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).

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

  • 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


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!

  • 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.

  • 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) ", 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 (?)