Preparing for the Last Days
We find another symbolic revelation in:. God will not destroy His glorious creations, the planets, the sun, the moon, and stars, because of evil men. Powers of the Heavens are symbols of evil spiritual forces of Satan which will be broken. The spiritual wickedness in high places is spoken of in:. These verses symbolize the change of sovereignty from Satan and the evil forces, to the sovereignty of the spirit and power of Christ and the sovereignty of God.
The second phenomena is the fire judgment. The literal interpretation on the judgment by fire, which would destroy the entire earth, can not be accepted, for there is deep spiritual meaning here. Fire judgment means the judgment by the Word of God! God created all things by speaking His Word. God wants to re-create all things by the Word.
Scriptures which prove fire judgment is by speaking of God's Word, are:. Judgment will come from the Word of God spoken out of His mouth, not with a literal sword or literal fire. The two-edged sword is a scriptural symbol of the Word of God. The power of the Word shall destroy evil. With His mouth there will be Word judgment. Holy Fire from the Word will bring cleansing. The third phenomenon is the descent of the spirit-saints to the earth. It mans resurrection of the spirit-saints who have left their fleshly body died and whose spirits now live in the spirit-world.
The resurrection of spirit-saints is explained thoroughly in Chapter Six - Principle of Resurrection. According to Jude 1: The trump of God and the vision of angels blowing trumpets are symbolic expressions of the spiritual resurrection in the spirit-world, not the actual, literal, physical resurrection with the bodies flying into the clouds. This was not literally fulfilled in Jesus' Day. It was the resurrection of Old Testament saints who had left their physical bodies, but whose spirits were in the spirit-world.
In other words, after Jesus' resurrection this was a spiritual revelation showing advancement in the spirit-world. Those who had spiritual gifts could see the spiritual bodies of the saints as they progressed from the Old Testament Form Spirit Stage to Paradise with Christ. Christians who followed the resurrected Christ and preached this resurrection were persecuted and killed by the thousands simply because this testimony and witness could not be accepted by the public.
This means that the Resurrection Phenomenon was a spiritual resurrection, not a physical resurrection. This will not be literally fulfilled. Considering the earth is one of the smallest of Heavenly bodies, it would be impossible for the sun, the moon, and the stars to fall on the earth. God will not destroy the obvious heavenly creations because of wicked man. If the sun, moon, and stars fell, the entire heavenly galaxies would be corrupted and destroyed. If this literally happened, the earth and life upon the earth could no longer exist.
The Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter one, verse four states that the earth will abide forever. Since the stars represent persons as saints, why do the saints fall in the last days? He shall come in an unexpected way; therefore, many saints on earth can not follow Him and will not have faith in Him. Their function will be finished. So the sun, the symbol of Jesus Christ, will not shine; the moon, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, will not give her light.
Their brightness will be darkened because His Second Coming will bring a far greater Light into the world. The fifth phenomenon concerning the Last Days at the time of the Second Coming is the catching up of the saints in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. In the book of Revelation, in Hebrews Therefore, to be caught up in the clouds is a symbol of the regenerated people who will gather together on earth to receive the Lord. It means a spiritual resurrection from the present Earthly Hell to the Earthly Kingdom; the promotion from the present spiritual stage to a higher stage of spiritual growth in order to attain the perfection of spirit and body on earth at His Coming.
Details are given in Chapter Six - Principle of Resurrection. The sixth phenomenon of the Last Days at the time of the Second Coming is the pouring out of God's spirit upon all flesh on the earth. The pouring out of His Spirit in the Last Days on all flesh will bring a great new spiritual age; thus, a now age will begin.
The Last Days is also the time of restoration of the Tree of Life. The first Adam should have become a perfect man. The last two trees mentioned in this verse were different from those which give food. The Tree of Life is the symbol of the perfect Adam who was to be the first perfect man in the sight of God. Jesus Christ, the Second Adam, became the first perfect man and attained the Tree of Life spiritually, while the first Adam failed. They signifies there will be many who will attain the Tree of Life, the perfection at the time of the Second Coming.
Doctrine of the Last Days - Individual Preparation For His Coming Kingdom - Sang Chul (David) Kim
See Chapter Five for details on the Tree of Life. Mankind craves peace and unity, and the goal for which men strive today is peace in a united world. It is God's Will that all men should be free, but man must follow the Law and Principle established by God. The freedom which God gave to Adam and his descendants in the beginning was lost by man on earth through the Fall, and must be restored by man on earth. All mankind desires liberation from the yoke of sin and oppression in this Earthly Hell under Satan's bondage.
This entire world is in chaos and confusion, leaving no corner or part of the world untouched.
The second sign in the world today is the demand by woman for equality with men. This must come before woman's original beauty and position beside Adam, can be restored. This claim of equality by women is actually their demand for freedom from subjection and oppression. It is the reflection of their desire to have the position and freedom which Eve had before the fall. All campaigns for woman suffrage, for equal rights, for equal social privileges, reflect the desire of women for their proper position and freedom from subjection.
Today women hold prominent roles in politics, medicine, science, and many other fields. The third outward sign of these last days is the deep desire of all men and women today for the protection of human rights. Each person, in the sight of God, has a unique part in pleasing God. Each person is of priceless value to God. This is why each person desires the innate value and rights that were lost by man and woman as a result of the fall.
The time is nearing when each person can, and will, attain the promise of perfection. Many organizations around the world have common motives and functions: The unrest of all peoples and their world wide advanced efforts for change and equal rights shows a time of struggle: Mankind desires a deeper faith and there are over four hundred denominations of Christianity seeking God plus the many other religions around the world. Through the United Church movement and the World Council of Churches we see the drive within religion for unification and oneness.
Mankind is hungering for the love of God even though they do not understand God's love or His ways. Throughout the world God stirs the hearts of men who are plagued by wars, suffering, starvation, sin, and all manner of evil. Mankind desperately desires the deeper truth and understanding which will bring liberation for a struggling world. Mankind is seeking for a united religion which will unite all men under God in brotherhood and peace.
The slogan of One World shows this desire of mankind for a United World. The time is near when all men will be united in one faith and one love under God. The United Nations and International Movements all point to the unity of all humankind. This world is on the horizon of a great new spiritual age, the age when these last days of struggle, war, and suffering will fade away completely.
This old world order will pass into a new world order; the former things will pass away and be replaced by a united world, united religion, and oneness with God. For the past six thousand years the direction of human history has centered on God's Restoration Providence. Social conditions have been following the Heavenly program for the purpose of restoring mankind to God and the Earthly Kingdom. God has been separating the sovereignty of good from the sovereignty of evil throughout human history. After the fall of Adam and Eve the forces of evil came into this world.
In Adam's family God began a process to restore mankind and separate evil from man. Two sons were born to Adam and Eve. The first son, Cain, should have loved the second son, Abel. They should have united in peace under God's love. Instead, Cain slew Abel and good and evil have been-divided since that time. From the time of Cain and Abel to the present day there has been the struggle between good and evil in every facet of life.
We can explain this statement by a simple diagram:. Democracy has regard for the existence, of God, human rights, and the freedom to worship God. Generally speaking, free nations are Christian; therefore, the ideology of Democracy stems from Christianity. In the sight of God, Democratic nations are in Abels position. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Preparing for the Last Days
Last week we began our study of the Olivet Discourse in Mark We noted that though it is explicitly a prophecy about the destruction of the temple, which would occur in A. In other words, the destruction of the temple was an historical event that carries with it great theological significance.
The destruction of the temple signifies the arrival of the last days which Jesus explains will end with his Second Coming and the final judgment. And it will be on the last day that non-Christians will be judged John After the gospels we find no more references to the last day but rather to the last days. Paul says that the last days will be times of difficulty and that those days are already here 2 Tim 3: Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
The last days are indicated by the revelation of God to men through his own Son rather than through the prophets. To criticize such language in light of the fact that about two millennia have transpired since then is to miss the point of this description. In other words, Jesus is the final and perfect voice of God to man and we must not look for anyone else who can reveal God to us.
God has spoken decisively in Jesus. These are the last days, meaning that there are no other periods of redemptive history yet to be completed before the last day. Islam teaches that Mohammad was the final prophet of God. But Christianity says that Jesus, the Son of God, was the final prophet. Like in the parable of the wicked tenants, it is the coming of the Son of God that signifies the last days, the final chance for humanity to submit themselves to God who owns them.
He will send no more prophets. The next revelation of God will be his final coming in judgment. So it is not erroneous or illogical to say that we have been living in the last days since the first century. Precisely when the last days began, whether at the incarnation or the crucifixion or the resurrection or the ascension or the destruction of the temple matters little from our perspective in But this explains why the Olivet Discourse has significance both for the disciples in the first century and for disciples in the twenty-first.
The point is that we are in the last days which Jesus says will be a difficult time. Satan, knowing that he has been defeated, is now unleashing his fury on the earth as God moves history along toward the which he has purposed. And it is a good end that he has purposed. He knows that the last days will be dangerous times for all people, and his disciples are not immune from the threats.
Are You a Forerunner?
So when he is asked to provide a sign of when the temple will be destroyed and the last days will come upon us, he begins instead with a warning: He is concerned that his own disciples may be deceived into error, and this would be a danger far greater than wars, earthquakes, and famines. The most important preparation we need to make for the last days is not an understanding of the accompanying signs but an understanding that there is a danger of being deceived by those very signs.
- Frevlerhand (Die Verbrechen von Frankfurt 4) (German Edition).
- Endings and Beginnings?
We have historical records that suggest that this is exactly what happened in the years leading up to the destruction of the temple. According to Josephus, and Acts 5: Then there was an Egyptian who also claimed to be a prophet and gathered 30, men in an attempt to invade Jerusalem and overthrow the Romans. His rebellion was silenced as well, but not before many of his followers lost their lives. But what danger is there for us today of being led astray by someone making such bold claims for themselves?
Obviously we have no lack of people making such claims and even gathering significant followings. The danger is exactly the same, for the problem is being led astray in doctrine, and this kind of deception continues to this day. The danger of being led astray remains, especially for those who do not know the truth of the Scriptures well enough to see the error they are being taught by people they perceive to be authoritative.
Easier said than done! There are fewer things more frightening than the threat of war and the devastation caused by natural disasters. The word alarm is found in one other place outside the parallels to this text. The day of the Lord is indeed a time to be afraid. Jesus says we are not to see these things as the final judgment of God.
They are only the beginning of the birth pains. These things do not signal the end; they only signal the beginning of the end and a time which may be extended and which may become even more painful as time goes along. In fact, all of these things come by the design of God as the old age gives way to the new. Conflicts and disasters keep before us the ugly reality of a fallen world destined for the judgment of God.