You (returned exiles) have been expecting much and getting little;
and when you brought it home I (the Lord) would blow on it!
Because of what says the Lord of Hosts. Because of My House
(Temple) which lies in ruins, while you all hurry to your own houses.
Directly after the Babylonian 70 year exile, the Lord speaks through Haggai to the returned people regarding their tardiness on rebuilding the Temple which was destroyed before the exile. The link between doing what they (Judah) should do (rebuilding the Temple) and their own prosperity is here again made clear. The people expect much, but they don't fulfill their end of the obligation. When prosperity doesn't come they are bewildered. Zerubbabel and Joshua take heed and lead the people in the Temples eventual rebuilding. However, the resultant Second Temple and the marginal success of the people in general are great disappointments to many because of their higher expectations based on Isaiahs prophecies regarding a restored and glorified Israel. The age of these prophecies of Isaiah was misconstrued to be their own present time (around 500 B.C.), but theirs was not to be the messianic age described. This error of timing occurs again and again with regard to the difficult problem of placing a given prophecy within the proper age of its fulfillment. The prophets are many times given accurate information about the future but are not told specifically the time of its fulfillment. Every student of prophecy must humble himself before this question which so many have fallen victim toin the past. Lets then take a moment to examine some events that portend the near future ending of this age, the messianic age in my opinion.
Some Signs of the End of Our Age
If you will not be watchful to do all the words of this law (covenant
that are written in this book (Amplified Bible)
You shall be plucked from the land into which you go to possess (Canaan). (Amplified Bible)
And the Lord shall scatter you among all the peoples from one end
of the earth to the other (Amplified Bible)
You shall find no ease and there shall be no rest. (Amplified Bible)
And you shall become an amazement, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples. (Amplified Bible)
The writing of these words is dated by the reference to Canaan as "the land you go to possess." The land (Canaan) has no formal name yet, not having yet been entered and settled. This entrance to the Promised Land and the writing of this warning/prophecy probably occurred between 1400 1500 B.C.; and yet it describes precisely the Diaspora (dispersion), and persecution of the Jews that we now know took place over a thousand years later. The return of the Jewish peoples to their land is also prophesied far in advance.
For I (Lord) will take you from among the nations and gather you
out of all the countries and bring you into your own land
This single verse is probably the most important portent that our age is ending, the re-gathering of Jews into Canaan from all the countries of the world, the establishment of modern Israel in 1948. This sets the stage for all other subsequent events. Israel and the Middle East problem is a prophecy clock for the timing of subsequent prophesied events.
In that day (when I gather you) I shall cleanse you of all your iniquities
They will say this land has become like a Garden of Eden.
These lines definitely relate to the Messianic, End of The Age, and not the return from Babylonian captivity because; the people are brought from plural countries and nations and not just Babylon. References to the Messianic "cleansing of all iniquities" through forgiveness, and reference to the restoration of the Garden of Eden which ends The Adamic Age, just as it had begun so many years before, places the re-gathering and the messianic cleansing in the same timeframe. This re-gathering of Judah from "all the countries" into the land of Canaan officially began in 1948, when the international community recognized Israel as a nation. Today these re-gathered Jews are from more than 115 nations; speak 80 languages, and number over 3.5 million people. Recently, this process has greatly accelerated due to growing political and ethnic tensions in Russia and elsewhere in the world. After the re-gathering, they will undergo cleansing during the upcoming trial period.
For the Israelites will go a long time without king and without
officials, without sacrifice and without cult pillars, and without
ephod and teraphim.
Over 2500 years from the time the Northern Tribes depart until they return as Christians is indeed a "long time."
Israel shall sprout and blossom,
And the Face of the whole world,
Shall be covered with fruit.
This blossoming of the people Israel as well as the land Israel will take place as a result of the purifying process of the trial period to come, at which time
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy
all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a bowl of reeling for the peoples
all around. Judah shall be caught up in the siege upon Jerusalem,
when all the nations of the earth gather against her.
Israel and Arab Nations are on a collision course of war: Arab states are uniting and strengthening their ties to Russia and China. The UN is unanimously sympathetic to the Arab Nations, and last but not least, the United States and Britain have for the first time withheld their historic position of support for Israel. And so the biblical scorecard of Israel vs. the World is coming into view just as prophesied. And yet, people say that Barak will bring peace but the prophets say "peace, peace there shall be no peace." (Jeremiah 8:11) Who should we bet on? Barak or the prophets? Both Israel and the Arab states have proclaimed their absolute rights to Jerusalem and its Temple Mount. The Arab nations openly proclaim that Israel ultimately has no right to exist. Since, we have learned that "the Lord" is preparing to restore to Judah and Israel to what is rightfully theirs, through a covenant with God and Melchizedek 4000 years ago, we can well surmise who the winner of this battle for the land of Canaan shall be. For more evidence that the age is ending now, we turn to Daniel:
And thou, Daniel, close the words, and seal the book for the time
of the end; until many are taught, and knowledge is increased.
Daniel asks: when will the end be of the wonders which thou hast mentioned? And I (Daniel) heard the man clothed in linen, who
swear by Him that lives forever, that it should be for a time, times
and a half of time; when the dispersion (of Israel) is ended They shall know all these things. (My parenthesis)
We are certainly in the midst of a knowledge explosion as implied in Daniel 12:4, and I take "time, times, and a half of time" to be 2500 years. (One time equals 1000, two times equal 2000, and a half of time equal 500.) Some scholars date Daniel to about 500 BC and it is now, approximately 2500 hundred years since then, the date of the original prophecy. Please note that others have interpreted this differently. Also note that Daniel is told that the messianic events will occur "when the dispersion (of Israel) is ended." The dispersion ended when the nation of Israel was re-established in 1948. According to prophecy we are living in the messianic period. Referring to the End of the Age, Enoch says
I beheld another army of chariots, with men riding in them.
And they came upon the wind from the east,
From the west, and from the south.
The sound of the noise of their chariots was heard.
What else could chariots, riding upon the wind, with men and audible noise be, other than airplanes? These planes are probably coming to the Holy land for purposes of war, the messianic war where "all the nations" come against Israel. Notice that the planes come from every direction except the north, perhaps because Gog and the army from the north has that direction covered. Directly north of Israel, lies Moscow the capital of Russia and scriptural evidence can be marshaled in support of this Gog/Russia thesis. The presence of airplanes dates the time of Enochs prophecy to our present modern age.
Also drought, thirst, and failure of things to grow and yield are frequently referred to in the Messianic period. The drought developing in the Middle East and other parts of the world should get progressively worse if we are truly living in the Messianic time period. I would also expect unraveling in our political, financial and other institutions to greatly accelerate soon.
The Urantia Book, as do the prophets, places the heaviest burden of blame on the lawlessness, corruption, and deceit of the ruling class, who lead the masses astray.
The real undoing of Judah was effected by a corrupt and rich ring
of politicians operating under the rule of a boy-king, Manasseh the fall
of Assyria, and the ascending of Egypt, brought deliverance to Judah
for a time, and the country folk took over.
The attempt to suppress freedom of speech (by the power elite) led
Elijah, Amos, and Hosea to begin their secret writing, and this was
the real beginning of the Jewish and Christian Bibles. (My parenthesis)
Here is the day! See, the cycle has come round; it has appeared.
The rod has blossomed; arrogance has budded, lawlessness has
grown into a rod of wickedness.
Our country began in Godliness, but an evil crop has been sown and the harvest has blossomed into deceit and arrogance. Keep watch while this increasingly goes to seed. Our leaders are trampling our Constitution and the rights of our once proud citizens. There are many strange things going on in Washington that are completely unreported by the media establishment. We need to ask questions and dig under the surface a little to find the dark side of current national and world events. Political, economic, financial, social and environmental current events also betoken the ending of the age. Natural disasters, wars, famine, droughts, military events, and overpopulation are all becoming progressively worse. Will all of these mounting problems be solved by human beings before they reach a crisis? There really are no solid arguments or facts that support such an optimistic thesis? Are world leaders committed to creating a peaceful, free, and healthy world?
The Dead Sea Scrolls in speaking about the "last days" of the messianic period identify a figure they call "the Liar" who comes to power from among the gentiles of Ephraim, whom we have previously identified, generally as Christians and specifically as Americans:
(I) Be silent before the Lord and long for him, and be not heated
against the successful, the man who achieves his plans (Ps 37:7a)
Its interpretation concerns the Liar who has led astray many by his
lying words so that they chose frivolous things and heeded not the
interpreter of knowledge in order to (II) they shall perish by the
sword and famine and plague. (Teacher of Righteousness)
The interpreter of knowledge here is the messianic prophet who is also referred to as the interpreter of the law. The people seem to heed "the Liar" and not the interpreter of knowledge. This is a repeat of all the prophets experiences who have gone before nothing changes. Ends of ages have a leader, character type that personifies deceit, here referred to as "the Liar." Are there any such character-types in view? If so this would be another indicator of an ending age.
The wicked draw the sword and bend their bow to bring down the
poor and needy and to slay the upright of way. Their sword shall
enter their own heart and their bows shall be broken (Psalm 37:14-15).
Interpreted, this concerns the wicked of Ephraim and Manasseh, (the deceitful leaders) who shall seek to lay their hands on the Priest and the men of his Council at the time of trial which shall come upon them. But God will redeem them from out of their hands. (Teacher of Righteousness)
The Priest is another designation for the interpreter of the law, the messianic final prophet. The men of his council are the congregation of the elect. Here we establish that Ephraim and Manasseh, the nations of the Lost Ten Tribes, i.e. primarily America and Britain, are the likely nations of residence of the Liar, the Priest, and the men of his (the priests) counsel (the elect). Further:
Woe to the city of blood; it is full of lies and rapine (Psalm 3:1)
Interpreted, this is the city of Ephraim, those who seek smooth things in the last days, who walk in lies and falsehood. (Teacher of Righteousness)
Could this city of Ephraim in the last days be Washington D.C.? It certainly seems to fit. Who does this next line make you think of? Those who seek smooth things are those who try to cover up the differences between right and wrong through the clever use of words or images. Some attorneys, politicians, and other 'smooth takers' may come to mind.
Does anyone you know fit this picture?
There is a wicked man that hangeth down his head sadly; but
inwardly he is full of deceit.
The following is a definition of a psychopath from a medical journal:
Unable to experience empathy, sympathy.
Associated with pathologic lying, grandiosity, superficial charm,
manipulative, lack of guilt, proneness to boredom, lack of remorse.
Isnt our contemporary scene today the real indicator that these are the "last days" of an age? Now lets turn briefly to the New Testament for some more evidence:
II Timothy 3:1 Amplified Bible
But understand this, that in the last days will come perilous
times of great stress and trouble. For people will be lovers
of self and utterly self-centered, lovers of money, and aroused
by an inordinate desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and
contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive, disobedient to
parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.
Watch some of the daytime television shows of troubled parents and teens. One can hardly believe what transpires, in the real world and now! Is this paragraph above a good description of what many of us have become? Here is some more:
II Timothy 3:3 Amplified Bible
They will be without natural human affection, relentless
(admitting of no truce or appeasement); they will be slanderers,
(false accusers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct,
uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good
They will be lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements
II Timothy 3:5
For (although) they hold a form of piety, they are strangers
to the power of it (their conduct belies the genuineness of
their profession) (Parentheses are part of text)
II Timothy 3:9
But they will not get very far, for their rash folly will become
obvious to everybody
These descriptions would have sounded completely foreign just five to ten years ago. Now, they send a chill of recognition down our spine. The only line I would disagree with is the last; "the rash folly" of our leaders is unfortunately not obvious to a majority of people. The blind lead the blind, in lock step, over the cliff. Now lets turn to the Urantia Book for more evidence that our age is ending:
Another world war will teach the so-called sovereign nations to
form some sort of federation, thus creating the machinery for preventing
small wars, wars between the lesser nations but global wars will go
on until the government of mankind is created.
This statement was probably made in or shortly before 1934, the year that the Urantia Book was completed but not yet published. "Another world war" would logically seem to be WWII and the League of Nations and the United Nations is the "some sort of federation" that has evolved and will prevent small wars. Since we have no world government, further world wars will occur until a world government is established. Stated otherwise, there will be more global wars after WWII until the government of mankind is created. Nothing short of a global disaster could cause such a government to form at the present time, and the one that would form would be a global disaster itself.
The inherent weakness of secularism is that it discards ethics and
religion for politics and power.
Has this happened? If it is still true, then it follows that we are still in big trouble.
Secular social and political optimism is an illusion. Without God,
neither freedom and liberty, nor property and wealth will lead to
peace. You simply cannot establish the brotherhood of men without
the Fatherhood of God. A lasting social system without a morality
predicated on spiritual realities can no more be maintained than
could a solar system without gravity.
No matter how hard we hope that our secular systems will "evolve smoothly" into spiritual based systems, it doesnt change the evidence arrayed against that possibility. Smooth gradual physical evolution is punctuated by rapid, dramatic and unpredictable changes. Social, political, and spiritual evolution follows the same pattern of punctuated equilibrium. "When physical conditions are ripe, sudden mental evolutions may occur, when mind status is propitious, sudden spiritual transformations may occur " (UB 740).
Are the present wielders of political, financial and military power really going to accept and understand anything except complete defeat on their own terms? Continuing:
Urantia is now quivering on the brink of one of its most
amazing and enthralling epochs of social re-adjustment, moral
quickening and spiritual enlightenment.
The previous dispensation and age is ending and a new one is beginning now. The Urantia Book itself is a harbinger of the new dispensation, which will shortly follow the ending of the present age. The present age is ending now and its messianic ending is just before us. What holds up this messianic ending prophesied in scripture?
The spiritual renaissance must await the coming of these new
teachers of Jesus religion who will be exclusively devoted to the
spiritual regeneration of men.
The diagnosis of the problem is spiritual degeneracy and moral corruption. The treatment is spiritual regeneration. Therefore,
The great hope of Urantia lies in the possibility of a new
revelation of Jesus with a new and enlarged presentation of
his saving message which would spiritually unite his present
day professed followers.
Therefore, we need teachers and leaders who have an enlarged revelation of his (Jesus) saving message.
There must come a revival of the actual teachings of Jesus,
such a restatement that will undo the work of his early followers
who went about to create a system of belief regarding the fact
of Michaels (Christ) Sojourn on earth.
The "actual" teachings and "saving message" of Jesus is the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, which has never yet been preached or taught to the whole world, only tiny sections of it. This gospel is still yet to be taught and preached before the "fullness of the age is come to pass." God's servant and others will come forth 'to teach the true way.' (Isaiah 42:1)
However, you should understand that when this gospel of the
Kingdom shall have been proclaimed to the whole world for the
salvation of all peoples, and when the fullness of the age has come
to pass, the Father will send you another dispensational bestowal,
or else the Son of Man will return to adjudge the age.
The Urantia Book is this "restatement of the message of Jesus." The students and practitioners of the Urantia Book are the ones who are most able to understand, teach, and most importantly exhibit and live the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Urantia Book is an Epochal Revelation given early to teach and prepare a generation of believers who will be able to demonstrate, live, and teach this Kingdom of Heaven at the end of the age, when great trials come and people will become receptive to new and expanded truth. The Urantia Book itself is an indicator of the passing of one dispensational age and the beginning of another. Our generation is the generation that will elect and do the "whole law" i.e. the whole Will of God. In fact, the meaning, value and purpose of this ending age is the glorification of God through the lives of these individuals who elect His Will and the glorification of these same individuals by God who is their Father.
Also note that there is another "dispensational bestowal" at the end of this age. This bestowal is none other than Melchizedek himself who will once again "dwell among us" according to scripture.
1Enoch tells us further about Ages End:
From them I (Enoch) heard all things, and understand what I saw
(in a vision), that which will not take place in this generation, but in a
generation which is to succeed a distant period, on account of the
elect (those who elect Gods Will)
Another mystery I (Enoch) will point out. To the righteous and the
wise shall be given books of joy, of integrity, and of great wisdom.
To them shall books be given, in which they shall believe; and in
which they shall rejoice in those days, saith the Lord, they shall call
to the children of the earth, and make them listen to their wisdom.
Show them that you are their leaders
And so, God is preparing those who elect His Will to enter upon the stage of this Ending Age. Once again, as in Jesus time, He chooses to contrast His good against a background of evil. He prepares us with books, with life experiences, and with His love to stand the test of time.
We close this chapter with a series of poems. First, we have a vision of a person who is transformed by a special book.
Emily Dickinson Poem #1587
He ate and drank the precious Words
What book could Emily be referring to? She referred to the Bible as "an old fashioned Book" and this is not her meaning here. Emily sometimes knows things that should have been impossible for her to know. For instance:
Emily Dickinson Poem #1681
Speech is one symptom of Affection
And Silence one
The perfectest communication
Is heard of none
Exists and its indorsement
Is had within
Behold, said the Apostle,
Yet had not seen.
The "perfectest communication" heard in silence is the spirit within, the location of its "indorsement" or realization. The Apostle says "Behold" the kingdom of heaven is at hand, yet he who cries "behold" has not beheld or "seen" because he has not grasped the meaning or reality of "the kingdom of heaven within."
How could it be possible that Emily in 1860 knows about "the Apostles error" before it was first presented as a concept in the Urantia Book in 1955?
Ultimately, it is not a concept that the world awaits, but rather salvation. Who we are is far more important than what we know.
Emily Dickinson Poem #539
The Province of the Saved
Should be the Art To save
Through skill obtained in Themselves
The Science of the Grave
No man can understand
But He that hath endured
The Dissolution in Himself
That Man be qualified
To qualify Despair
To those who failing new
Mistake defeat for death each time
Till acclimated to
The "Science of the Grave" refers to the inner dying of oneself that gives birth to a new life. What saves man is Gods goodness and love, not His knowledge and power. Those who have had failure, despair, and then His salvation are most qualified:
Emily Dickinson Poem #767
To offer brave assistance
To lives that stand alone
When One has Failed to stop Them
Is Human but Divine
To lend an Ample Sinew
Unto a Nameless Man
Whose Homely Benediction
No other -- stopped to earn.