By Dr. Michael Williams
Grace and peace to each of you for the new calendar year of 2018!
As we are about to enter into the new year, we should understand that we are living in amazing times. The twelve signs the Lord gave in Matthew 24:1-14 to His Jewish disciples of His return are upon us at a global scale. The next feast to be literally fulfilled by a prophetic event is the of Feast Trumpets! Although no man knows that date or hour of the resurrection or return of the Lord, there are some things worth pondering.
Let’s start by noting what the Lord said in Matthew 24:32-39. In verse 34, He said, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Many have believed that He was referring to the generation of those to whom He was speaking at the time. However, the context of the passage refers to a future generation that is alive to see these signs.
In light of this, if we look at what the Bible teaches in Psalms 90:10, we find an important fact concerning a generation, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Here we see a generation is defined as 70 years along with a reference of the words “we fly away.”
If you look at Matthew 1:1-17, we see the lineage of Jesus as an earthly King through his stepfather, Joseph. Some say that this lineage is inaccurate because it misses some ancestors of Jesus. First, we must understand that Jesus did not inherit his kingship through Joseph, but through his mother Mary, as Joseph’s lineage was cut off from sitting on the throne (Jeremiah 22:24-30; Luke 3:27). More importantly, note that there are references to generations in three groups of 14 in Matthew 1:17.
This lineage is not a complete lineage of Jesus’ ancestors through His stepfather, it is a timeline that sets the context of the birth of Christ. If you take 14 generations at 70 years each, you find each group of 14 generations is 980 years. Abraham to David is 980 years. David to Babylon is 980 years. Babylon to Christ is 980 years. This totals 42 generations equaling 2840 years. Since the birth of Christ, it has been about ~2020 years, this means we are nearing the end of the 28th generation since the 42nd generation of Matthew 1:17. Combined, we are about to see to completion of 70 generations since Abraham!
On the world stage, this year Israel will celebrate her 70th anniversary of her Declaration of Independence that occured on May 14th, 1948, which was immediately recognized by U.S. President Harry S. Truman that same day. Suddenly, Bible scholars across the planet realized that the end-times prophecies that spoke of the nation of Israel and a remnant of Jews still awaiting a Messiah would literally be fulfilled and it was unfolding before their eyes.
All of these things tell us that the fig tree of Matthew 24:32 is beginning to put forth its leaves. As nations around the world, one by one, recognize Jerusalem as the eternal Capitol of Israel, they are publicly putting themselves on the record for the coming judgement of the nations. Ironically, the United Nations is currently divided and will be divided on this issue as sheep are divided from goats.
As exciting as this may sound, we must not become distracted this new year, especially as Israel celebrates her anniversary of rebirth as the nation of God’s elect (Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 45:4; Isaiah 65:9; Isaiah 65:22; Matthew 24:22; Matthew 24:24; Matthew 24:31). For this reason, some may ask if it is my intention to set a date of the Lord’s return. To that I strongly say, “No!” – as He condemns the same. However, I will say that we also must not be distracted by even trying to guess what day it could be as we can not know. However, one thing is certain – the season of the Day of the Lord is upon us.
Therefore, with haste, we must let no man despise us of our youth or faith or steadfastness as we preach the Word. Let us be instant in season and out of season, applying the Scriptures to each and every situation we encounter. Rebuking, reproving, and exhorting with all long-suffering, or patience, and doctrine from God’s Word. The times are upon us when the world no longer will endure sound doctrine as the people heap to themselves teachers that scratch their ears and satisfy their lusts. Let us herald in the final two witnesses that will put the final seal upon the Word that has gone out to all nations.
As it was before, so is it now that we are once again in the days of Noah. The world has forgotten history and is now doomed to repeat it as it has riped and readied itself for a flood. Only this time, it is a flood of a fire as the lost eats and drinks in celebration of the redefining of marriage and the giving of each other in mockery and insult to marriage’s representation of the relationship between Christ and the church.
We must press on now more than ever to do what it takes to make the most of the time we have before we meet our destiny, flying away, and so shall we ever be with the Lord as a new generation of brothers and sisters in Christ come on board HMS Salvation in 2018. May God bless each and every one of you in this endeavor.