Published on January 18th, 2008 | by Brandon Vallorani0
The Mustard Seed Plot
Why does a Biblical worldview ministry that teaches people about America’s Christian heritage take on the controversial subject of Bible prophecy? What does Bible prophecy have to do with America’s history? The answer is quite simple. What people believe about the future impacts how they live today. As we go out and teach people about America’s Christian foundations and how to restore this nation, we find that Christians invariably ask, “why bother fixing America if the world is ending soon?” It’s a great question. Unfortunately, many Christians have bought in to the false teachings of modern-day prophecy “experts” and believe that we are teetering on the edge of history. If American Vision does not deal with this false teaching, it’s pointless for us to teach about America’s rich Christian heritage. We will not succeed at restoring America’s Biblical foundation if Christians retreat to the hills awaiting the end of the world.
American Vision’s view of the great tribulation, the last days, and the end of the age are controversial and often misunderstood. When some people first hear that the prophecies dealing with the “last days” were fulfilled in the first century–during the destruction of Jerusalem–they become angry. It’s as if American Vision has taken away their hope. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. American Vision is all about giving hope! As to the timing of the great tribulation, the last days, and the end of the age, we simply take the Bible at face value. Jesus explicitly states that these things will happen in the first century (Matt. 24:34). The opening words of the Book of Revelation state that the events in this book will happen shortly: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place.” (Rev. 1:1). If you haven’t already, I highly recommend that you read the following books by Gary DeMar to help you explore and understand this interpretation more clearly: Last Days Madness, Is Jesus Coming Soon?, and Myths, Lies, & Half Truths.
Another common misconception we must overcome is the idea that the bad things going on in the world today are part of an inevitable downward spiral. Frankly, people who have this misconception are woefully ignorant of history. Consider the dismal state of the Church on October 30, 1517. Yet, the very next day a monk by the name of Martin Luther nailed his famous “95 Theses” on the door of the Church at Wittenberg and forever changed the course of history. Just imagine where we would be if Luther had decided that the world was too far gone to try and change it. When you stand back and look at the events of the last 2,000 years, one thing becomes clear: There have always been sinful people and moral set backs, but the Church continues to grow and overcome them. Today, churches dot the landscape. There are people just like Martin Luther who are taking small steps that eventually add up to global impact. Isaiah 11:9 promises that someday, “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”
The bottom line is that the darkest part of human history is over. We now have the hope of a growing and expanding Kingdom already underway. In the book of Daniel, we are given a vivid picture of the timing, power, and scope of Christ’s Kingdom. Daniel 2 tells us about the dream King Nebuchadnezzar had of the great image made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay. Daniel interprets the image as representing four kingdoms that would rule on the earth: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Incidentally, this passage does not teach that there will be a second or “revived” Roman empire in the future.
The stone that crushes the image in verses 34-35 represents Christ’s Kingdom. In Daniel 2:44, Daniel states that in the days of the fourth kingdom (Rome), “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Hundreds of years after Daniel made this remarkable prophecy, John the Baptist arrives on the scene, during the Roman empire, and calls people to, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” Of course, Jesus also taught that His Kingdom was about to be inaugurated. In Matthew 4:17, Jesus also states, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
When Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father, he finally received the Kingdom promised to him (Heb. 1). Ever since that time, Jesus has been reigning over his Kingdom. First Corinthians 15:25 states, “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” Jesus, our victorious King, is in the process of conquering his enemies on the earth. Notice what Jesus says about the nature of his Kingdom in Matthew 13:31-33: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches. Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.” The prophet Isaiah states, “of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom…”(Isaiah 9:7).
Modern-day prophecy “experts”, who have existed in every generation and have always been wrong, unnecessarily complicate Bible prophecy. Instead of taking the words of Scripture at face-value, they use the newspaper to interpret God’s precious truth, create complicated charts, introduce gaps in the Bible, and dismiss Christ’s Kingdom. These “experts” are the ones who have taken away our hope and vision for the future. They have taken dark events of the first century and made them our future. They have exchanged Christ’s reign of victory for a parenthetical age of doom and gloom.
Perhaps now you know why Bible prophecy is such an important part of American Vision’s message. We have seen numerous lives changed as a result of people discovering that the world is not ending tomorrow and that Christ’s Kingdom will be victorious on the earth. The founders of America shared this vision as well. In the New England Confederation of 1643, the Pilgrims stated: “[W]e all came to these parts of America, with one and the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.” American Vision exists to see this vision realized.
Don’t give in to the doomsday predictions so prevalent today. Remember the parable of the mustard seed. The Kingdom is growing!