Issue Number: 401
It is commonly taught in the church today that Israel is “God’s time clock” for the world. I was taught this as a child in the church. This view became popular after the Israeli state was established in 1948.
Israel certainly is, in many ways, God’s time clock, as long as we know who Israel truly is. Most assume that the Jews are Israel and that the Israeli state is Israel. But for thousands of years the Jews have prayed in their synagogues to be reunited with the lost tribes of Israel. The
Issue Number: 400
In 2 Samuel 15-18 we read how Absalom usurped the throne of David for a season.
First, he undermined David by spreading the word that David was incompetent and that he was not interested in establishing justice in the land (2 Sam. 15:3, 4). We read in verse 6 that “Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel.”
When Absalom believed that he had sufficient support from the people, he was crowned king in Hebron (2 Sam. 15:10). As he prepared to march north to take Jerusalem, David left the city wi
Issue Number: 399
Having discussed the rapture theory, the timing issue of Daniel’s 70 weeks, and the long-term tribulation theme, we now turn to the general misunderstanding of the Antichrist. The subject of the antichrist is another biblical topic that Darby misunderstood, partly because he thought that the Jews were the biblical Israelites, and partly because he thought that the “beast” in the book of Revelation was the Antichrist. Neither of these premises are true.
Issue Number: 398
Modern dispensationalists have taught that there is to be a seven-year time of destruction and judgment. It is based primarily on the notion that the “clock” supposedly stopped because the Jews rejected the Messiah, and so God imposed an interim “Age of Grace” so “gentiles” could be saved.
Never mind that gentiles had already been invited to worship God in this “house of prayer for all the peoples” (Isaiah 56:7). Never mind that grace had already been well established in the law, most prominently in the Jubilee.
Issue Number: 397
Dan. 9:24-27 is the primary revelation about the 70 weeks of years leading to the Messiah’s first work. We will not try to give a complete exposition of this passage here, because it involves so many different facets. The heart of Darby’s misinterpretation, popularized by Scofield, is in his view of Daniel’s final week of years, which encompassed Christ’s ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension.
The prophet divides the 70 weeks into 7 weeks plus 62 weeks plus 1 week. In terms of actual
Issue Number: 396
Popular Christian teaching about the second coming of Christ took a major turn in the 1850’s when a new view was introduced by John Nelson Darby.
Prior to this time, the Historicist view had dominated the thinking in Protestant churches, because they had come out of the Roman church and believed that Rome was the great harlot of Revelation 17.
Darby’s “Dispensationalist” view of prophecy, along with his pre-tribulation rapture theory, was later popularized by Cyrus Scofield, whose dubious
Issue Number: 395
When the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land, being fearful of the giants they would face, God threatened to disinherit them and to start over again with Moses and his family, as He had done with Abraham.
Moses then interceded, reminding God of what the neighbors would say in their gossip. Num. 14:13-16,
13 But Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear of it… 14 and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land… 15 Now if You slay this people as one man, then the nati
Issue Number: 394
God’s purpose for creating the heavens and the earth was to fill the universe with His glory. It was created “very good” (Gen. 1:31) for this very purpose, and though that purpose has already taken a long time to complete, history will end in victory and glory.
This was the promise of God to Moses who had asked God to forgive the faithless Israelites and to bring them into the Promised Land. God’s answer extended far beyond the Israelites, where we read in Num. 14:20, 21,
20 So the Lord sa
Issue Number: 393
2 Corinthians 3:18 says,
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as for the Lord, the Spirit.
Being transformed “from glory to glory” indicates not a single event but a process which takes time. We look for the day when we are fully transformed into the image of Christ, often without realizing that we should already bear His image on some level before we reach perfection.
God usually works H
Issue Number: 392
Exodus 19:16, 17 says,
16 The glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; and on the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. 17 And to the eyes of the sons of Israel the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the mountain top.
The people saw the glory of the Lord as a consuming fire on the Mount. Forty years later the same “consuming fire” led them across the Jordan River. Moses says in Deut. 9:3,
3 Know therefore today
Issue Number: 391
The divine plan is set forth progressively in Scripture. Genesis gives us the foundational patterns from the first creation to the new creation. The basic truth of all truths is set forth in the first verse, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
This establishes the basis of God’s sovereignty and the fact that He owns everything. Hence, He has the right to do all that He does in history, and He has the right to be worshiped and obeyed. Further, because He is not a sinner (i.e.
Issue Number: 390
The competition between flesh and spirit, which we studied in the last FFI, extends also to the priesthood. There are two priesthoods, one fleshly and one spiritual, who are contending for authority in the Kingdom of God. Both set forth their claims, but only one will win its case in the end.
The competition between Levi and Melchizedek to inherit the priesthood should be viewed in the broader context of all other struggles between flesh and spirit. This gives us a better perspective, knowing that each set of comp