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The Kingdom Of God

 

Every day or so, we hear of more wars, hatred between peoples, and attacks upon some political group. The wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan never seem to end. The Muslims are always attacking Jews or tourists or World Trade Centers or airports or something.

We all heard of the promised peace accords between the Palestinian Authority (PA)/ Hamas and Israel. But we are also conscious of God's instructions in Judges 2:1-3 when God told Israel not to make pacts with Palestinians (that’s the new name) and of various Old and New Testament prophesies foretelling the destruction of modern day Israel. All Muslim nations are demanding the “liberation” of Israel including Jerusalem. The Bible accurately describes the armies of the world (is that the UN?) surrounding, then invading, Jerusalem. It is destined to become a huge confrontation in the near future.

No one likes wars but no one seems to know how to stop them. It is easy to get more involved in war and killing but very hard to get out of war. The lesson of Viet Nam was learned but it hasn't kept the world out of war, has it? We are all watching Europe now to see if the prophesied ten nations will appear, at least half of them are outside of Europe. The world could not prevent World Wars I and II, though it tried very hard to avoid them. Do we have any confidence we will be able to avoid the next world war?

We have recently completed a new election period...for congress, state and local issues but also in the longer view for president. And again we have been hearing the false statements and accusations on radio and TV for or against this issue or that person. Webster's defines extortion as the getting of gain by violence, threats, misuse of authority or extraction of too high a price. Extortion is acceptable, even expected, however, during a political campaign, just as are lies and deceit by long-term politicians.

Today I want to read scriptures which describe today's aggressive, even warlike attitudes, prophesies to watch for in the next few years, and scriptures which show how God will finally give us peace in His Kingdom.

 

We will spend a lot of time in Psalms, so try to hold your place there.

Let's first turn to Psa 120.

I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me. {2} Save me, O LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues. {3} What will he do to you, and what more besides, O deceitful tongue? {4} He will punish you with a warrior's sharp arrows, with burning coals of the broom tree. {5} Woe to me that I dwell in Meshech, that I live among the tents of Kedar! {6} Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. {7} I am a man of peace; but when I speak, they are for war.

Here is reflected the attitudes of the peaceful nations of the world. And here is described the hostile nations and peoples we (i.e. greater Israel) must deal with. Some believe that Meshech is the slavic family of nations, including Germany and eastern Europe, while Kedar is the Muslim nations. Whoever they are, they are obviously warlike and fierce nations who hate peace and desire to exterminate other peoples, like Israel and other non-Muslim nations. Notice how Ishmael, the father of the Arabs, is described:

(Gen 16:12 NKJV) He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man's hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren."

What God describes in his Word is still accurate today. The modern nation of Israel could certainly understand the feelings of Psalm 120. Perhaps the rest of the world and the U.S. will soon realize its full meaning too.

You might want to review Daniel 11 & 12 regarding the kings of the north and south. We won't read it now but in my view the king of the south is likely to include Iran and possibly an overturned government in Arabia, in concert with other Islamic fundamentalist terrorists we hear so much about today.

(Psa 121) I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? {2} My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. {3} He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber; {4} indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. {5} The LORD watches over you-- the LORD is your shade at your right hand; {6} the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. {7} The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; {8} the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Here is the hope of safety that those who depend upon God have. It is the answer to the threats described in Psa 120 which we just read. It is the Church's prayer of deliverance. We have no other protection from the peoples of Meshech and Kedar. Can Israel really defend itself against terrorism? That does not mean that we will not be pained at the troubles of our beloved country but it does mean that we have a means of protection if we can convince God we are worthy of it.

(Rev 12:14) The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach.

The church is promised to be removed from the danger by being taken to a place of safety for 3 1/2 years. Where that place is is the subject for another sermon, but God here promises to protect His Church from Satan's attacks by putting His Church outside of Satan's reach.

That promise is also made in Rev. 3:10:

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

Can't we actually feel the hour of trial coming over us now? Wars, violence, and the imminent threat of economic failures are everywhere.

(Psa 122) Of David. I rejoiced with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD." {2} Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem. {3} Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together. {4} That is where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, to praise the name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel. {5} There the thrones for judgment stand, the thrones of the house of David. {6} Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure. {7} May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels." {8} For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, "Peace be within you." {9} For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.

This is a remarkable prophesy. Notice the references to the thrones, plural, of David in verse 5. That isn't just Christ. Notice that we are asked to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Do we? Notice that David asks for security for those who pray for and love Jerusalem. We need to support Israel when it is being threatened by the Muslims, the United Nations, the United States, whomever. The Jews have even received bad press in Japan when some group ran a full-page ad claiming Jews were responsible for a Japanese economic downturn. Read Psalm 122 again. Love and support our Jewish brethren and Jerusalem. You can then claim God's promise of security, peace and prosperity.

(Mat 19:28) Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Christ was undoubtedly talking about his apostles. But he is also talking about the saints. No single man can judge or rule an entire tribe of Israel.

(Rev 5:9-10 NKJV) And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, {10} And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."

This is a powerful promise by God to make kings and priests from His people, no matter where they happened to live.

(Dan 7:27) Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.'

That doesn't mean all people will worship and obey him but all rulers and saints will.

(Psa 123-124) I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. {2} As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy. {3} Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us, for we have endured much contempt. {4} We have endured much ridicule from the proud, much contempt from the arrogant. {124:1} If the LORD had not been on our side-- let Israel say-- {2} if the LORD had not been on our side when men attacked us, {3} when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; {4} the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, {5} the raging waters would have swept us away. {6} Praise be to the LORD, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. {7} We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler's snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. {8} Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

This was certainly true of Israel's 6-day war and their war for independence. It has also been true for the USA in most of our wars. The Battle of Leyte Gulf during World War II was a good example. General MacArthur had landed on Leyte Island in the Philippines. The Japanese knew that an American occupation of the Philippines would block Japan’s essential war materials from southeast Asia so she ordered all her remaining navel fleets to attack the landing beaches. The bulk of the powerful American third fleet was lured far to the north to attack the last remaining Japanese carrier fleet. That left the defense of the landing area to the small American invasion fleet consisting of six escort carriers, six destroyers, and some supply ships. They destroyed the Japanese fleet coming in from the south but then had to face four battleships, seven cruisers, and eleven destroyers coming in from the north through San Bernardino straight. At the end of the three day battle the remaining Japanese fleet, not realizing how close they were to victory, turned and ran. The battle of Leyte Gulf is considered the greatest naval battle in American history. After the battle, Admiral Sprague gave credit for the win to the navy’s tactics and to "...the definite partiality of Almighty God."

Why then will Israel be destroyed and why is America no longer or barely winning its wars?

(Hosea 13:9-14) "You are destroyed, O Israel, because you are against me, against your helper. [We have taken God out of our schools and society with the philosophy "There is no God," “the separation of church and state,” and the Supreme Court decision prohibiting the display of the Ten Commandments just about anywhere except in their own chambers.] {10} Where is your king, that he may save you? Where are your rulers in all your towns, of whom you said, 'Give me a king and princes'? {11} So in my anger I gave you a king, and in my wrath I took him away. {12} The guilt of Ephraim is stored up, his sins are kept on record. {13} Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom; when the time arrives, he does not come to the opening of the womb.

Yes, we have government leaders but most are without wisdom. There seems to be no wisdom in Jerusalem and Washington, at least in the State Department and Congress, today. Why? Because "the fear of the Eternal is the beginning of wisdom" and there seems to be no fear of the Eternal in anything they do. Continuing in verse 14:

{14} "I will ransom them from the power of the grave ; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? "I will have no compassion, [Remember the murder of the four American diplomats at the Benghazi-Libya consulate.]

(Isa 54:5-6) For your Maker is your husband-- the LORD Almighty is his name-- the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. {6} The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit-- a wife who married young, only to be rejected," says your God.

But we are not a deserted wife. No, we are a deserter wife. We have deserted Christ, the soon-to-be husband of the Saints.

(Psa 125-126) Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. {2} As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore. {3} The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil. {4} Do good, O LORD, to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart. {5} But those who turn to crooked ways the LORD will banish with the evildoers. [Do we enjoy being with people who live evil lives? If so, verse 5 applies. Do we, like Lot's wife, yearn for the "fun" times being with these evil people? Her reward was to join them in death as she left for the place of safety.] Peace be upon Israel. {126:1} When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. {2} Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." {3} The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. {4} Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev. {5} Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. {6} He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.

God does do good to those who are good. But when most of the country turns to crooked, perverse, immoral ways, most of the country will be banished. We must be right with God to be delivered from the evil coming over us. Psalm 126 describes the attitude of God's people in the millennium.

Now notice that even Jerusalem shall have a new name:

(Ezek 48:35) "The distance all around will be 18,000 cubits. "And the name of the city from that time on will be: THE LORD IS THERE."

Yes, Christ will have returned to Jerusalem.

(Isa 27:12) In that day the LORD will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, O Israelites, will be gathered up one by one.

Is this what former Secretary of State Baker was talking about when he told Israel they had to give up any idea of a "greater Israel"? Is that why the first President Bush lost his reelection?

This will be a time when God, not man, leads. The flowing Euphrates is probably in northern Syria rather than western Iraq, but either is possible. The land of Israel will be back to its original large size. This is a far cry from the Jews' attitude of "God-given land for the promises of peace" that they have today.

(Isa 52:9-12) Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. {10} The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God. {11} Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the vessels of the LORD. {12} But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

Yes, the whole world will witness God's salvation of Israel. And the world will be impressed and eventually converted.

Let's read Psa 126 again:

When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. {2} Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." {3} The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. {4} Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev. {5} Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. {6} He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.

Israel shall rejoice in the Eternal. This will be a time of happiness.

(Psa 127) Of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. {2} In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-- for he grants sleep to those he loves. {3} Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. {4} Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. {5} Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

God's government will contain the necessary ingredients for success because God will be at the top. The government and society below him will not work in vain. Children born to the society will be a blessing - unlike many children today.

(Heb 3:4) For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

God builds but man tears down.

(Isa 11:1-12) A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. {2} The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD-- {3} and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; [as Judges do today] {4} but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth [He will demand obedience to this laws]; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. [He will judge by the law he wrote.] {5} Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist. {6} The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. {7} The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. {8} The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. {9} They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

Compare Christ's virtues with those of our judges and leaders today: Wisdom, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge, righteousness, justice, having a fear of the Lord, faithfulness, safety, honesty, morality, sincerity, fairness.

Peace will prevail. Do these verses also imply that we will not slaughter animals for food or do the prophesied sacrifices preclude that?

Continuing in verse 10:

{10} In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him [the world wants peace even today], and his place of rest will be glorious. {11} In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. {12} He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.

Why does Isaiah specify the exiles of Israel, but the scattered of Judah?

(Isa 9:6) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Notice that Isaiah calls Christ "Mighty God" [el, H410]. This is another proof that there is more than one individual in the family of God. (also see Jer 31:9)

(Zech 13) "On that day a fountain [the Holy Spirit] will be opened to the house of David [representing all Israel] and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. {2} "On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land. {3} And if anyone still prophesies [false prophesies], his father and mother, to whom he was born, will say to him, 'You must die, because you have told lies in the Lord's name.' When he prophesies, his own parents will stab him. {4} "On that day every prophet will be ashamed of his prophetic vision. He will not put on a prophet's garment of hair in order to deceive. {5} He will say, 'I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth. ' [Does this imply that farmers do not make good false prophets?] {6} If someone asks him, 'What are these wounds on your body ?' he will answer, 'The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.' {7} "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!" declares the LORD Almighty. "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones. [The KJV says "upon" or "in grace upon" the little ones.] {8} In the whole land," declares the LORD, "two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. {9} This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.'"

Notice that one-third will be refined by trials. The other two-thirds will perish.

(Micah 4:4) Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.

This is talking about a peaceful, agrarian society in the Kingdom. Sounds like a pretty idyllic life - if you like figs! [I do.]

(Psa 129) They have greatly oppressed me from my youth-- let Israel say-- {2} they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me. {3} Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long. {4} But the LORD is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked. {5} May all who hate Zion be turned back in shame. {6} May they be like grass on the roof, which withers before it can grow; {7} with it the reaper cannot fill his hands, nor the one who gathers fill his arms. {8} May those who pass by not say, "The blessing of the LORD be upon you; we bless you in the name of the LORD."

This is Israel reflecting its past but I believe it may also be a description of Israel today. So far, Israel has been blessed both economically and militarily - well, except in Lebanon. Of course, this may soon change. Too many politicians are weakening all Israel today. Those who lie to or put down Israel are put down themselves.

Isa 40:1-17 begins the second part of Isaiah, which talks about the future rather than the past. I am not going to read it but you might want to later in your own Bible Study.

(Psa 132) O LORD, remember David and all the hardships he endured. {2} He swore an oath to the LORD and made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob: {3} "I will not enter my house or go to my bed-- {4} I will allow no sleep to my eyes, no slumber to my eyelids, {5} till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob." {6} We heard it in Ephrathah, we came upon it in the fields of Jaar : {7} "Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool-- {8} arise, O LORD, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. {9} May your priests be clothed with righteousness; may your saints sing for joy." {10} For the sake of David your servant, do not reject your anointed one. {11} The LORD swore an oath to David, a sure oath that he will not revoke: "One of your own descendants I will place on your throne-- {12} if your sons keep my covenant and the statutes I teach them, then their sons will sit on your throne for ever and ever." {13} For the LORD has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling: {14} "This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it-- {15} I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor will I satisfy with food. {16} I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints will ever sing for joy. {17} "Here I will make a horn grow for David and set up a lamp for my anointed one. {18} I will clothe his enemies with shame, but the crown on his head will be resplendent."

Here are a list of promises made to David. The Psalm starts out with David's determination to build a house for God. If David's descendants stayed faithful and obedient to God, David's descendants would sit on his throne forever. At the end of the chapter Christ, the anointed one, is promised as a descendant of David, to sit on his throne forever.

(Zech 6:12) Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD.

But Israel is rarely united:

(Psa 133) How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! {2} It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes. {3} It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

David here praises the blessings of unity. Unity in the Church is also very important to God, a point emphasized by verse 3.

(Isa 9:21) Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, and Ephraim on Manasseh; together they will turn against Judah. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.

Here what many believe to be the U.S. and Britain seem to be against Judah (modern day Israel). This is a foreboding verse. We know that all the nations of the world will one day be quarreling over Jerusalem. Britain has a terrible record of its dealing with Israel, choosing to side with the Arabs rather than the Jews. Some American administrations have chosen the same path. This is a sad chapter in American, British and Jewish history.

But Ezekiel writes of the uniting of Israel and Judah:

(Ezek 37:15-28) The word of the LORD came to me: {16} "Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, 'Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.' Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, 'Ephraim's stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.' {17} Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand. {18} "When your countrymen ask you, 'Won't you tell us what you mean by this?' {19} say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph--which is in Ephraim's hand--and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah's stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.' {20} Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on {21} and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. [Some say they were destroyed in captivity, others say they returned to Israel soon after the fall of Israel. Obviously both opinions are wrong.] I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. {22} I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. {23} They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. {24} "'My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. {25} They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. {26} I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. {27} My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. {28} Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.'"

This is obviously talking about the Kingdom of God. The Saints from the Israelite tribes will be brought back to Israel from wherever they are today and they will serve under the rulership of a resurrected King David.

Psalm 134 describes the enthusiasm of Israel in the Kingdom.

(Psa 134) Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD. {2} Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD. {3} May the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.

And finally, Zechariah 14. This sermon could not be complete without reading of Jerusalem during the final days of this age and of Jerusalem in the Kingdom.

(Zech 14:9-19) The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. {10} The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses. {11} It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure. {12} This is the plague with which the LORD will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. {13} On that day men will be stricken by the LORD with great panic. Each man will seize the hand of another, and they will attack each other. {14} Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected--great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. {15} A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps. {16} Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. {17} If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. {18} If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. {19} This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

Brethren, thank your God that He called you to keep the Feast of Tabernacles now, in this age. And thank God also for disclosing to us the knowledge of the wonderful, peaceful, happy Kingdom of God. And thank God, particularly, that He has called us to have a part in it all. Do not waste your calling. Many are called but few are chosen. Strive to please God so that you may be not just called, but chosen to be a part of this wonderful future.

 

Sermon given by Wayne Bedwell

21 December 2013

 

 

Copyright 2013, Wayne Bedwell

 

 

 

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