Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man
Weekly Devotional 11-09-20 Could 2021 be the Year?
After rising from the dead Jesus met with many of His disciples and on one occasion, He met with the eleven apostles. In that meeting they asked; Lord are you going to restore the Kingdom of David to Israel at this time? To which He replied, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority” (Acts 1:6-7). Rather than concerning themselves with the restoration of the Kingdom of David they were to go forth into all the world telling others about the resurrected glorified Lord, the Savior of all who would turn to him for their salvation, both Jew and Gentile (Acts 1:8). Their message was to be about the grace of God extended to all mankind. Earlier, before His crucifixion Jesus had told these same men that He would build His church (Matthew 16:18) and it would be through His church that He would draw the last Gentile to the kingdom of God (Romans 9:25-26). Could this be the year that this happens? Possibly, at any time the last Gentile could be saved, setting in motion the restoration of the Davidic kingdom.
The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel were led to prophesize that in the end times God would revisit Israel restoring them to their land and to spiritual life. We read from Jeremiah 31:31-34” “31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah– 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
From Ezekiel 39:25-29 we read: “25 Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name– 26 after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid.27 When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, 28 then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. 29 And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord God.”
At midnight on May 14, 1948, the first part of those prophecies came to pass. On that date the Provisional Government of Israel proclaimed a new State of Israel. On that same date, the United States, in the person of President Truman, recognized the provisional Jewish government as de facto authority of the Jewish state, de jure recognition was extended on January 31, 1949. The second part of those prophecies will be fulfilled after the church has been caught up to heaven. Following that catching up God will bring judgment against the nations of the world and will restore Israel to spiritual life. This is described between chapters six and nineteen in the book of Revelation. This period of time is called the time of Jacobs trouble (Jeremiah 30:7) and is the last 7 years of the 490-year edict of the Persian king Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:11-13).
It is not therefore the year that the Lord will return and establish His kingdom (that will likely occur mid-way through the tribulation), but it could be the year in which He catches up the church. We must keep in mind however “that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). Us born again Christians are to persevere and be diligent in our witness of Jesus Christ, expecting that this could be the year that He comes for His church, realizing that God has His plan and is on schedule.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
Lian Muan Kim
Koinonia Baptist Seminary – Yangon, Myanmar