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10/23/12 at 04:13 PM 0 Comments

The Last Trumpet (BOOK EXCERPT, PT 1)

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In the book The Last Trumpet: The Mystery of God is Finished and a New Age Begins, author Robert Johnston explores biblical prophecy and the promises of God that relate to the end times.

INTRODUCTION

And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

—Revelation 8:2

WHEN THE LAST seal is opened in heaven, seven angels with seven trumpets will announce the final events that will end this present age. The seventh and last trumpet, however, will not only conclude this present age but also announce the beginning of a new age on this restored earth, where righteousness will reign for a thousand years. This day of transition is known as the day of the Lord.

The day of the Lord is the fulfillment of a prophecy and a promise God gave when Paradise was lost that Jesus would one day return to earth to live with mankind. This expectation, the great hope of mankind since the beginning, was passed down from generation to generation, survived the great flood of Noah’s day, and continues to this present generation. God made the promise on the day sin and death entered the world after Satan’s temptation and Adam’s fall.

The hope of the Lord’s return will be fulfilled on the day when the promise, the Messiah, the seed of the woman, will crush Antichrist, the seed of Satan. The promise, passed down from Adam and Eve through their son Seth and his generations, is the hope for all who believe. For the unrighteous or the unbelieving, however, the day of the Lord will be a day of destruction similar to the destruction of mankind in Noah’s flood, except this time the destruction will not come by flood.

The generations of Adam and Eve’s firstborn son, Cain, continued to live in rebellion against God, and the world became so wicked in Noah’s day that God judged it to be “depraved and putrid” (Gen. 6:11 AMP). Therefore, he destroyed mankind off the face of the earth. The Bible tells us that “as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Matt. 24:37 AMP).

PROMISES

After the flood God called a man named Abraham and promised to bring him and his descendants to a land called Canaan (present-day Israel), where the land would become an everlasting possession for them. The vision God gave to Abraham was more than just a vision of the land. Abraham saw beyond the day of the Lord in a distant vision of heaven, similar to that shown to the apostle John, of a new heaven and a new earth and a “new Jerusalem” coming down from heaven, bedecked with precious stones (Rev. 21:2, 10–11). He also beheld the glory of God dwelling with man forever (v. 3). Although Abraham never experienced the fulfillment of the vision’s promise during his lifetime, the vision guided his journey on earth. Hebrews 11:10 says, “For he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (NASB). (See Rev. 21:14, 19–20 for Abraham’s vision of the foundations.)

Abraham wasn’t the only one who didn’t see the promises fulfilled in his lifetime. The great chapter of faith in the book of Hebrews describes several men and women of faith who also wanted to see the eternal city, the New Jerusalem. Mentioned in this chapter are Abel, Enoch, Noah, Sarah, Isaac, and Joseph.

All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. . . . But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

—Hebrews 11:13–14, 16 (NASB)

A righteous man named Job lived during the same period as Abraham. In his darkest hour, when he was convinced that he was about to die, Job testified about his greatest hope, the day of the Lord, when he would be resurrected to life. “And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes will see and not another” (Job 19:25–27 NASB).

In the wilderness God gave Moses a pattern (Ex. 25:9) for the future temple of the Lord, which he wanted built in Jerusalem. He also gave instructions in Leviticus 23:39–42 for the tabernacles (booths) that would be used during the Feast of Tabernacles, which the Jews and all nations would celebrate annually even following the day of the Lord. The Old Testament prophets also gave many prophecies about the day of the Lord to the nation of Israel. These can be found in Isaiah 2:2; Daniel 7:14; Joel 2:11; Micah 4:1; and Malachi 4:1, among others.

The day of the Lord is a special day God first promised in Genesis 3:15 to Adam and Eve on the day they lost eternal life. In this book we will examine specific events, starting with Christ’s last days before his death and resurrection. Then we will look at the advent of his return for his people, including the resurrection and rapture of the saints. We will learn about the defeat of Antichrist, the binding of Satan, and the beginning of God’s kingdom on earth. Appropriately, we will conclude with a description of our final destination—heaven.

This book is written primarily from the words of Jesus and his apostles.These words and promises blend perfectly with the many prophecies and promises God made to those in the Old Testament and directed to the nation of Israel. It has been written with the knowledge and understanding that Gentile (non-Jewish) believers will stand with God’s chosen people, the Jews, and that we will all stand in our place on the day of the Lord.

Next Book Excerpt:

The Last Trumpet (BOOK EXCERPT, PT 2)


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