Message NotesUnderstanding Prophecy, Part I
Lesson Seven Lecture
The Chronology Laid Out III
As we come to the end of this part one in our series of prophecy, I hope you have seen that God has laid out His Word is such a way that we can begin to understand prophecy at the very beginning.
Up through Lesson Six, we have witnessed the first eight and half chapters in Genesis. In our homework of this last lesson we have dealt with chapters nine through the first half of eleven. Again, within these chapters God has given us exactly the details that HE wants us to know, so that He can reveal to us the prophetical events that He wants us to understand.
In the past three weeks we have seen that the historical events of the Flood in Noah?s day, teach us about the coming Tribulation which is about to come upon the Earth. We have seen in Noah?s Flood that the waters prevailed over the mountains. We see in
18 And the water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 And the water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. 20 The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered.
Then added detail is given in chapter eight:
1 But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided. 2 Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained;
3 and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased. 4 And in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.
Hopefully you have seen in your homework that God caused a wind to pass over the over the water revealing once again His already-established pattern of bringing order out of disorder. This is His already-established first step to begin a new work ? His Spirit must move first! The Hebrew word for wind in Gen. 8:1 is the same Hebrew word for
Spirit in Gen.1:2. Let?s look at Gen. 1:2 again:
2 And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep;
The deep here, refers to raging waters, which covered the earth in the judgment which God brought upon the earth due to Satan?s rebellion in an age past. Now look at the first step that God takes in beginning to restore a fallen creation:
and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
In a real sense ? in both places, Gen. 1:2 and 8:1 ? God breathed upon the waters which were upon the earth as His first step of restoration.
And so in Genesis chapter eight, we see the exact same first step as in Gen. 1:2 in which
God causes a wind to pass over the waters! His consistency is amazing, isn?t it?
He ?breathed? over the water!
Something else to be remembered here in Genesis seven and eight is that a mountain in Scripture represents a kingdom; and mountains (plural) would represent kingdoms (plural). You can clearly see this being the case in the second chapter of Isaiah?s prophecy:
1 The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 Now it will come about that In the last days, The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. 3 And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways, And that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
This passage, of course, is Messianic is scope! A prophecy to be fulfilled in the antitype of the new beginning as we see in Genesis chapter nine, where Noah and his family came off of the Ark to begin anew.
Since it is true that mountains represent kingdoms in Scripture (Isa. 2:2), and since it is true that the waters of the Flood covered all the mountains of the earth, then in the antitype we can understand that the prophetical picture being depicted in Genesis chapters seven and eight by the Flood waters covering the tops of all the mountains is that of Gentile world powers being brought down, and the household of Israel represented by Noah?s household in the Ark, being lifted above the kingdoms of the earth.
It will be at that time that the very purpose for which God created man; and the very purpose for which God created the nation of Israel will finally be realized in the coming age, which is we know is the Age of the ages!
Israel will be set above all the kingdoms of the world. They will be the head of the nations, not the tail. They will be in their rightful place, administrating within a Theocracy, with their Husband as Supreme Ruler over all the earth.
And so we come to Genesis chapter nine. The first half of this chapter brings us to new beginning (at the end of the Flood). With the Flood having depicted the coming Tribulation, the receding of the waters depicting the end of the Tribulation, the first half of chapter nine reveals the new beginning for Noah and his family, actually a new beginning for the whole earth. It is here that God makes a covenant with Noah, saying that He will never again destroy the whole earth through a flood of waters. He sets a rainbow in the clouds to depict the fact that judgment has passed. We can read:
16 "When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth." 17 And God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth."
All this in the type reveals what will happen in the antitype. At the end of the Tribulation, the 70th week of Daniel, there is a new beginning beyond that. It is the Messianic Era, which lasts for 1,000 years, after which the Ages of the Ages will begin.
But here in the middle of chapter nine, we are brought to a place in Scripture where man?s history continues. Of course it does! And so what do we have, except God continuing to give us more and more information with ongoing historical events, filling in the foundational timeline through the use of more historical types.
Please be sure to understand that even though we have come to an ending point, as well as to a new beginning, the events in chapters nine through eleven which historically follow the Flood, in the type /antitype structure of Scripture these ongoing events act as types that further explain how conditions will be leading up to, and through the Tribulation ending with the Messianic Era in view. This is how God often uses types and antitypes throughout Scripture.
This is the only way to view ongoing historical events that come after the Flood. More types that fill in details of prophecy. And so we come to this:
20 Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. 21 And he drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.
23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father's nakedness.
While the exact details are not given of what took place within the tent of Noah, there seems to be implication that while Noah was in this drunken state some sort of immorality had taken place between Noah and Ham. We continue to read:
24 When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest [Lit. younger] son had done to him. 25 So he said, "Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants he shall be to his brothers."
26 He also said, "Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. 27 "May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant."
Comparing Scripture with Scripture, we can see the antitype to this playing out in the events during the Tribulation. The culmination of all Scriptural revelation concerning this 7-year period, comes in Revelation chapters six through the first half of nineteen. But for the moment, we are going to go to the chapters seventeen and eighteen, wherein Israel is depicted as the mother of harlots.
By this point in the 7-year Tribulation, Israel will have committed such spiritual adultery that they will be viewed as the Mother of Harlots. Here it is in God?s own Words:
1 And one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, ?Come here, I shall show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.?
3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,
5 and upon her forehead a name [was] written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." 6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.
So here we see the Nation of Israel being drunk on the blood of the saints ? those Tribulation saints who are martyred for their faith during the years of the Tribulation. And in Israel?s drunkenness, she commits harlotry with the Gentile rulers of the earth.
The type of Noah becoming drunk, and in that drunken state committing an immoral act with his son Ham represents (in the antitype) Israel becoming drunk on the blood of the saints during the coming Tribulation, and in that drunken state, committing fornication (spiritual adultery) with the kings of the Gentile nations, those Gentile world rulers who live in the very same geographical location in which the descendants of Ham settled in the early chapters of Genesis.
Type and Antitype! It is the way of God! He lays it all for us to know and understand.
Then, as God would have it, ongoing historical events fill in more detail of these very events! Let?s look at a few things that happened in subsequent years.
6 And the sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan ?
8 Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD."
10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel?, in the land of Shinar. 11 From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh?
Then more information is given concerning this kingdom of Babel in Genesis chapter eleven:
1 Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. 2 And it came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.
3 And they said to one another, "Come, let us make bricks and burn [them] thoroughly." And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. 4 And they said, "Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top [will reach] into heaven,
and let us make for ourselves a name; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."
Let?s notice the implications of all of this! Nimrod, who built the city of Babel, gathered a group of people, all who spoke one language, in order to form one government in order to build a city wherein they would build a tower, whose top would reach into the heavens!
In no small way is this a picture of the coming 70th week of Daniel, in which Satan will give his power to the antichrist, who will gather together many peoples to form a one-world government, with the desire to build his government in order to rule over the whole earth!
Shouldn?t we see the very hand of Satan in all of this? Satan, the very one who, in the beginning, desired to ?lift his throne above the stars of God and sit on the Mount of Assemblies in the recesses of the North (Isa.14:12-14). This is the very act, is that which brought a destruction of tohu and bohu upon his sanctuaries.
Keep this in mind as we continue to read in Genesis 11:
5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the LORD said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.
7 "Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech."
8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city.
9 Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.
Just as God stepped into the events of history during Nimrod?s day, God will also step into events of the future ? during the days of the Antichrist, the one who is the antitype of Nimrod, bringing judgment upon those Gentile nations, bringing an end to the Times of Gentiles, which began with Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon during Daniel?s day.
And so we have in these early chapters in Genesis giving us detailed information concerning the time of the end of this age. After the Church is raptured, depicted for us in the translation of Enoch in the 7th generation from Adam, there is coming a world-wide Tribulation, which has been depicted for us in the Flood of Noah?s day, the 10th generation from Adam.
During the events of the coming Tribulation, Israel will reach the apex of her harlotry, in that she will adulterate herself with the kings of the earth, having become drunk on the blood of the saints. God will bring judgment upon her through the very nations with whom she is committing adultery.
The Antichrist, will have been given Satan?s power, depicted by Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord. He, the Antichrist, will dominate the world in ways that are described throughout prophecy. But at a point in time, which has been pre-determined by God, He will step into the affairs of man and bring about judgment upon these nations.
And the judgment for both Israel and the Gentile world rulers are described for us in interesting terms. Let?s look at these judgments for a moment.
During this 7-year Tribulation, in particular the last half of the 7-years, there is evidence in Scripture that the future judgment of Israel will be compared in a sense to the initial judgment upon the earth after Satan?s fall, prior to the six days of restoration found in Genesis chapter one. We can see the degree of judgment through the use two Hebrew words to describe the destruction of the earth in Genesis 1:2.
2 And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
These two Hebrew words translated formless and void in this passage utter chaos! We know that this judgment is due to Satan?s rebellion, in which his sanctuaries ? the earth and the heavens which surround the earth ? were destroyed (cf. Ezek. 28:11ff; Isa. 14:12-14). The use of these two Hebrew words used together is found only two other times in Scripture. One in Jeremiah with respect to Israel and the judgment brought against her through the Tribulation, and one in Isaiah with respect to Gentile nations in the Middle East at the end of the Tribulation.
And the totality of these two judgments (one upon Israel and one upon the Gentile world powers) is depicted for us by the type of the Flood of Noah?s day. And the writing of the events of this Flood has been designed by God to be laid out in a particular way for God?s people to know and understand exactly what He wants us to know and understand.
Let?s look at these two judgments respectively.
First we?ll look at the future destruction of Israel as it is found in Jeremiah chapter four. This chapter deals with the reason for the judgment against Israel and the judgment itself. But for now I will just read a portion of it. God is speaking to the Jews:
6 "Lift up a standard toward Zion! Seek refuge, do not stand still For I am bringing evil from the north, And great destruction. 7 A lion has gone up from his thicket, And a destroyer of nations has set out; He has gone out from his place to make your land a waste. Your cities will be ruins without inhabitant. 8 For this, put on sackcloth, Lament and wail; For the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned back from us."
The Lord had warned Israel time and time and time again, but to no avail. Jeremiah prophesies over Israel telling of sure destruction to come upon them as a result of their being stiff-necked. More than 2500 years ago, God was revealing exactly how He was going to use Gentile world powers to execute His judgment over Israel. Get that now! God is going to use Gentile world powers to execute His judgment over Israel.
We will continue in our reading of Jeremiah:
11 In that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, "A scorching wind from the bare heights in the wilderness in the direction of the daughter of My people--not to winnow, and not to cleanse, 12 a wind too strong for this?
will come at My command; now I will also pronounce judgments against them. 13 Behold, he goes up like clouds, And his chariots like the whirlwind; His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are ruined!"?
?22 "For My people are foolish, They know Me not; They are stupid children, And they have no understanding. They are shrewd to do evil, But to do good they do not know." 23 I looked on the earth, and behold, [it was] formless and void; And to the heavens, and they had no light?
? 27 For thus says the LORD, "The whole land shall be a desolation, Yet I will not execute a complete destruction. 28 For this the earth shall mourn, And the heavens above be dark, Because I have spoken, I have purposed, And I will not change My mind, nor will I turn from it."
Remember what Jer. 4:6 says ? For I am bringing evil from the north, And great destruction. Then remember what the last part of the verse 27 says: Yet I will not execute a complete destruction.
God will only allow the Gentile nations to do so much; only allow things to come to the point where Israel will cry out to the God of their Fathers in repentance. Then God will put a stop to the ruthlessness of the Gentile nations, and Jesus will appear to them and forgive them and will soon thereafter heal their land, restoring them to the land, and will then reestablish Israel as His wife once again.
This is depicted by the Ark being lifted up above the mountains of the earth in Genesis chapters seven and eight. And once Israel is dealt with in judgment, and restored to her God, then God will deal with the Gentile world powers. We see their judgment here:
19 And Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the Chaldeans' pride, Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 20 It will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation;
Nor will the Arab pitch his tent there, Nor will shepherds make [their flocks] lie down there. 21 But desert creatures will lie down there, And their houses will be full of owls, Ostriches also will live there, and shaggy goats will frolic there.
22 And hyenas will howl in their fortified towers And jackals in their luxurious palaces. Her fateful time also will soon come And her days will not be prolonged.
1 When the LORD will have compassion on Jacob, and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob. 2 And the peoples will take them along and bring them to their place,
and the house of Israel will possess them as an inheritance in the land of the LORD as male servants and female servants; and they will take their captors captive, and will rule over their oppressors.
3 And it will be in the day when the LORD gives you rest from your pain and turmoil and harsh service in which you have been enslaved, 4 that you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon [who is the antichrist], and say, "How the oppressor has ceased, [And how] fury has ceased!
5 "The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, The scepter of rulers 6 Which used to strike the peoples in fury with unceasing strokes, Which subdued the nations in anger with unrestrained persecution.
7 "The whole earth is at rest [and] is quiet; They break forth into shouts of joy.
This of course prophesies a point in the future when the end of the Tribulation comes, and the Messianic Era is ushered in, this THE AGE OF THE AGES.
These are the very nations which caused such destruction on Israel, the very nations which God will use to bring about repentance on the part of Israel, allowing Jesus to return. These are the very nations which will then be judged by Jesus as described in these verses.
And it is interesting to see what kind of judgment and desecration God is going to bring upon these Gentile nations. As mentioned before, this judgment will be of such proportions that the way Scripture describes the degree of devastation, is through the use of two words, which have been used only in two other place in all of Scripture. The judgment upon the sanctuaries of Satan in an age past, and the judgment brought upon Israel in the judgment of her harlotry.
Let?s now look at this description of the judgment of these Gentile nations:
1 Draw near, O nations, to hear; and listen, O peoples! Let the earth and all it contains hear, and the world and all that springs from it. 2 For the LORD'S indignation is against all the nations, And [His] wrath against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to slaughter. 3 So their slain will be thrown out, And their corpses will give off their stench, And the mountains will be drenched with their blood. ?.
? 8 For the LORD has a day of vengeance, A year of recompense for the cause of Zion. 9 And its streams shall be turned into pitch, And its loose earth into brimstone, And its land shall become burning pitch. 10 It shall not be quenched night or day; Its smoke shall go up forever; From generation to generation it shall be desolate; None shall pass through it forever and ever. 11 But pelican and hedgehog shall possess it, And owl and raven shall dwell in it; And He shall stretch over it the line of desolation And the plumb line of emptiness. 12 Its nobles--there is no one there [Whom] they may proclaim king--And all its princes shall be nothing. 13 And thorns shall come up in its fortified towers, Nettles and thistles in its fortified cities; It shall also be a haunt of jackals [And] an abode of ostriches?.
Talk about a picture of utter desecration and desolation! Again, the two Hebrew words used in these last three verses describe utter chaos, and as shown this chaos will be ongoing.
And we can see all of this as the antitype of the Flood in Noah?s day, wherein there was a complete judgment, and a complete destruction with more details added through the types found in ongoing historical events found in chapters nine through eleven. Amazing!
Then all the mountains of the earth will be covered; all the kingdoms of the earth will be brought down. Israel will be lifted up to her rightful place as the head of all the nations. And all the Gentile nations will be blessed by and through Israel the reestablished wife of God.
And not only do these immediate chapters in Genesis fill in more details, but many other subsequent historical events throughout the annuls of history build the structure of more and more details (being built upon the foundation) concerning the prophecy of future events, until in the end, the entire picture is drawn out for us prior to the future events even taking place.
7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.
Throughout this first part of our series on Prophecy, we have seen that time and time again, Satan has tried to thwart the plan of God. If we would travel on through the annals of mankind?s history we would see this enmity playing out in innumerable ways, faces and facets.
The one who has ongoing enmity with the woman and the seed of the woman has not stopped. This is Satan?s number one goal, and he puts all of his strength and energy behind it.
May I ask you to consider a question? DO YOU THINK GOD WANTS US TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE BEEN STUDYING?
And if He does want us to know and understand, then WHY?
What would be the reason God WANTS US TO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND?
There IS reason for God wanting us to know and understand prophecy. I have said this so many times before, and I would like to say it again.
It is not simply for the purpose of us knowing future events ahead of time, simply to know that God had told us! Though that is true ?we can know, for God has laid it out for us to know. But the purpose beyond this thought!
The purpose for God being so diligent to reveal these things to us, and the details of these things is so that our lives can be adjusted here and now because of the events yet to come. We must not miss this truth! We remember what Paul wrote to Timothy:
II Timothy 3
14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them; 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Paul is of course, dealing with the salvation that is yet future! The salvation of our souls. With this in mind, he goes on to say:
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching [KJV: doctrine], for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
The study of God?s Word is profitable to us if (and really only if) we allow it to do a work in us! A work that is only possible as we allow God?s Spirit to move in us, bringing about the metamorphosis that is intended throughout the whole of God?s Word!
And may I say, that if you are not studying God?s Word on your own, to make it your own, God will not be able to accomplish what He desires to accomplish in your life.
By Paul?s own words to his son in the faith, Scriptural teaching (doctrine) was to have an affect on him. Just as it is to have an affect on us! Doctrine is to reprove us! This means it is to convict us; it is to reveal to us areas in our lives where we are going wrong?thinking wrongly, acting in wrongly! Doctrine is to reveal to us where we have fallen!!! If we allow it to reprove us.
And in that reproof, God?s Word is to correct us! Scripture is profitable for correction! This word is from a compound Greek word that means it shows us how we are to stand again! When we have been reproved, through Scripture, then Scripture shows us how we are to be corrected! How we are to stand again, from the place we have fallen. We are not to remain fallen, not to remain in a wrong habit of words, thoughts or actions.
And all of this is God?s Fatherly way of child-training us! After we have been convicted and corrected, then He uses Scripture (doctrine) to train us in righteousness.
In other words, what we have learned in all of this Prophecy (what we have learned in all of the Word of the Kingdom) is to show us how we are living in the wrong ways, and then to show us how we are to live in the right ways! And all of this is because we know what our potential is in the coming age. We can know what is in our future.
Scripture is profitable for these things, so that the man of God can be equipped for every good work ? good works that He prepared from before the foundation of the earth! Notice the order here ? We come to understand doctrine, we allow this doctrine to reprove us, to correct us, to train us in righteousness, SO THAT we would be equipped for good works?
But if we do not allow this process?If we stop at just hearing and not doing, not allowing the Spirit of God to work in us, then how can our faith be brought to its goal, which is the salvation of our soul, the reception of the inheritance, the entering into the kingdom?
There is a very familiar verse in the Book of James:
21 Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
Perhaps we have concentrated more on the last seven words of this verse, and missed how this salvation is brought to pass. Perhaps we have missed how the saving of the soul is accomplished!
Look at the first part of the verse:
Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness?What is this saying? This would be dealing with our flesh-iness, wouldn?t it? We are the ones who are supposed to put these things aside. God is not going to do it for us! He gives us the power, by His Spirit to do it, but we have the choice to make.
Then look at the next 6 words: in humility receive the word implanted
?in humility receive the word. What do you think it means to receive the word in humility? Please think about it for a moment.
Then [erhaps we have not noticed the two verses which come just before this verse that is used so frequently to prove that there is a ?salvation of the soul?!
19 ? But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak [and] slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
The anger of man?does not achieve?the righteousness of God. What would the anger of man look like?
And perhaps we are not aware of the verses which follow this verse that we have so long used as proof that there is a ?salvation of the soul?:
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
Who delude themselves?delude themselves about what? Delude themselves concerning this very salvation toward which we are to strive?the salvation of our souls, which has to do with our own inheritance in the kingdom, our own life in the Coming Age.