Posted July 17, 2014
BIBLE PROPHECY, CIRCA 1600
Excerpted and adapted from
VERSE 1: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him,”
The Apostle Paul now comes to refute the opinion that some had received as if the day of Christ was near at hand. Having said, 1 Thess. 4:17, “We which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air,” etc., then some might think His coming would be in the Apostle’s time….
And because this mistake might be of dangerous consequence, therefore Paul is very vehement and particular in refuting it. For hereupon they might be brought to question the truth of the whole Gospel when this should not come to pass. They might be unprepared for the sufferings that were to come upon the church; their patience might fail in expecting this day, and their minds be doubting about the coming of Christ at all.
This opinion would also much narrow their thoughts about Christ’s kingdom, and the enlarging of the Gospel among other Gentiles. And the profane might abuse it to sensuality, as 1 Cor. 15:32, “Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.”
The coming of Christ was what they desired and rejoiced in, as that which would truly bring rest to them, and tribulation to their adversaries. And by this Paul doth therefore beseech or adjure them. And therefore we must understand this of Christ’s last coming, as the word παρουσία (parousia) in the text, is still applied to this coming (1Th 2:19; 1Th 3:13), and not of His coming to destroy the Jewish church and state, for that coming was at hand.
The phrase “by our gathering together unto Him”—at His last coming, when the whole body of Christ shall be gathered to Him, to meet Him in the air: 1 Thess. 4:17, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” And then the sense is As ye hope ever to see such a blessed meeting, and to be of that number, so take heed of this opinion…. And so the Apostle Paul adjures them not to be soon shaken in mind, but to stand fast in the truth about the doctrine of Christ’s coming, which they had been taught. And therefore it was the greater evil to be soon shaken; as the apostle upbraids the Galatians (1:6)….
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Posted July 8, 2014
BIBLE PROPHECY, CIRCA 1911
This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.... In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
Rembrandt's Belshazzar's Feast (1635)
During the drunken feast, Belshazzar uses the holy golden and silver vessels, from Solomon's Temple, to praise "the gods of gold and silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone". Soon afterwards, disembodied fingers appear and write on the wall of the royal palace the words:
מנא, מנא, תקל, ופרסין
Mene, Mene, Teqel, Upharsin
The advisers attempt to interpret the meaning. However, their natural denotations of weights and measures were superficially meaningless: "two minas, a shekel and two parts". Therefore, the King sends for Daniel, an exiled Israelite taken from Jerusalem, who had served in high office under Nebuchadnezzar. Rejecting offers of reward, Daniel warns the king of the folly of his arrogant blasphemy before reading the text. The meaning that Daniel decrypts from these words is based on passive verbs corresponding to the measure names, "numbered, weighed, divided." (Source)
H.A. Ironside's 1911 commentary on Daniel 5:
God's Word had been fulfilled, and that night Babylon fell, never to rise again. In that destruction... we may see prefigured the overthrow of all Gentile power and dominion in the time of the end. It particularly pictures the end of that evil system designated in the book of Revelation as "Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth" (17:5). This is the world-religious system that will be destroyed just prior to the return of the Lord from Heaven.
There are those who teach that some time in the future literal Babylon is going to be restored, to be destroyed again; but a careful reading of Jeremiah 50-51 will make it clear that her destruction is to be perpetual. The city is never to be revived for the Most High has visited His judgment on it. But mystical Babylon will reach its climax after the church as been caught away to be with the Lord; the papacy and all her daughters will form one great apostate organization--the refuge of all the various portions of Bible-rejecting Christendom. The Babylon of history was a picture of this mystical Babylon.
Ancient Babylon... was the city of idolatry and the expression of the pride of man's heart, combining religion with self-seeking. Idolatry, properly speaking, began there. That was the place where the great tower was made, where men said, "Let us make us a name" (Genesis 11:4). They were not building a tower to escape another possible flood. They wished to create a center around which to rally, that they might make a great name for themselves on the earth. God had told them to scatter abroad, but they were determined not to obey Him. Willfully, they turned from Him to the worship of demons.That was the beginning of heathenism; there they commenced to worship and serve the creature more than the Creator. Every idolatrous system in the world is simply an offshoot of that first parent stem.
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Posted July 1, 2014
A RECURRENCE OF THE TIMES OF NOAH AND LOT
Note to reader: The article below is an example of what evangelical prophecy leaders and organizations used to teach 20-40 years ago. Not so long ago, before the postmodern prophecy paradigm era, this sort of article was commonplace. Writings such as this served as an encouragement to the reader to 1) expect the Lord's imminent return and 2) be ready to meet the Lord "here, there or in the air." Believers exhorted one another that He could return at any time because all events on earth were coinciding to fulfill Bible prophecy, and that before the end the Gospel of salvation should be shared far and wide, especially to family and friends. As yet another sign of the times we note that publishing such an article today, especially with this eschatology, is likely to be met with scoffings (2 Pet. 3:2), even open disbelief (2 Pet. 3:4). For some of you, this may be the first time you have ever encountered this (now) old-fashioned Bible prophecy teaching. Read and consider: what if it is true?
And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
Remember Lot's wife.
Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.
By Johan Malan, Mossel Bay, South Africa (July 2014)
The Bible draws a comparison between the utter sinfulness that prevailed during the ancient times of Noah and Lot, and a similar situation which will be evident just prior to the second coming of Christ. History repeats itself in various ways – also with regard to the divine wrath which is poured out upon people who blaspheme God by continuously despising and rejecting the spiritual and moral principles of His kingdom. The following aspects of the comparison between ancient and modern times are pointed out in the Bible:
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