earth as God is our Father. All in all pray for all those deceived individuals, but by all means stay far clear of the Roman Catholic Church.



God bless you all,



Ron Graham

All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed

twotug@embarqmail.com

96 County Road 5480 Salem, MO 65560

My past commentaries are archived at the following link

http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html



Source: Decretals of Gregory IX, Book 1, Chapter 3

Thursday, May 05, 2011

EVERY THING FALLS APART

Everything Falls Apart

5/5/2011



The “everything falls apart” title above must be apparent, not only to me, but to many of you also. Recently we have all read about some well-known Christian brethren who have gone on to glory. Others are almost completely debilitated; one awesome Christian writer has just recently suffered a massive heart attack and is now recovering. There’s just no good way to describe what’s going on in this fallen world, except to say “Everything Falls Apart.”



Many of you have been very concerned about my health recently and have written to me expressing that concern with promises of prayers for me and for my family. I am a firm believer in God’s power to heal as well as His commitment to His children to answer all prayers. Prayers are our petitions to God and of course He hears all our petitions, we should never put ourselves in a position of denying that fact. A trip to my doctor last week confirmed my suspicion that my disease is getting worse. My facial muscles are beginning to droop quite noticeably, and keeping my eyes open is now getting very difficult. My strength has all but left my body and I’m exhausted as soon as I get to my feet. The disease I have is neuro-muscular; my auto-immune system is failing. In other words my body is killing itself. The worst part of this is my throat closes off to the point that I can only swallow liquids. This has caused a weight loss of almost 60 lbs since the first of the year and I’m continuing this trend at the rate of approximately 5 lbs per week.



Then there’s the prostate cancer which invaded my body about two years ago now. It had to be radically addressed because it is of the very aggressive type. Some of you might cringe at what my doctor had to do to keep the cancer cells from multiplying. It’s called medical castration and it works exactly the way you might imagine. I’m a firm believer and living proof that the truth of the matter is the curse is in full force in this universe as we can plainly see that “Everything Falls Apart.”



Scientists call this falling apart entropy. It seems the second law of thermodynamics is alive and well as everything goes from order to disorder. Nothing is excluded from the effects of entropy, nothing. The whole universe is affected and Paul tells us that “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Romans 8:22.



Paul then goes on to explain our hope and how the Holy Spirit helps us even in our infirmities as we pray because many times we don’t even know what to pray for.

“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:24-28. So in all circumstances pray, because that’s where God dwells.



“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” Ephesians 5:20. The worst thing we can do is to blame God for entropy (the falling apart of everything) we must endure. After all, it was the first couple, our pre-flood parents who rebelled against God which caused a curse on the entire universe. God gave Adam the world yet he was unable to comprehend just exactly what God had given him. After Adam and Eve’s rebellion we can assume they understood their new situation quite well. Sorrowful doesn’t begin to describe what they must have felt as he and Eve got the boot from their most prestigious home in Eden’s perfect Garden.



When we begin to feel what many would consider extreme effects of entropy we usually seek help, help from God first, and then we might turn to a specialist in the field of our particular aliment. And encouragement during these times is as important as any medical treatment. In my case many of you have become, through encouragement and prayers, very close friends. Encouragement is a life line especially when our individual world begins to grow dimmer. Surely many of my brethren are in the same physical condition as I am, maybe not with the same diagnosis of illness, but perhaps with just as many physical limitations.



“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? ” Romans 8:29-31. These words were recently a portion of a very encouraging letter which a reader sent to me. They were exactly what this follower of Jesus Christ needed to hear.



I’ve had plenty of occasions lately, as my wife can attest to, when I have been so exhausted that to continue the commentaries seemed impossible. Somehow God gives me the strength to get the next commentary done. The idea of sitting around and doing nothing just doesn’t fit in God’s plan for our life. God expects His children to keep going; always being assured of the fact that He will continue with us. Remember, we are told to hold fast to the faith, and to occupy ‘til He comes.



Everyone’s faith will be tested at some point in their walk with Christ; and I’m no different. My faith has surely been tested over the last couple of years. Yet James tells us “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12. My illness has caused me, many times, to wonder how I can possibly be of any further use to God. Yet He never fails to show me just how useful I can be. When I question God on the commentary’s usefulness, invariably folks respond in huge numbers telling me just how much they needed to hear what I’ve just written. Isn’t God great? He never lets us down, and He never will, and that’s a fact.



Everything falls apart, that’s for sure and for certain. But when our bodies begin to deteriorate to a point that we feel useless it’s then that God can genuinely use us for His glory. When our strength is so depleted that we can hardly walk across the room, then there’s no doubt that it’s God’s strength that sustains us. When all seems useless, when the world seems to be closing in on us from every side, then it’s God’s words that bring us comfort and the strength to continue.



God bless you all,



Ron Graham

All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed

twotug@embarqmail.com

96 County Road 5480 Salem, MO 65560

My past commentaries are archived at the following link

http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html