What will preaching the Gospel of the Last Days be like? Let us look at the Messianic element. Turn with me, please, to the book of (Acts 2:14), Peter"s charigma.
But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: â€œMen of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
This was like that analogy.
"And it shall be in the last days," God says, "That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams; Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy. And I will grant wonders in the sky above And signs on the earth below, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Now as you might know from the â€œFuture History of the Church" tape, of course, (I"m just touching on things you already know right now) none of that happened, did it? The moon didn't turn to blood, the sun wasn"t darkened, He didn't poor out His Spirit on all flesh, there was no visions, there was no dreams, no wonders in the sky. It didn't happen then, but so it shall be in the Last Days. The preaching of the Gospel in the beginning of the church is a harbinger of what the preaching of the Gospel will be like in the Last Days.
Now obviously this was the Hebrew Feast of Weeks, â€œHag Shavu"ot", the Day of Pentecost, when the book of Ruth is read â€“ the megilot is read in the synagogues virtually to this day. A powerful Jewish man takes a Gentile bride and exalts her. We"re told in the Mishnah the rabbis calculate that the Law was given on Mt. Sinai on this same day. Only when the Law was given â€“ according to the Mishnah now, this is not in the Bible â€“ according to the Mishnah a whirlwind was heard from heaven, and based on the table of nations in Genesis 10, they said, 70 tongues/languages were heard from the whirlwind when the Law was given. So, therefore, when the Holy Spirit was given, 70 tongues were heard. Those 70 tongues were heard. To the Jews this would have been, â€œWait a minute! What happened on Mt. Sinai is happening again!" The Old Covenant was given, now there"s a new one. Only when the Law was given 3,000 fell, when the Holy Spirit was given 3,000 were saved. But you know that, OK? But the rest of the stuff didn't happen. The rest of the stuff simply didn't happen. But it isto happen in the Last Days. This eschatological scenario has to transpire, and much of it concerns the Jews. Peter begins next, â€œMen of Israel".
Let"s turn back to what he was quoting from. Turn with me, please, to the book of Joel â€“ â€œYo"el Hanawbe", chapter 2, verse 28â€¦
â€œIt will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. â€œEven on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
â€œI will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. â€œThe sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
After the Lord comes.
Now you know from the â€œRapture" tapes the â€œDay of the Lord" is introduced when the church is raptured and the resurrection happens. Once we are taken out of here, the Day of the Lord arrives. The Day of the Lord commences with the â€œkoloboo" â€“ the â€œamputation" in Greek, the removal of the church. â€œThose days will be cut short for the sake of the elect". (Mat 24;22) Once we"re taken out of here, it's the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is when God pours out His wrath on the kingdom of Antichrist and draws the nations against Israel to destroy the enemies of Zion. We"re taken out of here before this happens we"re told.
â€œAnd it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape,
Then it goes back, much of a Jewish focusâ€¦
As the Lord has said, Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.
Where it says all Israel will be saved it is talking about those who survive the Great Tribulation.
â€œFor behold, in those days and at that time, When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land.
I believe the Jews are back in Israel and obviously they have to stay in Israel until Jesus comes, particularly in Jerusalem. But already we see efforts to re-divide the land, don"t we? Now this is all tied up with the Antichrist and so forth, he"s going to make a covenant and break it . The reestablishment the state of Israel certainly fulfills prophecy â€“ they have to be back in Jerusalem for Jesus to come as in Matthew 23, Luke 21 and 24 and so forth, but they will pack up. Bush is doing it, the UN is doing it, they"re all trying to do it, making conditions so bad you"ve got Russian Jews going back to Russia now. It goes on explaining what will happen, but we know how it will all end in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. It"s the Jewish element. Turn to (Mat 10:23), pleaseâ€¦
â€œBut whenever they persecute you in one city, flee to the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.
Israel must be thoroughly evangelized before Jesus comes. In Romans 11, the natural branches will be grafted in again, Israel must be evangelized for Jesus to come. In understanding the Gospel of the kingdom this is one of two basic texts that tell us about what the Scriptures call â€œhastening His coming". (1 Cor 1:7, 2Pet 3:12)
How do you hasten His coming? Evangelism. We"re not waiting for Jesus to come back. Remember what He said? â€œWhen the crop permits the Lord of the harvest sends the harvester". (Mar 4:29) We are not waiting for Jesus to come, He is waiting for the church to be ready. We can hasten his coming with evangelism; the fullness of the Gentiles comes in. (Rom 11:25) We hasten His coming by evangelizing Israel. His coming can be hastened. In eternity it"s fixed, relative to us it"s a variable. We can make it happen quicker. In other words the C-section, the Cesarean. An obstetrician is only going to let an expectant mother family stay in labor so long â€“ after that point it becomes dangerous. There"s the procedure, it induces labor, whatever"s necessary. Get it over with quick. We can get it over with quick. We can make it happen faster. Witnessing and evangelism can bring back the return of Jesus faster, providing the people who get saved are also discipled. Witnessing and evangelism can hasten the return of Christ.
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