What Is God Doing These Days?
The audio of WEEK ONE is now available online at either podbean.com then search for ez3728, or else on Facebook, on the ez3728 page. Pardon the buzz at the beginning of the first session. It starts up, stops, starts up, then ends quickly.
ONE THING I WANT TO SAY TO DIFFUSE POTENTIAL FOR “END-TIMES PANIC mode”: The end of this Age, for the saints, is a GOOD THING and not a BAD THING. (getting there is an adventure, but unavoidable, and quite worth it).
The “GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD” phrase comes out of Malachi, the last book in the OT:
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
It means it is AWESOME. The awesomeness of God is revealed in that day, and in the timeframes prior to that day. And there’s of course other scriptures that give us insight into what to expect, many of which reveal the violent plan of God:
1 Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength?–” I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”
2 Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?
3 “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes.
4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come.
VERSE 4 is KEY FOR US. The “day of vengeance” for the WORLD, is actually the day of deliverance for His redeemed.
Here’s another clue to this being a GOOD DAY for those in His will:
1 Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst.
2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle.
4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.
5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, for the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, and all the saints with You.
(It’s obvious that “all the saints with you” points clearly to the return of Jesus – as Paul said in
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
AND LOOK AT VERSE 18 – the disclosure of this prophetic plan by Paul, to us, is to provide us with comfort.
So what we are seeing is that when the Lord returns, the tribulations and troubles that the saints will be going through will be concluded, and the Day Of The Lord will be a GREAT day for the people God, but quite a lousy and terrible time for those raging against Him.
Further to our understanding of how good that day will be for us, are Psalms 96 and 98. They point to a positive forward outlook to God’s judgment. It will be THE DAY when things get straightened out…
9 Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns; the world also is firmly established, it shall not be moved; he shall judge the peoples righteously.”
CREATION IS LOOKING AHEAD TO THE DAY…
11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and all its fullness;
12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD.
13 For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth.
The judgment of God on earth will be a GOOD THING. It will be a perfectly fair and equitable judgment, because it will be conducted in righteousness.
Here’s encouragement to sing and shout joyfully PRIOR to His return, and in anticipation of His return, because we will AT THAT TIME see the equity of His judgmenset
This prescribes PRE-JUDGMENT DAY WORSHIP:
4 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.
5 Sing to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of a psalm,
6 With trumpets and the sound of a horn; shout joyfully before the LORD, the King.
7 Let the sea roar, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell in it;
8 Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together before the LORD,
9 For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, and the peoples with equity.
So what we are seeing here is that the world will become increasingly more wicked, and in some ways the saints might become more and more frustrated and in many cases tormented by the sin around us. But our HOPE is in HIS JUDGMENT.
Last week we ended discussing some Foundational Concepts of scripture that, if we understand them, will help us embrace the NATURE of the revelation of God’s plans FOR MAN, in THESE DAYS, going forward. These Foundational Concepts actually help us in all of our understanding of all scripture, btw..
1. Some things are biblically revealed BY SPECIFIC SCRIPTURE.
2. Some things are biblically revealed BY EXEMPLARY RECORDING of past events (how God acted or reacted)
3. Some things are biblically revealed by EXPLANATIONS given to us over PORTIONS OF SCRIPTURE. Example: ESCALATED RESPONSE as in Lev 26 or Amos 4, cited last week.
ONE KEY FOR US TO KNOW IS THIS GLORIOUS TRUTH, thoughtfully provided FOR US, in the final OT book of the Christian bible, so it helps us in our going forward into the NT to realize God’s personality did not change between testaments – contrary to many popular teachings – OT=ANGRY GOD. NT=HAPPY GOD.
” 6 “For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.”
That means that what we can learn of God in the OT can be brought forward in our understanding as to who He is and how He acts, in the OT. He does not change, and because of that, all mankind is not consumed.
That is a critical revelation.
(I’ve rewritten this for clarity of understanding)
Along w the proof-of-fulfillment cited by NT prophets of many ALREADY-FULFILLED OT prophecies, there is a confirmation of the ongoing “pregnancy” of the yet-unfulfilled OT prophecies (Matthew, especially, wrote NINE TIMES: “that it might be fulfilled what was spoken by…..”) –
..it would be senseless and foolhardy for us to write off the Old Testament as dusty, musty, and done.
Within the OT writings are purposely seeded revelations of what is yet to occur, so that WE can be aware of our God’s PLANS, as well as aware of His means and methods to accomplish His divine purposes.
God has been, is, and will be, the same God, always.
His MERCY kept the Jews from being fully destroyed, in the OT. that is the same FOR THEM (the Jews), and also will continue to be, FOR US (the believers in Jesus, mostly Gentile), through the end of this age, no matter how tough it might get.
STILL, w His great mercy and delivering hand, that does not mean there will not be martyrs and ones who will suffer great loss or great discomfort for the sake of the Kingdom of God. We know that from both testament accounts. we have brethren being martyred today.
But the overall context of the entire biblical account is NOT about the sufferings of the people of God. It is about the GOODNESS of God.
The Book of Acts is not about the persecution of the church, although there’s definitely persecution.
Likewise the prophetic accounts of yet-to-happen events is primarily about God dealing w an unsaved world, and NOT about how much the church will suffer, although there’s clear warnings there will be sufferings and trials for the saints – in part because there world will be getting darker, and that darkness will hate the light, which will be you and me.
And at the same time, we are invited to realize that God will utilize the conditions on earth to perfect His people, to mature us, to purify us and to prepare us to rule and reign w Him in the forthcoming age. some of that purification and preparation will be tough events and situations. read Ps 66…refinement…
If the world is going to increase in its wickedness – which is typically the case prior to judgment, then the light will be lighter while the darkness gets darker. And this is what is to be expected
27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, and he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked. Our righteous living will cause US ago be an abomination to some. Unavoidable.
What did Jesus tell us about persecution of the righteousness by the unrighteous (in this instance, the religious unrighteous)?
1 “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.
2 “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.
3 “And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.
And what does Paul tell us?
2 Cor 2:14-17
14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
TWO GROUPS – WILL EACH RESPOND DIFFERENTLY TO US:
15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?
INTERESTING TO NOTE that v 17 implies there will be peddlers of the word of God who will compromise for the sake of compromise. That kind of “worldly relevance” is its own reward – you might be accepted by man, but you will eventually be rejected by God.
17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
This resistance to what is holy is to be expected. The temptation for the saints will be to compromise, so that we might fit in, and yet God has purposely called us to NOT fit in.
PRE-FLOOD CONDITION OF THE WORLD – prior to the judgment by Flood:
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
7 So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
looking forward: PROPHESIED CONDITION OF THE WORLD – prior to the judgment by Fire:
2 Tim 3:12-14
12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
What I believe we are seeing is an increase in that “wickedness-index” – which will rise until the return of the Lord.
God knows when the iniquity of the world is ripe for judgment:
13 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years.
14 “And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
15 “Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age.
16 “But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
But we can be assured that when God determines it is time to judge the world, the iniquity will be complete and the prophesied judgments will at that time seem quite fair and equitable, and the church, the praying church, will not be trying to TEACH A dialed-down message about God’s forthcoming judgment on the earth – as it is sometimes inclined to teach now. I don’t see my bible telling me the world is getting better – until the return of Jesus the righteous Judge.
LAST WEEK – We looked a little at the beginning of this text, but now going further:
A Favorite portion of scripture for me:
24 But let him who glories (boasts) glory in this, that he
A. understands and
B. knows Me,
(AND HERE’S WHAT HE NEEDS TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND)
that I am the LORD, exercising
B. judgment, and
C. righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.
This is immediately followed by a promise and a warning, looking forward to all-world judgment “in the earth”):
25 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that I will punish all who are circumcised with the uncircumcised–
26 “Egypt, Judah, Edom, the people of Ammon, Moab, and all who are in the farthest corners, who dwell in the wilderness. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.”
Wow – if we only understood and knew that – and recognized how muc, in its fullness, has NOT HAPPENED YET (HHY), we’d have a clearer picture of end-times plans and accountability, and also why we are called to WARN ALL/EVERY MAN (Paul in Colossians).
We also will do well to appreciate that some of God’s plan, will only become known AS IT UNFOLDS.
Another Kingdom Activity To Inform The Saints – TIME RELEASE REVELATION: There are other things that will only be revealed in their time, per God’s time clock. it does keep us desperate to press in.
Certain things are purposely sealed by God Himself, until the appropriate time:
Example: Daniel 12:1-10 – which is very much end-of-age focused:
1 “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book.
(Obviously speaking of the REAL times of tribulation – at the end of the age when all saints will appear – which could not be 70AD, as many popular doctrines want to assert – as confirmed by verse 2, below):
2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
BTW: Dominion theology would require a 2,000+ year period inserted between verse 1 and verse 2.
3 Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever.
4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
5 Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank.
6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?”
7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”
9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
AND HERE WE SEE THE PROMISE/WARNING that God will utilize the trying times at the end of the age to accomplish a perfecting work in His people:
10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand
(I personally don’t think the group in 12:10 refers ONLY to those who will COME TO FAITH during those times, but refers to saints. My opinion is based on the a verse in Dan 11):
” 35 And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.”
I believe the purification work does not END when one gets saved. In many ways, it begins.
Re: interpretation differences – speak re Baron and the scroll, and Baron and the basket…..
In addition to God’s PLAN to keep certain things hidden til the end of the age, our great God also knew (and knows) that mankind is often limited in our abilities to discern certain spiritual truths until certain events are upon us.
I BELIEVE THIS IS A GOOD EXAMPLE, below:
BACKGROUND – A most popular belief re the end-times ten-nation confederacy is that it will be Euro-nation-centric.
SCRIPTURE – demonically energized kingdoms:
12 “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
A Europe-centered 10-nation confederacy is what has been most popular for the past 1500 years – but it is steadily being questioned, and as world events unfold in front of our eyes every day, the concept, and credibility of it being Islamic-nation-centric makes more and more sense – and if that is the case, there are some hints that the confederacy is forming right now.
I read three commentators from the 19th century – Jamieson, Fausset and Brown.
But here I think they may have fallen prey to scripture-interpretation based on the LENS-OF-THEIR-DAY – a geo-political lens through which they viewed future events. LIKEWISE, of course, we have to be careful to not be totally influence by OUR lens, unless/until things become clearer on earth.
(Jamieson, Fausset, Brown commentary on Dan 8):
“The event, however, may, in the case of Antichrist, show a correspondence between the days here given and Da 9:27, such as is not yet discernible. The term of twenty-three hundred days cannot refer (to) twenty-three hundred years of the treading down of Christianity by Mohammedanism, as this would leave the greater portion of the time yet future; whereas, Mohammedanism is fast waning.”
“FAST WANING MOHAMMEDISM” was the commentator’s perception of Islamic spiritual activity. That was their lens of understanding.
It is no wonder certain true revelations of events have to be sealed til the end of the age! Who’d believe certain events before things unfold in front of our eyes?
(These same guys – JFB – did, however, get the restored-Israel-nation prophecy right, before 1948!)
JFB – who I respect and read, had some beliefs and theories that I believe to be off kilter – one being their staunch pre-destination belief.
BACK TO OUR POINT re progressive understanding as time goes on, JFB cited a belief by another commentator that the final 7 years of tribulation could come about in the 1870’s. Oops.
Conclusion for us: there are things that will remain speculative until they occur. This goes back to OUR greatest takeaway being the urgent call to intimacy and surrender and alignment to God and His words, and His plans as we understand them.
And meanwhile we need to recognize the urgency for us to come to knowledge of God and His ways, to become more and more sensitive to the leading of His Spirit, so that as events on earth unfold, we can be equipped to recognize:
WHAT IS OF GOD; and
WHAT IS NOT OF GOD.
This is ONE MORE REASON we want to go after the fullness of the Kingdom, so that when “lying signs and wonders” appear, we are not so starved for the REAL-DEAL that we fall for the WRONG DEAL.
A good time to look at this meaty, and often disputed portion of Scripture.
BECAUSE OF HOW THE QUESTIONS were asked, (the temple, the end of the age, the Lord’s return) it was a set-up for Jesus to explain things in such a way as to explain short-range matters (like the destruction of the temple in 70AD, but also longer-range matters – like His return in the clouds at the end of the age). If one studies Daniel it can be seen that God has spoken through the prophets in like manner, before, Daniel speaking into both the forthcoming appearance of the prototypical anti-christ Antiochus Epiphanes – who showed up during the 400-year intertestamental period, but also speaking forward to the end of the age, when the real-deal anti-christ will show up.
POINT TO NOTE: The fact that Jesus Himself, in Matt 24, tells His people that the when the Abomination of Desolation shows up in the temple in Jerusalem, they were to read Daniel, already confirms that all of Daniel’s prophecy could not have been fulfilled in Antiochus Epiphanes, since A-E had already come and gone by the time Jesus was speaking Matthew 24. Likewise, I think it is somewhat naive to try to pin ALL of what Jesus said in Matt 24 on the then-upcoming events of 70AD – simply because of how Matthew 24 is written, and also when you consider some of the parallel wording to Daniel’s prophecy.
7 “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
8 “All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (POINT: ALL NATIONS WERE NOT HATING THE JEWS IN 70 AD).
10 “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
11 “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
12 “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
13 “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
(POINT: JESUS BEGINS SPEAKING OF AN ALL-WORLD/ALL NATIONS PREACHING of the gospel, which certainly did not occur in 70AD)
14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),
16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
17 “Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.
18 “And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
19 “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
(Here’s God’s mercy extended to the remnant of the Jews)
20 “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
21 “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Verse 21: Jesus is functionally re-quoting Daniel re the worst-troubles-ever:
Dan 12:1-2 – DEFINITELY END-TIMES PROPHECY, because verse 2 tells us of the resurrection of the dead:
1 “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.
2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt.
22 “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.
24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
25 “See, I have told you beforehand.
(THE PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR THE RETURN OF MESSIAH – at the end of the Age):
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.
(AND JESUS, IN THE SAME BREATH, TELLS US HIS APPEARANCE IN CLOUDS – didn’t occur in 70AD)
27 “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
28 “For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
HUGE WORD: IMMEDIATELY – EUTHEOS – literally – IMMEDIATELY, STRAIGHTWAY, FORTHWITH – Jesus clearly says IMMEDIATELY after the never-to-be-exceeded troubles, He will show up.
Why the big deal here? Because Dominion Theology, which proclaims “THE TOUGHEST STUFF happened in 70AD and now we are pretty much the wedding planners” is a very popular and growing doctrine, and it hinges upon folks ignoring the clarity of these very scriptures, and others, and checking them all off as DONE and COMPLETE.
That’s swell as far as “happy days are here again” – but if/when things begin to percolate (and I believe they are beginning to do that NOW, then those happy saints will be in jeopardy of taking great offense about what HAS NOT HAPPENED YET, but MUST HAPPEN)
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30 “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, 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. (This did not occur in 70AD. As terrible as the slaughter and destruction of the temple, and the city was, it was not THE TROUBLING-SEASON that was to exceed every other trouble or devastation that would follow. Like Hiroshima. Like the Holocaust. Like the slaughters of millions in Russia by Stalin or Chinese by Mao. Matt 24 is speaking of a worldwide tribulation period that will never be exceeded).
31 “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.
33 “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near– at the doors!
34 “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation (GENEA – which can also be used to mean AN AGE) will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
IF GENEA means “AGE” that this can work for our theory of it pointing to the end of the age.
What if Jesus meant “GENERATION” as in the years of man: is Israel ever called THE FIG TREE (we know it’s called the Olive Tree – Jer 11:16.
ANSWER: YES – Israel is also referred to as the FIG TREE, in fact not only A fig tree, but God’s own fig tree;
10 “I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal Peor, and separated themselves to that shame; they became an abomination like the thing they loved.
6 For a nation has come up against My land, strong, and without number; his teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he has the fangs of a fierce lion.
7 He has laid waste My vine, and ruined My fig tree; he has stripped it bare and thrown it away; its branches are made white.
So IF “this generation shall not pass away til all these things are fulfilled” means GENERATION (as in the “typical” age of a man, some take this to perhaps mean that the generation of the people already born at the time the FIG TREE bloomed (1948?) shall not pass away until all things concerning the end of this age are fulfilled.
Moses in Ps 90 tells us the (typical) lifetime of man is 60-70 years. If that is taken as a clue to number of years from the birth of national Israel, then you can do the math and guestimate the return of Jesus around 1948+70, which would take us to 2018. Interesting.
Peter in fact refers to Ps 90 when he hints at a thousand years being like a day to God, btw. Peter happens to be addressing end times events in that portion of his writing..
Much of this is speculation at this time – which is why so many books are being written.
But the point is, things seem to be pointing to the ticking clock of God’s end-of-age plan, and in that light, we are to be a ready and prepared people.
35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
37 “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
38 “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
39 “and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
40 “Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.
41 “Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.
42 “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
43 “But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
44 “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?
46 “Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.
47 “Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.
48 “But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’
49 “and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards,
50 “the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of,
51 “and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Unclear is some ways, and in other ways, pretty straightforward.
I believe things will get clearer and clearer, both as we press in, and as things unfold in front of us.
POINT TO NOTE: over the centuries many saints have been so pressed upon by the upcoming the return of Jesus, many even thinking He’d return in their lives, that they dropped everything, went out and preached the gospel, and won many for Christ.
And meanwhile Jesus didn’t return in their lifetimes.
That doesn’t mean we want to deceive one another into urgency in order to incite fervency.
At the same time, a sense of divine urgency is not a bad thing, AND there are events and situations occurring on an unprecedented worldwide basis that appear to be pointing clearly to the prophetic promises of His return. We don’t want to miss out on God’s plan.
It is a DIVINE MYSTERY – but it is not intended to be so mysterious that those who would search for God might fail. He is very much FOR US, and FOR US MAKING IT SUCCESSFULLY.
At the same time, the plan of God is so intended as to provide us with the opportunity to SPEND IT ALL on Him, on knowing Him, and His purposes.
It is GREATEST ADVENTURE OF ALL TIME, and when the saints allow their God to move in and direct their lives.
In some ways we personally/actually become a huge part of THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.
That is one reason I personally believe the saints will be here, through the tribulation of the last season of this age, because God will TRY US and REFINE US, and at the same time He will cause our light to shine the brightest, as He goes about seeking to save those who get so troubled that they will eventually call upon Him.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Then we are told that GOD HIMSELF has determined that WE, HIS PEOPLE, are to actually BE the light of the world, and in that place, we are to be visible, in Him, for His glory:
16 “Let (ALLOW) your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
(I believe this points clearly to the end-times fulfillment of all things – which is KEY to the understanding of the entire Word of God. ALSO NOTE that the “LIGHT OF THE WORLD” revelation has to do w the time of fulfillment of all things – which to me even speaks to the saints being here and on earth – not raptured out prior to His very return. That coordinates perfectly w Isa 60:1-3 – which we plan to cover later)
THE VERY NEXT verse has critical end-times pertinence – we’re told what NOT to think:
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
19 “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
So we can see that there IS A PLAN OF GOD – and much wants to be revealed through us, and that in our alignment with that plan, we will do good works that will glorify God – as He is working MOST INTENSELY, to get as many people saved as possible.
END OF WEEK TWO….
all scriptures NKJV