A gospel taught without an emphasis on its fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy is a gospel unproven.
God spent four thousand years prophesying of the coming of His son, but no one wrote any of it until God told Moses what to write. Peter admonished us all, saying, "We have 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 you receive, in your hearts, the anointed prophet which God has ordained to prepare for the second coming of Jesus. Then Peter explained that prophecy is "more sure" than his own testimony of the transfiguration, because the prophets wrote what God said, not what they thought He meant (2 Pet. 1:16-21; Isa. 8:20).
Luke recorded Jesus as saying that the martyrdom of the prophets began with Abel, and continued unto Zechariah (Luke 11:49-52). Jude also declared, "Enoch, the seventh from Adam prophesied" of the second coming of Jesus, "saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all" (Jude 1:14-15).
Adam himself was a prophetic allegory of Jesus Christ. God put Adam into "a deep sleep," and cut open his side, and took out a rib, and "closed up the flesh thereof instead," wherewith God made a bride for him. Likewise, when Jesus had died, then the soldier pierced His side, "and out flowed blood and water." Jesus thereby "purchased the church of God [the Bride the Lamb's Wife] with His own blood" (Genesis 2:21; John 19:33-37; Acts 20:28). Thereby God made a distinct difference between the "Kingdom of Heaven" and His "Elect." The sufferings and death of our Lord and Savior provided for both our spiritual healing and cleansing, and our physical healing. Even so, the blood shed after His death on the cross that day was the purchase price which Jesus had to pay for His bride, and the water which flowed with it was for the perfecting of that small group of saints which God will choose, from the "Virgins without number," to be His bride.
A short while before Jesus was caught up in the cloud that glorious day, He told His disciples, "All things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me" (Luke 24:44). And, in John 5:39, Jesus told some of the Jews who were seeking to kill him that they needed to "search the scriptures," because it was those prophecies which validated His authenticity.
The list is too large to detail. In between the birth of Jesus and His death, there was so great a number of prophecies fulfilled that John was inspired to say, "Many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name" (John 20:30-31 and 21:25).
The "Good News," is that the multitude of Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah have now been fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and our redemption is secured.
The works of all the characters in the New Testament, good and bad, were the fulfillment of some prophecy. As for the "good," Peter and the other Apostles fulfilled prophecy in replacing Judas (Acts 1:15-26). Paul and Barnabas in Acts 13:47, and James, the Lord's brother, sitting in the seat of the Judge, in Acts 15:13-21 with Deuteronomy 17:8-13, all deliberately fulfilled prophecy.
We see some of "the bad," in Acts 1:20-21 and Acts 4:23-27. Herod even fulfilled Isaiah 51:7-8 by his death; being eaten of worms after persecuting the Apostles (Acts 12:1-24).
There came wise men from the east inquiring about him that was born king of the Jews. And when Herod demanded of the chief priests and scribes where Christ should be born, they admitted that they knew where, and quoted the prophecy (Matt. 2:1-6), but apparently they had not been watching (Luke 19:44).
Those leaders did the same thing when they told Jesus' disciples that Jesus could not be the Messiah, because Elijah had to come first. They should have recognized both John and Jesus for what they were.
Jesus even prompted the fulfillment of the prophecies of His betrayal and crucifixion by telling his disciples that one of them would betray Him. He said, "The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!" Then He told Judas, "What thou doest, do quickly" (Zech. 11:10-14; Psalm 41:9).
After Judas had gone, Jesus prayed, saying, "I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, … Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the "Son of Perdition" [Judas]; that the scripture might be fulfilled" (John 17:11-12).
By the end of the following day, Jesus had endured the cross, and fulfilled all of the prophecies concerning His suffering and death. Then He said, "It is finished."
When replacing Judas, Peter said, "It is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take" (Psalm 109:8; Psalm 69:25). Psalm 69 actually says, "Let their habitation be desolate," showing us that there were to be, at least, two "Sons of Perdition" in the Grace Age; to which Paul attested in 2 Thessalonians 2.
Judas was the first "Son of Perdition," and the second "Son of Perdition" will have come as one of the most prominent signs that Jesus will be coming soon. Judas was a "foundation stone:" one of the Twelve Apostles of the Church in its infancy, until he hanged himself (Matt. 27:5). Similarly, the second Son of Perdition is required by prophecy to reign as "Chief" in the Church of God among the Gentiles, before Jesus comes again.
After the crucifixion, Jesus turned the leadership of the "Church" over to Peter (Matt. 24:45-47; John 14:12 and John 21:15-17), and blessed His disciples, and disappeared into a cloud; all in the fulfillment of prophecy.
Within a hundred years of that event, the fullness of the Jewish Church had come in, and the gospel had gone to the Gentiles, and the Jewish Church had been martyred. The apostasy had "Turned the grace of God into lasciviousness" (Jude 1:3-8), and the long wait for Jesus to "raise it up again" among the Gentiles had begun (John 6:39; Acts 15:13-18).
The first century A.D. was a time of abundant fulfillment of prophecy. It has been the same with the twentieth century, and shall be for a few short years more. The "fullness of the Gentiles [will] come in," and the Jewish remnant will be grafted in again (Romans 11:25-28). Then Jesus shall appear, and the dead saints shall be raised, and the living saints shall be changed. When these things are done, the year of Jubilee shall begin near the time of the Autumnal equinox in 2010. The year of Jubilee shall conclude the sixth millennium from the creation of Adam.
There is a multitude of prophecies which concern the final 120 years or so of the Grace Age. There are prophecies about automobiles, which began to be manufactured in the U.S. by the Duryea brothers in Springfield MA., in 1893 (Nahum 2:1-4), and about airplanes (Eccl. 10:20), and about television (Rev. 11:7-11), and so forth. There are also prophecies about the restoration of God's Church among the Gentiles, and about the preparation of the Church for the "Marriage" (Isa. 49:5-6; Rom. 11:25-28; 2 Thess. 2:1-6).
One of our biggest problems with understanding the unfolding of prophetic fulfillment today is the truth of Jeremiah 16:19. He said, "O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit."
Christians have a grand legacy of misconceptions, and are, therefore, unaware of what stage of the end of the Grace Age we are in. Faithful men of God have unwittingly taught us doctrinal errors which they brought with them when they came out of "Mystery, Babylon the Great." It is now time to "Ask our way to Zion," and go there to "Learn the ways of God" (Isaiah 2:2,3; Micah 4:2).
Modern teaching of the "Son of Perdition" in 2 Thessalonians 2 is one of the great examples of erroneous interpretation of prophecy in our time. Paul is very specific. The "Day of Christ" will not come "except that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." Paul told us that "That man of sin," the second "Son of Perdition" would sit as chief in the Temple of God, the Church of the living God, and would defile it with the abominations which would make the church desolate (Dan. 9:27). He would exalt himself "above all that is called god." That is, he would exalt himself above all who were working with him: Apostles and Prophets to whom the word of God had come (John 10:34-35).
Marion Hall began to fulfill the prophecies of the "Son of Perdition" in the mid 1960s in the Church of God which was at Jerusalem Acres, Cleveland, Tennessee. He defiled that office, and "finished the transgression" which brought on the third desolation (divorce: Jer. 3:12-15; Isa. 62:1-5). His wickedness was exposed in 1972, and the desolation of the Church of God of the 20th century had begun. Finally, after fulfilling this, and many other prophecies, both good and bad, the Church of God expired at the resignation of Robert S. Somerville in December 1980 (2 Kings 8:17).
"That Wicked," the second man in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, is of this world. He will be more like Jannes and Jambres, the two sorcerers who challenged Moses in Pharaoh's court. He will persuade even Christianity with great deception. Most Christians have not been willing to believe and obey the truth, God will send them strong delusion that they shall believe a lie, "that they all might be damned who believed not the truth." The "Son of Perdition" has now been taken out of the way (he died March 8, 1999, when he was 66 years of age), and since his death, the way has been clear for "That Wicked" to appear, and perform his lying wonders.
Paul told us what he meant when he said "temple," saying that the Apostles and the Prophets were the foundation of the N.T. temple, and that a group of believers would be "builded together [with them] for a habitation of God through the Spirit" (Eph 2:19-22; 1 Cor. 3:16,17; 2 Cor. 6:16).
There will be no natural temple built in Jerusalem. God raised up His Temple: The Churches of God, in the 20th century. Three consecutive groups of them did their part of fulfilling prophecy, each in their turn, and then they were "overturned." When Marion Hall, the "Son of Perdition," was cast down in fulfillment of Ezekiel 21:24-27, it caused the event of the third overturning. From that time until now, we have awaited the promise of those words, "It shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him."
Since the latter part of 2001, the United States has been in the process of fulfilling the allegorical prophecy in the account of Nebuchadnezzar's seven years of madness, in Daniel chapter 4. About the time of the destruction of the twin towers, the United States of America began to manifest the characteristics of a "beast" nation. Together with that, the promoters of Atheism, and the advocates of gross moral decadence have quickly risen in a combined effort to push the U.S. government to the brink of eliminating Christianity from within the shores of America.
The sovereignty of America is at stake, and it is the suppression of Christianity which is the greatest danger to this nation. This country's subjugation to the U.N. is already problematic. Those who have led this nation into this captivity will soon realize that they, too, have gone into captivity. In Rev. 17, John told us that the U.N (specifically the G-Ten, one of which is the U.S.), will "make war with the Lamb, and those that are with Him." They will assay to destroy Christianity from the world. Before that war makes it impossible to do anything to help us, the U.S. will do a reversal, and manage to help save some of God's people from the wrath of the dragon (Rev. 12:15-17). At which point the dragon shall greatly intensify his war against all of the rest of the Christians in the world.
Oh, Jesus will win. It will be as it was in the days of Noah. Some people who have the breath of life in Christ Jesus, will heed the call of the Spirit of the Lord, and will come together in the unity of the faith (Eph. 4:11-13), under the direction of the man who fulfills the allegory of Noah. Isaiah prophesied of that moment in history, saying, "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against him" (Isaiah 59:19). Daniel agreed. He told us that the little stone would smite those ten toes and bring down the powers of the world. As He said, "In the days of these [ten] kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom" (Dan. 2:42-44).
By late 2008, or early 2009 (probably the former), The U.S. will rebound from this folly. By then the fulfillment of Joel 3:14 will, most likely, be upon us. "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord [The day of the Lord's wrath against Christianity] is near in the valley of decision." The imposition of the Mark, the name, or the number of the name of "the Beast" is very near.
The whole world will soon be rushed into the valley of decision. Those Christians who are overcome by the delusion, and believe the lie, will also be given those three choices of how they will accept the Beast and his domination over them. They will try to save their life; and they will lose it. Or they can choose to not accept the offer, and they will lose their life - and save it (Matt. 16:24-27).
There is one other option. We can be prudent, and see the trouble coming, and hide ourselves, and shut our doors around us, until the indignation of the Lord is overpast (Isaiah 26:20; Prov. 22:3).
All of these things will happen according to prophecy, for "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). The coming of Jesus to pour out the wrath of God, and to resurrect the dead and change the faithful among the living to immortality, will be a big surprise to most Christians, and that very soon.
Paul said of those unbelieving Christians, "Sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." As for those of us who believe the truth, Paul went on to say, "But ye brethren are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief. … Let us not sleep as do others; but let us watch and be sober. … God hath not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 5:1-10). Paul is speaking specifically here about saving the redeemed from His wrath which is soon to be poured out upon His disobedient and rebellious children. Unfortunately, that includes the largest percentage of us, even as it did in the flood in Noah's days, but God managed to save a few (1 Peter 3:20; Ex. 14:13; 1 Peter 4:17-18).
In the time we have remaining, we must heed Paul's admonition in Ephesians 5:14, 25-27, and raise The Church of God from the dead, and go to perfection in preparation for the marriage of the Lamb.
The joyous proclamation will soon be made, "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. … These are the true sayings of God" (Rev. 19:6-9).