Dear friends of The Jerusalem Connection,
The question I am continually hearing these days is – actually there are two questions:
• Is our elected leadership & the economic downturn we face a sign of God’s judgment on America, and
• Is the Messiah coming soon? Let me speak to the second question first.
I say unequivocally, the Messiah will not come – yes, Jesus will not return in power and great glory for at least seven years. How can I say that with such assurance? Listen to the Word of God.
“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until
(1) the rebellion occurs and
(2) the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.” (II Thes.2:1-3)
Note these clear facts:
The coming of the LORD and our being gathered together to Him occur after two things:
His coming is the climactic part of the Day of the LORD. At least two events must occur first.
1. The “rebellion:” i.e., the deliberate repudiation of Biblical belief and faith formerly held.
2. The “man of lawlessness is revealed.”
Now, only God knows when the critical time of the “rebellion” occurs, or when the abandonment of the true faith has reached a prophetic fulfillment. However, God’s people will definitely know when “the man of lawlessness is revealed.” How can we know with certainty? The prophet Daniel tells us.
(1) “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ (seven year period of time)
(2) In the middle of the ‘seven’ (31/2) he will put an end to sacrifice and offering, and
(3) He will set up at the temple an abomination that causes desolation – until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” (Daniel 9:27)
“He,” (the man of lawlessness, the anti-Christ), will “confirm,” that is, make strong, or reinforce a covenant/treaty/agreement for “seven” years. The word “confirm” is Higbir, which means to “cause to be strong.” Half way through the seven (3½ years) into that seven year period, “the man of lawlessness,” will “set up the abomination that causes desolation.” The Apostle Paul refers to this one when he says;
“He opposes and exalts himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped and even sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God …whom the LORD Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.” (II Thessalonians 2:4, 8) (This assumes there will be a Temple)
The clear implication of these passages is that the “covenant” which the man of lawlessness “confirms” grants some authority for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. Why? Because in the middle of the ‘seven,” he will put an end to the sacrificial system. Further, during the last remaining 3½ year period, certain significant and catastrophic events must occur – events that all the world will witness, before the Messiah comes.
• Over two billion people must be killed by a 200 million man army. (Rev. 9:15-18)
• Jerusalem will be trampled on by Gentiles for 42 months (3 ½ years). (Rev. 11:2)
• The two witnesses will prophecy for 1260 days (3 ½ years). (Rev. 11:3)
• The anti-Christ will reign for 42 months (3 ½ years). (Rev. 13:5)
• Israel’s believing remnant will be miraculously protected 1260 days) 3 ½ years. (Rev. 12:6)
• Israel will be victorious over the surrounding nations. (Zech. 12:6)
• All nations will be gathered against Jerusalem. (Zech. 14:1-3)
• Armageddon will occur. (Rev. 16:16)
• Babylon the great will be destroyed. (Rev. 17-18)
• Messiah’s feet will stand on the Mount of Olives in victory. (Zech. 14:4)
On the basis of the clear teaching of God’s Word, I can say the return of Messiah Jesus is at least seven years from now – when he returns in power and great glory and gathers all believers to himself. We will know when that seven-year period begins – when a recognized world leader establishes a covenant/agreement with the Jews. (Dan. 9:27) It will be front page news world wide.
Now regarding the first question: Are we presently under God’s judgment? In answering this I am reminded of Abraham’s prayerful intercession on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 18:16-33). Abraham asked God if there were fifty righteous in Sodom, would he spare them. God said “Yes.” Abraham then asked God would He would spare them for 45 righteous, and on down to 10. If ten were righteous would God spare them? God said “Yes.” He would spare them. There were not ten righteous, so Sodom was destroyed. However, the Angel told Lot he (the Angel) could not do the job until he (Lot) was out of the city, so evidently God might have spared it for one!
Something occurred to me. I am honored to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals. We represent some eighty million evangelical Christians. In this enormous group are Christians in different stages of their walk with God. We all know “nobody is perfect,” but all claim to be believers in the Lord Jesus. Surely there are more than 10 righteous ones. I would make a conservative guess that over half of the eighty million are faithful to God’s eternal covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and God’s promise to provide a homeland for Israel and the Jewish people.” I believe God will take these into consideration in any judgment of our nation. In the meantime, let’s take Jesus’ advice regarding judgment, the end times and the Day of the LORD:
“Be always on the watch and pray that you may have the strength to escape all that is about to happen and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)
God bless you and yours,
Dr. James M. Hutchens, President
P.S. Your tithe goes to your church but please remember The Jerusalem Connection in your charitable giving this summer.