The Time Draws Nigh

Have you ever read a chapter or verse in the Bible and wondered, what does this even mean? Like some chapters in the Bible don’t seem to make sense, others are hard to understand and even cause you to have more questions than answers? Once upon a time, when I used to peruse the Bible to win brownie points with God, I just brushed these verses off. However, as the Holy Spirit begun to lead my studies, I really desired to know the answers to my many questions.

“What does this mean Lord? What does it mean when the scriptures say, You hardened the heart of Pharaoh and then punished him for hardening his heart? Why did people intermarry with family in the Old Testament? What’s the story behind Israel? Was Jonah’s story really true? Not forgetting Noah? What happened to miracles? Like those the Old Testament prophets performed?”

And they go on….

Well, don’t suppose I am a heathen for my thousands of questions, but these are what led me to Christ. I asked the Lord so many questions and He being gracious and loving welcomed them all, gave me answers to some, but for others, I have to get to the point where I acknowledge His ways are not my ways, neither are His thoughts my thoughts but just trusting by faith that He is God and He is Sovereign.

John 16:24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

I am an examiner, I test, question, probe and seek to understand all things, which is such a great and strong trait. However, it is also my greatest weakness. I am learning that, if we desire to have a relationship with God that is based on trust, then we cannot approach Him with a perspective where we over-analyze and question everything He does, or allows to happen.

But trust

I barely post anything under my learning experience category, but now, the Holy Spirit has placed it in my heart to use this examining gift therefore, to share stories and revelations in the Bible that would normally boggle our minds.

We are going to start with a question that oscillates around Jesus’ second coming.

I used to hear a lot of street preaching with regards to this subject before I started studying the Bible. I knew that Jesus would return one day, but in like some 2000 or so more years to come, since I hadn’t seen any of the signs the scriptures speak about yet.

For this article, I’d like to dive into a bit of history and prophecy to have a better understanding of His second coming.

History

The problem the world is faced with today is not a moral problem, in as much as many would argue this point. The whole world is in chaos today because of a sin problem.

Adam and Eve could not have possibly perceived what monster they would give way for on the earth. War, hate, injustices, murder, strife, jealousness, pride, covetousness, lasciviousness, rape…you name it, all filth and darkness, the devil brought it all.

However, from God’s foreknowledge, He knew man would sin and He knew what it would cost Him to redeem man. And His plan of salvation is to be traced through one nation.

Israel

The Jewish people are God’s chosen people. I remember I used to have an issue with this. I wondered, what about the rest of the world? Didn’t God choose us too? Why only the Jews? Through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I came to understand my conclusion was inaccurate because, For God so loved the world (not the jews only) that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

However, tracing through the first man, Adam’s generation, He found a man of faith, a man of God. Many places in scripture, we see God saying, He doesn’t look at outward appearance like man does, but at the heart. He made a covenant with this man [Abraham]— that He would make Him a father of many nations.

Through Israel would He reveal Himself to the world as YAH. The One and only God. Most of the world did not know God and they worshipped idols and other gods. These are the people whom the Bible refers to as gentiles (unbelievers). God’s promise to Abraham was to be fulfilled through his grandson Jacob. Who later became known as Israel, which means governed by God.

Everytime I heard of the name, Jews, I assumed they all came from the blood line of Abraham. But not so. Even gentiles could become Jews, proving that even in the Old Testament there was a conversion requirement through baptism ( The crossing of the Red Sea), circumcision and partaking of the Passover meal (The Lamb, The Unleavened Bread and Bitter Herbs)

Genesis 17: 10-14

Exodus 12:48—49

Circumcision also did not mean just shedding of foreskin only, but it symbolized a choice to live after the spirit and not after the flesh, that is why shedding of the flesh was important.

I find the symbolism and types between the Old Testament and the New Testament harmoniously interlinked and woven together. Sometimes I experience a hard time trying to understand how and why the Jewish people fail to recognize that the passover tradition pointed to Jesus—their Messiah. But nonetheless, that is beyond me. Jesus addressed the Pharisees saying,

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Think even of what God instructed the Israelites to do before the Exodus— to apply the blood of the lamb at the side or the top of the door posts so that when He saw the blood, He would Passover and the first born child would be spared.

So here I wonder, “why so specific Lord? Why insist at the top or on the sides and not at the bottom?”

Aaaah! Because He does the same thing even now, He says, when judgement shall fall upon the earth and I passover to judge the wicked—  when I see the blood of Christ applied on the heart of any man, I will pass over and they shall be saved. For it is assured that many have judged themselves to have applied the blood of Christ on their hearts but deceive themselves as they trample it underfoot.

How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? —Hebrews 10:29

Jesus like a lamb, was led to the slaughter and died for all humanity. The Jews rejected Him and even up to the present, they still do not believe in Jesus.

John 1:11 “He came unto His own, and His own received him not.”


Prophecy

(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. 

And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:

Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

Romans 11:8—10

Jesus before facing the cross lamented over His people and said,

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Matthew 23:37

The Jews were to be cut off due to the rejection of their Messiah and they were to suffer much for this. They were to be scattered all over the world and away from their land until God would gather them back again.


On May 14, 1948, the Jewish People’s Council met at the Tel Aviv Museum and announced the creation of the state of Israel. Israel was then declared an independent nation.


And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Luke 21:24

When the Jews rejected Jesus, the message of salvation was to be taken to the Gentiles of whom Paul was purposed.

 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: Romans 11:13

The Bible tends to use figurative speech at times, which becomes a mind bender while trying to understand some things. However, we need not go so far, as scripture actually interprets scripture.

Pay attention, for this is interesting.

Zechariah, one of the Old Testament prophets, got a series of eight visions. One of them, revealed two olive trees, a candlestick of all gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:

description of two trees

Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?

And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?

And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

Zechariah 4: 11-14

As we have previously established, the Bible at times uses symbols and allegorical descriptions to describe some events. From studying the book of Romans 11, one would conclude, the two olive trees represent the two people of God—the Jews and the Gentiles, who have come to Christ. Oil represents the presence and power of the Spirit of God throughout the Bible.

When the Jews are cut off, the gentile olive tree is grafted in, and it grows until the full number is fulfilled. Then after, the second olive tree (Jews) begins to grow back again.

For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. Romans 11:24-25

Now, for some reason, there is a notion some churches have adopted that, while Jesus was here on earth, He established a church and gave the church the authority to perform specific rules and rituals until His return. However, this is a false interpretation because we would then ask, what of the Jews and the Gentiles who are still yet to come to Christ?

The church of Christ is still yet to be revealed. Jesus did not come to establish a church, but to seek and save the lost, in that, whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

Even us whom He has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles As indeed He says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’” “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”, Romans 9:25-26.

And if some of the branches were broken off, and you (Gentiles), being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. Romans 11:17-18

The message of salvation is to be received by the gentiles until the full number of the gentiles is fulfilled. Then the Jews would be grafted back in.

So now, how does all this signify the coming of Christ?

After Jesus lamented over Jerusalem, He went ahead and said something interesting.

Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Matthew 23: 38-39

The Jewish people are now slowly awakening to the Lord. For though, we are not to speculate, we must therefore watch and be ready at all times. Seeing then, that we walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the times for the days are evil and the signs are already upon us.

The book of revelation, explains the seven seals that are to be loosed by the only one who is found worthy. THE LAMB OF GOD THAT WAS SLAIN.

Reading through them, one can have an idea on which seal is currently at hand.

So therefore, I leave you with a word of admonition.

Walk as Children of Light

Ephesians 5

1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.

Repent of evil and turn to the Lord.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

May our Lord Jesus fill all our hearts with His truth always.

 

 

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