A Storm Is Coming! #7

Monday, June 29, 2020

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26,27 KJV).

Storms are a common theme in the prophetic Scriptures, but rarely is their connection recognized and their inclusion understood. If we are to appreciate them as Almighty God intended, we must delineate and examine their respective passages.

Concerning the Great Flood of Noah’s day, an old world was destroyed, cleansed of all unbelievers, and replaced with a new world. A believing remnant on an Ark survived, just as Israel’s Little Flock outlasts Daniel’s 70th Week (the seven-year Tribulation). In the case of Jonah’s tempest, rebellious Israel (who refused to be God’s preachers to the Gentiles) is now converted in the Tribulation. In the Millennium, Israel reaches the world with God’s Word (as reformed Jonah ultimately preached to Nineveh).

As touching the storm of Matthew chapter 7, Jewish unbelievers are spiritually destroyed under the Antichrist, while Messianic Jews (believers in Jesus) are spiritually saved to enter Christ’s 1,000-Year Kingdom. Regarding the tempest of chapter 8, Christ is present with Israel’s Little Flock during their time of testing (Daniel’s 70th Week). He ensures their safety “to the other side:” they enter His kingdom and enjoy blessings of physical and spiritual healing. Satan is removed from Earth! Concerning the storm of chapter 14, Jesus is away, His return postponed. Then, believing Israel sees His Second Coming, when He tramples their enemies (unbelievers, especially the Antichrist). The nation confesses Jesus as the Son of God: there is spiritual healing, God’s righteousness imputed to Israel.

Enoch, who lived before the Great Flood (Genesis 5:21-24), preached: “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14,15). Christ’s Second Coming loops back to the Great Flood (cf. today’s Scripture). All these storms preview various aspects of the future “storm” of Israel and the world!

Our latest Bible Q&As: “Does Acts 7:14 have a mistake?,” “Does Acts 7:16 have a mistake?,” and “Does Acts 7:43 have mistakes?

333’s 3100th – My Words

Monday, November 25, 2019

“Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Mark 13:31 KJV).

Dearly beloved, we have reached devotional #3100!

Today’s Scripture is actually one of three times wherein the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of His Word—yea, rather His “words,” notice—in conjunction with the end times. We will now read the parallel verses. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Luke 21:33).

All three verses are part of “the Olivet Discourse,” “Jesus’ Second Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew chapters 24–25; Mark chapter 13; Luke chapter 21). The Lord is sitting on the Mount of Olives, responding to His disciples’ questions about His Second Coming and subsequent activities. He not only summarizes the Old Testament prophecies, He adds further insight by revealing things previously unknown. Some intense trials are coming on Israel and the rest of the world. Here we are, 20 centuries later, these passages still awaiting fulfillment. Therefore, what was spoken long ago loops forward to the future from us—Israel that will exist after our Dispensation of Grace.

If the believing Jews are to survive those forthcoming violent and destructive times, with Heaven and Earth being considerably reformed, they will have to fall back on Christ’s words. Since His words will never pass away, Israel’s believing remnant has something solid on which to rely: they need to trust those words, waiting for the Lord to bring to pass everything He said regarding them (curses and blessings). While they have a glorious future, there must first be a time of suffering.

Brethren, we have come quite far in our studies these last 3,100 days, have we not? We have paid attention to “the words”not merely the thoughts—of the Holy King James Bible. Special emphasis was given to words because words are the most basic components of thoughts. If the preserved words of God will preserve the believers in Israel in their prophetic program, then, surely, those preserved words will preserve us in our mystery program. No matter how grim our conditions are, the inspired and preserved words of God will see us through to our eternal destiny as well!

Onward we go to devotional #3200! 🙂

The Sins of the Times! #3

Saturday, March 9, 2019

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (2 Timothy 3:1 KJV).

Friend, you have surely heard of “the signs of the times,” but do you know anything about “the sins of the times?”

Studying the Bible, we learn the term “last days” refers to God bringing Israel’s prophetic program to its conclusion, its ultimate goal (His earthly kingdom). A sequence of four major events accomplishes it: (1) Christ’s earthly ministry, (2) the pouring out of God’s Spirit at Pentecost, (3) the pouring out of His wrath during the seven-year Tribulation, and (4) the actual Second Coming of Christ. Signs involved throughout, God’s earthly kingdom is eventually founded.

However, God in His grace and longsuffering interrupted that timeline in the Book of Acts. The first two events have already transpired; the last two are future from us. Our dispensation sits in the middle, completely isolated from the prophetic program. God kept our mystery program a secret until He revealed it to Paul (Ephesians 3:1-9; Colossians 1:23-36). Pauline doctrine allows us to see what God planned all along but which knowledge He had intentionally withheld from Satan and his angelic allies (1 Corinthians 2:6-8).

When Paul speaks of the “last days” (today’s Scripture), he refers to the last days of our Dispensation of Grace (and our Dispensation divides the “last days” of Israel’s program, with one portion preceding us and the other following us). Paul does not urge us to look for earthquakes, famines, wars, or pestilences as noteworthy of the last days with respect to us. He has a different coming of Christ in mind—one not found in Matthew chapter 24!

Today’s Scripture in context: “[1] This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. [2] For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, [3] Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, [4] Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; [5] Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

“Perilous [dangerous] times” indeed, but not due to war, earthquake, famine, or pestilence. There is rather a spiritual hazard….

The Sins of the Times! #2

Friday, March 8, 2019

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (2 Timothy 3:1 KJV).

Friend, you have surely heard of “the signs of the times,” but do you know anything about “the sins of the times?”

It is a common mistake to suppose Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry is directed toward us, that He is speaking to and about us in Matthew through John. However, we can read that He preached only to Jews (Matthew 15:24; Matthew 10:5-7), and He had no ministry to us Gentiles (Romans 15:8; cf. John 4:22). After He ascended into Heaven though, He showed the Apostle Paul some information kept secret in Matthew through John. God’s current dealings with man are described in that most recent Divine revelation.

“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:…” (Romans 16:25,26). This is what the Bible means, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

The Bible is to be understood as a timeline: not every passage and verse is applicable all the time. If we fail to understand the Bible dispensationally, especially ignoring the fact that “the Dispensation of the Grace of God” was committed to Paul’s trust that he might then give it to us Gentiles (Ephesians 3:1,2), then we will overlook his special ministry to us (his unique epistles, Romans through Philemon).

God indeed dealt with man according to signs, miracles, and wonders. That time has come and gone; that is for another dispensation (and not ours!). Jesus told His disciples to look for signs of His coming (recall the Olivet Discourse) whereas the Holy Spirit through Paul speaks of Christ’s coming but never once attaches “signs” or admonishes us to watch for them. The only conclusion to draw is that there are two future returns of Christ. Signs precede one coming, while sins come before the other….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should we be ‘fruit inspectors?’

The Sins of the Times! #1

Thursday, March 7, 2019

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (2 Timothy 3:1 KJV).

Friend, you have surely heard of “the signs of the times,” but do you know anything about “the sins of the times?”

A Christian brother just related to me how he had heard about some “astronomical signs” that “might be indicative of Jesus’ soon return.” This is nothing new. If you watch and read the “prophecy experts” (ha!), they harp on such “signs of the times.” Every day, they claim to see Bible prophecy being fulfilled in the news. Middle East conflict? Famine? “Yes, this verse is coming to pass!” Threats to public health? Horrific pestilences? “Oh, we have found a Bible passage to fit it!” Devastating earthquake? Volcanic eruption? “Look, that verse is being fulfilled!” Such pronouncements stem from Christ’s “Second Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew chapter 24, Mark chapter 13, and Luke chapter 21).

Notice how Matthew’s account opens the Lord’s magnificent Olivet Discourse: “[1] And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. [2] And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. [3] And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? [4] And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. [5] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 

“[6] And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. [7] For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. [8] All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Yes, Christ speaks of specific, outstanding events that will precede His Second Coming. But, let us study the Scriptures to see if we should be watching for them….

The End of the World? #4

Sunday, December 30, 2012

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36 KJV).

We take the remainder of the year to contemplate the term “the end of the world.”

When the Bible speaks of “the end of the world” such as in Matthew 13:39,49; Matthew 24:3; and Hebrews 9:26, it refers to the future destruction of the underlying (satanic) world system that governs earth and its realms. The rebellious, anti-God attitude that operates in Satan is quite evident in the spheres of education, politics, society, religion, and economics: hence, “this present evil world(Galatians 1:4), to which world we Christians should not be conformed (Romans 12:2). Remember, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world(John 19:36).

After our Dispensation of Grace closes (rapture), our planet will experience seven years of Tribulation, which Christ will end with His Second Coming. Jesus Christ will then bind Satan in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years, removing him from earth, so that God’s earthly kingdom can be established and accomplished throughout that millennium (Revelation 20:1-7). It will be the end of this present world—Satan’s evil world system—and the beginning of God’s authority and righteousness reigning on earth, which is called “the world to come” in Matthew 12:32, Mark 10:30, Luke 18:30, Hebrews 2:5, and Hebrews 6:5. However, that world to come—Christ’s reign on earth—will be interrupted.

In Matthew 28:20, our Lord told His eleven disciples, “…Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” That world is the world to come, which will one day replace this present evil world. That “end of the world”—compare verse 19 to Daniel 7:13,14 and 1 Corinthians 15:24,25—is the end of Christ’s earthly reign (the conclusion of the aforementioned 1,000 years). The world that Christ will establish will exist for 1,000 years, ending when God makes a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 20:1-21:1). Then, Christ will again reign, this time forever (Daniel 2:44; Luke 1:33; Revelation 11:15).

Indeed, the definition of the term “world” in “end of the world” makes a “world” of difference in Scripture! 🙂

The End of the World? #3

Saturday, December 29, 2012

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36 KJV).

We take the remainder of the year to contemplate the term “the end of the world.”

The King James Bible uses the expression “the end of the world” seven times. We want to focus on the latter five instances—Matthew 13:39,49; Matthew 24:3; Matthew 28:20; and Hebrews 9:26.

In Matthew 13:39,49, our Lord spoke of the end of the seven-year Tribulation period, when He will send His angels to sort believers from unbelievers: “the harvest is the end of the world… so shall it be at the end of the world.” Later, His disciples ask about “the sign of [His] coming, and of the end of the world(Matthew 24:3). Christ’s Second Coming here is contemporary with the harvest of Matthew chapter 13 (above). But, exactly what is “the end of the world in these instances?

Ever since Lucifer/Satan was cast out of heaven, he has tainted every region of creation with sin. In fact, on earth, he encouraged mankind to join him in rebelling against God. Ever since man’s fall into sin, Satan and sin have ruled planet earth. Hence, the Bible calls Satan, “the god [ruler] of this world(2 Corinthians 4:4; cf. Matthew 4:8,9); Satan’s fallen angels are called, “the rulers of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12). Galatians 1:4 mentions, “this present evil world.” This is the “world” of Matthew 13:39,49 and Matthew 24:3 (previous paragraph).

One day, the evil, anti-God system that governs society will be abolished—that is “the end of the world.” Earth’s wicked social, economic, religious, and political systems will pass away. Satan’s reign on earth will come to a violent end, for the glorified Lord Jesus Christ will descend from heaven, militarily defeat Satan and his minions, and then usher in everlasting peace and righteousness on earth (Christ’s Second Coming; see today’s Scripture). This victory over Satan’s evil world system is accomplished through Christ’s finished crosswork at Calvary: hence, Calvary’s crosswork is termed to have occurred, “in the end of the world” (Hebrews 9:26).

The End of the World? #2

Friday, December 28, 2012

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36 KJV).

We take the remainder of the year to contemplate the term “the end of the world.”

When people discuss the “end of the world,” they need to explain what they mean by the term “world.” “World” means different things in diverse contexts. For instance, the first time the term “the end of the world” appears in Scripture is Psalm 19:4. This passage is beyond the scope of this study; suffice it to say that the testimony of the heavens regarding God’s glory and handiwork reaches to the farthest parts of mankind’s habitation on earth (verse 3). This usage of “the end of the world” has nothing to do with end times (prophecy), nor does “world” refer to the physical earth.

The second time God’s Word uses the expression “the end of the world” is Isaiah 62:11: “Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world,….” This is the same sense as Psalm 19:4 (above).

However, when we come to Matthew 13:39,49, the Bible uses “the end of the world” another way. These verses involve end times (prophecy): “…the harvest is the end of the world…. so shall it be at the end of the world.” Jesus Christ is describing the day—His Second Coming—when He will send angels to gather His believers and collect the unbelievers.

In Matthew 24:3, Jesus’ disciples inquired, “And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Here, “world” is in the same sense as in Matthew 13:39,49 above. Like Matthew chapter 13, Matthew chapter 24 is prophetic.

In Matthew 28:20, Jesus Christ told His eleven apostles, “…And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” This is very similar to the sense of Matthew chapters 13 and 24, but referring to a different “world.” Lastly, Hebrews 9:26 says, “now once in the end of the world hath [Christ] appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

We will proceed to discuss these usages in depth….

The End of the World? #1

Thursday, December 27, 2012

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36 KJV).

We take the remainder of the year to contemplate the term “the end of the world.”

Last year, May 21 was heralded as the “end of the world.” When that failed to come to pass, it was changed to October 21. December 21, 2012 was the latest “apocalyptic” hoax. The serious Bible student does not know the next date that the sensationalists will set regarding the “end of the world.” Nonetheless, he or she does know that much of that prophecy preaching and teaching—both in the secular world and the professing church—is grossly in error. Doctrinal integrity is of little to no importance when there is much to gain: record book sales, large television and radio audiences, a following, a name, and… an early retirement!

In common English, “world” can mean several things, such as the universe, the planet earth, this present life, a time period, society and its practices and customs, a system of related things, and the nations of the earth. The King James Bible uses the term “world” 289 times, in various different senses (the meaning being dependent upon the context).

Oftentimes, when people speak of and think of the “end of the world,” the classic imagery is—the planet earth blown to smithereens, and the human race and all other life forms on earth entirely wiped out, usually by a meteorite, biological or chemical warfare, a global natural disaster, and so on. While the Bible does speak of God’s future destruction of the present universe—the heavens and the earth (2 Peter 3:10-13)—it also anticipates a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1), the latter verse (understandably) ignored by the “doom and gloom” sensationalists.

Our King James Bible uses the term “end of the world” seven times. We will examine these instances, to understand how God’s Word utilizes this expression and what it means in light of God’s purpose and plan for heaven and earth. We will also briefly discuss other ways in which the Bible uses “world.”