The Secret Cycles in Prophecy

The Secret Cycles in Prophecy

Scripture: Matthew 24:4-44, Romans 13:11
Date: 03/21/2016 
There are stories in the Bible - cycles of prophecy - that tell us Jesus is coming again, and coming soon.

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During the Pacific battles in World War II, the Japanese eavesdropped on the U.S. Marine communications, deciphering every U.S. code. But Philip Johnson, an engineer and veteran, made a suggestion. He had been raised on the Navajo reservation, and he knew it was virtually an unwritten language at the time. Convinced that very few people of the world understood the complex syntax and tonal qualities of Navajo, the Marines authorized an official program to develop and use the code. Young Navajo men fluent in their native tongue and English, some only 15 years old, constructed in master the Navajo code which they use to transmit crucial information during battles. Historians believe the Navajo code talkers played a crucial role in the U.S. victory in the Pacific and the Japanese were never able to break the code. Did you know the Scriptures teach that there's a simple little known code that, once understood, will unlock the mysteries of Bible prophecy? Being able to decipher this code will make God's prophetic messages come alive in your life, bringing you peace and hope for the future. Join me today as we examine this fascinating code.

Well, we are very excited to be with you here in Charlotte, and we've been looking forward to this series. We put together a set of new presentations based on Bible prophecy, and especially in light of everything that is going on in the world today, the last day of prophecy. And our presentation tonight is dealing with The Secret Code in Prophecy. You know, I remember years ago hearing about the enigma machine. You've probably heard of that as well. This machine is actually built back during World War I. They used it for business. But when World War II broke out, the Nazis found out that it was such an incredibly sophisticated machine with the wheels, and gears, and buttons, and wires, so that they would transfer a message through this machine and only those with a code book in the machine at the other end could understand that message. They figured it was an unbreakable code.

But what they didn't count on is there was a group of brilliant Polish mathematicians who, working with some British agents, they were able to crack the enigma code. And that, along with their capturing a code book from a Russian ewe boat that they ended up sinking so the Germans wouldn't know that the code book was captured. They were able to understand the correspondence between the German military for the last half of World War II. The U.S. even built a computer. See once they got the message, then they had to decipher it very quickly. It was one of the first supercomputers, as big as a truck, now it would fit in your watch. And all that computer did was decipher enigma messages. The U.S. built that machine for them. So, through the combined work of the allies, they figure they took two years off of World War II because they understood the code of that machine. Well, you know, in nature and in the Bible, we see that there are cycles. Even in the book of Ezekiel chapter 1, it talks about a wheel within a wheel. And you can see these wheels within wheels that are taking place in Bible prophecy.

We're gonna talk a little bit about some of those unusual cycles in our presentation tonight. Now, first question, we're gonna do this in a series of questions and the first question I'm gonna ask, I like using this kind of question and answer teaching method. "Did Jesus give us some signs so we could know that they would indicate that His coming was near?" I'm not talking about the day and the hour, near. What did He say? "There'll be signs," Jesus said, "in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and on the earth, distress of nations." Things above, things in humanity, things in nature, there'll be signs that will intensify in frequency and their occurrence, and this will indicate His coming is near. Jesus said, "When you see these things, lift up your heads."

I could stop right here and go into a presentation of about 50 different things that I think are signs that tell us that we are living in, what I believe, is the last generation. But I'm just gonna list a few that really stand out for me. One is found in the book of Daniel chapter 12, verse 4 where he says, "But you, oh, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many will run to and fro, and knowledge is increased." You just heard Pastor Ross and I allude to, we were on the other side of the planet couple of weeks ago in South Africa. And Karen and I this year, or within the last year anyway, were in Fiji, and New Zealand, and just people going around the globe. They never did that back in Christ's day. He never went more than 100 miles from the place of His birth.

How many of you knew somebody that grew up and spent their whole life and they never traveled 100 miles? I knew a guy that was 70 miles from the ocean, at 80 years old, he had never seen the ocean. Someone finally took him and he was amazed. Said, "Wow, that's a lot of water." But people will run to and fro and knowledge will be increased.

How many of you have a smartphone? You can access all of the wisdom of the ages now by just talking to it and ask it a question. I've just discovered this feature on my phone. It's been on phones for a long time. And it's amazing, my smartphone makes me feel dumb, actually. But if you had showed something like that to the apostle Paul, he would have thought you were possessed. So, knowledge has increased more in the last 50 years than all of the history of man combined. So, that's one of the signs.

Here's another one, Jesus said, "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to the nation's and then the end will come." He didn't say, might come. He says, "Then the end will come." And, you know, even now this broadcast through the medium of television, it is bouncing in about half a second off satellites 23,000 miles up in space, and ricocheting through the internet all over the world. And this is just one presentation, one ministry, or actually a group of ministries, that are preaching the gospel and there's hundreds.

I had the privilege of conducting one of the first public evangelistic programs in mainland China about a year-and-a-half ago preaching to a group like this full auditorium, free, 15 presentations. They told me it was the first time that had been allowed in 59 years. And so, we've seen it happening. And the DVDs and the Internet, the gospel is going everywhere now. Jesus didn't say everybody would believe. He said, "But it would go to all the nations, then the end will come." I think we're living in that generation that will see this. Now, this is a part I need to emphasize right at the front end of our study tonight.

Next question, "Can anyone know the exact date of Jesus's return?" I'm gonna be talking about some signs, but we've gotta be careful. Jesus was very clear, "But of that day and that hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son, but only the Father." Some people thought Jesus is coming 2,000 years after His birth. I actually am on record in 1999 telling people I don't think that's true. You know why? Because everybody thought so. You remember the big fury in 1999? Any of you alive back then? Any of you, if you remember Y2K, and the world was gonna end, and all the planes were gonna fall out of the sky. And I said, No, I don't think Jesus is coming December 31, 1999. "Really, why not?" Because all of you think so. And Jesus said, "In such an hour, you think not, the Son of Man is coming." Now the church has pretty much gone to sleep, it could be any time.

Some people are then setting dates and saying, "Well, Jesus is gonna come 2,000 years, not from His birth, but from His ministry, His baptism, His anointing. Others say, "No, it's 2,000 years from His death." Don't even go there, friends. I'll tell you why, it could be sooner than you think 'cause Jesus said, "Except those days be shortened, no flesh would be saved." It could be later than you think because the Lord is long suffering to us. We're not willing that any should perish. He's waiting till the last minute to save as many as He can. So, we gotta be very careful to start trying to pinpoint dates. And some of you, if you knew the date, it'd be like filing your taxes. You'd wait to the last minute to get ready.

So, the Lord wants you to just be ready. Jesus was very clear, but we can know when it's near. And that's what we're gonna be talking about. Jesus said, "You know how to tell the weather." I mean, the weatherman can try and predict the weather was some accuracy by satellites, and they have a perspective. And Jesus said, "How come you can't see the signs of the times?" So, the Lord has given us signs of the times, but no man knows the day and the hour of His coming. And I want you to make--I want to make that very clear in this presentation 'cause I'm gonna talk about some of the signs, and we're gonna talk about some times, but not dates, for the Lord's coming.

All right, question number three, "What number appears most frequently in prophecy?" You knew it, the number seven. And here's this one verse in the Bible in the book of Revelation. Revelation chapter 1, verse 20 talks about the mystery of the seven stars, "Which he saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, and the seven stars of the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are seven churches." It's pretty clear about the number seven. I've just got a small list here in my Bible that I assembled of some of the sevens that you find in Scripture. Six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him.

You've heard about the seven deadly sins. Judgment, that's kind of frightening but because it's connected with judgment, seven's also connected with forgiveness. For instance, Peter said, "Lord, how often shall I forgive my brother?" Matthew 18. "Seven times?" And Jesus said, "Seventy times seven. He said not seven times, but seventy times seven. Again, forgiveness. When the priest went before the Lord, he took the blood of the sacrifice and the sprinkled it seven times before the Lord. And so seven connected with forgiveness.

You may remember the story in 2 Kings chapter 5 about Naaman the general who was a leper. He was told to wash in the Jordan. Jordan is a symbol of where Jesus was baptized, death, burial, resurrection, baptism; seven times, and he was cleansed from his leprosy. Miriam spent seven days outside of the tabernacle with her leprosy and then she was healed. And so, seven is sometimes like a cycle of time that talks about a judgment.

So, "What are some of the other Bible stories that reference this cycle of seven?" How long was Moses on Mount Sinai getting the Ten Commandments? Forty days and forty nights. But you remember, there was another time period before he went up. "Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it," for how long? "Six days and on the seventh day, the Lord called to Moses out of the cloud, and Moses went up." Another law they had, just some of the other stories, "If you buy a Hebrew servant," Exodus chapter 21:2, "He will serve six years, and in the seventh year, he'll go free." Now, is Jesus gonna set the captives free when He comes? So, six years, people in the world have been enslaved to the devil. He's a hard taskmaster. But the Lord's gonna to come and He's gonna set the captives free, and those who've trusted in Christ will be liberated at that time.

Jericho, you know when the children of Israel, the first battle to take the Promised Land was a city called Jericho. How many times did they march around the city of Jericho? Thirteen times. Everyone gets that wrong. You all remember how many times they marched around the city the last day, but it says they march around the city once for six days. Then on the seventh day, they march around the city seven times. That's a total of 13. How many were at the Last Supper? Thirteen, what does that mean? I don't know, but I just think, I always think about these numbers. Just stir up your pure minds. You might give me your ideas.

Anyway but notice six days and march around the city. Then the seventh day, they took the Promised Land. "What are some of the other patterns of seven in Scripture?" We got a lot, friends. Enoch, you can read in the book of Jude, Enoch is the seventh from Adam. He prophesied about these men saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with 10,000 saints." Now, we just talked about, Enoch, the father of Methuselah, what direction did Enoch go? He went up. What generation was he? He was the seventh. So, if you count from Adam, Seth, Enos, you make your way up to Enoch, you got six before him, the seventh goes up. And the seventh, Jude says, talks about the Lord is coming. Very interesting, I don't know, maybe I'm seeing stuff that isn't really there but to me, I just see a pattern.

You can read in Job, "In six troubles he will deliver you. Yes, in seven no evil will touch you." Why does no evil touch us in seven? 'Cause we're caught up. You remember there was a famine in the land and Elijah prayed for rain. And he sent his servant to the ocean he said, "Any rain yet?" He said, "It hasn't rained for three-and-a-half years. There's nothing." He prayed again, he prayed again, he prayed again. Came to pass, after six times the servant came back said, "Nothing, nothing, nothing." Seventh time he prayed he said, "You know, there's a cloud coming up out of the sea, and that cloud grew and it filled the sky and it poured, and there was a storm."

And by the way, there's gonna be a storm, friends, in the future just before Jesus comes. Christ said there's gonna be a time of trouble such as there never has been since there was a nation, even under that same time. You've heard of the tribulation, this is why Jesus said, "He that endures to the end will be saved." We've gotta have a faith now where we believe His Word and we love the Lord.

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Doug: "Did Jesus foretell there might be an appearance of delay connected with His return?" I mean here 6,000 years have gone by. It's been 2,000 years since Christ was born, how come He hasn't come back yet? Don't forget when Jesus came the first time, was the church ready for His first coming? Did His own people, with the Bible, grow tired of waiting for the Messiah? Why would we think the devil's gonna be any different? It's gonna be the same way, the Second Coming, as it was the first. And they weren't reading the Bible. There was a few wise men in the East, couple of people in the temple, Hannah and Simeon, some shepherds in the field, but most people were not ready for the first coming. The devil hasn't changed.

So, what are some examples Jesus gave us so we can know that He told us, "Prepare for a time of delay that will test your faith," or at least the appearance of delay. After Jesus gives the signs in Matthew 24 talking about the Second Coming. He tells the disciples, "If that evil servant says in his heart, 'My Lord is delaying his coming,'" and he begins to eat and drink with the drunken. Why would He mentioned if that sermon says, "My Lord delays."?

You know, it sounds like Christ is quoting what happened when the children of Israel got tired of waiting for Moses to come back. Moses went up the mountain to get the Ten Commandments, but he was, you know, over 80 years old, and he went up there, and there's thunder and smoke coming out of the mountain, and the mountain's shaking and after a few weeks, you'd start to worry. You know, an old guy up there, he could have tripped, he's by himself. He's probably not coming back. After three weeks, four weeks, after 40 days they said, "Oh, this is it. He's not coming back. We can't go up the mountain, we're forbidden. We gotta get someone else." It says, "While Moses delayed. When the people saw that Moses delayed coming down the mountain." They were being tested. What did they do? Many of them failed the test. They made a golden calf. They compromised their worship.

Could the church be faced with the same kind of test today? We're in a time of waiting right now. When our faith should be going stronger, and some are compromising trying to be like the world. Another example in the Bible. You've heard of Samuel the prophet, Samuel anointed king to be--Saul to the king and he said, "You're gonna have an epic battle with the Philistines. Don't go into battle till I offer sacrifice for you." Samuel was the prophet, he was the priest. He was the judge of Israel. Well, he said, notice what he says, "You shall go down before me to Gilgal and surely I will come."

Did Jesus tell you that, "I will come again"? Does He lie? "Surely, I will come down to you to offer burnt offering and sacrifices of peace offerings. Seven days you'll wait, wait till I come. Wait till I come to you." Very clear instructions. But then the Bible says Saul, the Philistines were gathering, his men were getting afraid, many were deserting. Six days went by, Samuel was not even there. And the Bible says he waited seven days, but Samuel didn't come. And Saul finally said, "Look, we've got to offer sacrifice." When the seventh day came, he was being tested. He did something that he was forbidden to do. The king was not the priest. He was not supposed to offer the sacrifice. And he went and he did it 'cause the other nations did it so he thought, "It doesn't matter if I do it." He offered sacrifice and as soon as he was done, guess what happened. Samuel came. Same thing that happened as soon as they made the golden calf, Moses came.

There's gonna be a big test in the last days of God's people. That's why Jesus said, "Many will come to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord.'" He'll say, "I don't know you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity." They lost patience waiting, time of testing. Why do you think Jesus said in Matthew 25, Matthew 24 signs of the Second Coming. Matthew 25, "While the bridegroom delayed--" Who's the bridegroom in that parable? He's a symbol for Jesus, we all agree? Did Christ--is He trying to tell us something? That there was a period of testing where those--there is 10 virgins, 5 wise, 5 foolish, right? You know the parable? There's a time of testing, half of them failed the test 'cause they thought, "Well, he's not coming back." The Lord sometimes tests our faith.

"Will Jesus actually be late for His return?" What do you think? Let's read some prophecies on this. It says in Habakkuk, "The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end, it will speak and not lie." Notice, it says, "Though it tarries, wait for it because it will surely come. It will not tarry." In other words, he says though it tarries, but it will not tarry. Though it appears and many of the world are saying, "I guess the Lord's not coming back." You can read here in Hebrews 10:37, "For yet a little while, and he who is coming will come and will not tarry. And the just shall live by faith."

Friends, is your faith hanging on? Jesus said, "I'm coming again." This ought to be the great hope, the blessed hope of believers that will mobilize us. And if, how would you live if you thought the Lord was coming in a week? We ought to be living that way every day. He said, "I will come again," and He will reward everybody. You can read in Hebrews chapter 10, verse 37, "If anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him." That's the rest of that verse.

Here's one from 2 Peter 3, verse 3 and 4, "Knowing this first, that scoffers will come in the last days," that's in the words of our song, mockers and scoffers. "Walking according to their own lusts saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? Forever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation until now." What is Peter talking about scoffers in the world? There's always been scoffers in the world. Maybe he's talking about scoffers in the church in the last days, walking after their own lust. And I'm walking godly lives saying, Ah, He's never gonna come. Yeah, we've heard it, Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming. You preachers been saying that for years. That's right, and one of these days we're gonna be right. He is gonna come. He told us to let people know.

How does the Bible end? Even so come, Lord Jesus. We can't lose faith in that, friends. It says, Peter says, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat and the earth also and the things that are in it will be burned up." He's gonna come. Romans chapter 13, verse 11, "And knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out asleep. For now is our salvation nearer then when we first believed."

What were those--how many of the ten virgins were wise? How many of them were foolish. How many were sleeping? I wonder if the Lord's telling us something about the condition before the Bridegroom comes. We need to wake up. The Bible says, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light."

Friends, I believe we're living in the most exciting time in the Earth's history. I believe the Lord has told us in His Word and through the signs of the times, through the stories of the Bible, through the cycles that we see in prophecy. And we'll be sharing a lot more. You need to stick with this program because we're gonna be sharing things that you maybe never heard before, but I promise you it will be from the Word of God and it's all gonna tell you that Christ is coming soon.

What's happening behind the scenes in prophecy right now, much of the world is confused about and how we can be ready. The Lord has not forgotten us. He is gonna come again.

I remember back in 1995 when all this unfolded during the Bosnian War, one of our fighter pilots, Captain Scott O'Grady, was flying over war-torn Bosnia when his F16 when a SAM missile tore through his aircraft. And as he pummeled towards the ground, he pulled the ejection lever and he exploded out of what was left of the cockpit, burned his face, injured eye it a little bit, and he parachuted down. And they saw, the enemy on the ground, saw that they hit him. They saw him parachute down. They couldn't get to the spot quick enough and he dropped his chute, went and hid like a scared animal in the brush in the woods.

And for six days, he was trying to evade the enemy in strange territory, and he was hiding under bushes. Says, sometimes he saw the boots going just right near him of the enemy looking for him. They knew if they could get that American pilot, it would be quite a trophy. He had a radio and he kept calling for help. He saw the battery was slowly fading on his radio, and he wondered if anybody was hearing him. And he said, the only thing that sustained him during that time was his love for God, his love for his family, and his love for his country.

For six days, Captain O'Grady hid, drank dirty water, and he ate bugs and did all he could to survive, kept calling for help. And finally, he heard somebody call back on his radio. They were afraid to call him for fear that others would pick up the transmission, and he was given some instructions. And after six days, there was a clearing. He set off a flare, and a helicopter descended with twenty Marines jumping out to create a perimeter. He ran to that chopper and jumped in as fast as he could, and the whole thing took seven minutes. And he got back and you know, it was amazing.

Whenever I hear this story, I don't know, I'm getting old and emotional or something. Just it was amazing to me that while he was going through that ordeal, he wondered, "Has my country forgotten about me? Is anybody doing anything for me? Are they gonna come back? Maybe I'm just one soldier and they don't care." And if he could only know what was going on behind the scenes, the whole United States Military plus the military of allies had been mobilized to save one soldier.

Now, if faulty men can do that for their fellow man, will God forget about us? Is He gonna come again? Friends, you can count on it, and I think that the time is coming soon. He wants you to be ready. And once you are ready, He wants you to help get other people ready because friends, can you tell me what is more important than eternal life?

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Announcer: What if you could know the future? What would you do? What would you change? To see the future, you must understand the past.

Male: Alexander the Great becomes King when he's only 18, but he's a military prodigy. A hundred and fifty years in advance, Cyrus had been named.

Aale: Nebuchadnezzar built this city as a showcase to the entire world.

Male: Rome was violent, they were ruthless, they were determined.

Announcer: This intriguing documentary, hosted by Pastor Doug Batchelor, explores the most striking Bible prophecies that have been dramatically fulfilled throughout history. "Kingdoms In Time," an extraordinary adventure through the Bible's most amazingly fulfilled prophecies. Are you ready? ♪♪♪

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