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Two Foundation Stones
God's Unchanging Plan Revealed in History
The Long 'Yom'
2. The Fall and its Consequences
3. Salvation Revealed Gen 3 - Malachi 4
God Chooses Abraham and his Descendants
God's Promise and Covenant with Abraham
God's promise to Abraham still stands secure
God's Eternal Land Gift to Israel
God himself will Provide the Lamb
Lessons in the 2,000 Years after Abraham
"Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
Jews enslaved and rescued - 10 plagues + Passover
The Law - a school master to lead us to Christ. Gal 24
Conquest of Promised Land
Under Judges and Kings
4. Redemption Achieved by Jesus Crucified
5. The Times of the Gentiles - 2,000 Years
God's Unchanging Plan Prophesied
1. Jesus Warns the Church
Deception by 'False Prophets'
False teachers preach to itching ears ...
The False Evolution Theory
Homosexuality is an Abomination
Gospel to be preached to all the world
Abomination that Causes Desolation
Christ's Return will be Sudden
Immediately after the distress of those days
My words will never pass away
2. The Great Tribulation Judgement
The State of the World at the End
Israel in the Last Days
Babylon Falls, and the Saints Rejoice
3. Jesus Returns - The Carpenter is Back!
4. Gog Magog War Rev 20
5. The New Jerusalem. Rev 21, 22
The world today is in a mess.
It didn't begin like this; and it will not end this way.
Almighty God will establish his righteous and eternal Kingdom.
In this chronological study we will try to trace God's plan through Biblical history and prophecy. I have tried to avoid expressing the many opinions of men by gathering and quoting the Scriptures upon which this study is based. So hopefully it will reveal God's truth and help us keep our hope and trust in the Lord God.
Two Foundation Stones [Contents]
1.The Word of God is entirely accurate and complete; it is flawless. Prov 305
It tells us all we need to know concerning God's rescue plan;
his plan already fulfilled, and also his plans for now and the future.
Some mysteries must remain, and it is foolish to speculate.
All his Word is true; we should read all of it.
Add nothing, delete nothing, and change nothing. Rev 2218,19
All his promises are totally reliable.
He says what he means and he means what he says. There is no deceit.
Some truth may be new; so try to be open, enquiring, desire to hear God.
Christ can and always will reveal his truth to the earnest.
He has promised to send the Holy Spirit to do so. Jn 167, 13, 15
2. Almighty God has always been faithful, and he always will be faithful.
He will fulfil all that he has promised. Nothing takes him by surprise.
See Table of Prophecies on website www.dickworth.uk/Prophecies.htm
654 fulfilled, 89 partly fulfilled, 117 await fulfilment.
What God has begun he will certainly finish. Jn 1930 Act 111
He will not make us to be a de-rusted or badly patched lash-up;
all that he starts he finishes, and it will be perfect. Phil 16
His gift now is stability, wisdom, truth and a secure hope
in preparation for the traumatic days of tribulation.
In his day Habbakuk was distressed whenhe saw the increasing wickedness.
Why didn't God do something, he asked? God's surpresing answer was:
Jerusalem will be destroyed by evil Babylon! Hab 11
Like us, he learned: The Righteous will live by faith. Hab 24
Faith = being sure of what we hope for, certain of what we do not see. Heb 111
God's Unchanging Plan Revealed in History
Gen 1,2 reveal how much care and precision God took in his intricate creation design and building. We will examine this since it will help us to see that his plan to create a kingdom that is both righteous and eternal will never be abandoned. He will execute it in due time with the same care and power that he used to begin it. So let us trace God's faithfulness throughout his unchanging plan.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Gen 11
Creation began with God creating time and the whole vast universe!
Millions of stars, each one is a galaxy like our 'Milky Way'!
See the 100 brilliant photos taken using the Hubble Telescope.
In it, he designed one unique solar system with a very special planet - earth!
Faithful to his single, perfect detailed plan; no surprises, no mods were needed.
Gen 1,2 tell us how he fashioned this earth and prepared it for man.
In the beginning he created the universe (the heavens) and within it the earth.
It was designed be a treasured expression of his power and huge genius.
What was so special?
He made gravity > centrifugal force. Also right spin speed and diameter.
He designed a near circular orbit at exactly the right distance from the sun -
Av. surface temperature for liquid water, so most of it didn't boil or freeze.
Speed of rotation so day/night temperature not too extreme, + tilt for seasons.
Ionosphere (protects us against UV + X-rays) + thick atmos for IR protection.
Magnetic core to deflect cosmic rays - seen in the Aurora Borealis.
Gave us the Moon as a satellite for tides.
Molten core with cooling crust to produce continents and mountains.
Jewels and heavy metals from cataclysmic collision of neutron stars!!
All this God designed and executed with faithful precision - in the beginning.
Day 1 - Light (Sun fusion starts). Then separated from darkness. Earth spins.
In God's plan at the end good and evil will also be separated for ever.
Day 2 - Water, oceans of it! (70% of earth's surface). And sky (heaven)
Day 3 - Land made higher than water level. All the many 'kinds' of vegetation.
Each 'kind' bore seeds for it to multiply.
Stage by faithful stage God was making earth ready for all that followed.
Photosynthesis for O2 needed by fish, birds and animals -
also wood, coal and oil stored for future energy. God's battery!
Day 4 - Two great lights (already created 'in the beginning')
Here God reveals his purpose to also use them for measuring time;
as 'signs and for seasons, and for days and years' Gen 11
When sufficient vegetation and O2 in the air and absorbed by the water.
Day 5 - God populates the sea with fish,
then the land with insects and birds,each according to their kinds.
He tells them all to be fruitful and multiply.
Day 6 - God created all the 'kinds' of Livestock and creeping things and beasts.
Finally when all was ready, God created man in his own image.
And he gave man responsibility for all that he had created on earth.
Day 7 - God finished his work that he had done, and he rested ...
and made it holy Gen 23
The Long 'Yom' [Contents]
Was each of creation's stages executed in 24 hours?
Maybe; but I don't think so !!
This is not because I want to change God's Word to fit science;
but because I do believe the truth of all the Word of God!!
'Science' seems to prove that creation took place over millions of years.
The English Bible says creation took place in 6 'days'.
Humanists delight to exploit this apparent conundrum and say the Bible is wrong;
they discard Almighty God and teach the lie of the evolution theory as fact.
Many Christians are rightly frightened by the thought that the Bible is wrong.
But God's word remains 100% accurate and reliable.
Our understanding of the English word 'day' as being 24 hours in Gen 1 may be wrong.
The expression 'The day of the Lord' occurs x20. Is 212 136,9 etc
This can be the instant of his coming or the age of his rule.
In Scripture we easily accept that the word 'day' isn't always 24 hours.
So why do we insist that 'day' in Gen 1 must be 24 hours?
The OT Hebrew word 'Yom' is also translated 'day', but can be an hour
or 1000's of years or even all eternity.
There are 5 other indications why the word 'day' in Gen 1 may not be 24 hours.
And that God chose the long Hebrew 'Yom' in his glorious creation.
1. On the 1st day God created light and separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. Gen 14,5
But the 'Day' ('yom') here is only 12 hours, and the night 12 hours (on av.)
God created the Earth to spin once every 24 hours.
2. On the 3rd day God separated the land and sea.
As the earth cooled God chose a slow continental drift to form the Mts.
He could have created the ~2,000 miles Atlantic ocean instantly
or in 24 hours at 80 mph!
More likely God's plan of cooling and separation occurred over millennia.
(still moving ~+2"/year. 2000 miles at 2"/year = 32 million years)
3. Gen 24 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were
created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.
(KJV + ESV)
'in the day' here is the same Hebrew word 'yom', and it is not 24 hours,
but 6 'days'.
Note NIV omits this phrase to try to clarify the obvious contradiction.
Also'Generations' = 'towledah' in Heb. = time to bring to birth, gestation.
Each generation was a distinct stage of preparation for the birth of man.
And is clearly much greater than 24 hours.
4. Each 'day' uses the expression And there was evening and there was morning.
Why does evening come before morning. Two reasons:
1. Light created after darkness. (Note: Jewish day starts in the evening)
2. In gestation and metamorphosis the baby or the grub is created in the darkness of the womb or chrysalis. Then in the morning the birth and new life is revealed. This immense creative wonder takes a 'yom' of >24 hours.
5.Perhaps the most convincing is that God made each 'kind' of the vegetation
to have seeds to multiply. He told the fish, all living creatures and man to be
'fruitful and multiply'. 122,28 He obviously would not have given this
instruction if they were each already 'multiplied'. (Adam and Eve one pair)
Being obedient each generation (commonly years) would take many years, centuries to populate the world with oak trees or mackerel, not 24 hours.
Others examples of 'yom' >24 hours:
Gen 4725 So the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were 147 years. (ESV)
So the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years.(KJV)
Josh 247 And you lived in the wilderness a long time. (a long season - KJV)
2Ch 153 For a long time Israel was without the true God.
So, far from denying the accuracy of Scripture, a long day enhances Scripture
and the eternal truth of God's amazing design that he 'faithfully' kept to
over the millennia of preparation for man, the pinnacle of his creation.
Science is not a threat to faith, nor is it the enemy of Scripture.
Simply and consistently throughout the OT that Hebrew Yom ≠ 24 hrs
To me this confirms the fact that all Scripture is true
and God's faithfulness has never wavered - nor will it ever do so.
2. The Fall and its Consequenesc [Contents]
All through the Creation and the billions of years of exquisite careful growth,
God is seen to be executing his plan; making this earth ready for man.
Then the moment came and we see Adam and Eve in paradise with God.
But he knew that we would make a real mess of it.
Natural laws and life do not just come and go.
All the physical laws that govern this earth, also govern the whole universe.
Spiritual laws do not change either - not with time or culture.
The Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Gen 216,17 (and Ro 623)
The Lord knew Adam and Eve would disobey; he said 'when you eat', not 'if'.
It is important to realise that God did not have to change his plan when they fell.
That day sin and death entered the equation of life,
God did not have to adopt plan 'B'.
He knew that Satan would tempt and deceive them,
that his relationship with man would be broken,
that Adam would have endure painful toil to get food,
that Eve would have greatly increased pain in childbearing,
that God would have to banish them from the garden of Eden,
that all their descendants would be inherit natural sinfulness.
and most important God himself would have to sacrifice his Son
in order to save all men who believed.
All this was written into his original plan, made before one atom was created.
He even wrote all the names of those who would believe in a book! Eph 14-10
The big problem was how could fallen, banished man ever return to Eden?
How could Almighty God reveal the consequence of sin and its only remedy?
Sin had killed their relationship and blinded them to the truth.
The next stage of God's plan was to reveal this remedy, this rescue plan.
It would take 4,000 years,
the writing of 39 books (Old Testament)
the faithfulness of God not to give up on rebellious man.
How could deceived man come to believe:
1. Before God he was a sinner.
2. The inescapable consequence of sin is death and banishment.
3. There is nothing man can do or give to gain the forgiveness of God.
4. Jesus Christ was crucified to redeem and be the propitiation for my sin.
3. Salvation Revealed Gen 3 - Malachi 4 [Contents]
All the OT reveals how God carefully and patiently reveals his way of salvation.
It also reveals the sinfulness of man
and the consistent just judgement of sin by God.
Even before they were banished God made Adam and Eve garments of skin.
It would remind them that animals had to die to cover their nakedness. Gen 321
By faith Abel offered a better sacrifice than Cain. Heb 114
Why was it better?
Why did the Lord look with favour on Abel and his offering ?
Because it was offered by faith.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for. Heb 111
Abel hoped for salvation, but knew he could not earn it.
God revealed his mercy and assured him of forgiveness.
In gratitude Abel offered the best part of the best lamb in his flock.
Cain only offered 'some of the fruits of the soil'.
He had received no assurance because he did not plead for mercy.
He had no faith and no reason to be grateful to God.
His jealousy led anger. He discarded the warning of God.
So he murdered Abel.
It didn't take long for consequences of sin to plague the earth.
When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And After the birth of Methuselah Enoch walked with God for 300 years. Gen 521,22
God has not revealed how Enoch came to believe and trust God for salvation, only that the marvel of the birth of his son turned his heart towards God. But we are given a hint in the naming of his son. Methuselah = 'In the day that I die it shall happen'. Enoch was clearly grieved with extent of wickedness in the world and saw that God was about to judge the world - this is what was going to happen when his son died. In fact adding up the years given in Gen 5 we find that Noah was 600 years old when Methuselah died aged 969 (=600+187+182). And that was the year of the Flood. The last thing Noah did before entering the ark was to bury his grandson.
Enoch was shown the impending judgement of God and pleaded for mercy. Receiving it, he then 'walked with God' until the day came when he was no more, because God took him. Gen 524
This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. Gen 69-14
Noah also 'walked with God'. How different from the extreme sexual, corrupt and
violent world (Gen 61-7), which so grieved the Lord. It did then and does today,
for our world is much the same. It is strikingly significant when the Lord's word
rings in our ears, As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the
Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they
knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all
away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Math 2437-39
Like with Enoch, we are not told how it was that Noah came to walk with God. But again there is a little nugget of revelation in the details (above) of the ark that God told him to build to save their lives from the judgement flood - coat it with pitch inside and out. Noah obeyed this instruction 622. But the meaning is only apparent when we learn that the word 'pitch' is a translation of the Hebrew word 'kaphar'. This word is used once here and 91 other times in the OT where it is variously translated atonement (x66), purge (x9), reconcile (x7) forgiven (x3) etc.
Thus Noah would see the black tar he used as representing the means of gaining the atonement of God, who thus revealed to him his plan for the saving of his soul. In comparison with those outside who would see just black tar!
Even this horrendous flood was included in God's plan. How can we be sure of
this? The evidence can still be seen today in the USA in the 3,468 mile2
Yellowstone Park. Here is seen a geyser called 'Old Faithful' (one of 465 still
active), which erupts every 91 minutes. It is fed from a huge underground lake.
This lake is the evidence that before Noah's day much of the earth's crust was floating on top of such lakes. Gen 711,12 says In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month -- on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights. Most of the flood water came from these subterranean lakes that 'burst forth'. The 40 days rain was a significant addition. The Yellowstone evidence is proof that the Biblical account is true and Almighty God did indeed judge the wickedness of the world. And in accordance with his master-plan, he also provided an atonement covered Ark for the saving of righteous souls. The flood should be a severe warning that today's wickedness will also be judged in the Great Tribulation before Jesus returns.
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. ... They said to each other, ... "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth." Gen 111-4
This was a blatant attempt by man to form an empire without God. The leaders wanted to be god, seated in heaven and to rule over all the others.
And the Lord said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech." So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Gen 116-8
The leaders wanted what was best for themselves,
God wanted what was best for the people.
And he would not allow the will of the leaders to prevail.
Strangely enough, it was this story that today's EU inverted in a blasphemous
advert (below) which they published with inverted satanic stars. They also
designed the Strasbourg parliament building modelled on Babel! The EU is evil.
Under God's plan the Genesis Babel was discontinued. What will happen to the current EU remains to be seen. Few Christians understand the degree of evil on which it is founded. Be sure of this, it is God's plan that will be established, not the EU's.
Strasbourg Parliament Building
God Chooses Abraham and his Descendants [Contents]
After the just judgement of the Flood and what seemed to be a new start for man, what did they do? They increasingly turned to wickedness that resulted in Babel. Evil men were now scattered over the world. How could God reveal his plan for men to be righteous and walk with together with him?
So it was that in ~2,000 BC that Almighty God called Abraham and his
descendants. They would be the people chosen for this great task. This decision
was a huge responsibility and still today has vast implications. So that all may
always know the truth of God's plan he made a covenant with the Jews that was
unconditional and eternal. Many in the church now suppose that this covenant
with the Jews was terminated when their religious leaders demanded that the
Saviour be crucified. But Almighty God will never, ever, abandon or divorce his
choice. At Calvary the full redemption price to take away sin was paid, but God's
plan for man was not yet complete. But now he has appeared once for all at the
end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is
destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed
once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not
to bear sin, but to bring salvation Heb 926-28
There is still had one great 'mountain' promise(Dan 2) to be fulfilled; to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. To establish the dream of a fully righteous and eternal Kingdom of God. This is what Almighty God revealed to king Nebuchadnezzar in his dreams that Daniel, one of the newly exiled Jews, had to interpret. God tells us the story in Dan 2, ~600 BC. You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue -- an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth. God chose to reveal to this heathen king a summary of world history for the next 2,500 years! The four world empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome would rise and fall. And all trace of them would be blown away and replaced by the rock not hewn by human hands. That rock would became a huge mountain - the eternal Kingdom of God.
This is the revealed plan of God that has yet to be fulfilled. This will come to pass when Christ will appear a second time ... to bring salvation. Just as the Jews played a most significant part in the first coming of Christ, they will do so again when he comes a second time. (More of this later).
God's Promise and Covenant with Abraham [Contents]
Why did Abraham leave Ur and then Haran?
By faith Abraham, when called ... made his home in the promised land. ... For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Heb 118-10
Abraham believed God's promise that he would inherit a better city; a righteous city built by God not by men - the great mountain in Dan 2. He had seen enough of man's rule, his desire was for the kingdom of God. God answered his prayer which was the same as Jesus taught his disciples, 'Thy king come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven ...' Math 610 Or as the old hymn by Hensley says,
Thy kingdom come, O God!
Thy rule, O Christ begin!
Break with thine iron rod
The tyrannies of sin!
Almighty God assured Abraham his heart's desire was right on target. That is why he obeyed by faith.
What did the Lord God promise him?
I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. Gen 122,3
I will make you into a great nation ...
Have the Jews ever been a great nation? Not like Egypt, Babylon, or Rome.
Jews have remained a nation (largely exiled) without real-estate for 2,000 years.
But God has promised this, so one day they will be a great nation.
Israel will become a righteous nation, and this will make her great.
This will surprise the world - and most of the church!
Ezek 1117 Hos 34,5 Zech 81-8 Joel 31,2
All believing Christians experience the amazing grace of Gentile inclusion.
but most have yet to see that God intends to fully restore Israel.
and I will bless you.
How? What was it that Esau despised and Jacob craved for? Gen 2529-34 3226
Ro 94,5 reveals what Almighty God gave to the Jews:
Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ.
And there is still more yet to come.
I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse.
Who have blessed Israel? Very few, but all who have are indeed blest.
Who have cursed? God will destroy the enemies of Israel. Amalek, Egypt, Babylon.
Is 13-23 Jer 46-51 Ezek 25-28 Obadiah Nahum Zeph 2 Zech 12,14
Nations will be punished, not only for their wickedness,
but for what they did to Israel. Jer 5149 Ezek 253, 12, 15 262 2824 Obed 112
All peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
All believers in Jesus are hugely blessed by our Redeemer.
The Veil was rent, and we are invited to enter. Heb 1019-23 Includes Gentiles.
All God's people will be blessed through Israel when Christ returns.
God's promise to Abraham still stands secure
Some think that this promise of God's blessing upon Israel finished when their religious leaders demanded that Jesus was crucified. It is true they have been punished with 2,000 years of exile, but they have remained a nation and have now returned to their ancient, God-given land. Both OT and NT make it clear that God's promise to Abraham still stands secure.
This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar --
the Lord Almighty is his name: "Only if these decrees vanish from my sight," declares the Lord, "will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before me." This is what the Lord says: "Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done," declares the Lord. Jer 3135-37
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, ... for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. Ro 1125-29
God's Eternal Land Gift to Israel [Contents]
This remains one of the most contentious parts of Scripture.
And it will continue to do so until Jesus Christ returns.
But what does God's Word say?
It is often bypassed or misinterpreted.
All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring for ever.
I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth. Gen 1315
Know for certain that your descendants will be in a country not their own, and
they will be enslaved and ill-treated 400 years. But I will punish the nation they
serve as slaves, and afterwards they will come out with great possessions. ... In
the fourth generation your descendants will come back here ... Gen 1514-16
Amram and Jochebed believed this promise when their 3rd child, Moses, was born. Exd 22 76,7
On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abraham and said, "To your
descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt (Nile) to the great river, the
Euphrates ..." Gen 1518
God defines the borders of Israel - much further than the UN 1948 borders! Almighty God is not impressed with the recent UN/EU directive on borders, which proclaims that Jewish building in Judea or E. Jerusalem is illegal because it is in 'occupied land' !! This promise of God has only been partly fulfilled. But one day it will be. See Website article Whose Land?"
"I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless. I confirm my covenant
between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers. ...
This is my covenant with you; You will be the father of many nations ...
I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God." Gen 171,2, 4, 7,8
God here confirms his previous promises concerning both descendants and land.
He also twice emphasises that his covenant is everlasting. The wicked, who contest the word of Almighty God, vigorously contest his gift. But mere man cannot thwart the plan of God. See Joel 32 for what will happen later 'because they divided my land'.
You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be a sign of the covenant ...
Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year. Gen 1711, 19-21
Circumcision is not a covenant, but is a sign of God's covenant.
(Like the Rainbow is a sign that world-wide flood was a one-off judgement.)
Not all circumcised Jews/Gentiles are saved. Not proof of salvation. Ro 96-8
Sometimes the sign is made more important than what is signifies. Gal 612-15
God repeats that the covenant to be inherited by Isaac is everlasting.
Abraham and Sarah were still childless, now God reveals his perfect timing.
The following quote is included to prove that the Islamic claim is entirely false.
Do not be distressed about the boy (Ishmael) and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring. Gen 2112,13
Ishmael was not a child of promise. See also Gen 222 255,6
2,600 years later Mohamad, a descendant of Ishmael, became the father of Islam.
Note the consistent fulfilment of the prophecy concerning Ishmael:
He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers. Gen 1612 2518 e.g. current 'mess' in Syria and ME.
In the plan of Almighty God this small strip of land - about the same size of
Wales - he has given to the Jews for ever. 'Full stop'.
But it is not the end of the story!
God confirms the covenant of descendants and land with Isaac. Gen 262-5
God confirms the covenant of descendants and land with Jacob. Gen 2813-15 3512
God confirms the covenant of descendants and land with Joseph. Gen 484
God confirms the Abramic covenant of land with Moses. Exd 64 Deut 18 610
God confirms the Abramic covenant of land with Joshua. Josh 12-4 1123
The new covenant does not cancel the eternal covenant with Abraham.
But it does supersede the conditional covenant with Moses (the Law)
Jer 31 Ezek 37 Jn 117 Math 517
Sin and exile punishment does not cancel the eternal covenant with Abraham.
Not only is it eternal, but it is unconditional - no ifs or unless.
God knew all that would happen over next 4,000 years.
The history of the Jews has been very mixed; good and bad.
It includes two exiles - to Babylon in 586 BC and when under Rome in AD 70.
But God's faithfulness is unwavering.
Israel remains God's special treasure.
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. Deut 67-9
And the Lord has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honour high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised. Deut 2618,19
When Israel turns away from God and he hides his face from them for a season, it is only so that they realise their foolishness and return to him. 2Ch 309
God himself will Provide the Lamb [Contents]
The story in Gen 22 is a really major step forward in God revealing his plan for
redeeming men from their sinful state.
The promised son was born and some 15/20 years later God instructs Abraham:
Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about. Gen 222
God asked no more of Abraham than he did for himself with his son Jesus.
Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you." Gen 223-5
It is significant that Abraham said, 'we will come back to you'.
He was not being deceitful or pretending. Heb 1117-19 tell us his true thoughts.
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." Gen 226-8
This was an amazing, inspired prophecy. In that moment Abraham knew that God himself would indeed provide 'a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world'. 2,000 years later this prophecy was fulfilled. Jesus did 'provide'!
Jesus himself testified to the truth of this prophecy when he said to the Jews:
"Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad." Jn 856
And there is even more to this story.
Just as Abraham was about to sacrifice the willing Isaac, an angel stopped him and showed him a ram in a thicket caught by his horn. Abraham thus sacrificed the ram instead. However there would be no substitute sacrifice when it came to the day when Jesus laid down his life, a willing sacrifice. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. Gen 2214 Note: 'will provide', not 'has provided'.
Lessons in the 2,000 Years after Abraham [Contents]
"Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
Isaac and Rebekah had to wait 20 years for the Lord to answer their prayer for children. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, "Why is this happening to me?" So she went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger." Gen 2521-23
Within the plan of God there are many times when the going is stormy. This is
true even for the Patriarchs chosen by God. Maybe especially so. Like everyone
they had to learn that life is a struggle, a battle between good and evil.
The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom.) Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright." "Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?" But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright. Gen 2527-34
Was this a setback for God's plan? Not at all.
God knew the heart of Esau; that's why he had already told Rebekah that his
favour lay upon the younger brother, Jacob. Not only did Esau 'despise the
birthright (the covenant of God with Abraham and his descendants), but made
another disastrous choice. When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith
daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite.
They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah. Gen 2634
Thus it was, that we later read, the Lord says, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
Mal 12,3 (and Ro 913) So Esau was also a grief to the Lord God.
This verse has something to say to modern inclusivism.
We might well ask why did God love Jacob? God knew his heart as well as Esau's.
Jacob craved the elder son's birthright. And not for the elder's 2/3 of all Isaac's possessions when he died. It was God's blessing that he sought. Because Esau did not honour his agreement with Jacob, Jacob had to lie and cheat with the help of Rebekah to get Isaac's blessing. Then he had to run away to escape the wrath of Esau. But as he ran God confirmed the covenant, he promised to bring him back to his land and he promised not to leave him. (Meanwhile Esau married a daughter of Ishmael whom God had sent away. see above.) Jacob served and schemed with Laban, his uncle, for 20 years. But God kept his promise with Jacob. On his journey back to the land he wrestled with God all night. He cried, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome." ... Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared." Gen 3226-30
Although loved by Almighty God and blessed by him, the rest of Jacob's life was not a 'bed of roses'. He wife Rachael died giving birth to Benjamin, he 'lost Joseph' (Rachael's eldest son) because this brothers hated him and sold him to the Midianites, a famine drove him to seek grain from Egypt from which he only returned in a coffin! But he did see Joseph in Egypt, who had become Pharaoh's Prime Minister! The ways of God and his plan often seems to twist and turn; but he always has a reason, and he is always faithful to his covenant and plan.
Jews enslaved and rescued - 10 plagues + Passover [Contents]
Jacob's sons settled in Egypt having been given the land of Goshen by Joseph.
Life was good and they soon multiplied, but it was not 'the promised land'.
The Pharaohs of Joseph's day were Hyksos (foreigners) and they were overthrown
by the native Egyptian Ahmose who saw the Hebrews as a threat.
So he enslaved them. The good life quickly became a very bad life.
And the next major lesson in revealing the rescue plan of God commenced.
The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help
because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he
remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. Exd 223,24
There was a Jewish couple, Amram and Jochebed, who remembered what the Lord God had said to Abraham: "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure." Gen 1513-16
This couple already had two children, Aaron and Miriam, but they had been counting off the years that now reached 400! when their third child was born.
By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child. Heb 1123 It was with God assurance that they not only hid the child but also that he was no ordinary child. And we can be sure this was much more than just the eyes of doting parents. Almighty God was about to reveal the most amazing rescue plan. Moses was spared from Pharaoh's killing order, brought up in the house of Pharaoh's daughter and at the same time nursed by his own mother! God's ways are quite magnificent and sometimes audacious. He would then serve a 40 year apprenticeship as a desert shepherd in Midian which prepared him for leading the Jews through the desert to the promised land.
The Egyptians had enslaved God's chosen people for many years and thereby
earned the just judgement of Almighty God. As each of the 10 plagues was sent,
Pharaoh not only declined to repent, he refused to release the Hebrews. Only
after the 10th plague, the killing of all the firstborn, did he drive them out of
Egypt. The first Passover protected the Hebrews from the avenging angel. Every
year afterwards the Jews would kill a Lamb at Passover when they remember this
vital lesson in 4 cups of wine the deliverance by God.
1. Freedom from the slavery of sin. Jn 831-36
2. Redemption. Jesus paid the price no other can pay. Heb 97,12,22
3. Chosen by Almighty God. Amazing privilege. Ro 914-18
4. Land. The world fiercely contest this gift of God to the Jews.
1,500 years later Jesus would be fulfill this lesson and be the Passover Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. Jn 129 He was crucified at the exact time that the Jews were killing their Passover lambs.
After the Jews left Egypt, Pharaoh sent his army to get back 'his slaves'. God judged this folly by drowning them all in the Red Sea.
The Law - a school master to lead us to Christ. Gal 324 [Contents]
There are many important lessons in this section of God's plan; this is one.
When Moses had to go up Mt Sinai to receive the Commandments,
The people could only watch from afar at the thunderings.
Like in the Tabernacle, only cleansed priests could enter the Holy place.
The Holy God could not entertain anyone not holy.
God gave us his Commandments so that we would know how to behave.
But this always condemned a man for no man can keep all the Law.
This was the precise lesson. We are all naturally corrupt.
And furthermore, there is nothing we can do about it.
That is why Paul wrote,
the law is our school master to lead us to Christ. Gal 324
And Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth,
no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." Jn 33
This is quite obvious, for if we could by dint of zealous resolution keep the law,
then there would be nothing for God to forgive and no need for the Cross.
God's covenant with Moses was basically if you keep the commandments
God will reward you, if you don't he will punish you.
The new covenant is if God enables you to be 'born again',
the law will have done its prime work to lead us to Christ,
so you will actually want to keep the law. Ps 197-11
Alongside the Law, God also commanded Moses to keep the feasts.
Passover (see above)
Weeks (first fruits, harvest, gratitude for God's abundant mercy and grace)
Trumpets that for 10 days warn the people of the need to repent.
Followed by Yom Kippur, the day of atonement
then Tabernacles, the delight of being with God.
Conquest of Promised Land [Contents]
Today some find this a difficult aspect of God's plan.
This is because Almighty God is preached only as being Love,
but he is also angry at sin and people who repeatedly refuse to repent.
When he chose Abraham he told him the Jews would be 400 years in Egypt
before they would live in the promised land. He said the delay was because
the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure. Gen 1516
The conquest was then God's way of bringing just judgement upon them.
Just as when Jerusalem refused God's warning given by Jeremiah for 40 years
God judged them by destroying Jerusalem including even the Temple
and exiling the Jews to Babylon.
Under Judges and Kings [Contents]
After Moses and Joshua, Israel was governed by a roller-coaster of judges -
half good and half bad. When they were good Israel prospered and conversely
when bad life was more than difficult.
The lesson was not learned; or if it was it was only very temporarily.
In the end, after Samuel, the people rejected God's warning and wanted a king.
After Saul, David and Solomon, the nation divided. Israel in the north had a
succession of 21 evil king and finished being exiled by Assyria.
Judah in the south also had 21 king, but only 3 were good.
They were exiled to Babylon but returned after 70 years.
So with regard to righteousness it seems the Jews were very slow to learn;
although Almighty God had sent them a succession of prophets.
During these years God reveals his most amazing grace and faithfulness;
and his reluctance to punish a rebellious people.
His plan and his promise remained unchanged and on time.
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago. Mic 718-20
4. Redemption Achieved by Jesus Crucified [Contents]
After the last OT writings, Persia came and went, Greece came and went,
and now Rome was firmly in control.
Many longed for the promised Messiah to come and rid them of Rome.
But no one had any expectation.
Only 2 old pensioners in Jerusalem, Simeon and Anna.
And a priest and his wife, who in very mature age had just had a child.
O yes, and a group from way out in the east came looking for him.
The religious leaders in Jerusalem knew Messiah would come from Bethlehem,
but they never thought to see if he was there.
God's ways are so different from ours,
no palace, no trumpets, no excited messengers ...
Just a young virgin girl from Nazareth and her betrothed; they knew alright!
She was expecting in more ways than one! Gabriel had told them the secret.
They had just travelled nearly a 100 miles on a donkey to get to Bethlehem.
Born in a stable, a manger makes a very sensible crib.
There he was, born a baby; the Messiah, the Creator and Saviour of the world!
Some shepherds arrived, sent by a group of angels.
The Magi came too. 500 years earlier the Jewish PM Daniel had left word that
there would be a Jewish Messiah who would save and transform the world.
They had seen a star in the east that somehow told them he had come.
They travelled west to Jerusalem to enquire. "Go to Bethlehem".
But where in Bethlehem. God sent a special star that shone over the stable.
What a plan! Only Almighty Gold could have thought up something like this.
And it was a plan that worked.
Jesus was presented in the Temple.
Then they escaped to Egypt to thwart the murderous Herod's plan.
Then they returned to Nazareth.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Gospel history - truth.
Some 30 years later John Baptist shouted,
"Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." Jn 129
Except, of course, he said it in Aramaic!
For just over 3 years he taught, healed, delivered, led and lived with the Jews.
And in the end the religious leaders demanded he be crucified!
And this was God's plan too!!
Jesus laid down his life, no one took it from him.
He had revealed it to Isaiah some 600 years earlier. Is 53
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was stricken.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After the suffering of his soul,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
David also saw much of the crucifixion plan. Ps 221-5 ,14-18
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, and am not silent.
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the praise of Israel.
In you our fathers put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
They cried to you and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not disappointed. ...
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted away within me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
Dogs have surrounded me;
a band of evil men has encircled me,
they have pierced my hands and my feet.
I can count all my bones;
people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing
Jesus 'finished' his work of redemption.
This was his cry on the Cross.
But the full plan of God was still far from complete.
5. The Times of the Gentiles - 2,000 Years [Contents]
After Calvary, Almighty God chose to open the door to the Gentiles
Before there had only been a few Gentiles included in God's Kingdom:
Rahab, Ruth, Nebuchadnezzar, Nineveh.
God chose Paul to be the Apostle to the Gentiles, and he blessed his work.
Like the chosen Hebrews, the Gentiles have squabbled, divided and sinned.
History has seen that God has been most gracious to us too.
Now we need to remember Jesus said the ascendancy of the Gentile Church
will be limited:
Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles
until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Lu 2124
Israel has experienced a hardening in part
until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. Ro 1125
Today Israel has returned to most of Jerusalem,
but Islamic Gentiles hold the Temple Mount.
Israel is still largely hardened against the truth of Jesus,
and Gentiles are still being saved.
We should therefor conclude that the 'times of the Gentiles' is not quite over.
So by the grace of God we still live in the day of opportunity for salvation,
and must make the most of the remaining time to teach the truth of Jesus.
Since the initial spread of Christianity, by far the greatest event for the Gentiles
has been the Reformation and the printing of the Scriptures in our native tongue. The Roman Catholics did their very best to stamp this out by burning at the stake all those they thought heretics. Having the Bible in English enabled brave men to challenge the gross abuses of Rome. (see Article '24 Roman Catholic Errors' and other files e.g. 'Our Debt to the Reformation')
William Tyndale wrote concerning his Bible translation:
The Bible contains the mind of God,
the state of man,
the way of salvation,
the doom of sinners
and the happiness of believers.
It's doctrine is holy,
it's principles are binding,
it's history is true
and it's decisions are immutable.
Heed it to be wise,
believe it to be safe
and practice it to be holy.
It contains light to direct you,
food to support you
and comfort to cheer you.
It is the traveller's map,
the pilgrim's staff,
the pilot's compass,
the soldier's sword
and the Christian's charter.
Here heaven is open
and the gates of hell are closed.
Christ is the grand subject,
our good is it's grand design
and the glory of God is it's end.
It was the ability to read God's Word and having this attitude to it,
that transformed much of this country and founded the Protestant Church.
We have seen much of the plan of God revealed, unfolded in history.
We have seen at least 654 of the 860 Bible prophecies fulfilled.
The remaining plan of God awaits fulfilment.
God has given us over 200 prophecies that describe this.
(see website Prophecies )
God's Unchanging Plan Prophesied [Contents]
God knew that his 'very good' creation would not stay that way. He knew that Adam and Eve were no match for the evil, deceiving serpent who would cause them to discard God's instruction. God knew that this would happen; so he did not have to change his plan. But it would need some 4,000 years to reveal to fallen man the only way they could be forgiven and made righteous. The Old Testament is God's record of how he achieved this. It tells the 'roller-coaster' journey of his judgement, mercy and grace till the day came when his Son, Jesus Christ was nailed to a Roman cross and cried, "It is finished!". What was finished? The first part of his original plan to redeem any man who believes that: he is a sinner and there is nothing he can do to earn God's forgiveness. "Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay."
But even this act of amazing grace does not complete God's plan. The history of the last 2,000 years is a catalogue of man's wickedness, of wars, deceit, injustice and the greedy destruction of God's creation. Today it seems that we are further than ever from the truth and righteousness of the eternal kingdom of God. The worldwide judgement in the days of Noah was no surprise to the Almighty; neither is the increasing evil rebellion against him in 2018. So what is next in God's unchanging plan? Jesus Christ, the King of kings, is going to return to his creation, which he was willing to die to save. This article is an attempt to outline the events of the 'Last Days' that he has revealed in the Scriptures. Unsurprisingly the truth he has written is unpopular, especially if we only see the persecution and just judgement of the tribulation. But the 'last Days' end with the return of the Sovereign Lord, who will then establish his planned eternal Kingdom. For all Christian believers this is the great climax we have been waiting for.
Christ has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the
sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face
judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people;
and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those
who are waiting for him. Heb 926-28
To which we add, "Lord, please come quickly!"
The Lord has chosen to reveal much about the Creation and also the two greatest
events in all of man's history on earth in the Scriptures.
1. The coming of Christ to be Crucified in order that all who believe in him could be forgiven.
2. His 2nd Coming to establish his righteous and eternal kingdom.
The world had to wait 4,000 years for the right moment for his 1st Coming.
And then a further 2,000 years (and counting!) for his 2nd Coming.
So what is going to happen before this eagerly awaited moment?
The disciples asked Jesus this question; so he told them. It is most instructive to examine his answer. We will then go on to look at what he revealed to many of the OT prophets. The answer Jesus gave was recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Since they are very similar, the following narrative is from Math 24 with additions from Mk 13 and Lu 21 that are not included in Math 24:
1. Jesus Warns the Church [Contents]
Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But heanswered them, "You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down."
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, Peter, James and John came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" And Jesus answered them,"Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of birth pains. Then they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. They will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. But be on your guard. At that time many will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other and many false prophets will arise and deceive many people. When they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. When you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect -- if that were possible. But be on guard, I have told you all things beforehand. So, if they say to you, 'Look, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out. If they say, 'Look, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. On the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is already near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he and the kingdom of God are near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.
But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. Be on guard, keep alert. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Deception by 'False Prophets' [Contents]
"Watch out that no one deceives you." Math 244
This is the first thing Jesus warns the disciples about. And he repeats his warning twice, so it must be very important. (Math 2411 and 24) Each time he says the source is 'false prophets' - today they would be called 'Church leaders'! It was never the Bible that was false; it was always what strong men wanted to either add or omit from it that caused the problems that have plagued the church throughout the last 2,000 years. They deceived others with their self-opinionated ideas instead of proclaiming Biblical truth.
Times have not changed. There are many alluring leaders today in the US and UK who prefer to teach what is popular instead of what is true. They attract big congregations and appear 'successful'; but are often nearer to an inclusive club than a believing church. Their members testify to a changed life-style, sometimes radically changed, but it is very rare that any testify to the relief of knowing that God has forgiven their sin. They preach God's love, but hesitate or even omit the fact that the wages of sin is death. This makes the Cross an unfortunate event instead of a vital necessity for the propitiation and forgiveness of our sins - Jesus had to die. Lu 2425-27. All the OT Jewish sacrifices were designed to reveal this truth. John Baptist, whom Jesus called the greatest prophet, proclaimed, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." Jn 129 Such 'inclusivism' strongly erodes true Christian faith by ignoring the essential need to cry to God for mercy by repentant sinners. Their teaching is false because they say we just need a little help from our loving God and we can simply 'decide to follow Jesus'.
False teachers preach to itching ears ... [Contents]
We need to be very wary of preachers who are popular. They nearly always preach what the people want to hear.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Tim 43,4
So their congregations hear much about 'revival' and little about the need to repent; much about man's ability to reform and little about our total dependance upon Christ. The practice and knowledge of 'sound doctrine' requires diligent work and trust in the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth. Men will most often prefer the easy way. Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Math 713,14
Such teachers will appear good, enthusiastic, successful ... but will they teach truth? If their peaching has a text, it will usually be an isolated verse that supports what they want to say. It should be the other way round; they should endeavour to expound what Scripture says. They will thus rarely preach through a whole book - they might find something they don't want to talk about! This is dishonest. Many of the OT books are a serious challenge. Almighty God intended them to be so!
Ecumenical Falsehood [Contents]
Henry VIII did not separate from Rome because he endorsed the Reformation. He opposed it all his life until he died. It was Thomas Cromwell who suggested to Henry the separation in 1529 for other reasons:
1. By making himself 'Head of the Church in England' he could secure his divorce of Catherine and marry Anne Boleyn, which the Pope refused to allow.
2. Every Englishman should be the master of his house.
3. The English should not pay taxes to Rome, but should trust Parliament to spend the money wisely. (Kings are nearly always short of money.)
Although remaining staunchly Roman Catholic in doctrine and practice, this separation suited Henry very well. It was enacted 3 years later. But the following year Tyndale was caught, strangled and burned at the stake for translating the NT into English - and many others suffered likewise. Rome lost considerable income and followers. Several Popes have recently said they regret the separation (not surprisingly!) but none have ever admitted when under Henry VIII and Mary the Catholics condemned so many godly men, whom they called heretics and sentenced them to be burnt alive. Today the Roman church under the Pope continues under 24 major errors (see website) with regret but no repentance. The sale of indulgences continues and so does the endorsement of 'multi-faith' by the current Pope Francis. This makes any Ecumenical movement a falsehood, however attractive unity may sound.
The False Evolution Theory [Contents]
Peter warned us that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 2 Pe 33-5. Men today, and even our government, insist that this world and all that lives on it just evolved. UK schools have now relegated creation by Almighty God to 'religion' in the curriculum, and teach the 'Evolution Theory' as truth in science. This is a major deception. Thus these 'false prophets' teach that Almighty God can be safely ignored. It is having disastrous consequences.
Homosexuality is an Abomination [Contents]
Paul reveals the consequence of denying God's fantastic creation at the beginning of his letter to the Romans:
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. Ro 118-22
Almighty God cannot, and will not, be ignored. There is a high price to pay for such satanic arrogance. And he tells us what this is.:
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Ro 126,27
The truth that Paul wrote has today become prophetic. Homosexuality and the whole LGBT system is becoming accepted world-wide as normal! It is not normal; Almighty God has clearly written that it is an abomination. Lev 1822 Yet even our current Archbishop of Canterbury repeatedly declares that civil partnership should be honoured and practising Christian homosexuals and lesbians are welcome in the Church! Jesus says we should beware of 'false prophets'.
Paul continues his true 'prophetic' letter:
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Ro 128-32 Surely we live in solemn deceptive days.
Rev 1919,20 tell us about how the evil Beast (described in Rev 13) and his false prophet had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshipped his image. Some miraculous events are surely by the compassionate hand of God. But at the end this Scripture warns that many are satanic and delude men. We obviously need to learn discernment. John Arnott, of 'Toronto' fame once preached about how often the Lord God does extraordinary things and gave correct examples. But then to justify some strange charismatic events he wrongly said that all extraordinary things were of God. It may be true that butchers wear blue aprons (they used to!); but it is not correct logic that anyone in a blue apron is a butcher! The miraculous, especially healing, can be very attractive, but it can also be a strong means for Satan to deceive us.
You will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this
must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and
kingdom against kingdom.
There has always been war; it began when jealous Cain murdered his brother Abel. And here Jesus tells us it will be so when he returns. He told Daniel the prophet the same truth. War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. Dan 926 Most men desire peace and it has always been a popular hope. But wicked men fight. Why? What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. James 41,2
Today the Church rightly teaches about the love of God, but it omits that Almighty God is also a holy God who judges wickedness. In the days of Noah the world had become so wicked that he ordered a flood to destroy all but 8 of the people. In the days of Moses and Joshua God ordered the destruction of the Canaanites when their sin reached its full measure. Gen 1516 In the days of Jeremiah, who spoke God's prophetic word of warning to Jerusalem for 40 years, they took no notice. So God sent his servant Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Jerusalem and the Temple after an 18 month siege, and then either killed or exiled the rest to Babylon. Jer 259 276 4310 Hab 15,6 Many people find Revelation a difficult book because they don't understand that Almighty God judges sin. He says, the wages of sin is death. Ro 623 and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Heb 922 So in the Great Tribulation, revealed in Rev 6-19, there are two major wars. And both are ordered by Almighty God! The 1st is in Rev 63,4 when he opens the 2nd Seal and calls forth the red horse, its rider is permitted to take peace from the earth. The second war is recounted in Rev 19 at the end of the Tribulation when Jesus, the King of king, returns to earth to fight and conquer the satanic Beast and his False Prophet. Only then will there be peace on earth.
This is the third warning by Jesus and one that still seems quite distant to us in UK.
Then they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. They will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.
The persecution of Christians has been common throughout the last 2,000 years.
Satan is not only a liar, the father of lies, falsehood and deception, but he was a murderer from the beginning Jn 844,45. So this should not surprise us. It is just as Jesus said, A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. Jn 1520
Since the Reformation, England has been largely spared from persecution, but for how long will it last? Our Christian heritage is shrinking fast. 60 years ago Christianity was respected by the majority, now it is largely ignored, rejected or ridiculed. The day will shortly come when the cost of being a Christian will be significant. At the end, Jesus says we will be put to death and hated by all nations. Is our easy Western life-style ready for what many of our foreign brothers and sisters have to endure today.
Jesus revealed this extreme persecution of the saints to Daniel in 553 BC.
The 'little horn' is explained as another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Dan 724-26 Although the ultimate end is the establishment of the Kingdom of God, there is clearly going to be a 3½ year period when the saints will have a very rough time.
Two years later Daniel is given another vision by Almighty God, who sends. Gabriel to explain it. "In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future." Dan 823-26
Not surprisingly, Daniel was appalled by the vision. It is surprising that so few today see this prophecy as being something that should concern all Christian believers in the 'last days'!
Gospel to be preached to all the world [Contents]
Jesus determined that This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Math 2414 Today there are many ways that men are able to hear the truth about Jesus - 'who he was and why he came'. There are radio Bibles and audio Bibles for many of the 20% of the world who cannot yet read. But these require a Bible translation. Wycliffe estimate there are still 114 million people without access to any Scripture in their first language, although it is not known how many of these can understand a second language, which has a translation. So this prophecy is nearly fulfilled; but not quite. It will not be long!
Abomination that Causes Desolation [Contents]
This is the next sign of the end times that Jesus spoke about in Math 2415.
But exactly what this 'abomination' is remains problematic. It is unlikely to refer to the Roman destruction of the Temple in 70 AD as there was no opportunity to flee to the hills of Judea where 4 Roman legions were encamped. Also in AD 70 the Temple was destroyed and no abomination was constructed. The Islamic Golden Dome on the Temple Mount is certainly an 'abomination'. On its walls is written a quote from the Koran (19:35) which says in Arabic, 'It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should take himself a child'. Inside is repeated 5 times in arabic that 'God has no companion' (i.e. no Son). But it was constructed in 691 AD, so cannot be a sign that the end was near! Jesus said the abomination was spoken of through the prophet Daniel. But this reference (Dan 927) was part of the prophecy was concerning the 70th week - right at the end.
So it seems we shall have to be patient as to its true meaning. When it comes the Lord our God will make it obvious.
Unequalled Distress [Contents]
For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world
until now -- and never to be equalled again. If those days had not been cut short,
no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
These have obviously not yet arrived, though in many localities during the last 2,000 years it must have seemed like it. But Jesus said this sign was to be 'unequalled' and world-wide. The great distress will include extreme hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanoes, plagues, drought, floods, famine, wickedness ... and finally a total world economic collapse. see Rev 6-18 Jesus also warns us again about the presence of false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect. Math 2424
Christ's Return will be Sudden [Contents]
For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the
coming of the Son of Man. Math 2427
The return of Jesus will be expected by only the few who will be ready; they will have recognised the signs. Though even they will not know the exact day or hour. But their heart-longing will at last be fulfilled. This great event, the climax of all history, will be simultaneously seen throughout the world, in the East and in the West. The plan of God for his whole creation will be completed - and continued for all eternity!
Immediately after the distress of those days [Contents]
Immediately after the distress of those days 'the sun will be darkened, and the
moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly
bodies will be shaken.' At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the
sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man
coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his
angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four
winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Math 2429-31
This is again where we enter largely uncharted waters. Jesus will appear in the sky. In Act 111 two angels told the apostles, "Men of Galilee, ... why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." How shall we in Cornwall see him at the same time as those in Chicago or Shanghai? How will he 'gather' us? Will some be in their night clothes?! Most will not be rejoicing for Jesus says All nations will mourn - It will be too late to repent! But those who had cried again and again, "Come Lord! Come quickly", will rejoice without reserve and in ways we never thought possible!
My words will never pass away [Contents]
This is one of the most precious truths uttered by Jesus. Amidst all the unknown and all the distress of the rapid series of events, the Word of God will remain unchanged, immoveable, like the Rock of Horeb. This truth will give us confidence, a sure and certain hope. Let us therefore spend much time rehearsing the Word he has written while it is still day, for night cometh when no man can work. Jn 94 (KJV)
Meanwhile ... [Contents]
As we await this great day, what will we be doing? At the end of this discourse
Jesus gives us four stories, or warnings. Each one tells how foolish it is to carry on
life as if Jesus would never return. They tell what men did when their Master was
seemingly delayed. It would be the same As it was in the days of Noah, so it will
be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people
were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah
entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood
came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of
Man. Math 2437-39
Most of the world will pay a high price for their careless folly, of being 'content without God'. These stories in Math 2445 - 2546 show that they will continue without God; but they will not be 'content'!
1.The tenants badly abused their position of authority, and were mortally punished when the Master returned unexpectedly.
2.5 virgins were ready and had sufficient oil. The other 5 had no spare oil. Their lamps were out and it was too late to buy any more.
3.Men with different talents. But one man gave up working for his master. He thought his Master was a hard man. The law was too difficult to keep. So his inability to keep the law did not lead him to Christ as intended. Gal 324
4.Sheep who had a God-given compassion for others in need and goats who were selfish and helped no one but themselves.
In each of these parables the 'bad guys' did not inherit eternal life. So being ready is important. A major part of being ready is to be zealous in living a holy life. 1 Pe 113-19. See also 'Holiness' by J C Ryle. This is a most valuable book, because today, holiness is too often considered old-fashioned! So be prepared, be ready.
2. The Great Tribulation Judgement [Contents]
Throughout the Scriptures Almighty God reveals that sin always ends in death.
The Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the
garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
for when you eat of it you will surely die." Adam and Eve chose to disobey, and
God kept his word. They died; the relationship with their Creator was broken. In
Noah's day The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become,
and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was
filled with pain. So the Lord said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created,
from the face of the earth." Gen 65-7 So that is what he did - only Noah and his
family found favour in the eyes of the Lord. God judged wicked men; he
destroyed them with a flood. When God chose Abraham to show the world his
plan to redeem repentant men, Jacob went down to Egypt. There they were
enslaved and after 400 years God judged Pharaoh in the 10 plagues and in the Red Sea. He then judged the
Canaanites/Amorites when their sin had reached its full measure. Gen 1513-15
God even had to judge Jerusalem by exiling them to Babylon. This was repeated when the Jewish religious leaders demanded that Pilate crucify Jesus, though is was not until AD 70 when the Jews rebelled against Rome that they were exiled.
And this time it was for 2,000 years.
What about today? What does the world look like from God's perspective?
During the last 50 years in the UK he has seen successive governments:
1. Legalise mass murder by abortion - 190,000 /year.
And legalised euthanasia for the sick and elderly may not be far away.
(Voluntary euthanasia has been legal in Holland since 2002 - 7,000/year)
2. The Sabbath has virtually been abolished. It was intended to worship God who rested on the 7th day after Creating the world. God sees us now teaching the evolution theory as truth, and God is ridiculed.
3. He sees homosexuality as an abomination. We have legalised it, saying it is fine and natural. Even our Archbishop proclaims it is good!
4. Deceiving leaders have persuaded us to join the blasphemous and corrupt EU that has such evil foundations. Few care so long as prosperity is promised.
5. He knows all the secret adultery that has little shame today. Fornication has become the norm - just practice 'safe sex'.
6. God hates the worship of 'other gods'. He sees the modern desire for multi-faith that is advocated by the Pope and many church leaders. Even the heir-apparent to the British throne wants to be called 'Defender of faiths'.
7. God hears the common public blasphemy that is encouraged by the media.
8. The cry, "God be merciful to me, a sinner" is rare in church, and outside.
What will Almighty God do about this? He will not ignore it; he cannot!
He told Isaiah something about his plans for the end:
Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. ... In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword. Is 2621 271 (See also Joel 21-11
This is a very different Lord from the One they are expecting - if they are expecting anyone. As at the first Passover in Egypt, God tells his people they are only safe from the avenging angel behind the closed door if the doorposts have the atoning blood of Jesus, the Passover Lamb sprinkled upon them.
The State of the World at the End [Contents]
Paul was shown much truth about what would happen and warned both Timothy and the Thessalonians:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth – men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. 2 Tim 31-9
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. 2 Thes 21-12
Counterfeit miracles will be a major problem and will require much discernment. Today there are many who are too easily deceived. The Lord revealed this need for us to take great care when telling John about the Beast and his False Prophet. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshipped his image. Rev 1921
With such a degree of wickedness what will Almighty God do? He will not just ignore it, of that we can be sure.
What has he done in the past when sin has multiplied to such a degree?
In Noah's day he sent a world-wide flood. In
Abraham's day he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire. Jesus declared there
would come days of 'unequalled distress'. To John, Jesus revealed a series of
events in the Book of Revelation 6-18. It starts with Jesus commanding the 7 seals
to be broken open, then the warning of the 7 trumpets and finally 7 bowls of wrath are poured out. It describes in some detail God's just judgement upon the wickedness of man in the last days. It is not a book for the faint-hearted. There are also several portions that give great encouragement to the saints - though many are martyred saints! For Christian believers David Pawson wrote some good words, "The Word of God is sure, and the people of God are safe." Jesus said these days will be like the days of Noah. In those days just
before the flood, God shut Noah and his family into the Ark that was covered
with pitch (atonement), but the wicked were shut out and perished.
(see website for notes on Revelation.)
Israel in the Last Days [Contents]
Many Christians think that God has finished with the Jews because so many
rejected Jesus and insisted that the Romans crucify him. But this cannot be the
truth because God's covenant with Abraham was both unconditional and eternal.
I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless. I confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers. This is my covenant with you; You will be the father of many nations ...
I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you ... to be your God. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give you as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God. Gen 171-8
Abraham cannot be the 'father of many nations' if both he and Israel are dead, finished. And the covenant cannot be 'everlasting if it has been cancelled.
The fact (even if unpopular) is that Israel has now returned to their promised land. And this should encourage believers in God's Word to see that God keeps his covenant!
Two OT prophets reveal where Jesus returns to and his immediate purpose.
Jesus returns to Jerusalem to fight for his chosen people Israel when they are attacked by all the wicked nations of the world.
This is the word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness," declares the Lord. "I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, 'The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God'." Zech 121-5
It is simple to see that Almighty God is in charge of this end-time war.
Some would ask why should God fight for Israel? Three reasons:
1. He has promised to do so. This is what the Lord says: "Your wound is incurable, your injury beyond healing. There is no one to plead your cause, no remedy for your sore, no healing for you. All your allies have forgotten you; they care nothing for you. I have struck you as an enemy would and punished you as would the cruel, because your guilt is so great and your sins so many. Why do you cry out over your wound, your pain that has no cure? Because of your great guilt and many sins I have done these things to you. But all who devour you will be devoured; all your enemies will go into exile. Those who plunder you will be plundered; all who make spoil of you I will despoil. But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds," declares the Lord, "because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares." Jer 3012-17
2. At that time Ro 1126,27 reveals: And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
"The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins."
3. Zechariah goes on to describe how Israel is saved: I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great. ... "On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more." Zech 1210 - 132
Joel is the second OT prophet to describe this event:
Then the Lord will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people. ...
Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed. ...
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls. "In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. ...
Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow -- so great is their wickedness!" Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. "Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her. Joel 218, 27, 32 31,2, 12-17
The Word of God is clear concerning the future of the nation of Israel!
The faithfulness of Almighty God will shine brighter than the sun at noon.
Babylon Falls, and the Saints Rejoice [Contents]
The Harlot of Babylon is described in Rev 17.
The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. This title was written on her forehead:
MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. Then the angel said to me: "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. ...
The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. ...
The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings -- and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers. ... The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled. The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth."
The Woman on the Beast statue outside the EU building in Brussels.
Some Christians still want to remain part of the EU. Amazing!
"Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a
haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all
the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the
earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich
from her excessive luxuries." Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come
out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not
receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has
remembered her crimes. ...
In her heart she boasts, 'I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.'
Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. ...
Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: "With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. ...
In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth." Rev 19
After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven
shouting: "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true
and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted
the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants." ...
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. ...
Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Rev 191-10
3. Jesus Returns - The Carpenter is Back! [Contents]
What a day this will be.
My whole being waits in eagre, often tearful anticipation!
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron sceptre." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshipped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. Rev 1911-21
Suddenly the earth will be relieved of all evil.
The battle against sin is over; and Jesus is king on earth.
The Lord's plan is now almost fulfilled.
(There is yet the coming of the new heaven and the new earth. Rev 21,22)
Yet this righteous reign is so different from anything we have known.
Thankfully the Lord revealed it to Isaiah; and he wrote it down to share with us.
The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendour of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendour of our God.
Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
"Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you."
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
No lion will be there,
nor will any ferocious beast get up on it;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
and the ransomed of the Lord will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Is 35
Jesus is at last seen to be King of all his creation!
Isn't this the carpenter? Mk 63 Math 1355
We know the gospel story
And of his humble birth,
But who would think a king could be
A Carpenter on earth?
And yet in contemplation
It's not so very odd
For carpenters mend broken things -
Why not the Son of God?
For many years at Joseph's side
He worked with saw and plane
And waited for his Father's time,
The reason that he came.
They heard him speak in Galilee,
Amazed as wisdom flowed
For "Was not this the Carpenter,
Whose family we know?"
And then that final irony
Upon a cross of wood
They saw him die, the Son of God,
Alone, the truly good.
He'd promised this was not the end,
He'd rise, return again,
That those who waited on his word
Would not believe in vain,
For only he could pay the price
Of sin, not his, but mine;
This Carpenter from Nazareth
Who stepped into our time.
And one day, coming on the clouds,
Around the world will flash
The long awaited headline news
"The Carpenter is back!"
4. Gog Magog War Rev 20 [Contents]
At this time the Kingdom of God will be seen on earth;
but it is not quite the end of the unfolding of the great plan of God.
There is one final twist that the Lord reveals to John:
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. Rev 201-3
It is not for us to question the plan of God; but sometimes we may ask why!
However, no answer is given. Just a few revealed facts concerning the future.
It seems that life in this 1,000 years is still restricted in time;
we are not yet transported into the realm of eternity.
The kingdom of God is a glorious reality throughout this period.
But what happens when the 1,000 years is over?
What happens is not a mystery - but why it happens certainly is for me.
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth–Gog and Magog–to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Rev 207-10
Satan is released for one final fling.
But how is he able to gain a following in God's kingdom?
It seems that there are things we need to learn and prepare for,
even in this Millennial kingdom.
Note: The Gog/Magog war is after the Millennium, not before Jesus returns.
The relief is that this war is the 'Last Battle' on earth.
Satan will never escape from the lake of burning sulphur.
There are then just 5 verses that tell us about the Day of Judgement.
The Book of Life (the sealed scroll that Jesus has opened in Rev 6-19)
is now open and the written names determine our destiny.
The 'other books' opened reveal our various rewards.
5. The New Jerusalem. Rev 21, 22 [Contents]
The Bible ends with two chapters in which the Lord tells us much about what life
will be like in his glorious, righteous and eternal kingdom.
This is the completion of his plan that we have been attempting to trace.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more. ...
for the former things have passed away. 211, 4b
The new heaven and the new earth replace the first earth. Is 6517 6622
It is clearly of a different order, with new physical laws.
Is this a new planet earth creation, a 'repair by replacement'?
There is no more sea out of which the Beast arose.
But there is a wonderful, fruitful life-giving river. 221,2
What is the new heaven?
Can it be a new universe? Or is it a new spiritual realm?
Almighty God just says it is 'new' - it is certainly beyond our current imagination.
Its principle characteristic is that of the Holy God dwelling with righteous man.
He tells us something of what this means.
I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore ..." 212-4
The beautiful Bride, the New Jerusalem, comes down out of heaven from God.
The marriage of the Lamb is not described. Rev 196-8 212
But it is clearly the most beautiful, loving relationship.
Take the very best of an earthly marriage and magnify it many times!
Four stages in a Jewish wedding:
Father of Bridegroom pays the Bride's family the agreed price.
Sometimes many years earlier. Eph 525-27
2.The Fetching of the Bride. Bridegroom goes to bring the Bride to his home.
3.Wedding Ceremony. The Betrothed becomes the wife of the Bridegroom.
4.Marriage Feast. A week of rejoicing. Rev 199 219
This completes the story of the world which begins and ends with:
The Tree of Life - in between there is another 'Tree' - the Cross.
Satan's entry and exit! Gen 31 Rev 2010
God Creating heaven and earth. Gen 1,2 Rev 21,22
Jesus is rightly called the Alpha and the Omega. 216 2213 18
He was before the beginning and he continues beyond the end - for ever!
To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. ...
Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life
without price. 216b 2217b
This gracious theme is repeated throughout scripture.
Is 35 551-7 Ezek 47 Joel 232 Zech 148 Math 56 Jn 414
Jesus always loves to feed the hungry and save all who call upon him.
Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last
plagues and spoke to me, saying, "Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of
the Lamb." 219
The judgement of God is against the wicked, but it is also for the righteous.
The tasks given to an angel are various! Like that of the prophets.
See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant. Jer 110
How does the angel reveal the Bride?
He is shown a holy, glorious, be-jewelled city, pure gold like clear glass.
In the city there was no Temple,
for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 2122
There is no sun or moon to shine upon this city,
for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 2123
The city has no darkness, no gates, no falsehood, no greed
but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life. 2127
The Lamb bestows upon his Bride all that is needed for her to be holy and good.
God has chosen to reveal all that matters about the future - and what a future!
It is offered to all who wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb. 2214 714
There is no evil, nothing and no one is impure or sinful. 218,27 2215 Is 358-10
Jesus repeats: Behold I am coming soon! 227a,12,20
The Spirit and the Bride are eager, "Come," they say, come quickly. Maranatha.
Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book. 227b
Do not seal up the words of prophecy in this book, because the time is near.
2210 c.f. Dan 129
They needed to know this truth 2,000 years ago; and in all the centuries since.
Now we need to know them even more, for the time of his coming is nearer.
As wickedness increases and as the Tribulation judgements unfold,
let us keep these words of Jesus before our eyes. He is coming soon!
While we wait, let us heed the 4 parables in Math 25,26.
Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 2214
"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches.
I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star." 2216
Jesus is the Root. The sole origin of life, forgiveness and salvation.
He is the Offspring of David. He is glad to be Jewish and fulfill his promises.
He is the bright Morning Star. The star that marks the end of the night.
A final warning:
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. 2218,19
Do not add, take away or change any words from his book (Hebrew, Greek or English).
It remains the accurate, unchanging, faithful Word of God.