On one extreme, some believe both Israel and the church have different redemptive programs. That is, the NT church does not include OT believers. On the other, some believe the church has replaced Israel. Going by the whole counsel of the Word of God, both beliefs are found wanting.
I believe the confusion is due to lack of distinction between national Israel and true Israel. In Rom 11:1-5, Paul explained the distinction and called the true Israel as the remnant. Paul emphatically stated that God did not reject His people and he was definitely referring to national Israel for he said of himself having descended from Abraham from the tribe of Benjamin.
(Rom 11:1-5. I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”[a]? 4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.)
The vine tree was not replaced but only the non believing branches were removed and new branches grafted. Neither were there 2 trees growing together. On the day of Pentecost, the true Israel became the NT church and organic continuity continues till today.
Rom 11:11 clearly stated that national Israel has not fallen beyond recovery. (11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their FULL inclusion bring!)
Anticipating that the grafted branches (the church) will be arrogant and consider themselves superior to the broken branches (national Israel), Rom 11:17-21 warns against such arrogance.
The present hardening of national Israel is not permanent. It will be over when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. There will be a future restoration and they will become part of the true Israel.
(Rom 11:25-27. 25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.27 And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”)
In Rom 11:25-27, Paul was clearly talking about the future salvation of national Israel after the hardening is over. And our Lord Jesus will turn godlessness away from Jacob (Israel). For He will reign over the house of Jacob forever as stated in Luke 1:32-33.
The book, Angels, by David Pawson gave a quick gist of the knowledge of angels and demons existing today. Following is my summary of the main points from that book.
Scripture teaches that angels are a distinct different order of beings and are created by God too. They are not mediators between God and men, but they were frequently featured in Scripture carrying out the orders of God. They are spirits and do not have bodies of flesh but they have the power to appear as bodies. They are far superior than people in strength, intelligence and knowledge. They belong to heaven and not earth. They are probably numerous in the universe because in Scripture, they were mentioned as myriads upon myriads, ten thousand times ten thousand, and hosts. They do have titles, ranks, grades and names. There are archangels, cherubim, seraphim, principalities and powers.
When Jesus our Lord warned, “Beware of what you do with these little children. Their angels behold the face of my Father in heaven.”, he was saying that what we do is known to angels and will therefore be reported to God. They are around us when we worship. When one person believes in Christ, they know and all rejoice in heaven.
The Ministry Of The Angels
Protection. They protect against danger and terror. Eg. When the Syrians surrounded Elisha, there was another circle of God’s chariots. The angels touched the eyes of the Syrians and they could not see.
Provision. They can provide for us. Eg. Hagar and Elijah were fed when there was nothing to eat in the wilderness. After our Lord was tempted and was hungry, the angels ministered to Him.
Punishment. They can carry out the Lord’s judgments such as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Deliverance. Eg. Peter was delivered out of jail.
Guidance. Eg. Cornelius was told by an angel to send for Peter.
Comfort. When Paul was on his way to face Caesar on the long and dangerous sea voyage, an angel comforted him that he would get to see Caesar.
Bad Angels Or Demons
We learn from Scripture that both the angels and the fallen angels or demons are in the heavenly places and they all have free will too. We learn that one third of these angels set themselves up against God led by one anointed cherub nearest to the throne of God. Evil started with this rebellion. He has five titles namely Satan, Abaddon (Apollyon in Greek meaning destroyer), Beelzebub, Belial and Lucifer. He is described in terms of animals and likened to a serpent, dragon and a roaring lion. He is a slanderer, tempter, deceiver, accuser, tormentor, murderer and destroyer. Presently, he is ruling the world and that is the reason why the world is in such a fallen mess today. He is described also as the prince of the power of the air and god of this world. His kingdom in the world is a kingdom of disobedience, darkness and disease. He is constantly trying his best to destroy the kingdom of God. He will sow tares among the wheat in the Kingdom of God. He will masquerade as an angel of light and his minions can also masquerade as apostles of Christ and servants of righteousness in the kingdom of God to preach heresy. He will tempt us always with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life as he had done before with our first parents. We read of much demonic activity, especially of demon possession. Today, we tend to dismiss demon possession mentioned in the gospels as mental disease, epilepsy or insanity. But according to David Lawson, the symptoms are quite different :
Supernatural strength. A demon possessed person may take many men to hold him or her down.
Clairvoyance. Knowledge of other people that is quite impossible to know except by supernatural revelation.
An ability use voices that are quite different from the person’s own voice.
A profound antagonism to the name of Jesus.
A wild reaction to prayer such that the possessed person will go berserk when prayer is offered.
St Paul had ever been to the third heaven. (The third heaven refers to the place where God dwells.) He wrote in the third person in 2 Cor 12:2-4,“I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that NO ONE IS PERMITTED TO TELL.” While he was there in heaven, he saw and heard things which he could not describe and was forbidden to relate. Scripture made it clear in 2 Cor 12:4 that NO ONE IS PERMITTED TO TELL of such experience.
Only 6 persons in Scripture had visions of heaven but not near death experiences – Isaiah, Ezekiel, Micaiah, Paul, John and Stephen. And possibly three wrote about the glory of God and their own fear in the presence of God. And all those who were brought back to life by our Lord Jesus or Paul did not have their post mortem experience mentioned in Scripture.
Alex Malarkey was six years old when a car crash put him in a coma for two months, during which time he said he went to heaven and visited angels. The resulting memoir, co-authored with his father, was a best-seller. But five years after its publication in 2015, Alex says he made the whole thing up, NPR reports. “I did not die. I did not go to Heaven,” he wrote in an open letter to Christian books retailers. “I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention.” The story was believable because it was related by a 6 year old boy whom hardly anyone would suspect he could have the guile to invent such a story to get attention. If a young boy could do that, surely there would be many charlatans today doing so for money and fame whose heaven visitation stories could not be verified by anyone, except himself or herself.
While in prison in 1943, Dr Dietrich Bonhoeffer meditated on the question why the German people – in spite of their education, culture, and intellectual achievements – had fallen so far from reason and morality. he concluded the people had been afflicted with collective stupidity. He was not flippant when he used this term stupidity to describe actually a sociological problem rather than a psychological one, and a human defect rather than a intellectual one. The atrocities during World War 2 had shown him that perfectly intelligent people could be rendered stupid under the pressure of political power and propaganda. That is, they could be rendered incapable of critical reasoning.
He continued to expound that stupidity is even more dangerous than wickedness. Evil can be protested against, exposed and prevented by force. But against stupidity, there is no defense. Facts that contradict one’s prejudice simply don’t need to be believed, and when they are inescapable, they can simply be brushed aside as meaningless or isolated cases. The advice is not to convince the stupid with reason, it is pointless and dangerous. It is a fact that stupid people are stubborn and when one is dealing with them personally, it seems that catchphrases and slogans have taken possession of them like under a spell. That is blindness which Scripture often mentioned.
We can also see this blindness and stupidity in the religious sphere. Despite the clear error of false teaching such as false Christology and the shamanistic practices of the NAR movement, yet we see millions following them without any critical reasoning.
What was at the heart
of all the teachings of our Lord Jesus ?
The answer was clear in Luke 4:43 – the Kingdom of God.
(Luke 4:43 NIV. But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the
other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”
Mark 1:14-15 NKJV. Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to
Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is
fulfilled, and the kingdom
of God [g]is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”)
Most of our Lord’s parables
focused on the Kingdom of God. And even
after His resurrection and before His ascension to heaven, He spent some 40
days with the disciples preparing the disciples for their mission ahead by
teaching them on the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
(Acts 1:3. NASB. To these He also
presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs,
appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking
of things regarding the kingdom of God.)
We read in Acts of what Paul
did primarily in his missionary journeys when he went around preaching and
testifying about the kingdom of God.
(Acts 14:22. And after they
had preached the gospel to that city and had made a good number of
disciples, they returned to Lystra, to Iconium, and to Antioch,strengthening the souls of the
disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, “It is through many tribulations that we must enter the kingdom
Acts 19:8. And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three
months, having discussions and persuading them about the kingdom of God.
Acts 20:25. “And now behold, I know that
all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer
see my face…”
Acts 28:23. When they had set a day for Paul, people came to
him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by
solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them
concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from
morning until evening.
Acts 28:30-31. Now Paul stayed two full years in his own rented lodging and
welcomed all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and
teaching things about the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.)
It is with much sadness that
I realize many churches do not preach centrally about the kingdom of God
anymore but focus mainly on paradoxes of doctrines and differences in practices
on one extreme; and false teaching of life without tribulation as abundant life
in Christ on the other extreme. The
devil has been very successful in corrupting the plain truth of the kingdom of
God over the centuries.
What constitutes a kingdom
? A kingdom must have at least these 4
elements – a King, territory, laws and subjects.
The King of the Kingdom of
God is our Lord Jesus Christ. In Eph
1:10, we read that it is God’s plan in the fullness of the times to bring all
things together under the kingship of Christ.
The territory is still the same planet earth. It will be renewed again. Heaven will descend
on this new earth at the end of age.
God’s laws will be the basis
of the reign of this Kingdom and will be adhered perfectly in this Kingdom for
all subjects will be perfect as He is perfect when Christ returns. (Isaiah
2:2-4). False teachers have preached
about the abolition of God’s laws. They have completely ignored the clear
teaching in the Bible that God’s laws are good and perfect. We were created in the original image of God
and His laws were the blueprint of our godly character. But the fall of man caused us to lose most of
this image. The subjects of this new Kingdom of God will be those who place
their trust in the Lord Jesus and desire everything in this Kingdom. It is
inconceivable of those, who do not desire the laws in this kingdom, still
wishing to enter this kingdom.
In the Millennium, the saints will reign on the physical earth
with Christ our Lord.
(Rev 5:9-10. And they *sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the scroll and to break its seals; for You were slaughtered, and You purchased people for God with Your blood from every tribe, language, people, and nation.You have made them into a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign upon the earth.”)
The Jews at the time of Christ on earth were expecting a real kingdom of God ruled by the Messiah to be imminent. Because Jesus was near to Jerusalem, they asked Him whether the kingdom of God would come immediately. In Luke 19:11-27, we read that Jesus answered them with the parable of the ten minas. In verse 12, He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then to return…” The government of this kingdom of God will be on His shoulder and there is no end to the increase of His government and peace. Isaiah 9:6-7. During the Millennium, He will rule and judge righteously and there will be no conflict. Isaiah 11.
Let not the false apostles and prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation corrupt the saints with the idea that the Kingdom in its full form will appear before Christ even return. it is just a fallacy to establish their apparent authority over the church by insisting that the Kingdom is now happening and they are placed in charge. Luke 19:12 clearly debunks that.
(The early church leaders also taught of the coming physical kingdom of God. For further research, one can read up their writings on this subject.)
Our current mission is to go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey every commandment of Christ now so that they can fully appreciate and desire the Christ-like life in the Kingdom of Christ our King and Lord. Matt 28:19-20.
In Matt 6:33, we read that if we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, all things will be added to us, yet in Heb 11:35-40, we read that many heroes of faith did not receive what was promised though they were all commended for their faith. As the Scripture is definitely inerrant, the promise of all things will be realised in the coming Millennium Kingdom. The Old Testament saints were all waiting for the coming perfection together with all the New Testament saints. (Heb 11:40). CS Lewis put it this way : aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in, but if you aim at earth, you get neither.
In summary, the Good News is that the kingdom of God is at hand and we no longer need to be under the bondage of the kingdom of darkness. In a nutshell, it is accepting and putting Jesus as King and Lord in repentance and enter and live in His kingdom. His kingdom is here and yet not here. It is here in one sense that Jesus is reigning as King in the hearts of the truly repentant, and will be fully here when Jesus returns as King when He reigns physically from Jerusalem.
I watched as the
Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the
four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white
horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode
out as a conqueror bent on conquest. When the Lamb opened the second seal, I
heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then
another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take
peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given
a large sword. When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living
creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black
horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.Then I heard
what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two
poundsof wheat for a day’s wages, and six poundsof
barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” When
the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living
creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before
me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was
following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to
kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
In the last 3 years, we have witnessed a global pandemic, a war that could lead to a global war and global inflation. Many have speculated that probably the first 2 or 3 of the horsemen have already appeared.
The rider of the first white horse is given a crown. Could the crown refer to the covid-19 virus plague or pandemic for the appearance of the virus resembles a crown ? It has indeed affected all nations. (The interpretation of a plague is very plausible because the fourth horsemen seems to be given the power of each of the first three horsemen to kill by sword, famine and PLAGUE.) The rider of the second fiery red horse is given a sword to take peace from the earth and make people kill each other. Could it refer to the on-going Russia-Ukraine war ? The rider of the third black horse is holding a pair of scales. Two pounds of wheat cost a whole day’s wages and that sounds like runaway food inflation which we are witnessing right now for some countries like Lebanon, Laos and Sri Lanka. And more are facing bankruptcy. The World Bank has predicted a global famine disaster from 2023 and the Horn of Africa is already facing critical famine right now. The rider of the fourth pale horse is given power to kill by sword, famine and plague over a fourth of the earth. If the above interpretation of the first three seal judgments are plague, war and famine, it seems to me then that the last horsemen is given the power to escalate the first 3 seal judgments simultaneously. To be given the authority over a fourth of the earth to kill does not necessarily mean a fourth of the earth’s population will be killed. It is more likely that authority is given to kill over a TERRITORY covering a fourth of the earth. Scripture at times call extremely evil people as wild beasts and they join in the slaughter.
The pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war and inflation cum famine are still continuing right now. Will all these three seal judgments worsen suddenly and usher in the pale horse seal judgment ?
There is always this perennial argument whether believers are really saved initially but lose their salvation when they fall away later; or they are NOT really saved at all in the first place when they fall away and leave completely later. Let us take a look at the following two Scriptural passages closely.
Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name as they observed His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, because He knew all people, and because He did not need anyone to testify about mankind, for He Himself knew what was in mankind.
1 John 2:19
They went out from us, but they were NOT REALLY of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us, but they went out so that it would be EVIDENT that they all are not of us.
So then many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This
statement is very unpleasant;
who can listen to it?” But Jesus, aware that His disciples were complaining
about this, said to them, “Is this offensive to you? What then if you see the
Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life;
the flesh provides no benefit; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit,
and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew
from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was who would
betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have told you that no one can
come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His
disciples left, and would no longer walk with Him.
In John 2:23-25, Scripture said that many believed in His name but Jesus our Lord did not entrust Himself to them. In other words, He did not believe their faith. So did these people believe in His name initially ? Were their faith illegitimate from the start which was why Jesus our Lord said He could not trust their faith ? 1 John 2:19 also seemed to affirm that the faith of those who departed were illegitimate in the first place.
Later in John 6:64-65, Scripture said that Jesus our Lord knew from the BEGINNING who did not believe. In John 6:66, Scripture said clearly these believers, who were His DISCIPLES, left and no longer walked with Him. Were these believers DISCIPLES from the beginning but later fell away ?
Reading the passages of John 2:23-25 and John 6:60-66, one can interpret that the believers can lose their salvation when they fall away for Scripture mentioned that they believed in the name of Jesus and were disciples. Another can interpret otherwise that they were not believers in the first place because Jesus our Lord did not trust their faith and He knew from the beginning those who did not believe even though they followed Him for some time.
The parable of the sower gave 4 different heart responses to the gospel. Can the rocky ground and the ground with weeds be transformed to the good soil ? Or the condition of the heart already settles the receptivity to the gospel even though they may receive the gospel with joy initially. Luke 8:13.
I believe a better question to ask, which we can have a definite answer from Scripture, is to ask how we can know if we have eternal life in Christ. Scripture does give us an answer to examine our faith.
1 John 5:13
These things I have written to you who
believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have
Only with legitimate faith can one be born again with the new heart and new spirit. So can it be that some believers do not have the new heart and new spirit given by the Lord when they first believed apparently ? Perhaps these believers do not count their cost of discipleship or have the wrong repentance leading to faith in the first place which render their faith to be illegitimate all along. Zacchaeus decided there and then on the cost of following Jesus by taking appropriate action upon having the right repentance leading to faith; while the rich young ruler decided the cost was too high and walked away. Even if the young ruler decided to follow Jesus without the repentance shown by Zacchaeus, his faith would be illegitimate.
In the New Testament,
the Greek word for “peace” is eirene, and it means rest and tranquility. The advent of our Lord Jesus brought peace as
announced by the angels. Our Lord is called Prince of Peace. It is through His atoning work of
justification that we can have peace with God.
Peace is the fruit of the Spirit God and to set our minds on the Spirit
will bring us life and peace. Rom
8:16. And that peace of God will keep
our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7.
I have said these things
to you, that in me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation.
But take heart, I have overcome the world.
True peace can only be found in abiding in Christ.
But all this is only the first of the
birth pains, with more to come.“Then
you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the
world because you are my followers.And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.
Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow
After the birth pains have started with more to come, the
second sign of the end of age will start with persecution of the church. The birth pains and persecution will both
grow in intensity just like birth pains before the baby is born.
In Rev 2 and 3, only 2 churches – Smyrna and Philadelphia churches – remain faithful in the end times while the other 5 will likely compromise and apostatize to avoid the persecution by the state. These 5 churches, with the exception of Ephesus church, will be so deceived by the numerous false prophets in their midst. Though the Ephesus church tries to remain doctrinally correct and continue in good works, they have lost their first love – they will compromise on accepting homosexuality and other state mandates and sever their hand of fellowship with those who do not compromise. We are beginning to see such action now.
The Smyrna churches are outside the Babylonian or western capitalism states anyway in the Moslem and socialist states and are used to suffering. The Philadelphia churches are the smaller fellowship churches (without power and thus less conspicuous) that will come out of the compromised institutional churches in the Babylonian states probably due to betrayal and hatred for their fortitude on obeying God’s laws, or distress caused by rampant false teaching and blasphemous practices.
Though the Lord’s exhortation to come out of Babylon (with her luxurious living and very sinful excesses removing God’s universal laws on gender, marriage and sanctity of life) may cause the Smyrna and Philadelphia churches to suffer economically, but they will remain faithful and endure till the end. Their souls will be so tormented by the rampant sin they see around them and the terrible coldness of love of many.
We must not confuse private revelation with Scripture revelation. The former concerns only MORALLY NEUTRAL events in one’s life and does not involve authority for universal faith; while the latter concerns truth necessary for universal faith and all such truth revelation is complete in scripture. Nobody can say that he or she receives new truth revelation such as the radical grace teaching of the hyper grace false gospel.
How could I explain that an inner prompting telling me to stop suddenly in the middle of the road and I avoided collision; or to be told not to go into a particular city and avoided being persecuted when nothing was amiss all along ? How could I explain the odds of being shown the vision of 911 terror attack 3 days before which I shared with all colleagues, and it happened exactly what I saw, and the continual odds of the same message for 2008 and 2015 ? I encountered so many such testimonies and I comprehend the significance of all such odds cumulatively for I was trained as an engineer. Such revelation do not nullify, subtract or add to the immutable truth of scripture. Our daily relationship with our Lord should be dynamic. It is our moral decisions that should be directed by His commands in His Word which is immutable.
In Acts 11:27-30, the prophet Agabus shared of an impending global famine which later happened. And the church in Antioch brought relief to the church in Jerusalem through Paul and Barnabas. Such private revelation was God’s mercy for the church to tide over the impending famine at that time. Why did God choose to reveal such private revelation to Agabus only and not the elders and apostles in the Jerusalem ? It is God’s sovereign will to choose to whoever He would like to reveal such an impending event which was morally neutral. We should not box the Lord into what He could or could not do. Such private revelation would not undermine the authority of the Scripture, would it ? Such private revelation would not agree or disagree with Scripture because of the fact that the famine was a morally neutral event and not about Scripture truth.
The Scripture makes it clear that we should not despise such prophecy but to test it. One way as proposed by Dr John MacArthur is to use the law of probability to test. The slimmer the odds the better it is. If I am to predict an earthquake happening in Japan, the chance of getting it right is more than half ! Such a warning with such high probability serve no purpose for the church because such earthquakes are frequent and the Japanese people already know the drills. But if the probability of the prophecy is so terribly slim and its purpose is to warn the church to avert economic hardship such as famine, I see no reason why the Lord cannot warn His people to prepare.
JI Packer explained it well in his book, The JI Packer Classic Collections, ( https://www.jcmanifesto.org/?s=guidance+tested) and also John Stott did not discount such possibility calling such private revelation as prophecy in the lesser or secondary sense unlike the Scripture Revelation which is prophecy in the primary sense. Of course there can be abuse by false teachers to mesmerize their followers which is quite rampant today. So we need to pray for wisdom to test and discern such kind of prophecy in the lesser sense. Take the prediction of a global famine or a global economic collapse. If we prepare and it does not happen, we are none the poorer. But if we do not prepare and it does happen, how badly will we be affected ? Does the person making such prophecy in the lesser sense has an ulterior motive of gain or fame ? Is the prophecy very vague or very precise when tested by the law of probability ? Does such a prophecy, out of the grace and mercy of our Lord, help the church, universal or local, to prepare to avert such disaster ?