God is very busy. He has, at the very least, a universe to take care of and keep running properly. Our galaxy, and planet Earth, are a relatively small percentage of the things which are on His agenda. Yet, the residency of mankind on Earth from the creation of Adam, and forward, is of utmost importance to Him.
Before God created Adam, He spent ages repairing the mess which had been made in Heaven and on Earth. One of His highest government officials - Lucifer, Son of the Morning - had led a rebellion against God and his Son. Lucifer, now Satan, with about one third of all the angels, fell from Heaven; being "cut down to the ground," he "made the world as a wilderness" (Isaiah 14:12-17).
God could simply have made some more angels to replace those which had fallen, but He had a P.R. problem with the angels who had not been involved in the rebellion. Satan had been dearly loved. Those who did not rebel with him could not understand what had happened, but God understood their concerns.
Sometime after the fall of Lucifer [Satan], and before He created Adam, God devised a plan which would justify Him in the eyes of the faithful. He would create mankind, and give them four thousand years to manifest the evil which Satan's influence has on all those with which he is allowed to associate. God gave mankind a free will and the opportunity to choose God instead of Satan in the face of great temptation and all deceivableness of unrighteousness. The Apostle Paul referred to God's plan saying, "I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men" (1 Cor. 4:9).
God's plan required that His only begotten Son should come to Earth twice; once to redeem all of mankind out of the bondage of sin, and again to receive His Elect unto Himself with all of the redeemed. The only thing that God requires of us is that we believe in Him, and believe His words, and repent of our trespasses which we have trespassed against Him. Those who accept God's offer will replace the angels that fell (Matt. 19:27-29; Rev. 2:26-28).
During his first four thousand years, mankind was allowed to function under a bare minimum of God's input into their lives. At first, He only specified their diet, and gave them one commandment: "Do not eat of that one, particular fruit." They ate of it anyway, and their descendants from both Seth and Cain continued to rebel until the flood came. Therefore, to save some of His people from all of that corruption, God did "[brought] in the flood upon the world of the ungodly" (2 Peter 2:5).
When Noah and those with him left the ark, God changed their diet, and gave them two commandments: 1) "Flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat," and 2) "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man " (Genesis 9:4-6). Man's defiance of God is expressed to this day in the fact tht much of the world refuses to execute the murderer; and many people, Christians and pagans alike, eat and drink blood.
In about 2,008 years from the creation of Adam, Abram was born, whom God chose to beget a lineage which He could depend on to receive and preserve the law that God would give them some 500 years later by Moses. That Old Testament law "is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." It put sin in its proper light, "that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful" (Romans 7:7-13). Another reason was that God might prophesy thereby of the events which He would cause to come to pass in the fifth thru the eighth millennia of carnal man's allotted time here.
In about 2,509 years from the creation of Adam, God gave Moses the Law and the Covenant: which is the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28). Israel was given the life-giving word of God in the form of that law, and except for a small remnant, they rejected God's word, as all of those before Moses had done.
All of the events which are mentioned in the Old Testament are written in such a manner that they prophecy of the coming events of the Grace Age, which began just less that 2,000 years ago When Jesus arose victorious from the grave. Jesus clearly said, "All the prophets and the law prophesied until John [the Baptist]" (Matt. 11:13). The giver of life had come, and was despised and rejected.
The fulfillment of the prophecies in the Old Testament began with the birth of Jesus. However, John the Baptist was the first prophet to go forth in the fulfillment of prophecy. Wherefore, Jesus spoke of Him as "More than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee" (Matthew 11:13). The fulfillment of the prophecy of the "Messenger" is of very high priority on God's To-do List, and He will soon do it the second time.
From the beginning of John's ministry, every person who was mentioned in the New Testament was mentioned because of their prophetic role, whether they are good or bad, great or small. It includes Jesus, and Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:15-26). It included Jesus' followers, and such men as are mentioned in Acts 4:25-28: Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, Which were gathered together, for to do whatsoever God's hand and counsel determined before to be done.
God ordained that there should be two seasons of great prophetic fulfillment during the Grace Age; one at its beginning and the other at its end. We have been in the second season since the 1890s A.D. when God marked the last 120 years (Genesis 6:3) of the sixth millennium with the great outpouring of the Holy Ghost in the hills of North Carolina in 1896. Another very important event was the successful manufacturing and marketing of automobiles in Springfield Massachusetts by Charles E. Duryea in 1893.
In Revelation 2:26-28, John prophesied of the man who God would have in charge of His prophetic work at the time of "the end." He said, "He that overcometh, and keepeth My works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My father, and I will give him the morning stat" (Matt. 24:45-47).
Apparently Jesus is speaking here about the man who shall sit at His right hand during the time when He shall sit upon the throne of His Glory. Nahum prophesied of this man in Nahum 2:1-4. He said, "He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily. . The chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation." When this man "comes up before our face," we must watch "the way" of salvation, and to have our "loins gird about with truth," and to seek God until the power of the Holy Ghost is working in us mightily.
Nahum is telling us that a man of God will prepare the way for the second coming of Jesus. He is telling us that he will do so in the day of automobiles, and that when we see him for what he is, we must quickly prepare ourselves according to our instructions in Joel 3:9-13. We must change our emphasis on the gospel from "Jesus saves" to "prepare ourselves for the war in Revelation 12:17 and 17:12-14, and Isaiah 59:19."
Peter spoke of that man in 2 Peter 1:19, calling him the "Day Star," just as John did in Rev. 2:26-28. Peter said, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." You probably have been told that Peter is speaking here about Jesus. I will ask you, Were the people who Peter was admonishing Christians or not? If they were, and the Day Star is Jesus, then they must already have had the "Day Star" arisen in their hearts. This Day Star - this man who Dashes in pieces - this man who makes a preparation during the day of the automobile should command our attention.
Why are we so ready to believe that God sent John the Baptist to prepare the way before the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world, but we insist that God will do it differently now, and send Jesus back as King of kings and Lord of lords, and send no one to prepare His throne and herald His coming.
In Matthew 11:7-10, Jesus quoted Malachi 3:1, and said it is a prophecy of John the Baptist. However, Malachi 3:1 does not stand alone. It is just part of the passage which continues through verse 6, and speaks of two messengers, and one Lord, and tells us of their works. Jesus spoke of only one messenger, because He was speaking only of that first of His two comings.
Think about it. That messenger of the covenant "is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Jesus will not do those things when He returns, neither will He be the Messenger of the Covenant. All of those things must be done by that prophet who prepares the way for Jesus to come for the marriage supper. In Revelation 19:7-9, John shows clearly that all of the purifying must be already done when Jesus comes.
Malachi 3:1-6 has the full support of Zechariah, who is bold to say, "Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone [Jesus] thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. . For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel" (Zech. 4:6-7).
This is clearly a prophecy of the man who shall prepare the way for Jesus when He comes. He shall rise up with the plummet in his hand, and "Build again the Tabernacle of David which is fallen down, and will build again the ruins thereof, and set it up" (Zech. 4:6-10; Acts 15:16-17). This is the man who shall, in the time of mercy, establish the Throne of David that He [Jesus] may sit upon it in truth in the Tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness" (Isaiah 16:1-5).
In Acts 3:20-21, Peter told us "He [God] shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." God's to-do list was finalized before Jesus came "in the dispensation of the fullness of time" and sacrificed Himself on the cross for us. Jesus will surely come again at the appointed time, but His coming must be preceded by the fulfillment of all the prophecies that are relevant to that final 120 years of the Grace Age.
God mentioned the 120 years directly concerning the flood in the days of Noah. Jesus showed us that one of the two most important things in the Old Testament which foreshadowed Jesus' return was the Noah story. He said, in Luke 17:26, "As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man." He did not say "the day of the Son of Man." It will take several days to make all of the preparations.
In the days of the fulfillment of the Noah allegory, Peter's words in 2 Peter 2:5 must be fulfilled, where he pointed out the fact that God will raise up "a preacher of righteousness" to prepare God's people for the flood which shall proceed out of the mouth of the dragon.
There are many Christian ministers today who will vehemently proclaim that these things are not true. In so doing, they stand in the face of God, and deny His word and His way. When God raised up Moses, Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On, with 250 princes of the assembly gathered themselves together against Moses and Aaron. They challenged Moses' right to lead God's people, saying, "Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?" (Num. 16:1-50). Doesn't that sound familiar?
God was very angry against those insurgents, and "the ground clave asunder that was under them: and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah." Then God commanded them to make a memorial so that their offence, and its punishment, would never be forgotten. But God was not through. Because many of the congregation had stood in sympathy with Korah, God sent a plague among them and fourteen thousand and seven hundred of the congregation died before the priests could atone for them.
Yet, in the New Testament Church, ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ have forgotten, and Jude testified that "There are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained [prophesied of] to this condemnation: ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core [Korah]. These are spots in your feasts of charity" (Jude 1:4-12).
The only way in which these words of Jude can be justified, is that there was a man, ordained of God, sitting in "Moses Seat" leading the Church in the days of Jude.
Let us not perish in the error of Adam and Eve. Let us not perish in the error of the multitude of Seth's descents that died in the flood. Let us not perish in the errors of those under the Law of Moses. And let us not perish in the errors of the New Testament ministers who today would try to convince us that God has changed.