What does the fulfilment of Biblical Prophecy mean for the Watchman
I study Matthew 24 vigorously these days: wars and rumours of wars, earthquakes and pestilence; woe if the days were not shortened… but they will be shortened.
“And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows…” (vs 6-8)
“…And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” (vs 22)
So, does shortened days mean fewer daylight hours, or fewer days before the end and Jesus’ return, or something else entirely?
On the one hand we read, “And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”” (vs 3-4) This makes me think Jesus is not coming any time soon. Literally, there have not been many who have claimed to be the Messiah, so the end of our world as we know could still be a long way off.
On the other hand, there are the undeniable disturbances across our societies, which collectively we label Signs of the End Times.
When should we expect Jesus’ return?
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (vs 36)
There is an escalation of war. Recently the internet announced only 11 nations worldwide which are not locked in a state of aggression or war. (Global Peace Index)
There is an increase in disease and famine. We see cancer is on the rise and communicable diseases are spiralling in number and frequency. It seems that no sooner is one epidemic taken under control before another arises.
Moral law is on a slide into oblivion. “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” (vs 12) We seem unable even to speak the biological truth of the difference between boys and girls without being attacked for being homophobic.
As for me, as a Watchman, what do I do with the awareness of what it says in Matthew 24 and the signs which seem to be marking the end of our world as we know it?
I study, I pray, and I share what I detect with those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. No one knows the time the Messiah will come again, to bring judgement on the earth.
Those who know Jesus are called to be ready.
Are you ready with your lamp full of oil for the bridegroom’s arrival? (Matthew 25) In other words, are you ready to leave this life behind? Are you full of God’s anointing and blessing, walking in the New Man the best that your faith enables? Are you living the Love of God, ready to share the secret of your strength with those who ask?
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defence to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15)
Are you focused?
What if the internet is simply a ploy of the enemy to keep us busy, productive, in the flesh of the Old Man?
Do you know your value, your purpose and your calling in Jesus?
Are you obeying the law of God, namely to love Him and love your neighbour?
Are you living a life of righteousness, of being right with God and His principles?
What matters is not the success of your ministry or business. What matters is not how many connections you have on social media. What matters is not your productivity.
What matters is being surrendered, ready, and willing to follow Jesus, and to share your passion and commitment when asked to do so.
And if we are in End Times, then we all need to be ready, now.
Most reading this post will be Gentile. But our roots are Jesus’ roots, and his roots are Jewish. He was the Hebrew of Hebrews. After 2000 years of sweeping this truth aside, the Jewish people are discovering the Messiah, and the body of Believers is recognising God’s passion for His ways as outlined in the Torah (OT).
As we seek to fulfil God’s purposes, I believe we need to rediscover the love He has for His festivals, His feasts, and His calendar. This is not legalism but love for the Father which we can convey through a celebration of His culture.
I have learned recently that there is a Gospel of Matthew in the original Hebrew available for study (one of several copies is in Caesarea). I’d like to study it. Most Bible New Testaments are derived from a Greek translation. But surely some impact has been lost through translating from Hebrew into Greek, and then into our native language. I would like to look at a translation direct from the Hebrew, to compare and contrast the Message. That hunger is not a fascination with languages but a passion for God, to know Him and to understand His intent.
And what of His Sabbath? Is the seventh day Saturday? Or is the Lord’s Day – what we call Sunday – the day to hold as the day of rest? We are not under law but under grace. And yet, I have a great desire to honour my God in all fullness, not because I have to but because I want to.
As we attempt to gauge how close we might be to Jesus’ return, I look at how the world looks at the Christian. Around the world, people of the Christian Faith are in conflict with those of other faiths or no faith.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” (vs 9)
In times passed Christianity spear-headed humanitarian projects and expanded worldwide. Now, Christians in the USA and the UK face mocking, job loss, and imprisonment because they stand for their faith in Jesus as the only way to God. Middle Eastern Christians are losing their heads for their faith. In the Far East, Christians are in hiding, unable to worship freely in China and elsewhere.
The reality is we do not know when the End will be. Nor are we meant to. We are meant to be ready though, to share the reason for our hope and to receive the bridegroom when he comes.
I believe we are saved by God’s grace and it is not works that save us but Faith, as found in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
And yet, I also believe we are fully responsible for our faith and the outworking of it, as James says in Chapter 2:20 “But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?”
Those who believe will find their peace, fulfilment and security in walking out their faith at the level of personal revelation they have.
As for me, I have received the revelation that it is possible to surrender and walk in the New Man (see Pursuit of Holiness), leaving behind the angst and wilfulness of the Old Man. That is my aim. Without that, I won’t be truly satisfied or free. Because of God’s incredible revelation, I find no satisfaction in anything less.
In your walk, may you fulfil all grace, peace and joy that the Father God has for you, and may you be ready for His call in His perfect time.