1 – THE GREAT DETECTIVE

 

CHAPTER 1

 

This people draw near me

with their mouth,

and with their lips do honour me,

but have removed their heart far from me,

and their fear toward me is taught

by the precept of men.

ISAIAH 29:13

 

ALL of us have read a mystery. We find clues along the way and

part of the fun in reading a mystery is in trying to solve it. None

of us  is ever smart enough  to do  so,  of course,  so  in  the  final

chapter a brilliant detective solves the crime, calls in the police,

and the miserable felon is carted off to the slammer.

 

1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery,

even  the  hidden  wisdom, which  God  ordained  before  the world unto our glory.

 

Hummm … the Greek word for mystery, musterion, appears 27

times in the New Testament, so part of the Bible is a mystery. Now

much of God’s mystery has been explained in the first 65 books of

the  Bible,  but  not  all.  The  mere  fact  that  there  are  so  many

confusing doctrines around is proof that we really haven’t got it all

figured out. So where can we find a detective that can solve the

rest of God’s mystery for us?

 

Revelation 1:1 The Revelation1 of Jesus Christ, which God gave

unto  him,  to  show  unto  his  servants  things  which  must

shortly come  to  pass;  and  he  sent  and  signified  it  by  his

angel unto his servant John.

 

For 2000 years, we have been trying to solve God’s mystery on

our own. We have poured over Scriptures, finding this clue and

that, and with magnifying glass in hand have gone to Revelation

to see if we could figure out that book as well, as if Revelation was

part of the mystery. But from the above verse, it is apparent that

Revelation isn’t part of the mystery. It’s Jesus’ solution! God gave

us a Great Detective in the person of His Son.

 

Revelation 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the

prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

 

Folks, have we been looking at Revelation through the wrong

end of the telescope? Have we been going to Revelation with our

doctrines in hand, trying to interpret that book through the filter

of what we already believe? What if we stand behind Revelation

and look back at the rest of Scripture through the grid of what

Jesus might reveal to us  in that book?  If  so, might Revelation

emerge as Jesus’ unraveling of the mystery of God’s dealings with

man throughout the ages? Might we be able to see the Jews, the

church,  the  tribulation,  and  the  Middle  Eastern  terrorists  in  a

whole new light? Let’s find out.

 

A SHORT HISTORY

 

At the end of the Middle Ages, the Church had fallen into a

dead  formalism that ushered in the Great Reformation. Many

Roman  Catholic  Priests,  some  long  forgotten,  Eckhart,  Tauler,

Rokycana,  Briconnet, Huss  and  the  rest, were  used  of God  to

begin a great spiritual revival. At the time, every one of those early

evangelists  was  considered  a  radical  cultist  by  the  established

church.  Those  excommunicate  priests  taught  fanatically

“heretical”  doctrinal  systems  like  salvation  “by  grace  through

faith,” believer baptism and communion of both bread and cup for

all believers. New converts followed those “left wing extremist”

elder brethren, supporting their “heretical” positions, and almost

before  you  knew  it,  those  reformation  groups  became  new religions.

 

Five hundred years have passed, and those extremists have

become us: the Baptists, the Presbyterians, the Lutherans, the Free

Methodists – the whole Protestant evangelical world. The worthy

elders of our denominations passed their views on down to us,

and most  of them are  still  taught today. And their  views were

generally sound, until … until it came to Bible prophecy.

 

Among other unlikely concepts, the Leopard-Bear-Lion beast,

the Beast with Two Horns, and the Scarlet Beast of Revelation

were thought to be real live animals that would roam the earth.

When those prophetic doctrines were in style, England was the

great world power that spanned the globe and the sun never set

on the British flag. Europe was the cultural center of the universe

and the United States was but a minor nation full of woodsmen

and farmers. In their wildest dreams, theologians of horse-and-

buggy days couldn’t have imagined two 110 story glass covered

buildings standing on an island for which the Dutch paid $24,

much less, that those buildings would be destroyed by ten Islamic

terrorists using commercial airplanes as flying bombs.

 

If we are honest with ourselves, we can see that the end-time

scenarios those venerable theologians proposed just don’t fit what

is happening in the world today. It is evident to all that we are at

the end of the Christian Era, but as yet, there is no visible one-

world government, no antichrist, and no Seven-Year Tribulation

in  sight.  Is  it possible that the Lord’s plan  for the end-times  is

totally different from the traditions we learned in Sunday school?

It surely could be, because the Lord appears to have opened His

prophetic Word in a new way through two almost unbelievable

fulfillments of prophecy that have taken place in the Holy Land

during the last 50 years:

 

In 1948AD, the new nation of Israel was established and in

1967, Jerusalem again came under Jewish control for the

first time in 2573 years!

 

Though they were dispersed from their land for two millennia

and persecuted beyond measure, the Jews again control the Holy

Land and Jerusalem is again the capital of a sovereign nation

called Israel. In the following lessons, I will show that these

two events fulfill more prophecy than any other events since the

crucifixion and these events allow us to understand Scriptures that

were previously a mystery to us. Scriptures that change our view

of God’s overall plan and of how He intends to bring this age to a

close. It is apparent that a rocky road lies ahead for Christians

everywhere before Jesus stands on Zion. Spiritual storm clouds

already loom on the horizon and there are questions that need to

be answered …

 

Will a worldwide holocaust against Jews and Christians soon

take place and if so, can we  escape  it? How long will it last?

Where would the Lord have us be while it is here and how will

that time of trouble come to an end?