Truth, Understanding, Insight

Powers of heaven shall be shaken, Luke 21: 24-31

12th March 2011, mgh


1) Powers of heaven shall be shaken, Luke 21: 24-31

In the past six months we have witnessed amazing events on this earth in very rapid succession. The northern hemisphere faced severe snow storms and extremely cold temperatures, there were floods and landslides in Brazil, extensive flooding followed by cyclones and bushfires in Australia, and two devastating earthquakes in New Zealand.

Even as we write Japan is being rocked by an 8.9 earthquake and a tsunami, which have left devastating destruction in their wake. A whirlpool was created by the forces of water meeting the land. The tsunami crossed the Pacific at the rate of 800 kilometres an hour and 2 metre surges were reported at Maui, Hawaii and off California. The Pacific Ocean behaved as if high and low tides were half rather than the usual 6 hours apart.

We are witnessing the disintegration of Arab and Muslim nations and the uprisings against leaders, who have ruled for many decades, of such nations as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya (etc). The cry of the people is going out for change and democracy, but there are antagonistic factions among the people in those countries and threatening civil wars.

The prophecy in Luke 21: 24 is one prophecy in the Bible that can be accurately dated in the history of mankind and is still a determining factor in the modern world. There is absolutely no doubt about this. The event that fulfilled this prophecy happened in one day.

And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (Luke 21:24)

The “they” in this verse refers to the ancient nation of Israel. The other topic of this verse is the city of Jerusalem. In AD 70 the Romans invaded Jerusalem and the people , the Jews, were killed or if they escaped the forces of the Roman Empire, were scattered “into all nations”. From that time Jerusalem was occupied by a succession of nations (that is the Gentiles who were not Jews). This was to be the fate of Jerusalem until “the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled”. This clearly shows that the Jews would once again be in control of their ancient city.

Following the Holocaust and WW2, the Jews were granted a homeland and in 1948 were officially declared the nation of Israel by the United Nations.

In 1967 the surrounding Arab nations, with overwhelming odds, attacked Israel. In what is now known as the Six Day War, Israel defeated her oppressors. On the 7th June 1967, Jerusalem once again returned to Jewish control. Luke 21: 24 had been fulfilled.

However the prophecy does not end there. Follow the subsequent verses that bring us up to the present time.

Verse25: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Symbolically in the Bible, the 'sun', the 'moon' and the 'stars' refer to political and religious powers. 'The distress of the nations' is so obvious whether we speak of political upheaval, civil wars or dire poverty, that are daily reported in the media. Even the foundations of religious powers has been shaken by immorality. “The sea and the waves roaring” in Bible symbol refers to the agitation and distress of the people. There can be no doubt today that the people are crying out loudly against rulers and political conditions. We hear their cries through the news brought to us daily. The following verse captures this.

Verse 26: Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

Whether it's Leaders being toppled by uprisings, wars, national disasters, economic insecurity, climate change or global warming, there is strong evidence that many men are becoming increasingly perplexed and unable to deal with the escalation of and complexity of issues in our world. Added to this, we see Israel's Arab neighbours becoming more militant and vocal about destroying Israel.

There is only one hope for this world. This is the return of the Messiah to this earth to bring peace and justice, as shown in verses 27-28.

Verse 27-28: And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh.

This short extract from Luke 21 is very important for us today. If we seek signs they are here. If we seek the answer to the world's dilemma it is here. So few words can give us so much hope. In the following verses we are advised to look closely at these signs. The “fig tree” is a symbol used many times in both the OT and NT for Israel. “And all the trees” would be the many nations that have emerged since WW2, as trees are often used as symbols for nations. We have seen all this, the restoration of Israel to their traditional homeland and the rise of many nations in a short fifty years or so.

Verses 29-31: And he spoke to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

Man is powerless against the forces gathering momentum daily. For those who seek the answers we are advised to “watch” and “pray always”. Israel 'reborn' is a clear milestone in the Creator's plan. Indeed the event that fulfilled the prophecy related to Jerusalem in Luke happened in one day. This is sure evidence that Yahweh works among the nations and this should give us confidence that His will “will be done on earth”, as expressed in the Lord's Prayer.

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:36)

For more Climate Change: Bounds of the Sea


Therefore judge nothing before the time

Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. (1 Corinthians 4:5)

This may be one of the most misunderstood passages of the Bible. Paul is notorious for long sentences of connected thoughts, and this is part of a complex wide ranging thought which lasts 2 chapters, and includes what seems opposite advice:

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. (1 Cor. 5:11-13)

Psalm 46: & the great earthquake of Zechariah 14

As I was thinking to write this article, having just read Psalm 46 as I do each year on that day, on January 25th a Bible was found untouched after a tornado hit Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Times Appointed Part 4

We have been given many time periods to prophetic events in the Bible. Many people think it too hard, and do not make an effort to understand them. However, if they were not to be understood, why were they given? And the Bible says the wise shall understand (Daniel 12:10).

Walking on the wings of the wind

In the light of the findings of science, how literally do we take what the scriptures say about the power of the God of the Bible, Yahweh Elohim (literally He who will become Mighty Ones)? Science at its best is a measurement of observable and repeatable phenomenon wrapped up in explanations which abound in analogy. There is no doubt in the benefit of investigating phenomena of the natural world. The surprising thing is that the more we investigate natural phenomena, the more it fits the explanations recorded over 2000 years ago.

How can two walk together unless they be agreed? Amos 3:3

The God of Israel is approachable and reasonable. He often speaks directly to his people. The following will seek to understand a passage where he speaks via the prophet Amos which has a few variant translations.