THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES

         But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. [Galatians 4:4-5]

         The Lord Jesus arrived at exactly the right time. One would think it was actually not a very good time at all, especially in light of what eventually happened to Him. He came to His people when what was left of the nation of Israel had brought forth the very worst generation in its history. That says a lot, since the ancient Hebrews had manifested some really bad generations over the centuries.

THE SADDUCEES

         He came at a time when the religious kingpins had gained complete control and had corrupted the entire spiritual establishment. The sect of the Sadducees, the high upper class of well-to-do Establishment power brokers, were in bed with the Romans and had control of the Temple. But remember that the Lord God never wanted a Temple in the first place, and that the Temple in Jerusalem in the first century was empty: There was no Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies.

         The Ark had disappeared to history 600 hundred years before and is still missing to this day. Without the Ark of the Covenant, what exactly was going on at the Temple in the first century? This is a perfect type of the majority of churches in America that refuse the presence of God but continue to go through the motions anyway.

         Consider the following:

         But in the same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, “Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt, even to this day; but I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle. Wherever I have gone with all the sons of Israel, did I speak a word with one of the tribes of Israel, which I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?’”’ [2Samuel 7:4-7]

         “David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: ‘HEAVEN IS MY THRONE, AND EARTH IS THE FOOTSTOOL OF MY FEET; WHAT KIND OF HOUSE WILL YOU BUILD FOR ME?’ says the Lord, ‘OR WHAT PLACE IS THERE FOR MY REPOSE? WAS IT NOT MY HAND WHICH MADE ALL THESE THINGS?’ You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.” [Acts 7:46-51]

         As soon as Stephen said this his fate was sealed. Those religious authorities not only murdered him seconds later, they acted exactly like the pack of wolves they were just before:

         Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. [Acts 7:54]

         Did Stephen hit a big old giant religious nerve or what?

THE PHARISEES

         The sect of the Pharisees had control of the synagogues, which meant they controlled all religious thought and actions, supervised all behavior, and demanded that everyone follow their strict but incorrect interpretation of the Law and Prophets. They had gained the seat of Moses but the Lord told His own disciples to not do what they do. There are many powerful rebukeathons directed by the Lord against the Scribes and Pharisees throughout the Gospels. There are also many parables revealing their illicit behavior and inherent wrongness. The Pharisees were always against the Lord, always trying to trip Him up, always attempting to disparage Him in the eyes of the people, and also always trying to kill Him.

         Was the Lord Jesus constantly hitting a big old giant religious nerve or what?

         In light of the fact that the Holy of Holies was empty, the people were struggling under a curse, and the religious Establishment looked great on the outside but were evil within, shouldn’t more people have noticed the real Ark of the Covenant? Shouldn’t they have perceived the real Temple?

         Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [John 2:19]

THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES

         So why did the Lord Jesus arrive at such a time? The religious authorities who had been engaged in so much wanton destruction for so long, whose forebears had killed all the prophets, had gained complete control.

         Evil had been elevated to the very top of the pyramid.

         “Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away. [Matthew 16:3-4]

         Sound familiar? Let’s return to the topic verse:

         But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. [Galatians 4:4-5]

         The Lord Jesus arrived when He did to redeem His people who were under the Torah. For greater clarification, Paul also said this:

         For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.” Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— [Galatians 3:11-13] [1]

         The Lord came to set His people free at a time when they needed it most. He would become the Sacrifice Lamb. He had to be born under the Law and that particular generation was more “under the Law” than any prior generation.

         The word “redeem” in these two passages from Galatians is from the Greek exagorazo, which means: (1) to redeem (1a) by payment of a price to recover from the power of another, to ransom, buy off (1b) metaph. of Christ freeing the elect from the dominion of the Mosaic Law at the price of his vicarious death (2) to buy up, to buy up for one’s self, for one’s use (2a) to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own.

         Paul said that Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the Torah. That’s a powerful statement. Quite pejorative. The curse of the Torah? This explains how the Pharisees gained control of the people. It explains why that generation was the worst. It explains why He came as a bright Light into a land of great darkness. It explains why they hated Him.

THE ESSENES

         This Jewish sect had fully recognized the evil of the Sadducees and Pharisees, how they had gained control of the Temple and the synagogues, and essentially the entire religious Establishment. And they told them all to go stick it in their collective ear by leaving all and going to the wilderness. They would not put up with all the religious chicanery and shenanigans. Their problem was not that they left but that they had no power as witnesses to stay on the scene and do anything about it. They knew they were defeated and could never change the status quo. But they did a great service to the Lord by shaking the dust off their feet and refusing to be a part of the evil.

         This is also why John the Immerser conducted his ministry out in the wilderness, away from all the religious and political intrigue. He proved in part that his ministry was from God because much of the nation went all the way out there to see him. It was a powerful movement within what was left of the nation of Israel and set in motion the Lord’s own movement. What these two movements portend is that REPENTANCE must always come before GRACE. American Christians must properly repent before the Great Awakening can come forth. A big part of this repentance is renouncing everything wrong within “Christianity” instead of supporting it or merely walking away from it.

BLINDED BY DECEPTION

         Though the spirit of repentance is rising, there is still very little repentance in America for incorrect, non-New Testament church practices and church formats, the teaching of false doctrines, the clergy-laity division, or the refusal to be filled with the Lord’s Spirit allowing Him full control. This is due in part to ignorance, willful ignorance, deception, and outright rebellion, but at its heart is a curse. In Galatians, Paul quoted the following OT verse:

         “‘Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’” [Deuteronomy 27:26]

         The point here is that Moses taught that the entire Torah must be honored. Anything less not only rendered it ineffective, it brought on a curse.

         James reiterated this teaching of Moses in the following:

         For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. [James 2:10]

         The Lord Jesus made it clear that we are either with Him or against Him. There is no middle ground. It should therefore be obvious that we are not allowed by Him to choose whatever part of His teachings we like and reject the others. But Christianity in general has been guilty of this for centuries and certainly remains guilty at present.

         It was the same in the first century. Though the people were under a curse, they continued to support the status quo. They continued going through religious motions that had no real effect on their spiritual lives. They were beat down, and they were scared. They wanted real change for the better but could not make it happen.

         Until John.

         Until the Lord Jesus.

         And until Pentecost.

         After that the flood gates opened.

         For such a time as this.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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Posted on November 8, 2016, in Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Comforting, especially today as we choose whether our nation maintains its dignity and autonomy or becomes nothing more than another socialist victory toward a one-world government. We are the last great holdouts. May it ever be so.

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    • The Lord Jesus arrived at the perfect time though it appeared to be the opposite. But look what happened:

      (1) An incredible Great Awakening came rushing forth in the lands of His people. Even though the evil religious Establishment had full control in every natural place of authority, including the Temple and the synagogues, and that it gained influential political power over the Roman government, and though it did everything it could to stop the Lord Jesus and His great movement, they failed miserably.

      (2) Forty years later the nation was destroyed, the Temple was destroyed, the synagogues were outlawed, and Jerusalem would be leveled to the ground.

      (3) The powerful Roman government that had been severely compromised and powerfully influenced by the evil religious Establishment just forty years before was the very entity that engaged in all the destruction. The greatest resisting force to the Gospel was removed.

      (4) God then used what Rome had created—the world’s first international highway system—to rapidly spread the Gospel through the Roman Empire. He also used the international synagogues of the Jewish dispersion built all over the empire prior to this time to also spread the Gospel rapidly. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, and his associates, often went to the synagogues first on their preaching tours, and though they faced a powerful fight they also had great success.

      (5) Though the Lord’s new movement was illegal according to Roman Law, and though Rome did all it could to stop it, it only continued to grow. The first Great Awakening in the world was an ongoing powerful success in which millions of people were transformed from darkness into light, left the kingdom of evil, and joined the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus.

      THE WORST OF TIMES BECAME THE BEST OF TIMES.

      Thank you Linda. Be blessed today.

      Like

  2. Yes! Amen! Our King of kings and Lord of lords rules and reigns! Thank you Abba Father! For such a time as this! We thank, honor and praise you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Those who are led by God’s Spirit are sons(daughters) of God.”
    Today, how many in America can say they understand this Scripture verse?

    Like

    • Thanks Gary. From my early days as a new believer, working hard to become aware of the Lord’s teachings and the writings of the New Testament, I learned then the same thing I know now: The answer is a comparative few. Though there are many spiritual catalysts that may serve to bring forth the truth of Scripture within Scripture, such as the verse you have quoted, there are some that make the truth of Scripture so clear as to be uncomfortable for those believers who have chosen the side of neglect, especially when it serves to support a conflicting belief contrary to Scripture, which a great many believers are beset by.

      If one can only be defined as a son of God by being led by the Spirit of God, or if being led by the Spirit of God is a requirement for right standing with God, both of which Paul is claiming in Romans 8:14, then the sons of God must have a spiritual relationship with God which includes proper communication to properly trust and obey. We have a great many examples within Scripture in which it is recorded that certain sons of God were told by God to do a certain thing and they did it. This means they must have been close enough to God to hear His voice which presupposes they must have been listening.

      I wrote a multi-week Bible study once explaining these elementary spiritual facts and I began with the calling of Abram: God spoke to Him. Abram heard. God told him to do a certain thing. Abram did it.

      It should be obvious that the same must happen with every real believer but it is not only not obvious for most “Christians,” this truth is rejected by most “Christians.” Rejecting it doesn’t make it untrue but only makes it untrue for them and proves two things: (1) They have no spiritual communication with God, and (2) It is most likely because they have rejected the means of gaining this communication. This is usually because one has bought into a competing doctrine that refutes Scriptural truth.

      Paul the apostle, for example, was no inundated with incorrect religious indoctrination regarding Scripture that he immediately went out to the desert after his new birth to be alone with the Lord. He followed a long held method first given to the Biblical patriarchs. Paul had to be untaught while also being taught. He said he learned the Gospel directly from God by revelation. That’s a very powerful statement. It demands there must be spiritual communication with God and being led by His Spirit as a defining requisite for membership within His Community.

      Blessings to you.

      Like

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