estiny Bulletin   

Seize the Day!

By Dave Breese

In a little while, I’ll be speaking Russian. That’s right! Russian! Well, to be precise, it won’t actually be this voice. But it will be our words and thoughts as presented in our study of the Book of the Revelation. As soon as all the proper preparations have been made, that Revelation study will be broadcast via shortwave radio in the voice of a translator throughout Russia and the old Soviet Union.

How this came to pass is really an amazing story. Not long ago we received a call to our office from a gentleman with an obvious Russian accent. He is a native Russian who lives in Southern California who has been broadcasting to Russia in Russian via shortwave radio since about 1957. He recently retired officially, although he continues to make broadcasts to air in Russia.

This summer he took part in our Revelation study. It touched his heart as he realized how much this teaching would mean to the folks back in Russia. So he contacted us to see if there might be some way in which he could help us take the Revelation study to Russia.

We’ve set the wheels in motion and have begun the complicated task of translating the messages and printing our study guides in Russian. Our dear brother hasn’t asked for any financial assistance in what he is doing. However, we will have to pick up the cost of shortwave radio air time in Russia.

Seize the Day!
There always have been a select few in almost every Christian circle who understand the importance of a missionary outreach such as this. There are those who can feel the passion of our Lord’s commission to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” (Matt. 28:19). There are not only those who say, “Here am I, Lord, send me!” but there are also those who say, “I’m not able to go myself, but here is my gift. Use it to take the Gospel to all nations.”

Opportunities such as the one in Russia are most important because, as you know, we’re rapidly approaching the Rapture of the Church. That blessed event will usher in a period of time called the Tribulation. It is also called “the seventieth week of Daniel.” The Rapture could be very soon. When it does take place, the time of the direct missionary outreach of the Church will be over.

I wonder how many people ever really think about that! Do people truly understand that we don’t have forever to tell a world about Jesus and His power to save? Do they appreciate the fact that Jesus could come at any moment and the great outreach of the Church Age will be through? Are they fully aware that any one of us could depart this life in a heartbeat and, for that person, the time of harvest will be over?

Really, it’s true when they say that tomorrow is not promised to any of us in this life. Yesterday cannot be repeated and tomorrow may never come. All we have is this day, this moment, this hour, this opportunity, to reach souls for the Savior. We must seize the day and accomplish what we can now while there is yet time.

But that time may not be long. The Rapture of the Church could take place at any time, and when it does, the Tribulation will break upon the world. Oh, what an awful time of trouble that will be!

There are those who have suggested that the teaching about a Tribulation period began in the New Testament. It is mentioned there both by Jesus Christ in Matthew and by John in the Book of the Revelation. Thoughtful students of the Bible will remember that in many places in the Old Testament as well, a future time of great trial and tribulation is foretold. In Jeremiah, it is called the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” In Daniel, it is called the “seventieth week of Daniel.”

The Seventieth Week of Daniel
The prophet Daniel was told about it by the angel Gabriel. In that prophecy, we are told of 69 weeks (of years) that would end with Messiah being cut off. History confirms that exactly 483 years (69 x 7) did indeed pass from the time of the beginning of the prophecy to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The precise timing of Daniel’s prophecy is yet another proof that Jesus was and is Israel’s Messiah.

Then there is a break in the timing of the seventy weeks. Daniel describes many events that were to take place during that parenthesis in the seventy weeks including the destruction of the Jewish temple by Rome, the wars that would mark civilization from then until now, the flood of change that would engulf the world, and the rise of Antichrist.

The seventieth week of Daniel begins with the Antichrist brokering a 7-year covenant, guaranteeing peace for Israel. In the middle of that final 7-year period, the Antichrist will commit the abomination of desolation by going into the temple of God and proclaiming himself to be god. All of this is found in chapter 9 of Daniel as well as chapter 2 of II Thessalonians.

Woven into the fabric of end-time events is the prophecy of an ill-fated invasion of the Middle East by a great nation to the north which most Bible scholars believe to be modern-day Russia. Details of that invasion are contained in Ezekiel 38-39.

So it is that we can find a clear, complete picture of the end-time scenario by looking at the whole counsel of the Word of God and realizing that the same events are described by many different prophets in many places—although perhaps under different names. One of the most provocative prophecies in the Word of God is that of the coming Tribulation.

Looking at the developments, we must remind ourselves that there are two major signs of the end times which are given to us in the book of Daniel. In Daniel 12:4, the Word says that “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Considering the heightened travel which now takes people to the ends of the earth, we can see a similarity to the prophetic prediction. The increase, however, of knowledge is one of the great indexes of our time. From the high-tech battlefield of the Middle East to the computer producers in Japan and the United States, the breadth of knowledge which our world has is expanding exponentially. Therefore, the prediction of Daniel is being fulfilled as never before.

This exponential rise of knowledge with a decrease of morality in our world represents a dangerous contradiction. It is like putting an AK-47 assault rifle into the hands of a child. Amazing technological capability in the absence of moral responsibility could bring to pass conflict that could burst out into more serious global wars than we have ever seen before. From whence, therefore, does moral change come? This comes from the preaching of the Word and in particular, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Is the Devil Working Overtime These Days?
Many suspect that indeed, his infernal majesty is putting in overtime in producing his program of deceit, tragedy and ruin in our time. The Scripture tells us that there will come a day in which Satan, knowing his time is short, goes forth with great wrath in the world (Rev. 12:12). He will desperately try to draw that last person down to the depths of despair and destruction as he steps up the promotion of evil in the world. Be sure that he is attacking Christians, the families of Christian workers, churches, Christian organizations, and other entities that are working for Christ. He is attempting to produce moral subversion, personal discouragement, problems that seem insurmountable and many other wicked devices.

Let us therefore heed the warning, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8). But following this, we are told, “Whom resist steadfast in the faith.” This then is a time for steadfastness, for intrepid activity, for courageous labor for Christ. In order to help, we encourage you to write for your copy of Satan—Your Deadly Adversary which will be of help. Consider also getting 25 copies of this booklet for distribution to others who may be the object of some special attention by our adversary in these days.

Satan carries on an activity more dangerous than witchcraft and more subversive than astrology. As terrifying as those practices may be, they will never compose his ultimate weapons. They are external. Witchcraft, for instance, is certainly dangerous, but it deceives only a few. Ouija boards, black magic, sorcery, and the like, lead to dreadful spiritual consequences, but their victims are limited.

The most potentially rewarding activities of Satan—his deadliest influences—are not overt and public. Rather, the covert, the hidden activities of the devil constitute his greatest accomplishment. With witchcraft, orgies, seances and demon possession, he has captured thousands. With false doctrines, he has subverted millions.

It is true that problems abound in our time. In the midst of this, however, remember the promise of Scripture, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (I John 5:4,5). This is the promise that the Christian, with the help of God, can be bigger than, stronger than, wiser than any opposition that the world may put up against him.

Spiritual accomplishment is certainly and sorely needed. The population of our world has passed the 6-billion mark and increases at a tremendous rate per hour. Therefore, if we simply “stand pat” we are slipping behind in the great task to which we are assigned in today's world. Having been saved by grace, the Scripture now says that “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). What the Lord calls “good works” are certainly “magnificent accomplishments” which are to be the goal of each one of us who has believed in Jesus Christ. Having been saved by grace, we are called to labor for the Savior and we are promised that glorious results are possible because of consecrated Christian activity.

I trust that that is the bright anticipation of each one of us. Let us together bear in mind that God has not put us in this world merely to live, to survive, to occupy space. No indeed, rather we are to produce a beautiful result in the reaching of people for Christ.

More people than ever are looking in our direction for biblical, moral, spiritual interpretations as to what is taking place in these times. This spells wonderful opportunity, but tremendous responsibility. With God’s help, we will reach out across today’s society to the best of our ability to touch the lives of many with the story of the Gospel.

Finally, we wish to say thanks to you most sincerely once again for your genuine love, your prayers, and your support of the ministry of Christian Destiny. This ministry has grown as a result of the spiritual concern and participation of many. We see before us an ever-widening set of opportunities (enough to stagger the imagination) and so a great challenge is before us.