Messiah’s Number & Its Prophetic Value

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First, Let’s Review The Number of the Beast, 666.

“Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six-hundred and sixty-six” (Revelation 13:18, New American Standard Bible).

Some Bible translations convert the written expression of the beast’s number to three sixes (666). However, the original Greek text (as seen in the above NASB translation) spells out the number—a matter of utmost significance if the reader is to “calculate” the meaning of the number. Which is tantamount to solving the identity of the beast … Antichrist.

Only one other passage in the New Testament besides the one just quoted actually presses the reader to comprehend the clues; it, too, concerns the origin and identity of Antichrist. As follows:

This calls for a mind with understanding: The seven heads of the beast represent the seven hills where the woman rules. They also represent seven kings. Five kings have already fallen, the sixth now reigns, and the seventh is yet to come, but his reign will be brief” (Revelation 17:9-10, italics for emphasis).

Earlier in Revelation 17:7, the angel says to John: “…I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits.”

Disclosure of this mystery was for the express purpose of identifying the man (in the image of a beast) by understanding that he was one of seven Roman Emperors, five of whom had already died—including the beast himself—in the 1st century when Revelation was written first and foremost to the believers alive then. Because Christ could have returned any day in the first century or thereafter, the beast must also be ready to reappear … from the Abyss where he had been confined after his death and revival.

(First Five Roman Emperors Known as Claudian Dynasty … Left to Right: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero)

Complete confirmation concerning the Antichrist’s identity is possible only when we correlate Revelation 13 & 17 with other pivotal passages on the Antichrist as found in Daniel 7, 9, and 11. Also, II Thessalonians 2 and a more obscure passage in Zachariah 11. Then combining all of these remarkable disclosures of the Antichrist (also described as a king, ruler, little horn, beast, and man of lawlessness) with 1st century Church and secular history.

That is precisely what was done in Parts II & III of my book, Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved? Followed by more elaboration found in several Eye of Prophecy articles under the category of Antichrist. Ending with what I firmly believe is an accurate identification of the beast—who had already lived and died, but would return from the Abyss during the Tribulation—as the Roman Emperor Nero.

(*Note: I do not by any stretch of the imagination support the Preterists’ view, which also identifies Nero as the Antichrist. But they do so with the absurd supposition that the Tribulation occurred in the 1st century, which has been correctly and convincingly refuted by many Bible scholars, including me. And yet most of these scholars have made the same (one) mistake as the Preterists. They missed the astounding reality stated clearly by John in Revelation; that the man—the Antichrist beast—had already lived and died. A clear textual fact that I also had overlooked for many years, until November, 2008).

“Why are you so amazed, the angel asked … The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon come up out of the bottomless pit … And the people who belong to this world … will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:7-8).

Hebrew Gematria

Although this week’s article began and will continue briefly with a review of the number of the anti-Messiah beast, the main emphasis will be on another number—the number of the true Messiah.

Both numbers are found in and understood by Hebrew Gematria. Which is the way that Jews in Bible times (actually up to the point when the Roman decimal system became the dominant numerical standard) counted and performed mathematical calculations. Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is assigned a number from one to ten or in multiples of tens or hundreds. Many Jews today are familiar with and sometimes use gematria to compare Hebrew words, names, phrases, and places to the significance of their numerical value.

As you may (or may not) know, the New Testament was written in Greek. That was done through God’s providential direction; Greek was the universal language in the 1st century, much like English was/is in the 20th & 21st centuries. However, Jesus and all Jews spoke primarily Aramaic or Hebrew, though many were proficient in Greek and others in Latin. And, of course, the entire Old Testament (often quoted by Jesus and the writers of the New Testament books) was written in Hebrew. That same Hebrew language, with modern-day words added, has been miraculously restored; spoken by Israelis and also by rabbis the world over.

Because it would take a mind of understanding to decipher the identity of the Antichrist beast, I’m convinced that, at first, only a few of the 1st century Christian Jews realized that six hundred and sixty-six was a Hebrew Gematria reference to the name of the man. They then passed on this insight to their Jewish brothers and sisters in Christ less likely to use gematria to ascertain the meaning of the number of the beast; or Gentiles Christians who would have no understanding of Hebrew Gematria.

(22 Letters in Hebrew Alphabet. There Are Five More Hebrew Symbols Representing Numbers 500, 600, 700, 800, and 900, When Necessary For Mathematical Functions)

Eventually, identifying the beast by combining all of the Biblical passages about this wicked man led to four centuries of a phenomenon known as the Nero Redivivus Legend. (Please see Eye of Prophecy article, The Legendary Return of Nero, posted 4-4-15). Even many unbelievers in the Roman Empire were persuaded that Nero would soon return to reclaim his throne.

Here is an excerpt from Out of the Abyss, Chapter 18, pages 167-168 (in italics):

I’m convinced the early Christians knew why the identity of the man of lawlessness was encoded in Hebrew gematria. To simply divulge the man’s name would have been a death sentence for thousands more Christians who had survived persecution and death that had already begun (under Nero, who had died not long before Revelation was written) before John wrote Revelation … The current emperor would have jumped at the opportunity to kill more Christians just because they claimed a former emperor was a “beast,” instead of a god and all of the repercussions that go with that seditious disdain for the perceived divinity of a Roman emperor.

…Besides, John told them that the beast would “come up out of the bottomless pit.” They immediately knew that this would be the return of the beast that, “was once alive but isn’t now.” (Parenthesis added in today’s article).

The final portion of Chapter 18 in Out of the Abyss begins under the heading: Let’s Count in Hebrew.

To better grasp the process of the early Christians’ decoded discovery of the beast’s identity and also to make it more intriguing, I explained what certainly could have happened (and logically did occur) after the book of Revelation was written and disseminated among believers. In the form of a little narrative, it is as follows (in italics):

Picture, if you will, a Messianic Jewish wife greeting her Messianic Jewish husband. After a hard day at work, the husband has just stepped through the threshold of their home in Philadelphia. That’s the city of Philadelphia of ancient Asia Minor, not Pennsylvania! You remember: the location of one of the seven churches of Revelation Chapters 2 and 3.

She hands him a newly transcribed scroll of Revelation, which is being passed from Christian house to house in Philadelphia. “Honey … Quick, let’s eat, put the kids to bed, and read this incredible letter that John wrote.” Throughout the evening, they take turns reading aloud to each other; the entire time they are shaking their heads in amazement.

“So incredible,” the wife exclaims. “Let’s pray, go to bed, and talk about it tomorrow.”

“You go to bed, if you like,” he replies. “I’m going to solve the name of this beast.”

“Not without me, you’re not,” she scolds with a playful grin.

They put everything together. This is how they did it:

One by one they wrote down the Greek equivalent to the names of the five dead or fallen Roman emperors. With each name they used the Greek suffix, “Kaiser;” you really could not separate the Emperor’s name from his title (Caesar). All of the emperors were addressed this way—Augustus Caesar….

The book of Revelation had been written in Greek, so they understood they needed to use the Greek spelling of the Latin names of the emperors. But they also knew that the only way to understand the meaning of the number was to transpose the Greek spelling to the Hebrew alphabet, as that is the only way Jews were able to accurately calculate the number. In fact, that is the way they counted.

And so they did. To their utter astonishment, six hundred, sixty-six was an exact match to one (and only one) of the fallen emperors. Wide-eyed, he looked at her in stunned silence. She stared at him with mouth opened. They peered again at the transliteration from Greek into the Hebrew alphabet.

Resh – 200; Samech – 60; Kuf – 100; Nun – 50; vav – 6; Resh – 200; Nun – 50. They added the numbers together. Six Hundred and sixty-six.

Neron Kaiser. The beast is NERO! (Pages 167-168).

(Note: Hebrew is read from right to left, thus you can match up the sound of the Hebrew letters by spelling/pronouncing them (right to left) in English to Neron Kaiser—which is read and written from left to right. Try it!)

The Title of Messiah & Its Numerical Value

Since all Hebrew words, phrases, and names bear a number (total value of all letters), it’s obvious that the appellation (title) of Messiah also would have an equivalent numerical value.

As follows but going from left to right to make it easier:

Mem = 40; Shin = 300; Yod = 10; Chet = 8. Combined total is 358.

Messiah in Hebrew is: Mashiach. (Once again sound out the letters. Hint: the “Y” in “Yod” is a consonant vowel, pronounced more like a short “a” … ah)

As found in Out of the Abyss Chapter 7 and also a few Eye of Prophecy articles as fitting the topic, certain numbers in Scripture have substantial meaning in God’s sovereign plan for and interaction with his creation, especially mankind. Such as: three, four, seven, twelve, forty, seventy, and four hundred. (For example, please see article, Countdown to Armageddon … End of the Fourth 400-Year Era, published 7-29-17).

Likewise, the gematria value of many Hebrew words and phrases are a vital component of Judaism and Jewish life. One of those significant numbers is 18, which is the sum value of the Hebrew word, Chai or life. Consequently, monetary gifts among Jews are often given in the factor of eighteen.

(Common Hebrew Phrases With the Word Chai–life or lives)

In breaking down the composite number for Messiah (358), we find the following:

Three: The number of the Trinity … Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

Five: The number representing God’s Grace.

Eight: The number signifying what is new as in New Beginning.

Messiah Jesus is the Son of God and God the Son, the second Person of the Triune God. The majestic Three in One. God’s grace was lavishly poured out to both Jew and Gentile through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus to save us from our sins. When we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, we are a new creation in Christ; we have a new beginning with all our sins forgiven and the penalty for those sins pardoned. During the Rapture, the dead in Christ will be given a brand new body via resurrection, and then the transfiguration of living believers follows quickly (I Thessalonians 4 & I Corinthians 15).

However, there’s no need for Scripture to specifically identify the numerical equivalent (gematria) of anyone or anything, as the Bible itself provides all the needed content that enables us to comprehend God’s plan for the human race. Yet, if we’re truly interested in knowing the Lord and his Word, we will better see the literal and figurative value that God places on certain numbers (identified earlier). In addition to those stated numbers, the numerical values revealed through Hebrew gematria is one of those peripheral—yet still significant—tools for those who want to understand the Bible that much more.

As alluded to earlier: there is one exception. Which is the encoded number of the Antichrist beast given to us as one of the pieces of the prophetic puzzle to decode and declassify what most think must remain a mystery until after the Rapture—the identity of the Antichrist. The text is clear: Revelation 13:18 unequivocally declares that the number six-hundred and sixty-six is the number of “a man.” Not man’s number in general which many believe to be six (created on the sixth day). Rather, it is the number of “a” man—who obviously is the Antichrist Beast.

And it’s through Hebrew gematria that we can match up six hundred and sixty-six with Nero Caesar. Then by disciplined study and a good dose of God-given wisdom and understanding, to confirm that disclosure with all of the other passages on the Antichrist found in Scripture.

Conversely, there is no question that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah … The Anointed One, which is what Messiah means. Anyone with any degree of objectivity, but also an open mind and sincere heart passionately wanting to know the truth of who Jesus is, will see that … even the most orthodox of Jewish rabbis. Jesus literally fulfilled dozens of Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah, including the following prediction that indisputably shows Messiah must arrive BEFORE the second temple was destroyed (in 70 AD).

Biblical Numbers Expressed in Specific Prophetic Periods of Time/Years

“After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One (Mashiach) will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the Temple…” (Daniel 9:26, parenthesis mine).

Jesus’s birth was so supremely significant that it changed time from before Christ (BC) to after Christ (AD). Only 33-34 years after Jesus was killed by crucifixion, Nero personally ordered his Generals Vespasian and Titus and their legions to march on Jerusalem in 66 A.D. It was Nero’s armies that destroyed the city and the temple.

(Many More Jews–Men, Woman, & Children–Were Killed Than Taken Captive)

While we’re on the subject of numbers in Scripture—the kind given by the Lord in the form of an astonishingly specific time-dedicated prophecy—let’s read part of the passage just prior to Daniel 9:26. The archangel Gabriel is speaking to Daniel:

“Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven (483 years total) will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One—comes…” (Daniel 9:25, parenthesis mine).

Time/space in today’s article doesn’t allow a detailed explanation of this phenomenal prophecy. Please see Eye of Prophecy article, An Incredible Time Lapse Prophecy (posted 1-18-14)) for elaboration (also found in a few subsequent articles). Here is an excerpt from that post:

Sir Robert Anderson calculated (with partial assistance from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich) the Julian date of King Artaxerxes edict to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem to have been March 14th, 445 BC. Furthermore, the Julian date for Jesus’s magnificent ride into Jerusalem was April 6th, 32 AD. By employing the Hebrew calendar, Sir Robert Anderson tallied 173,880 days had elapsed which is exactly 483 Jewish years!! Absolutely astounding! I repeat for emphasis: Incredible!!

Another astonishing prophecy (Leviticus 26) that the Lord graciously gave me understanding of was the exact amount of time specified by what I term Seven Times Over (uninterrupted succession of years) ending the Gentile domination of the Jews and Israel in 1967—the Six Day War. Please see Eye of Prophecy article, The Omega Generation, posted 2-15-14, which was an epilogue to three preceding articles, Seven Times Seven (to the 4th power I, II, III) published 1-25, 2-1, and 2-8-14.

In summary: the Bible contains three categories of numbers to express God’s plan and fulfillment of prophecy. They are:

(1) Certain numbers to represent significant models and methods of God’s interaction with both Jews and Gentiles. Such as: Three, Four, Seven, Twelve, Forty, and others.

(2) Prophetic announcements and fulfillment that involve precise dates/times.

(3) Hebrew Gematria that connect and correlate Biblical words, phrases, and names to the importance of certain numbers as indicated in Category 1. With, however, the recognition that (except for the encoded gematria number of the Antichrist beast) Scripture does not actually state or specify the numerical equivalent or values. That is a “bonus” for those who are willing to learn more about the dynamics of the Hebrew alphabet and how letters and words impart deeper meaning to numbers and vice versa.

Regarding Messiah’s number of 358, we find this in a few Old Testament passages. Such as one we just looked at.

In both Daniel 9:25 & Daniel 9:26, we find the title of “Anointed One” translated Messiah in many Bible translations. Mashiach (Hebrew for Messiah) equals 358.

We also find the numerical value of 358 in the italicized phrase of the following passage: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes…” (Genesis 49:10, NASB, “Yibo Shiloh” in Hebrew).

Bible scholars and teachers (including me) recognize this as a reference to the coming Messiah.

There are a few other passages where the name or phrase equals 358, with either a direct reference to Messiah or a type or symbol of Messiah. Such as Deuteronomy 34:9 and Isaiah 44:24.

Ironically (but not to God), the term snake or serpent adds up to 358. You might be thinking, what’s that all about? Read with me the analogy Jesus used shortly after he told Nicodemus: “you must be born again” in order to enter the Kingdom of God.

“And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).

In this context of salvation, Jesus was emphasizing the lifting up part … meaning his death on the cross. Which is the only remedy for sin and death and final conquest over the original serpent, the Devil … Satan.

Here’s the Old Testament scene referred to by Jesus in which God had to discipline his people for yet another rebellion against him:

“So the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died. Then the people came to Moses and cried out, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take away the snakes.’ So Moses prayed for the people.

“Then the Lord told him, ‘Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!’ So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!” (Numbers 21:6-9).

Everyone has been bitten by sin and (without God’s remedy) will die an eternal death because of that deadly bite. Among other literal and symbolic lessons of this “snake” incident graphically portrayed by the Lord to describe his death on a pole (the cross), is the life-giving truth that all a person need do is believe in the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Messiah Jesus … John 14:6) for forgiveness of sin and once-for-all redemption that leads to eternal life instead of death. It wasn’t just looking at the snake that saved those who had been bitten. It was their trust in God to do what he said he would do if they simply looked at the bronze serpent. If they looked with complete faith in God, then he would save them.

To look is to see and to see is to believe. This is also true in reverse. To believe is to look and to look is to see. “I once was lost but now am found; was blind, but now I see.” (Words from song, Amazing Grace).

A Captivating Correlation between the Number of Messiah and an Event Some 358 Years Ago

The following occurred to me: If we convert the numerical value of Messiah to years and look back some 358 years, would we find something or someone of some historical note. I’m placing this in the representative comparative (not actual) context of the soon return of Messiah and the corresponding years associated with Jesus’s amazing statement that all of the end-times signs would occur within a span of one generation (see Matthew 24:34). As indicated, I have written about this in several Eye of Prophecy articles, with reference to the monumental milestones of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, the UN Resolution of 1947 (followed in seven months by Israel becoming a State in 1948), and the Six-Day War of 1967 in which the Holy City of Jerusalem was reunited with the Holy Land of Israel.

All leading to a time-frame (converting Roman calendar years to Jewish years and months) of the Rapture possibly taking place before the year 2020. With, however, heavy emphasis on the fact that Jesus said that no one knows the day or hour (Matthew 24 & 25). However, he also said we should recognize the signs of the last days, with one of the most important of those actually transpiring in our generation, compliments of evangelism via the media … radio, television and the internet:

“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

With the conviction that the Day of the Lord is so very near, I’m simply using the present time (this year … 2017) as a benchmark reference point to see where the number of Messiah (in years) retroactively takes us. If I hadn’t found what was found, neither this week’s article nor any Eye of Prophecy article would have been written on this subject (Messiah’s number).

A Rabbi Named Sabbatai Zevi

During his lifetime (1626 to 1676) this mystic Jewish rabbi claimed to be the long-awaited Messiah. Unlike a few others who have made such a claim down through the ages, this man had a huge European following of both Jews and Gentiles. So much so that a legacy was named after him—the Sabbatean movement. More so than anyone before him since the Jewish Zealot Bar Kokhba led the last revolt against Rome in 130-135 A.D. Many hailed Kokhba as the Messiah. Except, of course, Messianic Jews and Gentile Christians who knew beyond all doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was (still is and always will be) Messiah—if for no other reason than his resurrection from the dead.

Interestingly enough, Zevi was born in the city of Smyrna, which at that time was part of the Ottoman Empire. This is the same Smyrna named as one of the seven churches in Revelation Chapters 2 & 3. Among other things that Jesus said of the church in Smyrna:

“…I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan” (Revelation 2:9).

In the first century, there were two main antagonistic forces against the Christian Jews and Gentiles in Smyrna. One was the Jewish population openly opposing Christianity. The other was the Gentile population aggressively aligned with Rome; Gentiles who lived there were loyal worshippers of the Roman emperors.

There was still a thriving Jewish community in Smyrna in the 17th century, and there were two major events during the mid-part of that century.

First Event: A resurgence of Messianic fervor greater than any since the time of Christ Jesus. For Gentile Christians and their Messianic Jewish brothers in Christ, it was the return of Messiah. For non-Messianic Jews (as is still the case today) it was the first appearance of Messiah. In fact some of those Jews actually identified the year 1648 (then later 1666) as the year of their final redemption by their long-awaited Jewish Messiah.

Time/space doesn’t permit more information on this obviously false messiah, who later converted to Islam to avoid persecution and possible death at the hands of the Sultan of Turkey! In stark contrast to the true Messiah Jesus, who as the Son of God willingly came to this earth as a man (Virgin Birth) and freely laid down his life for our ugly sins and the penalty of those transgressions, eternal separation from God. As well as all of Jesus’s disciples (except John) who were killed for preaching the Good News, and millions of Christians down through the ages (more in the 20th and 21st centuries than ever before) who have given the supreme sacrifice of their lives to testify that only Messiah Jesus can save us.

(Portrait of Sabbatai Zevi, Next to a Crown)

Here is an excerpt from the Jewish History website article:

What happened next is indescribable. We know it from diplomatic records, from ambassadors of countries who sent records to their government describing what happened throughout the Jewish world. Sabbatai Zevi was not just a Jewish phenomenon, but an international one. His arrival affected the economy and politics of all Europe.

Wild rumors regarding the advent of the Messiah circulated all over the civilized world. Jews is Greece, Italy, Syria, Egypt and Turkey, began to sell out their properties in anticipation of moving to the Holy Land.

The Jewish communities of Amsterdam, Hamburg, Altona, Frankfurt and Main were all taken over by supporters of Sabbatai Zevi. The chief opponent of Sabbatai Zevi was a rabbi in Amsterdam by the name of Jacob Sasportas. He sent letters to the rabbis of Europe to oppose Sabbatai Zevi. Shockingly, hundreds of rabbis refused to do so. Many of them said in effect that even if Sabbatai Zevi was not the Messiah he was good for the Jews because a lot of assimilated Jews were now more religious or at least more aware and proud of their Jewish identities…

By the end of 1665, the messianic fervor had moved from the Mediterranean basin to Western and Eastern Europe. In short, Sabbatai Zevi hysteria swept throughout Europe, especially Eastern Europe which was still reeling from the Tach V’tat massacres. The Jews were looking for something. Here was the solution; here was the Messiah.

This last paragraph leads us directly to the:

Second Event: Quoting from the first paragraph of an article with the heading of Tach V’tat, also posted in the online source of Jewish History:

“The years 1648 and 1649 represent a watershed in Jewish history. In Jewish tradition they are referred to as Tach V’tat (which are the Hebrew letters representing the numbers 408 and 409, which correspond to the years of 1648 and 1649 on the non-Jewish calendar). One can even say that Tach V’tat marks the beginning of modern Jewish history. It is certainly the harbinger of enormous changes in and enormous destruction of the Jewish world.”

The author of that column was referring to and did mention the mass slaughter of an estimated 300,000 Jews (30% of the Jewish European population) by Russian Cossacks, Tartars, and mostly by Polish peasants during these two years, but continuing through 1653. Proportionally, the number of Jews killed during this relatively short 5-6 year period of time exceeded the Crusades or the Inquisition before, both of which took place over a long period of time. It was the largest mass murder of Jews until the Holocaust, which also took place over a 5-6 year period of time.

(I Hesitated To Post This Holocaust Mass Grave Picture, one of many photos and videos taken of the Holocaust. But We Must Never Forget. The Tach V’tat massacre of the Jews was done one at a time by hand, compared to the machine gun and gas chambers of the Holocaust)

As the author of the Jewish History article concluded: it was the harbinger of enormous changes in and destruction of the Jewish world to come.

The Starling Correlation

The Holocaust of the Second World War was a direct (prophetic) catalyst of the rebirth of the State of Israel, which is one of the three epic achievements of the 20th century that signal specific time frames of the Day of the Lord (in a generational period that the Bible defines as both 100 years and 70 years).

Sabbatai Zevi was a false messiah, who deceived many by special (questionable) paranormal abilities and pious living. He would be a pre-cursor to the next infamous and last anti-Messiah who will reappear shortly after the Rapture. Followed seven years later by the true Messiah’s return.

Let’s do the math:

Starting with this year (2017), and then transposing Messiah’s number of 358 to years, we’ll go backward in history. Once again, however, we need to convert Roman calendar years to Jewish calendar years. Those calculations give us 363 Jewish years. Subtracting 363 from 2017, we end up in the year 1654.

That was the year that immediately followed the end of the worst mass murder of Jews (1648-1653) until the Holocaust; with the Holocaust immediately preceding the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Which, in turn, was the epic beginning of the 70-year generation (within the 100-year generation of the Balfour Declaration of 1917) that would usher in the Day of the Lord.

Also it was the last prominent anti-Messiah to deceive both Jews and Gentiles alike, until (the) Antichrist (Nero) will return from the Abyss. Only to be totally vanquished by the true Messiah.

Things to Ponder

Certainly, there is some speculation on my part even to match the number of Messiah to years. As indicated in some prior Eye of Prophecy articles: Unlike a great many—even well-meaning Bible scholars—who focus on Biblical prophecy, I seldom do any speculating at all. Rather, I rely on the comparison of Scripture to Scripture and then correlation to historical events. If you have read just a few Eye of Prophecy articles, I’m convinced you will see that.

In that regard, I would classify the 358 paradigm as a secondary (probable but not absolutely certain) prophetic development or sign. One that is more hidden and harder to discern than the obvious Biblical prophecies of Messiah’s first and second advents and Israel’s final redemption and restoration as covered extensively in Eye of Prophecy articles, including current events that pertain to these prophetic developments.

Nevertheless, the fact that 358 years ago, give or take a few years, finds us at the very time of what was the most prominent false messiah up to that point—including the worst massacre of Jews until the Holocaust—is, I think, quite relevant … even remarkable.

Messiah Jesus’s return is so very near. This is the ardent anticipation and strong belief of most evangelical Bible scholars and teachers and millions upon millions of Christians. Although there are many articles on several subjects, one of the main purposes of Eye of Prophecy website is to provide Biblical and historical documentation to support that powerful premise.

The 358 template that connects a false messiah (a pre-cursor of the ultimate Antichrist—Nero) to the true Messiah is one more piece of the prophetic puzzle. Albeit the fitting of this piece requires a magnifying lens that includes looking at Hebrew gematria coupled with a strong working knowledge of Biblical prophecy and secular history.

In that context, it’s pretty amazing what was happening 358 years ago! Was that mere coincidence? Or could there be a prophetic correlation and time-lapse application to the imminent return of Christ in today’s world?

“But it was to us that God revealed things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets … And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us” (I Corinthians 2:10 & 12, parenthesis in the text).

“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

“…If you are a teacher, teach well” (Romans 12:7).

By the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Eye of Prophecy articles will teach well, as we are:

Whom Do You Most Want To See In Heaven?

Such an easy question posed in the title of this week’s article, with an equally obvious answer: Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).

Were it not for Messiah Jesus and what he did before, during, and after the cross, there would be no entrance into heaven nor any place for us in the future Kingdom of God on earth. Believers will have the awesome privilege of going back and forth between heaven and earth during the Millennium and throughout Eternity.

Next question: After Jesus, is there anyone you especially want to see soon after your arrival in heaven? Keep reading for the opportunity and reason to think about that question, which extends beyond loved ones. But first, let’s get back to Jesus.

“Jesus replied (to Nicodemus), ‘I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God’” (John 3:3, parenthesis mine).

And in order to be born again (spiritually), there is only one thing that the Lord requires of us:

“Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.’

“They replied, ‘We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?’

“Jesus told them, ‘This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent’” (John 6:26-29, italics for emphasis).

Years later the Apostle Paul reinforced this profound yet simple truth of salvation to reconcile us back to God and, thereby, seal us with that same approval that God has for his beloved Son, Messiah Jesus.

“For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for our 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).

That is the Good News of the Gospel.

Is there bad news? Unfortunately, there is. Not the news itself. Rather, for those who have not believed and received Jesus as personal Savior, the question posed in the title of this week’s article is irrelevant. In order to see or be with anyone in heaven, they must first be born-again.

Other than Messiah Jesus

Next to Jesus, the question of whom believers most want to see in heaven also has an obvious answer: family or, perhaps for some, very close friends. With, of course, the compassionate hope that their loved ones will be in heaven. I think the majority of people—both believers and unbelievers (who are mistakenly relying on the presumption that they will qualify for heaven based mostly on their good deeds outweighing the bad)—look forward to being reunited with their spouse.

Which, however, poses a problem. If, that is, there will be problems as such in heaven. Which there won’t be because we can’t even imagine how wonderful or how much better all things will be in our eternal paradise. But we can know this: heaven is problem-free!

For example: “…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. And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:3-5).

(Please see Eye of Prophecy article, To Be or Not to Be in Heaven (A Revisit). Posted 5-6-17. Scroll down near the end of the article to heading of Heaven is a Place, But Not For Some Things!)

Spouses

The “problem” alluded to can be best understood by those who have had more than one spouse in their lifetime. Which one would they like to greet first in heaven? Or not at all—in case of a divorce! Actually, even divorced couples will rejoice that both are there. What about a woman who remarries after her first husband died? Who, at the end of her life, realized she loved both men the same.

Let’s look at what Jesus, himself, said about this issue. His explanation was in the context of the question of resurrection of the dead, which the Pharisees of Jesus’ time believed in, but not their rival group, the Sadducees. In one of several attempts to trap Jesus into saying or doing something that the religious leaders could hold against him or even prove him wrong (which they never were able to do, including some amazingly awesome answers from Jesus), we read:

“Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question: ‘Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife without children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name. Well, suppose there were seven brothers…” (Mark 12:18-20).

The religious leaders went on to say (their example wouldn’t have been so absurd had they stopped with say two or three brothers) that the seven brothers married her in succession, but each died without conceiving a child with the woman. She then died, childless. Their question:

“So, tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her” (Verse 23).

Jesus corrected them:

“Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. For when the dead rise, they will neither marry or be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels of heaven. But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—haven’t you ever read about this in the writings of Moses, in the story of the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, God said to Moses, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ So he is the God of the living, not the dead. You have made a serious error” (Mark 12:24-27).

Jesus plainly told the religious leaders (of all people) that their most serious error was not knowing their own Scriptures. The single greatest error made by so very many, then and now, is passively ignoring the Bible or actively rejecting it as the source of God’s absolute truth. It is sixty-six books of accurate history, detailing people, places, and events; telling us about the fall of man, and God’s remedy through the prophesied Messiah who would bring salvation to all who would believe what he said and did.

All beginning with God choosing Israel as his special people and land to bring forth a Redeemer for Jew and Gentile alike. The Bible is replete with astounding miracles that God and His Son have performed, alongside the astonishing fulfillment of hundreds of prophecies to prove that He alone is God, and His Son is the only Savior.

“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Even the best of long-term marriages are imperfect and can’t compare to the ultimate rapport and unity of all believers in heaven. If a man or a woman deeply loved their spouse during two (or maybe even three) marriages on earth, then which one should they be with in heaven? Answer: Both, but not as husband and wife. Rather, as transfigured believers with new spiritual bodies and minds—worshipping, praising, and serving the Lord undefiled forever. Along with the host of heaven; with, perhaps, a little more bond to those they loved while on the earth.

Mothers, Fathers, Children, Sisters, and Brothers

Next to Jesus and then spouses, it’s logical that most people will first want to see their immediate family members or perhaps a very dear friend in heaven. For many it would be a mother and/or father, or child, followed by siblings. Or, maybe all at the same time. Once again, let’s put this in perspective of what Jesus said and did. Let’s get his view on family, but with a warning: His standpoint is in the context of something that supersedes even family—immediate or extended–relationships.

Before we look at a couple of passages on that subject, we can better grasp the dynamics of what’s going on with a brief review of where it all began.

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).

Along with human beings and everything else that God created (which was everything!) we read: “Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!” (Genesis 1:31).

One day soon, it will be as good as or even better than it was in the beginning!

God created Adam from the dust of the ground (all the component parts of a human being can be found in the elements of the earth). Then the Lord gave the man the best gift that any man could or should ever want or need, in terms of human companionship on this earth.

“So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep (God’s anesthesia!). While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man” (Genesis 2:21-22, parenthesis obviously mine).

And what was Adam’s response? “At last! … This one is bone from my bone and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’ This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one” (Genesis 2:23-24).

Then we’re told about Cain, the first child born to Eve.

“Later she gave birth to his brother and named him Abel…” (Genesis 4:2)

Most people, even unbelievers, know the story of the first murder when Cain killed his own brother—a direct second generation result of the sin nature that had been inherited by Adam and Eve’s children … passed down to this very day. But then we read:

“When Adam was 130 years old, he became the father of a son who was just like him—in his very image. He named his son, Seth. After the birth of Seth, Adam lived another 800 years, and he had other sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:3-4).

Thus, we see the vital significance of husband and wife and children—brothers and sisters—as the foundational bedrock of the God-given institutions of marriage and family. In fact, the Lord draws on that paradigm to illustrate that all believers in Christ are his bride (Ephesians 5:21-33). If we accept God’s salvation, then we also have the awesome privilege of being reborn into the family of God after we are born the first time into the family of man. Believers are not only Messiah’s bride, but we are God’s children.

“He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God” (John 1:10-13).

The Lord gives us life and then gives us life again … everlasting!

Jesus and His Family

“Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. There was a crowd sitting around Jesus (something that happened frequently, sometimes crowds of thousands), and someone said, ‘Your mother and your brothers are outside asking for you.’

“Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’ Then he looked at those around him and said, ‘Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother’” (Mark 3:31-35, italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).

Did Jesus mean that his mother, brothers, and sisters were unimportant or irrelevant to him? Of course not. There are other scenes in the Gospels where it’s clear that Jesus honored his mother and father, and respected his siblings. Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic Law—perfectly (without sin) keeping all commandments. One of which is to:

But there is something and someone higher and eternally more important than family bonds and identity. Jesus clearly said who and what that was: anyone who does God’s will. They are Messiah’s true family.

And what is God’s will? There is a plethora of both Old and New Testament passages that convey the ultimate will and plan of God for his creation. Beginning with the Messianic promises in the Old Covenant (Testament) and ending with the accomplishment of those prophecies/promises in the New Covenant—centered in Messiah. I’m going to quote just one, but it happens to be the one most are familiar with (both believers and unbelievers).

“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB).

“Whoever believes in Him” (Christ) is doing God’s will.

Let’s look at one more passage comparing the human to the spiritual family of God.

One of the more well-known stories in the Gospels is the rich man who asked Jesus, “…what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17).

After Jesus quoted some of the Ten Commandments, including honor your father and mother—with the rich man’s response that he had kept those commandments—we read: “Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. ‘There is still one thing you haven’t done … Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me’” (Mark 10:21).

It was not a happy ending for the man: “At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions” (Verse 22).

Many know what Jesus said next. “…How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God … In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God” (Verses 23 & 25).

We read on: “The disciples were astounded. ‘Then who in the world can be saved?’ they asked. Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.’

“Then Peter began to speak up. ‘We’ve given up everything to follow you,’ he said” (Verses 26-28).

Then Jesus drives home the point of this entire scene, which is the truth that he and the Gospel he brought with him to mankind are much more essential and eternal than earthly possessions, prestige, and power.

What every person does with and about Messiah Jesus will literally determine their eternal destiny. It will also determine eternal rewards for those who do believe in Jesus and choose to follow him. Moreover, in his reply to Peter, Jesus includes family relationships that also must be prioritized in the light of who Jesus is and what he would do for the human race.

{In the very next scene Jesus reminded his disciples what would soon happen to him: “…the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again” (Mark 10:33-34)}.

Getting back to Peter’s question, Jesus went on to say:

“Yes … and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be the least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then” (Mark 10:29-31).

Because the Lord has graciously given me the gift of teaching (all believers are given a special gift to serve the Lord—see Romans 12 & I Corinthians 12), I almost always provide my own commentary on Scripture or secular sources quoted in Eye of Prophecy articles. However, the following commentary on the above passage in Mark is from the New Living Translation (Application Study Bible) that I normally quote from unless otherwise noted:

Jesus assured the disciples that anyone who gives up something valuable for his sake will be repaid a hundred times over in this life, although not necessarily in the same way. For example, someone may be rejected by his family for accepting Christ, but he or she will gain the larger family of believers. Along with these rewards, however, we experience persecution because the world hates God. Jesus emphasized persecution to make sure that people do not selfishly follow him only for the rewards.

Jesus explained that in the world to come, the values of the world will be revealed. Those who seek status and importance here will have none in heaven. Those who are humble here will be great in heaven…

As important as spouses and children and our extended families are, our ultimate purpose for being on this earth is to prepare us for eternity. That preparation begins by being “born-again” through total trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus for forgiveness of sins. In that regard, believer’s brothers and sisters in Christ are our real family. Which makes a flesh and blood brother or sister (or any family member) who is also a believer, even more precious. After we are saved, it’s also by regular reliance on the Holy Spirit that we love, worship, honor, serve, and in general seek the Lord above all else.

“So don’t worry about those things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all you needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:31-33, Words of Jesus).

Jesus Takes the Family Analogy a Step Further

Husbands, Wives, Fathers, Mothers, Children, Brothers, or Sisters. Natural born or adopted. Full or step or half siblings. Blended or unblended families. As wonderful and enduring as family relationships can and should be, the truth of the Gospel exceeds such bonds. One of the greatest joys in any believer’s life is when a family member comes to Christ for salvation. One of the greatest sorrows is when a loved one dies without Christ as their personal Savior.

And who doesn’t want to go to heaven or not go to hell when they die, whether a person believes in either place or not? For God and Christ and heaven and hell are as real as the words you are reading right now. I say this on the authority of God’s Word, in which the God of that Word says, “Only fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1).

The world longs for lasting love and perpetual peace, but not for absolute truth. Most search for the elusive qualities of love and peace in people without including God who IS LOVE (I John 4:8 & 16). Without Christ who IS Peace (Isaiah 9:6). One day soon he and only he will bring permanent peace to the world. However, the first time Jesus came to Planet Earth, he came to bring peace with God. For without peace with God there can be no enduring peace between peoples.

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us” (Romans 5:1).

That’s why Messiah Jesus was so blunt when he said:

“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword (referring to the spiritual sword which is the Word of God—Scripture). I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own households! If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it” (Matthew 10:34-39, parenthesis mine).

Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, One Nation Under (the wrath of) God, posted on 7-4-15, soon after and primarily on the subject of the United States Supreme Court Decision that legalized same-sex marriage:

“Pilate said, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus responded, ‘You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.’ ‘What is truth?’ Pilate asked…” (John 18:37-38).

We see two things happening in this crucifixion passage: (1) Jesus explaining his mission on coming to this earth … to testify of the truth. Earlier in his ministry he had said that he, himself, was The Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). He also said the truth would set us free, meaning himself. God’s truth for mankind is that his Son is the only Way to God, his son is Truth itself, and his Son is Life (salvation that comes from God’s great love for the human race which leads to eternal life, John 3:16). (2) Pilate diverted and deflected Messiah’s declaration and explanation of truth by facetiously asking, “What is truth?” With his clear inference that truth is relative to anything and everything; what is true for one isn’t true for another.

Messiah Jesus came to show us God and God’s love. He provided the only Way to God by giving us everlasting Life through his once for all sacrifice for our sins. Notice that the Truth is in the middle of John 14:6. Christ as THE TRUTH connects the way of salvation to the life it produces. Without recognizing that Jesus Christ is absolute truth that everyone needs, there is no way to God or everlasting life from God.

Continuing with the excerpt from the aforementioned article:

Many people (particularly unbelievers and especially those who practice or promote homosexual behavior and/or assert equal rights to a marriage license) claim that love trumps everything else, including truth. Of course it would, because there is no longer any such thing as absolute truth, i.e. given to us by God, himself as found in Scripture, the very Word of God. They refuse to consider real truth; accordingly, they really don’t understand what love is.

First comes truth, then comes love. Scripture tells us in no uncertain terms that it is the Truth that sets us free, not love. Without universal divine truth as found in Scripture, we simply cannot and do not understand what love is. We confuse it and substitute it with passion or at the very most, a deep brotherly type affection that is good among people, but apparently not enough to overcome the racial, political, cultural, and religious differences among people, including men and woman.

In fact, marriage is the least likely relationship in which the basic motivation and subsequent words of, “I love you,” or “I promise to love, cherish….” will stand the test of time. The 50% plus divorce rate should tell us that much. We are much more likely to say and mean those same words to a brother, sister, child, parent, or friend forty years from now than a spouse.

Institutions are characterized by and predicated on relationships.

The fundamental components of any relationship are love, honor, and respect; but here we must defer to Scripture’s definition of love and how that love determines the boundaries of relationships, particularly marriage.

Rephrasing the Question of Today’s Article Title

Those of us who are believers in Messiah Jesus passionately anticipate the soon to be glorious return of our Lord, to see him as he really is at the Rapture. Or if by death, to see him first and foremost in heaven. We will also rejoice to be reunited with loved ones, including dear departed friends.

But what about those mighty (in faith and service) men and women of God whose lives and stories are dear to us as found in the Bible. Or, post-Biblical figures down through the ages who have given their all to proclaim the Gospel and to confirm and defend the truth of the Good News? Have you ever thought about which of them you would want most or first to meet in heaven?

The last of the seven major Jewish Festivals—Sukkot or the Feast of Tabernacles—just ended day before yesterday, October 12th. Many Jews, especially the Orthodox, invite one person in the Bible to “tabernacle” with them each of the seven basic days of this festival, also called the Festival of Shelters. Jewish tradition recommends the invited guests to be: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, and King David.

All of the above people except Aaron are also identified in the New Testament book of Hebrews Chapter 11, in what many Bible scholars and teachers call the “Hall of Faith.” Plus ten others such as Noah and Enoch and lesser known names such as Jephthah and Rahab. But also included are, “all the prophets.” As well as: “the people of Israel” when they “went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground.”

Which Bible heroes and heroines of faith would you want to meet right away in heaven? Out of intrigue, curiosity, excitement, to ask them to tell you more about themselves and the stories you’ve read or heard about them.

Who wouldn’t want to listen to Moses depicting in great detail how the waters of the sea stood up like walls? Or to describe the finger of God writing the Ten Commandments on solid stone tablets on Mount Sinai? Or ask Noah how long it took for two of every pair of animals to come to the Ark, and just how amazed he was when they did?

Or an up close and personal explanation by Daniel, spending the night in a den full of hungry lions. Did the lions give him a soothing sleep by purring all night? Could have happened that way!

(Their Given Hebrew Names Were: Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Would You Ask Them What Jesus Said to Them While in the Fiery Furnace? Yes, it was the Pre-Incarnate Messiah With Them!)

Pick your favorite man or woman in the Bible and think what they could tell you about what they saw, did, and said that isn’t recorded in Scripture. Just how dumbfounded was Saul when the risen (and ascended) Christ appeared in a blinding light, and jolted him out of unbelief on the road to Damascus … forever changing Saul’s life and even his name to Paul?

My Choice

My personal preference is a man who isn’t even named in Scripture. Other than my Lord and my loved ones—family and a couple of friends—the person I would like to meet and talk to first is found in the following passage:

“At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’

“…Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, ‘This man truly was the Son of God!’” (Mark 15:33-39).

This is nothing short of amazing. The Roman officer was a centurion in charge of the death squad that crucified Jesus. Undoubtedly, he had been hardened by many other executions. Most assuredly he was convinced that every man crucified was guilty as charged, including the two thieves on either side of Jesus.

In Luke’s gospel we read: “When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshipped God and said, ‘Surely this man was innocent’” (Luke 23:47).

Between these two accounts, it’s exceptionally evident that this Roman centurion believed on the spot that Jesus was completely innocent of any crime or wrongdoing. Even more: This Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God! Thus, the centurion was born-again that very day along with one of the two thieves on the cross. Astonishing!

I want to ask this Roman: “Why?”

“Why did you believe that Jesus was the Son of God? What made you think he was innocent of trying to overthrow Rome as the King of the Jews? Had you talked to Pontius Pilate or were you there in the courtyard when Pilate said he could find no fault in Jesus? Was it the three hours of total darkness in the middle of the day, or the earthquake that made you think this was no ordinary crucifixion? That this was no ordinary man? Was it anything or everything that Jesus said while dying an excruciating death?

I would say to him, “All of the words of Jesus before the cross and on the cross and after the cross had a powerful influence on my life. But none more so than when he said (after your men had nailed him to the cross): Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing. Did those words soften and change your heart, too?”

I would ask him: “When you acknowledged that Jesus was the Son of God and praised God for that fact, did you also realize that his sentence that you carried out would be the source of eternal life for you and for all who would believe in him?”

There are a ton of questions I’d like to ask this commander of Roman soldiers. Or just the one question “Why did you believe?” And let him tell his poignant story of how a Roman officer could possibly believe (let alone publicly say so with his words and actions of worshipping God) Jesus was/is the Son of God before Jesus even arose from the dead!

Things to Ponder

We’ll have literally forever to talk one on one or in groups with every Biblical character in heaven, known and unknown. But that’s certainly not all. Eternity is a very long time! I’m convinced that we will meet every single believer in heaven at one time or another, sooner or later. Actually—since heaven will be timeless—will there be such a thing as sooner or later? Well, we’ll have plenty of time to think about that one!

Then there are the angels. Why wouldn’t we want to pick their angelic mind on what it’s like to be an angel; and listen to their stories about watching over us and protecting us from danger while on earth? Or how good angels fight the bad angels and such things.

Most of all we will echo the words of John:

“…All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen” (Revelation 1:5-6).

Las Vegas Massacre … A Broader Perspective

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Will the Killing Never End?

Though difficult to even think about it, I’m compelled to write about the savage slaughter in Las Vegas this past Sunday. Never before in the 220 Eye of Prophecy articles to date have successive posts begun with the same sectional heading. Especially one as grim as: Will the Killing Never End?

Last week’s article, The Real Reason for Palestinian Terrorism, was about the murder of three Israelis on September 26th by a 37-year old Palestinian who, by means of his Israeli issued work permit, had a good job and above average income from working in one of the Israeli communities in the West Bank. Neither his age nor his economic status fit the profile of Palestinians who murder Jews. Nor did the 64-year old financially well-to-do killer who ruthlessly snuffed out the lives of 59 fellow Americans, with an unprecedented number injured … over 500.

Not since 9/11 do I recall sitting in front of the television for hours over a single event, flipping between news stations; watching the deadly details of this malicious massacre in silent and solemn disbelief. Occasionally mouthing the words along with millions of Americans … unbelievable, incredible, shocking, and inconceivable. And mostly, “Why?”

A wounded person is walked in on a wheelbarrow as Las Vegas police respond.

Our hearts ache, our minds numbed, our spirits distressed, and our eyes and ears repulsed by the horror of it all.

There are not adequate words in any language to describe such cruelty. I suppose that President Donald Trump said it as well as could be said: “An act of pure evil.”

Every moral and spiritual fiber of our being cries out: “This is wrong, this is so very wrong.”

The sheer number of victims is staggering. It is the worst mass shooting in United States history, exceeding the 49 killed in the Orlando night club in June, 2016. The only other atrocity committed by an American that resulted in more deaths was the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City (1995 … 168 dead) by another malevolently evil man.

Twenty times as many Americans killed in Nevada on October 1st, than the three Israelis murdered in Israel just six days earlier. I don’t make this observation just for the sake of comparison. Anyone with any sense of morality, human decency, and respect for life knows full well: The murder of just one person (especially indiscriminate acts of terrorism that have become all too common, to the appalling point of normalcy) is one too many.

Rather, I make the connection between America and Israel because both Americans and Israelis have been affected by these brutal crimes on a national level. We, the people, are seriously shocked, righteously outraged, and deeply grieved by the deaths of our fellow Americans and Israelis, respectively. Both Americans and Israelis are intensely saddened at the devastating effect that the loss of loved ones (particularly at the hand of a random killer) has on their immediate family and friends.

In the context of this week’s subject, I only want to point out that the Jews have suffered many more of these arbitrary acts of terrorism in the last thirty years or so than have Americans. In that regard, killing of the three Jews was a greater loss (in numbers) to Israel than the fifty-nine Americans—mercilessly struck down before their time—were to America. With 320 million Americans and 6.5 million Jews in Israel, the United States population is approximately 50 times larger than Israel. Which statistically means that the death of three Israelis is 2 ½ times proportionally more than the loss of fifty-nine Americans.

Yet, it bears repeating: Even one innocent person randomly stabbed, shot, bombed, or run over by a vehicle is one too many. Whether it be in the United States, Israel, Norway, Germany, France, Spain, Great Britain, or anywhere. Reliable statistics show that 89% of such mass killings are committed by Muslims in general and/or those with actual or ideological ties to Islamic militants in particular. The Las Vegas massacre falls into the remaining ten per cent.

(Shows Body Covered on Ground … One of Two Woman Killed at Marseille, France Train Station by Muslim Terrorist–Also On October 1st)

Motive for the Law Vegas Bloodbath

Most Americans seem to be stunned at the Las Vegas massacre more than previous attacks for two reasons: (1) the frightening number of those killed and wounded. (2) Not knowing why … motive of the butcher.

Not just the leaders of our country and other nations who have condemned the Las Vegas atrocity, but celebrities and ordinary Americans have heard and probably uttered the word, senseless, or something similar. In a USA Today article entitled, Celebrities mourn a senseless act: ‘Why?’ posted on 10-3-17, some 30 celebrities (mostly country western singers and musicians) were quoted with such phrases as “stilled and speechless” from Keith Urban. Or Brad Paisley: “There are no words right now that suffice.” Blake Shelton said: “I don’t even know anymore … Why?” Thomas Rhett couldn’t, “fathom what happened.”

Contrasted to, for example, the Orlando and the San Bernardino (December, 2015 … fourteen killed) mass murders that were committed by a single man and a married couple with religious ties to Islam and/or political affiliation—at least ideological—to ISIS. Thus far, the Las Vegas assassin has no known religious or political connections to anyone or anything. Killing with absolutely no reason except to kill is, indeed, pure evil.

That’s what makes the Las Vegas attack even more gut-wrenching and mind-boggling. We want to know why, but we don’t. We want to process it all, but we can’t. Some think or say: even if there was a reason, it’s reached the point where it’s too much. Enough is enough.

If we just knew the reason, then maybe we could do something. Or can we? Where do we start? What could or should we do different? Should we deal just with the surface of the problem? In the case of mass shootings, do we eliminate altogether the constitutional right for American citizens to bear arms? Do we increase our security to the brink of becoming a police state in America? Do we give up going to indoor or outdoor stadiums and arenas to watch basketball, football, baseball, soccer; or listen to open-air concerts or attend conferences in a crowd of thousands?

Or is the problem much deeper than what can be addressed on a social or political or law enforcement level?

When all is said and done, is there really any way we can make sense of the senseless?

(Fort Hood Mass Shooting in Nov., 2009. Shows one of the 31 Wounded on Stretcher. Twelve American Servicemen and One Civilian Killed By Major Nidal Hasan, Who was a Practicing Muslim and Described Himself As, “A Soldier of Allah.” Thus, in This Case, the Ultimate Motive Was Clear).

Only Through God and His Word Can We Make Some Sense of It All

God’s Word, the Bible, does give us hope for the future, knowing that God knows why and that he cares more than we can imagine. How much does he care?

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (I John 4:9-10).

Jesus understands pain and death. He, too, was murdered. Though his death was unique—the just for the unjust, the righteous for the unrighteous—his blood was just as real, just as red. His agony was so great that the word excruciating comes directly from crucifixion.

Many inevitably ask the question: “Why did God allow this to happen?” That is a question that could be asked of any tragedy on a personal, city and state, national or international level—such as two World Wars that resulted in a combined death of some 90 million people.

Except for Messiah Jesus, no one who has ever lived knows all the relevant reasons why God does or doesn’t preemptively do certain things for certain people or cities or nations at any given time.

Yet, both general and specific principles can be found in Scripture … starting at the beginning when God allowed mankind to choose between good and evil. Including the realization that if God intervened in (prevented) every sin that every person or group of people were about to commit, then he would be revoking the free will that he has given us to choose between right and wrong, between light and darkness, between life and death. Which means that we would not choose to love, respect, and worship him for who He is—our Creator and Savior. We would become puppet robots with a deep-seated desire to rebel against God even more than we already do. What parent doesn’t want their child to love them willingly? What child wants to be forced to love and respect their mom and dad? In that sense, God has given everyone the freedom to determine his or her eternal destiny, depending on what they do with his Son.

Throughout the people, places, and events of Scripture—as borne out in history in the context of such things as terrible tragedies—if there’s one thing that stands out above everything else it is this: God sometimes allows bad things to happen to get our attention, including man-made disasters. When it comes to natural disasters, the Lord may even cause them from time to time. He allows things to happen in order to jolt our individual attention because our attention span is so short when it comes to focusing on God as the giver of all good things. He gives us life, then he gives us life again (everlasting) by redemption through his Son, Messiah Jesus. Or the principle as applied to entire nations so profoundly stated in the following passage:

And, “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

Inevitably and invariably, the only way to make sense of these senseless acts is by seeing things in the broadest and best perspective possible. And there is no other bigger or better source that God, himself. Moreover, the Lord’s divine perspective of his creation, of all things, is portrayed powerfully through His Word, the Bible.

For example: In last week’s article we looked past the presumed reasons why Palestinian Arabs continue to kill Jews on a regular basis. Motives such as alleged Jewish occupation of Israel (what Arabs still insist is Palestine) or non-existent apartheid propagandized by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to their own people and erroneously believed by millions all over the earth. As opposed to the real reason which goes back thousands of years; one that is explained explicitly in Scripture—the ancient rivalry between Ishmael and Isaac, ancestors of the Arabs and Jews, respectively.

The origin of 20th and 21st century terroristic-style killings can be traced primarily back to the Palestinian massacre of eleven Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics. Followed throughout the years by plane hijackings, then suicide bombings, and now lone-wolf attacks. Then largely beginning with 9/11, Muslim mass murder of anyone they considered infidels, which are Christians (including “Christian nations”) and Jews. And more recently Muslim Sunni and Shi’ite sects killing each other.

With one or two exceptions, such as the University of Texas student/sniper who shot and killed fourteen and wounded thirty-two in 1966, this perverted pattern of terrorism began in Munich, Germany. It then spun off into copy-cat massacres that have taken place all over the world, but mostly in the United States. The deadliest, in terms of numbers, took place near Oslo, Norway, with the lone gunman bombing and shooting to death 77 people in 2011. Although fewer in numbers (fortunately) than the Las Vegas massacre, the killing of twenty Sandy Hook Elementary school children and six staff members by a 20-year old man—who also didn’t have any political or religious motivation—was as gruesome as it gets. He also shot and killed his own mother.

For sure Palestinian murder of Jews is terrorism. But as developed in last week’s article, it has a much deeper root than just excuses created through political or religious conflict and opportunities. These are just branches of the tree. The tree itself is that of sheer hatred traced all the way back to Ishmael’s animosity towards Isaac.

(Isaac, not Ishmael was the Child of Promise. God Spared Isaac. But God Did Not Spare Isaac’s Descendant, Messiah Jesus–Who Is the Ultimate Child of Promise to Save Us From Our Sins)

The Depravity of Mankind … How Terrible Sin Really Is

Thus, there is a known reason for Palestinians in particular and Muslims in general committing acts of terror or BDS against Jews and (in some parts of the world) Christians. Whereas, the reprehensible massacre of so many in Las Vegas seems senseless and even more maddening because of an apparent lack of motive, the end result is the same. Whether serial killers over a period of time or a single act of mass murder, these killings actually do have a common denominator—the ultimate reason given to us by God:

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Then immediately we read:

“But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10).

Then painting an even broader picture in order to show us that the universal divine standard from which we can make sense out of the senseless, and by which our eternal destiny is determined can be found in such verses as:

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standards” (Romans 3:23).

Also, “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a).

That’s right: everyone has sinned. And the “reward” (wages) for that sin is death—eternal separation from God throughout eternity.

The Apostle Paul went on to emphasize:

“…So we can see how terrible sin really is…” (Romans 7:13).

But here’s where so many people make such a huge mistake. Nearly all unbelievers (and sadly even some Christians) have a wrong impression of what sin really is, thinking that sin consists of only the worst of the wrong things people do. They compare themselves to others and customarily conclude that there are many people worse than they are. So we hear them say such things as, “Well, I’m not that bad.” Really? Where do they draw the line? What’s their definition of bad? Or for that matter … good? Do they wonder how many others have said the same thing about them? Is there anyone, anywhere who could make that statement about every other person in the world?!

In order to make such a distinction, they have to set up their own personal standards, which makes the whole thing totally relative … no absolute or fixed reference point. Actually, that’s what most people do. It’s a cafeteria style morality: Choose only want you want to be or think is sin.

Many equate this relative standard (of acceptance by or right standing with God) only to criminal violations of statutory laws. Others view sin as no more than a lapse in judgment, with a mindset that, “we all make mistakes.” Or, “no one is perfect.” They’re correct on both accounts, but so very wrong that only some of the sins (the ones they choose) listed in Scripture are actually transgressions against God. If we think that so many of the bad things we do are not really sin, then why do we lie about them so often? Why cover them up? Why hide them? Rhetorical questions, wouldn’t you agree. And then there are those who boast about their transgressions.

Worse, yet:

“If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts” (I John 1:10).

In terms of redemption—accepted by faith as a free gift from God as opposed to good works leading to salvation (Ephesians 2:8)—there is no difference between say a few small sins or even one small sin and one huge act of evil such as murder.

The Bible is absolutely clear: Concerning our need for redemption through Jesus Christ and him alone, God does not grade or measure us on a curve or sliding scale of little and big sins. All who die without Christ will be separated from God forever. Only their degree of retribution in hell (punishment fits the crime) is determined by the severity of their wrong thoughts and actions while on this earth. In that regard, Stephen Paddock might not be that far behind such infamous characters as Joseph Stalin or Adolph Hitler concerning the degree of their eternal punishment.

Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, A Trilogy of Terror, posted 12-26-15:

The gospels and epistles are replete with his words of truth, life, and hope; but also words of warning of the great tribulation and coming judgment. As do most of the Old Testament prophets. What many preachers and teachers have said is true: Jesus and Scripture talk more about hell than heaven. More about sin and its awful consequences than the salvation that will forgive those sins and pardon the penalty imposed by God. But for a purpose: To demonstrate that, as awesome as God’s love is for every individual and for the Jewish nation as a whole, God’s justice must be administered or the world as we know it would inevitably self-destruct….

For example: “O God … you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked … You will destroy those who tell lies. The Lord detests murderers and deceivers” (Psalm 5:4-6).

This passage, like so many others, speaks of unbelievers whose entire life is lived apart from God, doing their own thing, going their own way.

Notice that the Lord detests not only murderers, but also deceivers. Deception is as bad as or worse than the sin itself … lying to cover up wrong things we’ve done. We even lie about lying.

Because Scripture is replete with all kinds of sin and also many stories of people who have sinned, I’ll refer only to Galatians 5:19-21, that begins with: “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear…”

The Apostle Paul goes on to list fifteen specific sins in that passage plus, “other sins like these.” He makes it clear that Scripture is referring to: “…anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21). As opposed to those whose life (and lifestyle) has been changed from the inside out by trusting in Messiah Jesus for forgiveness of their sin.

We have absolutely no right to deliberately take someone’s life unless its self-defense (including justified wars) or the Biblical mandated right of society to administer capital punishment. Concerning “lesser” sins: although not dead as such, how many lives have been ruined permanently or for long periods of time by adultery, loss of life savings through fraud, selfish indulgence of alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, molestation, and a host of other offenses that devastate the offended and sometimes even the offender. To the point of wishing they were dead … some even tragically acting on that wish.

Eternal Life or Everlasting Death

There is, in fact, a fate worse than physical death. It is spiritual death—which the Bible classifies as eternal separation from God. As opposed to eternal life in heaven. But thanks be to our great and glorious God; there is a remedy.

“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” (Romans 10:9-10).

Yes, the wages of sin is (eternal) death. But the second half of that verse gives us wonderful hope:

“….but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b).

“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 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 5:11-13, italics for emphasis).

Not think, not wish, but we can know (beyond any doubt) that personal trust in Messiah’s death, burial, and resurrection will guarantee everlasting life with our Lord and the host of heaven. Along with a complete pardon for all the wrong things we’ve done.

In light of the unspeakable tragedy that took place in Las Vegas, it is also imperative that we highlight another feature of the above quoted passage. Which is: Whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.

The Apostle John also wrote: “And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment” (John 3:36). These and many other Bible passages tell us that all who die without accepting Jesus as personal Savior will sadly end up in hell, awaiting final sentence because they remain under God’s angry judgment.

Jesus said to (of all people) the religious leaders of Israel: “…You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not. That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins” (John 8:23-24).

Jesus claimed not only that he was the anointed Messiah; he also said in no uncertain terms that he was God (the Son). He applied the name of God to himself—the same sacred name (Yahweh … I AM) that God gave to Moses at the burning bush.

Without personal belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and God the Son and his finished work on the cross, a person will “die in their sins.”

“Then death and the grave (all those in hell) were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14-15, parenthesis mine).

Is Eternal Separation From God Too Harsh of a Penalty?

Though I am so very grateful for my salvation and eternal destiny in heaven, I have sometimes wondered whether the second death is an inordinately severe penalty for those who die in their sins because they have refused to personally accept God’s invitation to, “…Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31).

Scripture is unequivocal: If we commit one sin, if we break one of God’s laws, we’ve broken them all. But it’s more than that. The fact is we were born with a sin nature that has to be dealt with. The sins we commit are merely symptoms of the disease of sin that we’ve all inherited from Adam and Eve. Even King David recognized that fact when he said to God:

“Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:4-5).

But then I think about the enormous price that Jesus paid to save us from our sins and the eternal penalty for all the wrong things we’ve done. As I’ve said in a couple of prior Eye of Prophecy articles: God’s grace freely given to us through the death of his son is, the greatest sacrifice ever made by the highest price ever paid.

Or as the words of the song go: I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sins upon that cross.

It’s far too high a price to trivialize or flippantly ignore, or certainly to scorn and reject. The price of Messiah’s precious blood and very life makes it clearer to me how terrible sin is … and its consequences. That the final verdict on those who have refused a complete pardon for their sins is as the Bible declares:

“…Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgments are true and just” (Revelation 16:7).

Would you agree with the following statement about the Las Vegas mass murderer, especially if it were made by say the wife of a husband who was one of fifty-nine shot and killed:

“May he burn in hell!”

What Stephen Paddock did was, in fact, pure evil. And he will eternally suffer more for this horrible act than most who end up in hell. But just how much comfort will that be to millions upon millions of others who will also be eternally separated from God for far less grievous sins?

Yet the Bible is crystal clear when it tells us that (ultimately) it’s not our individual sins that will condemn us. We’re already under condemnation the moment we’re born. We’re not sinners because we sin. We sin because we’re sinners. What will keep us under that verdict of guilty and the penalty that goes with it is one thing only: refusal to accept the pardon God has already provided by believing and receiving the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He satisfied God’s justice, and in doing so expressed God’s great love for us.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him” (Romans 5:8-9, NASB).

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (II Corinthians 5:21).

Summary

Listen to the true and living God:

“…At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked … I warned the proud, Stop your boasting! I told the wicked … Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens or speak with such arrogance. For no one on earth … should raise a defiant fist. It is God alone who judges…” (Psalm 75:2-7).

Scripture is explicit: The wicked are all those who have not been pardoned by believing and receiving Christ as Savior. They, at one time or another, have raised a defiant fist toward God, figuratively … even literally. Every sin ever committed is in defiance of God’s holy laws. Some are wicked and more defiant than others, such as the Stephen Paddocks of the world. But all hearts, good and bad, need God’s salvation.

We are shocked over the deadly results of such evil as witnessed in Las Vegas this past Sunday. As well we should be. It is a time to grieve and a time to heal. But it is also a time to take stock of ourselves and this once great land we call home, the United States of America. There is no doubt whatsoever: This country is not what it used to be, just one generation ago. Nor is the world at large. What has happened to us? What have we done? What can be done about it? Have we gone too far? Is it too late to turn it around? Will God still bless America? Why should God bless America?

Things to Ponder

I’d like to close with an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, America the Beautiful is Getting Ugly, posted 7-9-16.

Scripture is exceedingly clear on the following: God normally deals with sin on an individual basis for those who have rejected the Lord’s only remedy for sin and its penalty—the once for all redemptive substitutionary sacrifice of God’s Son, Messiah Jesus. But when the leaders of a nation (in today’s society … presidents, prime ministers, legislative officials, celebrities, and especially judges) and many of its people corporately and blatantly defy and distort God’s truth as found in His Word, then God’s punishment is applied to the entire nation.

It’s one thing for individuals within a society to abort babies; participate in same-sex behavior; individually mock and despise God, Christ, born-again Christians, and Jews; engage in hedonistic lifestyles; and privately wish there were no vestiges of Biblical Christianity (prayer, Ten Commandments, Christian emblems) in our courts, halls of government, centers of education, and any public place whatsoever. That’s between the individual and God.

However, from God’s vantage point, it’s altogether a different matter when governments and nations and organizations openly condone, publicly flaunt, then legislate and fund these practices. Please understand: neither I nor by brothers and sisters in Christ are judging individuals for their sins. Because I/We have all sinned (Romans 3:23). We all need the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ.

Then in conclusion of that article:

Though I am, like many Americans, passionately patriotic about my country, the truth must be told.

Some reading this article might question the premise that America the Beautiful (based on the song) is getting uglier by the day. Others could even be offended by the word, ugly as applied to America … especially its people.

First, my reference point and context is the condition in which the United States has fallen. One of many definitions in Webster’s Dictionary for condition is: “State of being.”

Secondly, let’s also defer to Webster’s Dictionary for some of the definitions of ugly: “Morally offensive or objectionable; repulsive … neither pleasing nor beautiful.”

For those things that begin in a perfect or near perfect state, then deteriorate to the point of demise, it is good if we can come full circle. As it was in the beginning in the Garden of Eden, so will it be again when Christ Jesus returns to set up his Kingdom of truth, justice, and peace.

As it was when the United States of America gave birth to freedom of worship and pursuit of life, liberty, and well-being through adherence to the timeless truths of Scripture and reliance on the Triune God of the Bible, we can only hope and pray that we will come (at least close to) full circle before it’s too late.

The Real Reason for Palestinian Terrorism

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Will the Killing Never End?

This past Tuesday, September 26th, another Palestinian lone-wolf terrorist struck. Border Police Staff Sgt. Solomon Gavriyah and security guards Youssef Ottman and Or Arish were shot and killed at point-blank range by Mahmoud Ahmad Jamal just northwest of Jerusalem. A fourth security guard was seriously injured. The Palestinian murderer was killed on the spot, near the check-point crossing that leads to the Jewish community of Har Adar where he had worked in the past.

By Palestinian preferences and terrorists’ standards this was a long time between attacks on the Jews, with the previous assault occurring on 7-22-17 and the one before that on 7-14-17. Two months’ time between attacks presumably creates withdrawal symptoms among Palestinian Arabs—whether it be the militants among them that actually do the killing or the (so-called) moderates who nevertheless cheer their “martyrs” and celebrate by giving treats to each other. Others dance in the streets, ecstatic over the death of more Jews. Some of these streets are named after the murderers.

(The Three Israeli Victims at Har Adar)

I wrote about the July 14th attack in Eye of Prophecy article, An Unprecedented Palestinian Attack in Jerusalem, posted 7-22-17. You may recall that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately ordered metal detectors to be installed at all Temple Mount entrance gates. Which caused a local Palestinian and international Muslim uproar—as though the murder of the Israeli police officers was nothing compared to the (temporary) inconvenience for Arabs to ascend Temple Mount through metal detectors, which were subsequently removed.

Eye of Prophecy articles, Jewish Sovereignty on Temple Mount, Part I & II were then published on 8-5 & 8-12-17. Here is an excerpt from Part I of those articles (in italics):

The Eye of Prophecy article entitled An Unprecedented Palestinian Attack in Jerusalem, posted 7-22-17, summarized the cold-blooded killing of two Israeli policemen and the aftermath, which included Israel’s sensible security installation of metal detectors to all gates that lead to Old Jerusalem. Never before had Arab terrorists killed Israelis in the confines of Temple Mount. Then the pathological audacious accusations by Jordanian, Hamas, and Palestinian Authority officials that the Jews were violating the “status quo” conditions of Temple Mount with these metal detectors. All the while, deliberately oblivious to the fact that it was the three Israeli-Arab (citizens of Israel) terrorists who started the whole thing.

Just a few hours (Israel time) after I posted that Eye of Prophecy article, a 19-year old Israeli Arab entered a Jewish home and brutally stabbed 70-year old Yosef Salomon, his son Elad, age 36, and daughter Chaya, age 46, to death. Yosef’s wife Tova, 68, was seriously wounded while protecting her grandchildren.

Not that Arabs need a stated reason to kill Jews, but the latest and most prevalent excuse is to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount from what they call (non-existent) Jewish desecration. Muslim definition of Al-Aqsa defilement is simply that of any Jew setting foot on Temple Mount, as there has never ever been any Jewish desecration of the mosque.

Among other vile things the murderer posted online before he butchered the Salomon family was that the Jews would not, “open the gates of al-Aqsa.” Even that was a distortion (lie) as the only (reasonable) change was erection of metal detectors—not taking away the privilege of Arabs to enter the gates that lead to Temple Mount.

Responses to the Most Recent Murders of July 26th

Immediate reaction from the ultra-militant Hamas—the terrorist governing body in the Gaza Strip—was as expected. Said Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem:

“Hamas praises the operation in Jerusalem today and considers it as a normal reaction to the crimes of the occupation and to the continuous occupation of our Palestinian land and sacred sites. We can assure that Jerusalem is the main reason for our conflict with the occupation and our people will continue to resist until they achieve their freedom … The operation this morning in northern Jerusalem is a new chapter of the Jerusalem intifada…”

Was Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and sacred sites the main reason for this conflict and intifada? That question and others will be answered in this week’s Eye of Prophecy article.

Soon after this latest killing of Israelis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again pointed the finger of blame at the, “…systematic Palestinian incitement” calling for Mahmoud Abbas to, “condemn the attack and not try to justify it.”

As written by contributing columnist Yoav Limor in an article posted in the online news source Israel Hayom on September 27, 2017 entitled, Unusual attack, limited solutions: “There is no doubt that the Palestinian Authority had nothing to do with the attack or the terrorist…. But the support the Palestinian Authority gives terrorism via incitement, offering no condemnation, and financing the families of security prisoners and terrorists who were killed, all but pushes many Palestinians to embark on the path of terrorism….”

Was there condemnation from the Palestinian Authority, the governing entity in the so-called West Bank (Judea-Samaria) who’s President, Mahmoud Abbas ironically bears the same first name as the Arab murderer? Normally, there would not have been. Under intense international pressure, especially from the United States, Abbas uttered a token (politically correct) condemnation—but not until this past Thursday, well over 48 hours after the brutal attack.

(Scene of the Har Adar Shootings)

Even on the rare occasion when Abbas condemns Palestinian murder of Jews to the international public in English, he will later justify and even praise the attack to his people in Arabic.

Citing social media, especially among young Palestinians planning attacks and Israeli security such as Shin Bet preempting many of those plots hatched as a result of incitement from the Palestinian Authority, columnist Yoav Limor goes on to say:

“In this respect, Jamal (the Arab who killed the three security officers on July 26th) was different. Neither young nor particularly active on social media, he did not meet the profile of the average terrorist. On the contrary—he was a married man in his late 30s, a father of four, with no prior record of any security offense or known affiliation, who had received consecutive work permits in Israel. It is quite possible that some of the people he murdered knew him, or at least recognized him, as he had worked in Har Adar for years.”

Mahmoud Jamal was one of a large number of West Bank Palestinians (about 100,000 in all) who have been issued permits to work at Israeli and Israeli-Arab businesses throughout Israel, especially in and around Jerusalem. In fact, the guards he shot and killed were engaged in their daily check-point duties that allowed him and other Arabs from the nearby Palestinian village of Beit Surik (where he lived) access outside the West Bank. These permits are similar to work visas that, for example, allow foreigners to work in the United States for specified periods of time. Also that of “green card” immigrants in America, except that the Palestinians do not live in Israel proper because they have declined to apply for Israeli citizenship.

(Example of Israeli Security Permitting Palestinians to Enter Israel with Proper Identification and Work or Visitation Permits)

On the other hand, that “difference” cited by Yoav Limor is exactly what makes these atrocities repulsively the same. Meaning that it exposes and confirms the ultimate reason why Arabs continue to kill Jews. Which we will identify shortly, by process of eliminating those reasons (excuses) that much of the world believes to be the apparent cause of Palestinian terrorism.

In another Israel Hayom article also posted on September 27th, the day after this troubled man murdered the three Israelis in cold blood, we read a statement by Israeli Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh:

“Unfortunately, there is no real profile for terrorists. We’ve seen elderly terrorists, single and married women, youths—we’ve seen that in recent years, many terrorists have personal issues. It could be anyone who decides that he or she is fed up, and they carry out terrorists attacks to garner some respect.”

*Note: It was reported that Mahmoud Jamal’s wife had left him and fled to Jordan leaving him with their four children, because he beat her. He may have been committing what is called, “suicide by cop.” Whether that was his intent or not, it’s painfully evident that he would kill as many Jews as he could before he was silenced.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas Latest Speech at the United Nations

On Wednesday, September 20th, 2017—just a week before Mahmoud Jamal’s murderous rampage—the Palestinian Authority President spoke again at the United Nations. Why Abbas is even allowed to address the United Nations is beyond me, as he is not the leader of a nation or state as such. Even before the UN granted “non-member status” to the Palestinian Authority in 2012, Mahmoud Abbas had addressed the UN, as had his predecessor Yasser Arafat.

Actually there is a reason. It’s the United Nations itself (especially UNESCO) which has become a mouthpiece not just for anti-Semitic nations to denigrate Israel; but for NGOs (non-government organizations) and ethnic groups to spout anti-Israel propaganda to all who will listen. Little wonder that the attack took place not long after Abbas’ rabble-rousing speech to the UN General Assembly. The incitement created by Abbas’s malicious and blatantly false accusations against Israel (and Great Britain) contributes to Palestinian terrorism; but it’s not the only nor even the main reason why Muslims continue to attack and kill Jews whenever and wherever they can.

Moments after his (politically correct) wish for Jews to have a “Happy New Year” (his speech took place last week on the eve of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year of 5778), Abbas launched into a tirade against Great Britain concerning the Balfour Declaration of 1917—which he had also done several months ago.

(Mahmoud Abbas’s UN Speech. His Hand Gesture Could Be Silently Saying that “Israel Doesn’t Deserve Even This Much Land”)

According to Abbas’s warped and prejudicial view, the Balfour Declaration endorsed by Great Britain: “…inflicted a grave injustice on the Palestinian people.”

Part of his rationale for this “injustice” was his allegation that only 3% of the population of Palestine in 1917 were Jews. When, in fact, of the 600,000 inhabitants of the territory known as Palestine (there has never been a nation called Palestine), 90,000 were Jews—15% of the population in 1917.

He went on to say that the Palestine of 1917 was a, “prosperous, progressive country” and the British Mandate that enforced the Balfour Declaration was a “historical injustice.”

Prosperous, progressive country? Not even close. Not in 1917 or even in 1947. Palestine was not a country at that time or since. It was a territory formerly controlled by the Ottoman Empire, then by the British as a result of their victory over the Ottoman Turks in 1917. The designation of Palestinians referred primarily to the Jews of that day, and did so until Israel was reborn as a sovereign state in 1948. That’s when Palestine was called by its rightful historical name of Israel, and that’s when it began to be prosperous and progressive—thanks exclusively to the Jews. It wasn’t until 1964 that the Arabs referred to themselves as Palestinians on a regular basis, when they created the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).

Mahmoud Abbas also said in his speech, “What is worse is that this November, (the British government) wants to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this crime against our people.”

He insisted that the UK “apologize” for the Balfour Declaration, and demanded that the British “provide compensation.” And, of course, Abbas seized the opportunity afforded to him by the UN to blast Israel … accusing Israel of “apartheid,” calling for a boycott of Israel.

Danny Danon, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, said of Abbas’ diatribe: “Mahmoud Abbas has spread falsehoods from the UN podium which encourage hate, instead of ending the education towards violence in the PA. Today’s lies and excuses have proven once again that the Palestinian leadership is a serial evader of peace.”

Although Abbas deliberately evades the truth about Arab rejection of a Palestinian State alongside of Israel (what he really wants is a Palestinian state in place of Israel), he is right about the historical significance of the Balfour Declaration. It eventually led to the rebirth of the Jewish state.

Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, The Balfour Declaration … Beginning of the Omega Generation, Part I, posted 5-20-17; Part II posted on 5-27-17.

At that time, the Balfour Declaration was the single greatest event in history since the tragic dispersion of the Jews from Israel when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. It was the beginning fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies guaranteeing the final restoration of Israel and salvation of the Jews. Accordingly, it was also the beginning of the final (Omega) generation identified by Jesus that involves the entire world as found in his amazing disclosure of the end times while on the Mount of Olives with his disciples.

Then another excerpt near the end of that article:

Certainly, the Balfour Declaration was the “right and moral thing to do.” But it was more than that. Whether Lord Balfour realized it or not, his courageous initiative to speak for both Britain and the Jews was an acknowledgment and affirmation of God’s divine mandate to nations and peoples the world over concerning his majestic plan for Israel and the nations. One that absolutely will come to pass including the fall of nations who seek to harm Israel, and the success of those who support Israel in the journey of reaching God’s destiny for Israel and the Jewish people.

(The Original Boundaries of Israel as Specified by God Were Much Broader Than Modern-Day Israel … And Will Be Again Upon Messiah’s Return)

Supposed Reasons for Palestinian and Muslim Intifada (Including Lone-Wolf Attacks) against the Jews

Although the following four issues are factors of Palestinian terrorism, they are not the fundamental cause and origin. Nevertheless, these features are part of the Palestinian and Muslim nations’ propaganda accepted by peoples (especially liberals) and entire countries the world over as plausible, even justified reasons why Arabs attack Jews. Because these reasons have been discussed at length in several prior Eye of Prophecy articles and for sake of time/space in today’s article, they will be looked at only in summary review.

(1) Temple Mount Desecration

Stated earlier from a previous Eye of Prophecy article: Not that Arabs need a stated reason to kill Jews, but the latest and most prevalent excuse is to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount from what they call (non-existent) Jewish desecration.

As a reminder, it was Mahmoud Abbas’ inflammatory statements made in September, 2015 which fueled the lone-wolf attacks—about 400 to date … some successful, others not—that have resulted in dozens of Israeli deaths (including two Americans) and hundreds of injuries. You might recall that Abbas provoked his people to prevent the filthy feet of the Jews from desecrating Temple Mount.

My commentary: Simply not true.

There has been absolutely no Israeli desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount. But as long as the Palestinian Authority continues to pathologically publish these incendiary lies, what do you think the Palestinians will continue to do? Rhetorical question if ever there was one. Still, neither this issue nor the three to follow are the real reasons. They are more like symptoms, not the disease.

(2) Israeli Occupation of Palestine through Dispossession of a Palestinian People

Recall, Jewish occupation of Palestine was the main reason given by the Hamas spokesperson after the latest murder of Israelis.

My commentary: Nothing could be further from the truth.

Once again, there is no such thing as Palestine (a state or nation). There is no Palestinian people, language, or nationality. Palestine is Israel. Period. The true occupiers are Arabic speaking Arabs, most of whom have Jordanian passports; who now call themselves Palestinians as though they exist as a nation and Israel doesn’t. The Promised Land of Israel was given to the Jews as a title deed in perpetuity by the true and living God. If Islam’s god Allah and Muslims want to contest and continue their protest against this fact, then they will need to take it up directly with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In his speech to the UN, Mahmoud Abbas didn’t pass up the opportunity to once again demand a “right of return” of all Palestinians who he claims are refugees expelled by the Jews during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. As indicated in a few prior Eye of Prophecy articles, it was the armies of five Arab nations that told the Arabs to leave Israel so they wouldn’t be in the way until the Jews were annihilated. Of course, that didn’t happen. Israel won that war against what all military experts consider insurmountable odds. As were the Israelis miraculously victorious again in the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

(Five Arab Nations/Armies Attacked Israel on May 15th, Day After Israel Became a State. The Fifth of These Arab Countries Not Shown on Map is Iraq)

Not only the few (old in age now) Arabs who remain from 1948, but Abbas includes in his right of return all of their descendants, who now number in the millions. By sheer numbers and by the exorbitant expanse of land in Israel needed for these refugees, this would, in effect, eliminate Israel as a viable nation. The majority of these Arabs outside Israel live in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Refugee camps because those Arab nations have refused to this day to grant citizenship to their displaced Palestinian brothers. Not to mention that when Israel became a State in 1948, several Arab nations evicted most of the Jews living in those countries with not much more than the clothes they were wearing. But I’ll mention it anyway! Actually, this turned out to be a good thing for the Jews as many of them immigrated to Israel!

As long as 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation (Palestinian) Arabs believe the lie that Israel is Palestine and belongs to them—with the Jews as the occupiers and settlers—they will continue to rationalize their “resistance fighter’s” murder of Israelis.

(3) Apartheid

All of the professed reasons for Palestinians to wage intifada against Israel are pernicious, but none more so than the patently false accusation that is catching on the world over. I’m talking about the word, “apartheid” being applied to Israel, comparing it to South Africa during its apartheid days.

In fact, Webster’s Dictionary even references South Africa in its definition of apartheid: “Racial segregation: a policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination against non-European groups in the Republic of So. Africa.”

My commentary regarding the comparison to Israel: Absolutely false.

There is unequivocally no such thing in form or substance that even resembles apartheid in Israel.

The following three areas of “discrimination” or “segregation” are included in the definition of apartheid:

  • Racial (and Religious): Israelis go out of their way to ensure racial and religious freedom and equality throughout Israel. And they do so to a fault. Relinquishing their own right of religious freedom to, for example, worship on Temple Mount … just to maintain the “status quo” and prevent what would be an even larger intifada.
  • Political: Israeli Arabs (citizens of Israel) serve in Israel’s government, the Knesset. Obviously, they have the right to vote. The only reason the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip don’t have the right to vote or serve in Israeli government is because they’re not citizens of Israel. The reason they are not citizens is because they have chosen not to be. And the reason they have chosen not to be … well, we’ll get to that in a moment when explaining the real reason for Arab animosity and violence against the Jews.
  • Economic (and Educational): Arab Israelis are free to attend Jewish schools, start their own businesses, and go wherever they please for their shopping and recreation in Israel. As indicated earlier, many non-citizen Palestinians have been granted permits to work for Arab and Israeli companies in Israel. That is exactly what the Palestinian murderer of the three Israelis had done for several years. In the cruelest fashion imaginable (murder), the Palestinians continue to bite the hand that feeds them.

So much more could be said about the absence of any Israeli discrimination against Arabs. The Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs are afforded more freedom in Israel (by far) than granted to their brothers and sisters in nearby Arab countries. In summary, there is simply no apartheid in Israel. In that regard, I’m going to bluntly state: those who claim otherwise are either ignorant or liars.

(4) A Palestinian State … Lack Thereof

Naturally, Abbas also conveniently failed to mention that the UN Resolution of 1947 called for what was tantamount to a two-state solution; one state for the Jews and one for the Arabs. That the Arabs flatly refused to live alongside a Jewish state even though they could have had a state of their own. Nor would he dare say that the Jews now outnumber the Arabs in Israel and have for several years. Which is why he goes all the way back to the Balfour Declaration to make his perverted point.

My commentary: None of the above reasons, including lack of a Palestinian State, is ultimately why Palestinians in particular and Muslims in general continue to kill Jews—whether in Israel or Paris or Berlin or London, or anywhere.

Recently, Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority have gone so far as to audaciously accuse Israel (and the United States) of discarding the two-state solution. When, in fact, the Palestinians not only turned down this option in 1947-48, but also forfeited what would have led to a Palestinian State in 2002 and again in 2008, when they flatly rejected generous (but misguided) offers from Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert for complete Palestinian autonomy in some 95% of the West Bank including East Jerusalem.

The only way the Palestinians would even remotely agree to a Palestinian State is with their already stated pre-negotiated conditions of East Jerusalem as the capital and return of all aforementioned “refugees.” Also, a reversal to pre-1967 cease-fire boundaries within Israel, including the Golan Heights and all of the Jordan Valley. These demands would leave the Israelis virtually indefensible. Which is exactly what the Palestinians want and would take advantage if granted this kind of state with these conditions.

It would be just a matter of time before a Palestinian State would be embolden to attack Israel with the probable assistance of Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, and the nations of Syria, Iran, Turkey, and perhaps even Russia.

(This Doesn’t Even Include the Golan Heights, the High-Ground Strategic Area North, Near Syria)

At the very least, the current lone-wolf attacks would continue. Ironically, what the Arabs don’t know is that Russia, Iran, Turkey, and smaller Arab nations will, in fact, attack Israel—but not until after the Rapture occurs. Which is of no concern to the Arabs (or sadly of many Jews) because they don’t believe in Messiah Jesus as their only source of salvation and hope for the future when he returns as Prince of Peace and King of kings.

To Negotiate or Not to Negotiate

Shortly after the July 26th killing of the three Israelis, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that there was, “no difference between Palestinian terrorism and radical terrorism targeting sites in Europe and elsewhere. Before talking about any kind of negotiations, the world must demand of the Palestinians to stop its incitement and encouragement of terrorism.”

Regarding any serious negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the following is an excerpt from an Eye of Prophecy article, Let’s Make a Deal, posted 12-14-13. That article was in the context of the November, 2013 meeting between the G5 + 1 nations and Iran, which later would result in the now infamous Iran Nuclear Deal.

At about that same time, the Israelis had just released hundreds of Palestinian prisoners to appease the Palestinian Authority and the United States in preparation for potential negotiations between Israel and the PA which Mahmoud Abbas later reneged on. Here is the excerpt applying to both the pending Iran Nuclear Deal (at that time) and Israeli/Palestinian peace conference that never materialized (in italics):

Would you make a deal with someone whose main purpose in life was to destroy you and members of your family or your best friend? How do you negotiate with those who would lie to you, cheat you, and ultimately kill you to accomplish their warped objectives? Where do you start? What do you say? How sure can you be? Why are you even there in the first place?

Regardless of your view on the right or wisdom of Israel to act independently of the US, or the G5+1, or the entire world, I would again ask: Would you sit down at the table with an enemy who has sworn to do anything and everything they can to terminate your existence on this earth? And keep in mind that Iran has not only threatened to wipe Israel from the global map, it has also avowed to destroy the “Great Satan.” That’s right. Iran refers to America as the Great Satan; Israel is only the “little Satan.” We should be so honored?!

Then towards the end of that article, I wrote:

Never before in history has the entire world been so focused on one little nation inhabited by a mere six million Jews. (Note: It’s now closer to 6.5 million Jews). And yet that’s exactly what the Bible predicted. In addition to several million Arabs in Israel, surrounding Arab countries number in the hundreds of millions, with land space that dwarfs Israel; enough land to accommodate millions more Arabs. But oddly and unfortunately many of these nations fight among themselves (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon).

Even more nonsensically, they blame the Jews for their misfortunes. However, they do have one basic mindset: They detest Israel. I suppose if they ever agree on how best to govern themselves (Sunni or Shi’ite Muslim law), then they might (God forbid) agree on how to best destroy Israel. Or perhaps they think and hope that Iran will do that for them. Personally, I don’t dislike the Arabs or the Persians. I sometimes pray for their salvation, as I often do for the Jews. I will do my best to pray equally for both peoples….

The Real Reason That Palestinians and Muslim Nations Want to Kill Jews and Destroy Israel

All of the aforementioned reasons why the world at large thinks that Palestinians kill Jews are really nothing more than opportunity created excuses.

With the actual motive simply and sadly: Arabs and Muslims hate the Jews and despise the sovereign nation of Israel.

This bitter hostility retroactively goes beyond the Yom Kippur and Six-Day Wars, past the rebirth of Israel in 1948; it reverts further back than the Balfour Declaration and even Muslim persecution of Jews since Mohammed invented Islam. It goes all the way back to Ishmael and Isaac; with the Arab nations descending from Ishmael and the Jewish nation from Isaac, whom God chose instead of Ishmael as the child of promise. Isaac would be the progenitor of the ultimate Child of Promise, Messiah Jesus. (Please see Eye of Prophecy articles, The Child of Promise Part I & II. Posted 8-23 & 8-30-14).

To Hagar, mother of Ishmael and his descendants, the angel said: “…You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means ‘God hears’) for the Lord has heard your cry of distress. This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives” (Genesis 16:11-12).

Then, do you remember Abraham’s reaction when God reaffirmed to him that his wife Sarah would, herself, bear the child of promise?

“Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. ‘How could I become a father at the age of 100?’ he thought. ‘And how can Sarah have a baby when she is ninety years old?’ So Abraham said to God, ‘May Ishmael live under your special blessing!’

“But God replied, ‘No—Sarah, your wife, will give birth to a son for you. You will name him Isaac, and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant. As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will make him extremely fruitful and multiply his descendants. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will be confirmed with Isaac, who will be born to you and Sarah about this time next year” (Genesis 17:17-21).

Earlier in this same scene, God reaffirmed the Promised Land portion of the covenant with Abraham. “And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:8).

Ishmael hated Isaac because, as the oldest child, he was passed over in favor of Isaac as God’s covenant child. This seething hatred has not dissipated to this very day, despite God keeping his promise to greatly multiply Ishmael’s descendants. Like Isaac’s son Jacob, Ishmael was also the father of twelve sons. Moreover, today’s Arabs far outnumber the Jews (except in Israel) and their land space is roughly equivalent to all of the United States compared to the state of New Jersey (the size of Israel).

Concerning the hostility against all his (Ishmael’s) relatives: History and current events have clearly demonstrated that Arabs not only detest the Jews, but Arabs have fought each other for centuries, including today’s vicious wars between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims. From time to time some peoples and nations have battled each other over internal issues such as America’s Civil War. Even the Jews divided into two kingdoms for some four hundred years after King Solomon’s reign. However, I know of no other racial group that have been at such odds with other peoples/nations and with each other for so long (nearly 4,000 years) than have the Arabs.

Things to Ponder

This week’s Eye of Prophecy article is posted on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), one of the most important of the seven annual Jewish Festivals. During last’s year’s Jewish fall festivals, I wrote a series of five articles on these seven feasts.

The first article: Messiah and the Jewish Festivals … An Extraordinary Connection! Posted 9-24-16. The fifth article: Sukkot: The Forever Festival! Posted 10-22-16.

We’ll conclude with an excerpt from the final portion of the fourth article in that series: Yom Kippur / With or Without Atonement? Published 10-15-16, very close to Yom Kippur of last year. The summary of that article was directed with love toward the Jews, combined this year with the hope that the Palestinians also will see God’s love expressed through the gift of his Son, Messiah Jesus, to die on the cross for their sins, too.

We who love Israel will continue to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalms 122:6). Praying for peace is the same as praying that all Israel will someday soon be saved (Romans 10:1).

For until and unless Israel comes to a saving knowledge of Messiah Jesus and is made right with God by believing and accepting him as God’s only remedy for sin, individually and as a nation, there will be no peace with God. Unless there is Shalom with God, there cannot be real peace between peoples.

When all of Israel is saved by changing their minds and hearts about Messiah (who he is and what he has done and will do for them), then the Jews will have accomplished the very purpose for God choosing them as his special possession. Which is to be a source of light to the Gentiles: through the Promised Messiah from the tribe of Judah and the genealogy of King David—descended from Isaac, the promised son of Abraham.

Says the Lord about his Messiah: “…You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).

While in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, Jesus said: “…I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12).

For a brief, shining moment, Christ Jesus while on this earth brought back the Shekinah glory of God to the Temple. And he will do so again upon his imminent arrival to this war-torn, wicked, and weary world.

Yes, Israel, your Messiah has already come. And he will return soon in great glory and power (Matthew 24:30).

If only you could see that. If only you could somehow realize that the horrible things that men have done to you were not Christian (Christ ones) at all—who misused and abused and distorted the true Christian faith. Also, there are some Christians who have misapplied the Scriptures; who have erred grievously in thinking that the true Church (body of Messiah) has replaced Israel. We have not. Rather, we are a product of and a partner in the fulfillment of Israel’s destiny. We have seen the light that God has shone through the Jewish Messiah.

To believe in Yeshua as your Messiah is the most Jewish thing you could ever do or be.

We, who have truly been born again by the precious blood of Messiah Jesus, love you and long for your Day of Atonement.

But most of all, Hashem, the Lord your God loves you. So much so that he sent his beloved Son, to die for you. (Isaiah 53 & John 3).

And know this: All terrorism and war will cease when Messiah Jesus returns.

 

A Mysterious Sign in Virgo … What Does It Mean?

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The Book of Revelation

I can’t think of any book in the Bible that is so well-known (in name) by both believer and unbeliever alike, while at the same time the least read or understood.

For example: If ten people were asked where in the Bible we find the term Antichrist, I would (safely) surmise that eight of them would answer … in Revelation. However, the only book that refers to this despicable man as the Antichrist is the epistle of I John. Other titles of this false messiah (little horn, ruler, king, worthless shepherd, man of lawlessness, beast) are found in Daniel, Zechariah, II Thessalonians, and Revelation.

Here is an easier question: Is the Book of Revelation about the future? Yes, I realize; that is one of those “duh” questions. But not as rhetorical as you might think.

Which begs the next question: Is Revelation exclusively future tense? The fact that I even asked this question probably gives cause to pause. If you didn’t know for sure, you’d probably answer that it isn’t solely future merely because I asked the question! And you would be right. But just barely. So, then, do you know what passages in Revelation are past tense? Let’s make it simpler —there are only two.

Other than the present-tense dynamics of Chapters 1, 2, & 3 and a reference to the woman (that great city—Rome) that rules (present tense at the time Revelation was written) the kings of the world (Revelation 17:18), the Book of Revelation is almost entirely future tense; except for the two past-tense passages that we’re going to examine. Consequently, it’s natural to view and process everything in the book as taking place in the (still) future, beginning with Chapter 4. For that reason, it’s also easy to miss (more like skim over or actually dismiss) the significance of the past-tense events.

Because nearly the entire book of Revelation pertains to the Tribulation, Second Coming of Messiah, the Millennium, and post-millennial Eternity, the vast majority of prophecy students have overlooked the evidence that the beast of Revelation (Antichrist) had already lived and died before John’s vision of the beast.

Until November, 2008, I, too, had failed to catch the startling significance of the angel’s explanation to John in Revelation 17. It was a disclosure that led to rediscovery of what most 1st through 4th century Christians knew all along … the identity of the Antichrist.

One of the Two Past-Tense Passages (Revelation 17:7-11a)

Said the angel to John: “…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 the people who belong to this world … will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:7-8, italics for emphasis on the past tense portion of this passage).

(See Revelation 17:3-6 for Description of the Woman and the Beast)

Besides Jesus revealing to John, “…the mystery of the seven stars … and the seven gold lampstands” in Chapter 1, there’s only one other meaning that is explicitly exposed in Revelation. The disclosure relates directly to (identity of) the beast. In Chapter 17 it is the discovery of the “mystery” of the beast and the woman. In Chapter 13 it is the “meaning” of the number and, therefore, name of that same (Antichrist) beast. Moreover, the angel encourages John and all readers to ascertain the identity of the beast AT THAT PRESENT TIME.

In Revelation 13:18 the meaning can be “solved” with Hebrew gematria—counting by the alphabet. Six hundred and sixty-six is the equivalent spelling of Nero Caesar, from Greek to Hebrew. In Revelation 13:14 the angel tells John of the beast, “…who was fatally wounded and then came back to life” (One of three times in Chapter 13 where John is told the beast had recovered from his fatal wound).

And three times in Revelation 17, we’re told the same thing. Except this time the angel elaborates even more by confirming that the beast had already lived and died before John saw the beast from the isle of Patmos in the first century! Which invalidates the prevailing view that a modern-day born Antichrist will be killed during the Tribulation, then arise from the dead.

After telling John that the beast he had just seen “was once alive but isn’t now” (verse 8), the angel again states:

“The scarlet beast that was, but is no longer, is the eighth king. He is like (Greek word is ek, which means from, one of, out of) the other seven…” (Revelation 17:11, parenthesis mine).

Before that John is told that the seven heads of the beast, “…also represent seven kings. Five kings have already fallen, the sixth now reigns, and the seventh is yet to come, but his reign will be brief” (Verses 9-10).

Here we see another past tense phrase: “Five kings have already fallen.” All this and more is explained in great detail in my book, Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved. As well as in many Eye of Prophecy articles under the category of Antichrist.

The Birth Contractions Are Getting Stronger

The second set of past tense events in Revelation is found in Revelation 12:1-5. Before we examine that passage, let’s review the words of Messiah, himself. In what is called the Mount of Olives discourse, the longest narrative of which is found in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus said:

“Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come” (Matthew 24:7-8).

In Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up … Redemption is Near Part I & Part II (published 7-11 & 7-18-15), I listed and discussed in some detail twelve prophetic signs and developments of the 20th and 21st centuries—six pertaining to Israel and six to the rest of the world—that clearly show we’re in the last (Omega) generation cited by the Lord in Matthew 24:34.

In addition to two titanic world wars, there have been dozens of smaller wars and ethnic clashes in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Concerning natural disasters, here is an excerpt from Part II of the above cited articles (in italics):

Our Lord mentions just two (famines and earthquakes), but the implication is unmistakable that he is referring to natural disasters of all kinds. The unbelievable increase in the frequency and severity of natural catastrophes in the last hundred years far exceed proportionally what happened in the nineteen centuries before that.

In general (all kinds), five of the top ten natural calamities of all time have occurred in the 20th and 21st centuries. That’s fifty percent in the last one hundred years alone! Likewise, five of the top ten earthquakes through the ages have occurred in the 20th & 21st centuries. Or expanding that to the top twenty-five deadliest earthquakes of all time, fourteen have taken place in the last hundred years or so. Of the ten deadliest tornadoes recorded, eight have occurred in this and the last century.

*Note: Since those articles were written, we’ve witnessed more huge hurricanes and earthquakes such as the one below that struck Mexico City recently:

Near the end of that article, I summarized:

What is different now from then is that all twelve have synchronized with a frequency and magnitude never seen before. With intensity that really can’t get much more extreme or enhanced than it already is. Together they have formed a combustible concoction ready to spontaneously ignite. The accumulative impact of these flash point prophecies fits precisely with the Lord’s comparison to childbirth, all in a generation’s time.

Here is the list of the twelve in a handy concise format. Check each one to see if they either have been fulfilled or if they have reached or nearly reached their optimum and maximum flash point.

  1. Rebirth of Israel as a Sovereign Nation, 1948
  2. Recapture of Jerusalem in the June, 1967 Six-Day War
  3. Jerusalem, a Heavy Burden to the Nations
  4. The 3rd Rebuilt Temple
  5. Israel’s Phenomenal Agricultural Accomplishments
  6. Modern-Day Alignment of Gog/Magog Nations against Israel
  7. National and Ethnic Wars in the 20th & 21st Centuries
  8. Amazing Increase of Natural Disasters
  9. Moral & Spiritual Decline & Intense Persecution of Christians
  10. False Messiahs & Prophets
  11. Unequaled Increase in Quantity and Speed of Transportation and Information
  12. Unprecedented Spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the World

The Second Past-Tense Passage in Revelation

We’ve already examined one of those two passages … Revelation 17:7-11. With the last part of verse 8 referring to the future reappearance of the Antichrist beast from the Abyss at the outset of the Tribulation, AFTER he had already lived and died. The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now.

Here is the other passage (Revelation 12:1-5):

“Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant, and she cried out because of her labor pains and the agony of giving birth” (Revelation 12:1-2).

(Depiction of the Other Woman in Revelation … The Good One, As Opposed to the Woman On the Beast)

“Then I witnessed in heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth. He stood in front of the woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born. She gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and to his throne” (Revelation 12:3-5).

First, we’ll scrutinize the history of these events of great significance. Later we’ll examine a display in the sky taking place today, September 23rd, 2017—the same day that the Eye of Prophecy article you are reading was posted. Some say that this spectacle is related to the first event of great significance mentioned in the first two verses of Revelation Chapter 12. Does it or doesn’t it?

Let’s begin with the meaning of the metaphorical images.

The Woman:

“…I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant, and she cried out because of her labor pains and the agony of giving birth” (Revelation 12:1-2).

The woman represents Israel, specifically the physical existence of the Jews and corporate entity of the nation Israel. This application is reinforced by the twelve stars depicting the twelve tribes of Israel. The woman is “clothed” with the sun that materially symbolizes the rest of the world—the Gentile nations, which (until 1967) had enveloped and overshadowed Israel for some 2,600 years. But the sun also represents the spiritual light as foretold by the prophet Isaiah. God says about his Messiah: “…You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).

The prophet Malachi refers to Messiah as the “Sun of Righteousness,” who will bring healing, but only after “the day of judgement” of the wicked (Gentile nations). See Malachi 4:1-2.

The moon is also Israel, but more specifically a spiritual representation of the Jews, as exemplified by the seven appointed festivals of Israel and other new moon celebrations (see primarily Leviticus Chapter 23). As you may or may not know, the Jewish calendar consists of 30-days based entirely on the moon’s cycles. Whereas, all Gentile nations measure and track time with a solar calendar. All references to days, months, and years in Scripture relate to the Jewish lunar calendar. Those dates can then be matched up to the Gregorian calendar.

The woman (Israel) is in the throes of intensive labor pains, preparing to give birth to Messiah. These labor pains essentially began when Babylon destroyed the Jewish Temple in 586 B.C. and ended the Levitical Sacrificial System for a period of time—to begin the Lord’s intended transition from the Mosaic Covenant of Law to the New Covenant of Grace. The contractions reached a peak during the birth, life, and especially the death of Jesus Christ. The labor pains portrayed in this scene are a historical review of the first coming of Messiah Jesus.

The Red Dragon:

“…I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads” (Revelation 12:3).

Although correlation of the woman, sun, moon, and stars to what/who they represent requires a fairly good measure of Bible study and familiarity with Jewish and Gentile history, the identity of the dragon is given to us later in verse 9: “This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan…”

Have you ever wondered or even thought about the difference in the location of the crowns on the dragon and those on the Antichrist beast in Revelation 13:1? You’ll find few, if any, commentaries on this variance.

“Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns” (Revelation 13:1).

Both Satan (as a dragon) and Antichrist (as a beast) are portrayed with seven heads and ten horns. Satan is shown with crowns on the seven heads of the dragon. Antichrist (Nero) is seen with crowns on the ten horns of his bestial image.

The explanation: Although Antichrist is the composite beast of Revelation 13 & 17, he is also one of (from, out of, belonging to) the seven heads. These heads were seven Roman Caesars (including Nero) who ruled in the first century. Thus, Nero is equivalent to the other six in rank—all Roman emperors. The ten horns of the beast are the ten kings who will give their kingdoms (crowns) to Nero during the Tribulation, upon his astonishing reappearance from the Abyss (Revelation 17:8). Nero will exercise direct authority over them.

However, crowns are shown on the seven heads of the dragon, not the ten horns. The seven heads of the dragon are the same Roman Emperors of the Roman Empire—Satan’s 4th Gentile empire (following Babylon, Persia, and Greece) allowed by God for the express purpose of accomplishing his plan for Israel, and also for the nations. Likewise, the ten horns seen on the dragon are the same ten horns depicted on the Antichrist beast (ten kings of the tribulation period). However, Nero will control the ten horns (crowns of the kings) of the tribulation; whereas, Satan exercised direct authority over the heads (crowns of)—seven Roman emperors, including Nero, during the first century.

One-Third of the Stars:

“His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth. He stood in front of the woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born” (Revelation 12:4).

The stars represent one-third of the angels who joined Satan in his ancient revolt against God. When Satan was evicted from his heavenly residence, those “fallen angels” were also banished from heaven and—because of Satan’s direct authority over them—assigned to the earth by the devil.

Satan has permission to be in God’s presence and only then on special occasions (see Job 1). There is no indication in Scripture that other fallen angels can access heaven (God’s throne) itself. However, they can come and go on the earth and in hell if they choose. The Lord banished the excessively wicked of these fallen angels to the Abyss, to be released only during the Great Tribulation (See Jude 1:6 & Revelation Chapter 9).

We get a vivid picture of Satan standing in front of the woman, ready to devour her baby beginning with King Herod’s vicious murder of Bethlehem’s children. Then Satan’s temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, and the satanic influence over Judas to betray Jesus. Culminating with the Jewish religious leaders (children of the devil as Jesus called them … John 8) handing Jesus over to the Romans to be crucified.

The Son’s Ascension to Heaven in Preparation for His Rule of the Nations:

First to state that: The “baby … son … child” in Revelation 12 are not figurative expressions. They refer directly to Messiah Jesus; “…a child born to us, a son given to us” (Isaiah 9:6). Born of a Virgin (Isaiah 7:14).

“She (Israel in general but also the Jewish Virgin Mary in particular) gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and to his throne” (Revelation 12:5, parenthesis mine).

Notice the wording: Was to rule indicates that the appointed birth of the child/son (which includes the entire life, death, and resurrection of Jesus) would not immediately result in setting up the Kingdom of God on earth. That would come later … upon the return of Messiah.

First things first: “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be made whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6).

To Mary’s fiancée, the angel announced: “…Joseph, son of David … 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” (Matthew 1:20-21).

Then to the Jewish virgin, the angel Gabriel said: “Don’t be afraid, Mary … for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:30-33).

In contrast to the angel’s appearance to Joseph with an emphasis of Jesus bringing salvation, the announcement to Mary (the woman representing all of Israel) corresponds with Revelation 12 … the Son who would rule the nations. It would be the Kingdom of God headquartered in Jerusalem governing the nations after Israel’s final restoration. A plan that began with God choosing Abraham to be the ancestor of the Jewish people, through whom Messiah would bring redemption to Israel and the whole world (John 4:22).

It was necessary for Jesus to return to heaven in his resurrected eternal body, awaiting God’s fulfillment of his plan to redeem people from every nation and language because they believed and received Messiah Jesus as personal Savior.

“The child” would be “snatched away” from the dragon as a preview and prototype of believers being caught up (Rapture, I Thessalonians 4) to meet Jesus in the air, sparing us from the Great Tribulation. Jesus’ work on earth was finished when he arose from the dead. By returning to heaven and sending the Holy Spirit in his place to indwell all believers, the Kingdom of Heaven (in the hearts of men and woman all over the earth) would spread much wider and more rapidly. Jesus had already defeated Satan and death. His ongoing battle with the devil would be waged from heaven, with the Lord’s final victory over Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet realized upon his glorious return.

The Book of Revelation is a panoramic view of the Tribulation, Second Coming, Millennium, and Eternity. The first part of Revelation 12 is a brief but equally epic review of what John termed significant events. In just five verses, they encompass Israel’s history and destiny (physically and spiritually) to bring Messiah (the very Son of God) to Israel and the whole world, and Satan’s devilish design to prevent Messiah from completing God’s purpose for the human race.

Beginning with verse six of Revelation Chapter 12, we are moved forward into the coming Great Tribulation. There we see the devil’s vile, but vain, effort to once again destroy Israel and vent his wrath against the tribulation saints (both Jew and Gentile).

“And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus” (Revelation 12:17).

An Event in the Heavens Occurring On September 23rd, 2017

In the Eye of Prophecy article, Hurricane Harvey & A Year of Prophetic Milestones (2017) posted 9-9-17, we looked at a possible correlation between the total eclipse of the sun on August 21st and Hurricane Harvey that struck four days later. Then, the probable connection between Harvey and other devastating hurricanes in America over the past three decades with (failed) attempts by the United States Executive Staff to force a one-sided peace agreement on Israel. Also covered were prophetic milestones of the 20th and 21st century directly related to the 100-year and 70-year generations defined in Scripture and the 50-year Jubilee—all pertaining to Israel’s rebirth as a nation and the Day of the Lord occurring at the end of the final (Omega) generation. Our generation!

What is this event taking place on September 23rd, 2017—today, if you are reading this article on its posted date? You may or may not have heard about it.

It is an unprecedented astronomical configuration in the zodiac constellation of Virgo, initially determined (discovered) in 2011. One that will appear only in the sky over Israel.

(*Note: Concerning another “end-of-the-world” date setting prediction associated with a meteor or a planet called Nibiru allegedly striking the earth on September 23rd, all I’m going to say on that subject is: Nonsense! It didn’t happen in May, 2003 as predicted. Nor during the Mayan-calendar omen of 2012, which also came to nothing. Those foolish predictions are not related to the Virgo Constellation event).

To explore the potential implications of the Virgo Constellation alignment, Kade Hawkins—founder of the website Prophecy News Watch—put together a four-part video series entitled, The Great Sign.

Although I have not seen these videos, I have read the preview and listened to the trailer. To some extent, it would appear that the interest level of this solar and planetary phenomenon is akin to the extraordinary attention given to the tetrad of blood moons which took place on the dates shown below:

Two well-known pastors and authors, Mark Biltz and John Hagee, wrote extensively about those blood moons before they took place. After the first of those moons, I joined in with an Eye of Prophecy article entitled (of course) Blood Moons, posted 4-19-14 … but with more of a cautionary approach. Here is an excerpt from that article, including the below sub-title in bold (in italics):

Fortunately, neither Pastor Biltz nor Pastor Hagee dogmatically claim that one of these events will be the day when Christ raptures the Church. And, that’s good, because no one knows the day or hour of our Lord’s return. To select any one of the four days would be just another attempt to “guess” even though the guess may be on a significant date, such as those that comprise the tetrad. As said, one of those days has already come and gone (April 15th), without an event of huge consequence happening to/in Israel or, for that matter, anywhere in the world.

Connections between Rapture, Festivals, Moons, End Times?

Personally, I think it would be great if the Rapture would occur on one of these very important festival dates. Especially September 28th … my birthday. Kidding, but not entirely! But all of us who passionately long for the return of our glorious Savior Jesus Christ know full well that ANY day (the sooner the better) would be a wonderful day! Alongside of the triumphant return of Christ to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem to set things right throughout the entire earth, the Rapture of believers in Christ will be the most spectacular event of all time. Not necessarily the most important (that belongs to the day that our Lord arose from the dead), but arguably the most stunning.

Then later in that article, I summarized with:

The Joel prophecy of what is clearly a one-time moon turning to blood-red and giving no light event, preceded by the sun (completely) darkened doesn’t fit with 2000 years of periodic lunar eclipses in which the moon is described as a “blood moon.” However, these blood moon lunar eclipses have been a harbinger and a forerunner of what will take place during that great and terrible day of the Lord. And, in God’s sovereignty and emphasis on holy days that he established for the nation of Israel, blood moon tetrads have been linked with milestones in Israel’s history, and very well may do so again. And, as much as I (and many of us) would like to see the Rapture take place on one of these glorious festivals (holidays, meaning Holy Days), I’m equally convinced it will not.

Instead, the Rapture will most likely take place on some “ordinary” day far removed from such days as Passover, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Christmas, Resurrection Sunday, Purim, or any other vitally important day that we might revere and celebrate. Why on earth would I say something so anticlimactic, so over-the-top, so uninspired, so uneventful, so … well, so, negative!?

What is the basis for such a conclusion? This premise is based on what Jesus, himself, said. Most of us know the passage; in fact, we’ve just referred to it, i.e. Matthew Chapter 24 (and 25). Many of you will recognize the verse. Here it is: “You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected” (Matthew 24:44, italics for emphasis).

…To further emphasize and reinforce his statement that no one knows the hour or the day of his return, Jesus gave us another strong clue. He will return (on a day) when we least expect him to arrive. There are 365 days in the year (360 if you use the Hebrew calendar). If we rely heavily on what Jesus is telling us, then combine it with all the other end times passages, I think we can safely assume (predict) that he will not take us home in the Rapture on any holiday of great importance to us or to the Jews. Besides, the only prophecy remaining for the church, itself (the body of Christ consisting of both Jews and Gentiles) is the Rapture. This prophecy has no bearing whatsoever on all the predictions pertaining to Israel and the Jews, such as the physical and spiritual restoration of Israel as a people and a nation.

Thus, I believe it is a mistake, at least a miscalculated presumption to claim or even to speculate beyond mere possibility that blood moon tetrads (lunar eclipses) have a direct correlation with the Rapture of the Church.

(Back to Today’s Article)

Were the blood moons important? Is the once in a “blue moon” alignment of the sun, moon, and planets in the Virgo Constellation over Israel also meaningful? Yes, to both questions; but as applied to and in the context of what Jesus, himself said in his amazing answers to the disciple’s questions, “…Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3).

“And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken … So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!” (Luke 21:25-28).

In The Great Sign series, Kade Hawkins again draws on views expressed by Mark Biltz. Here are some excerpts from Kade’s pre-program article with statements from Mark Biltz or Scripture in quotation marks (in italics):

On that day, the sun will be in the constellation Virgo (known as the virgin). The moon will be below the “feet” of the constellation. Additionally, Venus, Mars and Mercury will be above the constellation. As the constellation Leo has nine stars and will also be above Virgo’s head, the alignment can be interpreted as a “crown” of 12 stars.

Revelation 12: 1-2 reads: “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.”

Kade Hawkins’ article continues:

“The woman clothed with the sun is the constellation Virgo and represents the nation of Israel,” he explained. “The 12 stars represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Interestingly, the constellation Leo, the lion, which is above Virgo, is made up of nine stars. The lion represents specifically the tribe of Judah. It just so happens this year during the Days of Awe, three planets will join the constellation Leo making up 12 stars. Virgo will be clothed with the sun, and the moon will be under her feet, fulfilling this sign to precise detail.”

Biltz cited Luke 21:25, which says: “And there shall be strange signs in the sun, moon, and the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves.”

But why should believers care about what is happening in the sky? Isn’t looking for such signs uncomfortably close to the practice of astrology?

Biltz points out Scripture itself speaks of the importance of signs in the sky. He also says there is a critical distinction between astrology and what he calls “biblical astronomy.”

“Biblical astronomy has nothing to do with astrology,” Biltz said. “The devil likes to pervert everything God does as a way of sidelining believers. In astrology, it’s all about you and interpreting the signs in the sky about how it affects your life. In biblical astronomy, it’s all about God. It’s an entirely different focus. God even stated, the heavens are declaring the glory of God.”

Things to Ponder

I totally agree with Pastor Biltz’ distinguishing between astrology and Biblical astronomy. God even referred to constellations when he challenged Job:

“Can you direct the movement of the stars—binding the cluster of Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? Can you direct the sequence of the seasons or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens? Do you know the laws of the universe? Can you use them to regulate the earth?” (Job 38:31-33).

We are not to set day and hour dates that the Lord will Rapture his church. But we are to recognize the signs of the last days of the end times.

Thus, I believe that today’s alignment over Israel of the sun, three planets, nine stars, and the moon is one of the “strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars” spoken of by Jesus.

But is it a fulfillment of Revelation Chapter 12? When, in fact, Revelation 12:1-5 was not a prophetic vision of the future; it was a reminder (review) of what had already taken place.

Did Revelation 12:1-2 also apply to a future event, i.e. today’s astrophysical sign over Israel?

Answer: Possibly, but unlikely. Why? Because Revelation beginning with Chapter 4 is about the (still future) post-Rapture Tribulation, Millennium, Second Coming, and Eternity. It is NOT about the pre-Rapture birth pains and signs in the heavens foretold by Jesus. The book of Revelation picks up where the Mount of Olives discourse ends. It is the Final Revelation of Jesus Christ—the Day of the Lord beginning with the Rapture.

Revelation 12:1-5 and the aforementioned verses in Revelation 17 are (parenthetical) past-tense passages called interludes that briefly interrupt the future tense continuity and sequence of Revelation. With Revelation 12 a review of historic events that had already occurred; and Chapter 17 a revelation (disclosure of the mystery of the beast) that the Antichrist had already lived and died … but would return from the Abyss.

And as indicated—with the exception of the child/son born to the woman, who is Messiah Jesus—all of the other images of Revelation 12 are figurative … representing Israel, fallen angels, and Satan. Though much of the book of Revelation is literal, there’s no solid evidence to suggest that the sun, moon, and stars are literal in this passage, i.e. representing today’s Virgo Constellation display. Even if they are literal, three planets are part of the Virgo spectacle. The planets are not stars.

Either way, it is certainly time to: Look up, for our (final) redemption is drawing near!

Regarding the Rapture: On whatever day it happens… for believers it will be the first day of the rest of our (eternal) life!

Globalism or Populism … Which Will Antichrist Prefer?

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Polar Opposites

The North Pole and the South Pole are on opposite (vertical) ends of the Earth’s Axis. Thus we have a Northern Hemisphere and a Southern Hemisphere. With the (horizontal) Equator splitting the difference. Some have successfully traveled to these extreme poles on Planet Earth. However, no one has been to the eastern or western most point on the Globe; there is no such thing as an East Pole or a West Pole. North is up; south is down; east and west are left or right, depending on whether we’re facing north or south. All maps of the world are made in this fashion.

The North and South Poles symbolically characterize the extreme polarization taking place all over the world. East and West represent the immeasurable and unbridgeable distance between two opposite points of reference that otherwise don’t tangibly exist, except for the identifiable extremes between right and wrong, good and evil.

Left is left and right is right. East is east and west is west and never the two shall meet. However, the increasing polarization of the human race is just as predictably obvious on a horizontal level as the vertical polarity between those who have a personal relationship with the Lord and those who don’t. Between those who are spiritually reborn (John Chapter 3)—who no longer have a “polar opposite” disconnect with the Lord—and those who deliberately remain separated from their Creator and Savior.

In fact, when we believe and receive Messiah Jesus as personal Savior, then:

The first definition of pole in Webster’s Dictionary is the physical one that we would expect: “a long slender cylindrical object…”

The next definition set: “either extremity of an axis of a sphere and esp. of the earth’s axis. Either of two related opposites … point of guidance or attraction …. The fixed point in a system of polar coordinates that serves as the origin…” This definition expands the tangible nature of poles and polar to the intangible. So we often use the term “polar opposites” when discussing disparate political, economic, social, and religious paradigms, along with our beliefs and opinions.

Polar: “diametrically opposite.” Polarity: “diametrical opposition.”

All of which lead to a term used to describe the extremes that have always been the norm for the human race, but nothing like what we’ve progressively experienced in the 20th and 21st centuries … polarization. Our personal, state, national, and international pendulums swing far to the left or far to the right; we seldom see them stationary in the middle.

After depicting the physical characteristics, Webster’s Dictionary defines polarization as: “a division into two opposites.”

Polarize: “to break up into opposing factions or groupings; to become polarized.”

People and countries all over the world, especially western nations, are more polarized than ever before. These extremes have created a mentality of “us or them” with virtually no political or social or interpersonal conciliatory balance for the greater good of a state or nation.

We seldom communicate rationally or politely anymore, particularly on social media. We rant and rave. We yell and curse. We clash verbally and physically. It’s not, “I’m a Democrat (or Republican), but I respect your opinion.” Instead: “I’m a Democrat and the Republican Party shouldn’t even exist; it’s a threat to this nation. President Trump is not (my) president.” Some Republicans said the same thing about President Obama.

What amazes me most is that all those people out there who claim there is no absolute truth—everything is relative or situational—are the same people who are the most adamant that their world-view is absolutely the only one that should be tolerated. They are politically correct because of their tolerance; however, anyone who disagrees with them is wrong … and, therefore, shouldn’t be tolerated.

In today’s world—ready to explode and in some places has already exploded—if hatred could be registered on a meter, the needle would be deep into the red zone.

A rational polarization that at one time afforded some measure of point, counterpoint (agree to disagree) between individuals, groups, and entire nations has become irrationally dangerous to the point where there is no middle ground, no buffer zone, and no safe haven.

It use to be that:

Now it’s: “This world isn’t big enough for the both of us.”

It’s: Democrat OR Republican; liberal OR conservative (left or right); black OR white; federal OR state; poor OR rich; socialist OR capitalist. So much so that (for example in the United States) we now have physical clashes between the far “Alt-right” and the ultra-left “antifa” (anti-fascist)—as seen in the recent Charlottesville and Berkeley demonstrations.

Many say with their lips but not with their hearts: “Let’s make peace.” What they’re really saying is: “I want a piece of you.” In the Middle East, Muslim nations and the Palestinians don’t want peace with Israel. They want a piece of Israel here, a piece there, until the entire Jewish pie is theirs.

Or: If I can break you into little pieces, then I can put you back together the way I think you should be.

Only the Lord can put Humpty Dumpty (individuals and entire nations) back together again.

“So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (II Corinthians 5:16-17).

The most far-reaching polarization—increasing with kaleidoscope intensity—is the conflict between national sovereignty and international supremacy on Planet Earth. It is global in its scope and fateful in its implications; a socioeconomic and geopolitical rift that is preparing the earth’s population for the soon to come Antichrist. It is currently experienced on two levels between:

(1) Populism v. Ultra-Federalized Government (of the elite)

Webster’s Dictionary defines Populism as: “belief in the rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people.” It is the grass-roots premise that the ordinary person has equal say in electing and running the government of his/her nation. For the United States, it is the bedrock belief of America’s founding fathers proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence: the inalienable rights for all citizens of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is the noble idea so eloquently expressed by President Abraham Lincoln: Government of the people, by the people, for the people. It is the rank and file expressing and exercising their right to “equal opportunity,” whether that opportunity leads to success or not.

If it’s necessary to fairly but firmly, peaceably but persistently challenge the “elite establishment” who assume it to be their privilege and authority (just by virtue of being the self-defined elite) to govern the masses, then so be it.

Here is an excerpt from my second book, Out of the Abyss (in italics):

Ironically, that’s exactly what … natural scientists, human secularists, occult spiritualists, God-less governments, and agnostic academia in general try to do. They inevitably ascribe to themselves the controlled capacity, the distinctive domain, and the potent position of determining their destiny. And, if you will but afford them the privilege and opportunity; if you will “give them an ear,” they will gladly assist you in discovering your origin and purpose for life. Ultimately, if you yield complete attention and allegiance, they will be delighted to direct your future.

Okay, a little sarcasm here. And I don’t mean to unduly pick on the scientific, academic, philosophical, political, cultural, and social elite; though they carry a lot of weight and exert a significant influence on the common person. Ultimately every man and woman must choose what they believe, and to whom or what they will listen and follow. As Joshua said, “choose today whom you will serve…” (Joshua 24:15). (Pages 22-23).

Although U.S. President Donald Trump ran on the Republican ticket, he considered himself to be a “Populist.” Among other things his objective was to be a people’s president who would “drain the swamp” (of bureaucracy in Washington D.C.), change the status quo, take back the country for the people, and “make American great again.”

Essentially, he appealed to the rank and file and the silent majority of America’s population who, by and large, wanted a return to the Judeo-Christian moral and spiritual foundation upon which the United States was built, and then blessed by God.

A people who wanted to once again be “in charge” of their government instead of elite federalists determining and even dictating what (it assumed) the people needed or wanted. A bottom-up instead of a top-down administration that would get back to the uncomplicated basics of government that represents the people … not just in theory, but in practice.

Subsequent populism movements failed in the Netherlands when moderate Mark Rutte won the election of March 15, 2017 over the populist candidate, Geert Wilders. Also in France during the final election run-off on May 7, 2017 when liberal-moderate candidate Emmanuel Macron became President over populist Marine Le Pen.

Although the Dutch and French “people” candidates lost, their party platforms are still strong. These countries and others like Hungary, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, and, of course, the United States have experienced an incredible change in geopolitics.

The following is a quote from Geert Wilders which conveys his passion for the common people of The Netherlands to regain control of their country. And also speaking for the populist movement in many nations. (An excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, The World Wants a Messiah … But Needs (The) Messiah, posted in January, 2017). Said Geert Wilders:

It breaks my heart when I see that people have become strangers in their own land—almost everywhere in Europe. But it is our country, it’s not their country—it’s our country. And it is unacceptable that you fear for the future of your children, that women are afraid, that Jews, ex-Muslims, Christians fear for their safety.

Our parties give the people an opportunity for good patriots. Patriots who want to make our borders safe again! Patriots who want to stop mass immigration. Patriots who want to restore the sovereignty of our countries, our money, our laws and our future.

The people are fed up with the political correctness of the elites! Are you fed up, or are you not fed up?

It remains to be seen who will win Germany’s election of 9-24-17; however, one of (many say the most controversial) key issues to all of these elections was/is immigration, both legal and illegal.

(2) Nationalism v. Globalism (International Sovereignty over Individual Nations)

This is a polarization that will supersede all other schisms: after the Rapture, one that will separate people into two global camps. One that will force “fence-riding” individuals and nations to choose a (would-be) messiah over personal and national interests. It will be a day and night contrast never before seen. A pre-tribulation polarization is already underway in the European Union, sparked by the United Kingdom’s popular vote last June to leave the European Union (Brexit). The United Nations is an even broader example of an international organization that is supposed to act as a defender and arbiter of the national rights of signatory members. Instead, it has become more of a totalitarian confederation whose underlying purpose is to delegitimize and eventually ostracize Israel from the family of nations.

Most of the recent UN Resolutions have been passed to sanction Israel for non-existent and unfounded reasons, not the least of which is so-called settler occupation of the West Bank (Judea/Samaria). UNESCO is rewriting history by claiming that all of the holy sites in Israel belong to Palestinian Muslims. Nearly all of these injunctions are drafted by Islamic nations, yet dozens of nations including Europeans vote in favor of condemning Israel, the only democratic nation in the Middle East. These sanctions are greater in number than the combined resolutions against such repressive countries like Iran, Syria, North Korea, and China combined.

Of the utmost irony is that polar opposite groups like the alt-right KKK and far left Black Lives Matter or white supremacists like Richard Spencer v. extreme liberalists like Linda Sarsour have one thing in common: they hate Israel and the Jews. As do the polar extremes of Communism and Fascism, and Islamic bitter rivals Sunni and Shi’ite whose governments and people have been at war with one another for several decades now. Both Sunnis and Shi’ites have called for the eradication of the State of Israel.

According to the Bible, that would be the way of it during the end-times. Nation against nation, ethnic group against ethnic group. And virtually all nations against Israel and her Messiah, who is the Divine Son of God, Savior of Jew and Gentile alike. Several passages in Scripture speak of multiple nations rising up against (reborn) Israel in the last days. And though I haven’t counted them in my constant study of Scripture, I would venture to say there are an equal number of times in which the Lord warns nations against harming his special possession Israel. Such as:

“The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all godless nations! As you have done to Israel, so it will be done to you. All your evil deeds will fall back on your own heads. Just as you swallowed up my people on my holy mountain, so you and the surrounding nations will swallow the punishment I pour out on you. Yes, all you nations will drink and stagger and disappear from history” (Obadiah 1:15-16).

Though we don’t know for certain, it’s highly unlikely that Israel will be attacked (as happened in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, 1967 Six-Day War, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War) by a coalition of (Muslim) nations before the Rapture occurs. I say this for two reasons: (1) It’s clear to many Bible scholars (including me) as well as Christians and (mostly Orthodox) Jews world-wide that we are living in the last days … leading imminently to the Messianic Age. (2) Thus, the next international attack against Israel will be the Gog/Magog coalition composed of Russia, Iran, Turkey and other smaller nations. I have written about this campaign in several Eye of Prophecy articles. God, himself will supernaturally and soundly crush this ungodly, anti-Semitic coalition. As I’ve written with strong supporting evidence, the Gog/Magog assault will take place in the early part of the Tribulation.

The Antichrist and his ten-nation coalition will then attempt to finish the job of conquering Israel (and nations opposing the Antichrist) that Gog/Magog never came close to accomplishing. Although Antichrist will break the seven-year treaty with Israel half-way through it (Daniel 9), his military campaign against Israel won’t take place until the end of the Great Tribulation.

Antichrist Will Appeal to Populists and Globalists, To the Common Man and to the Elite

Another irony is that these extremes will enable Antichrist Nero to capture the attention of many left behind at the Rapture. Both the far left and far right and everyone on a sliding scale in between will realize that there is no geopolitical or social solution to such polarization; only one man can bridge the chasm. This false messiah won’t need a world government or a world religion. Although he will assemble a ten-nation coalition for military purposes, his global appeal will extend far beyond individual differences, political poles, national boundaries, and international coalitions.

In my book, Out of the Abyss and in many Eye of Prophecy articles in the category of Antichrist, you will find an abundance of material from Scripture (including an in-depth study of every single passage on the Antichrist) and from secular history yielding convincing evidence that the Roman Emperor Nero is the Antichrist. For purpose of this week’s article, I will quote only two of those passages:

First Passage: “Why are you so amazed? The angel asked. 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 (meaning abruptly) come up out of the bottomless pit… And the people who belong to this world (the unsaved left behind at the Rapture) … will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:7-8, parenthesis mine, italics for emphasis).

This is the passage that riveted my attention in November, 2008, and which launched my quest to determine the identity of the Antichrist beast because Revelation 13:18 challenges, “the one with understanding (to) solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.” Who in the first century had already lived and died even before John saw the vision of the beast? Who would “reappear” from the Abyss to the utter astonishment of a chaotic world in shock because hundreds of millions had been taken from the earth?

Second Passage: “I saw that one of the heads (each one of the seven heads were Roman Emperors of the first century, with the composite beast the Antichrist himself) of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal would was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. They worshipped the dragon (Satan) for giving the beast such power, and they also worshipped the beast. ‘Who is as great as the beast?’ they exclaimed. ‘Who is able to fight against him?’” (Revelation 13:3-4, parenthesis mine).

(Please see Eye of Prophecy articles, Exposing Antichrist’s Identity … More Compelling Evidence, Part I & II, published 3-18 & 3-25-17)

There’s absolutely no ambiguity in either of these passages. The angel is revealing the mystery of the visions. Once a mystery is revealed, it’s no longer a mystery. It’s meant to be understood clearly and convincingly. The identity of the beast was meant to be known; in fact, the angel even challenges the reader to do so. In this passage, there was one and only one reason that people all over the earth gave their undivided loyalty to the Antichrist beast. They did so because they “marveled at this miracle.”

What was the miracle that they marveled at? They were amazed (Revelation 17) because an ancient Roman emperor had returned from a 2,000-year old grave. Thus, people from ethnic groups, from languages, and from nations all over the earth will, “give allegiance to” and “worship” this man. Many will set aside their differences. Common and elite alike will identify themselves with the same “mark (of the beast) … either the name of the beast or the number representing his name…” (Revelation 13:18).

(I Suppose a Bar Code Could be Used Instead of an Implant of the Numbers 666, But Many Will Simply Choose the Name of Nero in Their Hand or Forehead)

Nero will flaunt his miraculous return by claiming that he is the Messiah, that he is God. He will cut across cultural, religious, social, and political diversities. He will depolarize liberals and conservatives including the far left and far right. He will bridge an otherwise unbridgeable gap between the elite and the “average person.” He will eliminate the impassable gulf between the nationalists and the globalists. Polar opposites will be in shock and awe due exclusively to Nero’s “reappearance” on Planet Earth.

Nowhere in Scripture do we read that the Antichrist is a military, political, or economic genius or a great orator, a consummate politician, a charismatic leader—all traits commonly exhibited by a world leader. He is a braggart and a blasphemer of God Almighty (see Daniel 7 and Revelation 13) but he is not portrayed as an eloquent statesmen who will persuade the world with an irresistible personality. His magnetism will come directly from a world in wonder and fear of his incredible return from the grave.

From Out of the Abyss:

“The Antichrist is not afforded blind worship because he is a superman in terms of being an accomplished statesman, orator, or leader. The False Prophet does that for him. The superhuman qualities accorded him will literally lie in his mystical return from death” (Page 182).

In the context of Antichrist’s accomplishments upon his reappearance from the Abyss soon after the Rapture by galvanizing the attention and allegiance of a cross-section of people from every nation and language, let’s look at:

A Brief Summary of Nero’s Reign as the Fifth Roman Emperor

During the first half or so of his fourteen-year reign, Nero found enormous favor with the common Roman citizen and (to a lesser extent) with the nobility—including the Roman Senate composed mostly of the wealthy elite—despite his enactment of laws that favored the middle and lower class more so than the upper class. Actually, the masses adored him during most of his reign. When he began to display his base nature of gross immorality, brutality (mostly against Christians), and disregard for the everyday affairs of the Roman Empire, many still revered him … even after his death.

The following is an excerpt from the Britannica.com website (in italics):

He put an end to the more odious features of the later years of Claudius’s reign (Nero’s step-father, the Roman Emperor who preceded Nero, parenthesis mine), including secret trials before the emperor and the dominance of corrupt freedmen, and he accorded more independence to the Senate… His government forbade contests in the circus involving bloodshed, banned capital punishment, reduced taxes, and accorded permission to slaves to bring civil complaints against unjust matters… Claudius had put 40 senators to death, but between the murders instigated by Agrippina (Nero’s mother, Claudius’s wife, parenthesis mine) in 54 and the year 62, there were no like incidents in Nero’s reign. Nero also inaugurated competitions in poetry, in the theatre, and in athletics to counter attractions to gladiatorial events. He saw to it that assistance was provided to cities that had suffered disaster, and at the request of the Jewish historian, Josephus, gave aid to the Jews.

Scripture is clear: When Nero returns, one of his first accomplishments will be a seven-year treaty with Israel (most likely between Israel and the Muslim world). During his rise to power—propelled by world-wide allegiance because of his amazing reappearance—he will curry the favor of both the elite and the common person … just as he did during his first reign as Roman Emperor. Looking again at the above excerpt, it’s evident that many segments of society will adore him: the lower and middle class because of any number of sweeping changes he will make for their benefit; but also celebrity politicians, entrepreneurs, artists, actors, and athletes.

Because of the Jekyll and Hyde transformation of Nero (the overt, noticeable changes) in the latter years of his reign, the Roman Senate turned on him. And Nero turned against Israel when Jewish zealots began a rebellion against Rome in 66 A.D. Nero personally ordered Generals Vespasian and Titus (Vespasian’s son) to crush the uprising. As many know, this ruthless campaign against the Jews ended with destruction of the Jewish Temple and world-wide dispersion of the Jews in 70 A.D. Vespasian became Caesar in 69 A.D.; Titus in 79 A.D.

*Note: In Order, the following are color-tinted busts of Caesars Nero, Vespasian, and Titus

Another thing that appalled the noble senators and their wealthy constituents: their Emperor had embarrassed himself and the image of the powerful Roman Empire by performing in the theatre, including playing the role of slaves. In today’s world, artists and actors are held in much higher esteem than they were in the first century. Long and short of it: the Roman Senate agreed to depose Nero as Emperor, convincing several Roman Generals and their legions to go along with them. Nero knew his time was up and unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide—finally ordering his servant to strike the fatal blows (June 9, 68 A.D.).

An excerpt from Wikipedia (in italics):

According to Suetonius and Cassius Dio, the people of Rome celebrated the death of Nero. Tacitus, though, describes a more complicated political environment. Tacitus mentions that Nero’s death was welcomed by Senators, nobility and the upper class. The lower-class, slaves, frequenters of the arena and the theater, and “those who were supported by the famous excesses of Nero”, on the other hand, were upset with the news. Members of the military were said to have mixed feelings, as they had allegiance to Nero, but had been bribed to overthrow him.

Eastern sources, namely Philostratus II and Apollonius of Tyana, mention that Nero’s death was mourned as he “restored the liberties of Hellas with a wisdom and moderation quite alien to his character” and that he “held our liberties in his hand and respected them.”

Modern scholarship generally holds that, while the Senate and more well-off individuals welcomed Nero’s death, the general populace was “loyal to the end and beyond, for Otho and Vitellius both thought it worthwhile to appeal to their nostalgia.”

Galba began his short reign with the execution of many of Nero’s allies…

Otho overthrew Galba. Otho was said to be liked by many soldiers because he had been a friend of Nero’s and resembled him somewhat in temperament. It was said that the common Roman hailed Otho as Nero himself. Otho used “Nero” as a surname and re-erected many statues to Nero. Vitellius overthrew Otho. Vitellius began his reign with a large funeral for Nero complete with songs written by Nero.

The Treaty

One of Nero’s greatest accomplishments during his tenure as Caesar (which was tantamount at the time to being ruler of the civilized world) was a treaty he initiated between Rome and her bitter enemy, Parthia. Off and on for many years, Rome and Parthia (part of which was ancient Persia) had been at war until the treaty of 63 A.D.

Here is an excerpt from Out of the Abyss that explains both the historical and future implications of this treaty coordinated by Nero. (In italics):

Ancient historians tell us that Nero was obsessed with being popular. He wanted everyone to like him to the point of complete loyalty, adulation, and even worship. For most of his reign he achieved that popularity, especially with the common Roman citizen, but not because Nero was a brilliant speaker or a charismatic leader.

Of all things, it was a treaty that Nero engineered between Rome and Parthia that helped endear him to the Roman Senate, the Roman Legions, and the Roman citizens….

His popularity increased dramatically and this peace between Rome and Parthia would last for another 50 years. Moreover, this accomplishment was not a result of any extraordinary talents or gifts that Nero possessed. In fact, when examining history, the single most influential factor in negotiating a treaty relates to the state-of-affairs conditions and circumstances that gave rise to an agreement between people and nations.

After the Rapture, Nero won’t have much of a problem in negotiating a treaty with Israel. Remember, there will be no Christians left immediately after the Rapture. But there will be chaos, confusion, and disorder. Most Arabs and many Jews will be among the left behind. The world will be ripe for conciliation, for unity, for peace, for order. Nero will capitalize on this pandemonium by orchestrating a treaty, one that will allow the Jewish Temple to be built…. I use the word orchestrating, because one of Nero’s talents was that of arranging and synchronizing things, such as a group of people with dissident views or like a musical play, of which he wrote and performed several—in Greek.

And, who in the world is going to argue with a man who returns to the earth after a two thousand-year absence? With regard to the sack of Jerusalem in 70 AD, all Nero need say is that the Roman Generals went way too far. He will probably remind tribulation Jews that he died in 68 AD, two years before the Roman Legions destroyed the Temple. That he had not intended for the Jews to be exiled from Judea or for the Temple to be destroyed. After a fashion, he might even apologize to the Jews. His way of making up for the ancient Roman mistreatment of the Jews will be to offer them a new Temple.

He will also placate the Arabs, telling them that if there is a god to follow or worship, Allah would be that god. He will remind the Jews and Arabs that his hostility as a Roman Emperor was rightfully and justifiably directed against the Christians—those narrow minded, bigoted, self-righteous hypocrites whose disappearance has done mankind a favor by cleansing the earth of religious intolerance.

If you like, you could come up with any number of lies that a resurrected Nero will fabricate and foist on Israel and the nations. But the bottom line is that untold millions will follow him for the same reason that many have followed Jesus Christ: RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD (Pages 179-180).

Things to Ponder

All the other designations of Antichrist in Scripture—ruler, king, little horn, man of lawlessness, and beast—have been consolidated into one appellation that is much more well-known the world over: Antichrist. Or Anti-Messiah. (Please see the Eye of Prophecy trilogy: A Beast by Any Other Name … Posted 3-14, 3-21, & 3-28-15.

Nero will be anti-Messiah, but he will also counterfeit the true Messiah. The very idea of a Messiah comes from Scripture, through numerous Old Testament prophecies of the coming “anointed one.” Then the fulfillment of those prophecies in meticulous detail by Jesus of Nazareth.

Through his status as a messiah, Nero will depolarize individual and national differences. Most likely during the first half of the Tribulation, before he reveals his true colors—in the same fashion during his reign as Caesar. This time he will be given only seven years, not fourteen, with the last half of the Tribulation the (God-given) “…authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months” (Revelation 13:5).

For the globalists, Nero will unify and consolidate many (but not all) peoples and nations into a world utopia mentality as he almost did for the Roman nobility and masses with his pursuit of the Pax Romana. For the populists and nationalists, he will appear to champion individual rights by promoting personal pride and national identity, as he did with the greater populace of Rome. Before he destroys the Vatican, Nero will conciliate Roman Catholicism with Islam. (Pope Francis is already setting the stage for such an appeasement. See Eye of Prophecy article, The Vatican and Islam … A Perfect Match for Antichrist, posted 6-4-16).

Isn’t that what the world will want and expect? Isn’t that what a messiah is supposed to do?

Nero’s arrogant ambitions will coming to a screeching halt when he and his enemies vainly and absurdly decide to collectively fight the King of all kings, as they watch Messiah Jesus and the “armies of heaven” (we believers) descend to earth! (See Revelation 19).

The irreconcilable polarizations are: Good and evil, truth and lies. Though Nero will deceive billions into believing evil is good and his lies are the truth, he will not succeed in merging these polar opposites together. Good and evil are forever separated by their very definition and essence. The ultimate solution is not coexistence. Only Messiah Jesus—Son of God, Son of David, and Son of Man—can and will eliminate the Satanic polar opposite of all that is good, and right, and just.

“But then the court will pass judgment, and all his (Antichrist) power will be taken away and completely destroyed. Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will last forever, and all rulers will serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:26-27, parenthesis mine).

“Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, ‘It has come at last—salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah” (Revelation 12:10).

Hurricane Harvey & A Year of Prophetic Milestones (2017)

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Natural Disasters … Questions of Correlation

This week’s article will examine some remarkable prophetic anniversaries taking place in 2017 which is the Jewish calendar year 5777-5778. But first, we’ll look at some startling time-proximity correlations between catastrophes in the United States and America’s political strategies (to bring peace to the Middle East) that are contradictory to God’s plan for Israel.

I will begin with a disclaimer: These correlations are not meant to inflexibly state that there is a divine causal connection between the peace conferences and the calamities which occurred within a short time span. Obviously, the implications are yours to make.

Could there be a link? Yes, because Scripture is replete with examples of God using the natural elements he created to supernaturally capture the attention of both Israel and Gentile nations. Such as the ten plagues against Egypt. Or the years of debilitating drought in Israel during Elijah’s time. Through miracles or by the sheer scope of some natural disasters, God periodically intervenes in the affairs of the human race to providentially accomplish his ultimate plan.

As stated in prior Eye of Prophecy articles, this plan has two parts. First: selection and separation of Israel as God’s special possession and the Jews as his chosen people to bring God’s light and truth to the world—specifically through the promised Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Included in this design is return of the Jews to the Promised Land in preparation for Israel’s final redemption; a prelude to establishing the Kingdom of God on earth, headquartered in Jerusalem. Second: to unite Jew and Gentile into one new person through the substitutionary sacrificial death of Jesus to bring personal salvation to all who believe and receive Jesus Christ as personal Savior.

Thus, if individuals and especially entire nations challenge or compromise God’s prophetic purpose for Israel, there will be long-term consequences. But also periodic short-term results possibly related to some specific and unusually severe catastrophes—hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and droughts. With all the other random or regular disasters a general result of an earth dramatically changed when sin entered the world, and especially with the Great Flood that altered some of the geophysical dynamics of nature … such as rain.

“Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:20-22).

Let’s look at two nation-shaking events in America that have riveted the attention of the entire world in just the past few weeks.

The August 21st Total Eclipse of the Sun

Did you watch it … with, of course, the proper set of sunglasses? Were you aware of the historical significance of this phenomenal event? Did you know that, in an unprecedented manner, it will happen again in seven years … 2024? Let’s look at some intriguing facts and figures with which you may not be familiar.

It’s the first total eclipse of the sun that cut a (diagonal) path across the continental United States since 1918, ninety-nine years ago.

Total darkness enveloped a swath across the country that consisted of a few dozen miles in width; the eclipse began mid-morning in Oregon then progressed on a southeasterly path ending in South Carolina. In 2024 the same thing will occur, but it will be a southwest to northeast path that will move toward the Atlantic states. The most centralized point where the 2024 eclipse will intersect with the 2017 eclipse (marking it with an “X”) is an area in southern Illinois known as, “Little Egypt.” This name came about in the mid-19th century due to a famine in northern Illinois, which drove the residents to southern Illinois to seek food, much like Jacob and his family moved to Egypt where Jacob’s long-lost son Joseph saved them from starvation. But then Egypt became the object of God’s wrath because the Egyptians had forgotten all about his rescuing them through Joseph.

The composite land mass in which the intersecting “X” of these two eclipses conceals parts of Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky is approximately 9,000 square miles—very similar to size of New Jersey. Which is the state that is closest in land mass to Israel! (See Eye of Prophecy article, United Nations Downsizing of Israel … Resolution 2334, posted 1-7-17).

What comes to mind is the next-to-last (9th) plague that God inflicted on the Egyptians; one of total darkness for three days, “…so thick you (the Egyptians) can feel it” (Exodus 10:21). “…But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived” (Verse 23).

There’s another horrific darkness soon to come. Read with me:

“Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. His subjects ground their teeth in anguish, and they cursed the God of heaven for their pains and sores. But they did not repent of their evil deeds and turn to God” (Revelation 16:10-11).

Speaking of correlations, this is the fifth bowl judgement, one of several that is levied exclusively against Antichrist and his followers … the 19th of twenty-one calamities (seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls). Which makes it mathematically equivalent to the 9th plague against Egypt (both periods of intense darkness are 90% through the total number of plagues/judgments).

The Number Four Hundred

A recent Eye of Prophecy article entitled, Countdown to Armageddon … End of the Fourth 400-Year Era, posted 7-29-17, explains the significance of the number four in both Scripture and the universe, with added emphasis on the Biblical factors of forty and especially four hundred. Beginning with the 400-year Hebrew enslavement to the Egyptians which had been foretold by God to Abraham.

On August 22nd, the day after the eclipse, an article—one of many articles from several sources on the subject of the eclipse, both before and after it occurred—was posted in the online news source Aish.com entitled, The Next Solar Eclipse in 2014: A Startling Message for the World, written by Rabbi Benjamin Blech. Interestingly, he referred to that same prophecy to Abraham. The following excerpt from Rabbi Blech’s column provides more intriguing insight on the number 400, in the context of the 2024 eclipse crossing the August eclipse in Little Egypt:

“There is an all-important number associated with the Torah account of the Egyptian exile. It was a prophecy to Abraham that God informed our patriarch of the time that would first bring darkness to his descendants: ‘You shall surely know that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will enslave them and oppress them for 400 years’ (Genesis 15:13).

“A solar eclipse is predicated on that very number. The sun, as the Bible told us, is larger than the moon… (Genesis 1:15). To be exact we know that the sun is exactly 400 times larger than the moon. How is it possible for the moon, so much smaller, to cover the sun to our eyes in an eclipse? That is because the sun is also 400 times further from us than the moon—a relationship of distance exactly parallel to that of size!”

Another article grabbed my attention (not related to the eclipse) on the subject of the epic 400-year eras. The article written by Yoram Ettinger, published in the online news source Israel Hayom on August 25, 2017 was entitled: 400 years of special affinity. Ettinger’s underlying theme was that the recent incident at Charlottesville, North Carolina involving “Nazi-saluting white supremacists” did not represent American values. He states:

“These episodes defy the civic, moral and religious foundations of the U.S. … which have demonstrated high esteem for Judaism from the era of the Pilgrims through the Founding Fathers until today.”

The final paragraph of Ettinger’s post corresponds to the aforementioned Eye of Prophecy article:

“While there is only one Hebron in the land of Israel—King David’s first capital—there are 18 Hebrons in the U.S., among the thousands of locations in the U.S. bearing biblical names. This reflects the state of mind of the early colonists and the Founding Fathers, who considered themselves to be ‘the modern-day chosen people’ and viewed the New World as ‘the modern-day Promised Land.’ They established the 400-year old foundation for the special affinity of the American people for the Jewish state and for America’s high esteem for the Old Testament, which dwarf the significance of supremacists and any other form of anti-Israel or anti-Semitic sentiments.”

Here is an excerpt from Countdown to Armageddon … End of the Fourth 400-Year Era (in italics):

At the outset of this week’s article, it occurred to me that there very well could be a final span of 400 years that would track with the generational prophecy of Jesus in Matthew 24 (based on two Biblical definitions of a generation … 100 years and 70 years), ending somewhere close to the year 2020….

For that to be even a possibility, I would need to backtrack 400 years to determine if there was a huge milestone event that dramatically impacted human history.

There is such an event! It would certainly qualify as historic, something that billions of people know or have heard about, although not necessarily when it took place. It came after 1,000 plus years of spiritual darkness (Dark Ages) in what scholars commonly call Christendom, in which the Bible was available only to the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church. One result of that Biblical illiteracy was widespread persecution of Jews all over the world, not the least of which was perpetrated by the massively misguided and doctrinally deprived Crusaders, as well as the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church.

Do you know what that exceptional episode was?

Answer: The King James Bible!

This next portion of the excerpt tracks with the above quoted portion of Yoram Ettinger’s article:

If you prefer, as an alternative (same basic time frame), the beginning of the 400 years also could be attributed to when America got its historical start with the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620, nine years after the King James Bible was introduced. Our forefathers firmly believed that America was the promised land of a new nation, akin to the original and still-standing Promised Land of Israel.

In the closing remarks of the Countdown to Armageddon… article I wrote:

The more I wrote, then edited, this week’s article, the more I’m convinced that we are at the end of the fourth and final (remember the significance of the number four in terms of completeness, continuity, and finality) 400-years of this age of human history. Regarding the historical impact, the King James Bible was one of the biggest events of all time. The written Word of God became accessible to millions more than before, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ began to spread exponentially.

The Solar Eclipse & Hurricane Harvey

Texans, especially in Houston, are still digging and drying out from one of the most devastating natural disasters in our country’s history. Not so much in loss of life (thankfully) compared to other huge storms, but in the mind-boggling Biblical proportions of rain and the sheer expanse of the flooding, along with what could be the largest economic cost/loss of all time.

(Downtown Houston, Texas)

Most Jewish Rabbis place as much weight on the Talmud—a written collection of oral traditions, commentaries, and interpretations of the Hebrew Scriptures—as they do on the Old Testament itself. Although I certainly have not read the entire Talmud (a huge task), I have read quite a few excerpts from and commentaries on select sections. Many portions of the Talmud accurately (even profoundly) analyze the Old Testament; others do not. Meaning there is nothing in Scripture to support some of the Talmudic conclusions or applications, or make a convincing correlation between the commentary and the Bible itself.

Thus, concerning the possible connection between the solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey, I would recommend that you consider placing the following statement from the aforementioned article written by Rabbi Benjamin Blech more in the context of the opening remarks in today’s Eye of Prophecy article. Keep in mind that Blech’s article was written after the eclipse but before Harvey struck Texas and Louisiana.

“The relationship between the sun and the moon and the years predicted for the Egyptian exile share the number 400 so that we be attentive to a powerful divine message. An eclipse, the Talmud teaches us, is a heavenly sign. An eclipse of the moon, the rabbis tell us, is a bad omen for the Jewish people, an eclipse of the sun is a bad sign for the non-Jewish world. I dare to suggest that an eclipse across the continental United States of America linked to Little Egypt may well serve as a warning of the darkening of the American Spirit….”

He then references Time Magazine headlines immediately after the Charlottesville incident (that Yoram Ettinger also cited as seen in excerpts from his article): “Hatred Across America.”

Although there could be a connection between the August 21st Solar Eclipse and Hurricane Harvey which struck on August 25-26th, I believe there is the stronger probability of an association between Harvey and the very latest U.S. delegation to Israel. For example, the total eclipse in the United States of 1918 could be considered a good sign, as World War I was coming to an end, and it followed soon after the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Also, Israel experienced a significant eclipse of the moon in early August of this year with no dramatic or traumatic time-proximity events in Israel.

Correlations between Hurricanes in America and U.S. Interference with Israel’s Sovereignty

First, it’s vital to realize and remember that the United States, far beyond any other nation on earth, has by and large supported Israel—spiritually (Christian Zionists), culturally and economically (millions of American tourists to Israel and aid to Israel), and militarily (equipment including the most sophisticated fighter jets). But not always politically, which more than anything else can affect international relationships and the destiny of some nations.

This is especially true regarding America’s pervasive political ignorance of the Biblical God-given mandate that all of Jerusalem, all of Judea/Samaria, all of the Gaza Strip … all of Israel belong to the Lord’s chosen people. The single biggest error that this country has made is to harbor the same unbiblical narrative of Israel’s enemies; that many of the Jews living in the so-called West Bank, which includes (according to the Palestinians) the eastern part of Jerusalem are “illegal settlers.” Or that Jews are “occupiers.”

Paraphrasing my commentary responses in some previous Eye of Prophecy articles: Occupiers of what? Palestine? There is no such thing as Palestine. There is only Israel. How, then, can Jews occupy—in the negative connotation of the word—their own land?

In fact, I ‘m going to state this Biblically based premise more emphatically than phrased in prior articles (in italics for emphasis): Nor will there ever be a Palestinian State in perpetuity; whether God divinely prohibits it outright, or whether he allows such a state to be established for only a few years just before or during the Great Tribulation.

Over the years, I’ve read several articles that noted an astonishing link between natural disasters in the United States that occurred very soon after our executive staff attempted to impose conditions and restrictions on the Israeli government with regard to settlements and internal boundaries that were artificially and ambiguously assigned to Israel (through international pressure) despite the fact that Israel won the 1948 and 1967 wars against Arab nations.

Not long after his book Eye to Eye – Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel was published in 2004, I met William (Bill) Koenig at a prophecy conference held in Phoenix, Arizona.

He was born in Phoenix, Arizona but has lived much of his life in Washington D.C. serving as a White House news correspondent and consultant. His wife, Claudia, was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. I’m sure she is even more saddened by Hurricane Harvey’s devastation for that reason. She, too, was at the conference and opened it with one of the most heart-felt unpretentious powerful public prayers I’ve ever heard. She truly is a prayer warrior. I can relate to Bill Koenig because he, too, is an avid student of the Bible and of the Middle East. He loves Israel, as do I.

If memory serves, he was one of the first (if not the first) to make these startling correlations between huge natural disasters in America and peace conferences—involving the United States, Israel, the Palestinians, and other nations—that were held in close time-proximity to those catastrophes … the biggest of which was Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The above referenced book that he wrote was revised and updated in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

At that same conference, I also met and spoke with well-known author and expert on Israel and Biblical prophecy, Randall Price. I purchased a copy of Randall’s latest book, but by the time I got to Koenig’s book, the supply was gone. For whatever reason that is hidden away under these gray hairs of mine, I never followed up on obtaining a copy of his book; however, I have read some commentaries on the book.

(Left … Former Governor Mike Huckabee with Claudia & Bill Koenig)

For purpose of today’s article, I’ll provide a couple of excerpts from a Breaking News Israel column written Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, posted August 28th. His article tracks with William Koenig’s books and articles on the subject and very likely was based on Koenig’s book, others who had read his book, or perhaps a few rabbis who have made similar observations.

Wrote Berkowitz: “Hurricane Harvey, described as the ‘worst disaster’ in Texan history, fits into a troubling pattern of natural disasters striking America at times when the country’s leadership is attempting to push Israel into negotiating with its Palestinian neighbors for a peaceful two-state solution involving Israeli concessions….

“The storm coincided with the Trump Administration’s Middle East negotiating team, led by Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt visiting the region in yet another attempt to jump-start peace talks. The devastation of Hurricane Harvey thus follows a long line of natural disasters that have accompanied the anti-Israel political process of negotiating with the Palestinians.”

Berkowitz then itemized previous natural disasters eerily coinciding with ill-advised and ill-fated efforts to achieve an elusive peace which requires the Jews to give up precious Israeli land.

As commentary to his article, I will add the following in italics for emphasis. Palestinians demand for more land is made without any willingness to stop attacking Israelis or to recognize Israel as a sovereign state in the family of nations.

In addition to Hurricane Harvey, Berkowitz goes on to identify the following incidents. Some of the wording/elaboration is my own, as I’m only summarizing, not quoting him verbatim at this point:

  • On October 31st, the day after President George H.W. Bush signed the Madrid Peace Agreement, the full force of a hurricane labeled, The Perfect Storm (also called the No-Name Storm) hit the east coast of the United States, destroying Bush’s house in Kennebunkport, Maine. Who hasn’t seen the movie of the same name, starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, released in 2000?
  • Attempted implementation of the Madrid Peace Conference agreements (land for peace in Israel) intensified when the Madrid Conference continued in Washington D.C. on August 23, 1992. The very next day, Hurricane Andrew, the worst (still) natural disaster in America’s history ravaged Florida.
  • Georges, a category 4 hurricane, pummeled the Gulf Coast in 1998 causing $10 billion in damages and killing 604 people. Just a few days before that, Secretary of State Madeline Albright announced an American-sponsored deal requiring Israel to relinquish 13 percent of Judea and Samaria.
  • Less than one month later when PLO President Yasser Arafat met with the Israeli Prime Minister to further discuss the “agreement” brokered by the United States, Hurricane Madeline tore into the coast of Texas, killing 31 people.
  • In August, 2005, Hurricane Katrina relentlessly pounded several Gulf States, with devastating damage and horrific loss of life (nearly 2,000, including 135 classified as missing). Just before that, under intense pressure from the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced that every single Jewish resident (about 10,000 in all) of the Gush Katif settlement in the Gaza Strip would be uprooted from their houses and relocated throughout the rest of Israel.

Summary

In recap of this portion of today’s article, I refer you to Eye of Prophecy article: Is President Trump Wavering on the Waiver? Posted 2-4-17. That article was followed by: Trump, Cyrus, and the Jewish Temple (2-18-17). Then more recently: Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem … a Broken Promise? (6-10-17); written not long after President Trump signed the waiver delaying the US Embassy move for another six months. No different than Presidents William Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama had done twice a year during their administrations.

I was among those willing to give President Trump the benefit of the doubt in postponing his campaign promise to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. That move would have been a literal and symbolic signal that the United States was finally following through on its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital; mandated by the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which the US Senate and House of Representatives passed by a huge margin.

Now, I’m inclined to think that our president’s decision was perhaps more permanent. I hope I’m wrong, but Donald Trump seems determined, albeit with his own distinctive style, to pursue the failed peace path of his predecessors. He is wavering on his statement that either a one state or two state solution would be fine with him—as long as the agreement was negotiated directly between Israel and the Palestinians. He seemingly has switched to the already failed tactics of imposing a peace plan on Israel that would to some extent or another result in Israel’s untenable return to the 1967 or even the 1948 borders that are nothing more than cease-fire boundaries.

Fortunately, Trump is holding serve with regard to his and the U.S. Congress demand that the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stop paying monthly salaries to the families of terrorists killed or imprisoned because they attacked and murdered Israelis. On the other hand, our executive staff appears to be buying in to the twisted Palestinian narrative: to the victors (Israel in its defensive wars against Arab nations) belong little or even less than what they had won in war. And to the defeated belong everything they had to begin with and more (such as dividing Jerusalem into two capitals).

That is no different than what Barack Obama promoted during his presidency.

It needs to be stated once again: Sponsoring a two-state solution at Israel’s expense is both a futile and dangerous path to pursue. No nation will be spared the consequences of unilaterally pushing such a plan.

Listen once again to the true and living God, the God of Israel:

“At the time of those events, says the Lord, when I restore the prosperity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather the armies of the world into the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will judge them for harming my people, my special possession, for scattering my people among the nations, and for dividing up my land” (Joel 3:1-2, italics for emphasis).

When will the Palestinians and nations of the earth who insist on Palestinian statehood ever realize that the prosperity of Judah and Jerusalem could be theirs, too; if they only would recognize the right of a Jewish State, with Jerusalem its capital? Down deep, Israeli-Arab citizens of Israel know that they are (far) better off inside a Jewish State. That the Palestinians will never agree, short of civil war, whether Hamas or the Palestinian Authority would govern a Palestinian State. Which doesn’t matter anyway, because neither of these two corrupt regimes will voluntarily agree (this side of the Rapture) to recognize Israel as a sovereign state.

Is there a correlation between the Perfect Storm, Andrew, Georges, Madeline, Katrina, and Harvey and America’s determination to bring peace to the Middle East, which is a noble endeavor? But with an ignoble, unbiblical, and one-sided scheme of forcing Israel into “dividing up my land.”

Whose land? God’s land given to the Jews. The entire earth belongs to the Lord; indeed, the universe. When he says that a tiny area of 9,000 square miles (size of New Jersey) belongs to Israel, then we would do well to keep the Jews where they belong.

(Look Hard to Find Israel!)

Remarkable Anniversaries in 2017

Concerning the matter of Israel’s past, present, and future that Scripture clearly shows will impact world history, there are some remarkable milestone anniversaries in 2017. Although mentioned before in a few Eye of Prophecy articles, they are worth looking at again in the context of what appears to be a pivotal year of end-times prophecy. Here they are, with one more added to the list, which is:

Anniversary (120th) of the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland on August 29th, 1897

Organized by Theodor Herzl, who many believe to be the father of Zionism (return of the Jews to Israel) and attended by 200 Jewish and Gentile delegates (including two Christians) from European countries and even from the United States, this milestone event in Israel’s history took place 120 years ago last month.

Taken from an article posted on August 28, 2017 written by the founder of Breaking Israel News, Rabbi Tuly Weisz, including a quote from Theodor Herzl, we read:

“Were I to sum up the Basel Congress in a word—which I shall guard against pronouncing publicly—it would be this, wrote Herzl in his diary on September 3, 1897. At Basel, I founded the Jewish state. If I said this out loud today I would be greeted by universal laughter. In five years perhaps, and certainly, in 50 years, everyone will perceive it.”

Then Rabbi Weisz writes: “Indeed, in just over 50 years … the Jewish state was established…”

He, of course, was referring to the sovereign State of Israel reborn on May 14, 1948. I would clarify Weisz’ clarification of “just over 50 years” by adding that it was 50 years—if we identify the UN Resolution of November, 1947 as the pivotal point in Israel’s rebirth as a state.

Concerning the significance of 120 years (2017 anniversary of the Basel Conference), where in Scripture do we see this number?

Correct: The lapse of time between God’s instructions for Noah to build an ark to the time when God’s judgment was poured out on a perversely wicked world. The Great Flood was a divine purge of the earth. Scripture tells us explicitly that there will be another (final) mighty judgment of the earth and its inhabitants. Following the flood, God chose Abraham to be the father of a nation set apart for him to be a light to the Gentiles and to bring Messiah to the nations. Could it be that this same time-lapse prototype was also the pattern that began with the first Zionist conference 120 years ago? One that resulted in the building of the ark of refuge for the Jews … the nation of Israel. One that will (soon) end with God’s final cleansing of the earth.

Anniversary (100th) of the Balfour Declaration of 1917

Near the end of World War I, Great Britain seized control of “Palestine” from the Ottoman Empire. England’s government approved Lord Balfour’s declaration that the Jews would be afforded the official right to make (a portion of) Palestine their homeland again alongside of the Arabs. The Jews agreed. The Arabs disagreed.

As indicated in Eye of Prophecy article, The Omega Generation (posted 2-15-14) and also the two-part article The Balfour Declaration … Beginning of the Omega Generation (5-13 & 5-20-17), I’m convinced The Balfour Declaration was the beginning of the (100-year) generation foretold by Jesus (see Matthew 24:32-34). It was the first date-dedicated fulfillment of hundreds of Biblical prophesies of the Jewish return to Israel.

The August solar eclipse in America—the Gentile nation Biblically patterned after and representing, not replacing, Israel—(see Eye of Prophecy article, America the Beautiful Is Getting Ugly, posted July, 2016) occurred 100 years, rounding it off, after the last total eclipse.

Anniversary (70th) of November, 1947 United Nations Resolution

This time not just Great Britain, but the newly formed United Nations voted statehood rights to Israel and to the Arabs.

Same thing happened. The Jews accepted. The Arabs refused.

(Map to the Right–The “Seizure” by Israel Was a Direct Result of Defending Herself From Arab Attacks in Two Wars. Also, the Black Dot Representing Jerusalem Should Be Placed Just Inside the Lavender Shaded Area. Accurate Maps Except That One Dot. Notice the Source From Which These Maps Were Drawn)

This was the beginning of the 2nd generational period of time as defined by Scripture—seventy years. It was another monumental milestone fulfillment of prophecy concerning Israel’s destiny, but also the fate of Gentile nations. For this resolution was passed by the world’s largest international body after the defunct League of Nations. Although the UN Resolution of 1947 was providentially directed by the Lord, little did or do the “united” nations of the world understand the Biblical end-times implications of their decision. One day soon they will experience firsthand the final results of what it means to bless Israel or to curse Israel (Genesis 12:1-3). They will learn what God’s own people learned the hard way for forty years in the wilderness, when the Israelites refused to enter the Promised Land. They, “…will discover what it is like to have me (God) for an enemy” (Numbers 14:34).

Also, next year will be the 70th year anniversary of the actual rebirth of Israel on May 14, 1948.

Anniversary (50th) of Israel’s Liberation of Jerusalem

This was the crowning achievement of the prophetic fulfillment concerning Israel. Again referring to the Omega Generation and the trilogy of Eye of Prophecy articles preceding it (Seven Times Seven to the 4th Power), returning the Holy City Jerusalem to Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land of Israel signaled the end of Gentile domination over the Jews that began during the Babylonian Captivity some 2,600 years ago. I’m convinced that the Lord unilaterally reenacted the Year of Jubilee for his chosen people in 1967; having restored the Jubilee with the Balfour Declaration in 1917, fifty years earlier.

See Eye of Prophecy article, Jubilee and Messiah … They Go Together! Posted 1-23-16.

Things to Ponder

Jesus said no one knows the “day or hour” of his return—meaning the Rapture. But he challenged us to discern the signs of the last days.

The time is soon. The time is near. The time could be here … even this year. Or next year or the one after. But it won’t be long.

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words” (I Thessalonians 4:16-18).

When Messiah Jesus came from heaven to the earth 2000 years ago, he brought with him the New Covenant promised by Jeremiah. With it he brought God’s grace, love, and forgiveness in a whole new way—by simply trusting in Messiah’s sacrificial death. When Jesus returns he will bring God’s final wrath on an ungrateful, ungodly world. Between these two times, God moves in individuals and nations to get us to listen to his Son.

On the Mount of Transfiguration, God spoke in an audible voice:

Are we listening?

Repeating the question while we wait and watch: Is there a correlation between the devastating hurricanes that have struck the United States since our government’s strategy of pushing peace in Israel that diametrically opposes God’s plan for his people?

God has richly blessed the United States of America. Will that continue? To whom much is given, much is required.

Or should we be asking the question: How many national disasters will it take to get our attention?

What about Irma’s ominous path to Florida as today’s article is being posted?

If we seek to bless Israel and not harm her, perhaps the Lord will once again rebuke the wind and say to the waves:

‘“Silence! Be still!’ Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39).

One Global Language … Coming Soon! (Part II)

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Where to Begin?

When we make a mess of things; when our best laid plans unravel and our dreams are shattered; when we are at wits end because the world is falling apart around us; when we feel helpless to do anything about anything, we sometimes respond: “It’s too much. What am I going to do? Where do I begin?”

Predictably, someone whispers a word of wisdom by suggesting: “Why don’t you start at the beginning.” Or, “Let’s get back to the basics.” Which we all know is the right place to begin if we’re going to even come close to fixing those things that make life more difficult than it already is. Even when we go back to what we think is the root of the problem, we still fail all too often.

Why?

Because we don’t go back far enough. We don’t go back to “The Beginning.”

Whether problems on a personal, family, job, community, state, national, or international level; or whether an existential search for the truth that will show us the way to a meaningful life that is filled with unconditional love; we inevitably look for answers in all the wrong places. We start at the end or in the middle by trying to treat the symptoms, not the cause; fixing the problem from the outside in instead of inside out.

There’s only one place to begin.

God begins with the beginning—Himself, and he wants (tells) us to do the same. He is the author of all things including life itself. In his wonderful Word written down for us in the Bible, he explains what happened to the human race when we decided not to believe what he said was true about disobedience and the consequences thereof. We defied the rules. We misuse and abused the privileged gift of free will God gave to us, by breaking one simple command. We forfeited paradise itself. We’ve been paying the price ever since—deceit, disorder, destruction, and death.

“…love comes from God … for God is love” (I John 4:7-8).

Because God loves each one of us, he provided a remedy; a redemptive resolution to the sin problem that separates everyone at birth from our Creator. A salvation that changes our eternal destiny; that gives us absolute truth to understand and follow the one way that leads to life (everlasting).

Messiah Jesus: Fully man.

“For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5).

Messiah Jesus: Fully God.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing made had being. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind” (John 1:1-4, Complete Jewish Bible).

Jesus came to earth as the Living Word of God. He said: “…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

In the beginning … God the Father. In the beginning … Jesus the Son of God.

A New Beginning

With Messiah Jesus came a New Way, a New Covenant between God and mankind. A Covenant of Grace that only requires faith in Jesus’s substitutionary sacrifice on the cross for our sins to be forgiven and the verdict for those sins (eternal separation from God) to be overturned.

“He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people (the Jews), and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:10-14, parenthesis mine).

Sadly, many more people than not have refused to begin with the beginning by believing or remembering that God created them. “…Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

And many more than not have refused to believe and receive God’s Son Messiah Jesus as their Truth, their Way, and their Life.

Although comparatively few in number (to the billions who have lived on this earth), millions down through the ages have returned to the basics. They have started at the beginning by believing that, “…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).

That is the Kingdom of Heaven on earth; rescuing and changing the human race one heart at a time. Yet this kingdom was designed by God as a preparation for the ultimate Kingdom of God on earth and heaven, ultimately composed of believers whose very bodies have been transformed like the body of our Lord and Savior, Messiah Jesus, to live forever. A Kingdom that will have come (permanently and perfectly) full circle from the first man and woman created in the image of God—body, soul, and spirit.

Because so many people have denied—in theory or practice—that God exists or have rejected the source of salvation (Messiah Jesus), God has allowed mankind to establish humanistic systems of religion and government to prove him wrong. The worst of them—religious and political autocracies that force people to comply with whatever rules are imposed on them in a vain effort to establish a like-minded homogenous community that offers (a false) freedom—have failed miserably. Even the best of them—democracies with parliamentary or republic representatives that need to “legislate” morality and equality—can’t change the pride, greed, selfishness, and hated in the human heart to that of unconditional consideration and compassion for others.

The Great Tribulation Followed by the Majestic Millennial Reign of Messiah

The Lord will give the human race one last chance to show that it can—without God—unify the earth and establish global peace and “brotherhood.” He will give permission to Satan and the Antichrist beast (Nero) to undertake this (futile) plan.

“Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months” (Revelation 13:5, italics for emphasis).

The Apostle Paul warns us of what would happen:

“When people are saying, ‘Everything is peaceful and secure,’ then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape” (I Thessalonians 5:3).

Though Satan and his false messiah will come close to achieving their diabolical goal, they will not succeed. Tragically, this global endeavor of integration will result in, “…greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones” (Matthew 24:21-22, the words of Jesus).

(See Eye of Prophecy article, Shocking Statistics of the Great Tribulation, posted 6-6-15).

We know that our Great God and Savior, Messiah Jesus will come to the rescue. For the sake of his chosen ones (referring specifically to the Jews during the Tribulation) he will conquer the Antichrist and his armies. He will also vanquish other nations that abruptly stop fighting Nero’s coalition and foolishly turn against the rider on the White Horse whose name is:

“…Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war… The armies of heaven … 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 all kings and Lord of all lords” (Revelation 19:11-16).

The Divine Monarchy of Jesus Christ will be much better and far greater than any human form of government ever conceived or established on the earth.

“The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).

He is the, “…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).

“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past” (Micah 5:2).

Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, King David also foretold of his descendant who would rule and reign from David’s throne. David’s royal heir would be the very Son of God, who existed long before David was born.

“For the Lord declares, ‘I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.’ The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession’” (Psalm 2:6-8).

David also wrote: “The Lord (the Father in Psalm 2) said to my Lord (the Son in Psalm 2), ‘Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.’ The Lord will extend your powerful kingdom from Jerusalem; you will rule over your enemies” (Psalm 110:1-2, parenthesis mine).

(Refer to Eye of Prophecy articles, Does God Really Have a Son? Part I & II, published 10-31-15 and 11-7-15).

But there’s more. Referring to believers raised from the dead (along with living believers who will likewise be transfigured) at the Rapture and also the saints resurrected near the end of the Great Tribulation, we read:

“Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6, italics for emphasis).

(Please see Eye of Prophecy articles: The Tremendous Transfiguration of Believers! Posted 7-23-16. Also, The Magnificent Millennial Reign of Believers with Messiah, posted 7-15-17)

One Pure Language

Among many glorious changes that Jesus Christ will make during his thousand-year government on the earth, will be a return to one universal language. But this time it will be the Lord’s idea and choice of language to accomplish his sovereign plan: establishing the Kingdom of God on earth.

“Then I will purify the speech of all people, so that everyone can worship the LORD together” (Zephaniah 3:9, The New Living Translation—which I quote from unless otherwise noted).

The New American Standard Bible reads: “For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD, to serve Him shoulder to shoulder.”

The King James Version: “For then will I turn to the people a pure language that they may call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.”

The International Standard Version: “Indeed, then I will return my people to a pure language so that they all may call upon the name of the LORD, serving him with a united will.”

(New King James Version, Except “YHWH” in place of “The LORD.” Zephaniah 3:8 Describes God’s Judgment of the Nations, Similar to Joel 3:1-2 and other passages. Whenever you see the LORD in capital letters in Scripture, it is in place of the Holy Hebrew Name, YHWH–with inserted vowels reading as Yahweh. All Too Often When I Quote Scripture and Type “the Lord,” I Forget to Capitalize Each Letter in LORD)

Although there are more, of the seventeen translations I looked at, eight used the phrase “pure language” and nine chose the wording of “pure speech (or) purified lips.” Those that prefer the “speech” translation of the Hebrew word support the application that all languages will be refined or purified during the Millennium. Meaning primarily: free from profane cursing, absent any blasphemy against God or taking his name in vain, and other means of cleansing. In modern vernacular, it is akin to saying, “clean up your language.” Or even, “go wash out your mouth with soap!” With, however, the inference that there will still be multiple languages on the earth.

Others are convinced that the “pure language” translation is the better one because that is the intrinsic meaning of the text: one language spoken by all.

A few, like me, believe both interpretations are appropriate and accurate, although I have a preference for “pure language.” The 20th and 21st century polluted deterioration of the spoken and written word—in private and public conversation, in entertainment circles, books, movies, and particularly in online social media—will undergo an extreme makeover when Jesus Christ comes to this earth to personally set up the Kingdom of God.

However, this cleansing of indecent and obscene speech and writing will be accomplished first and foremost through a pure (universal) language. A language that is innately uncontaminated and free of competing languages.

Part of Webster’s Dictionary definition of pure is: “Spotless, Stainless; free from harshness or roughness and being in tune—used of a musical tone.” (Referring to words that uplift, we sometimes say, “That’s music to my ears” parenthesis mine). More definitions: “free from what vitiates, weakens or pollutes; containing nothing that does not properly belong; chaste.”

*Note: For me and others who have never used the word vitiate, it means: “to make faulty or defective often by the addition of something that impairs; to make ineffective or weak.” The main synonym is: Debase.

With one pure language, God will, “…teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths. For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).

And there will be no need for translators when, “The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes…” (Verse 4).

Whether pure speech/lips or pure language, all of the Biblical translations of Zephaniah 3:9 present the same purpose for and result of this purified language with such phrases as: worshipping the Lord together; serve him shoulder to shoulder; serve Him with a single purpose; serve him with one consent in a united will.

With the summary conclusion: The rendering of “pure language” (meaning one language) is the ideal application of the Hebrew word. One universal language is a far better way to call on the name of the Lord to serve him with one accord, than purifying the speech of all (roughly) 6,000 languages and dialects in today’s world.

If God doesn’t reverse the curse of Babel, then the same confusion (divinely purposed for a period of time) of multiple languages would be a serious hindrance to what will obviously be global praise and worship of, tribute to, and fellowship with the world’s Savior, Messiah Jesus.

(Accurately Depicts An Unfinished Tower of Babel; With, However, the Reversal of Babel’s Curse to be Complete With a Pure Language on Earth)

The fact that God not only spoke the world and all living things into existence through what obviously would have been one language and also communicated with mankind through a single (that same) language, leads to the convincing conclusion that when all things return full circle to a Garden of Eden-like existence, there will once again be only one language.

Powerful Previews of the Coming Universal Language

There are two options: (1) An already existing language; (2) A brand new language given directly by God to the human race.

Personally, I choose option number one. For two reasons: (A) There’s no basis for the Lord to create a whole new language because; (B) A pure language has existed from the beginning. Several of the translations use the term “return” or “restore” to this pure language, with a logically clear inference that the language had already existed.

That language is: HEBREW.

God spoke to Moses in Hebrew; before that to the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And after Moses, to all of the prophets. It is the language of God’s chosen people who were called to be a holy nation, a people through whom mankind’s Redeemer would come. It is the language in which the Old Testament was written. It was the language spoken by the mediator of the New Covenant, Messiah Jesus (also Aramaic, a companion language to Hebrew).

Not until Jesus, the Living Word of God, came into this world, did the Lord use the prevalent international language spoken at the time (Greek) to inspire the writers of the New Testament.

Read with me the opening words of Hebrews, which is the only book in either Testament that bears the name of God’s chosen people and their language.

“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven” (Hebrews 1:1-3).

(Above Passage is Daniel 7:13-14; Please See Eye of Prophecy Article, Messiah’s Ascension & Coronation … Seen Long Before It Happened! Posted 5-27-17).

Jesus came to the earth at God’s appointed time in history when the confluence of Roman roads and the Greek language enabled the gospel to be spread far and wide and rapidly (considering the transportation of the time).

“But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children” (Galatians 4:4-5).

When Jesus was born, the nation of Israel was under Roman domination, a shadow of its former glory. Nearly all Jewish descendants from the ten northern tribes and some from the two southern tribes were in still in exile or had intermarried and were speaking the language of their host nation. The Hebrew language was in decline and hundreds of years later would be nearly extinct.

Jesus came into the world to establish the New Covenant of Grace, a whole new way to and relationship with God—based exclusively on faith in Messiah’s once for all substitutionary sacrifice. A New Covenant was necessary because the Hebrews wouldn’t and couldn’t keep the Law of Moses (See Jeremiah 31:31-34). This New Covenant would be written and spread throughout Israel, the Roman Empire, and the whole world via a language that was considered the universal language—much like English is the most common language, by far, spoken in today’s world. Many Jews and Romans spoke Greek in New Testament times.

In the first century, the Lord gave us a fascinating preview of the fulfillment of Zephaniah’s prophecy. Do you remember what it was and when it happened?

“On the day of Pentecost all the believers were gathered together in one place. Suddenly … what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability” (Acts 2:1-4).

“They were completely amazed. ‘How can this be?’ they exclaimed. ‘These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages!’” (Acts 2:7-8).

*Note: Is it mere coincidence that the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire? In effect, as a result, and for all practical purposes, the Gospel was heard in their own tongue—as though each language was the only language spoken on earth.

The Unprecedented Restoration of Israel and the Hebrew Language

Never in human history had a nation utterly destroyed and an entire people driven from their homeland ever been restored as that same people in that same land. Some, including me, believe that Israel’s rebirth was more than unprecedented; it was a flat-out miracle from God.

But that wasn’t all. The nearly extinct language of Hebrew was also resurrected and is now spoken by nearly all Jews in Israel. That, too, has never been done before by any peoples on this planet.

Incidentally, did you know that Hebrew contains absolutely no words of profanity? There are gestures peculiar to the Jews (as with all races and ethnic groups), but not what we call “four-letter” words.

Why else would the Lord sovereignly bring back the ancient language of his people (along with contemporary Hebrew words to match modern technology and the like)? Unless, he planned to “…restore to the people a pure language, that they may call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one accord” (Zephaniah 3:9, King James 2000 Bible).

There’s another astounding end-times prophecy that dovetails with the restoration of Hebrew as the universal language during the Millennium and throughout eternity: “In that day five of Egypt’s cities will follow the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. They will even begin to speak Hebrew…” (Isaiah 19:18). Please see Eye of Prophecy article, A Most Unlikely Ally of Israel! Published 6-11-16.

Notice that the verse says, “will even begin to speak Hebrew…”

Which, I believe provides an answer to another question: Will the Lord instantaneously give everyone the ability to speak Hebrew after Messiah Jesus begins his millennial reign from Jerusalem?

Answer: possibly, but unlikely.

Just as many birth pain events signaling Christ’s imminent return are unfolding in our (what I’ve called) Omega Generation, such as restoration of Israel and Hebrew as Israel’s national language; just like the five cities in Egypt that will begin to speak Hebrew; so it will be a gradual global process for all survivors of the Great Tribulation to learn Hebrew. It could take one, maybe two generations for this to happen—or longer for those who at first refuse to learn Hebrew.

Please understand: Although there will be a Global Government on the earth with a perfect balance between Messiah’s loving leadership and his stringent supervision, there will still be nations, as such, during the Millennium. And it’s likely that some people, even entire nations, will resist making Hebrew their language.

For example: “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. 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… Egypt and the other nations will all be punished if they don’t go to celebrate the Festival of Shelters” (Zechariah 14:16-19).

(A Modern-Day Sukkah–Temporary Shelter–Erected to Celebrate Sukkot)

Messiah Jesus will rule with fairness, but also firmness. It will be as is said, “Tough love.”

Full Circle

Because it fits with today’s article, I’d like to share an excerpt from the final chapter of my first book, a novel: O Israel, published in 2007. It is about a year after the Rapture and the scene is a dialogue between two of the main characters, IDF Major Barak Goetz and the love of his life, Netanya Bernis—both of whom became Messianic Jews. They are standing on the Mount of Olives looking across the Kidron Valley at the rebuilt Jewish Temple.

They watched the people on the Temple Mount, who looked the size of ants from this vantage point. Arabs walked out of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Islam’s sacred day of the week was about to end. Jewish worshippers entered the temple. Shabbat was about to begin. Two Levite priests plodded along the side of the temple; one led a lamb by a rope.

“What are you thinking?” Netanya asked.

“What you and I talked about at the hospital. About the Garden of Eden, coming full circle, restoration.”

“I remember.”

“The circle is almost closed,” Barak said. “We were made in God’s image, which means that he made us perfect. How could a perfect God create something imperfect? Through the image he gave us, he offered us the choice to live forever. But we did the only thing he told us not to do; we used the free will he gave us to choose another image. We wanted an image that made us equal to him, one that no longer needed the holiness of the perfect image, one that made him in our image. And when we disobeyed a simple command, it distorted our true image. We killed the spirit inside us, and the outside died with it. The image became twisted, unholy, ungodly.

“But God would not leave it that way. He would restore the original created image. There was only one way to do that; a great debt had to be paid to remove the awful presence of sin that had changed and condemned the image. Who could pay such a debt? It had to be someone whose image had not changed, someone who was a prefect and visible image of God. And it had to be a man, because the purchase must be with blood. Life is in the blood. So the Son of God became the Son of Man, and he was both at the same time.

“When we believe the Son for who he is and what he did, the original image is restored. Those who were taken that day have total restoration of the body. That is full circle.”

“That was beautiful,” Netanya said. “It came from the Holy Spirit?”

“Must have. I seriously doubt that I could repeat it on my own.”

“Forever begins again, but in a new way. As good as it was in the beginning, I think it will be even better at the end of the age.”

“I’d go with that,” Barak said.

The horizon hid the sun. Netanya shivered when a strong gust chilled the air. He put his arm around her.

She looked lovingly into his eyes, “As it once was, so shall it be again.” (Pages 338-339).

*As we eagerly wait for Messiah to return to make all things right and new, may God have mercy on America. Please pray for and help if you can the plight of our flood-stricken, fellow-Americans in Texas.

Things to Ponder

More than any other language, Hebrew alphabet characters and the words formed provide illustrative images and pictorial projection to both the tangible and intangible things of life. This is especially true for the meaning of Jewish names. It is a language that condenses and expresses thoughts succinctly and significantly.

For example: Translated to English, we say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Eleven words … too many connecting words).

In Hebrew, we read: Baruch haba beshem Adonai (Four words! No connecting words, but the meaning is the same, even better).

Jewish rabbis and scholars—most of whom speak at least one other language besides Hebrew—are students of the Hebrew language and the Old Testament. They are virtually unanimous in their belief that the Hebrew language reveals the thoughts and character of God like no other language.

Did you know that all believers (both Jew and Gentile) will be given a white stone sometime after we are taken in the Rapture? Do you know what will be written on the stone?

“…and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it” (Revelation 2:17). Might this be a brand new Hebrew name? A name the Lord will use when he talks to us privately?! Or, if public, a name whose meaning is private between each person and the Lord.

One of my two sisters and I traveled to Israel in March, 2006. The entire trip was fabulous including our ascension of Mount Megiddo. But we both agreed there were two highlights. One was visiting the empty Garden Tomb of Jesus. We saw the signs pictured below.

(Outside the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem … Entrance to the Tomb Is Pictured in Upper Right of Photograph)

(From Inside the Garden Tomb … He Has Risen Indeed!)

The other was attending a Messianic Jewish Shabbat service at the Grace & Truth Congregation in Rishon LeTsion, south of Tel Aviv. One of my dear friends, David Zadok (a former IDF Major, now a Messianic Jew) later became the pastor of that church … still is today.

Everyone in attendance spoke at least one of three languages: Hebrew, English, and Russian. The pastor delivered his message in Hebrew to those seated in the middle section who spoke Hebrew. His message was translated by one interpreter into English (our group to the left of the pastor … as the pastor faced the audience) and by another interpreter into Russian, to those on the right.

It was a poignant and wonderful experience; though the sanctuary was small and we were packed in, sometimes literally touching the person seated next to you. Yet the idea of fellowshipping with Israeli believers in Yeshua—those recently from Russia and Jews from other countries who had learned Hebrew (and English for some)—moved me to the point of tears. (In 2014, the Congregation moved to a larger facility near Gedera, Israel. The Dutch language was added to the translations).

On the other hand, it was also a bit awkward for two interpreters to be talking at the same time as the pastor, who had to pause frequently for the translators.

This is but one tiny example of how much better one common language (God’s language … Hebrew) will enable people shoulder to shoulder but also those in distant lands to “worship the Lord together.”

To, in person or through the media, watch and listen to Messiah Jesus, the King of kings, as he speaks from Jerusalem, with no interpreter or sub-titles needed. To praise him in unison with one voice (literally). To serve him with one accord and to hear him speak in our own language.

Because everyone’s language will be the same!

One Global Language … Coming Soon! (Part I)

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God Said and It Was So

“Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light … God called the light day and the darkness night” (Genesis 1:3 & 5, italics for emphasis).

Each successive day of creation began with, “Then God said…” (Genesis Chapter 1).

God is Omnipotent. This incomparable power is contained in and expressed through his Word. So much so that the Lord spoke the entire universe and all living things on Planet Earth into existence.

Several Christian apologists and scientists have exposed the theory of evolution for what it is: absolutely absurd and patently false. Evolution started as a theory and rightly so. Today’s secular scientists and agnostic/atheistic evolutionists brazenly present this theory as a fact. Yet none of them will admit that they began with a presumption (no God, nature created itself and life) that is based on faith (trust) in that hypothesis. Thus they prejudicially interpret the existing physical evidence to fit their conjecture of evolution rather than Divine Creation. In doing so, they clearly demonstrate that evolution is as much a religion (belief system) as evolutionists claim Christianity is a religion that is incompatible with science.

(Note: As explained in a few prior Eye of Prophecy articles, the Christian faith is NOT a religion; it is a personal relationship with our Creator and Savior).

Creationists also begin with a faith model, because God not only said he was there when all things were brought into existence, he is the One who created everything out of nothing. We then analyze and interpret the astrophysical, geological, and biological findings in the context of the Bible as the very Word of God.

For example: God said that each life form (species) would reproduce, “…offspring of the same kind” (Genesis 1:24). It’s been that way from the beginning. To this day geologists and biologists have never found (nor will they ever find) fossil or present-day empirical evidence of species mutation or cross-breeding of fixed species. A frog is a frog and a butterfly is a butterfly. There never has nor ever be a futterfly or a brog! A dog is still a dog and a cat is still a cat, and never the two shall cross. Let me know if someone finds a dat or a (living as opposed to inanimate) cog, and I’ll switch to evolution.

(Breeding Within Species Are Unusual, But Possible … Yet It’s Still the Same Species. In This Case a “Liger.” Cross between a Lion and Tiger, Both of the Cat Genus. Same Thing With a Horse and Donkey Producing a Mule, Except the Mule is Sterile)

Through one of the characters in my novel O Israel … the end is the beginning for those left behind, I wrote:

“Let’s say for sake of argument, that one particular species did somehow mutate. If this mutation survived, it would have a gender… In order for that mutation to reproduce, there must be another one of the opposite sex, born or mutated at about the same time and in the same geographical area. Otherwise, no more babies of whatever this mutated thing turns out to be…. Even if a species could mutate, would it necessarily be an improvement? Essentially, that’s what evolution says: things must continually improve. But it could be the opposite … something grotesque and dysfunctional” (Page 130).

Do you see the astronomical odds against the possibility that there would be opposite-sex mutations at the same time and place into a (new) species? Now multiply that by thousands upon thousands of species in the insect, bird, fish, and animal kingdom; when, in fact, there’s no physical evidence of even one mutation in and certainly not between any of these four basic families (kingdoms) of animal life. Using the laws of probability alone, that is an absolute “0.” Which means it simply cannot happen. If someone can show me evidence, thereof, then I’ll go ahead and purchase some beautiful almost crocodile-free swampland in Florida!

(Lion and Giraffe Mixture … Not Possible. This Is One of Those Superimposed Trick Photographs. No lion would pass up eating a giraffe in order to mate with it!)

There’s more: “Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.’ …So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).

There are many attributes that separate the human race from animals. Differences and gaps that are entirely too vast to entertain the theory of evolution.

The character in my novel also said:

“I’ve always wanted to debate an evolutionist. Ask him to explain the quantum leap from whatever the highest mammal is to man. Why a monkey can’t talk, read, build tall buildings or choose to love or hate? Why a gorilla doesn’t think deep thoughts like we do. Why a chimpanzee has never composed a song, painted a Mona Lisa, written a novel, or discovered electricity?” (Page 129).

Evolution is based on the foundationally flawed formula that I would label: Mother Nature plus Father Time equals life. Evolution is the modern-day version of, “They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshipped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen” (Romans 1:25).

The Essence and Power of Language

After the human spirit and mind, the greatest (impassable) gulf between mankind and animals is language. Without language and linguistics we couldn’t adequately comprehend, let alone explain the concept of mind, heart, or spirit unless we express them with words (or at least signs). We speak and write what we think in our mind, believe in our heart, and feel in our spirit. If we didn’t convey what’s inside of us, then what’s inside of is like the proverbial sound of the tree falling (in the forest) that no one hears. If someone is not there to experience and explain what happened, then it’s irrelevant whether the tree made a sound or not when it fell. In this respect, human beings are deductively, inductively, cogently, intelligibly, creatively, and most of all spiritually “light years” (using a scientific measurement) above the animals.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Wrong! Most idioms accurately represent life’s experiences. Sticks and stones is not one of them.

Words are powerful. They can heal a heart or break a heart. They can mend a mind or bend a mind. They can build up the human spirit or tear it down. They can be a source of life or death.

(Now there’s an adage that is right on!)

“We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And the tongue is a flame of fire… It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself” (James 3:3-6).

The Tower of Babel

“At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there. They began saying to each other, ‘Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire…’ Then they said, ‘Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world’” (Genesis 11:1-4).

The Tower of Babel incident took place a few generations after the Great Flood that only Noah and his family survived. Even before Noah’s Flood, all people on earth spoke the same language. Why can I say that? For three reasons: (1) there’s no indication in Scripture that people spoke different languages before the flood. The opening of this passage in Genesis 11 (“At one time”) would strongly suggest that people spoke one language from the time of Adam and Eve. (2) There would be no reason for people to arbitrarily want, need, or be able to create another language or languages. (3) The very fact that God suddenly and supernaturally replaced one language with many languages yields the inescapable conclusion that mankind spoke one language from the beginning.

Many people, even those unfamiliar with Scripture, know about the Tower of Babel; why and how God abruptly stopped the arrogant purpose for building such a monument.

Said the Lord: “…The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Come, let’s (like when the Lord created man and woman, the triune God refers to himself in the plural, “let us”) go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other … That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world” (Genesis 11:6-9, parenthesis mine).

When the Lord said, “nothing will be impossible for them,” did he mean that he couldn’t do anything about whatever the restored human race wanted to do or would do? Of course not, otherwise God isn’t God.

“Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish” (Isaiah 46:9-10).

And it’s God who is telling us about the Tower of Babel; indeed, it’s the Lord who supernaturally inspired all of the Bible, which is the very Word of God.

Numerous times in Scripture before or after God announces something, he declares (for example): “Thus, says the Lord.” Or, “I, the Sovereign Lord have spoken.” Whether the Lord spoke directly to prophets and apostles or whether he communicates through the Holy Spirit, we know that:

“All Scripture is inspired (literally, God-breathed) by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (II Timothy 3:16).

Getting back to the Tower of Babel account: In effect, the Lord is saying that he wouldn’t do what he had already promised to Noah: wipe out mankind again with a world-wide flood. Instead the Lord chose to thwart man’s attempt to create a One-World Government by scattering the people into (ethnic) groups with their own language and eventually nations with boundaries. With the supernatural act of dividing one language into many, God displayed his sovereignty by disrupting the peoples’ plans and demonstrating to the human race that we only (vainly) think we can do anything we want, whether God approves it or not.

Although God gave mankind the free will to choose, plan, and act on those plans, Scripture is replete with evidence that God intervenes in the affairs of mankind when he chooses to do so. Just ask Pharaoh! He’ll tell you who had the final say, when God through Moses told him, “Let my people go!”

Jesus said, “…But with God everything is possible” (Matthew 19:26).

He also said: “…For apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

In addition to national boundaries with natural geographic barriers such as oceans and mountain ranges, the thousands of languages and dialects on this earth are what God has used to prevent a global government.

As I have maintained in some Eye of Prophecy articles (especially, One World Government? Posted 2-28-15, and One World Religion? Published 8-15-15): despite the prevailing view among Bible scholars, there will never be a (man-made) global government. Not now and not during the Great Tribulation. Scripture is clear that even the Antichrist will have enemies (such as the Kings of the East). If there is even one significant nation on earth that refuses to be part of his empire, then there couldn’t be a “One World Government.” In fact, some countries during the Tribulation (not including the three nations that Antichrist Nero will force to join his ten-nation confederation) will maintain their autonomy and fight to keep their national identity and language intact. (See Daniel 11:40-45 & Revelation 16:12).

Will there ever be a Global Government on earth? Will there be a reversal of God’s curse on the Tower of Babel, whereby everyone on earth will again speak the same language? An unequivocal “yes” to both questions! We’ll get to that later.

Despite contemporary technological advances that enable rapid transportation across natural barriers and a smaller world shrunken by swift communication, a host of different languages remains the greatest obstacle to mankind unifying itself to accomplish the age-old sinister goal—which has intensified even more in our post-modern age of human secularism:

“Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one. ‘Let us break their chains,’ they cry, ‘and free ourselves from slavery to God’” (Psalm 2:1-3).

Until the final Kingdom of God on earth, nations and the languages of those nations are part of God’s sovereign plan for the human race. In his remarkable message to the Greek Epicurean and Stoic philosophers, the Apostle Paul explains that the Lord establishes nations and sets their boundaries.

“…Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.

“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. His purpose was for the nations to seek after God… For in him we live and move and exist…” (Acts 17:22-28).

Later, in the context of the extraordinary evidence visually displayed in creation, Paul wrote:

“Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools” (Romans 1:21-22).

The Globalist Movement

Already in place is the making of a central government on one of the seven continents … the European Union. (Please see, Eye of Prophecy articles, The Final Treaty of Rome Part I & II, posted 5-14 & 5-21-16, which provide a summary of how the EU came about through the first Treaty of Rome, and also the soon to come “Final Treaty of Rome” orchestrated by the Antichrist).

Yet, the European Union is coming apart at the seams as evidenced by Brexit, which I wrote about in the article, Brexit … What’s It All About? Posted June 18, 2016.

(Brexit Is Not Yet Officially Complete)

Before but particularly after Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, weaker EU nations have voiced their disapproval of the pressure tactics of the stronger countries like Germany and France to form a final European government that would have absolute “national” sovereignty over all of Europe. Even with free trade, open borders, and a common currency for most of the EU countries, there is not yet a completely centralized government with consolidated military and political power.

What is the underlying motive for people (especially the elite of the world) wanting a global government? You need look no further than the aforementioned European Union, which was progressively established to prevent war between European nations, i.e. World War I and World War II. They argue that if nations didn’t exist or if they merged into one entity by relinquishing national autonomy, there would be no reason or opportunity for one nation to war against another.

The reason that thinking is so wrong is because the vast majority of world leaders and the people they lead don’t understand or place any stock in Biblical history or even secular history. Thus, they don’t agree in the least with God himself, who knows how wicked we are and the evil we do apart from him, his absolute truth, and Biblical redemption. Truth that gives light and life and hope to anyone who believes and receives the One who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life—Messiah Jesus.

They’re oblivious to the fact: When there was one people (essentially one system of government), one culture, and one language, there was so much corruption and violence that God removed man from the face of the earth he had created. Then several generations after Noah and his three sons, people again began to merge; completely ignoring that it’s the wickedness (sin) of the human heart that produces pride, greed, lust for power, and superior dominance of one person over another achieved primarily through amalgamated authority.

It’s not the elimination of nations or national rivalry that will prevent war or terrorism. The horrific terrorism in today’s world has nothing to do with one nation against another. For example, the sworn objective of ISIS—the most hideous and brutal terrorist organization in the history of the human race—is to establish an Islamic Caliphate, which is nothing less than a Muslim world dictatorship.

In order for the fallen and flawed human race to create and maintain such unity, it’s necessary to curtail—if not eliminate—individual, ethnic, national, and linguistic liberties.

Without some nations—those birthed and grown as a democratic republic, especially those founded on the Judeo-Christian heritage—there would be global loss of political, economic, social, and religious freedom. Without the political or military check and balance intervention of certain nations, large portions (if not all) of the world certainly would have been unified—conquered and controlled indefinitely by such rulers as Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Alexander the Great, the Roman Caesars, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Emperor Hirohito of Japan, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Adolph Hitler, Mao Tse-tung, and Saddam Hussein … or current dictators like Kim Jong-un of North Korea. Whether willingly or by force, the people of these domains were more unified than any other peoples on the earth have ever been.

Either out of adulation or fear or both, their people revered these autocrats as gods.

Or the soon reappearance of a Roman Emperor (Nero) who, “…will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God” (II Thessalonians 2:4).

(Artist Impression of the Ancient Statue of Nero, Who Wanted to be Worshipped as God, Not Just As a god)

None of these megalomaniacs were that concerned about nationalized sovereignty or national identity or even for the welfare of their citizens. In fact, they ruthlessly suppressed and killed dissenters among their own people. Their ultimate goal was regional, then world domination. Yet, millions upon millions followed them because what most people ultimately want is one person, a messiah-type to lead them. Not until it’s too late, did the people realize that their messiah and his inner circle harbored a hidden agenda. A scheme that deliberately or unwittingly seeks to accomplish exactly what Satan—the father of lies, deceit, terrorism, and murder—has pursued since he brought evil into the world.

Read with me this chilling account of Lucifer:

“For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High’” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

The Apostle Paul continues with his warning of the man of lawlessness, who would reappear as the Beast from the Abyss: “This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. He will use every kind of deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth” (II Thessalonians 2:9-12).

(Statue of Nero Recently Built Near Anzio, Italy. See Eye of Prophecy Article, “Antichrist and Anzio … What Do They Have In Common?”, posted 4-29-17)

History teaches us an unforgettable lesson that we have seemingly chosen to forget. The more unification of peoples and the greater the consolidation of states or nations into a centralized structure, the more legislative, judicial, and military checks and balances will diminish and disappear. And the more that tyranny will flourish. Had England and her partners not stopped Napoleon; had the Allies not opposed Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito; had the United States not stood up against Stalin’s (and his successors) post-war Communism … we can only wonder what language would be the most common (international) tongue spoken today. I doubt it would be English.

God’s Plan: The Kingdom of God on Earth

God is Omniscient. He knew that a man-made global government built on and maintained by one common language would be the worst thing for the human race.

And yet, on the authority of Scripture, I will say again that a One-World Government is, by far, the best kind of administration to bring true peace to the human race, because that is the Lord’s plan for mankind. But not an international government created by man, one that is virtually devoid of any acknowledgment of or reliance on God. Not the United Nations.

From the dawn of human history, it has been proven over and again that human attempts to create a secular godless centralized government with absolute political, economic, educational, social, and military control over its people led to total disaster.

This is not a contradiction. The Lord supernaturally split the ancient language into many languages, which led to dispersion of the human race to the four corners of the earth; which, in turn, led to the formation of cities, states, and nations. If this had not been done, the world would be even worse off than it later became or is today. It is as the choice goes: the lesser of two evils.

Yet even concerning a democracy as Winston Churchill so profoundly quipped:

The existence of multiple nations and boundaries and languages literally provide a buffer zone and a deterrent to tyrants who would conquer and control the entire world if not opposed.

God’s ultimate plan was for the human race to prosper—spiritually, economically, and politically—under the benevolent leadership of one man whose government would truly be one nation under God. But it must begin from the inside out, by changing the human heart. Not from the outside in by, in essence, deceiving people into thinking that ultimate unity is possible only under a world government. Not through a powerful regime that gradually gives the people virtually everything they need and want; then swiftly takes what is given (and more) away. That kind of unity is what inevitably will deprive them of the freedom and peace they long for. True freedom and peace begins with personal redemption, followed by a global cohesiveness created by the Prince of Peace. (See Eye of Prophecy article: Freedom … What Does It Really Mean? Posted 7-8-17).

Here is an excerpt (in italics) from Eye of Prophecy article, The World Wants a Messiah … But It Needs (The) Messiah, posted 1-28-17. This quote was taken from an earlier article entitled, Kingdom of God. Posted 1-17-15.

Jesus spoke often of the Kingdom of God; for example, comparing it to a mustard seed … the smallest of seeds that when planted grows into an enormous tree. Which is exactly what has happened to the body of Christ; an exponential growth down through the ages, to now consist of believers from virtually every nation and language on earth. It is the Kingdom of Heaven in the hearts and minds of those who have been redeemed by the shed blood of Christ. Next, will come the final physical Kingdom of God on this earth; at which time all people, all governments, all nations will be brought under the authority of God’s magnificent Son. He will rule the nations with firmness, but fairness.

Isn’t that what most people want? They want: law, order, equality, safety, peace. And they want someone who has the kind of authority to realize those dreams, but also someone who is kind and considerate with that authority. One who truly cares about people and what’s best for them; who can rule and judge with impartiality and kindness. A truly wise and benevolent King whose attributes perfectly reflect who and what he is: Love, Truth, Justice, Mercy.

Things to Ponder

Following the worst turmoil ever experienced by the human race during the seven-year Great Tribulation, the Kingdom of God will begin with the majestic thousand-year reign of Messiah. It is the inauguration of righteousness, justice, and peace never before experienced on Planet Earth.

Messiah Jesus is the “child born to us, a son given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders … His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity…” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

(Notice that the passage says: The government… Not a government. As in one world-wide government. And it will be His government).

At the end of the Millennium, when Satan assembles a “mighty army” (Revelation 20) and is soundly defeated in one last attempt to replace God’s Kingdom with a Satanic kingdom, the Lord will complete an extreme makeover of the heavens and the earth.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband … Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. 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.

“And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:1-5).

However, there will be many changes (all for the better) during the Millennium, as it is a time of preparation for eternity, a prelude to infinity and beyond.

(It’s Actually the Wolf That Will “Live Together” With the Lamb … See Isaiah 11 For All of the Animal Comparisons. Also, “A little child will lead them all”)

It will be a Messianic Age of and by Messiah Jesus for the people. It will be one (international) nation under God. It will be a culmination of the oneness that believers now have—albeit with our imperfect earthly bodies—in our Savior and Lord.

“For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism (immersion in and identification with Christ), and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all” (Ephesians 4:4-6, parenthesis mine).

And, I’m convinced there will be one language during the Millennium and throughout eternity. The Tower of Babel curse will be no more. As it once was in the beginning, so shall it be again … only better!

In whatever language you listen, hear the words of Jesus:

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep … They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd” (John 10:14-16).

“Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?’” (John 11:25-26).

Put your name in place of Martha’s. Do you believe Messiah Jesus? Then in whatever language you speak:

“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” (Romans 10:9).

Hallelujah! That’s Hebrew for Praise the Lord.

*Discover more about the soon-to-come one universal language in next week’s article.

A Tale of Two (Arab) Cousins

A Literary Masterpiece

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

If you’re an avid reader who enjoys classical as well as contemporary literature, you may have already recognized the source of these memorable words, though they were penned over 150 years ago. Perhaps the title of today’s article helped you make the connection.

Those who’ve never read or can’t remember the origin of this attention-grabbing line are still likely to have seen or heard it, as this catchphrase universally represents people, places, and events down through the ages.

It is the opening lyrics from a historical novel which is one of four bestselling books of all time.

Written by Charles Dickens and originally published in installments from April to November, 1859, it is:

A Tale of Two Cities

So, what is the greatest selling and most read book of all time (by far)?

Easy answer: The Bible.

Was it mere coincidence that Charles Dickens’s began his novel with seven sets of contradictory times? With, for example, the next set: “it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness….”

It occurred to me that Dickens consciously or perhaps subconsciously may have modeled his iconic opening after one of the most recognized passages in the Bible: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). After the opening verse in Ecclesiastes 3, there are seven verses of contrasting “times.” Beginning with: “A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest” (Verse 2).

The final two lines: “A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace” (Verse 8).

Set just before and during the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities was fictional, yet a historical story of two cities—London and Paris. And more so of two countries: England and France. Time doesn’t permit an adequate synopsis of this great novel; plus, I would need to read it again to do justice to even a summation!

Suffice to say that Charles Dickens painted both cities and countries in an unfavorable light throughout most of the book, due to the autocratic oppression by English and French royalty of the poor and less unfortunate. But he also expressed equal disapproval of the Reign of Terror that began with the mob revolt and brutal killing of France’s royal family and many nobles; without really accomplishing the purpose of the French Revolution—righting legal and social injustice.

Historically, you may (or may not) recall: The chaos that resulted by viciously eliminating the autocratic rule of the French aristocracy led directly to a dictatorship in France—as opposed to the democracy established by the American Revolution against England. You remember: Napoleon—one of the greatest (with the connotation of both good and bad … mostly bad) tyrants of all time—filled the lawless vacuum created through anarchy by establishing law and order, then seizing control of France and most of Europe.

Charles Dickens depicted England in a more favorable light toward the end of his novel, principally because the British commoners did not resort to a bloody chaotic revolution. England’s masses also realized that it would be folly and futile to stage a revolution against British royalty while their country was trying to suppress the revolution that had already begun in America.

A Tale of Two Cities is a study of similarities between two eminent cities and countries, and also a study in contrast.

The Ancient Saga of Two (Half) Brothers

The racial and religious friction between Jews and Arabs (rather than a class conflict between the same people as portrayed in A Tale of Two Cities and other novels by Charles Dickens) has been a major struggle from time immemorial. In fact, the dissension between Jew and Arab is longest (continuing) clash in human history. Moreover, both ancient and modern chronicles clearly show that the hostility is almost exclusively a one-way street that runs from Arab/Muslim nations and peoples toward Jews and Israel.

It began when God picked Isaac, not Ishmael, to be the ancestor of God’s chosen people; when he selected Israel, not Egypt (or any other Arab nation), as the Promised Land. Isaac, as the first child of promise, would be the progenitor of the Messiah—the ultimate Child of Promise—who would be the source of redemption for the Jew first, then for all Gentiles, including Arabs! (Romans 1:16). A Jewish Messiah who would come from the lineage of King David, from the tribe of Judah, from the nation of Israel.

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government (of the entire earth) will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, (only he can and will be) Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6, parenthesis mine).

*Note: To affirm an obvious historical fact: The sole reason that a descendant of Ishmael—Muhammad, an Arab—conceived the religion of Islam was to replace the Judeo-Christian faith with a counterfeit creed that refuted and rejected God’s covenant promise to Abraham. In order to do this, Muhammed also had to devise a god to supersede the true and living God of Scripture. Thus, he chose the pagan moon-god, Allah. He plagiarized the Bible by alleging that the angel Gabriel gave him revelations … the same angel who had appeared to Mary to announce that she would give birth to Messiah Jesus.

Think about it: Why would God send the angel Gabriel to the Jewish Virgin Mary to tell her:

Then six hundred years later send Gabriel to (allegedly) tell Muhammad that Jesus was merely a prophet, not even equal to Muhammad. That Islam (an Islamic Caliphate) would rule the world. That Jews (and Christians) should be killed if they didn’t submit to Islamic religious demands? This is only one of innumerable dramatic differences between the Bible and the Koran, between the true God who made man and the man-made god Allah, and between Messiah Jesus who arose from the dead and Muhammad who remains in his grave!

An Appropriate and Relevant Analogy

The epic tale of two cities is a meaningful prototype comparison to a much lesser known, but nevertheless intriguing story of two women, who are cousins.

Naturally they have common ground by virtue of being blood relatives. Both are Muslims born in Nazareth, and both are Israeli-Arabs with full citizenship rights in Israel. But you’ll soon see what makes them so very different.

Their names: Haneen Zoabi and Sara Zoabi.

Hanin Zoabi: (The English spelling of her name from Arabic is Haneen Zoabi; in Hebrew it is Hanin Zoubi. Nearly all media references give her name as Hanin Zoabi).

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Haifa and a Master of Arts in communication from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before entering politics, she was employed by the Israeli Ministry of Education as a school inspector and before that taught mathematics.

Directly from Wikipedia we read that Hanin Zoabi, “…is an Israeli Arab politician, who currently serves as a member of the Knesset for the Joint List. Serving in the Knesset since 2009, Zoabi is the first Arab woman to be elected to Israel’s parliament on an Arab party’s list. Representing the Balad party…”

I wrote about her once before in a portion of the Eye of Prophecy article, More Palestinian Lies, posted 2-20-16. Here is an excerpt from that article (in italics):

The Israeli Government is considered to be a Parliamentary Democracy, and is one of the most unique governments in the entire world. It consists of 120 Knesset members representing the diversity of Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs (citizens of Israel) and currently consists of twelve separate parties, including the Joint Arab List … For years, Arab Israelis have served in the Knesset. Presently there are seventeen such delegates who represent the approximately 1.8 million Arabs living in Israel with full citizenship rights.

These inhabitants should be distinguished from the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, who have refused to become citizens of Israel, and who now bear the identity of Palestinians. Most of the lone-wolf attackers have been West Bank Palestinians, but there has also been a handful of Israeli Arab citizens who committed these crimes.

Israeli Arabs have freedom of transportation throughout Israel, freedom of education, freedom of employment, and (as indicated) freedom even to serve in the Israeli government. The Israeli Arab Knesset members are supposed to represent their fellow Arab Israeli citizens; not the Palestinians, who are (supposed to be) represented by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. That is if you consider corruption as a representative form of government.

On February 2, 2016, three of these Knesset members (Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka, and Basel Ghattas) met with the families of eleven terrorists who were killed during their unprovoked murderous attacks on innocent Jews. Then, the following day the families also met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in his Ramallah office just a few hours after another terror attack killed 19-year-old female Border Patrol Corporal Hadar Cohen, and injured another soldier.

As representatives of the Balad faction within the Joint Arab List Knesset party, both Hanin Zoabi and Jamal Zahalka are well-known for their anti-Jewish activism, and have a long history of confrontational incidents with other Knesset members in particular and Israelis in general.

Though yet to be convicted, Zoabi, in particular, has been charged with incitement several times in the past including participation in violent Palestinian protests; resulting in several attempts by fellow Knesset members to remove her from the Israeli government.

Joint List party member Hanin Zoabi seen at the Israeli parliament during a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Israeli parliament on July 11, 2016.

(*Note: What do you make of the posture of the Knesset Member behind Zoabi?!)

Not mentioned in that article: Hanin Zoabi had been suspended from the Knesset for six months in the aftermath of the three Israeli boys (one of whom was a dual U.S. citizen) who were kidnapped and murdered in June, 2014 by two Palestinians from Hebron … affiliated with Hamas. I wrote about the kidnapping of those three teenage boys in Eye of Prophecy article, Bring Our Boys Back, posted 6-28-14. Followed by another article entitled Prince of Peace posted 7-5-18 (Messiah Jesus, Prince of Peace, who is the only source and hope for peace in the Middle East … in the entire world) after their bodies were found near Hebron.

Soon, thereafter, Hamas began launching rockets and mortars into Israel which resulted in the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas. That was the last war between Israel and either Hamas or Hezbollah.

In effect, Hanin Zoabi excused the actions of the Palestinian men who murdered the Israeli boys (even implying they may have been justified in their brutal crime), and also gave implicit endorsement to Hamas which she doesn’t consider to be a terrorist organization. She was reinstated to the Knesset and remains a member to this day, despite subsequent acts that bordered on treason. (Time/space doesn’t permit explanation of the reasons why she is still in the Knesset).

Continuing with the excerpt from More Palestinian Lies:

Yet, in the view of many Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, her (and the other two MK’s) appearance with the families of the terrorists crossed a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Ostensibly this meeting was to demand return of the terrorist’s bodies from the Israelis; but anyone who has any clue at all knows the real reason they met with the families. It was a show of tacit solidarity and overt support of the killers and their actions to snuff out the lives of Jews anywhere and everywhere in Israel.

Political protest is one thing … we have an abundance of that in our own republic of the United States of America. But an out-and-out endorsement of murder (no matter the rationale of the murderers) is far beyond what any democratic or representative form of government should condone in their government representatives….

As an example: Can you imagine if a few United States Senators or Congressmen met with the family of the two Islamic terrorists who killed fourteen people in San Bernardino last year? Moreover, that the purpose of such a meeting was to extend both political and personal sympathy to the family for the loss of these two murderers?

Said Netanyahu: “Members of Knesset who go to comfort the families of terrorists who murdered Israelis do not deserve to be in the Israeli Knesset. I have asked the Speaker of the Knesset to examine what steps can be taken against them….”

Subsequently, the Speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein filed a complaint to the Knesset Ethics Committee with a strong rebuke of the three Arab MKs … that their actions constituted incitement and, “encouragement to murder.”

Both Netanyahu and Edelstein are absolutely justified in their recommendations, if for no other reason than the oath that all Knesset Members took when sworn into office: “I pledge to bear allegiance to the State of Israel and faithfully to discharge my mandate in the Knesset.”

Using her position in the Knesset to ostensibly represent Israeli Arabs (citizens of Israel), she and a few other Arab Knesset members actually undermine the Israeli government whenever possible—by subtle and sometimes not so subtle representation of the Palestinians who already have their own representatives … the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank (Judea/Samaria) and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

When Hanin Zoabi was first sworn-in as a member of Knesset in 2009, she walked out before Israel’s national anthem, Hatikva, was played and sung. That is tantamount to a member of the United States Congress spitefully walking out on the playing of the Stars Spangled Banner.

I’ve read several of her quotes and quotes about her. In short, she is an avowed enemy of the State of Israel; if (as she puts it) it remains or even is considered, “a Jewish State.” She endorses the rhetoric and actions of Palestinians and many Israeli-Arabs who hate the Jews and do not want a two-state solution. They want one state: the state of Palestine—preferably absent any Jews.

Sara Zoabi:

In stark contrast, Hanin’s cousin, Sara Zoabi, is a staunch supporter of Israel. This is practically unheard of among Arabs and Muslims; and, as expected, vociferously condemned by the vast majority of Arabs in Israel and Muslims in surrounding countries who know of these two women.

She is the mother of Muhammad Zoabi who had voiced his own support of Israel by condemning the kidnapping (then murder) of the three Israeli boys mentioned earlier. Following several serious death threats issued by the Palestinians, he was forced to go into hiding. In an online video he said he wanted to, “show the world the real face of regular Arabs and Muslims who are simply sick of their leaders’ corruption and unlimited hate.” Eventually he was forced to flee to the United States for asylum.

Sara is an accomplished chef who in June, 2015 appeared as a contestant on the Israeli T.V. show MasterChef Israel. During the interview phase of the program, she introduced herself as an, “Arab, Muslim, Israeli, proud Zionist” from the city of Nazareth.

When one of the judges asked her to expand on this shocking disclosure (“proud Zionist”), Sara had much to say. Beginning with, “I believe in the right of the Jewish people to have their own country, which is the state of Israel, the holy land.”

Among other things, she went on to say: “I’m sure that the people who hear me will say, ‘what, have you lost your mind? How can you say you are a Zionist?’ I want to say to all the Arabs (citizens) of Israel to wake up. We live in paradise. Compared to other countries, to Arab countries—we live in paradise.”

She continued: “We have a state that is Israel, and wonderful people who embrace us with love … We must support our soldiers who defend us with their bodies (referring to the Israeli Defense Force) … Our army is the most moral army in the world … Terror and killing is not the way of the Jewish people … (or) our dear Prime Minister … The Jewish people did not choose terror and did not lose their humanity. The Jewish people despite the genocide and persecutions they have suffered, the Jewish people are a pride to humanity.”

Later Sara Zoabi was invited and spoke before the Israeli Knesset, with, of course, strong opposition from her cousin, Hanin Zoabi, who has labeled IDF soldiers praised by Sara, as “murderers.” Hanin had said in the past that she considers the IDF more dangerous than a nuclear-armed Iran. With regard to the IDF or Israeli police silencing Arab terrorists who maim and murder Jews … she’s right!

Then on May 1, 2017, Sara again went public with her dramatic defense of Israel. In a May 5, 2017 Breaking Israel News article posted by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, we read:

“The most inspiring Israel Independence Day video this year was the most unexpected, showing a Muslim Palestinian woman passionately describing her love for the State of Israel in Arabic. As powerful as the video is, the story behind it is even more so.

“The video was posted … by Boomerang, a non-profit organization working towards improving Israel’s image via social media … and in a few short days has garnered almost one million views. In the video, Sara Zoabi, an Israeli Arab, stood proudly in front of the Knesset Building, expressing her love for Israel in no uncertain terms. The video stands as an open challenge to the way Israel-haters view the plight of the Palestinians in Israel.

“Zoabi unabashedly declares in the beginning of the video, ‘I believe with my whole heart in the right of the Jewish People to a sovereign state in the holy Land of Israel. It is a right that God promised.’

“She goes on to enthusiastically praise Israel and the Jewish People, waxing poetic. ‘The sun shining over you and the wind blowing through your fields, they are the inspiration for my love for you,’ she said in her native Arabic. She decries Arab terrorism and praises Israeli humanitarian efforts.”

(Note: Please take a few minutes to watch all or at least part of this video, posted as a link at the end of today’s Eye of Prophecy article).

My personal response: May God richly bless this amazing and courageous woman. May the Lord graciously lead her to the next step in her journey to walk along side of Israel by showing her that He alone is the true and living God. That she will one day also say what a Gentile woman named Ruth said long ago to a Jewish woman Naomi:

“…Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God” (Ruth 1:16).

Even more: That she will believe and receive the one and only Messiah to Jews and Gentiles alike—Jesus Christ; who is a descendent of Ruth (and her Jewish husband Boaz).

(Depiction of Ruth and Boaz)

A Tale of Two Cousins: the ancient and modern-day conflict between Arab and Jew.

On the one hand it is the sad story that is indicative of Muslims in Israel and in many democratic countries of the world. Who (either as citizens or refugees) misuse the freedom granted to them by denigrating their host nation and by calling for the demonization of Israel and even genocide against the Jews (as an Imam in a California mosque did just a few days ago).

On the other hand, there are a few Arabs and Muslims like Sara Zoabi (and like writers Khalid abu Toameh, Bassam Tawil, A.Z Mohamed, or Turkish author Uzay Balut) who recognize and overtly support the right of Jews to live in the sovereign State of Israel, a land given to them by God as a permanent inheritance.

It is an ongoing story of good and evil, of light and darkness, of love and hate.

Though not with the same either/or extremes, the story also brings to mind:

Two Attributes (of God)—Love and Justice

God is Love

The last two Eye of Prophecy articles, Jewish Sovereignty on Temple Mount, Part I & II, and a few like them—such as the above quoted More Palestinian Lies—were written to expose the actual adversarial agenda of Arab Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular against Israel.

Does that mean that I dislike or even despise Arab Muslims as individuals? Not at all. Though not as often as my prayers for Israel’s national redemption and personal salvation of individual Jews, I also have prayed for God’s salvation to Israel’s enemies. For you see, the true and living God loves everyone equally and unconditionally, including Arabs. As a sinner saved by the Grace of God, the least I can do is to love them, too. At the very least, not to hate them. It’s the old adage that is truly Biblical in its origin: hate the evil that people do, but not the people themselves.

In his Gospel, the Apostle John records the words of Jesus in what is probably the most well-known passage in all of Scripture: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone (each person can put their own name in place of “everyone”) who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, parenthesis obviously mine).

Later in his first epistle, John confirms what Jesus proclaimed: “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (I John 4:9-10).

God gave us his Son, because:

As a result, “We love each other because he loved us first” (Verse 19).

As difficult as it is for me to understand this; the Lord loves Hanin Zoabi the same as he loves her cousin, Sara Zoabi.

“…He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent” (II Peter 3:9).

All of God’s attributes are entirely equal and consistently compatible. The Lord demonstrates his attributes (his glory, his very essence) in perfect harmony one with another.

God is Holy and Just

Yes, God IS Love. But he is also a holy God, who is the righteous judge of all the earth.

Wrote King David: “But the Lord reigns forever, executing judgment from his throne. He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness” (Psalm 9:7-8).

We all are under God’s judgment as soon as we are born into this world. It is a foregone conclusion that we will sin because we are born with a sin nature.

King David acknowledged his sin and innate capacity to sin when he confessed to the Lord:

“Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:4-5)

The Apostle Paul reminds us: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23).

Set aside for a moment any objection you may have that God’s judgement of (all) sin is too harsh; meaning eternal separation from him and heaven, for all who do not accept his pardon by believing and receiving the one and only remedy for sin—Messiah Jesus’s substitutionary sacrifice on the cross.

Think about the incredible evil in the world in general, and the specific horrible consequences we’ve all experienced because of the wrong things we’ve done to ourselves, to others … or what has been done to us.

Dare we abolish law-enforcement and judicial systems that prevent anarchy and help keep us safe by apprehending, trying, convicting, and punishing people for their crimes? Shall we ignore the life-giving and life-guarding moral benefits of the Ten Commandments or trivialize the consequences of breaking them? Should anyone be able to get away with anything that violates God’s laws.

According to God’s righteous standards, any and all sin is an offense against him, whether it’s a violation of civil/criminal statutes, or not. Is it right to get away with lying, stealing, adultery, and a host of other sins as long as we don’t get caught? Even though you might bring yourself to forgive someone for raping your daughter or murdering your son, would you also want the person who attacked your child to not pay the price for their terrible crime? Is do the crime, but not the time the way to maintain law and order?

Everyone’s salvation is a personal matter between them and God. Each person’s eternal destiny (heaven or hell) depends on whether they accept Messiah Jesus as their personal Savior. God’s final judgment at the end of the Millennium on all who have rejected his Son is actually the sentencing phase of God’s justice. Just like a judge in a court of law imposes the sentence on someone who has already been found guilty. (See Revelation Chapter 20).

Let’s read the verses immediately following John 3:16.

“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil” (John 3:17-19).

For those who have been born again from above, God has forgiven all our sins and granted a full pardon from the penalty thereof. Messiah Jesus paid that penalty and satisfied God’s perfect justice.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus … The Law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son is a body like the bodies we sinners have … giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit” (Romans 8:1-4).

Things to Ponder

The tale of two Arab cousins is the universal story of two hearts. One filled with goodness, kindness, and love (for Israel and the Jews). The other harboring irrational hate and senseless bitterness toward another race of people, just because they’re Jews.

All hearts—both good and bad—need Jesus. Sara Zoabi needs personal redemption just the same as her cousin, Hanin.

However, as mentioned in a few prior Eye of Prophecy articles, God has designed two plans for the human race. In addition to personal salvation for Jew and Gentile alike through the Jewish Messiah Jesus, he also has established a national destiny for his chosen people the Jews and his special possession Israel. Accordingly, the Lord promises to bless those who bless his people and bless those nations whose God is the Lord (Genesis 12:3 & Psalm 33:12).

God will bless those who support Israel and who champion the sovereign right of the Jews to live in the Promised Land. For Sara Zoabi and others like her, I believe God’s blessing could very well result in her salvation. That she will embrace the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and make a personal decision to accept Messiah Jesus, a descendent of Israel’s forefathers, as her personal Savior. And as the King of all kings.

Although possible, it’s (sadly) unlikely that Hanin Zoabi will ever get to that point in her life. She seemingly has staked out an irreversible position that most Muslims take: Their Muslim god hates all infidels (Jews and Christians) who refuse to submit to Islam.

Although the Lord had to discipline his people for their disobedience, that time of corporate punishment is over. His plan for Israel’s final restoration of their sovereignty in Israel and national redemption is nearing completion.

His passionate love and purpose for Israel and Jerusalem will not be denied.

Nor will his justice against Israel’s sworn enemies be dismissed.

The following is an excerpt from the earlier mentioned Eye of Prophecy article, Prince of Peace, which was written after the three kidnapped Jewish boys were found murdered and buried in a shallow grave near Hebron, Israel (in italics):

Warning! You are about to read graphic language straight from the mouth of the true and living God, the God of Israel, and the God of all who have put their trust in his son, Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ). But these harsh future judgments to be inflicted by God against Israel’s enemies (and there are many such passages in Scripture) reveal to us the serious consequences and destiny of those who seek to destroy Israel and the Jews…

(*Note: In Scripture, Edom (Mount Seir) is representative of all nations who despise Israel. The Edomites were descendants of Esau. God chose Esau’s twin brother Jacob to continue the Jewish lineage of Messiah. See the one-chapter book of Obadiah which, in addition to the below passage from Ezekiel, also contains God’s indictment against Edom … the nations).

“Again a message came to me from the Lord: ‘Son of man, turn and face Mount Seir, and prophesy against its people. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: ‘I am your enemy, O Mount Seir (Edom), and I will raise my fist against you to destroy you completely. I will demolish your cities and make you desolate. Then you will know that I am the Lord. Your eternal hatred for the people of Israel led you to butcher them when they were helpless, when I had already punished them for all their sins. As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, since you show no distaste for blood, I will give you a bloodbath of your own. Your turn has come! I will make Mount Seir utterly desolate, killing off all who try to escape and any who return. I will fill your mountains with the dead. Your hills, your valleys, and your ravines will be filled with people slaughtered by the sword … Therefore, as surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will pay back your angry deeds with my own. I will punish you for all the acts of anger, envy, and hatred. And I will make myself known to Israel by what I do to you” (Ezekiel 35:1-11).

“But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved…” (Joel 2:32).