I. Opening Video.
A. Guard the Truth | Prophetic Perspectives 136. Christ In Prophecy. Jan 25, 2021.
B. As delusion abounds, how can Christians guard their hearts with the truth? Find out with guest Jeff Kinley and Tim Moore of the Lamb And Lion Ministries evangelism team as they provide their Prophetic Perspectives.
C. God’s judgments, and God’s plan for the rapture of the church, are based on God, and not on a disobedient world to which God will react. The plans of God are cemented in Scripture. The details of God’s plans are often not taught in congregations. Many sermons, teachings, and opinions are present throughout the world of the church of Christ that do not mesh with God’s Word. Consequently, there are many church members that are so ill-informed of the Biblical teachings of eschatology, that when unfulfilled prophecies may be taking place, such Christians will think that they are in the tribulation, or that the rapture of the church is taking place. Part of the reason for so much ignorance of end times teaching is found in scripture. Consider the following information.
1. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, the Apostle Paul writes about the rapture of the church happening “prior to the Tribulation.” Even though Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica was brief, it is clear the people had come to believe in and hope for the reality of their Savior’s return. The church at Thessalonica thought that the rapture of the church had taken place, and that they were in the tribulation. Their confusion came as they were being persecuted, an experience they thought they were to be delivered from by the Lord’s return (MacArthur Study Bible. The Moody Bible Commentary. Ryrie Study Bible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Things To Come, J. Dwight Pentecost, Zondervan, 1958, pg 209. Basic Theology, Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Press, 1986, pg 565.).
2. The above paragraphs point to the importance of not only having a teaching of eschatology, but also having such a study that is thorough and correct in its details.
3. Eschatology is the study of what the Bible says is going to happen in the end times. (From, “Got Questions,” https://www.gotquestions.org/Eschatology.html).
II. NOW And NEXT Prophecies Explained.
A. NOW Prophecies deal with the most relative information for this present age. This is because they describe events that will likely find fulfillment during this generation’s existence. All unfilled biblical prophecy is important to understand, but of most value to any given group, past, present or future, is the information that was specifically provided through the ancient Hebrew prophecies for that generation’s benefit. The NOW Prophecies are the unfulfilled ancient biblical predictions that appear to be imminent, which means they could happen NOW. These prophecies have either minor or no remaining preconditions inhibiting them from happening.
B. In this article we will consider the unfulfilled prophecy of Zephaniah 2:11. We will discuss Spiritual Showdowns that are happening NOW!
C. The fulfillment of the spiritual prophecy of Zephaniah 2:11 is taking place now. The unfulfilled physical prophecy may continue into the tribulation.
III. Preview of Zephaniah’s Prophecy.
A. Key Scripture of Prophecy. Zephaniah 2:11 – New American Standard Bible – 630 B.C.
“The Lord will be terrifying to them, for He will starve all the gods of the earth; and all the coastlands of the nations will bow down to Him, everyone from his own place.”
B. Preview of Key Scripture (Zephaniah 2:11). Consider the account of “The NOW Prophecies.” 1
1. Prophecies are being made ready for the fulfillment of God’s plans for judgment of prophesied nations. The God of the Bible is currently challenging all of His god competitors to prove their worthiness of worship. Like in “Isaiah 46:9-10,” God is forcing the false gods to prove that they are the one and only true God! God is not constrained to prove Himself before the god impostors; rather, He is compelled to prevent people from perishing in these last days. It is His love that always drives His actions. 2. Click onto the link to see Isaiah 46:9-10. 712 B.C. “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me”… (continued in link).
2. Consider (From New American Standard Bible).
a. 1 John 4:8: “The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (90 A.D.)
b. John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” (30 A.D.)
IV. Consider Zephaniah’s Prophecy. A Spiritual Perspective.
A. Spiritual Showdowns Were Predicted to Happen. 3
1. Zephaniah the prophet foretold of the coming of these spiritual showdowns, per Zephaniah 2:11, “The Lord will be terrifying to them, for He will starve all the gods of the earth; and all the coastlands of the nations will bow down to Him, everyone from his own place.”
2. Zephaniah 2:11 introduces two prophecies. First, it declares that someday, the God (capital G), of the Bible, will eliminate all of the false gods (small g), presently worshipped within the world. Second, the one true God will rightfully receive His due praise throughout the entire earth. This global adoration takes place when Christ returns and rules over the earth in His millennial reign after the tribulation (Matt 24:29-31, Mk 13:24-27, Lk 21:29-31, 33 A.D.), which means that the removal of the false gods must take place sometime prior.
3. The Hebrew word used for “reduce to nothing” can be translated as, “famished, starved, emaciated, or made lean.” There are two primary ways through which the Lord can accomplish this spectacular achievement. One method is that He can “overrun” the pagan deities, and the other is that He can “overshadow” them. He appears to be utilizing both techniques.
4. To “overrun” is to decisively defeat and occupy the territory of an enemy. In this process, the competing god is overpowered, overthrown, and proven unfit for further worship.
5. To “overshadow” is to tower tall above an object, which results in the casting of a shadow over it. In this example, it is the ability of the greater God to prove His prominence and superiority over the stature of the lesser god. To “overshadow” does not require the overrunning of an idol, rather, it is accomplished by making the false god fail in a final choice comparison. It causes the devotee to question the object of his or her devotion. It deflects adulation away from the lying idol by alluring admiration to the obvious greater God.
6. As the Lord steps up His current campaign to overpower and overshadow all the false gods, followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, and other mostly passive religions will have to deal with major theological differences between Christianity and their respective religions. One by one, the pagan deities will succumb to the supremacy of the Lord, and when He upholds His holy name through the nation of Israel in Ezekiel 39:7, everyone dwelling upon the earth at that time will be forced to focus on His sovereign power. See Ezekiel 39:7, NASB, as follow”
“And I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not allow My holy name to be profaned anymore. But the nations will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.”
7. This article will demonstrate that the spiritual showdowns are currently underway. However, it is the fulfillment of Zephaniah 2:11 that officially commences the final elimination process of all of the false gods. Thus, it is important to understand the context and timing of Zephaniah 2:8-11. This prophecy appears to connect with the toppling of Jordan for its participation in the Psalm 83 prophecy. The primary god worshipped in Jordan that stands to be adversely affected is Allah.
8. Among the surplus of pagan deities, Scripture points out that two of the most prominent ones will be overrun. They are Allah and Satan. Allah appears to be represented in Zephaniah 2:9-11. In these verses, Zephaniah is dealing with the famishing of the god of the Jordanians, which are historically Moab and Ammon. Today, the primary god that is worshipped by most Jordanians is Allah.
9. Revelation 12:7-9 states that Michael, the Archangel, and his heavenly armies will win a war against Satan and his fallen angels. This defeat casts Satan and his cohorts down from heaven to the earth. This is followed a few years later by the prophecy of Revelation 20:1-2, which states that an angel eventually overpowers Satan and binds him in chains for 1,000 years in the bottomless pit. These predictions concerning Satan find fulfillment during the LAST prophecies; they are neither NOW, nor NEXT, events.
10. Ultimately, Allah will be overrun, but presently this pagan god is being overshadowed. The Lord is accomplishing amazing things in several Muslim countries, causing many to willingly forfeit their faith in Islam. Allah’s appeal is fading fast. Neither can he control the growing chaos within his religion, nor can he match up with the supernatural miracles, healings, visions and dreams being outsourced from the Lord. Christ is standing tall and casting His shadow over Allah, who is steadily shrinking small. Disillusioned Muslins are abandoning Allah and coming to saving faith in Christ in record numbers. This is taking place in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian refugee camps, and other oppressed places throughout the Muslin world.
V. Consider Zephaniah’s Prophecy. A Physical Perspective.
A. God’s Word speaks of His love and protection of Israel. (New American Standard Bible)
1. Genesis 12:3. “And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
2. Deuteronomy 14:2. “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His personal possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
3. Zechariah 12:8. “For the Lord of armies says this: “After glory He has sent me against the nations that plunder you, for the one who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.”
B. God’s Word speaks of His reaching out to all of the people the world.
1. John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.”
2. 2 Peter 3:9. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.”
C. God’s Word speaks of His Judgment on those who seek to draw people away from Him (Yahweh), who is the true God, and lead them, or force them, to worshiping false gods.
1. Verse. Zephaniah 2:11. “The Lord will be terrifying to them, for He will starve all the gods of the earth; and all the coastlands of the nations will bow down to Him, everyone from his own place.”
2. Commentary. “The Lord destroys the gods by destroying the nations that depend on these gods; these deities have no real existence apart from the people who serve them (1 Co 8:4-6). By revealing the unreal nature of these gods, He brings the nations to acknowledge Him as the one true God.” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary – Abridged Edition: Old Testament)
D. Consider The Significance Of Yahweh. (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
1. Verse. Genesis 15:7. “He also said to him, “I am Yahweh who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”
2. Lexicon. 3068: the proper name of the God of Israel. https://biblehub.com/lexicon/genesis/15-7.htm
VI. Satanic Warfare Against Christians And Jews.
A. Spiritual warfare of Satan, through his allies, is present in the world, and relentless. Such attacks on God’s people comes through the unsaved people and agencies of all nations. Social media platforms, main stream media, government, academia, arts and entertainment, global and new world order types, and those described by the liberal main stream media as “the religious left,” are bold in their attacks on anyone who has says or writes anything that opposes same-sex marriage, abortion on demand, or the support of Israel. The United States has been blessed by God above all other nations, and has been used by God as a refuge for Jews and a protector of Israel. However, the same people and agencies (mentioned above) are actively trying to divide and break down America. Those, “whom have been born again and who know Christ as their Lord and Savior,” have the Presence of God’s Spirit dwelling within their spirit (John 14:16-26), prompting them to righteous living (John 16:7-11). Satan uses those, “who do not know Christ as Lord and Savior, who have not been born again, and do not have the indwelling Presence and influence of God’s Holy Spirit,” to further his un-Godly agenda of killing unborn babies, same-sex marriage, and attacking Israel (physically and verbally).
B. Scripture tells of the influence that Satan has over “Satan’s people.” Scripture also tells us how people can come out from under the power of Satan. Consider the following verses and comments from “God Questions.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible). Follow the conversation.
1. “The prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.” Eph 2:1-2. ” And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient.”
2. “Those whom have not trusted Christ as Lord and Savior.” 2 Cor 4:4. “In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
3. “The air in Eph 2:2 may refer to the invisible realm above the earth where Satan and his demons move and exist. Eph 6:12. “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”
4. “This evil realm, called the “air” could be an actual locality, but it could be an actual locality, and it could also be synonymous with the world.” John 12:31. “Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out.”
5. “Although Satan has power and authority in the current world system in which we exist, his power is limited, always under the sovereign control of God.” Job 1:12. “Very well,” the Lord told Satan, “everything he owns is in your power. However, you must not lay a hand on Job himself.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence.”
6. “Satan’s power and authority are temporary.” Rom 16:20. “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
7. “God has made it clear that there is only one way to escape the power of Satan’s dominion, and that is through Christ.” Acts 26:18. “to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that by faith in Me they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified.” (Context is verses 14-18, where Christ is speaking to Paul.)
In prior articles in this “Road To Tribulation” series, we have seen God’s prophetic judgments on nations and people groups who have been hostile toward Israel, and continue in such hostility towards God’s chosen people. The truth of the Ammonites and Moabites (Zephaniah 2:8-11) coming under God’s justice is no less valid. The justice of God will occur, based on God’s timetable, and not on anything that would make it appear that God is implementing a reactive act of justice. Please understand that God’s justice is “JUST,” and will take place.
VIII. Israel In The News.
IX. Article References.
A. The sources of information that are noted in this article are worthy of being in anyone’s reference library, and should be considered for purchase.
1. The NOW Prophecies, Bill Salus, 2016.
2. The NOW Prophecies, Bill Salus, pg 37.
3. The NOW Prophecies, Bill Salus, pg 38-41.
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