Thursday, May 17, 2018

"Violence and Israel: Is Prophecy Speeding Up?"

"Did you know God is everywhere--even in the news? That's why we view every news story through the lens of faith," says the CBN News motto.

This week, more than most, that motto was spot on.

The prophet Zechariah tells us that in the Last Days the attention of the world would be zeroed in on the city of Jerusalem.

"As the world watched, the United States officially moved its embassy to Jerusalem Monday and many believe the event was the fulfillment of Bible prophecy," writes Talia Wise, of CBN News.com. "But according to Bible scholars that is not the only world event that points to the end times and Jesus' Second Coming."

Very true--prophetic events world-wide have increased dramatically--but Israel is still the key. Students of Bible prophecy agree that the Jews back in the Land is the most significant prophecy in modern times. Why? Because the fulfillment of so many other prophecies hinge on it.

For instance, the war of Ezekiel 38, scheduled to be fulfilled in "the time of the end" or "the latter days" can't happen  if Israel doesn't exist. (Ezekiel 38, 39).

Psalm 83 predicts Israel's closest neighbors will call for a confederacy to join forces to "wipe Israel off the map." Israel was reborn on May 14, 1948. On May 15, 1948, armies from the surrounding countries invaded with the declared purpose of "extermination". Israel won. Two more wars followed. Same players, same purpose, same outcome.

Despite its tiny size, Israel miraculously prevailed even though they were outnumbered 100 to 1.

The Bible predicts Israel will always prevail.
"I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them, says the LORD your God" (Amos 9:15).
"Hear the word of the LORD, O nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands; He who scattered Israel will gather them and will watch over His flock like a shepherd," (Jeremiah 31:10).
And now Turkey's Erdogan is calling for an "Army of Islam" to attack Israel on all sides.

Good idea? (hint: we wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole.)

A wise man once said: "If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel." -- Benjamin Netanyahu

find out "How To Go To Heaven"

To find out what really happened on the Gaza border, click here

News:

  • MAARIV online: Hamas confirms 53 Hamas terrorists members among the 63 killed in Monday's Gaza protests
  • The Jerusalem Post: IDF strikes Hamas position in Gaza in response to fire on Israeli forces.
  • The Bottom Line Radio Show: UN General Assembly drafts resolution condemning Israel for border violence; U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley vetoes.



Thursday, May 10, 2018

"Israel Turns 70: Prophetically Significant?"

On May 14, 1948, the nation of Israel was "reborn". (predicted in Isaiah 66:8).

On May 14, 2018, the nation of Israel will turn 70 years old.

Prophetically significant? We report, you decide.

In Matthew 24, Jesus details the signs and events that will happen at the End of the Age. He includes the parable of the Fig Tree. "The Fig Tree " often represents the nation of Israel in Scripture (but certainly not always).
"Now learn this parable of the fig tree: when its buds become tender and its leaves begin to sprout, you know without being told that summer is near. Just so, when you see the events I've described beginning to happen, you can know His return is very near, right at the door. I assure you, this generation will not pass from the scene before all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but My words will remain forever" (Matthew 24:32-35).
Whether the Fig Tree represents Israel in this passage or not, the generation meant is the generation that sees the signs Jesus just described beginning to happen and all of them revolve around...you guessed it! Israel.

Once one realizes that all of God's promises are interwoven with the nation of Israel, the puzzle pieces of Bible prophecy begin to fit together.

For instance: Anti-Semitism.
Hitler wasn't the only one driven by a passionate desire to rid the world of Jews. There have been an amazing number of crazed lunatics throughout history all with one rabid intention: Destroy the Jew. Why? It's completely irrational...unless one considers the spiritual dimension: Destroy Israel and you destroy God's credibility. Mmmm...I wonder who'd want to do that?

Bible prophecy is a two-edged sword. On the plus side, God reveals His plan in advance, giving us reliable proof of His existence and authenticating the Bible as the infallible word of God. On the downside, The Adversary, Satan, is also privy to the plan.

This creates a dilemma that God solves by using a bit of obscurity. While He can't be so veiled that we don't get the message, it prevents Him from giving us all the detail we might want. Ever wonder why God doesn't just spell it all out for us? He's got good reason; there's a certain demonic element intent on sabotaging God's plan.

From the time of Moses to the time of Christ, Satan tried over and over again to kill all male Hebrew children. Why? Because he knew the Messiah would be a Jew. If he could get rid of the Hebrew babies, the Messiah would never be born. When that failed, he thought he'd nailed it (no pun intended) at the cross. But no, foiled again! The crucified Savior was resurrected. Satan had played right into God's hand--not realizing that the only begotten Son had to die--it was God's plan all along: The Savior would die so we could live.

Even now, the Devil and his minions are working overtime to crush the Jew. Is it a coincidence that Israel is surrounded by enemies?

The Bible predicts the Messiah will return to Jerusalem when the Jews are back in their homeland and besieged on every side. If there are no Jews, there is no Messiah. If there is no Israel, then Satan wins and there is no God. That's how interwoven the nation of Israel is with God's promises.

A wise man once said: "Outside the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ nothing proves God's faithfulness to His Word like the Jews and the nation of Israel. Satan would like nothing more than make God look like a liar, which explains his obsession with destroying Israel." -- Hal Lindsey, author.

How to go to Heaven? click here

News:

  • DEBKAfile: Iranian units in Syria launched heavy missile barrage at IDF in Golan; Israel blasted Damascus Int'l. Airport in response as regional tensions mount.
  • FNC: Israel calls up reservists, amass tanks on Syrian border, and warns Iranians against starting a war.
  • White House: Israel Has The Right To Self-Defense

Thursday, May 3, 2018

"Christ's Imminent Return: How Close Are We?"

Christian author and founder of  The Berean Call , Dave Hunt died in 2013. He left behind a legacy of expert scholarship, impeccable research, and a wide variety of in-depth studies we can all benefit from. He also left us with a couple of warnings:
  • "There are two solemn and related warnings which Christ gave concerning His coming again. First of all, He repeatedly and earnestly declared that He was coming very soon and should be expected at any moment. That He hasn't come in more than 1900 years, far from discrediting that promise, makes it all the more urgent that we heed it in our day. By heaven's reckoning, Christ has been gone a very short time; and His coming is nearer now than it ever was."
  • "Secondly, He warned us about preoccupation with the things of this life. Christ knew the attraction which the pleasures and ambitions of this world, wicked though we realize it to be, can have for each of us. So He warned us that unless we kept the thoughts of His return fresh in our hearts at all times, we would be caught by surprise at His coming."
Dave Hunt was adamant about the fact that there are no signs for the rapture of the church. Not even one. There is absolutely nothing that must proceed it. Jesus said that He would come like a thief: "At such an hour as you think not" (Luke 12:40). Some translations say He's coming when you least expect Him. There are at least twenty warnings in the Bible telling us to watch, be ready, and stay awake.

Why? Because complacency is human nature. Remember the parable of the 10 bridesmaids in Matthew 25? "When the bridegroom was delayed, they all lay down and slept" (emphasis added).

The world is asleep right now and sadly, so is the church. And yet:
  • Israel is back in the land (Ezekiel 37:21)
  • surrounded by enemies (Psalm 83)
  • Iran , Russia & Turkey have a military alliance for the first time in history (Ezekiel 38:5)
  • technology has advanced to the degree that everything predicted in the Scripture is possible for the first time in history (Revelation 13)
  • the financial world is sagging under its debt load (Revelation 6:5-6; James 5:1-3)
  • sin is rampant; deception everywhere (Matthew 24:9)
  • everything has gone super sized (i.e. earthquakes, storms, droughts, floods etc.) (Luke 21:25-26)
People--these are signs for the Tribulation and the Second Coming, not the Rapture, two distinct events that take place 7 years apart.

No one knows the day or the hour of the Rapture, but once it comes (when we least expect it) and the covenant (peace treaty?) of Daniel 9:27 is confirmed,  the Second Coming can be calculated to the very day. Everything hinges upon the covenant (or peace treaty signing) because it is the kickoff of the last 7 years as detailed in the Book of Daniel (Daniel 9:20-27).

Jesus said, "Watch out! Don't let me find you living in careless ease and drunkenness, and filled with the worries of this life. Don't let that day catch you unaware, as in a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep a constant watch. And pray that, if possible, you may escape these horrors and stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:34-36).

Why did Jesus warn us to keep a constant watch? Because the signs of the Tribulation will all be there in the distance for anyone who is aware and watching to see. For those who are not watching it will be "business as usual right up until the hour when the Son of Man returns" (Luke 17:30).

"So keep a sharp lookout! Don't let Him find you sleeping when He arrives without warning. What I say to you I say to everyone: Watch for His return!" (Mark 13:35-37).

A wise man once said: "How close are we? Christ could come at any moment--before I finish writing this page, or before you finish reading it. Does that thought bring joy or regret--perhaps even fear? The honest answer to that vital question reveals one's spiritual condition and the measure of one's love for Him." -- Dave Hunt (1926-2013)

(want to be sure you're ready? click here )

News:
  • Reuters: Netanyahu not seeking war with Iran, he says after unveiling evidence of secret Iran nuke program; Pompeo: Iran nuke deal "based on lies".
  • CBS News: 9 tornadoes hit Midwest; bad weather threatens 40 million across U.S.
  • DEBKAfile: Iran's Foreign Minister: No renegotiation on nuclear deal; Deadline for Trump decision on deal looms next week 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

"Does God Choose Us or Do We Choose God?"

To choose or not to choose--who really does the choosing?

Let's face it gang, the Bible says "many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14). The word called in this instance refers to being 'invited'. Tragically, not all those invited will be among the chosen of God.

Romans 8:29 says, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son."

Wow. Does that mean that God "foreknew" certain people? And what about predestination? Are we to understand that only certain individuals are picked out beforehand to be saved?

 Jesus says in John 15:16, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should bear fruit." Apparently, the doctrine of election, or being especially chosen by God, is woven throughout the Bible.

It is also one of the most hotly debated mysteries of the Christian life.

There are two basic positions (excerpted from pg. 1984 of the Nelson Study Bible) :
  • Some understand foreknowledge to mean God's knowledge in advance of those who would repent of their sin and believe the Gospel. In other words, in eternity past, God looked down the corridors of time to see all who would one day accept the offer of salvation through Christ. Those who accept salvation are the elect. The fact that they would eventually believe in Christ was the condition that prompted God to choose them or predestine them to eternal life.
  • Others understand foreknowledge as a 'relational' term. In other words, foreknowledge refers to God's intimate knowledge of and love for His elect before they came into existence. It is God's sovereign choice, and not a person's exercised faith, that determines who the elect are.
Got that? In the first view (known as Arminianism), election is defined as: the conditional choice of God that is the result of our faith. In the second view (known as Calvinism), election is defined as: the unconditional choice of God that is the cause of our faith.

Regardless of one's stance on the matter of election, this much is clear: God is infinitely wise, powerful, and good. We cannot accuse Him of being unfair in His dealings with humans. It was our own sinfulness that has entrapped us and condemned us. Yet God, out of His infinite mercy, chooses to save those of us who believe.

The ultimate inconvenient truth is still this: "Many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14).

Go back and reread Romans 8:29, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son" (emphasis added).

If we are not being conformed to the image of His Son, odds are we haven't been chosen. If our "salvation" hasn't had a profound impact in the way we live our life here on earth, it probably hasn't actually taken place. Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me 'Lord, Lord', shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father" (Matthew 7:21). What is the will of the Father? That we be conformed to the image of His Son.

Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:1). If we don't know the Scripture, we can't know Jesus. We can't be conformed to His image if we have no knowledge of who He is. In other words: Knowing Jesus = Knowing His word. Because Jesus said, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should bear fruit", shouldn't we be careful 'fruit inspectors'? The fruit of the Spirit is: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These attributes describe Jesus. And over a lifetime, they should begin to describe us, too, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in us. In other words: No Spirit = No salvation (Romans 8:9).
"So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus Christ. Obey God because you are His children. Don't slip back into your old ways of doing evil; you didn't know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God--who chose you to be His children--is holy. For He Himself has said, "You must be holy because I am holy" (1 Peter 1:13-16).

A wise man once said: "If you haven't chosen God, He probably hasn't chosen you. But if you want God to choose you, then choose Him." -- Chuck Smith, founder of Calvary Chapel
News:
  • Reuters: "Israel will hit Tehran if Iran attacks Tel Aviv" warns Defense Minister following unprecedented surge of threats from Iran.
  • Yahoo!: Iran's Khomeini urges Muslim nations to unite against U.S.
  • Zero Hedge: Iranian Naval Commander threatens to sink U.S. ships, create "Catastrophic Situation If Trump Kills Nuke Deal".

Thursday, April 19, 2018

"Will There Be Tears In Heaven?"

"Although Christians have been justified by faith, Christ will still judge them for the 'deeds done in the body...whether good or bad' (2 Corinthians 5:10). How well or poorly we do here might indeed determine our status in heaven for all eternity," warns Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer, Th.M, author and Bible scholar.

In his classic book, Your Eternal Reward, Dr. Lutzer asks the questions inquiring minds want to know:

  • Does our behavior as Christians matter once we are assured of our salvation?
  • Will eternity be the same for those believers who follow Christ faithfully and those who live a carnal life style?
According to Lutzer, "everything we do in this life matters. We all struggle with the concept of negative consequences at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Our sins have been washed away and God cannot judge us for our carnality, selfishness, and wasted lives,we think. Because we are not under condemnation, we feel secure that any loss we suffer cannot be too serious."

Not so fast. Lutzer points out that God sometimes judges His people while they are still alive even though they are forgiven and justified. Ananias and Sapphira were judged by death for their dishonesty (Acts 5:1-11). Carnal believers in Corinth died because of their disrespect for the Lord's Table (1 Corinthians 11:30).

"I can't lose my salvation," says Lutzer, "but there is something I can lose--the highest privileges available for all eternity. Let's not live in such a way that we'll be given a rebuke from Christ and have "shame at His Coming" (1 John 2:28)."

In other words, how we live our lives has eternal consequences. Charles Stanley (pastor, radio preacher and author of over 45 books) agrees:
"Will eternity be the same for everybody? Not a chance. Our God is a God of justice as well as grace. His offer of grace is continually extended to even the most vile sinner. But His justice moves Him to keep a careful record of those who remain faithful and those who do not. His grace moved Him to sacrifice His only Son to provide a way for our salvation. But His justice causes Him to take special note of those believers who are willing to sacrifice for His Son."
A wise man once said: "Entrance into heaven is gained by accepting Christ's sacrifice for justification, but a person's rewards in heaven will be determined by what they did for Christ here on earth. There are consequences to a careless Christian life." -- Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, author of The Complete Word Study New Testament (With Parallel Greek)
Jesus said, "...I am the One who searches minds and hearts, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds." (Revelation 2:23)
"Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done." (Revelation 22:12)
"...there are some who have not soiled their garments with evil deeds. They will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before My Father and His angels that they are Mine. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches." (Revelation 3:4-6)
How To Go To Heaven...click here

News:

  • Breitbart: Iranian commander: "Date has been set" for Israel's destruction as tensions continue to mount along Israel's northern border.
  • BBC News: 250 priests from 50 countries arrive in Rome for exorcism training; 1/2 million seek relief through exorcism every year in Italy.
  • DEBKAfile: Moscow now ready to give Syria S-300 air defense missiles 'to curb further aggression'. 

 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

"The Bible Predicts The Future Of: Russia, Iran, Turkey. But What About Syria?"

The Bible gives us detailed descriptions of what will happen in the future in the Middle East, events that will be the catalyst of the End Times scenario. What it doesn't give us is the exact timing or order of these events.

For instance, we know that sometime in 'the latter days' or 'the time of the end' after Israel is re-established as a nation (1948) and the city of Jerusalem is back under Israeli control (1967), they will be attacked by a vast multitude of people who want to annihilate them.

Detailed in Ezekiel 38 & 39--The Battle of Gog and Magog--5 nations, enemies of God (Ez. 39:1) will try to destroy God's people (Ez. 36:28). Their ancient tribal names correspond to their modern-day names:

  • Magog = Russia
  • Persia = Iran
  • Cush = Sudan (not modern-day Ethiopia)
  • Put = Libya
  • Gomer & Togarmah = Turkey
Gog, the head of Magog, is the leader of this great invasion against Israel. God addresses him directly in Ezekiel 39, (and believe us, you wouldn't want to be in his shoes), describing the judgment God will bring on the invaders.

Most of these nations are amassed in Syria right now and remember, gang, Syria borders on Israel.

The Big Question? Why isn't Syria mentioned in the prophecy? 

Logically, they would join in the invasion against Israel if they could, wouldn't you think? After all, they hate Israel as much as the others.

We don't know why Syria isn't among the nations that attack Israel, but the prophecy in Isaiah 17 might offer a clue: "Look, Damascus will disappear! It will become a heap of ruins." The Bible doesn't tell us when the destruction of Damascus will take place. Our guess? Sometime before the invasion detailed in Ezekiel 38.

"And you will live in Israel, the land I gave your ancestors long ago. You will be My people, and I will be your God."  Ezekiel 36:28
        "Look to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other."
          Isaiah 45:22

A wise man once said: "More now than ever before, put your trust in the God who tells the future and recorded it in the Bible to prove to us He is real." -- Jack Hibbs, pastor Calvary Chapel Chino Hills

How to go to heaven...

News:

  • DEBKAfile: Moscow and Tehran link up to strike Israeli targets in response for U.S.-led operation in Syria
  • Newsweek: Russia TV mockingly prepares for war with U.S., instructing citizens to buy water and gas masks; claimed "real panic" is across the ocean
  • Fox News Channel: Mattis: "Still assessing military option in Syria; meanwhile U.S. and French destroyers already in place off Syrian coast; UK assets en route.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

"Pope Francis: Is The Pope Catholic?"

In a recent interview, Pope Francis allegedly claimed that hell doesn't exist.

So where do unbelievers go when they die? According to the interview, the Pope said they just "disappear."

Hmmmm...apparently the Catholic Church never got the memo.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1035:
"The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire". The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs."
The Bible teaches that all sin is deadly.

"The Father gave His unique and beloved Son," says biblical scholar John MacArthur, "to die on behalf of sinful men because the consequences of sin is death (Romans 6:23). "Jesus paid the consequences for all those who believe Him and put their faith in Him. True faith in Christ is the only way to heaven."

Scripture says:
"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few" (Matthew 7:13).
"Christ continually emphasized the difficulty of following Him," said MacArthur. "Salvation is by grace alone through faith, but it is not easy. It calls for knowledge of the truth, repentance, submission to Christ as Lord, and a willingness to obey His will and Word."

Pope Francis' view seems to be at odds with Scripture as well as other popes.

For instance, Pope Benedict XVI said in a 2007 sermon, "Jesus came to tells us that He wants us all in Heaven and that hell, of which so little is said in our time, exists and is eternal for those who close their hearts to His love."

The Vatican has been back-pedaling ever since Pope Francis' statement on hell went viral last week, dismissing the interview as "unofficial." Hopefully the Pope will give his followers an official statement soon because the Bible clearly warns:
"If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life (heaven) maimed than with two hands go to hell, where the fire never goes out" (Mark 9:43).
It's official: Hell is real and there is only One Way out of going there. How To Go To Heaven

A wise man once said: "For those who follow Jesus, death is a coronation. This world is not our home; our citizenship is in heaven. To those who are faithful, Christ will give a crown of Life."         
-- Billy Graham

News:

  • DEBKAfile: (EXCLUSIVE) U.S. Marines Head To Syria As Reinforcements Against Turkey; Joined By French Special Ops Forces
  • Newsweek: China's military pledged support to Russia as tensions with U.S. mount
  • The Washington Free Beacon: Russia Tested Nuclear-Powered Cruise Missile Twice; Nuclear Fallout Feared.