23. The Truth for Now
TN

1. HOW CAN WE DESCRIBE GOD’S PLAN FOR APPLYING THE PLAN OF SALVATION NOW?

1TN 2 Pet. 1:12 Though the truth in regards to salvation has been applicable to every age, God wants us to be established in the "truth we have now" (KJV "present truth"). The "truth we have now," pertains to the application of the plan of salvation for any particular time. The truth is always the same, but the application of the truth can change somewhat from age to age, depending upon the present need at that time—it is adapted to the needs of the people who live at that particular time. God’s word will reveal what truth is "present" for us.

2. HOW DOES PETER DESCRIBE THE "TRUTH WE HAVE NOW" AS IT APPLIED IN NOAH’S DAY?

2TN 2 Pet. 2:5 God warned Noah’s world to escape the impending flood by preparing to enter the Ark. Their salvation depended on believing Noah’s message and getting into the Ark when God told them to do so.

3. WHAT WAS THE "TRUTH WE HAVE NOW" WHEN JOHN THE BAPTIST PREACHED?

3TN Matt. 3:1-3 God sent John the Baptist to prepare Israel for the first advent of Jesus. His message was "present truth" at that time, and those who accepted his message and were baptized, were ready for the ministry of Jesus.

4. ACCORDING TO JESUS, CAN WE EXPECT TO HAVE "THE TRUTH FOR NOW" IN OUR DAY?

4TN Matt. 24:33 Jesus pointed to all the signs of His coming at the end of the age, and told us that when we see these things happen, we know that His coming is near. There is a special message that is "the truth for now"—truth for our day—as surely as there was for the world of Noah and John the Baptist.

5. WHAT IS ONE WAY THAT JOHN DESCRIBES THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST UPON THE WORLD?

5TN Rev. 14:14, 15 The second coming of Jesus is the greatest time of reaping in the history of the world. We are in the days just before that great event. The harvest of God’s fruit—those who have been faithful to Him—will soon be gathered in, and the wickedness of Earth will be brought to an end. Christ will plunge in His sickle and the world will reap the vengeance of God’s wrath.

In the ten commandments, God described how we should look to Him in awe and how we should worship Him. But Satan upset God’s desire for our worship by getting humans to worship things,
people, even themselves. So the issue at the close of time is: whom shall we worship. Shall we worship God, or shall we worship some other person, power, fashion, or thing. All who do not choose to worship God will come to a disastrous end at the Second Coming of Jesus. But God will not destroy the wicked without first warning them of the immanence of their end.

6. WHAT MESSAGE WILL GOD SEND THAT WILL BRING THE WARNING OF HIS SOON COMING TO EVERYONE ON Earth?

6TN Rev. 14:6-12 God sends this special message to all the world just before Jesus comes. This is "the truth for now"—the message that God has for our time. These angels are not celestial beings or people from another world. They represent messages that God wants His faithful people to tell everyone on Earth. This message will help them to prepare for Christ’s second coming.

7. WHAT IS THE CENTRAL MESSAGE OF THE FIRST ANGEL?

7TN Rev. 14:6, 7 The first message teaches the everlasting gospel—the good news that Jesus saves us from our sins. The gospel of the first angel includes three Bible doctrines that are "the truth for now" just before Jesus comes.

The three parts to the first message are:

1. We should glorify God in an age that glorifies man;
2. The judgment will have already begun when this message is given;
3. We should worship God as the Creator

This message is sent to everyone on earth while men claim that the cosmos came about by evolution. (The 4th commandment indicates that keeping the seventh-day Sabbath glorifies God as Creator.)

8. WHAT IS THE WARNING GIVEN BY THE SECOND ANGEL’S MESSAGE?

8TN Rev. 14:8 The second message warns God’s people against involvement in Babylon—a false system of worship that seeks to supplant the worship of God. Whenever we regard another being or object more highly than we honor God, we put our own desires above God, and we eventually come to worship ourselves (albeit unconsciously). So the second message warns against self-worship—the same sin which caused Babylon’s fall. Cf. Rev. 17, 18.

9.WHY DOES GOD WISH TO DESTROY THOSE WHO HAVE THE MARK OF THE BEAST?

9TN Rev. 14:9-11 The third message concerns a special mark of allegiance that will be enforced by the image to the beast (Cf. Rev. 13:11-18). Whenever religious observance is enforced by human power, man imitates the great apostate and forms an image to the beast of Rev. 13. This would include attempts to obey God in any way other than God instructs us to do in the Bible.

This would be classified as the worship of self, or the power of the beast, in doing anything that WE think is more important than God's worddoing our own thing, worshiping God on some day other than the one He commanded, attempting to gain salvation in our own strength. So God warns us against any do-it-yourself religion, and appeals for us to go to Jesus for spiritual strength and righteousness.

10. HOW DOES JOHN DESCRIBE GOD’S FAITHFUL PEOPLE AT THE END OF TIME?

10TN Rev. 14:12 God shows what His people will be like at the end of time: They will keep the ten commandments (including the seventh-day Sabbath, vs. 6) through faith in Jesus—not under their own power. Notice the contrast:

• Those who worship self and accept the mark of the beast will receive God’s wrath;
• Those who worship God and keep His commandments will receive His blessing and eternal life.

11. HOW DOES JESUS ENCOURAGE PEOPLE WHO STAND FAITHFUL TO HIM REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE, OR OF THE WAY OTHER PEOPLE TREAT THEM?

11TN Matt. 24:12-14  Sin has taken over our world to the extent that true love for God and man has nearly disappeared. Those who follow Christ need His endurance in order to be faithful. Self-righteousness can never save us. But the gospel of the Kingdom, shown in Rev. 14:6-12, will encourage us in this dark hour. When all the world has heard "the truth for now," then Jesus will come.