Signs and Wonders

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”–Ecclesiastes 3:1

IN THIS ISSUE: Signs and Wonders

Spreading the word that God’s season of change is upon us

A publication of the Great Lakes Church of God
Written by John J. Blanchard
Printed 2004, 2007

SIGNS AND WONDERS

Wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines, disease epidemics…is there any hidden meaning behind them for us today? Are they imminent and unavoidable? If so, how many of us will survive? What will Earth look like when it is all over? Just what do these omens portend, anyway? These are quickly becoming the burning issues of our time. Many scholars and theologians are weighing in on these issues. Some author books offering detailed scenarios of the end time, even fictionalized novels based on scriptures. Film makers with their fingers on the pulse of humanity are turning out an array of movies about Christ, Armageddon and the end of the age. Setting aside profit motives for any of these works, one has to look on in bewilderment, wondering what is really going to happen and who can we trust to tell us?

There is only one sure source and that is the Bible. Any end-time scenario that does not square with God’s word is wrong. Isaiah 8:20 proclaims, “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (New King James Version throughout unless noted) God is clearly setting the record straight here. Out of God’s word we have learned what light is – it is the truth of God, and you can only get it in God’s word. Why turn to fiction and speculation when we can go directly to God’s recorded thoughts? Remember Isaiah 55:9? “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

WHAT THE SIGNS ARE NOT

There are definite signs before Christ’s return. Before we look at them, let’s see what they are not. You may be in for a bit of a surprise. Keep an open mind and remember we will endeavor to let God speak for Himself through His word. Matthew 24:3-8 is very enlightening when we read carefully. “Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.’” Christ says something here that flies in the face of what many have assumed. First He warns not to be deceived by the many who would come in His name saying that He, Jesus, is the Christ. Then He warns of what they will be saying, that you will hear of wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, etc. Astoundingly, He tells His disciples not to be troubled by these, for nation shall rise against nation, etc. He calls these “the beginnings of sorrows,” which in Greek is the word odin, number 5604 which means pangs or throes especially of childbirth. In other words, birth pangs. It is the spiritual war covered in Digest No. 7 that counts and not physical warfare. It is important to notice that even though these physical signs are a deception, the person speaking about them may be completely sincere and believe he is speaking on Christ’s behalf. When one is deceived, they do not know they are deceived.

Luke 21:7-9 repeats this same conversation. “So they asked Him, saying, ‘Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?’ And He said: ‘Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am He,” and, “The time has drawn near.” Therefore do not go after them. But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.’” “Commotions” is from the Greek word akatastasia, number 181 meaning instability and disorder. Reason will tell us why wars, famines, earthquakes and instability are not signs of Christ’s return. That is because we have always had them! They are a sign of what it is to dwell under Satan’s influence. Mankind has been living that nightmare for nearly 6,000 years. Terrible wars, madness and instability, coupled with famine and disease have been the bane of human existence.

These things we have suffered were and are birth pangs prior to the birth of a new age – God’s Millennium of peace and joy. Romans 8:18-23 expounded on this 2,000 years ago. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” These birth pangs have been taking place for a long time, and it would be erroneous to call these the signs and wonders of Christ’s return. Matthew 24:23-25 goes so far as to call these false signs and wonders. “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.” So beforehand Christ warned His elect, His firstfruits, that some would falsely come in His name (Matthew 24:5), falsely claiming to be Him or in a sense that their Church or group is where He is working. What they all have in common are false signs and wonders. Let’s get the Greek meaning for signs and wonders. “Signs” is semaino number 4592 and 4591, a mark to indicate or signify. “Wonders” is the word teras number 5059 which means prodigy or omen. Therefore false markers or omens to indicate or signify Christ’s return are a serious deception.

The constant drumbeat of doomsday warnings about wars and catastrophes to come is doing serious harm to humanity. The world is becoming more jaded, hardhearted and resigned to what this constant barrage of omens points to as “inevitable.” Many live in fear, depression and anxiety. There is a vicious circle of activity in the world today that causes and intensifies these feelings leading to hopelessness and despair. Images of human suffering by terror, war, famine and natural disasters are portrayed worldwide daily. Some think they help God by promoting terrorist acts, hatred, racism or ethnic cleansing. The world community attempts to reverse these by the use of even greater force causing millions to become refugees, causing suffering from famine, disease and instability. This breeds ever more hopelessness and despair which provide, of course, the breeding ground for more of the same. This vicious cycle provides doomsayers with the signs and wonders and omens they thrive on and use to sway others to their way of thinking. All of these factors combine to cause great agitation in humanity. This agitation is not of God.

SPIRITUAL WAR

Remember we learned that Satan destroys, and his signs reflect his nature. That is what God’s word says. The obvious question is what are the true and accurate signs and wonders? The truth will astound! In the first place what are the signs and wonders for? What is their purpose? They are to help us see the progress God is making in His divine plan for mankind. This plan, as we have seen, covers 7,000 years. The first 6,000 years are fraught with danger and peril as we struggle to live under the oppression of Satan’s evil spiritual government. Therefore, God is waging spiritual warfare in order to free His creation from this evil tyranny. Along with His loyal angels, He has enlisted a few people to engage in this war. These are called His firstfruits or saints. We have seen the names of some of them in our studies: Isaiah, Daniel, Peter, Paul and John, for example. That is why Paul wrote 2,000 years ago in Romans 8 that “creation groans” till this day with birth pangs. Indeed creation groans but not for much longer. Many pitched battles have been fought along the way, battles we have never seen with our naked eye, battles such as the angel who needed assistance from the archangel Michael to fight through the prince of Persia to bring a message to Daniel. Also there was the huge battle we read of in Revelation 12, in which God and His forces fought in heaven to cast Satan down when Christ rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. Christ had qualified to replace Satan as ruler over the earth, giving Satan’s spiritual government a mortal wound in the head mentioned in Revelation 13:3, for he is its head. Human eyes cannot witness these battles, for they take place in dimensions beyond our experience. However, the effects of these battles are very much felt upon this earth and mankind.

There was much joy in heaven when Satan was cast down. From that point forward heaven was no longer under Satan’s assault. The main theatre of war has become battleground earth. Let’s reread Revelation 12:12. “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” The earth feels Satan’s wrath by an increased intensity of his type of bombardment. That is when he, the prince of the power of the air, increases the intensity of his broadcasts into the unsuspecting minds of human beings.

For 6,000 years Satan as the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, has moved and influenced individuals and nations to overwhelm them with sin. His ultimate goal is to prevent the kingdom of God from becoming reality, thereby extending his reign over the earth. Down through the ages Satan held the world prisoner in his iron grip, all except God’s saints who comprised His firstfruits. Recall in previous Digests that God used them to bring His truth to us, the former and the latter rain. In doing so they reflected God’s light for us, just as the moon reflects the sun’s light to a dark world. In the last days something is allowed to go very wrong, that is at first glance. We see this in Revelation 13:6.

Revelation 13:6 says, “Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.” This scripture indicates that in the latter days, the spiritual battle is so intense that it really overwhelms everyone including God’s firstfruits alive at that time!

Satan has been trying to do to the saints what he wished to do with Simon Peter. Luke 22:31-34: “And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.’ But he said to Him, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.’ Then He said, ‘I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.’” Satan temporarily did thresh Peter and overcome him to the point of denying Christ. Christ’s prayer was eventually answered, and Peter went on to become a very distinguished firstfruit. This overcoming of the saints in Revelation 12 is one of the last phases in this long war.

Let’s go back to the record of our friend and firstfruit of God, Daniel. He writes of this same time in chapter 12, verses 6 to 7. “And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, ‘How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?’ Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.” What does it mean to be overcome? The Greek word for “overcome” isnikao which comes from nike. They mean to conquer or subdue or gain victory. Satan gains victory by causing sinful thoughts to enter the mind and heart and to be acted upon. Satan’s wrath, and therefore his influence, are at an all-time high today in order to accomplish this in mankind. Mankind is in a state of frenzy at this time as Satan stirs up such things as violence, hatred, immorality, racism and perversion. We see and feel the evidence but cannot see the perpetrator. In this day and age Satan has more tools at his disposal than ever before. Television, radio, movies, the Internet and publications blanket the earth with a flood. None of these are evil in and of themselves, but mankind still picks from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Satan’s dead tree. This allows all of these amazing inventions to be used for Satan’s diabolical purposes. This leads to the untold misery, suffering and anxiety and the hopelessness that we see today. The mind games of Satan have led to the state of the world we live in. James 4:1 says, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” All humanity is plagued by the sins which spring from our own selves. Within each of us are the weaknesses Satan exploits through his powerful broadcasts. He cannot carry out evil on the earth. He can only influence mankind who dwells in the sea of his influence. He cannot commit murder himself, so he moves others to violence. He cannot wage physical war, so he moves others to do so for him. This principle is true in all the human miseries and weaknesses that plague us. In racism, violence, drug abuse, perversion and greed we find that he is an enemy without mercy. Isaiah 14:12 and 17 correctly indicts Satan for his part in our misery. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! … Who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?” The earth is indeed held captive by this evil oppressor in a sort of bondage to his system of evil spiritual governance. As we approach the end of his 6,000 year reign of terror, God promises His signs and wonders to give us hope, and they are not more of what we have always had – wars, rumors of war, etc.

SIGNS AND WONDERS

God is a builder and a Creator who loves His creation and the family of man, while at the same time hating what has become of it under Satan’s dominion and influence. John 3:16 and 17 attest to this love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” God the Father and Jesus Christ had devised a plan to do two things: save mankind spiritually through redemption from sin and to preserve this beautiful earth He created for him to dwell on. Therefore signs and wonders that point to death and destruction are incorrect. Let’s notice how the disciples had to be corrected on this point in Luke 9:54-56. “And when His disciples James and John saw this [Christ insulted by the Samaritans] they said, ‘Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?’ But He turned and rebuked them, and said, ‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.’ And they went on to another village.” We see the contrast between God’s intentions here through the influence of His Spirit and Satan’s intentions under the influence of his evil spirit. Satan’s influence in his sea is the other manner of spirit mentioned, one of revenge.

Those of us living in the last days are about to witness the desire of the ages: the second coming of Christ to bring peace to this troubled planet. After describing this wonderful Millennium in verses 6 and 8, Isaiah 11:9 concludes: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Isaiah 2:2-4 elaborates further. “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” We looked at this mountain in Digest No. 7 when we studied Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel chapter 2. This mountain pictures God’s kingdom and government when it conquers Satan’s government and his kingdom. Satan’s government is over the earth in a realm we cannot see. Satan’s principalities and the wicked hosts who dwell there in heavenly places cast a shadow, or reflection of itself, in the nations of the physical world.

The nations and people in them unwittingly reflect his character and attributes as they struggle and fight against one another. So deceptively cunning is Satan that in almost all cases of war, genocide and ethnic cleansing every faction believes in their cause as right and just. Satan helps us rationalize our behavior in countless other ways as well. In societal and cultural miseries the list is formidable! We rationalize drug smuggling and selling, gang violence, law suits, corporate greed, and on and on it goes. In order for all of this to stop the source must be dealt with. Then world peace will become a reality. This spiritual war has been fought for 6,000 years since Genesis. God’s signs and wonders will give us hope that He will ultimately be victorious. He will not start His Millennium with the earth as a devastated nuclear wasteland nearly devoid of inhabitants, as some would suggest. Trust God and believe in His signs. In Digests 1 through 7 we found that God’s word contains His beautiful thoughts which are so high above our ways of thinking. We have followed a number of His thoughts as they wove their way through the Bible. These thoughts will now help us discern the real signs and wonders that we can count on – the signs and wonders that will give us hope and free us from the fears, anxieties and ignorance that plague us. After warnings of what not to be deceived of, Christ gave us some signs to watch for in Luke 21:25-28. “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Before we jump to conclusions here, we need God to explain His thinking thoroughly by applying the principle we learned in Isaiah 28:10. This was discussed in Digest No. 2. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.”

Let’s look at each of these signs so we can dispel some of the distress we feel. Many people are feeling faint hearted these days, which is what “hearts failing” actually means. People are also perplexed and in distress. These two words in the original Greek combine to mean in anxiety and anguish and to be at a loss mentally and to be in doubt. When we see the images on the news it is no wonder. We have been taught the worst when it comes to “the end of the world”. God is now going to help us flip this prevailing sentiment upside down so we will be able to see our God as He really is, our Liberator from tyranny and oppression. He is our Savior and our Redeemer coming to teach us how to make peace and no longer wage war.

In Luke 21:25-28 Christ is referring to the same time spoken of by the prophet Joel in chapter 2:30-32. “‘And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion [the name of God’s spiritual kingdom] and in Jerusalem [both physical and spiritual] there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls.’” All these events are signs along the way that spiritual battles are being won by God and that ultimate victory is assured.

EXPLAINING THE SIGNS

We will let Peter, one of Christ’s disciples and firstfruits, do the explaining to us under the inspiration of God’s Spirit. Acts 2:16-23 relays the story of the first Pentecost after Christ’s death and resurrection. This is when people from all over the Roman empire could hear Peter and the other disciples teach in the language of the Galileans, but could comprehend it in their own language and dialect! Peter used the occasion to strengthen and enlighten his brethren as Christ had directed him. “‘But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy [speak under divine inspiration] your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves also know – Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death…’” Peter used the miracle of that Pentecost day 2000 years ago to explain what signs and wonders were and what they meant. The crowd present on that day witnessed wonders orchestrated in heaven which formed signs on the earth beneath. As a result of this amazing display, many were moved to repent and be baptized. Let’s pick up the story again in verses 36-43. “‘Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.’ Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?’ Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar of, as many as the Lord our God will call.’ And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, ‘Be saved from this perverse generation.’ Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.”

So on the first Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection, Peter was explaining what the real signs and wonders are. Let’s go through them one at a time and back them up with what we have learned in previous Digests. 1. Sun turned into darkness: Christ our sun and light of the world was killed, that is to say became darkened. 2. Moon turned to blood: the shedding of His blood made the remission of sin possible starting with His firstfruits pictured by the moon. Eventually all mankind will have the opportunity to call on the name of the Lord and be washed in Christ’s blood. 3. Blood: Christ’s sacrifice, our Passover, becomes effective with baptism. 4. Fire: receiving God’s Holy Spirit is equated with receiving fire. To see this, let’s go back to the beginning of this entire episode by reading Acts 2:1-4. “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. [about 120 people according to Acts 1:15] And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…” The true understanding regarding thesesigns and wonders sets our minds free of ignorance and takes away the fear of the unknown. Now it makes sense to look up and rejoice once we possess this truth. This is an incredible time to be alive, for God’s wind will blow the truth everywhere, for now God is not just calling a comparative few firstfruits. He is opening up this knowledge to all. This will cause that huge harvest we learned about in Digest No. 5 “God’s Harvests.”

With the remaining space in this booklet, let’s firmly cement this beautiful thought of God into our mind. Let’s use His word to do it. The following set of scriptures provides strong evidence of the certainty of God’s ultimate success and His deep love for all of us.
– II Corinthians 12:11-13. Paul says, “I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing. Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.”
– Now this is a prophesy of Christ and His firstfruits that the Father called to Him in Isaiah 8:16-18. “Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait on the Lord, who hides His face from the house of Jacob; and I will hope in Him. Here am I [Christ] and the children whom the Lord [God the Father] has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel [physical in the Old Testament and spiritual today] from the Lord of hosts, who dwells in Mount Zion.” Clearly, Christ and His firstfruits are for signs and wonders. Pray for the spiritual vision to see these wonderful things, for they represent things that are very real.

Luke 21:25-28 clearly said there would also be signs in the stars and “…distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing,” that is feeling faint from all that they expect to happen. Then He concludes, “…look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” By comprehending God’s true signs and wonders we can look up in eager expectation for Christ’s return and our redemption. There need not be fear and distress, for we are about to be liberated from tyranny! The signs in the stars spoken of here is certainly not astrology, for God hates such things. Stars are representative of angels which is why Revelation 12:4 studied in Digest No. 7 said Satan “drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.” Satan, the evil star who had been Lucifer, has suffered two falls from power already: one when he lost his position at God’s throne and one at Christ’s resurrection. At the resurrection he and his demons lost the war for heaven and were cast down to this earth where they are making their last stand. We cannot see them, but they are here, and they stir up the sea forming the waves that roar. Mankind still dwells in the sea of Satan’s influence. His powerful waves are pushing mankind toward the conclusion Satan desires. We hear the roaring among the nations and the fearful proclamations of wars and rumors of wars. Satan will utterly fail. Satan’s darkness will be lifted. Isaiah 60:1-5 show us that God will win, and He will win big! “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around, and see: they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you…” The King James Version says “converted to you.” This is confirmed in Psalm 65:7 “You who still the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples.” Therefore we can see that God’s ultimate destiny for mankind is to convert virtually everyone who will call upon the name of the Lord.

God has been working supernaturally with a certain few of mankind preparatory to the liberation of mankind. Now that liberation is drawing closer, the entire world must be brought into harmony under Christ’s benevolent rulership. Physical warfare is useless in bringing permanent peace and freedom. Physical warfare cannot free mankind from his real enemy. We must stop kidding ourselves. Even the most free and advanced countries in the world today are burdened with the effects of our oppressor’s influence. In these last days what we noted at the beginning of this Digest was, first, the whole world is deceived (Revelation 12:9) and, second, that Satan waged war on the saints and overcame them (Revelation 13:6-8). It is enough to understand that this has been fulfilled. It has been a long hard war, and just before Christ’s return the Church alive at that time does get overwhelmed with sin to the point that the sun’s light is not reflected for a short time. Scripture calls this the moon going dark. This is a temporary condition, and this condition just precedes the time when Satan’s government over the earth (“wicked spirits in heavenly places”) are shaken and cast down, and God’s government and kingdom rise to form His mountain over the whole earth. Matthew 24:29-30 speak of these signs. “‘Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.’” This mourning is a true repentance just like the 3,000 on that first day of Pentecost who wanted to know what to do.

One of the mysteries of the kingdom we studied in Digest No. 6 was God’s symbolic use of the fig tree to represent Satan’s government and false teachers, and God’s government and true teachers. Revelation 6:13 speaks of their destiny. “And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.” This is the shaking of the heavenly powers mentioned in Mathew 24. Ephesians 6 spoke of these same powers as wicked spirits in heavenly places. Their days are numbered and about to end. The good news is that God’s kingdom is drawing very close for His government in exile, so to speak. Once again it is starting to bear fruit. This is the fig tree that replaces Satan’s and is another sign and wonder in its own right. This helps give us hope at this time. Christ teaches us about it in Matthew 24:32-33. “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near – at the doors!” So the Church begins to sprout and bear fruit once again! It will be good news for the world!

The times and seasons signs and wonders show us that it is very close. Lay aside your anxieties and fears, for our liberation is at hand! More beautiful thoughts of God will come next time, and may God’s peace be with you.

 

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The source for the Hebrew and Greek words in this book and their meanings is The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, by James Strong, Copyright © 1995 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

These lessons are free and can be reproduced in their entirety by anyone. They have been paid for by members and like-minded contributors.

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