Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 8, 2015

The Destruction of the Fourth Kingdom

Early Evidence of the Coming Destruction

Headlines today are filled with news of disasters, wars and rumors of war. Attacks on Christians are increasing all over the world as world events begin to conform to Bible prophecy for the End Times. Although the Bible lays out an end time scenario it does not mention the specific timing of these end time events with one notable exception, the Tribulation which is divided into two three and one-half year periods.

At the time of the First Advent of our Lord, he spoke harshly to those who refused to see the signs that were given; let us take care that we do not ignore the signs being given concerning His Second Advent.

God’s Plan and the Times of the Gentiles

In Luke 21:24 the Lord tells His disciples, “They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” The big question now is how close are we to the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles?

We are introduced to the times of the Gentiles in Daniel 2; King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and demanded his astrologers tell him the dream and its interpretation. Had it not been for Daniel’s God all would have been killed. God, in His grace to Daniel, revealed the king’s dream and its interpretation to Daniel so he could tell the king the meaning of his dream.

The dream involved a large statue with a head of gold, arms and shoulders of silver, a belly and thighs of bronze, and legs of iron with feet and toes of a mix of iron and clay. In Daniel 2:

31 “In your vision, Your Majesty, you saw standing before you a huge, shining statue of a man. It was a frightening sight. 32 The head of the statue was made of fine gold (Babylon). Its chest and arms were silver (Medo-Persia), its belly and thighs were bronze (Greece), 33 its legs were iron (Rome), and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay (European Union?). 34 As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. 35 The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.”

Illustration by Stephen Bower Used by permission of the artist Copyright © 2015

Illustration by Stephen Bower – Used by permission of the artist – Copyright © 2015

The above illustration shows the beginning of the destruction described in verse 34 where it is written, “34 As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits.” While we are not yet to that point in history I believe it is very close.

The times of the Gentiles will finally come to a close at the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ when Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, will return and finally bring peace to Jerusalem.

The End of the Church Age, the Age of Grace

Israel was set aside, for an unspecified number of years, but still has seven years to accomplish the things described in Daniel 9:24 where it is written:

“A period of seventy sets of seven has been decreed for your people and your holy city to finish their rebellion, to put an end to their sin, to atone for their guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy Place.”

The seventy sets of seven refer to 70 periods of 7 years each which totals 490 prophetic years. In verse 25a we are told, “25 Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One—comes.” Sixty nine periods of seven years each totals 483 years and came to a close the very day the Lord Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem.

At the time of Jesus “Triumphal Entry” Israel was being set aside with seven of their promised years unrealized. It was only after Israel had been set aside that the church was brought into existence at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit indwelt believers for the first time. Israel’s remaining seven years will not start until the church is taken out of the way by the Rapture, the removal of the church from earth. The Rapture is the very next unfulfilled event on God’s prophetic calendar and could happen at any time. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

While the very next event is the Rapture, there are other unfulfilled prophetic events that will take place in the end times; the Battle of Psalm 83, the Battle of Gog and Magog, and the seven year Tribulation period which will signal the beginning of Israel’s last seven years.

The Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ

The return of the Lord to earth will signal the end of the times of the Gentiles and will be followed shortly afterward by the beginning of the Millennial Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. At the end of the Millennium unbelievers will be resurrected and judged at the Great White Throne judgment and the present universe will be destroyed and replaced by a new heaven and earth.

The new heaven and earth will be perfect and free of sin; a summary description is given in Revelation 21:1-4

“21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

How Bad will Things Get before the Removal of the Church?

Only God knows how bad things will get before He calls His children home. We can always count on one thing and that is God’s love for us and His grace and mercy to us. Times are already tough for Christians in some countries and things will likely get tougher here too. We need to keep in mind Paul’s words to the church in Rome as they lived under a tyrannical dictator where in Romans 8:18-22:

18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”


Responses

  1. David; you are such a great writer and teacher. I just love to read, I don’t comment often but I always read and am inspired.

    Like

    • Maryjane,
      Thank you for the encouragement, it is always appreciated.
      David

      Like


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