Our Final Victory

by Mike Ratliff

“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.” (Isaiah 25:6-8 ESV)

I have been in “conversation” with a person over the last several days who is apparently an apostate with a degree in theology. When I try to get this person to read a passage of scripture so I can make a point, the resistance to do so is incredible. This person’s attacks on what we hold dear are centered on two things, our faith and the Bible as the Word of God.

It was through this little skirmish and others I have had over the last several weeks that I have seen how incredible this faith is that God has given His people. Only those with the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:1-10) hold the promises from the Bible as truth from God Himself. Those without it see those things as foolishness.

I have read the Bible through 10-15 times. I have taught from nearly every book in it. I have learned to do word and grammar studies in both Koine Greek and Hebrew. I listen to the preaching and teaching of several godly men whose names you would recognize. I have studied the writings of God’s men who died several centuries ago. I have done all of these things, but it is as I prayerfully search scripture at the Lord’s bidding that I “see” and “hear” the Truth in my heart. What the apostate and the pagan and the atheist see as “arrogance” and “foolishness” on our part is our adherence and trust in God’s truth from His Word.

We know the truth and it lives in us because we are New Creations whom God has regenerated. He has put His truth in us. We have faith. What we know and live within in our walk by faith is incomprehensible to the unregenerate. I actually never thought I would encounter this sort of resistance or attack or whatever like that our Lord and the Apostles encountered in their ministries. Before I started writing books and studies as God worked in me, I had a few, very brief encounters with the forces of darkness. However, the more public Possessing the Treasure has become, the more frequent and “dark” these “encounters” have become.

It is also indicative to this heart that the “heat” is being turned up as we study the Resurrection. I heard my Bible Study teacher at church say Sunday that it is foolishness on our part to expect Satan (our adversary) who is the devil (the slanderer) to not come after us with evil intent when we move in obedience to God. The more we obey Him, the more “heat” we will experience. As a Bible teacher, I obey God primarily by expounding His Word to His people for His glory and their edification. Therefore, when the part of the Gospel that gives us hope in eternity as the Bible teaches is being taught, resistance from our adversary and his seed should not be a surprise.

Now, let us look at the last lesson in this series on the Resurrection. I pray that this study has brought you blessings as God opened your heart to the truth of our future in Eternity with Him.

“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1Corinthians 15:50-58 ESV)

Even though we are “in Christ” and are New Creations in our regeneration, we are still in our bodies as long as we live on planet Earth. The Kingdom of God exists in the hearts of God’s people, but they still cannot live in His eternal glory until they are changed. How are they changed? They will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. When? This will happen at the last trumpet. What does that mean? I believe the last trumpet signals the end of this age and the beginning of the age to come. At that moment, the dead will be raised imperishable, and those who are alive will be changed. This “change” is from a perishable body to an imperishable one. The mortal body will be changed from that to an immortal one.

Genuine Christians have this awaiting them in God’s timing. It will be glorious. It will be joyous. Death is defeated. Why? Sin is the sting of death and it will have no part in those whom God resurrects. They are pure and holy in His eyes now, but in their new bodies they will never have to deal with sin again. What does it mean that, “the power of sin is the law?” Sin first brought death and gave it power over us and the strength of sin is the Law because it reveals the judgment of God against us. Sin is the chief cause of our destruction. However, all in Christ have been freed from its power. That will be fulfilled at the Resurrection.

Now in light of this awaiting us in eternity, what’s a little “heat” from our enemy and his seed? Therefore, let us seek to be Spirit-filled by God’s grace, obedient to Him in all things as He works in us to bring us to completion. It is as I contemplate this that I deeply desire to be with my Lord. I will be with Him in His timing. Until then, I pray that we will draw nearer unto Him in mind and heart and spirit. I pray that my Lord’s character will become evident in all reading this as they are sanctified. Remember our final victory over death and our glorious future with our Lord is promised by God who cannot lie.

SDG

16 thoughts on “Our Final Victory

  1. “Now in light of this awaiting us in eternity, what’s a little “heat” from our enemy and his seed? ”

    “And they departed from the presence of the council rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.”

    A couple of words against us? Should we not expect it? As Spurgeon once said, “They called Him Beelzebub and must they honor you?”. Wow, that puts it in perspective doesn’t it!

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  2. Mike; I was distressed but not surprised to read of the increased attacks from the enemy on the study of the resurrection.

    Satan does not want us to witness God’s Glorious Work in us at salvation, sanctification and specially at the resurrection to our sinless, incorruptible, immortal, and righteous bodies to eternity at glorification, proving once and for all he is a defeated enemy.

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  3. Just disregard the apostates. If they will not repent, then the consequences will fall on them. I get a lot of accusations from Christians who are still caught up in the apostate system. They usually fall into a hierarchy church system, where clericalism easily blinds the congregation, thus reducing the ability to rightly divide the Word of God.

    When clericalism takes over, members tend to value their status more than discernment. This is vanity. Unfortunately, it happens a lot. Then the gospel is man focused, success oriented, giving little regard to dividing the Word. The clerically minded church then functions like a Fortune 500 club instead of a refuge, leaving the sheep starved and suffering from malnutrition.

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  4. Mike,

    Another problem which you will see within a hierarchy is whether a pastor, elder, or church leader is “approachable.” The worst kind of fellowship exists when the pastor makes himself unapproachable because he believes that the congregation serves him, believes that he has no accountability, or acts as if you have no right to hold him accountable for not following the scriptures. I went through this with a local church in regard to the Rick Warren gospel.

    As you can guess, I never went back.

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  5. “On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.” (Isaiah 25:6-8 ESV)

    THAT IS ABSOLUTLY BEAUTIFUL.LET’S SHARE THIS WITH THE PALESTINIANS TODAY, DAY OF FREEDOM. ISRAEL STAY ASIDE.

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  6. Raymond – I am confused by your comment, however, the only day of freedom for Jew or Gentile or Palestinian alike is when they come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I’m not sure what sharing an obscure verse from Isaiah accomplishes for any Palestinian, maybe sharing that Christ died for them as well as the Jews would be much more gospel oriented.

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  7. Hello Mike,

    Just read this entry and found it interesting. I have seen the same thing; unbelief in the simplicity of Christ and the Gospel from those who have higher education, even seminary education. So many men have studied themselves away from the Truth, yet they carry influence with believers. This is the sneakiness Jude spoke of, I believe.

    What astounds me still, even though I too am getting shots from the enemy, is the battle withIN professing Christian circles. Indeed, we expect it from the world. But its far more disheartening to get shot at by “Christians” when standing for simple biblical truths like: the impeccability of Jesus, the Trinity, the literal 6 Day creation, inerrancy of Scripture. Instead I’ve come across seminary professors who believe “Allah” is another name of God; that Mormons and Muslims worship God, but its “sameness in part not whole” and they are lost b/c they reject Christ. I’ve confronted a seminary professor who believes that an Open Theist can also be a Christian.

    The Doctrine of God, the necessity of believing the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in order to be saved (Rom. 10:9-10), and the other doctrines I mentioned, have now been placed under Romans 14 as matters of opinion.

    May HIS own continue to stand firmly and boldly for the Truth of Scripture and never fear man.

    Thanks.

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  8. Amen and well said Denise! Yes, the pressure to compromise is coming from within the visible church more and more. These types of attacks are the most disheartening of all. Our saving faith is what sets us apart from those who are simply religious. I am all for scholarship, but not if it is liberal theology or man-focused. Those who are blinded by it become the worst apostates imaginable.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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  9. Mike, It seems to be a growing trend, the more ‘head knowledge’ a person claims, the more argumentative they become. Too many have failed to preach the whole counsel, and have complicated what God meant to be simple. This is just another attack from Satan; these overeducated and unregenerated people are determined to bring division. I praise our Awesome God for men such as yourself, and women who are willing to stick to the bible, and defend it. It is shameful that so many have forgotten the most important weapon in this war, the sword of the Spirit, rightly divided. May we all persevere, through Christ’s strength and guidance, as we battle the enemy and his children, bearing in mind each day brings us ever closer to the glorious and much anticipated return of our Lord and Savior, King Jesus! God bless you brother Mike!

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  10. Hold On Brother, you are doing the Right Thing ! NO COMPROMISE with the Poor Lost Souls of the Apostate Church which grows every day. Let’s take our Protestant Bibles and simply say like Luther ” HERE I STAND, I CAN DO NO OTHER”

    Keep up the Great Work !

    Randy in PHX

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  11. Yes, head knowledge is a big problem out there. No love, always beating people up with angry words, looking for a fight every chance they get, yet they have head knowledge. I think Jesus had some very harsh words for them. They also have NO love for the brethren. We’ve seen it first hand here lately and its really pathetic. They are so in to ‘self’. We will be soooooooo glad when Jesus comes back!!

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