“Wars And Rumors Of War”

Posted: October 21, 2012 in Bible Prophecy, Christian Life, Daniel, Decision Making, Holocaust, Tribulation

Ever since the dawn of human history, when Adam and Eve’s son Cain murdered his brother Abel, people have been killing each other when they want what someone else has or when they don’t get their own way (James 4:1, 2). Covetousness, envy, and murder come from man’s sinful nature (Galatians 5:19-21). We all have one (1 John 1:8).  Some people manifest the religious aspects of their sin nature and others display the baser aspects of the sin nature.  Which works of the flesh characterize your life most often?

New Nature.  To go to heaven we need a new nature from God (2 Peter 1:3, 4; John 3:3). When a person is “born again from above” he doesn’t lose his old sin nature. He simply adds a new nature to himself.  It enables him to be pleasing to God (Romans 7:15-25; 8:8). Strangely, we all still have the potential to do everything we did prior to our being saved. Christians who are carnal (1 Corinthians 3:3) often act worse than unbelievers do as they resist God. They are in danger of committing a sin that can lead to a premature physical death (1 John 5:16). Do you know what this involves?

Control.  Do you know how to keep your sin nature under control? There is a Biblical way to guarantee that you won’t carry out the sinful desires that come from your sin nature (Galatians 5:16, 25). Do you need some help understanding what these verses mean? Are you interested in living victoriously over your three spiritual enemies: the devil, the world system, and your own sin nature?  Each enemy requires different tactics.  If you need help, ask us.

Distress.  Let me illustrate one of  man’s basic problems. Stay with me.  After the Babylonian captivity (about 2,500 years ago) the Jews were permitted by the Persian (Iranian) King Cyrus to return to Israel and rebuild the city of Jerusalem and their Temple (Ezra 1:1-4). The Prophet Daniel longed to know what would happen to his people in the future. Obviously only an all knowing God could reveal such information to him (Isaiah 46:10).  Their problems were basically the same as the ones we have today.  They fought and killed each other over land and turf just as the nations and gangs do today.  Nothing has really changed over time including man’s sinful nature.  Man is not getting better but worse in his manifestations of his sinful nature (1 Timothy 4:1ff; 2 Timothy 3:1ff).  Don’t blame the devil; blame yourself!

Answered Prayer.  In answer to Daniel’s prayer, an angel was sent to him with a message that brought him great distress. From it he learned that troublesome times would continue to plague the Jews until the promised Messiah would come to set up His kingdom on this earth (Daniel 2:44, 45; Revelation 19:16). Having been rejected as their rightful King of the Jews some 2,000 years ago (John 1:11; Luke 19:14), He postponed the setting up of His literal kingdom on this earth until a later date when He will come back a second time to rule as the King of kings, and Lord of lords (Matthew 24:29ff; Revelation 19:16).  This might happen much sooner than you realize.

Fulfilled.  As predicted in the Scriptures hundred of years before it happened and verified by secular history, the Jews continue to suffer under the Persians (Iranians), the Greeks, and the Romans. During the Persian rule a wicked man named Haman tried to exterminate the Jews. His attempt failed and the Jews celebrate their victory in a feast called Purim even to the present day (Esther 3:13; 9:29).  Hitler tried to annihilate the Jews but couldn’t wipe all of them out.  He’s dead, the Jews still exist.  You can’t exterminate them.  There will always be a remnant that will survive.  God will fulfill all His promises to them.  Some day the believing remnant will get the land from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Euphrates (Genesis 15:18).  It may not be that far off from today.

Kings.  Stay with me now.  There is more valuable information to learn from history.   After Alexander the Great from Greece died, his generals divided up the lands he’d conquered into four regions. General Seleucus took over Syria (called “the king of the North” above Israel), and General Ptolemy took over Egypt (called “the king of the South” below Israel). The Jews were caught between these two regions and suffered much as these two Greek kingdoms battled against each other.  Each wanted what the other had – not much different than what little kids do.  Do you covet or envy what someone else has?  Beware!  Such emotions can lead to murder.

Vile.  The most notorious “king of the north” (i.e. Syria) was Antiochus Epiphanes. He thought of himself as a god. (This is “the lie” that Satan wants man to believe – i.e. a mere man can become a god.  It’s also known as humanism – 2 Thessalonians 2:9; Romans 1:25.)  Antiochus usurped the throne by deception and flattery. He oppressed the Jews terribly and tried to force them to accept pagan Greek practices.  He wanted them to abandon their Jewish beliefs in God and engage in gross sensuality and immorality that was very offensive to the devout Jews. He offered a sow (unclean animal) on their altar and put an pagan image in their Temple.  He slaughtered many Jews and sold others into slavery.

Rededicated.  Mattathias Maccabeus and his sons and other devout Jews resisted this wicked and vile king and eventually took back the Jewish Temple and rededicated it to God. Some of this information is recorded in the books of Maccabees that has some historical value to us but was not regarded as part of the inspired Scriptures by Christ.

Predicted.  God gave this information (revelation) to Daniel hundreds of years before these events took place. What was recorded in Daniel 11:1-35 is now history to us. All of it has been verified by secular history.

Criticized.  Because these prophecies were fulfilled so accurately, the critics of the Bible and those who deny God’s omniscience have claimed that the events must have been written after they happened. Do you believe Jesus, who is the God-man, knows everything (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25)? Would you want to put your faith in a God who wasn’t/isn’t omniscient? Are you among those who think that God isn’t aware of everything you do and say (Psalm 10:11)? He even knows why you do what you do and will judge your motives some day (1 Corinthians 4:5).  He is also all powerful, righteous, holy, full of goodness, truth, and love. All these attributes are in harmony with each other.  Jesus Christ was/is God manifested in human flesh (John 1:1-18).  Is He your personal Savior?

Validated.  Since all these prophecies have been fulfilled literally, we believe that the rest of this prophecy concerning the future Antichrist will be fulfilled literally too (Daniel 11:36-45).  By the way, beware of those who us the allegorical method of interpretating the Bible.  It has misled a lot of people into believing errors. It changes the basic meaning of words to fit the preferences and prejudices of the interpreter of the Scriptures.  Have you been misled by such teachers?  The Apostle Paul mentioned the future Antichrist’s activities (2 Thessalonians 2:1-11) and so did the Apostle John (Revelation 13).  Jesus validated Daniel’s prophecy concerning the future Antichrist (Matthew 24:15). He will come during the time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble that will last for seven years (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27). Will you be on earth when he comes or will you be caught up to meet the Lord before the Antichrist comes (1 Thessalonians 4:17)?

Choice.  You can choose to ignore or reject God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Scriptures, but you can’t escape the consequences that will come upon all those who reject Him as their personal Savior (John 3:16, 36; Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8). Where will you spend eternity and with whom? Will it be with God in heaven or with the devil and his angels in the lake of fire (John 14:1-3; Matthew 25:41, 46)? Don’t delay; decide today!

Eternal Life.  God’s quality of life is promised to everyone who will admit that he/she is a sinner and who will believe that Christ died for his/her sins…and rose again bodily from the dead on the third day (Romans 3:10, 23; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; 1 John 5:13). We aren’t saved by our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

Assurance.  Would you like to have assurance of your salvation before you die? If you have questions or need additional help, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site at www.kelseypeach.com. We have “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation” in 24 languages and other helpful information for Christians to grow. These articles usually correspond to our talks on Sunday and can be heard on the Internet.

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