Thursday, May 25, 2017


Reviewing numbers was a key role during my secular employment. I discovered that I have an ability to spot patterns in numbers that other people often miss. Sometimes it would be a discrepancy. Other times, it would be a common pattern in data that seemed to be disconnected. This ability more than anything made me good at my work.

This ability translated over to my study of the scriptures. For the first twenty years after I chose to follow Jesus, I read the Old Testament through every year (two chapters and a Psalm a day gets it done). My mother had read from Egermeier's Bible Story Book when we were children, so I began with a good understanding of Biblical history. I read the New Testament as well.

During my reading, I discovered patterns that other people did not see. I saw important connections between the Old and the New Testaments. I began to understand that God was not working by trial and error, but had a plan to restore the world and his people, right from the moment when Adam and Eve messed things up by rejecting his wisdom. He is still working on that strategy.

Soon after I chose to follow Jesus, I read a book called The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsay. Everybody was into this book at that time. It explained that we were in the end-times and that world is stuffed. Jesus would return soon to rescue his people. This escape message was popular at that time (more time has proved it wrong).

I initially accepted the message of the book, but wanted to check it out against the scriptures. I was stunned when I did this, because when I examined them carefully, his teaching was just not there. He had wrenched a few verses out of their context, and turned them into a gloomy prophecy for the future, whereas the scriptures are full for hope.

I wanted and understanding of history and God’s plan from the future that was consistent with the broad and deep hope of the scriptures. So I studied the book of Revelation in detail and began looking for patterns. I searched out all the images in Revelation that described the same event and put them together to see how the account of God’s plan unfolded.

I also looked for patterns across the Old and New Testaments, and began to see how they all fitted together. I discovered that God has a plan and purpose for the earth that is far more wonderful than the doom and gloom of Hal Lindsay’s book.

I discovered that the next big event is not a secret rapture in which God takes all the believers out of the world, along with his Holy Spirit. (Why would he do that if he cared about his creation.)

I discovered that the God plans to establish the fullness of his Kingdom here on earth as the Holy Spirit works through his people.

I discovered that the next big events in human history are the Jewish people coming to faith in Jesus and the collapse of big government. These events will come during a time of distress. These events are pivotal, because they will remove the last obstacles to the Kingdom of God coming in fullness.

I preached a series of sermons that outlined what I had learned to the church at Waikaka Valley. Again, one of the elders suggested that I put it together in a book, so more people could learn what I had discovered. After a couple of false starts, I put this material together in a book called Times and Seasons. It explains God’s plans for history and how they will climax in the fullness of his Kingdom.

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