Nations in Prophecy--Part 2
Feb 15, 2012
When European explorers expanded their nations' horizons, it caused the leaders to think first in terms of finding gold to enrich their governments and other investors. This is most evident in the Spanish conquistadores in Mexico, Peru, and Central America. I recall one story where the Spanish had captured an Incan king and demanded a room be filled with gold to give for his ransom. When the ransom demand was met, the king was killed, and the gold taken to Spain.
Other colonies were established in Africa, mostly to facilitate the slave trade. Still others went to the Far East, primarily in search of spices. There they heard rumors of hidden gold that was owned by long lines of kings. They saw the gold mines and knew it was true. They discovered that the Templar knights had already been there in the 12th century and had added to the wealth from their discovery of Solomon's treasure under the temple mount.
Another colony, Hong Kong, was set up by the British after the first Opium War (1839-1842). It was established primarily to import opium into China, not only to make money through "trade," but also to bring Chinese officials under their control through drug addiction. When the Chinese government tried to put a stop to this corruption, the superior British armaments easily defeated the more primitive Chinese forces. In the concessions that followed, Hong Kong was made a British colony, and it was set up as a major opium center.
These few examples show that the glory of Colonialism did indeed enrich European governments, merchants, and bankers, but the Kingdom of God was not established. There were, however, a few among them who were part of the remnant of grace. In spite of the situation, they devoted their lives to tell others of Jesus.
The selfish and often sinful national policies of their own governments opened the way for them to come in the first place, but also made it difficult for the local people to distinguish between saints and sinners. Hence, many of these missionaries lost their lives, not only because of religious opposition, but also because they were associated with peers who were less saintly.
I recall being in the Philippines in 1962 when the first boat load of Peace Corps volunteers arrived in Zamboanga City, where I was attending the mission school. The Peace Corps did much good around the world, but there were unintended consequences. Zamboanga had a large Muslim population that was very pro-American, an outcome of World War 2. As children we could go anywhere throughout the city with no safety concerns. But not long after the Peace Corps arrived, everything changed.
I recall seeing many of the young Peace Corps girls going to the beaches and even walking through the city in their new bikinis. This was a huge shock to the entire culture. Whereas most of the people had never met an American other than a missionary, now they saw America as an exporter of immorality. The reaction was inevitable, not by the Roman Catholic population, but by the Muslims. Their impression of Americans had completely changed, not because of the governmental policy, but because of the individuals themselves who were totally insensitive to the morals and modesty of the local population.
In this current age, God has been choosing a remnant of grace. From the time of Moses to Christ, He chose them primarily from among the Israelites, the "church in the wilderness." After Christ, He chose them from among the Christians, because it required the experience of both Passover and Pentecost to qualify them as part of that remnant.
God has been in no hurry with His long-term plan. Men have misunderstood the plan, thinking that all Christians are overcomers, or that the plan did not include all those who had lived and died for thousands of years without ever hearing of Christ. Neither proposition is true. God has in mind a future Age wherein all from past generations will be raised from the dead and taught the ways of God. He will use all believers, of course, but the remnant of grace, taken from all previous ages, will be given authority to rule the nations from whence they sprang.
At the present time, God is taking a remnant "from every tribe and tongue and people and nation" (Rev. 5:9), who will be the "priests to our God, and they will reign upon the earth" (Rev. 5:10). This Kingdom pattern was seen when the Babylonian government of King Nebuchadnezzar attempted to do it by the power of the carnal mind. He trained men like Daniel and his three friends into his government to rule the captives of Judah. We may view this as a counterfeit of the divine plan, but every counterfeit by definition attempts to imitate something else that is real.
Daniel and his friends represent the remnant of grace, the overcomers of their day. We look to them to know how to conduct ourselves in Mystery Babylon while in captivity. They also reveal the divine plan for The Age to come, for God is training a few from every nation to be His representatives of the Kingdom.
In my view, God has used even crass Colonialism to open the doors of nations to the gospel of the Kingdom in order to ensure that there are indeed some from every nation who are qualified to be part of that remnant of grace. Out of all the carnality, the slave traffic, the drug running, the theft of gold, land, and other natural resources, God has brought forth a remnant in preparation for The Age to come.
This portion of the divine plan has largely been packed into just a few centuries, for the gospel was territorially limited for the first 1500 years. Yet I believe we are nearing the time of the first resurrection, which involves this remnant of grace only. We have seen the end of the Age of Pentecost and the introduction to the Age of Tabernacles. The winds of change are swirling all around us. God is raising up the few to minister to the many in a new way. Theirs is a message that goes beyond simple justification by faith (Passover) and the baptism of the Spirit (Pentecost). It is the message of the fulness of the Spirit (Tabernacles), which alone can truly establish the Kingdom in the manner that God has determined from the beginning.
The immediate Age to come is, I believe, a Sabbath Millennium, a time of earthly rest, when God removes the oppressors of the beast kingdoms that were ordained in the days of Daniel. The extensions of that fourth kingdom are nearing an end, both the religious beast from the sea as well as the banking beast from the earth (Rev. 13). The overcoming remnant of grace will be awakened, changed into His full likeness and image, and given the spiritual authority needed to "rule" the nations.
The coming Age is beginning with the great Stone crushing the Babylonian system of beast nations (Dan. 2:35). Some argue that the Stone was Christ Himself, and that this crushing process began at the Cross. While that is certainly true, it is also true that the Pentecostal Kingdom was a manifestation of King Saul, not of David. Saul was unable to overcome the Philistines by the anointing of Pentecost. In fact, he was finally overcome by the Philistines. So also the church under Pentecost succumbed to the carnal mind and became one with them.
It remains, then, for the remnant of grace to do that which the church was called to do, but failed to complete under Saul. David must succeed where Saul had failed. With the arrival of the remnant company ("David"), we will see a great leap forward. Whole nations will catch the vision of the Kingdom and will see that the laws of God are the only source of true justice and peace. The remnant of grace will be on hand to interpret those laws according to the mind of Christ.
This is the second part of a series titled "Nations in Prophecy." To view all parts, click the link below.