The Preacher Says....  
  Status Report  
  Jeremiah 30. 1 – 11, 17 – 18

When we consider the Bible and its meaning, every now and then we need to get our ducks in a row and review our ABC’s. Taking the long view we see in the Hebrew scripture the message of the gospel , the good news of the kingdom of God, sealed with the everlasting covenant made by God with man. (Gen 9. 16) It will be a time of refreshing when God creates a new heaven and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. (Isaiah 65. 17). Now this is not another planet he’s talking about , but it is the same earth we now inhabit. Jesus and Peter speak of this new creation as a renewal of all things. This new earth is described in the book of Amos as a time ‘when the plowman shall overtake the reaper’, and expressed by Moses as ‘an earth filled with the glory of the Lord’, in Isaiah 2 as ‘a place where swords will be beaten into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks’. So no matter how dire the present situation—the environment, its lack of natural resources, AIDS, Ebola virus, revolutions, rogue nations—all will be a thing of the past.

The Hebrew scriptures make plain that this good news will be accomplished at the coming of the Messiah, the anointed one. This regeneration and transformation will come at his command. We can tally some 300 references to Christ’s second coming in the New Testament alone. The more lengthy Old Testament anticipates the Messiah. Most of us have known from childhood that the Jews were a people who lived in constant expectation of their Messiah who would come and save them. Yet if you consult a concordance you might be startled to note only two references to the word Messiah. In Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 387, the matter is explained—and I quote:

“The predictions and fore gleams of his (Christ’s) coming constitute the Messianic strain of the Old Testament. They form the golden thread extending through and binding together its many and diverse books into one amazing unity. Starting with vague hints, there soon begin to appear specific definite predictions which, as the story sweeps onward, become more specific, more definite and more abundant. And as definite predictions multiply, accompanying symbols, pictures, types, and indirect fore gleams also increase. So that by the time that we come to the end of the Old Testament, the entire story of Christ has been pre-written and pre-figured in language and symbol which, taken as a whole, cannot refer to any other person in history.” The penultimate Old Testament book, Zechariah, reads of Israel’s treatment of the Messiah at his first appearance, and also at his second advent when he is exalted. Zechariah describes a future day:

When The Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Lord and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba (north limit of Judah)to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: And it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, From Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, Unto the corner gate, and from the Tower of Hananel , (on the wall of Jerusalem) unto the king’s winepresses. And men shall dwell in it’ And there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. (Zech 14. 9 – 11).

So far we have the good news. But unhappily, it is preceded by bad news that will surely come. The nations and their people will resist this divine intervention into human affairs. Contrary to what some churches preach, the establishment of the kingdom is not a cooperative effort. Despite the evidence that it is not within man to direct his steps, man remains unwilling to believe it. But 2000 years have passed and those looking for Christ have been disappointed, and hope deferred makes the heart sick. (Prov 13. 12). In the last days scoffers will appear looking for an answer. But much has happened in the ensuing years since the resurrection. The doctrine of the second advent has been spiritualized ,e.g. Christ returning in the hearts of men. Moreover the doctrine of the immortality of the soul makes the second coming irrelevant. Then there are the Evangelical charlatans, whose mixture of truth and fantasy have depreciated the truth of his coming.

We are dispirited. But we must take heart and not lose interest in prophecy, but consider God’s promises anew. Here’s a bare bones outline of prophecy (God’s promises) divided into three categories:

· Fate of the kingdoms of men

· Establishment of the kingdom of God; Jerusalem, the capitol

· His calling out a people for his name

Kingdom of Men – prophecy is mostly in symbol. Some examples:

Daniel 2. 34, 35, 44 - image crushed by the stone – everlasting kingdom

Daniel 7 . 13, 14 – 4 beasts – Son of man comes to kingdom

Revelation 11. 15 , 16 – promise fulfilled - 24 elders

Revelation 13 –Beast with 4 different aspects—like Daniel 7 describing world powers.

Revelation 17 – 12 – 18 – Destruction of political & ecclesiastical powers

Kingdom of God

A Prelude to the establishment of the kingdom is spoken by Israel’s enemies. (Ps 83. 1 – 4):

Keep not thou silence, O God. . . For lo, thine enemies make a tumult: And they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, And consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, come, and let us cut them off From being a nation: that the name of Israel Shall be no more in remembrance.

These nations roundabout Israel Include Iraq, Philistia, Edom, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt – One can theorize from certain prophecies that these Semites will be conquered, and Israel will now dwell safely, paving the way for the power Gog and his bands to come out of the north quarters (Ezek 38. 10 – 12), to attack this land of un-walled villages; they’ll fall on the mountains of Israel in defeat (Ezek39. 4, 5); and God will be vindicated. (Ez 39.28 – 29):

Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, Which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen; But I have gathered them into their own land, And have left none of them anymore there. Neither will I hide my face anymore from them, For I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, Says the Lord God.

The Called of God

Men and women of faith, akin to the faithful in Hebrews 11—a litany of names of all those who died in the faith, beginning with Abel. They believed in God’s promises having seen them afar off. The chosen – called the jewels of the Lord of Hosts—He will spare; not those wise in the way of the world, but those who have the will to adopt the mind of Christ. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, (Phil 2. 5).

Behold, I stand at the door and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, And he with me. To him that overcomes Will I grant to sit with me in my throne, Even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father In His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear What the spirit says unto the churches. (Rev 3. 20, 21).

My yoke is easy and my burden light