This is a loooong post because these are notes from a teaching that encompasses much but clearly not all of the biblical perspective of the return of Jesus. Since it so broad in its text reference, it can be a good source and/or starting point for one to familiarize themselves with a biblically based point of view on this critical subject.
Much of the underlining and words in bold are for the speaker to not forget to mention. These are speaking notes. Apologies for some of the graphic images not being in this post version.
WEEK THREE – 2 Peter
1&2 PETER – WEEK THREE – conclusion
We’re finishing up this evening looking into the third and final chapter of 2 Peter. We have a lot of ground to cover, and/so I will not be reviewing a lot of where we’ve been over the past two sessions. AGAIN – thank you for the positive feedback.
ONE MORE THING – it pretty much would require me going through nearly the ENTIRE BIBLE to fully confirm MY OPINIONS that I will be setting forth tonight – so I won’t attempt that. People more diligent and studious than myself have taken DECADES to explain their positional opinion re: END TIMES EVENTS. We have two hours or so.
So our two hours (guaranteed longer, actually) are what our two hours will be, and Lord willing:
A. His Spirit and presence will affirm and confirm at least SOME of what I am bringing forth this evening, and
B. This evening will AT VERY LEAST woo you and maybe drive you into your own depth of analysis of these things, and this time in which we live, and then to settle in your own mind and heart THE QUESTION OF QUESTIONS that Peter puts forth in regards to his bringing up this topic:
(AFTER TELLING US THE PLACE IS IN FOR SOME HEAVY WORLDWIDE UPHEAVAL, BY GOD HIMSELF:
2 Peter 3
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
Peter wrote two letters (epistles). This final one mentioned his awareness of his upcoming death (John 21:18,19) – and btw this is one of many verses REFERENCED IN THESE NOTES, but not displayed or discussed tonight, for time sake)
Peter took his departure most seriously, understood he’d be at the hands of others, and wrote this letter recognizing that the most critical things wanted to be addressed prior to that departure. Those most “critical things” had to include the return of Jesus – the capstone event of the entire plan of God. More is written about His SECOND coming, than His first.
So – as we read last week – Peter dealt w:
- intentional growing and maturing in God, and
- the need for critical awareness of false teaching; and
- deceptive doctrines that would come in church to try to destroy it or erode it to a place of ineffectiveness (sadly, that’s happened way too much – some will be lightly addressed this evening).
So Peter, in his final writings, addresses culmination events and the conclusion of this age (I will be using the terms “end-times” and “end-of-age” interchangeably, even though TIME will not END when the Lord returns. It’s clear in scripture, especially Zech and Ezek that time continues into the next 1000 year age).
BTW – if your personal spiritual grid re these issues is not deep and I’ve already brought up things new to you, – that’s OK it’s good to start somewhere. Part of the reason for people’s curiosity is EXACTLY WHY there’s a shaking work on earth. It is intended to unnerve us all, to get us to ask the “WHY?” questions.
We’re going to give a good shot at a broad approach – and to do so I’ll necessarily be all over the bible because it best testifies to itself and ANY doctrine of accurate teaching REQUIRES that it withstands the scrutiny of the complete biblical text. This is a litmus test that many doctrines CANNOT withstand – they collapse in the light of other scriptural truths, and then end up requiring the “get out of jail free card” of: “IT’S A MYSTERY!”
There ARE mysteries, and things yet to be revealed. But I am personally convinced that the “PROPHETIC GIST” of the entire scriptural text appears to weigh heavily in favor of the things I plan to bring forth, and I bring them forth in the fear of God.
Everything we personally don’t understand doesn’t qualify as mysteries. Some of it is our ignorance, and the best counter against ignorance is study. God loves it when you study and pray into His word. He’s the best teacher.
I’ll address some INARGUABLES (clearly in scripture), and also touch on some of the ARGUABLES – things a good deal of the global church views from different perspectives. MOST IMPORTANTLY is that what we address and look at are biblically based.
ONE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING GOD AND HIS WORD: There are no functional “CLIFF NOTES” or shortcuts to getting the whole picture of the plan of God. There are BOTTOM LINES of conclusion – but God in His wisdom has purposed His plan and anointed His prophets to set forth His words to require and reward humble and diligent and contemplative study and investment of time into His word. IN THAT PLACE, true revelation occurs. It’s the difference between INFORMATION and REVELATION.
Sadly, there’s been erroneous and/or goofy doctrines brought forth by people’s wild visions and hopeful imaginations that have managed to gain credibility only via a Vita-Mix-event of weird things blended together, always in ignorance or defiance of the full text of the bible. That is a dangerous scenario, and quite frankly something to remember when, TWO HOURS FROM NOW – I speak about ONE reason I am convinced the seasoned saints will be on earth for the last days harvest: the work of God REQUIRES seasoned saints who have been around the block and immersed into the word, for decades.
WE DO KNOW THIS: What has to occur will always coordinate w ALL of scripture (ISA 28 – “to whom will He teach knowledge?……line must be upon line and precept upon precept”). It is that glorious assurance that can lead us to accurate interpretation of scripture, and accurate understanding of God’s plans.
SO LET’S READ 2 PETER 3.
2 Peter 3:1
1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),
WE SEE PETER CONSIDERS THIS A CRITICAL MATTER – doesn’t want the saints to ever forget it.
And we can see Peter’s differentiation of the OT writers (PROPHETS) and the NT writers (APOSTLES),
2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,
SO PETER TELLS US WHAT HE IS REVEALING IS WHAT THE EARLIER (OT) PROPHETS WROTE ABOUT – IT IS NOT A NEW THING. THEN PETER PRIORITIZES OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE DECEPTION AND DANGER OF FAR-FLINGING THE RETURN OF CHRIST INTO THE WAY, WAY FUTURE:
3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,
4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
Sadly, ones falsely predicting the return of Christ – either too early or too late – lend credibility to the conception of “HERE WE GO AGAIN” – when another group of believers puts forth some loud proclamation of upcoming prophetic events – only to be proven wrong.
WE’RE IN ONE OF THOSE PERIODS RIGHT NOW:
(SLIDE: FOXNEWS PIC AND ARTICLE – 9.17.17)
We have some dear and beloved brethren who I believe are sincere, who I also humbly believe have CORRECTLY recognized there’s some serious stuff happening in alarming frequency, but then have reached the INCORRECT conclusion that all this points to the RAPTURE (the lifting up and exit) of the Church and the beginning of the trouble and wrath of God. Some go so far as to think Jesus is coming back Sept 23. As a reference: today is Sept 20. Whether they are right or I am right in saying they aren’t right, will be known in 3 days.
MY STATEMENT OF FAITH RE SEPT 23 –
Jesus is not coming back Sept 23, nor is the church getting raptured upward into heaven – we’ll deal w this as the evening goes on.
Meanwhile, I don’t believe they’re wrong in their AWARENESS. But I do believe they are wrong in their CONCLUSION.
Sadly, once all the noise and proclamations are over and Sept 23 comes and goes, it will do damage to the credibility of scripture and it may discourage many sincere saints who will think “NOW who can I trust?”
BACK TO PETER:
Peter goes on to equate the return – with its judgmental destruction – compared to the Flood of Noah and its with its judgmental destruction. Immediately we are assured this is not simply the King coming back for His Kingdom, and His wedding to His Bride/Church. There will be warfare waged against wickedness.
5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,
6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
FIRST – Verse 7 ought to bury the concept of Jesus simply coming back for a world that has been successfully evangelized by the zealous church (a different-than-pre-trib-rapture doctrine but also very popular, conference-filling doctrine AT LEAST in the Western Church bubble).
NOTE: Many of the doctrines of the Western Church don’t hold up well in other parts of the world, where saints are already being martyred in unprecedented numbers. THOSE FOLKS don’t buy into the Kingdom of God taking over the world and then handing it back to Jesus, on a platter, when He returns, nor are they convinced the tough stuff happened in 70AD. Reality has opened the scriptures to our suffering brethren as to how this world looks to be wrapping up this age. And that aligns w biblical text.
SECOND – we see that the culmination of the TIMES OF TROUBLE are actually followed by DAYS OF WRATH for the ones who still refused to repent of their ways during the TIMES OF TROUBLE.
I DO BELIEVE the saints are delivered from “the wrath to come” (1 Thess 1:10)
NEXT VERSE can be controversial – although I think that its place in this writing supports my opinion re it being a TIMING HINT as to the conclusion of the age:
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
AN ARGUABLE – YOU MAY NOT AGREE W MY OPINION HERE – I am inclined to believe what many Jewish theologians believe, along w many Christian theologians – that God’s spectacular plan of redemption and return-to-holiness for the Creation is based around a 7 “DAY” plan equating to 7 millennial “YEARS” – which, if this is the case, would put us, right now, startlingly close to His return, as the Jewish calendar has us around 5778 right now (Rosh Hashanah – NEW YEAR 5778 – coming up in a few short days).
IF the 7-millennium formula equates to SEVEN 1000-year epochs, suddenly the description in Revelation 20 of a 1000 year reign of Christ, after His return, makes more sense – it would represent the 7th DAY, the day of rest, the SHABBAT day, and the 6 days prior would be the days of man governing earth (and having done a lousy job – which dovetails into the crushing and collapsing governmental imagery of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue (SLIDE PLEASE) in Daniel 2 – which is regarded by many as the MOTHER OF ALL PROPHECY as it illuminates the dilemma of man’s leadership and then the victory and reign of God’s leadership).
IF YOU DON’T AGREE W THIS 7-millennium THEORY, that’s your choice. I don’t know that there’s tons of additional proof-text to argue this one incessantly. I do believe, however, that there are too many OTHER SIGNIFICANT MARKER events that have occurred and are occurring right now w increased frequency, for us to blow off the imminent return of our Lord – and the clear fact that the ESCHATOLOGICAL POT is beginning to come to a boil.
PETER explains God’s longsuffering w mankind, God Himself recognizing the stubbornness of mankind, the plight of society, and the fullness of His plan.
BACK TO PETER – looking at 8 and 9 again:
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
I CONTEND THIS IS AN IMPORTANT INARGUABLE: “NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH” flies in the face of pre-destination (Calvinism) which would want us to believe that all people are on their way to hell and God chooses some to save – while He chooses to not save MLST. That’s a hard message to believe when you read:
1 Timothy 2:3-4
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth
AND HOW IS THIS EXTREME EXAMPLE explained – if not that God’s will for the hypocritical priests was salvation – but they chose otherwise – demonstrating complete free will:
But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.
And If we’re told to redeem the time (Eph 5:16) – BUT if God already purposed that most all people definitely will NOT get saved – then why would Jesus tell us this:
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
AND – IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters;
BACK TO PETER – so although God’s will is for none to perish – we know, historically as well as currently by the increase of evil upon the earth – mankind (how ironic: KIND) will continue to exercise his free will to be stubborn and rebellious, eventually bringing destruction upon himself by refusing to repent.
AND MEANWHILE, while we’re here in troubling times, we would do well to not despise people, but to understand much of their acting-out is out of frustration – but God wants them to be saved – and that is WHY WE ARE HERE – to tell them the good news of SALVATION.
It is man’s stubbornness that necessitates the severity of trouble as we approach the conclusion of this age.
“WHY ALL THE TROUBLE?” is a valid question.
WHY does the conclusion of this age have to end w SO MUCH trouble?
Trouble and troubling times, undesired as they are, aligns w the fullness of scripture re the last days of this age.
The word “TRIBULATION” sounds very bible-y, and it is. It means “TROUBLING”.
Someone asked me yesterday, as we discussed the latest 7-point Mexico earthquake: “WHY MUST WE HAVE ALL THIS TROUBLE?”
The answer is a hard one to embrace, and yet simple:
MOST OF THE TIME, MOST OF THE PEOPLE, don’t come to God unless and until there’s trouble, and unless and until that trouble affects them. The entirety of scripture in both testaments, testifies to this sad truth.
Here’s Isaiah speaking of God’s covenant people, the Jewish nation:
16 Lord, in trouble they have visited You,
They poured out a prayer when Your chastening was upon them.
Here’s the psalmist recounting the history of Israel:
34 When He slew them, then they sought Him;
And they returned and sought earnestly for God.
And lest you think it’s simply the stubborn Jews, here’s John on Patmos, at the conclusion of the New Testament, declaring that AFTER the judgments of God occur on the whole earth, finally there’s been established an atmosphere for surviving men (of all nations) to exercise the WISDOM of fearing the Lord:
“Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints!
4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested.”
If you need to see whether ALL men finally come to God after His judgments on earth, you can look into
20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.
21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
So hopefully we have a little bit of a perspective into the troubling season at the end of this age – days I am inclined to believe are upon us, in their beginning stages. THAT might be an ARGUABLE to you, and if so, then at least let’s not argue that these are some kind of troubling days, whether or not you think they are the age-conclusive troubling days. History has shown us that troubling times, throughout all epochs, have been times of revival, because men come to God when there’s trouble. THAT is INARGUABLE.
BACK TO PETE – NOW WE SEE PETER SPEAKING OF YOM YAHWEH – The Day of the Lord – He is wrapping his prophetic verses around those conclusive days of this age, prior to the return of Messiah – days referred to biblically as “the day of the Lord”
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
“LIKE A THIEF” means SURPRISE and UNEXPECTED. “WITH A GREAT NOISE” means it won’t be missed.
IT IS HERE THAT PETER ASKS THE SAINTS THE BIG QUESTION TO ALL OF US WHO WOULD CARE TO READ THIS:
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
The “nevertheless” in verse 13 below speaks to saints looking BEYOND the troubles and destructions of the end-times events, understanding that WHAT COMES AFTERWARD far exceeds, in glory and reward) the troubles of those troubling “tribulating” times. (Paul – I Cor – “..our light affliction….”)
2 Peter 3
13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
SAINTS v SINNER OPPOSITE OUTLOOKS: Amazing is to look into Isaiah 30 – which speaks to the warfare-significance of prophetic worship, and supports the stark contrast between the attitudes of the prepared and praying saints and the situations occurring on earth to shake up sinful mankind – situations that have NOT YET occurred, so we know they will occur. The rebellious and unprepared will be in a state of panic (men’s hearts failing – Luke 21) and meanwhile many of the saints, will be understanding their calling, as well as the approaching deliverance.
“HHY” = HASN’T HAPPENED YET – this fits into the truth of the Sermon on the Mount – an INARGUABLE Jesus message – which we will look at as our next verse.
ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL TO UNDERSTANDING END-TIMES FULL-FILLMENT OF ALL THINGS – Jesus sets forth a pre-emptive strike against a doctrine that sadly permeates much of the Church in our days – teaching that the toughest of times can be checked off as having occurred during 70AD and into the following century under Roman rule over, and destruction of, Jerusalem. Those believing that teach and preach the “tough stuff is done” – fulfilling ALL of the OT prophecies of trouble. Problem is, that is not even historically accurate.
Here’s what Jesus said 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.
KEY TO SOBER UNDERSTANDING OF THE FULL-FILLMENT REQUIREMENT:
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.
Jesus FULFILLED the requirements of ordinances contained in the Mosaic covenant. He did so that there might be a doorway into holiness and holy-acceptance (by God) so that “whosoever will” may come, in faith, into His presence and walk in His ways – that is for both Jews and Gentiles WHOSOEVER WILL means WHOEVER WANTS TO, CAN.
THAT is the worldwide salvation plan. But Jesus says – DON’T think I came to destroy what the Jewish prophets wrote, and what the Jewish law clearly lays out as forthcoming.
Jesus uses the Greek word “nomos” (Greek: “LAW”) when He said “LAW and PROHPETS”.
Paul also used “nomos” in Corinthians to describe what was written by Isaiah in chapter 28 – clearly confirming that all of the writings of the Old Testament, the Jewish scriptures, are “law”. OUR problem is that the word LAW is viewed by us to be restrictions. The biblical context of LAW would better to be understood as “holy instructions of God so that we might live successfully”.
James in fact calls the NEW TESTAMENT way the “LAW OF LIBERTY” (James 1:25 and 2:12).
If we recognize the eternal validity of ALL the word of God, and the fact that our enemy tries to sabotage EVERYTHING, it suddenly blows away lots of the clouds of confusion – including end-times predictions, and the message gets clearer.
(ALL THE WAY DOWN TO “TOPHET” NOT DISCUSSED BUT LEFT IN NOTES FOR ON-YOUR-OWN STUDY, LATER, IF YOU LIKE):
ISAIAH 30 and the CONTRAST BETWEEN TWO GROUPS during tough times – much of which Isaiah is speaking clearly pertains to yet-to-occur events – so take this as a contrast between SAINTS ON EARTH and STUBBORN, NON-REPENTANT SINNERS ON EARTH, around the time of our Messiah’s return.
GROUP ONE: Here’s what applies to those bent on wickedness (this is the group that won’t repent, try as God might, to get their attention):
27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar,
Burning with His anger,
And His burden is heavy;
His lips are full of indignation,
And His tongue like a devouring fire.
28 His breath is like an overflowing stream,
Which reaches up to the neck,
To sift the nations with the sieve of futility;
And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people,
Causing them to err. (because they had reached the point of no-return – like most people in the days of Noah)
GROUP TWO: MEANWHILE here’s what applies to the ones who know their God
29 You shall have a song
As in the night when a holy festival is kept,
And gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute,
To come into the mountain of the Lord,
To the Mighty One of Israel.
30 The Lord will cause His glorious voice to be heard,
And show the descent of His arm,
With the indignation of His anger
And the flame of a devouring fire,
With scattering, tempest, and hailstones.
HERE’S GOD’S DESTRUCTIVE JUDGMENT WORK
31 For through the voice of the Lord
Assyria will be beaten down,
As He strikes with the rod.
AND HERE’S THE REDEEMED ARMY OF GOD (w their flutes) participating in the area of prophetic worship:
32 And in every place where the staff of punishment passes,
Which the Lord lays on him,
It will be with tambourines and harps;
And in battles of brandishing He will fight with it.
strong>TOPHET – where’s that?
33 For Tophet was established of old,
Yes, for the king it is prepared.
He has made it deep and large;
Its pyre is fire with much wood;
The breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone,
TOPHET outside of Jerusalem – w varying names over the millenniums – here we’re clearly told Tophet = Hinnom:
(The Jews, in their darkest days, offered sacrifices of innocent children in this valley – not unlike our legalized sacrifice of the young innocent, btw)
31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.
32 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when it will no more be called Tophet, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Tophet until there is no room. 33 The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. And no one will frighten them away.
God is saying other people (the guilty) will be buried in the valley of judgment, as a redemptive work. Where else is that found in scripture? In Psalm 110 – which is quoted innumerable times in the NT.
HERE’S WHAT SURE LOOKS LIKE REFERENCE TO HINNOM/TOPHET
5 The Lord is at Your right hand;
He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath.
6 He shall judge among the nations,
He shall fill the places with dead bodies,
He shall execute the heads of many countries.
There is much in scripture pointing to a conclusive end-times battle between good and evil, both on earth (Ezek 38, Zech 14) and also in the heavenly realms (Rev 12:7, Dan 12:1). Men will be there for this battle.
QUES: Is it orchestrated by evil people?
No, it is orchestrated by God Himself, because the time has come to judge the earth:
EZEKIEL REVEALS IT THIS WAY (don’t trip over the names GOG and MAGOG – Magog and in fact other regions and people groups as mentioned in Ezek are also mentioned in the dispersion account after the Flood of Noah – and the names Gog and Magog appear again at the end of the next millennium (Rev 20). Although there’s (AN ARGUABLE) speculation as to just which evil nations these names represent, it’s clear you don’t want a t-shirt designating your alignment w the GOG or MAGOG team. SIMPLE – GOD: GOOD. MAGOG: BAD.
Ezekiel tells us:
Ezekiel 38:1-8 (I am skipping over verses only for time-sake)
1 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
3 and say, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.
4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, (a phrase likening to how the Babylonians dragged off the Israelites into captivity, many to their destruction) and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.
(SOME NATIONS WHOSE NAMES WE KNOW)
5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet;
6 Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.
7 “Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them.
8 After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; ( A RE-ESTABISHED ISRAEL – when might that be?) they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.
EZEK 38: 14-16
14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, “Thus says the Lord God: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely (DANIEL TELLS US THOSE WILL BE DAYS OF FALSE PEACE IN ISRAEL (obviously NOT YET – HHY – when most of Israel is duped into thinking the Anti-Christ is their friend and ally, and has accomplished “World Peace” – buy your CO-EXIST bumper stickers – they’ll work for just a few short years), will you not know it?
15 Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army.
16 You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.”
So we see God Himself is SOVEREIGNLY orchestrating the end-times plans, so that all that has been written will occur. Every jot and tittle will be fulfilled.
This is what Peter is talking about.
This is why Peter, in 1 Peter 1:10-12, told us this about the OLD TESTAMENT prophets who wanted to know what the Spirit of God was meaning when they were moved to write about many mysterious things:
1 Peter 1:12
12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.
What we are seeing, I believe in many ways ignited by the fuse of Israel’s NATION BIRTHED IN A DAY prophetic fulfillment (1947) is the setting of the stage for the culmination of end-of-age events.
8 Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?
Or shall a nation be born at once?
Jesus told His disciples this when asked about His return (wildly, the scriptures – and I believe the purposely anointed FORMAT of the questions of the disciples) set the stage for a magical-mystery question that had SOME fulfillment in 70 AD w the destruction of the temple, but clearly failed to fill all the requirements of FULL-fillment. THEREFORE: Stay tuned.
SAYS OUR LORD:
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us,
(A) when will these things be? And
(B) what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. DIDN’T HAPPEN 70 AD
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.
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.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world (DIDN’T HAPPEN 70 AD) as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (THAT DIDN’T OCCUR IN 70 AD)
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!
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.
(JESUS COORDINATES W DANIEL SPEAKING OF LAST DAYS):
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.
(ascribing THIS to 70 AD troubles is faulty, because there was no deliverance of Israel. It was the beginning of the downfall of Israel. And no book (of life) was opened – nor was their mass resurrections).
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.
BACK TO MATTHEW
HERE’S ONE ENORMOUS ESCHATOLOGICAL WORD: “IMMEDIATELY”
29 “Immediately (“EUTHEOS”) after the tribulation of those days (HEAVENLY SIGNS WILL OCCUR)
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.
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.
THAT is what Peter is alluding to at the end of this second and last letter – the violent, all-eyes-shall-see-Him, in-the-clouds return of Jesus. I see nothing secretive about this. I read of trumpets in the book of Rev – they are ALWAYS intended to be heard.
To the point of the actual return – and it NOT ONLY being some OT “angry God, pre-Jesus” kinda thing – Paul speaks to the troubles of the saints on earth in those yet-to-occur days and confirms the geo-political, anti-God climate on earth:
2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
7 and to give you who are troubled (TRIBULATED) rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,
8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
BACK TO 2 Peter 3
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
THEN THE WARNING ABOUT MESSING AROUND W THE SCRIPTURES, WHETHER IN IGNORANCE OR WORSE YET, W FAULTY RELIGIOUS AGENDA (which motivated many false prophets in both testaments – many of which sealed their own fates and were destroyed)
15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;
18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory both now and forever.
So we’re told, in the midst of the ongoing and increasing troubles on earth, we’re invited into intimacy and knowledge and Spirit-led relationship by a God who is not kidding around, not NOT coming back, and planning to rescue and redeem those who are His, and punish those who, even after the most increasing troubles, still refuse to come to Him, will only be worthy of destruction.
I did not write the bible. I don’t dare alter what it says. If I had written some religious book, it would have been a lie, but it would have at least APPEARED EASIER TO COMPLY WITH. That, in fact, is why so many false religions, and dead churchianity, thrives – because God’s ways are His ways – honorable but not easy.
BACK TO MATTHEW 24 for a moment:
29 “Immediately (“EUTHEOS”) 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.
What we see here is Jesus pointing to signs in the sky. Solar and lunar eclipses have consistently been used by God to speak to the world. Constellational alignments are alignments of His stars.
ALWAYS BEEN TROUBLE – Of course there’s been troubling times throughout most all the ages, and long seasons of peace on earth have been rare, but we are witnessing, and living in, a world of increased violence, decay of social mores, and day by day natural disasters. Riots, earthquakes, storms “of biblical proportions”, nations crumbling (including ours), corruption more rampant, signs in the heavens.
DOES GOD SPEAK TO US THROUGH NATURAL DISASTERS AND SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS?
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, (AS WELL AS) and for days and years;
THIS OT prophecy, below is quoted by PETER in the books of Acts, to explain the AGE between the FIRST appearance of the Messiah, and the second appearance.
28 “And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
THE PROMISE OF HEAVENLY SIGNS
30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
THE SALVATION PLAN OPEN TO ALL, ESPECIALLY DURING THOSE “TIMES OF TROUBLING SIGNS)
32 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
There is so much more to discuss and look into – all of it clearly pointing to the INARGUABLES:
- There’s a God who has a plan to come back and straighten things out – testing, trying and refining HIS PEOPLE through troubles and struggles (Ps 66, Zeph 3) and then rescuing His people and also addressing all who live in wickedness, and in fact all who are on the face of the earth, even the “good ones” who don’t rob banks or kill people. He is dealing w each and every man. ALL MEN EVERYWHERE need to be saved. That is the gospel message. Paul, the author of so much grace, said he warned every man (Col 1:28)
- The “PROPHETIC GIST” of all these verses, and more, points to the most troublesome times ever, not to be confused or falsely-hoped-for as having happened in the past, so that we might now happily float down the Christian river of life – which is very popular in churches in SOME places in the world, in countries still, sort of, in the “bubble of safety” – a bubble that is quickly popping. We have seen, increasingly, the bubble in fact is delusional.
- God has used in the past, and continues to use, the wickedness of the world for His redemptive purposes. Crazy as that seems, it’s scriptural. He told covenant-Israel that He’d bring upon them “the worst of the Gentiles” (Ezek 7:24). We are seeing that happen now – generally evil governments and often nearly-totally evil nations. Zech 5 tells us that “wickedness” was being moved by angelic creatures to Shinar (Iraq – Erech (Uruk) until a time of her release – a set time when wickedness will be released on the earth.
The world is increasingly terrorized by terror from North Korea, in the Middle East, in Europe. Likely coming to your city, shortly. I was in NYC 9/11/2001. There was more than an attack against two buildings. They were a SHOT ACROSS THE BOW OF PRIDE, OF OUR NATION. GOD IS waking us up (He has done that and will do that Isa 45:7)
- The nations raging against Israel, increasingly, is not only a sign of OUR time, it is a sign of the END of time of this age. Read Ezek 39 to see how many revelations come to both the surviving world powers and also to Israel, as to why certain things have happened. God is not fooling around. But it will make sense eventually, to all, and what is preached contrary to biblical truth and biblical “procedure” will be burnt away by the fire of God’s word.
- America – named after Amerigo Vespucci whose name MAY have prophetically been derived from the Hebrew word “AM” which means “PEOPLES” – The United States of Peoples” is slowly unraveling, becoming more and more fractured and dis-united, because we are a COVENANT nation (since 1620 – before we were officially a nation) and God takes covenant seriously (Amos 3:1-3), and deals w us as a poster child, in many ways like He deals w the Jewish people (AND about half of all Jews live in America – but that’s another story).
AMOS 3:1-3 – You only have I known……therefore I will judge you……
We know there will be people on earth, prior to the appearance of the Lord, who will be doing all they can to maintain a “SEMBLANCE OF NORMALCY”
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
AND THEN THE QUESTION STARES AT US:
Are we simply just another generation who can ASSUME the return of the Lord will be waaaay down the eschatological road, and NOT in our day?
God is the one who has proven to utilize signs and wonders and dating and years and specific Jubilees (50 years periods) for some enormous events focused around Israel (especially), but also all the world.
Jeremiah reveals eternal truth this way:
24 But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the Lord, exercising (CONTINUOUSLY throughout time) lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight,” says the Lord.
ABOVE AND BEYOND THE “ALWAYS” of v 24
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.”
Here’s SOME events that have occurred in recent history that might assist us in understanding the TIMING OF GOD – which is yet ANOTHER topic of biblical significance to give us some understanding and awareness of times and seasons:
1st Zionist National Congress to establish the state of Israel – 1897 + 120 (a significant biblical #)= 2017
Balfour Doctrine – Nov 1917 + 100 (a significant biblical # and a Jubilee year) = 2017
“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object,…”
UN Resolution 181 to create the state of Israel: 1947 + 70 (70 being a significant biblical #) = 2017
Jerusalem restored to Israel (6 days war started by the Arab nations): 1967 (a Jubilee + 50 – THE Jubilee #) = 2017
2017 is a JUBILEE YEAR, as was 1967, as was 1917
There’s lots more as well, some of which I have not researched to confirm – so I won’t speak to those things.
LIKE: The great American Eclipse was 8/21/17, 33 days from the Rev 12 sign – 33 is a strong biblical number – Jesus gave his life in His 33rd year. The 8/21/17 eclipse will be followed in SEVEN years, by another, and those two eclipses will intersect at a location in Illinois referred to as “Little Egypt” – Egypt is the poster-child for national judgment. (Nineveh is believed, in part, to have repented because they had recently experienced a complete solar eclipse and took that as a sign of God’s impending judgment – Walvoord)
To further frustrate us – there’s internet articles declaring the Sept 23 SIGN as a SIGN indeed, but a FALSE sign – to test the hearts and minds of the people of God (as to whether we will worship SIGNS more than whether we will worship GOD). Personally I don’t see anywhere in scripture where Satan had any say in constellational alignments. Those same websites point to 2018 as a significant prophetic year, and remind us that the completion of the Israel-establishment was 1948 and not 1947.
SO WHAT IS ONE TO DO????
And to be fair and offer some “equal time” to the pre-trib rapture folks, they point to other numbers as being significant in leading them to a STRONG’S CONCORDANCE #726 as being the number for the word: HARPAZO which means “caught up” – which is where we get the term “RAPTURE” and they feel that the # of days between the last blood moon 9/26/15 (always taken as a heavenly sign) and 9/23/17 Rev 12 sign means the church gets raptured next week. THAT we will know soon enough. For a multitude of reasons, I personally don’t support that theory – ALTHOUGH I’D BE HAPPY TO BE PROVEN WRONG.
Beam me up, Scotty.
SO WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE US RIGHT NOW?
If Peter’s 1000 year “hint” is a prophetic marker, one would be led to believe it would be AROUND the year 6000 that our Lord would return and conclude the SIX DAYS of man making a mess out of ruling the earth.
A FAIR QUES: Will MORE be in place, geo-politically, numerically, and natural –disaster-wise, than what is happening right now in this time and season?
Can we perhaps at least agree that 2017, and its remaining months, might well be Prophetically Pivotal? I am inclined to believe that. I am in fact further inclined to believe THIS SEASON is a beginning of increased troubles and occurrences, both in the heavenly as well as earthly realms, that will lead up to the return of our Lord.
SO WHAT HAPPENS SEPT 23?
- The return of Jesus – definitely not. Too many things are out of place.
B. The rapture of the church – removing all of the primarily Gentile saints from the earth, the Jews startled by this sudden departure and immediately having Jewish revival and then evangelizing the world while the Gentile church plays harps in heaven? I don’t think so.
- What about – MAYBE – the beginning or BEGINNINGS of a tribulation – (bible-speak for “troubling”) period, intended by God to “turn up the heat” to get folks on their knees? I think, maybe, and I further think that if so we will know more and more, w increasing frequency – because that is what the fullness of biblical text points to.
In which case, we go to the Peter question: how should we be living…..
The eclipses, the Sept 23 constellational alignment that portrays the Rev 12 virgin woman w warrior-baby in her womb, is happening ON OUR WATCH. Even the secular scientists tell us this star-alignment has occurred in at least 6,000 years. If you agree w the biblical model of 6,000 year “young earth” that means God has saved this alignment for THREE DAYS FROM NOW – whether it is bonafide as a clear representation of the coming of Christ, or a “dress-rehearsal” to educate the saints, once again, to focus on Christ over the constellations, it is happening now.
When Jesus said, further than we read before, in Matt 24:
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 will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
THESE THINGS – what we read earlier, will occur and a certain GENERATION won’t pass away till all this has taken place.
The word in Hebrew for “THIS” is also the same word of “THAT”
CRITICAL: g3778 could readily be interpreted THAT as easily as THIS:
g3778. ουτοσ houtos nominative singular masculine; αυτη haute nominative singular feminine; τουτο touto nominative singular neuter; from the article 3588 and 846; the he (she or it), i. e. this or that (often with article repeated):—
That means THIS GENERATION could be accurately written THAT GENERATION – which would then point us back to those on earth when the fig tree blossomed – many think that blossoming was the nothing-short-of-miraculous re-creation of PHYSICAL ISRAEL – necessary because that is where our Lord will return and then rule and reign. REMEMBER – Israel is Ground-Zero for the plans of God.
So then the ques comes up as to the age of a “GENERATION” in scripture, and Moses in Ps 90 mentions 70 years or 80 years. 70 years has us doing math: 1947+70 = 2017. 1947+80 = 2027.
Moses lived til he was 120. 1947+120 = 2067. IF this speculation is more than speculation, you can at least see the closeness of His imminent return.
The question is then worthy of asking, again:
WHAT MANNER OF MEN OUGHT YOU TO BE?
Some are sure that the Lord will rapture (grab up) the church on or around Sept 23 because they are confident:
- The Rev 12 constellation sign means the time has come (certainly active spiritual times appear to be upon us); AND
- They are convinced that God loves His people so much He will take us all out of here before all the trouble hits the fan (hugely questionable conclusion).
My FLESH would love to agree with that dreamy speculation of getting out of here before trouble happens. Problem is, I see a Lord whose intention in SHAKING HEAVEN AND EARTH, THE SEA AND DRY LAND – is to do something specific in purpose – BECAUSE HE DOESN’T WANT ANY TO PERISH.
6 “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land;
7 and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts.
First, we know THIS is HHY because when the temple was destroyed in 70AD, the temple was not filled w glory, nor were the nations drawn to God. So HHY, and stay tuned.
Also, we know that the tribulation work wants/requires SAINTS on earth to be the light of the world – proclaiming the hope of Christ, and that light is the church (Matt 5 – let your light so shine….). So why would God remove the light if He wanted people saved?
The pre-trib rapture folks say the Gentile church exits stage-UP and the Jews will suddenly get saved, en masse, and evangelize the world.
My wife and I can tell you from experience that when true revival comes and there are no seasoned elders, it’s a formula for religious failure. Our pastor took his life.
God wants a FAMILY, a MISHBUCHAH consisting of on-fire seasoned elders and lit-up young ones full of vision, to evangelize the world together for the great harvest.
PRAY TO THE LORD THAT WE WILL SEND FOR PEOPLE INTO THE HARVEST.
It does not say: PRAY TO THE LORD THAT HE TAKES THE HARVESTERS OUT OF THE WORLD because there will be trouble.
We are living in the greatest of times, the most trying of times. Unlike Dickens – who said something similar at the beginning of “Tale of Two Cities”, these times will culminate with the Jewish Savior appearing, the Jewish people looking on the One who they pierced (Zech 12:10), the nations either coming to God in reverence or being destroyed.
And we haven’t even mentioned:
Nuclear meltdowns in Japan and cesium traveling across the Pacific to our shores right now.
Unprecedented category 4 and 5 hurricanes stacking up one behind the next, this season.
Earthquakes of vast magnitude, SINCE the eclipse, in Alaska and Mexico and elsewhere
Terror attacks increasing all the time – to the point that we only respond emotionally when some personal “death-quota” is reached.
QUES – what would make us think that CA, w its ungodly laws, and its “manufacturing” of world sin, will be insulated from the hand of the Lord, especially in these days?
God is shaking heaven and earth.
all scripture NKJV