Living in the Last Days

We just finished a mini-study on the return of Jesus Christ, our Savior and soon-coming King.  (If you missed it, go to posts of Thursday – Sunday, November 16-19, 2017.)  Indeed, our King is coming soon.

While Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 clearly tell us that no one knows the day or hour of Christ’s return, Jesus admonished His followers who did not correctly analyze the present time:

And He was also saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out. And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way.  You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?
~Luke 12:54-56

We would be wise to analyze the present time,  based on what Bible prophecy tells us about end times.  So, what is there to analyze?  How about these current events:

  • For the second time in less than a week, the IDF fired warning shots at a Syrian outpost acting in violation of a 1974 UN ceasefire agreement.  Isaiah 17:1 tells us that Damascus Syria will one day be destroyed.  Whether a preemptive strike from Israel (which Israel may ultimately be forced to do) or ill-fated attacks from rogue regimes, Damascus’ very existence is tenuous these days.
  • Over the past few years we have seen earthquakes and other natural disasters increase dramatically in frequency and severity.  In 2014, NBC reported a worldwide surge in earthquakes.  The NOAA actually mapped out every earthquake over the past 15 years.  Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 24 that earthquakes would be a sign of the last days.
  • On Wednesday (11/22/2017) Russian President Vladimir Putin will host Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  Is it coincidence that those very nations are named prominently as leaders in the War of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39)?  And what will they discuss?  Syria!  The gateway to the prophetic attack on Israel!

Throughout history there have been wars, rumors of wars and other things identified as signs of the end times.  However, never in the history of the world have so many end time prophecies lined up all at once.  Consider:

  • Israel had to be back in their land before the end comes. (ie – Jesus could not have come during the time, prior to 1948, when Israel was not in the land.)  They are back in their land!
  • The northern coalition to lead the War of Gog and Magog are now coalescing.  The Putin/Rouhani/Erdogan meeting this coming week is evidence of that.
  • The world is rushing toward One World Religion.  Christianity has all but died out in Europe and the same is happening at rapid speed in America…supposedly the most Christian nation on the planet.  Fertile ground exists for the coming of the False Prophet and One World Religion.
  • Climate change and the gay agenda seem to be unifying forces in gathering world leaders together for common causes.  This is known as globalism.  The antichrist will appear in order to rule a globalist society.  The buzzword is One World Order, and it is rising.

This is only a short list.  Yet, never in the history of the world have we seen what we see today…the pieces all coming together at the same time.

We don’t know the day and hour.  But friends, we’re living in the season.  Short of a miracle of God (which He could do!), it is hard to imagine that things will not unravel very soon.  As we studied yesterday, our responsibility is to live our lives as a living invitation for others (including Jews!) to come to the fountain of Living Water.

If you are reading this and do not know Jesus Christ personally, today is the day!  Jesus came the first time to die for your sins, and to raise from the grave to win the victory over death.  He will come again to take you home to be with Him forever IF you belong to Him.  If not…the tribulation awaits.

A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is simple:

  • Recognize you are a sinner.  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)
  • Recognize that Jesus Christ died for you.  God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8)
  • Repent of your sins.  Repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.  (Romans 10:9-10, Acts 3:19)
  • Receive Jesus Christ into your life.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.  (Revelation 3:20)

Why not surrender to Jesus and invite Him into your life.

Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and cannot save myself.  I know you died for all the wrong things I have done, and I thank you for your forgiveness.  I want to turn from my sins and open the doors of my heart and my life to You.  Please come in and make Yourself at home in me.  Thank You for coming in to be my Lord and Savior.  Thank you for saving me!  Amen

After you’ve prayed that prayer, tell a Christian friend and seek out a good Bible-teaching church where you can be fed.  God loves you and desires that you grow in His grace and knowledge.  Blessings…and welcome to the family of God!

See you in our heavenly home!

The Spirit and the Bride say “Come!”

Ahhhh…finally!  I’ve been waiting to share this because it just gives me “God bumps” to think of all that we’ve studied.  If you haven’t been with us over the past few days, this will have no impact without the foundation.  So please catch up on these posts before proceeding today:

The Bible tells us that Jesus will not return until His people invite Him back with these words: Baruch haba b’shem Adonai!  (Transliterated Hebrew meaning, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!)  (Matthew 23:39)

But we just learned that Revelation 22:17 may provide a clue as to what we, as believers, will say:  “Come!”

The Millennial Kingdom…the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant…the Feast of Tabernacles will undoubtedly be the grandest time of worship and celebration every known to mankind.  In fact, we’ll be in our glorified bodies, so “mankind” has no clue what it will be like!  Nonetheless, I like to think about “practicing” for that day of worship to our King.

Here is a fitting video that leads me straight into the presence of the King!  I hope it leads you there too!  Enjoy…and see you in the Kingdom!

Welcome the King Home!

Welcome back to the study table, friends!  I hope you’ve come with expectations of the Lord’s blessings.  That is what I’ve prayed for over the past few days, and I know He is faithful to deliver!

If you are just finding your way to this page, you are jumping in at the end of a mini-series, but welcome aboard!  The good news is that you can catch up by going back to these previous lessons:

We were reminded yesterday of how Gentiles were grafted into the Olive Tree.  While we never become Jews naturally, we join together spiritually to become one with all those who are descendants of Abraham via faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

But now, we’re focusing on the return of King Jesus.  God promised Abraham a kingdom, but little did anyone know what the kingdom would entail!  It is a worldwide kingdom in which there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles.  (Galatians 3:28)  Indeed, we’re talking about the Millennial Kingdom and fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant.  That fulfillment requires the return of Jesus physically to earth to set up that kingdom.

We have learned that Jesus is a gentleman and will not force Himself upon His people. But rather, at some point they will invite Him back, as stated in Matthew 23:39:

“For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

The Lord longs to hear those words, but do you realize those are the very words spoken as He entered Jerusalem prior to His crucifixion?  Indeed!  Take a look at Mark 11:9-10:

Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting:
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David;
Hosanna in the highest!”

Whoa…did you catch that!  Not only were the Jews welcoming Jesus with the very words that they will repeat when He returns, but notice what they believed was on the horizon: the kingdom of David!  The Davidic Covenant…the Millennium!  The Jews would ultimately reject Jesus, and so that became only the preparation for the Davidic Covenant that would not be fulfilled for centuries.  In fact, it is not fulfilled yet…but it will be soon!

Here is where we must know the difference between the “finish line” for believers and the “finish line” for unbelieving Jews.  See, the Bible teaches us that the rapture will happen before the tribulation, and all believers will be snatched from the earth to meet the Lord in the air. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)  For unbelieving Jews (who will not be raptured), the “finish line”…the coming of the Messiah…is actually the Glorious Appearing.  It occurs AFTER the tribulation.  It is at that point the Davidic Covenant will be fulfilled.

Make no mistake, God has not forgotten the promise He made to His people in Zechariah 9:9:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Though Jesus fulfilled that prophecy by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey that fateful Palm Sunday, the Jews did not receive Him as Messiah.  Despite that, God WILL fulfill the promise that their King will come.  He is awaiting the invitation!

Here is where it gets good!  The Jews will welcome him with these words: Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!  (Matthew 23:39)  But, do you recall my remark a couple days ago about it being a team effort?  Gentile friends, WE have a part in this!

Recall Revelation 22:16, where we learned that Jesus is the Bright and Morning Star who rises in our hearts?  Well, guess what…verse 17 reveals our part of this stupendous event.

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we are the bride.  We join with the Spirit of God in saying, “Come!”  It is an invitation for all to come, and to meet the Bridegroom!  It is our opportunity to invite God’s chosen people to come to the Feast! We are to be persistent.  We are watchmen on the wall, we are prayer warriors for the sake of the Jews and we are to live our lives in such a way that it provokes the Jews to jealousy!  We have their Messiah and we must share Him!

So, I think of it as a two part chorus: believing Jews and Gentiles singing, “Come!” And unbelieving Israel recognizing and inviting their Messiah back with the words “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”  May our choruses join until we are finally together at the Feast of Tabernacles (Millennial Kingdom) celebrating together in worship to the King of Kings!

Certainly, we can only imagine what that day will be like.  However, I like to imagine “practicing” on earth, how about you!?!  Come back later today because I have something special for you!  (Sorry…my live class gets first crack at it!  But once we’re done I’ll post it!)  Come back and be blessed!

Inviting the King Home

Welcome back Bible students!  We’re in day 2 of a short series regarding the return of King Jesus.  This is part of a larger Bible study I’m teaching live at Calvary Community Church in Phoenix AZ.  (Info here…all are welcome.)  I hope you enjoy this short online version!

If you missed yesterday’s introduction, you may want to check out Conditions of the King’s Return before moving on, as we discussed the 3 conditions that must be met for King Jesus to return.  Moving right along…

Jesus refers to Himself as both “Son of God” (Matthew 16:15-17) and “Son of Man” (Luke 22:66-71) in the New Testament.  I believe that is to help us understand that He is both 100% God and 100% man…an impossibility for anyone else!  However, in Revelation 22:16 He says, “I am the Root and Offspring of David.”  What’s that about?  Well, we know Jesus is a descendant of David (Matthew 1:1-17).  But did you know David was a forerunner of Jesus?  Just as Isaac on the sacrificial altar was a picture of Jesus, David is a picture of Jesus.

Why is that important?  Because we’re talking about the Davidic Covenant, the covenant of triumph!  Who triumphs?  And who sits on the throne during the Davidic Covenant?  Jesus Christ!  He will reign from Jerusalem, and the Bible says that people will come up year to year to worship and celebrate at the Feast of Tabernacles!  (Jeremiah 3:17, Zechariah 14:16)

But…King Jesus must be invited back!  In 2 Samuel 19, King David had fled the city, over the Mount of Olives, to weep and mourn over great loss.  (Jesus also wept over the city from the Mount of Olives!)  David was king and his people were slow to bring him home after the tragedy of losing his son.  Likewise, the Jewish people are slow to bring King Jesus home after His sacrifice on the cross!

As Jesus approached that fateful day when He would die for the sins of the entire world, He tarried on the Mount of Olives, where He lamented:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.  Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!  For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
~Matthew 23:37-39

Do you hear the agony?  Do you feel the pain?  Jesus wept, not because of what He was about to face physically, but what His people were about to miss spiritually.  They missed the day of their visitation, according to Luke 19:44.

But there is something else critically important in that passage: Jesus will not return until He hears the words, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”  THAT is His invitation back.  He is a gentleman and will not “barge in” on His people, but rather, will await their invitation.

But wait…there’s more!  Remember Revelation 22:16, where Jesus introduces Himself as the Root and Offspring of David?  Well, read the entire verse!

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

He is also the bright morning star!  Revelation 2:26-28 says that to those who overcome, He (Jesus) will give him the morning star.  2 Peter 1:19 tells us that the morning star will rise in our hearts!  Hmmm…kinda sounds like King Jesus has a part for us Gentiles to play in His return as well.  But that’s for another day!  Come back for that.

Meanwhile, focus with me.  Jesus is awaiting an invitation from the Jewish people to return home.  He longs to hear, “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai”….Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

Prayer warriors, that’s a prayer point if I even saw one!  Will you join me in praying that the Jewish people will welcome their King home…that Jesus will soon hear, “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai!”  (That’s the Hebrew transliteration of “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”)

Jesus…save!  Then, please come quickly!

(To be continued tomorrow!  See you then!)