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Why The Urgency?

Why The Urgency?

One Hope One Boast Conference – Opening Session

 

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In the West it is easy to live each day in our comforts as though the this age will remain forever. Tim takes the time to look into the Bible and see why it’s important to live with urgency in this day and hour.

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The content of this teaching’s notes are below with partial formatting. If you would like to see the notes with complete formatting,

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Why The Urgency?

NEW TESTAMENT'S OBSESSION WITH THE SECOND COMING

THE NEW TESTAMENT’S OBSESSION WITH THE SECOND COMING

  1. When we read the New Testament, we notice that the apostles cannot stop talking about the Second Coming of Jesus the Messiah. Our Master’s appearing is our blessed hope!

13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. (NIV1 Pet. 1:13)

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hopethe glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (NIVTit. 2:11-14)

1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction….7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (NIV2Tim. 4:1-2, 7-8).

  1. The Scriptures are clear that Jesus will return at a time that the Father has set by His own authority.

6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. (NIVAc. 1:6-7)

13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords (NIV1 Tim. 6:13-15)

  1. The crucial question is: How close might we actually be to that appointed time of the Second Coming? Do we have solid grounds for believing that Jesus will actually return in our lifetime or that of our children? Why should we believe with any real conviction that this generation is any different from those that have preceded it the last two thousand years? Why does it matter? Why the urgency?
  2. One of the most misunderstood, misquoted, and misinterpreted Bible verses in the Body of Christ today is Matthew 24:36.

36 “No one knows (Grk. oiden-perceive, or has perceived – knowledge through perception) about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (NIVMt. 24:36)

  1. Because people take this verse out of context, it is often used to say the exact opposite of what Jesus is actually saying by it! Many use this verse to say that we are not to watch for the Second Coming because the day or the hour is intrinsically unknowable. However, a close reading of Matthew 24-25 in context, along with Luke 12 and 1 Thessalonians 5, Jesus is teaching an inherent agnosticism with respect to His Second Coming. Rather, His point is that we must watch and pray, so that we might move from lack of perception to perception, and so not be taken by surprise like the rest of the world.

1Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. (NIV1 Th. 5:1-6)

3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ, ’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains….29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’30 “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. 32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 36 No one knows (Grk. oida- to see or perceive) about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.’ 10 (NIVMt. 24:3-8, 29-38)

  1. That day will come as a surprise only to those who aren’t watching, praying, and living in the light. Those who are watching, praying, living in the light, and boasting in the cross, however, will be ready for the events of the last days and will be able to discern the signs of the times. The fact that we don’t yet know the exact timing of the Second Coming is a summons to watchfulness, so that when the signs do begin to unfold, with the Holy Spirit’s help we will be able to perceive that the appointed time is nearing. Jesus is not saying, “Here are the signs that will alert you that the last days are upon you, but actually, sorry guys, don’t watch for these signs, because the day and hour are intrinsically unknowable and thus are utterly meaningless.”
  2. The truth is that God’s heart is touched when we ask Him for an eye to discern the signs of the times in which His Son will execute the desires and plans of His heart.  Our interest in this topic is an indication of where we are actually putting our hope! The Messiah’ coming is our blessed hope. How can we not search it out!

Concerning this salvation, prophets, those who prophesied about the grace coming to you, searched it out diligently and investigated it carefully by probing into what man, or what sort of appointed time, the Spirit of the Messiah among them (or “in them” – Grk. en) began to clarify as they were bearing witness ahead of time to the sufferings destined for the Messiah, and the glories subsequent to these [sufferings]. It was revealed to them that they were tending to these things not in service to themselves, but to you—things which have now have been reported to you through those who proclaimed the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven! Things which angels greatly desire to stoop down and glimpse into! (Author 1 Pet. 1:10-12)

EVERY GENERATION CALLED TO URGENCY

EVERY GENERATION CALLED TO URGENCY

  1. Irrespective of how close a generation actually may or may not be to the Day of the Lord and the Second Coming, the church is mandated by God to proclaim the Day of the Lord with great urgency and boldness. Every church and every disciple of Messiah Jesus is mandated by God to pray, proclaim, and live as if the intense events of the last days – which will culminate in the Second Coming – could begin unfolding tomorrow.
  2. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, had great urgency concerning the Day of the Lord. His faith in the Day of the Lord motivated him to live a holy life before God.

14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (NIVJude 14-15)

5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. (NIVHeb. 11:5)

  1. The prophets were urgent about the Day of the Lord

15 “The day of the Lord is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head. (Obad. 15)

14 “The great day of the Lord is nearnear and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the Lord will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there. 15 That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, 16 a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers. (NIVZeph. 1:14-16)

1Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains  a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come. (NIVJoel 2:1-2)

  1. Jesus was urgent about the Day of the Lord

8When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. (NIVLk. 10:8-12)

  1. The apostles were urgent about the Day of the Lord

11 And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (NIVRom. 13:11-12)

 

29What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; 30those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31those who use the things of this world, as if not engrossed in them. For the world in its present form is passing away. (NIV1 Cor. 7:29-31)

25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIVHeb. 10:25)

8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! (NIVJam. 5:8-9)

  1. Saints, whose train do we want to be on in the coming days? If these guys were “Day of the Lord crazies,” so be it. I’m with them.

The Day of the Lord is at hand.

THE SIGNPOST OF ISRAEL

THE SIGNPOST OF ISRAEL

  1. A significant number of unfulfilled Bible passages (including but not limited to: Isaiah 1:21-31, 29, 33, 40, 52, 59; Daniel 8, 9, 11:40-45, 12; Joel 2-3; Zephaniah 1:14-2:3; Zechariah 12-14; Ezekiel 38-39; Mal. 3; Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 17, 21; and 2 Thessalonians 2, scriptures that, moreover, primarily relate to God’s plan to discipline the nation and draw her to repentance in context to the pressures she will face in the last days) presuppose the following conditions for their fulfillment.
    1. a substantial number of Jewish people living in the actual land of Israel in a state of unbelief
    2. Jews controlling and living in the actual historical city of Jerusalem
    3. the city of Jerusalem being the center of the world’s attention
    4. the existence of a functioning Jewish temple in the city of Jerusalem
  2. For example, Zechariah 14 and 2 Thessalonians 2.

1A day of the Lord is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. 2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. 6 On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. 7 It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light. 8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. 9 The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. (NIVZech. 14:1-9)

1Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. (NIV2 Th. 2:1-4)

  1. Paul wrote the letter of 2 Thessalonians around 51AD. When he wrote 2 Thessalonians, the Jewish Temple was still standing in Jerusalem. In 70 AD, armies led by the future Roman Emperor Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. When this happened, most of the Jews in Israel were again scattered throughout the world. Peter and Paul died three years before Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus.
  2. When the Temple was destroyed and the Jewish people were sent into exile under the Romans, the historical and contextual conditions for the above mentioned prophecies related to Israel at the end of the age were no longer in place.
  3. In the twentieth century, something very significant happened. Beginning in the late 19th century, many Jews began returning to the land of Israel. During World War II (1939-1945), millions of Jews were killed by Hitler and the Nazi regime in the Holocaust. After World War II, thousands of Jewish survivors moved to Israel. In 1948, the modern state of Israel was formed, and in the 6-day war of 1967, Israel captured Jerusalem. For the first time in nearly two-thousand years, the land of Israel was back in the hands of Jews, most of whom did not know the Lord.
  4. The formation of the state of Israel in 1948 and Israel’s recovery of Jerusalem in 1967 means that the prerequisite conditions for the signs Jesus and Paul mentioned are almost once again in place. Only those who do not read the newspaper would deny that Israel is once again at the center stage of the world’s attention. Israel is surrounded on every side by Islamic nations who hate her and seek her destruction. Also, although there is a small remnant of believing Messianic Jews in Israel, the vast majority of the Jews in Israel are still in a state of unbelief. All that remains is for the Jewish temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. Will the temple be rebuilt? The answer to this question must be yes, because 2 Thessalonians 2 and Malachi 3 require the existence of a literal temple in Jerusalem in order to be fulfilled.

The Day of the Lord is at hand.

THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH

THE MILLENNIAL SABBATH

  1. Today we have access to some the writings left behind by a number of those who gave leadership to the church in the generation following the death of the apostles. These leaders are sometimes called “early church fathers.” A number of these early church fathers either knew the apostles personally, or were mentored by people who had themselves been taught by the apostles directly.
  2. For example, today we still have some of the writings of an early church father named Irenaeus, who lived in the second century AD. Irenaeus wrote a very important work called Against Heresies. In that work, he refuted many of the false teachings that were trying to creep into the church in his day. Irenaeus as a youth had been influenced by the teaching of another bishop named Polycarp (69-155AD). Polycarp was a bishop in a town called Smyrna in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). What is significant is that Polycarp had been a direct disciple of the apostle John. Other examples are Clement of Rome (1st century AD), who knew the apostle Paul personally (Php. 4:3); and Papias (early 2nd century), who, like Polycarp, had been a student of the apostle John.
  3. From their writings it is clear that most of these early church fathers had a deep respect for the Word of God. In fact, there are so many references to Scripture in their writings, that most of the New Testament can be reconstructed just from the Bible verses quoted in their works! While the writings of these early church fathers are of course not to be regarded on the same level as inspired Scripture, they are nevertheless full of insight and worth taking seriously, especially since a number of them had either a direct or indirect connection to one of the apostles that Jesus Himself sent out to the nations.
  4. Examples
    1. Clement of Rome (AD, 30-100) & Justin (AD, 110-165): “And the fact that it was not said of the seventh day equally with the other days, ‘And there was evening, and there was morning,’ is a distinct indication of the consummation which is to take place in it before it is finished, as the fathers declare, especially St. Clement, and Irenaeus, and Justin the martyr and philosopher.” (Justin, Frag. XV, Comments by Anastasius about Clement, Irenaeus, and Justin)
    2. Papias (AD.70-155): “Taking occasion from Papias of Hierapolis, the illustrious, a disciple of the apostle who leaned on the bosom of Christ, and Clemens, and Pantaenus of the Alexandrians, and the wise Ammonius, the ancient and first expositors [of Scripture], who agreed with each other, who understood the work of the six days as referring to Christ and the whole Church.” (Fragments of Papias, IX)
    3. Epistle of Barnabas (Late 1st Century – Note: This Barnabas is different not the Barnabas in Acts): “And God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it.” Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, “He finished in six days.” This implieth that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand years, for a day is with Him a thousand years. And He Himself testifieth, saying, “Behold, to-day will be as a thousand years.” Therefore, my children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, all things will be finished. “And He rested on the seventh day.” This meaneth: when His Son, coming [again], shall destroy the time of the wicked man, and judge the ungodly, and change the-sun, and the moon, and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day.” (Epistle of Barnabas, XV)
    4. Irenaeus: (AD. 120-202):

a)    “[He gives this] as a summing up of the whole of that apostasy which has taken place during six thousand years.* “For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded. And for this reason the Scripture says: “Thus the heaven and the earth were finished, and all their adornment. And God brought to a conclusion upon the sixth day the works that He had made; and God rested upon the seventh day from all His works.” This is an account of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy of what is to come. For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years; and in six days created things were completed: it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year.” … the whole apostasy of six thousand years, and unrighteousness, and wickedness, and false prophecy, and deception; for which things’ sake a cataclysm of fire shall also come [upon the earth].” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies V. XXVIII, 3)

b)   “But when this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is, the rest, the hallowed seventh day; and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance, in which kingdom the Lord declared, that many coming from the east and from the west should sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies Bk. V, ch. xxx )

c)   “These are [to take place] in the times of the kingdom, that is, upon the seventh day, which has been sanctified, in which God rested from all the works which He created, which is the true Sabbath of the righteous, which they shall not be engaged in any earthly occupation; but shall have a table at hand prepared for them by God, supplying them with all sorts of dishes.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Bk. V, xxxiii)

  1. Commodianus: (AD. 240): “This has pleased Christ, that the dead should rise again, yea, with their bodies; and those, too, whom in this world the fire has burned [martyrs], when six thousand years are completed,…” (Instructions of Commodianus, LXXIX)
  2. Methodius: (AD. 260-312): “For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday: seeing that is past as a watch in the night.” For when a thousand years are reckoned as one day in the sight of God, and from the creation of the world to His rest is six days, so also to our time, six days are defined, as those say who are clever arithmeticians. Therefore, they say that an age of six thousand years extends from Adam to our time. For they say that the judgment will come on the seventh day, that is in the seventh thousand years.” (Extracts From The Work on Things Created. IX)
  3. Lactantius: (AD. 260-330): “Therefore let the philosophers, who enumerate thousands of ages from the beginning of the world, know that the six thousandth year is not yet completed, and that when this number is completed the consummation must take place, and the condition of human affairs be remodeled for the better … Therefore, since all the works of God were completed in six days, the world must continue in its present state through six ages, that is, six thousand years. … And again, since God, having finished His works, rested the seventh day and blessed it, at the end of the six thousandth year all wickedness must be abolished from the earth, and righteousness reign for a thousand years; and there must be tranquility and rest from the labors which the world now has long endured. … “For six thousand years have not yet been completed, and when this number shall be made up, then at length all evil will be taken away, that justice alone may reign.” (The Epitome of the Divine Institutes, Chapter 70)
  4. Victorinus: (AD. 300?): “And in Matthew we read, that it is written Isaiah also and the rest of his colleagues broke the Sabbath — that that true and just Sabbath should be observed in the seventh millenary of years. Wherefore to those seven days the Lord attributed to each a thousand years; for thus went the warning: ‚In Thine eyes, O Lord, a thousand years are as one day.‛ Therefore in the eyes of the Lord each thousand of years is ordained, for I find that the Lord’s eyes are seven. Wherefore, as I have narrated, that true Sabbath will be in the seventh millenary of years, when Christ with His elect shall reign.” (Victorinus, On the Creation of the World)[1]
  5. Biblical Foundations

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (NKJVGen. 2:15-17)

1This is the written account of Adam’s line. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them “man.” 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. 4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died. (NIVGen. 5:1-5)

3You turn men back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, O sons of men.” 4For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. (NIVPs. 90:3-4)

  1. Hebrews 3-4 and Revelation 20 also seem to presuppose this Millennial Sabbath framework.
  2. The patristic church tried to calculate where they were on the Millennial calendar. However, the early fathers were working from the Septuagint (LXX), and chronology of the LXX is about 1450 years ahead of the Masoretic Text. Thus, Hippolytus believed that there were five hundred left to complete the 6,000 years before the arrival of the Messianic Kingdom.[2]
  3. According to the Biblical data available to us, there were 2000 years from the Fall of Adam and Eve to Abraham; 2000 years from Abraham to the First Coming of Jesus; and we are approaching 2000 years since the Messiah’s death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.[3] “Although there is no consensus regarding the exact date of the crucifixion of Jesus, it is generally agreed by biblical scholars that it was on a Friday on or near Passover (Nisan 15), during the governorship of Pontius Pilate (who ruled AD 26-36).”[4] Because we don’t know with certainty the exact dates of Jesus’ death according to our modern secular calendar, we don’t know the exact date of Jesus’ return. And though there will be a day when we do know when Jesus is coming back (as specific signs unfold), it isn’t wise to predict dates at this point.
  4. Recently there was a man named Harold Camping who predicted that the rapture would occur and that the world would come to an end on May 21, 2011. Obviously he wasn’t right, and sadly many people who were following him became disillusioned. There were many, many problems with what Camping did, including: 1) he had a faulty understanding of salvation, the gospel, and the rapture (the world will not come to an end); 2) he made his predictions without reference to any of the signs that Jesus and Paul say must first precede the Second Coming; 3) he was using the wrong calendar; 4) he was using a faulty, cultic method of interpretation (allegorical, “deeper” meanings); 5) he was cultic, elitist, and Gnostic in the way he related to knowledge and people. In the end, he was a false prophet. Tragically, Camping was used by Satan to create a scoffing and unwatchful spirit in many people. Satan wants both the church and the unsaved to be blinded from and calloused to the true urgency of the hour. If they aren’t preparing their hearts for the coming storm, they will be swept away by it, and that is what Satan wants. However, we not unaware of the devil’s schemes. We must guard diligently against a scoffing spirit!

3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” (NIV2 Pet. 3:3-4)

  1. Question: Is it a mere coincidence that the things happening with Israel, are happening in precise correspondence with the timeframe implied by the early church’s teaching on the Millennial Sabbath?

14  For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, like a great lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them. 15 Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me.” 6 1 “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. (NIVHos. 5:14-6:2)

  1. Though we don’t know the exact date of Jesus’ return at this point, what we do know is this: If this Millennial Sabbath teaching of the early church fathers is in fact accurate and does in fact have its origins in the teaching of the apostles, then the next 20-30 years are absolutely critical in terms of our preparation as the Body of Christ. The fact that the conditions for the fulfillment of the remaining prophecies concerning the nation of Israel are being set in place before our very eyes, in precise accordance with the Millennial timeframe taught by the early church fathers, should cause to readjust our priorities as the church dramatically.

The Day of the Lord is at hand.

 


[1] Church father quotations from Tim Warner, The Coming Millenial Sabbath Part I: Eschatology of the Creation Week (July, 2009), <http://www.oasischristianchurch.org/air/chiliasm.pdf.> That article has now been replaced by a new article called The Millennial Week and Sabbath Rest According to the Early Christians, http://www.oasischristianchurch.org/jubilee/millennial_week_ecfs.pdf.

[2]John Harrigan, Gospel of Christ Crucified (unpublished manuscript).

[3]  Tim Warner, 120 Jubilees, at <http://www.120jubilees.org/>.

[4] Wikipedia, Crucifixion of Jesus <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_of_Jesus#Date_of_the_crucifixion>.

WHAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING

WHAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING

  1. Jesus said that His sheep would hear His voice.

3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (NIVJn. 10:3-5)

27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (NIVJn. 10:27)

  1. The prophet Joel prophesied that in the last days, God would speak to His people through dreams and visions.

17 “ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit, and they will prophesy. (NIVAc. 2:17-18)

  1. The Holy Spirit is speaking to the church today in many ways, and his voice on one subject in particular seems to be getting louder and louder: the Second Coming of Jesus and the Biblically prophesied events surrounding it.
  2. Testimonies from the Body of Christ in different parts of the world. In recent years I have heard a number of stories about how God is speaking to different parts of the Chinese church about both the Gentile harvest among Muslims as well as His heart for Israel (cf. Rom. 11:25-26). In 2008, I met with a woman who does ministry in Uganda, and she told me that many Ugandan believers, too, have been hearing from the Holy Spirit about God’s heart and plan for the Jewish people. A number of my Egyptian Christian friends have told me how the Holy Spirit has been speaking to many in the Egyptian church about the need to prepare for the end-times events outlined in Isaiah 19 (a passage which relates to Egypt in the last days.) In 2009 just before I and my family went to Egypt, my sister had an end-times dream. In the dream, she saw people in prison camps throughout Egypt. A friend of ours in North Carolina had a dream in which she saw Jesus returning through the sky.
  3. The powerful testimony of a child (sent to me by a friend of mine through email). “The dream happened in early 2007. A four year old girl (who was the daughter of a prominent Youth pastor) had a dream where Jesus appeared to her and said that she was going to be a prophetic voice in the future and that when she needed to say something, He was going to always give her the words to use. He then said that she also never needed to fear for her life because He was coming back soon and was going to meet her in the sky. She was never going to experience death because she would meet him in the clouds. Her parents are pastors at a church that does not emphasize end times or Jesus coming back. This was language that only could have come from Jesus. Her parents were “rocked” by this because they did not think this was true themselves (that Jesus was coming back anytime soon) until their little girl told them.”

Personal testimonies. In 2006, my wife had a dream one night in which she and I were looking outside through a window as Jesus begin to break through the sky. Since the year 2006, I have had several very vivid dreams about Israel’s coming trouble, and God’s calling on the church throughout the nations to lay down our lives for Jews who will be fleeing intense persecution in the last days. In early 2009, I woke up from a dead sleep after a dream in which I heard the most incredibly intense sound of joy I have ever heard, immediately followed by the most incredibly intense sound of terror I have ever heard. In the dream, though I did not see Jesus coming back through the sky, I did briefly see the face of one of my believing friends as he was in the process of being raised from the dead at the Second Coming.  He was screaming with joy as this was happening to him. His shout of joy was then immediately followed by a shout of terror. I knew in the dream that the shout of terror was the wicked of the earth being punished also in context to the Second Coming. I woke up from this dream in the middle of the night gasping and with my heart leaping from my chest. (For whatever it is worth, both my wife and I are originally from church traditions and backgrounds that are not known for their openness to the work of the Holy Spirit.)

GETTING OIL IN OUR LAMPS

GETTING OIL IN OUR LAMPS WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME

  1. In Matthew 25, Jesus makes a distinction between wise and foolish virgins in the last days.

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know (Grk. oidate – perceive, or have not perceived) the day or the hour. (NIVMt. 25:1-13)

  1. So, what is the “oil” Jesus is talking about in Mt. 25? I’ve heard some call it the oil of intimacy and close fellowship with God. I’ve heard others suggest that the oil is the oil of the Holy Spirit. Certainly there is great truth to both of those. At the same time, let’s not overlook the obvious: Jesus praises the five wise virgins. As the Bridegroom’s arrival approaches, we must have our lamps filled with wisdom.

1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2 for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; 3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; 4 for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young— 5 let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—6  for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but foolsdespise wisdom and discipline. (NIVProv. 1:2-7)

  1. In Scripture, wisdom and knowledge not only include right information, but experiential understanding

For although you ought to be teachers because of the time, you again have need of someone teaching you the foundational tenants of the oracles of God, and have become men in need of milk, not solid food. For everyone who keeps partaking of milk is inexperienced (Grk. apeiros) in the message of righteousness(cf. vv. 1-10), for he is an infant. But the solid food is for mature men, for those who keep having the senses of perception worked out through routine use, leading to a capacity to differentiate both good and evil. (AuthorHeb. 5:12-14)

  1. A wise carpenter is someone who has built houses. A wise plumber is someone who has done plumbing. A wise boxer is someone who has had a few bouts in the ring. A wise runner is someone who has run a few races before the Olympics.
  2. The wisdom of God is Messiah crucified.

22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (NIV1 Cor. 1:22-24)

  1. Having the oil of wisdom in our lamps, therefore, means having a lifetime of experience in the way of the cross, so that we will be prepared for the big-C cross that awaits us in the days ahead. The birth pains are only going to increase until Jesus returns.

So why are we gathered here for this conference? In Noah’s day, God warned Noah ahead of time that the Flood was coming. Would he listen to God, forsake the so-called wisdom of this age, and build the ark in holy fear? In our day we are faced with a similar call from our Maker. God has told us that the most difficult time the world has ever known is drawing near. As the Body of Christ, we will be called by the living God to carry our cross in an unprecedented way. Here is the question before us: By the time wickedness becomes fully ripe on the earth, will we have had enough experiential training in the way of the cross to stand firm in those days? Not only that, will our conviction of the blessed hope that awaits us on the other side of that time of testing be strong enough to sustain us through those times? We have hope—the Second Coming. We have one boast—the cross of Christ. A clear understanding and conviction of the former, is what motivates us to press ahead and not give up through the latter. We have gathered at this conference to gain clarity about our hope and calling as believers, and to ask God to fill our lamps with the oil of Messiah crucified.

 

Tim Miller Tim Miller (124 Posts)

Tim is founder of the Daniel Training Network. His passion is to see followers of Christ embrace a life of the cross. He, his wife Emily, and their four children itinerate regularly as part of their ministry, and are presently living in New Mexico.


  • daniel

    So good

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