Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lesson 48.1: Signs - Part 2 of 3

Brief 4-to-5 Minute Teaching Lesson

Why? and What is the Purpose? in My Life SERIES

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The continuation of lesson 48 of the Discipleship Making process.

In summary of part one of this lesson, we learned that, Jesus, knowing that His return was yet distant, began placing another set of markers for His future disciples, which He called the beginning of birth pangs. These next set of markers directs His disciples’ attention to the things that will be happening to them prior to His return, including “The Abomination of Desolation”, which according to Jesus marked a series of apocalyptic events leading to His return (providing hope of His soon coming return), in addition too, tribulation, apostasy, false prophets and lawlessness.

It is here that we pick-up where we left off, Jesus laying out the final two future road markers, prior to His return, so His future disciples will understand the signs of the times.

Read: Matthew 24:27-30, Mark 13:24-26, Luke 21:25-28
According to Jesus these heavenly signs begin to occur after the great tribulation. They mark events that immediately precede the Day of the Lord (a 1000-year period of time that commences with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to rule and reign on the earth. At that time Jesus’ disciples will be gathered to Him (raptured) and the wrath of God will be poured out on the wicked.), are well documented in the Old Testament: Isaiah 13:9-13, Joel 2:30-31
The sign of the Son of Man is the final sign that the disciples of Jesus are looking for. We know they will be looking for this sign because Jesus had commanded them to straighten up (Luke 21:36 - be prepared) and lift up their heads (look into the sky) when the heavenly signs begin to appear.

Many people are confused as to what this sign is but from Scripture it is quite clear. The term “Son of Man” is derived from Daniel 7:13-14. It is a direct Hebraic reference to the Messiah and Jesus continually used it in referring to himself.

The sign that Jesus’ disciples are looking for are “the clouds of heaven” (This is the Sh’khinah or cloud of glory, the indication of the presence of God. It is the same cloud that led the Israelites in their wilderness wanderings, became a pillar of fire at night and filled the Temple of God (Exodus 13:13-14, Numbers 14:14, Nehemiah 9:19, 1 Kings 8:10-11, Ezekiel 10:3)). As Christians we should be aware of this because it was written in the book of Acts 1:9-11 concerning the ascension of Jesus into heaven.

Jesus said that at this time the earth would be darkened. So the appearance of this cloud cannot be mistaken for any other as it is filled with light. Jesus also said that His coming would appear as a lighting flash across the heavens. It’s going to be obvious!

In part 3 of this lesson, we will conclude the final sign that the disciples of Jesus are looking for, the sign of the Son of Man appearing in the sky, so His disciples will understand the signs of the times.

Until next time . . . Godspeed!

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