Christianity has been waning in America for a long time. Christendom is fragmented into a thousand diverse splinters, much of the top leadership of its largest denominations, from Roman Catholicism to the Southern Baptists, has been corrupted with Marxist ideology, and its most liberal denominations have completely abandoned biblical truth in favor of what I call Christian-flavored Secular Humanism. Many signal their subjugation to a false Christ by flying the rainbow flag; others pretend to remain faithful but reject the "meat of the word" for politically correct pablum they spoon-feed to attendees who don't know the difference because that don't actually read the Bible, and because their sense of reality has been shaped by leftist public education and the even further leftist corporate media.
By leftist, I mean atheist, because that is the first principle of Marxism: We can be our own gods, just as Satan promised Adam and Eve as their reward for rebellion. Marxism's religion is humanism, its moral code is political correctness, and its Scriptures are the false narratives it relentlessly preaches. I believe humanism is the final perfection of Satanism, refined over millennia to its most deceptive and seductive form.
It is no surprise that humanism would be the dominant religious theme of this last generation on the threshold of the Antichrist kingdom, especially since its adherents deny it is a religion, thus unifying all the deceived pew-sitters in all the world's religions and the supposedly "non-religious" together under one banner. Under that banner, the pursuit of "science based" human self-perfection replaces belief that our Creator God actively controls all things according to His own plan. The true definition of atheism is not that one says "there is no God" but that one acts as if whatever God he holds (if any) has no real power or plan. The "Christian" version of this is described in 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
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But, as the true God advised Elijah in 1 Kings 19:18, "Nevertheless, I have reserved seven thousand in Israel who have not bowed to Baal." God always preserves for Himself a remnant. Elijah, fleeing through the wilderness to escape the fierce wrath of Queen Jezebel, had lost hope. Although he had performed great miracles, his world under Ahab and Jezebel grew worse not better.
Every season of wickedness must have its harvest time. As God said to Abraham about the Holy Land that He promised him: "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not their own. … You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and … In the fourth generation your descendants will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." Their sin had not fully ripened.
Soon, as is warned/promised in Romans 11, the "fullness of the Gentiles will be complete": the culmination of a season lasting 2,000 years. Then, as Jesus explained in Matthew 13:24-29, there will be a harvest of wheat (the righteous) and tares (the wicked posing as righteous). In my theology, that occurs on Yom Teruah at the start of the 10 Days of Awe/Wrath, when the Bride of Christ begins the event called the Wedding Feast of the Lamb in the spiritual realm. Back on earth during that 10 days, the bowl judgments are poured out as a final effort by God in His mercy to persuade the wicked to repent, but they refuse (Revelation 16:10-11) and instead besiege God's city, Jerusalem, to destroy it (Zechariah 12). That triggers the great Battle of Armageddon, the salvation of the Torah-faithful Hebrews who were sealed against death by God (Revelation 7:3-8, Zechariah 12:10, and Isaiah 59:18-20 as cited in Romans 11:26) and, finally, the penultimate event of the 10 days, called the Winepress of the Wrath of God (Zechariah 14:1-15). (This is the topic of my seventh installment of "The Prodigal Son Prophecy," free by email request to [email protected]).
"Swing your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the vine of the earth, because its grapes are ripe. So the angel … gathered the grapes of the earth, and he threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and the blood that flowed from it rose as high as the bridles of the horses for a distance of [180 miles]" (Revelation 14:18-20). Then Revelation 19:11-21 and Zechariah 14 show how the Winepress event transitions into the grand finale as the King of Kings leads the Host of Heaven through that conquest to claim the earth for His Millennial Kingdom, parting the Mount of Olives for the freshly redeemed Hebrews and Mixed Multitude to escape through, just before He creates a literal Red Sea of blood in thematic parallel to Moses in Exodus 14.
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The imminent Antichrist Kingdom is unstoppable. No revivals can prevent it. Truth cannot thwart it once it begins. It must unfold according to prophecy because there must be a harvest of the wicked, and God's justice must be vindicated by their incorrigible defiance of Him.
What must we of the remnant do as we see that day approaching? The model was set by John the Baptist, whom Jesus identified as an Elijah: he conducted public immersion baptisms, which Jesus insisted on submitting to and later unequivocally commanded in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19). Baptism is not essential for salvation – which I believe is by faith alone in Christ alone. But it is far more important than the modern church treats it. It is the giant first step of sanctification after one is justified by confession of faith in Christ (itself typically the first step of the baptism ritual).
Infant "baptisms" (a common substitute for the Hebrew ritual of eighth-day infant circumcision) clearly don't substitute for the immersion baptisms done by John the Baptist and the Apostles, since all or most of their earliest "baptisees" were presumably already circumcised. Instead, Christian baptism is something closer to the Hebrew Mikvah ("cleansing bath") as a purification ritual, reflecting the deliberate intention to be cleansed from sin. As Paul teaches in Colossians 2:11–12, self-sought baptism accomplishes the spiritual goal of circumcision, but only through the volitional act of "putting off your sinful nature," which only adults and intellectually mature children are capable of.
I have baptized many people: in the Jordan River, the English Channel, mountain streams, swimming pools and about 30 people one day in the splash pool of an inflatable water slide. In the spirit of Elijah John, I will begin doing more baptisms as open-invitation public events, and I urge other remnant believers to do the same as a way to promote obedience to Christ, revive the church and to signal the urgency of the times.