Come, let’s take a quick trip with me back in time…
Like scrolling page to page on pc, tablet or smartphone brings different images to your own virtual or cyber realm, 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 Med…
Set your watches (or digital calendars) back by -1,975 years. We head beyond the Eastern Mediterranean’s shore towards the Dead Sea’s deep valley well below sea level. A hill-top city quickly appears wherein 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 continue His teaching – with miracles – and to establish groups of believers. [See first chapter to ‘The Acts of the Apostles’ in the Bible’s New Testament.]
Peter 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 Jesus’ 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 become known as ‘The Gospel According To Mark’ and be 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 may ask. Let me explain:
Mark, also known as ‘the interpreter of Peter’, wrote what Jesus had privately confided to his very first followers, James and John plus Peter and Andrew, about God’s plans for the near and far future. Jesus gave them the startling promise that He would return in the flesh to reign as ruler of God’s fully established kingdom!
To help you 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, the period since the Falklands War. 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 prior to the bodily return of 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’. For an introduction to the celebration of this event, read Stuart James’ comment and his wife’s brief homily, or for fuller explanation here. This year, Advent will begin on 2nd December 2012, or 2.12.2012! – a most interesting ‘coincidence of numbers, is it not? (Read here to learn about the personal relevance of both Advents.)
What’s That To Do With Us?
Apparently, for every prophecy in the Old Testament about Jesus’ birth and life during 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 why elsewhere.) Jesus stressed the great importance of that future event. For example, His instruction to the four who’d been with Him from the outset of His mission is given 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 too!
So, if you don’t know Jesus 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 turn to this page next.
We may meet the Lord of Time later…but first, here’s His key to prophecy!