Home
Our Hope in the Bible
Bible Basics
Bible Quizzes
Free Literature!
Bible Courses
Books Online
Videos
Search
Events
Bible Reading Planner
Contact us
The Christadelphians

"And the Lord shall be King over all the earth ..."
Zechariah 14:9

West Houston
Christadelphians


The Christadelphian
Webring
Previous | List | Random
Join | Next


Web hosting by:
SmarterSolutions

 

 

 

Climax of World Problems

War in the Middle East - Christ's return is God's answer
Print entire booklet


TODAY’S WORLD

Famine, wars, political unrest and instability, social discontent and ecological chaos — this is the worldwide picture seen by all thinking men and women who raise their heads today, looking for hope. Peace, prosperity and plenty are fantasies to the vast millions of people dwelling upon the face of the earth, and those who have realised a condition of social adjustment are consumed with greed, and find the very fabric of their society being eaten away by crime, immorality, violence and corruption in every sphere of life. Once it may have been possible to be detached from world problems — to “live a good life” and insulate oneself from other people’s national and individual behaviour and difficulties: but now things are different. We live in a world where it is no longer possible to remain isolated and detached. Such is the extent of world problems today that every individual is in some way affected — in his work, his home and family, and in what he regards a “essential services.” Peace of mind escapes him as the media bombard him with news of the latest world “situation.”

Consequently, the question is constantly asked, “Where will it all end?”

The voice of the super-optimist is almost silent: no longer is he so confident that “they’ll sort it out alright.”

THE UNITED NATIONS: Can anyone really believe they will solve the problems facing today’s world?















So vast and awesome are the world’s ills that no one knows where to begin first. The diplomat, the financier, statesman, scientist, philanthropist and revolutionary are all alike without an answer. True, they may suggest palliatives, but none can provide the panacea!

What is the answer?

Where DOES the solution lie?

We would direct the reader’s attention to the Creator and His written Word — the Bible. Seldom used, and little respected, the Bible not only foretold these very problems many hundreds of years ago, but also contains the solution to them. The apostle Paul wrote to his young friend Timothy, “This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (II Timothy 3:1-4), and if there could possibly be anything more to add, it is found in our society!

In the gospel record of Luke (Luke 21:25-26), the Lord Jesus Christ himself spoke of a time when “there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with no way out; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” This is indeed an accurate description of the world in which we live. If Jesus Christ could foresee the coming troubles, did he not also foresee the way out? Yes, indeed he did, for he continues the above discourse by saying “then shall they see the Son of man (a title of the Lord Jesus Christ) coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21: 27).

This, then, is the solution offered by God — divine intervention, in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ, who lived and walked upon this earth nineteen hundred years ago, and will return to set up his Father’s worldwide kingdom upon earth.

A fantasy, you say?

A figment of the imagination, or “wishful thinking”? Christadelphians, for over one hundred years, have been expecting a situation, much as we see it today: for over one hundred years they have believed that the signs we see around us today would herald the personal, visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to establish a divine theocracy, with world government emanating from Jerusalem.

How do we know that, of all the times of global crisis in history (and there have been many), this particular time in which we live is the long-awaited day of the return of Christ? Because never before in history has there been a time when all the signs predicted in Bible prophecy as heralding the second advent of the Son of God have been evident: and never before in history has the greatest sign — the return of the Jewish people to their own land after two thousand years of dispersion — been a fact in the earth.

What then ARE the prophetic signposts for which Bible students throughout the ages have been watching?

God’s Purpose and Israel

God originally created this earth and its inhabitants to be manifestations of His Glory — “Thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it: He hath established it. He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:18), and “truly I live, and all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD” (Numbers 14:21).

This is the avowed intention of God revealed in many passages in the Bible and intimately linked with that purpose is the Jewish people.


The Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. This relic of the ancient Jewish Temple is now in the hands of the Jews again.




 

The nation of Israel at the centre of the earth is the greatest living testimony in our day to the truth of the Bible, the reliability of prophecy and the certainty of the impending return of Christ to the earth.

The dispersion and restoration of the nation of Israel is an integral part of the purpose of God. For two thousand years, the Jewish people were scattered abroad among all nations, but never absorbed into their adopted countries. Always they retained their Jewish identity, and always they longed and hoped for their return to the land of their fathers.

Did you know that the Jewish dispersion was foretold in the Bible by God through Moses (Deuteronomy 28:63-65; 29:25- 28), the prophets (Jeremiah 16:13), and the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 19:41-44)? Jesus Christ said “they (the Jews) shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

On the basis of these, and many other passages of Scripture, Christadelphians have anticipated these dramatic developments in the land of Israel for more than 120 years. The following quotation is taken from a book called Elpis Israel (meaning “the Hope of Israel”), written by a Bible student named Dr. John Thomas in the year 1848.

“There is then a partial and primary restoration of Jews (to the Holy Land) before the manifestation (of Christ in the earth), which is to serve as the nucleus, or basis, of future operations in the restoration of the rest of the tribes after he has appeared in the Kingdom. The pre-adventual colonisation of Palestine will be on purely political principles; and the Jewish colonists will return in unbelief of the Messiahship of Jesus, and of the truth as it is in him."

Jews dance in the streets of Tel Aviv as the people celebrate their new State in the Middle East.






 

Dr. Thomas goes on to say: "They will emigrate thither as agriculturalists and traders, in the hope of ultimately establishing their commonwealth, but more immediately of getting rich in silver and gold, and cattle and goods by their industry at home and abroad under the efficient protection of the British power... I know not whether the men, who at present contrive the foreign policy of Britain, entertain the idea of assuming the sovereignty of the Holy Land, and of promoting its colonisation by the Jews; their present intentions, however, are of no importance one way or the other, because they will be compelled, by events soon to happen, to do what, under existing circumstances, heaven and earth combined could not move them to attempt.” (Elpis Israel, pp. 441-442).

Dr. Thomas’ conviction that Britain would have a hand in Israel’s affairs arose from such scriptural passages as Isaiah 60:9 — “Surely the isles shall wait for Me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring Thy sons from far...” “Tarshish” has been historically proven to be Britain, with whom the Phoenicians traded in tin and celebrated as “Baratanac” or the “land of tin.”

In literally hundreds of Bible prophecies, the return of the Jews is predicted as a prelude to Christ’s return. Such passages as Psalm 102:13-16 clearly identify the land and the people as vital prophetic signposts: “Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion (Israel); for the time to favour her, yea, the set time is come. For Thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. So the heathen (nations) shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory. When the LORD shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory.”

Middle East Conflict Inevitable

If the return of Israel to their land is accepted as the most vital sign of Christ’s return and God’s solution to world problems, then the conflict in the Middle East and the emergence of Russia as a mighty world power and an interested party in Middle Eastern affairs, must surely be next in significance. The final and greatest conflict in the Middle East will not be between Israel and her Arab neighbours; but between the Lord Jesus Christ and his followers and the mighty colossus of Russia and her allies. No diplomacy, agreements, treaties or peace pacts will ever solve the middle Eastern problem, and whilst the Western powers and the Eastern Russian nations seek to maintain a balance in this vital strategic area, God has decreed that in order to save His people and establish a true and honourable peace throughout the whole world, the Russian host will be destroyed upon the mountains of Israel.

Where does Russia fit into the final scenes in Bible prophecy?

Is her destiny foretold and how does it affect the present world crisis?

You may be astounded to know that Russia is directly named in the Bible by its ancient name of “Rosh,” and even the cities of Moscow and Tobolski by their most ancient names, “Meshech and Tubal” (Ezekiel 38:2). Russia’s allies are also named specifically: Germany (“Magog,” Ezekiel 38:2). Persia, Ethiopia and Libya (v. 5). France (“Gomer”) and Turkey (“Togarmah”), (v. 6).

We learn further from Ezekiel 38:8, 9, and from other prophetic passages of Scripture, including Daniel 11:40-45, that the Russian confederacy will sweep down through Turkey (having previously taken control in that country) into Egypt, which will not escape her conquering might, and turn to advance on Israel from the south.

Nor are we left in any doubt as to the outcome of this conflict, for Ezekiel, the prophet, informs us further in ch. 38:13 that, as we would expect, an allied force under the banner of Britain will confront Russia in the Middle East: but it will require divine intervention to destroy the northern army (Ezekiel 38:18, 21, 22, 39).

“Not a bad guess!” you say. “Anybody looking at today’s world Russian soldiers parade their power, discipline and ability scene could hazard such a guess.”





But Christadelphians have looked for the rise of the Russian power from a nation of peasants to a world force, and have anticipated for more than a century the events we see now: “From these premises, then, I think, there cannot be a shadow of a doubt that the Autocrat of Russia, when he shall have attained to the plenitude of his power and dominion, is the subject of the prophecy contained in the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth of Ezekiel. (Thus) at some time hereafter, and that not far off, a Czar of Russia will be both Emperor of Germany and Autocrat of all the Russias. The future movements of Russia are notable signs of the times, because they are predicted in the Scriptures of Truth. The Russian Autocracy in its plenitude, and on the verge of dissolu-tion, is the image of N e b u c h a d n e z z a r standing upon the mountains of Israel, ready to be smitten by the stone.” (Elpis Israel, p. 432, Preface, 1848).

The illustration on this page will help to explain precisely what we can expect to see take place in the area of the Middle East in the near future:




A chart showing the events to occur at the return of Jesus Christ, as shown in the Bible.



Christ’s Coming will Transform the World:

The return of the Lord Jesus Christ, personally and visibly to this earth, is a fundamental teaching of the Word of God, both in the Old and New Testaments. Isaiah foretold that the day would come when “the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 59:20), and that his return is linked with the destiny of the nation of Israel, David foretold in the Psalms: “Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion; for the time to favour her, yea the set time, is come...When the LORD shall build up Zion, He shall appear in his glory.” (Psalm 102:13-16).

The prophet Daniel, after speaking unmistakably of the days in which we live, said: “In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44-45).

The picture is exactly the same in the New Testament. Have you ever considered the unquestionable import of the words of the angels to the bewildered disciples at the time when the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives, after his resurrection? Consider them now: “While they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:10-11).

To this agree also the words of all the writers of the New Testament (as well as the Old). Take, as one example: “To you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10). Obviously, the believers in those early times took comfort in the sure hope of the return of their Lord to establish a literal worldwide kingdom, and believers in the gospel in these dramatic days can take comfort in that same hope, knowing that the signs indicate the certainty of his return in our day.

In order to establish a divine theocracy upon this earth, it will, of course, be necessary for the Lord Jesus to abolish all existing world governments. This is clearly indicated in the prophecies concerning his work at his return. Consider Psalm 2; Micah 4:1-8; and Isaiah 2:1-4. No longer will the governments of this world rule with injustice, inhumanity, greed, ambition and corruption; but “out of Zion (Jerusalem) shall go forth the law, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem” and “he shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor… in his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth… he shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth… all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.” (Psalm 72).

Not only will universal government emanate from Jerusalem, but that city will also be the centre of universal worship. Yes, no longer will there be a confusion of religions and ideologies, but one worldwide faith will activate every individual and move every heart in worship of the One, True God (Zechariah 14:16- 19).

Christ’s Return Offers the only Hope for Humanity

This is truly the Creator’s answer to four thousand years of man’s misrule. Neither politics nor protests can save humanity from the morass of anarchy into which it plunges headlong.

Above picture: An artist’s impression of the great temple city of Jerusalem as described in Ezekiel chapters 40-48.

God alone has the answer, and He has decreed that He will act in His appointed time. He has mercifully indicated through His prophetic Word, the Bible, the signposts which herald the time of His intervention in man’s affairs. Be warned, dear reader, that the time has come when, not only do the signs about us clearly indicate His hand about to move, but it is imperative that He fulfil His promise to “send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:20,21).

Christ IS coming to raise the dead who are responsible to judgment (1Corinthians 15:22-26); to reward the righteous (2Timothy 4:1,7-8); and to reign on earth (Revelation 5:9-10).

What will Christ’s Coming Mean to You?

Yes, world problems WILL reach their climax with war in the Middle East — a war to end all wars — and the personal, visible return of Jesus Christ will be God’s solution.

But how will this affect YOU personally?

Are these issues which we have discussed, the GOSPEL?

Is a belief in the gospel essential for salvation at the time of the return of Jesus Christ and the “restoration of all things?”

Belief in the ONE TRUE GOSPEL and baptism into the name of THE LORD JESUS CHRIST are essential for salvation: “he (Jesus) said unto them (the disciples), Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature; He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:15,16).

Note carefully the Bible’s definition of the gospel, and you will see that all we have spoken of is embodied in it: “when they believed Philip (one of the disciples) preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God AND the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12).

God offers eternal life and an inheritance in His kingdom to those who believe and obey the gospel. An understanding of the truth of God as revealed in His book, the Bible, baptism into the sin-covering name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and a life of dedication and obedience to the principles laid down in His Word and exhibited in the life of Christ, are essential prerequisites for salvation in the day of his appearing.

The Christadelphian community have maintained a constant witness to the foregoing truths ever since their inception of their community 120 years ago. These truths are, in fact, the beliefs of the disciples of Christ in the first century before THE TRUTH became lost in the apostasy of Christendom at large.

Christadelphian writer, Dr. John Thomas, many years ago, left a message of great personal import for the reader of the twentieth century: “When Russia makes its grand move for the building up of its image-empire, then let the reader know that the end of all things, as at present constituted, is at hand. The long-expected, but stealthy advent of the King of Israel, will be on the eve of becoming a fact; and salvation will be to those who not only looked for it, but have trimmed their lamps by believing the gospel of the Kingdom unto the obedience of faith, and the perfection thereof in ‘fruits meet for repentance.’ May the spirit of the Truth enter the reader, and lead him into its liberty and fraternity; that at the coming of the Son of Man in celestial majesty and power he may share with Jesus Christ in his joy, and inherit the Kingdom of God with eternal glory.”

(Preface Elpis Israel, J. Thomas).


If you have questions or comments about this article, please feel free to e-mail us with them.