The Free State of Glory (Part 14)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: Revelation 21:15-21

15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony (kalsedony); the fourth, an emerald;

20 The fifth, sardonyx (sardaniks); the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte (krisolyte); the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus (krisoprasus); the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

— PRAYER —

The Free State of Glory (Part 14)

Al Martin said, “Think of it: this very earth that has soaked up the blood of multitudes upon battlefields; this very earth where the sod is stained with innocent blood; this very earth that supports the footsteps of the tyrant, the murderer, and the thief; this very earth that supports the rebel activity of the multitudes of the unconverted; this very earth that gives men air to breathe into their bodies which they use to speak words of blasphemy and denial against God; yes, this very world and its total life-support system will be renovated by the fire of judgment at the return of Christ. And when He’s through, every particle, every atom of this earth and its support system will be permeated with nothing but righteousness. It will be the new heaven and the new earth wherein righteousness and righteousness alone has its home.”

In this passage, the angel continues to show John the structure of the New Jerusalem. After showing him the twelve gates of the city, which are engraven with the names of the tribes of Israel, and the twelve foundations of the city, which are engraven with the names of the twelve apostles, the angel describes the dimensions of the city. It is a city that “lieth foursquare”; its height, length, and breadth are the same, making it a perfect cube.

Then the angel describes the construction materials that are used in the building of the New Jerusalem. Now, there are many beautiful cities in our world; some might name Los Angeles or Rome or Paris or Venice. But no city we can imagine can compare to the beauty of the New Jerusalem, if only for the fact that the materials used to build the New Jerusalem are not extensively used in any of the building projects of our world. The beautiful gems and precious stones that the New Jerusalem is made of are scarce, and men have to painstakingly dig into the earth in order to find them. But, with God, such beautiful, valuable things are plenteous and overflowing in abundance.

Some dispute the meanings of the names John gives to the precious materials used to build the New Jerusalem. But we must understand that John is trying to describe unearthly beauty with earthly language. He names twelve precious stones used in the foundations of the city.

First, is jasper, which comes in various colors including blue, green, brass, or white like crystal. Second, is sapphire, a rich, royal blue. Third, is chal-ce-do-ny, a misty or cloudy stone that comes in blue, yellow, and purple. Fourth, is emerald, a pale green, transparent stone. Fifth, is sar-do-nyx, a red and white stone. Sixth, is sar-di-us, a red or “blood-colored” stone. Seventh, is chry-so-lite, a golden or yellow stone. Eighth, is beryl, a pale green stone. Ninth, is topaz, a greenish-yellow stone. Tenth, is chry-so-pra-sus, a gold-tinted or green stone. Eleventh, is jacinth, a dark-blue, near black stone. And twelfth, is a-me-thyst, a violet or purple stone. Not only are the foundations of the New Jerusalem made of precious stones, but the twelve gates of the city are each carved from a single slab of pearl. And on top of that, the streets of the city are paved with gold so pure and thin it is like “transparent glass.” Who wouldn’t want to live in a beautiful place such as this?

In light of the staggering beauty of the New Jerusalem, we are reminded of the stark ugliness of our world. The physical properties of our great cities and magnificent buildings are nothing compared to the Heavenly city. But what really makes our world ugly is the people who have marred God’s creation, and that includes you and me. Unfortunately, due to the devil’s rebellion and man’s sin, this world will never be restored to its original beauty. It is the beauty of the new world that should inspire us to live righteously in this one. John Bunyan, in his classic allegory, Pilgrim’s Progress, wrote about two characters on their way to the Celestial City. In the midst of their journey, one character says to the other, “When do you find yourself in your most wholesome and vigorous spiritual state?” The other pilgrim answers, “When I think of the place to which I am going.”

Likewise, we will find ourselves with the right mentality when we think of what awaits us at the end of our days on this earth. Yes, we ought to live with death in mind. But, more importantly, we ought to live with Heaven in mind.

Margaret Cagle wrote:

Someday, I’ll shed this mortal flesh
And fly away to my Heavenly home,
Leaving behind this old world,
In sin, no more to roam.

The closer I get to that goal,
I think of Heaven more and more.
How will it be when I arrive
Upon that celestial, golden shore?

Yes, the gates are made of pearl,
And the streets are made of gold,
But God’s Word also tells us
That the half has never been told.

If you want to join Jesus Christ in the beautiful New Jerusalem, allow me to share with you how you can place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation from sin and the punishment of sin:

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

Is Pope Francis right that World War III started last night in Paris, November 13, 2015?

The Future Wars of the Nations (Part 2)

war


TEXT: Ezekiel 38:10-23

10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:

11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?

15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:

16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

17 Thus saith the Lord God; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face.

19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;

20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.

22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.

Is Pope Francis right that World War III started last night in Paris, November 13, 2015?

The Future Wars of the Nations (Part 2)

After the devastating terrorist attacks by ISIS in Paris, last night, November 13, 2015, a “date that will live in infamy”, the Pope, who is not infallible even though the Catholic Church thinks he is, may be off on his announcement that World War III started in Paris. But for sure, ISIS changed the game last night in Paris. For while President Obama, who is the leader of the free world, said on the same day that ISIS was contained, ISIS proved that they’re anything but contained. To say that this was a poor choice of words by President Obama is an understatement. I spoke more about President Obama’s handling of the war against ISIS in my message ‘President Obama, We are Pulling for You to Succeed Against ISIS, but God May Not Be with You.’ If you have not heard that message, you can listen to it on this site. By the way, it is reported that governmental officials and military leaders winced at that ill-advised statement. Sadly and unfortunately, ISIS has already decided to make the world their battlefield, not just a plot of land stretched across Syria and Iraq.

For those who do not know, the Caliphate which ISIS says they have established, is not just over Syria and Iraq, but wherever Muslims are in the world, which is nearly every nation in the world. They have made up their minds to take the war to the streets of Paris, London, Moscow, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and other points in between around the world, sending a deafening signal that this is not a game. And if it was a game in the civilized world’s mind, the game has changed. And while President Obama and other world leaders are insisting on not putting boots on the ground, ISIS is putting boots on the ground in all 50 states of America and every major city around the world. Although this may not be World War III yet, the game has changed for the rest of your lifetime in the sense that from this point forward, if our governmental leaders have any wisdom, you will start seeing military personnel, not just the police, walking in the streets with AK-47S and other weapons that can put a human being six feet under. With that said by way of introduction, allow me to continue my series on the The Future Wars of the Nations, Part 2, including the real World War III.

Jesus told us that “wars and rumors of wars” would abound in the end times. As we look at today’s headlines, there is never-ending talk of military tensions — in the Middle East, in Western Europe, and in the Asia-Pacific region. While many people are speculating about the outcome of the conflicts of our day, we can say that one thing is certain: all that is happening now is shaping up to align with the word of God and the predictions that God revealed to His prophets, such as Ezekiel, whose writings we are studying now.

In our last message, we began looking at the great Gog-Magog war of the end times. There has been increasing interest in this war because of the military conflicts and threats of conflict that are raging to the immediate north of Israel. Numerous factions, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United States, France, and Jordan, are engaged in Syria. Lebanon, also north of Israel, was attacked by ISIS this week; Israel reportedly carried out airstrikes near the Syrian capital of Damascus. And, further north, the nations of the NATO alliance are girding for a possible conflict with Russia.

The Bible predicts that a great confederation of nations will sweep down to attack Israel in the last days, most likely near the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation period after the false messiah, the antichrist, has signed a peace treaty with Israel. Some of the names mentioned by Ezekiel are easy to identify today — Iran, Sudan, and Libya. Others, such as Gog, Magog, Meshech, and Tubal, we believe are likely references to Russia and Turkey. As Dr. David Reagan summarizes, “This war will start when Russia invades Israel with certain specified allies, all of whom are Muslim nations today.”

Why does this confederation attack Israel? Obviously, the Muslim nations have been trying to push Israel out of existence for many years. That is one factor. When they ally themselves with Russia, they will think that they have a real chance at doing that.

The Bible hints at another motive for this war as well. Ezekiel writes, “And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages… to take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land… Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?”

Notice the emphasis on taking spoil, prey, cattle, goods, silver, and gold. In other words, these nations will come against Israel, not just to destroy her, but to take what she has. Israel has been extremely blessed of God and will be even more blessed as time goes on. It is likely that these nations will grow jealous of Israel’s natural resources and conspire to take over the land. For Russia, oil may be the key factor. Oil was recently found in Israel’s territorial waters as well as in the Golan Heights, between Israel and Syria. In the next few years, Israel is poised to become energy independent and will be able to sell fuel to other nations. Arab countries, which are the world’s largest suppliers of crude oil, may want to cut off this threat to their monopoly on the oil market. Whatever the case, the goal of this anti-Israel war effort will not only be to destroy Israel, but to take control of Israel’s blessings.

As we touched on last week, God will not allow this effort to succeed. He will rise up and defend His people. In Ezekiel 38 we read, “And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel… And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.”

Dr. David Reagan said, “The invading armies will be supernaturally destroyed by God ‘on the mountains of Israel.’ The Lord will accomplish this destruction through earthquakes, pestilence, hail storms, fire, brimstone, and battlefield confusion. Even the Jewish people will recognize that the victory belongs to the Lord, and many will open their hearts to the Lord. In fact, this event could mark the occasion when the 144,000 Jews of Revelation 7 accept Jesus as their Messiah and are sealed by the Lord for special service throughout the seven year period of the Tribulation.”

We are used to thinking of the miraculous military deliverance of Israel in Old Testament terms. However, God will make it known in the last days, during the great Gog-Magog war, that He is still looking out for His people. This deliverance will be a miracle on the scale of the Red Sea opening and Pharaoh’s army being destroyed or the angelic slaughter of the 185,000 Assyrian troops who laid siege to Jerusalem. God will show His glory and power to the heathen nations. Even though it will seem like the world is spinning out of control, God will show that He is the one who guides the destinies of every nation.

_________________

If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University School of Divinity. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.

The Future Wars of the Nations (Part 1)

war


TEXT: Ezekiel 38:1-13

1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.

8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.

10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:

11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

The Future Wars of the Nations (Part 1)

Today, we are moving on to the next major phase of God’s dealings with the Gentiles in the end times. So far, we have looked at:

1. The Times of the Nations, in which we explored the present state of affairs in the world, the question of “Why do the heathen rage?”, and the current state of relations between Jews and Gentiles.

2. The Antichrist Spirit in the World Today, in which we dealt with Satan’s influence not only in the world, but in the church and how he is spreading the seeds that will lead to the rise of the antichrist in the end times.

3. The Antichrist Religion of the End Times, in which we looked at Revelation’s depiction of “Mystery Babylon” which will lead the world into false religion and false luxury during the Tribulation and will ultimately be destroyed.

Now we move into the geopolitical side of the events concerning the Gentile nations in the end times — particularly the wars of the nations. The Bible speaks of three major military conflicts surrounding the Tribulation period. We are going to begin looking at the first of these conflicts — an attack on Israel from enemies to her north. Some Bible scholars believe this attack will take place at the beginning of the Tribulation period; others say it will take place near the middle of the Tribulation period. Regarding the date of this battle, Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck state: “It seems best to place Ezekiel’s battle of Gog and Magog in the Tribulation period. Other internal markers indicate that it should be placed in the first three and one-half years of the seven-year period. The attack will come when Israel is at peace. When Israel’s covenant with the Antichrist is in effect at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week, she will be at peace. The battle will possibly occur just before the midpoint of the seven- year period.”

Whatever the case, the only way to understand this war is to understand who will be fighting in it. And this passage in Ezekiel is replete with proper names of nations that we are not familiar with. Before we get into that, however, allow me to provide some perspective on this passage from Dr. John MacArthur. He said:

In the last phase of Gentile world government, there is going to be a revival of the Roman empire. In Daniel’s image, the final phase of the great image was the legs and the feet of iron and clay being mixed together. They were symbolic of Rome. The ten toes, the ten kings, and the ten horns all signify a ten nation confederacy. There will be one government governing all of Europe.

However, during the tribulation, a great power is going to sweep over and encompass the holy land. In fact, the great world leader who runs the revived Roman Empire, is going to make a covenant with Israel. He’ll say, “I’ll protect you and I’ll take care of you.” Under his leadership, he brings a false world peace. However, it only lasts for three and a half years — for half of the tribulation.

[The antichrist’s] power is going to be challenged. From that time on, all hell breaks loose. And it stays that way until Jesus returns. From that moment on, the big war machines begin to roll. The next thing you know, the north comes down and you’ve got world war in the land of Israel.

God gives Ezekiel a prophecy regarding his end-time attack on the nation of Israel. He says, “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.” Now these nations or people groups are not mentioned frequently in Scripture. They are not familiar to us like the Philistines or the Egyptians. On top of that, Ezekiel is using the terms of his day to relate to geopolitical realities that have yet to come about.

So, who are these nations and people whom Ezekiel is addressing in this prophecy?

Who is Gog? Gog is a proper name mentioned only once outside of Ezekiel in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, it is mentioned only in the book of Revelation. Scholars believe it is a proper name or title referring to a person. This “Gog” is the “chief prince of Meshech and Tubal”; his land or home country is called “Magog.” In fact, Magog means “land of Gog.” It is the mountainous region between Cappadocia in Turkey and the northwestern region of present day Iran. This area is, of course, north of Israel.

Next, Ezekiel calls out the names “Meshech and Tubal.” These have popularly been identified as the Russian cities, Moscow and Tobolsk. This perspective is further bolstered by the Hebrew word, “Ro’sh”, which is translated as “chief” in the King James Version but is used as a proper name Rosh in other translations. Dr. Walvoord and Dr. Zuck caution against the identification of these ancient names with modern-day Russia simply because they sound similar. However, they state that “three reasons suggest including the Soviet Union within Ezekiel’s prophecy: (1) Some of the countries named by Ezekiel were located in what is now Russia. (2) The armies are said to come “from the far north”. This probably includes the land bridge between the Black and Caspian Seas, now part of the Soviet Union. (3) Ezekiel spoke of a coalition of several nations, many of whom are today aligned with or under the influence of the Soviet Union. These include Iran (which the Bible calls “Persia”), Sudan and northern Ethiopia, Libya, and Turkey. All these nations, possibly led by the Soviet Union, will unite to attack Israel.” Mark Hitchcock said, “Near the end of the Tribulation, Russia and her allies will descend on the nation of Israel.”

As we look at the headlines today, we can readily see how these events are shaping up. In response to the recent events in the Middle East, Joel C. Rosenburg wrote, “The stunning move by Russia and Iran to intensify their military alliance and to actually engage in combat operations in Syria, not far from the borders of Israel, has prompted renewed interest in these ancient prophecies [regarding Gog and Magog].” Libya has become overrun by Islamic State jihadists and other Muslim extremist groups. Sudan is allied with Iran, and an Iranian warship docked in a Sudanese port a few months ago. Rosenburg also stated that the current Turkish president is positioning his country “as an enemy of Israel and an ally of Putin.”

Whatever form this anti-Israel strike force takes, God makes plain what His opinion of it is. He says in verse 2, “Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.”

Israel, today, is bristling with arms and weaponry. They are surrounded by hostile neighbors who continually make clear their hatred for the Jewish state and their desire to see her destroyed. However, in the end times the nation of Israel will be vulnerable after its agreement with the false messiah, the antichrist. Sensing Israel’s weakness, fueled by hatred, and perhaps inflamed with jealousy over the blessings bestowed on Israel, this vast northern confederacy will descend on the Jewish state intent on wiping her out once and for all. However, as He always has, God will step in and defend His people. He will use the attack from the north to demonstrate His power over the affairs of this world. Dark days will still be ahead for the Israelites in the end times, but their miraculous deliverance will serve to reassure them that there is still a God in Heaven who has not forsaken His promises to His chosen people.

_________________

If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

The Times of the Gentile Nations (Part 2)

TEXT: Luke 21:20-24

20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

24 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.

The Times of the Gentile Nations (Part 2)

In our last message, we began looking at the times of the Gentile nations. Under God’s original plan, the Israelites were meant to be a shining light and witness to the heathen nations around them. However, they rebelled against God and did not follow His commandments consistently. So, instead of being blessed and being a blessing to the Gentile nations, they ended up being punished by God through the Gentile nations. The Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, conquered Judah, carrying the people of Israel from their land, thus beginning the times of the Gentile nations — the period in Earth’s history when Gentiles would have supremacy over the Jewish people. Continue reading “The Times of the Gentile Nations (Part 2)”

Israel in the End Times: The 144,000 Witnesses (Part 3)

israelET144000


TEXT: Revelation 14:1-5

1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

Israel in the End Times: The 144,000 Witnesses (Part 3)

In Revelation 7, the 144,000 are seen at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. In Revelation 14, it shows them in triumph at the end of the Great Tribulation.

One thing that has been made clear from our study of Scripture regarding Israel in the end times is that just as God had a plan for Israel in the past as shown in the Old Testament, God also has plans for Israel in the future. One phase of that future plan which we have already looked at extensively is the prophecy that many Jews will accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Messiah during the Tribulation period. Another phase of that future plan which we are looking at now is the fact that God will call 144,000 Jews — 12,000 from each tribe — to preach the Gospel to the nations during the Tribulation period. In Revelation 7, we saw how God places His seal in the foreheads of these Jewish evangelists, marking them as His own. We also saw the amazing results of their evangelistic efforts in the end times. Even as many will be bowing down to the antichrist and coming under the influence of Satan, there will still be “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” who will receive and believe the Gospel. Many of them will be persecuted and killed for their faith, but the celebration in Heaven makes the pain experienced on earth worth it for these believers.

While on last week we focused on those who were won to Christ by the Jewish evangelists, our passage this week shows us what becomes of the evangelists themselves. Verse 1 reads, “a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” In John’s vision, we see all of the Jewish evangelists gathered with the Lamb Jesus Christ who is standing on “Mount Zion.” Once again, John mentions the mark — the heavenly Father’s name written in their foreheads — which distinguishes them from those who received the mark of the beast and who worship the beast.

Charles Spurgeon said, “And who were these people, ‘having his Father’s name written in their foreheads?’ Not Bs for ‘Baptists,’ not Ws for ‘Wesleyans’ not Es for ‘Established Church.’ They had their Father’s name and nobody else’s. What a deal of fuss is made on earth about our distinctions! We think such a deal about belonging to this denomination, and the other. Why, if you were to go to heaven’s gates, and ask if they had any Baptists there, the angel would only look at you, and not answer you, if you were to ask if they had any Wesleyans, or members of the Established Church, he would say, ‘Nothing of the sort;’ but if you were to ask him whether they had any Christians there, ‘Ay,’ he would say, ‘an abundance of them: they are all one now – all called by one name; the old brand has been obliterated, and now they have not the name of this man or the other, they have the name of God, even their Father, stamped on their brow.’”

In Revelation 12 and 13, the two chapters immediately prior to this one, we have John’s vision of the “woman” representing the nation of Israel who gives birth to Jesus Christ as well as his vision of the “dragon” representing Satan who is cast out of Heaven and begins persecuting the Jews in an effort to destroy Christ. In these chapters, we also see the formation of the Satanic trinity — the beast, the antichrist, and the false prophet — who seemingly take control of the world and seek to stamp out all those who refuse to acknowledge their authority. With that background, John seems to be contrasting the evil that the devil is carrying out during the Tribulation with the good that God is carrying out through the Lamb and those who believe in Him. These chapters show the first beast, Satan, being thrown down from Heaven, and the second beast, the antichrist, rising from the sea. However, we see the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, “standing” on Mount Zion. Yes, the Lamb who was once slain is now standing — and His faithful Tribulation-age servants are standing with Him.

What is the significance of the place where they are standing? Warren Wiersbe writes, “This is the heavenly Mount Zion, and [this] scene anticipates Christ’s coronation and the establishment of His kingdom when He returns to earth. Christ today is enthroned in the heavenly Zion, and we are enthroned with Him. The scene in Revelation 14 is the assurance to God’s people that He cares for His own and finally will take them to glory.” It is believed that this scene takes place very close to the end of the seven-year Tribulation, just before Jesus Christ returns with His army to defeat the antichrist once and for all. The 144,000, probably having all died or been killed on earth, are now in Heaven standing with the Lamb preparing to return in victory.

Not only are they standing, but they are also singing. Verse 3 tells us, “And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” The Jewish evangelists sing a glorious song of redemption as they surround the Lamb who had shed His blood that they might be saved.

Charles Spurgeon said, “To be rapt in praise to God is the highest state of the soul. To receive the mercy for which we praise God for is something; but to be wholly clothed with praise to God for the mercy received is far more. Why, praise is heaven, and heaven is praise! To pray is heaven below, but praise is the essence of heaven above. When you bow in adoration, you are at your very highest.”

He also said, “Heaven is not the place to learn that song; it must be learned on the earth. You must learn here the notes of free grace and dying love; and when you have mastered their melody, you will be able to offer to the Lord the tribute of a grateful heart, even in heaven, and blend it with the harmonies eternal.”

A third thing we notice about these evangelists is that they are separated — they have some distinguishing marks of character. Verses 4 and 5 tell us, “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”

1. They did not engage in sexual activity; they were virgins. This is likely due to the condition of the times they will be living in. With the world in constant upheaval during the seven-year Tribulation, it would not be feasible to try to marry and raise a family. On top of that, these evangelists will be dedicated to their goal of preaching the Gospel during the darkest days on earth. Without the demands of taking care of a spouse and children, they will be able to focus on that.

David Guzik said, “Many take the virginity of the 144,000 as simply a symbol of their general purity. Nevertheless, Paul recommended celibacy in distressing times, and Jesus spoke of woes upon those with children and families in that day. It isn’t hard to see that God would call these 144,000 to a literal celibacy for the kingdom’s sake during the great tribulation. Commonly the term virgins is applied to women, not men. So does the use of virgins here mean that all the 144,000 are women? Not at all, according to the great Greek scholar A.T. Roberston: “Parthenos can be applied to men as well as women.” If the term virgins is a picture of purity in general, it reinforces the connection of the 144,000 with Israel. “Israel is referred to frequently in the Bible as ‘the virgin the daughter of Zion’, as ‘the virgin daughter of Zion’, and as ‘the virgin of Israel’.

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown spiritualize this. They say that these are virgins spiritually. “In contrast to the apostate Church, Babylon spiritually ‘a harlot’. Their not being defiled with women means they were not led astray from Christian faithfulness by the tempters who jointly constitute the spiritual ‘harlot.'”

This passage could not refer to men being involved in a normal God-blessed marriage relationship with a woman. Uncleanness would refer to women who were prostitutes, whores, or who were committing adultery and fornication.

2. They follow the Lamb completely. These believers do not question the call of God on their lives. Wherever He leads, they follow; wherever He tells them to go, they go.

3. Like every Christian, these evangelists are in the world, but not of the world. “They are redeemed from among men.” The phrase, “being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb,” indicates that they are set apart, they are special, they are uniquely called and appointed by God to fulfill the mission that He has given them.

4. They are truth-tellers. There is no guile, no lying, no deception in their words. Of course, they will live in a day and age when millions will believe the lies of Satan as he advances his agenda. These evangelists will risk their lives to speak the truth of God’s Word. Many people will not want to hear the truth and will hate these evangelists because of their preaching. But speaking God’s truth in a world gone mad will be one of the primary roles of the Jewish witnesses.

5. They are without fault in God’s eyes. Of course this does not mean that they are sinless, but that, because they are washed in the blood of the Lamb, they are made perfect in Him. No doubt, however, they will try to live sinless lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. Their upright lives will be a great testimony during the end times.

In closing, today, these distinguishing character traits of the Jewish witnesses ought to be shown in our lives as well. We ought to be willing to sacrifice a “normal” life in order to serve the cause of Christ. We ought to be dedicated to following the Lamb of God completely — going where He tells us to go and doing what He commands us to do. We ought to be in the world, but dedicated to God — not afraid to speak His truth and striving to live righteously before Him. Most importantly, we ought to be about the business of sharing the Gospel with those around us so that, one day, we can stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion, singing and shouting the victory for what He has done in us, for us, and through us.

_________________

If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Israel in the End Times: The 144,000 Witnesses (Part 2)

israelET144000


TEXT: Revelation 7:9-17

In our last message, we began looking at the origin of the 144,000 witnesses spoken of in Revelation 7. These witnesses are Jewish believers whom God will mark as His own in the midst of the Tribulation. These witnesses will refuse to submit to the antichrist, they will be persecuted, but they will persist in their mission to preach the Gospel. What will be the outcome of their task? We see this outcome starting in Revelation 7:9 — a multitude of believers before the throne of God.

Notice that this is a diverse multitude. John writes, “I beheld a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues…” This verse lets us know that even in the midst of the Tribulation period, there will be a great harvest of souls. Some believe that when the church is taken out of the world in the Rapture, the Holy Spirit will be taken out as well. However, that is not the case. The Holy Spirit will only cease to act in His restraining capacity against evil. However, the Holy Spirit will continue to convince those who will hear of the truth of the Gospel of Christ.

In his commentary on Revelation, Dr. Paige Patterson writes that, through his description, “John is making the point that this group is ethnically distinct from the Jews who are sealed in the first part of the chapter, and they are further ethnically, tribally, and linguistically diverse from one another—indicating the extent to which the gospel of Jesus Christ has permeated the entire earth.” This passage shows us that even in the middle of the darkest days on earth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will still be effective and powerful. Thank God that many will believe and be saved.

This passage also shows us that the Jews will fulfill their original purpose as God’s chosen people in the end times. The Israelites were chosen to be a nation of prophets, priests, and missionaries to the rest of the world. They were to proclaim God’s goodness — especially as it concerns the sending of the Messiah for the salvation of the world — to the Gentiles. This purpose is finally carried out during the last days when 144,000 Jews preach the saving message of God’s grace to a world desperately in need of salvation.

Israel in the End Times (Part 10)

 

TEXT: Romans 11:30-36

30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Israel in the End Times (Part 10)

In his book “Future Israel”, Barry Horner calls Romans chapter 11 “the crucial passage regarding the New Testament teaching concerning the present nature and destiny of national Israel.” One of the important threads that we see in this passage is the sovereignty of God.

In the past nine messages, we have seen that the sovereignty of God is demonstrated in the election of grace which is spoken of in Romans 11:5 — “Even so then at this present time also there is a [Israeli] remnant according to the election of grace.” The sovereignty of God is demonstrated in God’s dealings with the Gentiles spoken of in verse 11 which says, “through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles.” And the sovereignty of God is demonstrated in the eventual salvation of Israel spoken of in verse 26 which says, “so all Israel shall be saved.”

As we have seen, Israel’s rejection of Jesus Christ opened the way for Gentiles to hear and receive the Gospel of Christ. What Paul makes clear in the conclusion of this passage is that we, Jews and Gentiles, are on level ground before the cross of Christ. He says in verses 30 and 31, “For as ye [Gentiles] in times past have not believed God… Even so have these [the Jews] also now not believed.” Both Gentiles and Jews are guilty of sin. Both Gentiles and Jews are guilty of nonbelief. Both Gentiles and Jews are guilty of rejecting Christ. But the good news is that both Gentiles and Jews are eligible for God’s mercy and grace. Regarding these two verses, Richard Lenski writes that Paul is saying “These still disobedient Jews are in the position you believing Gentiles once occupied with your disobedience: as their disobedience brought you mercy, the mercy you have is to bring them to the same mercy from their disobedience. God made no mistake and has nothing to regret in regard to the gracious gifts and the call he extended to the patriarchs and to the Jews. All is working out according to his wonderful plans.”

In fact, it is God’s intent to show His mercy to all people. Verse 32 tells us, “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” From this verse we see that God regards us all as unbelievers so that He can show His mercy to us. The Jews are no nearer to salvation than the Gentiles just because they are the children of Abraham. The Gentiles are no nearer to salvation than the Jews just because many accepted Christ when the Jews had rejected Him. Ultimately, we are all in the same boat in God’s eyes. And He will accomplish His sovereign will for both the Jews and the Gentiles by bringing a “fullness” of both groups into His family.

Unfortunately, it is human nature that when favor is shown to one group of people, that favored group tends to look on the other group with arrogance or disdain even though both groups are equally undeserving of favor. In the New Testament era, many Jews were prejudiced against Samaritans and Gentiles in general. Some of the early church leaders did not want to allow the Gentiles to become full members of the Christian community unless they also completely adopted Jewish rites and customs. In the Middle Ages in Europe, many Christians (mostly Catholics) harbored a hatred for the Jews and often persecuted the Jews. At different times in history, each group viewed itself as better than the other.

However, Paul lets us know that God has a higher, loftier perspective which sees Jews and Gentiles being loving and merciful toward each other just as God himself intends to “have mercy on all.” As Frederick W. Faber wrote,

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
Like the wideness of the sea;
There’s a kindness in His justice
Which is more than liberty.
For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of man’s mind,
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.

At the end of days, all of God’s children will unite in praising God for His marvellous, merciful plan which was worked out throughout history. We see a glimpse of this praise and worship in Paul’s conclusion to this passage. He breaks out in praise to God saying, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” In the end, God will get immense glory out of His dealings with Israel. W.A. Elwell writes that these verses of praise show that “Paul believes in the absolute God who controls the course of history and will faithfully bring it to an ultimate conclusion in salvation and judgment.”

In this chapter, and in the larger part of Romans in which this chapter is contained, Paul tries to explain to us some of God’s ways as it concerns His dealings with the nation of Israel. However, ultimately, as with much of Scripture, we must simply say that although we don’t understand it all, we believe God, and we choose to trust Him for Israel’s future and our own. It is humanly impossible to exhaust the depths of God’s wisdom and knowledge. We may not fully grasp why God has chosen to cut off Israel in order to graft in the Gentiles, but we can be glad about what God is doing. As the Scripture says, “Who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?”

God’s glory is manifest in His carrying out of the plan of salvation for the world which was put in motion before the beginning of time. John Piper said, “The vindication of God’s glory is the ground of our salvation, and the exaltation of God’s glory is the goal of our salvation.” God is glorified when sinners come to Him through Christ. He is glorified when Jews and Gentiles come together as the body of Christ under the headship of Christ. He is glorified when both communities show mercy and grace to each other. As the final verse of this passage states, “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Through the cutting off of Israel, the grafting in of the Gentiles, and the eventual salvation of Israel, God will be ultimately glorified.

_________________

If you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you how you can trust Him for salvation so that you can be ready for His return.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Israel in the End Times (Part 9)

TEXT: Romans 11:25-32

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.

29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Israel in the End Times (Part 9)

In our eighth message in this series, we began looking at the conclusion of Paul’s discussion regarding the mystery of the salvation of the Jews. In verse 26, we read that “all Israel shall be saved.” We saw that this salvation will take place at the end of the Tribulation period when Jesus Christ physically returns to earth to set up His Kingdom. Many of the Jews will clearly see that Jesus Christ is the Messiah the entire race of people has been looking for for thousands of years. This Messiah is the ‘deliverer out of Zion’ who will turn away ungodliness from the house of Jacob, the children of Israel. Following this eye-opening realization, we are told that God will establish a New Covenant with the Jews — the same covenant He has established with the Gentiles who believe on Him. When this covenant is established, the Jews will not only be the children of Abraham, but they will be united with all Gentile believers under the headship of Jesus Christ. Continue reading “Israel in the End Times (Part 9)”

Israel in the End Times (Part 8)

BANNER-israellastdays


TEXT: Romans 11:25-32

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.

29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Israel in the End Times (Part 8)

In today’s reading from Romans 11, Paul begins to draw his argument on the matter of Israel’s salvation to a conclusion. In our last message, we took a closer look at how the Christian faith rests on the foundation of the faith of the Jewish patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, whom God made special covenants with. Paul seems to take great pains to ensure that his Gentile readers do not become boastful over their status as Christians and the benefits they have from being in the body of Christ.

Paul calls the plan of God for the salvation of the Israelites a “mystery.” Dr. Walvoord and Dr. Zuck state in their commentary that “in Scripture a mystery is not a truth difficult to understand, but a truth previously unrevealed (and therefore unknown) which is now revealed and publicly proclaimed.” So, Paul is making the eventual salvation of the Jews a matter of public knowledge. God’s plan for them is being put out in the open. Paul’s desire for us to be knowledgeable about this mystery is so that we will not become wise in ourselves — that is conceited or proud. God has simply turned his attention to the Gentiles for a time, and one day, He will turn his attention back to the Jews.
Continue reading “Israel in the End Times (Part 8)”

Israel in the End Times, Part 7

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TEXT: Romans 11:15-21

15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.

20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Israel in the End Times (Part 7)

As we continue our journey through Romans 11, we talked about Paul’s position as an apostle to the Gentiles and about his desire for the Jews to emulate the Gentiles and accept Christ as their Savior. Paul took a Godly pride in his ministry of leading people to Christ, and his desire is for the Jews to be a part of that ministry. We also looked at the biblical teaching that the salvation of the Jews will come about as a massive ingathering during the last days.

The Bible tells us that after the Rapture, the Antichrist will make a deal with the nation of Israel marking the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation period. Arnold Fruchtenbaum writes, “The last seven years, or the Tribulation, will begin when Israel and ‘the prince who is to come,’ the Antichrist, sign a seven-year covenant. Although the agreement is for the covenant to last for seven years, it will be broken at the halfway point… The Jewish people will enter the covenant with Antichrist for security from further military invasions… [But] the covenant will be broken and desolations will fall upon the Jewish people.” As part of this covenant, the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. After three-and-a-half years, the Antichrist will sit on a throne in this Temple, declare himself to be God, and demand that all the world worship him. This, of course, will enrage the Jewish people. When they refuse to worship him, the antichrist, driven by Satan, will turn his wrath on the Jewish people. This is why the latter half of the Tribulation is known as the ‘time of Jacob’s trouble.’ During this time, the Jews will realize that the Antichrist is not their savior, and many will turn to Jesus Christ for salvation. Continue reading “Israel in the End Times, Part 7”