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Shepherd’s Fire Men’s Bible Study
As we witness the moral free fall in our country, compromise in evangelical institutions, and also experience mounting persecution in our culture, we are forced to acknowledge the increased activity of Satan in his world system. If you’re like me, you find yourself longing all the more for Christ’s return and the final fulfillment of His kingdom promise when, as Isaiah stated, “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore” (9:7). After all, didn’t our Lord command us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33)? Indeed, the very first petition in our Lord’s model for prayer is, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Luke 11:2).
While it’s true that in a very real sense “the kingdom of God has [already] come near to you” (Luke 10:9; cf. 17:21; Mark 4:11) and spiritually speaking it is the current possession of all genuine believers (Matt. 5:3; Mark 10:14), the greater fulfillment is yet future. In fact, the central and unifying theme of the Bible is the establishment of an earthly kingdom ruled by the Messiah, Lord Savior. This will be the climactic fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption, the consummating bridge between human history and the eternal state.
My heart longs to see King Jesus seated upon His throne. I long to see the salvation of Israel and of Gentile people from every “tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). I long to reign with Him (1 Cor. 6:2; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 20:4) on a renovated earth no longer affected by the curse (Is. 11:6-10; 35:1-10; Acts 3:21). But before this happens, the world will continue to descend into the darkness of unprecedented evil. Even today we see the world being prepared for the rule of the Antichrist and the pre-kingdom judgments; the constellation of prophetic signs revealed in Scripture tell us that the storm clouds of the Day of the Lord are gathering right before our eyes.
With these realities burdening my heart, I believe the Spirit of God would have me address these matters in our men’s Bible study this fall. Beginning with an overview of Daniel’s kingdoms, the focus of our study this fall will be on “the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world” (1 John 4:3)—a spirit that will ultimately culminate in a Satanically-controlled person the apostle Paul described as, “the man of lawlessness . . . the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God” (2 Thess. 2:3-4).
My goal is not to simply exegete Scripture for the purpose of theological (especially eschatological) knowledge, but to fan the embers of our heart into a roaring inferno of passion for the glory and greatness of God that is manifested in how we live.
~ Dave Harrell