[First published 23rd November 2011]
Why? Why am I on watch, acting as a lookout?
In short: I was told to watch – plus a spectacular event made it personal. Yet why do that? To answer this, and other questions, take a quick trip with me back in time.
Like scrolling on electronic devices brings different images into our own virtual or cyber realm, now use your mind’s eye to imagine yourself getting into a ‘time machine’. Are you sitting down? Then let’s go for a ‘spin’…
Off Beyond The Mediterranean…
Set your digital calendars back by -1,991 years. We now find ourselves rapidly heading beyond the Eastern Mediterranean’s shore towards the Dead Sea’s deep valley, well below sea level. However, a hilltop city appears and where we zoom into a large, closed room. Here, we find ourselves in the midst of about 120 men and women – Jesus Christ’s original disciples.
We learn that Jesus had commissioned twelve of these men as apostles, or ‘ones sent forth’. He not only authorised but also empowered them to do as He’d done and continue His teaching – with miracles – and to establish groups of believers. [See opening chapter of ‘The Acts of the Apostles’ in the Bible’s New Testament.]
Peter, previously Simon a fisherman of the Roman province of Galilee, had been charged with leading these followers in spreading the ‘good news of Jesus Christ’; i.e. the Kingdom of God’s love, as fully demonstrated by His life and ministry to the ‘lost’. Their remarkable ‘rabbi’ had told them,
“…You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NIV).
In a little over thirty years, just after Peter’s death, his associate John Mark will record Peter’s first-hand account of Jesus’ public ministry. This will be known as ‘The Gospel According To Mark’. His account is the earliest of four to be recognised as authentic, inspired by God’s Holy Spirit and, thus, authoritative or canonical.
“But what’s all that to do with this blog?”, you ask. Let me explain:
Mark, also known as ‘the interpreter of Peter,’ will record what Jesus had privately confided to his very first followers, two pairs of fishermen brothers, James and John, Peter and Andrew, about God’s plans. Also, two of them will write about what they learned of not only their group’s future but also the whole world’s future!
Jesus gave them the startling promise that, after joining God their Father in the heavenly realms, He will return in the flesh to reign as ruler of His fully established Kingdom on earth!
To Help Get A Handle On This
If those disciples were our contemporaries and Peter’s eye-witness account were to be published for the first time TODAY, then his story would cover events of less than 40 years ago – that is, since the Falklands War and the later dismemberment of the Soviet Union. Now, back to the point:
Jesus told both pairs of brothers that certain events would clearly indicate His return is imminent. Future followers would know, therefore, what to look out for just before His bodily return as the one true Messiah (anointed redeemer) Yeshua onto the world stage. This future event is known as The Second Advent; the First Advent being when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in the Roman province of Judea (see map).
Hence, the four weeks preceding Christmas are designated within the western church calendar as Advent, from Latin ‘adventus’, meaning ‘arrival, approach’, also ‘coming’. (Read here to learn about the personal relevance of both Advents.) This year it began next Sunday 29th November.
What’s All That To Do With Us?
Apparently, for every prophecy in the Old Testament about Jesus’ birth and life in the Ancient Roman Empire, there are 7 to 8 times as many about His Second Advent – what’s more, it’s increasingly likely to occur in our lifetime! (I’ll explain elsewhere why this is so.) Jesus stressed the great importance of that future event. For example, in His instruction to the four who’d been with him from the beginning, as recorded at Mark 13:33-37:
“Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.
“Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming – in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning – lest, coming suddenly, he finds you sleeping! And what I say to you, I say to all, ‘Watch!’.”
That’s why I’m on the lookout – and, believer or not, you’re included in the action!
So, if you don’t know Him yet, I trust that something you may read herein will enable you to recognise, and want to get to know personally, the Author of our salvation, the Lord of Lords – Jesus Christ. It’s all about Him! I wonder, do you know Him yet?
If not, this stirring 3 minute video clip describes so well who Jesus is.:
Preacher Sam has a terrific way with words in describing where God came from – gives me tingles every time, just love listening to him.:
We may meet the Lord of Time later…but first, we need His Key to Prophecy!