What would you do if you were God (Part 5)
“Throughout the earth the story is the same— only a remnant is left, like the stray olives left on the tree or the few grapes left on the vine after harvest.” Isaiah 24:13 [NLT]
In the previous installments of this series on God’s ways, I discussed why YHVH does things the way He does and why His plan seems so odd to us sometimes but is actually the perfect plan for our lives. In this final blog of the series I want to look into the future and see why He has prophesied and planned out such a seemingly bizarre sequence of events for the end of this age.
From our limited human perspective, it may seem odd that the Creator of this universe would aim to judge His creation by destroying a large portion of it through catastrophic events. Let us look in more detail at a sampling of His end-time prophecies which are spread across many of the minor and major prophets in addition to the book of Revelation. When researching a news story, we try to answer the four “w” questions: who, what, when, why. The “How” question is not so important to us when it comes to Abba‘s future plan, as we do not really need to know how He will perform His will, but rather how we fit into it and what we should do to prepare ourselves.
The “When” question is also not critical to us, as we have no control over it anyway, and we need to be spiritually prepared, whether the events start to play out over the next few years, further into the future, or beyond our earthly lifetime. Yeshua said that no person would know the day or hour of the end time, not even the angels in Heaven, so we should not waste time speculating about the timing of these events (Matt 24:36). The explanation of “What” is going to happen in the final days is somewhat more important to us, but mainly from the perspective of discerning the signs of the end times, as Yeshua outlined in Matthew 24-25. If we get too concerned with answering the “When” and “What” questions (such as being drawn into the pre-Trib Rapture belief), then we can easily miss the more crucial truths of Yeshua’s message.
In Luke 18:8, He asks “when the Son of man returns, will He find faith in the Earth?” Why is our Creator and Savior questioning the faith of His saints? In Matthew 24:12, He goes on to say that “iniquity will abound and the love of many will grow cold”. This agrees with statements in 2 Thessalonians and Daniel that speak of the Tribulation period and the 3 ½ year reign of the anti-messiah, when there will be a great falling away and the “antichrist” [anti-messiah] will be revealed. Daniel says in his end-times prophecies that the anti-messiah will “wear out the saints of the Most High” (Dan 7:25) and “scatter the power of the holy people” (Dan 12:7). In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Sha’ul says “that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed”.
So how can we as Abba’s children keep our faith and not grow weary from the enemy? I believe Revelation 12:11 provides us a good answer, as this passage explains how the saints persevered to the end during the Tribulation: “And they overcame him [HaSatan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death”. YHVH wants our love and devotion to Him more than anything else – we need to walk with Him constantly and keep trusting Him every step of the way in our lives.
Many of the prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Malachi, etc.) speak of the believing remnant that will be preserved by YHVH in the latter days to dwell with Him in the Millennial Kingdom. One of the key underlying themes of Isaiah (e.g. Isa 10:20-22, 11:11-16, 24:13, 27:32, 66:20) is that of the judgment of Israel overall as a nation and people, but the protection and restoration of a small remnant of YHVH’s faithful children (both Jew and non-Jew) to dwell with Him in His eternal Kingdom. A particularly meaningful passage is located in Malachi:16-18.
“Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In His presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared Him and honored His name. They will be My people, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. On the day when I act in judgment, they will be My own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”
This passage provides us a window into YHVH’s own heart, which is what we desire as His people in relationship with Him. It shows us that He loves us all, but He especially desires to keep track of the names of those who truly love Him with all their hearts (fear Him & honor His Name). He wants to draw them near to Him as His special treasure, and preserve them for the last days, when He will reign on the Earth in the person of Yeshua HaMashiach. When we look at YHVH’s heart from His perspective, we see His overwhelming love for His children, keeping us safe until He can bring us home into His eternal Kingdom. How could we ever desire or ask for anything more than that – I give thanks and praise to our omnipotent Father who has wisdom and compassion beyond anything we could ever imagine!