Monday, June 13, 2011

End times –Prophecy

When people first begin to study God's Word about end times, many will misinterpret the meaning. You can not take what is said and apply it to all circumstances. First you must discern who the message is spoken about. Everything must be viewed in the proper context. You can not read the Bible just like any other book. There can be many years between the end of once sentence and the very next sentence.

 For instance, Daniel chapter 9; the seventy weeks God ordained for Israel.  Verse 26 says, “the Anointed One [Messiah] will be killed, appearing to accomplished nothing. The next phrase “and” is equaled to 37 years. In 70 A.D. is when the Romans destroyed the temple. Now it has been approximately 1978 years since the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, and the Lord had not finished his sentence.

The next part said, “A flood, war and its miseries are decreed until the very end.” We are now living between the last phrase of verse 26 and just before verse 27 began. Verse 27 says “He will make a treaty with the people for one set of seven (7 years) but will break the agreement half way through (3 ½ years). That has not happened, because the “he” in that statement is the Antichrist. So, as you can see, there is a quite a bit to understand.

Most people have a hard time understanding prophecy because they treat the Bible as a novel, but it is a Spiritual book, you can't understand it with your mind. God reveals His truth to your spirit which brings understanding. Scripture interprets scripture. You can be sure if God said it, then it will be confirmed someplace else in His Word.

            Most of the Old Testament prophecies deal specifically with Israel. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are the same Godhead that is known by the Jewish people as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob [Israel]. The Lord our God loves Israel as a beloved child, just as He loves those who have put their trust in Jesus, who are called His bride [church].

There is a lie that has been perpetrated throughout many churches that says, “God hates the Jews.”  I can tell you that is a lie out of the mouth of Satan. The Lord would no sooner hate Israel as He would hate Jesus. “A voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, I am fully pleased with him” (Matthew 3:17 NLT).

Jesus was Jewish for all intents and purposes. All the first apostles and disciples of Jesus were Jewish. Paul who wrote over half of the New Testament was a Jewish Pharisee, who met Jesus, discovered God's grace and devoted the rest of his life to sharing the Good News with the Gentiles.

 For those who are not familiar with the phrase Gentiles; they're anyone who is not a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This was the family line God chose to be his special representatives. This is the family He gave His Law and whom He established His covenant [promises].

Many of us know through the Old Testament scriptures, that the Israelites were a stubborn group, which Lord was constantly disciplining. He even threatened to wipe them out because of the evil they continued. It is no doubt that the Israelites are the most hated, persecuted, killed, scattered nation that has ever walked the face of the earth, yet they survive. Why is that? Because it is a nation loved by God, he loves them and us unconditionally. When God makes a promise its eternal-it will come to pass.

So what does this have to do with end time prophecy? Everything! God spoke to the Israelite prophets to prepare the future generations of what was going to happen. God gave Isaiah, Micah, Daniel, Zechariah and others great insights to what the people of Israel should look for in Messiah. The Lord also shared the response of the people once Messiah came and how He would be treated. (Isaiah 53)

God's plan has always been the redemption of all mankind. Salvation is not for the Jews only or another group. “God spoke to Abraham and said through his [faith] that all the nations of the world would be blessed” (Genesis 12:3, 17:4) But until that time came, God revealed himself to the Israelites. When Jesus [Messiah, Savior] came first to the people of Israel, they rejected him, which opened the door for the Gentiles.

If you ever questioned prophecy- just take a look at Israel. For over 1900 years they have been scattered all over the earth. Yes, persecution and genocide have occurred, but God always promised a “remnant” would survive. From that remnant the people of Israel, since 1948, are back in their homeland.  (Ezekiel 36:22-23) gives the reason for the restoration of Israel.

 The prophecy of Ezekiel chapter 37 is being fulfilled, but it is not yet complete. The bones have reassembled, the flesh [muscle] is reattached, skin has covered them, but they have no breath. (Ezekiel 37:1-8)

The breath of life is when the nation of Israel accepts Jesus as their Messiah. “They will see the one whom they have pierced and will morn for him as an only son” (Zechariah 12: 10), but before this happens nationally, the church will be removed. God is working in the Church, calling the fullness of the Gentiles. He will not pick up again with Israel, until our time is complete, and it's getting close.

So what does this mean? Ever wonder why the nightly news reports something about Israel? A nation the size of New Jersey, Its because God is at work. There are many more prophecies about their land being divided (Joel 3:2), Nations at work now planning their destruction (Daniel-Isaiah- Ezekiel) But that will never happen, God will not allow Israel to be destroyed-In fact, he will supernaturally protect them from an all out assault, for which they are unprepared. (Ezekiel 38:7-10, 16).

 God has not rejected the people of Israel, because they didn't receive Jesus, but they have chosen to remain under the law (Romans 10:3-5). God will allow this until the fullness of the Gentiles has come to Christ (Luke 21:24-Romans 11:25), then they will have to choose.

 So what about the Grace of God? Why does the Bible talk so much about Wrath and Destruction? What about Jesus and the Church? Glad you asked.

 Many people have heard either in church or on the street that there will be a time of Judgment – The Day of the Lord. This will be a horrible period of judgment that God will bring on the earth. The "turn or burn" message, does not represent  a loving God who wants a relationship with people, but makes them fearful slaves. They turn to Jesus in fear to escape being sent to hell. 

Using this approach eliminated the fact that God through Jesus is drawing all people unto himself. (2 Corinthians 5:19). God has been patient with you, so that all people will turn to Jesus for salvation. (2 Peter 2:9)

I realized that these statements sound like contradictions, but let's look at it through the eyes of scripture. The scripture says that Jesus forever satisfied the wrath of God and that all who call upon His name will be saved, (Romans 10:9) but then it says in book of Revelation, that the wrath will be poured out on all flesh. How do we reconcile these apparent contradictions? Its easy-Jesus is the Key.

Not everyone has accepted Jesus. When the Church is taken away through what is called the Rapture, those who are left behind will endure a sever form of chastisement for refusing Jesus. There will be signs and voices from heaven for everyone to hear. There will be wars, famine, fire, flood, and natural disasters. There will be supernatural witnesses going throughout the earth as continued wake up calls. People will know all these things are from God but people's hearts will curse Him and refuse to turn to Jesus.

Salvation will still be available during the Great Tribulation. Through this horrible time, more people will be saved than at any other time. God loves people; he only wants to bless, to show his kindness and mercy. There are those who will not listen easily, so this time is planned so that whosoever will hear will come to him. At the climax of this horrible period, evil will be put down and Jesus will come to set up His throne on the earth, The Thousand year Reign.

This may not sound like good news to some of you, but it is the love of God that has determined this is the way it will play out. If you have heard Jesus calling- respond. It is not God's will that any should perish. (John 3:16). He will reveal his love to you and you will begin to see how much loves you, how much he has suffered and waited for you to come and be healed.

 “In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. I will be found by you, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:12-14)

Copyright©2011 – tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-


Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

Fascinating and informative. Can't wait to read the next installment. Thanks for doing so much research and then sharing with the rest of us.

Terrie said...

Cecilia-thank you. As you can tell I am very passionate about this subject, because of what my grandma said to me when I was six years old. Who remembers what someone tells them when they are a child? Not many, but when I rededicated my life thirty years later, I heard those words as if she had just spoke them. I started in Bible prophecy in 1996 and it gave me a whole new love for God. I have three more posts on this subject-but there could be more.