Man from Space, Pt. 1

Man from Space, Pt. 1

Now, let's imagine for a moment that tomorrow morning some tall majestic, bright, shining person came walking right down the streets of this say, and suppose there was a tremendous or a power and magnetism about him.

The Surprising Truth About the Rapture (Signs of the Times) by Pacific Press

The Surprising Truth About the Rapture (Signs of the Times) by Pacific Press
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Joe Crews: Now, let's imagine for a moment that tomorrow morning some tall majestic, bright, shining person came walking right down the streets of this say, and suppose there was a tremendous or a power and magnetism about him. People were just drawn by his tremendous personality, by his kind words and by a bright light--

Male Speaker: In a moment Joe Cruz will show how this scenario of the future may be nearer than we think. His crusade subject today, man from space.

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Joe: The event upon which all the New Testament prophecies focuses the second coming of Jesus. You know friends, this is doubtless the most prominent doctor to be found in the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Believe it or not, in the 260 chapters of the New Testament alone, there are 331 references to this great world-ending event. Even the Old Testament writers had a lot to say about the coming of Jesus and the end of the world. Yet, somehow, down here in the days of the modern church, we really don't hear very much about the coming of Jesus.

I don't understand why this is. It ought to be ringing out of every pulpit across the land, France. This wonderful good news about the blessed hope and about the coming of our Lord. Yet, somehow, it almost seems like the devil has been able to throw a blanket of silence over the whole topic. Even evangelist are not talking about it very much, and it ought to be ringing everywhere. We ought to be talking about it, singing about it and praying about it. Redbook magazine made a survey of the eight leading seminaries in America. They interviewed hundreds of ministerial student, theological students.

They discovered in these surveys, my friends, that only 1% of the students in those seminaries, eight of them really believe that Christ was coming again. 1% of the students out of all these hundreds that they interviewed and pass these questionnaires to. DL Moody said that he had been in the church for over 15 years before he ever heard his first sermon on the subject. Later on, he said, "Now, I understand why this is the case." He said, "The devil doesn't want us to understand about the coming of Jesus because nothing will wake up the church so much as to believe that Christ is coming again soon."

Now, friends, I believe this is why he's been able to intimidate the preachers of today over this matter. Do we need a revival in the churches friends? Why, of course we do. If this subject will wake them up and arouse God's people, then don't you think the devil will be trying to stop people from hearing this subject? Of course, he will. I think that's why we don't hear as much preaching about it today, as we really should. Listen, there is no topic of the past, present or future that has such a strong basis for belief as this subject we're talking about this evening.

Christ spoke about it with such unmistakable clarity that nobody needs to be confused or mixed up on it. In fact, let's turn to our first text this evening in the Gospel of John chapter 14. A very, very familiar text, I'm sure, to almost everyone here. John 14:1-3, Jesus says, "Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am, there ye may be also." Now Jesus made a promise here my friends, it can never, never fail.

He said, "I'm coming again. I'll return and take you to be with me where I am." Just as surely as Jesus came the first time as a baby in Bethlehem's manger, He will come back again and receive us, and take us to the place that he's prepared for us. In fact, I'll tell you something, friends. Do you know that the plan of salvation will not really be completed until Jesus returns and removes us out of this world? Now, I know that a lot of God's plan of salvation has already been accomplished, justification, sanctification has been provided, but I'm saying to you tonight my friends have the complete purpose and plan and design of heaven for you and me will not be finished until he removes us from the very presence of sin, and takes us to be with him.

In other words, that final touch of the restoration of all things will be only accomplished when we are taken out of the very presence of sin and removed right into the presence of God. That's what's coming very, very soon. All right, the next big question, of course, that comes to us in this topic today is this, when will all of these things be accomplished? When will our Lord come and these wonderful transactions take place? First of all, before I answer that question, let me answer another question. How will it not take place? Now, I think it's very important that we settle this point before we talk about the actual manner if He's coming because there has been more confusion on this topic probably than any other subject in the Bible.

This matter of Christ return has been fumbled and distorted by both the laity and the ministry, so that people's minds have been confused on it. Now, how will it not happen? Let's look at some of the great deceptions that will mark the final moments of this friends. Jesus spoke about these things in Matthew 24, and that's where we'll go for our next text. An entire chapter here of the Bible that has been given to this great and grand subject of his coming again. When Jesus was seated here on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came with a very, very important question in verse three.

As he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately saying. "Tell us when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of thy coming out of the end of the world?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Take he that no man deceive you." Now, look at this friends, those disciples come asking the very same questions that you and I are concerned with tonight. They said, "Lord, When are you going to return to this earth again? How is it going to happen? When will it take place?" Jesus said, "Take heed. Be careful. Beware that no man deceive you." Now, friends, when you read those words in the Bible, "Take heed that no man deceive you."

This means that whatever follows immediately on those words will be the subject of a lot of misunderstanding and a lot of deception. Christ went on then to spell out some of the great waymarks along the path, showing what must happen first before his grand and glorious appearing in the clouds. Then He came down to some of the actual physical aspects of his return to this earth. Notice down in verse 23 and 24, some of the warnings that he threw out to his followers. "Then if any man shall say unto you, 'Lo, here is Christ or there' believe it not, for there shall arise false Christ and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders in so much that it were for apostle they shall deceive the very elect."

Then verse 26, "Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, behold, he is on the desert, go not forth. Behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it not." Now, Jesus said, "Look, a lot of false pretenders and impersonators are going to come. Men will rise up and declare that they are the Christ, that they've come back to the earth." He said, "This will be wrong. These are false Christs and false prophets." Now, have we heard anything at all about such people on the scene of this earth, friends? Why you know that it's happened. We've had men appear claiming to be the Messiah, and they gathered thousands of followers.

Some of them have actually set up their own little earthly paradise with the angels, so called, and all of the divine appointments and personnel of heaven. Thousands of people actually believe that these folks were the divine Son of God. I had a letter come in the mail not too long ago from somebody who signed the letter Emmanuel, and it was a beautifully written and typewritten letter, but some of the statements were absolutely unbelievable. This man said, "I am sent by God to start the new kingdom on earth. I am the son, Jesus, Emmanuel, the Christ. I'm to be the world leader. President of the United States of the world. all must be saved through me and he signed his name Emmanuel.

Now, I don't know how many people believe this letter. It was beautifully written. I suppose probably hundreds, maybe thousands of people said, "Maybe this is really the truth." I was over in Athens, Greece. I was going down the street with a friend of mine, a pastor friend in Athens, and he pointed out an old gentleman walking along the street there with a long gray beard. He said, "You see that man? He walked into my church the other night, and stood up and declare that he was the Son of God that He was the savior of the world. Now, I don't know how many people believe that, perhaps not very many. Friends this is one of the signs that is to appear just before our Lord returns.

Jesus went on to say, "This is not going to happen in some silent secret way or in a corner." He said if they say, "Lo, He's here in the secret chamber or lo, he's over here in the desert." don't even go out to check that out. This is not the way it will happen. Now, friends I don't doubt, but one of these days, we will hear on the radio or the television news on the evening that Jesus has come. The announcer will probably say, in London or Paris or some other city, "Christ has come back." I wouldn't be surprise at all, but this will not be the real coming of Jesus. Christ said, "Don't even look into it. It will not happen this way."

I know down in Sydney, Australia I visited there in December and preached all up and down the Gold Coast of Australia. I learned about a certain sect of people down there who believe that Jesus would come walking in right off the ocean at a certain time and a certain spot. These people actually built a great big amphitheater with grand stand seats and they sold tickets to this great big place.

Hundreds of people were out there on that day watching, and waiting for Jesus to come walking in off the ocean. Of course, it didn't happen. You say, "Brother Joe, I would never be taken into that kind of a deception. I wouldn't believe anything like that. I'll never be swayed by claims of people who say these things." Now, you wait a minute, friends, I'm not so sure that we wouldn't be impressed if the imitator and impersonator came doing the great signs and wonders that Jesus said He'd be doing. Now, let's imagine for a moment that tomorrow morning some tall, majestic, bright, shining person came walking right down the streets of this city.

Supposed there was a tremendous aura, a power and magnetism about him, people were just drawn by his tremendous personality, by his kind words, and by a bright light that just seem to beam out of his face. Suppose as he walk along the street, people came there who were sick, cripple people came, blind people came. Those with cancer and the other maladies were brought near, and this man would speak to them or touch on them, and immediately they seem to be healed and relieved of all their diseases. Perhaps someone is even brought out there who seems to be dead and he speaks to them or touches them, and there seems to come a power from him upon all those who are brought to him.

Then suppose this individual says, "I'm God. I'm Jesus. I've come back to the earth again to continue doing the work that I did when I was here before." Now, friends, how many people in this city would really believe this man? I am telling you the world today is crazy after miracles, aren't they? Anything spectacular, anything that can't be explained, that can't be understood by natural means. People will run all across the country to find something spectacular to look at or to listen to. I can tell you that multitudes of people would be taken in and deceived by this kind of a personage who would appear looking the very same way that we believe Jesus looked, and speaking in the same gentle voice that we believe Jesus spoke with.

Now, can the devil imitate good people, friends? Can he impersonate even the Son of God? Jesus said, he could. That he would actually work these great wonders and these great signs and miracles to sustain his claims. Let's prepare ourselves because we'll see things that our eyes will not be able to believe or that our mind cannot understand, but we must not be deceived. Jesus said it won't happen this way. Now, we found out how it will not happen. How will it take place? Come with me in your Bible's now to the book of Acts. We'll read there chapter 1 and verses 9 through 11.

Acts chapter 1 and we're reading verses 9 through 11, "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. While they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel. Which also said, 'Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.'" Now, here it is friends. Just before Jesus went back to heaven. As He was standing down the Mount of Olives with the disciples around him, suddenly gravity just seem to lose its power.

He was lifted right out of their midst and taken up into the heavens there. It says a cloud received Him out of their sight. Now, apparently friends, that cloud was a cloud of angels. I believe that. I'm going to show you in just a moment why I believe that. Then suddenly there were these bright shining angels who came all the way down from the sight of God to give comfort to these grieving disciples, who are about to lose their master. They said, look, they're saying, "Jesus that you see now going up from you will come again in the same way and like manner as you've seen Him go away into heaven."

Now, friends tell me, what kind of a view that they have of Jesus as He went away? Was it a real thing that happened that day on the mount? Was this a physical thing that they beheld with their eyes? Of course it was. They were not in a trance or a vision or dreaming. Jesus was literally taken up out of their midst and out of their sight. It was a physical thing, and they were looking at it with their literal physical eyes. That's why the angels said, "Just like you'd seen him go away, He's coming back again." Now, friends this means that it won't be some mystical, unseen type of a coming.

It would be open and visible to everybody because that's the way He went back to heaven. He will return according to the word of angels in the very same manner. Now, that means if He went away in a cloud, then He'll have to come back in what? He 'll have to come back in a cloud, won't he, if He does it in the same way. Let's turn now to the book of Revelation chapter one and look at verse seven. Sure enough, that's the way it is describe by the inspired writer. "Behold." John wrote, "He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him." Isn't that interesting? He comes with what? Clouds. How did He go away? He went away in a cloud, didn't he? He will come back in a cloud, and he says, "Every eye will see him."

Now, that's the most beautiful thing I believe in that verse. This is telling us that every living soul in the world is going to look up there and see it together. I mean it will be open and obvious and visible from every angle, from every country and nation in the world. This will not be done secretly, my friends, in some corner. It will be one of the most spectacular occurrences and views that have ever been afforded to anybody in this world. The good and bad, the rich and the poor will all see it together. Now, some people don't believe that the entire world will behold that scene when Christ comes the second time.

Jesus said-- Come back with me, that 24th chapter of Matthew again. Matthew 24 and we're going to look at verse- let's look at verse 30. Jesus here still speaking on the topic of his return. "And Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." All right now friends, it says how many of the earth will see him? All the tribes of the earth. All the tribes of the earth. Does that include Communist countries? Does that include South America? Does that include Europe, and the United States, and Canada, and all the rest of it? Yes, indeed.

All the tribes of the earth. They're have going to see it together, the good, the bad, everyone. The thing will be so bright and so visible and so dazzling that the eyes of all mankind will be drawn up to that spot of glory when our Lord comes back to the earth. I'll tell you why everybody's going to see it, friends, because of the ones who are returning with Him as well as because of the great glory of His own presence. Look across to page nine of your Bible to Matthew 25:31. It says, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory." Does he have a lot of glory, friends? Does he have a lot of glory? Imagine-- Why, you can't imagine.

None of us can imagine what the very presence of God would be like, and what Jesus' glory would be like in his resurrected form. "The Son of man shall comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him." All the angels of heaven will be attending Him when He comes. How bright and glorious are they? How bright is one angel alone, friends. You remember what happened there at the tomb of Jesus when that one angel walked into the company of soldiers, they all fell down like dead men, didn't they?

Then in the Old Testament there, one angel came down into the Assyrian army one night and 185,000 of them dropped dead.

The Bible says, they were all dead corpses the next morning. Just multiply this, how many angels are there by the way? Let's find that out, so we’ll know a bit about this glory. In Revelation 5:11, now we read the actual number. Not the exact number, but we get a pretty good representation here of the angels. "I beheld and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beast of the elders, and a number of them was 10,000 times 10,000 and thousands of thousands. Now, put your little pocket calculator up, I'll tell you how much 10,000 times 10,000 is, that’s 100 million.

Now, you multiply that by several times and you get billions and billions and billions of them and that's only a small little figure, a number of the ones who will come with our Lord, they're numberless, friends. Each one has enough glory to slay all the inhabitants of this earth, I suppose. Imagine what that glory will be. Our Lord described it himself back in Matthew 24 again and in verse 27, He says, "For as the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth even on the west so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Why, you can't hide from that lightning, friends, that comes from one side of the heaven and goes over to the other side, and every point of the compass is illuminated by the flagship light.

You try to hide from it on some dark night, and you'll find it's impossible, even close your eyes against that brilliant glory of the flash of lightning. Jesus said, "My coming is going to be that way. Nobody can hide from it at all. It's going to be open and visible to every single person on the face of the earth." Friends, I want to be there looking at it when it happens, don't you? I want to be able to see it when it happen. I'll tell you something, only those who have no sin in their lives will be able to survive the glory of the bright out shining presence of Jesus Christ.

The Bible says that our God is a consuming fire, and he will burn up all sin when he comes. Sin cannot exist in the presence of God. If sin is in your life or mine, it will be consumed, and you and I will be consumed with it. That’s the reason we need to know right now that every sin in our life has been confessed. That when he appears and his glory is manifested in this world, you and I will be able to live in that glory of His presence, friends, because only without sin will we be able to survive that.

Male Speaker: Friends. Joe's topic today, man from space, is really about the greatest news in all the scriptures, isn't it? Jesus is coming again. One of the great questions that many of us might ask is, are we ready? Now, I'd like you to have a copy of Joe's message today and the little book he's written, but first before we tell you how to get that, the quartet's going to sing, the Lord is Coming Are You Ready?

Quartet: [singing] Let not your heart be troubled, Ye believe in God and in Me; In my Father's house are many mansions, I go to prepare a place for thee. Why will you wait my brother?Promises of God all are true; Jesus bought your life on Calvary's mountain, and soon He will come again for you. The Lord is coming, are you ready? The Lord is coming, are you ready? Would your heart be right if He came tonight? The Lord is coming, are you ready?

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