Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Desire of All Nations...Accept No Substitutes

Psalm 50: 10
"For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills."

The animal kingdom, just like the masses of unreached humanity who inhabit Planet Earth, all are longing for One Person. They just don't know who that Person is. If they did, they would bow before Him. But Scripture assures us that one day, all people will do so, whether they are in heaven, on earth, or under the earth. For in the second chapter of Philippians, the Apostle Paul tells us the greatness of Christ's condescension. Our Lord, who had always been with the Father in all His glory, at a moment in time limited Himself to come and share in our humanity, not only for time, but for all eternity. After presenting the perfect sacrifice of Himself upon the cross, atoning for the sins of all mankind, He was raised from the dead and glorified by the Father. Paul then says:

Philippians 2: 9-11

"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

As I was reading in Haggai the other day, I was struck by one of the many names of our Lord. He is called the Desire of All Nations. Haggai 2: 6-7 says "For thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 'and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,' says the LORD of hosts."

According to the Companion Bible edited by E.W. Bullinger,(Kregel Publications) the shaking referred to in this verse will occur in the time period known as the Great Tribulation. Already the earth is shaking with more frequent intensity than in generations past. According to this article from the U.K., earthquakes are dramatically on the rise. A chart at this link shows the dramatic rise just from 1973 to 2006. Yesterday, a 7.0 shook near the Aleutian islands in Alaska. It was possible that this quake could have generated a tsunami, but thankfully it did not.

This time of great turmoil is rapidly approaching, but Haggai assures us that people will come to recognize that Christ is the desire of all people. Bullinger says in his notes on Haggai 2:7 that the desire "refers to Him Who alone can satisfy the desire of all nations." In the Septuagint, Jesus Christ in this verse is referred to "the elect of all the nations." He is the only one who will be able to bring true peace to this planet, and restore it, eventually, to a sinless paradise. For one to read this, and not know what the Great Tribulation is, it was described by Jesus in this way in the Gospel of Matthew:

Matthew 24: 21-27
"For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect."

"See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be."

Christ warned that "many" would come in His name. But before He actually returns, there will be a false Christ who will say that he can solve all the problems of the world and the world will be amazed by him. He will come in and make a 7 year peace treaty with the nation of Israel. For the first half, 3 1/2 years, Israel will have peace, but it is a false peace. Suddenly, in the middle of this period, this deceiver, called the Antichrist, will break the treaty and that is when the Great Tribulation will break out in full. He will attack Israel with ferocity and finally, all the nations of the world will stand against the tiny land of Israel. Why? In Psalm 2, in its entirety says:

"Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion." "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.' Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him."

What does it mean to Kiss the Son? Simply to believe on Him, that He accomplished the atonement for your sins upon the cross, and that God raised Him from the dead as I Corinthians 15: 1-7 tells us:

"Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles."

Put your faith in the true Desire of All Nations and please remember, don't accept a substitute.