Into The Darkness

by Dr. Ken Matto

(Eph 2:5 KJV) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Every few days or so I go to a place in New Jersey on Interstate 78 which has a scenic overlook. It is pretty high and on a nice day, you can see into Pennsylvania. You will see many small mountains from this overlook. The reason I like to go up there is to bring my portable ham radio and see if I can work any foreign countries. From that spot, the farthest station I worked, which was confirmed, was Christmas Island which is about five hundred miles south of Hawaii. I heard a fellow calling and decided to see if I could reach him. To my surprise I had a few minutes of chat with him. Since then I have worked Brazil, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Niger, Cyprus, Aruba, Trinidad and some others. I have worked these on the 10 and 12 meter ham bands. When going into ham radio, it must be understood that long distance contacts are subject to atmospheric conditions. Sometimes I go there and call CQ, which is a general call for anyone to return the call, and will receive nothing. This happens when the band is dead. You can call till you are blue in the face and you will not get out past line of sight.

This is the same situation with the sending forth of the gospel. We continue to send forth the gospel in a world of spiritually dead people and if God does not qualify them to hear, then we will be calling a spiritual CQ till we are blue in the face. Does this mean we give up? Of course not. In ham radio, perseverance is the key to finding those long distance contacts and perseverance in sending forth the gospel is the way that we will produce fruit. When we look at some of the characters in the Bible whom God sent to a hostile people, we see that it was their perseverance which yielded the fruit. Remember when Noah was building the ark? Can you imagine how many times, in 120 years, Noah warned the scoffing people of the impending judgment? Did their disbelief negate Noah’s responsibility to be faithful to God’s calling? The answer of course is no, since we saw that after 120 years of preaching only eight people survived the deluge. Noah was called to be a faithful witness and was not deterred from his ministry to bring all the animals through the worldwide deluge. We know that Noah continually preached while he worked because of the following verse.
(2 Pet 2:5 KJV) And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;  He would not have been called a preacher of righteousness if he did not proclaim the truth of God to the unbelieving antediluvians.

Isaiah faced the same situation when God commissioned him to go to the people of Judah and proclaim the truth.
(Isa 6:9-10 KJV) And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. {10} Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. The Lord was telling Isaiah that his ministry was going to be to a people who would not listen to him. These people were spiritually dead and unable to hear the truth of the message Isaiah was going to bring. What is the difference between the ministry of Isaiah and our ministry? We are also sent into a world which is totally hostile to the true Gospel and it is getting worse. One of the worst scenarios which can ever be present, is not necessarily the fact that false gospels surround us but that the average person is unable to discern between the false and the true.

Remember the confrontation that Elijah had on Mount Carmel when he faced the 450 prophets of Baal? The people were so steeped in false religion that they did not even know who the true God was and Elijah had to foster a confrontation between God and Baal.
(1 Ki 18:21 KJV) And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. These people had lost the ability to know the difference between false gods and the real God of Israel. How different is it today? Not very! You have millions of people following false religions and many of them involved in the occult through the New Age movement which is promising a great world leader who will lead this world into total peace. They call this person, “The Coming One.” (Isa 48:22 KJV) There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. The false religions of the world seek worldly peace but that will never come as long as there is one sinner on earth, true peace can never happen. Sinners can never work the true work of God. All they can do is like Jannes and Jambres did when they opposed Moses, they can only imitate up to a certain point. Let me give you the reality of what the unbelieving world considers world peace. GET RID OF ALL THE CHRISTIANS! Once all the Christians are gone, then the world and all its false ways can sail in the same direction, toward hell.

However, that will not happen as there will be Christians here on earth until the last day, simply because we must reach all the Elect whom God had named before the foundation of the world. When the last one is saved, then that will usher in the last day and then things will begin to happen as God winds up this present evil age.
(Gal 1:4 KJV) Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: When we became Christians we were saved from this present world by being taken out of its system. (Rev 18:4 KJV) And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. In concert with Galatians 1:4, this verse shows us how God brings His children out of the world system, which is represented by Babylon, results in eternal salvation and we never have to worry about receiving of the plagues, which means we never have to worry about eternal damnation. He not only saves us from the sinful tendencies of the present world system, He removes the judicial penalty which the world will receive at the last day.

Now since God will not permit the removal of all Christians from the earth, the only way that Satan can curtail the spiritual activities of Christians is to pass laws and forbid them from doing evangelism. This may happen in the near future but right now the door is still open for us to proclaim the good news and the flow of the Gospel cannot cease on this earth as long as there is one of God’s Elect to be saved. God did not bring the worldwide flood until the ark was complete and all the animals were safely inside along with Noah’s family. God will repeat this action as He will not destroy the world until every last one of His Elect is safely in the ark, who is the Lord Jesus Christ.
(1 Pet 3:20 KJV) Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

1 Peter 3:20 is not teaching us that the longsuffering of God was waiting for people to repent and accept Him. The longsuffering of God here points to the fact that God was patient as Noah took the 120 years to build the ark and when it was finished, then came judgment. It is the same today. The longsuffering of God is not Him waiting in heaven for rebellious man to accept His Son, but He is patiently waiting for the completion of His plan of redemption by bringing the last of the Elect into the kingdom of God. Once He does that, then as in Noah’s day, the final judgment will come and it will come with a fury that man has never seen before on this Earth.

Even though the entire world seems to be dead to the Gospel, nevertheless, we were all spiritually dead until the light of the glorious Gospel broke through and saved us. Our ministries in this day and age is like that of Noah who built and preached. It is like the ministry of Isaiah who preached to a nation that wanted nothing to do with the true and living God.
(Isa 30:9-11 KJV) That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: {10} Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: {11} Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. That attitude has not changed as we see the hostility that true Christianity faces in this modern day. During this month, the blasphemy of Roman Catholicism was seen by over two billion people who tuned in on the TV and watched the funeral of Pope John Paul II. People in many parts of the world now believe that Roman Catholicism is a branch of Christianity, when we know that the entire system is against the teachings of Scripture. When I saw all those leaders with their robes and miters, it reminded me of how many true Christians were sentenced to death by the very same system in the Middle Ages by men who wore the same garments.

Our work is cut out for us today as it was for the true believers in the Middle Ages. However, Roman Catholicism is not the only religion that we must oppose. There are a plethora of false religions today and all of them want to do an end run around the cross of Christ. Our responsibility is to bring those people we witness to back to the cross of Christ and let them know that there is only one way to the Father. As we continue to progress towards the last day, the false spiritual atmosphere on this earth is going to become thicker with false religions. If we do not keep our King James Bibles as filters, we will be duped like so many have become duped by false religions. We need to be very selective as to the materials that we hand out (and read ourselves) so it causes people to think about their eternal future. There are many tracts out there with these cutesy poems on there that are about as effective as a squirt gun on a forest fire. Find materials which makes a person do some hard thinking and out of it the Elect of God will come home. We continue on till the end because we have no idea when the Lord is returning because quite simply we do not know who the last one is to be saved and when.

(Mark 13:32 KJV) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. This verse is a mystery as Jesus is fully God. I would like to offer a possible explanation as to why the Lord Jesus does not know the hour and day of His return. (John 6:37 KJV) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. In this verse we read plainly that it is the Father who is giving the Elect to His Son. As God keeps giving the Elect to His Son, the world continues but when the Father gives the last one to His Son, then the end shall come and maybe the Father has not revealed to the Son exactly when the last one is to be given. Now I don’t want to be dogmatic on this explanation but I wanted to offer it. So as we anticipate the last day, and remember that is the last day of suffering for every true believer, we must continue to stay vigilant in our ministry faithfulness. While we do not know who is going to be saved, yet we send out that Gospel CQ (CQ which is a shortened term for “seek you”) to the entire world. We do not know who will respond to us, just like that contact I made on Christmas Island and I live in New Jersey on the East Coast. The one we least likely think to become saved may be the ones to become saved. As Isaiah, Noah, and Elijah faced their tasks with confidence in God to complete the task He commissioned them for, let us also tackle the ministries God gives us with the confidence that as He was with Moses, He will be with us. (Josh 1:5 KJV) There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. What a great promise to write on your heart!  (4/15/05)