The 70th Week - A Call to the Church for Godliness as Judgment Approaches
You Can Smell the Rain Coming, but How Can You Not Sense the End is Near?
Are We Teachable?
It almost seems to have become a mere cliche' among Christians that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Prov 1:7) and wisdom (Prov 9:10) by equating fear as reverence alone. This is church attendance, works, devotional time and/or good behavior in too many people's minds. Sadly, we dismiss the fact that when John saw the glorified Christ, he fell down as if dead because he was overwhelmed by true fear of the Lord. Jesus' first words to John were "Fear not", for John was very afraid. Likewise, when in 2 Peter 4:17-18, Peter warns the Church that judgment shall begin with us, writing "... and if the righteous be scarcely be saved...", should cause us to question our fear of the Lord. When I was a child, I knew without a doubt that my father loved me, but when my mother spoke those terrifying words of wait until your father gets home; I was anything but calm or confident, always hoping that my mother would forget to tell him. My mother had an incredible memory, much to my chagrin.
Wisdom in living a God honoring life has two necessary components: the Word of God and a teachable spirit. From the Word of God we receive knowledge and understanding as well as being held personally accountable for acting upon that knowledge and understanding. Today within our culture, the Word being preached and taught within our churches is too often tempered with the traditions of men and denominations. Books have replaced the Bible for the main study source for both the preaching and teaching ministries. Recent events have demonstrated that we have become far too compromising when dealing with the Truth and thus cowardly in the face of the onslaught of the growing darkness in this self-destructing world. I can only speak of America, for we think we are the Church, yet we comprise maybe 5% or less of the world's redeemed. The majority of the worldwide Church compromises very little as compared to America and as the latest reports indicate; persecution of Christians in 2017 was the highest in modern times and sadly 2020 carries a darker message. We, as Christians and the nation Israel have a common enemy, the god of this world, Satan.
Satan abhors Israel and anyone remotely tied to her. As Christians, we understand God's love of His people and His curse upon any nation or person who does not echo His care. The day the Devil is violently tossed out of heaven's halls, he immediately turns his hatred toward Israel. When this fails, he will seek and destroy Israel's seed, the martyrs of the 70th week of Daniel.
Why the 70th Week?
Why the 70th Week?
Daniel 9:24, 27
24Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 27And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week..." the 70th.
We are not to know the date of our Lord's return but we are not to be taken by surprise; we should see the signs of the times that it is growing ever closer, even imminent. An in-depth study of Revelation touches almost every doctrine of the Word of God and as verse 1:1 states, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants..." which should motivate us to seek wisdom to live a godly life is these last days.
For the last 20 or so years when I was not teaching Revelation, I made it a point to read through it at least once a year as a devotional. As I do with any devotional time, I take notes. Sometime in 2013, I was in chapter 19 verse 10 and I never got past that passage when I read the last part of the verse; “...for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Bells and whistles went off in my brain, devotional time was over; I had a new vision of how I was to approach Revelation. Just like a torrent of water over a waterfall, my objective was to center my study from an Old Testament basis, centering on the nation of Israel and putting one of my favorite scriptures into practice: Amos 3:7 - “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealth His secret unto His servants the prophets.” There are no surprises in Revelation; some strange supernatural events and a greater detail of the scope of judgment, but all has been foretold within the Old Testament prophecies.
Immediately I began a very intense study, “sola scriptura”, no commentaries, no speculation except when noted for the reader to contemplate or internet sources, except for technical pictures, maps and data. My studies revealed the Old Testament in ways that I had glazed over in prior readings with dramatic changes to what I held in years previous. The excitement was back, no longer just editing or updating prior outlines but a new fresh approach that took me by surprise.
The one Truth I discovered was that you cannot fully understand Revelation without marrying the Old and New Testament scriptures. They are inseparable and give credence to the scripture "...there is nothing new under the sun."
This Age Should Be a Wakeup Call to the Sleeping Church!
It is a Dangerous Practice to Pollute That Which God Has Sanctified.
Many Claim They Know Christ But Desire the Comfort of the Pews Over Living Godly.
Verse 10 of 2nd Peter describes the the Day of the Lord … a day when the heavens and the earth shall be consumed by fire. Then Peter poses the question only to believers in verse 11 … what manner of persons aught we to be in the face of God's impending judgment? The world needs the true Church to stand up and be heard! What is the world hearing from the supposed Church in these trying days? Open our buildings; we need our churches (buildings) so that we can get back to the way it was … or else … or else what? How was it before the 'pandemic'?
Most of Christendom was and is still lazy, apathetic and dead to true godliness. They miss their religious social clubs, their trite fellowships and believe that they have done their duty to God and country by faithfully ensconcing themselves aloofly in edifices that now are the distain of the rest of the population. Wow, from where did all that hatred come? Actually, it has always been there but the current situation has brought to light that the churches are self-centered and only think of themselves. Many church goers try to blame Satan for being the instigator of all this mayhem, but … that runs afoul of the Word, for the gates of hell CANNOT prevail against the Church built upon the Rock, Jesus Christ.
Enter the narrative of Jesus and the money changers. As the Bible states, there is nothing new under the sun. The temple built by Solomon had a very strict admittance policy; Hebrews only, period. When Cyrus issued the decree to allow the Jews in Babylon to return to Israel to rebuild the temple, it was rebuilt, patterned after the temple built by Solomon. Along comes Herod the Great, tetrarch of Israel under Roman occupation and he was not even a Jew for he was Idumean from the line of Esau. He decided to add an addition to the temple and constructed what was called the courtyard of the Gentiles. All Hebrews going to the temple to worship had to go through this new feature to reach their goal. This new area quickly became a major source of commerce within Jerusalem; money exchangers, sheep salesmen and the like. It is when the 'money changers' decided to move their operations within the bounds of the original temple that ignited the anger of Jesus. The world had encroached upon that which God had sanctified for Israel. Today's churches have welcomed the world into their midst and the sanctified real believers have become polluted with the worldly. My only conclusion is that God has closed the churches for the purpose of sanctifying the Church by removing them from the worldly system of Christendom. The Word commands us to 'come out from among them.' … even if it is kicking and dragging us out. Those clamoring against the closures are actually fighting against God and His plan for His Church. Worldliness must be replaced by godliness is these perilous last days.