Welcome back shipmates! What a journey we are on! Though we will head toward home this week, we still have lots of sea to sail and treasures to find, so don’t stow away your treasure boxes just yet!
Today, let’s go to the stern (the back of the boat) and stand on deck. Off the front of the boat, all we see is wide open seas, where it is difficult to tell where we are, where we’re going, or how fast we’re getting there. However, from our vantage point at the back of the boat, we clearly see the wake left be our vessel, giving us an indication of where we’ve been. So, let’s look back at the “wake” left by our weeks of study together.
Week 1, we charted our course and laid out the objectives. Do you remember them? We determined to:
- Be ready for Christ’s return. The excitement that I have seen and heard from many of you tells me that, indeed, you are learning about what to expect in the last days, and are readying yourself as a bride awaiting the Bridegroom.
- Exhort others to be ready. I know you are sharing what you are learning because I continue to get requests for materials from others who you have invited. Your excitement is rubbing off!
- Build a framework on which to hang today’s events. You have successfully begun to understand where, in God’s plan of the end, events are lining up. For example, when you see and hear news about Russia and Iran, do you see shades of the Northern Invasion?
In week 2, we studied the Seventy Sevens and the Prophetic Pause…God’s separate plans for the Jews and for the Gentiles. We know that Jesus, the Messiah, was “cut off” at the end of the 69th week of years, thus initiating the “time of the Gentiles,” our opportunity for salvation. Yet, God is not done with His people! One week of years…the 7-year tribulation…will wrap up God’s plan for the Jews, and will usher in the Millennial Kingdom in which we (believers) will reign with Jesus on earth for 1000 years.
Then, we studied A Covenant Kept in week 3. In order not to get sidetracked in belief, we must be certain of God’s everlasting covenant with His people. There is false theology today that says since the Jews rejected the Messiah, God has rejected them, and the church is the “new Israel.” Not true! God’s covenant is an everlasting covenant and He will always be faithful to keep His covenant with His people.
We saw the evidence of that in week 4 when we studied Israel’s Miraculous War History. What we found is that throughout history God has miraculously brought victory to Israel, not by their military might or brilliance (which they have!), but by miraculous means that only God could accomplish. Indeed, He has proven to be faithful to His chosen people.
In Week 5 the wake of our ship reveals a slight adjustment in direction. Our focus went from past to present and future. Terror from the North was our subject matter and we identified the nations and groups that will one day invade Israel from the north, and we discovered the motives. That day is coming soon, and we see that coalition building today.
Next, we took a look at the Palestinian Problem and Terrorism (week 6). We learned who the Palestinians were and who they are today, what the dispute is about, and what the impact of a few terrorist groups in the Middle East.
Week 7 took us to A Brief Look at Islam and the Qur’an. We learned a bit about the birth and rise of Islam, its prophet Muhammad, and a tiny bit about what the Qur’an teaches. We also identified the differences between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims, and discovered who some of the radicals, reformers and revivalists are in the Middle East.
During the past week (week 8) we looked at various other nations in Bible history. We learned that the US is not specifically mentioned, that Damascus Syria will be utterly destroyed, and that Egypt will ultimately turn to the Lord! What incredible prophecies.
With that view off the back of our boat, prepare to launch into this week’s study, Heading for Home! We’re going to the book of Revelation this week to study key chapters and learn of the fall of the last earthly empire and the demise of the antichrist. Be sure to follow along this week because a special lesson awaits! It is called A Prophetic Look at Fig Trees and Generations, and it may well cause you to look at these last days with even greater focus!
So, with that as our introduction, let’s launch into week 9 together! Enjoy this week’s study.