Hollywood loves turning loose out of place in time gigantic dinosaurs and other beasts into the cities and suburbs of the modern world to wreak havoc and destruction as terrified humanity runs for their lives to escape. And while God Almighty in no way compares to any beast of the earth past, present or of fallen man’s imagination, humanity in the 21st century world is just as unprepared for His unveiling in judgment as those of fiction are to the sudden appearance of out of place and time giant beasts. Nevertheless, Bible prophecy is very clear this world hostile to and in rebellion against God is near to experiencing His completely unexpected display of severe warning judgments and wrath!
Sadly, among those that are not prepared for God Almighty to again show His superior power in the earth are many that profess to be Christians. Ignoring the most significant sign God has given yet of what is coming, many still want to put the Day of the Lord off for possible thousands of years away or hide behind “that day and hour no one knows” which refers to specificity, not general times or why would the Lord command us to watch for signs He Himself gave (Mark 13:28-37, NKJV)? It is righteous to avoid confusion from way out speculation about the end times. But it seems many avoid the issue because it interferes with their carefully laid plans and preoccupation with this world!1
Can you speak thunder? The Lord Jesus can and whomever He enables among His servants (Revelation 10:1-4)! During the week leading up to Passover and His crucifixion, “certain Greeks” among the Jewish throngs sought to have an audience with the Lord. Though He did not meet with them, He plainly took their desire for an audience to be prophetically significant as it concerned His glory, fruit of His crucifixion and perpetual requirements to be His disciple as He spoke to Andrew and Philip who were attempting to arrange the meeting (John 12:20-26, NKJV). Squaring up with His crucifixion again, the Lord then speaks of it as His disturbing, but unavoidable approaching reality and concludes it was for that experience He had come to the moment (John 12:27).
Honoring His Father who had assigned Him the cross, the Lord Jesus exclaimed, ‘“Father, glorify Your name.’” Immediately the Father replied, ‘“I have both glorified it and will glorify it again,’” (John 12:28, NKJV). The people standing by heard the Father and “said it had thundered;” some thought the thunder was an angel speaking to him. Jesus said the voice (and very importantly, the words) of His Father was not for His sake, but the people present (John 12:29-30, NKJV). And why? The Lord says, ‘“Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself,’” (John 12:31-32, NKJV).
The Father would be glorified a second time in the earth by the atoning death of His Son, Jesus Christ, for the sins of the world (John 1:29-34). While delivering all (Jew and Gentile) that look to His sacrifice for salvation through faith, it also certifies the judgment of the rejecting remainder (John 3:14-21). Also, finally, in the aftermath of Christ’s triumphant sacrifice Satan, the ruler of this world, will be deposed and eternally banished (Colossians 2:13-15; 1 John 5:19; Revelation 20:7-10). Now, if all of this from Christ’s sacrifice constitutes a second time the Father is glorified, then, when was the first time? Wasn’t it His mighty deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt?2
God Almighty came down from Heaven to deliver Israel from bondage to Egypt about the midpoint of the 15th century B.C. (Exodus 3-14). With the rod of Moses the Lord strong and mighty suddenly visited and brought plagues upon Egypt representing the modern world of its time because Pharaoh, their ruler, would not let God’s people He came to deliver go. By the time the Lord was finished Egypt was destroyed; Pharaoh who claimed to be a god and all of the rest of Egypt’s gods (demons) were humiliated in defeat (Exodus 7:3-5, 10:7, 14:1-9, 21-30). The fame of the Lord went throughout the earth from that day and remains among all mankind that have heard of what He did to Egypt on behalf of Israel; to deliver them from bondage with mighty signs and wonders in judgment.
So, now, Israel is back in her land after nearly 1,900 years of dispersion throughout the earth by divine decree as foretold by the prophets beginning with Moses (Deuteronomy 28:15-68, 31:14-29; Hosea 3, 5:8-15). Many are returning to the land as God’s preparation for both His final punishment and deliverance of the Jewish people. Indeed, as foretold by the Lord through His prophets, as Judah returned from exile and rebuilt the Temple and Jerusalem beginning in the 6th century B.C., so, those presently in the land are doing the same, but in reverse order. Opposition exponentially greater (involving global hostilities) to what was faced by Jews building the second Temple faces those that would build a third (Ezra 1, 3-4:24). Yet, they have to and will--the Temple is part of their identification with God.3
In the days leading up to and during building the Temple according to the Lord’s specifications (Ezekiel 40-43:12), He will begin to finish bringing glory to Himself again in the cause of delivering Israel this time in the sight of this whole 21st century earth. After sealing His chosen Jewish remnant (Revelation 7:1-8), God will suddenly display His unmistakable wonders in mighty warning judgments (Revelation 8-9). After this will come Satan’s last stand before Christ returns, God’s final exam, Israel’s travail and “great tribulation” that spreads to the whole world (Mark 13:14-23; Revelation 11:1-14, 12:1-14:13, NKJV). Then, following as foretold, God will unleash His full wrath inaugurating the Day of the Lord that also features the Second Coming of Christ to lead the charge.
This unique Day of the Lord delivers remnant Jews and Christians, judges this world and overcomes all kingdoms including Satan’s (Isaiah 13:6-13; Zechariah 12:1-9, 14:1-7, 12-15; Mark 13:24-27; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10; Revelation 11:15-19, 16, 19:11-20:3). Just as He brought Israel out of Egypt, God Almighty will triumphantly bring all of the chosen, surviving remnant of His people back to the land in that Day from all over the earth to see Him in glory. They will turn to Christ as foretold (Isaiah 10:20-23, 11:11-16; Jeremiah 30:1-9, 31:1-9; Ezekiel 39:21-29; Hosea 6:1-3; Zechariah 12:10-13:1; Romans 11:1-29).4 This present world will never be the same again. The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Faithful and true disciples of Jesus Christ live in this world to please Him and do His will which is the heart of every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in
His image (Mark 8:31-38; Luke 9:57-62; 1 John 2:15-17). Learn more in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics available in print or digital download for-
mats at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can also get the Hard or Soft Cover print ver-
sions of the book in the Strong Man Store.
2 Read the July 30-Sept 3, 2017 six-part series and especially part five, Restoring Men In The Two Minute Drill, under the category, Bible Prophecy as additional back-
ground information for this post.
3 This is another reason putting end time events off for even hundreds of years from now is not sound. Truly, the Jews mournfully commemorate the exact day both the
first and second Temples were respectively destroyed (which amazingly are the same--only God!) by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. and the Romans in 70 A.D. on an
occasion called Tisha B’Av--The Fast Of The Fifth Month (see The Feasts of the Lord, Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal, Thomas Nelson Inc., Nashville 1997,
151-157). The devout not only grieve the loss and lack of a Temple, but most assuredly will not let the 2,000 year anniversary of the second Temple’s destruction
looming ahead this century pass without notice as many make preparation for a third to be built (Ezra 5-6; https://www.templeinstitute.org/main.htm). This should not
surprise faithful Christians since as He did with the second Temple, the Lord stirs up the hearts of the people nearing 100 years back in the land also this century
(Haggai 1:1-2:9)! Thus too, as it was with Pharaoh who God demanded to let His people go forth to worship Him, so, with Satan through his human vessels among
the Gentile nations and finally, the one who becomes Antichrist, God will demand through Jewish leaders what He similarly spoke to me writing in a former post: “Let
My people worship Me in the house I have commanded them to build Me,” (see footnote 2).
4 See the June 12, 2016 post, The Day Of Israel’s Comfort, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
Continuing to reflect on the importance of faithful Christians anchoring God’s Word in our hearts as the Lord led me to begin to instruct about in the two-part post beginning August 18, 2019, Lined Up Behind Jesus and followed up by last week’s, Loving The Word Of Truth, both under the category, Instruction, I am thoroughly sobered to consider how over the top foolish it truly is to neglect God’s Word at this late hour. Not only is the Word of truth instruction, comfort, hope and life among other things to us that study and practice it, but also through its many uniquely God provided prophecies of these and days still to come, it is light illuminating the times and future.1
At any hour it is foolish to neglect God’s Word! But it is to be especially lacking in discernment, intimate knowledge and the fear of God to do so now for whatever reasons. Indeed, the faithful Christian’s ability to spiritually develop, be fruitful, avoid being deceived or falling away in these latter days depends on knowing God and His Word! Peter, one of the eyewitness apostles of Christ, wrote to first century Christians in his second New Testament letter: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” He goes on to stress how important such knowledge is to God’s end that they (and we) share in “the divine nature,” (2 Peter 1:1-4, NKJV).
Furthermore, Peter’s instruction to “add to” what they were gaining for eternal benefit from the knowledge of God and Christ (to include more knowledge), leads to his sober warning about the consequences of failing to do this (2 Peter 1:5-11, NKJV). Already surrounded by devouring wolves of falsehood, Peter is reminding Christians then living in what he and other New Testament writers quoting the Old called “the last days” (Genesis 49:1; 2 Timothy 3:1; 2 Peter 3:3, NKJV) of “the present truth” (and us too, clearly in the latter of such days nearly 2,000 years later). As well, he wanted to leave them what would be a written reminder we by God’s grace have (2 Peter 1:12-15, NKJV).2
Peter adds his reminder of the present truth not composed of “cunningly devised fables,” but the eyewitness experience of he and other apostles with both Christ’s “majesty” and the Father’s glorious voice from Heaven to the already preserved “prophetic word” of God that fulfilled in what they had seen and heard, “confirmed” its accuracy. This being so, the apostle insists his readers “do well to heed” the prophetic Word “as a light that shines in a dark place” giving illuminating understanding of God’s will and workings concerning Christ to their unknowing hearts until all is fulfilled; knowing by faith how Bible prophecy has come about from God (2 Peter 1:16-21, NKJV).
Plainly from the foregoing taught by the apostle Peter, God wants Christians to have not only a grasp of the propositional truths of His Word, but at least a working general knowledge and understanding of Bible prophecy particularly as it relates to Christ (Luke 24:25-27, 44-48). God is going somewhere with His Word of truth and Christ is it! For this reason, church pastors that shun teaching or even discussing Bible prophecy as part of instructing God’s people are sinning against Him and hurting them.3 This is especially disastrous in these darkening latter days since the light of prophecy Peter speaks of shining in our hearts is a surpassingly great help to our persevering faith.
Truly, it is near impossible to avoid ever saying anything about prophecy since all propositional biblical truth coalesces with and is properly fulfilled in God’s prophetic Word!4 As with the historical and narrative forms of Scripture, God’s prophetic Word when encountered is to be objectively read, interpreted and understood as the One who gave it leads!5 Yes, men over the centuries have given a stunning array of interpretations to the many symbols and symbolic expressions of Bible prophecy.6 But the objective, straightforward approach led to the Jews, for example, expecting the coming of the Lord Jesus at a certain time from Daniel’s prophetic writings (Daniel 9:20-25). Also, their religious leaders even in unbelief spoke of where He would be born from Micah 5:2 (Matthew 2:1-6).
Moreover, the Lord Jesus certainly had Daniel’s prophecy in mind when He warned of events that would transpire after His departure and into a final end time period. As Daniel foretold and the Lord gave more specific details, launched by Caesar Nero and finished by Vespasian, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in A.D. 70. The Jewish people were scattered in the overflowing display of Roman military might. “The war” ultimately between God and Satan would continue and “wrath” follow the Jews wherever they went until the end (Daniel 9:26; Matthew 24:1-2, 6-7a; Luke 21:20-24, NKJV). Back in the land since 1948, God prepares Israel for the events of the final week of seventy prophetic weeks He gave Daniel by the angel, Gabriel, counting down to His end (Daniel 9:27).
It is at the midpoint of this final week kept from coming by God until He is ready that the Lord Jesus makes direct reference to Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 9:27. He warns any that understand the prophecy and live in Israel at the time the “abomination of desolation” in the Temple (this clearly asserts a Jewish Temple is to be built--Ezekiel 40-43:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8) is fulfilled to “flee” because “great tribulation” follows (Matthew 24:15-21, NKJV). Please note in this brief, but powerful example how the ancients and the Lord Jesus Himself not only took Bible prophecy seriously, but also objectively read and literally understood it. It is imperative that we do the same in these latter days so that we will walk in the light of knowledge and not the darkness of ignorance.7 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read the May 5, 2019 post, Out Of Step With The Times?, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
2 Not only does Peter know he’s going to die (no rapture for him), but how, because the Lord told him in advance (John 21:18-19). Interestingly, both Peter in the pas-
sage cited (vs. 13-14) and Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 describe their mortal bodies as a tent, that is, a temporary dwelling. Something that is temporary is not meant
to be permanent as Paul makes clear in 2 Corinthians 5:1 when he speaks of “our earthly house, this tent” being “destroyed,” but receiving “a building from God” which
is permanent by virtue of being “eternal” (NKJV). As different as a tent is in form and quality from a building, so, after the metamorphosis to immortality, our bodies
Paul also writes about in 1 Corinthians 15:49-53.
3 See the April 30, 2017 post, God, His Prophets and Word, under the category, Glory To God!
4 A perfect example of this is the declaration by Moses, “The Lord will judge His people,” (Deuteronomy 32:36a, NKJV). Not only had Israel been issued this truth pro-
positionally, but heard it repeatedly as warnings in prophecies and experienced it in fulfillment. For this reason, the apostles and other New Testament writers also
prophetically warn professed Christians the propositional truth God judges His people has not changed (1 Corinthians 10:1-11; Hebrews 10:26-31; 1 Peter 4:17-18).
5 How could we not be humble enough to recognize that since “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” so, prophecy as part of it is best interpreted with the guid-
ance of Him who gave it as Peter would surely agree (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21, NKJV)?
6 The safest ground to stand on for interpreting prophetic symbols in the Bible is to use another of the sound principles of interpretation: Scripture interprets Scripture.
Typically, a symbol in the Bible is interpreted at first use or thereafter and used consistently throughout. Download the free document, Seven Principles Of Bible Inter-
pretation, in the Strong Man Store.
7 Every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ is challenged in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics to operate in the knowl-
edge of God’s prophetic Word. Get a print copy or digital download of the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com
and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy of the book in the Strong Man Store.
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