And Justice For All


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And Justice for All

“Get down,” Doran pleaded with the people. They kept running. He trained his weapon on the terrorist, looking for an opening in the crowd.

“Allah Akbar!”

“No!” Doran screamed at the diabolical words, straight from the gates of Hades. His finger covered the trigger. Doran fired.

With exact duplication of time and space, the mujahedeen answered.

The detonation leveled nearly everything and everyone in a thirty-yard radius. Doran and his driver remained untouched. Many of his people had blocked the blast, absorbing it with bodies shredded by deadly shrapnel.

Dazed by the explosion, Doran slumped to the seat of his jeep. Within a few seconds his head cleared. His ears opened to the horrific screams of the injured. He stood and stared at his men as they approached the dead and dying with weapons raised. His eyes drifted to his hands, which still clutched the gun. His gut twisted at the blood and body tissue splattered on his hands and arms. He frantically wiped his hands on the seat of the jeep.

The haze of smoke and human debris settled over the ghastly killing field. He fell to the seat again, looked at his driver, and mumbled, “This is wrong. This is so wrong.”

Doran Zimmerman is an Israeli Defense Force Captain who and whose men were unable to prevent the 12th and final terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. Some of the previous (planned) assaults had been thwarted, but not this one. Dozens of innocent Israeli civilians died in these horrific attacks. Stunned by the savage enormity of such evil, all Doran could think and say was that this inhumane cruelty was wrong, so very wrong.

Sometimes that’s all any of us can say. How else can we express our horror and sorrow for the brutal shootings, knifings, bombings, and ramming of cars into bystanders taking place in Israel on a far too regular basis?

The gruesome scene just described to you took place at Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. Fortunately, it is fictional … as depicted in one of the early chapters of my first book, a novel entitled, O Israel … the end is the beginning for those left behind. (Published 2007, Pages 49, 50).

Unfortunately, what you just read is an all too real illustration of life in Israel, something that has taken place much too often in the market places, streets, schools, homes, and just recently synagogues of Israel. The fence barriers and increased security at Israeli checkpoint crossings have greatly diminished the incidents of suicide bombings, but terrorists determined to kill and maim totally innocent people are adept at adjusting and improvising. And missile launchings continue periodically from the Gaza Strip.

Permit me to quote another excerpt from O Israel; this from one of the main characters, Avram Levitt, a Jewish scribe; in one of his seven global email messages addressed to, All Who Have Eyes to See and Ears to Hear:

…May I begin with a tough question? What is it that drives someone to strap explosives around his waist, push a button, and detonate himself into eternity in order to maximize the killing of those who may look, think, and believe differently?

How can a mother proudly celebrate the death of her child who has taken his own life along with the lives of innocent people? Is it because her child has graduated from terrorist training and been given the label of shahid in order to accomplish shahada, the so-called sweet death for Allah? Or is it a demonstration of how much hatred the human heart can hold and parcel out through incomprehensible actions that only the hard of heart would not consider evil? (Page 57).

Fiction Becomes Frightening Fact

Fast forwarding to the news source, Ynet; which earlier this week reported a direct quote from parents of the two terrorists who stormed into a Jewish synagogue this past Tuesday (11-18). Said the parents in praising their sons who had just murdered four Jewish Rabbis and one Israeli Druze policemen and wounded (some seriously) other Jewish worshipers who were in the midst of morning prayers at the west Jerusalem Har Nof synagogue:

“They are both Shahids (martyrs) and heroes.”

One of the terrorist’s cousins, Allah Abu Jamal boasted, “This act occurred because of pressures exerted by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people in general, and a prolonged harming of the al-Aqsa mosque…. We responded with cheers when we heard of their death. People offered candy to those who came to visit us, and there was happiness for the Shahids.”

Shocking. Appalling. Grisly. Repugnant. Sickening. There aren’t enough adjectives in any language to describe the macabre mentality of a religion and people of that religion who express glee at the death of innocents and happiness at the loss of their sons and daughters who murdered the innocents.

What pressure is Abu Jamal referring to? What prolonged harming of the Temple Mount mosque is he describing? Those of us who keep our thumb on the pulse of Jerusalem and Israel and the Middle East, who know anything at all about the history of Israel, who know what’s really happening can say with a great deal of certainty and accuracy:

There is no pressure, but the pressure built by the Muslims bent on Israel’s destruction, on elimination of every single Jew in the Promised Land. There is absolutely no harm done to the Muslim Mosque on Temple Mount by the Jews. There is, however, a great deal of harm inflicted by Muslims to Jews who visit this Holy Site of Temple Mount, which has belonged to the Jews from Biblical times as given to them by God himself. Lately there has been a surge of rock throwing, Molotov cocktails, beatings, riots, perpetrated by Muslims on Jews who ascend Temple Mount.

A New Breed of Killers

Early Tuesday morning, two cousins from East Jerusalem, Ghassan and Oday Jamal shamelessly slinked into the Jewish synagogue and mercilessly killed the rabbis and policeman with a gun, ax, and meat cleaver. I wanted to include photographs of the bloody crime scene in this article, but decided at the last minute not to. The words of dismay and revulsion expressed in this post are enough.

What makes this assault and other recent incidents different from past homicide bombings or missile attacks is that the attackers were Arab residents of East Jerusalem. Whether they were actual Israeli Arab citizens is unclear, but East Jerusalem residency allows for many of the same privileges afforded to Israeli citizens … municipal voting rights, access to social security benefits and state health care, and issuance of Israeli ID cards. They were not Palestinian Arabs occupying the West Bank proper or Gaza Strip.

The recent weapons of choice have been cars slamming into children; knives and screwdrivers plunged into unsuspecting men and women; axes and meat cleavers butchering rabbis praying to God … the true and living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

These lone wolf attacks are extremely difficult to predict, prevent, or defend by even the IDF. Now days, it’s nearly impossible for a Palestinian from the West Bank or from Gaza to enter Israel carrying wrap around explosives or high-profile weapons. But not so with Israeli Arabs and Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem who enjoy the liberty so cherished in Israel—a great deal of freedom to travel through Israel as they choose.

We’re not talking about undocumented immigrants or unauthorized personnel walking the streets of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv or Nazareth while stalking their Jewish prey. Now we have Arabs who possess some or all the rights of Israeli citizenship; using their freedom of movement and privacy to pounce on unsuspecting men, woman, and children. Innocent human beings who only wanted to accomplish their tasks for that day, go home to the welcoming arms of their family, and prepare for another day of the precious existence given to them by their Creator and their Country.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—snuffed out in a moment of indescribable horror. Their very presence on this earth unlawfully, immorally, unjustly, indiscriminately, and unfairly taken away by the hands of another. There aren’t enough adverbs in any language to express the wicked depravity of such men and their deplorable deeds.

This is wrong, it is so wrong.


Israeli Mourners for the Slain Rabbis

A Disgusting Celebration

What makes this horrendous crime different from any mass murder in the United States or anywhere else in the world is that thousands upon thousands of Arab Palestinians proceeded to celebrate the death of the innocent victims. And it’s understood that many Arabs who did not overtly celebrate, gave tacit approval to the carnage and death. Of course there are murderers all over the world. But do their relatives, friends, and compatriots rejoice over the death of the victims?

Just as Palestinians danced with delight in the streets over the shockingly unjust murder of nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11, so there was rejoicing by both Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Arabs in Israel over the death of four Jews and the maiming of several others. They celebrated the brutal death of Rabbis, Moshe Twersky, 59; Aryeh Kupinsky, 43; Kalman Levine, 55 (all three US-born citizens who moved to Israel). Plus a British born Jewish Rabbi, Avraham Goldberg, 68. Together, the four left four widows, a total of twenty-six children, and multiple grandchildren to grieve forever over their loss. And not to forget the Druze policeman, who later died from his wounds.

Rabbi Kalman Levine grew up in Kansas City and moved to Israel in his twenties. His father, Bernard Levine still lives just south of the Country Club Plaza.

Born in Lawrence, Kansas and a resident of Kansas City, Missouri for many years, I have shopped at and driven through this plaza often. I’m sure I’ve driven by the Levine house on or near Ward Parkway hundreds of times. For all I know, I may have seen Kalman (formerly Cary) Levine outside his home at one time or another. This makes his and the violently tragic death of all who were slain even more (personally) heartbreaking.


Photo of Rabbi Levine

Revolt with me in indignation at the vicious words of “praise” for the deaths of more Jews and “victory” of the Muslim “martyrs,” Again quoting the terrorists’ cousin, Allah Abu Jamal who claimed that the family was unaware of the men’s intentions: “The terror attack was a big surprise for us. Praise Allah, a man dying a Shahid is a great thing.” In the context of adulation for his cousins, Jamal’s choice of words “terror attack” was either a slip of the tongue or facetious sarcasm to mimic or scoff at, or a parody of the true nature of the crime, which indeed is terrorism—cold-blooded random murder of innocent victims.

Or the expected, but nevertheless insensitive, inconsiderate, and cruel statement of Hamas spokesman, Mushir al-Masri, who called the attack a, “heroic action.”

Palestinian social media has already been inundated with cartoons and graphics celebrating the murders and calling for other such actions. These malicious, hateful taunts followed a Palestinian song urging further use of their cars for terror attacks in what they are now labeling, Car Intifada or Autofada. Or social campaigns using animation to promote the murder of Jews in any fashion and with any weapon imaginable. To be more creative in killing Israelis.

Says another Hamas spokesman, Husam Badran, to all Arabs: “…Turn your weapons against your enemies and ours. Write your names in the true list of honor.”

Honor? Justice? Righteous Acts of Violence? I think not and so do you or anyone who embraces true honor, who longs for real justice, who understands that authentic righteousness precedes and follows Peace, not murder and mayhem of innocent people.

No place is a place for murder. But in a synagogue? At the most holy moment of the prayer service … Amida, the central prayer to God. Wrapped in their talits (prayer shawls) that would in a moment of terror be soaked with their life’s blood. I shed tears of sorrow, sympathy, and wrath as I write these words. And I’m a Gentile.

This is wrong; so very, very wrong.

What is God’s View?

Here is what the Sovereign Lord of Scripture says about murder: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6, NASB). This reference is to premeditated murder, not to the self-defense justified killing of someone to protect life. Or even the killing that goes with war.

Though God cannot tolerate any kind of sin, Scripture tells us that he particularly despises the following: “There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family” (Proverbs 6:16-19, italics for emphasis).

Muslim terrorists and the political and social leaders who support them (or any terrorist or murderer, but the vast majority of global terrorists are, in fact, Muslims) frequently plot evil and lie about anything and everything to achieve their warped goals. This includes rewriting Israel’s history, pouring out lies to the world about their rights to the Temple Mount and who instigates the violence there and elsewhere, and by inflaming their people, for example, to: “Keep the settlers and the extremists away from Al-Aqsa and our holy places.” (A recent quote from the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, aka Abu Mazen).

Indeed, it’s the so-called moderate leader of the West Bank that has recently turned radical to ingratiate himself with his chief rival, Hamas of the Gaza Strip; who has incited the recent lone wolf attacks with such rhetoric as, “We will not allow our holy places to be contaminated. Keep them away from us and we will stay away from them, but if they ever enter Al-Aqsa, we will protect Al-Aqsa and the church and the entire country.”

Their holy places! Really? Says who? The Koran? Not hardly. The Koran doesn’t even mention the city of Jerusalem … not once! The Bible references Jerusalem hundreds of times.

Holy places contaminated? What Jew would ever think or want to enter the Al-Aqsa mosque? Abbas is really saying that the Jews are contaminating all of Israel, a land that the Palestinians claim is rightfully theirs. But they have no ancient or contemporary deed to the land.

And just how do Arab Palestinians interpret these warnings from Abbas? No less than by entering a Jewish synagogue and murdering Rabbis at prayer. Is that how they keep the Jews away from the Arabs? Is that how they stay away from Israelis … by slaughtering them? Is that how they are supposed to protect Al-Aqsa and the entire country? Whose country is it anyway? There is no Palestinian State and never has been. There is no Palestinian people … only Arabs. There is no Palestinian language and never has been … only Arabic. The Arabs were not there first. The Jews were; at least 2,500 years before. Originally, Palestinians were Jews. Arabs didn’t refer to themselves as Palestinians until Israel became a State in 1948. Actually, not until the Palestinian Authority in the 1960s.

No, the Palestinian Arabs do not want peace, or to be left alone, or to co-exist with the Jews. They want one thing and one thing only: To be rid of all Jews in Israel and the entire world. That is precisely what is propagated in the Palestinian Charter.

Where is the Justice?

As in a previous Eye of Prophecy article, Bring Back Our Boys (published 6-28-14), this blog post contains some harsh language regarding Muslim atrocities in the name of Islam or Allah. Yes, I am angry over the needless, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking slaughter of innocent Jews—in our time and throughout the annals of human history. And, in more general terms, for all innocent people whose precious lives were extinguished by their fellow human beings for a myriad of motives; but particularly because of their race and beliefs. This also includes arbitrary killing of Jews and Muslims by the Crusaders, who were not true believers in Christ, but Christian in name only.

Is mine a righteous anger? Is yours? I’d like to think so … I believe it is. But only because my righteousness is God-given, imputed through and by the righteousness of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have no innate righteousness of my own. I have been declared righteous because of my trust in Yeshua as Savior. So, too, do I strongly believe in justice. As do many people throughout the world for thousands of years.

Yet, those who have not accepted the redemption found through Christ—purchased through his death, burial, and resurrection—often think more in terms of revenge than justice. The Bible speaks of justice in dozens of passages, and tells us that God loves justice … a pure justice. Indeed, that is one of his many attributes. Frequently, Scripture declares that God will avenge (with a holy, righteous justice) the innocent. Such as:

“For, I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the Lord has blessed” (Isaiah 61:8-9). God’s love of justice is a universal, perpetual truth applicable to all peoples and situations. But the passage is also referring more specifically to the nation of Israel, to the Jews.

There is a special favor from God to those who pursue justice. “God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6).

The two assailants that murdered the rabbis were shot and killed by Israeli police, who had no other choice in order to save more lives. And rightfully so … that was justice. It is also justness for the Israelis to demolish the houses of the terrorists, if for no other reason that a stern lesson and deterrent from future attacks. In some countries, particularly Islamic governments, the immediate family of the offenders might have been arrested, imprisoned, or even killed out of retribution. Thus, additional measures by the Israeli government are mild in comparison.

As in my follow-up article to Bring Back Our Boys, entitled Prince of Peace (published 7-5-14), I want to reaffirm that I (and I hope all who are believers in Christ) will not direct my reactions and emotions to hatred of the assassins; rather, only loathing of their actions. For one thing this deplorable behavior of terrorists and murderers all over the world is only an extreme expression of the sin that we all are capable of. This statement in no way condones what they have done. Rather, it simply highlights the fact that I am a sinner saved by the grace of God. As John Newton said, “I am a great sinner. And Christ is a great Savior.”

To once again emphasize that there will not be any real peace, no pure justice until Messiah Jesus returns to this war-torn, evil preoccupied, worn-out earth to establish his Kingdom of Righteousness, Justice, and Peace.

Listen to these majestic words of prophecy concerning the glorious second coming of Messiah Jesus: “Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, who pleases me. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged. He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction” (Isaiah 42:1-4, italics for emphasis).

Not crushing the weakest reed or putting out a flickering candle refers to the poor, weak, downtrodden of the earth who, in spite of all their trouble, truly seek God. Messiah will treat these folks with tenderness and love. He will right all the wrongs that have been done to them.


Funeral Procession for Three of the Slain Rabbis

Things to Ponder

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Despite several recent legal challenges, one Nation under God, has withstood the misguided efforts to remove God from the US Flag salute. But I fear that one day, under God will be legally removed from this honored salutation, and perhaps from our seats of government and halls of justice.

I firmly believe that unless we and our leaders at least acknowledge the sovereignty of Almighty God in creating and blessing this great nation, there will no longer be liberty and justice for all. In fact, liberty and justice is already being twisted and tainted in, of all places, our courts of law. Judges are overturning referendums and laws passed by majority of citizens in several states on important moral issues such as marriage and abortion.

We all need Jesus in our hearts, lives, and relationships with family, friends, community, state, nation, and the world. Only the Prince of Peace can bring true justice and peace to this world.

“But the Lord reigns forever, executing judgment from his throne. He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness. The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. Sing praises to the Lord who reigns in Jerusalem. Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds. For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless. He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer” (Psalms 9:7-12).


Jesus is right, so very right.

The Seal of Approval


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The Seal of Approval … Identity of Antichrist

It’s time to once again declassify and decode the identity of Antichrist. To once again lift the veil of secrecy and mystery that modern-day students of prophecy have imposed on this infamous figure; called a ruler and king by the prophet Daniel, the man of lawlessness by the apostle Paul, Antichrist by the apostle John, and a beast by John, the author of Revelation.

Although volumes have been written about this notorious tyrant, the prevailing premise is that the identity of the man who would dare be anti-Christ cannot be known until after the Rapture, at the outset of the seven-year Great Tribulation. As I have quoted in past Eye of Prophecy articles, some scholars have dismissed and even ridiculed the notion that the Antichrist’s identity was meant to be known before the Rapture with the statement: “If anyone thinks they know the identity of Antichrist, then they have missed the Rapture!”

But we can know … we should know! Why can I make such a bold assertion? It’s really quite simple: Because Scripture not only encourages such a discovery, it actually challenges us to figure out who the prophets and apostles are referring to. That he was not just a future tense despot to the prophet Daniel, but a present tense ruler during the Apostle Paul’s lifetime and a past tense Monarch shortly before the book of Revelation was penned.

This week’s article will revisit in summary fashion my book, Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved, 666? As well as past Eye of Prophecy articles entitled: Modern Day Antichrist; AntichristIs He Alive Today; Reappearance of the Beast; The Number of the Beast; The Beast and His Name … published consecutively between 9-7-13 and 10-5-13. If you’re really interested, if you truly want to dig into the Biblical and secular references to this man of sin, then I would encourage you to get a copy of the book and read the Eye of Prophecy articles. Out of the Abyss is available on-line through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Let’s begin with a remarkable well-known verse sometimes quoted in my past writings on the beast of Revelation, but one that bears repeating: “Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666” (Revelation 13:18). In ancient Greek manuscripts the number 666 is actually written out … six hundred, sixty-six.

What does this verse say and mean to you? Are there any restrictions identified or conditions imposed on the reader, whether a Christian reading it in the first century or in this current generation, that directly state or remotely imply that the calculation (through wisdom and understanding) of the meaning of the number applies only to those alive after the Rapture? The verse unambiguously challenges the reader of that time to, “solve the meaning of the number of the beast.” And when that is unscrambled, the identity of the beast will be revealed; because, “It’s the number of a man.”

As further evidence and incentive that the identity of Antichrist was meant to be known (solved) by first century believers and all believers thereafter, an extraordinary command was given by one of the angels at the very end of the phenomenal series of visions witnessed by John, as recorded in the very last chapter of Revelation. Says John, “Then he instructed me, ‘Do not seal up the prophetic words in this book, for the time is near’” (Revelation 22:10).

Hold that thought, as we will return to this captivating but puzzling command. First we need to examine identical instructions found in the Old Testament, but in reverse of the one give to John in Revelation.

The Angel to Daniel: “Seal up the book…..

Just one other place in the Bible do we find similar language of sealing prophecies … those given to Daniel. Only the directive is in reverse of what the angel told John. “But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end….” (Daniel 12:4).

Since end-times prophecy made its resurgence primarily in the 1960’s, Bible scholars have frequently and accurately explained that the instruction to Daniel (seal up the book) was necessary because fulfillment of the vast majority of Daniel’s visions wouldn’t take place until the, time of the end. Several, but not all, students of prophecy correctly place the beginning of the time of the end as the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus, i.e. the New Covenant that birthed the Church. Which will culminate in the Rapture, then the beginning of the Day of the Lord—Tribulation, Second Coming of Christ at the end of the Tribulation, followed by the Millennium.

The first part of Daniel’s visions (the four beasts from the sea … a similar vision to the statue dream given to Nebuchadnezzar), actually began to unfold during his lifetime—referring to the Medes/Persian (2nd beast) conquest of Babylon (1st beast). Yet, it would be hundreds of years before the third and fourth beasts emerged as world powers … Alexander’s Greece and the Roman Empire. After Alexander’s empire was split into four parts, then before and during the rise of Rome, some (partially or fully) of Daniel’s prophecies came to pass … those found in chapters 2, 7, 8, 9, and 11. But the most important, the most prominent, and the most spectacular prophecy came to pass when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was hailed as the Messiah. (Daniel 9:24-25). Daniel’s prophecy of this event came to pass on the very day predicted by the Word of God.

Then shortly after Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection, the ruler of Daniel 7 & 9, the one whose armies would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple (Daniel 9:26-27), arrived on the scene of history. As carefully detailed in Out of the Abyss, this ruler was the Man of Lawlessness depicted by Paul, and would be the beast of Revelation who would reappear from the Abyss during the Great Tribulation.

For more dramatic effect in my book Out of the Abyss, and as progressively developed in the Eye of Prophecy articles on Antichrist, I intentionally delayed naming the Antichrist to build both a historical case and contemporary suspense as to his identity. But now, as a reinforcement to those who have read the book or articles and to any reader of this article who has not, I will plainly state his identity.

The Ruler of Daniel, the Man of Lawlessness, and the Beast of Revelation most often referred to as the Antichrist is the Roman Emperor, NERO.

Intrigued? Puzzled? Surprised? Amazed? Dumbfounded? So was I when I first realized that the Antichrist had already lived and died before John saw the spectacular visions of Revelation. That, however, the beast-king would reappear from the Abyss at the outset of the Tribulation.

Why Seal Daniel’s Visions

The reason that Daniel was told to “seal” his book was because nearly all of the prophecies weren’t germane to his generation, nor to many generations after Daniel. Obviously, the sealing of Daniel’s book wasn’t meant to be a literal fastening commonly used in those days, especially by kings and officials who wanted their documents to be tightly guarded for both privacy and safety until they were to be opened (unsealed) and read. For one thing, much of Daniel’s book was a journalistic record of past and present events that occurred during Daniel’s decade’s long sojourn in Babylon.

Rather, the sealing of Daniel’s visions was a metaphorically practical way of saying that it would do Daniel and those keenly interested in his prophecies no good to try to figure them out until the majority of the prophecies had been fulfilled. And did you know: Nearly all of Daniel’s prophecies were fulfilled by the end of the first century. In fact, the only ones not yet fulfilled were those pertaining to the ruler (little horn) and the ten horns/kings of the tribulation period, which are presented in remarkably similar fashion in Revelation 17. Once the majority of the prophecies came to pass, then the remaining (Tribulation) predictions would be much easier to grasp, particularly when expanded upon later by Paul and by John of Revelation.

Thus, after the Roman destruction of the Temple in 70 AD and certainly following the book of Revelation, Daniel’s prophecies were effectively unsealed.

Yes, the sealing of Daniel’s book has been an oft-quoted and elucidated passage by modern Bible scholars. But not so the similar, yet opposite instructions to John in Revelation. The command to, “not seal up the prophetic words in this book…” has seldom been mentioned or explained by Bible teachers (including me at one time). Yet, it has as much, if not more, significance than the directive for Daniel to seal his book.

The Angel to John: “Do not seal up the prophetic words in this book.”

Paraphrasing, Daniel was told to place his writings in storage. John was instructed to do just the opposite. Why would the angel even mention such a thing, i.e. advising John not to seal up the prophetic words of this book (Revelation)? There had to be a reason for such a command. First century believers, especially Jewish believers who were well-versed in the writings of the Old Testament prophets, would have immediately made the connection of the angel’s admonition to John as a striking contrast to the instructions given to Daniel.

To identify the association between Daniel’s sealing and John’s no-sealing is to fully grasp the meaning of and reason for the angel’s warning to John. And what is that meaning?

The astounding significance of and for the need not to seal (withhold, keep to himself, temporarily set aside, or postpone for a later time) ANY PART of the book of Revelation is that all of the revelations given to John were immediately appropriate to the believers of that day. In fact, we can with a great deal of assurance and authority carry this a step further and state: The revelations and understanding of the visions were applicable first and foremost to the Christians of the first century. Because if Jesus could/would imminently come for his bride (the Church) at any time, then all of the end-time Biblical prophecies would begin to unfold immediately. Therefore, ALL of the revelations given to John were applicable to all Christians of that time and should be openly read, taught, and disseminated throughout the Roman Empire.

With, however, the need to codify references to the Antichrist to protect Christians from further persecution and death; hence, the encoding of the beast’s identity through the Hebrew method of counting and numbering with their alphabet (Gematria) in Revelation 13. Also to partially obscure the identity of the beast (Nero) in Revelation 17, by what effectively was a puzzle or riddle of the seven kings … five fallen, one reigning, one soon to reign, but briefly, then an eighth king (the beast himself) who was one of the seven.

That is why the angel told John not to seal up the prophecies of Revelation; because they were to be understood by and applied to those believers alive at that time. Unlike the prophecies of Daniel which were some 90% for the mostly distant future—the centuries leading to and including the first advent of Messiah Jesus—the disclosures to John of Patmos were undeniably relevant to his readers because Jesus could rapture his Church at any moment.

That this beast had already lived and died before John was given the visions of the beast in Revelation, but that this same beast king would reappear from the Abyss. That coupled with the wording of Daniel 9:26-27, resulted in a phenomenal conclusion that the Antichrist beast would also return to the earth (in duplication of Messiah’s 2nd coming), but not until the Tribulation began very shortly after the Rapture.

Because the Rapture and subsequent return of Christ could (and in the eyes of first century believers) probably would take place in their lifetime, the Antichrist had to already have been a first century man to instigate and commence his Tribulation reign of terror that would begin very soon after the Rapture.

(Please read the above paragraph again). We need to wrap our minds around this fact and let it sink in. Rephrased: Christ could have chosen to Rapture the believers at any moment. If he had done so, then the remainder of Daniel’s and Jesus’s and Paul’s and John’s prophecies including, but not limited to the Antichrist, would have begun to unfold soon thereafter … within days or weeks. Thus, the Antichrist MUST HAVE ALREADY BEEN ON THE SCENE.

Which is exactly what the angel told John in Revelation 17.

A Stunning Disclosure … The Antichrist Will Not Be a Modern-Day Man

Said the angel to John: “Why are you so amazed?… I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits. The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon come up out of the bottomless pit and go to eternal destruction. And the people who belong to this world … will be amazed at the reappearance of the beast who had died” (Revelation 17:8, italics for emphasis). The Greek word for soon means momentarily, but more so it means abruptly or suddenly.

In November, 2008 (almost to the day of today’s article), this passage absolutely stunned me; even though I had read the verse along with the rest of Revelation many times. All of John’s visions, including this one, took place in the present (time). After seeing the beast for this second time, the angel revealed the “mystery” of the beast to John. It was another extraordinary disclosure of the beast’s identity to go along with his number (six hundred, sixty-six) presented earlier in Revelation Chapter 13.

The incredible fact was/is: The Antichrist-beast had lived before John saw this vision of him. But at the time of the vision on a specific Sunday (Revelation 1) on a specific day in John’s life, the beast was no longer alive. But he would return from the Abyss (bottomless pit) and this return (reappearance) would utterly amaze the world’s inhabitants. This and other passages regarding the Antichrist was thoroughly explained in Out of the Abyss, along with historical first-century church and secular records.

All of the pieces of the prophetic puzzle fit perfectly, leading to the inescapable conclusion that the Antichrist was none other than the Roman Emperor Nero!

Returning to the (un)sealing of the Book of Revelation, the breathtaking relevance of this command to John was that ALL of the mysteries of Revelation could be understood by believers of that time, including the identity of the Antichrist. It was not necessary to wait until future generations to understand these mysteries including the number of the beast and his biographical history up to that time.

The identity of the beast could, would, and should be known by the (any) generation alive when the Rapture occurred followed by the immediate appearance (reappearance) of the beast. Consequently, would you (also) agree that the Christians of the first century could have been that very generation? If so, then they and all generations to follow had the Biblical tools to solve the clues and ascertain the identity of Antichrist BEFORE the Rapture, not afterward.

Once again: Nowhere in Revelation does John state or even imply that the identity of the beast could only be decoded or known until after the beast actually appeared on the scene. Moreover, Chapter 21 in Out of the Abyss meticulously explains II Thessalonians Chapter 2; that the “revealing” of the Man of Lawlessness took place when Nero unlawfully usurped the title of Roman Emperor and began a rebellion against God and Christianity during his lifetime. Additionally, the often overlooked verse eight of this chapter was clarified. That Jesus actually kills the Man of Lawlessness (Antichrist, beast) and then destroys him. That killing and destroying are not the same thing. That the death (killing) of Nero took place in 68 AD, but his final destruction in the Lake of Fire will not take place until the end of the Tribulation, after he returns from the Abyss. I also spend a great deal of space in the book on the Abyss, itself.

All of which leads to the crystal clear conclusion: The Antichrist cannot be a modern-day man born and raised in today’s world nor any generation to follow. The words of Revelation 17 are unmistakable: the beast had already lived and died BEFORE John saw it/him in his vision. “The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now.”

Daniels’ prophecies could not be comprehended by his generation, which is why the angel instructed him to seal them … meaning set them aside until the actual events took place. Not so with John’s visions as recorded in Revelation. They were to be (with wisdom and understanding) grasped right then and there. The Lord through John wanted the believers of the seven churches and all Christians of that day to know, beyond any reasonable doubt, that Nero was the beast of Revelation; the revealed Man of Lawlessness presented by Paul; the ruler whose armies destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple of Daniel in Chapter 9; the little horn of Daniel Chapter 7 who would “suddenly appear” on the scene and take over the ten horns (kings), the same ten kings of Revelation 17. All this, and more is carefully documented through Scripture and history in Out of the Abyss and to a lesser extent in the prior Eye of Prophecy articles.

Which is why Jesus told John at the spectacular beginning of Revelation when John saw the risen Christ before he saw any visions at all: “Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen” (Revelation 1:19). Revelation contained more than just things that would come; which, as already alluded, Christians in that day believed would come shortly. It included visions pertaining to things already taking place … which by default would include recent past events that dovetailed with current events of that time.


Because it has been 3 ½ years since Out of the Abyss was published and over a year since the Eye of Prophecy articles on Antichrist, I felt compelled to reintroduce and re-emphasize the remarkable disclosures that help refit the pieces of the prophetic puzzle regarding the identity of the Antichrist. Starting with the amazing FACT (according to Revelation 17) that the Antichrist beast had already been born and died before John received the revelations of this evil man. That he would reappear from the Abyss; that by default logic he couldn’t ascend from the Abyss until he had first been placed there (by Christ).

But mostly in this article to expand on these short, simple, but amazingly profound verses in the first and last chapters of Revelation.

First Chapter: Jesus told John, “… to write down what you have seen, both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen.” Why wouldn’t the Lord have just said, write down what he had seen, and leave it at that? There was a reason Jesus added the following words. Reason: Because he wanted John and all first century believers and Christians thereafter to understand explicitly that Revelation was not confined just to future events … events that could begin any hour or day after John’s visions were over. Other than the first three chapters of Revelation including the letters to the seven churches, most Christians and even Bible scholars think in terms of the remainder of Revelation applying exclusively to future events. NOT SO.

There are several past tense occurrences in Revelation, such as the five kings who had fallen, and most amazing—the beast who had already lived and died, who—as I demonstrate in past writings—was one of those five kings who had died … Nero.

Last Chapter: That’s why the angel instructed John not to withhold or postpone or delay the announcement and distribution of the book of Revelation (all part of “sealing” a book). Because, in fact, ALL of Revelation was applicable immediately to all believers and nothing in the book was hidden from meaning and none of the mysteries were left unrevealed. This all was relevant to and part of the equally valid truth that Jesus could return any day.

The fact in the first century was: THE BEAST HAD ALREADY BEEN REVEALED. Now it was just a matter of when the Rapture would take place, which would initiate and shift into high gear all of the ensuing prophecies of the beast’s reappearance and all of the Tribulation events depicted in Revelation.

Conversely, with the prophet Daniel and his visions, he was repeatedly told that the visions were for a future time … nothing whatsoever imminent about these prophecies. Such as, “…you must understand that the events you have seen in your vision relate to the time of the end” (Daniel 8:17). But with the New Testament Saints everything was imminent, beginning with the Rapture and continuing (immediately) with the return of the beast who had died and all prophesied events thereafter.

Do you see the difference between Daniel’s time and John’s time? Does this help explain the divine rationale between instructing Daniel to seal his prophecies, but for John to unseal what had been revealed to him (don’t seal the words)? And why those specific instructions were even given to Daniel and John.

Things to Ponder

The specific purpose of this article is to know beyond any doubt that we are meant to know the identity of the beast of Revelation, just as the first century (and a few centuries after that) Christians knew. It is recorded both in secular and church history that many early Christians believed that Nero would, in fact, return as the Antichrist beast of Revelation. This amazing belief was prevalent for the better part of four hundred years after the Lord’s ascension to heaven.

All I’m doing is refitting the prophetic puzzle that had correctly been assembled in the years of the early Church. I’m not reinventing the wheel. Rather I’m using the same wheel of prophecy used by the early believers in their journey through the annals of Biblical events pertaining to the last days. And these last days began with the birth of Jesus. We are currently in the last of the last days.

“Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).

Revelation’s prophet is John of Patmos. The early Christians understood John’s prophecies were meant for them. They weren’t even thinking about future generations no more than we would if we fully expected something to happen in our lifetime. They understood that Nero was the beast, but not until he had died; because Revelation wasn’t written until after Nero’s death, nor was the apostle John’s term of Antichrist used. Nor could they match up the ruler (Antichrist) of Daniel until Nero died and his armies vanquished Jerusalem and the Temple.

But they could (and did) match Nero with the Man of Lawlessness that Paul introduced to them. Once Nero died and Revelation was written, they knew for sure who Nero was. Because Paul said that Jesus would kill the man of lawlessness (II Thessalonians 2:8). Then John told them that the beast would return from the abyss. Later, they understood that Daniel’s prophecy applied to Nero, because in 70 AD the very generals personally selected/appointed by Nero to crush Israel destroyed the Temple … a campaign begun by Vespasian and completed by his son, Titus. (See Daniel 9:26-27).

The early Christians knew, and so can we.

Six Million Reasons … To Trust the Bible


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Six Million Reasons … To Trust the Bible

Numbers do have meaning—to God and to people, literally and symbolically, individually and nationally. Scripture is replete with the use and significance of the numbers three, seven, twelve, forty, seventy, four hundred, one thousand and a few others. How could we tell time or be on time without numbers? Sixty seconds in a minute, sixty minutes in an hour, twenty-four hours in a day, seven days in a week, and so on.

In 2012, the world’s population passed seven billion. Scientists and leaders of nations the world over have become increasingly alarmed about the skyrocketing surge in population. How can they feed and house so many people? Will the water supplies maintain pace with the human, animal, and agriculture demands of this burgeoning populace? Can the environment withstand the pressures created by so many people? Will there be enough energy resources for light, heat, transportation, and entertainment? So many questions, so much concern … not enough answers.

The growth spurt of human population has been truly exponential. Which is, when applied to the population surge, just a fancy word that means: The more people that are born, the more people that are born. No, I’m not repeating for emphasis, nor did I hit the repeat key on my keyboard. In fact, I don’t even have a repeat key. Do you? Copy and paste, but no repeat.

Let the statistics prove my layman’s definition of exponential. In 1 AD the world’s total population was estimated to be 200 million.

1000 AD – 275 million

1500 – 450 million

1800 – 1 billion

1900 – 1.6 billion

1960 – 3 billion

1999 – 6 billion

2012 – 7 billion

It took 1800 years for the population to hit the one billion mark; but only 160 years for the population to reach 3 billion. In the year 1960, I turned fourteen years of age. You can do the math on how old I am; however, I’m still alive because I just hit publish to propel this Eye of Prophecy article through cyberspace! And, of course, I was alive in 1999 when the world’s population DOUBLED in just 39 years to six billion. In another twelve years or so, it increased another billion. Now that’s exponential! In fact, it gives a whole new meaning to the word, which is derived from the mathematical term, exponent. Which basically means the operation or phenomenon of multiplying a number by twice its amount or perhaps to the 10th power.

Since this article is not about concern over global overpopulation, I’m not going to debate the issues; except to say that I don’t believe there is or ever will be such a thing as too many people on this earth. That statement alone could take an entire article or more to defend, so I’ll simply defer to the Bible for support.

“So God created human beings (man) in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). We should always pay attention to God and his Messiah, Jesus. Had our ancestors listened to him, we would still be in that beautiful Garden of Eden. However, when God says something twice—which he sometimes does in Scripture—that’s a clear signal that we’d better listen real hard. When he says something three times in one sentence … well, that’s exponential! Read the verse again … no less than three times God says that he created human beings (male and female). Is the Lord repeating himself for dramatic emphasis? You can count on it.

So what is he saying? Easy question, bordering on stupid: God is our Creator, and we are unique from the animals because he created us in his image. Moreover, he created male and female, not male and male or female and female. But that’s another article for another time!

Defense #1: God created us and there were no conditions or requirements or stipulations or warnings whatsoever, at all—in any way, shape, or form—that we were to be careful not to overpopulate the earth.

Just the opposite. Scripture tell us: “Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it….’” (Genesis 1:28).

“Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! (Genesis 1:31a).

Defense #2: The Lord commissioned us to replenish the earth (with sons and daughters) … “be fruitful and multiply.” I see this as just the opposite of natural or unnatural forced population control. Just look at the Communist Chinese officials who (dictatorially) imposed the cruel law of only one child per family. No time to go into all the details in this article; suffice to say this abnormal, immoral law is a disaster. It has created far more problems than perceived overpopulation could ever generate. But that, too, is a different article for a different day.

Six Million Jews Gone, Six Million Found

Yes, numbers are meaningful; especially to an entire race of people who bore the brunt of unimaginable, incomprehensible terror and brutality at the hands of a ruthless and brutal government, whose malevolent objective was genocide of the Jewish people. Six million—nearly one-third of the world’s Jews and one-half of Jews in Europe—were systematically slaughtered during World War II. As long as I have breath and the ability to write, I will continually remind us of this gruesome fact. The Jews will never forget … neither should you and I.

But our great God always brings gladness out of sadness, laughter from lament, and hope through heartache. Although evil may triumph, it is always temporary. Though wickedness may flourish, it will inevitably fail. Despite incredible suffering of millions of innocent human beings, both Jews and Gentiles, God’s justice will one day reign supreme, satisfying those who have been so terribly wronged by the injustice of tyrants and terrorists and neighborhood bullies.

Just a couple of months ago, an Israeli census taken at Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) confirmed that in 2013 the Jewish population in Israel reached the six million mark for the first time since Israel’s statehood in 1948. Total population in Israel stands at 8,252,500, of which 6,186,100 are Jews and the remaining mostly Arab. New immigrants to Israel in 2013 totaled 16,884. Plus, 90,646 boys and 85,584 girls were born to Jewish parents. (Figures taken from

Reaching the six million mark is a monumental milestone for Israelis and for Jews the world over. It’s a huge symbolic achievement, but it’s much more than figurative. It is a literal one-for-one representative replacement of men, women, and children ruthlessly removed forever from their families, from their people, and from the human race. It is the birth of one new baby at a time to replace moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and grandparents mercilessly eliminated by state-sanctioned murder, multiplied six million times.

The Rosh Hashana census listed the most popular names given to Israeli babies. For boys: Yosef, Daniel, and Uri. For girls: Tamar, Noa, and Shira. Precious names for precious children. Treasurable numbers each and every one.

The significance of these numbers certainly didn’t escape Israeli leaders. In a recent weekly Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke these words: “Israel’s population has passed eight million. No less important, for the first time in the history of the State of Israel, more than six million Jews live here. This number has great significance in light of our people’s history in the previous century as well as in the current one.”

The Prime Minister obviously was referring to the six million Jews murdered by the Third Reich of Hitler’s Germany, later labeled the Holocaust for the sheer magnitude of this genocide motivated atrocity. Netanyahu continued: “On the eve of our holiday, I would like to send out best wishes for a full and rapid recovery to the wounded IDF soldiers and citizens and at the same time send our deepest condolences to the families of the fallen. I would also like to commend the entire people of Israel for the determination and unity that they showed during Operation Protective Edge (the 50-day war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip).”

Prophetic Exponential Increase of God’s Chosen People

What is happening in Israel is astounding, but it shouldn’t be all that surprising. For God, himself, promised these things long ago through many prophets. In the case of the prophet Ezekiel, over 2,500 years ago.

“I will greatly increase the population of Israel, and the ruined cities will be rebuilt and filled with people” (Ezekiel 35:10). When God says that he will greatly increase the population of Israel, you can rest assured that will be an exponential expansion. Israel and the Jews are in the midst of such a population proliferation now. Currently, the average birth rate in Israel is 3.0 children for Jewish mothers … the highest birth rate in the world. Contrast that to the world average of 1.7 and you have nearly double the birth rate for Israeli woman.

Continuing in Ezekiel: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘When I cleanse you from your sins, I will repopulate your cities, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The fields that used to lie empty and desolate in plain view of everyone will again be farmed. And when I bring you back, people will say, ‘This former wasteland is now like the Garden of Eden! The abandoned and ruined cities now have strong walls and are filled with people!’ Then the surrounding nations that survive will know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruins and replanted the wasteland. For I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do what I say. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am ready to hear Israel’s prayers and to increase their numbers like a flock. They will be as numerous as the sacred flocks that fill Jerusalem’s streets at the time of her festivals. The ruined cities will be crowded with people once more, and everyone will know that I am the Lord’” (Ezekiel 36:33-38, italics for emphasis).

In 1867 Mark Twain visited Israel and wrote down his impressions entitled, Innocents Abroad. Some of his observations were remarkably similar to Ezekiel’s words from the Lord: “The fields that used to lie empty and desolate in plain view of everyone.”

Wrote Twain about Israel, “…A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds … a silent mournful expanse … a desolation … we never saw a human being on the whole route … hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive trees and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”

And, he was amazed how tiny Jerusalem was: “A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is.”

But no more. Not too long after Twain’s journey to the Promised Land that appeared anything but promising to him, Jews began to return to Israel (Palestine at that time). Exponentially, they increased in numbers soon after the Palestine Mandate of 1917; even more so after Israel’s Statehood in 1948, in which there were 806,000 Jews who lived in Israel.

Today’s Jerusalem is almost fifty square miles in size. Think you could walk around the city in one hour now? Hardly.

But there’s more: According to John as recorded in Revelation, he saw: “…the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2). Then later, he watched as an angel measured the full range of the city. “When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles” (Verse 16).

Roughly, the squared dimensions of this incredible city will occupy, as an example, well over half of the land mass of the United States. And that’s only the square miles on the land itself. Add another 1,400 vertical miles straight up and you get a city that could house billions of people. No matter how many it holds, there will be plenty of room for all believers in Christ, Jew and Gentile alike.

The present city of Jerusalem will continue to exist and thrive throughout the ages. But the New Jerusalem will far exceed the old Jerusalem in size and beauty and glory.

I would surmise that Mark Twain was perplexed and disappointed and also surprised by what he saw in Israel and Jerusalem. Whether he had read the remarkable prophecies of Israel’s inevitable return to the land is unknown … my hunch is that he had not. What I’ve read from and about Samuel Clemens would suggest that not too many things really took him by surprise. He had seen and experienced life, like few others. But I can virtually guarantee his utter astonishment, should he be able to revisit Israel today! And if someone told him that all this had been foretold by the ancient Jewish prophets, I’d like to think that he would have immediately searched the Scriptures for confirmation.

Ezekiel’s astounding prophecy proclaims that in those last days the city of Jerusalem would be filled and crowded with people. Once again, we are witnessing in our generation the fulfillment of that prediction, the accomplishment of God’s divine purpose for Israel and the Jewish people. Nothing or no one will stop God’s magnificent purpose for the Church and for Israel. And this plan is close, very close to fulfillment. Which is why I’m convinced we are living in the Omega Generation … the last generation that will experience the Rapture of believers, spiritual salvation of the Jews, and permanent, never-ending possession of the land.

Final physical restoration of all Jews to Israel will shortly follow and overlap with their individual and national redemption as prophesied by Ezekiel: When I cleanse you from your sins, I will repopulate your cities…. The cleansing began when the first Jew in the first century accepted Christ as his/her Savior. And, since 1967 there has, indeed, been a rapid resurgence in the number of Messianic Jews the world over. The cleansing will be complete when Christ rescues Israel from annihilation in the valley of Megiddo at the end of the seven-year Great Tribulation.

Through Israel, God Blesses All Peoples

“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you’” (Genesis 12:1-3).

By far, the greatest blessing flowing from God’s promise to the father of the Jewish people, Abraham, is the birth, death, and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua … born from the tribe of Judah, through the lineage of King David. But it doesn’t stop there. Before our very eyes and continuing far into the future—indeed, forever—the people and land of Israel will be a source of blessing to all people on the earth. Their medical, scientific, agricultural, economic, humanitarian, and cultural innovations, discoveries, and developments are nothing short of astonishing. Once again the land of Israel has blossomed and the world is a better place for it.

Six million Jews taken by force and removed from the face of the earth at the hands of depraved wicked men by shooting, hanging, starvation, and gassing. Six million Jews taken by the sovereign hand of God; transported to or birthed in the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as descendants of these Patriarchs. Six: the number of man, tragically and triumphantly represented by a special people chosen by God to bring truth, light, and salvation to the earth.

Seven billion people on this planet. Seven: the Divine number of God representing completeness, providence, sovereignty, and the final judgment of God on all that is wrong with this world. Six (million) and seven (billion) arriving on the scene of history together for the first time ever. For such a time as this. Many epic events in history have been associated with fulfillment of prophetic numbers found in Scripture. Biblical numbers don’t lie or even mislead. They are reliable reminiscent records of the past and sure statistical signs of the future. We would do well to heed these records and signs.

Now then, for those readers who didn’t want to bother with the math of my age (who can blame them!), I turned sixty-eight this past September. And this blog is the sixty-eighth weekly article posted consecutively since the Eye of Prophecy site began in July, 2013. For that, I am grateful to the Lord. Granted, these numbers are significant only to me, but then we all have special numbers and dates that are meaningful just to us.

Yet, the entire nation of Israel recognizes and cherishes each and every Jew living in the land promised to them by the true and living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Also the God of all Gentiles who believe in Messiah Jesus, who have been grafted into the tree of Israel through his awesome sacrifice. The untimely loss of even one Jew is traumatically felt by the soul of the entire nation. They weep together, but they also rejoice together.

Things to Ponder

“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it” (Genesis 2:15). From God’s original design that men and women must take care of the land in which they live, we can accurately and reasonably conclude that we are to manage our resources. And we are to govern and be governed by those who at least acknowledge the sovereignty of Almighty God, Maker of Heaven and Earth and all living things, as the source of all blessings and well-being … rain, crops, housing, transportation, all things pertaining to freedom. For life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness so profoundly expressed in the United States Declaration of Independence.

Yes, we should manage and control our resources the best we can, seeking God’s counsel and direction in all things. But we are not to control people, in the sense of manipulation or domination; and certainly not the number of people. If we seek God, if we draw near to him, we will find him. And he will give all that is needed to support individuals, families, cities, states, and nations … no matter how many people there are.

How much better would this world be if more believers were as passionately active for truth and life, as terrorists and tyrants are for lies and death? And for Christians to share their love for the truth of God’s Word and the sanctity of life as ardently as those who claim that a union between a man and a woman is not the only way ordained by God, or that the Right to Life belongs exclusively to the mother of an unborn child … not to the God who created life.

As a born again believer in Messiah Jesus, I ultimately don’t decide what is right and good. I let God’s Word decide for me. If I do that, then I can never go wrong. With an extremely strong conditional emphasis on IF.

May God richly bless you.

Sha’alu Shalom Yerushalayim. Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.

To Be or Not To Be … in Heaven?



Heaven & Eternal Life: Same Thing or Different?

“Do you know if you’ll go to heaven when you die? Where will you spend eternity?”

These are questions that sometimes a minister or an evangelist will pose to their audience. Or that a Christian will ask of a loved one, a friend, or even a stranger. In part it is a challenge designed to stimulate some serious self-examination; but mostly, it’s is a genuine heartfelt concern for the eternal destiny of someone who does not know the Lord. As believers in Christ, we want those who are dear to us, even those who may be hostile to us, to be forever with the Lord and with the host of heaven.

But did you know that even some Christians don’t understand that there is a difference between heaven and eternal life? For sure, one goes with the other, but they’re not exactly the same thing. For example: What do you think of when someone mentions everlasting life? Usually, the first thing that comes to mind is Heaven. As well it should, because the very idea of eternal life is practically synonymous with never-ending existence in glory. But the fact remains: Every person is eternal. Every soul will continue into and throughout eternity.

According to Scripture, every person was born (created) to live forever. That is what is meant when God breathed life into Adam (and Eve) and they became a “living soul.” (Genesis 2:7, KJV). Other translations read, “A living person” or “a living being.” Soul, person, being … all convey the idea of infinity, of time without end. That’s one reason we’ve conceived the expression human being. We don’t say that about animals, i.e. animal being. But a human is a being, made in the image of God. Part of that image is the eternity breathed into us by our Great God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Shakespeare’s statement of, “To be or not to be; that is the question,” is, indeed, a profound reflection. A living soul will always “be.” To be born is to be, and be, and be….

However, there is a dissimilarity where someone will spend that eternal existence … heaven or hell. Thus, there is a distinction whether a person will experience eternity in life or eternity in death. Indeed, there is an existence of eternal life and the equally clear Biblical teaching of eternal death, which is not an oxymoron. Death means departure—the body from the soul at physical death and subsequent separation from God forever, which is called the second death in Scripture.

We are all born spiritually dead. The only way we can pass from that spiritual death to life is to be born-again, which is accomplished when we believe and receive Christ Jesus, who IS life. “And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life” (I John 5:11-12, italics for emphasis). Please take special notice of the italicized possessive present tense verbs in this remarkable passage, as we will elaborate on this concept shortly.

The Word of God teaches us that everyone who has been redeemed by the sacrificial atonement of Jesus on the Cross will live forever (in heaven). Although the Right to Life comes from God alone, because God is the author of life itself (creator of every person ever born), God does give each person the right to choose where he or she will spend eternity. Thus, if a person rejects God’s invitation to believe and receive the pardon purchased by Jesus, they have chosen (eternal) death … to remain forever separated from God. But even that death is a continuation of existence.

This is more than just semantics. Meaning that everlasting separation from God is not really (any kind of) life at all. It is miserable perpetual existence in darkness … literally and figuratively. When we read passages in Scripture that guarantee eternal life to those to believe in Jesus Christ as Messiah, the Son of God, we think, say, and mean that the believer will live forever in heaven. Likewise, the unbeliever will live forever, but not in heaven. But, as indicated, it’s not really life at all. It’s a death-like absence from all that is right and good and beautiful.

So, then: What is the difference between everlasting life and heaven? And then: What are some of the things that we will never see in heaven?

Even though we think of heaven and eternal life as being one and the same thing—in principle they are interwoven—let’s take a look at Scripture to see the fundamental difference between the two. When we do that, I believe you’ll see that:

Everlasting Life is a possession. Heaven is a place.

The Possession of Eternal Life

The Bible contains several passages of promises that confirm the awesome gift of eternal life to all who accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. One is the very authority of God’s Word commensurate with the awesome fact that every promise ever made by God is true. What he says will happen, happens. What he says he will do, he does. For example: The Lord assures us through the apostle John, “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (I John 5:13, italics for emphasis).

There is no doubt whatsoever. We never need to wonder or question or be uncertain that our salvation might be lost or otherwise jeopardized by things we do or don’t do. Because salvation is not contingent on our performance either before or after we’re saved. Rather, it is based on the finished work of Christ and on God’s promises that salvation is a permanent possession of the believer. We can no more keep our salvation than we could gain salvation by good works or self-worth or any other religious system. The apostle Paul wrote an entire epistle on this subject. (See the Book of Galatians, but for a condensed version, Galatians 3:1-14).

According to the Bible, it is a done deal! We can know that we know! Once we believe in Christ, we HAVE eternal life … all-inclusive forgiveness of our sins—past, present, and future. Complete assurance of eternal life is such a permanent condition for believers that Jesus, himself, used the analogy of being born-again. I repeat: Christians didn’t coin the term, born-again. Jesus did!

Said Jesus to Nicodemus: “…I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Even a well-educated man and religious leader like Nicodemus couldn’t get a handle on this one. Thus, he replied: “What do you mean? … How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” (John 3:4). So, Jesus explained in more detail that he was talking about a spiritual birth, from above. That this phenomenal rebirth was possible only by believing/receiving Jesus himself. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

No wonder this verse is the all-time favorite of so many Christians. In one verse we are told:

  • How much the true and living God of the universe loves each one of us (the world, which is comprised of every person ever born). Enough to give the precious gift of his Son as the required offering and solution for sin.
  • The means of receiving God’s pardon … simply believe in the Son.
  • The result of that belief and acceptance: Will not perish (eternal death/life in hell); rather eternal life is the immediate result of believing in Christ.

One of the reasons Jesus compares the spiritual birth to the physical birth is to demonstrate the finality of both births. Once a person is born physically, there’s no retroactive process that can return the person to the mother’s womb or otherwise alter the fact that a brand new human being has entered the world. Think about it: Once you’re born nothing can cause you to be unborn. Furthermore, you will always be a child of your parents, even if they disown you for bad behavior or whatever. Same thing with the spiritual birth: Once born from above, there’s no way you can ever be unborn. Birth is birth. Whether physical or spiritual, it is quite permanent. However, God will never disown his children. Once a child of God, always a child of God. Even more: his heirs!

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs….” (Romans 8:15-17).

Everlasting Life … Present Tense Possession

These and other passages explain the fact that everlasting life is freely given by God, a wonderful gift that can never be taken from one who has placed their complete faith/trust in Christ. One that is the exact opposite of everlasting death (which is existence but not really … for what kind of life is it that spends eternity in hell separated from God).

So, the Lord gives us life, then he gives us life again … everlasting life. We are born, then we can be born again. Eternal existence without Christ is no existence at all. In fact, it’s (literally) hell. Do we really realize what we’re saying when we tell someone, “Oh, the hell with you.” Or worse, “He can go to hell.” A cause for pause, don’t you think?

But the most incredible feature of these and other passages that speak of eternal life is what also clarifies the variance between everlasting life and heaven. Both eternity with the Lord and heaven are virtually inseparable; however, the distinction is when and where they begin.

As indicated, Everlasting Life is a Possession! What is meant by that or when is it possessed?

I’m glad you asked, because here is where we sometimes get a little confused and equate heaven with eternal life. Meaning we think everlasting life begins when we get to heaven. Not so! Here’s why.

We could use either one of the previously quoted verses in John or I John, but let’s select another verse just to show how God, through his Word, validates that eternal life is a God-given gift that the believer possesses the very moment of the second birth. Listen to the words of Jesus: “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life” (John 5:24, italics for emphasis).

The message of Christ is clearly explained by Jesus himself, and by the New Testament epistles; indeed, even from passages in the Old Testament pertaining to the Messiah. As summarized in I Corinthians 15:3-4, “…Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.”

The italicized emphasis in the earlier verse from John Chapter 5, clearly states that we HAVE eternal life and will never be condemned for our sins if we believe in Christ. Unbelievers (most of whom do believe in an afterlife, per various polls taken) normally think that eternal life begins only after death; furthermore, that they need to earn or merit or become worthy of that life by doing good, at least more good than bad things they do.

Christians know the difference between good works and salvation through grace by faith alone as the means to salvation; but they, too, sometimes equate the commencement of eternal life with entrance into heaven after death. As indicated, among other things, this has led to lack of trust or confidence in what Christians call eternal security. Through a system of legalism—essentially defined as doing or not doing things to merit God’s favor—they unfortunately believe that their salvation can be lost or entrance into heaven revoked if they don’t perform well as a Christian or if they fail (deliberately or inadvertently) to confess any given sin or sins.

The first chapter of I John clearly shows us that confession of sin for the believer is a means of restoring broken fellowship with the Lord, not to reinstate or otherwise keep or regain our salvation.

As alluded earlier, the Bible tells us that we possess eternal life the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior, through the use of present tense verbs … has or have. Right then and there we hold everlasting life, even while we await our passing from this earth either through death or the Rapture. Everlasting life is a present tense possession that can never be taken away from us by another or even by ourselves. We immediately have eternal life because we have Christ and he has us in his possession. Jesus IS eternal life. If we are “in Christ,” we have eternal life.


Speaking of Jesus, the apostle John states: “This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life….” (I John 1:2).

Then, Jesus speaking about his sheep (believers who have been born again by faith in Christ): “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me … No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).

Both the English word, “give,” and the Greek word from which it is translated mean a present tense ongoing possession (eternal life). The text doesn’t say that Jesus will (someday … maybe) give eternal life to his sheep. Rather, eternal life is given the instant we believe in him.

“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life….” (John 3:36). Once again, we read the present tense word has in this incredible promise. Thus, eternal life is not something we wait for until we die and go to heaven. Instead, it is an immediate present tense, right here and now gift from God the instant we place our personal trust in Jesus Christ as the only one who can save us from eternal death.

Eternal Life is a Possession … Heaven is a Place

“After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said. ‘Why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!’” (Acts 1:7-8).

Before his crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension back to heaven, Jesus told his disciples and all future believers: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3, NASB).

Not only does the Lord assure us that heaven will be the perpetual home of the believer, he even tells us that each one will have a specific dwelling place prepared just for us … and prepare a place for you.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: “It just doesn’t get any better than that.” First, we have present tense (right now on this earth) eternal life the nanosecond that we place our faith in Jesus’s atoning sacrifice on the Cross. No one, including ourselves by way of wrong behavior, mistakes, failures, or anything that we think may jeopardize our eternal security, can take away or change our new birth and the God-given gift of everlasting life. Next, we are guaranteed a dwelling place in heaven prepared by our Awesome Lord and Savior, ready to be occupied the moment we leave this earth. Thus, the eternal life we have right now will continue after our address change from earth to heaven. But with a far superior, resurrected body to enable us to live in God’s presence forever.


I trust that this little study exercise will enable us to better understand both the similarities and the contrast between eternal life and heaven. With the goal of helping all, but especially believers (and unbelievers) who may doubt or not fully understand their destiny. At birth, we all began our eternal existence separated from God. When we accept Christ as Savior, we pass from everlasting death to everlasting life. When a person dies who has Christ, that person goes to heaven (a place of perfect peace where God dwells). When a person dies who does not have Christ, they go to hell (a place of terrible torment where God does not dwell).

Speaking of heaven, the Bible tells us a little of what we we’ll see and experience when we get there. Such as the very presence of Jesus and God, reunion with believer family and friends who have gone before us, and other wonderful blessings.

Heaven is a Place, but Not for Some Things!

Have you ever thought about what we won’t need in heaven? Yes? No? Let’s take a look at some things that will never be seen in heaven. No need to leave a forwarding address from earth to heaven, as there will be no postal service or freight lines to heaven.

“…He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (Revelation 21:4). Which means there will be:

  • No more undertakers, funeral homes, coffins, crematoriums, or cemeteries.
  • No more facial tissue, sympathy cards, condolences, get-well greetings, or grieving.
  • No more back or knee braces, moans or groans, spills or chills or pain killing pills.

“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations” (Revelation 22:1-2). Which means there will be:

  • No more hospitals, old-folks homes, doctors, nurses, pharmacies, drugs, or faith healers … the fruit of the month and leaves from the trees are more than enough!

“And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5). And, “On that day the sources of light will no longer shine, yet there will be continuous day! Only the Lord knows how this could happen. There will be no normal day and night, for at evening time it will still be light!” (Zechariah 14:6-7). Which means there will be:

  • No need for the sun or for lamps and light bulbs. (Isn’t that what it says!)?
  • No more tyrannical or terroristic oppression, suppression, or even hostility towards God’s people. Instead, we will, “reign forever and ever.”

“Then he said to the woman, ‘I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.’ And to the man he said, ‘Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it … By the sweat of your brow you will have food to eat until you return to the ground….’” (Genesis 3:16-19). But in heaven:

“No longer will there be a curse upon anything….” (Revelation 22:3). Which means there will be:

  • No more farmers, construction workers, factory assembly lines, ditch diggers, or any other back-breaking labor; or even a woman’s painful labor to give birth (or birth at all!).
  • No more male chauvinism trying to put women in their place! Likewise, no need for a man to listen to his wife! Seriously, there will no longer be a battle of the sexes. There will be perfect harmony between men and women. Now that’s something to look forward to!

“And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day there will be one Lord—his name alone will be worshipped” (Zechariah 14:9). Which means there will be:

  • No more religious leaders who deceive or religious differences to dispute; because there will be no more religions. Only one Lord, one Name—the Name above all names. Jesus Christ is Lord!

“Its gates (the New Jerusalem) will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there … Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:25-27). Which means there will be:

  • No more police officers, judges, prisons, because there will be no more crime, whatsoever, in heaven. Thus, no more locks or even closed doors.

On the earth there will still be those who will turn against the Lord, but not in heaven. Because only those who have been redeemed (born-again), whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will inherit heaven and dwell there.

Things to Ponder

More proof of a permanent relationship with God through Christ: “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (spiritually dead). And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation” (Romans 5:8-9).

Is your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life?

Let’s Celebrate … Forever!


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Festival of Tabernacles … Part II

“I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago….” (I Corinthians 10:1).

There are some things that must never be forgotten; but always remembered as examples for us, for our children, and for their children. Whether things precious or things dreadful. Be they helpful or hurtful. Whether a child’s cheerful appeal, “Remember, daddy, you promised;” or whether the ominous refrain of an entire nation that lost six million of its own during the 2nd World War: “Never again. We must always remember … this can never happen again.”

The triumphs and tragedies of the past become lessons for the present and patterns for the future. History does repeat itself, especially if we fail to learn from past mistakes and failures. The future is much brighter and our expectations and hopes much stronger when we anticipate and then celebrate milestone events of human history and of our very lives. That’s why we honor birthdays and anniversaries … our own, friends, family, and influential people that helped shape the world we live in. That’s why we commemorate life-changing episodes of our human existence.

That’s why we remember times of great turmoil, that ended victoriously … such as Independence Day and Veterans Day. Or birthdays of great leaders that changed the course of history—such as Presidents Washington and Lincoln and civil rights champion Martin Luther King. And certainly the miraculous birth, horrific death, and awesome resurrection from the grave of Messiah Jesus … at Christmas, Good Friday, and Resurrection Day (Easter), respectively.

The apostle Paul challenged the Jewish believers in Corinth to remember what happened to their ancestors in the wilderness … much of which was covered in last week’s article on the Feast of Shelters. Specifically the attitude and actions of the recently delivered Hebrews (from Egypt) and God’s protection and provisions for them even when they were unfaithful to him. Yes, and God’s correction of them, because the Bible tells us that God disciplines those whom he loves.

“I don’t want you to forget … about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground … All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ” (I Corinthians 10:1-4, italics for emphasis).

It’s crystal clear in the Old Testament record that the food (manna) was actual physical food and the water was real thirst-quenching water, miraculously delivered by God. But Paul shares something with the Corinthian believers even more amazing: Christ was literally with the Hebrews in the wilderness and it was he who supplied both their physical and spiritual sustenance.

After his spectacular encounter with the risen Jesus on the Damascus Road and his equally astounding conversion, Paul knew full well that Yeshua was not only the Son of God, he was God the Son; and that Christ was also fully human, the Son of Man. He understood that the Messiah had made several pre-Incarnate appearances throughout the Old Testament; and Paul fully comprehended that this Jewish born Messiah from the tribe of Judah, from the lineage of King David, had existed with God from the very beginning.

Listen to Paul’s magnificent description of Jesus: “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything. For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross” (Colossians 1:15-20).


Do you care to know who Jesus Christ really is and what he has done for you, for me, and for the whole world? Then read this passage again and know beyond any doubt that he is God, Creator, and our Savior. If you believe that he is Creator God and your personal Savior, you will be saved from your sins and the Wrath of God, and you will live forever with Him in heaven.

“God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. The Good News is about his Son, Jesus. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:2-4).

Warnings and Examples

Paul continues with the epic saga of the Hebrews in the wilderness: “These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did … Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snake bites. And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age” (I Corinthians 10:6-11, italics for emphasis).

As indicated in last week’s article, the Jews were commissioned to bring to mind all the things that happened to them in the wilderness, most importantly the magnificent ways that God protected them and provided for them after he miraculously delivered them from Egypt. One of the more meaningful methods to never forget the sovereign providence of the Lord is by periodic observance of these monumental events. The last, but certainly not the least, of the seven Festivals to be kept by the Jews is the Festival or Feast of Shelters.


Folks, more than ever before, we are living at the end of the age. We are contemporary, modern-day witnesses to the fulfillment of powerful prophetic signs and events recorded throughout Scripture, the most significant of which is the divinely orchestrated rebirth of Israel, followed by the ever-increasing boasts of terrorist groups and entire nations to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. Yet, just last week in the midst of imminent threats from terrorists, regional conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, Iraq and other nations that threaten to entangle the United States, Russia, and the EU, millions of Jews and tens of thousands of Gentile Christians celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles.

Why is this Holiday so important? What makes it unique in comparison to all of the other Jewish and Christian Holy Days?

One of a Kind

The Bible tells us this Festival that remembers the remarkable providential protection and provision of God in the lives of his people is the only Holiday (Holy Day) that individuals and even nations are required by God to observe at the end of the age … known as the Day of the Lord. As alluded to in past Eye of Prophecy articles, the Day of the Lord begins with the Rapture (transformation, transference, transfiguration of earthly to heavenly bodies) of dead and living believers in Christ. Followed by the seven-year treaty/tribulation that culminates in the apocalyptic battle of Armageddon. Ending with the majestic return of Messiah Jesus to save the Jews from annihilation and the world from extinction. Then the one-thousand year reign of Christ and believers on the earth. From there … eternity, infinity, and beyond!


The Old Testament Prophet Zechariah who tells us more about Messiah that any other of the Minor prophets declares: “In the end, the enemies of Jerusalem who survive the plague will go up to Jerusalem each year to worship the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters” (Zechariah 14:16).

What plague? In the preceding verses, Zechariah graphically describes this affliction. “And the Lord will send a plague on all the nations that fought against Jerusalem. Their people will become like walking corpses, their flesh rotting away. Their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day they will be terrified, stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will fight their neighbors hand to hand. Judah, too, will be fighting at Jerusalem….” (Zechariah 14:12-14).

Some Bible scholars believe this passage is describing nuclear warfare, i.e. what could happen to human bodies when a nuclear device explodes. Although there very well may be a nuclear exchange during the Great Tribulation, I don’t believe it applies to this passage. With the primary reason that the Lord, himself, will (supernaturally) inflict this catastrophe on the nations that attack Jerusalem as opposed to other nations including Israel launching nuclear missiles. On the other hand, the very power that Christ wields by the Word of his mouth could very well unlock molecules and unleash the power of the atom that essentially holds all things together.

Revelation vividly tells us more about this final battle, as do a handful of other Scripture passages, both Old and New Testament. “Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords” (Revelation 19: 11-16).

It gets even more explicit: “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, shouting to the vultures flying high in the sky: ‘Come! Gather together for the great banquet God has prepared. Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and strong warriors; of horses and their riders; and of all humanity, both free and slave, small and great’” (Verses 17-18).

Back to Zechariah and the Feast of Tabernacles. “Any nation in the world that refuses to come to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, will have no rain. If the people of Egypt refuse to attend the festival, the Lord will punish them with the same plague that he sends on the other nations who refuse to go. Egypt and the other nations will all be punished if they don’t go to celebrate the Festival of Shelters” (Zechariah 14:17-19).

The reason why the Festival of Shelters is a divine requirement for all time, with the corresponding harsh punishment if people and nations deliberately and arrogantly refuse to attend this Holy Day once a year, is found in the text … which is the very purpose of celebrating this memorial. “To worship the King…”

And who is the King? The King of all kings? Among other New Testament books, the final book of the Bible tells us exactly who the king is and will be. The very first verse of the first chapter in the Book of Revelation boldly declares: “This is a revelation from Jesus Christ….” Then we read about Jesus: “…He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world. All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He had made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6, italics for emphasis).

Immanuel … God with us.

What makes this celebration so different from all other holidays, both Jewish and Gentile, different even from the contemporary observance of Tabernacles? The Answer: Messiah Jesus, himself, will be there! It’s all about Jesus! As well it should be. For he is our Way, our Truth, and our Life. (John 14:6). Once again, the purpose for keeping the Feast of Shelters by traveling directly to Jerusalem during the Millennium is to, Worship the King.

The Festival of Shelters will be celebrated not just in remembrance of the past, but also in reverence of the present and in anticipation of the ongoing glorious future of God’s people. And what does that future presence hold? Just like the small shelters (sukkah) constructed for the Feast of Shelters symbolize God’s sovereign protection and provisions, the Cloud by Day, Pillar of Fire by night, the Tabernacle, and later the Temple contained the very divine presence and glory of God … the Shekinah glory.


This same glory—the very essence of God—visited the human race through … a Child born to us and a Son given to us (Isaiah 9:6) prophesied by Isaiah; fulfilled when the angel confidently announced to Joseph: “…do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: ‘Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means God is with us.’” (Matthew 1:20-23).

Upon his glorious reappearance, Jesus of Nazareth will once again be among us on earth and then in the New Jerusalem forever and ever. IMMANUEL! God with us!

Yes, one day soon will see the once-for-all permanent fulfillment of the Immanuel prophecy, God with us, take place when Christ returns to Israel. The nations will travel to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and to worship the King who first came as a child to Bethlehem to tabernacle (live) among us. But his sojourn was all too brief … only thirty-three years. But, oh what a visit! When he ascended to heaven after he arose from the grave, he left God’s mighty plan of salvation on the earth, available to all who call upon the name of the Lord.

Yes, Messiah will return for all time as Immanuel. This is why so many will gladly make this wonderful pilgrimage to Jerusalem: to show their eternal gratitude that God is with us. “I heard a loud shout from the throne saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever’” (Revelation 21:3-4).

“And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city” (Revelation 21:26).

They will come to, Worship the King.

Festival of Shelters … Worship of and Gratitude for a Divine Solution to the World’s Problems

What do we do when we worship something or someone? According to Webster’s Dictionary, worship is: “to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power; to regard with great, even extravagant respect, honor, or devotion.”

Undying loyalty and extraordinary respect goes hand in hand with deep awe and reverence, but also perpetual gratitude for what Christ has done and what he will do to set things right when he returns to the earth.

Those who survive the Great Tribulation, including even those who were fighting against the Jews and against Christ himself will recognize, respect, and revere Jesus Christ as the one who:

  • In fact, wages a righteous war. The One who utterly defeats an immoral, unrighteous, ruthless enemy much like we see with today’s terrorists and the ungodly, wicked, shocking slaughter of innocent civilians perpetrated on entire populations as occurred during Hitler’s evil Third Reich. So will it be when the Antichrist beast of Revelation unleashes his unholy alliances against those who refuse to take his mark. Messiah Jesus will deal harshly and decisively with tyranny and oppression to the extent that, “Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster, and their reign of terror will come to an end” (Proverbs 22:8).
  • The One (and only one) who will bring true and lasting Peace to a destructive world filled with unrestrained corruption, unbridled immorality, unchecked violence, and the horrors of death. He is the, “…Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end….” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
  • The One who can and will bring pure justice with him and administer this justice fairly to all peoples. “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:12). And, “…He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” (Isaiah 9:7).
  • The One whose way and ways are built on absolute truth and righteousness, which all people long for in a ruler. “… Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways O King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous deeds have been revealed” (Revelation 15: 3-4).
  • The One whose decisions and judgments surpass any human magistrate or Supreme Court known to man: “…Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgments are true and just” (Revelation 16:7).
  • The One who is the “Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25). The One who has conquered death itself. “I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave” (Revelation 1:18).
  • The One who will make everything brand new, better than ever before, surpassing even the Garden of Eden. The only One who can be fully trusted to do what he says he will do. “…Look, I am making everything new! And then he said to me, ‘Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true” (Revelation 21:5).

The overwhelming price paid by Jesus Christ for our sins—his agonizing painful death on the Cross—is far too great to trivialize or overlook. His majestic return to the earth is far too glorious and benevolent to ignore or minimize, both before and after the fact. The awesome price of peace with God and peace among men paid for by Jesus blood must always be remembered, not just during the Feast of Shelters but all through the days and years to come. Those who refuse to accept the very presence of God in the form of his Son, Yeshua ha Mashiach; and, thereby, refuse to attend the Festival of Shelters, will also pay a heavy price. Because they (like so many today who will never see the light of Heaven) will not acknowledge what the Lord has done and will do on that day and forever more.


“The day will come, says the Lord, when I will do for Israel and Judah all the good things I have promised them. In those days and at that time I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. In that day Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this will be its name: The Lord is Our Righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:15-16).

Things to Ponder

On the Jewish calendar, the Festival of Tabernacles is celebrated five days after Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The number five signifies Grace … the grace of God that bestows blessings and his very presence in all hearts who invite him in. That is the way of it now … the Kingdom of Heaven in the hearts of men, women, and children the world over; those who have believed and received the Son of God, the Son of Man.

“Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets” (Acts 3:19-21).

One day soon, Jesus Christ will tabernacle among us. He will be Immanuel, God with us … forever. He will restore all things. As it once was long ago, so shall it be again. He will establish the Kingdom of God on the earth and will, thereby, bring lasting Peace to a troubled world—a planet teetering on an axis of evil, ready to plunge into an Abyss of hopelessness and helplessness.

“…The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).

“He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon!’ Amen! Come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).

Festival of Tabernacles … Part I


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Feast of Tabernacles

Who doesn’t like and look forward to a holiday? A few perhaps, but Christian and non-Christians the world over spend extraordinary sums of money in preparation for Christmas and Easter; although these time-tested traditions have different meanings for those who celebrate them. For two thousand years Christians have rejoiced in the birth of our Savior at Christmas time and the resurrection of that same Savior and Lord from the grave on Resurrection Sunday. However, for the die-hard secular among us, it’s no longer Merry Christmas … instead they wish you Happy Holidays. And Easter … well it’s just Easter: watching children hunt for hidden eggs and feast on chocolate Easter bunnies. For many, the most appealing attraction of Christmas or Thanksgiving or Labor Day or the 4th of July is a day or two off from work. We need all those days we can get! Right?

For the observant Jew, there are seven Holy Days throughout the year, with some of these more hallowed than others … High Holy Days. Jews call these special times Festivals or Feast Days, which is the same description given by the Scriptures from long ago. For the more secular Jews who pick and choose which holidays to observe, they tend to concentrate on the first festival of the year, Passover, held in the Jewish month of Nisan (March-April); then the three back to back to back memorials in the month of Tishrei (September-October) of Rosh Hashana (Feast of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles or Booths or Shelters).

So what’s this Feast of Tabernacles or Shelters all about? And, what makes it totally unique in comparison to the other six Jewish Holidays? The annual festivals are first presented in the Torah book of Leviticus, Chapter 23; then in meticulous detail in Numbers, Chapter 29; and once again in summary fashion from the book of Deuteronomy. “You must observe the Festival of Shelters for seven days at the end of the harvest season, after the grain has been threshed and the grapes have been pressed … For seven days you must celebrate this festival to honor the Lord your God at the place he chooses, for it is he who blesses you with bountiful harvests and gives you success in all your work. This festival will be a time of great joy for all” (Deuteronomy 16: 13-15).

In Leviticus and Numbers, more instructions are given such as cessation of all ordinary work on the first and last day of this seven-day celebration. Actually the last day is an eighth day … which is a literal translation (8th day) from the Hebrew, Shemini Atzeret. That 8th day is given the name Simchat Torah, which means rejoice in the Torah (Word of God).

Other requirements plus the major reason for the Feast of Tabernacles can be found in Leviticus: “On the first day gather branches from magnificent trees—palm fronds, boughs from leafy trees, and willows that grow by the streams. Then celebrate with joy before the Lord your God for seven days … This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed in the appointed month from generation to generation. For seven days you must live outside in little shelters. All native-born Israelites must live in shelters. This will remind each new generation of Israelites that I made their ancestors live in shelters when I rescued them from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 23: 40-43). The little shelter(s) are called a sukkah in Hebrew, which means a makeshift hut. In English, we might even use the word shack.

Many reading this article might ask, “What possible relevance does the Jewish Festival of Sukkot have in today’s world?” And, “do you mean to tell me that Jews still keep this tradition.” Answers: All the relevance in the world, as I believe you will see in this week’s and next week’s Part II article. Yes, millions of Jews and even tens of thousands of Christians celebrate this remarkable holiday, which began at sunset this past October 8th and ended on the 15th, a day of complete rest. Then the extra 8th day of Simchat Torah took place on the 16th of October.

Let’s Celebrate!

Jews all over Israel and in many countries of the world construct their own version of a temporary sukkot booth or hut in their backyard or on balconies or in open fields. There, for a week, they eat (mostly evening) meals, relax, sing songs, and entertain family and friends; some go so far as to actually sleep in the makeshift shelter at night. Included in their ceremonies are times of prayers and waving a bouquet—a collection of mostly leafy branches from the etrog (citrus type tree), palm and willow branches, and myrtle (boughs of thicker branched trees).

Through a warm-hearted invitation from Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, children throughout Israel helped him furnish his own sukkah. The youngsters hung decorations, all the while singing holiday songs. Although the Israeli office of President is mostly ceremonial (the Prime Minister is the actual head of government), this presidential interaction with Israeli children and citizens was truly remarkable.

I suppose it would be equivalent to the US President inviting a sampling of children in America to decorate his Christmas tree; to truly remember that Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus Christ, the divine light that shines brilliantly in a dark world. Do you suppose our President would ever do such a thing!? Or for the President to summon a cross-section of America to wave sparklers and flags at an Independence Day festival in front of the White House, in remembrance of our deliverance from a tyrannical English king? Personally, I think it would be a great tradition for the next President to institute.

Listen to the words of President Rivlin: “Dear children, you are fulfilling an important task by decorating our sukkah. It’s important that everyone who comes to the president’s sukkah feels he is at home, a home which is a symbol. We have disagreements, but we are one nation and celebrate the holidays together.” Then he continued, “The sukkah symbolizes what we were before we became a nation. We are now celebrating to remember our exodus from Egypt; that we were slaves but now we have a country of our own, and that we must not treat others like we were treated in Egypt.”


Unique Features of the Feast of Shelters

It comes as no surprise that there are seven Jewish feasts ordained by God; this in keeping with the divine number seven replete throughout Scripture. They are: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Harvest, Harvest or Pentecost, Trumpets or Rosh Hashana, Atonement or Yom Kippur, and Festival of Shelters or Sukkot.

Let’s first look at some of the aspects of the Festival of Booths that are distinct, but not necessarily exclusive. In next week’s article we’ll examine the incredible feature of this Holy Day that is entirely unique in comparison to all of the other sacred holidays, both Jewish and Christian.

  • It is one of two festivals that specifically emphasizes celebration for the entire family. The other feast is the Festival of Harvest. “You must observe the Festival of Shelters for seven days at the end of the harvest season … This festival will be a happy time of celebrating with your sons and daughters….” (Deuteronomy 16: 13-14a).
  • But there’s more: “…happy time of celebrating with your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows from your towns” (Deuteronomy 16:14b, italics for emphasis). Along with the Festival of Harvest, the Feast of Tabernacles explicitly addresses the inclusion of foreigners or Gentiles. Plus it stresses attendance of non-family orphans and widows, i.e. the poor among them. Even servants are included.
  • It is one of two festivals that lasts for seven days … the other being that of Unleavened Bread. The remaining five festivals are a one-day event. I believe there is a reason for this. The one-day festivals represent astounding events in which God decisively and conclusively intervened on behalf of his people, such as overnight Passover deliverance from Egypt, abrupt and authoritative forgiveness of sin on Yom Kippur, or resounding announcement of the New Year at the Feast of Trumpets. Whereas, the Unleavened Bread and Tabernacle festivals are meant to remember the ongoing provisions and protection of God throughout the long (eventually) 40-year journey to the Promised Land.
  • It is one of the three festivals in which the Lord requires the men of Israel to physically attend and participate as a group in the place designated by the Lord, which in due course became Jerusalem. The pilgrimage of women and children were optional. “Each year every man in Israel must celebrate these three festivals: the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Harvest, and the Festival of Shelters. On each of these occasions, all men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he chooses…” (Deuteronomy 16:16).

Two of these conditions—travel to Jerusalem and participation of the Gentiles—will be highlighted through a fascinating prophecy found in Zechariah, which we will cover next week. But already God, through Moses, is preparing his special possession Israel to grasp the significance of the Festival of Tabernacles’ application to all peoples and the very purpose for annual observance of this vitally important event. If the Jews were going to be a light to the Gentiles, then select Holy Days should be shared with foreigners. Thus, the Feast of Shelters looks both to the past and the future.

*Note: A handful of times since Israel’s rebirth as a nation in 1948, Jews have made pilgrimages to Jerusalem to keep the Festival of Shelters. The most recent was just this past week. Thus, this tradition has made a come-back for both religious and secular Jews.

Primary Purpose for Keeping the Festival of Tabernacles

The physical means and spiritual purpose for Israel’s celebration of Shelters is summarized as follows: “For seven days you must live outside in little shelters. All native-born Israelites must live in shelters. This will remind each new generation of Israelites that I made their ancestors live in shelters when I rescued them from the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 23: 42-43). Extraordinarily remarkable is the fact that the Hebrews were still living in these makeshift temporary shelters when God through Moses gave them the Law, the Sacrificial System of Atonement, and the Festivals.

Thus, God is assuring them that they would one day dwell in permanent houses, and otherwise fulfill their destiny in the Land promised to them as an eternal inheritance. In God’s plan and sovereignty it was a done deal. The Lord is telling his people to keep this festival as though they had already reached their destination and were looking back in remembrance of the arduous and perilous journey.

Had the newly delivered Hebrews fully trusted the Lord, they would have entered the Promised Land a year from the Exodus. Instead, it took an agonizing forty years of wandering in circles through the Judean wilderness. They made it far too difficult on themselves. It’s quite evident: When they finally reached the Promised Land (again), they had learned resolute reliance and deferred dependence on the Lord God the hard way. For those who still had some doubts, God convinced them during their first major battle that victory over their enemies and inheritance of the land was possible only when they trusted and obeyed the Lord. The Battle of Jericho clearly taught them this principle. It was a simple but awesome victory. By the time the walls came tumbling down, the battle had been won. And what did the Hebrews do? Exactly what they were told to do: March around the walls seven times, blow the trumpets, and shout. That’s all? Yes, that’s all they needed to do, i.e. trust and obey the Lord their God.

When they finally took possession of the Promised Land, they ate food that they neither planted nor harvested, drank wine that they didn’t produce, wore clothing that they didn’t weave, and lived in houses they didn’t build. All because of God’s sovereignty, grace, and bounty.

In addition to the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—before and during the great trek through the wilderness—the Psalms and many other Old Testament books frequently refer to the miraculous delivery of the Hebrews from Egypt after the fact. And there are several review type references in the New Testament. Through all of these passages we can vividly see two distinct reasons why God wanted his people to keep this Festival for all time: To remember God’s faithful Protection of and Provisions for his people.



God’s divine sovereignty in keeping his people safe while horrifying things were happening in front, behind, and all around them is truly stunning:

  • From the plagues in Egypt, including the most deadly of all—the Angel of Death’s killing of all Egyptian firstborn males. All ten judgments were miraculous displays of God’s power and providence, while protecting his people.
  • With their backs to the Sea and facing certain destruction at the hands of Pharaoh’s chariots, God majestically split the sea into dry land, allowing all of the Israelites to cross over; then drowning all the Egyptians who had the audacity and arrogance to pursue them. This is the most talked about miracle in Scripture, and the most recognized supernatural deliverance of all time. All of God’s miracles are blockbusters, but the parting of the Red Sea, along with the Virgin Birth of Jesus and his Resurrection, are off the charts.
  • Divine deliverance from marauding hordes of bandits and murderers, and from attacks by and against mighty armies before, during, and after entrance into the Promised Land. Though the Jews were required to fight, all of their victories were directly attributed to the Lord’s protection and enablement. For example: The astounding victory over a much better armed and trained Amalekite army while Moses held his staff over his head for an entire day. Moses became so weary that Aaron and Hur helped Moses hold his arms up. As a symbol of Israel’s dependence on the Lord, as long as the staff remained elevated the Israelites prevailed, until the victory was finally won (Exodus 17).
  • Through prayerful pleading by Moses, the Israelites were protected from annihilation by God, himself. This after showing their “gratitude” for their liberation from Egypt by building a despicable and detestable golden calf idol.
  • From even more (massive number of) deaths by ultra-poisonous snakes, because of their constant complaints, continuous ingratitude, and ceaseless distrust of God. “…But the people grew impatient with the long journey, and they began to speak against God and Moses. ‘Why have your brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?’ they complained. ‘There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!’” (Numbers 21: 4-5). Those familiar with this part of the wilderness saga will recall the bronze serpent lifted up on a pole and miraculous recovery of those bitten by snakes; if they would simply look at the bronze replica and believe that God would heal them by such a simple childlike act of contrition and obedience.


The supernatural ways in which the Lord provided for the delivered Israelites is nothing short of astonishing. Such as:

  • Manna from heaven… the food of angels! Gathered every morning, enough for each day. If they gathered too much, it spoiled. “So the people of Israel did as they were told. Some gathered a lot, some only a little. But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed. Then Moses told them, ‘Do not keep any of it until morning.’ But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Moses was very angry with them” (Exodus 16: 17-20).
  • Before the manna appeared the next morning, “That evening vast numbers of quail flew in and covered the camp…” (Verse 13). For anyone who has ever hunted quail, it’s not all that easy, at least not without a bird dog. Here, the birds flew directly into the Israelites’ cooking pots! (Paraphrasing). Yum … all the meat they could eat!
  • The same staff that Moses used to strike the Nile with blood and held aloft to part the Red Sea, he also used to smite solid rock. When he did, streams of water gushed out to quench the thirst of hundreds of thousands of Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 17). This happened again as recorded in Numbers Chapter 20, and water poured from the rock.
  • The very finger of God that blazed the Ten Commandments onto stone tablets on Mt. Sinai, providing the very essence of the Law to God’s people and ultimately standards of morality and right and wrong for all humanity.
  • For forty long years wandering through the wilderness the Israelites’ “…clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell” (Deuteronomy 7:4). Amazing!
  • The ever-present cloud by day and the majestic pillar of fire by night continuously pointed the direction to go. That was the best GPS ever known to man! Right there in front of them. When the cloud moved, they broke camp. When it stopped, they stopped and set up their shelters (sukkah). The next morning they gathered more manna! Hey, for you wilderness junkies, it doesn’t get any better than that!

Time and time again God was faithful when his people were not; when they doubted him, complained against him and Moses about what they didn’t have, and even grumbled over what they did have. But not without consequences, the most obvious of which was forty years of God’s discipline that confined them to the Judean desert.

During which time they had no permanent dwelling places, no real home and hearth to retreat after a long day of work or wandering. Some had tents that they carried in carts or on the backs of their animals or on their own backs. However, most of the people undoubtedly erected a lean-to type shelter made from whatever branches or material they could find or carry. But through it all, God supplied their physical needs … whether through a miracle or through natural provisions along the way of their seemingly never-ending expedition to the Promised Land.


Because the adults who were delivered from Egypt disobeyed God and refused out of doubt, fear, and lack of trust to enter Canaan, only those less than twenty years began the 40-year passage. When they finally arrived at the threshold of Canaan, here is what Moses reminded them, “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. And you must always obey the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good” (Deuteronomy 10: 12-13).

The Bible’s inherent definition and meaning of fear of the Lord is not running scared or being frightened. Rather it means reverent respect and deep awe that leads to worship. It also implies complete trust in the Lord … that he is who he says he is and does what he says he will do.

Included in the Lord’s commands would be, of course, to celebrate the Festival of Shelters—which above all the other festivals depicted the awesome protection and provision God lavished on his people, even though they didn’t deserve it and certainly didn’t earn it. The Feast of Tabernacles would remind them of God’s faithfulness to protect and provide; that he could and should be trusted at all times, for all things, no matter what.

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

The all-inclusive lesson(s) to be learned by the ancient Israelites regarding the unnecessary generation they spent in the wilderness and how this is part and parcel of the need to always remember what happened, and this remembrance should be summoned at least once a year by observing the Feast of Tabernacles, is powerfully expressed in Psalms Chapter 78.

“Yet they kept on sinning against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved. They even spoke against God himself, saying, ‘God can’t give us food in the wilderness. Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can’t give his people bread and meat.’ When the Lord heard them, he was furious. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, his anger rose against Israel” (Psalms 78: 17-21).

And what exactly was it that made God angry, the opposite of which is the very thing that pleases God? The very next verse in this chapter answers that question and provides a succinct summary of just how the Lord places all of the things we do or don’t do in a box (so to speak). And this box has a label with but two words: Trust Me.

The Lord’s anger rose against Israel because, “…they did not believe God or trust him to care for them” (Psalms 78:22).

In verses 23 through 31 we read a summary of the Exodus account of the miraculous provision of quail and manna. Followed by: “But in spite of this, the people kept sinning. Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him” (Psalms 78:32).

Despite miracles he performed equal to those in Egypt, the greatest of which was Resurrection from the dead, Messiah Jesus was still rejected by his own people. For this reason, The Lord withdrew his protection of and provisions for Israel. In less than a generation after Christ arose from the dead, they were crushed by the Romans and exiled to nations all over the world, just as Moses said would happen (Leviticus 26).

Not until the rebirth of Israel in 1948 and especially the recapture of the Holy City of Jerusalem in 1967, did God restore his prophetically promised protection of the Jews. Many Israelis are beginning to see and understand that God once again is demonstrating his love and mercy for the Jews and for Israel. Defeat of their enemies against all odds in four major wars and several other clashes with terrorist groups have proven that.

The next step is for all Israel to embrace their Messiah! Stay tuned for next week’s article.

Things to Ponder

“The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble” (Psalms 9:9, italics for emphasis).

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him” (Psalms 91: 1-2, italics for emphasis).

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3: 5-6, KJV).

Webster’s Definition of Trust: “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something” (italics for emphasis).

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6).

What Is A Saint?


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What/Who is a Saint?

In September, 2013, barely a year into his papacy, Pope Francis made a historical announcement that two former popes would be canonized the following year. On April 27th, 2014, nearly two million faithful Catholics converged in Rome to celebrate the formal declaration of sainthood for departed Popes, John XXIII and John Paul II. It was the largest gathering in Rome since John Paul II’s funeral nine years earlier. Pope John XXIII died in 1963. These men were undoubtedly the two most popular pontiffs of the 20th-21st centuries; perhaps, for the past several hundred years.


As a born-again believer who has placed my trust in the atoning sacrifice of the blood and very life of Jesus Christ, I am somewhat intrigued why a pope, of all people, must also qualify to be declared a Saint by the Roman Catholic Church. According to Catholic dogma, you would think that the very office itself, the very person of the pope who by Catholic Church edict is essentially infallible, need not prove in his lifetime (by his life) that he is worthy of such an honor.

To better understand the dynamics of sainthood in the Catholic Church, let’s examine the criteria of becoming a recognized Catholic saint; and then determine if these conditions are supported by the Biblical designation of a saint. You might ask: Why is it necessary to compare the Catholic Church’s perception of sainthood with the Bible? Answer: Because whether stated or implied, the idea of becoming a saint is tantamount to salvation itself. And one’s salvation or lack thereof is a matter of eternal life or death.

According to Catholic tradition, the first and fundamental requirement is that a potential saint must be deceased. The concept of sainthood is to treat (the memory of) that person as sacred. An equivalent term used is, canonized. The action of being canonized indirectly derives its meaning from the Biblical Canon as the authoritative list of books accepted in Holy Scripture … the Bible. Only it carries it a step further and applies the dogma (doctrines, standards, norms) decreed by the Roman Catholic Church to be (near) perfectly expressed in the lives of its clergy and, to a lesser extent, in the conduct of its laity.

If, then, a nun, priest, bishop, cardinal, or pope exemplifies and exceeds the moral, ethical, spiritual values expected or at least recommended by Catholic creed and tenets, then they are eligible for sainthood. Or, in the case of the Catholic laity, it takes two miracles performed by or attributed to a member of the Catholic Church in order to be canonized. However, occasionally just one miracle was enough … if it was a really big miracle!

From the Kenerman English Learner’s Dictionary we find the following definition of a saint: “A dead person officially recognized by the Catholic Church for having lived a very holy life.” From the British Dictionary, “One who after death is formally recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, as having attained, through holy deeds or behavior a specially exalted place in heaven, and the right to veneration” (meaning here on the earth … italics as commentary). Also, “a person of exceptional holiness or goodness.” From Random House Webster’s Dictionary: “A person of great virtue or benevolence.”

After a person becomes a member of the Catholic Church through (mostly infant) baptism, these definitions accurately summarize the overriding and underlying teachings of the Catholic Church which can be expressed by and condensed to the following premise: Sainthood and, by implied association, salvation must be earned by exceptional holiness, goodness, and by intrinsic virtue.

Thus, even the most virtuous Catholics will never know for sure whether they will be judged worthy of eternal life and heaven until after they die. But there are a few who seemingly will be guaranteed a heavenly existence—and an exalted one at that—simply because they were, after death, declared saints by an earthly decree of the Catholic hierarchy.

Catholic Saints

Down through the ages, hundreds of well-known and even a few obscure Catholics have been canonized. In fact, most days of every calendar month of the year are reserved for an individual Catholic who has been conferred the honor of sainthood … one saint for each of those days. The two recently canonized popes each have a day set aside for them in the month of October … John Paul II on 10-22 and John XXIII on 10-11. Even those of us who are Protestant or Evangelical or those belonging to cults, or even the agnostics among us have heard of some of these saints. Such as St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Helen, St. Dominic, St. John, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Teresa. Who among us hasn’t celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day or Saint Valentine’s Day at one time or another? Even those who don’t believe in Santa Claus have probably heard of Saint Nicholas! Otherwise known as St. Nick.

Whether interested in history or not, many know about Joan of Arc. Did you know that she was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church in 1920 nearly six hundred years after her death? Do you remember how she died? Do you recall why she died? Yes … she was burned at the stake for being a heretic. And who declared her a heretic and subsequently put her to death? Right again … the Roman Catholic Church! There’s nothing like conferring sainthood on someone to make amends for a slight indiscretion such as killing them for claiming to have heard directly from God and leading troops into battle. Obviously, I’m being a bit facetious, but it did happen that way.

At face value, the idea and Catholic Church practice of declaring select men and women as saints seems to be an honorable, worthy, even noble cause. In fact, the website that provides a comprehensive list of these venerated people states: “Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives … God calls each one of us to be a saint.”

In daily living and conversation, we sometimes hear someone say, “He is a saint.” Or the moral/spiritual equivalent: “She’s an angel.” People use these terms interchangeably with the core meaning that the person they’re referring to possesses qualities of goodness and uprightness that assuredly will qualify them for heaven when they die. I’m certain both of these terms were frequently used of Mother Teresa. And rightfully so, at least in terms of her moral excellence and dedication to help the poor and downtrodden. But as we shall soon see, even Mother Teresa’s salvation and sainthood (Biblically defined) is not earned … it’s a gift from God.


Are they really saints? Who is a saint? To answer these questions let’s look at what the Bible has to say about it.

The reason we need to refer to Scripture has everything to do with God’s definition of a saint. If the Catholic Church’s teachings on sainthood matches up with the final authority of God’s Word, then all is well. If not, then over a billion Catholics in the world need to ask themselves and their ecclesiastical leaders (priests, bishops, cardinals, and the Pope himself) whether a Catholic saint is guaranteed a place in heaven. If so, then what about millions of other Catholics who try just as hard to be saint-like, but who will never be canonized? How many good deeds are enough to outweigh the bad? Can someone buy their way out of hell by giving more than their share to the Church or to charity? Will devoting one’s life to helping the poor assure them of everlasting life in heaven? Will occasional attendance of Mass and visitation to the confessional shorten one’s time in Purgatory, which isn’t even a place mentioned in or acknowledged by the Bible? Heaven, yes. Hell is referenced more often than heaven. But Purgatory? I don’t think so.

Biblical Definition of a Saint

In the King James Version of the Bible, the word saint or saints is used sixty-one times and the word or derivative of the word holy is used 161 times. Saint is an English offshoot of the Latin word, sanctus. Whether saint or holy, the original New Testament Greek word is: Hagios. Which means a most holy thing; a saint. The word Holy in both the Old Testament and New Testament essentially means: To set apart for a special reason or purpose. We also have the word ecclesia, which means called out ones, which is virtually synonymous with our English word, Church.

Make no mistake … the notion of Catholic canonization conveys the meaning of placing the one canonized on a lofty pedestal that suggests a touch of reverence normally reserved for divinity. In fact some synonyms of canonized are: beatified, hallowed, idolized, adored, and even worshipped. This is not the Biblical idea at all. Rather, a Christian saint is simply a sinner saved by the grace of God.

The whole idea of saint, holy, called-out ones is NOT the concept of sinless perfection or conduct, which the Bible clearly indicates is not possible for any man, woman, or child. Paul tells us in Romans 3:10 which is a restatement of the Old Testament verse in Psalms, “No one is righteous—not even one.” Just before that, Paul states, “Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin” (Romans 3:9).

God does not call us to be saints, as such. Not in the sense that in order for God to accept us, we must think saint-like thoughts and perform saint-like deeds. That we must live extraordinarily pure lives in order to be classified and qualified as a saint. Just the opposite: We live uncommon lives as a result of being saved or set apart by God’s grace, through our faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. God’s only requirement to become a saint is that we believe and receive His Son. Then we understand that saint-like holiness or righteousness is given to us, because we have none of our own.

In that regard, a Christian saint is consecrated … to and for the Lord; blessed … a beneficiary of the Lord’s awesome grace; sanctified … becoming more like Christ; and one day glorified … a new resurrected body like our Lord’s upon his resurrection from the dead. But a Biblical saint is not to be worshipped, revered, idolized, adored, beatified, or otherwise canonized.

When God, through Moses, told the Jews to, “be holy as I am holy,” and Peter repeated this to the Christian Church, the focal point of holiness was the core meaning of the word … set apart from the evil world system that fosters greed, corruption, pride, selfishness, violence, and all things ungodly.

The Bible tells us that every human being must first be saved from their sins and the penalty of those sins; that salvation comes from and through one and only one person, Jesus Christ. “For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scripture, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4: 11-12).

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved … For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10: 9-13).

When we believe and receive Christ as our personal Savior, then we become saints! Which is why both the apostles Paul and Peter in their letters to the churches often used the designation of holy ones or saints interchangeably with believers or Christians.

For example, Paul addresses the Roman Christian believers: “I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people” (Romans 1:7). Holy people in this translation is also rendered “saints” in other Bible translations. Both stem from the Greek word Hagios. All of these saints were obviously alive. Some of them were brand new born-again Christians. None of them first had to die in order to be eligible for sainthood.

In his letter to the Colossian Church Paul begins with, “…to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae … since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel … since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth” (Colossians 1: 2-6, NASB).

Is there a distinction between the Bible’s definition of saint and holy and the Catholic Church’s teaching? Yes, a huge difference.

Once again referring to the Catholic on-line statement: “God calls each one of us to be a saint.” But who is each one? It’s clear whichever Catholic clergy wrote this statement is addressing the Catholic followers of the website. He is telling them that God is calling them all to be saints. With the implication, however, that you must first be a member of the Catholic Church to even qualify as a potential saint. And once again we need to refer to the standards that must be met before the Catholic Church will confer sainthood on any good Catholic: “one who after death is formally recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, as having attained, through holy deeds or behavior … the right to veneration.”

In short, this is a direct contradiction in every sense imaginable to what God tells us regarding salvation and, therefore, sainthood. Rather the Bible states: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2: 8-9, NASB). Who is you and yourselves of this passage? None other than, “…the saints who are at Ephesus…” (Ephesians 1:1).

Scripture plainly tells us that our good works or intrinsic worth is not what qualifies us to be a saint or what makes us a saint. We do not and cannot earn our salvation or the right to be called a saint. We automatically become a saint when we accept God’s gracious gift of his Son’s death on the Cross; then trust the Son to save us and give us eternal life because he arose from the dead.

More than Saints, Also Priests!

To all who have personally placed their faith in Jesus Christ and, thereby, are called saints, holy ones (set apart), believers, born-again, or Christians (one who is in Christ and belongs to him), we also have the incredible privilege to be called priests. Listen to the amazing words of the apostle Peter who is writing to “…God’s chosen people…” (I Peter 1:1) “…What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God” (I Peter 2:5). The spiritual sacrifices are the good deeds and right living that believers do in heartfelt gratitude for their salvation, not in order to merit salvation or in order to become a saint.

Then Peter states: “…You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy” (I Peter 2: 9-10).

Once again we see: First comes salvation (sainthood) as God’s people called out of darkness into light. Then, we show and live the (saintly) goodness of God as a result of our salvation which includes being priests of the Most High God.

Under the Mosaic Law, priests were necessary as a go-between God and the Jews. The Roman Catholic Church has carried on this tradition because the clergy continued with the premise that the average individual Catholic still needs a human intercessor to approach God, to confess sins, and to receive communion, i.e. the Catholic priesthood. To the contrary, the Bible tells us that every person who is a born-again believer (saint) is given the wonderful position of a priest. That is: we can go directly to God to confess our sins, to pray, to fellowship with him, and to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to the Lord, who is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1).

We love the Lord because he first loved us. We serve him because we are saints, not in order to become a saint. Do you see the difference?

There is a world of difference in these two ideas. Salvation and sainthood can be summed up with these powerful words of truth: “But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood…” (Romans 3:21-25).

Such magnificent truth and freedom in this passage. To wit:

  • God doesn’t expect us to keep the law and certainly not all the traditions of religious institutions including Catholicism, because he knows no one can possibly keep the entire law. All have sinned.
  • We all have fallen short of God’s requirements of perfect righteousness. There is no amount of good works or right living (apart from salvation in and through Christ) that can please God enough for him to declare us innocent of our sins. Even the best person who has ever lived (whoever that might be) is not good enough to be called a saint … not according to God’s definition of a saint, i.e. one who has been made righteous through faith in Christ.
  • He has shown as a new way to be right with God … by simply placing our trust in Jesus. Christ then covers us with his righteousness and God looks at us through his Son’s righteousness.

Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, and other cultic religions are religious systems that have borrowed their theology and practices from the Jewish Law of Moses, with a Gentile twist. Scripture plainly tells us that the purpose of the law was simply to show us what sin really is and that no one could possibly keep the law. That’s why the animal sacrificial system was also given to the Jews, to atone for their constant sins. But Jesus did away with that entire system. He perfectly fulfilled the Law of Moses because we couldn’t, no matter how hard we try. He is the final, once-for-all sacrifice, the High Priest himself offering his life in exchange for the pardon of our sins and everlasting life in heaven with a loving, but holy God.

For the Roman Catholic Church to confer sainthood on those who strive to attain it through holy deeds or behavior is in direct conflict with God’s way of righteousness. For Roman Catholicism to state or imply that salvation is (potentially, although not guaranteed) possible only by membership baptism into the Catholic Church and keeping other of their man-made traditions including the rites of sainthood is a blatant contradiction of who or what is a saint.

And the Bible clearly defines a saint or believer or Christian or chosen-one or called-out one: “But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it: ‘Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin’” (Romans 4: 5-8). And we’ve seen that this faith in God is one and the same as: “when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.”

Things to Ponder

For those of us who are believers (saints) in Jesus Christ, we should have nothing against Roman Catholics or Mormons or any other individual. Yet, we are called to share the truth of the good news (gospel); thus, we must expose the dangers of Roman Catholicism or Mormonism or Hinduism. All religious systems that essentially are based on the good works performance of their adherents to obtain whatever salvation their religion supports must be exposed for what it is: A distortion of God’s plan of salvation, that ultimately will determine the eternal destiny of those who believe or who don’t believe.

Biblical Christianity shows us that God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. He has freely given us salvation that enables us to be and be called saints of the Most High God, when we simply say Yes to Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Understanding that no one comes to the Father except through Christ (John 14:6).

An exceptional and extraordinary benefit to so great a salvation for those who have received Messiah Jesus as personal Lord and Savior is that we can know beyond any doubt that our salvation is permanent. It cannot be lost. We cannot be unborn spiritually any more than we can be unborn physically.

“I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (I John 5:13, italics for emphasis).

Russia & Iran versus Israel


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Magog and Israel

Check. According to Webster’s Dictionary there are multiple definitions of this oft used English word: “To slow or bring to a stop. To block the progress. To restrain or diminish the action or force of, as in hold the enemy in check. To investigate conditions, as in check out. To correspond point for point. To mark with a check as examined, verified, or satisfactory” (√).

US President Obama has authorized air strikes against the Islamic State (IS). Check. Despite his growing isolationist foreign policy, even President Obama could not ignore the beheading of two American citizens and the ominous international threat of this barbaric terrorist cell whose goal is blatantly obvious: destruction of Israel, killing innocent people, and ultimately establishing their version of an Islamic Caliphate—first in Iraq and Syria, then the entire globe.

Western allies Great Britain and France agreement to participate in this latest war on terrorism with bombing raids against ISIS (another acronym for the Islamic State) alongside of the United States. Check. They are two of the three most powerful European Union nations. Whether out of shame if they didn’t participate or out of obligation as members of NATO, they dare not remain neutral.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates lending various means of support in the fight against ISIS. Check. Even Muslim Arab countries recognize the danger posed by this ultra-radical terrorist army that has seized control of much of Iraq. They couldn’t care less about the Christian casualties, but they don’t like Sunni ISIS killing fellow Shi’ite Muslims in Iraq and Syria.

Iran and Turkey joining the war against ISIS! Check? Yes, a strange bed-fellow type of check. But with vastly different motives. These two large nations that sponsor and export terrorism themselves, primarily through Hezbollah in Lebanon (Iran) and Hamas in Gaza (Turkey), do not appreciate an up-start gang of mercenaries from countries all over the world—headed by a fundamentalist Sunni faction in Iraq—declaring themselves to be THE Islamic Caliphate. Why? Because the leaders of both Iran and Turkey have declared their respective nations as the headquarters for the Global Caliphate which the Mahdi, the 12th Imam of Islam, will establish. And the ultimate irony: though Muslim, neither Turkey nor Iran are Arab nations.

Russia agreeing in principle that ISIS poses a threat to the Middle East with tacit approval of US and EU airstrikes against this terrorist organization. Check! Really, a check? Yes, but not the kind you can take to the bank knowing it will be cashed. It’s a check that could bounce. It’s not the box checked at the end of a signed hard-copy document that agrees with all of the stipulations and conditions. Rather, it’s the kind of check found in a small box on a computer screen that can be unchecked with the click of a mouse. Now I agree, now I don’t.

Meaning that the only reason that Russia has (reluctantly) endorsed certain tactics against ISIS is because Syria’s still viable government under Assad and even the moderate rebel freedom fighters who initiated the war against Assad are both fighting against radical Muslims—mostly terrorists affiliated with Al-Qaeda and ISIS—for supremacy in Syria. And Iran supports both Assad in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon. And, of course, Russia is a staunch ally of Iran.

The reason that Russia’s check (mark) can be deleted at the click of a key or a phone call is because of a very recent low-key, behind-the-scenes warning by the Putin-led government that was not so secretly directed against the United States. The Threat: If the US or its Allies target the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in addition to raids against ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria, Russia will retaliate. Whether this retaliation would be directly from the Russian military or by means of assisting the Syrian air force remains to be seen.

Already, Russia has been humiliated and infuriated by economic sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western nations for Russia’s interference with Ukraine. Not since the Cold War with the then Soviet Union—and before that the Cuban Missile Crisis—have diplomatic relations between the US and Russia been so tenuous. It is a political bubble that could burst with a belligerent word, a diplomatic balloon that could explode from an errant missile at any time. An all-out military confrontation between Russia and the United States would be tantamount to World War III. Conflict between two super-powers (some argue that Russia is no longer a super-power, but it’s still strong enough to do serious damage even to the US) would by treaties and alliances guarantee the participation of dozens of other nations … which is what world wars are made of.

But that will not happen!

Really? “How do you know that Russia and the US will not go to war with each other?” you might reply. Is it some hunch or some off-the-wall speculation? No. It’s based on careful examination of Ezekiel Chapters 38 & 39 and credible correlation between current conditions in today’s world with the Gog/Magog battle.

To varying degrees, I have covered this great end-times battle in at least three previous Eye of Prophecy articles. However, because of the recent disputes between Russia and the United States, and to further demonstrate that the God/Magog campaign will take place in the early part of the Tribulation after the Rapture, this article will provide more details to include, for the first time, a parallel with two of the seven seal judgments of Revelation.

Three Reasons Why There Will Not be a War between the US and Russia before (or after) the Rapture

(1) Russia knows that it could never win a conventional war with the United States, let alone the US and its European, Canadian, and Australian Allies. And Russia isn’t any more suicidal than the US when it comes to nuclear warfare. Moreover this third world war would, indeed, be a war to end all wars; it would shatter international economies and infrastructures, even if fought as a conventional war. It would demolish entire cities. It would be the kind of apocalyptic devastation found only in the Great Tribulation.

(2) Armageddon, the Tribulation, and World War III are virtually synonymous. With modern weaponry, you can’t have one without the others. But Revelation is clear: It will not pit Russia against the US and its Western Allies. If there was such a war and even if Russia defeated the Western nations, she would pay a heavy price to the point of being unable to militarily or economically fulfill the Gog/Magog prophecy that says: “You and all your allies—a vast and awesome army—will roll down on them like a storm and cover the land like a cloud” (Ezekiel 38:9). Here, Ezekiel is describing the Russian alliance to include Iran that will sweep over the Middle East and Israel. Instead, World War III will feature the ten-nation confederation led by Antichrist (Nero) against all the nations that oppose him, primarily the Oriental countries of the east. Culminating in the Battle(s) of Armageddon in which the Antichrist and even his enemies will unite against the King of kings, Jesus Christ. This will take place during the latter part of the Great Tribulation.

(3) Russia’s last-days war will not be with the US or the EU; rather it will be against Israel. Which leads us back to the Gog/Magog attack on Israel.

Why the Russian Coalition Assault on Israel Will Take Place after the Rapture

Let’s scrutinize the Ezekiel prophecy and see exactly what will happen and when; but also examine two events described in Revelation during the Tribulation that dovetail with Ezekiel. Among other things, we’ll see that “the distant future” (Ezekiel 38:8) of the God/Magog prophecy is unfolding now; that the Gog alliance is developing right before our eyes, providing more evidence that the Rapture is just around the corner.

The Russian Alliance: Nearly all Bible scholars recognize that the land of Magog is Russia and Gog is the Russian leader who will spearhead the operation against Israel. Moreover, several other nations, the most prominent of which is Iran, will be part of this coalition. (Ezekiel 38:5-6). Only in the past few years did Russia and Iran form an alliance which is a 21st century fulfillment of this prophecy.

Israel is the Target: Speaking to Gog, Ezekiel says, “…you will swoop down on the land of Israel, which will be enjoying peace after recovering from war and after its people have returned from many lands to the mountains of Israel” (Ezekiel 38:8). Two conditions describe Israel when this attack takes place. One of them has been fulfilled: Although not all Jews world-wide, millions of them have returned to the Promised Land. Yet, Ezekiel’s prophecy doesn’t state nor imply nor require that all Jews have returned to Israel. Not until the end of the Tribulation and into the Millennium will that happen. The most important feature of this verse and the entire Gog/Magog prophecy is that it refers to (the nation of) Israel. The very fact that Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948 and later captured and established Jerusalem as its capital again (1967) means that this prophecy applies to today’s Israel.

However, the second conditional status before Gog attacks Israel is not quite yet in place: Israel “…enjoying peace after recovering from war…”

When Is Israel Attacked? God through Ezekiel continues his prophecy against Gog: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: …You will say, ‘Israel is an unprotected land filled with unwalled villages! I will march against her and destroy these people who live in such confidence! I will capture vast amounts of plunder…’” (Ezekiel 38: 10-12). Then the Lord tells Ezekiel precisely when the Gog/Magog hordes will be unleashed. “Therefore, son of man, prophesy against Gog. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: When my people are living in peace in their land, then you will arouse yourself. You will come from your homeland in the distant north with your vast cavalry and your mighty army, and you will attack my people Israel…” (Ezekiel 38: 14-16).

Here, it’s crucial to understand the relevant conditions that entice Russia, Iran, and other nations to march against Israel. One is the fact that Israelis are “living in peace.” Second, because of this peace Israel has much more confidence than ever before; to the extent that she lets down her guard and protection. Israel will be surprised and unprepared.

Neither of these conditions currently exist in Israel. For sixty-six years since their rebirth as a nation, the Jews have constantly been at war with Arab nations and more recently with Muslim terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and now the Islamic State. Peace has been as elusive as a morning mist, despite the Oslo Peace initiatives in the early 1990’s and despite much rhetoric over a two-state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian dilemma. Israel continues to build her military and is ever-ready to defend against attacks from Arab armies as well as Muslim terrorist cells. With the greatest threat of all looming constantly like a dark cloud over the land … a nuclear armed Iran. In fact, the recent battles with Hamas and the advances of ISIS have created a huge diversion of the world’s attention on Iran. Even the US has seemingly put their efforts to keep Iran from developing a nuclear warhead on a back burner. After all, what do you do with an enemy who is suddenly your ally against ISIS? Only Israel fully realizes that Iran is still the greatest threat, not Hamas and not ISIS.

When will these prophetic conditions of (false) peace and (fleeting) security exist in Israel? The answer is found in the book of Daniel … a passage that most scholars and many Christians are familiar with. “The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings…” (Daniel 9:27).

Most students of prophecy know that this ruler is the Antichrist; that this treaty will be with Israel and will take place soon after the Rapture. Furthermore, the ruler will break the treaty after 3 ½ years and put an end to the Jewish sacrifices that have been resumed with the rebuilding of the Temple soon after the treaty is ratified. Short of a massive attack by Arab nations against Israel, there is no other way that the Third Temple could be erected without this treaty. There is no other way for Israel and her Muslim neighbors to be at peace except for this (peace) treaty. Without such a treaty, there is no other condition of security available in Israel unless she is assured by the Antichrist and his ten-nation confederation that they will guarantee Israel’s safety.

Why the United States Cannot Challenge Russia and Will Not Come to Israel’s Defense during the Gog/Magog Assault

International Response When Russia Attacks Israel: “But Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish will ask, ‘Do you really think the armies you have gathered can rob them of silver and gold? Do you think you can drive away their livestock and seize their goods and carry off plunder?’” (Ezekiel 38:13). Often in Scripture when certain countries are identified—especially in a prophetic setting—these nations existing at the time of the prophecy are prototypes of many other nations that will interact with Israel during the last days. In this case Sheba and Dedan represent Arab nations in today’s world. Tarshish denotes leading Western nations including, I believe, the United States; and, by strong implication or connotation, the EU (Tarshish was ancient and modern Spain). Moreover, Antichrist’s ten kings/kingdoms coalition will be major nations of Europe to include countries like Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Holland, Great Britain, and probably even the United States—one of the three kings/kingdoms that Antichrist will force to join his ten kingdom confederation.

What is the Context & Meaning of this International Response to Gog’s Campaign against Israel? Because the beast of Revelation (Nero) will not yet have increased and consolidated his power base, the most he can or will do is to voice disapproval of Russia’s assault by doing nothing more than challenging Russia via political rhetoric. This challenge is in the form of questioning whether Russia is really capable of winning this war against Israel, either because Israel herself is a mighty military to be reckoned with or because the US and the EU just might come to Israel’s aid, or both.

Most importantly, why doesn’t the United States actively come to Israel’s defense as soon as America realizes what’s happening? For example, if Russia were to attack Israel today or in the very near future (prior to the Rapture), I firmly believe that America would take on Russia. For one, we currently have the military superiority to defeat even a nation as powerful as Russia. Two, despite President Obama’s specific dislike of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his general animosity toward Israel, the American people primarily through Congress would overwhelmingly support Israel, economically and militarily, should Israel be attacked.

But that is not the case after the Rapture! Why? Because the United States will be decimated by sheer loss of people … born again Christians. No one knows the number, but the numbers will be substantial, enough to deplete our military and our leaders to the point where Americans simply won’t have the capacity to defend themselves, let alone other nations like Israel. One recent statistic showed that one of every three people in the US claims to be a Christian of some sort. Although a large number of these are undoubtedly Christian in name only, there will be enough people in this country taken at the Rapture to make a significant impact on the entire nation; more so than any other nation on the earth.

On the other hand, the mostly godless nation of Russia will easily recognize the overnight catastrophic weakening of America, as well as the yet fragile, still-growing, and by and large ineffective coalition of the Antichrist and his followers. What better time for Russia and Iran to launch a massive attack against Israel than a few months after the Rapture? Thus, Ezekiel makes it clear that the opposition to this attack is with rhetoric only. Equally evident is that Russia and Iran ignore these verbal challenges and continue to march against the Holy Land.

Which is why the Lord, himself, will rescue Israel with a mighty display of omnipotent retribution. Moreover, I believe this divine reckoning is part of the seal judgments of Revelation! Let’s examine the correlation.

Matching Ezekiel with Revelation: God’s Crushing Defeat of Gog, but also Punishment of Those Nations Complicit in the Attack

In several prior Eye of Prophecy articles, I have emphasized the fact that God’s discipline of Israel (the Jews) ended in 1967. See the Seven Times Seven articles. Once Israel was reborn as a nation and captured the Holy City of the Holy Land, God no longer abandoned his special possession. Conversely, he once again protects Israel, which is not to say that Israel is exempt from hostility and aggression by her enemies. Evil people and nations still exist and Messiah’s final triumph over Israel’s enemies is still a (near) future event.

Which is why God, through Ezekiel, announces in no uncertain terms exactly what God’s response will be to this multi-national attempt to destroy Israel: “…When Gog invades the land of Israel, my fury will boil over! In my jealousy and blazing anger, I promise a mighty shaking in the land of Israel on that day … all the people on earth—will quake in terror at my presence. Mountains will be thrown down; cliffs will crumble; walls will fall to the earth … I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38: 18-23, italics for emphasis).

My purpose for emphasizing the italicized words is to point out that all people on earth will recoil in terror; further, that mountains, cliffs, and walls will crumble not just in Israel, but the world over. Though God’s power displayed against the hordes of Gog will indeed be impressive, people living far from the heat of the battle in Israel would have no reason to quake in terror unless they themselves were directly exposed to mountains, cliffs, and walls falling around and on them. Moreover, they will quake in terror at God’s very presence … meaning his presence in causing catastrophic natural disasters all over the earth. Does that sound a lot like what happens in Revelation? If you answer yes, you are correct, as we shall soon see.

I say this with a great deal of certainty, based on what comes next in Ezekiel Chapter 39. Let’s read it: “You and your army and your allies will all die on the mountains … You will fall in the open fields…” (Ezekiel 39:4). Previously in Chapter 38, Ezekiel declared that God will, “…punish you and your armies with disease and bloodshed: I will send torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and burning sulfur!” (Verse 22). Obviously, this is referring to the mountains and fields of Israel, as that is where Gog (Russia) and its armies have arrived to annihilate Israel. But what comes next is often overlooked by scholars, including me at one time.

Immediately after telling Gog that his armies and allies will perish within Israel itself, the Lord declares: “And I will rain down fire on Magog and on all your allies who live safely on the coasts. Then they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 39:6). This is an extraordinary disclosure, one that plainly and emphatically refers not to just the destruction of Gog’s armies in Israel, but also the very motherland of Russia and citizens of other nations who were otherwise living and watching safely on the coasts.

We need to remember that Gog is the ruler who will lead multi-national armies against Israel. But Magog is the land itself from where Gog originates. (See Ezekiel 38:2). Thus, during this awesome display of divine intervention, God will simultaneously “rain down fire on Magog.” Russia itself will be devastated. But not just Russia. Who else? Her allies? Yes, but not the nations and armies who are directly participating in the attack against Israel. Rather, the text states, “your allies who live safely on the coasts.”

Do you see what’s going on here? These same nations who stood idly by while Russia (Gog) arrogantly marches against Israel, nations whose leaders could or would do nothing more than challenge Russia with mere words (did Russia really think they would succeed), will also suffer the wrath of God. There are several examples in the Old Testament where God punishes not just nations that were overtly hostile against Israel, but also those who condoned these attacks and who were complicit by refusing to help Israel, i.e. silent allies.

Matching Ezekiel’s Gog/Magog Destruction with Seal Judgments in Revelation

“I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood … The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places. Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they cried to the mountains and the rocks. ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?’” (Revelation 6: 12-17).

In order, this is the sixth seal, but the first of twenty-one judgments (seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls) in which the entire earth fully realizes that the increasing apocalyptic events on earth are now directly from God and Messiah Jesus. Which is exactly what God is telling us when Ezekiel writes: “I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

That and the other correlations already discussed have convinced me that God’s mighty judgment of Gog, Magog, AND many other peoples/nations who directly or indirectly conspired against Israel is an integral part of the sixth and or seventh seal judgments. When Christ breaks the seventh seal, here’s what will happen: “Then the angel filled the incense burner with fire from the altar and threw it down upon the earth; and thunder crashed, lighting flashed, and there was a terrible earthquake” (Revelation 8:5, italics for emphasis).

Once again, this descriptive language closely matches what Ezekiel says, with the extremely strong connection that the 6th and/or 7th seal judgments are the world-wide catastrophes taking place at the same time that the Lord crushes the Gog invasion of Israel. “Fire will rain down on Magog and on all your allies who live safely on the coasts. Then they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 39:6, italics for emphasis).

The quaking and shaking in Israel caused by God will not devastate Israel; but that same quaking (two massive earthquakes back to back in the 6th and 7th seal calamities) will move mountains and islands the world over. Israel will be partly damaged, but not overwhelmed, as Israel is not subject to God’s wrath. To the contrary, Israel will be protected—with the exception when Christ sets foot on the Mount of Olives, and a regional earthquake strikes Jerusalem after the two witnesses of Revelation 11 are raised from the dead and taken to heaven. In other words, why would God destroy the land of Israel all the while protecting it and the Jews from annihilation at the hands of Russia and Iran?

The apocalyptic imagery used in Ezekiel regarding the means of God’s divine vengeance against Russia, Iran, and the other nations that actively participate in the assault against Israel, and those countries that passively, apathetically, and indifferently look on, is remarkably similar to what we find in Revelation.

Things to Ponder

I trust that you’ve gleaned more insight on the Gog/Magog invasion against Israel. When it will occur, who will be involved actively and passively, what God will do in response, and how it correlates with two of God’s astounding judgments on the entire earth, all of which takes place during the Great Tribulation. The additional fact that the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments are chronologically successive coupled with the decimation of the United States by the Rapture and the still growing empire of Antichrist; tell us that the Gog/Magog war will occur within the first year or two of the Tribulation. But certainly before the Antichrist increases his authority.

For me, it brings the “distant future” Gog attack against Israel right down to the present time. Contemporary alliances of certain nations, the dizzying pace of world events unfolding one after another further demonstrates just how close we are to the breathtaking transformation of both the living and dead in Christ (Rapture). Followed by the greatest calamity the world has ever or will ever experience; ending with the majestic triumphant return of the Prince of Peace and King of all kings to put a stop to the carnage.

Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!

Happy New Year?


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Happy New Year!

Blow the trumpets! Sound the shofar! Stop all work and celebrate the New Year! Eat apples dipped in honey for a sweet year ahead. Bite into a pomegranate in hope that your good deeds for the coming year will be as many as the 613 seeds of this delicious fruit. Bake challah bread and shape it into round loaves symbolizing the precious circle of life. Examine your heart and reflect on your existence. Repent for the wrong things you have done. Make amends with others that you have offended. Contemplate, but be content!

For two days beginning this past Wednesday at sundown (which is actually the start of Thursday), millions of people all over the world celebrated another New Year by engaging in these activities and more. Each day the shofar was blown one hundred times!

What New Year? The year isn’t over yet, so what’s this all about? Most of you probably know … the shofar gave it away. Yes, the people I’m referring to are Jews. Yes, their New Year is different from the rest of the world. It comes directly from the Bible as one of the seven annual festivals, also called High Holy days; anniversaries that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (the true and living God) commanded the Jews to remember.

“Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the Lord’” (Leviticus 23:24-25).

When the 2nd Jewish Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, there was no longer a fire offering to the Lord. In fact, the entire Jewish sacrificial offerings were eliminated … to this very day. For those of us who recognize that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah, we understand that his once and for all sacrifice for our sins ended Israel’s animal sacrificial system. While Jesus was still on the cross, the Temple Veil that protected the holiest sanctuary of the Temple was mysteriously and miraculously torn apart. This miracle confirmed the New Covenant of God’s Grace, whereby every man and woman could enter the very presence of God by simply believing that Messiah Jesus purchased their salvation at the highest possible price.

“For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood … God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus” (Romans 3: 25-26).

Although the Old Covenant atonement through animal sacrifice is gone, many Jews still keep all or most of the seven holidays (Holy days). Especially, the three festivals that take place in the Jewish calendar seventh month of Tishrei, which is the overlapping Gregorian months of September and October. They are: The Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashana that begins on the first day of Tishrei; then Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement that begins on the tenth day of the month; then Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths) that begins on the fifteenth day of Tishrei.

Rosh Hashana has also become the Jewish New Year. In Hebrew, rosh means head, ha means the, and shana means year. Thus, Rosh HaShana is the head of the year or the first day of the New Year.

But wait a minute! If Rosh Hashana on the 1st of Tishrei begins a new year, then why is Tishrei the seventh month of the year? Even though the Jewish calendar consists of 30-day months (a lunar calendar) or 360 days in the year instead of the Gregorian calendar of 365 days, there are still twelve months in the Jewish year. In fact, the Bible declares that the Jewish month of Nisan is the first month of the Jewish year (overlapping our months of March and April). “The Lord’s Passover begins at sundown on the fourteenth day of the first month” (Leviticus 23:5). The seventh month can’t also be the first month.

The reason God selected Nisan as the first month is because the very first festival to be perpetually kept by the Jews was that of Passover. You remember: celebratory remembrance of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage. In effect, Israel became a nation on that inaugural Passover.

Does that mean that the Jews have two months each calendar year that are the beginning of a new year? Yes and no … mostly yes!

Two New Year’s Every Year!

For the observant (Orthodox, Conservative) Jew, but also for the less religious among them, Passover is the first High Holy Day of the year and, therefore, is the beginning of the first ceremonially religious new moon festival month of any given calendar year. But somewhere along the way, Jewish rabbis, priests, and scribes realized that the beginning of human history was much broader and more universal than when God chose Abraham to be the ancestor of the Jewish people. Although they knew that the Jews and Israel had been chosen by God to reveal himself through the Scriptures, to be a light to the Gentiles and to be the source of the Messiah, they also understood that human recording of time itself must begin with God’s creation of the first man and woman … Adam and Eve.

Whether the traditional Jewish calculation of time beginning with Adam is accurate or not, they identified the first day of Tishrei as the beginning of the first year and every New Year, thereafter. Thus, Rosh Hashana is the anniversary of Adam (including Eve even though she was created after Adam) who is the progenitor of the human race. But, they also calculated that it was the day (1st of Tishrei) that Abraham bound Isaac for the sacrifice that God mercifully withheld when Abraham demonstrated that his love for and obedience to God was greater than his love for the child promised by God … Isaac as opposed to Ishmael. So there is both Gentile and Jewish significance to Rosh Hashana, which essentially is the civil or calendar beginning of every year for the Jews. However, for religious festival purposes, Tishrei is still the 7th month of the (religious) year.

Did you get all that? If not, then just think in terms of Rosh Hashana as the first day of the new calendar year for the Jews. Tishrei 1st is the same as our January 1st. Did you also know that many Bible scholars (including me) place the time of Jesus’s birth in the month of Tishrei? But that’s another article for another day.

Naturally, Jews all over the world recognize the Roman (Gentile) or Gregorian calendar as one means of measuring time as each New Year (January 1) rolls over. In that respect, it’s just one of many accepted differences between Jew and Gentile that isn’t significant enough to merit discord or dispute that might result in hostilities between the two peoples. In fact, many Jews also celebrate January 1st alongside their Gentile neighbors, but mostly because it’s just another opportunity to party and/or to be courteous!

Yet, when it comes to commencement of world history in terms of God creating the first man (and woman) in God’s image, the Jews invariably revert to and rely on revered tradition, i.e. that the Jewish calendar is the accurate record of how long man has been on the earth.

Thus the first day of every New Year begins on the 1st of Tishrei, which by the Gregorian calendar is no sooner than September 5th and no later than October 5th. Whereas, some Jews may concede that the Gregorian measurement of time could be a viable representation of recorded history (as long as the 365 days are reduced to 360 days in a year), they adamantly refuse to accept the Gentile demarcation of time before and after Christ. Although Jews in all walks of life will, out of necessity, often refer to historical events in the same manner as Gentiles, ultimately they reserve the right to classify time without reference to BC or AD. Or the contemporary designation to eliminate any reference to Christ by using BCE and CE … before Common Era or Common Era.

The Gregorian calendar tells us that we are in the year 2014. If, however, we use the Jewish calendar, then what New Year began just three days ago? Answer: 5775. Five thousand, seven hundred, seventy-five years ago God first breathed life into Adam and he became a living soul. The Jewish year 5775 actually corresponds with the Gregorian year of 2015.

Whether we use the Jewish calendar or the Roman calendar, I’d like to redirect the emphasis of this article to some eventful milestones in recent Jewish history that correlate remarkably with the Mount Olivet discourse found in Matthew Chapters 24 & 25, in which Jesus announces his return will take place before one specific generation (what I have termed the Omega Generation) passes from the scene. Further, that this final generation will have witnessed significant events (birth pangs), to include the miraculous rebirth of Israel, which must take place before Christ returns to the earth. Although the rebirth of Israel is not specifically referenced in Matthew 24 and 25, it is a clear prerequisite to the Rapture and Physical Return of Christ to the earth, as demonstrated by dozens of Biblical prophecies, particularly in the Old Testament.

Before we define a Biblical generation and examine some key benchmark dates, let’s first review the amazing words of Jesus; a statement that specifies a generational link between the stunning events of the last days and his glorious return.

“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place” (Matthew 24:32-34).

Definition & Applications of Generation with 20th and 21st Century Target Dates

Because this part of today’s article was addressed in a previous Eye of Prophecy article entitled, The Omega Generation, published on 2-15-14 under the category of The Rapture, I will quote from that article.

Excerpt from: The Omega Generation: (in italics)

When Jesus says, “this generation” he is not referring to some vague, unspecified, undefined, ambiguous period of time. Rather, he is identifying the precise generation that will be alive and witness the amazing end time’s events described in Matthew and Luke. In other words, this is a literal, identifiable generation. Scripture gives us two primary designations or parameters of a generation, both of which are measured in real-time.

One Hundred Years: “Then the Lord said to Abram, ‘You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years … After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction’” (Genesis 15: 13-15).

This is a phenomenal prophecy given to Abraham even before Isaac was born, in which God not only talks about the (many) descendants of Abraham; but hundreds of years before the fact announces that they (the Israelites) would be slaves in a foreign land (Egypt), only to return to the Promised Land of Israel. Moreover, God equates a generation to 100 years … 400 hundred years equals four generations. Think about it for a moment. Although unusual (perhaps even rare), there are people the world over who live to be one hundred … some even a few years more. Yet, 100 years of age is pretty much the maximum scope of any given lifetime or generation.

“Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty” (Psalms 90:10).

This insight as to the customary lifespan of a human being was given to Moses, who is the author of Psalms 90, the only Psalm credited to Moses. Again, think about it. By and large, the normal or average lifespan of most people the world over is between 70 and 80 years of age. By seventy, virtually no more children are conceived and birthed by a woman. For all practical purposes, a person who reaches 70 years of age (perhaps a few more years) has lived a generational life-time. They have children and grandchildren who are the progeny of the next generation. King David, himself, died at exactly 70 years of age.

If Jesus is referring specifically to the last generation, and I believe the text/context is crystal clear that he is; then this generation must have a designated start-up date or dates. Without an actual event (which can be identified by a specific calendar year) to begin the generation, the 70-year or 100-year generational time frame is much too vague … meaning there’s too much overlap or ambiguity as to the actual decades involved. If you were explaining your generation to someone, what would be your reference point? How would you describe it? Wouldn’t you say, “In my generation….” Essentially, then, your reference or starting point is the date of your birth!

Using our first example of four generations of Israel’s enslavement in Egypt, God gave Abraham the point-in-time commencement of this 400 hundred years (four generations) captivity, i.e. from the time that the Jews no longer enjoyed freedom in Egypt, which was not too long after Joseph died. Another example is the 70-year Babylonian captivity, which just happened to be the exact length of the 2nd measurement of time for a generation … 70 years. Historically, we know the beginning (586 BC) and end date (516 BC) of this time-designated punishment of Israel.

Is it, then, possible to select or identify events/dates in Israel’s contemporary history that correspond to the Biblical definition of a generation … that is one hundred years and/or seventy years? The answer is a resounding, YES. In fact, we’ve already touched on these dates in the previous three articles. In addition, I partially addressed these events some time ago in the Eye of Prophecy article, entitled, When the Rapture, published 8-10-13, as well as The End of the Age article published 11-23-13.

So, let’s look again at the three monumentally crucial events of the last 100 years, relating to the return of the Jews to Israel.

  1. Balfour Declaration of November, 1917: England extended official support that Palestine could be a home for the Jews. This was the beginning of Jewish autonomy in Israel, although the land was still called Palestine at that time.

Recognizing this very important event/date, we can then apply the Biblical generational measurement of 100 years. Once again, however, we need to convert Roman calendar years to Jewish years. Doing the math we come up with 101.4 Jewish years which translates to 101 years and 5 months. From November, 1917, this would take us to March or April, 2019.

2.  United Nations Resolution of November, 1947: UN voted to grant statehood rights to the Jews; the nation would be called Israel. (May 14, 1948, David Ben Gurion proclaimed the reborn existence of the State of Israel!).

This was the 2nd significant milestone in fulfillment of hundreds of Biblical prophecies concerning the Abrahamic Covenant, i.e. the physical restoration of Israel. Most Bible scholars and historians select the statehood date of May 14, 1948 as the historical landmark, which it certainly is; however, the actual declaration of statehood was almost anticlimactic. Reason: officially, the British Mandate (rule) over Palestine expired on that date. But it was the UN Resolution that delivered the pivotal turning point or breakthrough. Without the UN resolution of November, 1947, there would have been no recognized Israeli State in May, 1948. Yet, there is only a period of 6 months separating these two events; thus, selection of either one would be a legitimate application to the 70-year generational measurement of time.

Again, doing the conversion math, we arrive at a total of 70.97 or (rounding it off) 71 Jewish years. Adding 71 years to November, 1947, we arrive at November, 2018. If we utilize May, 1948 as the benchmark date, the 71 years would take us to May, 2019.

3.  June, 1967 Six-Day War (Jubilee Years): In addition to the two Biblical measurements of a generation (100 years and 70 years), what happens if we also select the Jubilee time-frame of 50 years? As stressed in the previous seven times seven articles, the 50-year Jubilee was part of God’s formula for disciplining Israel, as the Jews also failed to keep the Jubilee. Consequently, I believe the Jubilee will also be a component part of God’s magnificent restoration of Israel.

In this instance, we will use the next epic milestone in Israel’s brief modern-history … that of the June, 1967 Six-Day War. We talked about this at great length in last week’s article, to include the fact that it occurred 50 years (not coincidentally, a Jubilee period of time) from the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

Once again we convert 50 Roman calendar years to Jewish time and we come up with: 50.7 years which is 50 years and 8.4 months (8-9 months). From June, 1967, this would take us through February or into March, 2018.

We’ll conclude today’s article with a final excerpt from Omega Generation, but first we need to determine which year of the Jewish calendar fits with the Roman calendar and its conversion to Jewish years as identified above. What then might be the Jewish calendar year when the Day of the Lord begins (with the Rapture extending through the seven-years of tribulation) and why?

Answer: The year 5777. Which begins at sundown on October 2, 2016 until Rosh Hashana approximately a year later in 2017.

Reasons: The year of 5777 fits quite nicely with the Gregorian year of 2017: One hundred year generation after the Balfour declaration, 70 years after the UN resolution of Israel’s statehood in 1947, and 50 years of Jubilee after recapture of Jerusalem in 1967.

It has everything to do with the numbers in this year. Five, then three sevens. Time doesn’t permit an in-depth examination of the number seven, or the number three (three sevens, i.e. 7, 7, 7). Except to say that both numbers are clearly and Biblically associated with God and divinity.

What about the number five? Some Christians attribute this number as symbolically depicting God’s grace and redemption. Although a case could be made to confirm this connection, an even stronger argument can be presented to establish a link between God’s gracious interactions with the Jews.

  • There are five books in the Torah or what Gentile Christians call the Pentateuch … Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. These books are also called, The Book of the Law or the Mosaic Law.
  • In the original Tabernacle there were five curtains, five pillars, five sockets, and an altar that was five cubits long and five cubits wide.
  • There were five kinds of offerings periodically required of the Hebrews: Burnt, sin, trespass, grain, and peace offerings. (Note: The entire sacrificial offering system was a demonstration of God’s grace, forgiveness, freedom from sin, and on-going restoration of the Jews. The sole purpose for these offerings was repeated atonement for breaking of God’s laws and gratitude for his pardon of their sins and provisions for their welfare).
  • There were five parts of the Holy Oil used to anoint the priests and separate all things used in the Tabernacle as holy instruments for God’s use. Moreover, this Holy Oil is a distinct representation of the Holy Spirit, given to each believer, Jew and Gentile alike, after the Covenant Age of Grace was instituted by Christ sacrifice for our sins, which ended the daily and yearly Jewish animal sacrificial system.


Back to the final excerpt quote from Omega Generation article:

Now comes the really exciting feature of all these conversion tables and what you might consider to be some boring mathematics. First, none of these three possibilities give us an exact day/hour of Christ’s return that begins with the first phase which is the Rapture and ends with his physical return at the end of the Tribulation. And that’s good. Why? Because Jesus, himself, said that no one can possibly know the day or hour of his return. I emphasize that almost to a fault in my article, When the Rapture. Therefore, I wouldn’t even pretend to know the exact date of Christ’s return, nor would I ever venture a guess. Forget it!

On the contrary, Jesus did advise us to recognize the seasons, the times, the signs, and the symptoms if you will, of his glorious return. If he didn’t want us to put 2 and 2 together, then why did Jesus provide so many clues and signals? Why would he have even used the metaphor of the fig tree in bloom? Even more challenging: Why would he have selected a time-measured or time-dedicated point of reference (generation), if he didn’t want us to identify the noteworthy bench mark events of the final days, aligned alongside the pre-Rapture birth pains and post-Rapture (Tribulation) incidents that he describes.

Things to Ponder

The Lord will return at the appointed time, which is his time alone. But that time will be on a specific day in a specific year. He might choose a date that would match up with the Jewish calendar or with the Gregorian calendar or both. Would be just like the Lord to synthesize and/or overlap these dates, by giving both the Jewish and Gentile (Christian) calendars mutual consideration and credibility as a means of identifying the equally important events of the Rapture (for the church) and physical return of Christ (on behalf of Israel).

Meaning that the beginning of the Day of the Lord, which is the Rapture, could take place during the Jewish year of 5777 through 5780, with the corresponding Gregorian years of 2016 through 2019.

Whatever the date—today, tomorrow, next year, or 2017 (5777)—I will say what I’ve said before: I would be very surprised if the Rapture doesn’t take place by the end of the year 2020!

That statement is NOT a presumptuous prediction nor is it far-fetched conjecture. Rather, I prefer to call it spiritual speculation as it is based on Biblically supported evidence by means of careful correlation between Bible passages and connection with recent historical milestones affecting the nation of Israel.

Please understand … the physical return of Christ to the earth has everything to do with Israel. The Rapture is only a prelude to the Day of the Lord, but what an overture it will be: Resurrection of the dead in Christ and the transfiguration of both the living and dead in Christ with new immortal bodies like our Lord.

And away we will go!

Alliances against Israel


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Alliances against Israel … Will Fail

Most nations that came into existence down through the ages did so gradually through a growing population, commerce, culture, and merging political unions among their own people. Some became great empires by conquest of rival nations, such as Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. A handful of others were birthed from revolution against governments that ruled them through colonial expansion, like the United States of America’s declaration of independence from England. And then there’s Israel; a nation reborn from the ashes of the Holocaust just three years after six million Jews were murdered, and from the floods of dispersion and exile for two millennia.

Unlike many of the powerful empires that preceded them, it was necessary for the United States and Israel to immediately fight a War of Independence for their very survival. Then subsequent wars to maintain freedom won by the ultimate sacrifice of the blood and lives of so many valiant soldiers and civilians.

In last week’s Eye of Prophecy article, we ended with a quote from Psalms 83. The entire chapter is a prophetic picture of what Israel’s ancient and modern enemies intend to accomplish against the Jews. The Psalmist pleads with God not to ignore the malicious plans of Israel’s enemies, who are also God’s enemies.

“Don’t you hear the uproar of your enemies? Don’t you see that your arrogant enemies are rising up? They devise crafty schemes against your people; they conspire against your precious ones. ‘Come,’ they say; ‘let us wipe our Israel as a nation. We will destroy the very memory of its existence’” (Psalms 83: 2-4).

Following this conceited conspiracy to eradicate Israel as a nation and the Jews as a people, there is a list of peoples who were complicit in this evil plot. Some Bible scholars believe Psalm 83 speaks of a massive end-times coordinated assault against Israel that will comprise a modern configuration of the countries listed in this Psalm. That the descendants of these people currently populate the nations that border Israel today … Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and more distant lands such as Iraq.

They see the Psalms 83 integrated attack against Israel on or close to the same level as the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel (Ezekiel 38 & 39) and/or the final campaign against Israel initiated by the Antichrist, found in Daniel Chapter 11, which is the same apocalyptic conflict of Revelation 16 & 19 known as Armageddon.

Too Many Dissimilarities between Psalms 83 Countries and Today’s Nations

I agree with their evaluation, but only in part … that there logically would be some descendants of the Psalms 83 countries that continued to populate the geographical areas surrounding Israel today. Yet, in reality the “nations” listed in Psalms 83 were not really countries at all, at least not how we define nations today. Instead, they were minor gentile kingdoms (large ethnic groups) consisting of indigenous tribes, similar to the twelve tribes of Israel before King Saul began a merger and King David completed this unification of the twelve tribes into the mighty nation of Israel around 1,000 BC.

For example, some of the peoples listed in Psalms 83 were: Ishmaelites, Hagrites, Gebalites, Amalekites, and people from Philistia and Tyre. Philistia was located in the modern-day strip of Gaza, however, today’s Palestinian Arabs living in Gaza are not descended from the ancient Philistines. Many of these clans whose names end with “ite” were more like tribes or ethnic groups, some of whom inhabited various parts of ancient Canaan with overlapping ill-defined regions which eventually became the land of Israel. Yes, Edom and Moab were larger territories to the east of Israel; but, like the smaller tribes, they were virtually wiped out through war and assimilation into other societies.

In fact, there is one large empire mentioned in Psalms 83 that would qualify as a nation, actually a great nation at the time: Assyria. The text states, “Assyria has joined them, too, and is allied with the descendants of Lot” Yet, the reason Assyria joined this malicious plot that sought to destroy Israel through an ancient alliance is because Assyria, at that time, was already preparing for an eventual (successful) campaign that culminated in complete conquest of the ten northern tribes of Israel. History also tells us that Assyria turned on her allies as well as some of the other peoples listed in Psalms 83 and totally destroyed them during its reign as a regional power. Eventually, Assyria itself was obliterated by Babylon, the first great world empire identified in the Book of Daniel. Thereafter, Assyria ceased to exist.

Thus, there are significant differences between these ancient peoples and their alliances; too many distinctions to connect them with contemporary countries that are mostly populated by Arabs (not ancient Canaanites). Consequently, I don’t believe that Psalms 83 depicts a huge modern-day unified attack against Israel in the same vein as the Gog/Magog war, and certainly not the Antichrist led assault against Israel.

But, I do endorse the idea that these ancient ethnic groups identified in Psalms 83 are models of modern countries, with their behavior toward Israel a predisposed pattern of godless nations today that have sought to destroy Israel ever since her rebirth (1948). In fact, we addressed the three major wars fought by Israel between 1948 and 1973, in last week’s article. And we’ve also addressed the minor wars between Israel and terrorists groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. It’s these smaller ethnic factions, some of which have morphed into terrorist organizations, that more closely resemble the warring tribes identified in Psalms 83.

And, as alluded last week, I don’t believe that these terrorists groups—even if they unify to some extent—can defeat Israel or will even try to take on Israel in the form of a joint campaign. If they do, they will be soundly defeated. Rather, it’s the monumental alliance of nations found in Ezekiel and Daniel and Revelation that specifically result in two (and only two) end times invasions of Israel. They involve governments of large, significant nations in today’s world.

Psalm 83 Summary: The conspiracy of mostly ethnic tribes identified in Psalms 83 applied primarily to the times in which this passage was written, not to an end-times alliance of nations surrounding Israel today. Other than a handful of actual descendants from some of these countries that may live in Syria, or Jordan or other contemporary nations, there is no direct observable connection between the peoples of Psalms 83 and today’s Middle East. However, the boastful claim of these ancient countries—to wipe Israel from the face of the earth—has once again reared its ugly head as evidenced by the rhetoric of mostly Muslim leaders bent on Israel’s annihilation. In that respect, the Psalms 83 prophecy is relevant today, but not by means of a huge, one-time multinational attack on Israel. Instead, there have been three wars with conventional armies and several other minor conflicts that involved terrorists groups against Israel, with all of them ending in failure.

The Two Invasions of Israel

Let’s scrutinize the two epic battles involving alliances that will engage Israel during the seven-year Tribulation, as well as God’s three-part strategy that results in final victory over these doomed nations. Both of these larger-than-life campaigns involve entire nations (not ethnic sects or terrorist groups) aligned against Israel, with the second coalition joining forces even with its enemies; thereby, turning its final attention from Israel to direct confrontation with the King of kings (Messiah Jesus) in the greatest show-down of all time … Armageddon. Both will take place in Israel.

Before we examine these two end-time wars against Israel, I need to emphasize that, with the temporary exception of the Jewish Maccabees defeat of the Syrian Greeks (Antiochus Epiphanes IV) in 168-167 BC, Israel had not been able to defend herself since Babylon conquered Judah in 586 BC. The ability of Israel to finally protect her people and land is one of the three methods used by God to defeat Israel’s ancient foes; one that in our generation has been restored to the Jews who vowed: “Never again.” Never again will they be led as lambs to the slaughter, so grotesquely displayed during the Holocaust.

Israel’s Military: As this article is being written, Israel possesses one of the top-five militaries on the planet … with only six million people, a population smaller than many cities throughout the world! For the first time in 2500 years, Israel has the God-given capability to fight her own battles. In principle, this began when they were reborn as a sovereign nation in 1948; the practical validity of which was stamped on the global conscience in the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel recaptured the Holy City Jerusalem of the Holy Land. This was a monumental milestone in Israel’s prophetic destiny, a breakthrough to confirm that Israel was once again the land promised to the Jews, that she was no longer under Gentile supremacy which resulted from God’s discipline (punishment) of Israel as decreed long ago by God through Moses.

Here I would strongly recommend that you read a series of Eye of Prophecy articles entitled Seven Times Seven (to the 4th power), Parts I, II, III, published 1-25, 2-1, and 2-8-14 respectively. You might even want to begin with the article of 1-18-14, An Incredible Time Lapse Prophecy that is an introductory prelude to Seven Times Seven. I’m convinced it will be worth your while to check into this largely unrecognized, but nevertheless stunning prophecy found in Leviticus Chapter 26 … of all places!

This prophecy comes with an actual timetable that concluded God’s discipline of Israel in 1967. For sure, Israel will undergo an even greater time of testing and trouble during the Great Tribulation, a national life and death struggle in which the Jews will suffer extensive casualties, but not as a result of God’s punishment. Rather it will be a prophetic spoke connected to the wheel of God’s punishment of the Gentile nations who dare to wage war against God’s special possession, Israel, in these last days.

Already, Israel’s skill and bravery in battle is well-known and recognized by the entire world. How could they miss it, given Israel’s remarkable success in the aforementioned wars. What they don’t know or refuse to acknowledge (which is even true of many Israelis) is that the Jews once again have a Divine source of help. Scripture is crystal clear: When the Jews returned to the Promised Land and Israel was reborn as a nation, they were once again placed under the mighty protection of the God of Israel, who is also the God of gentiles redeemed by the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua.

The First Assault against Israel: You might want to review two prior Eye of Prophecy articles: Beware of the Bear published on 3-22-14, and The Omega Generation, posted on 2-15-14. Both columns touch on this first titanic attack against Israel, known as, The Gog/Magog War.

In keeping with the main theme of this current article, the emphasis will be on how God strategically deals with this ungodly Gentile coalition that arrogantly defies God … presumptuously thinking it can defeat Israel with vast superiority of numbers and weaponry.

We see in Ezekiel 38 and 39, two of the three main strategies that God employs in conquering Gentile nations. They are listed in points one and two below:

(1) Confusion, division, in-fighting within the coalition itself.

(2) God’s direct, miraculous unassisted (Israel simply watches while her enemies are destroyed) intervention mostly through nature.

(3) The third divine strategy will be described later in the 2nd and greatest battle(s) of all time: That God fights alongside of his people. However, the Jews bear the brunt of the initial onslaught against them. That is, until Jesus spectacularly descends from the clouds with power and great glory, sets foot on the Mount of Olives, assumes complete control of the war, and unleashes his divine power to utterly destroy Israel’s enemies.

This third method, in which Israel participates in its defense by fighting for its very survival, is not found in the Gog/Magog attack on Israel … meaning that Israel doesn’t engage this Russian led coalition. First, because of the irresistible, overpowering strength of Russia and her allies, including entire Muslim nations such as Iran and Libya (not ethnic terrorist sects of Islam). Secondly, in order for God to demonstrate that, if he chooses, he alone can defend Israel without the Israeli military (IDF) doing anything at all. Thereby, accomplishing God’s plan to once again reveal his awesome power to both Israel and her enemies.

“In this way, I will demonstrate my glory to the nations. Everyone will see the punishment I have inflicted on them and the power of my fist when I strike. And from that time on the people of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. The nations will then know why Israel was sent away in exile—it was punishment for sin, for they were unfaithful to their God. Therefore, I turned away from them and let their enemies destroy them” (Ezekiel 39: 21-23, italics for emphasis).

Let’s read about the first manner (Point #1) in which God has defeated Israel’s enemies in the ancient past, and will do so again when Gog/Magog marches on Israel soon after the Rapture takes place.

“I will summon the sword against you on all the hills of Israel, says the Sovereign Lord. Your men will turn their swords against each other” (Ezekiel 38:21). Several times in Old Testament battles between Israel and their enemies, God supernaturally intervenes by causing discord, disarray, doubt, and panic within the ranks of the enemy. None more well-known than Gideon’s army of 32,000 troops whittled down by God to a mere three hundred soldiers against thousands upon thousands of Midianites (Judges Chapter 7). Although Gideon’s army later engaged in mop-up actions, for all practical purposes the Midianites lost the battle because of sheer panic before a single Israelite sword was unsheathed.

I’m convinced that the Lord will create the same kind of disharmony among today’s terrorists as one means to diminish their numbers and effectiveness. And then later with entire nations who mobilize vast armies against Israel. Yes, God sometimes chooses to terrorize Israel’s enemies! This is based on another Biblical principle: Israel’s enemies will fall into their own traps … will be struck down by their own tactics and weapons. I suppose we could call this, Reverse Terrorism. In a righteous, Godly sense.

“The wicked conceive evil; they are pregnant with trouble and give birth to lies. They dig a deep pit to trap others, then fall into it themselves. The trouble they make for others backfires on them. The violence they plan falls on their own heads” (Psalms 7: 14-16).

The second means that God uses to vanquish Israel’s enemies is Divine omnipotence … sheer overwhelming power. As demonstrated in the next two verses: “I will punish you and your armies with disease and bloodshed; I will send torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and burning sulfur. In this way, I will show my greatness and holiness, and I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38: 22-23). Ezekiel Chapter 39 contains even more graphic images of what God will do to the forces of Gog/Magog. And I do mean graphic! Read it for yourself.

We read about such power throughout the Old Testament, not the least of which is God’s supernatural judgments against Pharaoh performed through God’s miraculous manipulation of nature. Then, of course, there’s the breathtaking, fearsome seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments of Revelation. It’s not just virtual reality; it’s realism that even the secular world acknowledges and describes with such terms as: The Wrath of God or A Catastrophe of Biblical Proportions.

The Second and Final Assault against Israel: This of course, is the great series of military conflicts that will lead to the battle to end all battles, the day of reckoning in the Valley of Megiddo. Once again time/space does not permit quotation of several passages from Zechariah and other Old Testament books, but the gist is that Israeli soldiers will initially defend Israel against Antichrist and his coalition; however, Nero (Antichrist) will prevail for a short period of time. A remnant of surviving Jews will continue their fight to the death in this epic struggle for Israel’s survival (they will fight like King David as quoted in a verse from last week’s article). But then Scripture is clear that the Jews will steadily succumb to overwhelming military superiority until there is virtually no hope. Only then will the Lion from their tribe of Judah spring to their rescue. He will fight alongside the remaining remnant of Jews, and ultimately assume complete control of the battle. To include the other two heavenly approaches to victory. As follows:

“On that day, says the Lord, I will cause every horse to panic and every rider to lose his nerve. I will watch over the people of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of their enemies. And the clans of Judah will say to themselves, ‘The people of Jerusalem have found strength in the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, their God’” (Zechariah 12: 4-5). Blinding of the horses (there will be actual horses used in this battle as well as heavy armament) will be both literal and figurative; for example, by disrupting all of the electronic devices used in today’s weapons and communication systems. The Antichrist and his forces will soon be running blind.

Finally, the second phase of God’s invincible power will also be used against Antichrist and his forces in this final battle. There will come a time in this great conflict where Jesus will simply take over and speak his foes into oblivion. In an almost anti-climactic end to this colossal war, we read, “Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet … both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies” (Revelation 19: 19-21). (Also, please read Daniel 11: 40-45).

That, my friends, will be the ultimate display of Royal and Regal power straight from Messiah Jesus, the Son of God, against all those to dare to be anti-Christ or who dare try to destroy God’s special people and land.

Things to Ponder

“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords” (Revelation 19: 11-16).

I implore all those who are undecided: Today is the day of salvation. Choose Messiah Jesus now before it’s too late. If you do, you will one day soon be riding one of those white horses following our Lord into battle. You, and I, and millions of other who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, will watch in awe as Jesus delivers his people, defeats Antichrist, and destroys evil.

We will exclaim with the host of heaven, “…Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations” (Revelation 15:3).

It’s your choice. From above the battlefield with a bird’s eye-view, you can ride a beautiful white horse behind the King of kings and be on the winning side. Or you can watch from below while Christ triumphs over the enemies of God and his people. Are you from above or from below?

As the late Christian songwriter Rich Mullen wrote in one of my favorite songs, Awesome God:

“There’s thunder in his footsteps, and lightning in his fists. Our God is an Awesome God.”

The battle lines have been drawn. We’re either for Christ or we are against him. There is no middle ground.


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