Back in Ezekiel’s day, he faced much scoffing and mocking when he brought forth the Word of the Lord. Despite being so faithful to God and being a conduit for many messages to the Israelites, their constant scorn of God’s prophetic Word had to weigh on Ezekiel. To reassure him, God spoke extensively about those who chose to ignore Him and make light of the Word His prophet brought forth. In Ezekiel 12:21-28, here is God’s declaration and warning:
“And the word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, what is this proverb that you have about the land of Israel, saying, ‘The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing’? Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord God: ‘I will put an end to this proverb, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.’ But say to them, ‘The days are near, and the fulfillment of every vision. For there shall be no more any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I am the Lord; I will speak the word that I will speak, and it will be performed. It will no longer be delayed, but in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and perform it,’ declares the Lord God.
“And the word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: ‘None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word that I speak will be performed,’ declares the Lord God.”
In these verses we hear God’s tone. He’s angry at the people who don’t believe. They’ve said that whatever God might have declared isn’t for today; that the prophecies might happen sometime in the future – maybe. And God makes it clear: Enough! He will perform His Word, and it will happen soon.
In reading this, it struck me how similar the situation was when Peter wrote his second epistle. Compare the above with 2 Peter 3:1-7 where he says:
“This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’
“For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”
It’s said that history repeats itself, which seems relatively true. In addition, events in the Bible often have near-term and long-term fulfillment, often described as a telescoping effect. Ezekiel’s prophecy was for then. Peter’s prophetic word was for then. But both seem quite applicable to the situation we’re experiencing today.
Those of us who believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture continue to speak and warn: “Come to the Lord. He is merciful and just. Choose life through His Son, Jesus Christ. We’re in the final days of the latter times. Jesus’ Words in Matthew 24 and in Luke 17 and 21 are coming to pass. The convergence of signs foretold makes the situation urgent. Repent, and call on the Name of the Lord!”
But people ignore our pleas. They scoff that all this was supposed to happen in the 70s, 80s, or 90s. Since nothing occurred then, nothing will happen now. It’s all a myth.
In promoting a book on Facebook of my collected essays and devotionals that I regularly post on my blog, many of which have appeared on Rapture Ready, I received less than complementary comments from a couple of individuals—just for the fact of having such a book. One, who seemed to be an atheist, I had to ban from my page for esthetic reasons. His Facebook page included many derogatory Christian references. The other fellow, by the name of David, espoused some beliefs that capture well the attitude of mocking and scoffing in these last days. David’s Facebook page says that he graduated with a religious education.
I had a little back and forth with David until it grew tiresome. Below, I’m including his various comments —unedited—so you can see the aberrant so-called Christian thinking in the world that is full of mocking and scoffing. So as not to make this essay too long, I’m not including my comments to him. Suffice it to say that I tried unsuccessfully to point him to actual Bible truth.
“the end times.” OMG indeed, God spare us from these cranky beliefs.
When the scribes accused Jesus for saying that he was the Son of God, he quoted Isaiah, where it is stated, “I have said, Ye are Gods, all of you.” His point was that OT Scripture itself records that all men and women are gods, or potential gods, meaning Sons and Daughters of God, a part of the One God just as he was and is.
You are seeking an easy-peasy way out of life – just to “accept Jesus” and then you are supposedly “saved” by such an easy feat. And this is false theology.
We are in fact all potential and will-be fully Sons and Daughters of God, Jesus having been a mortal man just as we are who grew by self-effort into the full Son he was. The true spiritual Path is that every individual has to, by full self-effort, become closer and closer to God in Wisdom, Love, and Unity until we are all that Jesus was.
These are not “end times,” silly man. Do plan on a long and full life for yourself. And also plan on humanity existing for untold thousands of years to come. Which is why we need to indeed plan for future centuries and look after our planet today. Because we’re going to be here on it for a long time.
I choose the actual and real God, the ONE GOD Who actually lives in YOUR heart and gives you life, and is your real Identity, as that GOD is the real inner nature of each person. But you have not yet grown in spiritual discernment out of the old-fashioned, illogical and irrational theology which in fact Jesus never taught. Your spiritual future and progress depends upon you, yourself – not the “vicarious atonement” via a saviour. Jesus expects you to do it all, in every thought, word, and deed, and to achieve and accomplish your own deep and genuine spirituality. It is achieved step by step, bit by bit, by oneself, as every saint has proven.
Well, I hope and trust that you have a good and healthy life…. and when you get to about eighty, as people have had to do for almost untold centuries, you might finally realise that your theology of a “saviour” appearing in the clouds in a second coming is not going to happen. “For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” It will always have been there, inside yourself, waiting for you to birth it and expand it. [end of comments by David]
According to David, we are gods and simply have to seek this self-realization. There’s nothing special about Jesus, and He’s certainly not returning for His people in the Rapture. For all of us who believe that, dream on!
Not only do we have so many who disbelieve God’s Word, but a large group who twists it to their own purposes. Ezekiel experienced this, and in Ezekiel 13:3,6,8 God didn’t mince any words:
“Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!”
“They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the Lord,’ when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word.”
“Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, I am against you,’ declares the Lord God.”
But false prophets didn’t just plague the Israelites in Ezekiel’s day. They’ve been with us ever since. Look at Matthew 7:15-23 where Jesus said:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
God is against such devious men and women who claim to speak His Word. Their fabricated utterings earn them a dark and terrifying end where God says that He never knew them, despite their supposedly speaking for Him.
The group today that most resembles this situation is the apostles and prophets in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). They declare new revelation from God; they ensnare people who come to depend on them for a fresh word from Him. In their schools, conferences, and massive rallies, they more than likely open demonic pathways with their teachings that, when examined, closely align with those of the occult. When we look at how the NAR apostles and prophets operate, it’s through pride. They seek power, control, and money. Is it any wonder that Jesus wants nothing to do with them?
We live in an astonishing period right now where God’s Word is being fulfilled at a rapid pace. The prophecies of God are happening right now before our very eyes. More and more people are scoffing and mocking. It’s the enemy’s way of trying to discourage God’s people so that they’ll back down. Instead, we need to act more boldly.
Hebrews 12:12 encourages us to:
“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.”
Now isn’t the time for retreat. Let us occupy and be about the Lord’s work. He is coming soon!
Gary W. Ritter is a lay pastor, Bible teacher, and serves as Missions Director at his church. He is also a prolific author. His Whirlwind Series is comprised of three books: Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind, and There Is A Time. These books are contained in the collected volume of the Whirlwind Omnibus. Gary has been given the Christian Redemptive Fiction award for two novels: The Tattooed Cat and Alien Revelation. He has recently released Looking Up – Volume 3, a non-fiction work that contains essays and devotions on end-times and prophetic events. Gary’s intent in all his writings is to bring a strong Christian witness to what people read. You can reach him at his website: www.GaryRitter.com or his Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/gritter3390. You can also see his video Bible teachings on his Gary Ritter YouTube channel – look for the fish symbol.