Our eyes should "look up" to God, and to the living Jesus Christ at His right hand, understanding how and why they are planning and orchestrating world events to bring about God's Kingdom on planet Earth.
Events are moving, more swiftly now than ever before, toward the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. He will soon be here on earth as King of kings. We can rejoice! Yet, as we should all know, it will definitely grow darker just before the dawn.
When we understand God's purpose in dealing with the nations of this world, we will not become anxious or discouraged, even though there may be sadness and despair all around us. After describing the terrible wars, famine, pestilence and great earthquakes that will strike our end-time generation, Jesus said: "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:28).
Our eyes should "look up" to God, and to the living Jesus Christ at His right hand, understanding how and why they are planning and orchestrating world events to bring about God's Kingdom on planet Earth. As Christians, we should continually "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). As we grow, we should gain more and more of the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). We should increasingly be able to see things from the point of view of our Savior, who sits at the right hand of the Father. Mankind now possesses weapons of mass destruction that could erase human life from this entire planet. Apart from God, these weapons would be used. So all of us should cry out to God, with King David of Israel: "Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your sight. Put them in fear, O Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah" (Psalm 9:19–20).
In fact, the proper "fear" of God—the profound awe, respect and worship of the great Being who created and now rules the heaven and earth—is a great source of wisdom, faith and courage. As we are told in Proverbs 9:10: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." As David was inspired to write: "The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You" (Psalm 9:9–10). If we truly know God's "name"—His enormous love, wisdom, power and mercy—we will have a peace of mind that is incomprehensible to carnal people of this world. Even as a prisoner in chains—constantly in danger of being beaten or executed—the Apostle Paul exhorted: "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:4–7).
Even while in chains and guarded by a Roman soldier? Yes! Because God was absolutely "real" to the Apostle Paul. As Jesus did in human flesh, and as all of God's faithful servants have done through the ages, Paul prayed to God morning and night, studied or meditated continually on God's Word and His will, communed with God, walked and talked with God and made God the very center of his entire being. Therefore, with each passing year, Paul learned more and more how to look at things from God's point of view. He learned to see God's wisdom and purpose in allowing, and sometimes even orchestrating, events here on earth so that His overall Plan for mankind would be worked out.
Remember, when ancient King Nebuchadnezzar invaded and conquered Judah, it was not an accident. "Time and chance" (Ecclesiastes 9:11) was not involved. For God had repeatedly warned the people of Judah to repent and return to Him. But they would not. So God used King Nebuchadnezzar as a tool in His hands to invade and conquer Judah—to be God's instrument in chastening and humbling Judah to bring about real repentance! Notice carefully the message God sent to Judah through the prophet Jeremiah: "Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Because you have not heard My words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,' says the Lord, 'and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against these nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and perpetual desolations'" (Jeremiah 25:8–9).
So when we see the foreign enemy beginning to invade and conquer modern America, Canada and Britain, we should not be horrified, confused or disheartened. Those of you who have read and truly understood the prophetic articles in this magazine undoubtedly realize by now that the great God will soon intervene and powerfully chasten our peoples, unless we deeply repent and turn to the true ways of God!
Yet during the greatest of trials and tests, God's true children will understand that "God is love" (1 John 4:16). They will realize that God brings trials and tests on us for our good. Fervently studying God's word, and drinking in more and more of the "mind" of God, God's people will realize in the years just ahead that God is intervening to bring this corrective punishment on His people because of His great love, and in order to teach them lessons for all eternity that they are unwilling to learn any other way. True Christians well understand that the great God says: "For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob" (Malachi 3:6). Today, God is dealing with modern Israel—including the American and British-descended peoples—just as He did in sending ancient Judah into Babylonian captivity.
Remember what God said to those Jewish captives: "For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you" (Jeremiah 29:10–12).
As the storm clouds gather, and as the darkness falls over our people, we should remember, as Jeremiah said to Judah, that God wants to give us a "future and a hope." We should know that when our people finally turn to God "with all their hearts," He will then bring them "back from captivity" and bless our peoples more than they have ever been blessed.
God tells us: "'Behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, 'when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,' says the Lord. 'But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days,' says the Lord: 'I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, "Know the Lord," for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,' says the Lord. 'For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more'" (Jeremiah 31:31–34). At that time, there will be no false ministers teaching that God's holy law is "nailed to the cross" or "done away." All human beings will eventually learn to live by all ten of the Ten Commandments as a way of life. Then there will be genuine peace and overflowing joy over the entire earth.
As David was inspired to tell us: "For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust" (Psalm 103:11–14). When we come to surrender to this great God as our Father, when we come to genuinely "know" Him through Jesus Christ living within us, then we will be able to look to Him and fully understand that the absolute Source of all love and goodness is truly "in charge." As we grow in this understanding, truly "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).