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Prophecy: Ultimate Deception, Ultimate Betrayal, Ultimate Irony
January 12, 2011

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Ultimate Deception, Ultimate Betrayal, Ultimate Irony

One of the most striking things and the most unique concerning the Christian faith has to do with the rejection of the head of the faith by His own people and nation, only to see His teachings embraced by foreigners and strangers. Nowhere else can you see such a thing in the history of Earth.

It is only natural that as the New Testament breaks forth with preaching, that those early apostles would attempt to grapple with this question: why did the Jews kill the Lord of glory, who was one of their own countrymen?

Peter took the first stab at the issue in his first sermon, saying, as it is recorded in Acts 2:23, that "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain." Peter revisited this issue in his second sermon, as seen in Acts 3:14-15, "But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead, whereof we are witnesses. Peter further maintains in verse 17 that "I wot (know) that through ignorance, ye did it, as did also your rulers." So, as we track further on in Acts, we get more and more of the story.

Stephen, in Acts 7, delves into the same subject in making the accusation that got him killed. He exclaims "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One, of whom ye have been now betrayers and murderers."

Jesus had earlier taught them that the Pharisees would not listen to him because they loved the praise of men (John 12:43) People were being put out of the synagogue for confessing him, and the Pharisees were not willing to pay any price for faith in God, let alone one so steep. He spoke of the scribes, that they loved to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: which devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers" Mark 12:38-40

We discover through Paul about the perfect wisdom that came from God, but was hidden, in that "none of the princes of this world knew, for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:8

Certainly, the prophets had foretold something of this sort, as Isaiah spoke of a future rejection and piercing and a man of sorrows. Zechariah spoke also of one who would be wounded in the house of his friends. David, Zechariah and Isaiah all spoke of one who would be pierced and have holes in the hands and feet. David spoke of one greatly rejected, and yet none of these was anywhere near the forefront of the minds of the Jewish leaders as they considered in their hearts what they might do about Jesus. The messiah they looked for would deliver them from the bondage of Rome. It became clear that Jesus would not have anything to do with that, and so, he walked on the stage of Earth, and very few applied any messianic prophecy to an examination of his life. In terms of prophecy, the "modern prophecy" was more conveniently applied to Jesus, in that the high priest had prophesied that very year that "Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not" (John 11:50), for they were very afraid that the "Romans shall come and take away both our place and our nation". John 11:48

Jesus had made it very clear that His visitation to Earth about two thousand years ago did not involve the pouring out of God's vengeance. We read in Luke 4:18, where Jesus took up the scroll of Isaiah and read from the 61st chapter, from verses one and two. He put the scroll down after reading "to preach the acceptable year of the Lord,." He DID NOT read the words of Isaiah that directly follow, after only a comma to break the thought: "…,and the day of vengeance of our God;"

Yet, there remains a day of vengeance, for we are speaking of our God, to whom vengeance belongeth (Psalm 94)

Jesus tabled for two thousand years this aspect of this vengeance, and the dealing by God with the kingdoms of this world. Clearly, Jesus delivered the kingdom to his followers but not in full. The kingdom of God, within each of us, has been the Lord's kingdom for this church age . The throne He has been concerned with has been that which is placed upon our hearts. He desires to dwell as Lord and God, enthroned in our hearts, and yet, there is more to come.

Daniel had said in the seventh chapter that the time would arrive when "…the Ancient of days came, and judgement was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." (Daniel 7:22) Daniel was clear to relate that which was told him, as it surpassed the kingdom that we as believers have, as yet experienced. Daniel was told that "the judgement shall sit, and they shall take away his (the beast-an earthly empire) dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him."

Daniel chapter seven presents a vision of four beasts that are representative of nations and kingdoms, that are in existence right now, and fully in the time very soon to come and that was the purpose of it. This vision could only have been understood in the last hundred years, and so, it has been "unsealed", and is now able to be understood. The Lion, with eagles wings plucked off in Daniel 7:4 clearly speaks of a 4th of July plucking of the USA Eagle from the body of the British Lion. The bear speaks unmistakably of Russia. The Leopard, a hybrid Lion and Panther, evokes images of Germany and her Panzer (panther) tanks moving with great blitzkrieg speed, taken over by a four headed alliance of post WW2 Allied control. The Fourth beast, with the great iron teeth, is probably taking shape just now. All of these present kingdoms must be laid low as the Lord of glory comes and dominion is given into the hands of the saints of the most high.

Jesus came two thousand years ago, and He brought the kingdom to his own people. His own people thought it a worthless thing, and rejected him, his ministry and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The kingdoms of this world were left standing.

Now, two thousand years later, Jesus is coming to execute the day of vengeance, and to give dominion to the saints of the most High. The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our God. The saints will fully enter into the promised kingdom glory, but just as in the first coming, most of the Lord's own people have rejected the coming of His kingdom. How, you say?

1) They love this present world, and the things in this world, more than they love God.
2) They love money and mammon more than they love the Lord.
3) They love their place, their ministries and the approval of men.
4) They love to be greeted in the marketplace and to be called pastor.
5) They love the praise of men, and refuse to pray any price in taking any stand for God.

In short, they are rejecting His kingdom for the same reasons that the Jews of two thousand years ago rejected His first coming, and they are doing it out of ignorance. The church has obsessed on prosperity and has believed the lies that salvation results by mere confession, without endurance to the end. Their preachers have assured them that they will see no sorrow, and will fly away.

They have gathered together and have prayed to delay all manner of the preparatory judgements that the Lord would have sent to chastise His church. They would have none of it. And so, just as God gave the Israelites quail and followed it with a plague, the church of this age will have no warning against the day of vengeance of our God. It shall come upon her as a snare and a trap, and will catch her like a thief in the night, for she did not recognize the hour of her visitation.

It is the ultimate irony that those who have prayed so hard to spare this nation from any sorrow have the most blood on their hands, for these have fought the hardest against the coming of the Kingdom of the Lord. It is the ultimate betrayal that those who were invited to the wedding feast were all found with something better to do. They were too busy, so the Lord will now go to the highways and to the byways to find those who will partake of His wedding feast. It is the ultimate deception that, once again, God's own people will be the ones, duped by Satan, into resisting the coming of the Lord and His kingdom.

History repeats itself, just as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 1, in verse 9, that "the thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."

Stephen L. Bening

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