You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
13 From henceforth [loipon] expecting [ekdechomai] till [heos] his [autos] enemies [echthros] be made [tithemi] his [autos] footstool [hupopodion] [pous]. KJV-Interlinear
13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. NASB
Once Christ had been to the Cross, was buried, arose, ascended and was seated at the Fathers right hand, all that was needed for history to complete itself was then accomplished. Sin had been paid for. Satan had lost the angelic conflict. The only thing left to do was for Christ to return and seize hold of that which was rightfully His, and establish His Kingdom.
But ..... That did not happen. Obviously! We are here in history now, and we are some 1,976 years after the events of the Cross. So what gives?
Now this is a repeat, sort of, of what we studied several days ago. History did not come to an end because there was a dispensation inserted into history. It is our dispensation. We call it the Church Age. Or we call it the Age of the Royal Family sometimes. We have been in our dispensation ever since the Feast of Pentecost, which occurred fifty days after the Cross. The Cross occurred on the Feast of Passover.
By the way, those Levitical feasts were not set up arbitrarily in Old Testament times. They were put there for a reason. The next feast of history is the Rapture. That is represented by the Feast of Trumpets. By the way that was observed in October, back in Old Testament times. Remember that all of the Levitical activities are shadows of the real things which exist in heaven. Christ's birth was a associated with the Feast of Trumpets. Trumpets is an announcement or a call to assemble. In Christ's birth, that was an announcement. At the Rapture it will be a call to assembly.
Ok, I know we observe Christmas in December, but that was a date chosen by someone centuries ago and it was established at the winter solstice to celebrate the return of the sun. That is the time when the shortest day has occurred and the days begin to get longer. Basically the first day of winter. Anyway, no need to change your celebration of the birth of Christ over this issue. Christmas is Christmas and that is now an established tradition for December.
Anyway, we're a bit off subject.
Our dispensation was never revealed in the Old Testament scriptures. Note that all prophecies revealed in the Old Testament do not belong to our dispensation. We were secret - remember?
All prophecies of the Old Testament of which we have studied, belong to the Age of Israel. That is the dispensation which we interrupted. That dispensation was never completed. The Age of Israel has seven more years to go.
Those last seven years have another name, which we call the Tribulation. Those last seven years (the Tribulation) belong to the Age of Israel. All prophecies pertaining to the Second Advent, to the assembly of the nations into the respective powers to the north, south, east and west of Jerusalem, the anti-christ and so forth belong to the Age of Israel. Not to the Church Age.
So what of our age and what of all those prophecies of increased earthquakes, and knowledge, and rumors of wars and such? Well those are not prophecies, but trends. Within our dispensation, the trends of human history will result in increased activities of many kinds.
The earth is increasingly being populated. Note on our population chart. Ever since the 1800's the population of the world has taken off at an ever increasing rate. Ever since the industrial revolution, technology has taken off at staggering rates. Even the worlds weather cycles have been increasing in their intensity. The worlds political situation has powers established to the north, south, east, and west of Jerusalem. And obviously there is an ever increasing anti-Jewish attitude by way of the rapid growth of Islam which has spread from Morocco to Malaysia and is spreading throughout Europe and parts of Asia.
What does all of this tell us? Well, we know that the end is near. Certainly 1,976 years nearer than it was back in Christ's day, but we do not know the extent of our dispensation. We could be called by Christ at any moment, or our dispensation could have another hundred years remaining.
The certainty? Our dispensation will end one day, and then the Age of Israel will resume. When it resumes, then God will have assembled the nations into the format for which He has predetermined the last seven years of history.
Why does our verse say, 'until His enemies be made a footstool,' because it is Gods plan which is being carried out in history. Remember that the Father designed the divine plan. Jesus Christ executes that plan, and the Holy Spirit sustains and reveals it.
Throughout history Jesus Christ controls history. That is His execution of historical events. He executes history in three ways. First He can do things Himself. He created the universe. He creates life, and so forth. Second, He can control history through the laws of establishment through mans observance of law, of marriage, of family, of nationalism and so forth. Third, He can control history through His permissive will. That is to say, He allows mans free will to function as man makes his own decisions. Even if those decisions are bad ones.
This second and third method of control are the primary ones in view here. The nations are allowed to function as they wish. If people choose to reject God and embrace another religion, then God allows them to do just that. If nations or groups of peoples choose to pursue crime (terrorists for example) and others allow then to go their way, then God allows this to occur. If nations or groups choose to fight these criminal elements, then God allows this to occur as well. Our fight against terrorists is a good example of this.
You can look around and see lots of examples of historical activity wherein Gods will is carried out in one of these three ways. The birth of a child, law and order, politics, are but three broad examples of Christ's control of history.
Likewise, our dispensation has another aspect to it too, and that is of course the building up of Gods Royal Family, or the Bride of Christ as we are often called. There are a certain number of people who will be included in Gods Royal Family. What is that number? God alone knows. But suffice to say that all of these elements of history will come to fruition simultaneously.
The worlds population will increase, various activities will see increases, the Royal Family will be completed, the nations will be aligned into their power array. All of this is occurring right before our eyes and when all of these things are complete, then the Rapture will occur.
God the Father is arranging the enemies of God via the divine plan, into the pattern that God will allow and into which the nations (peoples of the world) basically choose for themselves. People cause their own problems, God does not force anyone into a situation of disaster.
Christ is waiting, as it were. He sits in heaven allowing history to run its course until such time that all of the ingredients of Gods plan come to their point of completion - for our dispensation. Then history will be shifted into another gear. Our dispensation will be completed (the Rapture) and the previous dispensation, the Age of Israel, will resume (it has seven years remaining) so that it can come to its completion (Second Advent).
What do we gain from all of this. Well, while we are advancing in our spiritual life, we can sit back and observe history as it unfolds before us.
We can see the powers of evil (terrorists, criminals, liberal politicians, those who generally reject the laws of establishment or Bible doctrine (liberals or conservatives), etc.) trying to steer the course of history to their advantage. Their desire is to control history and the reality of their effort is the destruction of humanity. You might want to review the chart on the winds of history.
We can see the powers of good (law abiding citizens, patriots, generally honest people, those who embrace the laws of establishment or Bible doctrine, etc.) trying to sustain some normalcy in the course of their lives and history.
And we can see the powers over which we have no control (life, death, weather, etc.) welding its will in history. God intervenes as He deems appropriate to preserve believers and to prevent the premature termination of humanity.
Regardless of what is going on all around us, we have our standing orders, and that is to study daily, be in fellowship, and pursue our spiritual life to maturity. God will take care of all the rest.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.