Hope for the world
Oct 06, 2018
Having sent out the October bulletin a few days ago, I finished up the study on Amos. It only took 15 months!
Now I have to go through it again carefully and format it into book form. Then I will be done with most of the past projects that I needed to finish before turning my attention to the school and the videos.
As most of you know, my commentary on First John is also now complete and printed. We are now sending out that book to those who order it. I had wanted to have it available by the end of September, but it took a few extra days to finish.
When Amos is published, I will have 85 books in print, with another 9 pocket size booklets, making a total of 94 books currently in print. The small tracts don’t count, although they are perhaps more important than the books to those who are new, since these can provide an introduction to the larger studies that many people are more likely to read.
I have not forgotten about other projects which got buried in past years. I hope to finish The Exodus Book of Psalms at some point, along with a sister book on The Biblical Meaning of Numbers from 41-71. These book projects were abandoned some years ago because of more urgent projects that needed to be done. These also will take time to research, since (to my knowledge) no one has ever done studies like this on the Psalms or on these numbers.
At some point I also want to continue The Anava Chronicles. So far, I finished writing the story of Israel’s 40-year captivity to the Philistines, ending with the death of Eli, but it would be nice to get into the story of King Saul and then David and Solomon. Such a series might never end, of course, because I would also like to write a historical novel about the birth of Christ and His life prior to His ministry.
So I am not out of ideas for more books to write. I just have to prioritize my time. The older I get, the more valuable Time is. I hope to get an unlimited extension of Time with the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles, of course; but even then I must think in terms of doing what is most important to prepare the hearts of the people for the fulfillment of Tabernacles.
I had a long talk yesterday afternoon with a young man who lives nearby, one who has a serious calling on his life. His life has been falling apart in recent years, as we often see with those whom God has called. It seems that we must learn the meaning of death before we can understand the meaning of life. God disciplines His sons, we read in Hebrews 12:5-7, and until we gain some maturity, it is easy to conclude that God does not treat His children very well or that He has cast us out in His anger.
The worst pain, I think, is when those that you have respected and loved tell you that God is finished with you, that there is now no hope for you, that your life is ruined forever. When such words of condemnation are spoken at the very time that you are most destabilized—when you are questioning yourself the most—those are the times when you learn what it means to die a painful death and to be buried under six feet of despair.
Nonetheless, we can find hope in Hebrews 12:11-13,
11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness. 12 Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
Looking back at that 12-year “moment,” I would not trade it for the world, for when God reassembled my body parts and healed my joints, I was able to bear some fruit that God can eat. Having been through it myself, I can give hope to others who are still in training. Though tears dominate the early moments, praise and joy pour forth in the latter days, interrupted only by those times when we “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).
So I hope that I was able to strengthen the hands and knees of the young man in question. It is good to know that the path through the valley of the shadow of death does not go on forever. Hope can be a real life saver. How well I remember the days of my own discipline and training for 12 years. Hopefully, his time will be shorter than mine, but such decisions are above my pay grade.
In the big picture, the world itself has been subjected to a long and brutal captivity, having been cast into the den of lions and wild beasts. All of this has happened because those called to receive the dominion mandate failed to bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom. The severity of divine judgment and discipline astounds me when I study history. Many righteous people were caught up in the Babylonian meat grinder. It was usually easier to go along with the ways of the world than to be a light in darkness contradicting the rampant lawless beliefs that dominated the beast empires.
Though many died in pain, they lived in hope, for they believed the promise of God and knew that they would be raised from the dead to see that day.
We today are privileged to be living in the time of the end, when our captivity is being overturned. The light is beginning to shine. God has trained a people for Himself who can bear the peaceable fruit of righteousness for the Age to come. The world cannot see peace without them, and yet the world is still too blind to understand that the very people they persecute are those who alone can point to “the desire of all nations” (Haggai 2:7 KJV).
But a new day is here. The night has ended, the sun is dawning. At the moment, those overcomers who are alive today are the ones called to carry the torch across the finish line. They will soon be joined by those who were trained in past generations, those who have qualified for the first resurrection. As a completed body, they will rule with the dominion mandate in the Age of Tabernacles that lies just ahead, and the rest will learn the ways of God (Isaiah 2:3) and come to know that He truly is the God of Love.
Then the earth will bring forth its fruit, as God intended from the beginning.