BY NATHANIEL A. URSHAN, GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT
Events unfolding that are extraordinary point inevitably to the coming of the Lord. It is of extreme importance that those who read this article be aware of the closeness of the time of the coming of the Lord.
If you have been following today’s newspapers, you are aware of the recent election in the land of Israel where Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu was elected prime minister, succeeding Mr. Shimon Peres. The reason why we must stop and consider this election is the nature and disposition of the political front that this new Prime Minister presents to Israel. From all appearances, he is not really as concerned about the peace process as was Mr. Peres and Mr. Yitzhak Rabin before him.
Another reason for you and I to observe carefully the Israeli change of leadership is to know that the Likud party with other conservative parties has gained the majority of seats in the Knesset, the Parliament of Israel. This means that the strong Orthodox leanings has the upper hand in much of what will take place in the future politically. It
also means that the Temple Mount Faithful may have backing for the projects they desire to put into action. One project is to rebuild the Temple of Solomon on Mount Moriah, now the third sacred place of worship for Moslems.
The former regimes of Rabin and Peres stopped the Temple Mount Faithful whenever they attempted to gain a place of worship on Mount Moriah. I doubt very much that Prime Minister Netanyahu will hold back the Temple Mount Faithful but rather give them the opportunity to fulfill the desire of this project.
The Temple Mount Faithful is led militarily by a man named Gershon Solomon. He has promised to rebuild the Temple by the year 2000 on Mount Moriah, the present place where Moslem worship takes place. If this comes to pass, look for a terrible war in Israel. And then stop and consider the possibilities of this escalating into a future
Armageddon. Stop and consider again. If this be the case, the coming of the Lord is so close that at any hour the church could be caught out of this world.
The concern we have as leaders in the Apostolic movement is that many in the North American continent are so instilled with a materialistic lifestyle that it will be difficult for them to go to the housetop and take nothing out of the house as they prepare for the coming of the Lord. Let me give you an interpretation of this. It means that our
material possessions can become such a factor of customary obsession that the snare that Luke wrote about in the twenty-first chapter will come upon the whole world and we will be caught up with the thinking of the worldly materialistic trend. For many people, possessions are the main objective in life. Riches is the goal of most. Satisfaction with life down here, even though beset by trials, tests, and ominous violence, has captured the western world scene.
Where is your heart and spirit leading you? Are you prayerfully and thoughtfully concerned about the Lord’s coming or are you so entrance with the present comfort of your situation that your eyes are blinded by your good fortune? Stop and give it some thought. The Lord is coming for a people who are prayerfully watching and looking for His
return. That the Lord is coming as a thief in the night is one of the most obvious scenes described in the Scriptures. Will you and I be carried away by the ease and comfort in a dying world or will we be beholden spiritually to the absolute signs that His coming is at the door?
There were five wise and five foolish virgins. All ten of them knew the bridegroom was coming at a certain time, though they did not know the exact hour. Five went forth with their lamps and oil in their vessels. They were the wise ones. The foolish virgins went forth with their lamps but without taking oil in their vessels. You can categorize your possessions by a simple analysis and comparison. Are you wise or are you foolish? The wise were ready for the coming of the bridegroom because they took oil in their vessels. The foolish were not ready because they had no oil. There is a difference. All ten were virgins, but mark it well; five were wise and five were foolish.
It is very apparent that the very foundations of morality worldwide are crumbling. Fortunately, the United States Congress recently described marriage as a companionable coming together of a man and a woman. One of the congressmen made the very powerful statement that if we did not think of marriage as the union of a man and a woman the very foundations of our nation would be shaken. The vote in the House of Representatives was a huge majority against homosexual marriages-342 to 67. One of the congressmen made the statement, “The flames of
hedonism, the flames of narcissism, the flames of self-centered immorality are licking at the very foundation of our society-the family unit.” Representative Bob Barr of Georgia was the bill’s sponsor and the person who made this statement.
We live in a depraved, degenerate society, but thank God for the church and its stand. We strongly take our stand against the widespread deterioration of morals that are attacking the moral foundation of our nation. We also consider it very important to support the pro-life standard of belief that abortion is murderous. We also oppose
euthanasia, which is now gaining force through Dr.
Kevorkian, who has become the champion of aged people and others who are severely ill. He helps them end their life. We believe that no man has the right whatsoever to determine the life factor of an individual. Apparently, Dr. Kevorkian will not be condemned in our court system for assisting a person in committing suicide. Thus the
possibility exists that euthanasia, the taking of the lives of aged people who seemingly are of no use to mankind because of their sickness, could become legal by a legislative act.
But the Lord God has declared, “See now that 1, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand” (Deuteronomy 32:39). Both birth and death are God’s prerogatives. He gave life in the beginning, and He can shorten or lengthen the age span of life. Dr. Kevorkian actually has taken an authority that belongs to God as though he is a little god in this world, fulfilling the wishes of some people and his own wishes concerning life itself.
Look at the violence that is troubling our world. Who knows what sinister terrorists lurks close by and might plant a bomb on an airplane or any other deceptive device to destroy hundreds of people at one awful burst of weaponry designed to kill, maim, and destabilize our society.
There is so much more that could be said, but I will leave it to your good, spiritual thinking to look at signs taking place today and know that, “Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain” (James 5:7).
The message to the church of Ephesus contained an important admonishment for all of us: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 2:7).
We just returned from a regional revival meeting in San Salvador, El Salvador, where some four hundred ministers gathered to preach, to pray, and to win souls to the Lord. I personally had the privilege of being a part of a great outpouring of the Spirit in San Salvador. What a sight to see people streaming from the seating area of the huge
arena, which was estimated to seat 20,000 people, to gather in the middle of this sports arena to receive the Holy Ghost. Between four and five thousand people were filled with the Holy Spirit during this great regional revival gathering. Each preacher would preach a simple gospel message on repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. When he finished, the people would come streaming to the altar area. Every night a new group would come to repent and ask God for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Please do not let negative criticism you may encounter take away your faith in God and the greatness of God’s outpouring of His Spirit in these times. All of us who were in San Salvador from the United States saw with our own eyes and heard with our own ears the multitude of people receiving the Holy Ghost, dancing, shouting, weeping, and lying prostrate on the floor: then the joyous expression would come to their faces as they realized that God had poured out His Holy Spirit upon them. People who in their life span have done nothing to promote revival reveal their dwarfed spirituality when they are critical of the revival that is taking place throughout the United Pentecostal Church in these times.
Listen very carefully. The Holy Ghost is being poured out. The truth is being proclaimed, God is being glorified, and He is preparing the church for His coming. Those who denigrate and make fun of the outpouring of the Spirit of God need to look at their own personal life and see if they are ready to meet the Lord when He comes. Severe criticism and denying the faith of individual believers as well as the faith of the church community are contrary to God’s Word, for the Lord Himself is doing the outpouring. Thanks be to God. He does not listen to such unbelief and wicked criticism.
Listen. Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church: “Repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place” (Revelation 2:5). Be penitent and believe that God our Father, manifested in Jesus Christ, is hearing the prayers of many and preparing His church for His coming. Stop, Look, and Listen, and let the Spirit of the Living God increase your vision and establish your feet on truth, the foundation that began with the apostles and continues through this day. We are not departing from holiness. We are moving to great victories through the name of the Lord and the victories He gives through the preaching of the Word.
May rich blessings rest upon you as together we look forward to revival events at the coming General Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Do Stop, Look, and Listen, in Jesus’ name.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE PENTECOSTAL HERALD, AUGUST, 1996, PAGES 3-5. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.