In other statements of this promise or covenant God directed Abraham’s mind to the stars and to the sand of the seashore and to the dust of the earth as illustrations of the numbers of his posterity. As yet Abraham had no child: every testimony of this kind was therefore to him a testing of his faith, a suggestion that he should inquire first for a beginning of these matters; and as days and years passed by the testing of faith was increased, yet to our joy we find that Abraham was full of faith in these promises, never doubting the power of God in some way to accomplish all that He had given him reason to hope for. Here we find a lesson for ourselves. Other promises have been made to us, some of which seem to be utterly impossible of attainment. Shall our faith stagger and shall we begin to doubt? or shall we hold fast to the Word of the Lord, nothing wavering, nothing doubting? In order to do so we must discriminate clearly between the words of man and the Word of God, so that we may reject the words of man, resting nothing upon their promises, but our entire weight of trust must rest upon the Word of the Lord.
Posts Tagged ‘ gomorrah ’
When the men of Sodom surrounded the house, Lot realized immediately what their evil intentions were. He went out, closed the door behind him, and made an offer: The men of Sodom had better satisfy their desires on his two virgin daughters instead of on the two strangers. However, the men of Sodom were so angry with Lot for trying to stop them that they said they would now “deal worse” with him; that is, they would kill him.
This incident shows the condition of Sodom. Its sins were more than just pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness (Ezek. 16:49). Indeed homosexuality was the grievous sin. All the men of the city were involved except Lot (and perhaps his two prospective sons-in-law).
With Sodom being a symbol of Christendom, the implication is that conditions will get worse and worse as the end of the age draws closer. As for the antitype, it is significant that the sin was occurring in Sodom and that Lot was present there—as well as his wife and two daughters.
The arrival or appearance of the three “men” to Abraham was like an appearance from Jehovah. The detailed description makes us feel that we were there with Abraham.
Notice Abraham’s posture: he was sitting in the door of his tent “in the heat of the day,” that is, around noontime when it was hot. The tent was located in the plains of Mamre in Hebron (Gen. 23:17-19). The burial plot Abraham later bought for Sarah was in a cave in the field of Machpelah in Mamre.
Abraham ran to meet the three men. He had been sitting in the tent door when he noticed in the distance the three men coming toward him. Although Abraham was about 100 years old at this time and he had been sitting, he rose up like a youth and ran to meet them. Here is an older man doing something few young people would do! Most would just rest and wait and stand up only when the visitors were within speaking distance. Abraham exhibited enthusiasm and hospitality. And he “bowed himself toward the ground.” God Himself had communicated with Abraham several times, and yet here Abraham bowed before the three strangers. No doubt they looked very noble, but it was still commendable of Abraham. And hence we are told, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Heb. 13:2). Such generosity of spirit was a practice of Abraham’s.
Daniel told the king plainly that the writing signified that he was “tried in the balances and found wanting.” The Babylonian kingdom, so far from advancing human interests, had really retrograded from the original type. Another nation—Medo-Persia—would be given a trial. Later, the Grecians were given universal empire; still later, the Romans; and finally God permitted what was styled the “Holy Roman Empire,” or the so called reign of Christ. Each of these has proven its insufficiency—its inability to bring to the world the blessing which God declares shall ultimately abound when Messiah’s true reign shall be inaugurated, and the blessing and uplifting of mankind will become the “desire of all nations.”
We continue with the chapter of Matthew 24, explaining the verses which the Lord described the End of the Age (World), Time of the End. We are warned to flee (Mystic Babylon) and take none of her baggage with us. He explains the deceptions and “Lying Signs and Wonders” that Satan will use to ensnare the “Elect” if it were possible. Jesus gives us signs to watch for (One being the restoration of Israel). He describes the Tribulation, “Time of Trouble” that was never since the world began, likening it to the Time period that Noah and even Lot lived, and how God delivered the righteous. Finally we end up with the binding of Satan for the thousand years.
It seems providential that the Book of Jude is found next to the final book in the Bible, the Book of Revelation, which is one of the last books to be understood this side of the veil. The Epistles of John (not the Gospel), the Epistle of Jude, and the Revelation of John—all three of these last messages to the Church—each contain special prophetic warnings and admonitions with respect to the future. Moreover, each sequential message, as it is given, contains increasingly greater detail and thus ascends in importance. First, there is John’s allusion in his epistle to Antichrist and its identity; then comes Jude’s stern message; and finally the Apocalyptic scene of events of the Gospel Age provides an overview that helps us, in turn, to locate, identify, and further understand the climactic predictions of the age, particularly its conclusion.
Let us observe how strange it is that Jude’s epistle is sandwiched between the two messages of the same apostle John—between his epistles and his Apocalypse. Does not this placement of Jude suggest to us the possibility—nay, the probability—that these last three perhaps least-studied, least-understood books are to be considered as a special triad or unit unto themselves, which in due process of time would assume greater import?
The Book of Jude seems to have been written especially for the end of the age. What is the evidence or proof for such a statement? Verses 14 and 15 of the epistle inform us that Enoch prophesied of conditions that would prevail in the last time or day, and this prophecy of Enoch was directed against a class that Jude himself repeatedly refers to in his epistle. This book provides a rather startling revelation of conditions that will exist not in the world but in the Church, and it is from this standpoint that we will consider the letter.