Church of God, New World Ministries

The Focal Point Of Prophecy

Someone may ask, why is there so much bad news in the Bible? Especially in Bible prophecy, why is there so much gloom and doom?

There is horrible news ahead for mankind in the short term. World conditions are going to get worse, much worse.

“But evil men and seducers (or imposters) shall wax (or grow) worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived” (II Tim. 3:13).

But that is not why God inspired His prophets, the bad news is not the focal point of prophecy. But the bad news of the world today and the immediate future does fit into God’s overriding scheme of world events.

“This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back” (Isa. 14:26-27)?

It’s time we understand. First, we should note that even alleged doomsayers like Jeramiah emphasized the glorious vision of utopia ahead: a world at peace under the loving rule of Jesus Christ.

“They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, streaming to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat and new wine and oil (the world hunger problem solved), for the young of the flock and the head (no more crying about the price of beef); their souls shall be like a well-watered garden (not withered and parched from the famine that stalks the earth), and they shall sorrow no more at all” (Jere. 31:12-13).

But there is more. Notice this prediction of the social occasions of the New World to come, a time when ugly social divisions will be healed:

“Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old, together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, will comfort them, and make them rejoice rather than sorrow” (v. 13).

Here is a burst of good news from a so-called doomsday prophet Jeremiah.

What you just read is good news for the people of Russia, China, the Middle East, Africa, and around this world. Those who view God as a stern and straitlaced God will have to readjust their thinking in the New World to come.

Jeremiah foresaw, wheat, wine and oil, lamb chops and steaks, not just in America, but around this world, no more hunger, no more little children with flies all about their faces, drinking polluted water.

Jeremiah’s good news is also encouragement for policemen, city officials, town planners working in our inner cities.

In the New World to come, Jeremiah foresaw senior citizens dancing with teens together in the very near future.

Is this just a pipe dream, or is it too good to be true, did Jeremiah the prophet get carried away in his spirit of enthusiasm?

That is a very good question; but first let’s look at another prophet of God by the name of Ezekiel. Now his alleged bizarre activities bother some scholars:

“And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber’s razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weight, and divide the hair. Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind: and I will draw out a sword after them.

“Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts. Then take of them again and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel” (Ezk. 5:1-4).

Verse 8 tells us that God is going to execute judgment on Israel in the midst of the nations. The rest of the chapter tells what God is going to do; and that is not good news for all of Israel (England and the United States of America). Now that is the bad news, but Ezekiel’s vision for the future:

“I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land, and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods and I will cause showers to come down in the seasons. Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid” (Ezk. 34:25-28).

Is this not good news for all the scouting groups who like to go camping, or anyone else? No fear of wild animals, or irresponsible hunters, or deranged motorcycle gangs or any other type of gangs who like to prey on other people?

Young people learning to enjoy the great outdoors with no risk of crime. And for the ecologists, environmentalists, and anyone else who is concerned about this earth of ours: “The fruit trees will yield their fruit, and showers to come down in their season.”

When prophets like Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Isaiah and the other prophets wrote their prophecies, they knew that they were mere instruments writing and speaking on behalf of God.

“The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophecy” (Amos 3:8)?

To all of us that have lived under the specter of the nuclear mushroom cloud, Ezekiel’s words should mean a lot to us: “they shall dwell safely.”

This is a promise to those and us as well that have been indoctrinated by the dreaded nuclear age, ground zero, fallout, overkill, and massive retaliation. The grim vocabulary of human slaughter haunts all of us on this fragile planet.

But the so-called doomsday prophet Ezekiel saw a time when ICBM’s, cruise missiles and MIRV’s would no longer have to worry about such things: “they shall be safe in their land.”

Why is it that world delegates to world peace conferences disregard the prophecies and projections of the Bible? The answer is quite simple they don’t believe that the Bible has any relevance today.

They don’t believe the prophecies were God’s words, they discount God’s servants as having any authority. They refuse to believe that the prophet’s writings were from the Great God. And that is a major miscalculation!

And we in God’s true Church cannot make the same mistake. The prophets are right about the glorious good news of the New World to come. They spoke with unerring accuracy about the bad news of the world today, did they not?

“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were move by the Holy Spirit” (II Peter 1:21).

So, in other words, the good news is true, because the bad news is true. The prophets chart the disease, the present world chaos, and gives the prescription to cure it in the New World to come.

In the 8th century B.C., speaking of human government and systems, Isaiah stated: “The way of peace they know not: and there is no judgment in their goings; they have made them crooked paths; whosoever goes therein shall not know peace” (Isa. 59:8).

Was Isaiah right, or more importantly, is he still right? How accurate was that insight into human government, given more than 2,700 years ago?

Zechariah 14:14 predicted that the end-time alignment of nations scrambling for control of the Middle East, which will also include the Jews: “and Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem.”

From Zechariah’s vantage point in the 6th century B.C., how did he know that there would be a Jewish state that would be established on May 15, 1948? He didn’t, but God did.

“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle and the city shall be taken, and the houses plundered, and the women ravished, and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (Zech. 14:2).

The generation that lived through the Six-Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973 knows that this is true.

Daniel tells in 12:4 “that at the time of the end, knowledge shall increase.” That began in the 15th century with the explosion of printing, and so accelerated that around 90% of all scientists who ever lived are alive today.

What about Jesus Christ He Himself was a great prophet? Christ looked down the long stretch of time from His own 1st century A.D. and predicted that mankind under the sway of Satan, would so pervert the knowledge explosion Daniel spoke of as to almost engineer human self-annihilation.

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved. But for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matt. 24:21-22).

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and the stars and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and waves roaring. Men hearts failing them for fear” (Luke 21:25-26).

Revelation 9:16 predicts an immense army of 200,000,000 soldiers. Their source of origin: From the kings of the east (Rev. 16:12).

The Feast of Tabernacles in ancient Israel was intended as a microcosm of a godly community at work:

“You shall observed the Feast of Tabernacles seven days and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your manservant and your maidservant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow. Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoiced” (Deut. 16:13-15).

Rejoicing, family rejoicing and togetherness is the hall mark of this great fall festival. This feast is a foretaste of the coming utopia God has in store for all people. And Isaiah wrote of this glorious good news beyond the bad news:

“And in this mountain (symbolic of the Kingdom of God that Christ will establish) the Lord of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full on marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees. And he will destroy on this mountain the veil that is spread over all nations (religious deception). He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces” (Isa. 25:6-8).

What a hope, what a promise and what a future. Prophecy announces, it, and the Feast of Tabernacles points toward it. God’s true Church keeps the Feast of Tabernacles today. (If you would like to learn more about God’s Plan of Salvation enroll today in our Mini-Course, “God’s Master Plan”.)

These are staggering predictions. They are definite, specific, and minutely detailed. These prophecies are advance news releases given by the Creator of this universe.

The vast majority of the world will live to see the prophecies fulfilled. But these prophecies demonstrate that the glorious good news, a projection of the soon-coming utopia to grip this earth, are also true

Jesus Christ and the early Apostles were convinced that the utopia predicted in the Bible was as certain as the rising of tomorrow’s sun.

“Repent (stop sinning breaking the Ten Commandments) therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom the heavens must receive until the time of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His Holy Prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21).

One reason Christ and His disciples knew of this coming Millennium was because they kept the Feast of Tabernacles.

God’s true Church keeps the Feast of Tabernacles, because it was designed to keep us in perpetual hope of a golden age yet to dawn on this earth. This fall festival (which the early church kept (Matt. 28:19-20, John 7:37) is designed to be a living parable of the prosperity and blessings that will come under the reign of Jesus Christ.

In God’s great mercy and wisdom, the bad news of the world today really is paradoxically good news. The collapse of this sin-soaked system, unraveling before our very eyes, forms parts of the birth pangs of a whole new age, the wonderful New World to come.

So as we look at all the bad news coming to fulfillment, it does but one thing, underlines the certainly that a New World is on its way, and that is the best news anyone could ever hear.

 
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