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Look Up for Your Redemption

Look Up for Your Redemption

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Look Up for Your Redemption

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  1. Look Up for Your Redemption And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Luke 21:28

  2. Agenda • Context of theme scripture: Matthew 24 and Luke 21 • Luke 21:28 • The climax of the Harvest as shown in The Battle of Armageddon • What is a “looking up” attitude?

  3. Agenda • Context of theme scripture • Luke 21:28: the climax of the harvest • Current crisis • What is a “looking up” attitude?

  4. Comparison of Matthew 24:4-30 and Luke 21:8-27 1. Matthew 24:4-14 and Luke 21:8-19 Before the end, namely the Gospel Age • Matthew 24:15-28 and Luke 21:20-23 The end of the age, namely the Harvest • Matthew 24:29-30 and Luke 21:24-27 The close of the harvest Gospel of Luke in original

  5. Comparison of Matthew 24:4-30 and Luke 21:8-27 1. Luke 21:8-19 Before the end, namely the Gospel Age • Matthew 24:15-28 and Luke 21:20-23 The end of the age, namely the Harvest • Matthew 24:29-30 and Luke 21:24-27 The close of the harvest

  6. 1. Before the end, namely the Gospel AgeLuke 21:8-19 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by. Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.

  7. Volume 4, p. 566, The History of Eighteen Centuries Briefly Foretold (Luke 21:9-19) “Thus briefly did our Lord summarize secular history, and teach the disciples not to expect very soon his second coming and glorious Kingdom. And how aptly: surely the world's history is just this--an account of wars, intrigues, famines and pestilences--little else. Our Lord separates the history of the true Church and states it with similar brevity, thus:In the light of history would it be possible to portray the course of God's true Church in fewer words? Surely not. The likeness is perfect. "Whosoever will live godly shall suffer persecution," is the Apostle's declaration; and whoever has not shared it has every reason to doubt his relationship to God as a son. (Heb. 12:8) And so with the Church as a whole, when not persecuted by the Ishmael and Esau class, it has been because there was so much of the spirit of the world or so much of "cold love" toward the Lord and his truth that they were not worthy of persecution. But judged by this same standard, and by our Lord's prophecy, there have been some faithful unto death all the way down through this Gospel age--a "little flock."

  8. Comparison of Matthew 24:4-30 and Luke 21:8-27 1. Luke 21:8-19 Before the end, namely the Gospel Age • Luke 21:20-23 The end of the age, namely the Harvest • Matthew 24:29-30 and Luke 21:24-27 The close of the harvest

  9. 2. The end of the age, namely the HarvestLuke 21:20-23 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

  10. Volume 4, p. 569: The Trouble in the End of the Jewish Age It was with evident intention on God's part, though unknown to the Evangelists, that the record of our Lord's prophecy at this point is given piecemeal--here a part and there another; here a reference to the typical trouble on typical Israel in the close of the typical harvest, there a reference to the similar though more general and greater trouble in the end of this age upon antitypical Israel-- Christendom…

  11. …This portion of our Lord's prophecy evidently related to events upon fleshly Israel; and history tells us that it was accurately fulfilled in every particular in the troublous scenes wherewith the Jewish age and polity came to an end…

  12. Comparison of Matthew 24:4-30 and Luke 21:8-27 1. Luke 21:8-19 Before the end, namely the Gospel Age • Luke 21:20-23 The end of the age, namely the Harvest • Luke 21:24-27 The close of the harvest

  13. The close of the Harvest, the climaxLuke 21:24-27 And they 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. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; 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. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

  14. Rome Destroyed Jerusalem • Two wars in 70 A.D. and 135 A.D. • Destroyed Temple • Exiled Jewish people • Changed name to Palestine • Forbid Jews to enter Jerusalem except on 9th Av, annual day of mourning • Rebuilt Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina • Nations took turns occupying land, persecuting Jews

  15. Unbelievers …apply the prophecy wholly to the troubles connected with the fall of Israel's national polity in A.D. 70, and contemptuously remark that that generation and many more passed away without seeing the fulfilment of "all these things." Our answer to this, of course, is that our Lord's prophecy is not understood --that it referred only in part to the trouble upon Israel which culminated in A.D. 70. Volume 4, p. 602 Ruins of David’s palace

  16. Agenda • Context of theme scripture: Matthew 24 and Luke 21 • Luke 21:28 – Theme text • The climax of the Harvest as shown in The Battle of Armageddon • What is a “looking up” attitude?

  17. “When these things come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” • Seeing what is described in vss. 21-30, the events of the end of Jewish Age • Jewish Christians saw armies of Rome surrounding Jerusalem in 66 AD • Knew was time of their deliverance • Siege retreated, Jewish Christians fled, Jerusalem destroyed completely in 70 AD Jerusalem ruins

  18. The close of the Harvest, the climaxLuke 21:24-27 And they 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. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; 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. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Roman Aelia Capitolina, the former road of Jerusalem

  19. Luke 21:20-24, Moffatt But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then be sure her desolation is not far away…for the anguish will come upon the land and Wrath upon this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword, they will be carried prisoners to all nations, and Jerusalem will be under the heel of the Gentiles till the period of the Gentiles expires. MEDIEVAL COPY OF AN EARLY ROMAN ROAD MAP,

  20. Volume 2, p. 73The Times of the Gentiles The term "Times of the Gentiles" was applied by our Lord to that interval of earth's history between the removal of the typical Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Israel (Ezek. 21:25-27), and the introduction and establishment of its antitype, the true Kingdom of God, when Christ comes to be "glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day.“ During this interval, the dominion of earth was to be exercised by Gentile governments; and Israel, both fleshly and spiritual, have been and are to be subject to these powers until their time is expired. While God does not approve of nor commend these governments, he recognizes their dominion. In other words, he has for wise ends permitted their dominion for an appointed time.

  21. June 13-July 13, 1878: Congress of Berlin “In several instances the congress made the grant of full civic and political rights to Jews a condition for recognition of independence (of Turkey), and it has therefore an important bearing upon the history of Jews in the southeast of Europe in recent times.” --Jewish Encyclopedia, 1901-1906 Restoration of Israel testifies Gentile Times expired Bismarck and Disraeli at the Congress of Berlin in 1878

  22. Amos 9:14-15 “Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; they will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit. I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them, says the LORD your God.” Petah Tikvah

  23. Ezekiel 37:11-14 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel… “I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land...’”

  24. Gathering of the Bones • Begins in 1878, culminates in 1948 • 1/3 of Jewish population annihilated by Nazis • From one of lowest points, God raised up and made nation • May 14, 1948 modern Israel was born • 50 years after First Zionist Congress addressed by Bro. Russell in 1897

  25. 1948 War of Independence • Jewish community of 600,000 • Included many Holocaust survivors • Three tanks, no fighters, no bombers versus 74 fighters and bombers • 1 % of population killed (6,000) • Revisionists cannot erase achievement of opening Burma Road to Jerusalem • Halted Egyptian tanks moving from South • Pushed back Syrian army in North

  26. Isaiah 11:11-12 “Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea…

  27. “…And He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”

  28. Some came as Jews to live in ancient homeland • Yemenite Jews of 1880s declared God spoke to them to return to homeland • Packed camels, walked across Arabian desert • Some exiled • 1950s Moslem countries expelled Jews • Since 1990 from 15 countries of former U.S.S.R. • Today is open homeland to Jews from around world A traditionally costumed Yemenite woman in scenes from “Teiman: Music of the Yemenite Jews “

  29. Post Holocaust, only two main centers of Jewish life: America and Israel U.S. in 1990 Jewish pop. was 5.5 million 5.2 million in 2000 Israel’s Jewish population passed 5.6 million in Q1 2006 First time since A.D. 135 more Jews in Israel than anywhere else If no Holocaust, estimated Jewish population > 26 million In 2006, Israel Reached Milestone

  30. “When these things come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” • Greater picture (than Jewish harvest) applied at end of Gospel Age harvest • Signs that ending judgments are upon earth

  31. Agenda • Context of theme scripture: Matthew 24 and Luke 21 • Luke 21:28 • The climax of the Harvest as shown in The Battle of Armageddon • What is a “looking up” attitude?

  32. The Battle of Armageddon, Vol 4 Suggested Classification 1.Day of Vengeance Religious Political Social Financial Israel 2. Doom of Babylon 3. Necessity of Judgment 6. Babylon’s Confusion 12. Lord’s Great Prophecy 13.Establish- ment of Kingdom 14.Jehovah’s Footstool 4.Babylon Arraigned 5.Babylon’s Confusion 14. Jehovah’s Footstool 7.Nations Assembled 8.Cries of the Reapers 9.Conflict Irrepressible 10. Proposed Remedies 13. Establish- ment of Kingdom 14. Jehovah’s Footstool 8.Cries of the Reapers 10. Proposed Remedies 11.The Battle of Armageddon

  33. Volume 4, 1916 Foreword The Bible points out that about this time the Nominal Church systems of the world will rise to great prominence again in connection with the Civil powers. We can readily see the grounds for this. All the kingdoms, financially weakened,* will realize the necessity for keeping a dominating grip upon the public and preventing anything akin to Socialism and Anarchy. They will naturally look to the great religious institutions called Churches to support them, to threaten the people with future torments, and in general to help keep the Ship of State from being overturned. The churches also will be ready and glad for such an opportunity. Already, they are rolling together as a scroll--the one side, Catholic, the other, Protestant, opposed and yet connected-- each side united and federated to the best of its ability. *italics mine—pay attention to this for later reference

  34. Christianity largest religion in the world over 2 billion members. Second largest religion: Islam 1.2 billion members. About one third of the world's population currently identifies themselves as Christian. Worldwide, Christianity now widely fragmented tens of thousands of faith groups, large and small. About 50% of persons identify themselves as Christians are Roman Catholics. World religion has changed

  35. United States on verge of becoming minority Protestant country—2007 survey Major Religious Traditions in the U.S. Christian 78.4% Protestant 51.3% Catholic 23.9% Other 3.2% Other Religions 4.7% Unaffiliated 16.1% Atheist/Agnostic 4% Other 12.1% No Answer 0.8%

  36. Today’s men of faith are Hollywood celebrities

  37. Other parts of world seeing decline of Religion • 75% of Japanese count themselves Buddhists • Temples are empty and monasteries running out of cash • 2,000 Anglican churches in UK have fallen into disuse in past decade • Britain no longer considered “Christian”

  38. Associated Press, March 4, 2009 “The Vatican is considering welcoming into the Roman Catholic church a group of traditional Anglicans who broke away from the global Anglican Communion nearly two decades ago…Anglicans split with Rome in 1534 when English King Henry VIII was refused a marriage annulment…

  39. Times Online, March 31, 2009 “Former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer has said a discussion now ‘needs to be had’ on whether the Church of England should be disestablished…Only last week his successor, Justice Secretary Jack Straw, talked out…a bill designed to remove the anomaly in British law under which the monarch may neither be nor marry a Catholic…Lord Falconer says: ‘We could easily, I think, make it possible for the Monarch to be a Roman Catholic…” Coronation of Queen Victoria

  40. Christian Science Monitor, 3/18/2009 “Unlike Europe and much of the Western world, where church membership seems to be on a constant decline, Africa is a kind of religious Klondike, where mainstream Christian churches, evangelical churches and Muslim faith all appear to be growing with no end in sight. The Catholic Church alone has 185 million members in Africa—20 percent of the continent’s population. In countries like Angola, Catholics make up 60 percent of the population.” A mass for the African Catholics

  41. The Battle of Armageddon, Vol 4 Suggested Classification 1.Day of Vengeance Religious Political Social Financial Israel 2. Doom of Babylon 3. Necessity of Judgment 6. Babylon’s Confusion 12. Lord’s Great Prophecy 13.Establish- ment of Kingdom 14.Jehovah’s Footstool 4.Babylon Arraigned 5.Babylon’s Confusion 14. Jehovah’s Footstool 7.Nations Assembled 8.Cries of the Reapers 9.Conflict Irrepressible 10. Proposed Remedies 13. Establish- ment of Kingdom 14. Jehovah’s Footstool 8.Cries of the Reapers 10. Proposed Remedies 11.The Battle of Armageddon

  42. In no other country could the blessed harvest message-- the plan of the ages and its times and seasons and privileges --have been so untrammeled in its proclamation and so widely and freely heralded…It was, we believe, for this very purpose that the providence of God has been, in a measure, over this country. There was a work to be done here for his people which could not so well be done elsewhere, and therefore when the hand of oppression sought to throttle the spirit of liberty, a Washington was raised up to lead the impoverished but daring liberty-lovers on to national independence. And again when disruption threatened the nation, and when the time had come for the liberation of four millions of slaves God raised up another brave and noble spirit in the person of Abraham Lincoln, who struck off the shackles of the enslaved and preserved the unity of the nation.—p. 145 (volume 4)

  43. “The great statesmen of the past saw themselves as heroes who took on the burden of their societies’ painful journey from the familiar to the as yet unknown. The modern politician is less interested in being a hero than a superstar. Heroes walk alone; stars derive their status from approbation. Heroes are defined by inner values; stars by consensus. When a candidate’s views are forged in focus groups and ratified by television anchorpersons, insecurity and superficiality become congenital.”

  44. Global Terrorism Impacts Politics Globally • Islam is opponent of Christendom and democracy • Islam and terrorism used to bringing down power of Christendom • Cost of war on terrorism is significant • Compounded by financial problems-- debt, obligations to aging population • In 2030, will by 76 million retirees versus 40 million today • In US, Social Security and Medicare will be the major crisis

  45. The Battle of Armageddon, Vol 4 Suggested Classification 1.Day of Vengeance Religious Political Social Financial Israel 2. Doom of Babylon 3. Necessity of Judgment 6. Babylon’s Confusion 12. Lord’s Great Prophecy 13.Establish- ment of Kingdom 14.Jehovah’s Footstool 4.Babylon Arraigned 5.Babylon’s Confusion 14. Jehovah’s Footstool 7.Nations Assembled 8.Cries of the Reapers 9.Conflict Irrepressible 10. Proposed Remedies 13. Establish- ment of Kingdom 14. Jehovah’s Footstool 8.Cries of the Reapers 10. Proposed Remedies 11.The Battle of Armageddon

  46. How are the nations “assembled”?Some interesting observations from Volume 4, chapter 8 “The Cries of the Reapers”—pre WWI • Results of move to globalism produced undesirable effect • Global sourcing • Declining profitability • Bankruptcies • Free trade put pressure on currencies • People of world ripe for revolution • Most people don’t want economic isolationism • Lack of improvement in living conditions despite progress

  47. Globalization produces inequity for individuals • International competition forces local firms to add skilled workers to handle new technology, and fire those who can’t • Foreign firms bring new technology to developing nations and boost demand for skilled workers by paying more than domestic firms Source: Overseas Development Institute

  48. Latin AmericaBottom quintile’s average income, percent change from before to after economic liberalization Source: World Bank (Latin America)

  49. ChinaPopulation (in millions) living on less than $1 per day Source: World Bank (China)

  50. Dynamics of World Population Changing Rapidly Today • Many correlations and co-dependencies • Dynamic, constantly in motion, constantly changing • Trillions of decisions among 7 billion individuals seeking to earn living