God’s Plan is On Track
“The harvest is the consummation of the age … Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:39, 43 ASV, margin. All quotations from the American Standard Version, ASV 1901, except as noted).
by James Parkinson
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The expectation of a harvest is that there will be the desired fruitage of the growing season, in this case, “the consummation
of the age.” The desired product of the Gospel Age is the faithful church, the Bride of Christ, trained to practice lovingkindness even for their enemies. They are now being trained to be the priesthood for the coming age, for the benefit of the “children of the resurrection” (Luke 20:36 KJV).
Jesus gave the parable of the wheat and tares and then explained it (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43). In a wheat harvest, the desired fruitage is the grain. But if the field is burdened with tares (a kind of weed; Lolium temulentum, which when eaten causes convulsions, and even death, per William Smith), there is a danger that the wheat will be contaminated. So the householder says to his servants, “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather up first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn.” (The tares are first gathered and bound in bundles, but not necessarily burned before the wheat is gathered into the barn. Whether the barn represents a condition of voluntary fellowship now, or the resurrected heavenly condition is here left as an exercise for the reader.)
Events Indicated by Prophecies and Types
While “we see in a mirror, darkly,” we should be able to see something in it. So “we know in part, and we prophesy in part” (1 Corinthians 13: 9-12), but not in full.
The trumpets of Joshua 6 (Jericho’s last week) are recalled in several prophecies (e.g., 1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Revelation 8:2-11:15). Joshua rises early on the first day,
and then for seven days, the seven priests march around the city of Jericho. On the last day, “they rose early at the dawning of the day;” only this time the seven priests with the trumpets
march around the city seven times, and at the last time the trumpet is blown and the wall falls down (Joshua 6). This all evidently typifies that Jesus’ resurrection begins the seven
“days” of the Gospel Age and that the last day is divided into seven events (beginning with the resurrection of the saints who had previously fallen asleep in death). During the last of these
seven events “Babylon” is to fall.
Joshua’s seven times around Jericho on the last day would correspond to the last seven plagues in Egypt. For these, Moses (here typifying Jesus Christ, the prophet “like unto me”) takes the dominant role from Aaron, and the Lord’s people are now not subjected to these plagues which fall upon the Egyptians (Exodus 8:20-23). These events typify the time when the “angel” comes down out of heaven, having great authority” and calls to His people, “Come forth, my people, out of her, that ye
have no fellowship with her sins, and that ye receive not
of her plagues” (Revelation 18:1-5). Revelation 16 shows the effect these seven last plagues are intended to have on “Babylon the great.”
One may observe an interesting comparison between the plagues of Egypt and modern history (see chart, top of next page).
The God of Israel planned that the events which have been so destructive to “this present evil world” have been constructive to the prophesied restoration of Israel.
A majority of Jews from Eastern and Central Europe, and from Asia and the Islamic world, have already returned to Israel. If the
next major world event is to be a deep depression, it seems likely they will return from Western Europe and the Americas. Anti-Jewish hatred is rising already, especially among Atheists
and Islamists, but admittedly in part of institutionalized Christianity also. It appears Satan is currently bent on destroying Israel (which the Lord prevents, Amos 9:14-15) and Christianity.
His interim goal is to take down the West.
Major world events during the Harvest have damaging effects on Christianity (see chart, the bottom of this page).
There appear to be three great political forces in the world today: Atheism/Leftism, Islam, and institutionalized Christianity. (We may watch to see if these are to be the three spirits of Revelation 16:13.) Few Christians would argue that reigning churches have been fully clean, considering the thousands tortured and slain in the Inquisition and the decimation of Germany in the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). Islam slew tens of thousands of Christians in conquering the Middle East and during incursions into Europe. The three greatest murderers of all time (Mao, Stalin, and Hitler — all atheists) account for roughly a hundred million deaths.
The experience of King Jehoshaphat against three enemies, Moab, Ammon, and some other Ammonites who ruled Mt. Seir (all three were descendants of Abraham’s nephew, Lot), may typify what will happen now in the 21st century. When Jehoshaphat appointed singers to praise Jehovah God, God set liers-in-wait against the enemies. The Moabites and Ammonites
allied together until they had destroyed the inhabitants of Mt. Seir; then they destroyed each other. We may watch to see if the alliance of Leftism/Atheism and Islam (typified by Ammon and Moab) will destroy the influence of Christianity. If so, there will be a consolation prize for the faithful Christian: The world will
not be able to blame Christ for Armageddon.
The Modern Alliance of Gog
The Valley of Dry Bones shows us the restoration of the nation of Israel, then the alliances of nations leading to Armageddon is presented, followed by Ezekiel’s Temple to show us that the Kingdom of God and Christ will follow (Ezekiel 37, 38-39, 40-48).
Gog is evidently chief of the land of Magog (ancient Massagetae tribe), which tribe Lamsa translates as “Mongolia” (Genesis 10:2). The most numerous of the Magog subtribes is the Great Russians, while many other subtribes are: Uzbekhis, Kazakhs, Yakut, Mongols, Koreans, and Eskimos. Gog is to be “chief
prince” of Armenia (Meshech) and Georgia (Tubal, Kart’velia), which previously happened in the Soviet Union. Iran (Persia) was
at utter enmity with Russia for twenty-five centuries until the Ayatollah overthrew the Shah in 1979. Black Africa (Cush) and North Africa (Put, west of Egypt) are evidently to become
allied with Russia, as also the Germanic and Slavic (Gomer) countries. The Turkic tribes (Togarmah, also from Gomer) are to be similarly allied, while we are now watching Turkey shift from the Western to the Eastern Bloc.
The Western Bloc is to be headed by Arabia (Sheba and Dedan, partly Semitic). Westernmost Europe and the Americas, and perhaps Australia and New Zealand (the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof) apparently constitute the rest of the Western Bloc. It appears Islam is prophesied to become the
dominant influence over the Western Bloc.
The Eastern Bloc (headed by Gog) is evidently going to invade Israel, and likely its immediate neighbors (Ezekiel 38:8-12). The
West may react by sending thermonuclear fire on Magog, while the East will return that fire on the coastal nations of the West (Ezekiel 39:6). But God will rescue Israel (Ezekiel 39:1-5, 7-10). The isles/coastlands of the Gentiles [the West] may initiate the exchange of bombs, and Gog will return in kind. Ezekiel 38:13 appears to protest Gog’s invasion. But in time, the whole world will see.
The Christians’ Commission
Faithful Christians are now in training to be a holy priesthood, a royal priesthood, in the coming age (1 Peter 2:5,9, Revelation 20:6). We must learn to demonstrate love for our enemies even now if we are to bless them in the future. “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them” — baptizing
those who become disciples, not baptizing whole nations — “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world [inhabited earth] for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end have come” (Matthew 24:14 RVIC).
Let Us Learn from Habakkuk
In the book of Habakkuk, the prophet asks, Why? Jehovah answers. Then the prophet is satisfied.
Habakkuk asks, “O Jehovah, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear? … Why dost thou show me iniquity, and look upon perverseness? For destruction and violence are before me; and
there is strife, and contention riseth up … for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore justice goeth forth perverted” (Habakkuk 1:2-4).
God says not that he will establish justice in Israel but says that he will raise up the dreadful Chaldean rulers of Babylon to (displace Assyria and) execute punishment against Israel (Habakkuk 1:5-11).
Understandably, the prophet asks, Why? “Thou that art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and that canst not look on perverseness, wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal
treacherously, and holdest thy peace when the wicked swalloweth up the man that is more righteous than he?” … “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will look
forth to see what he will speak with me, and what I shall answer concerning my complaint” (Habakkuk 1:12-2:1).
God answers, “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it hasteth toward the end, and shall not lie:
though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not delay.” We are to declare God’s plan of salvation for all, and to make it plain to all who will listen; but we must be patient for
the Kingdom of Christ. But God declares the end of those wicked that will have been used to punish the Lord’s people — Christian people — for their sins. “Because thou hast plundered
many nations, all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder thee, because of men’s blood, and for the violence done to the land, to the city and to all that dwell therein” (Habakkuk 2:2-3, 8). If we see powerful alliances punishing Christendom for its sins, God instructs us to wait and see in turn what will happen to them!
God’s promise to the faithful is, “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea … But Jehovah is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habakkuk 2:14,20). This is Jehovah’s promise to the faithful today and tomorrow.
Habakkuk makes a plea for mercy and then accepts God’s judgment (chapter 3). “In wrath remember mercy … I must wait quietly for the day of trouble, for the coming up of the people
that invadeth us. For though the fig-tree shall not flourish, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no food; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in Jehovah, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:2, 16-18). Even today, we should be likeminded and rejoice in the prospects to follow afterward.
Recommendations to the Faithful for the 21st Century
If the next major world event is to be a Deep Depression (let us watch and see), the Christian will be well advised to: (1) Get out of debt, and (2) stay out of debt. Not so much in order to protect ourselves, but that Jehovah God and Christ be not slandered because we did not repay our debts. (Even apart from Depression, “Owe no man anything, save to love one another,”
Further, if a depression is coming, it may become difficult or impossible to use modern technologies to make God and Christ known to the world, and their coming thousand-year Kingdom. Therefore let us use the several technologies to the full, while we still can.
If worldwide depression is next, tyrants may arise to “rescue” nations (as happened in the 1930s to Germany and then Austria). Tyrants seldom tolerate unadulterated truth. (But the
world must learn the consequences of living by lies.) So we should tell those who want to listen what we can while we can.
After the next-to-last Egyptian plague, Pharaoh refused to allow the Lord’s people anything for sacrifice. Similarly today, sacrifice
would be difficult if we have no more than self to sacrifice.
No nation helped Israel in its exodus from Egypt (otherwise that nation would have claimed credit for it, instead of the Lord alone). We may expect that on the eve of Armageddon Lucifer will have turned all nations against Israel, but God is their great protector. As the bandwagon of hate Israel and hate all Jews
accelerates, the Christian should stay off that Moses calls forth a plague of darkness, plague nine. bandwagon at all cost.