Copyright 1994 - 2011 Endtime Prophecy Net
LOVE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS
Published On : May 25, 1998
Last Updated : February 24, 2011
Similarities Between Jeremiah's Prophecy And The Book Of Revelation, The Cup Of God's Indignation And The Wrath Of God, Meaning Of The Word "Plead" In The Scriptures, As It Was In The Days Of Noah, Sudden Destruction Of The Wicked, Example Of Sodom And Gomorrah, Destruction By Celestial Fire, Rampant Homosexuality In Our Modern Day, The Apostle Peter's Description Of The Fiery Destruction Of The Earth And The Heavens, Apostle Paul's Description Of The Sudden Destruction Of The Wicked, As A Thief In The Night, The Importance Of Discerning The Signs Of The Times, Scoffers Of The Endtime, The Danger Of Harming The Lord's Children, The Apple Of His Eye, 1 Corinthians 13 - The Love Chapter, A Desperate Need For Love, God Is Our Center Of Gravity, Love Is Both The Royal Law And The Golden Rule, Conclusion
Continuing our discussion from part three, the descriptive language that is used in the previous verses from the Book of Jeremiah is very similar to what we find in the Book of Revelation. Jeremiah's prophecy undoubtedly found a partial fulfillment when the Lord began to punish the nations of the Middle East which had oppressed the nation of Israel. This would have included Babylon itself. However, at the same time, Jeremiah chapter twenty-five appears to take a leap into the far future to the final Battle of Armageddon when the Lord shall pour out the cup of His indignation. Here are some similar verses that are found in the fourteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation:
"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb . . . And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs."
Revelation 14:9-10, 19-20, KJV
Regarding Jeremiah's prophecy, for the sake of clarification, allow me to point out that while in our modern day, the word "plead" is understood to refer to the act of begging with someone in order to achieve some specific goal or purpose, in the previous verses, it has an entirely different meaning. It actually means to execute judgment, or to punish. This word "plead" is derived from the Hebrew word "shaphat". Pronounced shaw-fat', it has the following definitions:
----- Begin Quote -----
1) to judge, govern, vindicate, punish
1a1) to act as law-giver or judge or governor (of God, man)
1a1a) to rule, govern, judge
1a2) to decide controversy (of God, man)
1a3) to execute judgment
1a3a) discriminating (of man)
1a3c) condemning and punishing
1a3d) at theophanic advent for final judgment
1b1) to enter into controversy, plead, have controversy together
1b2) to be judged
1c) (Poel) judge, opponent-at-law (participle, KJV
----- End Of Quote -----
It is also interesting to note that in the Endtime chapters which are found within the four Gospels, Jesus makes a clear reference to the evil days of Noah. The reason why Jesus does this, is not only to demonstrate how the spiritual condition of the world during the Endtime will be very similar to that of four thousand years ago when Noah was alive, but also to emphasize the fact that God's judgments are going to fall very quickly upon the world when they are least expected. To further emphasize this point, Jesus also uses the example of the sudden destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Consider what the Lord said:
"But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."
Luke 17:25-30, KJV
Taking into consideration the similarities between the main sin of the perverted inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the rampant homosexuality which has gripped the world today, we should all recognize the significance of the Lord using the example of these two cities in His Endtime discourse. It is also noteworthy that these ancient towns were destroyed by fire and brimstone, just as the ancient Prophet Isaiah also describes the coming destruction as being by fire. In fact, the Apostle Peter paints the very same picture in his vivid description of the future destruction of both the current heavens and the Earth, as we see here:
"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."
2 Peter 3:7-13, KJV
In his first Epistle to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul also warns of the suddenness with which the destruction of the ungodly will occur. The fact that they will be caught off-guard, and will be so unprepared for it, will result from their having failed to properly discern the signs of the times; exactly as Jesus had also warned in the Gospels. This in itself will be a result of their having rejected the many warnings concerning Christ's imminent Return, exactly as the Apostle Peter said would happen. Consider the following verses:
"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
1 Thessalonians 5:2-3, KJV
"The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed."
Matthew 16:1-4, KJV
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
2 Peter 3:3-4, KJV
While Jesus and Paul described the Day of the Lord arriving "as a thief in the night", please understand that this was stated in regards to the unbelieving children of the world who would not be watching for the signs of the times. For a more detailed examination of this topic, I encourage you to read my series "As A Thief In The Night? Not For Me!".
Similar to all of the previous writers, the Apostle Paul also warned that the destruction of the wicked would come by means of fiery judgments from the Lord. Perhaps you will recall these verses which I shared with you at the beginning of this series:
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God . . . For our God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 10:31, 12:29, KJV
While the previous Scriptures describe Divine Chastisement on a global scale, the same basic principles apply to individuals as well. For example, if someone commits any form of violence against one of the Lord's children, rest assured that sooner or later, the Lord is going to deal with him about it, unless he truly repents. We only need to look at the example of the Apostle Paul traveling on the road to Damascus, to determine that this is indeed so. Even if the Lord's children forgive such persons, unless they personally acknowledge their sins before the Lord, and before us, it does not appear that they are going to escape judgment. When the children of the world purposely harm the children of the Lord, the Scriptures tell us that it is just like poking their finger in God's very own eye. Consider the following verses:
". . . Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm."
Psalms 105:15, KJV
"Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,"
Psalms 17:8, KJV
"For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye."
Zechariah 2:8, KJV
In the previous verses, the word "apple" is derived from two Hebrew words, both of which actually refer to the pupil of one's eye. These words are "babah", pronounced baw-baw', and "iyshown", which is pronounced ee-shone'. If you would like to learn more about Endtime persecution against the Lord's children, please consider reading such articles as "Civil Disobedience And Christian Persecution".
To conclude this series on a positive note, I feel that it is appropriate to share the following short chapter with you which clearly reveals the only real and lasting solution to any form of conflict, whether that conflict is on a personal level with another individual, or on a global scale. I hope you will enjoy the wise advice of the Apostle Paul. Lord help us all to strive more to live by these words:
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
1 Corinthians 13:1-13, KJV
What a wonderful chapter! Truly, charity -- or love -- is the healing balm which the world so desperately needs at this current time; yet sadly, it is the very thing in which many people are lacking the most. Why? Because people are abandoning God -- who is love -- in droves, as they turn to materialism, self-pursuit, and other sinful comforts of the flesh. The Apostle John was fully aware of this tragedy even in his own day two thousand years ago. Thus he wrote:
"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
1 John 4:8, KJV
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."
1 John 2:15-17, KJV
Without God -- who is the Divine Author of love -- as the center of gravity in each of our lives, we have nothing else to hold us together. As I explain in my 1997 article called "Selfishness : A Prophesied Sign Of The Endtime!", in place of God, we have inserted self; and it seems that nowadays, everything that we do is geared towards pleasing self. This is not God's way, it is our own way; it is the wrong way; it is in fact Satan's way. As Jesus said concerning the Endtime:
"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."
Matthew 24:12, KJV
Thank the Lord that even though we may not know each other face-to-face, and even though we may be separated by hundreds or even thousands of miles, we Christians can be bonded together by His Love. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians:
"And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness."
Colossians 3:14, KJV
As I point out in my 1998 article entitled "The Royal Law: Thou Shalt Love!", as well as in a few other articles, not only is love the bond of perfectness, but the Apostle James tells us that it is in fact the Royal Law; it is the Golden Rule; precisely as our Lord Himself taught. Consider the following verses:
"If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:"
James 2:8, KJV
"Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Matthew 22:35-40, KJV
With these thoughts I am going to bring this series to its conclusion. I trust that it has been a blessing, as well as an inspiration, in your life. Love today! It is the only thing that will last!