Do you have the time ? Do you know what time it is ? Our reckoning of time is sometimes based on important events. The way we divide ancient history, for example, is termed "B.C." and " A.D." "B.C." stands for the time before Christ. "A. D." represents the Latin phrase, "anno domini." This means "the year of our Lord," speaking of Christ. God reckons time much the same way. God has had many different time frames or epochs, or ages. For instance, the World before the Flood was called the "Antedeluvian Age." This was a time that followed the Creation Account in the Book of Genesis. The Earth possessed a different kind of climate then. There was no rain for example. The climate of the Earth was similar to a large humidifier. If you have ever ventured out early in the morning in South Florida, you would see great droplets of condensation on parked cars, shrubs, trees, and other foliage. This is kind of how the earth was watered then in that Age before the Flood. That Age came to an end as a result of a change in climate as Rain flooded the Earth, with only Noah and his family being preserved by God.
Noah preaching to the Antedeluvians about climatic changes that would change the earth's climate and would destroy them by the medium of water. Rain had never fallen before from the skies, nor waterspouts erupted from the earth, thus the Antedeluvians were incredulous at Noah's assertions. As a result, they daily mocked and jeered Noah in his construction of an Ark upon dry land.
After the Antedeluvian Age, then the Age of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and his twelve sons, ensued. Then following this, was Israel's sojourn in Egypt, for a time period of 400 years until the Time of Moses and Joshua. This was followed by the Time of the Judges, then the Time of the Kings. The Time of the Prophets started almost concurrently with the Times of the Kings. The Times of the Prophets continued through the captivities of Israel and Judah, through Ezekiel and Daniel and then what was known as the Minor Prophets.The last Minor Prophet was Malachi. He prophesied that a Prophet would come, like unto Elijah.
Because of the disobedience of Israel and Judah, they were subject to the captivities of the Babylonians, Medes and Persians, Greeks, and the Romans. As a result, there was no Prophet nor voice from God for over 400 years. Finally, there appeared this Elijah-type Prophet. He was John the Baptist (right). John started to announce another Time, that of the Kingdom of God. John was also a forerunner for Jesus Christ. Christ also announced this future Time, the Age of the Kingdom of God. This is what is known as the Gospel, or "good news" of the Kingdom of God.
This Age of the Gospel is also termed by Paul the Apostle and the Apostle John, as the "Last, or Latter Days." The Latter Days have been going on for nearly two millennia. However, there has been changes to that. The Very last part of the "Latter Days" is called the "End Times." This is a brief time period, ordained by God, that is just preceding the Return of Christ. This "End Time" Time Period commenced in 1967 when the nation of Israel took the remaining third of the city of Jerusalem from the nation of Jordan in what is known as the Six-Day War. From this time, June 1967, there has been ushered in... 'the End Times." Jesus spoke of this particular time in the latter verses in Luke 21. This is perhaps, one of the most critical, perilous, and yet intriguing times ever to take place. This "End Time Period" is incredibly significant as it precedes the Return of Christ, to set up the aforementioned Time Period, known as the Kingdom of God.
There has never been a time like this Time. It is not on a watch, or a calendar, or in a Farmer's Almanac. It cannot be measured by the ticking of a clock or the movement of an atomic timepiece. It is wholly under the control of God. This peculiar time period has surreal qualities. It can seem as if it will never end, yet speed up exponentially where we cannot keep up. There are yet several "Signs" that give us clues, as people of faith, as where we are at in this "End Time." ONE of these "signs" is similar to that in Noah's Day.... is climate change. This climate change is not due to fossil emissions or man's uncontrolled pollution of the environment... it is a result of Prophecy.
Next time, I will show more "signs of the times" in which we live in.
The Apostle Peter spoke of how the present order , or man's systems, will be held in reserve for God's Judgments in the End Times. Peter spoke of a "World on Fire." ( 2 Peter 3).
....Ask most professing Christians this question... and you may receive a plethora of answers. Indeed, there is amazingly no definite consensus, unlike the early Christian believers in Jerusalem who knew exactly what signs to look for. These "Signs" were given by Jesus in what is called the Synoptic Gospels, or Matthew, Mark, and Luke, in what is known as the "Olivet Discourse," to Bible scholars. Here, in this discourse, Jesus outlined the future for His Disciples by prefacing their questions by unequivocally stating that the Temple in Jerusalem would be totally destroyed... "not one stone left upon another, that shall not be thrown down" (Matthew 24:2b). This piqued, understandably the curiosity and concern of the Disciples, and they asked Him, ..."When will these things be (i.e., the Destruction of the Temple and the Sacking of the city of Jerusalem), AND what shall be the Signs of your Coming, and of the End of the Age" (Matt. 24:3). Jesus then preceded in loose chronological order the Events to follow. He told of many who would come in His Name, claiming to be the Messiah, or Christ. The historian Josephus, tells in some detail, of the many who did this, as also references in the very Scriptures indicate ( Acts 5:36-37; and 21:38...which Commentator Albert Barnes elaborates), that this phenomenon was already occurring.
Jesus told His Disciples of specific "signs" that would precede the Destruction of the Jewish Temple that the Disciples well understood . He also warned them to pray for specific conditions such as "not taking flight in the winter, nor on a Sabbath Day, nor be pregnant or nursing," which might hinder their escape. These instructions were for 1st Century Jewish Christians...not 21st Century Gentiles or Jews who do not observe Mosaic Law to any extent in secular matters.
In these same Synoptic Gospel accounts, Jesus went on to discuss further "signs" that would lead up to the "End of the Age" to the very "Signs of His Coming." In these accounts, Christ talked about the "Times of the Gentiles being Fulfilled or Ended," once all of Jerusalem was again controlled by the Jewish People, which event took place in 1967, following the Six-Day War. This implies that changes have been taking place, in which the Gentile Powers, or Nations, would be somewhat less dominant than they had been previously in their heyday, especially in spiritual matters such as the Presentation of the Gospel and the edification of a True Church. Jesus told of the Sign or "Parable of the Fig Tree." This was fulfilled when Israel became a nation in 1947. Jesus said that when this occurred... that "Summer was nigh..." This implies that the "Harvest" is to follow... which Harvest is alluded to in the Parable of the Wheat and Tares in Matthew 13:25-30; 13:36-43. This "Harvest" is spoken elsewhere in the Scripture, and will precede the Lord's Coming. This is also known as the "Latter Rain Outpouring, or Revival." Christ also stated that before His Second Coming that world conditions would be as ..."it was in the Days of Noah, "... and in the Luke account, ..." the Days of Lot,..." In these respective eras of Noah and Lot, there was little restraint to the wickedness and perversion of mankind, along with the sodomy and sexual license of fertility worship of Satan through pagan gods or Idols, which involved extensive human child sacrifice. Incredibly, conditions are being met for that very same phenomenon today, which is being planned for the near future by the imaginations of powerful and corrupt men.
Jesus had a very busy week before His Passion. Right, first He triumphantly enters Jerusalem, as a future type of King, and fulfills Prophecy by doing so (most notably...Zechariah 9:9). Next, (above) He cleans out the Temple for the second time in His Ministry, by casting out the Moneychangers, or Exchange Bankers, and their commercial lackeys. This is also a type... Christ will be doing the same again,,, during the Latter Day Outpouring,.. removing the Moneychangers out of the Popular Church...as prophesied by His brother, James, in the 5th chapter of his general Epistle. The Modern Moneychangers, called the "Rich Men" by James, though immensely rich, will be reduced to "weeping and howling," and their "wealth availing them no benefit," despite their grandiose plots and long-range plans being almost perpetrated, in making humankind their slaves. Christian Believers are told to be patient until this Great Latter Day Revival, which will turn out these Evil Men and their Machinations... who will be destroyed by the "Lord God of Sabaoth (Armies)" for the last and FINAL time !
Jesus then told His Disciples to watch for "signs in the Sun, ...Moon...and in the Stars, or Heavens...and Upon the Earth" which would cause "distress among the nations," and leave humankind bewildered, "with perplexity; the sea (rising ) and waves" (rising ) and violently "roaring," exceeding their past boundaries. These Phenomena would occur by concurrent events, one exceeding the next, and as such, would cause "men's hearts to fail them for anxiety and fear in observing such things coming and more such coming upon the Earth...."
Thus, it is evident that if these same Early Believers were living today that Jesus had told these things to, that they would, in stark contrast to popular believers today, have a clear idea and uniform consensus on what Signs that they would be looking for and following ....
.... Do You ?
A SIGN OF THE SUN ! ....This amazing phenonmenon captured by a photographer, ...occurred only recently,...perhaps, for the first time....as I have never seen such a spectacle, nor anyone that I have asked before. This is being described as a "Sunset Rainbow." Will there be more of this incredible sight or like it, as we witness MORE Signs in the Sun, as Jesus prophesied !
Next time, I will show some more "signs" of the "last Days...," some of which are more obscure and not well known, if known at all.
<a genius in mathematics, astronomy, and in physics , has been discovered to be a profound Bible student and exegete. Newton wrote four million words on theology alone. This is a singular feat in itself, as this was all written by hand.
The controlled Church says little to nothing about a man who probably wrote more on theology than any man of organized Christianity ever did. The sheer volume of Newton's work, about four million words, eclipses all others. He even reluctantly set a year date for an general approximation of the Return of Christ, apologizing for his temerity in doing so, but explaining that the Scriptures gave enough clues to do so, in his opinion. What significance does Newton have for us in these End Times ? Does his gift and genius extend to our times ?
Newton said a few things about the End Times that hardly anyone has ever heard of nowadays. He linked the Prophecies in Daniel with the Prophecies in the Book of Revelation. Because of his influence and that of Joseph Mede and others, the doctrine of Dispensationalism could not make a dent in Evangelical Christianity until the late 19th century. Dispensationalism, or the Futurist interpretation of the Book of Revelation, was easily seen for what it was, a creation of Catholic Jesuits to counter the claims of the Reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Tyndale, and others. It was later re-packaged to a subverted Evangelical Christianity by the guile of the "Rich Men" to control popular Christianity, so that their agenda could be advanced. This is evident today ...as no one exposes the origins of Futurism and Dispensationalism all the while such erroneous teachings discredit the Bible... which, by the way, is the plan of the "Rich Men."
Newton predicted that in the End Times, that " a body of men will be raised up, who will turn attention to the Prophecies, in the midst of much clamor and opposition." Climate change with related freak natural disasters; the spectre of pestilences... both natural and man-made; prospects of imminent starvation or famine from developing food crises; the outlook of endless war and conflict; continued swift descent into moral depravity and lawlessness, and collapsing public confidence in institutions and governments are generating increasing interest in Bible Prophecy. This interest in Prophecy is precipitating a need for clear and coherent interpretation of Prophecy, not from controlled religious agendas, but from men endowed with "spiritual gifts." Thus, the stage is being set for such Heralds.
Newton believed that there had been an apostasy from the Original Gospel. He believed that a Restoration of the True Gospel was necessary to restore a pristine Church or symbolic bride, to be received by Christ at His Return.
< In the Book of Revelation (14:6), there John describes seeing an Angel " fly in the midst of heaven, HAVING THE EVERLASTING (age-lasting) GOSPEL to PREACH unto them that dwell on the earth, ..to every nation,... kindred... tongue, and people..." What does this mean or signify ?
The Everlasting Gospel is introduced in the 14th chapter of the Book of Revelation. It will be promulgated by the agency of Preaching under prophetic or anointed inspiration. It is implied by the text that it is not a divided Church Gospel. This Gospel is ONE that is preached with authority to all the world, nations, kindreds, peoples, and tongues. It is apparent, by implication, that the kind of Gospel that has been preached prior to this Everlasting Gospel is/was not sufficient nor qualified to do an End Time Work. This Everlasting Gospel is a revelatory message. It comes from heaven and is monitored by Angels to whom it is charged to through the agency of anointed preaching by anointed men. It will effect a worldwide Revival, also known as the " Latter Rain Outpouring." It will also effect several Divine Judgments in the Earth, such as the Overthrow of Great Babylon ; indignation upon those who have worshipped the Beast and its Image ; and the Vine of the Earth : which is all prophetic symbolic language that depicts the destruction of the Wicked and the end of human control on earth.
Newton believed that at the fulfillment of the 1260 year period (Historicist interpreters of Revelation like Mede, Newton, and all of the Protestant Reformers, believed the "1260 days" were "a day for a year," or a 1260 year "Gentile" time frame... based on the Julian Calendar), as noted by both the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation, the End Time Period would be at hand. The End Times would signify a turn of events and that one of these events would be that the "True Gospel" would be restored and preached once again during a brief time period... which would herald the Coming of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth.
Newton wrote, in his estimation, that the... "True Gospel" was not to be preached until after the beginnings of the 21st Century.... and Newton maintained that it would be of such a magnitude of spiritual power, that the then present Protestant Reformation of his day, would be reduced to irrelevancy in the annals of Church history...
What will be the content of this "true Gospel," or the "Everlasting Gospel"? What will be some singular features of this Gospel ? Will it coincide with the "Latter Rain Outpouring," or Revival, or precede it ? I will give my thoughts on this in the next installment.
When Peter (left), preached on the Day of Pentecost after receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, he introduced the fulfillment of the first part of Joel's Prophecy, namely the "Early Rain Outpouring," or Revival, saying " This is That (the Upper Room Outpouring) which was spoken of the Prophet Joel...." (Acts 2:16). The second part, or what is termed "Exhaustive Fulfillment" of the Prophecy of Joel, is referred to as the "Latter Rain Outpouring," and is yet to be fulfilled ! Just as Peter had the Message of the Apostolic Gospel that day, so shall the Advent of the Latter Rain Outpouring have similar dynamics : It shall be an Apostolic, or Everlasting (lit. "age-lasting") Gospel. This Gospel, just as its predecessor on the Day of Pentecost, will be marked by an Outpouring of the Holy Spirit. However, the "Early Rain Outpouring" was only local in scope, first in Jerusalem, and then its later effects throughout Judea. Finally, it was introduced to the Gentiles at Cornelius' household in Caesaria, where they had an near identical outpouring as like the Upper Room (Acts 10:44-45). There was a limited, but further extent of this Early Rain Outpouring in Paul's Missionary forays.
< After the Destruction of the Jewish Polity in AD 70, as predicted by Christ in each of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 24; Luke 21; Mark 13), which included the Sacking of Jerusalem, the total dismantling of the Jewish Temple and its Worship System, and the Diaspora of the Jewish Remnant, ...the Period of the Early Rain was effectively ended...
In their excellent introductory book on this subject , Pagan Christianity, authors Frank Viola and George Barna list several details about Early Christian or Messianic Church practices. Here are a few :
~ The Early Church often met in homes or outdoors for fellowship and Gospel meetings.
~ The Church gatherings were OPEN to all who wished to participate (which the Jewish Synagogue was a model of in this aspect ).
< Jesus preaching in the Synagogue in Capernaum, left, and Paul preaching in the Synagogue in Thessalonica, right. The "closed-door" policy of the Gentile Churches and denominational sects would never allow a stranger like Christ or Paul to speak without their teachings being strenuously examined..., and thus rejected before they ever had the opportunity to speak. This was not so in the early First Century period of the Jewish Synagogue. All Jewish males had the right and opportunity to speak as they wished. Shouldn't Christians be allowed to speak in their assemblies as in the same manner as in the First Century Messianic Church without being interrogated like a victim of the Gestapo by their "pastor." And if not, ...which is the case... then WHOSE Church is it anyway ? Man's, or the Holy Spirit under the HEADSHIP of Jesus Christ ! It is apparent with the lack of the Holy Spirit in the assemblies of "popular" Christianity, that MAN IS, under the headship of the Carnal and Serpent Mind, who always seeks to CONTROL and SUBJUGATE people.
~ Spiritual Gifts were employed by each member.
~ They saw themselves as a family and community in which nearly all was shared in common.
~ They had a plurality of elders to assist, and oversee, by example (1 Peter 5:1-3).
~ They were established and aided by itinerant Apostolic workers.
~ They were united and did not denominate themselves into separate organizations within the same locale.
~ They did not use "titles of honor" such as "Father, Papa, His Holiness, His Eminence, the Pope or Reverend."
~ They did not organize themselves hierarchically (Matthew 20:25-28; Luke 22:25-26).
What ? The Messianic, or Early First Century Church was not originally formed as a hierarchy ? The Christian Church today, is probably the best example of hierarchal leadership, and is how all businesses operate, in the world. That is one of the main reasons that is so stagnant, lifeless, and ineffectual to withstand the rising tide of immorality and depravity in the world today.
Christ's Disciples twice fought over who would be the "Greatest" in Christ's Kingdom. Following the second controversy over this, Christ addressed this issue by comparing their wish with the desire of Control and Influence that the Rulers of the Gentiles, or Gentiles, use in exercising and extending their authority and dominion over the peoples subject to them. This comparison of them to Gentiles proved to be an effective reproof. It was an affront to pious Jews to be labeled or compared to the Gentiles in some excess or fault. As a consequence, the Disciples never again desired authority and leadership over each other.
Yet it remains that the Gentiles, as Christ pointed out, have a distinct inclination and nature to tend to dominate and rule others. This is exactly what has happened to the Church when the Culture of the Church moved from Jewish Messianic influence to Gentile control. Christ taught His Disciples that "whosoever will be Great among you, shall be your minister... or servant of all. For the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister to others, and to give His life a ransom for all " (Mark 10:43-45). But as soon as the Gentiles took reins of the Church, this soon changed, and has been ever since.
The New Testament tells of some basic organization in the Messianic early Church. The churches were formed by Apostles, who when they left to go elsewhere to further evangelize, laid hands on those that were of "honest report, full of the Holy Spirit, and wisdom" to take responsibility of the Work. These men were called "Elders." They had the maturity and godliness to be "Examples" to the fellowship. Paul also talked about the office of a Bishop, in his letter to Timothy. The titles, "bishop" and "elder" were the same office. The term, "bishop" is from the Greek, whereas "elder" is from the Jewish culture of the Synagogue. Another office in the Church, is that of a Deacon. A Deacon corresponds to the same as a bishop or elder, yet signifies younger, active men, who assist the Elders. In Acts 6, the Bible records the calling of seven young men, as deacons, to assist in the ministration of daily bread among the Hellenist and native Jewish widows. One of these "table servers" was the Martyr, Stephen.
In less than two generations after the Destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, these terms, "bishop" and "elder" became altogether different roles, and were defined altogether differently. Instead of being "servants" to the Flock, they were now its "lords" and "rulers." I will examine the new roles of "bishop" and "elder," and several other changes in the Gentile Christian Church from its Jewish predecessor in the next installment, in which I will reveal just what sin Christ "expressly hates" (present tense). It is still going on today, despite Christ's admonition, to the shame of the popular Church.