Events As Yet Unseen

“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household.” -Hebrews 11:7

One of the striking things about the Word of God is that it was penned by people who are given insight from God of “events as yet unseen”. From the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to the birth of Jesus Christ the fulfillment of biblical prophecy is perfect. That shouldn’t be a surprise as we’re told that all scripture is “God breathed”.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” -2nd Timothy 3:16

God certainly knows what’s He’s talking about. Therefore, commonsense should tell us that if God says something’s going to happen then it will certainly happen. You’ll notice, however, that it’s not commonsense that is pointed to in this scripture concerning Noah and the warning God gave him about a coming worldwide flood. It was not commonsense that caused Noah to actually get up and do something about what God had shown him. Rather, we’re told that it was “by faith” that Noah built the ark.

God had let Noah in on what was about to come upon the earth. It was big! So big, that if true, not only would Noah lose his life, but his family would also parish if he failed to take action.

 

God told Noah something so out of the realm of human possibility and conception that the only way to move ahead would have to be by faith!

 

This “faith” was not placed in the surety of the event actually taking place, but rather, in God Himself. Noah had faith in God. If God had said it, Noah could trust it.

So Noah, acting in faith, began to build.

What kind of faith is it that claims to believe, but fails to act? Noah’s real faith in God compelled him to build a physical ark. Noah’s faith was brought to life by his actions despite the fact that commonsense would suggest the whole thing was ridiculous, eccentric and a big waste of Noah’s time and effort. The onlooking world of Noah’s day, being devoid of Noah’s faith, could only look on and laugh. It didn’t make sense to them. And you know what? It probably didn’t make sense to Noah either, but Noah believed God.

There’s something else though about Noah’s response to God that we need to see…

When Noah put his heart and hand to the task of constructing the ark he did so in “in reverent fear”. This is not the “quaking fear” that one would expect at the thought of the whole world’s death-by-drowning (He and His family included). No, this is called “reverent fear”, and once again, it is placed not in the event coming to pass, but rather, in God Himself.

Noah fears THE LORD.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” -Proverbs 9:10

Noah’s healthy “fear of the LORD” is the foundation for a strong faith. He knows who God is, and that is enough. Noah needs nothing else to take action.

 

A reoccuring theme of Scripture is that God tells us things that our rational minds cannot grasp. We, like Noah, must use faith to move forward.

 

Yes, the pages of the bible are filled with variations on this theme. Take, for example, the birth of Jesus.

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” -Isaiah 7:14

A virgin? Yes, a virgin. God foretold the virgin birth through the prophet Isaiah. Crazy stuff! Too big to take in by commonsense! Imagine the man who’s with the woman this is going to happen to. That would be Joseph. Joseph is not going to be able reason his way through this. It will require faith. Consider what happens as this prophectic event event unfolds in the timeline of human history:

  1. Mary is pledged in marriage to Joseph. Before they “come together” she gets pregnant.
  2. Joseph’s not happy about it, but becaue he’s a decent guy he decides to “divorce her quietly” and not make a scene about it.
  3. An angel of the LORD appears to Joseph in a dream telling him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife because her baby is “from the Holy Spirit”. (Matthew 1:20)

Okay, this is insane! This is way beyond reason! You couldn’t blame Joseph if he woke up the next morning thinking, “I must have had too many Matzah balls for supper! What kind of crazy dream was that???

Joseph, however, defied commonsense and all his natural inclinations to rationalize things away and “did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.” (Matthew 1:24)

 

Faith and Biblical Prophecy

 

There’s a remarkable verse in Hebrews that is almost always quoted when talking about faith.

“Faith, therefore, is the substance of things waited for, the evidence of things not seen.” -Hebrews 11:1

Faith, in this verse, is talked about as having “substance”. It’s not just an idea in our head, or a wish, a hope or a dream. Faith is also not about imagination. Faith is NOT the ability to imagine something that is “unseen”. In fact, we’re told faith is “the evidence” of things not seen. Other translations refer to faith as “the proof of things unseen”.

By faith, we are able to apprehend the very real existence of that which would otherwise be hidden.

Now, let’s apply this to “end times” bible prophecy.

The whole world, for example, has heard about “The Mark of The Beast”. Pretty much everyone knows what you’re talking about when you mention the number “666”. Metal bands put it on their TV shirts while others ask to have it removed if it shows up on their license plate. Almost everyone has heard about these bible verses, but they are far removed from reality.

It’s not hard to imagine what the people of Noah’s day thought about him and his ark. The bible tells us they scoffed at him. Noah was a joke. Maybe some, having a more philosophical or spiritual bent, pondered what he was doing and talked about it with like minded friends. One thing we do know- Noah wasn’t taken very seriously.

The Book of Revelation is like that today.

We use it to inspire movies, video games, and cosplay. Everything and everyone can be labled with “the beast” moniker. I’ve lost count of the number of past presidents of the United States who people were certain about being the actual “anti-Christ”, “the beast” or whatever. The Beast and 666 are always good for tattoos too. The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse get their share of artistic renderings for book covers and find their way into some movie scripts but “666” is by far the big one from Revelation. Depending on currents events there are those who like to speculate about the prophetic “Bear” being Russia. The battle of Armageddon is, of course, a perennial favorite, a big one, mostly because of it’s entertainment value. And who can help but wonder if the 200 million man army mentioned in Revelation 9:16 is China’s military? All of this also finds it’s way into YouTube videos, AM radio and personal blogs of people into UFO’s, aliens, and other assorted subjects not at all connected with each other, but lumped together with Bigfoot, crop circles and dead cows in farmer’s fields.

That’s pretty much where the world’s at when it comes to “The Book of Revelation”.

I hate to break it to you, but the Book of Revelation wasn’t written to entertain us!

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if my song “Follow the Algorithm” is taken in the same spirit. We can sort of see how the world is going in a tyrannical direction with it’s ever-present surveillance and governmental control. It kind of bothers some of us, but not enough to be truly concerned. Facebook annoys us with it’s algorithmic targeting and it’s kind of freaky how many databases hold our private information, but what can you do, right? Warning signs and red flags are popping up all around us but connecting some of this activity to actual biblical end times events, well, that seems a bit reactionary and paranoid, doesn’t it?

It’s hard not to write a song like mine off as the work of some tin foil hat wearing, crazy conspiracy theorist, songwriting technophobe.

This stuff is too big to actually imagine happening in our lifetime, right? And who knows, maybe I’ve got some of it wrong in my song. Maybe algorithms and AI won’t be used to push us closer to the Mark of the Beast, but here’s one thing you can bank on…

The Book of Revelation will happen in someone’s lifetime and it will not be fictional or entertaining in the least.

The whole “not being able to buy or sell without receiving the “The Mark”- That’s going to happen as sure as the flood came to pass in Noah’s day.

Meanwhile, we’ll keep watching movies like Minority Report and TV series about the “surveillance state” entertaining ourselves with Hollywood scripts instead of facing reality. No matter how many news reports we come across about the loss of freedoms, shrinking privacy, the loss of free speech, propaganda in the press and a thousand other concerns we’re unfazed. We’re entertained and unconcerned by the apocalyptic because we don’t have the spiritual eyes to see where the world is heading and what the terrible outcome will be.

 

Future Events as yet unseen

 

The Book of Revelation is one of those things that’s too big to take in by mere commonsense. Without faith it cannot be truly understood or believed; without faith it remains “as yet unseen”.

Without faith “The Book” remains hidden and merely an amusement for entertainment value.

Before I close, I need to mention one more thing about this amazing book we call ” The Revelation”. The very first sentence lays the groundwork for everything that follows in the book.

“The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John…” -Revelation1:1

This is BIG STUFF.

  1. It comes from Jesus Christ Himself.
  2. It was written “to show his servants what must soon take place”.

The things recorded in this book will happen.¬† It’s not a guess- This is God telling us exactly what will happen.

The things written in the Book of Revelation are so serious that they come with a warning:

“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” -Revelation 22:18-19

May we have eyes to see and ears to hear!