December 27, 2014 - A. V. Rauf
It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas……. (Part I)
The Christmas season has come and gone as we brace ourselves in eager anticipation for a new year in 2015. If you are reading this, you may be wondering, “Perhaps this was posted too late.” I invite you to read on……
The word for “Christmas” in Hebrew is “Hag Ha nolod” – literally “The Festival of the Birth”.
Ecclesisiastes 1:9-10 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
Ecclesisistes 3:15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.
What does Christmas, the Nativity, have to do with the Last Days? This may surprise you, but the answer is everything.
A thorough study of the Scriptures will reveal that we may never understand the Second Coming of Christ until we understand His First Coming. What happened in His First Coming is recapitulated in His Second Coming. When Jesus was born, the Roman emperor was Caesar Augustus – formerly Octavius. Caesar Augustus was the first Roman emperor to be deified in his lifetime.
Thus, there was a Roman emperor presiding over the Roman Empire and being worshiped as a god when Jesus arrived the first time. This emperor took a census, ascribing numbers to people – not actually putting numbers on them, but ascribing one to every person in the known world. There were actually two censuses taken by Augustus, both for this purpose: that he might gain financial control of the world. When Jesus comes back, the same thing will happen: we will have a resurrected Roman Empire headed by someone who is virtually deified.
This demi-god or Anti-Christ will number people’s heads in order to economically control the world. What happened at Jesus’ First Coming will happen again at His Second. Christmas is not just a past event; it is a future event, a prophetic event. The testimony of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10)
Jesus’ First Coming teaches about His Second. Christmas is neither here nor there; the Nativity, however, is very important. If we do not understand how He came the first time, we will not understand His return. There are differences, of course, but one is a picture of the other.
As I have prayerfully studied the Scriptures over the last 14 years or so, I have asked myself this question: How could it be, with 2,000 years of history preparing for the Messiah to come, being in a covenant relationship with God and having the Scripture, that so few Jews were ready for Jesus to come the first time?
Paul tells us that the devil blinded their eyes. (Rom. 11:25) There were 2,000 years of preparation for Jesus to come, Israel had a covenantal relationship with God, and they had the Scriptures. Yet in spite of all this, only a remnant was ready for Him to come.
The same thing will be true when He comes back, only it will not only be Israel, but also the so-called church.
What kinds of Christians are going to be ready for Jesus to come again in the Last Days? If you want to know the answer to this, look at the kinds of Jews who were ready for Him to come the first time. If you want to know what kinds of Christians are not going to be ready for Him to come back, take a good look at the kinds of Jews that were not ready for Him to come the first time.
His First Coming teaches about His Second. At His first coming, he was born of an earthly mother. He will not come as a baby the second time, being born of an earthly mother. There are differences between the two comings, but essentially one prefigures the other. (To be continued…..)