The world is a mess! Problems seem insurmountable with threats of every sort, increasing like clouds that thicken and darken before a bad storm. Humanity needs to pull together on issue after issue but is hopelessly divided more than ever before. It is increasingly clear that left to our own devises, the future looks bleak. Fortunately, on a personal level, you and I don’t need to feel helpless! On a personal level, there is something that any person on earth can do to help, that is, pass the test! Read on to understand the opportunity God has placed in front of the human race.
Speaking of our time, Revelation 3:10 says, “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” Rather than focus on those who have passed on before the test begins, let’s embrace the idea that the whole world will experience this time of trial that just precedes Christ’s return for us, for verse 11 begins with, “Behold, I am coming quickly!”
By starting with some basic truths we can begin to make sense of the chaos and confusion of our time. Then we can learn what we can do about it. The first assurance we want to affix in our mind is this from Roman 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Therefore, the test upon the earth is for our good—all people. The vast majority of people on earth want to love and please God. One caution to believers is not to limit this Scripture to a special, limited number of people, for Acts 2:17 tells us, “‘And it shall come to pass in the last days,’ says God, ‘that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh…’”
We must ask the question, if all flesh has access to the Spirit, why is the world so divided? Why are there so many religious factions? Why is there so much persecution and religious warfare? These questions point us in the direction of why we need to pass “the test.”
The fundamental need for a test is due to the fact that the world is full of error because of massive deception. There is only one being capable of deceiving the whole world. He is revealed to us in Revelation 12:9, “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” The whole world is deceived by Satan. “Whole” doesn’t leave much out!
Satan’s greatest deceptions are reserved for ruining our relationship and understanding of God. The second deception is using human passion and faith to divide, maim, and kill. Anyone who uses religious beliefs and doctrines to maim and kill has been deceived into following the lies promulgated by Satan. This truism applies to people of all faiths and was addressed by Christ in John 8:43-47, “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell you the truth, you do not believe Me. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”
Therefore, the test in its simplest terms is to listen to God and reject Satan’s deception.
By its very nature, deception is done to a person unwittingly. Therefore, step one is for each of us to ask God, “How have I been deceived?” That is question one of the test. Question number two is, “How will you respond when God opens your mind to the answer to number one?” Here are a few examples.
Many people of faith point to various nations as being “the great Satan.” Yet it is obvious that no nation was cast out of heaven to this earth, as we read in Revelation 12:9. Islam is one such faith that holds this doctrine while at the same time accepting the book of Revelation as truth and prophecy!
In the last century Hitler rose to power by essentially perverting Scripture, even publishing a “sanitized” version of the Scriptures, claiming to be a prophet. He led the world into the greatest, most destructive, conflagration in its history! By his fruit, we now realize he was of the Devil, with no truth in him, and the people paid the price. Because of the shear destructive power of modern warfare, mankind must be more aware than ever of Satan’s deceptions.
The time has come for the masses of humanity to reject deception! This will begin as a small movement and rapidly build into an innumerable multitude of people “…of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues…” (Revelation 7:9) who pass the test!
Until next time, in Christian love,
John J. Blanchard