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Escaping Israel (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
October 15, 2021 6:00 am

Escaping Israel (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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October 15, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 13:15-23)

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Bible prophecy is a massive subject. It is just huge.

It's big. And many are intimidated by it. Many Christians don't want to touch it because there's so much cross-referencing, studying, and digging into the culture. Just a lot. And you shouldn't be intimidated by that, at least not to the point to shy away.

You shouldn't be intimidated or frightened by it a little bit, but that should spur you on. We are in the Gospel according to Mark, chapter 13, beginning in verse 14. So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, let the reader understand. Then let those who are in Jerusalem flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house.

And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. Woe to those who are pregnant and those who are nursing babies in those days. And pray that your flight may not be in winter, for in those days there will be tribulations, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be. Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved.

But for the elect's sake, whom he chose, he shortened the days. Then if anyone says to you, look, here is the Christ, or look, he is there. Do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. And take heed, see, I have told you all things beforehand. For those of you who may have missed last week's session, Jesus had told them in answer to their question, when will the destruction of the temple be in the last days?

When are they coming? And he highlighted for them in verse 14, when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing where it ought not be. And he's referencing the temple of the Jews, which after that time, he said, is going to be destroyed. And we know by the context of everything, it's going to be rebuilt. The Jews will rebuild their temple in Jerusalem. It will be the third Jewish temple, the first being that of Solomon, then Zerubbabel, which Herod expanded significantly. That one was destroyed too. And the third one will have to be built. There is a lot of evidence that the original, the traditional location of that third temple is going to be in a different place where a lot of people expect it to be. But there's room for a lot of discussion on that. But I want to now come back to what happens after that temple is defiled by Antichrist.

Then what? And I want to introduce or talk about Bible prophecy and what it has to do with how we approach this current culture we live in. And then we'll get to the verses which are largely self-explanatory.

At least they are to me now, but they weren't when I was first coming across them as a new believer. But Bible prophecy is a massive subject. It is just huge. It's big. And many are intimidated by it. Many Christians don't want to touch it because there's so much cross-referencing, studying, and digging into the culture. Just a lot. And you shouldn't be intimidated by that, at least not to the point to shy away.

You can be intimidated or frightened by it a little bit, but that should spur you on. There are three quotes that I have found useful from, far as I know, an unbeliever that really capture the spirit of prophecy in a surprising way. And I have quoted from this person before, Gutzon Borglum. He is the sculptor of Mount Rushmore. That was his project. He is the architect, the sculptor.

He drove it along. And he says this, again applicable to Bible prophecy and its magnitude. Borglum says, Sheer mass is emotional.

And that is so true. You see something that is just enormous in its category, and you're like, wow, look at that. It is emotional. I once saw a pachyderm big as an elephant. And it was emotional. You can see an insect that's large forensics.

Look at that ant. This thing is huge. Such is Bible prophecy.

Such is human nature. You come to Bible prophecy in the book of Revelation, just for an example, and you go, wow, there's so much here. Mount Rushmore is loud, said Borglum, demanding attention. Isn't that true with Bible prophecy?

It is loud. When you hear just a few prophecies of what's coming in the end times, you remember them. You might not memorize them, but when you hear them again, you say, I heard that before. I remember that. And then finally, the third quote of Gutzon is, The faces are in the mountain.

All I have to do is bring them out. Well, the future is in Bible prophecy. And God brings it out through his prophets and through the Holy Spirit, and he promises blessings for those students of the word, students of end time prophecy, particularly the book of Revelation, because you can't study the book of Revelation without a foundation in all of the other scriptures. I mean, you can, but you won't get from it any of its profound teachings and blessings that are available, or at least you will reduce them. But knowing scripture before Revelation, by the time you get to it, is very beneficial because of its sheer magnitude, the grandeur of the future told and controlled by God.

That is significant. That's why I get blessed when I read the Revelation. God is telling me what's going to happen, and I know he controls it, and that blesses me. And I'm seeing it carried out as almost as though in many places as though it's already happened because of faith.

And that's what it does. It builds up our faith to face life more boldly and to do something with it. What good is courage in Christ if you don't do anything with it? That's the whole parable of no one lights a lamp and sticks it under a bushel and, well, not expecting that lamp to still shine. So the time comes when God tells his people, whom he brought into the promised land, to escape it.

It seems counterintuitive. I mean, he's worked so hard over history, at least from our perspective. Of course, God doesn't break a sweat, but just applying our characteristics to him to get it for a moment, God worked so hard to get the Jews into the promised land more than once. And yet, in verse 14, Jesus says, And let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. God brought Israel in three times.

There will be a fourth time. The first time, and I'll round off these numbers, about 1,500 years before the birth of Christ, almost 4,000 years ago, God brought them out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and into the promised land. And of course, they endeared themselves to fake ideas about God and his punishment. God moved them out of that land, and he did it in stages. And they end up in Babylon, which becomes Persia. And the Persian king, Cyrus, whom Isaiah prophesied by name a hundred years before he was even born, brings them back into the, or at least gives the edict to send them back to the promised land. Now this was about 540 years before Christ was born.

So we have two instances of Christ, who is God the Son, bringing the people, the chosen people from which Messiah would come, into the promised land. Of course, by the time they get back in this land again, they reject their Messiah, they revolt against Rome more than once. By the third time that they revolt against Rome, the Romans kick them out of Jerusalem and out of the promised land, and out they stayed for almost 2,000 years. And we read in Isaiah 43, well before I get to that, God brings them back into their land after that, after the Romans put them out. So the temple is up, the second Jewish temple is up, and the Romans destroy it because of the Jewish revolt, the Jews revolt again, the Romans put that down, the Jews revolt again, the Romans then send them out of the promised land. They stay out of the promised land until God brings them back in 1948, gives them control of the land again. And then the Jews begin bringing Jews from all over the world back into the promised land, especially when the Soviet Union collapsed. Jews were given, if you were a Jew and you could prove you were a Jew, you were free to come back to the promised land, and they have been coming in hordes. I remember on our tour, our tour guide was from New Jersey, but he lived as a total citizen in Israel now. He and his family wanted to live in the promised land. He learned to speak the Jewish language, the Hebrew, and there they are. Chapter 43, verse 6, I will say to the north, give them up, and to the south, do not keep them back.

Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth. Well, that ends of the earth part didn't happen when Cyrus sent them back from Persia. They were coming back from the Persian Empire, but not from the ends of the earth.

That happened in 1948, and it happened in phases, but in parts, and don't get too caught up in those details, we're giving you an overview. Isaiah 11, he will set up a banner for the nations and will assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. So we are living, in our lifetimes, we are watching these two prophecies of Isaiah be fulfilled.

And the Jews, again, are very serious about it. Well, they're going to get out of that land again, and that's what I just read from verse 14. Those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and then he'll bring them back again once he returns. But we're not going to turn our attention to that yet, that comes later in Matthew 13. Before the final return, the day is coming when the Jewish people must escape the promised land if they're going to survive as individuals, because the race will survive in spite of all of the efforts of Antichrist and his minion to wipe them off the face of the earth. With so many prophecies in the Bible, not only about the end times, but just about the nations. You know, you read through Isaiah, for example, and you get to the prophecies on Moab and Ammon.

You say, what is this boring reading? But God is saying, these are prophecies that I have fulfilled. Not in your lifetime, before your lifetime, but I've got many to be fulfilled in your lifetime, and possibly after. This should excite us, because with so many of them fulfilled, it would be unwise not to trust the remaining prophecies in detail. What we don't understand, we accept by faith, because we know better. God blesses prophetic study, as I mentioned, because it's big, and it's big on purpose. Revelation chapter 1, in the beginning of the revelation of Jesus Christ, Jesus told John, Blessed is he who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it, for the time is near. Demonstrated, this verse, when he says, blessed are those who read and hear, this is demonstrated by all the Christians who have expanded their knowledge of end times prophecy.

They know they're blessed by it, and the proof of that is they don't want to go backwards. If you said, do you have an end time understanding? I do. Would you like to lose it? Absolutely not. Why not? Because it's a blessing, as promised by the Lord.

And so there is great purpose in a basic end time study. And if you don't have one, get one, and it will enhance your ability to preach, because there are those that think God can go out of style, that the culture has somehow passed him. You know, they do it in different ways, denying he even exists and stuff like that.

God is never out of style. His hands are on everything, even after the end. He is the Alpha and the Omega, and the prophecies are telling us God is totally in control. His hands are on this.

He has got it. The final pieces of end time prophecy are rapidly filling, because they have been for years. Parts of prophecy, for instance, we talk about the Jews, Jesus saying, flee the promised land.

Well, there's a long period of history, almost 2,000 years, where they weren't in the promised land, but that's been now fulfilled. And there are other things that we're just checking off the boxes, and rapidly now in this age of technology, sin levels are too high to sustain. Man has learned how to sin so profoundly now that it cannot be sustained. This happened when God sent the flood during the days of Noah. Man was so wicked, he had become so bad with his, you know, power brokers enslaving people, that God said, this has got to stop, or else they won't make it. We see it in a microcosm in Sodom and Gomorrah also.

But anyway, the Genesis 6 cartel ravaging the human race, it was global because everybody was sort of centered in one place, they spoke one language, and it was violent, and it was bad. God couldn't fix it, so he had to wash it away, preserving Noah and his wife and his children. The culture of Sodom and Gomorrah gave nothing to humanity, produced nothing worth preserving.

In fact, you can't even find for sure where it was. That's how thoroughly they've been washed away, or burned away you might say. They were intolerant, they were militant in their lifestyle, they were totally perverted, twisted to the point of you say what? Which is now becoming, or attempts of course, to reverse it all, to make decency vile, and vile things decent.

We'll come to that just a little bit in a moment. We're living through this, but Sodom and Gomorrah to God, it was not sustainable. God said history going forward is better off without that city, and the behavior that was in it, in spite of Abraham's pleading with God to spare the city. God says, Abraham, I have to overrule you here, because this kind of wickedness must be arrested, because if it is not arrested, not stopped, arrested.

If it is not, it will spread to the point where humanity will not be able to sustain themselves, the wickedness goes that deep. The sin was so brazen, the people were so intractable, that nothing short of divine judgment could halt the spread, and that is what happened. Today now, we've talked about Genesis 6, which led to the flood of Noah. We talked about Sodom and Gomorrah, which led to its being wiped off the first face of the earth.

Again, that lifestyle had nothing to give humanity, except short, twisted pleasures. And you say that today, and you risk being persecuted in a very serious way. But the culture today is globally, not every single person, but globally becoming more and more Satan friendly and Christ intolerant.

And we see it happening. And again, it's not sustainable, because with this rejection of Christ, comes immorality. And immorality is harmful to humans.

And immorality is defined by God, not by humanists, secular humanists. And so we have the LGBT recruiters, not enough that they live this lifestyle, they're going to get you. And you young adults, you are the most, or you young Christians, you are so susceptible to this move. Satan hates your guts so much, he hates you just as much as he hates me. And he's not going to come and stand in your face and say, I hate you. What he's going to do to take you out is to get you to move away from Christ. That's all he has to do to make his hatred work against you, to damn your soul. And now he has got people in their sexual preferences out trying to recruit people to join them in their stampede towards destruction. It's heartbreaking.

We don't hate them for this. We see beyond the people. We see what Satan is doing, but we also see that the people are serious opponents and very dangerous. The transgender Frankensteins, that's what they are, Frankensteins. The whole thing of Frankenstein was to create something from the dead that ended up being a monster that ultimately doesn't survive. Unfortunately, it transfers from fantasy into reality.

They give, again, nothing to mankind except malfunction. And if you're ignorant and if you're gullible, they're going to get you. If you find that the world is more fun in Christ to the point where you begin to leave Christ, they've got you. And you'll have no one to blame but yourself. As much as you want to blame your pastor, your parents, your church, or whatever else, it will be you. One of the awful things about hell is you, whoever is in hell, will be there by their own choosing and it will be a lonely place in spite of its multitudes.

Sin remains sin no matter how popular any culture wants to make sin. See, this has to do with the end times. It has to do with biblical prophecy.

It has to do with understanding how am I going to face these things? How am I going to reach people with the truth? Well, the prophecy is truth and the truth is convicting and convincing. Well, it's first convincing, then it's convincing.

Well, maybe, all right, sorry about that. Nowadays, we are stuck. Instead of geebores and giants, giant geebores, giant power brokers in their cartel, we have these tech monsters who supposed themselves to be godlike but really they're devils. Not because of what they have created with technology but what they are creating because of the technology. The culture that produces great characters is being abolished. Now this culture will create the Antichrist. It is moving all in that direction and it's ramping up faster. How much of human history lived at the speed of a horse that had its light from oil, lanterns, and how much of history was without what we call modern technology?

Most of it, it wasn't until the last 300 years or so before man began to find out that you can get more energy from steam and harness electricity and now look what's happening. It's no surprise that God withheld technology from humanity because we are seeing what they do. And what happens when I say this? What happens when I say we are in a culture that cannot produce great characters but can produce the Antichrist?

What happens then? They scoff. They scoff at that. Yeah, right. Because technology offers us some very wonderful benefits. It does not mean, and there's nothing wrong with technology in itself, of course.

It's what you do with it. 2 Peter chapter 3, knowing this first. You see that emphasis? We miss that, do we not, when we read 2 Peter? When he says scoffers will come, we miss that he said first. These are the unbelievers that will recruit you to their side, knowing this first that scoffers will come in the last days walking according to their own lusts.

Well, just ask yourself. That's a prophetic statement that Peter is making about the end times. Are they walking according to their own lusts?

Of course, whatever passions they may have. See, that is end time prophecy and it is helpful to us, but it is damning to those against Christ. 2 Corinthians chapter 2. Now Paul, who had to, you know, decadent Corinth, is just such an awful place. When Paul writes to the Romans that first chapter, he's living in Corinth.

And so all of that activity that he is dragging into the light is happening outside of his window. I like to think, you know, maybe he just came back from the marketplace and he saw the debauchery. And now he's writing to the Romans and he's saying, you know, what these people are doing here in Corinth, they're doing in Rome and everywhere else. And so he writes this to the Corinthians later. He says, to the one we are the aroma of death leading to death. See, that one is the one that scoffs at Christ, that rejects him.

You, to them, you reek of death. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of Mark. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, crossreferenceradio.com. Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of Mark, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-09 08:03:19 / 2023-08-09 08:12:20 / 9

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