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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

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."

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.

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

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).

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..."

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."

  • 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."

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 @ and 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.