Thursday, December 29, 2011

"The Holidays of God-A Prophetic Timetable?" Part 4

The prophetic stage has been set by God Himself and for thousands of years His chosen people, the Jews, obediently observed each Feast Day as directed. One by one, God completed the first four holy day pictures or "types" as He fulfilled the spiritual meaning of each and phase one of His two-part plan at Christ's first Advent. Leaving the final three feasts for fulfillment in the last days, God will surely complete phase two when at last all the "dress rehearsals" are replaced by the real thing.

The fall feasts begin with the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) and many expect the rapture of the church to be its fulfillment. Why? The Feast of Trumpets is when the "last trump" of 1Corinthians 15  is blown.

Known as the Wedding of Messiah, this feast is a picture of a Jewish wedding when the groom comes for his bride "like a thief in the night." Because this is the only feast that occurs on the new moon following exactly 29.5 days after the last one, this means it could come either twenty-nine or thirty days later. So when Christ said, "No one knows the day or the hour", it may have been a reference to this feast.

Next comes a ten-day period known as the "Days of Awe", which is a time of repentance. This is a time used to prepare oneself for the coming Day of Judgment or Atonement (Yom Kippur).

According to Hebrew prophets, in the last days there will be a great and awesome Day of the Lord. For all those who rejected Jesus the Messiah's offer of pardon from the penalty of sin (when He died on the cross in our place), there is a day of judgment coming. No one needs to face this final day of reckoning because Jesus has already paid the price for our sins! If you haven't yet done so, click on Not sure you'll go to heaven? click here... (located under the Blog Archive on the right) and secure your salvation today.

Five days after the Day of Atonement, the last of the fall feasts begins: The Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:34). Historically, this is a holiday that celebrates the 40 years the Israelites spent wandering in the desert when God delivered them out of the bondage of Egypt, and is remembered by living in temporary shelters of 7 days.
In the future, the Feast of Tabernacles will be celebrated globally.

Zechariah 14:16 says, "It shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King (Jesus), the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles."

The ultimate fulfillment of Tabernacles will be when Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, is revealed as the Lion of Judah, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, returned again to earth in fulfillment of the Scripture.

Words to the Wise: 

Know Jesus, Know Peace
No Jesus, No Peace

News:
  • International Monetary Fund chief urges UN member countries to double their financial commitments to the Fund
  • New EU treaty, called the European Stability Mechanism, allows EU unfettered power over its member states (formerly known as "countries")
  • Raytheon has filed a patent for a new crowd-control weapon that emits low frequency sound waves that interfere with the respiratory system and prevents breathing
  • New light bulb standards begin on January 1
  • Iran ready to expand military links with Iraq

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Holidays of God: A Prophetic Timetable? Part 3

Pentecost (Shavuot) falls seven Sabbaths after the Feast of Firstfruits. Observant Jews spend the fifty days preparing themselves spiritually and in great anticipation. Why? Because this time is like waiting for a special friend who is coming from a great distance with the best possible news imaginable. For the apostles, this meant spending those weeks with the freshly resurrected Messiah! Not only had their best friend and mentor been raised from the dead, but He was promising them an even more intimate and unique relationship with someone who would never leave them--the Holy Spirit!

Back in Moses' day, up on Mount Sinai amid great thunder, lightning and billowing smoke, God descended in awesome power in the form of fire. He gave His people the Law, the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 19:1-25). What day do you suppose it was? You guessed it--Pentecost!

Now, fast forward to the second chapter in Acts. Here we find the disciples waiting in the Upper Room. They've just come from the temple Shavuot service where every year the prophet Ezekiel was read: "I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire" (Ezekiel 1:4).

Shockingly, the disciples hear what sounds like a freight train barrelling down on them!

"On the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after Jesus' resurrection, the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm in the skies above them, and it filled the house where they were meeting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability (Acts 2:1-4).

And so the Holy Spirit descended in awesome power in the form of fire, coming to abide in every person on the face of the planet who called on the name of the Lord. The day of Pentecost has been fulfilled.

Four down, three to go.

Words to the Wise: "Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.--Abraham Lincoln

News:
  • IMF Chief: world economy at a "very dangerous juncture".
  • U.S.Contractors sought to outfit FEMA camps for civilian detention centers
  • Study shows 14,000+ deaths in U.S. linked to nuclear meltdown in Japan

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Holidays of God: A Prophetice Timetable? Part 2

When God told Moses to proclaim seven holy convocations, He referred to them as "My feasts" (Lev. 23:1-2). In English, that means "appointed times" or "dress rehearsals". In other words the God of Israel established an annual cycle of holidays to be practiced year after year as their prophetic "type" is fulfilled by the Messiah. Jews all over the globe continue the holiday cycle having little understanding of their prophetic significance because they do not recognize that their Messiah has come.

There are seven feast days divided by seasons linked to the agricultural cycle of Israel. Four come in Spring:
  • Passover (Pesach)
  • Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot)
  • Firstfruits (Ha Bikkurim)
  • Pentecost (Shavout)
Three come in the fall:
  • Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah)
  • Atonement (Yom Kippur)
  • Tabernacles (Sukkot)
These appointed times (or dress rehearsals) of the Lord provide a panorama of God's plan for mankind. They are an overview or outline of history that has amazing implications for every one of us.

According to Kevin Williams of RBC Ministries, "Many Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus share the conviction that the first phase of Messiah's deliverance has been recorded on the center page of human history."

He goes on to explain that the plan of God was revealed during the holy days of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost. "With a sudden turn of events, the first four feasts of Israel took on the personality of a miracle worker who bore the marks of God's Messiah. On Passover, Jesus became the sacrificial Lamb whose blood marked all who believe in Him for deliverance. During the Feast of Unleavened Bread, He died to take away our sin and to give us, in the place of our own efforts the "bread" (life-sustaining provision) of His eternal presence. On the Feast of Firstfruits, He arose from the dead to show that it was by God's power that He carried out our rescue. Then 50 days later on the Feast of Pentecost, Jesus sent His Spirit to show His presence with all who are willing to stake their lives on Him."

Next week, we'll elaborate a little on Pentecost and it's amazing spiritual and prophetic significance.

Words to the wise: "Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anyone expects of you." - Henry Ward Beecher

News:
  • Iranian army to begin exercises to practice its ability to close the Strait of Hormuz
  • 30 top U.S. corporations spent more on lobbying than taxes
  • Israel P.M. Netanyahu to start Bible study in his home
  • Vladimir Putin lashes out at U.S. for killing Gaddafi and backing protests

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Holidays of God: A Prophetic Timetable?

The seven holidays that make up the ancient festival cycle of Israel are an amazing look into God's plan for humankind. Like an outline of history, each feast day is a pattern that shadows a major prophetic event.

Observant Jews celebrate the cycle as a timeless treasure for remembering God's provision of His chosen people. Christians recognize the profound relationship between these Hebrew Holy Days and their prophetic fulfillment. Far more than mere Jewish tradition, these feast days offer a bird's-eye view into the very game-plan of God.

Those of us who believe the Jewish Messiah has already made an appearence, also believe in the fulfillment of the first four feasts. In other words, God has already sent His Son to complete the first phase of a two-part plan.

There are only three feast days remaining to be fulfilled.

In the following weeks, we will explore the staggering prophetic significance of these holidays and hopefully gain an understanding of just how in-control God really is. As we shall see, each Holiday of God paints a perfect picture of the work of a Messiah who is the source of all creation and the hope of the nations.

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts'" (Leviticus 23:1-2).

A wise woman once said: "Let us resolve: First, to attain the grace of silence; second, to deem all fault-finding that does no good a sin; third, to practice the grace and virtue of praise." - Harriet Beecher Stowe

News:
  • S&P threatens to put 15 EuroZone nations on "negative credit" watch
  • Markets nosedive over Euro fears
  • Virginia Tech gunman kills two

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Hidden Agenda Behind the UFO Phenomenon

For over 40 years now, the message from Extraterrestrials, New Age gurus, and Native American shaman has proclaimed a common theme: there's a massive evacuation coming! Yes, you heard that right.

Starting in 1952, alleged extraterrestrials began channeling messages through various contactees. The message? There's a new age dawning, but first our friendly 'space brothers' need to 'save mankind from himself.'

New Age author, Thelma Terrell (aka Tuella), compiled in her book Project World Evacuation, the channeled messages of Ashtar (the space bro) who details an extraterrestrial evacuation of millions of people who are a threat to planet Earth. And that ain't all, folks. Hundreds of alleged UFO contactees claim the same thing!

So what on earth is going on? We believe the groundwork is being laid for the biggest deception ever orchestrated against mankind.

Remember, there's a war being waged, an invisible spiritual battle and you are one of its targets. This global, alien evacuation is clearly a counterfeit explanation for the Rapture of the Church. In a remarkably clever plan, Satan has managed to convince millions of people, enamored with the paranormal and disdainful of the Christian worldview, that a new day is coming. A new day (or Age) that begins in 3 phases:
  1. A worldwide evacuation of adults who no longer fit in, whose 'thought patterns are of the past"
  2. followed immediately/simultaneously with the removal of all the world's children because they are too young to have "personal responsibility"
  3. and then comes a time of cataclysmic upheaval where 'mother earth' endeavors to 'cleanse herself '
So there you have it. Bizarre? Oh yeah. But keep in mind the Bible says our real battle is not with human cultists, false religionists, atheists, agnostics, or pseudo-Christians. What we're really fighting against is the demonic beings working through them.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and stand in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:10-12).

Words to the wise: "There are two ways to live life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is." -- Albert Einstein

News:
  • Israel considers Iranian strike only as a 'last resort'
  • Pakistan says recent NATO air strike that killed 24 was deliberate; orders evacuation of CIA drone airbase
  • Egypt begins voting; Muslim Brotherhood expected to win big
  • President Obama seals "Fast and Furious" records

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Nephilim-Part Two

The traditional 'angel' interpretation of Genesis 6 was used to attack Christianity. When Augustine embraced the Sethite theory, it stuck and is still taught today. What is the Sethite theory?

In short, it's believers marrying unbelievers producing ungodly children. This interpretation can't be true. Why? Read on in Genesis: "There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old; men of renown" (Genesis 6:4). What the?!? Believers marrying unbelievers may produce a mixed-up kid, but certainly not a giant!

Back in Noah's day, the human race was corrupted by fallen angels. They co-habitated with humans and created one heck of a gene-pool problem. This was such a monumental breach of God's order that it provoked a divine judgment. The entire world was destroyed with The Flood. Everyone, every man, woman, and child on the face of the earth was wiped out except Noah. Why? Because only Noah and his family were still fully human. All the others had tainted genes. They were corrupted, in other words. God had no choice but to start over using Noah and his family to repopulate the earth.

Unfortunately, though the Nephilim were destroyed in The Flood, their spirits remained. Mankind would now have to contend with something new: Demonic entities.

So why didn't God destroy their spirits, too, if they were such an affront? We don't know. Maybe the consequences of this particular sin meant having to contend with disembodied evil spirits until the final judgment.

We do know this: The human spirit is eternal. It cannot be destroyed and will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. Those who choose to repent of their sin and be redeemed by the death of Christ will spend eternity in heaven. But those who choose to ignore God's offer of salvation will spend eternity in hell.

The Nephilim were conceived in direct opposition to God and were neither human nor angel. They cannot be redeemed, in other words. When a Nephilim dies, its spirit cannot enter heaven, it is left 'homeless', looking for a place to enter in. It's demonic, and because it's disembodied, it tries to find a host body, hence the Biblical references to demonic possession (Luke 4:33, 11:19; Acts 16:16).

So what does all this have to do with UFOs?

We believe the world is being set up for the biggest deception ever perpetrated against mankind. Demonic entities, in the guise of extraterrestrials, have been engaged in a subterfuge that will effect the destiny of every man, woman, and child on the planet. These 'aliens' spout pantheistic philosophies and an Eastern-mystical worldview that perfectly mirrors a New Age mindset: God is everything and everything is god. There is no personal creator.

A theme of ecological disaster permeates their rhetoric and sets them up as our saviors. They claim we are destroying the earth and it is their job to stop us.

The question is: Are these 'aliens' from other planets or spiritual entities from another dimension?

A wise man once said: Only when studying God's truth can you discern what's right or wrong, true or false, profitable or foolish.

News;
  • Radiation levels in California air measure 300% above normal due to nuclear fallout from Japan
  • EU bans and removes airport x-ray body scanners due to health dangers; TSA says they are safe
  • Brutal crackdown on Syrian protesters kills 3,000; (while ironically) Syria is nominated to UN Human Rights Committee
  • 50,000 Egyptians take to streets to protest current military dictatorship

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Nephilim

So, exactly who is piloting these UFOs anyway? Are they really beings from outer space? Before we can answer that question, it is necessary to give a little background information first. Please bear with us a moment.

We believe there is a definite connection between angels, demons, and aliens.

Angels are creations of God and have real, physical bodies that look similar to our bodies. In fact, there are numerous times throughout the Bible where angels are mistaken for people. But they are able to manifest attributes that we don't have, such as changing their appearance and appearing and disappearing at will. There are two groups of angels: Holy angels and fallen angels.

Way back, long before God created mankind, there was a rebellion in heaven headed by the Archangel Lucifer. A third of the angels chose to follow him rather than God, so God booted them out of heaven. Often, the terms 'fallen angel' and 'demon' are used interchangeably, but that isn't correct. Demons are entirely different. They don't have physical bodies. They are disembodied spirits.

Okay, so did God create demons?

Not exactly. Demons are disembodied spirits of a deceased Nephilim.

What's a Nephilim?

The Nephilim are the offspring of fallen angels and the daughters of men mentioned in the very controversial Genesis 6 passage. "...And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose" (Genesis 6:1-2).

The word 'daughters' clearly means female children of human parents. The 'daughters of men' were simply women, in other words.

The 'sons of God' refer to an entirely different group from either the 'men' or the 'daughters of men'. The term occurs elsewhere in the Bible and clearly means 'angels' (see Job 1:6).

The term 'sons of God' in Hebrew is 'B'nai Ha Elohim--Sons of Elohim, a term consistently meaning 'angels' throughout the Old Testament. Ancient rabbinical texts and early New Testament translators agreed the term refers to angels. Up until the fifth century A.D., there was no question that the text meant: fallen angels procreating with human women.

Why the controversy? Apparently, it became politically incorrect.

Words to the Wise:

Make a conscious decision to choose God's Way. You can trust that He will stand by those who stand by Him. And remember: God created time so that everything wouldn't happen all at once.

News:
  • New poll: 57% of Americans support an Israeli first strike against Iran's nuclear facilities
  • UN body, UNESCO, admits Palestinians and forfeits $70 million in U.S. funding
  • U.S. may boost troop levels in Mideast
  • Tensions mount at China's military build up

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Power, Signs and Lying Wonders

According to a recent Gallop Poll, 48% of Americans believe in UFOs. 15% believe they've seen one.

Has everybody gone crazy or is there a Biblical explanation? We believe there is.

The endtimes will be characterized by deception, remember? "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken." (Luke 21:25-26)

Imagine, if you will, open alien contact. And what if those 'aliens' claimed to be our creators? Would that shake your faith? Perhaps not, if your faith is well-grounded. But what about the millions unfamiliar with Biblical truth? For those who don't believe in the spiritual realm or who aren't schooled in the doctrines concerning angels, fallen angels and demons, an 'alien' visitation might look pretty convincing.

The Bible says, "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception." (2 Thessalonians 2: 9-10)

Although there are ancient myths and legends regarding strange visitors, the first wave of modern sightings began in 1947, just one year before Israel became a nation. Could there be a connection? Again...we believe there is.

Consider for a moment the fact that our adversary, the devil, knows Bible prophecy better than most scholars. Back in 1947 he (Satan) sees the world gearing up to give the Jews a homeland. He recognizes the profound prophetic implications, so what does he do? He sets into motion his endgame of spiritual deception.

We believe there is a hidden agenda behind the UFO phenomenon. Jesus warned us there will be great deception in the last days "and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs in the heavens." (Luke 21:11), M-m-m, could there be a connection?

To be continued...

A wise man (Thomas Jefferson) once said:
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock."

News:
  • Russia refuses to consider tougher sanctions against Iran
  • Israel test fires long-range missile
  • UN releases incriminating report on Iran's nuclear program
  • 5.7 aftershock hits Turkey 2 weeks after 7.2 earthquake killed 600 people

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Endtime Deception--Part 2

What do you get when you blend Christianity, pantheism, Eastern religion, mysticism with a dash of New Age philosophy? A recipe for disaster!

The Bible tells us that the endtimes will be characterized by false teaching and deception. Even what passes for the church will grow lukewarm and lethargic, (Revelation 3:16), with a watered-down, seeker-friendly version of the Gospel that has no place for Jesus.

We are no longer a predominantly Christian society. In fact, anti-Christian sentiment so permeates our public schools, one would think the mere mention of Christ (or God forbid!), the Ten Commandments, might actually corrupt young brains. The end result is a people ignorant of biblical truth and polluted by sin. The pursuit of a secular life without God leaves a spiritual vacuum that will, of necessity, be filled with deception. Take God out, and an empty, lost society will fill the void with something. Drugs, alcohol, materialism or some false religion are all popular options.

The Bible predicts that a time of spiritual apostasy will precede the end and pave the way for the arrival of the Antichrist. The word apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia which means, literally, "to defect, or to forsake the faith."

Most evangelicals believe this apostasy is the product of a false Christianity--people who claim to be Christian, but who don't follow Christ. This false Church will have only the appearance of Godliness, but deny the power of God to save. They will be devoid of the Spirit and of truth. They will be counterfeits.

The false religion of the last days will be a combination of: corrupted Christianity, pantheism, Eastern religion, mysticism, and New Age blather all tossed together into one big fat grand DECEPTION.

Buyer beware.

Words to the wise:
Test everything against the truth of God's Word. The more familiar you are with the "real thing"--Scripture--the easier it becomes to spot a phony.

News:
  • Greece decides not to take bailout to a vote
  • Tensions escalate as Israeli PM contemplates pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear sites
  • Iran threatens US with retaliation if Israel follows thru with strike

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Endtime Deception

What is the biggest threat to our world today?

If you're thinking nuclear war, pandemics, or natural disasters, we'd say, "close, but no cigar."

Scripture is replete with warnings, but one looms larger than all the rest: deception.

The Bible says Satan is the god of this world and calls him the "father of lies." Spending his time whispering his heresies into the ears of unsuspecting people, Satan loves to deceive, kill, and destroy. Let's face it, gang, there's a war going on, an invisible, cosmic contest for the souls of men.

God wants you in heaven. Satan wants you in hell. It really is as simple as that.

Because Lucifer is an 'angel of light', he's an expert at making good look evil and evil look good. He hates God and God's people and is working overtime to make sure the world does too. A recent Gallop Poll shows that a majority of Americans would rather live next door to a terrorist than a Christian.

Huh?!?

Actually, we shouldn't be surprised.

Jesus warned us. He said, "When the world hates you, remember it hated Me before it hated you. The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don't. I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you...the people of the world will hate you because you belong to Me, for they don't know God who sent Me. (John 15:18).

1 John 2:11 says: "Anyone who hates a Christian is living and walking in darkness. Such a person is lost, having been blinded by the darkness." In other words, being a Christian will not win you any popularity contests with unbelievers because "the sinful nature is always hostile to God. (Romans 8:7).

To make matters even worse, Satan and his minions have wormed their way into the church! False teachers abound. 2 Peter 2:2 says, "Many will follow their evil teachings and shameful immorality. And because of them, Christ and His true way will be slandered."

1 Timothy 4:1 says, "Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from what we believe; they will follow lying spirits and teachings that come from demons. These teachers are hypocrites and liars. They pretend to be religious, but their consciences are dead."
Looks pretty bleak, doesn't it? Just remember this: We have a secret weapon that sends the enemy trembling in fear--the Holy Spirit.

The Bible says, "Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; in stead, rebuke and expose them." (Ephesians 5:11).

This is exactly what we intend to do...stay tuned.

News:

  • US and world stock markets soar on news of European debt fix
  • Study: Japan nuclear radiation levels higher than estimated
  • Google reports 70% increase of requests by US gov't. to take down videos from Internet that contain gov't. criticism
  • Vatican calls for a World central bank run by UN. Also calls for world gov't. and end to national sovereignty
  • BP Oil given approval to resume deepwater drilling in Gulf of Mexico
  • President of Mexico asks US to stop deporting criminals back to Mexico saying it fuels violence on the border
  • On Halloween the US national debt will surpass the GDP. (translation: The Fed will owe more than what is produced all year long by Americans.)  Trick-or-treat!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Does The Bible Predict A Global Economic Collapse?

Part 2

If the Bible does not speak directly about a global economic collapse, why have prophecy teachers always taught there would be one? Because, just as the doctrine of the Trinity is never spelled out for us, it is undeniably there. An economic collapse is there too--by implication.

One only has to read the Book of Revelation to get a glimpse of what's coming. There will be wars, pestilence, famine and terrible natural disasters, like massive earthquakes, unprecidented drought, heatwaves, and humungus hailstones. Revelation 6 releases the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; #3 mentions food prices. "When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, "Come!" And I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. And a voice from among the four living beings said, "A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley for a day's pay. And don't waste the olive oil and wine." This rider on the black horse takes prosperity from the earth and replaces it with famine and hyperinflation.

The Book of James doesn't mince words when it says in Chapter 5: "Look here, you rich people, weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver have become worthless. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh in hell. This treasure you have accumulated will stand as evidence against you in the last days."

These scriptures (among others) paint a bleak economic picture, but Revelation 13:16-17 is the clincher: "He (Antichrist) required everyone--great and small, rich and poor, slave or free--to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything with out that mark..."

Well, we don't know about you--but most people would probably balk at giving up their money in exchange for a mark...unless, of course, their money didn't cut the mustard anymore. The Bible makes it clear these judgments will emcompass the entire planet. Who could have guessed 2,000 years ago we'd end up with a global economy?

This doesn't necessarily mean that our current global economic troubles are in any way connected to Bible prophecy. It's possible the world will recover, (or at least seem to do so).

In fact, some Scriptures imply things will appear to be humming along like normal just before the end. In Luke 17, Jesus says: "When the Son of Man returns, the world will be like the people were in Noah's day. In those days before the flood, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came to destroy them all..yes, it will be 'business as usual' right up to the hour when the Son of Man returns."

1Thessalonians 5 says that Day will come "unexpectantly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, 'All is well; everything is peaceful and secure', then disaster will fall upon them as suddenly as a woman's birth pains begin when her child is born. And there will be no escape."

Sounds contradictory until you remember that there are yet two comings of Christ:
  1. The rapture of the church. The church will be rescued, but the world at large will be caught completely off guard and left behind to endure the time of trial that will come upon the whole earth. (Revelation 3:10).
  2. The Second Coming of Christ.  Comes 7 years later, when the world is neck deep in judgment.
We're betting the final economic collapse comes sometime between these two events. It's possible the sudden disappearence of millions of people triggers the collapse. Imagine the panic, the absolute chaos.

So, if the Bible predicts a global economic collapse, are we seeing the beginnings of it now? We don't know. It could be just another economic cycle, or it could be one of those famous 'birth pains'. Only time will tell.


A wise man once said: "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative."

News:
  • Israeli soldier, Gilead Shalit, was released today in exchange for 477 Palestinian prisoners
  • U.S. Postal Service lost $8 billion in 2010 and expects a greater loss for fiscal 2011
  • Powerful new worm, "Son of Stuxnet", poses threat to computers globally
  • S & P downgrades Italian banks

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Does The Bible Predict A Global Economic Collapse?

Part One

Though the Scriptures don't spell it out, there are enough hints to give us a pretty good idea that all will not remain rosy on the economic front. But let's be careful not to allow our interpretations of Bible prophecy to be colored by apparent trends in current events. As difficult as it is sometimes, let's close our eyes to what is happening in our world today and allow the Bible to be its own interpreter.

An important reminder: Bible prophecy is often purposely obscure or dressed in double meanings. Seemingly contradictory statements are common for very important reasons:
  1. Because we have an adversary intent on foiling God's plans
  2. Because God's word must be relevant to every generation. Prophecy often has both a near, or partial fulfillment, as well as a distant, or final fulfillment.
An example of this can be found in the Book of Exodus. God meant for the Passover lamb sacrificed for the Israelites to be a picture (or type) of the coming death of the Savior, Jesus Christ,                        (1 Corinthians 5:7), the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world 1,446 years later.

So what does the Bible say about a coming economic collapse?

Actually, it says very little--directly.

Next week we'll examine exactly what it does say.

A wise man once said:
     "An unexamined life is not worth living."

News:
  • Hopes of an EU bank bailout ease economic tension on Wall Street
  • Iranian terror plot to assassinate Saudi and Israeli diplomats on U.S. soil uncovered
  • Israel and Palestinians agree to a prisoner exchange: Israel will release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for one kidnapped Israeli soldier

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Are We The Terminal Generation?

So what indications do we have of Christ's soon return that other generations lacked?

Before answering that question it is imperative that we understand a few things:
  • God has a purpose for mankind
  • History is not happenstance
  • Prophecy reveals that plan in advance
In Matthew 24, Jesus says the generation that sees the events He described beginning to happen will not pass away before everything happens; in other words, the end-time events will all take place within one generation.

In 1948:
  • The nation of Israel was restored
  • The transistor chip was invented
  • The global economy was born with the creation of GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) which was replaced by the World Trade Organization
  • The seeds of a global government were planted with the creation of the United Nations
  • The Treaty of Rome was signed which evolved into the European Union
  • The World Council of Churches was formed which will eventually morph into a one world religion
  • The predecessor of NATO, the Treaty of Brussels, was signed
All seven of these events have profound prophetic significance, and set the stage for the fulfillment of all the rest of the prophecies. Is it just coincidence they all began in 1948?

Remember God has a purpose for everything that happens. History = His Story. He has a purpose and a plan for mankind and a purpose and a plan for us. Our job is to figure out what it is. The good news? Everything we need has already been complied for us in one big book. All we have to do is look.

Oh, and guess what else was invented just before God hit the start button in 1948?

The famous Doomsday Clock! Introduced in June of 1947, it was set at (a prophetic?!) SEVEN minutes til midnight.

Words of wisdom:

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12).

News:
  • Stocks rise on hopes EU will get their financial house in order
  • Iran threatened to send warships into American waters if U.S. refused to leave the Straits of Hormuz
  • Wall Street protesters blanket NYC; spreads to other U.S. cities

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Most Absurd Doctrine In The Bible?

"In my Father's house are many mansions...I (Jesus) go to prepare a place for you. And...I will come again and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am." (John 14:2-3).

"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven...and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17).

"Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump...the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52).

The New Believer's Bible puts it this way: "What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These perishable bodies of ours are not able to live forever. But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown.

For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die.

When this happens--when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die--then at last the Scriptures will come true;

"Death is swallowed up in victory,
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (1 Corinthians 15:50-57).

Bible teacher Chuck Missler likes to call the Rapture of the Church, "the most absurd doctrine in the Bible." We agree. Especially when Chuck goes on to say, "If it wasn't so clearly taught in the Scriptures, it would be laughable."

But it is clearly taught.

And Christians have been hoping for centuries for Christ's return, but it hasn't happened yet. Why should our generation be any different?

Because we have indications that no previous generation has ever had. We'll discuss this in more detail later.

Word to the wise: Jesus could come at any time, so make certain you're ready all the time.

News:
  • House passes spending bill to avoid government shutdown
  • Iranian pastor get death sentence for refusing to renounce his Christian faith
  • Europe considers second bailout for Greece

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

Students of bible prophecy agree that the Jews back in the Land is the most significant fulfilled prophecy of our time. And though they've been attacked repeatedly throughout their 63-year history, the Bible makes it clear they will never again be uprooted from the Land. (Amos 9:15).

In 1967, Egypt started the 6-Day War and Israel shocked the world with its military superiority. Though grossly outnumbered, the Jews managed to conquer the Sinai, the city of Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. Since that time, in a quest for peace, Israel has forged formal treaties with Turkey, Egypt and Jordan, withdrawn from Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Lebanon.

But major changes are underway in the Middle East. Arab rebels have overthrown the governments of Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. Syria is enmeshed in a bloody power play. U.S. President Obama, speaking of the revolutions, said: "Something is happening in our world. The way things have been is not the way they will be. The humilitating grip of corruption and tyranny is being pried open. Technology is putting power in the hands of the people."

That maybe true. However, power is a dangerous thing in the wrong hands. The Muslim Brotherhood is moving into the vacuum.

Last week:
  • The Israeli embassy in Egypt was viciously attacked
  • Americans were warned to "get out of Syria--Now!"
  • Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and severed trade relations with Israel
  • Israel warned off American tourists
This week:
  • The Palestinians plan to seek statehood recognition from the U.N. Security Council based on the pre-1967 borders
  • President Obama has vowed to veto it. (Ironically, it was Obama who planted the seeds in the Palestinians' heads to ask for pre-1967 borders in the first place. This has put the U.S. in a very awkward position. Note to Obama: you reap what you sow.)
  • Saudi Arabia has threatened to cut ally-ties if U.S. vetos Palestinian Authority bid
  • And Turkey is threatening to send war ships into the Mediterrean if Israel enforces a naval blockade of Gaza
Israel is in a very precarious position.

The irrevocable promise of God to Israel: "I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you." (Gen. 12:3)

And to the rest of us God says: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee."  (Ps. 122:6)

News:
  • Moody's downgrades Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citibank
  • Moody's: Banks no longer too big to fail
  • New polio outbreak hits China

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Damascus Destroyed?

It's important to note that because one out of every four verses of Scripture are predictive, there are bound to be some events that do not fit neatly into our timeline. For instance, Isaiah 17:1: "Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap." Damascus lies sixty miles northeast of the Sea of Galilee and is the capital of Syria. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and this prophecy against it has never been fulfilled.

Rumor has it (along with alleged-Israeli satellite photos) that Saddam Hussein trucked his WMDs to Damascus and hid them throughout the city before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. And Israel has made it known that Damascus is in the cross hairs should Syria be tempted to use them.

Meanwhile, tensions in Syria continue to mount as rebels attempt to overthrow the present regime. Some worry Syrian leadership will strike out against Israel in an attempt to unify the country.

While the timing of Is. 17:1 remains a mystery, its inevitability does not. The deteriorating relations between Israel and her neighbors, along with the instability of the entire region, might make one reconsider living anywhere near the city of Damascus.

A wise man once said: "Challenges can be stepping stones or stumbling blocks. It's just a matter of how you view them."

News:
  • Democrats lose two Congressional seats in special elections. The New York seat went Republican for the first time since 1923.
  • U.S. poverty rate hits 50-year high
  • Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will go to the U.N. on Friday to make statehood bid
  • State Dept. to U.S. citizens: 'get out of Syria'

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"The War of Ezekiel 38"

There are a variety of opinions on just when Ezekiel's conflict will happen. Some place it before the 7-year tribulation; others believe it will occur at the midpoint after the first 3-1/2 years. Still others maintain it's a part of the Armageddon scenario.

But will there be a war with Israel's immediate neighbors first as Psalm 83 seems to suggest?

While the precise timing of Ezekiel's prophecy is unknown, he did leave us a number of clues. For instance:
  • It will happen in the 'latter years', after the final restoration of the Jews to the Land, but before their spiritual rebirth
  • The attack will come from a coalition of nations including an instigator from 'the far North' of Israel. (though Russia is not mentioned by name, it lies directly north of Israel)
  • Persia (present day Iran), Ethiopia and Libya are all specifically included in the list of coalition troops
The prophecy is quite long, covering two complete chapters and almost certainly predicts this war will be nuclear. Ez. 39:11-16 details the clean-up and burial procedures that follow the battle and they sound as if they come straight from a nuclear protocol manual.

So how close are these events? We don't know for sure, but there's an old saying: "When you see Christmas decorations going up--you know Thanksgiving is near."

Here is what we see 'going up':
  • Iranian nuclear ambitions escalating
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowing to wipe Israel "off the face of the map"
  • Ahmadinejad claiming he's been chosen by Allah to usher in the "end of the world" through a nuclear holocaust
  • A military alliance between Russia and Iran emerging for the first time in history
  • Ethiopia buying Russian-made weapons
  • Russia arming Saudi Arabia
  • Russia selling missiles to Syria
  • Revolutions in the Arab world and deteriorating ties with Turkey
  • Turkey expelling the Israeli ambassador, and terminating trade relations with Israel
  • The governments of Libya, Egypt and Syria in danger of being overthrown by the Muslim Brotherhood--an organization hostile to Israel
  • And just Monday, IDF Chief, Major General Eyal Eisenberg warned of a regional war breaking out as a result of the Arab Spring, with the possibility of WMD being used.
If signs of Ezekiel 38 are springing up all over, how close is Psalm 83?

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas...

News:
  • Texas wildfires destroy 1,000 homes after burning 3.6 million acres over 300 days. The heatwave and drought continue with no end in sight.
  • Atheist group sues over WTC cross at Ground Zero Memorial, while NYC bans clergy from 9/11 ceremony.
  • Torrential rains force thousands to evacuate already soaked U.S.Northeast.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Conspiracy Theory"

Although most prophecy teachers put the Ezekiel 38 conflict as the next war in Israel's future, some have a differing view. Psalm 83, involving all of Israel's immediate neighbors, describes a conspiracy to "wipe out Israel as a nation." With God's help, Israel manages to survive. Could this war precede Ez.38? This seems to be the most likely scenario because of four often overlooked details in Ezekiel's prophecy.

In Ez.38:8, addressing the attacking armies, it says, "In the distant future you will swoop down on the land of Israel, which will be lying in peace after her recovery from war and after the return of her people from many lands."

Ez.38:11 says: "...Israel is an unprotected land filled with unwalled villages." And the prophecy specifically names Iran, Ethiopia, and Libya along with a "mighty army from the North." How come Syria is missing? And what about Lebanon? These nations are staunch enemies of Israel. Surely they'd jump at the chance to help annihilate the Jews...unless Israel had already taken them out.

So, according to Ez.38, we have:
  1. Israel living in peace
  2. after her recovery from war
  3. unprotected and without walls
  4. attacked by "a mighty hoard" that doesn't include her unfriendly neighbors
Israel hasn't been at peace since her return to the land. They always have their guard up in spite of the pseudo-peace agreement signed by Yasser Arafat in the 1990's. (By the way, Yasser Arafat, one of the world's worst terrorist, won the Nobel Peace Prize for this sham). And at this very moment, Israel is protected by a 430 mile long, 25 foot high wall.

These facts seem to indicate Psalm 83 is first and probably sets the stage for the fulfillment of Ez.38


A wise man once said: "The only certain barrier to truth is the presumption you already have it."

Homework: study Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 & 39 with an open mind and pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).

News:
  • Washington Monument closed indefinitely due to earthquake damage
  • Hurricane Irene claims 41 lives while packing less punch than touted.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Prophetic Overview"

As far as most people are concerned, Christ's return is irrelevant. If they think about it at all, it's mostly to mock those who believe in it.

And who can blame them? False dates and fanaticism have deceived and damaged the faith of millions.

But is fear of repeating past mistakes reason enough to avoid the subject? Not according to Luke 12:37: "There will be special favor for those who are ready and waiting for His return." Luke 12:45 gives us the consequences of not being ready: "But if the servant thinks, 'My master won't be back for a while', and begins oppressing the other servants, partying, and getting drunk--well, the master will return unannounced and unexpected. He will tear the servant apart and banish him with the unfaithful. The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it." Apparently, God expects us to know the general time of Christ's return.

Before we go on, let's get something straight: Christ will come twice: once at the Rapture of the Church which takes place before the 7-year period known as 'the Tribulation' and for which there are no signs. He will come like a thief in the night when the world at large least expects Him. Then, at the end of the seven years of tribulation, amid unmistakable signs, Christ will come a second time.

Got that? There are yet two comings. One to rescue the church (the Rapture) and the Second Coming to rescue the Jews. We'll go over all this in more detail later.
For now, here's a simple overview of prophetic events:
  1. The Rapture. When God delivers us from the wrath to come. (1 Thess. 4:16).
  2. The Judgment Seat of Christ (Bema). Where believers' lives are examined. If we've used our gifts and talents to help build the kingdom, we'll be rewarded. If we've squandered our lives on selfish living, we'll suffer loss. (1 Cor. 3:13).
  3. The Tribulation. When 7 years of trouble come on the earth consisting of deception, war/rumors of war, famines, pestilence, and earthquakes. (Matt. 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, Dan. 9). These 7 years are divided into two, 3-1/2-year periods. At the beginning of the 1st half, the Antichrist makes a peace treaty with Israel and the Jewish Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem. The 2nd 3-1/2 years herald the Great Tribulation when the Antichrist breaks the 7-year peace treaty with Israel. (Dan. 9:27).
  4. Armageddon: armies from around the globe gather at Megiddo in Northern Israel to launch a massive attack against Jerusalem. (Rev. 16, Zech. 12:1-3, 14:1-5, Rev. 19:19).
  5. Second Coming of Christ to earth. to rescue His Chosen people, the Jews, from annihilation. (Dan. 2:44, Matt. 24:27-37, Zech. 14:4, 1 Thess. 3:13, Rev. 19:8).
  6. Judgment of the Nations. (Matt. 25:31-46).
*Scripture references are not all inclusive. There are just too many to list them all. Please check cross-references in your Bible.

Words to the Wise: Be like the Bereans, "...in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." (Acts 17:11).


News:
  • Capital buildings evacuated after a 5.8 quake rattles D.C.
  • Rebels swarm over Col. Moammar Gaddafi's compound marking the end of his 40-year reign over Libya
  • Rocket fire into Israel brings temporary ceasefire into question
  • Hurricane Irene heads for U.S. eastern seaboard

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Tick...Tock..."

Why is it so difficult to pinpoint exactly where we are on God's Timeline?

Because the signs He gave us to watch for (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21) were not clearly defined. (We touched on the reasons in our last post).

The disciples asked Jesus what will be the sign of His coming and of the end of the age? He answered by telling them to watch out for:
  1. deception
  2. wars/rumors of wars
  3. famines
  4. pestilences
  5. earthquakes
That would be fine and dandy if those things had never happened before, but let's face it, there have always been:
  1. deceptions
  2. wars/rumors of wars
  3. famines
  4. pestilences
  5. earthquakes
So what's different now?

Israel, of course.

The signs mentioned above were meaningless until the Jews were back in the land. It's important to remember that for almost 2000 years, Israel did not exist, and yet hundreds of prophecies regarding the end of the age refer to Israel, Jerusalem and the Temple. If Israel didn't exist, we couldn't possibly be near the end of the age.

Jesus said those signs were only the beginning. They would increase in both frequency and intensity--just like labor pains in a pregnant woman. But in Luke 21: 28 He says, "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." In other words, the believer won't be here to see the hard labor, though it's probable we'll see the beginning of the birth pains. Jesus put it this way: "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When it's branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near--at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this genertion will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, buy My words will by no means pass away." (Matthew 24:32)

B ready 4 anything!

News:
  • The journal, Science, reports a team of engineers invented a new system of skin-mounted electronics small enough to fit under a postage stamp-sized tattoo, as a means to monitor medical patients.
  • The number of families living on food stamps increased by 70% since 2008.
  • British courts sentence 2 men to jail time for inciting riots via Facebook.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Spiritual Warfare?"

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: I don't know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.

News:
  • Dow plunges 520 points on rumors of French bank failures.
  • Gold hits record high of $1800 an ounce.
  • Riots, looting and flames rock England for fourth night.
  • Starvation-ravished Somalia pleads for international aid.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Israel: God's Time Clock"

For almost two thousand years, the chosen people wandered the earth with no country of their own.

For almost two thousand years, the nation of Israel didn't exist.

But on May14, 1948 a miracle happened. A nation was reborn in one day, exactly as prophesied. "Thus says the Lord God: "Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone and will gather them from everyside and bring them into their own land." (Ezekiel 37:21).

Just as Moses prophesied judgment would come to Israel in two stages, their restoration would also come in two stages:
  • Stage one: the Jews would be regathered back to the Promised Land, Israel (fulfilled in 1948). Though they have their homeland back, they are still unbelievers.
  • Stage two: the Jews are restored spiritually. This occurs upon the return of their Messiah. Only when they see Him with their own eyes, do they finally believe.
Some 500 years before Christ, the prophet Zechariah said the Lord would "pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn." (Zechariah 12:10).

In between their physical and spiritual rebirth,(the years we are living in right now), Israel faces a mix of blessing and trouble.

The land of Israel (a.k.a. Palestine) was a harsh, forbidding desert wasteland when the Jews returned in 1948. There was nothing there except desert ruins. But God promised, (through His Prophet Ezekiel) "...you, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home. I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, and I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt." ( Ezekiel 37). And that is just what happened.

Today Israel is like an oasis in the desert, being one of the largest exporters of fruit to Europe. Even the formerly dead language of Hebrew has been restored as predicted by the prophet Zephaniah 2500 years ago.

Never before in all of history has such a thing happened. After two millennia of exile...they are back!

But not everyone rejoiced. On May 15, 1948, just one day after becoming an official state, Israel was attacked on all sides by a Muslim coalition that outnumbered them 10 to 1. God gave them the victory, but they've had to fight for their survival ever since.

A wiseman once said: "Know something about everything and everything about something."

Business news:
  • Stock market tanks on fears of a double-dip recession while gold soars to an all-time high
  • President renews calls for tax hikes
  • Obama signs debt ceiling bill--ends crisis (?)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Israel:The Key to Prophecy--Part 2"

Moses' prophecy regarding the divine discipline of the Jewish people came in two stages. The second part predicted the nation would be destroyed a second time! God takes disbelief and rejection very seriously. This time the people would be scattered throughout the entire world. They would be a persecuted people with no homeland at all. They had forfeited the Promised Land because of unbelief. (Deut. 28:64-68).

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Amos all made the same prediction: the Jewish nation of Israel would be destroyed and the great worldwide exile of the people would last until the time of the end.

When Jesus came along, He pinpointed the generation that would be scattered. "...for there will be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people, and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into the nations..." (Luke 21:23-24). "Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation." (Matt. 23:36).

Any historian can verify the accuracy of these prophecies. Less than forty years after Jesus was crucified, the Romans swept through the nation, killing and destroying everything in their path. The survivors were dragged off as slaves.

Moses said these judgments would be a sign of warning to the world.

Let's get something straight: God wanted to shower His people with blessings. He chose them because He wanted to demonstrate His Love to the world. But they completely disregarded God's desire to make them into a holy, good, and blessed nation. They became corrupt and sinful. God could not bless them. He had no choice but to punish them. After all, they were to be His sign to the whole world of how God responds to humans. Follow Him and you get to enter the Promised Land forever. Refuse, and you're in a world of hurt. Mmmmm, what would you do?

Words to the wise: A drop of obedience leads to a shower of blessings.

News:
  • Standard & Poors drops Greece credit rating 2 notches
  • Report: No link between 9/11 first responders and cancer--despite epidemic cancer rates
  • Debt ceiling deadline of August 2 looms with no agreement

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Israel:The Key to Prophecy"

The nation of Israel is ground zero when it comes to Biblical prophecy. They are the target of hundreds of predictions both past and future. It is impossible to over-emphasize their importance, as all of scripture revolves around Israel. In fact, all the world's population is divided into only two categories: One is either a Jew, or a Gentile.

The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have phenomenal (read miraculous) staying power. What other nationality has been destroyed as a nation (not once but twice!) and survived to re-establish themselves? No one, not ever. The Jews spent a total of 2600 years scattered throughout the world and yet they retained their national identity. The history of the Jewish people is a fascinating study--not because their survival is amazing, though it is--but because every detail of it was prophesied beforehand. We believe this to be one of the greatest proofs of God's existence.

Let's start with the call of Abraham and Sarah. God promised they would become the parents of a new people (the Jews) and that He'd give them a new land (Israel) and through their descendant (Jesus), all of the families of the earth would be blessed. (Genesis 12). There was only one problem--Sarah was barren! Of course that little detail only made things more interesting. Though it took a while (Hebrews says Abraham was as good as dead!), God fulfilled this promise--when Sarah was 90 years old!

Why would God wait so long? To test their faith and to make sure everyone understood this was a bonafide miracle.

Then there was Moses. He had the job of leading the Hebrew people into the Promised Land. If you haven't read this account in the book of Exodus--you won't believe what a bunch of whiners these people were (kinda like us!). Finally, Moses predicted they would be disciplined as a nation: for not believing and for their constant complaining.

Moses prophesied that a mighty nation would conquer Israel and that the survivors would be taken captive and serve as slaves.

Isaiah added in his two cents: The mighty nation would be Babylon and they would take everything the Israelites owned. (Isaiah 39:6).

The prophet Jeremiah made this prediction in Jeremiah 25:11: "And the whole land shall be a waste and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the King of Babylon seventy years."

It happened precisely as prophesied. At the end of seventy years, the Persian king, Cyrus, released the Jewish people to return to their land and rebuild the destroyed Temple. The amazing thing is King Cyrus was predicted by name 200 years before he was even born! (Isaiah 44:28; 45:4).

This gives you an idea of how detailed and on-target these prophecies were. Can there be any doubt prophecies concerning the future will be just as accurate?

God warned the Israelites that if they refused to obey Him they would become "a proverb, and a byword among all nations." (Deut. 28:37).

Well, they didn't obey and guess what happened--they named a plant after them--the Wandering Jew!

News:
  • Fears over Japan's radioactive beef escalates when government bans cows from the affected area of Fukushima.
  • Debt crisis follows Clinton overseas--China to Clinton: "Get your debt under control."
  • Unrelenting heat covers much of the U.S. causing rolling blackouts, crop failures and two dozen deaths.
  • Deadly terrorist attacks rock Norway. At least 80 dead.
Feel free to post your comments!

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Examine the Evidence"

Challenge any of today's so-called psychics to see who would be willing to stake their lives on their predictions and we bet there would be no takers. Yet that was the standard for Biblical prophets--one false claim and they were stoned. (and we don't mean on pot!) (Deut. 13:1-11)

The reason God filled the Scriptures with provable, fulfilled predictions was to lend this library of books (the Bible) credibility. The concept of a book directly inspired by God had to be backed up with evidence--otherwise who'd believe it?

The Scriptures have been scrutinized by scholars, ripped to shreds by skeptics and studied by scientists for 2,000 years. No one can dismiss it. Archaeological research offers proof that the Bible can be trusted in geographical and historical matters. Manuscript evidence exceeds those of any other ancient document and the Dead Sea Scrolls prove that modern Bibles are identical to ancient copies.

With this in mind, let's take a look at eight of the Messianic prophecies. Though there are many more, we chose only eight because the mathematical odds of anyone fulfilling all eight prophecies is 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. In other words, it's impossible!

1.
Prediction: Isaiah 7:19 says: "The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Immanuel means 'God with us'. Isaiah lived seven hundred years before the birth of Christ.
Fulfillment: Matthew 1:18: "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit."

2.
Prediction: The prophet Micah, a contemporary of Isaiah, predicted the Messiah would come from Bethlehem. "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting." (Micah 5:2).
Fulfillment: "Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, 'Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?'" (Matt. 2:1-2).

These are only two of the many Old Testament prophecies surrounding Jesus' birth. There is nothing vague or wishy-washy about them. We can think of at least nine others that are just as specific.

3.
Prediction: "He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses."
(Is. 53:4)
Fulfillment: "...He healed all who were sick." (Matt. 8:16a).

4.
Prediction: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey." (Zechariah 9:9).
Fulfillment: "They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude...cried out saying, 'Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!'" (Matt. 21:7).

5.
Prediction: Zechariah penned this prophecy almost 500 years before Jesus was born: "And the Lord said to me, 'Throw it to the potters'--this magnificent sum at which they valued me!' So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potters in the Temple of the Lord.'" (Zech.11: 12, 13).
Fulfillment: "Then Judas, Jusus' betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ' I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.'
And they said, ' What is that to us? You see to it.'
Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.
But the chief priests took the silver...and bought the potter's field." (Matt. 27:3-7).

How specific is that?

6 & 7.
Prediction: In Psalm 22, David gives a vivid description of Christ's crucifixion more than a thousand years before the event.
(Psalm 22:16) : "...they pierced My hands and My feet."
(Psalm 22:7) : "They divided My garment among them, And for My clothing they cast lots."
Fulfillment: (Matt. 27:35) : "Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots..."

8.
Prediction: "Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities." (Is. 53:4-5).
Fulfillment: "It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification." (Romans 4:24-25).

These are only eight. There are hundreds more; each graphic, literal and exact.

A wise guy once said : "Seven days without the Bible makes one weak."

News:
  • Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke warns Congress of dire economic consequences if debt ceiling is not raised.
  • Japan's beef test positive for radioactivity. Japanese officials claim it is nothing to worry about.
 Thanks for all your emails---They encourage us a lot!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Why Study Bible Prophecy?"

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is woven with predictions. In fact, more than one-quarter of the Bible is prophecy. Most of them (roughly 80%) have already been fulfilled.

The majority of these prophetic scriptures center on the formation and history of God's Chosen People, the Jews. Why? Because the Messiah, the Deliverer of the Jews (and Savior of all who believe) would come from them.

Because so many verses in the Bible are concerned with prophecy, and these verses are scattered throughout the entire Old and New Testaments, any serious study must include them.

Though some consider Bible prophecy to be a controversial and uncomfortable subject, it is the vehicle God chose to authenticate His message. How better to prove One's existence and power over  world events than to tell history in advance? Fulfilled prophecy conveys the unique signature of God, and is a powerful proof to an unbelieving world.

For the believer it's a motivator. The Apostle Paul urges us to "walk worthy of our calling." Easier said than done, especially in our society of constant temptations and loose morals. The hope of Christ's soon return has a purifying effect. (1John 3:3). And sad to say the church in this generation has grown weak and frail. Jesus Himself wondered if He'd find any faith left on the earth when He returned. If we want to live effective lives, we'd better use whatever tools we have at our disposal. The spiritual complacency of those of us who believe is truly appalling. Bible prophecy lights a fire under the Christian that little else will. John 9:4 says, "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work."


Everywhere we go we are surrounded by non-Christians who have no interest in theology or the things of God. Mention church? Forget it. The Good News of the Gospel message? No way, Jose'.

But sometimes a friendly conversation on current events or the geopolitical world will open an otherwise closed door. People are curious about the future. Just look at Sylvia Brown and Jonathan Edwards who talk to the dead. These people are so wrong it isn't funny. (Deut.18:9-14). By contrast, the Bible has a proven track record of 100%! The prophetic scriptures stand alone when it comes to accuracy. Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, or any other psychic that has ever lived cannot hold a candle to the Book that God wrote. And remember: Someday we will meet the Author of that Book.

A wise man once said:
"Eternal life belongs to everyone. The only question? LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION."

FINANCIAL NEWS:
Moody's downgrades Ireland one notch to junk bond status sparking talk of another bailout and fears of Market contagion in Europe.

Fed hints @ QE3 (quantitative easing). In English, that means printing money, which results in devaluing the dollars which cause inflation. Gold soared on the news.


Thank you to everyone who sent emails expressing your enthusiasm for this Blog. Please know you've been a huge encouragement to us.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Bible Prophecy: A Beginner's Guide"

Last May we were either: amused, confused, defused, stupefied, horrified, petrified, (or all of the above) when Harold Camping of Family Radio Ministries predicted the Rapture and the End of the World would occur on May 21, 2011.


What the--?! How come we're still here? Where's Armageddon and all the fire 'n brimstone and stuff?


Good question. And if you've ever asked yourself What's it all about (Alfie?), then this Blog's for you.


I'd like to take this opportunity to stop the madness, because let's face it, speculation about end times events is running rampant.
Some of it is true.
Some of it is fiction.
Is there any way to know the difference?

Yes, as long as one sticks to Scripture and avoids guesswork (unless clearly labeled, of course). It is quite possible to understand the framework of the end-time scenario. It actually makes alot of sense.


While I make no claims of expertise, I have put in 34 years studying the topic. (I've also written an award winning thriller now available @ amazon.com and virtualbookworm.com for your reading pleasure).


I believe the stage is being set for what the Bible calls the 'final hour'. Developments of great significance are coming together so fast it's hard to keep up with them all. But that doesn't mean it's all coming down tomorrow. Every generation of Christians has hoped to be the last generation. The Bible teaches that Christ's return is imminent. That means there is no prophetic event that remains to be fulfilled before He can return.


So how close are we? That, my friend, is what we hope to explore. If there is one thing we all learned from Mr. Camping's May 21st prediction, it's this: No man knows the day or the hour. And trying to speculate beyond what Scripture actually predicts is a fool's errand. But what we can (and should) do is watch, wait and be ready.


The Bible warns : ...that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and of the day. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint to us wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you are doing.             (1 Thessalonians 5: 2b-11)


The above scripture starts off with "when they say 'Peace and safety!' then sudden destruction comes upon them." Paul is talking about unbelievers. The world will be asleep, lulled into a false sense of security; so busy with the cares of life, that even earthquakes, tsunamis and threats of war will fail to alarm them. In other words, the indifference of the people will cause them to turn a deaf ear and give no thought at all to their eternal destiny. They will be caught completely unready to give an account of their lives.


In contrast, Christians should be watching the times and the seasons, prepared at every moment to present the quality of her (or his) life before the judgment seat of Christ.


Hebrews 4:13 says, "There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account." If that doesn't freak you out then I doubt if you read it carefully enough. Let's face it gang, we've got some work to do.


I suggest we start by figuring out just what He expects of us. One thing's for sure, He expects us to know "the times and the seasons". If you stay with me, I'll do my best to boil it down to the very basics. But it's a complicated subject and I'll need lots of help (prayers!!!). So please take advantage of any extracurricular websites, blogs, books, etc. that might be linked to this site, and God willing, we will advance.