Message NotesFrom Here To Eternity – Part 3 Page 1
Sunday October 5th 2014
From Here To Eternity
1). Ex 12:40 Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years-on that very same day-it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
a). We have in these past 2 weeks been looking at just how close the end of this dispensation is given our understanding of the ‘times’ with regards to the 6 days of work followed by the 7th day of rest in Genesis. Times that have to do with restoring the ruined material creation, ruined as a result of Satan’s rebellion, with a view to the restored material creation then being ruled over by a totally new, created being, Man with his bride; all of which pictures for us the present 6000 years of work to restore the ruined, newly created Man, a ruin brought about again by the work of Satan – a period of work which is to be followed by a 7th, 1000 years in which fully redeemed and restored Man, along with the Lord Jesus Christ will fulfill God’s purpose for rulership as seen in the beginning.
b). And as we consider this, realizing that the 2000 years for this dispensation, taking us from the beginning of the ‘Church’ to its resurrection/rapture, as it appears on God’s calendar, must be in its final minutes we can observe something very interesting from our verses in Exodus Chapter 12 – we see in these verses that God had decreed 430 years for the sojourn of the children of Israel and it was ‘on that very same day’ that the 430 years expired that the Exodus from Egypt took place - it was neither a day sooner nor a day later, but ‘that very same day’.
c). We can see exactly the same precision with respect to time with the birth of Christ – Ga 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
The birth of our Lord was not an arbitrary event, but at the precise moment on God’s calendar that had been appointed for it – ‘when the fullness of the time had come’ – And as we have seen in Daniel Chapter 9 God has decreed 490 years for Israel to ‘finish the transgression’ and ‘bring an end to sins’, concluding with the ‘anointing of the Most Holy’. 483 of these years have been
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completed precisely in the past and the remaining 7 years will be completed precisely in the future. This is simply the way that God does things, as stated in – Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,'
d). The whole point of this is - if God has acted with such precision with respect to time in the past, of which these are just 3 examples, then we must expect the same precision with regards to the resurrection/rapture of the ‘Church’ – it cannot be any other way.
e). Now although things had deteriorated for Israel towards the end of their 430 year sojourn while they were in Egypt, their everyday lives continued as usual until God sent Moses to them, at which point things changed dramatically and rapidly – but up to that point it was business as usual.
f). And this really is our experience today – life goes on. And although conditions are deteriorating in the world around us, for us it is business as usual also, but don’t be deceived by this, things are about to change very rapidly for us when God once again intervenes in the affairs of Man and removes His ‘Church’ from the earth. Let’s remember what we see in –
Mt 24:37 "But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 "For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 "and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 "Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left.
There are so many Christians, if not the majority, who continue in their everyday experience completely oblivious of what is about to happen and this is exactly the point of what we see in Matthew Chapter 24:37-39 – and interestingly enough this observation comes immediately before the verse dealing with one taken and one left.
g). Now, we do have to continue with our lives on a day to day basis, but we should not be as those in the days of Noah – we are not in darkness, nor are we ignorant concerning the imminence of the Lord’s coming and the judgment that will follow - 1Th 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
However we can become like those of Noah’s day if we don’t keep our focus and filter everything through the certainty of our imminent appearance at Christ’s Judgment Seat – remembering and focusing on that which we have
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learned from – 2Pe 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 ¶ But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 ¶ For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
2). Hopefully, by now we do ‘get it’ as to where we are and the closeness of what is about to happen, but before we leave this and return to the redemption of the inheritance where we left off last week, let’s look at 2 more scriptural ‘sign posts’, so to speak, that would of themselves have to be a part of ‘the times and the seasons’ which we are to know.
a). The first of these we will see in the Matthew 13 Parables –
Mt 13:33 Another parable He spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened."
b). We will remember that the 3 measures of meal in this parable picture the Divinely perfect Word of God, the Word of the Kingdom, into which leaven, symbolizing corruption had been placed at the beginning of this dispensation, resulting in the whole having become leavened by the end of the dispensation – well, a quick look through any of the Christian TV channels, or 5 minutes in any Christian bookstore or surfing through any number of Christian websites would show this to be exactly where we are.
c). That which should be preached is not being proclaimed, being replaced instead by something which can be best categorized as ideology rather than theology which is in complete accord with that which we see in –
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2Pe 2:1 ¶ But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 ¶ By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words;
d). What we see concerning the leavened state of the Word of the Kingdom by the end of this dispensation is confirmed for us through the 7th of the 7 churches seen in Chapter 3 of the Revelation, a description of the last stage of the ‘church’ which brings us to the same point in time as the conclusion of the parable of the leaven – Re 3:16 "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' --and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
In the verses here from Revelation Chapter 3 we see that the ‘church’, which left its first love at the beginning of the dispensation, has become deceived into believing that it is rich, has become wealthy [has an abundance of material possessions] and therefore has need of nothing and yet from God’s perspective exactly the opposite of this is true.
e). And the reason for the success of this level of deception is the ‘church’ progressively straying from the pure, unadulterated proclamation of the Word of truth – with the ensuing consequence that the ‘church’ finds itself conformed to the way of the world and totally leavened with respect to the Word of the Kingdom – again a brief sampling of that to be found in Christian circles cannot help but confirm this.
3). Our second spiritual sign post is intimately connected to the leavening process and can be found in - Joh 17:13 "But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 ¶ "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
a). Let’s note v14 particularly – according to this verse, the world, all of that which is at present in subjection to Satan, will hate those in possession of
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the Word of the Kingdom – the ‘church’. And the reason for this should be very obvious, that which is to be believed and that which is to be proclaimed is the announcement of the coming end of Satan’s dominion in conjunction with the coming Kingdom of Christ - Eph 3:9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
b). And this of course would be with respect to both Israel and Christians – This is the gospel that Paul speaks of in - Ro 1:16 ¶ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
And such a message as this cannot be countenanced within the present system of rulership as it strikes at the very heart of and undermines that which Satan seeks to maintain at all cost.
c). So, where is this hatred of the ‘church’? It’s not there - as through the result of the leavening process the ‘church’ in general no longer proclaims the Word of the Kingdom having instead joined itself to the world in a dance of death making certain their mutual destruction – and this can be seen through Christians’ engagement in politics, in the music industry, in the entertainment industry, in marketing, dating websites and so we could go on.
d). Do we remember that which the Lord says recorded in –
Mt 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 ¶ "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Because of what we have seen in John Chapter 17 we will realize that the
reviling and persecution and all kinds of evil spoken falsely as we see in
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verses 10-12 is because of the Word.
e). And then, according to v13 those with this Word are described as
‘the salt of the earth’ – the Lord then goes on to ask the question, ‘if the salt
loses its flavor’, if the Word of truth is not proclaimed in its unadulterated
form by those in possession of it, ‘how shall it [the world in which they live] be
seasoned?’ –Where, for the most part, will we find ‘the salt’ today?
f). The end of v13 takes us to the consequence for this lack of seasoning, which must bring us to the Judgment Seat - It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
g). The same thought is continued in v14-16 with respect to light, the city on a hill and the lamp on a lampstand. Those in possession of this same Word should be visible to all, through the Word’s proclamation and the Word’s application – but what we find today is that the city is in the valley, not set on a hill and the lamp is under a basket not on the lampstand.
h). If the coming Kingdom of the One who is the light of the World is not proclaimed by those in possession of the Word that is all about Him and His Millennial reign, then there can be only darkness – and spiritual darkness all around us is what we find.
4). Then there are 2 interrelated issues that must be seen in conjunction with this, the first of which will take us back to Ephesians Chapter 6 and the spiritual warfare - Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
a). The clearly stated reason for putting on the whole armor of God is so as to ‘be able to stand against the wiles of the devil’. The armor then is the means that we have to restrain the rulers of the darkness of this age, the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places from consuming us in their diabolic plans and purposes.
b). And as we will remember from our study of this subject, the whole armor of God we are to wear is inextricably connected to the Word of the Kingdom, believing God, having faith to the saving of the soul.
c). The belt of truth we will remember does not refer to ‘truth’ in a general sense, that which is just true, but specifically to the Word of truth – all that we would know concerning Christ and His coming Kingdom, in all its
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aspects – we cannot begin to engage in the spiritual warfare without this being in place first. And it is because of this Word of truth, the Word of the Kingdom being properly in place that we are able to take the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit and use them in the correct fashion.
d). Without this whole armor there can be no protection resulting in the rulers of darkness having sway in our lives – now we have always thought of this with respect to us as individuals, which is a perfectly correct thing to do, but now let’s broaden our thinking and ask the question, ‘What about all those Christians in the world today who have not and cannot put on this armor because they have little to no understanding of the truth of scripture because of the leavening process? – What would this mean with respect to the ‘church’ in a general sense?’
e). Surely we can see the answer? The ‘church’ would not be able to stand against the wiles of the devil resulting in darkness and wickedness having the upper hand which is exactly what we see prophesied in –
Mt 13:31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32 "which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."
With further commentary on this parable given to us in - 1Ti 4:1 ¶ Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
And that which we see here in 1 Timothy 4:3 strikes at the very heart of the Word of the Kingdom concerning God’s future marriage relationship with Israel and the Son’s marriage relationship with His Bride all for the purpose of rulership, the very message contained in the ‘foods’ [lit. meat] that those receiving these doctrines are commanded to abstain from.
f). We can then take this whole sorry business one stage further because of what we see in - Ro 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness………………..24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God
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gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
g). Having received that seen in 1 Timothy Chapter 4 through the work of the leaven, because the salt has lost its flavor and the lamp is hidden under the basket, because the ‘epignosis’ knowledge of God is not retained, God gives this group of Christians, as seen here in Romans Chapter 1, over ‘to a debased mind’. He takes His hands off, so to speak, and allows those engaged in these activities to follow their own lusts unchecked.
h). The promotion of same sex relationships, even through legislation, in secular society and embraced by so much of the ‘church’ is a direct result of Satan’s attack on both Father and Son with respect to rulership in the age to come. And it will probably come as no surprise to us to know that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of websites dedicated to gay Christians providing confirmation and validation and community through a perversion of scriptural truth – as it was in the days of Noah, as it was in the days of Lot……..
5). Finally then, the second of our 2 interrelated issues takes us to a scripture found in - 2Th 2:1 ¶ Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 ¶ Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
a). The subject of these verses is ‘the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him’ – the resurrection/rapture of the ‘church’ with a view to rulership which is to follow – and matters surrounding this are
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dealt with because it appears that some sort of deceptive teaching had arisen concerning the timing of this – seemingly there might have been some suggestion that Christians would go through the Tribulation.
b). In v5 Paul says - Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And the things which Paul told them had to do with ‘the falling away’, with the mid-point in the tribulation when Antichrist sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Along with the removal of that which restrains.
c). The revealing of the man of sin, the son of perdition, the lawless one – the Antichrist, must take us to his rise to prominence at the start of the tribulation, but this can’t happen until the ‘falling away’ has come first and ‘He who now restrains….is taken out of the way’.
d). So then there are events that must take place prior to the beginning of the tribulation – ‘the falling away’ will be easy to understand when we realize that it is a translation of the Greek word – ‘apostasia’ – from which we get our English word apostasy – and apostasy is just what we have been looking at in our verses from Matthew Chapter 5, Matthew Chapter 13, and
1 Timothy Chapter 4 – all of which taken together bring us to the condition of the ‘church’ at this point in the dispensation seen through the leaven and the church in Laodicea.
e). And in conjunction with this there is only one entity that will be ‘taken away’ resulting in the man of sin being revealed in his own time [at the exact time God has appointed for this] – it is the resurrection/rapture of the church, the one new man in Christ Jesus.
f). Despite the salt having lost its flavor there still remains a few grains of seasoning here and there, and despite the lamp being hidden under the basket there are still a few cracks through which the light continues to shine. Now if these sparse spiritual resources have had some withholding effect on the mystery of lawlessness and the world is in such a deplorable condition, it can only boggle the mind as to the depths of the depravity that will exist once this restraining influence is removed entirely.
g). And the day when this will happen is very close indeed.
h). This then is where we are and we just need to take a look around us to see it.
6). And so with ‘He who now restrains’ being taken away we find ourselves back at the resurrection/rapture of the church and the judgment and redemption of the inheritance that lies beyond it – but for the sake of time
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today we will have to come back to this again next week – if the Lord is willing.