2001-09-01 - Messiah: His Final Call to Israel
Partial Fulfillment, Part 41
From the time that God made this promise to Abraham to the present hour, He has been blessing all nations through Abraham and his literal descendants. Figuratively speaking, the Lord made Israel the hub of the nations, around which all events of any consequence revolve.
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the children of men, He set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel. For Jehovah's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. (Deut. 32:8&9)
To Israel at Mt. Sinai, the Lord gave the law of Moses. This revelation proved to be a blessing, not only to Israel but to all nations because the fundamental principles of government, the conduct of men with men, and the basic principles of life have influenced, more or less, all civilized nations. What was true of the revelation through Moses is also true of the messages which God speaks through the Prophets, who quietly and imperceptibly have been affecting the civilized nations of the world and have gradually lifted them to the high level, culturally speaking, where they now stand. This fact becomes evident when the civilized nations of the world are compared to the heathen nations.
God blessed all humanity by sending the Lord Jesus Christ to Earth to purchase redemption for every man. No man ever spoke as He did. No man lived as He lived. No man died as He died. Someone has said that Socrates died as a philosopher, but Jesus Christ died as God. Never has any man been raised from the dead as Jesus Christ was raised. He triumphed over death, hell, and the grave, bringing life and immortality to light through the gospel. Wherever the true message of the living and immortal Christ is proclaimed, the blessing of God is felt. Even where a distorted and warped gospel is preached, the influence of the living Christ is in a measure felt. At various times and in various places of the world through the preaching of the cross of Christ, God has sent revival in which numbers of people have been saved. Though, as a rule, such revivals have been greatly limited, a wholesome influence lingers on, and to a certain extent, affects the people. Though there have been revivals here and there during the Christian Dispensation, of which there are now a few in local communities, at the present time we need not expect any revivals on a large scale.The proof for this position is set forth in II Timothy 3:1-7: "But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof. From these also turn away. For of these are they that creep into houses, and take captive silly women laden with sins, led away by divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
According to the prophetic Word, there will be a mighty revival that will sweep around the world during the first part of the Tribulation, the last seven years of the Christian Dispensation. Isaiah the prophet speaks of the conditions that will occur throughout the world "in that day." This phrase is used technically by the prophets to refer to the Great Tribulation. Concerning that time, the prophet says, "In that day shall men look unto their Maker, and their eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. And they shall not look to the altars, the work of their hands; neither shall they have respect to that which their fingers have made, either the Asherim, or the sun-images" ( Isaiah 17:7&8) .The word in the original Hebrew, translated man in the King James version and men in the American Standard version (1901 edition), is used in both the singular and the plural number. The facts of the context determines which is meant. The possessive pronoun their, modifying maker, is in the plural number and has as its antecedent the word man. This fact shows that the word man in this instance has a plural connotation. Men, therefore is the correct rendering. In the clause, "in that day shall men look unto their Maker...," men here refers to men in general. We may be safe in saying that more than half the people of the Earth will turn to the Lord in that time.
The conclusion that there will be a mighty worldwide revival in the Tribulation, as set forth in Isaiah 17:7,8, is confirmed by Isaiah 24:14-16a: "These shall life up their voice, they shall shout; for the majesty of Jehovah they cry aloud from the sea. Wherefore glorify ye Jehovah in the East, even the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel in the isles of the sea. From the uttermost part of the earth we have heard songs: Glory to the righteous." Isaiah 24:1-20 is a vivid description of the Great Tribulation.
To Be Continued next week
In His Service,