Light for the Last Days

Light for the Last Days – January 2021 Edition

Covid, Global Reset and the Book of Revelation 

We live in strange times, with changes that took place to our way of life in 2020  which we would not have thought possible at the beginning of the year. Now we  are wondering what 2021 will bring. We are being told that the arrival of the new  COVID-19 vaccine signals the light at the end of a dark tunnel. In November Boris  Johnson said ‘Together we can get through this winter, suppress the virus until  vaccines come to our aid and then reclaim our lives and all the things that we love.’  He implied that this would happen by Spring 2021.  

Generally we find there are two main opinions about  what happened so far:  

1. The majority opinion:  The lockdowns are a  necessary way of the  government defending the  health and safety of the  people from a dangerous  virus which threatens us  all. The vaccines are the  only way out. 

2. The sceptical opinion: The  lockdowns and the vaccines are an  intrusion on personal freedom, a  burden on society put in place to  protect us from a disease which  99.7% people recover from. 

Whichever view you hold, almost  everyone agrees that 2020 turned out to be a most horrible year. Apart  from the fear of catching the virus and  being ill or dying, people suffered  from the lockdowns. Businesses  shut down, meetings of friends and  family restricted, people stuck at  home, isolated, bored and lonely. In  many countries people faced extreme  poverty and starvation. In developed  countries most of life, work, school,  shopping, meeting people and so on,  was done from home by computer and  the Internet. We become dependent  on machines and lose human contact,  causing many to be depressed, suicidal  or alcoholic.  

Getting back to normal by early in  2021 does not look so hopeful now.  As I write this Boris Johnson has just  cancelled Christmas for millions and  a new mutant strain of the virus has  arisen. Many people are sceptical or  resistant to the vaccine and we are told  that it won’t be available to everyone  before the end of 2021. We face what  seems like a never ending cycle of  closing down, opening up for a while,  then closing down again as the virus  continues to spread. Newspaper  headlines read ‘Will this nightmare ever  end?’ 

The lockdowns have not eradicated  the virus. They reduce infections and  associated deaths while they are in  force, but only to shift them down the  road for a later period. We are told we  must follow the science, and science  has become the great god we must all  bow down to. But not all scientists  and doctors agree with the strategy.  44,000 scientists and doctors signed  the Great Barrington Declaration,  

claiming that the measures taken were  harmful to ‘short and long term public  health.’ Dr Mike Yeadon, a former head  

of research at Pfizer, says the advisers to  the government in the Sage committee  justify the repeated lockdowns by  using inflated figures of potential and  actual deaths from the disease. He  suggests only a small percentage of  PCR tests, on which the daily figures of  Covid infections are based, are reliable.  The book ‘Corona, False Alarm’ by  doctors Karina Reiss and Sucharit  Bhakdi (available on Amazon) gives  more facts and figures on the crisis. It  claims that the number of deaths is  not much more than normal flu deaths  and concludes that this is a false alarm  inflicted on the world with disastrous  results. These doctors also question  the mass vaccination of the population,  saying that subjecting healthy people  to a hastily prepared vaccine which  may have some unknown results in the  future is a big mistake. Any alternatives  to the government line are suppressed  on mainstream media, especially BBC  news, and increasingly on social media  too.  

We are told to follow the science, but  we are not told to seek for God. God  has been left out of the subject by our  leaders, including most church leaders.  Church of England Archbishops and  Bishops say nothing about seeking God  or asking for a national day of prayer  to ask for God’s help in the crisis.  When they do have anything to say it  is usually to make some fashionable  left wing comment on racism, LGBT  rights or condemnation of Brexit.  With the possibility of death around  the corner, people should be told to prepare to meet their God by repenting  of their sins and believing the Gospel,  but the bishops of the Church of  England will not say anything like that,  perhaps because they do not believe  it themselves. But that is what God is  saying to us today. Jesus’ first message  recorded in the Gospel is

‘The time is  fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at  hand. Repent and believe the Gospel.’

Mark 1.14.  

The Bible has a number of passages  relating to plagues and pestilences.  Almost always they come as a  judgement from God on a people or  ruler who is defying God. Think of  Pharaoh and the plagues that came  upon Egypt because of his refusal to  let the people of Israel go (Exodus  7-12). Or the plague that came upon the  Israelites who worshipped the golden  calf: So the Lord plagued the people  because of what they did with the  calf that Aaron made.’ Exodus 32.35  People may say it sounds harsh to say  that the coronavirus is a judgement  of God, but the world today is under  judgement for its sin and rebellion  against God. Jesus said it would be ‘as  in the days of Noah’ in the last days of  this age before His return. In the days  of Noah we read that God was sorry  that He had made the world, because  of human wickedness. For the earth  was filled with violence’, and every  imagination of the heart of man was  only evil continually.Genesis 6.5 and  11. 

Today we see the nation of China  where the virus began, promoting  atheism, defying God and putting  up its images to its Communist Party  

leaders. Millions of Christians who  want to worship the true God face  persecution. We see the western  nations promoting all kinds of God  defying laws that go against the Bible’s  moral teaching and confuse children  about sex and sexuality. We see a  mockery of God and the Bible in so  much of our culture, and a suppression  of God’s word in the media, in our  education system and even in much of  the official church. We see persecution  of Christians in much of the Muslim  world and a hatred of Israel and the  Jewish people in countries like Iran and  Turkey. All of these nations have seen  their countries ravaged by the virus.  If they want God’s help they need to  repent and turn back to God. 

The Bible contains many passages  dealing with the conditions on the  earth in a period known as the last  days. They speak of a time of unique  

trouble on the earth. Jesus told of the  signs of His return. Nation will rise  against nation, and kingdom against  kingdom. And there will be great  earthquakes in various places, and  famines and pestilences.’ Luke 21.10- 11. In the parallel passage in Matthew  24, He said these things happening  would be ‘the beginning of sorrows’,  the first stage in the last days’ scenario  which will lead to the time of great  tribulation just before His return to  the earth. In the time of the great  tribulation these things will reach their  climax as the four horsemen of the  apocalypse ride out (Revelation 6.1-8).  In the NIV translation we read of the  fourth horseman: I looked, and there  before me was a pale horse! Its rider  was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were  given power over a fourth of the earth  to kill by sword, famine and plague,  and by the wild beasts of the earth.’  Revelation 6.8. So it appears that  plague is one of the signs of the last  days’ judgement which comes on the  earth in the great tribulation and causes  mass death. 

The Coronavirus is not that final  plague, but it may be seen as a  forerunner of it, especially in the way  it is being used now to bring about  radical changes in life on earth and  increase the power of the government  to control the people.  

At the beginning of the crisis Bill Gates  said that ‘normalcy will only return  when everyone on the planet has  been vaccinated.’ The UK government  has said that the vaccination will  not be compulsory. However there  is the possibility that it will be used  for some kind of Freedom Pass,  needed for travel, access to shops,  work, entertainment venues and all  public spaces. Government Minister  James Cleverley has said, ‘Millions of  people will have their lives ‘unlocked’  by getting the Covid jab and a card  showing they have had it. The  vaccination programme will also allow  Britain’s economy to be ‘unlocked’.  A newspaper headline read ‘No Jab?  You’re barred’ after a government  minister said that some venues might  insist on proof of vaccination for  granting entry. Mike Cernovich in the  USA wrote: ‘Government won’t force  you to take vaccine. Amazon will.  Airlines will. Banks will. You won’t be able to buy, sell, or trade without the  vaccine.’ A health committee in Israel  has been told that the government won’t force people to take the vaccine, but  taking it will give you ‘Green Status’ to  go freely in all the green zones: ‘They’ll  open for you cultural events, they’ll open  to you the shopping malls, hotels, and  restaurants.’ Whoever is vaccinated may  enter those green areas, that ‘safe zone’,  whoever is not will not enter.’  

Chinese President Xi Jinping told world  leaders at the G20 conference that they  need a ‘global mechanism’ using QR  codes (bar codes on mobile phones)  to open up international travel. The  International Air Transport Association  has already said that it is developing  a mobile ‘digital passport’ that would  tell airlines if a traveller has been  vaccinated against Covid. This could  be rolled out to cover everyday life in  society, creating something like the  ‘health certificates’ being used in China  now. These are apps on mobile phones  giving a traffic-light style health code.  A green code allows someone to travel  freely, enter shops and work places  and an orange or red code keeps them  out. If you get a red code you must  isolate at home until you get a green  one. The codes are based on data and  information submitted to the operators  of the system. In a police state like  China, this gives the people in charge  the ability to control your movement,  work, finances, buying and selling,  what you say on social media and who  you mix with. If something like that  comes in on a global scale, it would  be another step towards a dictatorial  world government.

The Great Global Reset. 

Apart from its impact on the world’s  health, Covid 19 has had a huge impact  on the world’s economy. Governments  around the world are talking about re structuring society after Covid. Klaus  Schwab is the chairman of the World  Economic Forum, that hosts the annual  Davos summit of world economic,  political and business leaders. He  has written a book ‘Covid 19 – the  Great Reset’, saying: ‘This pandemic  represents a rare but narrow window  of opportunity to reflect, reimagine,  and reset our world. … Many things  will change forever … A new world  will emerge … The societal upheaval  unleashed by COVID-19 will last  for years, and possibly generations  … Many of us are pondering when  things will return to normal. The short  response is: never.’ 

‘Every country, from the United States  to China, must participate, and every  industry, from oil and gas to tech,  must be transformed. In short, we  need a Great Reset of capitalism. …  for global leaders to shape the future  state of global relations, the direction  of national economies, the priorities  of societies, the nature of business  models and the management of a  global common interests’.  

The new order envisaged by Schwab  will embrace the entire world and  so he says it will ‘only come about  through some form of effective global  governance.’ He says this will create ‘a  new social contract that honours the  dignity of every human being.’ In other  words, ‘the Great Reset’ is an updated  blueprint for the New World Order and  world government. 

He also made the connection between  the Covid crisis and the ‘Green New  Deal’: ‘At first glance, the pandemic  and the environment might seem to be  only distantly related cousins; but they  are much closer and more intertwined  than we think.’ One of the connections  is that both issues make people afraid  of something that is going to destroy  their lives (Covid or global warming),  unless ‘global governance’ steps in and  saves us. 

He admits that Covid did not require  such a heavy-handed response as  we have had, but has proved a useful  stepping stone to the next phase of  the plan to control human activity  and push for ‘global governance’. He  says we need such a government to  save the world from global warming  by working for the elimination of  carbon emissions (coal, gas, oil). In this  he has the agreement of many world  leaders, including Kristalina Georgiava,  Managing director of the International  Monetary Fund (IMF), and UN Secretary  General, Antonio Guterres. Heads of  national governments, including Boris Johnson, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen,  incoming US President Biden, leaders  of Canada, New Zealand and Australia,  are all making statements showing they  are thinking along these lines. 

UN Secretary General Guterres said,  ‘Our planet is broken’ and blamed  humanity for waging ‘a suicidal war  on the natural world.’ He announced  that the UN’s central objective in  2021 will be to build a global coalition  around the need to reduce emissions  to net zero. Net zero refers to cutting  greenhouse gas emissions (burning  oil, gas and coal) as far as possible. If  we don’t do this, he says, the earth is  doomed.  

Interestingly just as there are sceptics  who question the science behind the  lockdown, so also there are climate  change sceptics who question the  science behind global warming. They  point out that climate is a hugely  complex entity and that burning  fossil fuels makes only a very small  difference to the whole picture.  Computer models that predict a four  degree rise in temperature over the  next century are as flawed as the  computer models that predicted  500,000 deaths from Covid in the  UK. The main drivers of the weather  are the sun, ocean currents and wind  direction. We can tell from history  that were times in the past when the  weather was warmer than it is now  (the Medieval Warm Period in around  1300) and times when it was colder (the  Little Ice Age which began in 1650 and  lasted in some form until 1850). None  of this was caused by humans burning  fossil fuels. Based on recent studies  of the sun’s behaviour it is quite likely  that the world will experience global  cooling not warming in the coming  days. For more information on this I  recommend the Electroverse website  and this article ‘Anthropogenic Global  Warming (AGW) —a biblical and  scientific approach to climate change’  by Don Batten https://creation.com/climate-change . 

Klaus Schwab wants his Global Reset  to deal with problems caused by  Covid 19 and Global Warming with  something called the ‘Fourth Industrial  Revolution’. He says this will bring  massive benefits to humanity by using  AI (Artificial Intelligence) to change  human behaviour: ‘The scale and  breadth of the unfolding technological  revolution will usher in economic,  social and cultural changes of such  phenomenal proportions that they  are almost impossible to envisage.  … The mind-boggling innovations  triggered by the fourth industrial  revolution, from biotechnology to AI,  are redefining what it means to be  human. … The future will challenge our  understanding of what it means to be  human, from both a biological and a  social standpoint’ 

He describes a merger of people and  machines in which new technologies  become physically part of us: ‘Some of  us already feel that our smartphones  have become an extension of  ourselves. Today’s external devices— from wearable computers to virtual reality headsets—will almost certainly  become implantable in our bodies and  brains. Advances in neurotechnology  will enhance our cognitive abilities (i.e  some kind of implants will increase our  brain power and our ability to function  as well as cutting out disease). We will  become better able to manipulate our  own genes, and those of our children.’  He dreams of “active implantable  microchips that break the skin barrier  of our bodies, smart tattoos, biological  computing and custom-designed  organisms”

Implanted microchips? Does this  remind you of the 666 prophecy of  Revelation 13?  

A new financial world order. 

Some economists think ‘the Great  Reset’ is a bit of a fantasy, because what  is really coming down the line is an  economic storm that will hit the world.  In order to pay for the Covid crisis  governments are creating money out of  thin air, ending up with massive debts  and currencies which are not backed  by real wealth. The UK now has debts  of £2.8 trillion. The USA and EU have  equally high debts relative to their size.  This is likely to cause a problem in the  global banking system, much greater  than the credit crunch of 2008. 

However the ‘Great Reset’ and the  economic crisis could come together.  Some are comparing the present  situation to the end of World War 2,  which left countries in ruins and huge  debts caused by the war. At that time  the Bretton Woods Agreement was  signed in 1944 in the USA. This aimed  at rebuilding the world economy after  the war by creating a ‘New World  Order’, in which the USA would be the  leading power with world currencies  pegged to the value of the US dollar.  Note the words ‘New World Order’,  ‘Novus Ordo Seclorum’ in Latin, on the  back of the dollar bill. 

The Coronavirus pandemic has  created an economic crisis, similar  to the one caused by World War 2.  This requires a new monetary world  order to reshape the world. Kristalina  Georgiava, managing director of the  IMF, said ‘Today we face a new ‘Bretton  Woods moment’. A pandemic that has  already cost more than a million lives.  An economic calamity that will make  the world economy 4.4 % smaller this  year and strip an estimated $11 trillion  of output by next year. And untold  human desperation in the face of huge  disruption and rising poverty for the  first time in decades. Once again,  we face two massive tasks: to fight  the crisis today—and build a better  tomorrow. We must seize this new  Bretton Woods moment.’  

One idea which is being floated is a  new monetary system, replacing cash  and cheques with CBDCs – Central  Bank Digital Currencies. This is a form  of cryptocurrency used in international  trade and finance. It can also be  adapted to give individuals the ability  to use it with mobile phone apps and  debit cards cutting out cash altogether.  China is already creating such a system.  Bank of England Governor, Andrew  Bailey, has said, ‘I think in a few years’ time, we will be heading toward some  sort of digital currency.’ 

The Bank of International Settlements,  based in Basel, Switzerland, is a very  powerful organisation, a kind of central  bank of central banks. Its General  Manager, Agustin Carstens, strongly  advocates the creation of CBDCs,  saying they have a great advantage  over cash, because they give the  central bank absolute control over  who uses them. He says that a cash  economy means that no one knows  who is spending money and what they  are spending it on. With CBDCs the  banks (and government) can keep track  on every penny spent. They are now  developing the technology to do this.  

This means that they can develop the  power to enable people to buy and  sell. They can also prevent people  who don’t comply with their rules from  being able to use the system. This  could be used for good to clamp down  on criminal activity and the drug trade.  It could also be used to bring the poor  and disadvantaged into the banking  system and to help the flow of money  into poorer countries of the world.  In order for this to work everyone  will need to be identified and linked  to a worldwide database. Bill Gates  is proposing just such a worldwide  biometric ID system to be set up,  coupled with a worldwide vaccination  programme to beat Covid 19.  

The downside of this is that it makes  everything dependent on technology  which can be hacked or go wrong  and throw the whole system into  confusion. From the point of view of  Bible prophecy this system could be  used by the people in power to identify  dissenters, especially Bible believing  Christians, and cut them out of the  financial system (i.e. stop them from  being able to buy and sell).  

One possible outcome of the present  crisis is that the banking system hits a  new crisis and collapses, in which case  personal assets and savings are wiped  

out. Out of this a kind of socialist  world government emerges. Everyone  is paid a basic equal allowance through  Digital Currencies (CBDCs) linked to  personal accounts by some kind of  biometric ID. This will create a kind of  techno tyranny controlled by a handful  of super rich elitists who will no  doubt find a way to preserve their own  wealth and privilege while destroying  everyone else’s.  

So money fails, nations go onto some  kind of digital currency enforced by  technology. The money supply is  controlled by a central world authority  linked to a central bank which pays  people a basic living allowance. People  who don’t comply get cut out of the  system and can’t buy or sell. 

Revelation 13 and the Mark of the Beast. 

This really does sound like the  antichrist world government described  in the Book of Revelation. The Bible  says that in the very last days before  the return of Jesus Christ the world  will be in the hands of a satanic  dictatorship.  

‘Then I stood on the sand of the sea.  And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns,  and on his horns ten crowns, and on his  heads a blasphemous name. Now the  beast which I saw was like a leopard,  his feet were like the feet of a bear, and  his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The  dragon (Satan) gave him his power,  his throne, and great authority. And I  saw one of his heads as if it had been  mortally wounded, and his deadly  wound was healed. And all the world  marvelled and followed the beast.  So they worshiped the dragon who  gave authority to the beast; and they  worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is  like the beast? Who is able to make  war with him?”

Revelation 13.1-4 

Interpretation. A world antichrist  government will emerge in the last  days, empowered by Satan with his  man, the beast or antichrist, in control.  The seven heads and ten horns on  the beast are explained further in  Revelation 17.7-14. The ten horns refer  to the ten kings, either ten dominating  nations or a committee of ten world  leaders. These are in power at the  time of the Antichrist and give him  their power in the final period before  Jesus’ return to the earth. Power is  concentrated in his hands and he sets  up a dictatorship in the manner of  Stalin or Hitler, with super technology  to enforce it. 

‘And he was given a mouth speaking  great things and blasphemies, and he  was given authority to continue for  forty-two months. Then he opened his  mouth in blasphemy against God, to  blaspheme His name, His tabernacle,  and those who dwell in heaven. It was  granted to him to make war with the  saints and to overcome them. And  authority was given him over every  tribe, tongue, and nation. All who  dwell on the earth will worship him,  whose names have not been written in  the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from  the foundation of the world. If anyone  has an ear, let him hear. He who leads  into captivity shall go into captivity; he  who kills with the sword must be killed  with the sword. Here is the patience  and the faith of the saints.’

Revelation  13.5-9. 

Interpretation. For a brief period (3 ½  years) he achieves world power and  makes war on God and his people.  He blasphemes God and ‘those who  dwell in heaven’ (a possible reference  to those taken in the rapture of the  church). He then makes war on those  on earth who have come to believe  in Jesus Christ during the seven-year  tribulation event (see Revelation 7).  Unbelievers will worship him as a god  (see 2 Thessalonians 2), while many  of those faithful to the true God will  experience death and imprisonment.  The Beast and the False Prophet will  be destroyed by the soon returning  Lord Jesus to judge the world in  righteousness, so believers should be  encouraged to continue in the faith in  these circumstances.  

In verses 11-18 a second beast emerges,  generally known as the False Prophet,  who bears witness to the beast and  makes people worship him as a god. He  creates an image to the beast that they  should worship. This one completes  the satanic trinity of the dragon (Satan),  the beast (his man on earth) and the  false prophet (who bears witness to the beast). This is a counterfeit of  the trinity of the Father, Son (Jesus  revealed on earth as Son of God) and  the Holy Spirit (Who bears witness  to Jesus). This sets up the Mark of the  Beast system: 

‘He was granted power to give breath  to the image of the beast, that the  image of the beast should both speak  and cause as many as would not  worship the image of the beast to be  killed. He causes all, both small and  great, rich and poor, free and slave, to  receive a mark on their right hand or  on their foreheads, and that no one  may buy or sell except one who has the  mark or the name of the beast, or the  number of his name. Here is wisdom.  Let him who has understanding  calculate the number of the beast, for  it is the number of a man: His number  is 666.’ 

Those who do worship this image  receive a mark on the right hand or on  their forehead. The mark of the beast  is connected to a number and some  kind of mark or ‘engraving’ on the skin  of people. Those who have this will be  allowed to ‘buy and sell’, a basic part  of entering into normal society. Those  without it won’t. Revelation 14 shows  that taking the mark is forbidden  by God and will result in eternal  damnation of those who take it.  

This is where we see the connection to  what I have written in the first part of  this article. Think about health passes  given to people vaccinated for Covid  which relate to people’s ability to  buy and sell, the development of the  kind of technology that Klaus Schwab  proposes in his Global Reset, the  financial crisis and the development of  crypto-currencies. All this is leading to  the last days economic system which  could bring all financial transactions  under the control of a central authority.  We do not yet see this in place. Taking  the vaccine is not taking the mark of  the beast. But the attempt to bring  something like this on the whole  of society is a sign that the world is  moving in this direction.  

The fact that this is beginning to  happen is also a sign to believers  in Jesus Christ that the day of His  appearing is drawing near:

For the Lord  Himself will descend from heaven with  a shout, with the voice of an archangel,  and with the trumpet of God. And  the dead in Christ will rise first. Then  we who are alive and remain shall be  caught up together with them in the  clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And  thus we shall always be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with  these words.’

1 Thessalonians 4.16-18.  

According to the pre-tribulation view,  this event known as the rapture of the  church happens before the seven year Great Tribulation period, the  time when the Antichrist takes power.  This means that born again Christians  could be taken to meet the Lord at  any time now, so we must be ready for  this event. It also means that those  who are taken in the rapture will not  be present on earth in the tribulation  time. The mid and post tribulation  views put the rapture at the end of the  seven year tribulation period (or in the middle of it). If this is correct, born  again Christians will be here for the  coming time of trouble and will face  the Antichrist rule and must be ready  to resist him, even if it costs our lives.  Either way the only answer to the crisis  which is surely coming on the world is  to repent and believe the Gospel. The  Lord Jesus will determine the timing of  the rapture and my belief is that there is  good evidence for the pre-tribulation  teaching. We have two CDs of teaching  on the subject ‘The Rapture, the  Tribulation and the Millennial Reign of  the Messiah’ available on request.  

Jesus came the first time to die for our  sins so that we might find forgiveness  and be reconciled to God. He rose  from the dead to give eternal life to  all who believe in Him. He is coming  the second time to judge the world in  righteousness, according to how we  respond to the message of the Gospel.  The things recorded in this article are  another sign of the soon coming of  Jesus Christ. So we must pay attention  to His word,

Therefore you also be  ready, for the Son of Man is coming at  an hour you do not expect.’

Matthew  24.44. 

Now is the day to accept Jesus as your  Saviour. To do this, repent of your sins,  turn to God in faith, and believe that  the Lord Jesus died for your sins and  rose again from the dead. In His name  you receive forgiveness of sin and  eternal life. Here is a prayer you can  pray to accept Jesus as your Saviour:  

Dear Heavenly Father, I admit that I am  a sinner and need your forgiveness. I  believe that Jesus Christ died in my  place, shedding His blood to pay for  my sins, and that He rose again from  the dead to give me eternal life. I am  willing right now to turn from my sin  and accept Jesus Christ as my personal  Saviour and Lord. I commit my life to  you and ask you to come into my life  by the Holy Spirit and help me become  the kind of person you want me to  be. Thank you Father for loving me. In  Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Israel Matters

The Danish Lutheran Church sponsored  a new translation of the Bible which  deleted the word Israel in almost all of  the New Testament and much of the  Old Testament. They did this because  they were worried that people reading  their Bible might think that the modern  State of Israel has something to do with  God and the Bible. They had quite a  lot of deleting to do because the word  Israel appears 2319 times in the Bible  and 73 times in the New Testament  (and in the New Testament references Israel always means either the land or  the people of Israel). Here are two of  their deletions: 

Psalm 121:4 says, ‘He that keeps Israel  neither slumbers nor sleeps.’ This  Psalm along with many other verses  in the Hebrew Bible expresses God’s  continuous love and concern for Israel.  In case you might think that is out of  order the new version says: ‘He who takes care of us will not fall asleep, no He is not sleeping.’ In Matthew 2.19-21, after fleeing to Egypt from Herod’s murderous attempt to kill Jesus at birth, Joseph is told  ‘Arise, take the young Child and His  mother, and go to the land of Israel …  Then he arose, took the young Child  and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.’ In the Danish Lutheran  Bible to avoid any connection of the land to Israel, Joseph is told to ‘return home’ with the Child Jesus and Mary,  His mother.  

The motive of these translators appears  to be to remove any connection  between God and the people and the  present land of Israel. Behind this we  see a view that is strong in much of  the professing Christian church today  which says that the church has replaced  Israel and therefore Israel today does  not matter.  

But Israel matters to God. 

There are many today who wish to  delete Israel not just from the pages  of the Bible but from the map of the  Middle East.  

On November 4th the United Nations  General Assembly passed seven  resolutions condemning Israel without  mentioning any transgressions by any other nation. Britain along with the  countries of the EU voted against Israel,  or abstained, in these resolutions. 

Every year the UN passes numerous  resolutions condemning Israel for  human rights abuses and hindering the  peace. These resolutions are generally  approved by the British government  and EU countries, as well as countries  like Syria, China and Iran. No such  resolutions are passed against Syria  where the Assad regime has killed  hundreds of thousands of its own  citizens or China where Christians  and Muslims face appalling denial of  their basic human rights. Israel has  made efforts to create peace with its  neighbours and gives full human rights  to Israeli Arabs, so the hypocrisy of the  UN’s continual attacks on Israel is quite  mind blowing. The basic reason is that  the majority of nations in the UN say  Israel does not matter and would like  to see the end of the State of Israel.  

But Israel matters to God. 

Outgoing US President Trump may  have had his faults, but he was beyond  doubt the most pro-Israel US president  since Harry Truman, who supported  Israel’s restoration in 1948. Trump  endorsed Israel’s claim to Jerusalem  as its undivided capital, moving the  US Embassy there. He supported  Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights,  a vital defence for the country from  Syrian aggression. He opposed  Palestinian terrorism and cut off aid  to the Palestinian Authority unless  they renounced terror against Israel.  He withdrew from the Iran nuclear  deal, which had empowered Iran to  increase its aggression against Israel.  He backed a peace deal with Israel and  the Palestinians which would have  left Israel in control of an undivided  Jerusalem, most of the settlements  in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan  Valley. Under his influence a number  of Arab countries have now signed  peace agreements with Israel. 

Now the incoming administration  of President Biden looks like it will  change all of this. US policy towards  Israel will go back to Obama’s which  wanted to re-divide the land with a  Palestinian state on the territory Israel  gained in the Six Day War. This means  Jerusalem divided between Israel  and the Palestinians, the Old City and  holy places under Palestinian control,  the settlements in Judea and Samaria  uprooted and Israel pushed back to ‘the  suicide borders’ of 1967. He wants to  revive the Iran nuclear deal made under  the Obama Administration which freed  up billions of dollars to the Islamist  regime to equip terrorists in the Middle  East to destabilise moderate Arab  countries and confront Israel. Iran’s  stated policy is the elimination of Israel  with missiles provided to its proxies in  the region and with a nuclear weapon  which it is not far away from creating.  Israeli politicians fear war is coming to  Israel as a result of all this.  

If the incoming US administration goes  along with this programme, they will  show that Israel no longer matters  to the United States. This will help  Israel’s enemies to work for their goal  of deleting Israel from the map. Iran,  Turkey, Hezbollah, Hamas and most of  the Palestinian Authority have gone beyond saying Israel does not matter  to saying Israel should not exist. Anti Zionists in the West agree, joining anti Israel demonstrations where they chant  ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will  be free.’ The river is the Jordan and the  sea is the Mediterranean, so they mean  that Israel should cease to exist. 

But Israel matters to God and will not  cease to exist.  

The restoration of Israel. 

We say this not on the basis of any  political view, but on the Word of God,  the Bible. The Danish Lutheran Church  must have some belief in the importance  of the Bible, but it has missed the point  that God has chosen Israel as a people by  a covenant which goes back 3000 years  to the time of Abraham. In Genesis 15  we read how the Lord made a covenant  with Abraham to give him a multitude  of descendants, as many as the stars in  heaven and sand on the sea shore and  that He would give to them the title  deeds of ownership of the land of Israel.  I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur  of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to  inherit it.Genesis 15.6. This promise was  repeated to his son Isaac (Genesis 26.2-5)  and his grandson Jacob (Genesis 28.3-4).  God promises that He will bless those  who bless His people and curse those  who curse them. Genesis 12.1-3. 

The Bible is full of prophecies of the  restoration of Israel, an event scheduled  for the last days of this age (Hebrew –  acharit ha yamim). For example:

“In that  day the Lord will reach out his hand a  second time to reclaim the surviving  remnant of his people …. He will raise  a banner for the nation and gather the  exiles of Israel; he will assemble the  scattered people of Judah from the four  quarters of the earth.”

Isaiah 11.1-12. 

“Hear the word of the Lord, you nations;  proclaim it in distant coastlands: ‘He  who scattered Israel will gather them  and will watch over his flock like a  shepherd.’”

Jeremiah 31.10. 

Ezekiel describes a barren land made  fertile by the returning Jewish people at  the end of days. But you, O mountains  of Israel, you shall shoot forth your  branches and yield your fruit to My  people Israel, for they are about to come.  For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to  you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I  will multiply men upon you, all the house  of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be  inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. … The  desolate land shall be tilled instead of  lying desolate in the sight of all who  pass by. So they will say, ‘This land that  was desolate has become like the garden  of Eden; and the wasted, desolate,  and ruined cities are now fortified and  inhabited.” 

In the 19th century Palestine was a  neglected backwater of the Ottoman  Empire, with a sparse population and  a largely desolate land. The Jewish  chalutzim (pioneers who returned to  the agricultural settlements) bought  unwanted land from absentee Arab  landlords, and began the process of  turning the desolate land into the  amazingly productive land that it is  today, draining the swamps, planting  millions of trees, making the desert to bloom. Even before the State of  Israel was proclaimed, Rav Kook,  the chief rabbi of Israel in the British  Mandate time saw in the secular Jewish  kibbutzniks who were reclaiming land,  the footsteps of the Messiah.  

Today we see Israel’s accomplishments  in this area as the prophecy of Isaiah  is fulfilled: In days to come Jacob  will take root, Israel will bud and  blossom and fill all the world with  fruit.’ Isaiah 27.6. As well as exporting  its agricultural produce around the  world, Israel has shared its agricultural  techniques, especially in desert  agriculture, for the help of many  countries in Africa and Asia, where  food production is difficult. 

David Ben Gurion, the leader of the  Yishuv, the Jewish community in  the land before the State of Israel,  was summoned before the Peel  Commission of the British Mandate  in Palestine in 1936 and asked what  was his mandate for wanting to gather  the Jews to this land. He replied,  ‘The Bible is our mandate.’ Sadly  the British authorities at this point  showed their lack of faith in the Bible  and went back on their promise in the  Balfour Declaration of 1917 to ‘view  with favour the establishment of a  Jewish homeland in Palestine.’ They  published the White Paper limiting and  eventually stopping altogether Jewish  immigration into Palestine, at the very  time that the infernal Nazi regime was  preparing for the Holocaust of the  Jewish people in Europe. The British  did allow 10,000 children into Britain  in the Kindertransport, but without their parents. The opportunity to save  Jewish people from the death camps in  Europe by allowing immigration into  Palestine was lost and the British have  a big responsibility for this.  

British opposition to the establishment  of Israel continued after the war and  was a key factor in Britain’s subsequent  decline as a nation. God judged the  country because it did not care for the  persecuted Jewish people, as He did  to Edom according to the prophecy  of Obadiah:

“Indeed, you should not  have gazed on their affliction in the  day of their calamity, … You should not  have stood at the crossroads to cut off  those among them who escaped; nor  should you have delivered up those  among them who remained in the day  of distress. “For the day of the Lord  upon all the nations is near; as you  have done, it shall be done to you; your  reprisal shall return upon your own  head.”

Obadiah 10-16. 

As a patriotic Englishman who loves  our nation, it grieves me to say that  this prophecy applies to Britain as well  as Edom. Britain continues be under  God’s judgement as we continue to  vote against Israel in the UN and show  indifference or hostility to the State of  Israel. 

Despite opposition, the UN did vote  in 1947 for the partition of Palestine  which led to the establishment of the  Jewish State (Britain abstained). The  State of Israel was ‘born in a day’ as  prophesied in Isaiah 66.9-10, when  David Ben Gurion proclaimed the State  of Israel on May 14 1948. 

The very next day five Arab armies  attacked with the intention of  destroying Israel at birth, but Israel  not only survived the onslaught but  emerged from its first war with more  territory than the UN had granted  it in the first place. Israel has faced  repeated attempts to attack it, and try  to destroy it, but it has always survived.  As we read in Psalm 83

“For behold,  Your enemies make a tumult; and  those who hate You have lifted up their  head. They have taken crafty counsel  against Your people, and consulted  together against Your sheltered ones.  They have said, “Come, and let us cut  them off from being a nation, that the  name of Israel may be remembered no  more.” 

Psalm 83

These words were almost spoken  literally by President Nasser of Egypt  just before the Six Day War in 1967 as  he contemplated a war in which he  planned the end of Israel. Far from  being cut off, Israel defeated the armies  of Egypt, Jordan and Syria in six days,  gaining control of Jerusalem, the West  Bank / Judea and Samaria, the Golan  

Heights, Gaza and the Sinai. A miracle  if ever there was one.  

As a result of this Jerusalem became  the defining issue concerning all  nations, the UN, USA, EU, Russia.  Should it be the undivided capital  of Israel, divided between Israel and  Palestine or some kind of international  entity governed by the UN? This fulfils  biblical prophecy that Jerusalem will  be the ‘burdensome stone burdening  all nations’ (Zechariah 12.2-3).  

Jerusalem will be the scene of the last  world war bringing about the return of  the Messiah (Zechariah 12-14, Revelation  16-19). 

Israel’s spiritual rebirth. 

In the prophecy of Ezekiel 36-37 we  read how the restoration of Israel will  happen in stages, firstly physical and  then spiritual. We also read in Ezekiel  36.24-28:

“For I will take you from  among the nations, gather you out of  all countries, and bring you into your  own land. 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 judgments 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.”  

Ezekiel  36.24-28:

This implies that Israel will first be born  of the flesh, and then born of the spirit  and given a new heart and a new spirit, which will cause them to dwell in ‘the  land that I gave to your fathers.’ The present restoration of Israel is a  significant event because it shows that  God is faithful to His word and His  covenant and that He is in control of  historical events. It is also significant  because these events herald the soon  coming of the Messiah. Will this be  the first coming of Messiah, as is taught  by rabbinic Judaism or His second  coming as taught by believers in Jesus /  Yeshua? We believe Jesus is the Jewish  Messiah who came once to fulfil the  prophecies of the suffering Servant  Messiah (Isaiah 53) and is coming again  to fulfil the prophecies of the Reigning  King Messiah (Isaiah 2). The return of  the Jewish people to Israel is a vital sign  of His soon return. These things are at  the heart of God’s purposes for Israel  and the whole world, so what happens  in Israel matters a great deal to God. 

After the Exodus from Egypt God gave  the Torah (the Law) to Israel through  Moses, to be their guide and law  (Exodus 20). He promised to bless them  if they were obedient and kept the  Torah, but warned of judgement coming  if they were disobedient (Leviticus 26,  Deuteronomy 28). The most severe  judgement would be removal from the  land, living in dispersion amongst the  Gentile nations. This would be the  result of not obeying the Lord and His  word:

‘Then the Lord will scatter you  among all nations, from one end of  the earth to the other. … Among those  nations you will find no repose, no  resting place for the sole of your foot.  There the Lord will give you an anxious  mind, eyes weary with longing, and a  despairing heart.’

Deuteronomy 28.64- 66.

However God always promised that  there would be a return to the land:

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.”  

Deuteronomy 30.4-5.  

After years of warnings from the  Hebrew Prophets to repent and return  to God, Israel eventually experienced  dispersion from the land, the northern  kingdom of Israel being taken captive  by the Assyrians in around 730 BC and  the southern kingdom taken by the  Babylonians in 586 BC. The prophet  Jeremiah told the people taken to  Babylon that they would return to the  land after 70 years of captivity: “For  thus saith the Lord, that after seventy  years be accomplished at Babylon I  will visit you, and perform my good  word toward you, in causing you to  return to this place.” Jeremiah 29.11.  This happened in the events recorded  in the book of Ezra and Nehemiah.  

Daniel was God’s prophet to Israel  while they were captive in Babylon.  In Daniel 9 he recognised that the 70  years of Jeremiah’s prophecy have  been completed and prays for the  return and restoration of Jerusalem. He  received a word from the angel Gabriel  who told him that Jerusalem and the  Temple would be restored and that  during the days of the Second Temple  Messiah would come and be ‘cut off’  dying a violent death for others, an  event which happened at exactly the  time prophesied in Daniel 9.26, when  Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) came and died by crucifixion (fulfilling Isaiah 53 and  Psalm 22). He took the sins of the world  upon Himself, died and was buried and  then rose again on the third day to give  forgiveness and eternal life to all who  call on His name. 

This prophecy goes on to say that  following this event ‘the people of the  prince to come’ (the Romans) would  destroy the ‘city and the sanctuary’  (Jerusalem and the Temple) and  there would be wars and desolations  following. That happened 40 years  after the crucifixion of Jesus when  the Jewish Revolt against Rome was  crushed and Jerusalem and the Temple  were destroyed and the long years  of Jewish dispersion into the Gentile  lands began. Jesus prophesied this and  gave a reason for it:

“Now as He drew  near, He saw the city and wept over it,  saying, “If you had known, even you,  especially in this your day, the things  that make for your peace! But now  they are hidden from your eyes. For  days will come upon you when your  enemies will build an embankment  around you, surround you and close  you in on every side, and level you,  and your children within you, to the  ground; and they will not leave in  you one stone upon another, because  you did not know the time of your  visitation.”

Luke 19.41-44. 

“For there will be great distress in  the land and wrath upon this people.  And they will fall by the edge of the  sword, and be led away captive into  all nations. And Jerusalem will be  trampled by Gentiles until the times of  the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

Luke 21.23-4. 

Jesus prophesied the coming fall  of Jerusalem, the dispersion of the  Jewish people into the Gentile lands,  and says this is connected to the fact  that ‘you did not know the time of  your visitation’, in other words you  did not understand the meaning of My  coming to you as the Messiah to save  you. But He also implies there will be a  restoration, a return to Zion at the end  of days. That is happening now. 

Israel in the last days. 

All of this matters a huge amount to  God and none of it can happen unless  the Jewish people are preserved as a  nation, beloved by God. So deleting  the word ‘Israel’ from the Bible as  the Danish translation has done is to  change its meaning which God does  not permit us to do. Concerning Israel  God says: 

“Yes, I have loved you with an  everlasting love; therefore with  lovingkindness I have drawn you.  Again I will build you, and you shall  be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! You  shall again be adorned with your  tambourines, and shall go forth in the  dances of those who rejoice. You shall  yet plant vines on the mountains of  Samaria; the planters shall plant and  eat them as ordinary food. For there  shall be a day when the watchmen will  cry on Mount Ephraim, ‘Arise, and let  us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God.’ ” 

Jeremiah 31.3-6. 

“Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun  for a light by day, the ordinances of the  moon and the stars for a light by night, who disturbs the sea, and its waves  roar (The Lord of hosts is His name): “If  those ordinances depart from before  Me, says the Lord, then the seed of  Israel shall also cease from being a  nation before Me forever.” Thus says  the Lord: “If heaven above can be  measured, and the foundations of the  earth searched out beneath, I will also  cast off all the seed of Israel for all  that they have done, says the Lord.” 

Jeremiah 31.35-37. 

Some Christians say that these words  only apply to Israel up to the coming  of Jesus. They say the Jews rejected  Jesus and so God has rejected the Jews.  Actually this is not true because the  first church was entirely Jewish, the  New Testament was written by Jews  and the Gospel was brought to the  Gentiles by Jewish disciples of Jesus.  Also the passage in Jeremiah 31.35-7  comes immediately after the prophecy  in Jeremiah 31.31-34 of the new  covenant which applies to the coming  of the Messiah and the covenant God  made with us through Jesus. In Romans  11, Paul says that even in unbelief  Israel remains ‘beloved (of God) for  the fathers’ sakes. For the gift and  calling of God are without repentance.’  Romans 11.28-29. There have always  been Jewish people who believed in  Jesus and today there are at least 130  congregations of Messianic Jews in  the land of Israel (Jewish believers in  Yeshua / Jesus as the Messiah). 

Jesus implies that there will be a  restoration of Israel in the last days  when He says Jerusalem will be  trodden down (ruled by) the Gentiles  until the times of the Gentiles are  fulfilled.’ The end of the ‘times of the  Gentiles’ is tied up with the Second  Coming of Jesus and the event  prophesied in Daniel 2.36-45 when  the stone (coming of the kingdom of  God) smites the image of Babylon (the  world system in rebellion against God)  and fills the earth with the glory of the  kingdom of God. This will be preceded  by the revelation of the Messiah to  the Jewish people. In Matthew 23.37- 9 Jesus prophesies to Jerusalem,  “Behold, your house is left unto you  desolate (coming destruction of the  Temple and Jerusalem in 70CE). For  I say unto you, ‘You shall not see me  henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed  is he that cometh in the name of the  Lord.’” 

In other words Jerusalem will see Jesus  again, at a time when the Jewish people  greet Him with the words, ‘Blessed is  He that comes in the name of the Lord.’  This is the Hebrew phrase ‘Baruch ha  ba be shem adonai’, the traditional  greeting for the Messiah. This means  that at the time of the end there will  be a revelation to the Jewish people  that Yeshua, Jesus is the Messiah.  This corresponds to the prophecy in  Zechariah 12, the event that happens  before the Messiah comes in power and  glory to the Mount of Olives at the last  battle over Jerusalem (Zechariah 14):  ‘And I will pour on the house of David  and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem  the Spirit of grace and supplication;  then they will look on Me whom they  pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as  one mourns for his only son, and grieve  for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.’  Zechariah 12.10. This revelation of  the Messiah as the one who has been pierced (died by crucifixion many  years previously), will convince this  last generation before His return that  Yeshua, Jesus is the Messiah and will  open a ‘fountain of cleansing’ from  sin to the remaining Jewish people.  (Zechariah 13).  

This will happen at a time of great  trouble for Israel and the world.  Nevertheless, it will lead to the time of  ultimate deliverance when the Messiah  comes in person with all the power  of God to put an end to the war, to  regather the final remnant of Israel and  set up His Messianic Kingdom, ruling  from Jerusalem, with the Millennial  Temple rebuilt and peace and justice  restored to the earth (Isaiah 2, Ezekiel  40-48, Zechariah 14, Revelation 20).  

God has preserved Israel as a people  through the long years of the  dispersion and brought them back to  the land of Israel for this final period of  history which will conclude with the  return of the Messiah to Jerusalem. The  fact that we see these things happening  now is a sign that we are in the last  generation before the return of the  Messiah.  

In Psalm 102 we read:

“For the Lord  shall build up Zion; He shall appear  in His glory. … This will be written for  the generation to come, that a people  yet to be created may praise the Lord.” 

Psalm 102.16-18. 

When you see the Lord restoring  the people of Israel to the land and  building up Jerusalem, you know that  this is the sign that He is about to  appear, in the person of the glorified  Messiah Yeshua. The Psalm says this  will be written for the generation  to come. The Hebrew is ‘le dor ha  acharon’. That can also be translated  for ‘the last generation.’ 

So Israel matters. Israeli lives matter.  And what we believe about the  Messiah matters. 

Don’t Panic

Let not your heart be troubled; you  believe in God, believe also in Me.  Jesus speaking in John 14.1. 

These words were spoken by Jesus to  His disciples at the Last Supper, His  last meeting with them before His  arrest, trial and crucifixion. He had  just told them that He was going to  go away from them, that one of them  (Judas) would betray Him, that Peter  would deny that he knew Him. In a few  hours’ time He would be cruelly put to  death by crucifixion. So the disciples  had enough reasons to be troubled,  alarmed, even terrified at what was  about to happen. But Jesus told them  not to be troubled but to have faith in  Him. 

We have enough reasons to be  troubled, alarmed, even terrified at  events that are coming down the line  for the human race in our time. We  have seen the Coronavirus spread,  shutting down normal life in most of  the countries of the world. Along with  this we see a cocktail of crises coming  down the line with the potential to  overturn our society – economic  meltdown, civil unrest, new forms  of dictatorship controlling our lives.  We see dangerous regimes like North  Korea and Iran developing weapons of  mass destruction and China becoming  more aggressive and threatening the  peace and freedom of the world.

There is a growing hatred for God  and Christianity manifesting itself in  many countries leading to an increase  in persecution of Christians. We see  also the danger to our Jewish friends as  Antisemitism grows around the world  and Israel’s enemies threaten it with  destruction.  

We also see the connection between  all this and the prophecies of the Bible  meaning that we are living in the last  days of this age, which will be a time  of great trouble before the Day of the  Lord, the Second Coming of Jesus  Christ. Read through these passages in  the Bible which describe this time and  you will see reasons to be troubled at  what is coming on the world. Isaiah 2,  24, Jeremiah 30-31, Ezekiel 38-9, Daniel  12, Joel 2-3, Zechariah 12-14, Matthew  24, Mark 13, Luke 21, 2 Thessalonians 2, 2  Timothy 3, Revelation 6-19. 

But Jesus says, ‘Don’t panic and give up, but have faith.’ In Luke 21 He  describes the things happening in the  world which cause people’s hearts to  be failing them from fear and the  expectation of those things which are  coming on the earth, for the powers  of the heavens will be shaken.But  to those who believe in Him He says  When these things begin to happen,  look up and lift up your heads, because  your redemption draws near.Luke  21.28. The reason we may look up with  hope and expectation is because these  things happening are a sign of Jesus’  return, when He will put the world to  rights and save those who trust in Him  now. 

When we look at the bad things  happening in the world, we worry  about what will happen to us. Will we  suffer hardship, poverty, pain? Will  be locked up or locked down, or die  in the coming events? Jesus gives us  assurance to those who trust in Him  that whatever we go through He will be  with us, always even to the end of the  world.  

He says, ‘

Let not your heart be  troubled; you believe in God, believe  also in Me. In My Father’s house are  many mansions; if it were not so, I  would have told you. I go to prepare a  place for you. And if I go and prepare  a place for you, I will come again and  receive you to Myself; that where I am,  there you may be also.’

John 14.1-3. 

Jesus says as the antidote to fear is  faith. In the context of John 14, the  bad thing about to happen to Him (the  crucifixion) is not the end. On the third  day He would rise again from the dead,  conquering sin and death and hell. Nor  are the bad things happening today  the end. There will be a brief time of  severe trouble followed by a long time  of the glorious reign of the Messiah on  the earth and then an eternity in the  new heavens and new earth. There  will be a dramatic intervention of God  when He comes to take those who  believe in Him to Himself in the rapture  of the church. 

Jesus tells us ‘Believe in God, believe  also in Me’. In this way we move from  fear to faith. The world considers faith  foolish. ‘You really believe that God  exists as Creator of the universe? That  a man dying on a cross 2000 years ago  can save your soul for eternity? That  Jesus is going to come back again?’ Yet  for those who believe and understand  the Bible, it is the wisdom of God.  The Bible says, Believe in the Lord  your God so shall you be established.  Believe his prophets, so shall you  prosper.’ 2 Chronicles 20.20. He that  comes to God must believe that he  is (exists) and is a rewarder of those  that diligently seek him.’ Hebrews 11.6.  Take the shield of faith wherewith  you will be able to quench all the fiery  darts of the evil one.’ Ephesians 6.16.  

When Jesus says ‘Believe in God,  believe also in Me’, He means a belief  in God as revealed in the Bible, not  a god of our imagination whom we  have made up (or Satan has put into  our minds). In James 2.19 we read, ‘You  believe that there is one God. You do  well. Even the demons believe—and  tremble!’ In Isaiah 45.20 we read of the  nations who have no knowledge, who  carry the wood of their carved image,  and pray to a god that cannot save.’ 

The God who can save is God as  revealed in the Bible, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Redeemer  and Judge of all the earth. He exists  from eternity to eternity, the righteous  judge of all the earth, who gave His  law through Moses and confirmed it  through the Prophets. He promised  the coming of the Messiah to save us  from our sins and revealed that Messiah  uniquely in the person of the Lord  Jesus. He is active on behalf of all who  call upon His name to save us from the  power of the devil who is responsible  for all the sin and evil on the earth.  

The present world crisis is allowed by  the Lord, as a judgement on the world  that has rejected Him. But it is also an  attack of the devil, who is mustering  his forces for his final assault on the  kingdom of God. The devil is stronger  than we are, but there is one stronger  than the devil, the Lord Jesus.  

In 1 John 4.1-5 we read You are of God,  little children, and have overcome  them, because He who is in you is  greater than he who is in the world.’ 

1 and 2 John are the only books in  the Bible which refer by name to the  Antichrist. Elsewhere the coming bad  man prophesied in scripture is known  as the Beast (Daniel and Revelation) or  the Man of Sin (2 Thessalonians 2). John  defines the spirit of antichrist and the  many antichrists who will precede him  in his epistle.  

Firstly the spirit of antichrist will deny  the relationship between the Father  and the Son:

‘Who is a liar but he who  denies that Jesus is the Christ (the  Messiah)? He is antichrist who denies  the Father and the Son. Whoever  denies the Son does not have the  Father either; he who acknowledges  the Son has the Father also.’

1 John  2.22-23.

Secondly it will deny the  humanity of the Lord Jesus, that He  became man in order to bring salvation  through His death on the cross. Note  the name Jesus Christ is Yeshua ha  Mashiach in Hebrew, which means  ‘salvation (of) the Messiah:

‘Every  spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ  has come in the flesh is of God, and  every spirit that does not confess that  Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is  not of God. And this is the spirit of  the Antichrist, which you have heard  was coming, and is now already in the  world.’

1 John 4.2-3. 

Interestingly in John 14 Jesus makes  two statements about Himself which  confirm these two central beliefs  necessary for saving faith in the Lord  Jesus. In verse 6 He says I am the  way the truth and the life and no one  comes to the Father but by Me.Since  God is holy and we are not, we cannot  come to God in our own righteousness.  We must come through the sacrifice  of Jesus on the cross which is the  only way our sin can be forgiven  and we can have a relationship with  God. Paul writes God was in Christ  reconciling the world to Himself, not  imputing their trespasses to them,  and has committed to us the word of  reconciliation.’ 2 Corinthians 5.19. We  must believe that Jesus Christ became  man in order to reveal the truth of God  to us and to bring us salvation through  faith in His name. 

The second statement Jesus says about  Himself in John 14.11 is Believe Me  that I am in the Father and the Father  in Me’. In this He is saying that He is  equal with the Father, eternal, self existing, without beginning or end,  and is therefore the Word made flesh.  John 1.14 says of the Lord Jesus And the  Word became flesh and dwelt among  us, and we beheld His glory, the glory  as of the only begotten of the Father,  full of grace and truth.’ In the first  three verses John has defined the Word  as being God In the beginning was the  Word, and the Word was with God,  and the Word was God. He was in the  beginning with God. All things were  made through Him, and without Him  nothing was made that was made.’ 

In verse 16 He is going to speak of the  Holy Spirit, the third person of the  tri-unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit,  who will come to dwell in the disciples  after Jesus’ departure. I will pray the  Father, and He will give you another  Helper, that He may abide with you  forever— the Spirit of truth, whom  the world cannot receive, because it  neither sees Him nor knows Him; but  you know Him, for He dwells with you  and will be in you.’ The word used  for helper or comforter in Greek is  Parakletos, meaning one who comes  along side. So the Holy Spirit will come  alongside all true believers in Jesus  and be with us forever. This means that  nothing can separate us from the love  of God in Jesus once we have put our  trust in Him. 

If you look at all erroneous beliefs  about God or Jesus you will find that  

they fail these two tests given in 1  John. They will deny that Jesus is the  unique Saviour, the Word of God made  flesh (appearing in human form) and  also the divine person who exists from  eternity to eternity. Jesus’ authority  to give salvation and eternal life to  those who believe in Him rests on Him  having this nature as God. Therefore  if people believe in ‘another Jesus’  who is less than God they will not  have salvation. In fact any person who  follows a religious system that denies  these truths revealed in the Bible will  find that they are praying to a god  that cannot save. They may be very  sincere, even nice people, but they are  not saved. This is why we must insist  that there is no other name given under  heaven by which we must be saved,  than the name of the Lord Jesus the  Messiah or Christ. 

If we have the saving faith in Jesus we  can claim for ourselves the promise of  the following verses:

In My Father’s  house are many mansions; if it were  not so, I would have told you. I go to  prepare a place for you. And if I go and  prepare a place for you, I will come  again and receive you to Myself; that  where I am, there you may be also.’ 

John 14.1-3. 

So Jesus promises three things which  are enough to take away our fears 

  1. A dwelling place in My Father’s house.
  2. I will come again. 
  3. Where I am there you may be also. 

In the Authorised Version the text  reads ‘In My Father’s house are many mansions.’ In the New International  Version it says ‘In My Father’s house are  many rooms.’ Some have said ‘many  rooms’ sounds a bit down market and  that what is on offer is a mansion not a  bed-sit. The Greek word used here is  ‘mone’ which simply means a dwelling  place, a place to stay. What Jesus is  offering here is an eternal dwelling  place in His presence. Where He is, we  will be. The disciples listening to these  words from Jesus were to understand  that His departure was not the end  of His relationship with them. He is  preparing a place for them to dwell in  for eternity. In Jewish culture of the  day, after the betrothal of the bride  to the bridegroom, the bridegroom  departs to prepare a place for bride to  dwell. Then he returns to fetch her so  she can be with him. Jesus, our eternal  heavenly bridegroom, has departed to  heaven from where He will come again  to fetch His bride and take us to be  with Him in our eternal home. 

To be homeless is a terrible thing. It  is to be vulnerable and in danger,  especially when asleep. There are  dangers of robbers, of cold, rain, wild  animals, disease. In the Bible there  are examples of the dangers of being  outside at night without a place to  dwell in. In Genesis 19 we read of the  two men (angels) who enter Sodom,  intending to spend the night in the  open square. Lot warns them not to  because of the evil of that place. As he  takes them into his house a depraved  mob surrounds the house wanting to  rape them. A similar situation arises  in Judges 19 with the Levite and his  concubine.  

To be eternally homeless is much  worse. In fact it is literally hell. This  is why we need to make sure that we  know we have an eternal home to go  to when we ‘sleep’ – leave this world.  Everyone has to sleep in the natural.  Everyone will sleep in the spiritual  sense of dying (apart from those taken  in the rapture). We do our best to make  preparations now so we are able to  sleep in a safe place. But most people  do nothing to prepare for where they  are going to spend eternity. We can  know by faith that we have an eternal  home where we will dwell in safety  with the Lord. For we know that if our  earthly house, this tent, is destroyed,  we have a building from God, a house  not made with hands, eternal in the  heavens.’ 2 Corinthians 5.1 

Jesus has gone to prepare a place for  us and it will not be a scruffy bedsit  or even a magnificent mansion on an  earthly style. Paul writes: But as it  is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear  heard, nor have entered into the heart  of man the things which God has  prepared for those who love Him.’ 1  Corinthians 2.9. In order to live in this  place, God will change our mortal  body, subject to sickness and aging,  decay and death, into an immortal  body which will never get sick or  die:

‘In a moment, in the twinkling of  an eye, at the last trumpet. For the  trumpet will sound, and the dead will  be raised incorruptible, and we shall  be changed. For this corruptible must  put on incorruption, and this mortal  must put on immortality. So when this  corruptible has put on incorruption,  and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the  saying that is written: “Death is  swallowed up in victory.”

1 Corinthians  15.52-54.

See also Philippians 3.20. So  any momentary trouble that we go  through in the coming days, pales into  insignificance in the light of the glory  that is coming in Jesus at His return. 

Jesus also says I will come again.’ The  promise ‘I will come again’ is a promise  of His return to take the disciples to be  with Him where He is. This is the only  reference we have in John’s Gospel  to the 2nd coming. In the Synoptic  Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, we  have lengthy passages giving details  of signs of Jesus’ coming, the great  tribulation before His personal return  to the earth, the rapture event when  one is taken, and one is left, something  He tells us to be ready for at all times.  In John’s Gospel this is all that we have.  But John was to go on to write the  Book of Revelation, which has much  more detail on the events surrounding  the 2nd coming than is found in the  synoptic Gospels and is really an  expansion on what Jesus says will  happen in passages like Matthew 24.  

Details about the events surrounding  the second coming are not given here  in John’s Gospel. The sole point Jesus  makes here is to tell us ‘I will come  again.’ His coming departure which was  troubling the disciples is not the end.  The distressing things happening on  earth right now are not the end. There  will be a second coming of Jesus, when  He, not Satan, will have the last word in  human affairs. This promise is a great  comfort in the face of the troubling  events we see coming on the world. In  the grand scheme of things, the final  time of trouble is but for a short time  of seven years. What is coming in Jesus  lasts for eternity – His 1000-year reign  on earth followed by eternity in new  heavens and new earth.  

In John 14.3 Jesus speaks of taking his  people to ‘Myself that where I am there  you may be also’. This corresponds to  1 Thessalonians 4.16-18.

‘For the Lord  Himself will descend from heaven with  a shout, with the voice of an archangel,  and with the trumpet of God. And  the dead in Christ will rise first. Then  we who are alive and remain shall be  caught up together with them in the  clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And  thus we shall always be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with  these words.’ 

1 Thessalonians 4.16-18

In John 14 Jesus tells us: ‘Where I  am you shall be’. Paul tells us in  Thessalonians, ‘Thus we shall always  be with the Lord.’ You may not  understand all the details of Bible  prophecy or have worked out the  timing of the rapture, the tribulation,  and the millennium. You may have  questions about this issue. I have  studied it for the past 50 years and  still don’t have it all worked out. What  we can know for sure is this. Jesus is  coming again. When He comes again  if you are a saved believer you are  going to be with Him from that point  on for all eternity. In a safe place. In a  beautiful place. In a body which will  never again get sick, suffer pain or die.  

If we look at the whole plan of God  concerning the 2nd Coming, we see  that at the moment when Jesus comes to take us in this event described  here in John, we will be taken into  His presence, given new bodies no  longer subject to sin and mortality (1  Corinthians 15.50-57). Then we will  pass before the judgement seat (Bema):  For we must all appear before the  judgment seat of Christ, that each  one may receive the things done in the  body, according to what he has done,  whether good or bad.’ 2 Corinthians  5.9-10. This is for rewards for our  works on earth, not for heaven and  hell. 1 Corinthians 3.11-15. Then we will  go to the glorious marriage supper of  the Lamb (Revelation 19.6-10) before  returning with the Lord Jesus Christ  at His second coming to the earth  (Revelation 19.11-16, Jude 14, Zechariah  14.5). Because the Bible says, ‘Where I  am there you also will be’ it is logical  to believe that we will be with Him  in glorified bodies for His millennial  reign on earth after His second coming.  Then when He dissolves this world and  universe, after Satan’s final rebellion at  the end of the 1000 years, we will be  with Him forever in the new heavens  and new earth which He will create. 2  Peter 3, Revelation 21-22. 

So when you see bad things happening  in the world, don’t panic and give up.  Look up and lift up your heads. Your  redemption is drawing near. Weeping  may endure for the night but joy  comes in the morning. Psalm 30.5. For  our light affliction which is but for a  moment is working for us a far more  exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  2 Corinthians 4.17. 

Jesus also said, ‘I must work the works  of Him who sent Me while it is day;  the night is coming when no one can  work.’ John 9.4. Let us use the time  that remains to serve the Lord and get  His word out before the dark night of  tribulation comes on the earth. 

And read the last pages of the Book and  know that Jesus is the winner and we  are on the winning side if we join with  Him. 

Tony Pearce has given four talks on  this subject at The Bridge Christian  Fellowship. These are available in the  sermons’ section at our website  www.bridgelane.org.uk or on CDs  available for us (£2 each). 

Titles: John 14.13 ‘I will come again’ –  Don’t let your hearts be troubled. 

John 14.6. ‘I am the way, the truth and  the life.’ – One Way – OK? 

John 14.9-11 ‘I am in the Father, and the  Father in Me.’ – the Divinity of the Lord  Jesus. 

John 14.12-31 ‘The Indwelling Holy  Spirit’ – Walk in His way and do His  will.

Tony Pearce

Tony Pearce

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