GOD’S WRATH

God is in control of His universe, anyone who does not believe this will face God’s wrath. His Kingdom will come. Jesus will rule and reign on this earth.

Why do the nations rage and the people’s plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then He will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in His fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.
Psalm 2:1-6

Jesus will rule and reign in a new Jerusalem that will be on the highest mountain on earth

ETERNAL LIFE OR THE WRATH OF GOD ARE THE ONLY TWO OPTIONS:The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.John 3:35-36

WE ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE – HIS CREATION REVEALS THE TRUTH: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.Romans 1:18-29

GOD POURED OUT HIS WRATH ONCE PREVIOUSLY WITH NOAH’S FLOOD:The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.Genesis 6:5-8

Replica of the Ark built by Johannes Huiber located in Holland. Answers in Genesis have also built a life sized Noah’s Ark in Cincinnati USA

GOD KNEW THAT THE WORLD WOULD IGNORE HIS SECOND WARNING OF COMING WRATH. WILL YOU?:Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of His (Jesus) coming? For, ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.2 Peter 3:3-6

JESUS GAVE US THIS WARNING ABOUT HIS SECOND COMING AND WRATH: “For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in His day. But first, He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation (Jesus was speaking to His disciples just prior to His crucifixion. They were asking Him about the “end times”) . Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:24-27

GOD’S KINGDOM WILL COME

Christianity initially grew because of the suffering service of its adherents. It had no political power for several centuries yet it continued to gain followers. However, once it hitched its wagon to the Constantine cart it went off the rails because power found in weakness doesn’t gel well with a government that wants to flex its muscle. 

We need to be very careful when we try to use worldly power to promote a Gospel that is inherently about power in weakness. When we take Christianity into the halls of power we are in essence asking Jesus to leave His embarrassing life of suffering service behind and become the poster boy for a political cause. God has always worked through that which the world considered foolishness, yet we seem intent on making Him worldly- wise. We need to take Paul’s exhortation in the second chapter of Philippians seriously because it constitutes the rule of law for the Kingdom of God.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2: 5-8)

We cannot forget that we are citizens of another Kingdom where we render unto God what is God’s and obey God rather than men. We have been saved by a God who did not wield a hammer but yielded to the nails. Maybe we can let more of God’s Kingdom peek through if we practice a bit more yielding and a bit less wielding.

THE MILLENNIAL REIGN OF JESUS

The coming Millennial reign of Jesus on this earth is when we will see His Kingdom truly come to earth. Biblical prophecy reveals Jesus will reign with the resurrected saints from a restored Jerusalem, with a rod of iron, for one thousand years. God has unfinished business with Israel, the nation He established to be an example to the other nations of His Kingdom on earth. It is a transitional period before the second resurrection of unbelievers followed by the White Throne Judgement and finally a new heaven and a new earth when Jesus hands authority back to our Heavenly Father. We are told that during Jesus thousand-year reign Satan is bound unable to deceive those born during this time. Sadly, we are also told that when Satan is released at the end of the thousand years, he is still able to convince thousands if not more to join him in rebellion against Jesus and His Kingdom.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him so that he might not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years are ended. After that, he must be released for a little while.
Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also, I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
Revelation 20:1-6

Wickedness of the heart of man

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.Genesis 6:5-6

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ephesians 2:1-3

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.Jeremiah 7:9-10

JESUS SOON RETURN TO PLANET EARTH

How many of you have really “meditated on”, “come to grips with”, “got your ahead around” the FACT Jesus is returning to this earth soon to liberate His chosen nation, and to rule and reign with His resurrected saints on this cursed earth for 1000 years. Moreover, He needs to rule with a rod of iron. People will still be born, people still need to come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and people will still die. The curse of death has not been lifted off this planet. It is destined for destruction by fire at the end of the Millennium. John describes its destiny and what will occur at that time in Revelation 20 and 21.

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15
The New Heaven and the New Earth
​ Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4

It is important to acknowledge that many of the early Church Fathers believed that the earth was less than 6,000 years old and that they read the Genesis creation account both literally and symbolically. To check this out read the article Creationism and Millennialism among the Church Fathers by Andrew Sibley on www,creation.com.

It is clear from a close reading of the Church Fathers that the widely held belief of the church in the first few centuries after Christ was that the creation occurred less than 6,000 years prior to their time of writing; at least it seems to have been the majority opinion among the church leaders. This belief was also tied in with an understanding of the timing of the Second Coming of Christ and His millennial reign; a pressing question for the early church. The millennial scheme symbolically linked six days of creation with 6,000 years of Earth history, with the final millennium reign seen as foreshadowed by the seventh day of rest in the creation account. This undermines claims that such belief is a recent phenomenon, or is not in tune with traditional Christian theology.

Influence for the symbolic linkage between the six days of creation and the six thousand years until the millennial reign of rest may have been passed down directly from the Apostles, especially John, the author of Revelation. Irenaeus, who lived during the 2nd century ad, claims to have received the teaching from Papias and Polycarp, who received it directly from John. Influence may also have derived from Peter’s writing, wherein the Apostle was responding to questions about the return of Christ. Peter wrote that for God “a day is like a thousand years” (2 Peter 3:8) and that the Christians should be patient regarding the question of Christ’s return.

Most of the Church Fathers of the first three centuries relied upon the LXX to determine the age of the earth and the Second Advent. Initially, Christians believed that Christ would return sometime around AD 500. However, later acceptance of the Septuagint Masoretic Text, with its shorter time frame for creation of around 4000 BC, extended the second coming to AD 2000. 

So, the gradual acceptance of the Hebrew MT by Christians, from which Bishop Ussher derived a date for the age of the earth of 4004 BC, gave fresh ‘legs’ to millennial thinking among Christians in more recent times, with Christ expected to return sometime around AD 2000.

THE MILLENNIAL REIGN OF CHRIST

The Bible makes it very clear that when Jesus returns with the resurrected saints to defeat the Antichrist at the Battle of Armageddon, He will set up His Kingdom in a totally reconstructed Jerusalem.

This commences the Millennial reign of Christ on this earth. He will rule and reign with the resurrected saints, and with a rod of iron, for 1000 years. The Adamic curse has not been lifted so people will die, although they will live longer. People will still have to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, just as we do now, in order to receive eternal life. Also, we know that Satan is released at the end of the Millennium and is still able to raise an enormous army to come up against Jesus.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.Revelation 20:7-10

The video below is instructive and inspirational but it has one major error. The new heaven and the new earth which only the saints inherit is created by God after this earth has been consumed by fire and the White Throne Judgement.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4

Nevertheless, Ezekiel’s 48 description of the Millennial Kingdom is correct and as I said before is inspirational as well as instructive. Well worth the time and effort.

THE LORD HAS MADE A FOREVER PROMISE TO ISRAEL

The Lord revealed to all of the O.T prophets that He would restore the Jews to their land and have a descendant of King David to rule the nations from Jerusalem at His preordained time. Here are just a few of the Scriptures.

“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgements and do them. Then you shall dwell in the Land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God (King).” Ezekiel 36:25-28

“My temple will stand in Israel for all time, and I will live among My people and be their God. Every nation on earth will know that My temple is in Israel and that I have chosen the Israelites to be My people.” Ezekiel 37:24-28

“I the Lord God, will protect Jerusalem. Even the weakest person there will be as strong as David, and David’s kingdom will rule as though My very own angel were its leader. I am determined to wipe out every nation that attacks Jerusalem. I the Lord, will make the descendants of David and the people of Jerusalem feel deep sorrow and pray when they see the one, they pierced with a spear. They will mourn and weep for him as parents weep over the death of their only child or their first born” Zechariah 12:8-10

“I, the Lord, have an agreement with day and night, so they always come at the right time. You can’t break the agreements I made with them, and you can’t break the agreements I have made with David’s family and with the priests from the Levi tribe to serve at my altar. A descendant of David will always rule as king of Israel, and there will be more descendants of David and of the priests from the tribe of Levi than the stars in the sky or grains of sand on the beach.” Jeremiah 33:20-22

“Behold, I will gather them out of all countries where I have driven them in My anger, in My fury, and in great wrath; I will bring them back to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely. They shall be My people, and I will be their God (King); then I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from Me (righteousness). Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will assuredly plant them in this Land, with all My heart and with all My soul.” For thus says the LORD: “<b><i>Just as I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them.” Jeremiah 32:37-42

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.Jeremiah 31:31-34

In the future, I will rebuild David’s fallen kingdom. I will rebuild it from its ruins and set it up again, just as it used to be… I’ll make Israel prosper again. You will rebuild your towns and live in them. You will drink wine from your vineyards and eat the fruit you grow. I’ll plant your roots deep in the land I have given you, and you won’t ever be uprooted again. I, the Lord God have spoken.” Amos 9:11-15

Listen to what Moses said to all Israel even before they entered the Promised Land

“Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Deuteronomy 30:1-6

Paul also confirms that God has a wonderful end to the story for Israel – “and so all Israel will be saved”.

“A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so, all Israel will be saved. From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:25-26, 28-29

Finally, after the Millennium reign of Jesus there will be the second resurrection and the Great White Throne Judgement: “Then I, John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride for her husband.” Revelation 21:2

THE NATIONS OF THE MIDDLE EAST ARE CENTRE STAGE IN GOD’S REDEMPTIVE PLAN

Make no mistake during the End-Times, God will focus His attention on bringing to fulfilment the covenants that He made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David.

Most of Daniel’s visions focus on the Gentile kingdoms in history, and on their rule over the people and land of Israel. It was revealed to Daniel that the Gentile kingdoms would have dominion over Israel until the time of the end  and the coming of their Messiah. He was given understanding that the nation of Israel, and their Land, is going to be embattled and fought over until the end. There will come a time, however, when that season of the Gentiles’ dominion will come to an end; a time when the Land will be given back to the people of Israel; a time when they are going to be restored to the Land.

The Bible clearly says that His divine activity will be both “great and terrible” as He zealously works to persuade the peoples of the Gentile nations to turn from their evil ways and accept His “redemptive plan” as it will be expressed in history through the manifestation on earth of the everlasting covenants that He made with Israel. At the same time, God will be working dramatically among Jewish people, and for the nation of Israel, to turn whole-heartedly to Him—accepting the Messiah that He has already sent to make a way for their salvation. We are told that by the end of this age, the surviving Jewish people will believe on and receive Jesus as their Messiah and King!

Throughout the New Testament, the prophecies written about the End-Times and the return of Jesus are focused on Israel and other key nations of the Middle East. The Book of Revelation portrays the cities of Babylon and Jerusalem as the two most prominent cities in the End-Times drama.

The nations of the Middle East will be the “stage” upon which God completes His activity of redemption in this age and ushers in the next age, which will be a time of renewal and restoration that will affect the whole world.

Jesus is Returning

In mercy the throne will be established; and One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness. (Isaiah 16:5)

The way to be righteous for those who would partake of God’s Kingdom is “through faith in Jesus Christ.” 

“But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)

Righteousness is not through our works. It is a gift that we receive and that we live by through faith in Jesus.

“God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (Corinthians 5:21) Awesome! This verse is one of the most “astounding” verses in all of Scripture.

It is important to emphasise here that there is only “one-way” of salvation; only one-way to become a Righteous citizen of God’s Kingdom.

“To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father—to Him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 1:5-6)

Sadly much of the apostate church believes Jesus is not the only way to God. This is heresy and leads only to destruction.

Also, this issue of “identity” has become a concern for many Jews who are now “Messianic believers;” those who believe in Jesus (Yeshua) as their Messiah. They struggle with what they should do with the Law—and with the covenant that was made with Moses and with the children of Israel at Mount Sinai. They often identify themselves, as Jews, with many of the things that they were taught under the Law, as well as from traditions that have sprung up throughout their history. Paul made it clear that Jews must also submit to God’s perfected way of becoming Righteous, which is only through believing in Jesus, the Messiah:

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:1-4)

It is important to pray for the Messianic community, so that they may come to accurately understand God’s heart and God’s Word. This difficult situation, most likely, will only increase in the last days, when the Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem and a revived Levitical priesthood institutes daily sacrifices and offerings again.

Extracts from Tom Craig’s book, Living Fully for the Fulfilment of Isaiah 19: When Egypt, Assyria and Israel Will Become a Blessing in the Midst of the Earth