Prophecy Comes Alive - Church of God - NEO

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Prophecy Comes Alive - Church of God - NEO

Pages 3-5: Original text by Paul Kroll© 1987 Worldwide Church of GodPages 6-7: © 1987 Worldwide Church of GodPages 8-10: Original text by John R. Schroeder© 1975 Worldwide Church of GodPage 11 : © 1975 Worldwide Church of GodPages 12-15: Original text by Gene H. Hogberg© 1985 Worldwide Church of GodPages 16-20: Original text by K. Neil Earle© 1985 Worldwide Church of GodPages 21-24: Original text by Raymond F. McNairand Earl H. Williams© 1982, 1984 Worldwide Church of GodPages 25-28: Original text by Herman L. Hoeh© 1957, 1970, 1977 Worldwide Church of GodAll Rights Reserved


III,IToday's world news withthe prophecies ofthe world tomorrow!


would not quit his polemics. Hisconstant soliloquies, filled withalternating strains of horror andhope upon repentance, filled theair. Amos kept on and kept on,preaching with determination beforethe capital building. All this inGod's name."'Also I gave you cleanness ofteeth in all your cities. And lack ofbread in all your places;"Yet you have not returned toMe,' says the Lord ..."'I sent among you a plagueafter the manner of Egypt; youryoung men I killed with asword .. ."Yet you have not returned toMe,' says the Lord."The I isteners were now veryangry. They shook their fists atAmos. " What is this 'haven't returnedto the Lord' nonsense?" thespectators shouted back at Amos."We are God's people. Whogave you the right to make theseaccusations? This is God's country.Long live our blessed nation."State of the NationWhile Amos spoke, corruptionflourished throughout the nation.Political leaders could be bought.The poor were being trampled andground to powder economically.Few cared for their rights.Vendors, greedy for every dimeof profit, made a mockery of religiousscruple. Crime and violencewere rampant. It was a time ofpride and overindulgence. A timeof sexual permissiveness, even perversion.A time when ethics andvalues were sneered at.While the nation sinned, Amosbrought the warning:" . .. the Lord God of hosts, theLord, says this:"'There shall be wailing in allstreets, and they shall say in all thehighways, "Alas! Alas!" ...' "Amos announced that Godwould raise up a nation that wouldafflict them from one end of thecountry to the other- and finallydestroy them. The handwriting wason the wall, Am")s insisted."'The end has come upon mypeople Israel ... ,' says the LordGod- 'Many dead bodies everywhere,they shall throw them outin silence.'"The people were incensed .4"That's a lie! That's a lie! " thepeople shouted back. "We areGod's people."But Amos was undaunted. Heonce again issued the predictionthat the nation would be destroyedand led away captive. He warnedthat the nation's ruler would alsodie.The people listening became angrieryet. Their one thought was tokill this man Amos. But some inexplicableforce prevented them fromaccomplishing their aim.Crisis at the TopMeanwhile, an important religiousleader in the community was benton destroying Amos. He went beforethe ruler, saying: "Amos hasconspired against you .... The landis not able to bear all his words."The religious personage then repeatedAmos' direst predictions.The ruler slammed his fist intothe table. "Arrest this Amos. Draghim in here. I'll deal with him."Amos was shackled and taken tothe palace. At last, he was face toface with the ruler of the nation.The chief priest pointed his fingermenacingly at the prophet."Get out of this country, seer.N ever speak another word in thiscity. Otherwise you will die. This isthe king's sanctuary and royal residence."The political and religious leaderswere stunned into silence bythe words that Amos now spoke:"I was no prophet, nor was I ason of a prophet."But I was a herdsman and atender of sycamore fruit.


"Then the Lord took me as Ifollowed the flock, and the Lordsaid to me,"'Go, prophesy to My peopleIsrael. '" ow therefore, hear the wordof the Lord:"You say, 'Do not prophesyagainst Israel, and do not spoutagainst the house of Isaac.'"Therefore thus says the Lord:" 'Your wife shall be a harlot inthe city; your sons and daughtersshall fall by the sword;"Your land shall be divided bysurvey line; you shall die in a defiledland;"And Israel shall surely be ledaway captive from his own land.' "And so it was that Amos left theland of the House of Israel, neverto be heard from again in the land.Then, many years later, whentimes came that tried men's soulsand there was hope no longer, theyremembered the words that Amoshad spoken:" 'Behold, the days are coming,'says the Lord God, 'that I will senda famine on the land."Not a famine of bread, nor athirst for water, but of hearing thewords of the Lord."They shall wander from sea tosea, and from north to east; theyshall run to and fro, seeking theword of the Lord, but shall not findit.' "Prophecy Comes TrueThe words above were spoken byAmos to a powerful king of ancientIsrael, Jereboam II. Within thirtyyears after the death of this kingwhat Amos had prophesied came topass.During the intervening decades,the nation of Israel suffered horribly.It was invaded on two occasionsby the Assyrian armies.Meanwhile, the House of Israel,with its capital at Samaria, alsofound itself at war with the southernkingdom of Judah, whose kingreigned in Jerusalem.A third invasion by the Assyrianking Shalmaneser occurred duringthe reign of Israel's last king,Hoshea. At that time, the remnantof the House of Israel was reducedto a vassal state. The Assyriansbesieged its major political capital,Samaria, for three long years.At long last, what God hadprophesied through the prophetAmos had become a tragic reality.God had been patient for manyyears but now the grace period wasover. The House of Israel went intocaptivity. The sad story is found inII Kings 17.But there is a yet more soberinglesson for our day. Bible prophecyis dual. It has its first occurrence.But the emphasis is always on thesecond fulfillment, usually muchgreater in scope and intensity.For over fifty years the WorldTomorrow broadcast and the PlainTruth magazine have been warningthat the descendants of that ancientnation are also being facedwith the same circumstances andwarning.That ancient prophet Amos, whospoke those words in towns such asBethel was looking down the corridorsof time at those of us readingthese words. Today, we are theones faced with the challengesthrown down in the book ofAmos. 05


titZoIiiz'":z:I-"o'"Iit;'":z:I-The State of thePoor and ElderlyEconomic injustices have occurred in every majorcivilization , Recent champions of civil rights haveraised public awareness of the problems, but thishas brought only incomplete solutions ,The wealthy are too often reluctant to give upunfair advantages or to adequately help the poorimprove themselves , The poor have been cheatedso often that they are too distrustful to believe goodadvice when it is given , Many, trapped by social,economic and governmental barriers, confined tourban slums and rural poverty, have become frustratedand angry,In the Western world , the elderly in general-composedof both the well off and the poorest-are notby any means properly honored by a generation ofselfish children who have reaped the benefits of thework done by those now grown old ,Courts and JailsThe prison populations of the English-speaking worldare more than filled to capacity, New facilities arehaving to be built. In some cases prisoners are beingreleased prematurely in order to make room for newprisoners, The poor, uneducated and minorities comprisethe majority of this burgeoning population, Andapproximately 70 percent of the United States inmatesand Britain's sentenced offenders are tragicrepeaters, They are immersed in a prison culturewhere violence , homosexuality and now the threat ofAIDS acquired in prison become a way of life,AlcoholismThe financial loss to society from alcoholism topped$116 billion (thousand million in British usage) in theU,S, in 1983, while providing $12,2 billion revenue intaxes , Ten million alcoholics, seven million alcoholabusers and an unknown number of casual usersspent nearly $50 billion on drinking,Over 70 percent of alcoholics worldwide holdregular jobs, resulting in massive material damage andloss of productivity, Alcohol-related deaths are cheatingvictims out of over 15 years of life, Two out of every1,000 births will suffer the crippling effects of fetalalcohol syndrome , As normal children grow, alcoholrelatedtraffic fatalities will become their leading causeof death from age 16 to 24 , Total alcohol related trafficdeaths exceed 23,000 even in good years , The youngdrink to feel older, while the old drink to feel younger,In short, alcoholism is hurting everyone,Political CorruptionProlonged scandals command attention in the politicalarena , Far more dangerous though , is thechronic , cancerous corruption daily eating away atthe foundations of government. The once occasionalscandals like kickbacks, embezzlements,coverups, and frauds are now tolerated habits,The incalculable toll taken by these practices mustbe added to less obvious corruption such as timewaste, influence peddling , misuse of funds, contractfixing , bloated expense accounts and gifts ofpersuasion,Ultimately the price of a government fueled bysuch practices is passed down to the taxpayers ,A yet even higher price is paid in citizens ' mindsas distrust builds into frustration and despair,


Big BusinessCorruptionRecent scandals involving illegal insider trading onthe U.S. Stock market have rocked Wall Street inNew York and investment firms around the world.Britain 's Guinness scandal has been linked to thetwisted trail of financial improprieties relating to insiderinformation and corporate takeovers. The resultsof arrests thus far have caused a near hysteriaamong traders who have been so involved in corporatetakeovers they didn 't bother to worry aboutwhat was right or wrong, morally or legally.Organized CrimeIn the United States, stepped-up prosecution haslead to dozens of convictions of top organized-crimeleaders, but has only opened the door for gangsfrom other nations to set up shop.In Colombia, global demand for cocaine has ledto the shedding of blood as the government wageswar against a literal army of drug processors andtraffickers.Because of its nearness to the heroin-producingareas of Asia, Australia has increasingly become acenter for heroin distribution. Government commissionshave discovered trafficking syndicates thatreach to some of the most powerful levels of Australianbusiness and politics.Crime and ViolenceCrime is on the rise around the world. In Great Britain,according to the Home Office, crimes of personalviolence rose 72 percent between 1974 and 1984.In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Crime Clock shows that one property crimeis committed every three seconds, one murder every28 minutes and one aggravated assault every 44seconds.Australians cite violent crime as the social problemthat gives them the most reason to worry. Burglaryrates are 20 percent higher than they are in the UnitedStates.Religion in TurmoilMillions in the Western world insist they believe inGod. They say they know he exists-but they do notobey him . Many go to church or temple yet live veryempty lives . The Bible is the best-selling book, yetinfluential church leaders all too often encouragepeople to disobey some of the plainest commandsthe Bible teaches.No one should be surprised, though , for meaninglessreligious ritualism is a tradition older than Christmasand Easter. Many Christians have pretended toworship God-or Christ-and completely or partiallyignored what he taught. They have worshiped onholidays that the God of the Bible says he detests.The churches have served the conveniences of menmore than the Creator of men .


eRevelatorHow many realize that Jesus Christ predictedtoday's chaotic world condition in advance andforetold the outcome of it all?The first verse of thebook of Revelationstates: "The Revelationof Jesus Christ,which God gave unto him, toshew unto his servants thingswhich must shortly come topass ....Jesus Christ was a prophet;Jesus Christ was a newscaster offuture world events. JesusChrist forecast the overall, generalsequence of events thatwould characterize the worldfrom his time to now and oninto the future; Jesus Christ wasan up-to-date futurist in thetrue sense of the term.He talked not only of the mindbending,fast-moving, sometimeshorrifying events to presage hisSecond Coming, but also of a wonderfulworld to come.Blessings to ComeGo to the gospel accounts. In theircontents, Jesus spoke directly of analtogether different kind of societythat would envelop the earth infuture ages.The religious set of Jesus' daythought they had him corneredwith a trick question about marriageand the resurrection. But hedeftly answered their questions byinforming them of the neverabefore-heard-of conditions of tomorrow'sworld.He forecast: "But they whichshall be accounted worthy to obtainthat world [Greek: age], and theresurrection from the dead, neithermarry, nor are given in marriage:neither can they die any more . .."(Luke 20:35-36).Have you ever before heard of aworld in which part of the inhabitants-thecompassionate rulingclass as other scriptures makeclear- can no longer die?Visionary futurists of our daycontemplate a fantastic world witha vastly lengthened human lifespanmade possible by super-replacementparts for worn-out bodyorgans. But how many envision theultimate: "Neither can they dieany more"?Matthew's gospel account shedsstill more light on conditions inthis incredible civilization yet tocome.The benevolent, future spiritualrulers will be those who have executedjustice and judgment in theirpersonal lives. David said: "He thatruleth over men must be just, rulingin the fear of God" (II Sam.23:3).Some specific positions in thisfuture world have been preassignedby Jesus.To his apostles, Jesus promised:"And I appoint unto you a kingdom,as my father hath appointed·unto me; that ye may eat and drinkat my table in my kingdom, and siton thrones judging the twelvetribes of Israel" (Luke 22:29-30).The gospels are not the only biblicalbooks whose contents revealspecific prognostications of JesusChrist in his role as a prophet.As was pointed out, the book ofRevelation is unveiled by JesusChrist himself. If you have a redletterBible-one in which thefirst-person quotations of Jesus areprinted in red-you will be struckby the many prophecies spoken byyour Savior.Further revelation on the worldto come unfolds as you progressinto its exciting contents. Specificrewards are prophetically promisedto specific churches (and theChurch as a whole) in chapters twoand three. "And he that overcometh,and keepeth my worksunto the end, to him will I givepower over the nations [in tomorrow'sworld]" (Rev. 2:26).Rulership-the reward for overcomingsin and doing Christ'sWork-is promised to every Christianexecuting justice and judgmentin his or her personal life.The Bible is chock-full ofprophecies about this wonderfulworld to come. One scripture thatperhaps best sums up the generalconditions of the wonderful worldtomorrow, and on beyond, was spokenby Jesus in Revelation 21 :5." ... Behold, I make all thingsnew." That statement is all encompassing.Our fragile, uncomprehendinghuman minds could neverfathom the depth and breadth ofthat prophetic promise.Following Jesus' example in hismessage to the seven churches, wehave first presented Christ as theRevelator of these good things tocome.But he also is the Revelator ofincredible prophecies of punishmentto come on this sinning worldin the relatively near future.Punishments to ComeJesus was both specific and generalin his futuristic forecasts of varioustypes of punishment for the world'ssins.He directly foresaw the fall ofJerusalem in A.D. 70. The horriblepicture was so vivid in his mind


that he made great lamentation forwhat he knew would befall thatcity (Matt. 23:37).And on his painful path to thecross, " ... there followed him agreat company of people, and ofwomen, which also bewailed andlamented him."But Jesus turning unto themsaid, Daughters of Jerusalem, weepnot for me , but weep foryourselves, and for your children.For, behold, the days are coming,in the which they shall say, Blessedare the barren, and the wombs thatnever bare, and the paps whichnever gave suck. Then shall theybegin to say to the mountains, Fallon u ; and to the hills, Cover us"(Luke 23:27-31).This stark prophecy was fulfilled(at least in part) in less thanfour decades. The historian Josephusrecorded a vivid account ofthe terrible famine which ravagedJerusalem:"It was now a miserable case,and a sight that would justly bringtears into our eyes, how men stoodas to their food, while the morepowerful had more than enough,and the weaker were lamenting[for want of it]. But the faminewas too hard for all other passions,and it is destructive to nothing somuch as to modesty; for what wasotherwise worthy of reverence, wasin this case despised; insomuch thatchildren pulled the very morselsthat their fathers were eating outof their very mouths, and what wasstill more to be pitied, so did themothers do as to their infants: andwhen those that were most dearwere perishing under their hands,they were not ashamed to takefrom them the very last drops thatmight preserve their lives ... "(Wars of the Jews, book V, chapterX, section 3)."Now the number of those thatwere carried captive during thiswhole war was collected to beninety-seven thousand; as was thenumber of those that perished duringthe whole siege, eleven hundredthousand ..."(book VI,chapter IX, sections 2, 3).The horrible happenings of A.D.70 are a type of the even moregrueling events of the end time.Perhaps the whole picture ofthese age-ending prophecies is bestdescribed and brought into properfocus in Matthew 24.The disciples asked Jesus: "Tellus, when shall these things be? andwhat shall be the sign of thy coming,and of the end of the world[Greek aion, meaning age]?"(Verse 3.)Then Jesus proceeded to enumeratea series of general eventsand happenings that would characterizethe times from the first centuryto now- actually intensifyingto the extreme at the very end ofthe age.In AD 70 the Roman armies under the directionof Titus ravaged Jerusalem. The temple thatHerod had constructed was looted and destroyed,the inhabitants of the city scattered.


Among the things Jesus specificallymentioned were religiousapostasy, wars and rumors of wars,natural disasters here and there onthe earth, and blatant religious bigotryfinding its ultimate expressionin countless brutal martyrdoms.Signs of Christ's ComingFinally, the world would be sodominated by sin that even someChristians would begin to lose theirfirst love and .actually begin to betray,persecute, and cause to be putto death their own brethren. Onthe world scene, Jesus warned ofseveral prophetic bench marks toprecede his Second Coming- noneof which has yet been fulfilled tothe fullest extent.1) Publishing of the gospel:"And this gospel of the kingdomshall be preached in all the worldfor a witness unto all nations; andthen shall the end come" (Matt.24: 14). When you see the truegospel beginning to be announcedto the world's nations- when yousee this prophecy in action on theworld scene- you should increaseyour personal world watch and vigilance.2) The Abomination of Desolation:"When ye therefore shall seethe abomination of desolation, spokenof by Daniel the prophet, standin the holy place ... then let themwhich be in Judaea [the modernnation of Israel] flee into themountains ..."For then shall be great tribulation,such as was not since thebeginning of the world to this time,no, nor ever shall be [again]"(verses 15-16,21).Jesus spoke of the vital necessityof understanding this "abomination"in the parenthetical phrase,"whoso readeth, let him understand"(verse 15). It appears toinvolve a great religious leader whowould make his world headquartersin the Holy Land. This event'sgreat import lies in the fact that itis a sign signaling the beginning ofthe great tribulation.3) The Great Tribulation: Jesus-the real Revelator of theBible's last book-refers again tothis unique time in the world's history.Notice his message to theChurch in Revelation 3: 10: " Becausethou hast kept the word ofmy patience, I also will keep theefrom the hour of temptation[trial], which shall come upon allthe world, to try them that dwellupon the earth."This Great Tribulation (an houris a relatively short time in biblicalprophecy) will not be a local upsetdone in a corner of Asia. It will beglobal in range-all the inhabitantsof the earth will be affected.4) Jerusalem Surrounded WithArmies: The companion prophecyin Luke 21 gives us an additionalprophetic waymark to consider."And when ye shall see Jerusalemcompassed with armies, then knowthat the desolation thereof is nigh"(verse 20; cf. Zech. 14: 1-4; Rev,16: 16).But notice that this prophecythen parallels Matthew 24: 16-20as it describes the events justbefore the great tribulation:"Then let them which are in Judaeaflee to the mountains; andlet them which are in the midstof it depart out; and let not themthat are in the countries enterthereinto" (verse 21). Luke thendescribes The Great Tribulationin different words. " For these bethe days of vengeance, that allthings which are written [in theOld Testament prophecies] maybe fulfilled" (verse 22). (Jesusoften used the expression "it iswritten" when quoting or paraphrasinga passage from the OldTestament [Matt. 2:5; 4:4, 7, 10;11:10; 21:13; Mark 7:6; 9:12,13;11:17, etc.] .)The Bible simply does notclearly delineate all these eventfulprophetic bench marks in easy onetwo-threeorder. Nor are the onesmentioned the only ones; there aremany more. The Bible is written"here a little and there a little,"and therein lies one of the reasonsJesus continuously admonished hisservants to watch (Matt. 24:42;25: 13; Mark 13:33-37).As world events unfold, Christians(and especially the ministryseeAmos 3:7) should begin tomatch up the world scenario withthe biblical prophecies.Jesus Christ- the Revelator ofall prophecy and the living Wordthat inspired the whole Bible-enjoinsthe following very big responsibilityon all Christians: " Watchye therefore, and pray always, thatye may be accounted worthy toescape all these things [the endtimeevents mentioned in the precedingverses] that shall come topass, and to stand before the Son ofman" (Luke 2\:36).Believe it or not, God is veryconcerned that his elect (any personor persons who will truly obeyhim and help perform his Workupon the earth) not suffer with adisobedient, God-rejecting world.But the qualifications for physicalescape are spiritual. Hoardinghoney, soybeans and other food staplesis not the right route to take." Seek ye the Lord, all ye meekof the earth, which have wroughthis judgment; seek righteousness,seek meekness: it may be ye shallbe hid in the day of the Lord'sanger," cried the prophet Zephaniah(2:3).A Sermon-on-the-Mount-typecharacter is required. If you developsuch Christlike character, thechances of your escaping the greattribulation are very good.God's anxiety for the physicalwelfare of his people is recordedby the prophet Isaiah: "Come, mypeople, enter thou into thy chambers,and shut thy doors aboutthee: hide thyself as it were for alittle moment, until the indignationbe overpast. For, behold[here is the reason for hiding],the Lord cometh out of his placeto punish the inhabitants of theearth for their iniquity ..." (Isa.26:20-21 ).Notice that verse 21 ties rightback into the Christian's propheticresponsibility: watching significantworld events individually (andwarning the world as a Church) aswell as praying to be worthy toescape the punishments of God onthis sick and dying world.Watch! 010


"This GenerationShall Not Pass .. • "PEOPLE HAVE beenspeculating on thereturn of Jesus Christfor almost millennia. Therewere those in the latterpart of Paul's day whothought the return of Christwas imminent.The apostle to thegentiles had to warn theChurch in his day not to bedeceived by unfounded andunreliable informationconcerning the return of theMessiah." And now, brothers,about the coming of ourLord Jesus Christ and hisgathering of us to himself:beg you, do not suddenlylose your heads or alarmyourselves, whether atsome oracular utterance, orpronouncement, or someleiter purporting to comefrom us , alleging that theDay of the Lord is alreadyhere. Let no one deceiveyou in any way whatever"(II Thes. 2: 1-3, The NewEnglish Bible).Christ Will ReturnBut there is no doubt thatthe Messiah will return tothis earth to set up theeverlasting Kingdom ofGOdl The Bible is filled withprophecies describing thesecond coming of JesusChrist. The heart and coreof the New Testamentmessage concerns HISRETURN to this earth to setup a world-ruling, governingkingdom.The very first messagethat ever came back fromheaven-after Christ beganto ascend to God'sheaven-was that he wasgoing to return to thisearth.In Acts 1: 11, Christ'sdisciples were told : "Menof Galilee, why stand therelooking up into the sky?This Jesus, who has beentaken away from you up toheaven , will come in thesame way you have seenhim go" (The New EnglishBible) .This scripture alone isconclusive proof of Christ'sSecond Coming to thisearth. But, read just onemore, this time in theAuthorized Version. "SoChrist was once offered tobear the sins of many; andunto them that look for himshall he appear the secondtime without sin untosalvation " (Heb. 9:28) .So the question is notwhether he will return, butWHEN!Human speculation aboutthis subject matters nothing.The truth must be revealedfrom God's inspired word,the Bible.Peter, referring to theChurch, said, "We havealso a more sure word ofprophecy; whereunto ye dowell that ye take heed . .. "(II Pet. 119). It is throughthis "sure word ofprophecy" that we canunderstand the truth aboutthe return to earth of JesusChrist.It is entirely possible thatYOU, as an individual, maylive to witness this greatevent! Jesus Christ stated," Verily I say unto you , THISGENERATION SHALL NOT PASS, tillall these things be fulfilled "(Matt. 24:34) .Which GenerationBut how can we knowJesus is talking about OURGENERATION TODAY? How canwe be sure he wasn'ttalking about the generationof his day? Let's get theproper perspective.Matthew 24 records whatis commonly call ed the" Olivet Prophecy". It is sonamed because it was onthe Mount of Olives thatthe disciples of Christ cameto him and asked aboutthe prophecies concerninghis Second Coming and ofthe end of the world[age-verse 3].The whole prophecy isabout the time of the end .In answering the questionabout the end of the age,Jesus foretold a series ofevents that would intensifyjust before his return. Hetold about false prophets inthis end time (verse 5) . Hetalked about war andrumors of war, aboutworld war (verse 6) . Heforetold famines ,pestilences andearthquakes in differentplaces (verse 7) . (Mosthave been occurring for2,000 years, but theintensity will increase.)Then Christ explainedthat this gospel of thekingdom would be" preached in all theworld for a witness untoall nations; and then shallthe END come" (verse 14).He foretold greattribulation and heavenlysigns just before hisreturn .Then to make itabundantly clear what hewas talking about, Jesusgave a parable of the figtree. He said, " .. Whenhis branch is yet tender,and putteth forth leaves, yeknow that summer is nigh :so likewise ye , when yeshall see all these things,know that it is near, evenat the doors" (verses32-33).Christ showed that whenthese great earth-shakingevents begin to happen thetime of the end of the agewill be at hand. Today,these events are beginningto intensify and come to ahead.For the first time inhistory, we're in ageneration when God mustintervene, or there will beno flesh saved alive . Jesuswas talking about our daytoday. He said trueChristians would knowwhen he is about tointervene in world affairs byworld conditions.And he said , " Solikewise ye, when ye seethese things come to pass,know ye that the kingdomof God is nigh at hand.Verily I say unto you, Thisgeneration [during whichyou see " these things"occur] shall not pass away,till all be fulfilled " (Luke21 :31-32).We have the SURE wordof prophecy and it says allthese things must come topass first, and they haven'tall come to pass yet. Onthe other hand, that same" sure word of prophecy"says the generation whichsees "all these things"occur will not pass untilChrist returns to thisearth.


How you can get a better grasp of thisfast-paced world of ours.Which events andtrends in theworld are ofmost significanceas we approach "theend of the age"- the end of6,000 years of human misrule,and the dawning of theworld tomorrow?Most importantly, which newssources are most beneficial andreliable in the job we all have ofwatching world events (Luke21 :36)? What's the best way tojudge the value of a newspaper?And what is the overall approachof the news media in analyzingcurrent events?The Correct PerspectiveFirst of all , when studying worldevents from the viewpoint of Bibleprophecy, one must know what tolook for . We have not been leftwithout guideposts in this vitalarea.The 24th chapter of Matthewconstitutes one of the most importantprophetic passages in the NewTestament. This chapter details thesigns of Jesus Christ's SecondComing and the end of this age.Hallmarks of the end time, wehave been taught, will be religiousdeception (verses 4-5, I I), "wars12and rumors of wars" (verse 6) ,famines, pestilences, earthquakes(verse 7) and religious persecutionand martyrdom for some (verse 9).Through it all , the true Gospel ofGod will be proclaimed with everincreasingpower till- before theend- it will have a powerful impactupon all nations (verse 14).In addition to focusing our attentionon the broad outline ofMatthew 24, we need to keep asharp eye on events in Europe,leading up to the final, IO-nationrevival of the Roman Empire. TheMiddle East also merits continuousnews monitoring, especially thegrowth of religious radicalism.Plummeting morals in the Westernworld, the decay of family life,environmental destruction and thethreat of a global economiccatastropohe show we are near theend of humanity'S profligate ways.We need not go into detail atthis point concerning these prophesiedend-time conditions. ThePlain Truth magazine continuallydevotes considerable space to thesevery trends. (If you are not alreadya reader of The Plain Truth, youmay have a free subscription bywriting to our address nearest you.See the back cover for a list.)Identity of America, BritainThere is another extremely importantarea that opens our eyes towhat to look for. This key is thenational identity of the UnitedStates, the British people and thedemocracies of northwestern Europe.These nations are, in themain, the descendants of the ancientHouse of Israel- the socalled"lost 10 tribes." (It's clearlyexplained in our free book TheUnited States and Britain inProphecy. )The modern-day self-appointed"shepherds of Israel" (Ezekiel34:2) do not understand this vitalkey to prophecy, or they simplydismiss it. They have not "soughtwhat was lost" (verse 4).This understanding is so vital incomprehending world events thatwithout it one is left propheticallyrudderless.Equipped with this understanding,we can readily grasp the portentbehind one of the single mostsignificant trends in the world overthe past three or four decades- thedecline of British and Americanpower and the corresponding risein the military might of the SovietUnion.This major trend affects nearlyeverything in the world today,from the changed power relationshipsin the Middle East to theneed for Europe to unite.Approach of News MediaNo secular news analysts are goingto look at the world from the aboveperspectives of Bible prophecy.But some analysts are definitelybetter than others in helping uswatch world events. Such analystsbelong to what has been called therealistic school of international relations.Generall y speaking, realists lookat the world the way it really is .They are not blinded to politicaland moral evils in this world. Theycan plainly see the various powerstruggles among the nations, theprincipal one being the East-Westconflict centered in Moscow andWashington.They believe that major powersact the way they do because ofhistorical precedence and nationalcharacter and are not likely to"change their spots" and moderatetheir policies.Realists understand that in theworld- which the Bible reveals is


not God's world but lies under theinfluence of Satan (Rev. 12:9,II Cor. 4:4)- lofty, abstract principlessuch as "social justice" and"human rights" are unattainable,even if all people and nations knewwhat these concepts really meant.To the realist, the lesser evil ispreferable to some human-defined,absolute "good."The second broad approach towardthe world and society, takenby many political leaders and themajority of news analysts of thepopular press of the Westernworld, is the idealistic.also called the utopian orliberal, approach.Basically speaking theidealistic school hold sthat human nature is inherentlygood and has infinite malleability. Thoseholding to this approachbelieve man has thepower to make societybetter and better accordingto constantly changing(supposedly improving)human standards.In pluralistic Western socIetIes,on the other hand, a wider selectionof newspapers, magazines andelectronic media is available.In Britain and other countries inEurope, entire newspapers generallyreflect a certain philosophy.The Daily Telegraph. for example,is conservative in tone, in both presentationof news and commentary.The Guardian. on the other hand,reflects a definite left-of-centerviewpoint.The Times of London is middleof the road, politically. The TimesIn addition to focusingour attention on the broadoutline of Matthew 24,we need to keep a sharp eye onevents in Europe, leading upUnited States presents more of aproblem. With the exception ofUSA Today (a bit shallow on indepthanalysis of internationalnews), the United States does nothave national newspapers as doesBritain. Two specialized newspapers,however, enjoy national circulation.The business-oriented WallStreet Journal now has the largestcirculation of any American newspaper.Day in and day out, its editorialpages contain some of themost sound-minded analyses of thenews.The small-circulationChristian Science Monitorpresents perhaps thegreatest scope of internationalnews of any dailyU.S. newspaper.The highly informative(but editorially liberal)New York Times issteadily expanding its circulationnationwide.Americans who do notregularly read the abovesources are limited to lo-Regarding the moral to the final, 10-nation calor regional newspabasisof society, the idealisticor liberal school restson a shifting ground of noabsolutes. The results ofthis "enlightened" approach,cut off from biblicallybased or influencedtradition, are alltoo obvious: the NewMorality, living together,feminism, gay rights andthe drive to "unisex" society-even to unisex theBible.Choosing a NewspaperIn general, the news media of theWestern world hold marked liberalviews, in almost reverse proportionto the public at large.Knowing the two broad approachesto current events analysisshould help us better select fromthe news sources available to us.For some this is rather difficult,especially if they live in moreclosed societies. In these instances,choices of news sources are limited.Newspapers, radio and televisionare often either government controlledor heavily supervised to reflectofficial government positions.revival of the Roman Empire.The Middle East alsomerits continuousnews monitoring ....is regarded as the best-written,most informative newspaper in theEnglish language.Throughout Europe, another excellentnews source is the InternationalHerald Tribune. an American-stylenewspaper jointlyoperated by The New York Timesand The Washington Post.For their own experience, peoplein the United States should scancopies of the Times of London orthe Daily Telegraph in theirnearest big-city library, if for noother reason than to realize whatthey are missing on a daily basis intheir newspapers. Reading theTimes each day is an education.Choosing a newspaper in thepers. And far fewer ofthem exist now than beforethe advent of televi-sion. Television andnightly television newshave all but destroyed theafternoon newspaper inAmerica. Many cities arenow one-newspapertowns.When a choice betweentwo or more newspapersis available, theprime consideration in decidingwhich paper to subscribe to shouldrevolve around the stable of columnistswho appear on the newspaper'seditorial-opinion pages.Newspapers of the same size willvary little, in general, concerningthe hard news of the day. The differencein a newspaper's relativeworth will usually show up on theopinion page. In this regard oneshould note how many syndicatedrealist columnists appear regularly.Who are some journalists of therealist school? Here are a few notablenames in the United States towatch for: William Safire, GeorgeF. Will, Evans and Novak, PatrickJ . Buchanan, James J. Kilpatrick,13


Norman Podhoretz, PhyllisSchlafly and Georgie Ann Geyer.One may not always agree witheverything these journalists write,bu t more often than not theypresent topics worth reading.Beneficial MagazinesIt also helps, budget permitting, toread a weekly newsmagazine in additionto a newspaper.U.S. News & World Reportconcentrates on essential facts andfigures, with helpful, readily understandablecharts and graphs.Regarding Time and Newsweek,personal preference is the key.These magazines are most helpfulin covering major stories in depth.The overall slant, of course, re-mains American and liberal, especiallyin Time.Unfamiliar to many Americansbut respected around the world isBritain's Economist. probably themost comprehensive newsweeklypublished anywhere, usually containingimportant news items thatescape American eyes.Business Week is another finepublication with a good "InternationalOutlook" section on worldaffairs and excellent occasional indepthreports. However, as a businessmagazine, it ranks below thefortnightly Fortune.A leading journal of opinion todayis The New Republic, which ispublished weekly. It often containsthought-provoking articles on awide range of political and socialaffairs topics, representing a fairlybroad viewpoint.Another supplemental newssource worth mentioning is Commentary,a monthly published bythe American Jewish Committee.Commentary is one of the mostinfluential journals in America.The fortnightly National Review,while essentially political intone, often has articles of broadsocial significance.A person may not wish to subscribeto any of the magazinesmentioned above. But one shouldat least scan them, as well as theselection of other newspapers andperiodicals available at libraries.One might come across other in-Television as a News SourceTelevision can be an informativesupplement to your news diet,providing that the newscasts are selectedproperly.Unfortunately, however, manypeople waste hours each day lookingat what they think is news, andrarely watch those newscasts andspecial programs that could reallyhelp.This is especially true in theUnited States, because of the overalldominance of the medium ofcommercial television.It's a pity that Americans cannotview Britain's high-quality BBC newsor similar first-class , noncommercialnewscasts in other parts of theworld.In the United States, the mostworthwhile regularly scheduledcommercial newscasts on worldand national affairs are the nightly30-minute (actually 22 minutes ofnews plus the commercials and stationbreaks) ABC, CBS and NBCnetwork programs.Also seen in many areas is theso-called fourth network news programknown as International NetworkNews, or INN. In addition,many viewers can receive the CableNews Network (CNN) , on whichprime time newscasts are helpful.There are, in addition , supplementaltelevision programs of value,such as Public Television 's Mac­Neil/ Lehrer Newshour as well asspecially scheduled programs. Inthese cases, let the TV Guide beyour guide. Be cautious, however, ofthe newscasts in your area. Theycan be time wasters. All too often alocal newscast is only entertainmentdisguised as news!Local newscasts, such as the 5 to6 o'clock or 6 to 7 o'clock " newshours" are big business in America,generating from a third to a half of atelevision station's income.The ratings wars between thechannels during these time slots arefierce . To stay at the top of the market,a station will do anything tomake its local "news" juicier: scandals,exposes - anything to hookthe unwary viewer.Worst of all , the on-screen anchorpersons("news readers" toour British readers) are hired morefor their good looks than for theirjournalistic ability.The local news game is now socompetitive that TV news executives, frantic in their search for newtalent, resort to high-powered consultingagencies (called " news doctors" in the trade) who maintainthousands of videotapes ofprospective " news stars."Are your ratings slumping? Is yourpresent " news star" getting a littlegray at the temples? Has he (or she)lost his (or her) sex appeal?Go to the " news doctor" and finda new " pretty face"!Knowing that this is the way TVnews functions , concentrate onthose newscasts that present worldand national affairs. Take local TVnewscasts with a huge dose of salt.To those who feel that televisionplaces them on a starvation newsdiet, one remedy might involve thepurchase of a relatively inexpensiveportable shortwave radio receiver.The top-notch BBC World Servicefrom London can be easily pickedup nearly everywhere in the world,together with transmissions fromRadio Australia, Radio South Africaand the English-language servicesof several other nations. 0/14


formative English-language newsmagazines,such as Maclean's fromCanada, The Bulletin from Australiaand Asiaweek from HongKong (which covers the wholegamut of Asian affairs).An excellent source coveringevents in Europe, especially theCommon Market countries, is Europe.It is published every othermonth by the European EconomicCommunity Commission's office inWashington, D . C . Simi larmagazines are available in all membercountries of the Common Market.Also take a look at World PressReview, a supplemental mericannews source that reprint new articlesand editorials from the internationalpress, repre enting a widespectrum of iewpoint.Why not make a trip to the li ­brary a monthly or emimonthlyhabit?R emember that time is precious-weare counseled to "redeem"it (Eph. 5:16). Don't wastetime on the scandal tabloids sold ingrocery stores, nor on most of themany popular personalitymagazines (People is probably thebest of the generally poor lot).Have Sound-mindedApproachOne last area should be addressed:This is the fascination with theoriesthat purport to explain worldevents as a grand conspiracy.There are variants of the conspiracytheory of history, but theynearly all revolve around an elitecabal of bankers, financiers andwealthy capitalists who are said tobe manipulating events internationally with the goal of subjugatingthe United States and Western nationsto the control of a totalitarian,one-world government. The conspirators,it is claimed, not onlymanipulate Western-world leaderslike puppets, but secretly controlthe governments of the Sovietnion and mainland China.Con piracy theory literature is ,in general. ver negative, accusatoryand often anti-Semitic.There i undeniable evidence ofimilarity of thinking (internationalist,moderately left of center)on the part of the majority ofmembers of certain organizationsoften accused of being part of theconspiracy, such as the Council onForeign Relations and the TrilateralCommission.Yet the fact that such organizationsexist and that the viewpointof most of their members is similardoes not itself prove deliberate, calculatedconspiratorial intent.Knowing the fruits of thef1esh- "con ten tions, jealousies,outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions,dissensions, heresies" (Gal.5:20)- it is illogical to believe thatthe alleged conspirators could pursuesuch a unified, single-mindedcourse of action for any length oftime.America and Britain are goingdown not because of the willfulmachination of unseen manipulatorsbut for a compendium of nationalsins spelled out in Isaiah 1 :4-6: "Alas, sinful nation, a peopleladen with iniquity, a brood of evildoers,children who are corrupters!They have forsaken the Lord, theyhave provoked to anger the HolyOne of Israel, they have turnedaway backward .... The wholehead [government] is sick, and thewhole heart [national morale andmorality] faints. From the sole ofthe foot even to the head [meaningthe entire society and all its components],there is no soundness in it,but wounds and bruises and putrefyingsores."The English-speaking world issuffering the national curses of disobedience(Lev. 26, Deut. 28).Let's keep a sound-minded approach(II Tim. 1:7).In this way, and by using thesteps outlined in this article, we'llknow better what to look for-andhow to look- as prophecy unfoldsbefore our eyes. 015


KeystoBibleGod's message in the prophecies of the Bible has beencloaked from the world at large. Why? How can wepeer behind that cloak?Sometimes menacing,sometimes sublimeyetalways vivid and arresting-Bibleprophecyspeaks across the centuries.The eternal God of Israel,himself an author (Hebrews5:9), so infused his prophetswith his message that in hishands they became powerful,eloquent instruments (II Pet.1:21 )." A lion has roared! Who will notfear? " cried Amos. "The Lord Godhas spoken! Who can but prophesy?"(Amos 3:8, New King JamesVersion throughout).Some passages of Bible prophecyare, like Lincoln's or Churchill'soratory, gramatically simple yetdeeply profound.And often God inspired his servantsto use dramatic, artistic techniquesin recording his prophecies,powerful literature, much of itsealing its messages until God'stime for revealing them (Dan. 12:9,I Cor. 2:7, Rev. 5:3, 10:7)." It is the glory of God to conceala matter," wrote Solomon, the wisestman who ever lived, "but theglory of kings is to search out amatter" (Prov. 25:2).16With this background, let's lookat seven important principles thathelp clarify the "living oracles"(Acts 7:38).DualityBible prophecy- yes God's entireplan of salvation- is a prime exampleof the first principle, that ofduality. The apostle Paul explainedthis dual aspect in I Corinthians15:45-46:" And so it is written, 'The firstman Adam became a living being.'The last Adam became a life-givingspirit. However, the spiritual is notfirst, but the natural, and afterwardthe spiritual."The physical creation is only thefirst phase in God's plan; the spiritualphase comes later and is farmore significant.So we have the duality principle:Old and New Testaments; Mt.Sinai and the Sermon on theMount; the "congregation in thewilderness" (Acts 7:38) and theChurch of God (I Cor. 1 :2),physical circumcision andcircumcision of the heart(Deut. 10:16).Isa iah 41 :22 states thisprinciple directly: " Let themshow the former things, whatthey were, that we may considerthem, and know the latterend of them."God inspired his servants touse dramatic techniques torecord prophecy. Here, an artist'sview of prophetic symbols.Some prophecies havedual fulfillments, with thesecondary fulfillment moresignificant than the first.Malachi 4:5 illustratesthis point. Malachi predictedthat an Elijah-likefigure would precede thefirst appearance of the Messiah;Christ interpreted thatthis prophecy referred toJohn the Baptist (Matt.17: 12-13).But notice verses 10 and11 of Matthew 17 : "And


His disciples asked Him, saying,'Why then do the scribes say thatElijah must come first?' Then Jesusanswered and said to them,'Elijah truly is coming first andwill restore all things.'''So although John the Baptistwas the prior fulfillment ofMalachi 4:5, there is to be a latterdayfulfillment, in our time!TypologyCertain events and personalities inthe Old Testament foreshadow orsymbolize those in the New Testament.This is the doctrine knownas typology.In Hosea 11 : 1, for example, thenation of Israel stands as a symbolof Jesus Christ himself: "When Israelwas a child, I loved him, andout of Egypt I called My son."Matthew 2: 15 applies this verse tothe time Joseph and Mary sojournedbriefly in Egypt to protectthe infant Jesus.Strange? Not if we rememberhow nations can symbolize peopleand vice versa ("Uncle Sam,""John Bull" ). Winston Churchillpersonified the "bulldog spirit" ofGreat Britain in 1940, and manytimes the nation of Israel personifiedsome of Christ's actions (Isa.49:3-6).In the same way, David's agonizedcry of "My God, My God,why have You forsaken Me?" (Ps.22: 1) directly foreshadowedChrist's sufferings on the stake.Many of the Psalms reveal Davidas a type or symbol of the Messiah(verses 6-8, 16-18, Ps. 2:7, 12).This principle clarifies manyprophecies about the future. DanielII , the longest prophecy in Scripture,time-wise, is a good example.Daniel I I: 1-20 surveys various politicaltrends from the sixth centuryB.C. to the second century B.C.As most commentaries show, however,beginning in verse 21 a newfigure predominates. This wasKing Antiochus Epiphanes of theSeleucid Empire in Syria (176 to164 B.c.) .For more than three years Antiochusforbade the Jews' daily sacrificesin the Temple, and commandedswine's flesh to be offeredinstead. This was preceded by theslaughter of many of Jerusalem'scitizens. Daniel 11 :31 refers to thisas " the abomination of desolation."Incredibly, though, Jesus Christwarned his disciples of a futureevent with these words: "'Thereforewhen you see the "abominationof desolation," spoken of byDaniel the prophet, standing in theholy place,' (whoever reads, let himunderstand), 'then let those whoare in Judea flee to the mountains'" (Matt. 24:15-16).Jesus Christ reveals, then, thatAntiochus Epiphanes and his despicableactions in 167 to 164 B.C.are only a type or foreshadowing of17


a still more nefarious event yet tooccur in Jerusalem in "the time ofthe end"-this pulsating 20th century(Dan. 11 :40-45). This makesDaniel 11 :31 a key to prophesiedevents in the Middle East. Typologythus helps us understand thefuture (Dan. 12:10).Time LapsesTravelers who see on the horizontwo mountain ranges, one rangebehind the other, often think thetwo ranges are close together. Byism of God's Church as a youngvirgin (II Cor. 11 :2).The bridegroom in the parable obviouslyrepresents Christ himself(Matt. 9:15). So Matthew 25:5 relatesthe condition of the trueChurch following the energetic firstcentury apostolic era: "While thebridegroom [Christ] was delayed,they all slumbered and slept."Yes, God's true Church becamea footnote or, at most, a chapter inhistory! But notice verse 6: "Andat midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold,the bridegroom is coming; goout to meet him.' "Now the prophecy has jumpedahead to our day, a vivid exampleof time-lapse technique in Bibleprophecy! After a lapse of morethan 1,800 years, the Church ofGod is taking on new life, reinvigoratedto announce that theBridegroom, Christ, is soon to appearat the wedding supper (Rev.19:7-9).Understanding the HistoricalBackgroundThe future thrust of many propheciesis often evident once the historicalbackground and past fulfillmentsare considered.Take Daniel 2, for example.Jesus Christ will smash agroup of 10 nations (inprophecy, the toes of a metalimage) at his Second Coming.the time they reach the first mountainrange, however, they see thatdozens or even hundreds of mileslie between the ranges.Similarly, in Bible prophecytime measurements are often compressed.It is not un us ual forprophecies to span thousands ofyears, yet be constructed in such away that they seem limited to onetime period.Isaiah 9:6 is an interesting exampleof the time-lapse method inBible prophecy. The first phrasein this verse states: "For unto usa Child is born, unto us a Son isgiven." This is a well-known referenceto Jesus Christ's birth inBethlehem. Now notice the nextphrase: "And the government willbe upon His shoulder." In justone phrase, Isaiah's prophecy hasjumped ahead almost 2,000 years,from Christ's First Coming as ahumble infant in Bethlehem tohis dramatic Second Coming inpower and majesty to rule thisearth (Rev. 11:15).Genesis 40:9-11 is another illustrationof this prophetic time-lapseprinciple. In the butler's dream,the vine thrust forth its blossoms,grapes shot forth and the juiceturned instantaneously into wine.The parable of the 10 virgins(Matt. 25: 1-13) epitomizes the historyof the true Church of God, forthose who understand the symbol-18Here Daniel explains to King Nebuchadnezzarof ancient Babylonthe meaning of a resplendent metalimage about which the king haddreamed . The head was gold, thebreast and arms silver, the bellyand thighs brass (verse 32).These symbols are interpretedfor us in verse 38: "You[Nebuchadnezzar and the BabylonianEmpire] are this head ofgold." How clear!Here we see the Bible interpretingitself.


Verse 39: "But after you shallarise another kingdom inferior toyours; then another, a third kingdomof bronze, which shall ruleover all the earth."Most historians record this clearprogression of empires from thesixth century B.C. onward: theChaldean-Babylonian Empire (625to 539 B.c.), the Medo-Persian Empire(538 to 330 B.C.), and theGreco-Macedonian Empire.This historic sequence sets thestage for vital end-time prophecies.How? Because Daniel lists no otherempire after the fourth or RomanEmpire that succeeded the Greeks.The fourth system must thus holdsway until the end time and bereadily identifiable today-and itis . History proves it.By 31 B.C. the Roman city-stateconsolidated its rise to empire.From then until A .D. 476 it dominatedworld politics. It was a dividedempire after Constantinoplebecame the eastern capital aroundA.D. 330 (hence the two iron legs ofverse 33).The 10 toes are to be smashedby Christ, the Rock (Dan. 2:34,I Pet. 2:8), and sure enough, Rev.17:12-14 shows the "Lamb" (theprophetic code word for Christ)putting an end to the domination ofa group of 10 nations at his return.Clearly, the availability of historicalrecords to help us plot outhow far we have come in prophecyis part of the knowledge explosionpredicted for these last days (Dan.12:4). History is a useful tool thathelps bring us up to date and let usknow how far we have come InGod's plan."Here a Little, There a Little"Isaiah 28 :9-10 states a cardinalprinciple of effective Bible studystrikingly relevant to the field ofprophecy:"Whom will he teach knowledge?And whom will he make tounderstand the message? Thosejust weaned from milk? Those justdrawn from the breasts? For preceptmust be upon precept, preceptupon precept, line upon line, lineupon line, here a little, there alittle."This principle is restated in verse13 .Jesus said to "search the Scriptures"(John 5:39), an activity forwhich the Bereans were commended(Acts 17: I 0-11). The point is that itis wise to survey all the particularprophecies bearing on a subject insteadof rushing in with a snap judgmentor some instant pet interpretation(II Pet. 1:20).Not grasping this principle,some interpreters have fallen intotheological quagmires in the "beastchapters," Revelation 13 and 17.Speculation abounds! Pseudoscholarshave authoritativelyelected Germany as the leopard,Russia as the bear and GreatBritain as the lion.Why is this erroneous? Let theBible interpret the Bible. The symbolsof the leopard, bear and lionare explained in another beastchapter- Daniel 7. Yet Daniel 7 isamplified by Daniel 2, where thefour great gentile empires are outlined,beginning with Babylon(Dan. 2 :32, 38) and followingthrough to Persia, Greece andRome (Dan. 2:39-40).Thus the composite beast ofRevelation I 3 and 17 is a code thatcan be cracked by the "here a little,there a little" principle.There is logic, consistency andinternal structure in Bibleprophecy. We must allow the Bibleto interpret itself and clarify vaguescriptures with clearer ones.Poetic DevicesApproaching the thought patternsof 2,500 years ago in the HebrewBible or Old Testament in translationsometimes presents problemsfor modern readers.Disease epidemics shall comeon the heels of war andfamine, as portrayed by thehoreseman of Revelation 6:7-8.An age such as ours expects astraightforward presentation in literature.Extraneous material is of-19


ten deleted to fit the time constraintsof today's reader. Hebrewwriting, however, depends moreupon context and various degreesof emphasis and repetition. Suchpoetry consisted of matching, reversingor balancing thoughts.While these literary devices enhancethe weight and force ofGod's message to man, they arealso a means whereby God is hiding,for a time, that message fromthe world as a whole, while revealingit to a few who have submittedthemselves to a way throughwhich they can understand thatmessage.Daniel 9:26-27 is a pertinent example.Here the prophet has arrangedtwo separate themes in"layer-cake" style- A, B, A, B.This is a common device in classicalmusic, where major or minorthemes are alternated, restated andrecapitulated.Notice the first thought (A) inDaniel 9:26: "And after the sixtytwoweeks Messiah shall be cut off,but not for himself."This messianic reference is completedin the first phase of verse27:"Then he [the Messiah] shallconfirm a covenant with many forone week; but in the middle of theweek he shall bring an end to sacrificeand offering."Not grasping the poetic structurehere has caused some interpretersto force thought B ("thepeople of the prince who is tocome") in verse 26 together withthought A. They have tried tomake the prince who destroysJerusalem identical with the Messiah.This does not fit.BlendingSeemingly obscure passages oftencontain interesting literary patterns.This helps us appreciateblended prophecies like Isaiah 7and 8.Here the prophet announces toKing Ahaz of Judah that his (Isaiah's)own son will propheticallyforeshadow the doom of the neighboringkingdom of Israel (Isa.8: 18).Yet embedded in these propheciesrelating to Israel and Judah inthe eighth century s .c. we find oneof the great themes of all theprophecies- the Messiah, specificallyChrist's birth to a young virgin(lsa. 7: 14).So we have two births, two sons,two themes occurring in the sameprophetic chapters. Blended herealso are prophetic references toChrist's rejection by his own people(lsa. 8: 14), his disciples, andthe preservation and perpetuationof the Bible (verse 16).Yet Matthew 1 :23 is sure proofthat Isaiah 7: 14, the passage about"Immanuel," refers directly toChrist's birth, not the birth of Isaiah'sson. The blending of major andminor themes here has masked, to acertain extent, the prophecy ofChrist's birth to a virgin.This approach is "plain to himwho understands, and right tothose who find knowledge" (Prov.8:9). Psalm 111:10 tells us thatthose who keep God's commandmentswill have a "good understanding."That is precisely wheremost people err. Not approachingthe prophecies prayerfully, carefullyand humbly- seeking to acton the knowledge revealed-totallyshort circuits most people's understanding.One major reason God inspiredthese subtle but skillful techniquesin prophecy was to ensure that aright attitude would have to precedeunderstanding (Matt. 18:3-4).The childlike willingness to act onrevealed truth is one of the firstrules of effective Bible study. Unlessthe willingness to obey isthere, the prophecies will remain amystery (Isa. 29: I I ).God's dynamic inspiration of hiswriters often flowed into creative,artistic channels. These devices helpcloak the true message from thosenot yet called to understand andthose unwilling to heed and obey it."Therefore, behold, I will againdo a marvelous work among thispeople, a marvelous work and awonder; for the wisdom of theirwise men shall perish, and the understandingof their prudent menshall be hidden" (verse 14).Yet we who have been given theprecious gift of understandingthese truths (Dan. 12: 10, Provo1 :7) can marvel at the variety and ,diversity in God's revelation to us.Bible prophecy is replete with treasuresthat God wants his chosenpeople to dig out and examine(Prov. 2:1-5).Surely David's exultant cryshould be ours: "I rejoice at Yourword as one who finds great treasure"(Ps. 119: 162). 020


If today's Christianity reallyunderstood andtaught the true Gospelandthe word gospelmeans "good news"- thenthis world would know that thekingdom of God is soon to beestablished on this earth.The book of Revelation showsus what happens when Christreturns to rule this world: " AndI saw an angel come down fromheaven, having the key of thebottomless pit and a great chainin his hand. And he laid hold onthe dragon, that old erpentwhich is the Dev il , and Satan,and bo und him a thousandyears, and cas t him into the bottomlesspit, and shut him up,and set a seal upon him, that heshould deceive the nations nomore, till the thousand years[the Millennium] should be fulfilled"(Rev. 20: 1-3).One of Christ's first acts at hisSecond Coming will be to bind Satanso that the devil can no longerdeceive the world (Rev. 12:9).Then what will happen?"And [ saw thrones, and they[the saints] sat upon them, andjudgment was given untothem . .. and they lived andreigned with Christ a thousandyears [Millennium] .But the rest of the deadlived not again until thethousand years were finished.This is the first resurrection[the resurrectionof the saints, who will rulewith Jesus Christ duringthe Millennium]. Blessedand holy is he that hathpart in the first resurrection:on such the second deathhath no power, but they shall bepriests of God and of Christ, andshall reign [on the earth] with hima thousand years" (Rev. 20:4-6).Jesus promised that the saints- those who, today, allow themselvesto be ruled by God's law,who overcome and who endure tothe end- would be given powerover the nations (Rev. 2:26-27,3:21) and that they would reignwith him on the earth (Rev. 5: 10,Dan. 7:27, 2:44).UTOPIAAT LAST!The CootittgMillelU1iwnGood news is about to fill world news headlines. JesusChrist will soon return to usher in, on earth, his1,OOO-year reign of peace, happiness and prosperity.Jesus will then be "Lord oflords, and King of kings" (Rev.17: 14). Zechariah prophesied that"the Lord shall be king over all theearth: in that day shall there be oneLord, and his name one" (Zech.14:9). Jesus' headquarters will bein Jerusalem (Jer. 3:17), fromwhich he and his saints will rulethe world.At last-utopia1God's kingdom- God's familywillrule this earth in true peace,prosperity and happiness. Let usnotice some of the many scripturesthat describe the coming wonderfulworld tomorrow.With Satan bound- put in anabyss and restrained, for 1,000years, from deceiving the nationswhatwill happen?" H e [the political ruler used bySatan] who smote the people inwrath with a continual stroke, hethat ruled the nations in anger, ispersecu ted, and none hindereth.The whole earth is at rest, and isquiet: they break forth intosinging" ([sa. 14:6-7). Yes, the nationswill break forth into singingwhen Satan is bound. The earthwill finally know peace- no morestrife or war.God will then open, for the firsttime, th'e minds of all people to histruth ([sa. 25:7) . God will begin tooffer his Holy Spirit and salvationto mankind as a whole. Man's verynature- his carnal, selfish orientationtoward getting instead of giving-will be changed to God's wayof giving, serving, sharing, of havingconcern for others equal to orgreater than concern for self (Jer.31:31-34).At last, God's law will be writtenin the hearts and minds of allmankind, and crime, war, sicknessand violence will vanish. Man will21


learn that obedience to God's lawpays big dividends.Mankind will actually begin toseek God- will want to learn ofand live by God's way:" nd it shall come to pass in thelast days, that the mountain of theLord's house shall be established inthe top of the mountains ... and allnations shall flow unto it. Andmany people shall go and say,Come ye, and let us go up to themountain of the Lord, to the houseof the God of Jacob; and he willteach us of his ways, and we willwalk in his paths: for out of Zionshall go forth the law [of God], andthe word of the Lord fromJerusalem." And he shall judge among thenations, and shall rebuke manypeople: and they shall beat theirswords into plowshares, and theirspears into pruninghooks: nationshall not lift up sword against nation,neither shall they learn warany more" (Isa. 2:2-4).The prophet Micah adds this interestingdetail: "But they shall sitevery man under his vine and underhis fig tree; and none shallmake them afraid: for the mouth ofthe Lord of hosts hath spoken it"(Mic. 4:4).Today people live in constantfear of violence and crime fromfellowman; nations live in dreadof the nuclear mushroom cloud.But in the wonderful world tomorrow,"None shall make themafraid"!Man will not only be at peacewith his fellowman, but with natureitself. God will change thedisposition of animals also:" The wolf also shall dwell withthe lamb, and the leopard shall liedown with the kid; and the calf andthe young lion and the fatling together;and a little child shall leadthem. And the cow and the bearshall feed [together l; their youngones shall lie down together: andthe lion shall eat straw like the ox.And the sucking child shall play onthe hole of the asp, and the weanedchild shall put his hand on thecockatrice' den."They shall not hurt nor destroyin all my holy mountain: for theearth shall be full of the knowledgeof the Lord, as the waters cover thesea" (Isa. 11 :6-9).What a wonderful, utopian age isabout to dawn on this planet!What will be some specific effectsof applying God's law worldwide?Then will be "the times ofrestoration of all things" (Acts3:21). Jesus Christ will open theway to the tree of life-the way ofpeace-to everyone (Rev. 22:2,14). God's Spirit of love will bepoured out all over this earth (Joelmuch imagination to see how thislaw of love will bring peace. Withoutmurder, war is virtually impossible.The Seventh Commandmentreads, "You shall not commit adultery"(Ex. 20: 14). Again God emphasizesthe family as the way topeace. Adultery has shattered thepeace of numerous marriages, endingin violence and divorce.In the world tomorrow, hus-Man will not only be at peace with hisfellowman, but with nature itself. God willchange the disposition of animals also ... Whata wonderful, utopian age is about to dawn onthis planet!2:28). Love and peace will be everywhere,because the love of Godwill be poured out in the hearts ofpeople by the Holy Spirit (Rom.5:5).The world will be ready to learnand live the way of peace.The way to peaceLove and peace will no longer beempty words. Almighty God willfill them with substance-with action.For peace will never come bywords alone, but by every act oflove. God will teach people how tolove one another through his law.The first law that brings peacebetween people through love is theFifth Commandment, which tellsus to honor our parents (Ex.20: 12). Today parents and childrenare further apart than ever before,and we are further from worldpeace than ever before.Parents raise dictators and warmongers.Children grow up dishonoringand disobeying all authority,even God's. The result is crime andinternational terrorism. Childrenbecome the leaders who plunge theworld into war.In the world tomorrow, childrenwill honor and obey their parents.These children will grow up to bepeace-loving leaders.Now notice the Sixth Commandment:"You shall not murder"(verse 13). It doesn't takebands and wives will remain faithfulto one another. They will loveeach other so much that adulterywill be unthinkable. Families willreap the peace of this law."You shall not steal," reads theEighth Commandment (verse IS).How many times has peace beenstolen by the breaking of this law?One nation tries to steal (get) thepossessions of another, and war ensues.Once you help teach people togive rather than get, stealing willbe eradicated. Once stealing iseradicated, peace will be given tothe world.Notice the Ninth Commandment:"You shall not bear falsewitness against your neighbor"(verse 16). Imagine a world wherepeople kept their word-a worldfree of accusations and propaganda."You shall not covet ...anything that is your neighbor's,"says the Tenth Commandment(verse 17). This is the law to endall wars. James asked, "Where dowars and fights come from amongyou?" The answer? "Do they notcome from your desires for pleasurethat war in your members?"(James 4: 1). The desire to get is atthe root of all sin.The nations will learn to praiseGod for his bountiful blessings-torejoice with their neighbors ratherthan covet. The whole world willrejoice in thanksgiving to God.23


God's law of love will form thefoundation of world peace.A world of abundanceRevolutions will take place in agricultureand construction. Man willno longer be occupied with war andtrying to harm his fellowman. Underthe direction of Christ and theimmortal rulers, man will be ableto devote his energies to food productionand rebuilding- propgroundshall become a pool, andthe thirsty land springs of water... And an highway shall bethere, and a way ... of holiness"(verses 1-2, 5-8).No more will thousands starve todeath daily, while millions of otherssuffer malnutrition because oflack of food (Amos 9:13-15).What a time of prosperity! Manwill have abundant reason to rejoice(Jer. 31: 12-13, 30: 19).When God restores His law and His way oflife-His divine government-to this war-wearyearth, then we shall have unprecendentedpeace, happiness, abundant health andworldwide prosperity.erly- civilization. God will evenchange the weather and landscapesto promote man's physical prosperity(lsa. 30:23-25).Isaiah 35 gives further detailsabout the Messiah's reign: "Thewilderness and the solitary placeshall be glad for them; and thedesert shall rejoice, and blossom asthe rose. It shall blossom abundantly,and rejoice even with joyand singing... Then the eyes ofthe blind shall be opened, and theears of the deaf shall be unstopped.Then shall the lame man leap as anhart, and the tongue of the dumbsing: for in the wilderness shallwaters break out, and streams inthe desert. And the parchedDuring the Millennium, God'speople will show the nations of thisearth how to build and how to restore,unlike today, when so manyare bent on tearing down and destroying(Isa. 61:4).Right religion and educationUnder the training of Christ andGod's immortal, spirit-born children,man will finally learn andpractice God's way-the way to everyabundant blessing. Religionand education will be inextricablyintertwined (Isa. 30:20-21).The immortal saints will be ableto suddenly appear and rebuke anyonewho goes the wrong way.True religion will be enforced.Mankind will begin to keep allGod's laws, which will include observinghis Sabbaths and HolyDays (Isa. 66:23-24, Zech. 14:16-19). Individuals who rebel againstChrist's rule will be dealt withswiftly and surely.In addition, there will be nomore confusion of tongues- thewhole earth will be united with onelanguage (Zeph. 3:9).And during the Millennium JesusChrist-God himself-willdwell on earth, at Jerusalem, withmankind (lsa. 33:17-20, Joel 3:20-21). Jerusalem will truly becomethe "City of Peace" during theMillennium.The whole world will rejoiceThis earth cannot know true, lastingpeace (Isa. 59:8) until the"Prince of Peace" (lsa. 9:6-7) returnsto this planet and establisheshis world-ruling government.God's Word has much more tosay about what God's kingdom willbe like than we have been able tocover in this article. If you wouldlike to know more, please write forour free book The WonderfulWorld Tomorrow-What It WillBe Like.When God restores his law andhis way of life- his divine government-to this war-weary earth,then we shall have unprecedentedpeace, happiness, abundant healthand worldwide prosperity. Thiswonderful world tomorrow- the1,000-year rule of the kingdom ofGod- will be a time of supremerejoicing for all nations.What a world that will be! 024


WHY SHOULD AUTOPIA BE IMPOS­SIBLE? Whyshouldn't wehave a world at peace, filledwith joy and prosperity, racialharmony and genuine love?God has allowed a six-thousand-yearperiod for mankind torule himself apart from God ifman so chooses. During th i time,God has, in a sense kept handsoff the affairs of this \ orld. Manhas pursued the cour e that"seems right" to hi m.But the new order- THE HAPPYWOR LD TOMORRO\! - will soon behere. thou and years of peaceand pro perit are just around thecorner.]t i ti me you knew about thecoming topia- a MILLENNIUM ofabundant and happy living- freefrom the fears of war, sickness andpoverty.What Do We Mean "Millennium"?Actually, the word "millennium" isderived from the Latin which simplymeans a thousand years. Insteadof finding the word "millennium"in the Scriptures, you will read ofthe "thousand years." The onlyscriptures in all the Bible definingthe numerical limits of this periodof time are in Revelation 20: 1-9.Here is the time setting for thecoming Utopia or Millennium.The apostle John wrote that hesaw an angel who "laid hold on thedragon, that old serpent, which isthe Devil, and Satan, and boundhim a thousand years ... and set aseal upon him, that he should deceivethe nations no more, till thethousand years should be fulfilled"(Rev. 20:2-3 ) .During the Millennium (thethousand ears), the devil does notdeceive the nations. This age weare now in couldn't be the Millennium,because the devil is still deceivingthe nations. Therefore theMillennium must still be in thefuture.Notice what else the apostleJohn says about the thousandyears. "Blessed and holy is he thathath part in the first resurrection:on such the second death hath nopower, but they shall be priests ofTheWondeWorldTomorrowIt is just around the corner-universal peace andprosperity, a world bubbling over with joy and happiness!God and of Christ, and shall reignwith him a thousand years" (Rev.20:6).So the Millennium is a timewhen the saints reign with Christ.The saints help create the millennialUtopia. Who are the saints?Those who are qualifying now byobedience to the Law of Godthrough faith in Christ.Did you ever notice before thatthose in the first resurrection willreign with Christ a thousandyears? (Rev. 20:4.) This meansthat the Millennium can't beginuntil AFTER the first resurrection,because it is those in the first resurrectionwho do the ruling.When Will the Millennium Occur?Now when does the first resurrectionoccur?I Thessalonians. 4: 14-17 declaresthat the first resurrection occurs atthe Second Coming of Christ." ... The Lord himself shall descendfrom heaven with a shout,with the voice of the archangel,and with the trump of God: andthe dead in Christ shall rise first:Then we which are alive and remainshall be caught up togetherwith them in the clouds to meetthe Lord in the air ..."This first resurrection occurs" ... at the last trump: for the trumpetshall sound, and the dead shall beraised incorruptible, and we shall bechanged" (I Cor. 15:52).Since the saints do not rise untilthe Second Coming of Christ, andsince they rule with Christ duringthe Millennium, then the thousandyears must occur after the secondcoming of Christ, and NOT before.This is vitally important becausethere are some who teach that Jesusdoes not come until the end ofthe thousand years. But your Biblesays Jesus comes at the beginningof the thousand years.But what else occurs when thelast trump sounds? In Revelation11: 15, when the last or seventhtrumpet is blown, the dead areraised AND "the kingdoms of thisworld are become the kingdoms ofour Lord, and of his Christ; and heshall reign forever and ever."This is when that promised timeof peace and prosperity begins!Christ is beginning his reign andthe saints are already resurrectedto rule with Christ.But where shall the saints rule?Where Will the MillenniumBe Spent?The last phrase of J Thessalonians4: 17 tells us. After all the saints25


meet the Lord in the air, they shall"ever be with the Lord." Since thesaints shall always be with JesusChrist, then any scripture that tellsus where Christ will be, will alsoexplain where those resurrectedsaints shall be during the thousandyears. Also a verse that says wherethe saints shall rule during thethousand years, explains the placewhere Christ must be ruling, too!Now consider this. In order toreign during the Millennium, theremust be someone for the saints toreign over. Over whom does Christgive the saints power andauthority to rule?Notice Revelation2:26-27. Jesus promises:"And he that overcometh... to him will Igive power over the nations:and he shall RULEthem with a rod of iron."So the saints will ruleover the nations. Andthese nations will beruled with a rod of iron.In the last days of thekings or rulers of thispresent civilization ,"shall the God of heavenset up a kingdom, whichshall never be destroyed:and the kingdom shallnot be left to other people[not to human beings,rather to the sonsof God], but it shallbreak in pieces and con-sume all these kingdoms,and it shall stand forever"(Dan. 2:44).Notice, that it is "inthe days of these kings," not athousand years later, that God setsup his kingdom under Christ- picturedby the stone that smote theimage (Dan. 2:34, 35)- which"became a great mountain, andFILLED THE WHOLE EARTH." Itdoesn't fill heaven, but it does fillthe earth.To say that these nations are inheaven is absurd. Are there suchsinful nations in heaven that thesaints have to rule them with aniron rod? Of course not. These arethe nations of this earth.Many scriptures tell us thatChrist WILL rule on this earth. InRevelation 3:21, Jesus said: "Tohim that overcometh will I grant to26sit with me in my throne, even asI also overcame, and am set downwith my Father i·n his throne." Sothe resurrected saints will sit withChrist on his throne while rulingthe nations.At the present moment Christ issitting on his Father's throne inheaven (Rev. 3:21). He is NOT sittingon his own throne. But whenJesus leaves heaven (Acts 3:21) tocome for the saints t hey arepromised a place with him on histhrone.Where will Jesus' throne be?The Millennium is thereign of the Kingdom of Godon this earth. . .. WhenSatan and his demons arerestrained from their work ofdeception, the earth shall atlast have its millennial"sabbath of rest." Theresurrected saints will judgethe world with Christ ...The Throne of David Is Notin Heaven!The throne of Jesus Christ couldnot be in heaven because the angelGabriel said that "the Lord Godshall give unto him the throne ofhis father David" (see Luke 1:30-33). So Jesus' throne will be thethrone of David. David's throne ison this earth! (Jer. 33:17.) TheFather's throne is in heaven. Duringthe Millennium, the saints shallsit with Christ on the throne ofDavid in Jerusalem.The Psalmist says: "Thou art myson; this day have I begotten thee.Ask of me, and I shall give thee theheathen for thine inheritance, andthe uttermost parts of the earth forthy possession. Thou shalt breakthem with a rod of iron; thou shaltdash them in pieces like a potter'svessel" (Ps. 2:7-9).Here the Bible says that JesusChrist, the Son of God, will rule invirtually the same manner as thesaints.If all these scriptures are notproof enough that we shall reignwith Christ on this earth, and notin heaven, during the Millennium,then turn to Revelation 5:9. Theproper translation of this verse,from the original Greek,is that Christ purchasedwith his blood "men ofever tribe, and tongue,and people, and nation,and madest them a kingdomand priests to ourGod; and they shalf reignupon the earth." (See theRevised Standard Version.)How and When JesusReturns to EarthIn Acts I :9-1 I the accountof Jesus' departureover nineteen hundredye a r s ago is given." While they beheld, hewas taken up; and a cloudreceived him out of theirsight. And while theylooked steadfastly towardheaven as he went up, behold,two men . .. said,Ye men of Galilee, whystand ye gazing up intoheaven? This same Jesus,which is taken up fromyou into heaven, shall so com e inlike manner as ye have seen himgo into heaven."How did J esus leave? He ascendedfrom the Mount of Olivesand was received by the clouds ofheaven. And he is going to returnin like manner.In Revelation 19 we read that,at the Second Coming of Christ,military contingents of all nationsa re gathered to battle againstJerusalem. This same time, theSecond Coming of Christ, is describedin Zechariah 14:1-3. It is inthe Day of the Lord, when all nationsare warring againstJerusalem."THEN shall the Lord go forth,


and fight agai nst those nation... and his feet shall stand in[hal day upon the mount ofOlires" (Zech. 14:3, 4)._ -atice it. Jesus is coming in thelauds of heaven (Rev. I :7) andhall fight against the nations andhis feet shall stand in that dayupon the mount of Olives, which ison this earth. It does not say thatJesus will stand on the mount athousand years later, but in thatday as he returns to receive thethrone of David and to rule thenations with a rod of iron.He Remains on the EarthWhen Jesus returns toearth, the saints will bewith him- they will"ever be with the Lord."He comes in the clouds ofth is earth's atmospherewherein they meet himand then accompany himto this earth. That iswhere the saints shall be.Let's continue readingwhat Zechariah wrote."And it shall be in thatday [notice, it is still thesame general period oftime, not a thousandyears later], that livingwaters shall go out fromJerusalem . .. in summerand in winter shall it be.And the Lord shall beking over ALL THEEA RTH ... all the landshall be turned as apl ain .. . and inhabited. .. And men shalldwell in it, and thereshall be no more utter destruction;but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited"(Zech. 14:8-11).In the day (same general period)that Christ returns, not a thousandyears later, the land shall be inhabitedand men shall live there. Andthe gentile nations, after their entirearmies have been destroyed(Zech. 14: 12-15), shall come toserve Jesus Christ. "And it shallcome to pass, that every one that isleft of all the nations which cameagainst Jerusalem shall even go upfrom year to year to worship theKing, the Lord of hosts, and tokeep the feast of tabernacles"(Zech. 14: 16).The people that shall be left aregoing to worship the Lord year byyear in Jerusalem, which is on thisearth, not in heaven. The Lordshall be King over all the earth(Zech. 14:9). Verses 17 to 19 showhim punishing nations for disobedience.As they sit with Jesus on histhrone, the saints are also going tojudge and correct the nations.None of these events can occurbefore the thousand years, andnone can occur in heaven, becausethere are no disobedient nationsthere.And except for a brief period atthe conclusion of the thousandyears (Rev. 20:7-9), neither willdisobedient nations be in the NewEarth after the Millennium.Therefore these events must happenduring the Millennium and onthis earth.The Earth Is Not to Be DesolateSome misinterpret Isaiah 24 in afeeble effort to contradict thegospel and the plain statements ofScripture. The time setting of thischapter is just prior to the beginningof the Millennium. The firstverse is often quoted as: "Behold,the Lord maketh the earth empty,and maketh it waste, and turneth itupside down .... "Just quoting this much, one isleft with the impression that thereare no inhabitants on the earth,that the Millennium will be a periodof complete desolation. Butwhy not quote the whole verse?What does God mean by the earthbeing made empty? Did he meanthat there are no inhabitants?Not at all! Let's not stop at thisverse, but continue reading this entirechapter.What will God do? He "scatterethabroad the inhabitantsthereof And it shall be, as with thepeople, so with the priest,as with the servant, sowith his master. .. . Theland shall be utterly emptied,and utterlyspoiled . . . the haughtypeople of the earth dolanguish ... they thatdwell therein are desolate:therefore the inhabitantsof the earth areburned, and FEW MENLEFT."Read this entiretwenty-fourth chapter ofIsaiah. It shows the punishmentsto be meted outon this earth just prior tothe beginning of the thousandyears-the completedestruction of civilizationand ''few men left."Remember also whatZechariah said aboutthose who shall be left.They shall go up toJerusalem from year toyear and worship theEternal, who shall beKing over all the earth. Isaiah saysthat those few who are left "shalllift up their voice, they shall singfor the majesty of the Lord [Isa.24: 14] . .. When the Lord of hostsshall reign in mount Zion, and inJerusalem" (verse 23). Yes, Christwill reign on earth from Jerusalem,not heaven, and there will be inhabitantswho shall repopulate theearth.Again, Jeremiah 4:23-31 is alsolifted out of its historical contextand misapplied to the thousandyears. If you will study the book ofJeremiah from the beginning, youwill notice that these verses areNOT referring to the thousandyears. The prophet warns Judah27


that Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon iscoming "to make thy land desolate;and thy cities shall be laidwaste, without an inhabitant"(verse 7). This is speaking of Judah,not the whole earth. "Thewhole land shall be desolate; yetwill I not make a full end" (verse27).This prophecy is NOT referringto the Millennium.This chapter shows that thereare gentiles on the earth who willnot be allowed by God to make afull end of Judah, even though theydesolate the land completely. Versetwenty-nine shows that not a manshall dwell in the cities. Why? Becausethere are no human beingson the earth? No! But becausewhole cities shall flee before thehorsemen of the gentiles.Together with these two misquotedtexts, some turn to II Thessalonians1:8 and 2:8.The first of these verses is speakingof angels who will takevengeance on those that know notGod and obey not the gospel. It isassumed that this text says that allpeople will be destroyed, but itdoesn't say that. It is only thosewho refuse to obey that will perish.The other verse often mentioned(II Thess. 2:8) nowhere speaks ofALL THE WICKED. It mentions"THAT WICKED" whom Christ shalldestroy, "even HIM, whose comingis after the working of Satan"(verse 9). So it is not all wickedpeople but one specific individualthat is to be destroyed.None of the preceding texts describesan earth without inhabitantsfor a thousand years.What Will the Millennium Be Like?Isaiah II tells of the Millennium.The gentiles are going to seek God(verse 10), and Israel and Judahare going to be gathered the secondtime from the heathen nations(verse 11). This could not bespeaking of any "spiritual Israel."The last verses in this chapterspeak of men crossing rivers andhighways as they leave the gentilenations and return the second timeto the land of promise.This is the time spoken of byPaul. "Blindness ' in part is happenedto Israel, until the fulness ofthe Gentiles be come in. And so allIsrael shall be saved: as it is written,There shall come out of Sionthe Deliverer, and shall turn awayungodliness from Jacob: for this ismy covenant unto them, when Ishall take away their sins" (Rom.11 :25-27).Here is GOOD NEWS! Here ispart of the gospel message. Blindnessis happened to Israel, notforever, but until the full numberof gentiles who are to be convertedin this age comes into thekingdom. Then Israel shall be forgivenand the vast majority ofgentiles shall seek God.Returning to Isaiah 11 , verse 4:Christ " shall smite the earth withthe rod of his mouth, and withthe breath of his lips shall he slaythe wicked." At this very timewhen he is punishing the wickedand "reproving with equity themeek of the earth"- at this verytime, notice it-"the wolf alsoshall dwell with the lamb, and theleopard shall lie down with thekid ... and a little child shall leadthem .. . and the lion shall eatstraw like the ox. And the suckingchild shall play on the hole ofthe asp, and the weaned childshall put his hand on the cockatrice'[adder's] den. They shallnot hurt nor destroy in all myholy mountain: for the earth shallbe full of the knowledge of theLord, as the waters cover the sea"(Isa. 11 :6-9).This is a real Utopia. This can'tbe in heaven. There are no humanbeings in heaven. Children are notbeing suckled and weaned inheaven.And this can't be in the NewEarth because there will be nowicked persons there (Rev. 21: 1-4, 8, 27). These events must occuron this earth during the Millennium.It can't happen in heaven,nor in the New Earth, nor duringthis age before the Millenniumbegins. Who is going to tame wild,carnivorous animals so they eatstraw like the ox before the 1000years? This prophecy is for theMillennium. What a wonderfulworld! And each of us can have apart in preparing the way for thisglorious age.Satan to Be BoundThe Bible teaches that the Millenniumis the reign of the kingdom ofGod 0 TH IS EARTH . The Millenniumis not the kingdom; it ismerely the fi rst thousand years'reign of that kingdom on thisearth. Phys ical people will populatethe earth during this new age.Satan is taken from the peopleand bound LEST he should deceivethe nations. If there were no nationsleft to deceive, he would nothave to be bound and shut up in aplace of restraint (Rev. 20: 1-3) .When Satan and his demons arerestrained from their work of deception,the earth shall at last haveits millennial "sabbath of rest."The resurrected saints will judgethe world with Christ, and all nationsshall finally have peace, becausethey will for the first time befollowing that law which "shall goforth out of Zion."Will the Dead Be ResurrectedDuring the Millennium?Some understand that the Millenniumwill occur on this earth. Butthey teach that there will be resurrectionsduring the entire period. Isthis true?They have on occasion claimedthat Revelation 20:5 is not a part ofthe Bible. This verse says: "but therest of the dead lived not againuntil the thousand years were f inished."This text belongs in the Bible. Itis found in the overwhelming majorityof Greek manuscripts. SeriousBible scholars do not evenquestion its authenticity.It is after the Millennium (Rev.20: 11-15) that the rest of the deadare raised. If they were raised fromtheir graves during the Millennium,there would be no need of atime of resurrection after the thousandyears. A Utopia is comingthewonderful World of Tomorrowis just around the corner. 028

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