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Good News Beyond the Bad
Bible prophecy contains some sobering predictions for the near future. But the darkest hour is just before dawn!
"Why is there so much bad news in the Bible?" some ask. "Especially in Bible prophecy. Why is there so much gloom and doom?"
Perhaps you have felt this way. Then it's time you understand why God chose to couch his precious revelation of future events in such a way. Yes, there is horrible news ahead for humanity in the short term. World conditions are going to get worse much worse (II Timothy 3:13).
But that is not why God inspired His prophets. The bad news is not the focal point of prophecy. Far from it. But the bad news of the world today and the immediate future does fit into God's overriding scheme of world events (Isaiah 14:26-27). It's time we understand.
First, we should note that even alleged doomsayers like Jeremiah emphasized the glorious vision of utopia ahead: a world at peace under the loving rule of Jesus Christ. Here's an example, in Jeremiah 31:12-13:
"They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, streaming to the goodness of the Lord ---- for wheat and new wine and oil [the world hunger problem solved], for the young of the flock and the herd [no more "beefing" about the price of beef]; their souls shall be like a well-watered garden [not withered and parched from the famine and thirst that stalk the Sahel], and they shall sorrow no more at all [good news for the mothers of Belfast, Beirut and Baghdad.]"
But there is more. Note this prediction of the social occasions of the world tomorrow, a time when ugly social divisions will be healed: "Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old, together; for I will turn their mourning to joy, will comfort them, and make them rejoice rather than sorrow."
How's that for a burst of sensational good news from a prophet who has had a "bad press" over the centuries? The good news for Ethiopia is that the prophet Jeremiah foresees national prosperity just ahead! Those who view God as rather ascetical and straitlaced will have to readjust their thinking in the world tomorrow. Jeremiah foresaw wheat, wine and oil, lamb chops and steaks barbecuing deliciously in some of the parched reaches of the present world.
Jeremiah's good news is also a refreshing encouragement for policemen, urban officials and town planners working in our inner cities: Social divisions will be healed at last. Jeremiah foresaw teens and senior citizens dancing together in the world tomorrow. You think this fantastic and idealistic? Can you believe this, or is it just too good to be true? Is it but the pipe dream of a prophet carried away with the spirit of enthusiasm, or perhaps something else?
Good questions. But first, notice another slice of exquisite good news from the prophet Ezekiel, whose alleged "bizarre" activities bother some scholars (Ezekiel 5:1-4).
Safety in the land
Here is Ezekiel's vision: "I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods... and I will cause showers to come down in their season... Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid" (Ezekiel 34:25-28).
What good news for youth leaders, camp counselors and educators struggling with a new "lost generation" of teenagers! They will "sleep in the woods." No need to fear marauding animals, irresponsible hunters or deranged motorcycle gangs. Just ahead, according to Ezekiel: young people camping out, learning to enjoy the great out-of-doors with no risk of crime.
What a wonderful news for ecologists, environmentalists and all those concerned about the good earth: "The trees of the field shall yield their fruit." Ezekiel predicts that the environment will survive. There is no need to fear a silent spring when no birds sing. Ezekiel said so. "I will cause showers to come down in their season."
Inspired by God
When Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the other prophets penned their prophecies, they claimed to be mere instruments, writing and speaking on behalf of the great Creator God of the universe (Amos 3:8). Ezekiel's message of nations at peace, of dwelling safely where no one is afraid, should be a beacon of hope to those who experienced the Cold War decades of the 1950s and 1960s.
To a generation scarred by the specter of the mushroom cloud, Ezekiel's words mean a lot: "They shall dwell safely." What a promise to those indoctrinated by the dread lexicon of the nuclear age ---- ground zero, strontium 90, fallout, overkill, massive retaliation, mutual assured destruction. The grim vocabulary of human slaughter haunts all of us on this fragile planet. With jagged nerves and frayed emotions, millions sit fearful of the bombs that could go off and incinerate us all within 25 minutes.
Ezekiel foresaw a time when ICBMs' cruise missiles and MIRV's would no longer bother the sleep of an entire generation: "They shall be safe in their land," Ezekiel promised. Why should it be so hard to believe Ezekiel? Why would delegates to world peace conferences totally disregard the prophecies and projections of the Bible?
Simple. They don't believe that the Bible has any relevance today. The don't believe that the prophets' words really were words of God. They discount God's servants having any authority. They refuse to consider that the prophets spoke as infallible scribes of the great God. And that is a major miscalculation!
Don't you make the same mistake. Here is the whole point of this article: The prophets are right about the glorious good news of the world tomorrow. Why? Because they spoke with unerring accuracy about the bad news of the world today! They pinpoint in foretelling the conditions that haunt us today proves the prophets spoke with authority. It proves they were inspired by God (II Peter 1:21).
In other words, the good news is true because the bad news is true! The prophets chart the disease ---- the present world chaos ---- and give the prescription to cure it ---- the wonderful world tomorrow.
Conditions today prophesied
Here are just a few examples of the authority of God's Word:
In the eighth century B.C., speaking of human governments and systems, the prophet Isaiah stated: "The way of peace they have not known" (Isaiah 59:8). Was he right? Or more importantly, is he still right? Of course! That is an amazing, accurate insight into human government, given more than 2,700 years ago.
In Zechariah 14:14 the prophet predicted that the end-time alignment of nations scrambling for control of the Middle East will include the Jews: "Judah also will fight at Jerusalem." How did Zechariah know, from his vantage point in the sixth century B.C., that there would be a Jewish state established on May 15, 1948, in the Middle East? The answer? Zechariah didn't. But his God who inspired him did.
Zechariah 14:2 says that "all the nations" will be involved in the dispute in the Middle East. The generation that lived through the Six-Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973 knows that this is true. But we have hardly scratched the surface.
Daniel 12:4 contains the startling statement that at the time of the end, "knowledge shall increase." That began in the 15th century with the explosion of printing, and has so accelerated that 90 percent of all the scientists who ever lived are alive today!
Jesus Christ Himself was a prophet (John 4:19) ---- the greatest prophet. He looked down the long stretch of time from His own first century A.D. and predicted that mankind, under the sway of Satan, would so pervert the knowledge explosion Daniel predicted as to almost engineer human self-annihilation!
Notice Jesus' prediction of our age in Matthew 24:21-22: "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those dyas were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened." There was a prediction of our frenetic, perplexed, distraught generation centuries in advance (Luke 21:25-26).
Revelation 9:16 predicts an immense army of 200,000,000 soldiers. Their source of origin? From the "kings from the east" (Revelation 16:12). Isn't it astounding that an Associated Press release of April 24, 1964, related that the People's Republic of China alone could field an estimated 200,000,000 armed and organized militiamen?
Aren't these staggering predictions? They are definite, specific and minutely detailed. They are authoritative news releases given in advance by the very Maker of the universe! And these sobering but amazingly accurate prophecies are convincing earmarks of the Bible's inspiration (II Timothy 3:16). They also demonstrate that the glorious good news, the positive projection of soon-coming utopia to grip this earth, is true as well.
The good news is true, too
Jesus Christ and the early apostles were convinced that the utopia predicted in Bible prophecy was as certain as the rising of tomorrow's sun. Here is the conclusion of a powerful sermon given by the apostle Peter:
"Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:12-21).
One reason Christ and His disciples knew of this coming Millennium was because they kept the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7). This festival is designed to keep God's true servants in perpetual hope of a golden age yet to dawn on this earth.
The Feast of Tabernacles
This annual Fall Festival which the early Church observed (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 18:21), is designed to be a living parable of the prosperity and blessings that will come under the reign of Jesus Christ. The Feast of Tabernacles in ancient Israel was intended as a microcosm of a godly community at work:
"You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days... and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your manservant and maidservant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow... Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast... because the Lord you God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice" (Deuteronomy 16:13-15).
Rejoicing ---- family rejoicing and togetherness ---- is the hallmark of this great Fall Festival It is a foretaste of the coming utopia God has in store for all people. Isaiah wrote of this glorious good news beyond the bad news:
"And in this mountain [symbolic of the Kingdom Christ will establish] the Lord of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees. And He will destroy on this mountain... the veil that is spread over all nations [religious deception]. He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces" (Isaiah 25:6-8).
What a hope ---- what a promise ---- what a future!
Prophecy announces it, and the Feast of Tabernacles points toward it. Yes in God's great mercy and wisdom, the bad news of the world today really is ---- paradoxically ---- good news! Because the collapse of this sin-soaked system, unraveling before our eyes, forms part of the birth pangs of a whole new age ---- the wonderful world tomorrow in the Kingdom of God.
The bad news in the prophecies, now starkly coming to fulfillment, underlines the certainty that a new world is on its way. And that's the best news anyone could ever hear!
Vital Truth Is Not Taught
People are not being taught to expect the establishment of Christ's kingdom.
The wheat and tares parable In his parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus gave a preview of what would happen throughout the Gospel Age (our current age).
The parable relates that in the beginning of the age good seed was sown in a field. Then an enemy came and sowed tares----imitation, or counterfeit, wheat. But the householder would not permit the tares to be uprooted, saying that both be permitted to grow together until the harvest.
Then the tares were to be bound in bundles and burned, and the wheat gathered into the barn.----Matt. 13:24-30 Jesus explained that the wheat were the children of the kingdom; those, that is, begotten of the glorious Gospel of the kingdom, and inspired by it----inspired to suffer and die with Jesus that they might prove worthy to live and reign with him in his kingdom.
The tares, Jesus continued, are the children of the wicked one. These are not the immoral and degenerate of the world.
They are the offspring, so to speak, of the false and Satan-inspired teachings that man, by his own efforts, can establish the kingdom of Christ, and bring in everlasting peace and righteousness.
The church-state systems of Europe, together styled Christendom, were Satan's counterfeit of Christ's true kingdom.
Those systems, as such, are passing out of existence, but the viewpoint of a kingdom of righteousness without Christ to establish his long-promised kingdom prevails.
Few indeed today are looking to Christ to establish his long-promised kingdom. The vast majority of his professed followers believe that whatever the Lord does for the world will be done through them and their imposing systems.
Jesus explained that in the harvest at the end of the age there would be a separation of the wheat from the tares, that the tares would be destroyed, and that the wheat would then "shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their father." (Matt. 13:37)
He speaks of a furnace of fire in which the tares would be destroyed.There are many prophecies which reveal that the Gospel Age comes to an end in a "time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation." (Dan 12:1)
The furnace of fire in the parable of the wheat and tares is symbolic of this same destructive trouble.
In it are destroyed the great counterfeits of Christ's kingdom, while the frustration and disappointment of their adherents is symbolized in the parable by the wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Developments in the world today clearly indicate that we are in that period of dissolution. The age-old systems that constituted the bulwarks of Christendom are crumbling. Churchianity is on the defensive everywhere.
Fear of destruction, by nuclear armaments and various types of weapons of mass destruction, is producing a fervor of religious excitement, leading in many instances to increased attendance at church; but the newcomers, as well as the old, have little or no conception of the true teachings of the Bible.
Churches today teach high moral and ethical principals, but they are not always practiced. The people are not taught to expect the establishment of Christ's kingdom.
"Christ must reign" Paul tells us, until all enemies are put under his feet, and the last enemy to be destroyed is death. (I Cor. 15:25,26)
It will be during the thousand years of Christ's reign that mankind will have their first experience with good. The earth will then be filled with a knowledge of God and of his glory. (Isa. 11:9; 40:5) Of that time Isaiah wrote, "The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity." (Isa. 33:24)
They will then learn that the love of the Creator provided redemption and forgiveness for them through Christ Jesus, and because of this, there will then be no need for them to suffer.
The appearance of an angel is the reason I made this site.
I believe that I have been selected to tell people the truth of the coming kingdom of God, I have as evidence the appearance of an angel in a dream, that goes like this: My father died on Wednesday November-1-1989 at around 5 am. Three days later while sleeping at around 5 am on Saturday November-4-1989, I saw in a dream an angel walk away from my fathers favorite chair, the setting in the dream was exactly the same of the actual room, as the angel walked (more like float by) out of the room I heard a door close, the sound of the door closing was exactly the same of that that I heard many times while going through usual life in the house.
Immediately I woke up very frightened and sprang up, the first and only thing I said was: "I saw the angel", I said it in Greek. When in Australia I would say that I spoke English 90 and Greek 10 percent of the time. Subconsciously before we speak we think in the first language that we have learned (Greek is the first language that I learned), and then speak in the language that we are more accustomed to speaking, consciously I was much more accustomed to speaking the English language, but my response did not have time to go to the conscious level, and I said, bang! straight out and without any hesitation or doubt, "eida ton aggelo" (I saw the angel), I had no doubt that I saw an angel, the assuredness was overwhelming! Mother and brother were asleep in other rooms of the house and they both heard and woke up upon me saying this.
It is interesting how unconsciously (I did not think of what I saw, I was asleep woke up and immediately said these three words that I never spoke before), I said I saw the angel and not I saw the Virgin Mary. The Bible in many places says that God sends his messengers the angels to appear in peoples' dreams or visions, no where does it say that he will send the Virgin Mary, I have learned this after my dream, before like many are now I too would have been under the delusion that the Virgin Mary makes these appearances (this is especially true to the Greek Orthodox religion in which I was brought up in), but I did not know that then and unconsciously said "eida ton aggelo".
I had no doubt that that was an angel and I still have no doubt, this was no ordinary dream. The angel was dressed in a white gown not very bright and had no feet also the head was white, no hair, all white from top to bottom, exactly as the Bible describes the appearance of angels and very similar to the photograph of the miracle in Hungary, except not as bright and had no crown.
I had never seen any photographs of angels before then, so my mind could not have associated it to bring about this dream, I was not expecting it to happen, experts say that when you expect something your subconscious can bring it about in the state of sleep. I was not expecting it to happen, nor was I under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and psychiatrically I have always been very sound.
The Bible says in many places that God communicates to people through dreams, (Job 33:14,15,16), *Joseph is one "Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more" (Genesis 37:5), and *Daniel the prophet had similar experiences, and also the *Apostle Paul: "And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing beseeching him and saying, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them." (Acts 16:9-10). These dreams or visions had left them with a deep impression that is why they were able to remember and record them in the Bible years after the dreams or visions occurred...I remember mine as if it happened 10 seconds ago, it has left a "stamp" in my mind!
In all my sleeping life I have never been awakened by a dream, or a nightmare, only this once, which was on the third day of my fathers' death...I didn't look at the clock to see the time I awoke, but am certain (even if one does not look at a clock one has a feel of whereabouts the day is throughout the 24 hour period) that it was close to the dawning of the new day, the time of my fathers death was around 5 am.
The third day is of particular significance as the Bible says Jesus Christ was resurrected on the third day.
As it looks, the appearance of the angel happened exactly on the full completion of the third day. The third day is of immense importance to all humanity...and a sign was given me, and the calling made, the Bible says that God calls people, in Hebrews 3:1 the Apostle Paul, says "Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling...", in other verses it is also called the "high calling".
Finally this dream (experience) was a once in a lifetime for me, consider this, the average life span is around 80 years, 80 x 365 days in a year = 29200 days. If this happened to me on a normal day or period of my life it wouldn't have had such an impact, the fact that it happened on the third day of the death of a family member is most profound, the third day I repeat is the day of most importance to the human family, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What are the odds then? 29200 days in an average life span, and it happens on the third day of the death of my father, Jesus Christ died and was risen on the third day, it can only be a divine showing!
I believe my life has been tailored to proclaim the coming kingdom of God:
1) The dream, I became more interested in the Bible after that, I have read the Bible now almost five times from cover to cover.
2) The Apostle Paul wrote, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (Tim. 2:15) Notice how the matter of 'rightly dividing the word of truth' is essential to being a 'workman' for God 'that needeth not be ashamed.' Truly, many will be ashamed who thought they were working for God by preaching eternal torture for the wicked.... as I said above I have read the Bible five times and a multitude of Christian magazines, booklets and some books. I believe that I have been approved, and have been guided to rightly divide the word of truth, I can now proclaim through this site the coming kingdom of God, where all will be given an opportunity to eternal life.
3) The appearance of angels always have a purpose. Acts 10:30 & 11:4,5 & 18:9.
4) I have a degree in computer science, so therefore I have the knowledge to make this website.
5) I have read hundreds of Christian related writings, and have never thrown away one, all other types of writings I throw away, but not magazines-booklets-books that have to do with God, in fact I have brought them all here to Greece from Australia (not knowing that I will use the articles to make this website), and now from these I have articles (the articles are needed to be found by search engines, as I write this most articles get a top ranking) to draw from.
6) Now that am here in Greece I have much time available to make a website such as this, let me tell you it takes allot of time to do this, and I do it all on my own, I have been given ample time.
7) "No one can come to me (Jesus Christ) unless the Father who sent me draws him" John 6:44. I believe that I have been drawn starting from my dream.
In my travels of reading the Bible and other writings I have learned that the three days is important in symbolic as well as real language, here are some verses:
"And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah: and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights." Jonah 1:17
"After three days they found him (Jesus) in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them asking them questions;" Luke 2:46
Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." John 2:19
"For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matthew 12:40
"And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank." Acts 9:9. This refers to after the incident that led to Paul's conversion.
"Go and say to David, 'Thus says the Lord, Three things I offer you; choose one of them, that I may do it to you.' So Gad came to David and said to him, "Thus says the Lord, 'Take which you will either three years of famine; or three months of devastation by your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you; or else three days of the sword of the Lord..." 1 Chronicles 21:10,11,12 This really proves what I am saying, no other number is used in the Bible as is number 3 no other number even comes comparatively close, I did not know that before my dream I learned it afterwards, God through the angel in my dream revealed to me that he is real!!!
And the number three (an event happening this number of times) is used widely in the Bible.
Jesus started his ministry when he was thirty years old and continued to the time of his death/resurrection at the age of thirty three, a total of three years ministry.
Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times." Matthew 26:34
"And it was the third hour, when they crucified him." Mark 15:25
"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the land until the ninth hour." Matthew 27:45. When Jesus died on the cross a total of three hours darkness followed.
"Three times I besought the Lord about this that it should leave me" 2 Corinthians 12:8. The Apostle Paul prayed three times about a matter.
According to eyewitness the **Apostle Paul was executed by the Romans by having his head cut off by a sword, when Paul's head fell to the ground it bounced three times, immediately next to the head miraculously three small water fountains appeared.
Finally I have been left with no room to doubt, God showed me that he is real on the third day after my father's death, and when God shows one that he is real one must act, God does nothing in vain, I am acting through this site!!!
*Don't misunderstand me, I am not comparing my self to these giants of the Bible, I am so, so very insignificant compared to them.
**Source: Documentary on the life of the Apostle Paul by the History Channel aired by Greek national television (NET) on April-21-2006 at 5 pm.
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