Thursday, April 5, 2012

Behold the LAMB of GOD

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
John 1:29-34

Behold the Lamb of GOD.  What an amazing statement for a Jewish prophet to make about a man seeing that he would have clearly understood the ramifications.  John surely would have offered the sacrifice of a lamb for his sin many times by now seeing he is over 30 years old.  He would have taken the knife, transferred his sin, slit the animals throat as the blood was caught by a priest, and watched the life drain from the silent lamb.  His statement, "behold the Lamb of GOD," was a hint to the purpose of the life of Christ.  Jesus would be the Lamb on whom all human sin was transferred.  His own blood would be the only means and method for the forgiveness of sin.  The fact that this was the Father's Lamb would also speak of the need for Christ's blood since He is the only Lamb ever sent to wash sin away.  

Another striking statement was the admission that Jesus was preferred before John.  At face value, its sounds like the camel's hair clad voice in the wilderness was simply stating that Jesus was highly preferred by God and that Jesus was loved and chosen for ministry before himself.  Yet this Greek word speaks so much more.  Ginomai can mean that Jesus was in existence before John; however, Jesus was born as a man some six months after John the Baptist.  Scripture is clear about two things pertaining to John's statement.  First, Jesus was in existence as the eternal Son of God.  Micah 5:2 states that Christ's going forth was from old, from eternity.  When Jesus answered the people about knowing Abraham, He said, "Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58)." Second,  the clear and overwhelming testimony of scripture is that Christ is the eternal Creator.  Jesus is God our Savior.  As GOD, he decides what is appropriate to wash away transgression.  Therefore, His deity assures us that there is no other way to Heaven than His blood.  

Man and GOD in one. This is the very reason that there is no other acceptable means to reach heaven and have sins forgiven than trusting by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.  He alone saves!  He alone is the Passover Lamb.  The custom for the Passover Lamb was that it was to be shared if it were too big for the house.  Christ is more than enough for every man, woman, and child.  Won't you accept His blood as your offering for sin since there is no other way?  Trust Him today.  As a living Savior who was resurrected three days later, He is coming again.  Trust Him today as He is Soon2Come!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Economic Chaos and the Rise of a One World Economy

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
James 5:1-8

The Book of James is not typically the first book one would think of in the New Testament as containing prophetic information about the time of the LORD's return.  Yet, the last phrase of verse eight clearly gives an indication of an economic nightmare near the coming of the LORD.  Revelation 18 plainly warns of the collapse of the economy of the one world system brought about by the Antichrist just prior to Christ's physical return.  However, could a prior collapse also be the reason for nations ceding their sovereignty to a new worldwide economy that allows the rise of the Antichrist?  Could it be a severe or near total collapse at a global economic level would convince nations and peoples that they need to accept a sole totalitarian worldwide leader as a new hope for international and personal stability?  One thing is for sure, our history books are full of rebellions and revolutions brought about by economic crises where people did just that.  Hoping for a brighter future, they allowed dictators and despots to take control.  The change for the better, however, never followed.  James' warning should be taken to heart as we can see the storms of worldwide unification on the horizon.

About the time of the American Civil War, China was suffering from severe economic problems.  Some of these woes were also the result of natural disasters that were placing a great strain on the economy as well as war with western powers.  Ironically, it was a deluded "Christian" named Hong Xiuquan (This man believed himself to be the younger brother of Jesus Christ) who promised change.  Playing off of the problems of corrupt government and a fragile economy, Xiuquan quickly drew many followers.  What followed was the Taiping Rebellion. It escalated into one of the bloodiest rebellions of all time with some estimates of 30 million deaths.  Though this rebellion ended in defeat, it serves as an example of the type of confusion the Bible clearly speaks about in the last days. This rebellion featured a false Christ who took advantage of economic and political confusion for his own gain.   Unlike Hong Xiuguin's failed experiment, others have succeeded  in thoroughly changing society while robbing citizens of their rights and freedoms in order to bring a new order.

About 80 years later, a man named Adolf Hitler also stepped onto the world stage during a time of great economic confusion.  Like Hong Xiuquan, Hitler also promised a new millennium of change.  The economy of Germany was in a shambles.  The picture above shows German children building a pyramid with the devalued and worthless Weimar Marks prior to Hitler's meteoric rise.  Grasping for a change in government and economy, the German people accepted a wicked ruler who also brought tragedy to the entire world.  In doing so, they also entered into Hitler's personality cult that paid homage to a man seen as a savior.  There probably is no greater shadow of the Antichrist outside of scripture as Adolf Hitler.  However, Hitler will seem like a novice when compared with the real thing.  The earth will experience unprecedented deaths, and it seems to be just around the corner.  He, too, will rise promising order from chaos, but it was chaos purposefully staged to rob men and nations of their freedoms and rights.

No wonder James tried to warn those trusting in riches over trusting in Christ near the last days before the Lord's return.  So where is your trust?  Is it in Christ or mammon?  Trust Jesus!  He is Soon2Come!  His kingdom will bring the stability you are looking for.

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
Psalm 37:25

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Prophetic Look at Israel and the Donkey

And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither. And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him. And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.  And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way.
Mark 11:1-7

As was noted in the post The Donkey's Gospel, a donkey was eligible for redemption by the sacrifice of a substitutionary lamb.    Unclean animals could be redeemed by money or goods.  The firstborn of all clean animals had to be sacrificed.  Only the donkey could be redeemed by blood. Other than man, only a donkey could be redeemed in such a manner.  This fact itself should lead one to wonder if there is a deeper meaning to the plight of a donkey in scripture?  While we see the story of any human's redemption in the story of the donkey, there is also a prophetic look at the nation of Israel further under the surface of this Bible type and shadow.

Israel should have discerned the prophetic significance of that Sunday 2000 years ago when the long awaited Messiah rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.  There was Jesus on the back of an animal that already had a symbolic cross on its back.  Think about it.  What were the chances that the prophesied Savior would ride into Jerusalem on an animal that bore a cross from creation?  Jesus was the meek and lowly Savior destined for the place where atonement would be made.  Whether they realized the significance of the event, Israel choose the Lamb of God with shouts of, "Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest (Mark 11:9-10)."  Like His human forefather, David, Jesus too rode into town riding on a donkey.  David showed the type of the cross in the first coronation ceremony of his reign.

Like the donkey of Mark 11, Israel's national rejection of Messiah has left her bound at a place where two ways meet.  Paul understood this significant event when he penned the following two verses in Romans 11:25 and 28, "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in...As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.  That last sentence shows the love of God and the gracious heart of the Father--they are beloved.  Jesus will soon speak for stubborn Israel and release her from the bondage brought about by another master.  

Paul also understood that God has not finished with Israel yet.  She is bound in the very same land from whence she came just as all of the prophets have shared.  She is bound by world opinion and satanic attitudes.  Satan is using everything he can to hurt Israel as he thinks that destroying Israel will be a way to prove that God is incompetent and without strength to bring about His promises.  He uses replacement theologians, murderous terrorists with the zeal of false religion, the UN, the media, the governments of gentile nations, and a long list of ways, means, and methods to demonize Israel and the Jewish people.  Truly, this tiny nation is bound at a place where two ways meet--the way of the World and the place of God's appointment.  It would be sad were this the end of the story.

However, very soon a command will be shouted. It was a shout heard in ancient Egypt.  It will be a shout from the Prophet like unto Moses.  Christ will shout, "Let my people go!"  The period between Zechariah 9:9 and 10 has two thousand years between it.  In verse 9, we see Christ coming as the meek and lowly savior riding on a donkey.  However, in verse 10 we see Christ returning and establishing a reign of peace.  "And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth."  He will destroy all the implements of war and establish a reign of peace.  He will speak peace to the heathen!

Israels future will be a glorious one.  Genesis 49:9-10 says that Christ will bind His donkey to the choicest vine. No longer will they be bound to wretched conditions, but Israel will be bound to blessings.  Zechariah noted that Israel will be like bright shining gems.  What a glorious day!  It is truly a day Soon2Come! Are you ready for it.  If not, choose Christ today as your personal savior!  While you are praying, pray for the peace of Israel.  Pray for the soon return of the Prince of Peace!

And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they [shall be as] the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land. For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.
Zechariah 9:16-17