Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians is one of the earliest of his writings. In this letter, Paul offers comfort in the midst of their persecution, by teaching concerning the return of Christ. The subject of the second coming of Christ permeates the letter, which brought encouragement for them all. Verse ten, we read, And look forward to and await the coming of His Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead- YAHSHUA, Who personally rescues and delivers us out of and from the wrath which is coming and draws us to Himself. The coming wrath of God, long time been taught, is certain as is the deliverance of His people from it. The world today, has turned toward its destruction in an unprecedented way and so fast, everyone is in awe! Peace, is the cry. The more it cries for peace, the more chaos is created, as to shape the world into one order, under the power of a few, and ultimately, one leader. The world’s government’s sovereignty is now challenged, and pressured into doing what has been dictated. The news sounds the same everywhere. The world, as it is today, dresses alike, eats the same foods, and now it is working on one religion system. Unity, as in one order of government, and one religion, applied to the entire world, is their way to bring about “peace” through one man, the antichrist. That’s what they think and are working hard toward that goal to make it happen on their watch. The Bible says, When people are saying, all is well and secure and, There is peace and safety, then in a moment unforeseen destruction will come upon them as suddenly as labor pains come upon a woman with child; and they shall by no means escape, for there will be no escape (vs.3). In the words of YAHSHUA, But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to this life and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose; for it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth. Keep awake then and watch at all times, praying that you may have the full strength and ability and be accounted worthy to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man (Luke 21:34-36).
Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial, which is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell upon the earth (Rev. 3:10) YAHSHUA’S words to the church of Philadelphia.
God’s promise of deliverance for His faithful church has been established from the beginning under the condition, “Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance.” Conditioned as in, “forgive and you shall be forgiven.” What does it mean? The phrase the word of my patience, “Refers not to individual commandments to patience, but to the entire gospel message. The general whole of the word of YAHSHUA the Messiah communicated to men. The whole gospel, then, is so named inasmuch as it all records the patience which Christ exercised; it means that nothing in sorrow, nothing in trial, nothing in temptation, no antagonism, has the smallest power to divert us from doing what’s right.” (Maclaren’s expositions) ‘The word of My patience’ means “the word of Christ which requires patience to keep it; the gospel which teaches the need of a patient waiting for Christ.” (Vincent’s word studies).
The conditions in which qualifies the believer to escape the wrath of God are summarized in these words: “guarded and kept My word of patient endurance.” The Word of God throughout teaches endurance and patience. Two difficult things to apply to our Christian living. Without patience there will be no endurance to keep going, as in waiting for the Lord. Many so- called Christians have lost the patient and endurance of faith, to follow their ways contrary to God’s word. They walk in darkness and embrace whatever they hear from TV. They lost the very essence of God’s promise and continue walking far from Him. They lost hope in the fact that the Lord is coming, because, like the unbelievers, they do not believe in the promise and have become scoffers of it. The Apostle Peter wrote, … You must know and understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, walk after their own fleshly desires and say, where is the promise of His coming? For since the forefathers fell asleep, all things have continued exactly as they did from the beginning of creation… nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day (II Peter 3:3-4,8). Men forget that God is eternal and there is no limit of space of time for Him. He exists outside of the measure and frame of time, in an everlasting, forever in an infinite and unmeasurable time: a thousand years as a day, a day as a thousand years.
I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that you shall weep and grieve, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy, a woman, when she gives birth to a child, has grief because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she no longer remembers her pain, because she is so glad that a man has been born into the world (John 16:20-21).
YAHSHUA’S analogy is well fitted to the subject of end times. There are no pains worth going through that do not produce a result and relief. When Eve sinned, God punished her with pain in childbirth (Gen. 3:16) He said to the woman, I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children…. A woman’s labor pain is caused by contractions of the uterus’ muscles and by pressure on the cervix. It affects several parts of the body, for the entire body has to accommodate to the change that is happening for the sake of giving birth. Labor contractions are necessary for the body to push the baby out. They grow in intensity and constant as the baby nears the birth canal. But the woman is relieved after it is all over. She rejoices when she hears her baby crying, which is a sign of life. And as YAHSHUA said, she no longer remembers her pain because joy floods her soul with the thought of have given birth to a child. So the end time or the end of ages pains are compared to birth pain, because it gives birth to the fulfillment of prophecy of the Scriptures. YAHSHUA advised us to look up when we see those things are happening, because our redemption is on its way.
The Prophet Jeremiah continually warned Judah of coming judgment and destruction with a calling for repentance. But Judah had nothing to do with Jeremiah’s warning; they remained in their heart of stubbornness. Their prophets prophesied falsely; their priests exercised their own rule and Israel loved to have it that way. The Prophet Jeremiah wept bitterly over Judah’s sins and judgement that was coming upon the nation. He said, But if you will not hear and obey, I will weep in secret for your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive (Jer. 13:17). When Judah remained stubborn in their ways, Jeremiah asked the question: What will you do when the end comes? When destruction comes to whom will you turn to? What are your plans to escape your destruction? In the days of Noah, people heard the message of coming flood for several years, but they did not repent of their ways and were destroyed. Judgement came; they could not do anything to escape it. God gives men always a frame of time for them to change their ways in repentance and brokenness of heart before He sends judgment on them. In the past He has sent Patriarchs, Prophets and judges. Today We have His Word warning us of coming judgments and how to escape it.
Before the Apostle Paul was martyred, he gave Timothy a grim picture of the last days. He said that people will not tolerate sound doctrine but wanting to have their ears tickled they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. Does it not sound like today? Mega churches are full of people wanting to be entertained with words that bring good feelings. They emphasize good energy and positivism and prosperity. There are no teachings on conviction of sin and repentance “You are okay; I am okay.” That’s the theory that keeps them deceived and far from the truth. The word of God says that we have sinned and have come short of the glory of God; it says that our hearts are wicked above all things, but He invites us to repentance for forgiveness of our sins. Meanwhile the world turns its axes to destruction because of the men’s wickedness; they deafen their ears to sound doctrine, following a deluge of lies. Just like in the days of Jeremiah as a prophet, when he warned Judah of coming judgement. Instead of repenting and returning to God they ridiculed him and put him in prison. As a result, Judah was conquered and the temple destroyed. Many lives were lost many were taken to Babylon to captivity. It seems to me that we live in the days of Jeremiah when the abundance of false prophets is clouding the air with false teachings. They teach prosperity instead of repentance; they make their millions and continue to empty peoples’ pockets with their devious way of begging for more money. They live in mansions, they have private airplanes and disregard the financial, physical and spiritual needs of God’s people. They have blinded the eyes of those who are spiritually ignorant, leading them to worse deception. They falsely prophecy coming blessings instead of judgement. “What will they do when the end comes?”
From the fig tree learn this lesson: as soon as its young shoots become soft and tender and it puts out its leaves, you know of a surety that summer is near. So also when you see these signs (24:1-31) all taken together coming to pass, you may know of surety that He is near, at the very doors. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away till all these things taken together take place. Sky and earth will pass away, but My word will not pass away (Matt. 24:32-35).
This parable of the fig tree representing the reestablishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and the space of generation of forty years in its relationship has been miss- interpreted by many, with the belief that in that generation of forty years after the birth of Israel, the Second Coming can happen.
According to the book, In the footsteps of the Messiah by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, there are two errors in this belief: (1) the Bible does not limit the period of a generation to be forty years, for the term “generation” can be twenty, forty, seventy, eighty and one hundred years. The only place where the term generation is given a specific time is found in Genesis 15:13-16, which is one hundred years. It says: And [God] said to Abram, Know positively that your descendants will be strangers dwelling as temporary residents in a land that is not theirs, and they will be slaves there and will be afflicted and oppressed for 400 years. But I will bring judgment on that nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions… and in the fourth generation they shall come back here again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete. “And in the fourth generation” of one hundreds Israel shall come back to their land.
As He passed along, He noticed a man blind from his birth. His disciples asked Him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he should be born blind? (John 9:1,2).
What is so significant about this question? It refers to the visitation of iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 34: 7b). Diseases are connected with sin. From the time the first couple sinned, mental and physical sufferings entered the world as a result. But that was not the case in this blind man’s life, as YAHSHUA answered the question, It was not that this man or his parents sinned, but he was blind in order that the workings of God should be manifested in him (vs.3). On the contrary, this man was chosen to fulfill God’s purpose in point and time of his life, “in order that God’s workings be manifested in him.” All the years of his existence he survived through begging. In those days nothing was made easy for a blind person to live a normal life in society, as it is available today. Today a blind person can go to special schools to learn how to read and write through a method called braille and how to live a normal life and be part of the society’s work force. Although still in visual darkness, knowledge lights up his understanding of his surroundings and beyond. His success depends on his willingness to face the world with what it offers him.
The life of Joseph is market by salvation of his brothers. When yet young he had dreams that spoke of God’s future calling to be his brothers and the nation of Egypt’s savior in the seven years of famine that was to come. He was mocked and ridiculed by his brothers and rebuked by his father when he revealed his dreams to them, not realizing the tremendous prophecy of their own salvation behind his dreams when his family was going to depend on him for their future survival. Next to the youngest of twelve brothers, Joseph was the favorite of his father, whose mother was Rachel, Jacob’s favorite wife. For her he worked fourteen years, when her sister was given him as a wife, instead. Out of hatred for him, his brothers sold him for twenty pieces of silver to Ishmaelite merchants who were passing by. They took him captive to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh. Though a slave in the eyes of the Egyptians, Joseph was favored of the Lord; He blessed him in all he did, for the master plan God had for him was to be fulfilled many years later. Joseph had to go through hard experiences to reach the plateau of success God had planned for him to be a savior for his brothers.
Joseph however, had several years to be prepared for the task the Lord had for him. When the maturity of time came for God’s plan to be fulfilled in his life, he was trusted with a very responsible position. He became second to Pharaoh, as the governor of Egypt. God gave him thirteen years of hard lessons preparing him to be his brother’s savior. He was only seventeen years old when he was taken to Egypt. Although young and handsome and at the prime of his life, Joseph did not fall into temptation to disobey the Lord. A thing worthy of our consideration in view of the today’s young generation. During his trials no vision was given him to confirm his dreams to be of prophetic meaning. He had those dreams when he was young and lacking understanding of their meanings. But he went through it all without running away; his spiritual strength kept him close to the commandments of the Lord. When Potiphar’s wife enticed him to sin against his moral integrity he answered her saying, “How can I do this great evil and sin against God?” Although innocent, he was put in jail. However, the Lord was with him and showed him mercy and loving-kindness and gave him favor in the sight of the warden of the prison (Gen. 39). God’s timing to raise Joseph from the ashes had finally come. He was then thirty years old when he took the position of governor of Egypt. These are the words Pharaoh told him when promoting him to governor: You shall have charge over my house, and all my people shall be governed according to your word. Only in matters of the throne will I be greater than you are. I have set you over all the land of Egypt… he said to him, I am Pharaoh and without you shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt (Gen. 1: 38-46).
After the number of days in which you spied out the land, even forty days, for each day a year shall you bear and suffer for your iniquities, even for forty years, and you shall know My displeasure (Numbers 14:34).
When God called Israel out of the Egypt, He gave them instructions and guidance on how to ordain their lives in order to enter the Promised Land successfully. But Israel’s sin of unbelief and idolatry followed by the hardening of their hearts became a stumbling block on their way there. In their stubbornness, Israel closed the eyes of their hearts to the miraculous deeds performed on their behalf, as in the opening of the Red Sea to save them from the Egyptian’s army; how God had satisfied their hunger with heavenly manna; the visible presence of God in their midst in a pillar of fire by night to give them light on their journey and a cloud by day to protect them from the heat of the day. Nothing seemed to matter to them.
After having wandered for three days, they went through the wilderness of Shur, where there was no water. In panic, they murmured, complained and doubted and undermined the faithfulness of God. Yet, lovingly, God blessed them with twelve springs of water, one for each tribe, and seventy palm trees. God used the number seventy to form the nation of Israel; Jacob’s family consisted of seventy people when they left for Egypt. The number seventy is also connected with God’s punishment of Israel; so those seventy palm trees were speaking to them of future seventy years of captivity in Babylon. It is prophesized in the book of Daniel that seventy weeks of years (70×7) have been given to them to finish the transgression, 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 (Daniel 9:24). That was the frame of time that God gave Israel for forgiveness in the number 70×7= 490 years. There is one more week of years left for the completion of God’s plan in the life of Israel.
The storm is rising higher and higher. People are unsettled and confused at the noise of the daily news. What to buy more of, what to believe and what not to believe. Some of us have experienced the corona virus at the end of last year as well as at the beginning of this year. But because a red flag was not raised concerning its danger, some of us came out of it okay. Life, in its routine, remained normal for us at that time, without the worries which are plaguing the world today. Time and time again, the world experiences the flu season, contagious as it can be, without fear and anxiety. It comes, it leaves the territory, which is our body in a matter of days. It is just routine of the season in some countries. However, there is today a storm of great proportion plaguing the world, causing many to die or be enslaved to fear. This a reality one would not like to face, when the governments are taking over the freedoms of people and demanding obedience by order of martial law. Something strange is going on some say, without realizing the signs of the time. That’s what it is, my friends, signs of the time. It never stands still; rather it keeps going on and on at the tick of the clock, taking us to its end. Yes, even time will have to come to its end when eternity will rule.
And [just] as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the time of the Son of Man; people ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, right up to the day when Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. So also as it was in the days of Lot. [People] ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heave and destroyed [them] all. That is the way it will be on the day that the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17: 26-30).
What does the days of Noah and the days of Lot exactly mean? Those days were defined by their increasing wickedness and God’s judgment that came upon them. The accounts of Noah’s days are described in Genesis chapter six. It reads, When men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair, and they tookwives of all they desired and chose. Then the Lord said, My spirit shall not forever dwell and strive with man for he also is flesh; but his days shall yet be 120 years. There were giants on the earth in those days – and also afterward- when the sons of God lived with the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. The Lord saw that the wickednessof man was great in the earth and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually, and the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved at heart. So the Lord said I will destroy, blot out, and wipe away mankind, whom I have created from the face of the ground- not only man, [But] the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air- for it grieves Me and makes Me regretful that I have made them (vs. 1-7).