As those who have been in contact with the modern “Seventh Day Sabbath Church of God”, going all the way back to Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong and the founding of the “Radio Church of God” in the early 1930s, you realize that Bible Prophecy is emphasized in its teachings.
This still holds true today in a succeeding group, the “Church of God, New World Ministries”. We believe The Bible is about one third PROPHETIC in its content. Notice the importance:
Isaiah 46:9 “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My council shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.”
Jesus Christ was a Prophet and his apostles often questioned Him about the future. The most famous of these inquiries are the ones found in the “Olivet Prophecy, found in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. NOTICE ONE PARTICULAR POINT He made in: Matthew 24:37 “BUT AS THE DAYS OF NO’E (NOAH) WERE, SO SHALL THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE. 38 For as the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that No’e entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; SO SHALL ALSO THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE.”
If you’ve got the “eyes to see” (Matthew 13:16), you surely can see that we are VERY NEAR THE RETURN OF CHRIST. The signs are all around us! Matthew 24:33 “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, KNOW THAT IT IS NEAR, EVEN AT THE DOORS. 34 Verily I say unto you, THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS, till ALL THESE THINGS BE FULFILLED.” (So it looks like these prophetic signs of Jesus Christ will occur in one generation - perhaps in about 70 years!)
LET’S RETURN TO THAT STATEMENT ABOUT, “THE DAYS OF NOAH”:
What was happening in those days preceding and shortly following the FLOOD? Genesis 6:2 “That the sons of God (by virtue of creation, i.e. human beings, not angels, as some erroneously believe) saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and took them wives of all WHICH THEY CHOSE.” (Remember this and we’ll give more on it later). Genesis 6:5 “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thought of his heart was only evil continually.
And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repents me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, ---”
I’m NOT expressing racism in my analogy of the above scripture, BUT if you look up the Hebrew word for generations, it is from “Toledoth” and can be translated, “genealogy”. By reading the continuing record of the “begats”, you can see it relates to the genealogy of the families.
IS THIS IMPORTANT TO GOD IN HIS PLAN?
Spiritually speaking: NO! Even in the Old Testament, there are references to the Gentiles (strangers) being brought into a right relationship with God, along with the Israelites with whom He was dealing, at that time. Isaiah 56:2 “Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil. 3 Neither let the son of the stranger(Gentiles), that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. 7 Even them will I bring to My Holy Mountain (the Kingdom of God), and make them joyful in My house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer FOR ALL PEOPLE.” And yet, God, at this time, was working DIRECTLY WITH A PEOPLE HE HAD SPECIFICALLY SEPARATED AND CHOSEN FOR HIMSELF.
Leviticus 20:23 “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation (Gentile), which I cast out before you: for they committed all those things, and therefore I abhorred them. 24 But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people 26 And ye shall be holy unto Me : for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that you should be mine.”
In the New Testament, we find similar truth about the way God feels about ALL PEOPLE:
Galatians 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” Notice this says, “ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS”! Not “one in Muhammad”; not “one in Confucius”; not “one in Buddha”; not “one in any other FALSE GOD OF THIS WORLD”!
Furthermore, we find in a very important chapter in the New Testament where God has deliberately blinded the people of Israel, and made a way for Gentiles to be GRAFTED IN with God’s people and offer them salvation. Romans 11:7 “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? 13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off (Israel), and thou, being a wild olive tree (Gentiles), were grafted in among them, and with them partakes of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boasteth, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.”
THROUGH CHRIST, ALL BECOME SPIRITUAL JEWS
Verse 32 “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief (blinded their eyes), that He might have mercy upon all.” WHAT AN UNSEARCHABLE, MARVELOUS PLAN OF GOD!
Romans 2:29 “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
(At this time, I encourage you to send for our series of DVD’s concerning: “THE BLESSINGS OF ABRAHAM”, which will give you much more information and insight into why God has blessed certain nations more than others. They’re free, of course.)
Are there differences, physically speaking, in God’s Plan? PERHAPS; it seems that God Had a PURPOSE IN DIVIDING VARIOUS ETHNIC GROUPS. Genesis 10:1“Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.”
God, in His perfect wisdom and love, fully intended to have all ethnic groups on this planet earth to be brought to their full potential and to develop the very character of God. He undoubtedly preserved them all through the flood, through the three sons of Noah and their wives. God is no respecter of persons, (Acts 10:34) and He left no detail incomplete in His Plan!
But, NOTICE - HE DID DIVIDE THEM!
Genesis 10:5 “By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; everyone after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” Then follows the genealogy of Noah’s son, Ham; and subsequently Cush, which means black. No condemnation, no degradation, no belittling, no reducing in talents or intellect is inferred. It just identifies him as the continuing progenitor of the black race. Then, there’s recorded here a person of that race, named NIMROD, who arose as a “mighty hunter before the LORD”: Ver.9.
Historical evidence, along with the Biblical record, reveals that he actually set himself up as the first powerful despot and religious leader of that time (the word:“before”, actually means “in place of”). Verse 10 “And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.” From the “Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 16”, we read the following: “--- the first on earth to be a mighty man --- Babel is Babylon;” From the “Companion Bible”, in discussing this passage of Scripture about Nimrod, we find the name means: “to rebel”, from the Hebrew “Marad”; also 1st pers. Pl. “Jussive”, “we will rebel” or “Come, let us rebel”. So this man, along with his mother/wife, Simiramis were rebelling against God, in His dividing the nations.
(Much information is found in Hislop’s: “Two Babylons”, among other references.)
Probably, under the influence of Satan the Devil, he was promoting the first attempt of ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT and ONE WORLD RELIGION! And, he was having some success!
Genesis 11:1 “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime they had for mortar. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven (give them access to heaven?); and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad (scattered and divided by God) upon the face of the whole earth.”
NOTICE THE UNITY, THE COHESSIVENESS OF THIS SOCIETY OF PEOPLE!
And it seems to be under the influence of ONE MAN - NIMROD! He must have been, not only a powerful man physically, but also very adamant in his goals to unify the people - and to join him in accomplishing those goals. Undoubtedly, through great CHARISMA, ELOQUENCE OF SPEECH, ORATORICAL SKILL AND BRUTE FORCE, EVENTUALLY, he would achieve his ambitions - he thought.
AH, BUT NIMROD FAILED TO REALIZE SOMETHING!
He did not recognize the fact that there is a REAL and ONE TRUE GOD. SO HE FAILED! In fact, the entirety of mankind has failed because they have a tendency or inclination to worship some sort of gods. But they have an innate rebellion against the True God and His Laws: Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
MANKIND HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE THESE WORDS WERE WRITTEN!
On down through the pages of history, there have arisen powerful leaders, many of them wicked and cruel in their quest for fame and authority over others.
GOD’S WORD REVEALS THERE WOULD BE FOUR WORLD RULING EMPIRES THAT WOULD ARISE AND FALL DURING THE ALLOTED TIME FOR MAN TO RULE HIMSELF. (They’re given in the Book of Daniel, Chapters 2 and 7.) Briefly, they were the
Babylonian, under Nebuchadnezzar and later his son, Belshazzar.
Persian, under King Darius and then Cyrus.
Greek-Macedonian, under Alexander the Great.
Roman (later called “Holy Roman Empire”), which would have several successions).
The final revival of this fourth one is just around the corner and will wreak much havoc and destruction before its demise, brought down by the return of The Great Conquering King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.
BUT BEFORE THAT HAPPENS --- WHAT DID CHRIST PREDICT?
We’ll continue in Part 2 of “Behold, The People Is One”