PATHWAYS TO THE FUTURE
Pathways…doesn’t that word bring to your mind an idyllic setting… perhaps a Kincade painting, complete with floral archways and old stepping stones?
Unfortunately, the “pathways” we are about to discuss are far from idyllic. They are the pathways we walk everyday… the ones we hear about on the nightly news… the pathways that lead to our future.
In recent days, our paths have become increasingly threatening and horrific.
- Death has visited our doorstep in the US, and we are now at war
- Our cities are continually threatened by the use of weapons of mass destruction
- To protect our lives from terrorists, we are sacrificing our privacy and freedom to bureaucrats
- National and world institutions and power structures are fundamentally changing
Turn on your TV and you will find our modern day prophets… the endless stream of “talking heads”. The security experts, the Middle East analysts, the theologist, the economists, the psychologists, the Islamic apologists, and all the other “-ologists” continuously bombard us with their understanding of our past and their “visions” of our future. While they have perfect 20/20 hind-site, they are rarely ever right about the future.
Are the Pathways to the Future so unknowable? We in the Judeo-Christian community know the answer, and the news is good! There is a sovereign God — He is the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel. The Creator of the heavens and the earth, having formed us in His image, will never abandoned us. He has not left us in the dark, He has given us the light of His Word, the Bible. In it, He has revealed our future — no experts, no guessing required!
BIBLE PROPHECY THE KEY TO PEACE
While most of us totally overlook bible prophecy, Our God considers it very important. God indicates the importance of prophecy by its sheer volume in His Word. More than 25% of total bible text is prophetic.
Jesus also believes that prophecy is important. When He met two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection, they where scolded for their ignorance of the prophetic Word:
“And He said to them, “O FOOLISH MEN AND SLOW OF HEART TO BELIEVE IN ALL THAT THE PROPHETS HAVE SPOKEN! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His Glory?” And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” Luke 24:25-27
He frequently counseled his disciples to “Watch, therefore!” — watch for the fulfillments of Biblical prophecy – which include the signs of His return.
If God has placed such importance on sharing His knowledge of the future with us, then it is equally important for us to work to understand His Word. And work it is! The study of prophecy has a high “sweat quotient” but the rewards are great — much like mining rich ores. You must search through a lot of rock to find and collect nuggets, then refine and mold them.
Not only is the study of prophecy hard work, it is also dangerous to spiritual apathy. When you study prophecy, you come away changed. How can you not be? You come face to face with your personal participation in the establishment of God’s Kingdom. After contemplating future catastrophic events, who would not be sobered? Studying the prophetic Word renews your commitment to live your life in a manner which pleases God and brings peace to your soul.
The study of prophecy builds faith. Witnessing the fulfilment of a prophecy in our time gives us the feeling of “experiencing” the Word of God. As that experience also validates our trust and understanding of the God who provided us with those prophetic words. As we trust and know our God better, our faith is up-built.
Where faith exists, fear cannot abide. Instead of proceeding down the world’s dark and threatening pathways with fear and uncertainty, our faith in God and the light He has provided us, gives us peace. As the prophet Daniel prayed:
“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. And it is He who changes times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men, and knowledge to men of understanding. IT IS HE WHO REVEALS THE PROFOUND AND HIDDEN THINGS; HE KNOWS WHAT IS IN THE DARKNESS AND THE LIGHT DWELLS WITH HIM.” Daniel 2:20-22
God has not promised us an easy path ahead. But with our sovereign God at our side, we can face the future with understanding, confidence and peace in our souls.
THE PATHWAYS TO THE FUTURE
In this book, we will be looking at events and biblical prophecies along seven major pathways that all lead up to the Kingdom of God.
THE PATHWAY OF GOVERNMENT
As we walk this path, we will see the development and dissolution of the nation-state system and how it is being replaced by a system of world government. Will this fundamental change in how men are governed lead to the world system prophesied by God’s prophets?
THE PATHWAY OF POWER
Along this path we will see how tribalism lead to the triumph and defeat of universal democracy in our day, and the rising trend toward monarchy. Will this movement leave the door ajar for the ‘Antichrist’ to enter and slip onto his universal throne?
THE EUROPEAN PATHWAY
We will see numerous tribal paths coalesce into the interstate called ‘Rome’. As we proceed, it will watch it break down into national paths only to once again coalesce into a super-highway called the EU. Is Europe positioning itself to conquer the world, not by force, but by financial guile?
THE RUSSIAN PATHWAY
During the 20th century, this path briefly branched off of the European pathway. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and a brief flirtation with democracy, Russia is about to remerge with Europe. But before it happens, does it have one major military venture in its future?
THE ARAB/MOSLEM PATHWAY
Like Europe, the path is a coalescing of many tribal paths. We will examine their beginnings and see what the Bible has to say about the destiny of the Arab/Moslem nations. Some will face judgement others rewards… which will be which, and have we begun to see God’s judgement being meted out?
THE ISRAELI PATHWAY
This path begins in Ur of the Chaldees with Abraham, and continues through the Messianic Kingdom. In our day, God is becoming increasingly active in the affairs of Israel. How is Israel being prepared to host the Messianic Kingdom?
THE PATHWAY OF JUDGEMENT
Since the Beginning, God has judged rebellion and sin. In some periods such as our own time, God’s judgement seems deferred, while at other times, it is has been swift and dramatic. There are judgements ahead on this Pathway that will make the Days of Noah pale by comparison. What are they and who will survive?
All of these Pathways are leading down to the Valley of Meggido – – Armageddon. As we proceed, we find that our footsteps only quicken. Jesus used the simile of “birth pangs” to describe the growing speed and intensity of end time events. Indeed, that is what we are experiencing today.
Along each of these Pathways we find “signposts” – – major prophetic events which have been, in many cases, extensively described by God’s prophets. In the next chapter, we will examine each of these major signposts in detail.