“The Church In The Valley”

Posted: October 26, 2012 in Bible Prophecy, Church, Daniel, Dispensations, Holocaust, Israel, Resurrection, Salvation, Tribulation

     When I was going to seminary in San Francisco, I was an associate pastor in “The Little Brown Church” by the sea in Pacifica, California.  Then I pastored a church in the valley in Delano, CA.  Today I enjoy pastoring a church in Paso Robles where we have beautiful hills to enjoy.  I often think of the words of the Psalmist who wrote, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills.  From whence comes my help?  My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1, 2).  Yes, He did (Genesis 1:1).  As I look out at the hills I realize that between the two peaks there is a valley that may be large or small.  When we get to the top of one peak we can see what is in the valley.

     Foggy.  God gave the Old Testament prophets information (revelations) of things to come.  They failed to realize that between the two mountain peaks there were valleys where things would be going on.  They wrote about the coming of the Messiah and saw it as all happening continuously without any valley or break between His first coming and His second coming.  So far there has been about 2,000 years.  But not to worry – a day with God is like a 1,000 years to us (2 Peter 3:8, 9).  He’s long suffering and may be waiting for you to trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.  Think about that.

    Illustration.  Jesus illustrated this for the people of His day when He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and read a portion from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1, 2).  But He didn’t read the whole section because He knew that the rest of Isaiah’s prophecy about Him would have to be fulfilled when He came back to earth a second time (Luke 4:18, 19).  They became very upset with Him and wanted to kill Him for saying that it referred to Him.

     Progressive.  God didn’t reveal all the information in Scripture at one time.  It was written by about 40 authors over 1,500 years.  God the Holy Spirit superintended their writings to insure that what they wrote would be what God wanted us to know.  Amazingly, all the writers in the Bible point to the One whom the Scriptures called “Immanuel” – “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). 

     “The Word.”  Jesus Christ, the God-man, was the Spokesman for the Godhead (John 1:1-18).  He came to reveal to us humans what God is like.  After living a sinless life for 33 years, He died on a cross for our sins…and rose again bodily from the grave with a glorified, resurrected (not resuscitated) body (1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Luke 24:33-43).  Yes, His resurrected, glorified body in heaven has flesh and bones, but no blood (1 Corinthians 15:50).  Those who deny that Jesus Christ is coming back in the flesh (i.e. with a real body) are deceivers and antichrist (3 John 1:7; Zechariah 12:10). 

     Church.  The true Church was a mystery in the Old Testament (Ephesians 5:32).  It had its beginning on the Day of Pentecost 2,000 years ago (Acts 2).  It exists in the valley between the first and second coming of Christ.  It is made up of Jewish and Gentile believers in the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:15; Romans 1:16, 17).  When all whom God the Father has given to God the Son have come to Him, Jesus will come back to meet His Church in the air and take us to the home He has been preparing for us (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 21:10ff). 

     Steward.  The Apostle Paul refers to himself as the steward (household manager) of this “Dispensation of Grace” (Ephesians 3:1-12).  He was the primary one who passed on to Christians the Grace principles that are found between John 13 and Revelation where we can find our “Rules for Conduct” for today.  (Dispensations are not different ways of salvation.)  Peter, John, James, and Jude gave supplemental information to us Christians.  We are not under the Old Testament rules – the Mosaic Law (Exodus 19-Matthew 12) or under Kingdom rules – the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  Those who try to live by them allegorize (change the meaning) the words of Jesus.  Who have you seen with an eye or hand missing to avoid his being cast into hell (Matthew 5:29, 30)?  See our “Dispensational Chart” for more information.

     Clock. God’s time clock with reference to the Jews will start up again when the Antichrist confirms a 7 year peace agreement with the Jews after the Church has left earth (Daniel 9:27; Revelation 3:10).  The Gentiles (non-Jews) will suffer terribly under the 7 seal judgments during the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation (Revelation 6). Then, in the middle of the 7 year tribulation, the Jewish people will enter into the “time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble” when they refuse to worship the image of the Antichrist that will be set up in the rebuilt Temple (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15ff).  All the nations of the world will come against the Jews to try to annihilate them in a place called Armageddon in northern Israel (Revelation 16:16).  They should forget it; it can’t be done (Psalm 2). Those who try will be doomed.

     Salt.  The Jews are the salt (i. e. the preservers) of the earth (Matthew 5:13).  They are the reason the earth hasn’t been destroyed.  A believing Jewish remnant will survive the holocaust and enter Christ’s millennial kingdom to repopulate the earth along with some believing Gentiles – non-Jews (Matthew 24:13; 25:34-40).  Right now the Jewish people have been temporarily set aside until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (Romans 11:1, 25). 

     Land.  God promised to give to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants the land that extends from the River in Egypt to the Euphrates River (Genesis 15:18).  They will get all of it when Christ returns to set up His 1,000 year kingdom on earth when peace finally will prevail (Isaiah 2:4; 11:1ff; 35:1ff; Revelation 20:1-7). 

     Timing.  Although we don’t know the exact day of Christ’s return, we do believe He said what He meant and meant what He said (John 14:1-3).  Do you belong to Him or are you still a child of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8-10).  You can be delivered out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13).

     Method.  It’s quite simple.  Admit that you are a sinner who deserves to be separated forever from God (Romans 3:23; 6:23).  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily from the grave (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  Don’t trust your good works to save you.  They can’t (Ephesians 2:8, 9). 

     Help?  If you’re not sure of your eternal destiny, we’d be happy to share more information with you so you can be sure even before you die (1 John 5:13).  Call us at 805-238-3549 or visit our web site: www.kelseypeach.com. These articles are usually a summary of our talks on Sundays and can be heard on the Internet. If these articles help you, please let others know about them.

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