THIS IS THE SECOND
AND THIRD SECTIONS OF A SERMON, AND COVERS
THE SEQUENCE OF SPIRITUAL HISTORY
ON THIS SQUALLING EARTH, STILL OFFERED SALVATION
Magnificent Splendour of the Sequence
that Gripped This World (Section I is separate, May, 2020)
1. Creation. 2. Sin 3. Curse 4. Flood... We move on from the three foundations, often covered before, to the flood. This also appears in the Index, but we remind our readers.
Sediments are found over some 70% of the earth's surface and vast craggy valleys of huge capacity, with various tilts and holes and abysses with stricken ranges like a bombed city, and vast exhibits as in many of the countries of the earth, of which the Canadian and US Rockies are but one example, while intercontinental inclines and distortion abound.
5. Wilful denial of the Flood as history moves on (II Peter 3:5) with a predicted distortion of the facts. to match the distortion of the earth in judgment., like someone who would never admit to having been caned.
6. Abraham, Friend of God, and the divine and solemn covenant between them concerning both the land accorded him and his descendants and the Messianic post for one of them, in the flesh department (Genesis 12, 15, 17, 22). Israel would be like a missionary country (Isaiah 43:21-22).
in the covenant made with God. They failed both in worshipping not-God and
wandering like a dog without a Master. See Deuteronomy 32:19-21.
8. However the Lord still multiplied through the prophets the accounts of the coming Messiah, to grant pardon, peace, power and restoration after their desolations from unbelief, as a nation. This is still as such maintained, following their self-cursing in the passion to remove the Messiah from this earth (Matthew 27:25). See especially Psalms 2,22,35,40,55,,, 69, 72,, 110, Isaiah 7, 9, 11, 32, 35, 40, 42, 49, 50-55, 61 etc., Jeremiah 30-31,33, Ezekiel 34, 36-39, Malachi 3-4, Hosea, Joel,, Micah 5-6, Zechariah 6,9,11-12.
The prophecies of His coming
(and their coming rejection of Him) were overwhelming clear, like the physical
testimony of the flood in the past; but they despised the warnings of the
prophets and of Christ, concerning the coming fate of this world (cf. Matthew
24:22), though it was all set down like cash on the counter. Of these things,
Christ taught His disciples (Luke 24:25-27, 44-48), as of the increasing
intensity to come of evil in this world.
9. The Gentile nations fared no better, Christ through His Spirit and word first spreading His redeeming work to them; and then, after various trifling with it, and some genuinely saved over the succeeding centuries (Jeremiah 16:19-21), they broke first this and then that close allegiance to God and His salvation, and moved to recidivism in colossal self-will, so that all the world might tremble as foretold (Haggai 2:6-7, Hebrews 12:26), both Jew and Gentile, and deceptions and spiritual fraud multiply (II Peter 2, Zechariah 5, Matthew 24:24).
Deception and spiritual fraud multiplied as foretold (II Peter 2, Zechariah. 5,
Meanwhile the far greater than flood power of destruction, was demonstrated
constructively in Christ's bodily resurrection (what they put into the grave is
what God took out - I Corinthian 15:1ff.). Here
was the unique and predicted escape not only from a maximum of calumny and
torture, centred on the cross, but from torture with the suffering of His soul
the soul of His suffering as He willingly bore sin even for those who rioted
against Him, provided only they received the gift (Luke 23:34. Isaiah 53:1-6).
In this, He fulfilled a new part of the prophetic and His own predictions, right
down to His raising on the third day (as in Hosea 6, Leviticus 23,
Matthew 16:21, 17:22-23, 20:19.), obtaining for His people both "eternal
redemption" (Hebrews 9:12), and "eternal inheritance" (Hebrews 9:15).
11. The power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit was focussed and came to the Jewish leaders, those labouring in heart for the Church, at Pentecost, precisely as predicted by Christ (Luke 24:46-49), and its explosive impact was practical, for on that day people of many languages heard the Gospel, each in his or her own tongue, in a miraculous and vital translation, reversing Babel for the present crucial cause. It led, uplifted, enabled many and Saul (to become Paul) in particular, was granted a multiplicity of miracles, with many also assigned to Peter as the Church was organisationally founded; nor did these signals of God stop there, though their confirmatory impact was intense.
Such blessings did
not however stop Paul in particular, used to write most of the New Testament (I Corinthians
2:9-13), from being flogged, imprisoned and stoned, left for dead, but revived
by the Lord. In Acts, the robust early Church history is recorded.
12. The Gospel came as predicted (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6, Jeremiah 16:19-21) to the Gentiles who, in their failure, parallel to that of Israel, after first some nations toying with, taking or applying it deeply into their midst, found truth unendurable (as predicted in II Timothy 3,4). They majored in myths and seduction of morals, as inexcusable as earlier with Israel, and with ruinous zeal so taught their own children, so that all the world, except for His OWN people, defined by biblical and personal faith, might lie desolate before God.
Thus the survival of the
fittest is taught (despite reminders of the obvious to be found in such
scriptural sites as Amos 2:15ff., Jeremiah 46:15), when in fact it is
often the survival of the sneakiest, of the best at stealing, of the most
oppressive, ruthless, till God Himself smashes their pretensions.
13. So it has been with the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Macedonians, the Romans, the USSR whose departure from this earth was one of its most blessed reliefs from irrational, international tyranny. Indeed, to this one could add the Holy Roman Empire, together with the Ottoman Empire, the one for long involved in Inquisition as a distinctive, the other embroiled in various religiously oppressive, aggressive orthodoxies warring grimly with variants, and The Third Reich, asserted to last 1000 years, but enduring for only 12. This notoriously specialised in the Holocaust.
The array is not glorious. A number of the dictators, some reportedly milling in slaughter of millions, appear fit only for the devil down to whose level they freely were falling: but this is an Age of revelation, of testing and showing what is in the heart of man without God; often making substitutes; and history is a great tutor in the hands of the Lord (cf. Ephesians 1:11). False religion and quasi-religion have played their part, as has militant atheism, the current position in China.
Indeed in all this liberty to show from man what he is about, it is the world itself which is in danger of not surviving (cf. Matthew 24:22, Luke 21:26). There come, more and more freely and jointly, shattering consequences of the failures till the world shudders as foretold by both Hebrews 12:26 and Haggai 2:7.
Indeed the Lord Himself "yet
once more" shakes it. Yet it continues unrepentant (as in Revelation 9:19-21),
indefatigably investing in rebellion from God. There is a Saviour, and without
Him, Jesus Christ, though it rotates vigorously, it cannot go (Acts 4:12,
14. As one sure sign of the "near" approach of Christ as King, is the Lord's return of Israel to its land, Jerusalem.
more trodden down by Gentiles as Christ
foretold (Luke 21:24-28), and granted as predicted decisive victories over far
more powerful foes (Zechariah 12, esp. v.10), this will lead for Israel, at
God's appointed time,, to a smashed international assault (Ezekiel 36-39),
and to its near national conversion to Jesus Christ. The 'rapture' for all
Christians awaits (Matthew 24:36-43).
The Gospel Glorious,
This Present World Vainglorious
Through all this is the sheer delight of the Gospel, repentance, restoration, redemption, pardon, peace, power and the presence of the Lord to the cleansed heart of man en route to the fuller expression of eternal life, false prophets trying to seduce the elect with their "great swelling words of vanity" - II Peter 2:18. If it were possible, they would succeed (Matthew 24:24)..
So we see Fall, Reformation, Restoration, Prophecy of, Performance by the Messiah when He came, to the uttermost detail, the divine Perspective, Procedure, Power, Empowerment through Truth and Mercy as the Spirit applies the Gospel, and Universal Proclamation is made (Matthew 28:18-20), reaching to the glorious and coming reign of the Messiah of Mercy and Sacrifice, Resurrected for Regality, with the coming parallel of the bodily Resurrection of believers-receivers, even all those His own (I Corinthians 15, John 1:12). Faithfulness ('Faithful and True' cf. Isaiah 26:19-20, I Corinthians 15:59ff.) is His very name. His cherishing love never fails, His power impervious, His grace sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9).