In this, the concluding article we will learn that the good news of the Kingdom of God is what Jesus preached. That Kingdom is composed of His Father, Himself as a firstborn Son among many, and those many, being God as God is God. That kingdom is a real kingdom, governing nations here on this earth, not just an ethereal, nebulous, spiritual thing divorced from the reality of life. Sons of God will be busy bringing this earth godly government, actively involved in every facet of living, in restoring and healing this polluted planet, in bringing genuine peace among all the people on the earth. Maybe you would like to participate in those active, practical goals of the Kingdom of God they are better than harp-plucking, cloud-sitting and psalm-singing.
A science-fiction writer produced a book called Doomsday, 1989. Another equally serious, yet more factual book appeared at the beginning of the decade of the 70s titled “Famine 1975! America’s Decision: Who Will Survive? (Though it is now 2013 the threat of massive famine still haunts the seven billion occupants of earth!
In the heart of Cheyenne Mountain, where the defense systems of the United States are buried in relative safety deep underground, there is a piece of electronic communication gear all refer to as “the Armageddon button.” If it is lighted up, it will indicate that that unthinkable war between the super giants of nuclear power has been ignited; the balloon is up; the end of the world is a distinct possibility!
Few scoff at that expression anymore. There are too many horrible means by which our world could be terminated. The end of the world has become a deadly reality!
In the past we have tended to think that the concept of the end of the world was just a religious idea to scare people into worship! This old world has been around a long time with all kinds of people predicting the end and we’re still here.
But with the power available, and in the hands of mankind now since about 1950, more and more non-religious people have begun to seriously predict terminal worldwide problems ending in the annihilation of all! This generation suffers from unique problems among all the generations of our history.
The concept of the end of the world that so many laughed at before was a little awry, from what the Bible says anyway. The end of the world was fixed in many people’s minds as being the breakup of the actual planet an idea strictly unbiblical, yet, like so many other traditional religious ideas far removed from Scripture, considered to be just another biblical myth.
Perhaps that misconception came from the question the disciples asked Jesus: “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world” (Matt. 24:3)? The word they used for “world” was the Greek aion. We have the word “eon” in English for that, or “age” it had nothing to do with the planet itself. Yet in Jesus’ answer, He used another Greek word, cosmos, meaning civilization, the present order of society (see verse 21). Admittedly, the end of the age of man as opposed to a coming age of God on this earth will be accompanied by sufferings of the very planet itself, its flora, fauna, its total ecology and that’s biblical. But the phrase “end of the world” and those things to look for which would signal it dealt with age end civilization.
Let’s look at some of those things which Jesus said would signal the end. But first, let’s get His overview so we understand what He did say in context. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it (my return) is near (answer to the first part of the disciples’ question), even at the doors. This generation (age) shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (answer to the last part of the disciples’ question)” (Matt. 24:32-34).
The significance of this lesson is this: all of the things Jesus mentioned in His answer must be visible, and then we will know that the “end” is near. Let’s look at all those points (and surprisingly we’ll see Jesus said some were not to be taken too seriously all by themselves) and, most important of all, let’s see the one point missed by most that fills out the “all” and so strongly indicated that this is indeed the generation of the time of the signs.
Deception, false Christs, preaching in Jesus’ name but not preaching His doctrine is the first thing He mentions. Wars, national and worldwide, and rumors of them form the next point. But surprisingly here Jesus says, “The end is not yet.” Then He warns about famines, plagues and earthquakes and says, “But all this will be only the beginning of the horrors to come.” Next He predicts terrible persecution for His true followers, rampant sin everywhere, then more warnings on false prophets. The good news being carried to the entire world is another point.
Then comes the one prerequisite most important to us, in fact not even understandable until this generation “except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved (alive).” That was not possible until just a few decades ago! Nuclear annihilation is a greater and greater threat with each passing year.
Then comes the “great tribulation,” more warning on false prophets, grossly disturbing signs in the very fabric of the universe itself (“heavenly signs”), Christ’s actual return and hence “the end.”
In this brief overview Christ gave to His disciples, He mentioned more “horrors to come.” Later He granted the apostle, John a more thorough preview of those “horrors,” and John wrote them faithfully in a book often called “The Revelation of St. John the Divine,” but which John himself in the first words of the books calls “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”! It is also called the “Apocalypse,” which is its Greek title.
We suggest you read the entire book in a good modern translation. It’s not very long, yet it encapsulates the terrifying events yet to happen on this poor earth before “the end. Here is a short summary of some of the more significant things it says.
War, famine and disease will be responsible for the deaths of 25% of mankind; currently that resents 1.75 billion people. (Forecasts by military men and think-tank futurists predict more of a percentage of kill than the Bible does.)
A 200 million-man army of Asia is foreseen by John as destroying another third of mankind: 1.75 billion more! He states that the means of the destruction is “smoke, fire and brimstone” as accurate a description of the horror of modern weapons anyone living two thousand years ago could be expected to give. More modern observers simply state: “War is hell!”
The sun itself, in an unstable condition, will increase its radiation seven times. The result is the burning of all grasses (that’s wheat, rice, barley, food grains of all sorts, not just wild grass!) and forest fires ultimately destroy 33% of all the tress on earth. All waterborne life will die, in the oceans and in the fresh water, and the water itself will bear resemblance to blood! (One third of the world’s food supply comes from the sea.)
After all these things, the armies of the earth are set to press that “Armageddon button” and destroy what’s left of flesh on earth, but Christ intervenes and saves what’s left alive! And that is “the end!”
But that’s good news: God is not going to allow mankind to commit suicide: cosmoscide! In short, before “the end,” at Christ’s intervention, this poor planet will be reeling from unprecedented catastrophes inflicted by its human occupants a charred relic of its former self, an inhospitable environment with death threatening on every side.
It is mankind’s last gasp, and then Jesus intervenes. He resurrects the “dead in Christ (including Moses, of course!) and with them changes those few true followers of His still living, in a moment and a twinkling of an eye, into sons of God! He establishes His Kingdom here on earth and immediately begins a cleanup program overwhelming and unprecedented in history and all those sons joining His family-kingdom are going to be very busy!
All life will have to be restored to the waters of the earth! (Read about it in Ezekiel 47).Would you like to help? Trees will haves to be planted by the billions (Read about it in Isaiah 41.) Would you like to help?
Thousands of cities will have to be rebuilt! (Look that one up yourself: there are dozens of accounts of it in the Bible.) Would you like to help? Great highways will have to be built (Read about it in Isaiah 19.) Would you like to help?
Every nation will have to be reeducated in the ways of peace, health, prosperity; have to be positively taught not to go to war anymore (Read about it in Isaiah 2 and Micah 4.) Would you like to help? The deserts will be made to bloom; the total ecology of an abundantly productive earth restored. Would like to help?
For a thousand years the sons of God of the first resurrection will have the opportunity to help humanity as it has never been helped before, to heal the earth scarred by so many thousands of years of human neglect and raping, to assist in the establishment and administration of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
Then there are all the dead of past generations, to rise physically (Ez. 37). You can help in bringing to them, for the first time, the only name by which they can be saved: Jesus Christ. You can help reeducate them, inviting them into the same God family you may be a member of. Would you like to help?
Unbelievably, beyond that, God the Father comes to earth (read that in Rev. 21 a little different from doctrine you may have heard) and tells all His sons, “Behold, I make all things new”!
A vast, possibly unending, universe lies beyond this globe and God says of His Kingdom: “of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth ever for ever. The zeal of the Lord of host will perform this” (Isa. 9:7).
That leaves an open-ended, ever busy challenging, exciting eternity before us all! Sorry: no harps, no clouds, no golden slippers but when you’re God’s son, I think you can have them, if you want.
Moses, friend of God, servant of Christ, merciful to the point of having his own name erased from the book of life if it would have helped the rest of his nation: Moses, through whom the law was given (but it was ‘God’s law), maligned and misunderstood in his heavy role as chief executive in the administration of death, will be very much present and busy in that Kingdom, as witnessed by his transfiguration on the mount.
And of Jesus, Son of God, Spokesman, Logos, Savior and certainly Prophet, Moses said: “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren (Israel), like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken” (Deut. 18:15). And God Himself is quoted as agreeing with that statement. The fact is, Moses was only passing on what he had heard from God (see verse 18)!
Jesus and Moses: alike! Both lovers of law and of the people. Both working toward that same Kingdom. Can two walk together unless they agree? Be there and as a son of God, share friendship with both Moses and Jesus eternally!