Bible Prophecy During The Times of Old

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ray-gano-med

ray-gano-medLook around and what do you see?

Open the newspaper, check out the latest on Drudge, Fox or CNN, again what do you see?

I remember when I first got involved with Bible Prophecy, stories were far and few between. An article would appear about Israel and then nothing. An article would appear about the UN talking about a global government, then nothing.

I remember when Bush Sr. said “A coming New World Order” in a famous speech, then nothing.

Some of you know of my good friend Jack Kinsella, he has been called back home now, but we used to talk all the time about those days. We used to share our work with each other. My work for Prophezine and his work for the LaLonde Brothers who had the “This Week in Bible Prophecy” show.

Fast forward to today and it seems that there is so much going on in the world prophetically speaking, that you could cut it with a knife. Compared to when we were first starting and a story came up once in a while. Now it seems like we are seeing news take place almost every 5 minutes that we can tie to Bible Prophecy in one way or another.

Let me ask you, what is the thing that YOU are looking for in these Prophetic days that we are living in?

– Wars, famines, pestilence?

– What about the demise of our nation and a coming one world government and monetary system?

– Israel’s enemies coming together and laying siege to Jerusalem?

– The Antichrist?

What about the return of Christ?

What are some other things?

You want to know what?

They had the same thing happening way back in the days of old.

What are some of the similarities they had that we have today?

Do you think there were students of bible prophecy then like we have today?

What might have been some of the things they were studying that we are studying today?

Nothing New Under The Sun

Turn with me if you will to Ecclesiastes 1: 9-11

Some of you are familiar with this passage. I point it out to folks often.

9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be;

and that which is done is that which shall be done:

and there is no new thing under the sun.

10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new?

it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

11 There is no remembrance of former things;

neither shall there be any remembrance of things

that are to come with those that shall come after.

In this God is telling us through the wisdom of King Solomon that even though we may THINK something is new, everything that has been, still is and that which is done has happened already before.

Now someone out there will say “they didn’t land men on the moon back in the olden days.”

No, they didn’t but that really is not what God is saying.

Man forgets his origins, he forgets his history. God through Solomon states that there is nothing new under the sun.

He states that we forget the things of the past and in fact, our decedents will also forget the days we are living in and our history as well.

Sure we look out at the exciting world that we live in and we say “Look at this new event. We are seeing scripture coming to life and prophecy unfolding.”

Knowing what we know based on Ecc 1:9-11, do you know that the people living during the time of Christ probably thought the same things we are thinking today?

Think about it for a moment.

isaiahThey had the following as well…

– Wars, famines, pestilence?

– What about the demise of our nation and a coming one world government and monetary system?

– Israel’s enemies coming together and laying siege to Jerusalem?

– The Antichrist?

The only difference is that they were looking for the first coming of The Messiah where we are looking for His Second Coming.

Don’t believe me, let’s look at scripture for a moment.

Wars, Famine & Pestilence

God uses wars, famines & pestilence often. It is a good attention getter. Look at how he used it against Pharaoh in Egypt. Pharaoh hardened his heart against God so what did God send?

War??? Well not officially, that is unless going to war against frogs, gnats, and flies count.

When one truly thinks of pestilence, it is locust that often comes to mind and that is also what God sent to plague Egypt with as well.

Food was also affected with all these things. There was the plague upon the livestock, also compounding the effects of a loss of food.

How effective would farming be due to the plague of boils?

Fast forward and we see God telling Jerimiah that he will bring wars, famine and pestilence to Israel via the prophecy of the two baskets of figs. The good figs, those of Israel who stood with God will prosper and God will see them through the coming times. But those who were evil, the evil figs he would bring upon them wars, famine and pestilence.

Because of rebellion, God will destroy with the sword, famine and plague

Jeremiah 24:10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.

Other examples found in scripture are …

  • We see in Joshua how The whole community suffers as a result of individual sin
  • The Philistines struck with a plague for having the ark of God
  • David cursed with “the sword” for having killed Uriah
  • A famine the result of King Saul’s sin
  • The Lord plagues Israel because of David’s sin

Where are all these found?

God’s Word.

I think that at times we forget that they had God’s Word just like we do today.

They had the same access to God’s Word that we do. Those who were students of bible prophecy would see the same things in God’s Word that we do.

A lot of times I think that we think they were a bunch of bumps on the log and just herded sheep around all day.

No they knew the scriptures, probably a lot better than we do today.

The Demise of Our Nation And a Coming One World Government and Monetary System, the AntiChrist, the Coming Messiah

As I pointed out with war, pestilence and famine, the people forgot their history. But we know that there were people who were looking at the signs of the times. By the study of God’s Word, which at that time was only the old testament, the people knew that they were living in prophetic days, much like we know we are living in prophetic days.

So how do we know?

The same way they did back in the olden days, they studied God’s Word.

So should we be surprised when we see what is taking place, the demise of our nation and a coming one world government and monetary system?

Based on what Solomon stated should we think we should think that this is a new idea to the world?

Look at the very first One World System, Babylon and The first antichrist, Nimrod.

Look at the prophecies in Daniel 9 – 11, of the coming Assyrian, his one world kingdom and how he will rule the world.

Now look at the times of Christ, what did they have?

They were already living in a “one world system” had a single global currency and global law.

There were students of bible prophecy back then as much as there are today. They saw the same things going on in their time as we see taking place today.

The only difference is that they were looking for the first coming of Christ where we are looking for His Second Coming.

They had a Global leader, he was Caesar.

How many back then saw scriptures unfold and maybe they were viewing Caesar as the “man of perdition”?

They had the same scriptures that we have today. God’s Warning to the watchmen.

They knew the scriptures and the prophecies of the coming Messiah. Many were looking for the Messiah because they studied the scriptures.

As far as I know they did not have Hal Lindsey, Tim Lehaye or the Left Behind Series.

They did have what is called the “Talmud” ( Tal-mood) this is the teachings of the great rabbis and their commentaries on God’s Word.

The Talmud is a huge collection of doctrines, laws and commentaries compiled and written before the 8th Century, A.D.

Here is a quick list of famous sages and scholars who predated Christ all the way up to the time of Herod the Great.

  • Jose ben Joezer, Nasi of the Sanhedrin during the Maccabean wars of independence.
  • Jose ben Johanan, Av Beit Din of the Sanhedrin during the Maccabean wars of independence.
  • Joshua ben Perachyah, Nasi of the Sanhedrin during the reign of John Hyrcanus.
  • Nittai of Arbela, Av Beit Din of the Sanhedrin during the reign of John Hyrcanus.
  • Judah ben Tabbai, Nasi of the Sanhedrin during the reign of Alexander Jannæus and Queen Salome.
  • Simeon ben Shetach, Av Beit Din of the Sanhedrin during the reign of Alexander Jannæus and Queen Salome.
  • Shemaya, Nasi of the Sanhedrin during the reign of Hyrcanus II.
  • Avtalyon, Av Beit Din of the Sanhedrin during the reign of Hyrcanus II. A convert to Judaism.
  • Hillel the Elder, Nasi of the Sanhedrin during the reign of King Herod the Great.
  • Shammai, Av Beit Din of the Sanhedrin during the reign of King Herod the Great.

Back then, these guys were the bible prophecy teachers and scholars of their day. Like many who quote our favorite author today, I can just hear the people back in the olden days says something like …

“ According to Rabbi Tabbai, the man of perdition is also the Assyrian prophesied by Daniel the prophet, we have a man who is ruling the world, can he be the same?”

So much of what took place then, we are seeing a repeat take place today.

They were looking for the first coming of Messiah, we are looking for the second coming of Messiah.

There was a man named Simeon that scripture says was just and devout. We read about him in Luke 2:27-35

27b …and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

28 then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,
according to thy word:

30 for mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

31 which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

32 a light to lighten the Gentiles,
and the glory of thy people Israel.

33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

35 (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

Simeon recognized Jesus as the Messiah because he knew God’s Word. The Holy Spirit illuminated God’s Word and when Simeon saw God in the Flesh, he knew that He was the promised one, “his salvation.”

There was also Anna the prophetess who also recognized Christ…

Luke 2:36-40 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

37 and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Both of these people recognized Christ because they knew God’s Word.

What is the one constant that we have today that they had back in the olden days?

It is God’s Word.

It does not matter what the great sages back then said, there were people who knew God’s Word.

When Christ was older, people knew who he was. Remember when Christ asked Peter? What did he say?

Mark 8:29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.

Thou art the Christ, AKA the Messiah, AKA The Son of God AKA God in the flesh.

Those who studied and knew God’s Word recognized Jesus at His first coming. They recognized him as a babe in the temple, a young boy who spoke of the things of God at the temple steps and when He was baptized.

John The Baptist recognized him when he saw Him.

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

The Pharisees Did Not Recognize Him They Asked For a Sign from Heaven

Now on the flip side, The Pharasees did not recognize Him. Here are these so called great men of God who studied the law and the writings of the famous rabbis through the ages.

You would think that they would know Christ, but they did not recognize him.

Matthew 16:1-4 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus. So they asked him to show them a miraculous sign from heaven.

2 He responded to them, “In the evening you say that the weather will be fine because the sky is red.

3 And in the morning you say that there will be a storm today because the sky is red and overcast. You can forecast the weather by judging the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

4 “Evil and unfaithful people look for a miraculous sign. But the only sign they will be given is that of Jonah.”

Then he left them standing there and went away.

I love it, Christ chastises the Pharisees telling them that they know how to “forcast the weather, but they can see the signs of the times?”

Why didn’t they recognize Christ?

They studied all the scholars, sages and such. They knew of God’s Word, but they studied the famous teachers instead of studying God’s Word.

There is nothing new under the sun.

We have the same thing taking place today.

Ask anyone to give you an answer about Bible Prophecy and they will usually give you some famous author’s idea and quote the book he or she wrote.

We are living in prophetic days just like in the times of Christ.

nothing newMany people say that they will recognize Christ’s coming based on all the famous books and movies they have seen, but they do not know REALLY what God’s Word says.

Paul praised the Bereans because they did not take him at face value. They went back to God’s Word to see if what Paul was saying stood up to God’s Word.

They did not hunt and peck for a scripture here or a scripture there. They truly saw God’s Word as that, God’s Word. They did not have chapter and verse. The Bible at that time was one book, His Word.

This is what we need to get back to in these days.

I appreciate all the wonderful men of God and the books they have written. But it seems that the more days draw closer to that spoken of in Scripture, the more we need to lean on God’s Word and less on the writings of Men.

Today it seems that many have made these writings of men the end all to be all. But no matter what, all men are fallible and in the end much of what is written is opinion based on God’s Word.

The only true infallible work that we can trust today is God’s Word.

I bet that back in the time of Christ there were many people pointing to the last days just like we are today.

In fact we know that is true because the disciples themselves ask Christ about the last days. We read about this in Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13 – it is commonly called the “Olivet Discourse.”

There is nothing new under the sun. There were many students of bible prophecy looking for the first coming.

We need to be like those who witnessed His first coming and start looking at the signs of the times for Christ’s Second coming.

It is my desire to look at a lot of things that are going on today and ask, “Writings of Men OR The Word of God” and start being the Bereans that we are called to be.

If you have a topic that you would like to explore, let’s take time to really dig into the scriptures and see if it stands or if it falls by the wayside.

Is it something that tickles the ears, or is it something that is truly prophetic?

Is it fluff and stuff or does it have something relevant with Christ’s Second Coming?

Because in the end, it is the coming of Christ that is the center piece of God’s Word.

He came first as the Lamb of God, He will return as the Warrior Lion of Judah. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Who will recognize Christ when He comes again?

By Ray Gano

 

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