末期日子之光

Light for the Last Days – January 2020

內容目錄

The Technology Sign

Until relatively recently in human history, if you wanted to travel anywhere in the world, the fastest you could go was the speed of a horse.  If you wanted to send a message anywhere the fastest you could do it was to write it down and give it to someone to carry at the speed of a horse to its destination.  If you wanted to kill people in battle you had to do it one by one with sword, spear or arrow.  

Now we can travel right round the world in one day by plane and cross the average country in a few hours by car or train.  We can send messages instantly anywhere in the world using phones and computers and see what is happening instantly on television in distant countries.  We can kill thousands of people at the press of a button in one moment by missiles launched miles away from their target.  

Technology has made some spectacular advances in our time, many of which have brought great advances to people, giving us possessions, labour saving devices and comfort which previous generations could only have dreamed about.  Advanced medicine has given us better healthcare, giving those who benefit from it longer lives and recovery from diseases which would have shortened our lives in previous generations. Computers and the Internet have opened up an almost unlimited amount of information for us.  

The downside of our technology is the pollution of the environment, the divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ and its potential to create the means to enslave us in a technological tyranny or even to destroy the earth.

The Bible gives us some interesting insights into this subject.  According to Daniel 12.1-3 there will be a time of unique trouble on the earth at the end of the age:

‘At that time … there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time.’ 

Daniel 12.1-3

Daniel is then told:

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” 

Daniel 12.4.

What does this mean?  One interpretation is that there would be a great expanse of time between Daniel giving this prophecy and its fulfilment.  During this time the knowledge of God would increase world wide.

An alternative explanation is that this is a specific sign of what will be happening on earth at the time of the end. There will be an increase in travel (people going ‘to and fro’) and knowledge brought about by the development of technology in the modern world.  

When Daniel wrote these words people usually lived and died in roughly the same place they were born in and few travelled far from home.  This was also the case for most people until recent times. Now people regularly travel large distances within countries and from country to country, for work and pleasure, trade and tourism.  The increase in people going ‘to and fro’ can be also be seen in migration from one country to another as people leave the countries they were born in to travel thousands of miles and settle in another country. This is changing the character of many countries, creating diverse societies which are multi-racial, multi-faith and multi-cultural.  

We can also say that one of the features of our time is an enormous advance in the use of technology, which is increasing exponentially year by year.  As people go ‘to and fro’ and knowledge increases with nations around the world developing technology, we see a new global system emerging. This needs to develop international institutions like the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund and so on.  Meetings of world leaders are needed to facilitate trade and keep the peace between nations. The G7, G20, the EU and other trading blocs of nations, the Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg Conference are just some of the institutions bringing the world together.

‘1984’, ‘Brave New World’ or ‘666’?

The advent of computer technology and the Internet has created new ways of bringing nations together.  Information and knowledge are developing so fast that what was the latest piece of equipment a few years ago is already out of date.  Now they are developing quantum computers, able to do calculations, solve problems, get information at millions of times the rate of present computers. Google revealed that its quantum computer took just over three minutes to solve a complex problem that would have taken an ordinary computer 10,000 years. Quantum computers can carry out an almost limitless number of different calculations at the same time, simultaneously sending billions of pieces of information to thousands of different destinations.

Technology has developed new systems for the control of finance and people.  For some time now money has been able to pass from person to person and nation to nation electronically without any need for physical cash.  China has made enormous advances in this area, creating a system which is gradually eliminating cash and making all financial transactions electronic.  Most transactions are made by apps on mobile phones, which are also needed to access the Internet. The government is now monitoring mobile phone and Internet usage to pick up any comments critical of the regime and also use of certain phrases which they may consider incriminating.  One such phrase is ‘Almighty God’ showing how the system can be used to track Christians.  

The government has also brought in a requirement that mobile phone users submit facial scans in order to use them.  The scans are then fed into its security system, allowing people to be tracked wherever they go. 

The surveillance state. Camera's everywhere can pick out a face from the crowd.

China now has more than 170 million hi tech security cameras able to pick a single face out of a crowd, creating a mega-surveillance state, that reminds us of George Orwell’s novel of the future ‘1984’ –  ‘Big Brother is watching you.’  This is linked to a computerised biometric ID system able to monitor people’s movement and actions, and see whether they are behaving in the way the state wants them to behave.  Information about their personality, habits, opinions and contacts is fed into a system called the Credit Score. This can then be used to prevent people who have the wrong opinions (according to the ruling Communist Party) from being able to buy certain things and to be able to travel. This sounds like the first stages of the 666 system of Revelation 13 described later in this article.

China is exporting this technology around the world.  Huawei, a company controlled by the Chinese government, is the world’s leading telecom-equipment manufacturer and is fast becoming the world’s 5G provider. With speeds 2,000 times faster than existing 4G networks, 5G will permit near-universal connectivity to homes, vehicles, machines, robots, and everything plugged into the Internet of Things (IoT).  Whoever controls this will be in a position to control the world. 

Jamie Metzl gives another way this can be used in his book called ‘Hacking Darwin, Genetic engineering and the future of humanity’. He wrote: ‘Humanity is poised to take a huge leap forward, as a convergence of next-gen technologies combine to give us unprecedented power over our own biology as we learn how to interpret information discovered in our genetic make up through study of the human genome.  Add this to the huge leap forward that 5G connectivity and the Internet of Things will bring to our ability process massive amounts of information and we have a way in which humans can merge with machines and technology. This can provide enormous amounts of information about people’s health over the years, as wearable health analysis devices begin to stream back colossal piles of dynamic data about what’s going on in people’s bodies. The speed and power of quantum computing will prove invaluable in quickly crunching through these petabytes (10 power of 15 of digital data) of data. 

He says ‘The dawn of a new age of superhumans could nearly be upon us. Humanity will begin steering its own evolution for the first time in history … Humanity is poised to take a huge leap forward, as a convergence of next-generation technologies combine to give us unprecedented power over our own biology.  A new way of editing the code of life (the human genome) could correct 89% of the errors in DNA that cause disease.  The technology, called prime editing, has been described as a “genetic word processor” able to accurately re-write the genetic code.

Metzl proposes that this could be used in pre-selecting embryos for birth and in effect creating super humans.  He says: ‘Next – and soon, we’ll start seeing advanced embryo selection as a core part of any IVF treatment. Prospective parents will start having multiple specimens of their own biological embryos to choose from, each of which will have its genome fully sequenced so they’ll be able to choose between offspring with a growing amount of information.  

He says that as a result of this ‘new age of superhumans’ a lucky, selected, edited few will have extraordinary genetic potentials in a wide range of areas. ‘Humanity will begin steering its own evolution for the first time in history, with some predictable results and some we can’t see coming.’  This sounds like the ‘Brave New World’ of Aldous Huxley’s fantasy of the future written in 1931, in which humans are created in test tubes with the ‘alpha’ humans ruling over the lesser breeds. 

Already there are warnings of the dangers of such things.  Britt Gillette has written a book ‘Racing toward Armageddon – Why advanced technology signals the end times’ in which he proposes that the antichrist will use AI (Artificial Intelligence) to come to power.  He refers to the ‘transhumanist movement’, which is looking to link the body up to machines / computers. He writes, ‘Many people believe this will lead to the emergence of ‘post biological humans.’ These are people who are able to use technology to ‘upgrade’ their bodies, increasing their brain power and physical ability to exceed anything a person of today can imagine.  The end result? A human race with abilities far in excess of what we see today, they appear god-like.’ Interestingly in 2017 Russian President Putin said, ‘Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind. Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.’  Will the coming antichrist link into this kind of technology to dazzle humanity with his powers, as he takes his orders from the devil?

When humans start playing God, it is time for God to start winding up the present trajectory of human endeavour, before our fallen human race does something truly too horrific to remedy.  What could come out of this race of superhumans? A demonic entity indwelt by the power of antichrist? In the days of Noah the race of giants / Nephilim came into existence through demonic activity interfering with normal reproduction, one of the causes of the Flood being necessary to bring an end to that generation.

Advanced technology to fulfil biblical prophecy.

Interestingly there are things written in the book of Revelation which could use advanced technology to come to pass.  In Revelation 11 we read about the two witnesses who prophesy in Jerusalem and are killed by the Antichrist at the midpoint of the tribulation period.  The text says,

‘Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.’

Revelation 11.9-10.

The implication is that people around the world will witness an event taking place in Jerusalem, which was previously dismissed as impossible for obvious reasons.  Now we can see events taking place around the world by television and connected media.

In Revelation 13 we have the famous 666 passage:

‘And he (the false prophet) deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.  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.' 

Revelation 13.14-18.

The creation of an image which can talk would have been inconceivable to someone living at the time when John wrote the Revelation.  The Bible speaks of idols as works of men’s hands that

'have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see.’ 

Psalm 115.4-6.

But in today’s world most people spend hours every day in front of an image that speaks – a TV screen, a computer screen or their mobile phones.  Modern technology is also creating the possibility of a hologram being created which can transport an image which can speak to different places. In 2014 Turkish leader Erdogan sent a giant hologram of himself to speak at a meeting in Izmir in Turkey.  Will Guyatt, Tech Correspondent for LBC Radio, said: “I’m pretty sure that in 30 years time we will be talking to holograms of friends and colleagues. These will appear from projectors, headsets or small devices and appear in front of us in our rooms.” Using such devices the Antichrist could speak directly to people all over the world appearing at the same time in many places.

When John wrote Revelation buying and selling was done by coins or barter and it was impossible to imagine any kind of system whereby you could use a number or a mark on a person’s body to do this.  Today it is not so hard to imagine. The technology now exists to put everyone on a database using biometric ID systems able to identify them. Cash is being replaced by credit cards or mobile phone apps which have a number unique to the person they belong to.   Many governments are issuing ID cards to the population to enable the bearer of the card to be identified correctly, especially in relation to financial transactions.  

Cards and phones have the disadvantage that they can be lost, stolen or broken.  One way round this is ‘wearable’ technology. Already RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags have been developed that can transmit identifying information by using a microchip inserted under the skin or a device tattooed onto the skin.  These could be used in financial transactions. We cannot say for certain that this is how the mark of the beast system will work, but it is remarkable that advanced technology is developing a means of buying and selling without cash through a number on a microchip.  If an antichrist government issued such an ID it could also withhold it from those it wished to suppress, thus preventing them from being able to buy and sell. This would bring in the kind of system prophesied in Revelation 13.

The man in the picture is paying for his rail ticket inSweden through an implanted microchip

The Tower of Babel and the intervention of God.

How far humanity will get with this remains to be seen.  This is one more reason why God intends to ‘cut short’ this generation with the events of the Great Tribulation and the Second Coming to the earth of Jesus Christ.  In Genesis 11 God prevented the Tower of Babel from being completed by scattering the human race and dividing their tongues so they could no longer act as one.

The Tower of Babel is a symbol of human beings creating a world in defiance of God to glorify themselves and their achievements.  God’s response is to say

‘Indeed the people are one and they have all one language and this is what they begin to do, now nothing they propose to do will be withheld from them.  Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the  Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.’

Genesis 11.1-9.

Today we see advanced technology making the people as one, able to communicate through a universal world computer system with its own language.  The phrase ‘Nothing they propose to do will be withheld from them’ speaks of the enormous ability of humanity to unlock the secrets of the universe and develop the kind of technology we have seen taking place in our time.  In the hands of sinful human beings such technology can be used for evil as well as good. At the Tower of Babel God moved in to prevent this from happening. Now we see our new Babel emerging as ‘knowledge increases’. Soon God will step in to bring an end to ‘Babylon the Great’ with the events of the Great Tribulation and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Revelation 18).  (Note Babel is the same word as Babylon in Hebrew).

This age will come to an end with Jesus returning a King of kings and Lord of lords, with all the power of God at His disposal to put right the mess which humans have made of the planet God gave us to look after.  Following His return there will be a wonderful clean up operation of the polluted earth and a return to a sustainable environmentally friendly society in which the Lord rules and the people are blessed with peace and abundance.

‘They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.’ 

Isaiah 11.9.  

‘And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be—“The Lord is one,” and His name one.’ 

Zechariah 14.9.  

‘Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Messiah / Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 

Revelation 11.15.

The World in Trouble.

What should we tell them?

A spirit of unrest is sweeping the world causing protests and disorder from east to west.  Months of protests in Hong Kong have brought violent disorder to the prosperous trading hub between China and the West as demonstrators and police confront each other.  In South America protests have brought down the president in Bolivia, while Ecuador, Chile, Colombia and Haiti are experiencing citizen uprisings that are virtually unprecedented in recent history, ushering vast numbers of people into the streets.  The Middle East has again seen large scale protests against governments in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran.  

In Europe Barcelona has erupted in violent demonstrations over the issue of Catalan independence. France has been hit with another wave of strikes and demonstrations all over the country, while hundreds of thousands have protested against the Czech government in Prague.  There have been mass protests around the world about the environment, many involving school children with some of the biggest action on this front taking place in Britain.

The unrest is mainly driven by young people angry at the economic, social and ecological crisis they find themselves in.  They are protesting against governments which they see as corrupt or ignoring their concerns. The trigger point of many of these disturbances has been price rises and economic hardship.  Many economists are predicting a global financial crisis to hit the world in 2020, which would make the economic situation much worse and lead to more unrest. The other big issue which will not go away is the environment.  Scientists are warning that key tipping points that will lead to catastrophic climate change have already been reached as natural disasters increase on the earth (see Signs of the Times). 

Global unrest ties in with the conditions in the world prophesied in the Bible for the end of days.  For example Jeremiah 25.32 says

‘Disaster shall go forth from nation to nation and a great tempest is stirring from the ends of the earth.’ 

Jeremiah 25.32

In the Hebrew prophets there are a number of such passages which deal with the events leading up to the Day of the Lord, corresponding to New Testament prophecies about the days before the return of the Messiah Jesus.  Both agree that in the days before the Day of the Lord and the Second Coming of Messiah there will be an unprecedented time of trouble on the earth. For examples see Isaiah 24, Jeremiah 25.30-33, Ezekiel 38-9, Daniel 12.1-4, Joel 2-3, Zechariah 12-14.  In the New Testament Jesus said it would be

as in the days of Noah and Lot

Luke 17.22-30

These were days when catastrophic judgement hit the world. Jesus described a time of tribulation unlike any that has been before which would result in the end of life on earth if God did not cut it short (Matthew 24.21-22). 

This theme is taken up in Paul’s letters in 2 Thessalonians 2, 2 Timothy 3, in 2 Peter 3.  It is the subject of most of the Book of Revelation from chapter 6-19, beginning with the four horsemen of the apocalypse riding out to bring false peace, war, famine and death (chapter 6), going through the rise to power of the Beast or Antichrist (chapter 13) and reaching its climax in the last battle (Armageddon Revelation 16.12-16) and the physical return of the Lord Jesus to take up His reign on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19-20).

Why don’t most churches preach on this subject?

Apart from the message of the Gospel there is more space devoted to this subject in the Bible than almost any other.  You would think therefore that the message of the Lord’s return and its relevance to the days we live in would be going out from all the churches in the land.  In fact one of the most common comments I get from readers of this magazine, or people who attend meetings where I speak on this subject around the country is ‘We never hear anything about this in our church.’

Now the end begins is a similar ministry to Light for the Last Days based in the USA

Why is this?  There are a number of reasons.  Here are some of them.

  1. Many Christians today have only a very limited knowledge of the Bible, do not read most of it and do not believe the supernatural parts of it.  In particular what the Bible says about the beginning and the end (Genesis and Revelation) is not taught in churches or accepted as true or relevant.
  2. Some theologians teach that the passages we attribute to the last days before the second coming of Christ (in particular the Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21), were fulfilled in the events of the fall of Jerusalem and the Temple and the dispersion of the Jewish people in AD70.  This is known as the Preterist view.
  3. Some churches are afraid that if they bring up this subject it will lead to division in the church, particularly over the timing of the event of 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17: ‘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.’ Arguments over whether this event happens before, in the middle of, or at the end of the Great Tribulation period can become quite sharp. Pastors don’t want such arguments coming into their churches so avoid the subject altogether.
  4. Some prophecy teachers make false predictions concerning the timing of the Lord’s return or what is about to come.  When these fail to happen people become disillusioned and dismiss the whole idea of the Second Coming and the relevance of Bible prophecy.
  5. Much of the church has its own agenda on how to put the world right which leaves out the possibility of the return of Jesus Christ.

For the record Light for the Last Days does have a point of view on these issues.

  1. We believe the Bible is true from Genesis to Revelation.  God set the world in motion when He created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1.1) and He remains engaged in the world He created. He will intervene in the events of the last days and bring a total change to how the world is governed in the 1000 year reign of the Messiah Jesus on earth in the Millennium (Isaiah 2, Revelation 20) after which the world will end and God will create the new heavens and new earth (2 Peter 3.10-13, Revelation 21-2).
  2. We accept that some elements of the Olivet Discourse were fulfilled in AD 70. For example Luke 21.20-24 prophesies the Roman siege of Jerusalem, the fall of the Temple and the dispersion of the Jewish people into the nations.  This was a partial fulfilment of the prophecy but most of it has yet to be fulfilled in the events of the last days. Nothing like the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ took place in AD 70 so prophecies like this must take place in the future, not 1950 years ago: ‘Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.’ Matthew 24.30.  See also Revelation 19.11-16.  
  3. We do believe the view that the rapture of the church will happen before the tribulation begins and is the ‘blessed hope’ of the church.  This means it could happen imminently at any time. At the same time we do not wish to quarrel or fall out with people who hold a post tribulation view but to work together to proclaim the message of the Gospel which alone can save us from the wrath to come.  
  4. We will never attempt to set a date for the return of the Lord, something He has told us not to do.  ‘But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.’  Matthew 24.36. However we do believe that current events are moving the world in the direction of the Lord’s return and therefore are relevant to our preaching of the Bible in today’s world.  

Number 5 on this list is a big issue.  We will look at two of the alternative views on how the church should respond to the present world situation.

1. Social Action to save the world.

Leading the charge on this programme is Pope Francis, who wants the church to save the world through political action.  On September 18, he called for a supranational, legally constituted body to enforce United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and implement “climate change” policies. He wants this body to deal with “the great contemporary challenges of climate change, new slavery and peace.” The Pope has said that the world needs a different kind of economy, “one that cares for the environment and does not despoil it.” Reading between the lines the pope’s call is for nations to surrender their powers to a central authority, the UN, in order to deal with climate change, population control and refugees.  The pope says this should become a ‘legally constituted authority’ able to manage the affairs of member nations. In plain English this is a world government.  

He called on young people to be ‘protagonists of this transformation .. to cultivate together the dream of a new humanism that goes beyond religion to engage all people, whether or not they believe in God.’  He proposed, is “a common ‘covenant,’ a process of global change. One in which not only believers but all men and women of good will, beyond differences of creed and nationality, can participate, inspired by an ideal of fraternity attentive above all to the poor and excluded.”   Though the Pope is the head of an allegedly Christian church, he wants to change the world through a religion based on faith in humanity (humanism) not faith in God through Jesus Christ. He wants this to go beyond ‘differences of creed and nationality’, therefore Christians should not try to bring people of other faiths to believe the Gospel. 

This Pope has become increasingly aggressive in his efforts to foster unity among the various major religions of the world.  In November he held a much publicised meeting with Thailand’s supreme Buddhist patriarch Somdej Phra Maha Muneewong in front of a 150-year-old gold statue of Buddha.  The Pope removed his shoes as a sign of respect for the Buddhist temple.  He also brought a gift for the Buddhist patriarch. It was a copy of a document entitled “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” which the Pope and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the most important representative of Sunni Islam, both signed in Abu Dhabi last February.  

“Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” sounds like an innocent title, but it is actually a loose blueprint for uniting the various religions of the world. At one point in the document it specifically says that the fact that there is such a diversity of religions in the world has been “willed by God in His wisdom”.  In other words, this document is saying that God is pleased with all of the religions of the world and that they exist because it was His will for them to do so and that they all lead to God and heaven.

The Pope is on record as saying that ‘proselytism (evangelism) is the strongest poison against the ecumenical path.’ He has called ‘fundamentalists’ a ‘scourge’. By fundamentalists he means those Christians who believe in the historical accuracy of the Bible, including the Genesis account of Creation, the miracles of the Bible, the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, His atoning death for the sins of the world and bodily resurrection and the hope of His physical return at the second coming.  The Pope denies the need for the Gospel to be preached by saying that God’s love for the world means that people are already redeemed without having to commit their lives to the Lord Jesus by repenting and believing the Gospel: ‘We are all children of God redeemed through the blood of Christ … even the atheists. We all have a duty to do good.’ (Homily on May 22nd 2013 in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae.)  

Jesus told His disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel (Matthew 28.18-20) and that there is only one way of salvation through repentance and faith in Him.  ‘I am the way, the truth, the life and no one comes to the Father but by Me.’ John 14.6. In fact the pope is promoting the antichrist world religion prophesied in Revelation 17 and described as ‘Babylon the Great, mother of harlots and abominations on the earth.’ 

Not only the pope is promoting this, but much of the professing Protestant Church.  The bishops of the Church of England rarely if ever speak up for the Gospel or defend the authority of the Bible as the Word of God. Mostly they speak out on politically correct causes, campaigning for diversity issues, social equality and climate change.  They have no problem with the homosexual and transsexual agenda which is being imposed on our society, nor will they defend Christians who are in trouble for saying that this agenda goes against Bible teaching. They bend their message to the will of progressive liberals who deny biblical teaching on marriage, sexuality and what it means to be male or female.

A report into churches in the UK, Holy Alliances: Church-secular partnerships for social good has found that many churches in the UK are working with secular agencies to try to change society.  This means moving away from preaching a personal faith in Jesus Christ to a more community-based faith; from ‘preaching the good news’ and ‘saving souls’ to ‘the social gospel’ and ‘transforming communities’.”  The main barrier to this activity is what the report calls ‘coercive forms of faith-sharing’, in other words Christians who want to preach the Gospel.

There is nothing wrong with churches helping in social action programmes dealing with poverty, loneliness and asylum problems.  The problem is that these then become substitutes for evangelism into the community. This then reduces Christianity to a social work programme with no evangelism and no distinctive message of salvation to bring to the world.  In this kind of church, the idea that Jesus is going to return to save the world and that we need to repent and believe the Gospel to be ready for this event is totally rejected.

2. Signs and wonders, taking the world for Jesus.

Another reason why many churches reject our view of the second coming is the idea that the church is going to save the world before Jesus returns, through a great revival accompanied by signs and wonders done through apostles and prophets.  The New Apostolic Reformation teaches that we need a new reformation which will bring in the government of God on the earth. This movement believes that God has restored Apostles and Prophets to govern the church. These men and women claim to have God given authority, divine strategies and miraculous powers to advance God’s earthly kingdom so that Christ can return.  The return of Christ is seen as happening after they have turned the world back to God in what they call the ‘Dominion Mandate.’  They say that God gave Adam dominion over the earth, but he lost it to Satan and now it is our job to take it back.  When we have done this Jesus will return.  

They say the church must submit to modern day apostles and prophets whom God has appointed to advance his kingdom.  This will be done through ‘spiritual warfare’ and taking control of the world system in what they call the ‘Seven Mountain Mandate.’  Spiritual warfare involves identifying ‘territorial spirits’, demonic entities that rule over certain geographical areas and casting them out by prayer and fasting.  When that has been done, people who live in that region will respond to the Gospel and be freed from sinful strongholds, like witchcraft, lust and greed. The message preached will be with an emphasis on signs and wonders convincing people to believe, rather than calling sinners to repent and believe the Gospel.  This will pave the way for Christians to take over the world system by ‘Reclaiming the 7 mountains.’ These ‘mountains’ are identified as ‘business, government, family, religion, media, education, entertainment.’ When these centres of influence and power are in the hands of Christians then the world will be converted and after this Jesus can return.

This message contradicts what the Bible says in relation to the last days and what we can see taking place already in the world.  The ‘seven mountains’ they refer to (business, government, family, religion, media, education, entertainment) are mostly in the hands of antichrist forces already and these will increase their control over world affairs in the days before Jesus returns.  Most of the claims of signs and wonders made by those promoting this movement turn out to be false. In the book of Acts signs and wonders followed the preaching of the Gospel, which was a call to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In this movement signs and wonders are supposed to precede the Gospel message and cause people to turn to Christ.  

The idea that there is a new breed of apostles being raised up to create a new reformation for our day is also a delusion.  This leads to certain people being treated as little gods themselves with enormous power over their followers. Coupled with the phony health and wealth doctrine many of these people become enormously rich as they tell their followers that God will bless them if they give large sums of money to the church.  

According to the New Testament the Apostles were firstly the 12 disciples of Jesus who were eye witnesses of His earthly ministry and resurrection. Judas was replaced by Matthias according to Acts 1.15-26.  Paul was added, calling himself an ‘apostle untimely born’, after the risen Lord appeared to him on the Damascus road and appointed him to preach the Gospel (Acts 9, 1 Corinthians 9.1, 15.7-8). No more of these kind of Apostles can be added to the church for the obvious reason that no one today can witness the earthly ministry or the resurrected appearance of the Lord Jesus.  The other use of the word apostle, which means ‘sent one’, applies to those who went out with the Gospel message (Acts 14.4, Romans 16.7, 1 Corinthians 12.28, Ephesians 4.11). This can be used of a missionary sent out to preach the Gospel throughout the church age and does not imply any special status in the church.  

Those who believe this revival is coming generally reject the prophetic teaching that this age will end with the time of the great tribulation and the Antichrist in control of the world government.  They believe the church has to rule before Jesus returns not the powers of darkness. In answer to this we say, just look around you and see what is happening in the real world and you have to recognise the world is going towards antichrist not Jesus Christ. 

A future and a hope.

The one interpretation of scripture which gives us hope and a future in this present evil world is the message of the second coming of Christ.  The world today is like a sinking ship, with many holes letting the water in. The only hope for those on the ship is to get onto the lifeboat of salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus the Messiah.  It is already too late to save the ship, either by the social action of the Pope and those like him, or the revivalism of the New Apostolic Reformation.  

Today’s events are unprecedented.  We see Israel back in the land, threatened by her enemies with destruction, the status of Jerusalem an issue on the world stage, nations in uproar and confusion, social and environmental collapse all around us, a huge increase in technology and progress towards the antichrist system of Revelation 13.  We cannot stop the things prophesied in the Bible from happening, but w befoe can tell people how they can be saved from the judgement to come. Now is the time to repent and believe Gospel so that we can be ready for the coming of the Lord:

‘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.’ 

1 Thessalonians 4.16-17.

‘For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.’ 

Matthew 24.21-22

‘Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.’ 

Luke 21.27-28.

彌賽亞的預言

聖經是一本獨特的書,因為它包含了許多已經實現的預言,並且為我們提供了未來的信息。 過去的事件已經實現瞭如此多的預言,這一事實無疑表明聖經將來的預言將會發生。 這些預言不僅是對即將發生的事件的模糊預測,而且在本質上是非常具體的。 他們中最重要的是主耶穌/耶穌基督·瑪希亞(Yeshua ha Mashiach)的生活,死亡和復活。 

我們在此復制了我的《彌賽亞因數》一書的一部分,也可以在我們的網站上找到。 http://messiahfactor.com本文列出了希伯來聖經中耶穌在第一次來臨時應驗过的預言和耶穌在第二次來臨時将实现的預言。 許多人都對我們這些預言的解釋提出过異議,所以我也對這些不同意見提供了某些答案和推理,本文里您可以對照我们網站所提出的参考。 如果您無法訪問互聯網,請與我們聯繫,我們將向您發送這些文章的印刷版。

已經应验的彌賽亞預言。

彌賽亞将在伯利恆出生:

預言: ‘But as for you Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the one to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.’  Micah 5.2 (5.1 in the Jewish Bible).

應驗在:: ‘Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king …. And when he (Herod) had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.  So they said to him, “In Bethlehem, for thus it is written by the prophet.”’  

見馬太福音 2.1-6 以及路加福音 2.1-20

有關更多詳細信息,請訪問 http://messiahfactor.com/the-birth-of-the-messiah 

彌賽亞生於一個處女:

預言:"因此,主自己要給你們一個預兆,看哪,必有童女懷孕生子,給他起名叫以馬內利。“

應驗在:: ‘Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. … An angel of the Lord appeared to him (Joseph) in a dream saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  And she shall bring forth a son and you shall call His name Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew, meaning salvation) for He will save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”  Matthew 1.18-25

有關反對將以賽亞書7.14譯為“處女”的異議以及有關處女出生的問題,請參閱我們的文章“我們可以相信處女出生嗎?" Can we believe in the virgin birth?

彌賽亞是兒子也是全能的神:

預言: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder and His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’  Isaiah 9.6

應驗在: "聖靈要臨到你[馬利亞]身上;至高者的能力要庇蔭你 ,因此,那要出生的聖者要稱為 神的兒子。" 路加福音 1.35

有關彌賽亞神性的問題,請參閱我們的文章 http://messiahfactor.com/messiah-a-great-man-or-a-divine-person 

彌賽亞以奇蹟事工傳講好消息:

預言: ‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of prison to those who are bound.’  Isaiah 61.1

應驗在: "耶穌走遍各城各鄉,在他們的會堂裏教導人,宣講天國的福音,又醫治各樣的病症。"馬太福音9.35。 另見路加福音4.16-21

彌賽亞用寓言來教導人民:

預言: ‘I will open my mouth in a parable.’  Psalm 78.2

應驗在: ” 這都是耶穌用比喻對眾人說的話,不用比喻,他就不對他們說甚麼。” 馬太福音 13.34

彌賽亞是外邦人的光明:

預言: ‘I will also give you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be my salvation to the ends of the earth.’  Isaiah 49.6.  Note ‘my salvation’ in Hebrew is Yeshuati = my Yeshua / Jesus.  

應驗在: 「我的眼睛已經看見你的救恩,就是你在萬民面前所預備的:是啟示外邦人的光,是你民以色列的榮耀。」路加福音 2:30-32. 另見馬太福音28.18-20和使徒行傳13.47-8

彌賽亞骑驢進入耶路撒冷:

預言: ‘Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion! Shout O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold your king is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, a foal of a donkey.’  Zechariah 9.9

應驗在: “這事發生是要應驗先知所說的話:「要對錫安的兒女說:看哪,你的王來到你這裏,謙和地騎着驢,騎着小驢—驢的駒子。。。。」門徒就照耶穌所吩咐的去做,牽了驢和驢駒來,把他們的衣服搭在上面,耶穌就騎上。許許多多的人把自己的衣服鋪在路上,還有人砍下樹枝來鋪在路上。“ 馬太福音 21.1-11

彌賽亞將被拒絕和犧牲:

預言: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. … Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.’  Psalm 118.22, 27. 

應驗在: “從那時起,耶穌才向門徒明說,他必須上耶路撒冷去,受長老、祭司長和文士許多的苦,並且被殺,第三天復活。” 馬太福音 16.21 

彌賽亞為了30件白銀被出賣了:

預言: ‘So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.  And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter” – that princely sum they set on me.  So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter.’  Zechariah 11.12-13

應驗在: ‘Then one of the twelve called Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?’  And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.’  Matthew 26.14-5.  See also Matthew 27.3-10.

有關猶大的更多信息,請訪問 Betrayal of Jesus by Judas

彌賽亞被他的門徒拋棄:

預言: ‘Awake O sword against my shepherd, against the man who is my companion,’ says the Lord of hosts.  ‘Strike the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.’  Zechariah 13.7

應驗在: “門徒都離開他,逃走了。” 馬可福音 14.50

彌賽亞在他的控告者们面前不出声:

預言: ‘He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth.’  Isaiah 53.7

應驗在: “他被祭司長和長老控告的時候,甚麼都不回答。” 馬太福音 27.12

彌賽亞將被嘲笑:

預言: ‘All those who see me ridicule me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him since He delights in Him.”’  Psalm 22.7-8

應驗在: “眾祭司長、文士和長老也同樣嘲笑他,說:「他救了別人,不能救自己。他是以色列的王,現在從十字架上下來,我們就信他。他倚靠 神, 神若願意,現在就來救他,因為他曾說『我是 神的兒子』。」” 馬太福音 27.41-43

彌賽亞被釘十字架而死:

預言: ‘They pierced my hands and feet.’  Psalm 22.18.

‘They shall look on me whom they have pierced.’  Zechariah 12.10

應驗在: ”到了一個地方,名叫髑髏地,他們就在那裏把耶穌釘在十字架上,又釘了兩個犯人:一個在右邊,一個在左邊。” 路加福音 23.33

有關詩篇22以及第16節("他們扎了我的手、我的腳”時)的譯文研究,請參見我們的文章: http://messiahfactor.com/psalm-22 

彌賽亞要承擔世界的罪惡

Prophecy:  ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’  Isaiah 53.6.

應驗在 :”因為基督也曾一次為罪受苦,就是義的代替不義的,為要引領你們到 神面前。在肉體裏,他被治死;但在靈裏,他復活了。” 彼得前書 3:18

彌賽亞為逼迫者代禱:

預言: ”他卻擔當多人的罪,為他們的過犯代求。” 以賽亞書 53.12

應驗在: ”「父啊!赦免他們,因為他們所做的,他們不知道。」” 路加福音 23.34

彌賽亞的骨頭沒有一個被折斷:

預言: ‘He guards all His bones.  Not one of them is broken.’  Psalm 34.20.  See also Exodus 12.46, Numbers 9.22

應驗在: ”當他們來到耶穌那裏,見他已經死了,就沒有打斷他的腿。。。。這些事發生,為要應驗經上的話:「他的骨頭一根也不可折斷。」“ 約翰福音 19:33,36

彌賽亞被埋葬在一坐有錢人的墳墓裡:

預言: ‘And they made His grave with the wicked, but with the rich at His death.’  Isaiah 53.9

應驗在: ”到了晚上,有一個財主,名叫約瑟,是亞利馬太來的,他也是耶穌的門徒。這人去見彼拉多,請求要耶穌的身體,彼拉多就吩咐給他。約瑟取了身體,用乾淨的細麻布裹好,然後把他安放在自己的新墓穴裏,就是他鑿在巖石裏的。他又把大石頭滾到墓門口,然後離開。” 馬太福音 27.57-60

有關與彌賽亞的苦難以及與以賽亞書53章有關的問題,請訪問我們的文章 : 

http://messiahfactor.com/the-suffering-servant-of-isaiah-53   http://messiahfactor.com/atonement-sacrifices-and-blood 
Crucifixion accounts

彌賽亞從死裡復活:

預言: “因為你必不將我的靈魂撇在陰間,也不讓你的聖者見地府。你必將生命的道路指示我。“ 詩篇 16.10-11

‘For He was cut off from the land of the living. … When you make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days.’  Isaiah 53.8, 10

應驗在: ”「為甚麼在死人中找活人呢? 6 他不在這裏,已經復活了。” 路加福音 24.5-6  

‘(Jesus)  presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.’  Acts 1.3

‘Christ / Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.’  1 Corinthians 15.3-4

有關新約中復活賬目的問題,請轉到 : http://messiahfactor.com/resurrection-accounts 

由於彌賽亞,救恩的信息將在全世界傳播:

預言: ‘Look to me and be saved all you ends of the earth!  For I am God and there is no other. I have sworn by myself; the word has gone out in righteousness and shall not return, that to me every knee shall bow.’  Isaiah 45.22-3

應驗在:  "耶穌進前來,對他們說:「天上地下所有的權柄都賜給我了。所以,你們要去,使萬民作我的門徒,奉父、子、聖靈的名給他們施洗,凡我所吩咐你們的,都教導他們遵守。看哪,我天天與你們同在,直到世代的終結。」" 馬太福音 28.18-20

結論詞,關於彌賽亞第一次降臨的預言 :

某些聖經學者建議,在耶穌的生命中已經完成了有300多個預言。例如他的出生地, 血統以及 執行方法 某些聖經學者建議,在耶穌的生命中已經完成了有300多個預言。例如他的出生地,血統以及執行方法超出了他的控制,曾不可能偶然或故意實現。

In the book ‘Science Speaks’, Peter Stoner and Robert Newman discuss the statistical improbability of one man, whether accidentally or deliberately, fulfilling just eight of the prophecies Jesus fulfilled. The chance of this happening, they say, is 1 in 1017. That is 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000.

斯通納(Stoner)提出了一個插圖,让我们直觀這種可能性的大小:‘假設我們拿1017 銀幣,將其放置在德州的地面上(德克薩斯州與新疆的面積大致相同),該數量的硬幣將覆蓋整個州到兩英尺(61cm)的深度。然後,讓我們標記一塊銀幣,並且再次在整個州來分發所有的硬幣。現在我們蒙住一個人,告訴他,他可以在這個領土隨便上旅行, 但是他只能撿起一塊美元,而這必須是我們標記的銀美元。那個人將有什麼機會找到正確的硬幣?他找那一塊美元的可能性和先知編寫八個準確的預言的機會是一類的。只要先知們從寫了預言之日到今天,用過了自己的智慧而提出任何可以實現這些預言的一位,那麼被蒙著这个人在德州找到標記硬幣的機會和先知真確預見未來的機會就是一樣的。在耶穌身上實現300個或44個,甚至只有8個預言的數學上不可能性證明了他是彌賽亞,而且聖經是上帝啟發的話。“

彌賽亞第二次降臨的預言

還有许多有關耶穌的第二次降臨尚未应验的彌賽亞預言。其中一些如下所示。

在主日之前無與倫比的患難時期:  

舊約的預言: ‘At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that time.’  Daniel 12.1

新約平行預言 :  “因為那時必有大災難,自從世界的起頭直到如今,從沒有這樣的災難,將來也不會有。” 馬太福音 24.21

這次的患难重點将在耶路撒冷:

舊約的預言: ‘And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.’  Zechariah 12.3

新約平行預言 :  「當你們看見耶路撒冷被兵圍困,就可知道它成為荒蕪的日子近了…耶路撒冷要被外邦人踐踏,直到外邦人的日子滿了。」路加福音 21.20-24

世界國邦將會為了最後一場戰爭而團結:

舊約的預言:  ‘Assemble and come all you nations, and gather together all around.  Cause your mighty ones to come down there, O Lord.  Let the nations be wakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat’ (Hebrew word means ‘The Lord judges’).  Joel 3.11-16

新約平行預言 :  “他們本是鬼魔的靈,施行奇事,到普天下眾王那裏去,召集他們在全能者 神的大日子作戰。 。。。於是,那三個鬼魔把眾王聚集在希伯來話叫作哈米吉多頓的地方。” 啟示錄 16.14-16

彌賽亞要駕着天上的雲而來:

舊約的預言:  ‘I was watching in the night visions, and behold one like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven!’  Daniel 7.13

新約平行預言 :  “那時,人子的預兆要顯在天上,地上的萬族都要哀哭。他們要看見人子帶着能力和大榮耀,駕着天上的雲來臨。” 馬太福音 24.30

人類將會知道彌賽亞是被釘在十字架上:

舊約的預言:  ‘And I will pour on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on me whom they pierced and mourn for Him as one mourns for His only son and grieve for Him as one grieves for a first born.’  Zechariah 12.10

新約平行預言 :  “「看哪,他駕雲降臨;眾目都要看見他,連刺他的人也要看見他;地上的萬族要因他哀哭。」” 啟示錄 1.7

惡人将逃離主耶稣的第二次降臨:

舊約的預言:  ‘In that day a man will cast away his idols … to go into the clefts of the rocks and into the crags of the rugged rocks from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily.’  Isaiah 2.20-21

新約平行預言 :  “地上的君王、臣宰、將軍、富戶、壯士,和一切為奴的、自主的,都藏在山洞和巖石穴裏, 16 向山和巖石說:「倒在我們身上吧!把我們藏起來,躲避坐寶座者的臉面和羔羊的憤怒;” 啟示錄 6.15-16

彌賽亞將來到橄欖山:

舊約的預言:  ‘Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as He fights in the day of battle.  And His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives which faces Jerusalem on the east.’  Zechariah 14.2-3

新約平行預言 : “「加利利人哪,你們為甚麼站着望天呢?這離開你們被接升天的耶穌,你們見他怎樣升上天去,他也要怎樣來臨。」有一座山,名叫橄欖山,離耶路撒冷不遠,有安息日可行走的路程。那時,門徒從那裏回耶路撒冷去,” 使徒行傳 1.11-12

主將在世上建立公義與和平 : 

舊約的預言:  “末後的日子,耶和華殿的山必堅立,超乎諸山,高舉過於萬嶺;萬國都要流歸這山。必有許多民族前往,說:「來吧,我們登耶和華的山,到雅各 神的殿。他必將他的道教導我們,我們也要行他的路。」因為教誨必出於錫安,耶和華的言語必出於耶路撒冷。他必在萬國中施行審判,為許多民族斷定是非。他們要將刀打成犁頭,把槍打成鐮刀;這國不舉刀攻擊那國,他們也不再學習戰事。” 以賽亞書 2.2-4

新約平行預言 : “我又看見一位天使從天降下,手裏拿着無底坑的鑰匙和一條大鐵鏈。 2 他抓住那龍,那古蛇,就是魔鬼、撒但,把牠捆綁了一千年,。。。使牠不再迷惑列國,。。。在頭一次復活有份的有福了,聖潔了!第二次的死在他們身上沒有權柄,但他們要作 神和基督的祭司,也要與基督一同作王一千年。” 啟示錄 20。1-6 (摘錄)

以色列在萬國之中要得救並蒙主的賜福 ::

舊約的預言:  “在那日,以色列將與埃及、亞述三國一起,使地上的人得福。萬軍之耶和華必賜福給他們,說:「埃及—我的百姓,亞述—我手的工作,以色列—我的產業,都有福了!」” 以賽亞書 19.24-25

新約平行預言 :  “以色列全家都要得救。如經上所記:「必有一位救主從錫安出來,要消除雅各家一切不虔不敬。」「這就是我與他們所立的約,那時我要除去他們的罪。」 ” 羅馬書 11.26-27,以賽亞書59.20。

繼彌賽亞在世上的千年統治之後,上帝將創造了新天堂和新地球 ::

舊約的預言:  ‘For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before me,’ says the Lord so shall your descendants and your name remain.’  Isaiah 66.22

新約平行預言 : “我又看見一個新天新地,因為先前的天和先前的地已經過去了,海也不再有了。。。我聽見有大聲音從寶座出來,說:「看哪, 神的帳幕在人間!他要和他們同住,他們要作他的子民。神要親自與他們同在。” 啟示錄 21。1-4 (摘錄)

有關這個題目更多的信息,請參閱我們的小冊子“以色列,彌賽亞和末期日子” http://messiahfactor.com/messiah-israel-and-the-end-of-days 

結論

Just as the first coming prophecies were literally fulfilled, so the Second Coming prophecies will be literally fulfilled.  At His Second Coming Jesus will judge the world in righteousness according to how we have responded to the message of His first coming.  Jesus / Yeshua is the Messiah who died for our sins at the cross and rose again to give eternal life to all who repent and believe the Gospel.  The same Jesus will come again, this time as the Reigning King with all the power of God at His disposal to put right the mess humans have made of the world He gave us to look after.  Now is the time to be ready for this coming event. Believe on the Lord Jesus the Messiah and you will be saved! Acts 16.31.

Tony Pearce