December 2016 Newsletter
Greetings from the Wengers!
All of our stateside family members will be able to be with us for Christmas. Rachelle (continuing translation work in Nigeria), Rosalyn (doing midwifery in Togo), and Rosetta (teaching kindergarten to missionary children in Togo) will be unable to join us.
In a previous newsletter I included part 1 of an essay I wrote regarding environmental change. Enclosed below is part 2.
Suddenly there was massive environmental change. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory: death that procured forgiveness, and resurrection that provided the key for victory over sin. With Him came the opportunity to escape the corrupted and doomed First Adam race, and be incorporated into a new resurrection race with the Last Adam as Head. Freedom so glorious that physical slavery could be deemed as inconsequential in comparison. A new, higher standard in which God commanded all men everywhere to repent. A new, powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit. An entirely new spiritual environment.
Someday soon, every righteous person on earth will abruptly be removed, and the special ministry of the Holy Spirit working through that corporate body of saints will cease. This event will again constitute a huge shift in the spiritual environment of the earth. With every grain of salt absent, no wonder the world will descend into spiritual chaos.
But God will raise up for himself additional witnesses, including two clothed with sackcloth who will call for plagues on the earth, evidently in sequence with the Seals opened and the Trumpets blown. Angels will fly through the skies, proclaiming the gospel, a phenomenon unknown in our era.
As God’s judgments are poured out, the physical environmental changes during the Tribulation will dwarf anything seen since Noah’s Flood: global earthquakes and famines, one third of the trees and all the green grass burned up, the heavenly lights reduced by one-third, global human butchery, seas turning to blood, sea creatures destroyed, water supplies polluted, something looking like an asteroid crashing into the sea, animals likely losing their fear of man and becoming the cause for a significant percentage of human deaths, even in those troublesome times.
In our day, a certain very mild form of global warming is occurring. But in the Tribulation, global warming will be intense when the angel pours out his vial on the sun and men are burned with a scorching heat. In this case the source of the warming is the supernatural turning up of the furnace, not a goofy human mismanagement of the greenhouse.
Even worse will be the changes in the spiritual environment. Hordes of demons long imprisoned in the bottomless pit will be released, and emerge like an evil cloud enshrouding the earth, tormenting people endlessly instead of killing them. The despairing victims will be unable to obtain relief through suicide they seek. After five months of such torture, four evil angels bound in chains for thousands of years at the river Euphrates will be released, and rapidly assemble an army of two hundred million warriors to attack humanity. The result: one-third of world population destroyed.
The sociological and religious environment will be vastly different than what we have today. World religions will be combined and then destroyed, to make room for mandatory worship of the worst human leader in world history. Deception will be pervasive and sophisticated. Things will get so bad physically and spiritually, that apparently if Christ did not cut short those days, all flesh would perish from the earth.
When Christ returns in glory, there will be sudden, comprehensive environmental change. Every wicked person will be removed from the earth. The devil and all his demons will be incarcerated for 1000 years. Christ Himself will reign as visible King of the earth. His government will be administrated by glorified saints who reign in perfect harmony with Him. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord like the waters covering the sea, in contrast to the great spiritual darkness and confusion that has pervaded the earth ever since the First Pair took the forbidden fruit.
A common language worldwide will make communication easy. Fear, and theft will be only memories from the past. Justice will be swift, exacting, and incontrovertible. There will be changes in the physical environment to revert to pre-Flood or Edenic conditions: beautiful climate, human longevity like a tree, peace in the animal kingdom, no more war.
After 1000 years of this wonderful environment, Satan will again be released, changing the environment once again. The vast majority of humanity will follow him in the greatest rebellion in human history. The One who is supreme above all will obliterate the rebels by fire from heaven.
After the Great Rebellion at the end of the Millennium is crushed, The Supreme Being will appear on the Great White Throne. From His presence, the present physical universe will flee away. The Apostle Peter gives dramatic detail: “the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” This will be global warming far more intense than anything imagined by the secular press, truly catastrophic environmental change.
Then the wicked dead will be resurrected and deposited into a region totally devoid of righteousness, which they will share with the demonic hosts they preferred instead of God. Forever they will experience local warming in the lake of fire. Never again will evil trouble the universe.
God will create a new heaven and new earth, but so different from our present world that He repeatedly describes it as “not like” the world we live in: vast environmental change.
Thus, the physical environmental changes in our day, seen by the unaided natural mind, are mere whispers compared to the massive physical and spiritual environmental changes clearly recorded regarding the past, and equally clearly predicted for the future.
Our calling is to faithfully use the resources at our disposal in order to know God better, and to make Him known to those around us—before our world experiences the devastating environmental changes that will absolutely dwarf the environmental perturbations being debated today.
Rejoicing in Jesus who became flesh for us, and is preparing a universe where evil is vanquished and righteousness and goodness is everywhere,
Ray & Rhoda Wenger