Who Is the Antichrist & How Will He Appear (Part I)

Tags

,

Modern-Day Preoccupation with the Supernatural

The 20th and 21st century obsession with the supernatural is simply astonishing.

Books, comic books, television, and particularly movies endow super heroes and super villains with mystical powers enabling them to transcend the natural and perform superhuman feats—both good and bad—that keep their fictional followers and real-life audience in awe.

For the most part, the good guys like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and Wonder Woman are ordinary people who have been mysteriously gifted with extraordinary abilities to do battle with the bad guys and save the world (Superman’s amazing powers were possible only because he ended up on Planet Earth). Some of them come in teams, like The Fantastic Four. Most of the supernaturally imbued villains are people who have been transformed abnormally by demonic forces into twisted and perverted beings, or have ascended from the underworld, or have returned from the grave, or all of the above.

To you recall how Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Mummy made their entrance? In some fashion or another, they all returned from the dead. And since their debut, they keep coming back and back and back!

On June 9th, yet another remake of The Mummy was released by Universal Pictures, starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe, and others. Though I may have missed a couple, in a brief online research of Mummy movies, I counted 14 of them. With four more spin-off films called, The Scorpion King. The original Mummy was played by Boris Karloff, followed by Lon Chaney, Jr., Christopher Lee, and others.

In the latest release, the Mummy is a woman, Princess Ahmanet—an ancient Egyptian goddess played by Sofia Boutella. The film includes another horror film character, Dr. Jekyll (and Mr. Hyde), played by Russell Crowe. And, of course, there are a few zombies wandering about. Yet, the underlying premise of The Mummy and other films like it is that the antagonist returns to earth in bodily form; albeit in some cases, going back and forth between the visible and invisible.

After using the example of the movie Rosemary’s Baby in Eye of Prophecy article, Satan in Bodily Form … When and Why? Part II (posted 11-19-16), I go on to say (excerpt in italics):

Later, came The Exorcist in 1973.

Then another box-office smash, The Omen; this time concentrating on the Antichrist and his infamous number, 666. Released in 1976 it featured Gregory Peck and Lee Remick, whose adopted child, Damien, wasn’t just bred by Satan. He was actually the Antichrist. Three more Omen movies followed the original.

Several TV shows are currently carrying this ghoulish torch of the paranormal, such as The Walking Dead and Salem.

Dozens, if not hundreds, of novels, films, and television shows and documentaries about Satan, demons, and the powers of darkness have been released during the last 70 years. Across the board, they are Biblically inaccurate and scripturally illiterate. Nevertheless, Rosemary’s Baby is somewhat on point concerning the ancient cohabitation of fallen angels with women on the earth before Noah’s Flood. In part, this was covered in last week’s article. As indicated, this unholy, depraved breeding was abruptly halted when the fallen angels were imprisoned in the Abyss.

No matter the degree of fantasy found in Hollywood or televised productions, the intriguing fact remains that the 20th & 21st centuries have seen an unprecedented rise in the portrayal of the supernatural, made progressively more fantastic through special effects. This includes many depictions of demons and Satan, himself, in a material visible body.

Writers, producers, directors, and actors are inadvertently grooming hundreds of millions left behind at the Rapture to view the paranormal as normal, the supernatural as natural, and the spiritual as physical….

We Were Meant to Know the Identity of Antichrist Because He Will Not Be a Modern-Day Born Man

The question posed in the first half of today’s title (Who is the Antichrist?) has been answered in great detail in my book, Out of the Abyss and subsequently through several Eye of Prophecy articles in the category of Antichrist. I ask it again mostly for the benefit and curiosity of those who may be visiting Eye of Prophecy website for the first time. This week’s article is also a refresher to those who have read the book and/or articles; to further affirm this amazing, but, nevertheless, historical and future fact. Therefore, I will repeat the answer to the question: Who is the Antichrist?

He is none other than the Roman Emperor Nero.

The second half of this week’s title (How Will He Appear?) also has been thoroughly covered in Out of the Abyss and several Eye of Prophecy articles. With the pivotal point mostly from where he will reappear—the Abyss; or the manner in which he will appear … suddenly rising from a literal sea (Revelation 13:1). Today the how of his arrival is focused on his actual bodily reappearance, with parallel Biblical examples given to demonstrate that Nero’s return from a 2000-year absence is not nearly as far-fetched as it may sound. That it is fact, not fantasy; such as a fictional Egyptian “goddess” returning from the grave.

Pretty much everything pertaining to identification and documentation (Scriptural and historical) that Nero was and will return as the Antichrist is covered in Out of the Abyss, published in February, 2011. Subsequent Eye of Prophecy articles about the Antichrist normally emphasize one passage (of several) or feature of the Antichrist. Scriptural references to the Antichrist (also called the little horn, ruler, king, man of lawlessness, and beast) can be found in Daniel Chapters 7, 9, & 11; II Thessalonians Chapter 2; Revelation Chapters 11, 13, 16, 17, & 19, with chapters 13 & 17 presenting convincing clues as to his biography and identity.

Today, we want to concentrate on the mind boggling, but true fact that Nero will return in his original body! A body that will be visibly scarred from the fatal wounds that killed him; nonetheless, that same body. We’ll look at Bible passages that demonstrate God’s power and plan of bodily resurrection, removal of two men from the earth without dying, and actual bodily appearance of Moses and Elijah with Jesus—in order to correlate and compare those miracles with Antichrist Nero’s continued existence in the Abyss. In conclusion, we’ll examine one other more obscure reference to Antichrist. It is found in the book of Zechariah; one that fits perfectly with Nero’s fatal wounds that ended his life on earth, only to be revived and placed bodily in the Abyss.

Here is another excerpt from the Eye of Prophecy article quoted earlier concerning most of those left behind at the Rapture and their reaction to the real-life return of the Antichrist beast who first appeared in the 1st century:

Instead of believing and, thereby, giving their loyalty and life to the true risen Messiah, Jesus; they will embrace a Roman Emperor (Nero) in what they perceive is his miraculous return from the grave. They will ignore or reject the real evidence prophesied 2000 years ago by John that their “superman” actually returns from the Abyss; having been struck down in his (perverted) prime of life by Christ. Then revived by the Lord and confined to the Abyss awaiting the time when God would release him. At about this same time, Satan will be permanently thrown down to earth in his real and tangible body, and will immediately extend his power and authority to Nero.

Those left behind at the Rapture will be mesmerized by a man who returns from the grave (as they see it … actually from the Abyss). Their initial incredulity will soon yield to the reality of what they are seeing; in part, because of the fictional fantasy images of paranormal phenomena being portrayed as almost routine in today’s New Age, literary, and entertainment circles.

Personally, I and millions of other believers firmly believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God. There are verifiable reasons to make this unequivocal statement; not the least of which are hundreds of fulfilled prophecies and numerous miracles that are truly supernatural—performed directly by God the Father and Messiah Jesus the Son of God or through prophets, apostles, and angels.

“Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God” (II Peter 1:20-21).

To remind us that many of God’s sovereign plans for the human race are achieved through supernatural events—past, present, and future—and, therefore, not to be so skeptical about a two-thousand year old man (Antichrist Nero) returning to earth in the same body in which he departed, let’s look at seven remarkable facts (realities) that include God’s transcendent power and implementation of his providential will. They are presented only in summary form, as all of them are thoroughly covered in my book Out of the Abyss; as well as in some prior Eye of Prophecy articles.

Fact #1: The Antichrist Had Already Lived and Died Before the Book of Revelation Was Written

Regarding Bible passages relating to the Antichrist, I have quoted one more than all the others. Yet, it bears repeating for two main reasons: (1) unless we understand what the text is telling us, then the logical and natural—but inaccurate—view that the Antichrist is a modern-day born man will continue to dominate Biblical eschatology with two erroneous results; (a) to assume that no one can know the identity of the Antichrist; (b) on the other hand to continue pointing fingers at modern-day world leaders as Antichrist candidates. (2) To fully grasp that the Antichrist’s arrival soon after the Rapture will NOT be his first appearance on this earth; it will be a reappearance (from the Abyss).

“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 (suddenly) come up out of the bottomless pit (Abyss) and go to eternal destruction. And the people who belong to this world (many of those left behind at the Rapture), whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made, will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:7-8, italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).

Here is an excerpt from the last portion of my book commenting on the above passage:

“There is no question; the meaning of the verse is as irrefutable as anything can be. The beast had already died before John received this revelation. How else can this passage be understood? Is there any other way to see or read this verse? If some can’t let go of a contemporary Antichrist, then what will they do with this verse … and all the other passages that help refit the prophetic puzzle?

“John didn’t see the vision in the future; he saw it in the present—that hour of that day. The beast is past tense … no longer alive when John saw the vision. The beast isn’t born and doesn’t die in the future; he’s already dead. When will the beast become future tense? Correct: When he reappears from the Abyss. At the beginning of the Tribulation, the world will be amazed at the reappearance of the beast who had died. Will the beast die during the Tribulation? No, he died even before John saw him from Patmos.

“From there, it was a matter of some intensive research, study of Scripture, a lot of praying, and guidance from the Holy Spirit that reaffirmed the ironclad statement and meaning of this verse and of other verses that we’ve covered. However, when I discovered that many of our first, second, third, and fourth century brothers and sisters in Christ also tagged Nero as the man of lawlessness, the beast, and the Antichrist … well it’s like underlining, italicizing, and using bold print on a sentence that already has three exclamation marks!!!

“Invoking a comparison from a popular television program, we have refitted the prophetic puzzle and solved the mystery of the beast in the fashion of Cold Case files” (Out of the Abyss … Can the number of the beast be solved? Pages 271-272).

Fact #2: In Order to Come Up Out of the Abyss, the Antichrist Must First Be Confined to the Abyss

Despite its clear meaning, the following verse is often overlooked as pertaining to Christ and the Antichrist:

“Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming” (II Thessalonians 2:8).

Nero was revealed as the man of lawlessness when he unlawfully usurped the Roman throne as Caesar in 54 A.D. The ultimate cause and origin of Nero’s death was the command given by Jesus (breath of his mouth) … accomplished by his sovereign will. This was no different than several incidents in the Old Testament and a few in the New Testament (Ananias, Sapphira, and Herod Agrippa), in which the Lord prematurely (from a human viewpoint) struck down those who had crossed the divine line of God’s tolerance. On some occasions, the Lord directly and divinely shortened the life of the offender. Other times, he used natural means such as war or execution or disease.

(“Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God…” Acts 12:23).

In Nero’s case it was by the sword of his servant, as Nero couldn’t finish the job of doing himself in.

Because the Antichrist beast had died before John wrote the book of Revelation and because this same man would reappear from the Abyss, the following logical conclusion is exceedingly evident (italicized for emphasis): Jesus revived Nero and banished him to the Abyss soon after Nero died.

Since then Nero (and Satan) awaits his release from imprisonment to captivate the attention and allegiance of post-Rapture unbelievers. To this day, the burial site of Nero is a mystery to historians. Although on the opposite end of the good/evil scale of things, this is very similar to the death and burial of Moses, which we will get to later. Moses was the Law-giver. Nero was the ultimate Law-breaker … “the man of lawlessness” (II Thessalonians 2:3).

Fact #3: Only Embodied Beings Inhabit the Abyss

These beings are fallen angels who took on human form before the Great Flood. They were banished to the Abyss because of their excessively despicable and depraved behavior. (See Genesis Chapter 6).

“And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment” (Jude 1:6).

Most fallen angels (demons) are free to roam the heavens and the earth, but they are spirits … spiritual bodies in another dimension. Whenever they can—as allowed or even invited by people who delve into the occult—they will inhabit (possess) human beings. For the most part, they have learned their lesson not to take on human form. Donning human form is reserved only for the good angels; even that is infrequent.

As much as they would like to possess people, fallen angels absolutely dread the thought of being banished to the Abyss along with the grossly wicked angels already there.

Addressing the demon possessed man in the region of Gerasenes (east side of the Lake of Galilee):

“Jesus demanded, ‘What is your name?’

‘Legion’ he replied, for he was filled with many demons. The demons kept begging Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit” (Luke 8:30-31).

Do you remember what happened next? Jesus granted their wish and let them enter into a herd of pigs!

Pigs? Yes, pigs … the demons would do anything to remain in a body or two, even pigs. So much for their wish. The demonic possession was too much for the pigs. They ran headlong into the lake and drowned!

In Out of the Abyss, I wrote:

“Reminder: the beast comes from the Abyss. The demon locusts are released from the Abyss with a body, albeit, a frightening one. Actually, other than being fearsome, the body of these beasts as described in Revelation 9 may be somewhat regal. Read for yourself the description given, and then decide about their appearance.

“In all of Scripture, there is only one reference to a human being coming from, therefore, having been placed into the Abyss. That man is the man of lawlessness, who is the Antichrist, who is the beast of Revelation. Such an honor!” (Page 232).

(Fairly accurate/realistic depiction of the demons described as locusts. Match up the imagery in Revelation Chapter 9 with the above painting)

Fact #4: The Bodily Resurrection of Messiah Jesus

The very heart of the Biblical Gospel of salvation is the (Virgin) birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus in human form. Only a sinless man could provide the substitutionary sacrifice required by God, necessary to pay the ultimate price for atonement of sin and pardon of sin’s eternal penalty. And the fact remains that Jesus arose from the dead in his same body, albeit a body equipped to live forever. Jesus was the first to be given this wonderful everlasting glorified body (see I Corinthians 15). Yet, a literal body that can be seen, heard, touched, and recognized.

*Note: As a reminder, these facts (realities) are presented as precedents and parallels in order to demonstrate that Nero can and will return at the appointed time in the same body in which he lived, died, and was then revived by the Lord. Although many left behind at the Rapture are being prepared for such a staggering event through media bombardment with supernatural fantasies; they will, nevertheless, be astonished that it really could happen. They won’t be seeing some Hollywood illusion on a movie screen. Whether in person or via television and internet, they will be looking at the real thing—a Roman Emperor whose fame and figure will be right before their eyes.

His name is already undergoing a popular resurgence.

As indicated in three prior Eye of Prophecy articles, Nero’s name has been revitalized, advertised, propagandized, and otherwise paraded through numerous venues in just the past few years. See, The Beast and His Name (posted 10-5-13); Nero & The Remarkable Revival of His Name (4-1-17); Antichrist and Anzio … What Do They Have in Common? (4-29-17).

(One of many products or media productions that bear Nero’s name)

All seven of these Biblical truths (four already covered and three that will be postponed until next week’s article) are examples of bodily resurrection or preservation that will correspond to an astounding prophetic passage in Zechariah as alluded to earlier in today’s article. Which is: The Physical Wounds (That Leads to the Death) of Antichrist Nero Are Foretold by this Old Testament Prophet!

Personal Note Summary

My original intention was for this week’s Eye of Prophecy post to be one article, not a two-part series. Sometimes multi-part articles are intentional; other times they are spontaneously necessary when I realize there’s not enough space/time for that article to adequately cover the subject at hand. Of the 205 Eye of Prophecy posts to date, 65 are multi-part articles (about one-third).

The disadvantage of a two or more part article is the potential of disrupting the continuity (big-picture progression) of the main topic. Or for visitors to read only one of the parts.

The whole idea of editing is to, of course, make the content and style even better. Editing includes changes, clarifications, and corrections that are not only grammatical, but also entire sentence or paragraph modifications, deletions, or relocations in the article. I normally do three edits of my original draft. With the first two focused on content and the final edit on punctuation and proofreading. Sometimes there are still (minor) mistakes in the posted article!

I suppose the ultimate goal of editing is to shorten the article without significantly shortchanging the core content and theme. Alas, when I began editing of this week’s post, it kept getting longer! No choice but to make it Part I & II.

Please don’t miss next week’s article in which three more parallel examples will be given to illustrate comparatively that Nero’s actual reappearance on Planet Earth will be in the same body in which he died. As opposed to an imposter or some sort of virtual reality made possible by super technological special effects like holograms or whatever. Among other things, Nero will arrogantly flaunt the scars of his deadly wounds as proof of his return from the grave; in order to imitate and supersede the true risen Messiah Jesus who lovingly invited Thomas to see and touch the nail prints in his hands and the spear wound in his side.

In one of my very favorite scenes in all of Scripture, Thomas replied to Jesus’s invitation to touch the wounds:

Things to Ponder

As a prelude to next week’s Part II article, think about Enoch and Elijah. Both were taken from the earth while they were still alive.

Concerning Enoch:

“When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters. Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him” (Genesis 5:21-24).

“It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—he disappeared, because God took him. For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:5-6).

Regarding Elijah:

“When they came to the other side, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken away.’

“And Elisha replied, ‘Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit and become your successor.’

‘You have asked a difficult thing,’ Elijah replied. ‘If you see me when I am taken from you, then you will get your request. But if not, then you won’t.’

“As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between the two men, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven” (II Kings 2:9-11).

Also think about Moses and Elijah appearing with Jesus.

“Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus” (Matthew 17:1-3).

You’ll see next week that they appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration in their original earthly bodies … how and why!

Likewise, Antichrist Nero’s reappearance from the Abyss (in his original body) will stun an unsuspecting world. Their amazement will result in actual worship of this wicked Roman emperor.

Believe me; better yet, believe the Bible: You don’t want to be left behind at the Rapture.

Some will choose the true Messiah Jesus over the false messiah, Nero; but will do so on pain of deprivation, torture, and death. Most will opt for the deceitful temporary enticement of a New Age Pax Romana type paradise promised to them by what will appear to be a superman savior. Only for the post-Rapture world to come crashing down around them through the most massive apocalyptic catastrophes of all time.

Jesus, himself said so:

“For there will be 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).

Five Life-Changing Meals in the Bible

Tags

The Bread of Life (Are You Hungry?)

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (Revelation 3:20).

Undoubtedly, the most quoted verse in the Bible is John 3:16 and understandably so because it conveys God’s powerful and precious plan of salvation in just one sentence.

Revelation 3:20 is right up there, as one of the most well-known verses in all of Scripture. It is often quoted as an invitation to those who don’t know Messiah Jesus as personal Savior; to open their heart’s door to him for redemption.

The New American Standard Bible reads: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with me.” (Italics to emphasize that everyone is included in the invitation).

However, the immediate context of this verse in the last part of Revelation Chapter 3 is Jesus’s words to the church in Laodicea, the last of seven letters to the seven churches in Asia that he gave to John in the final “revelation from Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1). Of the seven messages, the one to Laodicea was the harshest warning to a local church that had become complacent and apathetic. To the point where their love and living for the Lord was, “…neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! (Revelation 3:15-16).

Then Jesus said, “I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference” (Verse 19).

Followed immediately by his loving invitation to self-sufficient believers to open the door of their heart to him.

We read about some of the first believers in the 1st century who had done exactly what Jesus had invited the church at Laodicea to do:

“They worshipped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47).

Just two days after Jesus had miraculously fed five thousand men and thousands more women and children with just five loaves of barley and two fish, some of those who had witnessed or heard first-hand about this miracle wanted more proof that Jesus was the Son of God.

“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.’”

“They answered, ‘Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’

“Jesus said: ‘I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’

“Sir, they said, give us that bread every day” John 6:28-34).

In this week’s Eye of Prophecy article, we’re going to get a taste of five memorial meals identified in Scripture around which God’s plans for the human race has been and will be accomplished.

Number One: The Meal of Promise

“The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day. He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground” (Genesis 18:1-2).

Abraham offered to feed the three men, and they accepted his hospitality.

God had appeared to Abraham several times, but normally in a dream or vision or voice. This was the second time that the Lord, in human form, met with Abraham … the first was Abraham’s marvelous meeting with Melchizedek. Both of these visitations were the first of several spectacular Old Testament Pre-Incarnate appearances of the Son of God, Messiah Jesus.

Do you remember the main reason why the Lord visited Abraham that day? Yes, it was to remind Abraham that it was not Ishmael (offspring of Abraham and Hagar because Sarah convinced Abraham she could not bear a child in her old age) who would be the progenitor of Messiah. Instead, Sarah would conceive and give birth to the child promised to them by the Lord, himself.

Do you recall Sarah’s reaction? Correct again … she laughed at such an impossible thing to happen.

The Lord’s response includes one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture, which will be italicized for emphasis.

“Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son’” (Genesis 18:13-14).

That’s exactly what happened. A year later, Sarah gave birth to a son whom God named Isaac. He would be the chosen seed of Abraham; the ancestor of the ultimate Child of Promise, Messiah Jesus. (See Eye of Prophecy articles, The Child of Promise, Part I & II, posted 8-23 & 8-30-14).

Hundreds of years later prophets announced the coming birth of the Child of Promise, a birth even more miraculous than Isaac’s.

“All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’) Isaiah 7:14 (parenthesis in the text)

We know there’s more to this amazing scene in Genesis. The Lord also confided in Abraham that he would personally (as the Pre-Incarnate Messiah) examine Sodom and Gomorrah, “…to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard…” (Genesis 18:21).

Just before that we read: “Should I hide my plan from Abraham? The Lord asked. For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him” (Genesis 18:17-18, which was a reaffirmation of what God had already promised to Abraham in Chapters 12 & 15).

God’s plan that would not be hidden from Abraham was his destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, which became a prototype preview of God’s ultimate judgment of the earth a second time—this time by fire. With the first universal judgment that of the Great Flood. Just as Noah and his family were taken out of harm’s way, so were Lot and his family removed from Sodom. Both were representative of the magnificent Rapture of believers who will be snatched from the earth to spare them from God’s final judgment during the Great Tribulation. (See II Peter Chapters 2 & 3).

In this visitation centered on a meal, the Lord again announced his promise to bless both his chosen people and the nations (Gentiles), this time narrowing the source of this blessing to the ultimate Child of Promise.

Thus, I’m thinking it would be appropriate to call this breaking of bread between the Lord and Abraham, The Meal of Promise.

Four more extraordinarily significant meals would follow; all of them focused on God’s magnificent plan of salvation to the Jew first, then to the Gentiles.

Number Two: The Meal of Passover

As indicated, some years before this remarkable appearance of the Triune God (Messiah, God the Son) to Abraham, the Lord had promised an heir, a son born directly from Abraham and Sarah’s union. Neither Ishmael nor Abraham’s servant, Eliezer, would qualify … only the natural child of Abraham and Sarah conceived through God’s divine supernatural intervention for a woman long past child-bearing.

“Then the Lord said to him, ‘No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.’ Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, ‘Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!’

“And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith” (Genesis 15:4-6).

*Note: This verse is the first amazing announcement that trust in God’s plan and provision for Biblical salvation of mankind—stated again and again through the Old Testament prophets, by Jesus himself in the New Testament Gospels, and subsequently by the Apostles—is the bedrock foundation for righteousness (right standing with God). God’s plan is both simple and profound: God doing for us what we could not possibly do for ourselves. Which is forever forgiveness of our sins and perpetual pardon of the penalty for those sins.

Later that night in a dream, the Lord provided Abram with another astonishing prophecy:

“Then the Lord said to Abram, ‘You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth. (As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.) After four generations your descendants will return here to this land…” (Genesis 15:13-16 parenthesis in the text).

And return they did! Who has not heard of Moses and Aaron speaking the very word of God to Pharaoh. Virtually all Jews, born-again believers in Messiah Jesus, and even millions upon millions of unbelievers know at least something about, The Exodus. The second book of the Bible even bears that name.

And what was it that Moses said to Pharaoh? Easy answer:

Nine times the mighty hand of God inflicted terrible judgments against the Egyptians. Nine times Pharaoh refused to let God’s people go. God predicted that would happen; he also foretold what would happen when he levied the tenth and most disastrous plague.

“On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgement against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the Lord! But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.

“This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time” (Exodus 12:12-13).

In this second significant event in Israel’s and world history we see that partaking of a meal was also the focal point of God’s redemptive plan for his people alongside of his justified judgment of Pharaoh and Egypt.

Said God to Moses: “…Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb or young goat at twilight. They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and top of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the animal. That same night they must roast the meat over a fire and eat it along with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast” (Exodus 12:6-8).

To this very day, the Passover Meal—mostly called Passover or Passover Seder—is celebrated as the most momentous Holy Day (holiday) in Israel and by the Jews world-wide.

Please see Eye of Prophecy articles, Passover … An Enduring Legacy, posted 4-12-14; and Passover & Messiah Are Inseparable! Published 10-1-16.

Here is an excerpt from the more recent of those two articles:

Jewish celebration of Passover since the 2nd Temple was destroyed (70AD) is much more focused on deliverance from Egypt which was designed by God to be remembered primarily by the Feast of Unleavened Bread. With the true meaning and commemoration of the Feast of Passover relating specifically to God’s passing over (sparing) the Israelites during the tenth plague of Egypt. This Pass Over was made possible by the sacrifice of innocent lambs.

Yes, God passed over the Hebrews. This stunningly significant event in Israel’s history was God’s first disclosure to them as a nation that the shedding of innocent blood was necessary to spare them from God’s judgment of the wrong things they had done. Later, this universal precept would be graphically portrayed in the Levitical Sacrificial System, an integral part of the Mosaic Covenant. Yet that revelation was only a prelude to a much greater, longer-lasting (as in permanent) solution to the problem of sin that separates all people from God and leads to God’s wrath, so vividly exemplified by the Egyptian plagues, especially the last one.

Since this wonderful meal already bears the well-known name of Passover, there is no need to describe it with another appellation, as was done with the Meal of Promise and for the next three commemorative meals. All I’ve done is to switch the words around to be consistent with the others. In this case: Meal of Passover.

Passover was the first of seven Jewish Festivals ordained by the Lord. All of them involve a meal or meals around which the Jews were to remember and rejoice in God’s protection, provision, promises, and presence. Accordingly, most of them are also called feasts; such as the Feast of Tabernacles. Feast, festival … they’re one and the same. How can you have a festival without a really good meal?!

Number Three: Meal of Precepts

Before we examine this meal that is not that well-known in Scripture, nevertheless one that was absolutely phenomenal in its setting and significance; and to give you a hint why I’ve called it the Meal of Precepts, here are some synonyms of precepts: teachings, rules, instructions, and law.

LawThe LawThe Law of MosesThe Mosaic Law. Those are pretty strong clues to where we’re heading.

This meal took place soon after God’s Covenant of the Law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai.

How often in the course of history have contracts, covenants, agreements, pacts, and deals been made over meals? Obvious answer: many times. That’s exactly what happened when God sealed the deal with his people.

The setting is Mount Sinai after Moses had written down much of God’s law for the people. Before that the Lord had given solemn instructions that only Moses was allowed to ascend the full heights of the mountain. Joshua had been an exception but he could only go so far up the mountain with Moses. If any of the people even touched the mountain—shrouded by God’s holy presence—they would die.

But then the Lord made an extraordinary exception and extended a personal invitation (in addition to Moses) for Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and seventy of Israel’s elders to ascend the mountain. The purpose of this startling summons was twofold: to reward, but also remind the people that they had accepted God’s covenant with them. It was also a prophetic picture of God’s grace to allow those whom he would redeem—through the once for all sacrifice of God’s very Son—to directly enter his presence because their sins had been forgiven and God’s righteousness had been imputed to them.

Just before the Lord’s royal invitation to these select men of Israel, we read:

“Then Moses went down to the people and repeated all the instructions and regulations the Lord had given him. All the people answered with one voice, ‘We will do everything the Lord has commanded’” (Exodus 24:3).

In fact, the morning of this stunning event began with sacrifices and peace offerings to the Lord that would later be an integral part of the Levitical Sacrificial System, which ended when the 2nd Temple was destroyed not long after Messiah Jesus—the once for all sacrificial Lamb of God—arose from the dead and ascended back to heaven.

What happened next was simply incredible.

“Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel climbed up the mountain. There they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself. And though these nobles of Israel gazed upon God, he did not destroy them. In fact, they ate a covenant meal, eating and drinking in his presence!” (Exodus 24:9-11).

We’ve already read about the Lord’s visitation to Abraham in human form. Thus his appearance on Mount Sinai was not the first nor the last time that he would appear as the Pre-Incarnate Messiah. Among other examples: the man who wrestled with Jacob (Genesis Chapter 32) and, after Moses’s time, the man who appeared to Joshua just before the battle of Jericho (Joshua Chapter 5). However, this was the first and only time that the Lord (Messiah) made an Old Testament appearance to so many people at once.

Time and space does not permit further explanation why the person standing (we know he was in the form of a man because the text says, “under his feet”) was God the Son, instead of God the Father. Except to say: When God the Father met with Moses, it was always through a dense cloud to shield Moses from God’s lethal glory.

Scripture tells us that no one can look directly at (the glory of) God and live. Jews in Old Testament times knew this all too well, which is why those who actually saw the Lord were grateful that they didn’t die. What they didn’t realize is that they were looking at the Son of God, who took on human form before he came to earth in his permanent human body … a body now resurrected and glorified.

“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation” (Colossians 1:15).

Actually I did devote part of an Eye Prophecy article to the Old Testament physical appearances of Messiah. Please see: Does God Really Have a Son? Part II. Posted 11-7-15. Might as well read Part I while you’re at it!

In keeping with the theme of today’s post, this stunning event in which the Lord appeared to seventy-four men took place over a “covenant meal, eating and drinking in his presence!” A meal I’m sure they would never forgot; even though some, if not all, of them undoubtedly broke the covenant when they refused to trust the Lord to give them victory over the inhabitants of the Promised Land. All those older than 20 years died before their children entered the Promised Land, forty years later.

Thus, I think the Meal of Precepts, is an appropriate designation to affirm God’s Covenant of the Law had been given to the people through Moses.

Number Four: Meal of Preparation

Another enormous event of history and His Story began with a meal. It is the subject of numerous sermons, books, articles, commentaries, and paintings.

Have you ever heard of The Last Supper?

In one of the most poignant scenes in all of Scripture, Messiah Jesus prepared for his excruciating death by crucifixion; however, with the expectant joy of knowing that he would rise from the dead. In John’s Gospel, five entire chapters (13 through 17) contain wonderful words of truth that Jesus gave to his disciples (to all future believers) only hours before being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was no coincidence that this Last Supper was a Passover Seder, in preparation for an experience that would change the course of human history—the death, burial, and resurrection of the Son of God to bring the New Covenant of Grace to Planet Earth.

Read with me:

“Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper … So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet…” (John 13:1-5).

This stirring act of humble service demonstrated what Jesus had previously said: Even though he was the Son of God, he came to serve not to be served. Jesus had also told them that he (Son of Man) would be handed over to the Jewish religious leaders and Romans to be crucified; but that he would rise from the dead three days later!

During this Last Supper, Messiah also told them he would be going away. He explained the reasons for his return to heaven. Despite the sadness of his departure, it would be of tremendous benefit to the disciples and all future believers.

He said: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.

‘No, we don’t know, Lord,’ Thomas said. ‘We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?’

“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me’” (John 14:1-6).

He introduced them to the Holy Spirit and lovingly told them what the Holy Spirit would do for them and for the unbelieving world after Jesus ascended back to heaven. He explained that he was the True Vine and they were the branches. If they abided in him, they could ask what they would and God would grant it to them. He offered a magnificent prayer of protection and unity on their behalf and on behalf of all who would later believe and receive him as Savior.

And more!

The Lord even dipped his bread in the bowl with Judas, the disciple turned traitor, knowing that this betrayal was part of God’s sovereign all-encompassing plan to reconcile everyone who would believe and receive God’s Son as Savior.

Then Luke and later the Apostle Paul recorded for us these life-changing words of Messiah Jesus who plainly told his disciples (and all people) that the New Covenant foretold by Isaiah and Jeremiah had arrived. The very elements they partook of during this meal of preparation represented his broken body and shed blood for the remission of sin.

To this day through Holy Communion, Christians the world over remember the once for all supreme sacrifice of our great God and Savior, Messiah Jesus. As I’ve said in a few prior Eye of Prophecy articles: It is the greatest sacrifice ever made, by the highest price ever paid.

As believers take communion to remember what Jesus did for us, we also continue our preparation for ultimate deliverance from the very presence of sin and evil. Even though we have been permanently pardoned by God, our redemption is not yet complete. It will be finished only at the Rapture, when the bodies of the dead in Christ will be transformed along with those still alive at the Rapture. Then, the Lord will take us to our true home in heaven. (I Thessalonians 4).

Not long thereafter, we will participate in the greatest feast of all time. It will be a meal shared by millions upon millions—all those in right standing with God, because of their faith in the Promised Messiah before he came to earth, while he was on earth, and after he left the earth. A victorious banquet to consolidate and consummate the four covenant Meals of Promise, Passover, Precepts, and Preparation.

Number Five: The Meal of Perfection

Whenever someone makes that all-important, life-changing, destiny-altering decision to, “…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 10:9-10), they will receive a spiritual passport to heaven stamped by God himself. They will also be given an irrevocable VIP invitation to attend a fabulous feast with the host of heaven in attendance and our Lord sitting in the seat of honor.

“Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder: ‘Praise the Lord! For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself. She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.’ For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people.

“And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.’ And he added, ‘These are true words that come from God’” (Revelation 19:6-9).

Yes, believers in Messiah Jesus are his bride. Once we were lost but now we are saved from the judgment of God and eternal separation from God. Scripture employs the analogy of marriage to describe this relationship with God’s Son. After all, that exactly what the Christian faith is all about, as opposed to religion(s). It is a personal relationship and union with mankind’s Redeemer.

“Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault” (Colossians 1:22).

Sadly, most people, even many of God’s chosen people the Jews, will miss this beautiful banquet and heaven itself, because they refused to accept God’s invitation of salvation.

“…Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out (from your apathy and unbelief) and meet him!” (Matthew 25:6, parenthesis obviously mine, but that’s what this parable of Jesus is saying, just as we read in Revelation 3:20).

Jesus presented a preview of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb (the meal of perfection), in another illustration:

“Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, ‘What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!’

Jesus then replied:

“…A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me” (Luke 14:15-18).

Jesus continued the story by giving examples of other excuses. Then he said:

“The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame’” (Verse 21).

*Note: Think not only physically, but spiritually poor, crippled, blind, and lame.

The story continues:

“After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges, and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet’” (Luke 14:22-24).

In Biblical times, the Jewish custom was to send two invitations to a party. In this story, the “many invitations” was God’s first invitation, with the recipients representing Israel—primarily the Jewish religious leaders who had received the invitation to (try to) follow the Old Covenant Law as Moses commanded them to do. Most Jews believed (still do) that God called them to be his people and, in principle, they accepted that first invitation. We covered that in the, Meal of Precepts.

The second invitation announced that the banquet meal was actually ready. This time the guests turned it down … coming up with all kinds of excuses. In this case, God’s invitation came directly from His Son Jesus who had already told many in Israel that he had come to deliver them from their sins, as the Old Testament prophets said Messiah would do (Among other passages, see Isaiah 53).

Some Jews in Jesus’s time accepted the second invitation, but most did not; which was and still is an insult and a reproach to God the Father who loved them so much that he gave his one and only Son to die for them. Consequently, the invitation was given to others not so privileged—meaning the Gentiles—who desperately needed the life-giving food that would be served at this banquet.

In the 20th and now the 21st century, we are living in the end-times. Praise God, thousands of Jews world-wide have accepted the report that the banquet is ready. The bread of life and the well of living water can be found in their Messiah … Jesus! They have accepted God’s invitation to eat and drink at the table of Messiah.

The final invitation to the greatest wedding feast of all time will be given only to those who have been redeemed through their personal trust in Messiah Jesus.

It will be a perfect meal prepared by our perfect God, for a people made perfect by Messiah’s perfect sacrifice. It will be a: Meal of Perfection.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8).

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” (Revelation 3:20).

Things to Ponder

Meal time can be a pleasant experience of gratifying fellowship, comfortable companionship, hearty discussions, and satisfied appetites. God places great value on the breaking of bread among families, friends, and peoples. So much so that five of the greatest events in human history have been and will be (the fifth and final feast) set in motion by a meal.

The Meal of Promise

The Meal of Passover

The Meal of Precepts

The Meal of Preparation

The Meal of Perfection

I can’t wait to sit down at the table of plenty prepared by the Lord himself. I’m already getting hungry to see visually with my own eyes and hear audibly with my own ears our Savior and King. To satisfy my hunger with the physical and spiritual food he will share with us throughout eternity beginning with the awesome Wedding Feast in heaven.

While we wait for that great and glorious Day of the Lord, we say with the Apostle Paul:

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity… (I Corinthians 13:12).

With new spiritual bodies and minds, we will be able to digest and process everything Jesus says and does. We will dine with him, praise him, worship him, and serve him undefiled.

“…Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb…” (Revelation 19:9).

Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem … A Broken Promise?

Tags

“Records Are Made to Be Broken”

After Babe Ruth set the benchmark of 714 career home runs in 1935, the consensus among not just baseball pundits but experts in all of sport was that his record would never be broken. Then along came Hank Aaron who slammed his 715th home run in 1974; he would go on to hit a total of 755 home runs, which many said would never be surpassed. Only for his record to be broken in 2007 when Barry Bonds hit his last home run … number 762.

It’s unclear who may have first said that records are made to be broken, as several well-known sports figures have said something similar. Like Red Auerbach, coach of the Boston Celtics basketball dynasty in the fifties and sixties, who said, “All records are made to be broken.” Even Yogi Berra, whose legendary quotes caused many heads to shake and eyes to roll, (“it ain’t over til it’s over”) said, “Records and achievements are made to be broken.”

When records are broken, there are mixed feelings. Diehard fans of Babe Ruth never wanted to see the day when someone would outdo his amazing feat of 714 home runs. It was a hallowed ground accomplishment. They cite the fact that had he not spent so many years as a pitcher, he would have hit many more home runs. Or, milestones that may be tainted because the record-setter didn’t play by the rules (such as performance enhancing drugs).

(Photo of Hank Aaron’s 715th Home Run … That’s Him Circling the Bases)

It has also been said that: Promises are made to be broken.

It’s a little easier to trace the origin of this saying. Many credit Anglo-Irish Essayist Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), who said:

“Promises and pie-crust are made to be broken.”

On the more positive side of promises made, most remember the famous line from one of Robert Frost’s (1874-1963) poems: “But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep…”

A promise creates hopeful expectations that things will be different and for the better. One of those expectancies is that we trust the promise-keeper to do what he or she said would be done. Promises that were never made to be kept (deceit and lies) and violated vows can shatter confidence, cancel contracts, halt careers, ruin marriages, topple governments, dissolve hopes, and disrupt the best laid plans.

Many Americans have become leery of and jaded toward guarantees made by our politicians; nevertheless, every four years we still listen intently to pledges made by our presidential candidates. By and large it’s those platform promises that determine for whom we will vote. Particularly if the candidate says he or she will do something that supports our view and bolsters our belief on issues that are of paramount importance to us … whether it be abortion, immigration, taxes, religion, jobs, health coverage, the economy, foreign policy, or all of the above.

President Trump’s Campaign Promises

It would certainly appear that President Trump has broken one of the key promises he made during his campaign. He said that the US Embassy in Israel would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in recognition that Jerusalem belongs exclusively to Israel as its capital city. Before we take a closer look at what happened, let’s briefly examine two other powerful platform promises made by Donald Trump before he was elected.

Repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare): The fact is that Trump did follow through on this promise; however, he has been met with substantial opposition from Democrats who refuse to relinquish Obamacare and also from Republicans who can’t agree on a health system to replace Obamacare. Thus President’s Trump kept his promise, but the congressional branch of our three-part checks and balance United States Government (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) has, for now, stymied fulfillment of his pledge.

Immigration: Same thing here, only it was the judicial branch of government (state judges) that has blocked full implementation of President Trump’s vetting ban on six countries whose refugees and immigrants could very well include terrorists. However, no one can fault Trump for not trying to keeping his promise.

Concerning what can happen to plans, purposes, and promises, there is another popular adage that almost everyone has heard about or said at one time or another:

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men.

That’s only part of the saying, yet it has gained the status of an axiom that doesn’t need to be expressed in its entirety. Just repeat those words to someone in the context of a miscarried mission or a dashed dream and they’ll know what you mean.

Do you recall who penned that line?

It was the Scottish poet Robert Burns. The title of his 1785 poem: To a Mouse. It was about a farmer who, through contemplation of not only his life but of all living things, felt remorse over destroying the home of a mouse while plowing the field in which the mouse lived. Some 150 years later, famous author John Steinbeck wrote a story about migrant workers during the Great Depression, based on Robert Burn’s famous line. The novel: Of Mice and Men, published in 1937.

The actual wording of Robert Burns’ poem was:

Over the years the word, plans, sometimes has been substituted for schemes.

The meaning: plans and promises don’t always materialize. They fail because we don’t follow through; when we do follow through something happens to thwart even the best laid schemes.

For those of us who are sons and daughters of the Most High God, through a redemptive relationship with our Savior Messiah Jesus: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28).

Believers in Jesus also learn (usually the hard way) to think and say when we plan and promise, “The Lord willing” or “Your will be done.” (See Matthew 6:10 & 26:39).

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

It’s all too often through failed plans and broken promises that true born-again Christians experience the reality of Jesus’s words: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing (right)” (John 15:5, parenthesis mine).

President Trump’s Visit to Israel

If you’ve followed the news about President Trump’s recent trip to the Middle East, then you know the second leg of his itinerary was a visit to Israel. He set a precedent by being the first sitting U.S. President to visit the Western Wall. Other American presidents had been to the Kotel but not while they were actually in office. Before his meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Trump met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and proceeded to blast Abbas for lying to Trump when Abbas was in the United States.

The following excerpt (in italics) is from a recently posted Eye of Prophecy article, The Balfour Declaration … Beginning of the Omega Generation (Part I) Posted 5-13-17. The excerpt begins with a statement made by Abbas directly to President Trump during their meeting in Washington D.C. just a few weeks before President Trump departed for the Middle East. Said Abbas:

“We are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.”

My immediate response in the article was:

Seriously?

Less than two years ago, Abbas incited dozens of lone-wolf attacks against innocent Israelis by declaring that Palestinians must not allow the “filthy feet of the Jews” to walk on Temple Mount. In September, 2015, Abbas said that he, “welcomed every drop of blood that is spilled in Jerusalem.” Not long afterward the “Knife Intifada” began that also included shooting and car-ramming murder of Israelis.

Regarding a Palestinian State that Abbas really doesn’t want unless Israel capitulates to every single one of his demands, such as East Jerusalem (there is no such thing as east Jerusalem) as the Palestinian capital—when such a capital would more easily and with much less adversarial results be placed in Ramallah—or the return of millions of Arabs currently restricted to so-called refugee camps, here’s what Abbas said not too long ago:

“A Palestinian State like Iraq, Saudi Arabia & other Islam countries, will not have or allow a single Jew to live there.”

From what I’ve read, heard, and seen: President Trump, despite his deep affection for Israel and the Jewish people, didn’t really know that much about Israel or the history of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. It’s evident that from the time Trump met with Abbas in Washington and a couple of weeks later in Israel, he was provided with more information about Mahmoud Abbas’ duplicitous nature and hypocrisy in saying one thing and doing another.

(U.S. President Trump and P.A. President Abbas)

At first, the Palestinian Authority denied that Trump had yelled at Abbas, but later admitted that the scene had taken place. That, in no uncertain terms, Trump had accused Abbas of lying with regard to his purported plans and promise of raising Palestinian children in a culture of peace. Also, Trump’s insistence that the Palestinian Authority stop paying monthly stipends to families whose son or daughter or mother or father had been killed while murdering Jews or imprisoned for acts of terrorism in Israel was rejected by Abbas.

Quoting President Donald Trump’s enraged statement to Abbas:

“You lied to me in Washington when you talked about commitment to peace, but the Israelis showed me you were personally responsible for incitement.”

Which leads us awkwardly to the probing if not provocative question, one replete with irony considering Donald Trump’s scathing remarks to Mahmoud Abbas:

What about President’s Trump Promise to Move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem?

Let’s begin with an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, Is President Trump Wavering on “The Waiver”? Posted 2-4-17. (In italics)

Donald Trump made several prominent promises before and after his election, one of which was to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Soon after he became President, he was asked on more than occasion if he still intended to follow through on this commitment.

His response, “I always keep my promises.”

Just last weekend, however, he made a concession that the plan or procedure to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, “is not easy … has two sides to it … there’s certainly a chance of it, absolutely … I’ve always liked the concept of doing it, I’ll tell you that.”

He pledged to, “studying it very long and hard.” And, “I hate to do that because that’s not usually me. Usually, I do what’s right.” (Meaning postponing what he intimated would be a quick executive decision soon after being elected).

He concluded with the promise that he would, “…have a decision in the not-too-distant future.”

I take this to mean that President Trump is unwavering with regard to doing something about his unexpected and out-of-character wavering over “The Waiver.”

*Note: No matter how much Donald Trump knows or doesn’t know about Israel’s past as found in both Biblical and secular history, this and other quotes he made plainly reflect his high regard for Israel and the Jewish people. That alone puts him on the right track in the Scriptural context of God’s love for his special possession Israel and God’s plans and promises for the Jews and the Jewish nation.

As a quick refresher, here is another excerpt from the above listed article as to what “The Waiver” is and from what enactment it originated:

Will the United States Embassy in Israel be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem? The answer to that question depends entirely on President Donald Trump.

Second question: Should the US Embassy be relocated to Jerusalem?

Let’s get right to the answer.

YES, it should be moved. Says who? Says the American people!

Really, when did we say that?

We said that through our legislators in the House of Representatives and Senate when they passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, calling for relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In fact, the voting margin was overwhelmingly in favor: Senate 93-5; House of Representatives, 374-37. That’s as large a margin as you’ll ever see in Congress.

According to this Act, the move of our embassy to Jerusalem should have taken place no later than May 31, 1999. However, in deference to the authority of a United States President to recognize foreign sovereignty over territories, Section 7 of the Act allowed the sitting President to “waive” enforcement of the Act if the President felt that such a move might pose a risk to the security of the United States. With the stipulation, however, that such a waiver must be reviewed every six months, so as not to ignore this Congressional Law indefinitely. Since then, Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama have done just that … signed the waiver. As a result, the US Embassy is still in Tel Aviv. Hence, it was a binding, but floating piece of legislation.

*Note: In the Eye of Prophecy article on President Trump’s possible wavering on “The Waiver” I listed the 17 points of the Jerusalem Embassy Act. Each one is an amazing recognition of Israel and especially Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital so eloquently expressed by those members of Congress who drafted it, then affirmed by those who voted approval of this legislation.

(Four of the Seventeen Points of the Jerusalem Embassy Act)

There was enough dramatic suspense built up in the weeks before Trump’s May 22, 23 visit to Israel to fill several mystery novels. At first, it appeared that our President would announce while in Israel his decision not to sign the Waiver on June 1st; thereby, finally enforcing the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. Then in the last days before his trip began (1st leg of which took place in Saudi Arabia), the word was that—on the advice of many in his staff and from leaders the world over—he would sign the Waiver, which would delay the US Embassy relocation to Jerusalem at least another six months.

I’m sure you know what happened on June 1st; President Trump signed the Waiver.

Whatever your position on the matter—whatever your level of disappointment or degree of approval of his decision to delay relocation or even (God forbid) the belief that the embassy should not be moved—the immediate reaction would be that President Trump reneged on his campaign promise made to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) during their annual conference in March, 2016:

“We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”

However, after reading the following press release, should we give him the benefit of the doubt?

Reasons Given and Responses to Signing of the Waiver

Here is the statement released by President Trump’s White House staff soon after the signing of the waiver:

“While President Donald J. Trump signed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance.

“President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests. But, as he has repeatedly stated his intentions to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when.”

As expected, there were a variety of responses to President Trump’s decision to delay implementation of The Jerusalem Embassy Act. Notables such as Pastor John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel, who said: “President Trump’s promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem was of critical importance to millions of Christian Zionists who ultimately supported his bid for the White House…”

And Nathan Diament, director for public policy of the Jewish organization Orthodox Union, who said: “A majority of American Orthodox Jews voted for Mr. Trump because of the expectation that he would be a more supportive president for Israel.”

Weekly, I read Op-ed articles from 10-20 authors. One of my top five favorites is Caroline Glick, Deputy Manager for the Jerusalem Post whose well-written articles are reprinted in various on-line media sources. She is a former captain in the IDF and possesses an astute analytical understanding of Israel and the Middle East.

Here are the first two paragraphs of her June 6, 2017 article entitled, The Limits of Israeli Power:

“On Thursday (meaning June 1st), US President Donald Trump bowed to the foreign power establishment and betrayed his voters. He signed a presidential waiver postponing the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem for yet another six months.

Ahead of Trump’s move, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a last-ditch bid to convince Trump to move the embassy to Jerusalem. But it was not to be.”

Although Ms. Glicks’s views are expressed with a perceptive and objective balance of whatever subject she addresses, she sometimes is quite outspoken. She tells it like it is. Her use of the word, betrayed, bluntly expressed her take on Trump’s decision.

As said earlier in today’s article, at face value President Trump failed to keep his platform pledge. But has he really broken his promise?

According to the official White House Statement, Donald Trump has not broken his promise.

Let’s read the last line of that statement again: “But, as he has repeatedly stated his intentions to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when.”

Personally, I am in the camp of those who think President Trump should not have signed the waiver.

I would have said to him: Let’s just get it done. If you fully intended to keep your promise, then do it now. Since when have you become concerned about geopolitical repercussions? Do you really think that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians would be any more difficult to achieve if you moved the embassy? Have you considered that it might be easier to negotiate a deal if the Palestinians and the world-at-large would come to terms with the obvious fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and Israel’s alone?

Israel’s Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, said in response to the signed Waiver: “There is no peace based on the division of Jerusalem. Delaying the US embassy move will in fact have the opposite effect and damage the prospect of a lasting peace by nurturing false expectations among the Palestinians regarding the division of Jerusalem, which will never happen.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said about Trump’s decision: “Maintaining embassies outside the capital drives peace further away by helping keep alive the Palestinian fantasy that the Jewish people and the Jewish state have no connection to Jerusalem.”

Benjamin had made a similar statement two weeks earlier in response to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said Trump’s pending decision would hinge on how it would be perceived by other governments, including “…whether Israel views it as being helpful to a peace initiative or perhaps a distraction.”

(Apparently, Tillerson thinks that Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t have his thumb on Israel’s pulse or doesn’t speak for the greater majority of Israelis!)

Said Netanyahu in response to Tillerson’s assessment:

“Israel’s position has been stated many times before to the American administration and the world. Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem will not harm the peace process; it will do the opposite. It will advance it by righting a historical wrong and by shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.”

The Dean and Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Marvin Hier—one of the three speakers (I believe it was three) at Donald Trump’s inauguration—said: “The Simon Wiesenthal Center is very disappointed by President Trump’s decision to delay transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. We are certain that the Trump Administration is very well aware that no Israeli Prime Minister will ever cede sovereignty over Jerusalem. The city is and will remain the undivided capital of Israel.”

(Rabbi Marvin Hier at President Trump’s Inauguration … Billy Graham’s Son, Franklin, Another of the Three Keynote Speakers, Directly Behind Rabbi Hier)

Benefit of the Doubt to President Trump

I believe that President Trump means well as he has apparently placed the U.S. Embassy move in the greater context of brokering some sort of agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. In that regard, Trump’s reasoning is fairly typical of leaders who or see or try to see the big picture. Thus, in principle, I and a few others have given him the general benefit of the doubt. However, President Trump’s (faulty) rationale is not that much different than past U.S. presidents, who have operated under the (misguided) assumption that nothing should be done to further aggravate the Palestinians to the extent that it would jeopardize a two-state solution or any other resolution.

I addressed this issue in two previous Eye of Prophecy articles. Below is an excerpt from Jerusalem … A Capital Without a Country? Posted 6-13-15, regarding the Supreme Court Decision declaring that passports of Americans born in Jerusalem (dual citizenship) must bear the stamp of Jerusalem, not Israel. This to make sure that the United States doesn’t “officially” recognize Jerusalem as belonging exclusively to Israel … certainly not as its capital.

In that article, I quoted excerpts from an earlier Eye of Prophecy article, Jerusalem … A City of Peace? Posted 12-27-14. Which was written after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the passport case.

Beginning with, Jerusalem … A Capital Without a Country? (In italics)

Said Justice Kagen several months ago soon after the Supreme Court agreed to review the case:

“Right now, Jerusalem is a tinderbox. History suggests that everything is a big deal with respect to the status of Jerusalem.”

Her rationale reverberated and regurgitated what the State Department had said in that same brief to the Supreme Court, “…a simple passport alteration could provoke uproar throughout the Arab and Muslim world.”

God forbid that the Arab Muslim world should be provoked like that!

She made it clear that her vote (it’s obvious now, but even then, that she had already made up her mind) would be conditioned on the politically correct need to elude any further strife in the Middle East; which, in essence, would trump the real issue of whether Israel had the right as a sovereign state to declare Jerusalem as its capital. Thus, a vote to support the Congressional Act in 2002 would be tantamount to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which would only make things worse in the Middle East.

(*Note: The Congressional Act of 2002 asserted that Americans born in Jerusalem should be able to display Israel as the place of birth on their passports. Alas, why is it that neither our Executive Staff nor the Supreme Court can or will uphold the will of the people through laws passed by our Congress … in this case the Congressional Act of 2002 and the Jewish Embassy Act of 1995?)

56720620871299640360no

(Example of a Passport Showing Jerusalem, Not Israel as Place of Birth … Whereas Passports of All Nations List the Country of Birth, Not City)

Returning to the prior articles:

The politically correct world view of six Supreme Court justices and their ensuing decision hinged on one perceived urgency: Whatever it takes, don’t increase the tensions in the Middle East that already exist.

Here is an excerpt of my response to her observations as quoted from the previous article, Jerusalem … A City of Peace, which is even more pertinent now that the decision is in.

That part, she got right … mostly. Jerusalem is a big deal, unlike any other city in the world. But when in our time was Jerusalem not a tinderbox? I can tell you with a great deal of historically factual evidence to back me up: NEVER has Jerusalem since Israel’s rebirth in 1948 not been a powder keg ready to explode.

If anyone carefully examines the wars that Israel has fought since her national birth, the incidents of intifada terror that has killed and maimed thousands of Israelis, or just the daily stream of hate-filled verbiage from the mouths of Muslim leaders and much of the Palestinian people, they would realize that the level of tension really can’t get any higher. Meaning that when Muslim armies, terror groups, and lone wolf assassins decide it’s time to strike, that’s exactly what they do. They may cite a particular incident or problem, but it’s always just an excuse to do what they were going to do anyway. The balloon is always full of enough air to burst. The string is always tight enough to break.  

What if all the nations on earth (or just one of those countries) refused to recognize Washington D.C. as America’s Capital? Choosing, for example, New York City because the United Nations is headquartered there. What do you think our President and the State Department would do about that? Or Congress, or the Supreme Court?

Again, I must ask: Since when does the world family of nations (most practically represented by the United Nations) dictate to individual countries which city will be its Capital? Isn’t that the exclusive right of the nation itself? What if the United States decided that it would no longer recognize London as Great Britain’s Capital, but chooses Manchester instead? Or Marseille instead of Paris? St Petersburg instead of Moscow? Barcelona over Madrid? Most likely, those nations would immediately sever diplomatic relations with America.

But that’s exactly what our Executive Branch through the State Department has done with Jerusalem. They have refused to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital; choosing instead by official state policy to consider Jerusalem as a city unto itself. A city that, for all practical purposes, belongs to the world; or at least to the world’s three main religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. A city that is still up for grabs (literally), with its destiny to be determined by … by who knows what. By another failed peace plan, by another war, by unilateral declaration from the Palestinians that Jerusalem belongs to them, by Israel’s (rightful) annexation of the Temple Mount and all of East Jerusalem?

A Remarkable Reaffirmation of Jerusalem’s Status by the U.S. Senate

Whether our U.S. President follows through on his (now delayed) promise to move the Embassy to Jerusalem remains to be seen. As for our United States Senators, they couldn’t wait.

As a reminder to themselves, to the United States President and his executive staff, to the people of the United States, and to the entire world, they recently passed (June 5th, 2017) an absolutely astonishing resolution. Resolution 176 was introduced and sponsored primarily by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY).

With an amazing unanimous bipartisan vote of 90-0, the Senate declared, among other things: “For 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been Judaism’s holiest city.” The resolution, “reaffirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 as United States law, and calls upon the president and all United States officials to abide by its provisions.”

Senator Schumer said: “I was proud to sponsor this resolution, which reaffirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 that states Jerusalem should remain an undivided city and Israel’s capital…”

(Left to Right in Photo: U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell & Charles Schumer)

As we know by now, President Donald Trump is an independent thinker, and he does seem to get things done … at least he tries. At heart he is a “populist” placing the interests and aspirations of the average American above both national and international government. That’s what got him elected in the first place. He walks the talk and appears seriously determined to support Israel like no other U.S. president before him—with the possible exception of Harry Truman.

Is there any doubt that, through a 90-0 Senatorial resolution, the American people have pledged our loyalty to Israel and our recognition that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Promised Land given to the Jews by God himself? Which begs the question: In six months, is it possible that Donald Trump, the people’s president after the fashion of Abraham Lincoln, would again sign the waiver?

Things to Ponder

Why is it so important for people and nations to support Israel? Only one reason is needed to answer that question: Because the one true and living God says so. There are several passages that attest to the Biblical principle: as Israel goes, so goes the world. Which entails how people and nations have treated Israel and the repercussions thereof.

Most often quoted is Genesis 12 regarding blessings and curses on those who either bless or curse Israel. Quoted less often is another passage:

“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).

That chapter concludes with a detailed description of how God’s chosen people, the Jews, will once again live in ALL of the original boundaries of the Promised Land.

No dramatic differences from the current status quo in Israel can or will guarantee peace in or around Israel. But it’s much more likely that the Palestinians and surrounding Muslim nations will recognize Israel as a sovereign state in the earth’s family of nations, if they would only acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal, undivided capital.

Relocation of the U.S. Embassy would go a long way to achievement of that goal. An American Embassy in Jerusalem would, of course, benefit Israel for all the reasons given and more. It would be the greatest act of cooperation with, kindness toward, and support of Israel since the Yom Kippur War of 1973 … a war that Israel could have lost. God’s divine assistance included a willingness of then U.S. President Richard Nixon to listen to Israel’s Prime Minister Golda Meir, and provide Israel with much- needed military, medical, and other material goods.

Time and time again, the God of the Bible has proven that he alone is God—through hundreds of fulfilled prophecies. God’s promises are timelessly true. He never breaks his promises. What he says he will do, he does. What he says will happen, happens.

Accordingly, a U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem would be of priceless value to the United States. The prayer that has been uttered by many past U.S. Presidents would be answered.

May God Bless America!

Jerusalem is not only the heart and soul of Israel, it is the very center of God’s universe. It is where Messiah will rule and reign over all nations of the earth upon his glorious return to set up his Kingdom and make all things right.

As Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace) only Messiah Jesus can and will ultimately bring Shalom to this morally bankrupt and terror-filled globe, teetering on the brink of the Abyss. His peace will mean much more than just the absence of war; he will bring wholeness and well-being for all the peoples of earth who survive the Tribulation.

“People from many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he 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. The Lord will mediate between peoples and will settle disputes between strong nations far away. 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. Everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has made this promise!” (Micah 4:2-4).

Until that time, let us continue to:

Sha’alu Shalom Yerushalayim

“Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper” (Psalm 122:6).

The Liberation of Jerusalem

Tags

,

To Liberate or To Conquer?

“Fifty years ago we returned to the heart of our capital and our country, and 50 years ago we did not conquer it, rather we liberated it.”

This stirring statement was part of a timely message from Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The subject, of course, was Jerusalem. The date was May 21st. The occasion: beginning festivities of the 50th anniversary of Yom Yerushalayim—Jerusalem Day—that would subsequently take place on the 28th day of Iyar (Jewish calendar). Which was this past May 24th … Gregorian calendar. Between this inaugural speech from the Prime Minister and the actual celebration of Jerusalem Day, President Donald Trump visited Israel (May 22-23).

(US President Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu)

On that fateful day of Iyar 28, 1967 during the now famous Six-Day War, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) fought its way into Jerusalem and took control of what is currently called East Jerusalem—which contains Temple Mount and the Western Wall. In fact, Israel’s unfathomable victory over Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan resulted in winning what was, what should be, and one day soon will again be ALL of Israel—the Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, and Judea Samaria (also called the West Bank). In just those historic six days, Israel tripled in size from the hastily imposed cease-fire boundary lines after Israel achieved a miraculous victory in their 1948-49 War of Independence.

As I’ve written in several previous Eye of Prophecy articles: Not long after the Six-Day War, Israel relinquished functional control of the Gaza Strip (now controlled by the terrorist group Hamas) and most of the West Bank (under jurisdictional authority of the Palestinian Authority—a bitter rival of Hamas) back to the Arabs. Around that time the Arabs began referring to themselves as Palestinians, as does nearly everyone in today’s world. Later, the Israelis returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. However, Israel retained control of the Golan Heights, as this crucial mountainous terrain is absolutely vital to preserve Israel’s safety.

(Map of Post-1967 Six Day War … Subsequently Israel Kept Control Only of the Golan Heights)

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Descriptive Choice of Words

In his message, Benjamin made a distinction between Israel’s Six-Day War accomplishments of “liberating” Jerusalem as opposed to “conquering” the Holy City. This is much more than just a matter of semantics; it is a crucial correction of the misperception harbored by so many in today’s world, not the least of whom are many leaders of Western nations.

It was the country of Jordan that illegally seized and annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem and the West Bank during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Although Israel won that war, she capitulated to international pressure which had extended a de facto concession for Jordan to exercise supremacy over the West Bank and east Jerusalem, including Temple Mount. Israel could have (and in hindsight should have) continued to fight for more defensible boundaries; however, the Israelis agreed to a truce in order to get on with their individual and national life—the Jews right of return and rebuilding Israel in at least West Jerusalem and other parts of Israel already part of the UN resolution partition.

In fact, Jordan is a Johnny-come-lately country that didn’t even exist before the 20th century. As is Iraq, Iran, and other Middle Eastern nations, some of which existed—like Iran, formerly Persia—but under a different name, government, and territorial boundaries.

Benjamin Netanyahu is making a valid distinction between conquering and liberating, because liberation is actually what happened in 1967. This concept is crystal clear in historical, military, political, and even moral terms. Which is:

You don’t conquer land that is yours to begin with. You liberate it.

The Problem: Almost every nation on earth (even the United States under its previous administration) doesn’t apply this maxim to Israel.

Although the facts should be clear to anyone with an open mind (with even a minimal grasp of Israel’s ancient and modern history), Benjamin Netanyahu felt compelled to voice the obvious: Jerusalem, as the eternal capital of a Jewish nation, was not conquered in 1967. Rather, it was liberated as the Biblical God-given and rightful capital of Israel.

Benjamin’s recent emphasis on this difference was another legitimate and necessary effort to remind Western nations like the United States of Israel’s rights in perpetuity, especially concerning Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But also to refresh collective memory that the incessant Palestinian and Muslim rhetoric—claiming the Jews have illegally occupied a portion of the West Bank and (especially) Temple Mount in East Jerusalem—is a distortion of history. More than a misrepresentation; it is an outright lie.

In prior Eye of Prophecy articles, I have made comparisons of inherent God-bestowed rights to Israel and Jerusalem to our own American Revolution in which we won our liberty from British tyranny. More specifically, parallels between Israel giving up land that rightfully belongs to them and the idea of America returning land that we won through a just war of freedom.

Here is another analogy: On July 16th, 1790, Washington D.C. was officially declared the capital of the United States of America. But England wasn’t quite done with its former colonies. Thus began the war of 1812, battles of which were fought over a wide area of eastern United States and also Canada. Toward the end of this three-year war, the British seized control of Washington D.C. burning the Presidential Mansion and the Treasury to the ground.

The British then marched north to “conquer” Baltimore which led to a ferocious fight more famously remembered for the incredible American defense of Fort McHenry near the Chesapeake Bay. Even a more well-known feature of that battle was the eye-witness account penned in the form of a poem by Francis Scott Key. In 1931, the U. S. Government made that poem/song America’s National Anthem, The Stars-Spangled Banner.

After the Battle of Baltimore, the armed forces of the United States led by General Andrew Jackson defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans, which resulted in England’s surrender.

Did we “conquer” Washington D.C.? No, we liberated it, because it was already our capital. As much as America values England’s contemporary partnership and cooperation, should we consider returning the eastern half of Washington D.C. to Great Britain? Absurd idea, wouldn’t you agree.

In like manner, Israel should never return any more than she already has to pre-1967 boundaries by relinquishing ultimate control of Judea/Samaria or East Jerusalem (including Temple Mount) to Jordan or to Jordan’s proxy, the Palestinians. If that means nixing the idea of a Palestinian State, then so be it.

Here the analogy ends, or rather it doesn’t go far enough. The difference is that Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital for 3,000 years—since King David united the twelve tribes of Israel and all of Israel began to keep the God-ordained festivals in Jerusalem, the city chosen by God. In fact, God’s very presence (called the Shekinah glory) returned to Israel, this time in the magnificent Temple built by David’s son, Solomon.

Whereas, the United States liberated Washington D.C., a city that had been our capital for only 24 years.

More Comments from Israel’s Prime Minister & Also from Israel’s President

Benjamin Netanyahu went on to passionately proclaim:

“With the heroism of our fighters and the pride of our people, Jerusalem has once again been united, and therefore I say today to the world, in a clear and unequivocal voice that Jerusalem has always been and will always be the capital of Israel. The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will always remain under Israeli sovereignty. But despite the strong and unique relationship with Jerusalem, there are those who attempt to deny our undeniable bond with it and who brazenly portray us as foreigners in our own land in our own capital.”

He concluded with: “It is not our attachment to Jerusalem that demands an explanation, but the disgraceful attempt to expropriate our ties to Jerusalem and sovereignty in Jerusalem.”

At this same rally which was attended by the United States Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, Israel’s President (more of a ceremonial position in Israel’s government, with the Prime Minister as head of the government), Reuven Rivlin declared that Jerusalem is the “eternal capital of Israel.”

He said: “Jerusalem is not the problem, Jerusalem is the solution. There are those dreaming of political solutions who attempt to hold for Jerusalem a ‘trial of Solomon’ and to tear the city limb from limb. But those who speak of dividing the city will bring down doom upon Jerusalem and its inhabitants.”

In that regard, President Rivlin echoed the word of God spoken through the prophet:

The Lord continues to speak concerning the last days, of which I am completely convinced this generation is part (see recent Eye of Prophecy articles, The Balfour Declaration … Beginning of the Omega Generation, Part I & Part II, posted 5-13 & 5-20-17):

“Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. There the day of the Lord will soon arrive. The sun and moon will grow dark and the stars will no longer shine. The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth will shake. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a strong fortress for the people of Israel. Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, live in Zion, my holy mountain. Jerusalem will be holy forever, and foreign armies will never conquer her again” (Joel 3:14-17).

A Surprising Old Testament Passage

Now I’m going to quote a passage concerning Jerusalem that, at first glance (the 2nd half of the passage) may surprise you … particularly in the Biblical and historical context that Israel and Jerusalem were given to the Jews by God, himself.

“On the holy mountain stands the city founded by the Lord. He loves the city of Jerusalem more than any other city in Israel. O city of God, what glorious things are said of you! … Regarding Jerusalem, it will be said, ‘Everyone enjoys the rights of citizenship there.’ And the Most High will personally bless this city. When the Lord registers the nations, he will say, ‘They have all become citizens of Jerusalem!’” (Psalm 87:1-6).

This is a prophecy of the end-times (of which this generation is part). The registering (identification and accountability) of the nations will culminate when Messiah extricates the nations that supported the apple of God’s eye from those who fought against Israel, as depicted in the separation of the sheep from the goats prophecy announced by Jesus himself (see Matthew 25:31-46).

As explained in the two aforementioned Eye of Prophecy articles, the beginning of the last (Omega) one-hundred year generation took place with the Balfour Declaration of 1917. The next generational milestone (70 years) was established when Israel became a sovereign state in May, 1948, made possible by the UN Resolution in November, 1947. Jews living in “Palestine” and hundreds of thousands who would later immigrate to their Promised Land became citizens of Israel. But so did thousands upon thousands of Arabs who decided not to flee Israel as ordered by the Arab armies that attacked the Jews immediately after Israel became a state.

Arabs who refused to become Israeli citizens occupied the West Bank which, as we saw earlier, was illicitly seized by Jordan. Likewise, Arabs in the Gaza Strip refused to become Israeli citizens and remained under the control of Egypt for several years. Yet, the phenomenal fact remains: Not only Jews but some of their Arab neighbors, who at least in principle recognized the newborn State of Israel and its right to exist, became citizens of Israel and Jerusalem. Which was the beginning fulfillment of the passage in Psalm 87 just quoted … Gentile citizens of Jerusalem alongside the God-ordained citizenship of his chosen people, the Jews.

Then more Arabs became citizens after the 1967 Six-Day War, with the majority of Arabs (non-citizens) remaining in the West Bank and Gaza Strip under the newly formed Palestinian Liberation Organization 1964, later called the Palestinian National Authority (1993 or thereabout).

Both of those italicized name designations are erroneous and misleading. To what or from whom would the Palestinians be liberated? Before 1967, both they and the Jews were still under Jordanian West Bank jurisdiction. Yet, Yasser Arafat’s intention was unmistakable: His newly formed PLO was designed to and would attempt to rid not only the West Bank but all of Israel of all Jews. This was his warped and sinister view of Palestinian liberation.

Once again, but in reverse: You can’t “liberate” land that doesn’t belong to you.

Likewise, with the Palestinian National Authority (now more accurately referred to as just the Palestinian Authority). You can’t have a “national” government unless there is a nation in the first place. As we know: there isn’t any such thing as a Palestinian State. Even though the Jews already had gained some measure of autonomy in their War of Independence, they still were not completely free of Jordanian, Egyptian, and Syrian governmental and military control over key cities and areas of Israel, not the least of which was much of Jerusalem, including Jewish holy sites.

As you will soon see in more detail: In amazing fulfillment of the Leviticus Chapter 26 Seven Times Over prophecy, the actual result of the Six-Day War was, in fact, the liberation of Jews from Gentile domination in the Holy City of the Holy Land and other areas of Israel. Plus some twenty years earlier, world-wide (except for a few, mostly Islamic, nations) recognition of the Jewish right to return to Israel as granted by the UN Resolution of 1947. The ultimate purpose of that resolution was return of their original homeland to the Jews or the Jews back to their home—either concept was justified and necessary. To free them from national or international subjugation and persecution; most of all that something as horrendously cruel and malicious as the Holocaust would happen Never Again.

Both before and after the Six-Day War, the Israelis generously extended offers of citizenship to all Arabs who would agree to recognize Israel as a sovereign state and undergo the procedure of citizenship (that all democratic nations offer). Hundreds of thousands of Arabs accepted that offer … despite the fact that most of that group still despise Jews just because they are Jews. More hundreds of thousands flatly refused such an offer for the same reason they turned down territorial rights afforded by the Balfour Declaration and statehood rights extended by the UN Resolution of 1947. The reason: They want all of Israel, without a single Jew living there.

Not until Messiah Jesus returns to set things right and establish his Kingdom of justice and peace will Israel and Jerusalem complete God’s prophetic destiny for Gentile citizens to live willingly and peacefully alongside the majority citizenship of Jews.

The Six-Day War of 1967—A Year of Jubilee & the End of Gentile Domination of Israel

Here are a couple of excerpts from two recently published online articles concerning Israel’s 50th (Jubilee) anniversary of Yom Yerushalayim.

From an article entitled, Jerusalem: 50 Years of Reunification, posted on May 20th in Aish.com, written by Rabbi Benjamin Blech:

“Hard to believe that it was 50 years ago that Jews and Jerusalem were at long last reunited. It took God all of six days to create the world; it took modern-day Israel the same brief length of time to liberate the holiest city in the world from the hands of those who never understood or accepted its true sanctity.

“The Six-Day War was by all accounts a contemporary miracle. Israel’s enemies made clear their intent. It was not land that they wanted as much as Jewish lives. The Arabs assured the world they would finish the task Hitler started. The Holocaust was the unspeakable genocide of six million…

“Military analysts are still stunned when they study what actually happened. Generals at West Point have been quoted as saying that Israel’s victory can simply not be understood from the perspective of strategy in historic warfare. One officer, who understandably chose not be quoted by name, simply said, ‘There is no way we can teach the reason behind Israel’s success because Israel was clearly aided primarily by God—and we are not permitted to teach God at West Point.’”

After presenting some statistics on Israel’s population in 1948 and other facts, Rabbi Blech concludes his article with:

“That is why it is so important to mark another milestone of modern-day Israel—a milestone we may now celebrate on the occasion of our 50-year celebration of Yom Yerushalayim. The population of Jews in Israel today at last exceeds that number so starkly identified with tragedy. There are now more than six million Jews who make Israel their home. In the Jubilee year of Jerusalem’s reunification more than six million Jewish souls in Israel joyfully proclaim the reality of the biblical message of the 50th year: the land belongs to God and our generation has become witness to the divine decision to reunite us with Jerusalem”

Next, some excerpts from an article entitled, The World Needs to Drive Out Destructive Fantasies, posted May 25 in the online Op-ed site, Gatestone Institute. The article was written by Shireen Qudosi who is Director of Muslim Matters at America Matters and a contributing writer for the online news source, The Federalist. She is a Sufi Muslim of Afghan and South Asian ancestry who writes primarily about Islam!

(Shireen Qudosi)

I read her post after completing this week’s Eye of Prophecy article up to this point; it was the first time I had read anything by Shireen Qudosi (or even heard of her). However, it’s obvious that, even as a Muslim, she is willing to examine the phenomena of Israel and the Jews in the context of real history, not history rewritten by Muslims or Palestinians that much of the world buys into or at least listens to.

*Note: She, too, along with Rabbi Blech, employs the term “liberate.” Whether they borrowed that word from Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech or not, it’s good that they understand what really happened in the Six-Day War. Since Benjamin Netanyahu emphatically pointed out that Israel liberated rather than conquered Jerusalem, I’ve read other articles in which the author appears to deliberately use the term liberation. I had not seen this before. Writes Ms. Qudosi:

“How we talk about religion matters. It we want to be effective in moving forward, it is important to be truthful. The truth is that Israel won the Six Day War, thereby, liberating eastern Jerusalem from Jordan, which had seized it illegally when it attacked Israel in 1948-49 and expelled all Jews from eastern Jerusalem. Israel has earned the right to reclaim Jerusalem fully.”

(Note: She also uses the term, “reclaim” concerning Israel’s right to Jerusalem. I, too, have used that word in some prior Eye of Prophecy articles … along with reunify, recover, recapture, reestablish, consolidate, and once or twice liberate. But never, to my recollection, “conquer” or “conquered.”)

She continues:

“If we are going to ‘reset’ the Middle East, we need to reset our thinking as well, starting with accepting that Israel has a right to exist. That includes confronting calls for the annihilation of the Jewish people, and contesting the dishonest re-imagining of borders that quite literally erase Israel from the map. Israel exists and Israel has a legitimate claim to Jerusalem.

“Then there is the issue of Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Muslim devotion to the Temple Mount stems from a story in which the Islamic Prophet Muhammad is said to have dreamt traveling from Mecca to Jerusalem to the Heavens beyond space and time (and back) all in one night … The Temple Mount rests on historically Jewish territory.

“Critical Muslim thinkers drive out fantasies from our faith. Alongside us, the world must drive out the fantasy that Jerusalem is not Israel’s capital. Jerusalem is the heart and soul of Israel. To deny Jerusalem as a part of Jewish and Israeli identity is the same as denying Mecca as inherent to Muslim identity”

*Note: It’s good to see someone else (and a Muslim at that) expose Muhammad’s imaginary journey from Mecca. I wrote an entire article on this subject, as it is this mosque on Temple Mount that Muslims and Palestinians allege is the religious and racial link between Islam and the alleged right of Arabs to claim Temple Mount as their own. This despite the fact that neither the PLO Charter nor the Fatah Constitution (main administrative branch of the current Palestinian Authority) even mentions Jerusalem, let alone called for Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital. The idea of (East) Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian State is a fairly recent ploy used by Palestinians (and now by Islamic nations) … in the past three decades or so.

You might want to check out: The Myth of Al Aqsa Mosque, posted 4-16-16.

(Depiction of Muhammad’s Mythical Winged Horse)

Revisiting the Historical Impact and Significance of the Six-Day War of 1967

With Israel’s recent 2017 celebration of what many Israelis, especially Rabbis—alongside of a few Gentile evangelicals like myself—consider to be the second Jubilee in Israel’s modern-day rebirth (the first Jubilee being 1967), I would like to take you back to a series of Eye of Prophecy articles published in the early days of this website.

I’m referring to the trilogy of articles entitled, Seven Times Seven (to the 4th Power)! Posted 1-25, 2-1, & 2-8-14. Followed by the Eye of Prophecy article, The Omega Generation (2-15-14).

Here I would like to provide some excerpts from Part III of Seven Times Seven (to the 4th Power), beginning with the opening paragraph of that article. In italics:

1967 … What a year! The Six-Day War … What a war! Like me, some of you remember exactly where you were when you heard the news of Israel’s stunning victory. Some of you were not yet born, but you read about it in the history books. I recall thinking: How can any nation win a war in just six days? That’s unheard of … simply not possible. On top of that we’re talking about the tiny nation of Israel, surrounded and vastly outnumbered by Arab nations on all sides. Well, we believe it because it happened. It’s true, and Israel will never be the same again. Why not? What is the dramatic difference in Israel after the June, 1967 Six-Day War?

Before we find answers to that question, just a little more suspense! I’m talking once more about the incredible prophecy in Leviticus that was revealed and explained in last week’s article; whereby the mathematical calculation of seven times seven (to the 4th power) beginning in 516 BC leads to the year 1967.

(Note: That trilogy of articles is based on an amazing disclosure or discernment the Lord provided me in 2006 regarding a “hidden gem” of a prophecy found in (of all places) the book of Leviticus. It’s an application of God’s “seven-times over” discipline of Israel a total of four successive times to actual years (history) beginning with the end of the 70-year Babylonian captivity to the year 1967—when the Six-Day War occurred. I did not start with 1967 and work backward; I had no idea to what year the seven times over paradigm would take me. You’ll need to read those articles for a more comprehensive understanding.)

More excerpts from Part III:

I vividly recall the Six-Day War … where I was and what I was doing when the news flashed around the world. Since then, I and many students of Biblical prophecy and current events have better understood the tremendous significance of Israel’s victory. But no one appreciates the impact of those six days in June and the aftermath more than the Jews, both religious and secular.

The Six-Day War took place 50 years–a Jubilee period of time–after the first milestone in Israel’s modern-day rebirth as a nation. I’m referring to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in which Lord Balfour of Great Britain paved the way for a Jewish national homeland in Palestine by validation of the Zionist movement initiated by Jewish leaders Theodor Herzl and Chaim Weizmann. These founding fathers of modern-day Israel believed that the only solution to the “Jewish Question” was a return of the Jews to Palestine. In 1922, the League of Nations approved the Balfour Declaration via a “Mandate for Palestine.” This was the beginning of Jews returning in increasing numbers to the Holy Land and resettling the land originally given to them by God, himself. No other nation or land on the earth has a title-deed signed, sealed, and delivered by God, as does the Promised Land known as Israel.

Sadly, return of the Jews and Israel’s statehood came too late to avoid the greatest disaster in Jewish history: the Holocaust during World War II … which constituted the full and final expression of the seven times over discipline.

However, were it not for the horror of the Holocaust, there would have been no United Nations approval of a Jewish Homeland (November, 1947); then the subsequent establishment of the State of Israel in May, 1948….

At this point in that article, I further explained the stunning significance of the Six-Day War, including the fact that it was the end of God’s long discipline of Israel; therefore, ending Gentile domination of Israel.

(Convoy of Israeli Troops … Six-Day War)

Continuing with Seven Times Seven, Part III:

Not until the Six-Day War, did Israel really possess and then demonstrate the capacity to take the offensive against Arab armies. Meaning, that their military (IDF) was strong enough to recapture Jerusalem from the Jordanians, to take back the Western Wall and Temple Mount. They were skilled enough to literally take the high ground of the Golan Heights from Syria, and equipped enough to retake Gaza and Sinai from Egypt.

This unquestioned ability to defend herself and, if necessary, to take the offensive, was reconfirmed in the brutal, yet victorious Yom Kippur War of 1973. Since then, no Arab nation or coalition has dared use their armies or conventional warfare to attack Israel. Instead, they have resorted to terrorist attacks, mortar/missile launchings against civilians, propaganda, and BDS strategies.

What does all this mean? I believe the evidence is indisputable, not the least of which is the seven times over prophecy ending in the year 1967. Now that this mysterious prophecy has run its full course, Israel and the Jewish people are no longer under the thumb of Gentile nations. The Times of the Gentiles ended in 1967! This is an astonishing sign of the end times; that is the physical rebirth and restoration of Israel, substantial return of millions of Jews to the land of their ancestors, and the miracle of such a small country and small population being one of the top military powers of the modern world.

For the first time in nearly 2,500 years, Israel has the military resources to fight its own battles and even conduct preemptive strikes to silence the ominous threats of extinction by her enemies, such as a nuclear Iran. She is a beacon of democracy in a Middle-East full of totalitarian Muslim regimes that fight among themselves and have only one thing in common: the malicious desire to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. She is powerful enough to be a deterrent to terrorist groups and quite capable of making rogue rulers think twice about use of WMDs. Before 1967, this kind of prestige, power, presence, and position was not available to Israel. When God ended Israel’s discipline in 1967 (7 x 7 x 7 x 7), he also ended the Gentile nation’s conquest, oppression, suppression, dominance, and defeat of Israel.

Things to Ponder

Earlier, I mentioned the Jewish calendar date that Israelis mark and celebrate Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), the very day that Jerusalem was liberated from Jordan and for Jews and all Israeli citizens. That date was the 28th day of Iyar. This year, 2017, is the 50th anniversary of that monumental milestone of Israel’s end-times destiny. The fixed date on the Gregorian calendar was June 7th, 1967. This year Iyar 28 fell on May 24th.

During preparation and writing of this week’s Eye of Prophecy article, the prophetic significance of the 28th day of Iyar caught my attention. And now I see why. It fits perfectly with a major component of today’s article—the Seven Times Over phenomenon administered four times consecutively by God in his discipline of Israel, just as the Lord said would happen in Leviticus Chapter 26.

What is that significance?

The Numbers: There were four phases of the Seven Times Over Paradigm. Seven times four (7 x 4) equals 28!

Jerusalem was liberated and the Gentile domination of Israel ended on the 28th day of Iyar!

Meaning of Iyar: The original Hebrew name for what was changed to Iyar, was the month of Ziv.

Ziv means “light” or “glow.”

Right away you can see the meaning as applied to the end of God’s discipline of Israel, the final (4th) and most devastating phase of which was exile to Gentile nations and complete dominance by those nations. This time of “darkness” in Israel’s history suddenly and dramatically gave way to the light of Jewish liberty in 1967. It was the restoration “glow” of Jewish independent sovereignty and reunification of Jerusalem with the rest of Israel.

The word Iyar is left over from an extinct Semitic language in Mesopotamia. Iyar means to “blossom” or “to bloom.” You remember part of the jingle: April showers bring May flowers. (Hebrew month of Iyar overlaps with the Gregorian months of April, May, June … mostly May).

How fitting is that to what happened when Jerusalem was liberated!

Before the Lord warned his people what would happen if they disobeyed and abandoned him, he gave them a glorious hope of blessings if they trusted and followed him.

“If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit” (Leviticus 26:3-4).

There were other promises, but the above verse says it all, in terms of not only the Jews themselves but also the land of Israel “blossoming” as never before, as the light of a liberated Jerusalem shone once again.

“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you” (Isaiah 60: 1-2).

“The time will come, says the Lord, when the grain and grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested … I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine” (Amos 9:13-14).

(Example of Israel’s Amazing Agricultural Accomplishments)

Not only has God ended the discipline of Gentile domination of his people, he has rejuvenated Israel agriculturally, economically, culturally, and militarily as it was in Israel’s glory days.

Though there are still difficult times ahead for Israel (indeed, for the whole world) during the Great Tribulation, this restoration will reach its zenith when Messiah Jesus—whom most Jews do not yet accept or recognize as their Messiah—returns to rescue Israel one final time.

And Israel will be able to defend herself as she fights before Messiah arrives and then alongside of Messiah during the Battle for Jerusalem.

“On that day the Lord will defend the people of Jerusalem; the weakest among them will be as mighty as King David! …” (Zechariah 12:8).

“And so all Israel will be saved…” (Romans 11:26).

Messiah’s Ascension & Coronation … Seen Long Before It Happened!

Tags

Fulfilled Prophecy Proves That the God of the Bible Is God

The God of the Bible is the one and only God. He says so himself.

“But you are my witnesses, O Israel! says the Lord. You are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God… (Isaiah 43:10a).

There is no other Lord or Savior. God himself says so.

“…There is no other God—there never has been, and there never will be. I, yes, I am the Lord, and there is no other Savior” (Isaiah 43:10b-11).

The Lord God is from everlasting to everlasting.

“This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: ‘I am the First and the Last; there is no other God’” (Isaiah 44:6).

Yet, God is Three Persons in One: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (See Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 3:21-22 & Genesis 1:26, among other passages).

Although God revealed himself through Abraham and his descendants, the Jews, he is also the God of all Gentiles who believe and receive his Son, Messiah Jesus, who is God’s redemptive mediator for Jew and Gentile alike.

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

“Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles” (Romans 3:27-30).

God is Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient. He knew that the man-made gods of pagan nations surrounding Israel in Biblical times, and man-made religions that would come later such as Islam or Hinduism would claim their god or gods to be supreme.

Only the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob can predict the future. He created all things including time itself; thus, he knows the end from the beginning. God challenges false religions, self-proclaimed prophets, and man-made gods to prove him wrong.

“Present the case for your idols, says the Lord. Let them show what they can do, says the King of Israel. Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what’s going to happen. Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods. In fact, do anything—good or bad! Do something that will amaze and frighten us. But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all. Those who choose you pollute themselves” (Isaiah 41:21-24).

The God of the Bible is incomparable.

“Who is like me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future. Do not tremble; do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago? You are my witnesses—is there any other God! No! There is no other Rock—not one!” (Isaiah 44:7-8).

If anyone with an open mind and a heart seriously searching for God’s truth would take some time to read or even read about the so-called sacred texts of any world religion or cultic creed (such as Mormonism), they will find irreconcilable differences between the God of the Bible and these man-made systems of belief. Above all they will find two dramatic distinctions:

(1) God’s Salvation as thoroughly explained in Scripture is based on faith alone in God’s grace, which is freely given through the once for all substitutionary sacrifice of God’s Son, Messiah Jesus. All we must do is believe and receive Christ as Savior. Trusting that Messiah has done for us what we could not do for ourselves—a complete pardon for our sins and eternal life in heaven, based on God’s righteousness (right standing with God) imputed to all who accept the fact that we have no inherent righteousness of our own.

“As the Scriptures say, ‘No one is righteous—not even one’” (Romans 3:10).

Contrasted to every other religion or cult which demands that its adherents must follow a complicated, impossible to keep set of rules and regulations in order to even qualify for their version of paradise. Without any of their followers ever assured they have done enough good deeds to cancel out the bad. All of them are based on self-righteousness—meriting favor with their (false) god(s) or attaining some nebulous level of cosmic awareness to get them to whatever afterlife they’ve invented.

(2) Prophecy … Declaring the End from the Beginning: This is the second dramatic difference between the God of the Bible and all other gods or prophets or religious creeds. It is Biblical prophecy that God points to as irrefutable proof that he alone is God, and the Bible alone is his sovereign Word containing absolute truth. Not one or two or ten, but hundreds of prophecies are found in Scripture. Not just vague variable prognostications, but detailed incidents naming people not yet born, nations not yet in existence, and events no one thought possible to even happen, let alone predicted to occur. Prophecies fulfilled that day, or the next day, or days or weeks later, or in a few years, or hundreds of years later.

Case in point: Some 150 years before the Babylonian Empire came into existence and Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and exiled the Jews, God through Isaiah prophesied that a ruler from another not yet established kingdom (Persia) would issue a command for God’s people to return to Israel and rebuild the Temple. That’s not all: God even named this ruler who had not yet been born.

“When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’ he will certainly do as I say. He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’; he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’ This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his anointed one, whose right hand he will empower … I will go before you, Cyrus … And why have I called you for this work? Why did I call you by name when you did not know me? It is for the sake of Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one. I am the Lord; there is no other God…” (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-5a).

A Fascinating “Hidden Gem” in Scripture & The Laws of Probability

All of Scripture is remarkable in its historical detail and absolute truth, not the least of which is fulfilled prophecy. There is even a passage in which God declares that nothing (meaning of historical consequence as generically applied to his plan for the human race) he will do is done until … well, let’s read it together:

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

Fulfillment of hundreds of Bible prophecies have been documented both in Scripture—by the authors of certain books of the Bible later in their lifetime or by subsequent prophets long after a previous prophet had declared God’s plans—and by secular history. Other end-times prophecies await completion.

In Chapter 4 of my second book, Out of the Abyss, I discuss the laws of probability in the context of Old Testament Prophecies/New Testament Fulfillments (heading of that chapter) with several specific examples given. One of them is the well-known project initiated by Westmont College Professor Peter Stoner, who with the aid of 600 college students examined eight (of dozens) of prophecies foretold in the Old Testament pertaining to the coming Messiah as historically accomplished by Jesus of Nazareth.

They began with the odds of Jesus birth in Bethlehem where the prophet Micah said Messiah would be born. Result: 1 in 300,000. That was only the beginning.

After they looked at seven other Messianic prophecies that Jesus precisely fulfilled, they calculated (laws of probability) that the chance of one man fulfilling all eight was one in 10 to the 17th power. That number alone is overwhelming to the point that any statistician or probability expert on the planet would concede to be (nearly) absolute.

To get past the point of nearly absolute (my phrase to emphasize the conclusiveness of the study), Professor Stoner and his students then upped the ante from eight to forty-eight specific Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus in his birth, life, death, and resurrection. The result: One in 10 to the 157th power. If you care to write this out, it would be one in ten followed by 157 zeros. Good luck! Just counting the zeros is a daunting assignment! Not to mention the impossible task of wrapping your mind around such an astronomical figure.

Those kind of numbers are mind boggling … what any scientist or mathematician would consider to be absolute. Putting it another way by emphasizing the double negative feature of the following statement (with negatives sometimes providing more emphasis than saying something in the positive):

There’s no way that Jesus could not be the prophesied Messiah.

Messianic Prophecies & Their Fulfillment in Jesus of Nazareth

When Bible scholars, teachers, pastors, commentators, and students in general categorize the components of Messiah Jesus’s first appearance on earth, they logically break them down to his birth, life, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection. Sometimes, but not as often, his ascension to heaven is also added to these features. One reason is because such things as his miraculous Virgin birth (celebrated at Christmas) and his equally miraculous resurrection (memorialized at Easter) are well-known highlights of his amazing time on this earth.

If/when the Ascension is discussed, it’s usually in the comparison context of Jesus’s return to earth on the same Mount of Olives from which he departed.

Each of these momentous bench marks of Messiah’s first advent were predicted in several Old Testament passages pertaining to that specific highlight (such as his birth), with one exception: His Ascension to Heaven. I’m not referring to Jesus’s predictions or statements; he clearly told his disciples that he would return to Heaven after he arose from the dead, as his redemptive work on earth would then be complete.

As Jesus hung on the cross just moments before he died, he said, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). Which is a phrase that meant, “Paid in full.” Meaning paying for the debt of our sin.

I’m surmising that even an “average” student of the Bible could spontaneously or with a little bit of Scriptural research find Old Testament prophecies and their corresponding New Testament fulfillment for each of the first six categories, but not the seventh and final event—his return to heaven. And that would be understandable: because there is only one definitive passage, which is seldom mentioned in commentaries or sermons or books or articles. Even Bible scholars have failed to match that Old Testament passage with Jesus’s ascension to heaven.

Remember: God never does anything (concerning the historical milestones of divinely orchestrated events) unless he has first revealed it through his prophets. The Ascension of Christ Jesus would certainly qualify as one of these significant events.

Before we take an up close and personal look at that mysterious yet stunning Old Testament passage, let’s do a brief review of fulfilled Messianic prophecy. Although there are more, I’ll cite just one Old Testament reference (a reference could be one or more verses) for each of the first six (of seven) stages of Jesus’s visit to Planet Earth along with its New Testament parallel in which the Messianic prophecy was fulfilled.

While we’re at it, let’s not forget: The Old Testament prophecies speak of a Jewish Messiah who would also be salvation’s light to the Gentiles. He would be a descendant of King David from the tribe of Judah.

Jesus was and still is a Jew! He said: “…for salvation comes through the Jews” (John 4:22).

Once again, here are the seven chronological phases of Jesus’s First Advent: birth, life (his ministry), trial and crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.

With the 7th, his ascension, the main theme of today’s article, to be explored after the first six are examined.

Birth of Messiah

Old Testament Prophecy: Born in Bethlehem Ephrathah (there were two towns in Israel named Bethlehem … that’s how precise the prophecy was). Micah 5:2.

New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 2:1-6.

*Note: Since Messiah’s prophesied place of birth was also mentioned earlier, let’s add another one:

Old Testament Prophecy: Born of a Virgin. Isaiah 7:14.

New Testament Fulfillment: Matthew 1:18-22.

(Depicts the Angel Gabriel Appearing to Mary … Which Took Place Before an Angel Appeared to Mary’s Husband, Joseph to Assure Joseph that Mary Was Still a Virgin When Her Son Was Conceived by the Holy Spirit)

Life of Messiah Jesus (Son of God and Son of Man)

Old Testament Prophecy: The Divine Messages Messiah Would Disclose and Miracles He Would Do. Isaiah 29:18-19; Isaiah 35:5-6; Isaiah 61:1.

New Testament Fulfillment: Luke 7:20-22.

*Note: All of the eternal absolute truths that Jesus taught and magnificent miracles he performed to prove that he was the Messiah—including the incredible reality that Jesus could forgive sins and would be the once for all substitutionary sacrifice for and penalty of sin—foretold by the prophets are summarized by Jesus himself in the following passage:

“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. And I assure you that the time is coming, indeed it’s here now, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who will listen will live. The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son” (John 5:24-26).

Jesus went on to say to the Jewish religious leaders:

“In fact, you sent investigators to listen to John the Baptist, and his testimony about me was true. Of course, I have no need of human witnesses, but I say these things so you might be saved. John was like a burning and shining lamp, and you were excited for a while about his message. But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me.

“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life” (John 5:33-36 & 39-40).

Trial & Crucifixion of Messiah

Old Testament Prophecy: Nailed to a cross (hands and feet pierced). Before crucifixion was even invented and “perfected” by the Romans, it was foretold that Messiah would be killed in that manner. Psalms 22:16; Isaiah 53:5a.

Jesus had been declared innocent by Pontius Pilate, who, nonetheless, ordered him to be whipped just to please the crowd. Micah 5:1; Isaiah 53:5b.

When that wasn’t enough, Pilate yielded to the demands of the mob to crucify Jesus.

New Testament Fulfillment: Mark 15:19 (beaten with rods); John 19:1 (flogged with a lead-tipped whip); Luke 23:32-33 (crucified).

Death of Messiah

Old Testament Prophecy: Not one bone would be broken. Exodus 12:46. Psalm 34:20.

New Testament Fulfillment: Jesus was the Passover Lamb crucified on Passover Eve, but his bones would not be broken—which the Roman soldiers often did (breaking the victim’s legs) to hasten the death of those being crucified. John 19:31-37

Burial of Messiah

Old Testament Prophecy: Even though innocent, Messiah would be unjustly and unlawfully killed as a common criminal. But he would be buried in a rich man’s tomb. Isaiah 53:9.

New Testament Fulfillment: John 19:38-42. (With special emphasis on, “Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth” Verse 40).

*Note: Just as there were many witnesses to all facets of Jesus’s arrival and time on this earth, so were there witnesses to the actual fact that he was buried. And he was buried because he had died—as clearly confirmed by his Roman executioners and as obviously seen by those who wrapped Jesus’s body in burial cloths. This soundly refutes the absurd notion of “critics” who claim that Jesus was not really dead when he was placed in the tomb.

Resurrection of Messiah from the Dead

Old Testament Prophecy: Isaiah 53:10-12. This is probably the most well-known (along with Psalm 22) passage depicting the suffering and sacrificial death of the coming Messiah. Yet Isaiah 53 also clearly shows that Messiah would be raised to life. “…He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands … I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death…” (Verses 10 & 12 … keep in mind the italicized portion of this passage as it applies to the ascension phase of the Life of Christ that we will examine shortly).

New Testament Fulfillment: Dozens of passages affirming that Jesus arose from the dead. Succinctly summarized by the Apostle Paul: “I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said” (I Corinthians 15:3-4).

*Note: Jesus, himself, predicted that he would be betrayed (by one of his twelve disciples, Judas); arrested by the Jewish religious leaders who would hand him over to the Romans; denied three times by another disciple (Peter); beaten, crucified, buried for three days/nights, and would then arise from the grave! How could he possibly have known that any, let alone all of these things would actually happen unless he truly was/is the Son of God and God the Son?

Would anyone actually believe that he wanted to suffer and die just to show that he could predict the future? I think not. If anyone has any doubt, then read again the horrible agony he went through in the Garden of Gethsemane when he asked his Father God if he could be spared from the excruciating death on a cross and the terrible judgment God would place on him for your sins and mine. (Mark 14:32-42).

Jesus stayed the course with these poignant words to the Father: “…Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Mark 14:36).

The Seventh & Final Phase … The Ascension of Messiah Jesus

As indicated to begin today’s article, Biblical prophecy and its fulfillment attests to the 100% accuracy and historical reliability of the Scriptures. So when we see Daniel’s prophecy fulfilled that the Messiah would come in the exact amount of time prophesied (483 years or 173,880 days) from the time that the command would be given to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (see Eye of Prophecy article, An Incredible Time-Lapse Prophecy, posted 1-18-14 and Where is Messiah … Is He Already Here? Published 6-25-16), we can also trust the universal absolute truths contained in God’s Word, the Bible.

Such as: For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Old Testament prophecies, both direct and implied, concerning the coming of the (suffering) Messiah are plentiful in Scripture. Followed by Jesus of Nazareth’s amazingly precise fulfillment or accomplishment of all that the prophets foretold concerning his birth, life, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection.

But what about the Ascension return of Jesus to heaven? On a few occasions, Jesus spoke to his disciples of his departure from the earth and return to his home in heaven. Most Christians are quite familiar with at least one or two of these passages, such as John Chapter 14.

Once again, let’s read Amos 3:7: “Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.”

Accordingly, there must be an Old Testament prophetic reference to the seventh and final phase of Messiah Jesus’s First Advent—his return to heaven. Do you know what it is or where it can be found? If you don’t, that’s okay, because it’s one of those “hidden gems” of Scripture that takes a little more digging to find and recognize. Whereas other golden nuggets (like the birth and resurrection of Messiah) are sitting on top of the gold mine in plain sight, ready to be grasped and deposited securely in the treasure trove of fulfilled prophecy.

Before we go to the Old Testament passage in question, let’s review Jesus’s last moments on the earth … commonly called the Ascension.

“After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him” (Acts 1:9).

What Jesus had said (“after saying this”) was a direct answer to his disciples question just before he left the earth so dramatically, “…Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” (Acts 1:6).

(“As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!'” Acts 1:10-11)

It’s evident that the disciples had no warning that Jesus would suddenly leave them. I’m convinced they thought he would remain on the earth for quite some time after his resurrection, at least the time needed to, “free Israel and restore our kingdom.”

They weren’t thinking in terms of the spiritual Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus would first establish in the hearts and minds of those who believed and received him as Personal Savior. Which is why the last words Jesus spoke before he ascended to heaven were: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

They were focused on the physical Kingdom of God on the earth, with Messiah Jesus sitting on the eternal throne of the Davidic dynasty of kings. Though they were by now and even more so later on—as they grew in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18)—much more familiar with and knowledgeable about Jesus’s fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies concerning the first six phases of his first coming to earth, they probably didn’t know or didn’t match the Old Testament passage regarding Jesus’s departure from the earth and his return (entrance) to heaven.

Without keeping you in suspense any longer, read with me the passage that I believe (with evidence presented) is the one definitive Old Testament prophecy foreseeing Messiah’s triumphant entrance into heaven … a return to his original glory, but this time also as the Son of Man in his resurrected, glorified body.

*Note: I have quoted this passage in a couple of prior Eye of Prophecy articles including a brief commentary on its meaning; but only in passing—not as the main theme of that article.

A Little Known or Understood Prophecy Concerning Messiah

“As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).

Among other astounding visions of the future, Daniel was given the awesome privilege of watching the greatest coronation of a king (King of all kings) in all of history … some 550 years before it took place. Then under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he recorded it for us!

The scene you just read in the above verse is none other than Messiah Jesus’s triumphant entrance into heaven after he ascended from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

You may have already thought of the question; if you hadn’t, I’ll ask it for you:

Is he sure that Daniel’s prophetic vision refers to Christ Jesus and his ascension, then his homecoming entrance into heaven?

My answer: Absolutely, no doubt whatsoever. Here’s why it is and why it couldn’t be anything else but that.

Obviously, Daniel’s 6th century B.C. vision was prophetical (as were all his visions … future tense), thus it couldn’t apply to Messiah as God the Son (Second Person of the Trinity) before Daniel’s time. Meaning the ancient eternal past of Jesus as found, for example, in Micah 5:2 and especially in John’s Gospel that begins by identifying Jesus as the everlasting living Word of God.

Nor could it be a depiction of Messiah’s glorious return from heaven at the end of the Great Tribulation; even though some of Daniels’ prophetic visions relate to the tribulation period, especially concerning the little horn (Antichrist) and his end-times exploits. Why? Because Daniel sees Messiah entering (being led) into the presence of The Ancient One (God the Father).

When Jesus raptures his church (true born-again believers), he will: “…come down from heaven” and catch us, “…up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…” I Thessalonians 4:16).

By the distinctive language and descriptive imagery of Daniel 7 and I Thessalonians 4, there’s no way these two events are one and the same. Likewise, with Messiah’s return to the earth at the end of the Tribulation. “…And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). Once again, Jesus is coming from heaven, not going to heaven, as is clearly portrayed in Daniel 7.

By default then, this amazing royal coronation scene that Daniel is witnessing first hand took place when Jesus left the earth and returned to his heavenly home. What or when else could it be?

Daniel’s term Son of Man is another overwhelming clue that the scene Daniel is witnessing could have been none other than Jesus’s ascension/entrance into heaven as precisely described in Acts Chapter 1.

Before Jesus was born on earth as the pre-ordained and anointed Messiah, he was referred to as the Son of God and the Son of David (see Psalm 2 and Psalm 110). But not the Son of Man. Jesus, himself, was the first to use that appellation or title or description of himself.

Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Daniel refers to the person he saw being escorted to the presence of God (the Father) as “a Son of Man.” Except, he employs the adjective form, “like” a Son of Man. Meaning that Daniel didn’t know (nor was he expected to know) that this person was in fact the Messiah, the one and only Son of Man and the Son of God. He simply recorded what he saw. Other prophets before and after Daniel would be given more revelations concerning the coming Messiah, i.e. his divine nature, his eternal existence, his miraculous Virgin birth, and so forth.

More could be said, but you decide if the commentary evidence and most of all the passage itself indisputably portrays exactly what took place after Jesus ascended to heaven. It was then that God the Father gave his Son absolute authority over all nations, with a rule and reign that will last forever. The victory has already been won … the end-time battles yet to be fought and final judgment of God waiting to be dispensed.

If you hadn’t thought about or wondered if there was an Old Testament prophecy relating directly to the final phase of Jesus’s time on earth (Ascension) but didn’t know where to look, there you have it.

Daniel 7:13-14 is a powerful prophetic portrayal of what took place as soon as Jesus left the earth as seen and shared by Daniel hundreds of years before it happened.

(*Note: Psalm 68:18 which is partially quoted by Paul in Ephesians 4:8 is related to the heavenly ministry of Christ after he returned to heaven. However, the context of Psalm 68 pertains to gifts given to and by Messiah to his people. Psalm 68 isn’t referring to what happened in heaven immediately after Jesus ascended from earth, i.e. the crowning coronation that bequeathed our Lord with ultimate power and authority to rule the nations. As such, Psalm 68 is not a prophetic preview of the real time/space physical Ascension of Christ or of his entrance to the throne of God his Father.)

We also have another sighting of the Son of Man … several years after the Ascension. This time by John, author of Revelation, who uses the same descriptive term as did Daniel. Although John didn’t immediately know who was standing in front of him, he soon would fully understand that it was none other than his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—Son of God, Son of David, and Son of Man.

Wrote John: “When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was someone like the Son of Man…” (Revelation 1:12-13).

John then describes the glorious appearance of the Son of Man, concluding with, “…And his face was like the sun in all its brilliance” (Revelation 1:16).

Jesus erased all doubts as to whom John was looking at. Said Jesus to John: “…Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave” (Revelation 1:17-18).

Things to Ponder

As has been said, History is “His Story.”

Messiah Jesus is the heart and soul of man’s history (as God views and directs history) and prophetic destiny.

“…For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus” (Revelation 19:10b).

Then, four more magnificent passages about Messiah Jesus … who he is, what he has done (for you and for me), and what he will do upon his glorious return to the earth.

“Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord … He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment” (Isaiah 11:1-2 & 5).

“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).

“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth … He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together … For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross” (Colossians 1:15-20).

“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

Make that five passages by quoting again the prophecy that fits perfectly with the verses just quoted:

“…He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).

Long live the King!

The Balfour Declaration … Beginning of the Omega Generation (Part II)

Tags

, ,

A Brief Review

Let’s begin this week’s Eye of Prophecy post with a quote concerning the enormous significance of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 (In italics):

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.

If you at least vaguely recognize this statement, then you read last week’s Eye of Prophecy article; it is an excerpt from that post! If you haven’t yet read that article, I would encourage you to do so. Though every Eye of Prophecy article that is a Part II (or III) stands alone, a much better understanding of the main theme comes with reading Part I.

The quoted excerpt was a summary conclusion predicated on three monumental milestones of Israel’s 20th and 21st century history in the context of the unfolding end-times prophecies. They are: (1) The Balfour Declaration of 1917; (2) the UN Resolution for Israel’s statehood in 1947, followed by the rebirth of the Sovereign State of Israel in 1948; (3) the reclamation of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital in the Six-Day War of 1967.

Then I quoted the passage in which Messiah Jesus identified the final generation that is part and parcel of those three extraordinary events discussed last week and again this week.

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

Followed by the next two (the first in quotation marks, the second italicized) excerpts from last week’s article:

“Please see Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up, Redemption is Near Part I & II (published 7-11-15 & 7-18-15) that among other things lists twelve phenomenal indicators which have synchronized with a frequency and magnitude in the 20th & 21st centuries like never before.”

Yet it was the Balfour Declaration that set the last-days prophetic stage and started the end-times wheel turning.

Then an excerpt near the end of the Part I article (in italics):

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.

Before we examine more amazing prophetic implications of the Balfour Declaration, the rebirth of Israel, and reunification of Jerusalem to Israel, let’s analyze, “God’s divine mandate to nations and peoples the world over concerning his majestic plan for Israel and the nations” in the:

Historical Context and Assessment of the Balfour Declaration

To Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, God said:

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

God’s collaboration with the Jews—beginning with choosing Abraham to be the progenitor of the Jewish race and the Lord’s subsequent interaction with Gentile nations—is centered entirely on his sovereign purpose first for Israel, then for the nations. The Old Testament is replete with events experienced by the Lord’s chosen people during their tumultuous times of rebellion, discipline, restoration (return from Babylonian captivity) then more rebellion and apathy, resulting in 400 years of silence by the Lord after he last spoke to Israel through the prophet Malachi.

Those four hundred years of silence ended abruptly with God’s next prophet, John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Messiah, announcing to all who would listen as Jesus came toward John one day:

“…Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me’” (John 1:29-30, italics for emphasis).

With these words of acclamation for Messiah Jesus (Son of God, Son of David, and Son of Man) John reverberated the words of the prophet Micah written some 700 years earlier:

Before the Balfour Declaration there was no indication that the Diaspora dream of Jews the world over, “Next year in Jerusalem” would or could really happen.

For nearly two thousand years, most Jews had resigned themselves to be forever the “Wandering Jew” with no national homeland, no way to defend themselves against brutal persecution, and seemingly no realistic hope of God’s prophetic promises ever coming to pass. Two thousand years is a very long time … as long as the time from Abraham to the Great Diaspora. Two millennia had made even the most optimistic Jews doubt if another Jewish homeland was possible anywhere. Let alone the Promised Land that had been overrun, ruled, and stripped almost bare (literally and figuratively) of anything Jewish by the Romans, the Arabs, the Crusaders, and the Ottoman Turks for so long.

The Balfour Declaration changed all that.

Listen to one of hundreds of promises given directly by God to his prophets concerning the seemingly impossible, but from God’s vantage point a sure thing. This prophecy begins with a direct reference to Ramah, the deportation point of Jewish exiles to Babylon under the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. It is one of several prophecies that had both near future and distant future application; in this case the distant future slaughter of male children in Bethlehem so ordered by Herod in order to kill the prophesied Christ-child, Jesus. It also applied to Jesus’s prophecy that Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed (by the Romans), with the horrific result of a second Jewish exile from Israel … this time indefinitely as opposed to the 70-year discipline of the Babylonian captivity God imposed on Judah in 586 B.C.

“This is what the Lord says: ‘A cry is heard in Ramah—deep anguish and bitter weeping. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted—for her children are gone.’ But now this is what the Lord says: ‘Do not weep any longer, for I will reward you’ says the Lord. ‘Your children will come back to you from the distant land of the enemy. There is hope for your future’ says the Lord. ‘Your children will come again to their own land’” (Jeremiah 31:15-17).

Then a few verses later: “Is not Israel still my son, my darling child? Says the Lord. I often have to punish him, but I still love him. That’s why I long for him and surely will have mercy on him. Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Mark well the path by which you came. Come back again, my virgin Israel; return to your towns here” (Jeremiah 31:20-21, italics for emphasis).

The Balfour Declaration was THE historical catalyst that providentially precipitated the return of the Jews to the Promised Land, followed by the United Nations Resolution affording statehood to Israel. Both (along with the reunification of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967) were and still are: “road signs, guideposts, and path” marking the final generational path of the last days, because this road sign passage has everything to do with the Jews’ return to Israel.

Jesus addressed his end-times prophecy of the final generation primarily (first and foremost) to Israel. The true Church (Messianic Jews and we Gentile believers in Messiah Jesus) were obviously meant to know the signs of the last days. Yet other than witnessing the pre-Rapture birth pangs foretold by Jesus and as found in other places in Scripture, we believers will not experience the traumatic events of the Great Tribulation … which is the final phase of this Omega generation. The Rapture will spare us from God’s second universal judgment of this wicked world we live in. We will, however, be with our Lord when he triumphantly returns to rescue Israel at the end of the seven-year Tribulation.

Thus, the “return to your (Israel’s) towns” corresponds to and matches the generational time-frame identified by Jesus: “…this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place” (Matthew 24:34). This generation applies almost exclusively to Israel’s ultimate restoration beginning with the Jews return to Israel and culminating in Israel’s final redemption, spiritually and physically. If we don’t make this connection, then we are not seeing the “guideposts” nor are we, “marking well the path by which you (Israel) came.”

A Remarkable Correlation of Virgin Births!

Regarding the italicized portion of the Jeremiah Chapter 31 passage (my virgin Israel) here is another excerpt from last week’s article (in italics):

Consider the following comparison: Just as the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of our Great Triune God, supernaturally conceived the Son (Messiah Jesus as both God and man)—who existed from the beginning with God the Father—through a virgin, so did God through the Balfour Declaration providentially conceive the nation of Israel which essentially had been in existence since Abraham fathered Isaac.

As you’ll see in next week’s Eye of Prophecy Part II article on the Balfour Declaration from a passage in Jeremiah, God calls his chosen people—in the context of their final return to the Promised Land—my virgin Israel. Which makes the Virgin Birth of Messiah, who appeared several times in the Old Testament as the Pre-Incarnate Christ, and the virgin-like (re)birth (supernaturally against impossible odds) of the Jewish nation a very appropriate analogy.

(Back to this week’s article. Are you keeping up? The above italicized excerpt was from last week’s article in partial preparation for this week’s article. Just kidding … of course you are!)

In this same 31st chapter of Jeremiah we have one of the greatest prophecies in all of Scripture. I have quoted these verses in a few prior articles. Because of the universal impact of this prophecy—God’s New Covenant with Israel (one in which Gentiles have been “grafted in”) instituted and implemented with the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus—it merits repeating.

“The day is coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife, says the Lord.

“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord. I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people” Jeremiah 31:31-33).

On the eve of the Passion of Christ—with every event of the Passion prophesied directly or indirectly by Old Testament prophets and/or by Jesus, himself; his false arrest, illegal trial, brutal and unlawful (the Roman Governor himself said that Jesus was innocent but still handed him over for execution) crucifixion, and burial in a rich man’s tomb (Joseph of Arimathea)—Jesus ate the Passover supper one last time with his disciples.

This is what happened and what he said:

“He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.’ After supper he took another cup of wine and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you’” (Luke 22:19-20).

Three days later Messiah Jesus arose from the dead to validate that he was/is Messiah, the Son of God, and to seal the New Covenant God promised through Jeremiah some 600 years earlier. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a historical fact. He was seen by hundreds of witnesses during the forty days after he arose from the grave, and then ascended to heaven from where he will soon return to the earth, “…with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).

This is not the covenant message of the Mosaic Law that was written on tablets of stone, the one that God’s people could not and would not keep.

This is the message of the New Covenant.

Said the Apostle Paul, formerly the Pharisee Saul who persecuted and killed early Christians until his marvelous life-changing encounter with the Risen Messiah:

“…And that message is the very message about faith that we preach. 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 … Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord who gives generously to all who call on him. For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:8-13, italics for emphasis, last sentence is a quote from Joel 2:32).

I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts (Jeremiah 31).

The Remarkable Results of the Balfour Declaration from a Broader Prophetic Perspective

In the context of and correlation with Messiah Jesus’s astounding announcement that the generation alive when he returns will (begin to) experience the end-times events he described (and by obvious inference all of the other last day prophecies of Scripture), the Balfour Declaration of 1917, followed by the UN Resolution in 1947 and Israel’s subsequent declaration of statehood in 1948 are staggering in their relevancy to this (our) generation.

Later this year, November 2, Israel—hopefully joined by many Western nations, especially Great Britain the very source of the Balfour Declaration—will celebrate the 100th anniversary of this famous decision, which was and still is the “right and moral thing to do.”

The 70th year anniversary of the UN Resolution of 1947 will also occur in November of this year. This is the second definition or time-frame of a Biblical generation, a generation within the 100-year generation. Next year, 2018, will be the 70th anniversary of Israel’s Statehood rebirth (May 14th) in the family of nations on earth, to be celebrated on April 19th. Israel uses the Jewish calendar when it comes to their national holidays.

Then the crowning point of Israel’s rebirth in the land sovereignly promised to them by God was the stunning reclamation of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967—what many Rabbis and Evangelical scholars, including me, consider to be a year of Jubilee.

The 50-year Jubilee memorial of the consolidation of Jerusalem will take place this coming Wednesday (May 24th), the day after President Donald Trump’s two-day visit to Israel. We, who love Israel and support Israel’s right of existence and God-given mandate to possess all of the boundaries of the Promised Land, can only hope and pray that President Trump keeps his promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This would be a strong symbolic and also powerful physical (real-time and space) acknowledgment of Jewish rightful claim to Jerusalem as the undivided eternal capital of Israel.

(The Latest Word is that President Trump Will Not Announce A Decision On the US Embassy Move During His Trip to Israel … See Eye of Prophecy Article, “Is President Trump Wavering on The Waiver?” Posted 2-4-17).

Let’s look again at the Biblical meaning of a generation and a Jubilee in the inescapable context that virtually all end-times prophecies are centered exclusively on Israel. The only direct involvement of the true Church is that of being whisked away at the Rapture, which is the “first day” of the Day of the Lord (Tribulation, physical Return of Jesus to earth, and then the Millennium).

Here, I will defer to the Eye of Prophecy article The Omega Generation (posted 2-15-14), excerpts of which were also quoted in a subsequent article written almost two years later, Jubilee and Messiah … They Go Together! (1-23-16).

It’s been over three years since The Omega Generation article was posted. We have reached the pivotal year of 2017 (Gregorian calendar; with, as we will see, the Jewish calendar the more Biblically accurate measurement of the two generational time-frames as all Scriptural references to days, months, and years relate to the 30-day month of the Jewish calendar). Based on Biblical and historical evidence—particularly the three 20th century momentous milestones of Israel’s modern history—I’m proposing that this year is the beginning of a two or three-year prophetic window of the final generation Messiah Jesus spoke of in answer to his disciple’s question: “…Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age” (Matthew 24:3, NASB).

In italics, here is a segment from The Omega Generation:

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

Using our first example of four generations of Israel’s enslavement in Egypt, God gave Abraham the point-in-time commencement of this 400 hundred years (four generations) captivity, i.e. from the time that the Jews no longer enjoyed freedom in Egypt, which was not too long after Joseph died.

Is it, then, possible to select or identify events/dates in Israel’s contemporary history that correspond to the Biblical definition of a generation … that is one hundred years and/or seventy years? The answer is a resounding, YES.

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

(A) Balfour Declaration of November, 1917:

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

(B) United Nations Resolution of November, 1947:

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

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

(C) June, 1967 Six-Day War (Jubilee Years):

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

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

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

Combining All Three Events

None of these three possibilities give us an exact day/hour of Christ’s return that begins with the first phase which is the Rapture and ends with his physical return at the end of the Tribulation. And that’s good. Why? Because Jesus, himself, said that no one can possibly know the day or hour of his return. I emphasize that almost to a fault in my article, When the Rapture? Therefore, I wouldn’t even pretend to know the exact date of Christ’ return, nor would I ever venture a guess. Forget it!

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

With these questions in mind, what other specific events have occurred relating to Israel during the 20th or 21st century that would surpass or supplant the 1917, 1947 (48), and 1967 highlights that we’ve selected as commencement dates for both the 100 and 70-year generations, as well as the equally important Jubilee? In answer to this question, I’ll give you a hint: There are NO other events that even come close to these historical mileposts…

Summary

Here’s what we find when we combine all three projected dates of generational or Jubilee time-lapse… meaning 100 years, 70 years, and 50 years (Roman calendar). From our three (four, if we also use Israel’s statehood of May, 1948) examples, we will select the earliest possible month/year all the way to the latest month/year.

It’s conceivable that we will hear the blast of the last Rapture trumpet: BETWEEN FEBRUARY, 2018 and MAY, 2019!!

(Note for Today’s Article: In hindsight I certainly could have and probably should have included the (this) year, 2017. Actually, it was a foregone conclusion that 2017 could be the beginning of the Day of the Lord, as I and others are convinced this is a Jubilee year. See aforementioned article, Jubilee and Messiah … They Go Together! Posted January, 2016, for the time of year when the Jubilee was to be announced and the time of year it actually began).

Returning to a final excerpt from The Omega Generation (posted in February, 2014):

Of course, Christ may Rapture the Church any day between now and the above listed dates, or even after those dates. For the following reasons: God will determine the next Jubilee in Israel’s history. Concerning a generation (whether 70 or 100 years): unless the prophecy specifies actual periods of time such as found in Daniel 9, there is normally some flexibility built-in to God’s use of numbers in Scripture. For example, there are, relatively speaking, a handful of people on the earth who live to be 105 or 110, or whatever. Also, the average life expectancy in many developed countries is in the vicinity of 76, 77, or 78 years.

But, if the Lord decides to combine all three time-frames, then I would be very surprised if we Christians are still on this earth after the year 2020. Although that is a speculative statement, I believe that it is a sanctified speculation! Meaning that it is based on some solid evidence from Scripture, particularly the passages quoted in this article and prior articles.

The Day of the Lord is so very near. As selected by God to be the heart and soul of God’s chosen people, the Jews, and the eternal capital of the Promised Land of Israel, Jerusalem’s (the City of God) time has come.

“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance. Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. Your eyes will shine, and your heart will thrill with joy….” (Isaiah 60:1-5a).

I, for one, will echo and support and participate in the prophet’s passionate plea for Israel:

“Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory…” (Isaiah 62:1-2).

Things to Ponder

My maternal grandfather fought in World War I and was alive when the Balfour Declaration marked the beginning of the 100-year generation. Although relatively few compared to the world’s population, there are still many people over one hundred years old or who will turn 100 this year; some of whom will in all likelihood witness the beginning of the Day of the Lord.

My father fought in World War II. He is gone now as is my mother. I am 70 years old, born 14 months before the UN Resolution of 1947 and 20 months before the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Tens of millions of Baby Boomers are still alive (including me or you wouldn’t be reading this article!).

Millions upon millions more born in 1967 (Jubilee year) or thereabout are still on Planet Earth. In all probability, they will either be taken in the Rapture (if they have believed and received Messiah Jesus as Personal Savior) or left behind to experience the horrendous Great Tribulation.

Not since the First World War and more so the Second World War have world conditions been as ominous as they are right now. In fact, I believe the perils facing the earth’s population are more apocalyptically threatening than pre World-War II.

The geopolitical and military global balloon is saturated to the bursting point with wars and rumors of war and with world-wide imminent threats, ultimatums, and accusations against Israel like never before in world history. The chain of alliances in the Middle East (especially Syria)—where coalition A is fighting coalition B which is fighting coalition C, which in turn is fighting A—is a brittle cord ready to snap. The fragile tightened skin of the balloon is about to explode.

Something has to give, and it will give … soon.

Even more alarming than before the two World Wars of the 20th century, the prophetic pace of the 21st century is far too hectic, confusing, and relentless to allow time for anyone or any nation to pause long enough to effectively stop the doomsday clock from reaching the midnight hour. All the while, people “party” to escape today; hoping the next day brings them more time to ignore and delay their eternal destiny as they eat, drink, and be merry just in case tomorrow they die.

If anyone would chalk such an observation up to “doomsday melodrama” or flippantly brush aside the obvious warnings that come our way virtually every day, then they obviously prefer to sail on the same (imaginary) cruise ship of those in Noah’s Day—who after it was too late wished they had their own ark. With Noah and his family safely aboard the real boat of God’s protection and deliverance.

Here’s what Jesus said:

“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 24:37-39).

If you don’t know Messiah Jesus as Lord and Savior, please don’t wait until it’s too late. You truly need and want him as your Savior, not your judge.

“The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. 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 3:35-36).

One day soon the Lord will judge the earth with perfect justice. Righteousness will reign. Truth will triumph. Peace will prevail.

Hallelujah to the Lamb of God! All praise to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

The Balfour Declaration … Beginning of the Omega Generation (Part I)

Tags

Renewed Controversy over the Balfour Declaration

During an address to the United Nations last September, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas insisted that Great Britain issue a formal apology for the Balfour Declaration of 1917.

About three weeks ago Palestinian officials made the same demand, this time in the form of an ultimatum. Unless England disavowed Lord Balfour’s famous decree, cancel plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of that historic milestone later this year (November 2), and recognize a State of Palestine—with the obvious implication that if Britain unilaterally accepted a Palestinian State, other nations would follow—the Palestinian Authority would file a lawsuit against Great Britain.

Presumably this pathetic petition would be filed with the International Court of Justice, more commonly called The World Court, ICJ or just The Hague, as this judicial branch of the United Nations is headquartered in Hague, Netherlands. The Palestinian Authority is not a nation; it only has “observer” status (along with the Vatican) in the United Nations. Thus, their lawsuit would have no legitimacy, i.e. one nation’s grievance against another nation. But such things have never deterred Mahmoud Abbas or his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, from their twisted short-term agenda to delegitimize the State of Israel and their warped long-term intent of replacing the State of Israel with yet another Middle East Arab state.

Any such spurious litigation would be akin to the eleven southern states in America that succeeded from the Union—which precipitated the American Civil War—now demanding that the United States Government apologize (tantamount to a retraction) for the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. After the Union won the Civil War, that amendment was finally ratified December 18, 1865 as constitutional recognition and support of President Abraham Lincoln’s now famous Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

The 13th Amendments stipulates: “neither slavery no involuntary servitude … shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Contrary to Palestinian deceptive distortion of the Balfour Declaration, it was the Emancipation Proclamation of its time. It was a Declaration to officially end Jewish servitude to the Ottoman Empire that ruled Palestine for 400 hundred years. But not only for the Jews; also for the Arabs! However, the Arabs didn’t want freedom and self-governing autonomy if it meant living next to even more Jews who would come to Palestine following the Balfour Declaration.

From its inception the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO founded in 1964)—later named the Palestinian National Authority (since the miserably failed Oslo Accord of 1993)—has sought the destruction of Israel, as found in its Charter, and also contained in the Hamas Charter for the Gaza Strip. Most refer to the Palestinian National Authority as just the Palestinian Authority and rightfully so; there is no such thing as a Palestinian nation or state.

When the Arab nations of Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq suffered a resounding defeat in Israel’s War of Independence in 1948-49, the Six-Day war of 1967, and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, they came to the stark realization that the Arabs couldn’t conquer the Jews by conventional military warfare. So they turned to unconventional methods, which disgustingly have become all too conventional: BDS, planned terrorist attacks; spontaneous lone-wolf killings of innocent Israelis spawned by incitement from Abbas himself; rockets launched from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip into Israel; elementary and high-school curriculum propagandizing their children to kill Jews and “liberate” Palestine; and rewriting of history with false claims maliciously supported by UNESCO that the Jewish (and even Christian) sacred sites of Israel are Islamic holy sites to include Temple Mount and even the Western Wall.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, United Nations Downsizing of Israel, Resolution 2334, posted 1-7-17).

More Repugnant Rhetoric from the Palestinians

Although criticism of the Balfour Declaration has been going on periodically for some time, P.A. President Abbas in the past couple of years has taken his lie-laced vendetta directly to the United Nations. (See Eye of Prophecy articles, Tell a Big Lie Long Enough and More Palestinians Lies, posted 10-10-15 & 2-20-16, respectively).

This is an offshoot of another disturbing phenomenon that has taken place in the recent past. From slightly less provocative but still harmful false accusations that the Jews are “illegally occupying” land that “rightfully” belongs to Arabs, Mahmoud Abbas has upped the ante by brazenly suggesting the elimination of the State of Israel altogether. Which has been the real agenda of the Palestinian Authority and even more so of their bitter rival Hamas from the beginning. This is glaringly evident when Abbas speaks in Arabic to his own people and to Islamic nations that hate Israel.

Whereas, in his United Nations speeches and when talking to dignitaries of democratic nations, he tempers this offensive oratory under the guise of more diplomatic, but, nevertheless, ridiculous boasts such as made during his recent meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.

According to Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority cronies, “We are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.”

Seriously?

Less than two years ago, Abbas incited dozens of lone-wolf attacks against innocent Israelis by declaring that Palestinians must not allow the “filthy feet of the Jews” to walk on Temple Mount. In September, 2015, Abbas said that he, “welcomed every drop of blood that is spilled in Jerusalem.” Not long afterward the “Knife Intifada” began that also included shooting and car-ramming murder of Israelis.

(Another Example of Mahmoud Abbas’s Duplicity: It’s He Who Issues Threats and Ultimatums)

Regarding a Palestinian State that Abbas really doesn’t want unless Israel capitulates to every single one of his demands, such as East Jerusalem (there is no such thing as east Jerusalem) as the Palestinian capital—when such a capital would more easily and with much less adversarial results be placed in Ramallah—or the return of millions of Arabs currently restricted to so-called refugee camps, here’s what Abbas said not too long ago:

“A Palestinian State like Iraq, Saudi Arabia & other Islam countries, will not have or allow a single Jew to live there.”

(See Eye of Prophecy article, Ethnic Cleansing of Jews … The Real Palestinian Agenda, published 9-17-16).

Put that in the context of Israel allowing 1.8 million Arabs to live in Israel. That’s 21 % of Israel’s population of 8.7 million—which does not include Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza who have refused citizenship in Israel—who have Israeli citizenship with all the rights of Jewish citizens. Privileges such as voting, serving in the Knesset, owning their own businesses, free movement through the land, and many more autonomous liberties.

Do you think that Abbas would tolerate or agree to a reciprocal action by Israel should a Palestinian State be negotiated; that all Arabs citizens of Israel must leave their homes if they are in whatever new boundaries Israel might end up with. I think not. Nor would the Israelis ever do such a thing. Nor would the majority of those 1.8 million Arabs (citizens of Israel) want to be relocated to or live in a Palestinian State.

As written by Bassam Tawil in his article, Palestinians: Abbas’s “Culture of Peace” posted in the online Op-Ed news source, Gatestone Institute on May 8: “Apparently, like his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, Abbas is convinced that Palestinians can fool ‘all of the people, all of the time’ about their true goals and intentions. Arafat lied to Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton when he told them that he and the Palestinian Authority were promoting peace and coexistence with Israel.”

Bassam Tawil concludes his article with, “Under Abbas, anti-Israel incitement and indoctrination is a business that has expanded exponentially. It has grown to the point that a new generation has been raised on the glorification of jihadists, a generation impatient to draw yet more Jewish blood. If this is Abbas’s “culture of peace,” what, one wonders, would he consider a culture of war?”

If nothing else (there is virtually nothing of any redeeming value within his insidious goals and sinister strategies), Abbas is both clever and brash. He now boldly brandishes a double barrel shotgun. He aims and constantly fires one barrel directly at the Jews; with hammer cocked and the other barrel pointed menacingly at democratic counties such as Great Britain, threatening them with justice under his version of international law … in this case demanding an apology for the Balfour Declaration.

Make no mistake; this is much more than a simple apology. He fully understands that an “apology” would be tantamount to British (and world-wide) sanctions that the Jews don’t belong in Israel … they never had a right to be there in the first place. That the very state of Israel is illegitimate and should give way to a “Palestinian State.”

What Exactly was the Balfour Declaration?

What historical significance does it have, then and now?

Lord Balfour and a handful of others who understood world history in general and Middle East heritage in particular, realistically and accurately identified the ancient hostility between Arab and Jew. To some extent or another, they also grasped or at least sensed the longing of and need for the Jews to once again have a homeland of their own. A few realized that this home must be the Promised Land given to the Jews by God, himself. Accordingly, the Balfour Declaration was the first meaningful attempt to resolve those issues. Which is why Palestinians and Muslims everywhere loathe this historical milestone, one that eventually led to Israel’s Statehood in 1948. Followed by the still ongoing Second Exodus of Jews—this time from nations all over the earth, especially countries to the north of Israel—and Aliyah (ingathering of Jews) to Israel.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, The Second Exodus, posted 5-10-14)

Before we examine the Balfour Declaration more closely, on the authority of Scripture and the clear evidence in secular history that God’s plan and purpose for Israel (and the resulting effect it has had and will have on Gentile nations) has been unfolding precisely according to the Bible, I’m going to make this assertive, yet historically accurate statement … in italics for emphasis:

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.

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

Please see Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up, Redemption is Near Part I & II (published 7-11-15 & 7-18-15) that among other things lists twelve phenomenal indicators which have synchronized with a frequency and magnitude in the 20th & 21st centuries like never before.

Yet it was the Balfour Declaration that set the last-days prophetic stage and started the end-times wheel turning. (Italics, also for emphasis).

Scripture is replete with examples of God’s sovereignty in providentially using even tragic events to accomplish his majestic plan for the human race. This plan focuses predominately on Israel and her Messiah (Jesus, who is also the Savior of the Gentiles), beginning with Abraham and continuing until all of Israel acknowledges her Messiah who will return to establish his Kingdom of justice and peace on this earth.

Specifically, I’m talking about World War I (prematurely labeled “The War to End All Wars”) which led directly to the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 issued about one year before the war officially ended on November 11, 1918. God’s sovereign hand was extraordinarily evident in this dramatic declaration, as evidenced by the British forces under Sir Edmund Allenby taking Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks just a few weeks later on December 11, 1917 (on Hanukkah no less)! The British were victorious in this final “battle” of their campaign in Israel with hardly a shot fired, and with no casualties (military or civilian) or damage to Jerusalem that would have been inevitable if the Turks had defended their stronghold in Jerusalem. Instead, the Turks surrendered without a fight. This marked the end of the Ottoman Empire.

(Sir Edmund Allenby Entering Through the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem in December, 1917)

(Sir Edmund Allenby)

Despite the horrors of World War I, the Balfour Declaration was the conception point of Israel’s gestation that would take another 30 years to grow within the womb of history.

Then God turned Jewish anguish and ashes from a Second World War (the horrendous Holocaust that resulted in the slaughter of six million Jews) into the miraculous beautiful birth of Israel. In November, 1947 the United Nations passed a resolution granting the Jews a homeland to call their own. Followed by the (re)birth of the Sovereign State of Israel on May 14, 1948. That was also the beginning of another generation (within a generation) both of which correspond to the final generation mentioned by Jesus.

*Note: There are two time-parameters of a generation found in Scripture. (1) One Hundred Years—see Genesis 15:12-16; (2) Seventy Years—see Psalm 90:10.

Amazingly, the Balfour Declaration was a single paragraph written on November 2, 1917 by Britain’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, addressed to Baron Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community. The letter was to be transmitted to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. Here it is (in italics):

His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

Nearly five years passed by before this noble proclamation would be officially endorsed by the victorious World War I Allies (including the U.S., Great Britain, and France). On July 24, 1922, this approval was extended by none other than the newly formed League of Nations. The Balfour Declaration was also adopted as official policy by the British Mandate, which gave the United Kingdom jurisdiction over what was still called Palestine. There were Arab attacks and hostile actions against their Jewish neighbors during that time.

What contemporary Muslims and Palestinians (especially the Palestinian Authority and its President Abbas) will rarely mention is that the Arabs, who lived in and outside of Palestine after the implementation of the Balfour Declaration as international policy, flatly rejected the idea of co-existence with Jews in Palestine. On the other hand, the Jews welcomed their Arab neighbors with open arms, and in no way (then or now) violated the terms of the Balfour Declaration that stipulated no “prejudice (against) the civil or religious rights of non-Jewish communities…” Although Lord Balfour didn’t specifically mention Arabs, that’s precisely who he meant.

Time/space doesn’t permit in this week’s article to elaborate on other pre-existing conditions that led to the Balfour Declaration. Except to say that Zionism (the Biblically driven precept that the Jews had every right to and would return to their God-given Promised Land) had been underway for a few decades under the leadership of such visionaries as Chaim Weizmann and Theodore Herzl.

Consider the following comparison: Just as the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of our Great Triune God, supernaturally conceived the Son (Messiah Jesus as both God and man)—who existed from the beginning with God the Father—through a virgin, so did God through the Balfour Declaration providentially conceive the nation of Israel which essentially had been in existence since Abraham fathered Isaac.

As you’ll see in next week’s Eye of Prophecy Part II article on the Balfour Declaration from a passage in Jeremiah, God calls his chosen people—in the context of their final return to the Promised Land—my virgin Israel. Which makes the Virgin Birth of Messiah, who appeared several times in the Old Testament as the Pre-Incarnate Christ, and the virgin-like (re)birth (supernaturally against impossible odds) of the Jewish nation a very appropriate analogy.

The True Agenda of the Palestinians & Muslim Nations & God’s Warning Against Such Plans

Not often does Mahmoud Abbas or Muslim nations hostile toward Israel (which is the vast majority) challenge the UN Resolution of November, 1947, which called for Israel’s acceptance into the family of nations alongside of an Arab State. To do so would be to bite the United Nations hand that feeds and fuels their hostility. They wouldn’t want to risk their incessant use of the United Nations (especially UNESCO) to pass one anti-Semitic resolution after another against the only free, democratic state in the entire Middle East.

Instead, they rail against the Balfour Declaration, the historical catalyst of Israel’s rebirth. To them it’s a much softer target, one that enables them to tell more lies. Such as Britain didn’t have the authority to partition Palestine in 1917. England certainly did have that right. I could write an entire article or two on the subject of post-World War I (and post-World War II) formations of new nations and territories in Europe and the Middle East. And those articles would pale in comparison to the number of historical volumes already written.

(Lord Arthur Balfour)

As with the Balfour Declaration, the Arabs in Palestine rigidly rejected the UN Resolution of 1947 which afforded them another opportunity to create a state of their own next to the State of Israel, after the British Mandate of Palestine expired in May, 1948. These are absolute historical facts that most heads of state and people all over the world either don’t understand or choose to ignore. Plus the fact that nothing has changed with the Palestinian and Muslim mindset toward Israel.

To wit: They don’t want a state next to Israel. They want a state in place of Israel. It’s as simple as that. Yet, what do we hear frequently from world leaders including U.S. Presidents? We hear practically nothing except a two-state solution. That is absolutely the worst thing that could happen. The repercussions would be devastating. Through Scripture, God is crystal clear on that subject.

Listen to God’s stern warning to those who have harmed the Jews and who seek to take away the land he has given to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob:

“…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 3:2).

The Promised Land MUST NOT BE DIVIDED.

“The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth will shake. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a strong fortress for the people of Israel” (Joel 3:16).

Britain’s Response to Palestinian Authority Demands to Rescind the Balfour Declaration

During the last part of April, 2017, the British Foreign Office representative reaffirmed the British Government’s official response to the absurd Palestinian demand that England, “…openly apologize to the Palestinian people for issuing the Balfour Declaration.” Based on the preposterous claim that, “the colonial policy of Britain between 1917 and 1948 led to mass displacement of the Palestinian nation.”

Britain refused to apologize, stating: “We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel.”

Followed by their explanation: “The Declaration was written in a world of competing imperial powers, in the midst of the First World War and in the twilight of the Ottoman Empire. In that context, establishing a homeland for the Jewish people in the land to which they had such strong historical and religious ties was the right and moral thing to do, particularly against the background of centuries of persecution. Of course, a full assessment of the Declaration and what followed from it can only be made by historians.”

My response to that response: “Amen! Way to go Great Britain!”

However, my enthusiasm is tempered, because the U.K. statement went on to say that the Balfour Declaration should have done more not to “prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” This originated first from Lord Warner, member of the House of Lords, who several weeks ago (before the Palestinian Authority regurgitated Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the United Nations) said that Britain should apologize for the Balfour Declaration. He contended that Britain had failed in that endeavor not to “prejudice … rights of the Palestinians” and should apologize for, “…the suffering that failure has caused and try to make amends … with a clear commitment to recognition of a viable independent Palestinian state.”

This never came to a vote in Britain’s Parliament and obviously Britain’s State Department overruled Lord Warner’s slanted sentiment to side with the Palestinians’ demands.

To reiterate: At no time after the League of Nations ratified and implemented the British Mandate and the Balfour Declaration, did the Jews prejudice (and certainly didn’t violate) the civil and religious rights of “non-Jewish communities of Palestine…” Just the opposite occurred when several pogrom style persecutions were launched by the Arabs against the Jews in the 1920s. And, as previously indicated: all-out war was hurled at the reborn State of Israel in 1948.

Concerning the Palestinian Authority’s outrageous claim that, “the colonial policy of Britain between 1917 and 1948 led to mass displacement of the Palestinian nation,” in addition to what I’ve already said regarding the Balfour Declaration, consider the following:

There was no—I repeat for emphasis—absolutely no “Palestinian nation” in 1917 or 1947-48; nor a “Palestinian” people. There were Arabs and Jews living in Israel, the land that a Roman Emperor in the 2nd century capriciously changed from Israel to Palestine for no other reason than to mock the Jews who remained in Israel after the Great Diaspora, by a name that sounded like or resembled Israel’s ancient mortal enemy, Philistia … the Philistines. Not until the PLO was formed in 1964 then even more after the Israeli victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, did Arabs began referring to themselves as Palestinians. Prior to that if anyone referred to a Palestinian or lawful resident of Palestine, they were referring almost exclusively to the Jews.

When the United Nations passed Israel’s Statehood Resolution in November, 1947, it also included land for an Arab State. Jews reached out to their Arab neighbors and asked them to stay. Their sincere gesture was met with Arab attacks on Jewish villages throughout Israel. This guerilla fighting (at the provocation of the Arabs) continued off and on until Israel became a state on May 14, 1948. One day later, five Arab nations attacked Israel. Arab government and military leaders told the Arabs to evacuate Israel in great numbers, with rationale that the Arab armies would have more room to maneuver and territory to fight the Israelis.

(Original Partition Nearly Equal Between Israel and an Arab State, However, the Judea/Samaria Area–Commonly Called the West Bank–Middle of Map in Yellow, Is Some of the Choicest Land)

Thus, hundreds of thousands of Arabs were “displaced.” Not by the Jews, not by the British, not by the UN Resolution to replace Palestine’s British Mandate with Arab and Jewish States (a two-state solution!); but by direct orders of their leaders who could have accepted a new Arab State rather than immediately attacking the Jews with the express purpose of wiping new-born Israel from the face of the earth.

Other Arabs left to escape the fighting, but mostly because they could not and would not tolerate living alongside Jews … just in case the Jews won the war.

These are the historical facts that so many liberal politicians (and even some conservative) in governments the world over have ignored or simply don’t care to consider as a balance to their tunnel vision effort to eliminate Islamophobia and/or to create a Palestinian State—no matter the cost to Israel’s security and the potential for even more war and bloodshed in the Middle East. As well as Europe and other western nations where Islamic terrorists have transported jihad from the Middle East.

Once again: the Palestinians do not want a state alongside Israel; they want a state instead of Israel. That’s why they rejected the Balfour Declaration, the UN Resolution of 1947, and two generous (but misguided) land offers from former Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert early in the 21st century.

(See, A Palestinian State … No, Say Many Arabs! Posted 4-11-14. And, Peace or a Palestinian State … Which Will It Be? Posted 2-27-16)

For all practical purposes, the Palestinians already have a territorial state. In fact, they have two states: one in the West Bank, the other in the Gaza Strip. At the very least they are self-governed to the extent of conducting elections, providing their own police force, and other administrative, economic, social, cultural, and political privileges associated with a self-determining people.

Then there are the 1.8 million Arabs who are citizens of Israel. The vast majority of them don’t want to live in a Palestinian State. They don’t want to give up the liberties and exceptional advantages that Israelis provide through such things as sophisticated electric-power grids, advanced agriculture techniques including incredible drip-systems, excellent and balanced education, technologically progressive medical care, state of the art infrastructure, and a thriving society that provides jobs and a higher standard of living than the average Arab has in virtually any Muslim nation in the Middle East.

(Shaare Zedek Hospital Complex in Jerusalem, Considered One of the Best Treatment Centers in the World. Israel Also Provides Medical Care to Palestinians, Syrians Wounded in Their Civil War & Arabs From Surrounding Nations)

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 powerful 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 the Jews in their journey of reaching God’s destiny for Israel and the Jewish people.

Please, don’t miss next week’s Part II article. You’ll see more astounding implications of the Balfour Declaration from a broader prophetic perspective … a vista to show that we are living in the last days of the final (Omega) generation identified by Jesus, himself.

Things to Ponder

The world’s attention on Israel is absolutely amazing. Never in world history have so many nations been so passionately focused (positive or negative, for or against) on one tiny country. Hardly a day goes by without a prominent leader from countries both big and small spouting rhetoric and rendering opinions about Israel and her place on planet Earth.

For example: In just the past few days, Germany’s President Frank Steinmeier echoed the uninformed but, nonetheless, persistent verbiage of many other dignitaries, saying that a two-state solution was “truly urgent.” U.S. President Trump, known world-wide for making deals, declared that peace between Israel and the Palestinians would be the “ultimate deal.”

Read with me three of many Bible prophecies written long ago regarding Israel’s destiny and the fate of nations and peoples opposed to her:

“And give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: I will gather the people of Israel from among the nations. I will bring them home to their own land from the places where they have been scattered. I will unify them into one nation on the mountains of Israel. One king will rule them all…” (Ezekiel 37:21-22).

Through another prophet, God declared:

“…This message is from the Lord who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit. I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves” (Zechariah 12:1-3).

“For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:9, italics for emphasis).

I am convinced beyond any doubt that we are living in the Omega (last) Generation. A generation destined for such a time as this … “that day” which is the soon-to-come great and glorious Day of the Lord.

(*Please take a few more minutes to watch this stirring video of our United States Marines singing along to one of the greatest modern Christian songs ever composed.)

To Be Or Not To Be … In Heaven? (A Revisit)

Tags

Preface to This Week’s Article

Once before it was necessary to repost a prior Eye of Prophecy article, due to the sudden demise of my laptop hard drive. The time it took to start all over again that week with a brand new engine prevented writing of a new article. Still, the repost included pictures and captions not part of the original article.

Well, it has happened again. Not because my computer hard drive dropped dead, but because my left eye began flashing little bolts of light, surrounded by mysterious shadows. This is not metaphorical!

After several medical examinations, there is good news and not so good news.

Good News: No retinal detachment.

Not So Good News: Somewhat favorable prognosis, but with precautionary conditions that I am susceptible to a retina tear and detachment from such simple things as a sneeze? I must learn to sneeze better. And when I shake my head, “no”; it must be a gentler shaking.

Medical procedures take time, as does dodging flashes of light while looking at words appearing on the screen from my keyboard. Thus, a new article this week did not happen.

Not to worry. You were worried, weren’t you! Not about me, about the article.

A prior Eye of Prophecy article is ready and waiting! With added photographs and captions and also with this unusual but necessary introduction.

I don’t know what the near or long-term medical future holds for yours truly or for continuance of new articles on this website. The condition of my eyes will determine that, but I know one thing for sure: God is in control and whatever happens will be according to his purpose and plan. My life and my eyes are in his hands. Weekly articles may continue; or it could be that articles will be posted every other Saturday instead of every week. These old eyes of mine may demand more rest.

If new articles must be discontinued for a while or indefinitely, there’s still positive news for those who visit Eye of Prophecy website on a regular basis and for those logging on for the first time.

In the three years, nine months since the first article was published, there have been 197 consecutive weekly articles, not including today’s post. If one a day is read, it would take about 6 ½ months to read them all. Based on the estimated average word count for all of these articles and the average word count in an average book, this would be 7 or 8 books. For example, my second book, Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved, 666? contains 111,740 words (286 pages).

This week’s Eye of Prophecy article, To Be or Not To Be … In Heaven? was originally posted November 1, 2014. November 1st happens to be my youngest son’s birthday. The word count is 3,777 (Microsoft Word count). I had forgotten or didn’t realize that until now. Three and seven are my favorite numbers as both are Divine numbers throughout Scripture. I chose this article because it is one of the author’s (my) favorites. Yes, authors have their favorites.

With much appreciation for those who visit (from 165 nations to date) the Eye of Prophecy website, I hope you enjoy today’s article … whether you’re reading it for the first time or vaguely remember reading it before.

With added visuals, here is: To Be Or Not To Be … In Heaven?

Heaven & Eternal Life: Same Thing or Different?

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

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

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

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

Shakespeare’s statement of, “To be or not to be; that is the question,” is, indeed, a profound reflection. A living soul will always “be.” To be born is to be, and be, and be….

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

We are all born spiritually dead. The only way we can pass from that spiritual death to life is to be born-again, which is accomplished when we believe and receive Christ Jesus, who IS life.

“And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life” (I John 5:11-12, italics for emphasis). Please take special notice of the italicized possessive present tense verbs in this remarkable passage, as we will elaborate on this concept shortly.

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

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

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

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

Everlasting Life is a possession. Heaven is a place.

The Possession of Eternal Life

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

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

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

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

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

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

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

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

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

Everlasting Life … Present Tense Possession

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

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

(Why Would Anyone Stake Their Eternal Destiny on the Presumption That Hell–or Heaven is not Real? Jesus Spoke More About Hell Than Heaven)

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

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

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

We could use either one of the previously quoted verses in John or I John, but let’s select another verse just to show how God, through his Word, validates that eternal life is a God-given gift that the believer possesses the very moment of the second birth. Listen to the words of Jesus:

“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life” (John 5:24, italics for emphasis).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life….” (John 3:36).

Once again, we read the present tense word has in this incredible promise. Thus, eternal life is not something we wait for until we die and go to heaven. Instead, it is an immediate present tense, right here and now gift from God the instant we place our personal trust in Jesus Christ as the only one who can save us from eternal death.

Eternal Life is a Possession … Heaven is a Place

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

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

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

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: “It just doesn’t get any better than that.”

First, we have present tense (right now on this earth) eternal life the nanosecond that we place our faith in Jesus’s atoning sacrifice on the Cross. No one, including ourselves by way of wrong behavior, mistakes, failures, or anything that we think may jeopardize our eternal security, can take away or change our new birth and the God-given gift of everlasting life. Next, we are guaranteed a dwelling place in heaven prepared by our Awesome Lord and Savior, ready to be occupied the moment we leave this earth. Thus, the eternal life we have right now will continue after our address change from earth to heaven. But with a far superior, resurrected body to enable us to live in God’s presence forever.

(During the Millennium, Believers Will Reign on Earth with Messiah Jesus, Followed by Our Dwelling Place in the New Jerusalem Which Will Be Part of the New Earth and Heaven … We Will Come & Go Freely Between These Three Places … See Also Revelation 21:1-4).

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

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

Heaven is a Place, but Not for Some Things!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things to Ponder

More proof of a permanent relationship with God through Christ:

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

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

Antichrist and Anzio … What Do They Have in Common?

Anzio and Antichrist?

Are you already shaking your head or wondering out loud, “I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of Anzio and I know I’ve heard the name Antichrist? Whether Anzio is what I think it is or not, what’s it got to do with the Antichrist?”

For those who know what and where Anzio is and maybe even remember its historical significance, you may still be befuddled as to why there would be any connection with Antichrist.

(Short Pause: I think that’s the first time I’ve ever used the word befuddled. Mostly because it’s a silly sounding word which reminds me of the cartoon character Elmer Fudd who was always being outwitted by Bugs Bunny. Nevertheless, befuddled is a synonym of confused, baffled, puzzled, bewildered, and so forth)!

Well, I hope to calm your curiosity and clarify your confusion by establishing a convincing correlation between Antichrist and Anzio. The best way to do that is to take a brief historical trip to Anzio, Italy of the 20th century, then to go back even further in time to the 1st century. Then back to the future to confirm the connection between Antichrist and Anzio.

Fasten your seatbelts; it’s a titillating but turbulent trip.

First, an introduction to 21st century Anzio, direct from Wikipedia:

“Anzio (‘antsjo) is a city and commune on the coast of the Lazio region of Italy, about 51 kilometers (32 mi) south of Rome. Well known for its seaside harbor setting, it is a fishing port and a departure point for ferries and hydroplanes to the Pontine Islands … Anzio’s population: 54,115.”

(Modern-Day Anzio)

Continuing in Wikipedia: “The city bears great historical significance as the site of Operation Shingle, a crucial landing by the Allies during the Italian Campaign of World War II.”

You most likely knew about Anzio. Like me, however, you probably identified it not as just Anzio, but as Anzio Beach. Along with Salerno, Anzio Beach was one of the largest amphibious assaults undertaken by the Allies in World War II. With, of course, the biggest of all at Normandy Beach in France (D-Day, June 6, 1944). Historians agree that the seaside landings in both the European and Pacific theatres of World War II played a major role in the ultimate Allied victory. And some historians have pointed out strategic flaws in Operation Shingle. But the fact remains: it led to a decisive defeat of German troops in southern and central Italy followed by the exhilarating liberation of Rome.

General Dwight Eisenhower announced the surrender of the Italian Armies on September 8, 1943. Italy dropped out of the war, except for forced conscription of some Italian battalions by the Third Reich. Soon thereafter, Germany responded with Operation Axis. The Germans swept in and occupied most of Italy, including Rome. The Allies countered with Operation Avalanche. Most Italians switched allegiance and embraced the Allies especially the American soldiers; many Italians had relatives or friends in America, via considerable Italian immigration during the 19th and 20th centuries.

After the Allies invaded Italy in 1943, the Germans stopped them cold at what was called the Gustav Line at Cassino, Italy. Winston Churchill came up with an idea to attack the line from behind it (from the south). This would require an assault from the Mediterranean Sea. Anzio was selected as a beachhead and the landing took place on January 22, 1944.

Time/space does not permit more details of battle defeats and successes, or the Allied good and bad decisions of Operation Shingle. Bottom line is that American soldiers of the 5th Army entered Rome late on June 4; the following day, June 5th, German troops withdrew from the city. Romans wildly celebrated their liberation from German tyranny, even though just a few months earlier their soldiers had been fighting on Germany’s side. The very next day (D-Day, June 6th, 1944) the Allies stormed several beaches at Normandy, France. This triggered the beginning of the end of the Third Reich.

During the four-month bloody battle for Italy, German troops actually pushed the Allies back to the beachhead in February, 1944. After a change in command (generals), the Allies regained the offensive including breach of a German line of defense between Rome and Anzio.

The name of that defensive line: Caesar Line!

(The “Hitler Line” on the Map was Another Name for the Caesar Line)

After the fall of Rome to the Allies, some German forces remained in northern Italy until May 2, 1945. American Commander Mark Clark was criticized for “grandstanding” with his main objective of liberating Rome at the expense of what might have been a complete expulsion of German troops from all of Italy. Nonetheless, the Italian Campaign was a major success for the Allies and, ironically, for Italians whose victory was with and from the Allies not against them. The “eternal city” of Rome was liberated with minimal damage to buildings or loss of life to Rome’s civilians.

(Liberation of Rome, Coliseum in Background)

Dozens of World War II movies have been made including one released in 1968 simply called, Anzio. Although the cast was mostly non-Italian actors such as Robert Mitchum, Peter Falk, and Robert Ryan, it was produced by Italian Dino de Laurentiis, and shot mostly in Italy by an Italian film crew.

From Anzio to Antichrist

Stay with me while we continue this mysterious journey between Anzio and Antichrist a little longer, so as to peak your interest. Also, in summary fashion, to once again disclose the identity of Antichrist, as established from the astounding evidence found in Scripture and 1st century history. Those who have read my second book, Out of the Abyss and/or just a few articles in the category of Antichrist on the Eye of Prophecy website, will know that the Antichrist revealed in the 1st century and also—because of his incredible reappearance in the near future—the 21st century is none other than the Roman Emperor Nero.

By means of meticulous documentation of Scripture and accurate correlation with secular history, we know that Nero was the Man of Lawlessness exposed by the Apostle Paul in II Thessalonians 2. He was the Roman Caesar who personally ordered several of his legions under Generals Vespasian and Titus to crush the Jewish uprising in 66 AD, which led directly to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple as prophesied in Daniel Chapter 9. His name in Hebrew gematria spells six hundred, sixty-six as found in Revelation 13. He had already lived and died before John was given the visions of the Antichrist beast in the book of Revelation (Revelation 17:7-8 & 11; Revelation 13:3, 12, 14).

Thus he (Nero) is not only one of the seven (five who died) kings (Roman emperors) of Revelation 17, he is also the composite beast himself (Antichrist). In that same 17th Chapter of Revelation, we are told that the Antichrist beast who had already lived and died would reappear from the Abyss to the amazement of those left behind at the Rapture. That same shock and awe is described in Revelation Chapter 13. All of these correlations (and more) between Antichrist and Nero are presented in enormous detail in Out of the Abyss and in various Eye of Prophecy articles.

The following passage is John’s first comprehensive vision of the beast of Revelation (called Antichrist only by the Apostle John as found only in his epistle of I John). The second major revelation of the beast is found in Revelation Chapter 17. In my book and some Eye of Prophecy articles, you’ll find extraordinary evidence to show the Abyss is under the oceans or seas. Such as: Soon Comes the Antichrist … Straight From the Abyss, Part I & Part II. (Posted 8-20 & 8-27-16).

“Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns … I saw that one of the heads seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. They worshiped the dragon (Satan) for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. ‘Who is as great as the beast?’ they exclaimed. ‘Who is able to fight against him?’” Revelation 13:1-4).

(Note: One reason masses of people will ask those two questions will stem from the thought: How can you fight against or kill someone who came back from the grave 2000 years later? Their answer: You can’t. Though they won’t know until it’s too late, Nero will not be killed again. He will be thrown into the Lake of Fire alive along with the False Prophet. See Revelation 19:20).

Nero is one of the seven heads (kings-Roman Emperors) and like Revelation 17 he is also the composite beast itself. He lost his empire on June 9, 68 AD, when he was killed (fatal wound) by his servant. Nero preferred death over being captured and tortured by Roman soldiers, but he didn’t have the courage to do himself in. His recovery from that deadly blow and return (reappearance) to earth will captivate those left behind to the point of yielding their complete allegiance to this vile man.

Mostly, however, I want to direct your attention to the first few words of the just quoted passage: “Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea…” (Revelation 13:1). Which tracks with the Antichrist beast (Nero) coming up out of the Abyss in Chapter 17, as the Abyss is beneath the sea.

(Fairly Accurate Depiction of the Beast in Revelation 13:1-2)

As also established in my book and some prior Eye of Prophecy articles with Scriptural and cogent reasons given, the sea here is literal … not figurative. The sea is not the mass of humanity, no more than is the Abyss in Revelation 17 (a very real place, different from Hell).

Nero & The Remarkable Revival of His Name

This heading is actually the title of the Eye of Prophecy article posted recently on April 1, 2017. In that article, some fascinating facts were presented reflecting a prominent surge of Nero’s name in just the past few years. Trust me, that article was no April fool’s joke or ruse.

If you’ve ever bought Nero bottled water, Nero tile floor covering, Nero tires, Nero video games, Nero watches and handbags; if you’ve heard about or maybe you’re driving a brand new Kia NIRO or watched the now famous Super bowl automobile commercial earlier this year about NIRO; if you’ve ever purchased software from Nero AG; if you’re tuned in to the music of the rock band NERO; if you’ve seen or belong to one of many organizations whose name is an acronym for N E R O; then you’ll know how prevalent his name is in mainstream media and every-day products.

(Kia Is Now the Official Sponsor of the NBA … The Playoffs Are Currently in Progress)

There’s more: A phenomena of late 20th and now 21st century thinking and rethinking of Nero by many people … including professional writers, artists, entrepreneurs, politicians, professors, archeologists, as well as “common” people.

Here are excerpts (in italics) from my article, Nero & The Remarkable Revival of His Name, which quotes from and comments on a National Geographic article published in September, 2014 entitled Rethinking Nero, written by Robert Draper:

In general the article was about Nero himself; one that included information about partial restoration of Nero’s Golden Palace (Domus Aurea) subsequently opened to the public, but shut down in 2010 due to partial collapse of its roof. (Note: I have no doubt that this exhibit will be reopened before the Rapture or most likely when Nero reappears … he’ll see to it.

“The world-famous amphitheater (Colosseum) … was apparently named for the more than 100-foot-tall bronze statue of Nero depicted as the sun god—the Colossus Neronis—that once loomed over the valley.

“Just to the west of the Colosseum sprawl the lavish imperial ruins on the Palatine Hill. In April 2011 the Special Superintendency for the Archaeological Heritage of Rome opened an exhibit at the Palatine and other locations nearby devoted to the life and works of Nero … The exhibitors knew that any show about the notorious Nero would attract visitors.”

Then Robert Draper quotes a well-known biographer of Nero whom he had interviewed in preparation for his article:

“Well, he’s a good box office,” observes Roberto Gervaso, the bald and hawk-eyed 77-year-old author of the 1978 biographical novel Nerone. ‘They’ve made lots of films about Nero, but they couldn’t resist making a caricature of him. Such picturesque depravity attracts a biographer. I could never write a biography of St. Francis. And I would certainly rather go to dinner with Nero than Hadrian.”

Draper continues to quote Gervaso:

“He (Nero) was a monster. But that’s not all he was. And those who came before and after him were no better. The true monsters, like Hitler and Stalin, lacked (Nero’s) imagination. Even today he would be avant-garde, ahead of his time.”

Then Roberto Gervaso concludes his remarks to the article’s author Robert Draper with these chilling words:

“I wrote my book 35 years ago precisely because I wanted to rehabilitate him (Nero). Maybe you could do more.”

What this biographer said about Nero is absolutely unmistakable, as is the nostalgic way in which he said it. He wants Nero, his name, and his image to be redefined and readjusted to be more (different) than just a “monster.” To be the avant-garde Renaissance type man who Gervaso believes Nero really was. With the obvious inference that the “good” in Nero far outweighed the bad.

That’s exactly what is happening the world over, sometimes subtlety with such things as tires and tiles. But more overtly with such things as cars and video games and people like Roberto Gervaso who want Nero back in the limelight … apparently, you would think, to the point of wishing he would return! Little do they know that they will get their wish. And when they take the mark of the beast they will go down in flames along with their hero.

It is truly remarkable in an adversely twisted way that the name of Nero has reappeared in the 20th and 21st centuries and in mainstream media and products at that. That cannot be said of any other ruler, especially one from the ancient 1st century AD. We still hear or read the name of Hitler, but always in a negative way and rightfully so. And we see things named after famous leaders who are characterized as good figures of history. Such as JFK airport in New York. Or the Lincoln Town Car.

But not of sadistically immoral, brutal tyrants such as Nero. Not, that is, until our generation.

I firmly believe that the resurgence of Nero and his name is no mere coincidence. Instead, it is a Satanic driven preparation to the reappearance of this evil man, himself.

More Startling Evidence of the Revival of Nero and His Name

In the context of today’s article—that of conveying a little known fact about the 1st century Roman Emperor Nero, then determining its connection to his reappearance from the Abyssal Sea soon after the Rapture (Antichrist’s link to Anzio)—let’s look at additional content of Robert Draper’s article, Rethinking Nero.

What you’re going to see is more alarming authentication that a cross-section of people and professionals from all walks of life are not only trying to “rehabilitate” Nero’s despicably infamous persona and portray him in a much more favorable light, but also (deliberately or inadvertently) reviving the 1st – 5th century belief that Nero would return.

Please see Eye of Prophecy article, The Legendary Return of Nero (Posted 4-4-15). Also, the Nero Redivivus Legend was summarized in my article, Nero & the Remarkable Revival of His Name.

(One of Hundreds of Nero Coins in Existence … The Term “Legend” Originated from Coinage Mostly of Rulers)

In his article, Robert Draper quotes a well-known Italian archaeological journalist Marisa Ranieri Panetta who is referring to Nero:

“… Not to suggest that Nero was himself a great emperor—but that he was better than they said he was, and no worse than those who came before and after him.”

Draper then commented on Panetta’s complimentary observations of Nero:

“Ranieri Panetta is among the energetic and multiplying voices who have spurred a reappraisal of Nero.”

Robert Draper does try to balance the “multiplying voices who have spurred a reappraisal of Nero” by giving a couple of examples of those who still hold Nero in historical contempt. However, the entire gist of Draper’s article is the astonishing 20th and 21st century resurgence of not only keen interest in Nero but also the desire to radically change the historical perception that Nero was only bad.

For example, Draper quotes Princeton University Professor Edward Champlin’s revisionist book, simply entitled Nero. Champlin describes Nero as, “…an indefatigable artist and performer who happened also to be emperor of Rome … a public relations man ahead of his time with a shrewd understanding of what the people wanted, often before they knew it themselves….”

Then Draper quotes archaeologist Heinz-Jurgen Beste who extolled Nero’s avant-garde creation of “Neronia” an Olympic style poetry, music, and athletic contests.

“It was something new, like young people today with their social media, where suddenly everything personal is on exhibit … He’d created something no one had seen before: a light-flooded public place not just for hygiene but also where there were statues and paintings and books, where you could hang out and listen to someone read poetry aloud. It meant an entirely new social situation.”

Robert Draper then comments on his visit to Rome:

“Spending time in the still great but recession-battered city of Rome and discussing the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors with scholars and political figures, one is tempted to compare the grandiosity of Nero to the showmanship of a more recent fallen Italian leader.”

Draper is referring to Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was convicted in 2013 of tax fraud and who had served as Prime Minister for nine years (over staggered terms), resigning in 2011.

Then Robert Draper quotes archeologist Andrea Carandini, who is still critical of Nero, but who is in the minority contrasted to those who seek to restore Nero in an entirely favorable light:

“Nero was a fool and a megalomaniac, but a fool can also be charming and interesting. The thing he invented, which all demagogues after him repeated, was that he cherished the masses. He made a gigantic thing of inviting the whole city inside his Domus Aurea (Grand Palace), which was one-third of the city, and making a gigantic show. This is television! And Silvio Berlusconi did exactly the same thing, using the media to connect with the plebes.”

(3-D Image of Domus Aurea, Nero’s “Grand Palace)

(Part of the Original Domus Aurea)

Next, Draper cites Rome’s former mayor who was also Italy’s former minister of culture, Walter Veltronie, stating that Veltronie “rejects any comparison between Nero and the scandal-ridden former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.”

Said Veltronie: “Berlusconi had no interest in archaeology—the word was simply not in his head … for me, Nero’s Domus Aurea is the most beautiful place in the city—the most mysterious, where different periods of history weave together. When I was minister of culture in the late 1990s, I took Martin Scorsese to see it, who was so impressed with the grotesques. And I also took Ian McEwan into it—he wrote about the Domus Aurea in his novel Saturday.

Draper then quotes Professor of Greek and Roman architecture Alessandro Viscogliosi who Draper says, “designed a remarkable 3-D computerized reconstruction of the Domus Aurea.”

Said Viscogliosi about Nero: “He wanted to be close to the people … But as their god, not as their friend.”

From Antichrist Back to Anzio

There are other examples of the reprehensible rehabilitation of Nero’s so-called respectable even admirable attributes, but let’s look at the chilling conclusion to Robert Draper’s article, Rethinking Nero.

Regarding a statue of Nero, built and unveiled in 2010, Robert Draper writes:

“Today it sits at the edge of the sea, a rather stunning representation of the emperor in his early 20s, well over six feet tall, standing in his toga on a pillar, his eyes intent as his extended right arm points toward the water in all its splendid mystery. The plaque gives his full ruling name in Italian—Nerone Claudio Cesare Augusto Germanico…. Then, after describing his lineage, it says, ‘During his reign the empire enjoyed a period of peace, of great splendor, and of important reforms’” (Italics for emphasis).

(Anzio’s Statue of Nero, Erected 2010)

Note that I stopped at the end of Nero’s full name, and resumed with, “Then, after describing his lineage…” Why did I stop there?

Answer: For the suspenseful reason of saving the most astonishing feature of not only the purpose of this statue, but also the climax to what is happening in Italy and the entire world concerning the extraordinary revitalization of Nero and his name. And to answer the question posed in this week’s Eye of Prophecy article, Antichrist and Anzio … What Do They Have In Common?

By doing so, to provide yet another milestone marker and fascinating feature of Scripture’s amazing prophecy that the Antichrist beast will reappear from the Abyss/Sea, having already died before John saw the beast himself (Revelation 13:1 and 17:7-8).

Here is the full sentence in Draper’s article, beginning with what I’ve already quoted:

“The plaque gives his full ruling name—Nerone Claudio Cesare Augusto Germanico—and memorializes his birth here in Anzio on December 15, A.D. 37” (Italics for emphasis).

That is what Antichrist and Anzio have in common … Nero’s birth place!

Modern-day Anzio occupies a portion of the ancient Roman territory called Antium. Nero was born in Antium. Several wealthy Romans built vacation style villas along Antium’s shore line, the most famous of which was the Villa of Nero, spread over nearly one-half mile of seafront property.

Just a few sentences before that, Robert Draper wrote: “In all of the former empire, there is one locale that has elected to celebrate Nero: Anzio, the famed beachhead for American troops in World War II. This is where Nero was born and where he kept another villa—now mostly underwater, though numerous artifacts from the complex are housed at the local museum. In 2009 Anzio’s new mayor, Luciano Bruschini, declared his intentions to commission a statue of the town’s infamous native son. The statue was unveiled in 2010…”

*Note: That is the statue mentioned/pictured just a few paragraphs ago.

Later, Draper quotes Anzio’s Mayor Bruschini:

“When I was a boy, I used to swim among the ruins of the villa. As children, we were taught that he was evil—among the worst emperors of all. Doing a little research, I came to conclude that it’s not true. I consider Nero to be a good, even great emperor, and maybe the most beloved of the entire empire. He was a great reformer. The senators were rich, and the owned slaves. He took from them and gave to the poor. He was the first socialist!

“After I was elected, I decided to do this rehabilitation of Nero. We put up posters that said, ‘Anzio, City of Nero.’ Some people said, ‘But Mayor, he killed lots of Christians.’ I told them, ‘Only a few—nothing like the thousands of Christians who were killed later in the empire.’ We received proposals from two different sculptors. One of them portrayed Nero as a lunatic. We got rid of that one and used this other artist, which is the statue you see today. It’s now the most photographed place in the city. In summer big crowds congregate.”

The last sentence of Robert Draper’s article says, “The boy king was home now in Anzio, surrounded by the masses once again.”

A Pathetic Attempt by Anzio’s Mayor to Claim Nero Killed Only a Few Christians

A pause here to comment on the Mayor of Anzio’s statement that only a few Christians were killed by Nero (as if “only a few” would exonerate Nero’s cruel and callous culpability). This is not historically accurate. The number of Christians killed in the first century will never be known for sure. Some historians postulate that the estimated 20,000 Christians killed during Emperor Diocletian’s reign (81-96 AD) exceeded the thousands killed by Nero.

Yet, one fact is certain: The mass slaughter of Christians including the Apostles Paul and Peter began with Nero. Nero’s sordid savagery was so excessive that some of the Roman citizens who loved Nero were embarrassed if not shocked that their beloved Caesar could do such a thing. Even then it wasn’t that Christians were being killed in great numbers; it was the gruesome means Nero used to murder them.

I mentioned one horrifying way in my book Out of the Abyss, and subsequently in a couple of Eye of Prophecy articles. You may or may not remember this from history. To convince his admiring and devoted Roman citizens that the Christians started the great fire of Rome (most historians agree that Nero had ordered the fires set and was conveniently at his villa in Antium as a personal alibi); but also to mercilessly mock both the Christians and Christ himself, Nero had Christians placed on poles throughout his Grand Palace courtyard. He then ordered them to be covered in pitch/tar and set on fire to provide light for his guests. While the Christians suffered a slow agonizing death, Nero taunted them with these words: “Now you are truly the light of the world.”

(Depiction of Nero Burning Christians to Provide Light for His Parties)

In terms of the “numbers” of Christians killed by Nero, here is an excerpt from Roman historian Tacitus in his book, Annals:

“Accordingly first those were arrested who confessed they were Christians; next on their information, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the charge of burning the city, as of ‘hating the human race’” (italics for emphasis).

I highlighted vast multitudes to demonstrate that considerably more than “only a few” (phrase used by Anzio’s mayor) Christians and those accused of being Christians were “convicted.” If they were convicted, you can bet that most of them were executed.

To rationalize his obvious fondness of Nero and to be one of many wanting to change Nero’s image from a sadistic dictator to a benevolent monarch, it appears that Anzio’s mayor either deliberately or inadvertently (though some ignorance of history) tried to defend Nero’s brutality by comparing it to another Roman emperor.

The persecution of Christians begun by Nero continued, off and on with varying degrees of severity, until the Roman Emperor Constantine actually declared Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire in the early 4th century A.D. From that came the Roman Catholic Church which not long thereafter (continuing for hundreds of years) killed more true born-again Christians (and Jews) than did its predecessor, the political Roman Empire.

The Return of the Antichrist Beast (Nero) From the Abyss/Sea

Very soon after the Rapture, God will release Nero from his 2,000-year confinement in the Abyss. This “miraculous” reappearance from what the world will consider a resurrection from the grave will stun many left behind on earth … to the point of complete allegiance to and worship of both Nero and Satan.

In my book and several Eye of Prophecy articles, I’ve provided extensive documentation from Scripture and from history to show the beast who had died would “come up out of the Abyss” (Revelation 17) and will “rise from the Sea” (Revelation 13).

Because Nero is the Antichrist beast, that Sea will be the Mediterranean.

Granted, the following proposal is speculation, but a supposition based on compelling correlation between Biblical prophecy and 1st century history as related to the near future reappearance of the Antichrist.

Proposal: Nero will arise from the sea near Anzio (what he will call Antium), his place of birth. His spectacular reappearance and triumphant arrival will be jubilantly celebrated first by the citizens of Anzio, then by all of Italy upon his grand entrance into Rome. Then by the entire world. It’s one of several ways in which he will imitate (in a mocking sarcastic way) the things that Messiah Jesus said and did. Jesus told his disciples to spread the Gospel—Good News of God’s salvation offered through the death, burial, and resurrection of God’s Son—first to Jerusalem, then Judea/Samaria, finally to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

For the counterfeit Messiah, anti-Christ Nero: first in Anzio, then in Rome/Italy, then over the entire planet.

Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, Soon Comes the Antichrist … Straight From the Abyss Part II (Posted 8-27-16) … In italics.

For those left behind at the Rapture, some will actually witness Nero’s ascent from the Abyss/Sea and many others will watch on video replay from those who captured it on their smart phone cameras. Don’t roll your eyes at that scenario! There even may be television crews alerted ahead of Nero’s ascent from the Sea, by some mysterious things going on such as smoke billowing from the surface of the sea. Did you know that there are huge subterranean volcanoes and rock structures that include chimney-like formations in these underwater fissures? Geologists call the ocean floor, The Abyssal Plain! They call these open vents in subterranean rock formations, Black Smokers. We looked at the embodied beings (fallen angels) that come from the Abyss (Revelation Chapter 9). Here is John’s description: “When he opened it (the Abyss), smoke poured out as though from a huge furnace, and the sunlight and air turned dark from the smoke” (Revelation 9:2). This 2000-year old description matches recent 20th & 21st century geological discoveries and vernacular—dark, smoke, furnace, shaft, poured out!)

Things to Ponder

When Nero returns he will strike up a liaison with the Holy Roman Empire (Roman Catholic Church). Soon, thereafter, he will replace this brief partnership with his ten-nation coalition; he will annihilate what he considers to be the usurper (Holy See) to the true Roman Empire. Then he will resume his savage persecution and killing of Tribulation saints (Revelation 13:7), and also launch a Tribulation ending assault against Israel. That final attack on the apple of God’s eye will seal Nero’s fate.

“He (Antichrist) will enter the glorious land of Israel, and many nations will fall … He will conquer many countries, and even Egypt will not escape … He will stop between the glorious holy mountain (Jerusalem) and the sea (Mediterranean) and will pitch his royal tents. But while he is there, his time will suddenly run out, and no one will help him” (Daniel 11:41-42 & 45, parenthesis mine).

(Har Megiddo and Surrounding Valley in Israel … I’ve Been There! Har means Hill or Mount in Hebrew, Which Yields the Name Armageddon)

During that final battle of Armageddon when Messiah Jesus returns physically to earth, all Raptured believers and resurrected Tribulation saints will be with him.

“Together (the Antichrist beast and his ten-nation confederation) they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And his chosen and faithful ones will be with him” (Revelation 17:14, parenthesis mine). Also, see Revelation 19:11-21.

The Day of the Lord is near … so very near.

Scan the globe. What do you see? Are you facing reality? If so, then you can’t help but notice that Planet Earth is enveloped in physical terror and spiritual/moral darkness … teetering on an axis of evil, ready to fall into an Abyss of destruction.

I’m sorry, but a head-in-the-sand optimism for a human solution isn’t enough to change the irreconcilable divisions we see all over the world. Left against the right; rich and poor; black and white; freedom vs. totalitarian Islamic subjugation; nationalism opposed to globalism; and any other polar divisions you can think of.

Messiah Jesus will soon return to make all things right. He will bring truth, justice, and Shalom (peace).

Are you ready?

“For the time is coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this will be his name: The LORD is Our Righteousness. In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety” (Jeremiah 23:5-6).

The Shout Heard Around the World

Tags

The Shot Heard Round the World

What is the shot heard round the world? If your answer is the first rifle shot of the American Revolutionary War, you would be right … sort of! Because, in part, it was a trick question. Tricky? Yes, there have been several shots that have found their mark in history.

According to Wikipedia: “The Shot heard round the world continues to be a stock phrase in the 21st century, widely used to refer to extraordinary events in general.” Then Wikipedia notes that the phrase has been, “applied to several dramatic moments in sports history.”

Some examples are given such as New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thompson’s game-winning walk-off home run against the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the National League pennant in 1951. Or Gene Sarazen’s memorial golf shot on the 15th hole of the Masters Tournament in 1935, a double eagle (a score of 2 on a Par 5) which propelled him to a play-off win. Although not listed in Wikipedia, I would add my favorite golfer, Tom Watson’s incredible final round chip-in on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach to guarantee a win over Jack Nicklaus in the 1982 U.S. Open.

In terms of historical precedent and prominence, the most famous “Shot Heard Round the World,” took place at the battle of Concord where the first British soldiers were killed at the outset of the American Revolutionary War. It was this first real battle of our War of Independence that inspired Ralph Waldo Emerson’s opening stanza of Concord Hymn written in 1837 that produced this iconic phrase.

(The Minute Man statue at the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts)

The second most recognized shot heard round the world is attributed to the (two) shots fired in 1914 by a Serbian, Gavrilo Princip, when he killed the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This assassination was considered to be the main catalyst of World War I. The first shot actually hit Ferdinand’s wife, the second struck the Archduke himself.

Until the advent of modern-day sports, “shots” obviously came from guns and artillery. Well, maybe a shot of whiskey! In addition to golf and baseball, we now have a shot on goal (hockey and soccer), a shot in basketball, a shot in tennis, and I’m sure others that I can’t think of right now.

For what it’s worth, I thought the “Shot(s) Heard Round the World” would be a good lead-in to this week’s Eye of Prophecy article, if for no other reason that a play on the word shot exchanging it for “Shout.” And for a little titillating piece of history, with emphasis on little for those who have minimal interest in things historical. Contrasted to some of us (like me) who can’t get enough of history for an abundance of reasons. I suppose that’s one of those: to each his own.

Whichever Shot Heard Round the World is the most well-known or however many others are worthy of such iconic reminiscence or how many more may come along in the future, there is one thing for certain: The “Shout” Heard Around the World will be part and parcel of the greatest event since the birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus, himself.

This stupendous shout combined with a series of titanic trumpet blasts will electrify the world and abruptly launch Planet Earth into the end-times Day of the Lord. Although the magnitude of the shout and trumpet calls will be like none ever heard before or after, there are Old Testament Biblical precedents of shouts and trumpets that portray and pattern integral features of the Rapture. Followed by more shouts and trumpets during the terrible seven-year Tribulation, culminating with the triumphant return of Jesus to this earth to usher in the Millennium.

I initially wrote about this sequence of events in the fifth article ever posted on Eye of Prophecy website, How the Rapture? Posted 8-24-13. And did so through a meticulous examination and comparison of the two main Biblical passages about the Rapture—I Thessalonians Chapter 4 and I Corinthians Chapter 15. I would encourage you to read that article; and, if time permits, the first four articles on the Rapture, posted in July and August, 2013.

How Will the Rapture Actually Take Place

Let’s begin with a premise supported heavily by Scriptural evidence as well as common sense application to unfolding of the Rapture itself.

Premise: Contrary to the prevailing notion even among well-known students of prophecy, this shout and series of trumpet calls will be heard by the entire world, not just believers taken to heaven in the Rapture. And, all of the sights and sounds of the entire sequence of the Rapture will last for several minutes. Only the transfiguration of the bodies of both the dead in Christ and believers alive at the Rapture will take place in “the blink of an eye.”

Here is the Apostle Paul’s first introduction to the astounding event we call the Rapture:

“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 (harpazo) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17, parenthesis mine; harpazo is the Greek world for “caught up” from which we get the Latin term Rapture).

Next is Paul’s second (chronological) explanation of the Rapture, which provides additional information to I Thessalonians 4:

“But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed” (I Corinthians 15:51-52).

Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, How the Rapture? (in italics):

For the past several decades, every commentary, sermon, book, or article that deals with this passage–at least everything I’ve heard and read–consolidates, by default, the dynamics of this passage on the Rapture with the other main passage found in I Thessalonians Chapter 4. With a resulting conclusion that the entire scope or sequential events of the Rapture will transpire at warp speed … blink of an eye. For sure, the two passages are intricately related; but there is also a specific variance found in I Corinthians 15 that is profoundly distinct from the companion passage in I Thessalonians Chapter 4.

In I Corinthians 15, what is it precisely that takes place in the nanosecond blink of an eye? A little hint: To one thing only, which (blink of an eye) doesn’t apply to the rest of the Rapture events described in I Thessalonians 4, in terms of those events also taking place in a split-second.

Another excerpt from How the Rapture? Pertaining to I Corinthians 15:

Here is where we students of the Bible (I’m including myself) overlooked or took for granted one little (impersonal) pronoun. Because we skimmed over this two-letter word, we missed or dismissed the important textual relationship of this pronoun to the antecedent that immediately precedes it….

First defining “antecedent.” Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines antecedent as: “One that goes before … a substantive word, phrase, or clause referred to by a pronoun …a word or group of words replaced and referred to by a substitute…”

The substitute is almost always a pronoun found immediately after the “substantive word or phrase”, which is the case in I Corinthians 15: 51-52. So let’s break it down.

First, the phrase in this passage: “…but we will all be transformed!”

Second, the pronoun, “It“, which begins the very next verse, “It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye….” Can you make the connection? What specifically is “it” referencing or taking the place of in the text? You got it: It is referring to and the same thing as what Paul just said would occur which is, “…but we will all be transformed.”

The Apostle Paul further explains “it” (meaning the actual transformation itself, which is the astonishing change of our earthly body to that of our brand new heavenly body) by explaining how “it” (the transfiguration) will take place. “It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye.”

When will it happen?

Answer: “…when the last trumpet is blown.”

Continuing with another excerpt:

In the New American Standard translation, we read, “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet….” (I Corinthians 15: 51-52). Notice, that the pronoun (it) is not found in this translation. Why? Because the connection between the action of “changed” (transformed) and the how of the change (twinkling of an eye) is inseparable, irrefutable, and exclusive. Both passages contain essentially the same composition; with the New Living Translation and other translations (such as the Jewish Bible) accurately and emphatically reinforcing the translation from Greek to English, by use of a pronoun that substitutes for the mystery of the transformation itself.

I hope you see this as much more than just a boring exercise in grammar and syntax. It is exceptionally significant that we understand what is going on in this passage. Saying it another way: The only thing that will happen in a moment or blink of an eye (at the instant the last trumpet is blown) is the actual physical transfiguration of our earthly bodies. The “it” does not apply to anything else in this passage; nor can “the transformation” specifically apply to the events so majestically portrayed in I Thessalonians Chapter 4. In fact, I Thessalonians 4 doesn’t say anything about the blink of an eye transformation at all. But we’ve inadvertently extended or expanded the instantaneous change found in I Corinthians 15 to include the entire sequence of events described in I Thessalonians 4.

Coordinating I Thessalonians 4 with I Corinthians 15

Now let’s interconnect the events from both of the above Rapture passages. This will enable us to understand clearly that the entire episode of the Rapture is progressive and will take place in real-time and space. Only the actual transformation of believer’s bodies, both dead and living, will occur in the blink of an eye; yet even that is a measure of time. As you will see, the only speculation that I will engage in is the approximate (if not actual) length of time (minutes) over which the Rapture will unfold. However, that “speculation” has a Biblical precedent. We’ll get to that later. For now, think Walls of Jericho!

We’ll begin again with I Thessalonians Chapter 4 which, as indicated earlier, is the first systematic revelation of the Rapture which immediately precedes the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation. In the subsequent disclosure of the Rapture to the Corinthian believers, the Apostle Paul provides two additional features for a comprehensive grasp of everything taking place. Those two aspects not found in I Thessalonians: (1) the Last Trumpet call which obviously implies there will be more than one (a series of trumpet blasts); (2) The split-second (blink of an eye) transfiguration of our dead or dying earthly bodies to our eternal spiritual bodies.

Then we’ll weave in I Corinthians 15 with I Thessalonians 4 to complete the prophetic tapestry of the monumental Rapture event that will liftoff what Scripture often refers to as the Day of the Lord (Rapture, Tribulation, and Millennium).

“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” (I Thessalonians 4:16).

STOP.

The trumpet call of God and Christians who have died will rise from their graves, requires us to now switch over to I Corinthians for amplification.

“…We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It (the transformation) will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet (last trumpet as Paul has already stated, with clear inference that there are several trumpet blasts) sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed” (I Corinthians 15:51-52, parenthesis mine).

Paul begins the Corinthians’ passage with: “We will not all die…” Which is a direct reference and connection to I Thessalonians 4, thus, we’ll resume with I Thessalonians: “Then, together with them (those who have been resurrected from the grave), we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…” I Thessalonians 4:17).

Stay with me, and you’ll see how this works.

The Syntax Sequence:

Once again, here is the wording succession in I Thessalonians 4: “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…” (Verse 16).

These three particulars (shout, voice, trumpet call) of the Rapture have obviously been quoted in the sentence sequence order in which they are presented in I Thessalonians 4. However, with one significant observation (commentary): The Lord’s commanding shout, accompanied by the voice of an archangel are linked to the “trumpet call” by the connective word and; rather than “then” or “when” which are terms used to demonstrate sequence, i.e. first this, then that.

And is defined in Webster’s Dictionary: “used as a function word to indicate connection or addition of items within the same class or type; used to join sentence elements of the same grammatical rank or function…”

In other words, the main purpose and use of “and” is to connect the elements (separate parts) of a single sentence together in/with equal “rank or function.” As opposed to stating or even suggesting that there is a progression in which the events will or should unfold.

What I’m saying is that the Lord’s shout, the angel’s voice, and the trumpet call(s) are all component parts of the beginning phase of the Rapture … the means that will get the attention of the entire world, both believers and unbelievers. Followed by the reason/purpose for this majestic introduction and attention grabber, which is the transformation of the dead to resurrected bodies. Then the transfiguration of living believers, resulting in our joint ascension to meet the Lord in the air/clouds.

Which, in turn means that the trumpet calls could (and I believe will) actually be the first thing people will hear, followed by or alongside the archangel’s voice, then the Lord’s commanding shout to “Come up here.” Which is in reverse order of the sentence structure, but with recognition that the connective word “and” isn’t demanding or even suggesting that they are progressively or sequentially in that order. Only that each one of these features combined together will commence the catching up (Rapture) of believers, both dead and living, “when the Lord himself will come down from heaven…”

The Actual Sequence

(1) A Series of Trumpet Blasts: Again deferring to Paul’s elaboration (clarification) in I Corinthians 15, the actual transformation of believers—spectacular resurrection of dead Christians immediately followed by an astonishing change of the bodies of living believers—will take place when the last trumpet is blown. “Last trumpet” implies unmistakably that there will be a series of trumpet blasts preceding the final trumpet call. This is precisely the pattern of trumpet blasts throughout Scripture, a sequence that took several minutes to conclude.

(2) Resurrection of Believers from Their Graves, With New Instantaneously Transformed Spiritual Bodies: The blink of an eye change in I Corinthians 15 logically must precede the “rise from their graves” as recorded in I Thessalonians 4. There must first be the transformation of dead believers to a brand new spiritual body before they can escape the confines of their graves or from wherever they were entombed (such as the ocean or even scattered ashes).

Recreating their bodies will be absolutely no problem for God. He is, after all, the Creator of all living things. He has ultimate power over life and death. However, the implication is crystal clear here. There will be another lapse of time (perhaps a minute or two) when all dead saints will “arise from their graves” after the blink of an eye transformation of their bodies—which will take place when the last trumpet is blown.

(3) Followed By Transfiguration of Believers Who Are Alive: I’m convinced that there will be a few minutes for living believers as well as unbelievers the world over to see some of those raised from the dead before believers who are alive will be transformed.

There is a precedent to this:

“…The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’s resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people” (Matthew 27:52-53).

This was a special preview—privilege granted by God to some believers when Christ died and arose to conquer death itself—of the Rapture resurrection of the dead in Christ. The “many people” that saw them would have been composed of both believers and unbelievers.

(4) A Commanding Shout from Messiah Jesus: The Shout Heard Around the World.

As stated in a couple of prior Eye of Prophecy articles, I firmly believe this shout will either be the exact words or something similar to what Jesus said to John of Revelation which began the series of Tribulation revelations to John. It was a microcosm representation of the Rapture itself, when John was taken to heaven to watch and record, but not actually experience all of the Tribulation events.

“Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before (referring to Jesus speaking to John as found in Revelation 1:10 in a “loud voice like a trumpet blast”) spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, ‘Come up here’…” (Revelation 4:1, italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).

Once again, I Thessalonians:

“…with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel…” (I Thessalonians 4:16). Here it is not clear whether Jesus’s shout will be in or with or like the voice of the archangel (there are several instances of angels shouting before some of the Tribulation judgments are unleashed), or if the archangel (possibly Michael) will shout along with Jesus. However, the way the word “with” is used in this passage strongly suggests that an archangel will also shout in addition to and before the initial command from Jesus for believers to, “Come up here.” That Jesus won’t be shouting like or in the same manner or with the same voice as an angel (would shout).

(5) The Final Phase of the Rapture: “Then (after everything already described in both passages takes place), together with them (the resurrected dead in Christ) we who are alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…” (I Thessalonians 4:17, parenthesis mine).

Which means after the living believers have had the awesome privilege of watching the dead in Christ rise from their graves (perhaps even departed family or friends or acquaintances), those same resurrected believers will observe the sudden transformation of the living! That’s why Paul emphasizes in both passages that the dead in Christ will arise first. But they can’t arise from their graves until/unless they are first transfigured—in the blink of an eye. THEN living believers will “also be transformed” and “together with them … will be caught up in the clouds…”

For unbelievers these sights and sounds will be a source of shock and awe. For believers, a scene of pure joy and ecstasy (which is part of the meaning of the world Rapture).

It simply doesn’t get any better than that!

The Use of the Shofar and Trumpets in Scripture

Throughout the Old Testament we find many examples of patterns or types of people, places, and things that foreshadow New Testament and end-times fulfillment or completion.

Such as: Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac, only for God to provide a substitute (ram), just as God provided the ultimate once for all substitute (for sin) through the sacrificial atonement of His Son, Messiah Jesus; much of the life and achievements of Joseph representing Jesus’ life; the Levitical Sacrificial System as a model of redemption through the shedding of innocent animal blood—to be set aside in favor of the New Covenant of Grace; the seven Jewish Festivals foreshadowing the first and second advent of Messiah Jesus; Enoch suddenly taken from the earth alive to spare him from the Great Flood, depicting the Rapture of believers—sparing us from the Great Tribulation. There are many others.

For purpose of today’s article, it is the use of trumpets in the Old Testament to announce important events such as the Jewish Festivals or warnings to the Jews of impending danger or attack. Or in the case of our specific example: the blowing of the shofar/trumpets that signaled God’s direct intervention in Israel’s first victory over her enemies after entering the Promised Land.

The Walls of Jericho

“Joshua got up early the next morning, and the priests again carried the Ark of the Lord. The seven priests with the rams’ horns (shofar) marched in front of the Ark of the Lord, blowing their horns. Again the armed men marched both in front of the priests with the horns and behind the Ark of the Lord … They followed this pattern for six days.

“On the seventh day the Israelites got up at dawn and marched around the town as they had done before. But this time they went around the town seven times. The seventh time around, as the priests sounded the long blast on their horns, Joshua commanded the people, ‘Shout!’ For the Lord has given you the town!” (Joshua 6:12-16).

You know what happened next:

“When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it” (Verse 20).

The capture of the city was an anticlimactic foregone conclusion. The victory had already been won; it was just a matter of following God’s battle plan. March around the city, blow the shofar, shout like never before, and watch God supernaturally open Jericho by bringing down the walls.

In like manner, Christ has already won the ultimate battle by conquering death itself. Because he is the “resurrection and the life” he was the first to arise from the dead with a glorified body. Messiah Jesus will open the tombs of those who have been redeemed by believing and receiving him as their personal Savior. It’s just a matter of (a short) time before our actual physical victory over death (those already departed) and decaying bodies (those believers still alive) will be finally achieved.

God ushered his people into the Promised Land of Israel through a supernatural victory over their enemies by breaching the walls of Jericho. How was this done? With trumpets and a loud shout. Likewise, Messiah Jesus will breach the graves of fallen believers and along with living believers usher them into a Land of Promise … Heaven! And what will precede this final victory over our archenemy death? Easy answer: Trumpets and the Shout Heard Around the World!

“Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:54-57).

The Whole World Will See and Hear the Sights and Sounds of the Rapture

Here is another excerpt from How the Rapture? (In italics):

Normally, the blowing of the shofar wasn’t a simple quick, one-time burst of sound. Rather, it entailed a series of blasts lasting several minutes, with each part of the series different from the others, and sometimes each component part repeated again.

Nowhere in Scripture do we find that only God’s people heard trumpet calls or the blasts from a shofar. All within earshot, including their enemies, heard the shofar sound. In the Bible, we also see events in which God’s prophets and sometimes the people saw and heard angels or the pre-incarnate Christ, but so did unbelievers. Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the book of Daniel. Those three were thrown into the hotter-than-hot furnace, but how many men did Nebuchadnezzar see when he peered into the furnace? That’s right: Four. And the fourth was none other than the pre-incarnate Messiah.

Was it only Saul who heard the voice of Jesus on the road to Damascus? No, his accomplices also heard the sound of the voice that spoke to Saul. They didn’t actually see Jesus, but then neither did Saul; he only saw the blinding light that caused him three days of blindness. My point and premise: I’m wondering how we ever arrived at the notion that those left behind at the Rapture won’t hear the trumpet calls, and not see perhaps a flash of light or afterglow or radiance or some tangible evidence at the precise spot where a believer miraculously changed in front of them when the final trumpet call was sounded. Why would God close the ears or the eyes of the unsaved? Seeing and hearing is often times believing.

With the Biblical precedents and parallels to support the premise that the entire world will hear the trumpets and, conversely, the lack of reference in Scripture to say otherwise, why wouldn’t God want the world to see and hear the Rapture? I’m convinced that many will immediately fall down on their knees and call upon the name of the Lord to save them. This applies not only to the trumpets, but also to the Lord’s shout and the voice of the archangel. Why wouldn’t they be heard the world over?

This literal lapse of time needed for a literal series of visual and audio events to occur will NOT take place in a blink of the eye.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more inclined I am to propose that those left behind may even witness our newly resurrected (the dead) and transformed (the living) bodies ascend to heaven. Why not? Isn’t that part of the whole sequence? We’ve mistakenly (meaning without any direct support or evidence from Scripture), assumed that the microsecond change of our bodies’ means that those bodies instantly vanish or disappear from sight. Since the blink of an eye phenomenon relates only to the actual transfiguration itself, why do we also equate that with a split second disappearance?

I Thessalonians 4 tells us that we will be “caught up” in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Why would caught up necessarily equate to an instant vanishing? Remember how Jesus ascended to heaven as described in Acts 1: 9-11? All who were with him saw him rising into heaven, until they could no longer see him. One of the two angels who showed up even said, “Why are you standing here staring into heaven?” There was no vanishing going on. Picture watching a hot-air balloon ascending. Why wouldn’t our meeting Jesus in the clouds be just like His ascension to heaven? Our transformed bodies will be like his … why not our rising to meet him be similar or identical?

How Long Will This Take?

Many people, even unbelievers have heard of know about the divine significance of the number seven in Scripture as related to the completion of God’s plan for the human race. The Bible is replete with the number seven, especially in the book of Revelation. Realizing that we can’t know for sure how long the Rapture sequence of events will last, I would, nonetheless, propose (beyond mere speculation) that it will last for seven minutes.

When something as incredibly dramatic as the Rapture begins to unfold, seven minutes will seem like … well, a lot longer than seven minutes.

Just imagine a seven-minute grand finale of a 4th of July fireworks display. It seems like it takes much longer, because of the continuous exploding action (pun intended) going on around and above us.

Not only the number seven in general throughout Scripture, but especially because of the striking parallel between the victory over Jericho for the Lord’s physically chosen people (national Israel) and the ultimate victory over death and the grave by God’s spiritually chosen people (individual Jews and Gentiles) at the Rapture resurrection and transformation of believers.

How many days did the people trek around Jericho with shofar blaring?

Answer: Seven.

How many priests marched in front of the Ark of the Covenant each of the seven days?

Answer: Seven.

How many times on the seventh day did the armies of Israel march around the city?

Answer: Seven.

How many Seal, Bowl and Trumpet Judgments in Revelation? Seven of each set of judgments.

And, for the purpose of this week’s article, I found there are fourteen loud shouts (described as a shout, great shout, mighty voice, a loud voice, a voice like thunder, or what sounded like a trumpet blast) in Revelation, from either Jesus or an angel or one of the four living beings—cherubim who are a higher rank of angels!

They are: Revelation 1:10; 4:1; 6:1; 10:3; 11:12; 12:10; 14:7; 14:8; 14:9, 16:1; 16:17; 18:2; 18:21, and 21:3.

Excluded is an eagle “crying loudly,” the shouts of the hosts/crowds of heaven, and one angel shouting to other angels. We’re looking at just those shouts from the Lord or angels directed to the tribulation saints or to unbelievers left behind on earth. Of special note is Revelation 11:12, where the same phrase that Jesus uttered to John is repeated to resurrect the two mighty witnesses (Elijah and Moses) from the dead.

“Then a loud voice from heaven called to the two prophets. ‘Come up here!’ And they rose to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched.”

Amazing!

Fourteen shouts … seven twice over to reinforce the number of completeness, wholeness, and finality of the Lord’s ultimate triumph over Satan, Antichrist, the False Prophet, and all those who follow and even worship this evil trio.

Two sets of seven to validate the Shout Heard around the World. Which will begin the Day of the Lord culminating in the Millennial Reign of the King of all kings, our Lord and Savior Messiah Jesus.

Things to Ponder

Whether the entire Rapture sequence takes seven minutes or fourteen or somewhere in between, I’ll close with one last excerpt from the previously identified Eye of Prophecy article:

This will allow time for such things as: pulling cars over to the side of the road; awaking in the middle of the night from a deep sleep; turning off the T.V or loud music; stop the yelling at someone; hugging your un-believing spouse or friend good-bye; the short, but most intense praise and worship ever experienced by Christians on this earth; and, hopefully, a few minutes for some foxhole conversions all over the world.

Do you see what difference it would make and how it could enhance and expand our view of and increase even more our enthusiasm for the Rapture, if the order of events in the Rapture took place over several minutes? It would be far more than just a “poof” one second here, next second gone type of experience. Next to the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ, it will be the greatest celebration of joy ever experienced by believers in Christ. And in real-time and space no less; no special effects, no suspension of time, no virtual reality … just the real thing. None of which (except for the transfiguration of our bodies) can or will take place in the twinkling of an eye.

Now that’s something to shout about!