THE GOOD NEWS MINISTRY AND MISSIONS OUTREACH PROCLAIMING THE GOOD NEWS OF THE SOON RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST!
1. GOD'S PRESENT PROGRAM
Everyone is interested in the future. The little boy wonders what he will be when he grows up. The teen-ager dreams of her "prince charming" - what will he be like? The athlete is concerned whether he will make the team or not.
The nation listens to the economists who predict the future of the dollar and inflation. The sociologist warns of further racial strife unless educational opportunities are improved. And everyone is interested in tomorrow's weather.
All of these, however, may give rise to reasonable doubts and disappointments. Yet, there is a definite word about the future as sure as the present and as foundational as the past. It is found in God's Word, the Bible. Our God is omniscient and knows everything - the past, the present, and the future. Moreover, He has chosen to reveal much of the future to us.
God tells us in 2 Peter 1:19:"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." We are living in dark days: dark morally and spiritually, dark nationally and internationally, dark politically and economically. Prophecy gives light on the path before us. The prophetic word is the only ray of light by which we can know the future. The outlook is dark, but uplook is bright.
Prophecy is an incentive to holy living and service to God. We read in 1 John 3:2-3: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope (of Christ's coming) in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." The blessed hope for every believer is a call to godliness and holy living.
The coming of the Lord as taught in the Bible is PREMILLENNIAL. The word "millennium" comes from the Latin words mille meaning thousand and annus meaning year. Such a designated time is found six times in Revelation 20. The prefix "pre" before the word "millennial" refers to Christ's coming BEFORE the millennium. At the close of this age of Grace, Christ will return IN THE AIR for His Church. This event will usher in the seven year period of Great Tribulation upon the earth.
Premillennialists teach that when Christ returns TO THE EARTH, at the close of the Great Tribulation, He will set up His Kingdom as promised to David. Christ's second coming in power and great glory is the beginning of His one-thousand-year earthly rule upon the earth.
This simply means that the Church will be raptured before the tribulation begins. Those who hold this view are called PRETRIBULATIONISTS. We believe in the imminent (any moment) return of our Lord. There are no promises awaiting fulfillment before His coming. Among premillennial pretribulationists there is a general agreement on the order of future events as follows:
1. Increase in apostasy as this age comes to a close (1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-5).
2. The setting of the stage for the Tribulation Period by such signs as "the days of Noah" (Matt. 24:37), "the days of Lot" (Luke 17:28), "wars and rumours of wars" (Mark 13:7), "earthquakes ... famines, and pestilence" (Luke 21:11), and the formation of the ecumenical-charismatic "whore" church of Revelation 17.
The word "pestilence" is defined in a good dictionary as: "Any ontagious or infectious epidemic disease; the pest." The word "pest" is described as: "A fatal epidemic disease, specifically the plague." In the end time there will be many pestilences and I believe that the current AIDS plague is one of the signs of our Lord's return.
Another view commonly held today is the POSTTRIBULATION RAPTURE THEORY. It teaches that the Church will be raptured at the close of the tribulation which means that the Church must go through the Great Tribulation. This is the view of practically all AMILLENARIANS and POSTMILLENARIANS.
The Rock Church Movement today promotes these two teachings:
1. The Church is going through the Great Tribulation, and,
- 2. The Church is here to bring in the Kingdom. No distinction is made between Christ's coming FOR His own in the Rapture and His coming to earth WITH His own to establish the Kingdom.
The whole Kingdom teaching is illustrated by Pat Robertson of the 700 Club who said: "What's coming next? ... I want you to think of a world with a school system where humanism is not taught anymore and people sincerely believe in the living God ... a world in which there are no more abortions ... the prisons are virtually empty. And I want you to imagine a society where the church members have taken dominion over the forces of the world, where Satan's power is bound by the people of God ... You say, that's a description of the Millennium when Jesus comes back ... but these things can take place now in this time ... and they are going to because I am persuaded that we are standing on the brink of the greatest spiritual revival the world has ever known."
The belief that Christians are going to take over the world and present it as a flawless and polished jewel to Jesus is widespread today. This is known as EVANGELISM 2000 and it is the goal of the Protestant and Catholic leaders of our time.
There is a vast difference between Kingdom teaching and true Bible teaching relating to the Rapture. One says that the world will gradually improve through the prayerful attitudes and witness of the Christian population. One Rock Church preacher said: "We Christians will finally take over the world and present it to the Lord Jesus Christ."
The Bible teaches that the world will deteriorate and that the professing church will become apostate regarding Bible truth right up to the time of the Rapture. Then will come the Great Tribulation which will be followed by the Millennial reign of Christ upon the earth.
The Kingdom Age Movement refers to itself as Restoration, Restitution, Manifest Sons, Rebuilding the Tabernacle of David, Third Wave Theology, Dominion Now Theology, Social Gospel, New Wave Revival, Kingdom Now, and other such titles. But not all who use these terms are part of the Kingdom Age Movement.
The Kingdom Age message is a stirring message. It promises success- and everyone wants to be successful. It features prosperity - and most would like to be wealthy. It is based on Humanism or personal human dreams rather than truth as it is found in the Bible.
The world as we know it today is getting ready for the Great Tribulation. It is morally, spiritually, and financially bankrupt. There is crime, chaos, and confusion everywhere. We are face to face with a world crisis in politics, in business, and in morals. The masses are restless and dissatisfied. The nations of the world have forsaken and forgotten God. Man's millennium, like his evolutionary pyramid of development is now in the process of disintegration and is collapsing before our eyes. Every form of government has been tried and has failed. Human wisdom and education have failed. World problems are too complex and perplexing for human hands and human brains to solve. There is no hope for humanity apart from the return of our Lord. Not until the Prince of Peace descends in all His glory will the Kingdom be established. Not until then will the nations "beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks" (Isa. 2:4).
We are not here to bring in the Kingdom. We are here to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.
There are those who believe the MIDTRIBULATION RAPTURE THEORY. They teach that the Church will pass through the first half of the Great Tribulation Period. Here the Great Tribulation is regarded as commencing with the outpouring of the wrath of God upon the world as described in Revelation Chapters 16-18.
Another widespread view among reformed theologians is that of AMILLENNIALISM which denies a future literal reign of Christ upon the earth in fulfillment of the Old Testament promises of God. They teach that there will be a parallel and contemporaneous development of good and evil - God's kingdom and Satan's kingdom - in this world, which will continue until the second coming of Christ. At the second coming of Christ the resurrection and judgment will take place, followed by the eternal order, the Kingdom of God.
Both the Amillennialists and postmillennialists reject the dispensational teaching of the Bible, and in its place substitute what is known as Covenant Theology. This teaches that the whole of Scripture embraces only two covenants: The covenant of works and the covenant of grace.
The covenant of works was an agreement between God and Adam. God promised him life for obedience and death for disobedience. Adam and his descendants - mankind - failed. To save man from the penalty of his disobedience the covenant of grace became operative. It is an agreement between the offended God and the offending but elect sinner in which God promises salvation through Christ.
2. THE STAGE IS SET
The Bible clearly teaches that we cannot know exactly the day nor the hour of the Lord's return: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only"(Matt. 24:36). Therefore, no Christian can set dates for the coming of our Lord. But we can however read, "The Signs Of The Times". We can know when we are in the ballpark.
At the same time, we know the stage is being set for this blessed occurrence. Jesus said in Luke 21:28:"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth night." When the "these things" of Scripture correspond to current events, we know that His coming is at hand.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:37:"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." When we study Genesis 6 we find four characteristics on the earth in Noah's day:
(1) The wickedness of man was great in the earth.
- (2) Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
- (3) The earth was corrupt before God.
- (4) The earth was filled with violence.
When we compare these conditions of Noah's day with those of our day we see the similarities and know that the Lord's coming draweth nigh.
Jesus adds to this description in Matthew 24:38,39: "For as in the days that were before the flood that were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
When we look out upon our present generation we see a repeat of the conditions of Noah's day - the wickedness of man, the evil thoughts of his heart, moral corruption, violence everywhere, eating and drinking as the national pastime, marrying and giving in marriage as the accepted way of life.
One of man's tragic weaknesses is his failure to benefit from the lessons of history. Not the least was the famous historian Edward Gibbon, who dedicated many years of his life to future generations by his precise research into the causes and effects of social change.
In his classic book, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, he cited five primary causes for the deterioration of that historic society:
(1) The rapid increase of divorce and undermining of the sanctity of the home.
- (2) The spiraling rise of taxes and extravagant spending.
- (3) The mounting craze for pleasure and the brutalization of sports. [XFL,WWF] etc.
- (4) The building of gigantic armaments and the failure to realize that the real enemy lay within the gates of the empire in the moral decay of the people.
- (5) The decay of religion and the fading of faith into a mere form, leaving the people without any guide.
These conditions that existed in the early Roman Empire exist today in our own land and they are very similar to the conditions of Noah's day, which truly point to the coming of our Lord.
Just as God destroyed the world in Noah's day, He will one day bring judgment upon this sin-sick, rebellious, wicked, godless, pleasure-mad, humanistic, business obsessed, money grabbing, politically corrupt, atheistic, evolutionary, apostate, religious, devil-empowered, sexually oriented, drugged-up, booze-guzzling, covetous, boastful, proud, blaspheming, unthankful, anti-God and Christ-rejecting world in which we live.
God is going to bring judgment upon this world. Psalm 9:17: "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." God warned His people in Deuteronomy 8:11,19:"Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God ... And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish."
God is going to bring judgment upon this nation because it has become materialistic. Deuteronomy 8:12-14,19:"Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses ... and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied ... and thou forget the Lord thy God ... I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish."
God is going to bring judgment upon this nation because it has rejected the Word of the Lord. Proverbs 13:13: "Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed." Our nation hates the truth of the Bible.
God is going to bring judgment upon this nation because of its wickedness, just as He did in the days of Noah. In Psalm 21:8-10 I read: "Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the Lord shall swallow them up in His wrath, and the fire shall devour them. Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men."
God is going to bring judgment upon this nation because of its pride. One of the four sins which caused the destruction of Sodom was pride according to Ezekiel 16:49: "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." Pride was the first sin mentioned. The correct understanding of Sodom is that of a proud, self-satisfied, materialistic society, acting with callous inhospitality to man and, at the same time, rejecting the true worship of God.
Leonard Ravenhill says this about Sodom and our nation: "Sodom had no Bibles. Sodom had no preachers. Sodom had no tracts. Sodom had no prayer meetings. Sodom had no churches, and Sodom perished. How will America and Canada and England be spared from the wrath of the Almighty? We have millions of Bibles, scores of thousands of churches, and endless preachers. And yet what sin!"
God is going to bring judgement upon this nation because it has become sexually obsessed. Sodom and Gomorrha were completely destroyed for "giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh" which is homosexuality, and they "are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire"(Jude 7).
Peter tells us in 2 Peter 2:6 that God, by "turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly."
Without a doubt, the god of our nation is materialism and its goddess is sex. We have what is called the new morality which is no different from the old immorality. The old taboos are dead or dying. A new, more permissive society is in our midst. We have the increase of nudity, sexual frankness on every hand, obscene language, the power of the devil in rock music, anti-God wickedness on TV and radio talk shows, and a society that has lost its conscience on premarital sex and open adultery.
What does God say about the wrongful use of sex? "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Ex.20:14; Matt.5:27). "Flee fornication" (1 Cor.6:18). "For this is the will of God ...that ye should abstain from fornication"(1 Thess. 4:3). "Flee also youthful lusts"(2 Tim.2:22)."Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge"(Heb. 13:4).
God is going to bring judgment upon this nation because it has become apostate. 2 Peter 2:1: "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."
When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, he testified and exhorted the people, saying: "Save yourselves from this untoward generation" (Acts 2:40). This is a crooked, perverse, wicked, unjust generation, and it is headed for God's judgement. But God will save any person who believes the Good News of the Gospel: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved"(Acts 16:31).
3. THREE WORLDS
In 2 Peter, Chapter 3, we have recorded the fact of three worlds:
1. "The world that then was"(verse 6).
- 2. "The heavens and the earth, which are now"(verse 7).
- 3. "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (verse 13).
We have here the past world, the present world, and the world to come. remembrance, that we may be mindful of the words of the Old Testament prophets, and those found in the New Testament Scriptures.
In verse 5, Peter, speaking of the original creation, says: "By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water." How did the world come into being? By evolution? By chance? Absolutely not! The eternal God commanded and the world came into existence.
We have the same teaching in Psalm 33:6,9: "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth...For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." at least nine times in Genesis Chapter One, we read:
"And God said" in relation to creation (verses 3,6,9,11,14,20,24,26, and 29). The end result was: "And it was so."Hebrews 11:3 tells us: "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God."
Just as it was in Peter's day, even so is it today. 2 Peter 3:3: "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts." People today are "willingly ignorant" of the truth regarding creation (vs.5). We live in a smart generation when, sad to say, most people are walking after their own lusts, enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season, living for self, and teaching our young people the damnable heresies of evolutionary nonsense. God tells all Christians in 1 Timothy 6:20 to avoid "vain babblings, (or emply voices), and oppositions of science falsely so called."
When the smart people of our day, the intelligentsia, strut about with the empty messages, it is because they willingly choose such teaching. They are living for the Devil and serve him. You may not agree with the Bible, but if you are honest, you will acknowledge that this is what the Bible teaches. God's Word is just as up-to-date as it was in Peter's day.
Naturalism, materialism, socialism, communism, atheism, agnosticism, humanism, liberalism, are all based on the phoney teaching of evolution. The evolutionist is determined that Christianity must be put down. He wants to bring to an end all teaching of the Saviour, of His miracles, of His virgin birth, of His resurrection, and of His coming again. Evolution teaches that man "evolves higher." Is this so? No! The Bible teaches that man rises higher ONLY when he finds "higher ground" spiritually in Christ.
The evolutionary world is without a foundation. Evolution is a fraud, a rope of sand, a chain of fog, a bridge of mist. We are living in a time of trouble and of night. The lights are everywhere going out. They go out as man loses the truth of the Bible. Christian, stay true to God. Hold fast to the Word. Science, falsely so-called, has no answers for the true needs of mankind.
We should notice also that Peter tells us that this past world was condemned by God: "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished" (vs. 6). This took place in Noah's day. God looked down upon the world and saw the sin, the rebellion, and the lawlessness of the anti-God and anti-Bible multitudes. Jesus said in Matthew 24:39, that God: "took them all away." Then He adds: "so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." the earth is once again heading for judgment as people turn away from the Bible.
There is also the PRESENT WORLD. This world system looks with scorn upon God's holy Word, the Bible. "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts. And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (verses 3,4).
Notice that their scoffing is aimed at the fact of Christ's return to this earth and at the judgment that is to come. We hear very little preaching today on the return of the Lord, on judgment, Hell, and the Lake of Fire. How many messages have you heard the past year or two on the subject of Judgment? Yet, Hell is a reality for every unsaved person.
Scoffers say that the world is going on the same as it always has. They claim that there never was and never will be a worldwide judgment. What they fail to realize is that God did send Universal judgment in the days of Noah when the world was destroyed by the flood.
Peter warns us very clearly that as the past world was judged with water, so the present world will be judged with fire: "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men"(vs.7). It was by the Word of God that the heavens and the earth came into being and "by the same word" the present heavens and earth are "kept in store" reserved unto fire judgment when Christ comes again. It will take only one word from the Lord for the world to face this judgment by fire.
Jesus warns us of this same day in Luke 17:28-30: "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."
Praise God! There is ANOTHER WORLD, a better world, a world promised by God. The past world was judged by God. The present world is moving toward judgment. "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (vs. 13).
The same truth is found in Revelation 21:1: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away." Here we find ourselves on the shore of the eternal ages. All that remains of the old order is the righteousness, holiness, and fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and with the saints.
This new world is "according to His promise." This promise was given many years before Peter wrote his Epistle. God said in Isaiah 65:17:"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." In Isaiah 66:22 we read: "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain."
Now the promise is to be fulfilled. The church age and the dispensation of the Holy Spirit will end at the Rapture of the Church. The Great Tribulation will end with the Battle of Armageddon and with the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes from heaven with all His saints. Then will be ushered in the 1000 year Millennial Reign of Christ upon the earth.
Following this will be the Great White Throne Judgment when Satan, the beast, and the false prophet, along with all the wicked and unbelieving people, will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Then follows the purified earth, according to Peter, and all will be new.
The old heaven and the old earth are not annihilated. We read in Revelation 20:11: "And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them." 2 Peter 3:10 says: "the works that are therein shall be burned up."
John writes: "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband"(Rev. 21:2). Now that Adam's curse has been removed, God can come down and dwell with men. So a great voice out of heaven declares that God now will tabernacle with men (that is, dwell with them), they will be His people, and He will be their God. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and death, sorrow, and pain shall be removed.
It is such a comfort to read that there shall be no more death. The history of death is a record of sin. Death followed sin in Genesis 2:17. Death is the wages of sin (Rom. 6:23). We have the sentence of death in ourselves (2 Cor. 1:9). Death worketh in us (2 Cor. 4:12). It is appointed unto man once to die (Heb. 9:27).
Death is man's enemy, and it is the last enemy to be destroyed (1 Cor. 15:26). Our Lord holds the key of death (Rev. 1:8). When the new world is established He locks the door that shuts out death forevermore.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" (Rev. 21:4).
Just think of a world without grief, mourning, sorrow, and pain. No tears in Heaven, no sorrows given, All will be glory in that land; There'll be no sadness, all will be gladness, When we shall join that happy band.
Glory is waiting, waiting up yonder, Where we shall spend an endless day; There with our Saviour, we'll be forever Where no more sorrow can dismay.
4. THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. and He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS"(Revelation 19:11-16).
As we read through these verses of Revelation 19 we see a picture of awful death. The first verses of the chapter speak of the marriage supper of the Lamb which is preceded by the marriage of the Son of God to His bride, who has made herself ready. Immediately following is the Battle of Armageddon. It is the judgment of the great day of Almighty God.
The present world situation is but a preparation for the war of all wars--the campaign of armageddon. The tension between Israel and Arab peoples will continue until Jesus comes. After the rapture, Antichrist will make a false covenant with Israel to settle the Israel-Arab dispute in favour of Israel. This is clearly pointed out in Daniel 9:26-27 as Antichrist assures Israel of an important place among the nations of the world. This covenant continues for three and one-half years, after which it is broken by Roman authorities and we have the beginning of a terrible time of suffering.
All of history has been written with human blood. Someone has estimated that over 600 million people have died on the battlefields of the world, while millions more were left helplessly wounded to suffer for life. Famine, pestilence and suffering have followed every war. Millions of people are starving today due to the ravages of war.
Armageddon, referred to as "the battle of that great day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14) will take place at Armageddon (Rev. 16:16). The Greek word here translated "battle" speaks of much more than an isolated battle. It is more accurately described as a campaign. The hill of Megiddo is located west of the Jordan River in north central Palestine, about ten miles south of Nazareth.
It is recorded that the great French leader, Napoleon, referred to Megiddo as "the most natural battleground of the whole earth."
Frederick L. Brooks in his book on Prophetic Glimpses, said: "Here many of the most noted military generals have fought:
Thothmes fought here in 1500 B.C.,
- Sennacherib, 710 B.C.,
- Nebuchadnezzar, 606 B.C.,
- Ptolemy, 197 B.C.,
- Antiochus Epiphanes, 160 B.C.,
- Pompey, 63 B.C., Titus, 70 A.D.,
- Khosru, the Persian King, 614 A.D.,
- Omar, 637 A.D.,
- The Crusades under St. Louis of France, 909 A.D.,
- Saladin, who conquered Richard the Lionhearted in 1187 A.D.,
- The Ottoman Forces, 1615 A.D."
Three renowned mountains, Carmel, Gilboa and Tabor, overlook this valley.
It was here that Deborah and Barak defeated the Canaanites (Jud. 4-5).
- Here Gideon triumphed over the Midianites (Jud. 7).
- Here Saul was slain in the battle with the Philistines (1 Sam. 31:8).
- Here Ahaziah was slain by Jehu (2 Kings 9:27).
- Here Josiah was slain in the invasion of the Egyptians (2 Kings 23:29,30; 2 Chron. 35:22).
- It was on Mt. Carmel where the contest was held between Elijah's God and the devil-possessed prophets of Jezebel.
- Here was a battle between God and Satan and, praise God, "the fire of the Lord fell"!
Just as the nations are currently trying to unite against Israel, so in the day of Armageddon the hordes of Hell will gather themselves against Israel.
God said in Joel 3:2: "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat."
- We read in Zephaniah 3:8:"For my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms to pour upon them my indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy."
- Zechariah 12:3 says: "I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people...though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it".
- In Zechariah 14:2,3 we also read: "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle...Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations as when He fought in the day of battle."
As the nations gather to wipe out Israel they will, at the same time, be preparing themselves for God's direct judgment.
Many people fail to recognize that while God is a God of love and of peace, He is also a God of war. When God delivered Israel from the armies of Egypt by means of a miracle, Moses sang:
"The Lord is a man of war" (Exod. 15:3).
- The Bible tells us that God fought for His people at the Red Sea (Exod. 14:25),
- at Jericho (Josh. 6:20),
- at Gibeon (Josh. 10:8-14),
- at Megiddo (Jud. 4:15;5:20),
- at Mizpeh (1 Sam. 7:10),
- and at Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:35).
One day, at Armageddon, God will again fight for His people and deliver them in a miraculous way. As He used fire from heaven in the day of Elijah, so God will use fire in the day of Armageddon. Paul tells us in 2 Thess. 1:7,8: "The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God."
John tells us in Rev. 16:8-9:"And the fourth angel poured his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues, and they repented not to give Him glory."
People may laugh at the idea of God sending fire-judgment upon the earth to consume those who gather against Jerusalem, but they need to remember Noah's day. The people laughed then, too, but judgment fell.
God appeared to Moses in a flame of fire (Exod. 3:2). He led Israel at night by a pillar of fire (Exod. 13:21,22). Exodus 19:18 tells us the Lord descended in fire. Both the Old and New Testaments teach that "The Lord thy God is a consuming fire"(Deut. 4:24; Heb. 12:29). God is going to use fire at Armageddon to destroy Israel's enemies.
The Bible also speaks of an earthquake "such as was not since men were upon the earth" (Rev. 16:18-20; Zech. 14:4,5). Rev. 16:21 tells us "There fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent, and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."
Let no one be deceived. God has the situation well in hand and He will have the last say regarding the Gentile nations of the earth. how important it is that those who are not saved quickly turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. He is the only Way into Heaven.
Those who reject the Saviour today might well find themselves in the Great Tribulation without further hope. I pray that you might see the need of turning from sin unto the Lord.
What nations will be involved in the great campaign of Armageddon? We have already seen from the study of Daniel's interpretation of the image that, after the rapture of the church, the ten nations of Europe will unite with Israel to protect them from he "king of the north" which is Russia. These are the nations that will promise peace to Israel.
Then there is the Russian confederacy mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39, which will no doubt include the Arab states, coming down to battle against Israel. We also read about "the kings of the south"(Dan. 11) and this certainly refers to Egypt. In Rev. 16:12 a reference is made to "the kings of the east." This speaks of other Eastern countries.
These are the nations that will ally themselves against God and His people. While this battle still rages, and when the kings of the north and south seem to be having the final victory, God will intervene. Christ will be Victor as He returns to establish His rule upon the earth.
In that day there will be peace, first in Jerusalem, and then in all the earth. "Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come ye, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world"(Matt. 25:34).
Let Us Pray Together--
PRAY: "God be merciful to me a sinner. Receive me now for Christ's sake. Cleanse me from my sin by your precious blood, shed on the cross for me; lead me to be Baptized and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Teach me to pray each day; to read Your will for my life from your word, the Bible; and help me to worship and serve You in the fellowship of your church. I thank you Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN!