Soon Comes the Antichrist … Straight From the Abyss (Part II)

Tags

,

A Review of the Abyss

“Then the dragon took his stand on the shore beside the sea. Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea…” (Revelation 12:18, Revelation 13:1).

In last week’s Eye of Prophecy article we discovered that the Abyss is all too real, but is not the same place as Hell. We peered into the Abyss and found it to be occupied by excessively wicked angels banished there because they took on human form with the devilish intent of perverting the human race; thereby, corrupting (unsuccessfully) the genealogy of the Messiah. We examined the shocking scene in Luke Chapter 8; a legion of demons, who possessed one man, begged Jesus not to send them to the bottomless pit (Abyss).

We learned that hordes of embodied demons will be released from the Abyss to torment unbelievers for five months during the Tribulation (Revelation 9). And we covered in great detail the extraordinary evidence that Antichrist (Nero) will return from the Abyss at the outset of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 17). The immediate reaction of many left behind at the Rapture will be: “…The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast” (Revelation 13:3).

In this week’s article we will discover the location of the Abyss. We will also learn why Nero was imprisoned in the Abyss after he died and was then revived by God. Yes, you read that correctly: Nero will return in the same body that has been preserved (alive) in the Abyss.

Revelation Chapter 13 is the first of two visions given to John of the Antichrist, characterized as a beast and also referred to as a king in John’s second sighting of the beast found in Revelation Chapter 17. However, the first mention of the Antichrist beast in Revelation is not in the form of a vision. Rather, the initial reference to this evil man is that he will come (straight) from the bottomless bit. Later in Revelation 17, we know his emergence from the Abyss will be a reappearance on earth, because the beast had already lived and died before the book of Revelation was written (1st Century A.D.).

Here is our first introduction in Revelation to the beast:

“When they complete their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the bottomless pit will declare war against them, and he will conquer them and kill them” (Revelation 11:7).

Who are “they” and “them” that Antichrist will kill? Many of you know that Revelation Chapter 11 is referring to the two men anointed by God to do mighty miracles for 1260 days (3 ½ years) of the Great Tribulation. I firmly believe these two prophets are Moses and Elijah. For an absorbing study of these two wonderful witnesses, including how and why they will return to Jerusalem with the same bodies in which they left the earth, please read Eye of Prophecy articles, The Two Witnesses, Part I, II, & III (posted 6-7, 6-14, and 6-21-14).

2-WITNESSES-

(Fairly Accurate Depiction of the Two Witnesses, Also Represented by Two Lampstands and Two Olive Trees. See Revelation 11 & Zechariah 4)

You might also recall that the bodies of the two prophets are left as they lie, “…in the main street of Jerusalem … And for three and a half days, all peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will stare at their bodies. No one will be allowed to bury them. All the people who belong to this world (unbelievers) will gloat over them and give presents to each other to celebrate the death of the two prophets who had tormented them. But after three and a half days, God breathed life into them, and they stood up! Terror struck all who were staring at them. 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” (Revelation 11:8-12).

Take that Mr. Six Hundred, Sixty-six!

Moses’ and Elijah’s spectacular resurrection from the dead will remind those watching of the Rapture—also witnessed by many on planet Earth. For those who have already denied that Jesus is Messiah, those who have sealed their fate by taking the mark of the beast; it will be a painfully stark object lesson of the truth of Messiah’s resurrection and his ascension into heaven.

Notice the command of the Lord for Elijah and Moses to, “Come up here!” These are the same words Jesus spoke to John when the scene shifts from earth to heaven where amazing visions are given to John of the future … and also the past tense existence of the Antichrist (Revelation 17).

“… Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this” (Revelation 4:1).

I am convinced that they will be the same words Jesus shouts when he appears in the clouds to take believers home to heaven, which will usher in the awesome Day of the Lord—terrible Tribulation followed by the magnificent Millennial Reign of the King of all kings.

“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…” (I Thessalonians 4:16).

Personally, I can’t wait to hear that jubilant shout from the Lord. “Come up here!”

Yet, I and all those who have been personally redeemed by our Great God and Savior, Messiah Jesus, won’t have to wait long! The time is near … so very near.

rapture

Where is the Abyss?

Our first clue is exceptionally strong, if not conclusive. One, however, easily missed because it is an unassuming, natural linguistic extension of two passages that primarily focus our attention on the beast and the Abyss. The first passage is the one we just discussed.

“When they complete their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the bottomless pit…” (Revelation 11:7, italics for emphasis).

Notice that the angel doesn’t limit his explanation to John that the beast will (only) come out of the Abyss. The word preceding out is there for a reason; because it would otherwise have been enough to understand that the beast comes out of the Abyss, i.e. the origin of his stunning reappearance to the world.

Instead, the angel tells John that the Antichrist comes up out of the Abyss.

Webster’s Dictionary definition of up (which is used as a preposition in the verse we just read): “used as a function word to indicate motion to or toward or situation at a higher point.”

Why does John accentuate out (of the abyss) with up?

Answer: To make sure we grasp the fact that the Abyss is DOWN. If we’re below a place or level we want to reach, the only way to get there is up.

A preposition (prepositional words) comes from the concept, “to put in front.” As applied to the syntax of this verse: Before the Antichrist can come out of the Abyss, he must first go up.

The same phrase is used in Revelation 17; the remarkable passage covered in last week’s article, in great detail in my book, Out of the Abyss, and to some extent in a few previous Eye of Prophecy articles. Such as: Antichrist … Is He Alive Today? Published 9-14-13. Followed by, Reappearance of the Beast (Antichrist), posted 9-21-13. .

Said the angel to John: “…I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast … on which she sits. The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon (suddenly or imminently) come up out of the bottomless pit…” (Revelation 17:7-8, bold and italics for emphasis).

The very fact that one must travel up and out of the Abyss, makes it a literal place. You don’t need directionality to escape a place (prison) that is merely metaphorical.

Again, “up” reinforces the fact that the Abyss is down … below, beneath, under. Conversely, to eliminate the possibility that the Abyss is on the earth and certainly not above the earth. Not in or on some galaxy, star, planet, moon, comet, or some black hole in space.

Let’s return to the sea! By again quoting the passage that began today’s article; verses that contain the same prepositional phrase found in Revelation 11 and 17.

“Then the dragon took his stand on the shore beside the sea. Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea…” (Revelation 12:18, 13:1).

This time John tells us explicitly that he saw the beast, “rising up out of the sea.”

We all know pretty much what “sea level” is and means. Although there are a few places on earth that are below sea level, the vast majority of land on planet Earth is at or above sea level. With the plain (pun intended) understanding that generally speaking sea level is the lowest point to which we can descend on earth; or ascend if we “rise from (below) the sea.”

300px-Israel_Sea_Level_BW_1

(Marker in Israel Situated Above the Dead Sea)

Where do the major rivers of the world end? Correct: in the oceans or seas. Another question: What does water always seek? Right again: its lowest level.

Thus, the convincing conclusion (based on the Bible passages covered especially the syntax, as well as geophysical laws and a great deal of common sense): The Abyss is beneath the oceans or seas of the earth. We’ll further see the credibility of this deduction when we look at more supporting evidence in today’s article. But first we need to address a major misunderstanding or misapplication that would otherwise challenge the clear evidence that the Abyss is beneath the Sea from whence the Beast rises, and that both places are literal.

The reason it’s necessary to establish that the Sea in Revelation is literal stems from the prevailing view of Bible scholars that the Sea identified in Revelation 13:1 is metaphorical. More precisely, they say: The Sea is an allegorical representation of humanity … masses of people the world over. Thus, the (erroneous) application is that the Antichrist Beast simply arises from somewhere on earth … from some nation or people. Which, at face value, would be the natural logical conclusion, i.e. a modern-day born man (Antichrist). However, most of the end-times events as dramatically depicted in Scripture are supernatural, either directly from God or allowed by God—meaning that Satan, Antichrist, and especially the False Prophet will be permitted to display paranormal powers.

Is the Sea of Revelation Chapter 13 Real or Figurative?

Before we look at two other major passages in Scripture to decisively demonstrate that the Beast rises up from a literal ocean/sea, let’s begin with an exceedingly sensible premise in the form of questions (italicized for emphasis):

If the beast comes up out of the Abyss and rises up out of the Sea, then where might the Abyss be located? Rhetorical question, right? Putting it another way: Why would the beast come up out of the literal Abyss, but then rise up out of a symbolic sea?!

I’ve never read or heard any Bible scholar or teacher or anyone else state or imply that the Abyss (bottomless pit) is smack in the middle of humanity; but that’s where the Abyss would be if the Revelation 13 Sea symbolically represents humanity. This is true even for those who believe that the Abyss is also symbolic. Figuratively or actually (real), it makes no sense for the Abyss to be in or under the “sea of humanity.”

Continue with me on this fantastic voyage and watch Antichrist Nero rise from the Sea.

(Parenthetical Pause: For those of us who will be taken in the Rapture, our “watching” is the imagery we can muster for the soon to come real thing, which we will not be around to see … thank you Lord! 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!)

deep-sea20hydrothermal20vent-jj-001

(Photo of Undersea Black Smokers)

kur

(More Hydrothermal Ocean Vents)

Before we look at the principle passage in Scripture from which many students of Bible prophecy form their opinion that the Revelation 13 Sea is metaphorical, I want to again say what I’ve said in my book Out of the Abyss and a few Eye of Prophecy articles:

My ardent aspiration is to correctly refit certain parts of the prophetic puzzle (which is an already complete tapestry from God’s timeless point of view) that have been inaccurately placed in what is still an unfolding sequence of events to us. It is not merely to correct and certainly not to criticize them for the sake of correction or criticism. For that matter, I, too, at one time imperfectly viewed the Antichrist as being a modern-day born man as well as a handful of other wrongly understood prophecies. I give a great deal of credit to and harbor a boat-load of respect for these pioneers of prophecy, most of whom began their study of end times events soon after the stunning Six-Day War of 1967. It was also at that time that dozens of Messianic ministries sprang up all over the world.

Daniel Chapter 7

“Earlier, during the first year of King Belshazzar’s reign in Babylon, Daniel had a dream and saw visions as he lay in his bed. He wrote down the dream, and this is what he saw. In my vision that night, I, Daniel, saw a great storm churning the surface of a great sea, with strong winds blowing from every direction. Then four huge beasts came up out of the water, each different from the others” (Daniel 7:1-3, italics for emphasis).

You probably recognized this remarkable chapter as one of the most well-known in Scripture. It is the second prophetic vision of the four world empires to rise and fall … Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Further, that a little horn “suddenly appeared” (Daniel 7:8)—a perfect description to explain Nero’s abrupt arrival from the Abyss—among the ten horns of the fourth beast (Rome). With the accurate application, as further amplified in Revelation 17, that these ten horns are the ten kings (and their kingdoms) of the Tribulation period who will yield their authority to the “little horn.”

The sudden appearance of the little horn (Antichrist) is in direct contradiction to the prevailing view that Antichrist will be an already well know modern-day born man, who rises to global power from say the United States, the European Union, or some other nation or confederation on earth.

Most commentators derive their supposition that the Sea in Revelation 13 is allegorical from the above quoted verses in Daniel Chapter 7, especially the italicized words. That argument is as follows: Because the four beasts of Daniel 7 are symbolic of actual kingdoms that would arise on the earth, so is the “great sea” and the “water” from which the four beasts emerge, metaphorical. Therefore, the subsequent use of the word Sea in Revelation 13 is a metaphorical equivalent to the waters of the great sea from which the four Gentile kingdoms would come. Thus, many contend that the Sea of Revelation 13 also represents all of mankind, as these four great kingdoms seen by Daniel logically arose from the human race.

Whereas this application is certainly true in Daniel 7, it does not apply to Revelation 13!

Here’s why:

First: the very fact that Daniel is later told by the angel that the four empires (Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome) would materialize in the expected fashion that any kingdom arises—from certain people in a certain geographical area on the earth.

However, there is no such explanation or application in Revelation 13.

There are other differences. (1) The sea in Daniel is referred to as “a sea,” meaning sea or waters in general, not a specific sea. (2) Daniel’s description is a, “great storm churning the surface of a great sea.” (3) The Sea identified in Revelation 13 appears to be calm; there is no indication that it is a stormy sea. (4) In Daniel, we see four Gentile kingdoms rising from the water; whereas, in Revelation 13 the beast rising from “the sea” is a direct depiction of a man … Antichrist. (5) Of particular relevance is that the four beasts (kingdoms) “came up out of the water” (Daniel 7:3). This is more than just a matter of semantics. There was a great storm churning the surface of a great sea, but the actual ascent of the four beasts was from the water.

*Note: The reason that the Revelation 13 (Antichrist) beast bears the “symbolic” image of a leopard, bear, and lion relates directly to Nero’s ascension as Emperor of the Roman Empire, which was an eclectic combination and continuance of the best, or worst, legacies of the Babylonian (lion) Persian (bear), and Grecian (leopard) empires before Rome dominated the world. With the overriding fact that the composite beast of Revelation 13 (and Chapter 17) is a man.

1st-Beast-of-Revelation-13

(Fairly Accurate Depiction of the Beast of Revelation 13)

The explicit portrayal of the sea in Daniel 7 as stormy is for a specific reason. Here is an excerpt from Out of the Abyss to elaborate on that:

The symbolism of a stormy sea is limited to the tempestuous, tumultuous birth pangs of war and destruction that produced each of the four consecutive world empires. The reason for this limited symbolism approach can be found later in Daniel 7, verse 17 where the angel is telling Daniel what these four beasts represent: “These four huge beasts represent four kingdoms that will arise from the earth.” In other words, the angel has switched from a symbolic sea to the literal earth, which intimates that the metaphorical sea of humanity should be specifically applied and limited to a uniquely stormy sea, the kind that churns when one nation conquers another (page 234).

Thus, Daniel was given the meaning of the waters from which the four beasts would arise. The waters represent peoples of the earth. In a moment, we’ll see a fascinating correlation between the waters in Daniel and the “many waters” of Revelation Chapter 17.

Nowhere in Revelation Chapter 13 does the angel give any explanation to John that the Sea from which the beasts rises represents something else, including all of humanity. This is in stark contrast to the application made in Daniel Chapter 7, to help Daniel and all readers understand that the four Gentile kingdoms would arise from the earth via the “stormy sea” of conquest through war.

Revelation Chapter 17

This passage also affirms that the Sea of Revelation 13 is literal, not figuratively representing the Antichrist coming up out of the “sea of humanity.” Read with me:

“One of the seven angels who had poured out the seven bowls come over and spoke to me. ‘Come with me,’ he said, ‘and I will show you the judgment that is going to come on the great prostitute, who rules over many waters’ … There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast…” (Revelation 17:1-3, italics for emphasis).

Then, the angel proceeds to expound the phenomenal mystery of both the woman and the beast. For purpose of today’s article, we’ll skip forward to the angel’s interpretation for John of the many waters.

“Then the angel said to me, ‘The waters where the prostitute is ruling represent masses of people of every nation and language’” (Revelation 17:15).

Once again, Revelation 13 provides no explanation whatsoever to indicate that the Sea is symbolic, that it is anything but the literal sea. Whereas, the many waters of Revelation 17 is explained to John (like the stormy sea “water” is explained to Daniel, i.e. the earth) as representing masses of people. Such clarification was necessary in order for John to fully understand the “mystery” of the woman sitting on the scarlet beast. Then later in Revelation, John is told: “And this woman you saw in your vision represents the great city that rules over the kings of the world” (Revelation 17:18).

Whore-beast

So, here is a challenging question: If the angel explained to John what the many waters over which the great prostitute rules, represents, then why wouldn’t the angel also make clear what the sea from which the beast arises represents; if, in fact, the sea was an illustration of the mass of humanity? For that matter, you would think that John would have also used the same term “many waters” in Revelation 13, instead of the sea.

The answer and, therefore, our understanding is compellingly clear: The Sea from which the beast comes up out of is a real, literal sea. Thus, there was no need for the angel to enlighten John as to any symbolic meaning of the sea in Revelation 13.

Summary of a Literal Abyss and Sea

Permit me to quote again from Out of the Abyss (in italics):

Question: Why can’t the Revelation 13 Sea be literal? The Antichrist beast of Revelation 13 is not a kingdom or kingdoms; it is a personal pronoun (he) person. A symbolic application in one part of the Bible does not have to be the same symbolic representation in another passage, or even symbolic at all … It all depends on the context of the passage, to include, if necessary, comparison or contrast to other passages…

Unless the Scriptural text is clearly and exclusively symbolic, or specifically interprets an image of something, or explains the imagery by such words as “like” … the word or phrase should be taken literally…

Conversely, there’s no reason to create a metaphor or simile comparison for something that is what it is. In Revelation 13, there’s every reason to consider the sea as the sea. The same reasoning can be applied to the False Prophet who, “came up out of the earth.” The angel is making a distinction as to the origination point for the first and second beast.” (Page 235, Note: The first beast is the Antichrist, the second beast is the False Prophet).

Regarding the first part of the passage that began today’s article: (“Then the dragon took his stand on the shore beside the sea” Revelation 12:18), I would also like to refer to Out of the Abyss:

…We find the dragon (Satan) taking his stance beside the sea … But the angel doesn’t indicate that the sea represents something else. If the sea is the mass of humanity, why would the dragon take “his stand on the shore beside the sea?” Why wouldn’t he take his stand right in the middle of humanity?

If the sea is humanity, then what does the shore represent? If a student wrote a story for an English teacher and used this metaphorical imagery, the paper would be returned with a lot of red marks on it. The teacher would say something to the effect that the sea of humanity doesn’t have or need a shoreline. Or, if it does need a shore, then the entire imagery is extremely awkward and ineffective (page 236).

The Greek word for sea is Thalassa. It is used many times in the New Testament, twenty-two times in the book of Revelation alone, including Revelation 13:1.

The meaning of Thalassa: The or a sea in general; more specifically (often) … the Mediterranean Sea. Both seashore and sea in Revelation 12:18 and 13:1 are from the Greek word, Thalassa.

sabaudia-beach-from-the-mountain

(Mediterranean Shore Near Rome–Not Far For Nero to Go After Rising From the Sea!)

Whereas the Greek word for waters is: Hudor (pronounced hoodore), which is the word used in Revelation 17—many waters. The meaning is water found in rivers, pools, springs, lakes, or the water of the deluge (flood).

In fact, the Greek word Hudor, translated into English, waters, is often used symbolically in Scripture. Such as we found in Daniel 7; the water from which the four beasts arose represents (peoples or nations of) the earth. This is not the case with Thalassa. It is almost always a direct reference to a literal sea and many times refers to the Mediterranean Sea, and also Dead Sea or Sea of Galilee. If the sea isn’t specifically identified, then usually we know which sea by the context of the passage.

In Revelation 13:1, the sea isn’t specified nor do we know exactly which sea it is. However, based on everything presented in this article and as comprehensively contained in my book Out of the Abyss, most of all Scripture itself; there is overwhelming evidence that the Antichrist beast will rise from the Abyss (part or all of which is) directly beneath the Mediterranean Sea, which borders Israel and also Italy. What more logical place for the Revived Roman Emperor Nero to rise from the Abyssal Sea?

One other quote from Out of the Abyss:

The False Prophet comes from the earth, meaning a natural origination through a normal birth. In contrast, the Antichrist appears from the Abyss and rises from the sea that contains the Abyss. That would be anything but natural or normal. This extraordinary reappearance will passionately attract and rivet the attention of a world desperately seeking a miracle man, a superman, who will lead them to Utopia (page 239).

Why Did The Lord Confine Nero to the Abyss?

In part, we’ve already answered that question: To keep Nero as Nero (the same body in which he died). Another obscure, but stunning, passage about the Antichrist can be found in an Old Testament reference to the Antichrist—Zechariah Chapter 11. Time/space doesn’t permit a detailed commentary (as is contained in Out of the Abyss); except to say that this passage describes the wounds sustained by the Antichrist. These are the same (fatal) wounds observed by John when he first sees the beast of Revelation 13.

As seen thus far, the only place identified by Scripture where some beings (fallen angels) continue their existence in bodily form is the Abyss. In fact, they are imprisoned there, reserved for the Day of Judgment.

In another excerpt from Out of the Abyss, we read:

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).

Though I was being facetious (such an honor), I was also conveying Biblical truth; stated and deductive facts that are as extraordinarily evident as anything can be. Meaning there is crystal clear confirmation that (1) the Antichrist beast of Revelation 17 had lived and died before John saw him for the second time—with the first vision that of his reappearance on the earth in Revelation 13. (2) This beast would come up out of the Abyss. (3) By plain logic and obvious implication: in order to come from the Abyss, this man would first need to be placed there. (4) Nero was killed by (divine intervention) Jesus himself—as strikingly stated in II Thessalonians 2:8, after Nero was revealed as (became) the man of lawlessness … see pages 204-206 in Out of the Abyss. (5) By equally obvious deduction: in order for Nero to be placed in the Abyss, the Lord would first need to revive him from the dead, which, took place very soon after Nero died. The site of Nero’s grave has always been a historical mystery. (6) Thus, Nero in his original body, healed wounds and all, would be preserved in the Abyss until the appointed time for the Lord to release him.

190px-Nero-nancy

(Artwork Portraying Nero Rising to Divine Status After His Death)

Which leads us to the two main reasons why God literally removed Nero from the grave and transported this despicably evil tyrant to the Abyss:

  1. As part of God’s plan, to allow Satan and his man of sin one last chance to fail. To prove to the world that the free will God gave to both angels and human beings—the freedom to choose between good and evil, between God and Satan, between Christ and Antichrist—will determine their eternal destiny. By confining then releasing Nero from the Abyss, the Lord would make it clear to Tribulation believers that Nero would not duplicate the actual resurrection of Jesus Christ. God would not grant this resurrection power to Satan, because he never has and never will allow Satan to be God or be like God. The Lord would not allow Satan or the Antichrist to share in his glory … in which God’s very essence and attributes are expressed.
  2. However, the Lord will allow Satan to mimic the resurrection without actually accomplishing such a miracle. Nero will flaunt this counterfeit “resurrection” by boasting that he arose from the dead through his own power. The unsaved world won’t be able to or won’t want to distinguish between a return from the grave and a reappearance from the Abyss. Only the tribulation saints will know the difference.

Things to Ponder

For comprehensive Scriptural and historical documentation of all things pertaining to Messiah’s antithesis Antichrist, including extraordinary evidence that Nero (by correlating, connecting, and matching 1st century facts known about him to prophecies by Daniel, Zechariah, Paul, and John) was first exposed by the Apostle Paul in II Thessalonians Chapter 2 as the man of lawlessness during Nero’s reign of terror (54 AD – 68 AD), and will reappear as the Antichrist beast, please read Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved? 666.

In closing, here is another excerpt from that book:

The world will be amazed that a man who had been dead for some two thousand years could return with the same body and the same scars caused by the fatal wound. In fact, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Nero said something to the effect, “Now tell me who the true God is. I died two thousand years ago and I’ve come back. Look close and I’ll show you my deadly wounds. That presumptuous Nazarene was dead for only three days, so he says. Even if he was dead for three days, who is the greater of the two? Whose miracle is the greatest? Where is this imposter now?”

And so, the world will believe the Lie, just as Scripture tells us. The lying spirit of Antichrist claims that Jesus is not the Christ, and that God is not the Father. Nero will boast that he alone is God or Messiah, for no one could possibly return from the dead in this manner.

Thus, Satan would get his wish. Though he would not be permitted to literally raise Nero from the dead … it would just be a matter of waiting for God to release Nero and the real fun would begin. Satan would play his final card. In the interim, day by day since the first century church, Satan plays the deadly game of building empires, persecuting the church, and attempting to destroy Israel (pages 233-234).

As believers we know the truth of how much greater is our God, Messiah Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, than the Evil One who is the god of this world.

“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God” (I John 5:4-5).

Let those of us who have been redeemed by our Great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, say so! (Psalms 107:2).

“…greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (I John 4:4, NASB).

Is Christ in you and are you in Him? If not, there is no hope for everlasting life in heaven.

Please click on the Eye of Prophecy page, God’s Plan of Salvation.

Soon Comes the Antichrist … Straight From the Abyss (Part I)

Tags

,

Business as Usual … But For How Long?

Try as we might to live normal lives, to conduct business as usual, and to be as secure on this planet as we possibly can, the ominous global events unfolding with alarming regularity are a constant cause of trepidation, turmoil, and terror. Although some folks apathetically disregard or even contemptuously scorn those whom they consider to be “prophets of gloom and doom,” it doesn’t change the fact that the sheer number and severity of 20th & 21st century experiences (not the least of which were two World Wars) demonstrate that we are perilously close to plunging into an apocalyptic abyss.

Lest anyone think that we, who are proclaiming, confirming, and defending the truth of God’s prophetic warnings (such as can be found in Eye of Prophecy articles—although there’s much more including the wonderful promises of God for Israel and for those who have been saved by God’s grace), are preaching our own ideas; then read with me just one of many Biblical pronouncements that noticeably apply to our generation:

“That terrible day of the Lord is near. Swiftly it comes—a day of bitter tears, a day when even strong men will cry out. It will be a day when the Lord’s anger is poured out—a day of terrible distress and anguish, a day of ruin and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, a day of trumpet calls and battle cries. Down go the walled cities and the strongest battlements!” (Zephaniah 1:14-16).

*Note: Please refer to Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up Redemption Is Near, Part I & II, (posted 7-11-15 & 7-18-15) for a list of twelve monumental mileposts of the 20th and 21st centuries that have taken place or are unfolding precisely has predicted in the Bible.

We are on the brink of what the One Person who can and will deliver those who to turn to him when “…that great and terrible day of the Lord arrives” (Joel 2:31), forbiddingly forewarns as:

“For there will be greater anguish in those days than at any time since God created the world. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, not a single person will survive. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days” (Mark 13:19-20).

From other passages in Scripture, we know who the chosen ones are: They are chosen because they choose Jesus, the true Messiah, over the false Antichrist messiah during the Great Tribulation. They are not, however, those born-again believers who are alive before this terrible turmoil begins; as we will be spared by the Rapture from the coming devastation and death.

Thus, there is still great hope, because: “…everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:32).

Scripture tells us that this final time of terrible travail among peoples of all nations will last (be shortened to) seven years, with the final 3 ½ years the worst of all. Messiah Jesus will return to earth to abruptly end the catastrophic carnage caused primarily by Antichrist in the last part of the Tribulation. Before that, God will destroy the massive Gog/Magog campaign against Israel in the first half of the Tribulation. Messiah’s glorious return will also complete God’s just but severe judgment of the ungodly, of all evil in this wicked world we live in.

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

The Sure and Stunning Return of Messiah

Read with me the astounding account of what the entire world (those who haven’t already perished at the hands of Antichrist or from the judgments of Almighty God) will see and experience just before the awesome days of the Millennium begin:

“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war … He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven … followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords” (Revelation 19:11-16).

Christ-returns-white-horses-Rev19-bylined

Then later in this spectacular chapter, John gives a brief, almost anti-climactic, report of the final Armageddon confrontation between Christ and Antichrist:

“Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshipped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies” (Revelation 19:19-21).

Many in today’s world are thinking, acting, and saying exactly what the Apostle Peter predicted they would say in the last days:

“They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.’ They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.” (II Peter 3:4-7).

Peter wasn’t told how long it would be until God judged the earth again or when Jesus would return; however, the Lord reminded him and Peter reminded all believers in Christ:

“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends. A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about this promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment” (II Peter 3:8-10).

So, to all those out there who scoff at Scriptural truth in general and prophecy in particular, please understand that hundreds of Bible prophecies have come to pass, including the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus. If they persist in claiming that Jesus isn’t coming again and/or don’t care; that the intensified evil in this world has nothing to do with demonic influence because Satan knows his time is short; or that they are not required by their Creator, the true and living God, to make a decision whether to accept Jesus as Savior or face him as their judge, then the Lord will let them have their way. Which is the worst thing that any person could ever do … go their own way instead of God’s way, as clearly mapped out in Scripture.

Listen to the Lord’s indictment (through the Apostle Paul) of all those who disbelieve, defame, and deny their Creator and the eternal truth of His Word:

“Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools … So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen” (Romans 1:21-25).

Isaiah_42_5, Ladd_Marsh, Mt_Emily, Union_County, praise_worship, Gods_creation_picture, Gods_word_picture

It’s little wonder then that entire governments, including the United States of America, are listening to those who want nothing to do with the written Word of God—the Bible—or with the Living Word of God, Messiah Jesus. Instead of concern about the true cause and effect of what’s happening the world over (especially in Israel) and what really matters, our Executive Staff and the Supreme Court have surrendered to the agendas of the “ungodly” (II Peter 3:7).

They have divisively diverted our attention to such things as: transgender bathrooms, same-sex marriage, pro-choice (abortion), global warming, and absurd extremes for environmental protection (plants and animals are far more important than people); or any number of “politically correct” issues. No matter that the world is teetering on the edge of an apocalyptic abyss, we must (they say) promote plurality, diversity, tolerance, and love—all based on self-serving, distorted, and deceptive secular humanistic definitions covered with the cloak of political correctness.

Scripture tells it like it is. Neither God nor His Word is politically correct.

Read the Bible and see for yourself. See what the Sovereign Lord says about sin and the human heart. Find out about God’s amazing grace, unconditional love, and magnificent plan of salvation for the human race. Discover that all you need to do is believe that Christ Jesus died for you and then receive him as your personal Savior, for your sins to be forgiven and the penalty of those sins pardoned. Nothing else is required. I repeat with a Biblical emphasis: Nothing whatsoever!

Eternal life in heaven is a gift, not something we earn through good deeds or religious rituals.

“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty of our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood…” (Romans 3:22-25).

“He (Christ) was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God” (Romans 4:25).

Well, this may be the longest introduction to the main topic of any Eye of Prophecy written to date! But that’s okay, because there are two parts (articles) to the subject at hand. Also, I sometimes get carried away when focusing on who and what Eye of Prophecy is ultimately all about: Messiah Jesus and his Gospel (Good News) of salvation.

Continuing Where We Left Off in Revelation … Focusing on the Abyss

After Messiah Jesus triumphantly defeats Antichrist and the False Prophet and throws them into the Lake of Fire (forever) then annihilates their armies, the scene switches immediately to:

“…an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while” (Revelation 20:1-3).

*Note: The New Living Translation from which I quote in Eye of Prophecy articles, unless otherwise noted (other Bible translations), uses the term bottomless pit instead of the designation most translations use: Abyss. They are interchangeably, one and the same.

In November, 2008, while I was reading from the book of Revelation, the Lord shook me with the equivalent of what I call in my second book “a 9.0 spiritual earthquake” (Out of the Abyss, page 114). This dramatic disclosure led directly to a substantial study of all Biblical passages about the Antichrist along with considerable research of both church and secular history, especially the 1st century. From that journey came my book, Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved? 666 (published February, 2011). After the fashion of a mystery novel building suspense (only fact not fiction), the actual identity of the Antichrist is revealed.

Then in July, 2013, I began the Eye of Prophecy website with all articles placed in one of four categories: Current Events, Prophecy in General, The Rapture, and The Antichrist. Many articles in the latter category provide amplified evidence that the Antichrist is none other than the Roman Emperor Nero.

It all began with proper understanding and accurate application of Revelation 17:7-8. Revelation Chapter 17 opens with John’s second vision of the Antichrist beast, this time with a woman sitting on the beast. John’s first observation of the beast is found in Revelation 13, which includes the infamous number of the beast, six hundred sixty-six—one of several keys to his identity. Revelation 17 then provides a more detailed biography of the beast.

Woman-Rides-the-Beast

The angel explains the stunning meaning of the amazing scene John had just witnessed:

“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 come up out of the bottomless pit and go to eternal destruction. And the people who belong to this world, 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).

The focus of today’s and next week’s Eye of Prophecy article is on the Abyss; thus only a brief commentary will be made on the other startling things found in this passage.

Beginning with the italicized portion: The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. These ten words sent an electrifying current through me that turned on a huge beacon light, and subsequently guided my journey to and through all of the other passages on the Antichrist. After a mountain of Biblical and historical evidence, the resulting conclusion was (for me and I believe for anyone who carefully examines the evidence with an open mind and heart) irrefutable.

First fact: John saw this beast (man … the Antichrist) in real time—present tense while he was on the isle of Patmos.

Second fact: The astounding (refitting of the prophetic puzzle) statement by the angel who unveiled the mystery of the woman and the beast on which she sat: This man had already lived and died before John saw the bestial representation of the man (was once alive but isn’t now)!

Third fact: However, the Antichrist beast would soon (suddenly) return from the bottomless pit (Abyss).

Fourth fact: Unbelievers (those who belong to the world) “will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died.”

The staggering implication through correct comprehension and accurate application of this passage is as follows:

The Antichrist will NOT be a modern-day born man. How could he be when the angel plainly tells John that this man had already lived and died? Read the verse again. How else can it be understood? This same man who had already lived and died, before John saw the beastly image of the man, will return and the vast majority of those left behind at the Rapture will be utterly amazed at his reappearance. Why will they be so amazed? This answer is amplified in Revelation Chapter 13 which talks about the fatal wound (Nero was killed with a sword by his servant after Nero tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide).

“I saw that one of the heads of the beast 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 for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast…” (Revelation 13:3-4).

There is one, and only one reason why so many will (voluntarily, as some will capitulate out of fear) yield their body, soul, and spirit to this evil man (Nero): Because of—what will appear to them—a miraculous return to the earth … some 2,000 years after his death.

However, as we will see, Nero doesn’t actually return from the grave. Instead, he reappears from the Abyss as clearly stated in Revelation 17:8.

Thus, we’re going to take an up close and personal look at the Abyss. What is it? Where is it? And why Antichrist Nero was placed (banished to) in the Abyss as opposed to what would have been his certain destiny—Hades (hell).

In the course of this fantastic voyage this week and next, we’re also going to see those “beings” that have been banished to the Abyss all have bodies, including Nero. They are not merely spirits. This also applies to Satan, because the passage we read earlier states that he will be bound by chains (you don’t need chains to bind a spirit) and cast into the Abyss as “the dragon.” The passage then proceeds to make sure we understand who the dragon is, i.e. the devil, Satan.

dante_lucifer

(Artist Rendition of the Bottomless Pit)

Actually, all angels have (spiritual) bodies that are in a different (unseen) dimension from ours; however, the Bible is clear that both evil and good angels from time to time have taken on human form.

What Is The Abyss? (Who Inhabits It?)

Beginning with a logical premise: In order for the Antichrist beast to “reappear” from the Abyss, he must first need to have been placed there. Along with another foundational fact: The Abyss is a literal place, but not the same place as Hell. The Hebrew word for hell is Sheol—place of the dead—in the Old Testament. In the New Testament the Greek word for hell is Hades.

Both Sheol and Hades are used numerous times in the Old Testament and New Testament, respectively. However, the Greek word abyssos, translated Abyss or bottomless pit, is only used nine times in the New Testament, seven of which are in the book of Revelation. In the Old Testament Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew) abyssos is the translated word from primarily the Hebrew word Tehom; which represents the deep waters of the earth (as in oceans) as opposed to the land. It never relates to the place of the dead; that is reserved for the word Sheol.

During the four hundred silent years of transition between the Old and New Testament, the concept contained in the Greek word abyssos was expanded to include the sinister underworld that was the realm of (some) demons. While still (partially) retaining the Hebrew tehom … the idea of deep waters in terms of where the Abyss is actually located.

In fact, John’s first vision of the Antichrist begins with these words: “Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea” (Revelation 13:1). Next week’s article will provide convincing evidence to show that the sea in this verse is literal, not symbolic!

Let’s read about an extraordinary incident involving Jesus, his disciples, and a man possessed by several thousand (“legion”) demons.

It took place immediately after Jesus and his disciples had crossed the Sea of Galilee from the Jewish side (west bank) to the Gentile side (east bank). During this journey, Jesus performed another remarkable miracle—that of commanding the wind and waves generated by a huge storm to be silent … literally to “shut up.”

Do you remember the reaction of his disciples?

“…The disciples were terrified and amazed. ‘Who is this man?’ they asked each other. ‘When he gives a command, even the wind and waves obey him!’” (Luke 8:25).

Let’s pick it up with the very next verse:

“So they arrived in the region of the Gerasenes, across the lake from Galilee. As Jesus was climbing out of the boat, a man who was possessed by demons came out to meet him … As soon as he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down in front of him. Then he screamed, ‘Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please, I beg you, don’t torture me!’ For Jesus had already commanded the evil spirit to come out of him…

“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 8:26-31, italics for emphasis).

Do you recall what happened next?

The Lord allowed these hideous demons to enter into a herd of nearby pigs, with the pigs so overcome that they ran headlong into the sea and drowned!

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

Can you imagine that? These sons of Satan, as it were, would do anything just to stay on the earth, even if it meant possessing a pig or two. Note, that I said they would do anything to remain on the earth. As we’ve already seen, the earth and some heavenly places are the current dwelling place for Satan and the fallen angels. Not hell, although they may have access to hell. The bottom line is that they are free to roam the earth and certain parts of the heavenly places.

What made them so terrified? The passage answers that question. “The demons kept begging Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit” (Luke 8:31). Ouch … anything but the bottomless pit. Give us a break. Have mercy. Give us these pigs to live in, but don’t deport us to the Abyss. Please….

We see two very distinct features in this passage: (1) fallen angels absolutely dread the thought of banishment to the Abyss. (2) Whereas, many demons roam and wreak havoc on the earth; some are restricted to the Abyss. (Pages 228-229).

Now let’s examine one of the most intriguing passages in all of Scripture that dovetails with our inspection of the Abyss.

“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 verse 6, italics for emphasis).

In the New American Standard Bible, the above italicized words (taken from the New Living Translation) reads, “eternal bonds under darkness.” The King James Version states: “everlasting chains under darkness.”

fallen_angel_iii_by_mahdesigns-d5xc60e

The Apostle Peter also writes about these fallen angels:

“For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment” (II Peter 2:4).

In that verse, the Greek word translated into English as hell is not the normally used word, Hades. Rather, it is the Greek word, Tartarus.

By combining Jude 6 with II Peter Chapter 2—from both the definition (meaning and concept) of the Greek words abyssos and Tartarus, and from the next passage in Revelation that we’ll examine (actual physical evidence)—it’s quite evident that they are the same place. With the Abyss pertaining primarily to a deep underworld pit reserved for extremely wicked angels, and Tartarus relating mainly to the imprisonment of these beings.

Another excerpt in italics from Out of the Abyss to amplify and clarify this:

Most Bible scholars link this special group of angels to the Genesis Chapter 6 account in which some of the fallen angels cohabited with women; thereby, producing the Nephilim … the clear gist of II Peter and Jude is that some angels continue to roam the earth and the heavenly places; whereas, other angels were confined and chained in a pit of darkness called Tartarus, which is the same as the bottomless pit or the Abyss.

That’s why the demons (the ones begging Jesus not to banish them to the Abyss) wanted no part of the bottomless pit. I believe the combination of these passages plainly indicate that the Abyss is a special place currently reserved for extremely wicked angels who, at Satan’s behest, attempted to dilute and pervert the whole human race. In short, Satan used some of the fallen angels to corrupt the racial line of the prophesied Messiah. In fact, the Bible tells us that God sent the Great Flood primarily because of the wickedness perpetrated by the offspring of this unholy union between angels and woman (pages 229-230).

Continuing with: What is the Abyss? (More Evidence of Who/What Resides There)

The following passage is the first mention of the Abyss in the book of Revelation:

“Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen to earth from the sky, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. When he opened it, smoke poured out as though from a huge furnace, and the sunlight and air turned dark from the smoke. Then locusts came from the smoke and descended on the earth, and they were given power to sting like scorpions. They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were told not to kill them but to torture them for five months with pain like the pain of a scorpion sting” (Revelation 9:1-5).

Subsequently, verses 7-11 provide a chilling description of these hideous creatures and who leads them.

Another excerpt from Out of the Abyss, again in italics:

…Several scholars believe the locusts are merely symbolic of who knows what. A strong hint: only real creatures can do what these locusts are released to do …

Also, we can once again draw on the significance of personal pronouns. In this chapter, the locusts are repeatedly referred to as, “they” … The text leaves no doubt that the locusts are real beings with real bodies. “They” is distinctly a personal pronoun. Moreover, these locusts originate from a specific place, the Abyss, not some figurative location that represents something else. I don’t see helicopters or tanks or drones or any other symbolic representation for locusts coming from the Abyss. We don’t use personal pronouns in place of objects or things.

I personally concur with Bible scholars who contend that these locusts are the fallen angels described in Genesis, II Peter, and Jude. Scripture unmistakably shows that God’s good angels sometimes take on human form; there are several examples of that in the Bible. With respect to fallen angels, they had their one chance to take on human form, and they blew it. They used this privilege to (unsuccessfully) eliminate the purity of the chosen seed of Messiah, through Adam’s son, Seth and his descendants. To Satan’s irony, these demonic beings will torture only the unbelievers during the tribulation … I’m not sure even Nero will have an explanation for this, except he might blame it on God for releasing them from the Abyss.

These locusts, as John describes them, are actual beings and have a body. It’s not too hard to imagine that the sheer evil of these angels coupled with thousands of years in the bottomless pit, would result in a twisted and repulsive appearance. The fact is, however, they come from the Abyss … not hell.

Hell is not under lock and key; in fact, the souls of all who die without Christ go directly to hell. No permission is needed to get in. Of course they can’t escape because Jesus tells us there is a great chasm separating hell from Abraham’s bosom, the place that believers went before Christ arose from the dead. Now, when the believer’s body dies, his or her spirit is instantly with the Lord!

Notice the difference: hell has a great gulf. The Abyss has a shaft and is essentially bottomless. Unbelievers go to hell; warped angels are confined to the Abyss. At the final judgment, however, all of the unsaved will be thrown into the Lake of Fire along with Satan and his demons, to join the Antichrist and False Prophet, who get a one-way ticket to the Lake of Fire one thousand years before the others (pages 230-231).

Summary

The next page or so in Out of the Abyss contains compelling evidence to affirm what I alluded to earlier in today’s article: Satan will be incarcerated in the Abyss under lock and key as an embodied being during the Millennium.

Satan is specifically and uniquely referred to as “the dragon” in Revelation Chapter 20; he will be chained during his time in the Abyss. I believe that Satan’s depiction as the dragon is not a symbolic description. For one thing, the text says that Satan is “the dragon.” Not, “a dragon,” which would then convey a metaphorical image. It’s clear in Scripture that Satan can personify himself in other forms, i.e. a serpent in the Garden of Eden. The image of a dragon is strikingly similar to that of a serpent.

In keeping with their symbolic interpretation, many scholars also say the chain that binds Satan (Revelation 20) is symbolic.

My response: If the chain is metaphorical, then why is the chain referred to as heavy. If the chain is symbolic, there’s absolutely no literary or linguistic need to describe the chain as “heavy.”

Moreover, it’s not at all unusual to imagine that a dragon-like creature could be the ultimate incarnation of pure evil. In fact, literature from all cultures for thousands of years has employed the image of a dragon as man’s nightmarish enemy. On the other hand, it’s probably best not to equate Satan’s bodily appearance with the kind of fire-breathing dragons we’ve all seen in movies. Likely as not, Lucifer has retained some of the beauty and splendor that God created him with. (See Ezekiel 28:11-17). In that context, he disguises himself as an “angel of light.” (II Corinthians 11:14).

5-wills

(The Arrogant “I Wills” of Lucifer … Isaiah Chapter 14)

Things to Ponder

Just as there is a difference between a main street and Main Street (in a city) so is there a distinction between an/any abyss (chasm, gulf, deep pit) and The Abyss—of which there is only one.

Don’t miss next week’s article. I’ll answer the question: Where is the Abyss? As well as the intriguing question: Why was Nero sent to the Abyss?

Please keep in mind as we continue: There are two significant reasons why it’s important to realize that Scripture enables us to know the identity of Antichrist (Nero) and from where he will reappear. In fact, Revelation 13:18 and 17:9 challenges the reader to solve the mystery of the Antichrist … his identity.

(1) The need to accurately ascertain (correctly refit the prophetic puzzle) all things disclosed by Scripture and found in the history books pertaining to the past, present, and future of the tyrant who would dare boast that he is God and Messiah. A man who will deceive millions upon millions of people because they will believe that he arose from the dead. That, because of the 2,000 year time-lapse, they will consider Nero’s revival greater even than that of the true Messiah’s resurrection. They won’t know or even care that he actually comes from the Abyss, who put him there in the first place, and who allowed him to be released (the Lord).

(2) Knowing who the Antichrist is and that he comes from the Abyss instead of the grave (realm of the dead) is a vital distinction to be made, both now and after the Rapture. Otherwise, many will continue their efforts to identify a contemporary (modern-day born) man who fits whatever people think they know about the Antichrist. Even more importantly for those left behind at the Rapture: Knowing the actual identity of the Antichrist and from where (how) he arrives on the scene will greatly reduce, if not eliminate, their amazement at his (re)appearance. Which, in turn, will encourage them to choose the true Messiah (Jesus) instead of the false messiah … Nero.

Yet, it’s far better to choose Messiah Jesus now. If you die without Christ, it’s too late. If you’re alive after the Rapture, it will be agonizingly difficult to choose Jesus over Nero; because it will mean extreme hardship and almost certain death to refuse Nero’s demands on you.

Say, “Yes” to Jesus now and be assured that one day you will be with the host of heaven shouting and singing:

“Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever” (Revelation 5:13).

Double Israel’s Trouble & Double Her Blessings!

Tags

,

Israel’s Twice Over Punishment

In this week’s article, we’re going to look at another remarkable prophetic passage in Scripture; one, however, that is often overlooked, minimized, misconstrued, or simply not understood at all. I suppose the main reason for that is because students of the Bible haven’t yet “discovered” the phenomenal meaning and application of the Seven Times Over prophecy given by God to Moses as recorded in Leviticus Chapter 26, which is a key to comprehending the verses we are about to read. Nor, unfortunately, have many studied Israel’s history as found in both Biblical and secular records.

Here is the poignant passage—an inspirational appeal to action and also (actually) a prophecy:

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over for all her sins” (Isaiah 40:1-2, italics for emphasis).

Many Old Testament prophets predicted the final restoration of Israel to include return of the Jews to Israel in the last days, none more so than Isaiah. Often he speaks about the future in the past or present tense, as though it had already occurred or was taking place when he spoke.

When you think about that, it makes all the sense in the world. For one thing: All Biblical prophecy has come to pass, or is currently unfolding before our eyes, or will happen in what I believe is the near future. For another thing, God is timeless. In fact, he created time itself. He is from everlasting to everlasting. He knows the end from the beginning; to him all time is compressed conveniently into the present. He sees all the parade floats (events) of the human race before him at once—from start to finish. For human beings, time and events unfold in a linear fashion … in sequence. On the best of days, we can see only a few floats at a time.

Isaiah Chapter 40 begins with this marvelous prophetic promise to Jerusalem, the Holy City of the Holy Land; which God separated, prepared, and gave as an everlasting inheritance to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants.

In less than twenty years after the Lord called Isaiah to be his prophet, Assyria vanquished the ten northern tribes (Israel). It would be another 136 years before the Babylonians destroyed Judah and Jerusalem and exiled most of the survivors to Babylon. Isaiah foretold the Babylonia conquest of the two southern tribes (Judah and Benjamin) before Babylon even became a world power. Likewise, with Mede-Persia subsequently conquering Babylon with such prophetic detail that God through Isaiah gives the name of the Persian King (Cyrus) who would defeat Babylon long before Cyrus was even born!

Yet, Isaiah says: “…Tell her (Jerusalem) that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned…”

Individually, Jews (and Gentiles through the light of the Jewish Messiah Jesus) first experienced this New Covenant salvation when Christ arose from the dead in the first century. Nationally, the complete physical and spiritual restoration (sad days gone … sins pardoned) will take place at the end of the Great Tribulation when Messiah Jesus returns to the earth. We are only a hop (up to heaven at the Rapture), skip (directly to the seven-year tribulation), and jump (immediately thereafter into the Millennium) away from the few Bible prophecies not yet fulfilled.

Isaiah tells us that by the time all of Israel’s sins are pardoned, she will have been “punished … twice over for all her sins.” Which is why the passage also begins with a double or twice over instruction to “Comfort, comfort my people … Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.” Why? Because the Lord has punished her twice over. The twice over prophecy has come to pass in my generation, with the second national discipline of Israel ending in 1967.

33_isaiah40111_33

Which begs an intriguing question that has three possible answers (options): Why does God repeat himself … Comfort, comfort my people, and (because he has) punished Israel twice over for all her sins?

First Option:

Repetition exclusively for emphasis. There are a few instances in Scripture of a prophecy repeated for emphasis; to make sure that everyone fully understands what is being said as well as to stress the surety that what God said will happen would indeed take place.

Example: Pharaoh’s consecutive dreams of cows and stalks of grain that Joseph interpreted (directly from God) as the soon-to-come seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine in Egypt.

Another example: The two visions recorded by Daniel (one given to Nebuchadnezzar and one to Daniel himself) of the four Gentile kingdoms that would rule the world. Four nations chosen by God to rise and then to fall, accomplishing his primary purpose: to begin, complete, end, resume, and continue God’s judgment of Israel until the appointed time to end this discipline—the “twice over” punishment identified by Isaiah.

A third example: John’s (two) visions of the beast as recorded in Revelation Chapters 13 & 17. The doubling up of these prophetic visions is for emphasis and also to provide a few more details in order for each of the two revelations to complement the other.

Second Option:

The “twice over” punishment of Israel’s sins is a way of stating its severity; symbolically saying that God’s punishment will be twice as harsh because of her (detestable) sins. There is one huge problem with this application: Many times through many prophets beginning with Moses, God uses descriptive language vividly depicting Israel’s punishment that is not associated at all with numbers (twice over and seven times over). Such explicit expressions as: severe, violent, shatter, without pity, unforgiving (Israel had passed the point of no return), cursed, cut off completely, no escape, demolish, crush, and others.

There are many passages of such warnings, particularly applied to Babylon’s cruel destruction of Judah, Jerusalem, and the Temple. The following passage in which the Lord is speaking to/about Judah is a prototype example which includes specific means that God would use to punish his disobedient people:

“So I will turn you into a ruin, a mockery in the eyes of the surrounding nations and to all who pass by … You will be a warning to all the nations around you. They will see what happens when the Lord punishes a nation in anger and rebukes it … I will shower you with the deadly arrows of famine to destroy you … And along with the famine, wild animals will attack you and rob you of your children. Disease and war will stalk your land, and I will bring the sword of the enemy against you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Ezekiel 5:14-17).

Yet, the vast majority (easily 99%) of these prophetic warnings contain no reference to a multiple (numerical) “formula,” like the twice over declaration in Isaiah Chapter 40. There’s no reason to, because the severity of the discipline is clearly indicated by the graphic descriptions in great detail of what would happen if Israel refused to return to the Lord, their God.

Another argument against this option: Use of numbers in the context of God’s punishment of Israel is confined to “seven times over” and “twice over.” If they are applicable to the severity factor/feature of Israel’s discipline, then there is a contradiction. Which is it? Seven times over as found in Leviticus Chapter 26, or twice over as found in Isaiah Chapter 40?

For one thing, there’s really no way to measure (how much) the severity of God’s discipline in terms of multiplication. To what do we compare it? Do we measure it by the quality (inherent severity of the punishment) or by the quantity of horrible things taking place. Even if severity could be measured with a multiplication factor, there’s a substantial difference between being punished seven times versus two times more strictly for Israel’s disobedience.

For another thing, neither twice over nor seven times over fits the clear principle found in the Levitical Law that the punishment must fit the crime. This is a legal and moral standard God established for Israel that some nations throughout history have borrowed; albeit, some of the inherent punishments for the Jewish people were harsher than those subsequently adopted by Gentile nations and others not nearly as severe. Plus, Leviticus Chapter 26—later summarized in Deuteronomy absent the “seven times over” paradigm—contains God’s general, panoramic (down through the ages) long-term promises (blessings) and warnings (curses) related to Israel’s ongoing national trust in and obedience to God and her rebellion against God, respectively. As opposed to the specific, day-in, day-out wrong things done and the consequential punishment imposed.

Sword_With_Scales_Of_Justice_001

(Scales and Sword of Justice)

Third Option:

The only application of the twice over punishment and the corresponding, comfort, comfort, my people that fits is the same one that fits the amazing seven times over prototype model found in Leviticus Chapter 26. Neither have to do with the harshness of the punishment, as the severity factor is mentioned separately in Leviticus 26 … a total of four times, with each punishment becoming increasingly stern. Likewise in Isaiah with the “twice over” having nothing to do with a multiplied severity of punishment, as the severity feature is explained in hundreds of other passages by several Old Testament prophets.

Answer/Application: The correct choice is that God’s utilization of the multiplied factor of seven specified in Leviticus and two as found in Isaiah directly denotes the time duration of the punishments. Both are successive and both involve the 70-year Babylonian captivity of Israel followed by an agonizingly longer time-lapse of Gentile domination over Israel that finally ended in 1967.

Thus, the “seven times over” prophecy in Leviticus occurred twice in Israel’s history.

Revisiting the Amazing Seven Times Prophecy

I would like to begin this review by quoting from the Eye of Prophecy article entitled, Jubilee & Messiah … They Go Together! (Posted 1-25-16), which included a brief overview of the trilogy of articles posted in January & February, 2014 on the Seven Times Over phenomenon and the subsequent article, The Omega Generation.

Here are excerpts (in italics) from Jubilee and Messiah … They Go Together:

Then the entire 26th chapter of Leviticus is God’s promise of his blessings on Israel if they worshipped only him; if they loved, respected, and obeyed him and the commandments given to them for their own good. Followed by God’s warnings if they did not, “…listen to me and obey all these mitzvot (commandments or more broadly—general principles for living), if you loathe my regulations and reject my rulings, in order not to obey all my mitzvot but cancel my covenant, then I, for my part, will do this to you: I will bring terror upon you … I will set my face against you—your enemies will defeat you, those who hate you will hound you, and you will flee when no one is pursuing you” (Leviticus 26:14-17, New Jewish Bible).

Throughout this stunning 26th chapter of Leviticus, the Lord specifies four successive seven times over punishments that he would inflict on his people if they began and continued their disobedience. Which is exactly what they did leading up to the Babylonian Captivity, but also following their return to Israel after seventy years of exile. Then continuing without interruption to and through the Diaspora that began with the Roman conquest of Israel and destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

The worst of this divine discipline took place during the horrible Holocaust; which, however, led to the rebirth of Israel in 1948 and the final end of Gentile domination of the Jews in 1967.

Here I want to pause and refer you to an astounding disclosure that the Lord gave to me nearly ten years ago (October, 2006). Namely, that these four cycles of seven times correction of God’s people was administered consecutively in actual years, both in principle and practice, to correlate with the seven-year Sabbath land cycle and the fifty-year Jubilee cycle. In order to see the amazing details of how this developed historically, coming to an end in the phenomenal year of 1967, please read the three-part Eye of Prophecy series entitled, Seven Times Seven (to the 4th power!) Parts I, II, III, published 1-25-14, 2-1-14, and 2-8-14, followed by the summary article The Omega Generation, posted on 2-15-14.)

A review of the seven times over prophecy in Leviticus Chapter 26 will enhance our awareness that Isaiah’s prophetic twice over punishment of Israel is literal. It is exactly what it says and means—two separate time periods and events. Therefore, as previously indicated, the twice over terminology is not referring symbolically to the severity of the judgment. The final (fourth phase) of the first seven times over began with Assyria’s conquest of Israel, but not completed in its entirety until the 70-year exile of Judah in Babylon fully ended in 516 B.C. with construction of the second temple.

The second seven times over began immediately after the first (four phases) set of seven times over ended; and sadly lasted much longer. It included such horrible events in Israel’s history as (temporary) subjugation by Antiochus Epiphanies IV in 167-168 B.C; destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple in 70 AD followed by massive exile of the Jews (a second time) from Israel—known as the Diaspora; subsequent European pogroms against the Jews; hundreds of years of persecution at the hands of Muslims; and worst of all … The Holocaust.

holocaust_twitter

Let’s read the introductory warning to each phase. Focus on the words italicized for emphasis in each verse that clearly infer successive, uninterrupted periods of disobedience in Israel’s history.

First phase: “And if, in spite of all this, you still disobey me, I will punish you seven times over for your sins” (Leviticus 26:18).

Second phase: “If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey me, I will inflict disaster on you seven times over for your sins” (Verse 21).

Third phase: “And if you fail to learn the lesson and continue your hostility toward me, then I myself will be hostile toward you. I will personally strike you with calamity seven times over for your sins” (Verses 23-24).

Fourth phase: “If in spite of all this you still refuse to listen and still remain hostile toward me, then I will give full vent to my hostility. I myself will punish you seven times over for your sins” (Verses 27-28).

Moses then provides the longest narrative, by far, of what this fourth and final phase will bring (compared to the first three phases), ending with the worst possible disaster that could have befallen Israel: “I will scatter you among the nations and bring out my sword against you…” (Verse 33).

That’s exactly what happened to Israel; not just once, but twice over (Isaiah’s Chapter 40 prophecy). The first time was the culmination of the first seven times over punishment inflicted on Israel—the Babylonia Captivity. The second was the horrific forced exile of the Jews from Israel beginning in 70 AD, lasting until the 20th century. Moreover, this final dispersion of the Jews from Israel took place within the fourth stage of the four continuous phases.

With the fourth phase beginning shortly after the end of the third phase (167-168 BC) when Antiochus IV devastated Israel, but one that did not result in complete exile of the Jews. As explained in Part III of the Seven Times Seven articles, the first three sets of seven (7 x 7 x 7) equals (348 Jewish calendar years) exactly the time from 516 BC (when the 2ndtwice over seven times seven pattern began again) to when Antiochus IV (temporarily) conquered Jerusalem and defiled the Temple.

Details from Seven Times Seven (to the 4th power), Part II:

(*Note: The non-italicized words in the following italicized excerpts were italicized in the original article).

It’s all too evident that the prophetic clock of Leviticus Chapter 26 begin to tick when Israel entered the Promised Land. The entire book of Deuteronomy is a condensed summary of God’s instructions to Israel just before Joshua led them to several victories over the Canaanites. They were given the choice between life and death, blessing and curses (Deuteronomy 30:19). God even told Moses that the prophecy would, in fact, come to pass; because it (unfortunately) was a foregone conclusion that the Israelites would rebel and turn from God (see Deut. 31 & 32). And that’s exactly what they did, not long after Joshua died.

It’s important to understand that the ultimate seven times over discipline is chronologically consecutive and even more so that it is uninterrupted or continuous in its prophetic unfolding. This is clarified by the passage itself. The Lord repeats a total of four times: IF Israel continues to disobey him, then he will prolong the corrective discipline and each time the punishment will be harsher, culminating in exile to foreign nations. Thus, the seven times over is not a symbolic expression of the severity of the discipline; rather, it is (as we have seen and will see) a measure of the lapse of time that all this will take place.

So, then, in examining Israel’s history from the Promised Land advent to the Babylonian captivity, do we find an unbroken, continuous, linear time-lapse (chain of events) in which Israel never repented and turned back to the Lord? No, we don’t. This is crystal clear during the times of the Judges and Kings of Israel. There were several periods of time lasting at least two generations (80 years or more), such as the consecutive reign of King David and King Solomon or the subsequent reign of a few “good” kings like Josiah. There were cycles of disobedience, deliverance, and restoration; but, on the whole, the Jews became progressively “hostile” toward the Lord, their God. Thus, the seven times over cycle was not continuous during this period of Israel’s history, which is why the Babylonian exile (as devastating as it was) would last for only 70 years—a relatively mild punishment considering the hundreds of year that Israel was mostly, but not entirely, unfaithful to God and his commands.

You might ask: “Relatively mild compared to what?” Good question. Answer: Compared to what happened AFTER their return to the Holy Land from the 70-year captivity.

So, did the Babylonian exile bring a conclusion to the seven times over prophecy of Leviticus? Sadly, the answer is, NO. Instead, it set into motion the ultimate severity of the prophecy. What transpired after the return of the Jews was even more tragic. Despite a relatively brief (part of a generation) resurgence of Israel’s devotion to God, as found in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, Israel never fully returned to the Lord. As indicated, the book of Malachi vividly illustrates Israel’s unyielding stubbornness.

Even though the Jews returned to Israel and rebuilt the second temple, they never again became a completely sovereign nation. They never again experienced the full blessings of the Lord. There were no more kings, and the Shekinah glory of God never returned to the temple. There were no prophets for the last 400 years before the birth of John the Baptist, and then the birth of Messiah. Israel had been, to some degree or another, under the domination of the Persians, Greeks, Syrians, and finally the Romans before and after the utter destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

The first set of seven times over judgments (up to the time of the Babylonian captivity), is best illustrated by the formula: 7 + 7 + 7 + 7. When the people confessed their sins and returned to God, the cycle of discipline ended. In other words the punishments were not continuous; however, each one lasted for a certain period of time, culminating with a specified period of 70 years for the Babylonian captivity.

Because the people didn’t (by any stretch of the imagination) continually seek the Lord when they journeyed back to Israel, the seven times over paradigm began again. This time it would be continuous, leading all the way to and through the greatest horror of all … the Holocaust of the 20th century. There would be no stoppage of the increments of punishment until all four phases had run their course. In fact, the seven times syndrome contained a mathematically measured built-in period of time, with a beginning and an end.

Tragically, Israel did not learn from its Babylonian captivity lesson. From the time Nehemiah returned to Babylon in 433 BC, 12 years after arriving in Jerusalem with another group of exiles to rebuild the walls; to his second trip to Israel a few years later, the people’s promise to serve the Lord had evaporated like an early morning fog. They had fallen into all kinds of detestable practices. Listed to Nehemiah’s words: “So I confronted the nobles of Judah. ‘Why are you profaning the Sabbath in this evil way?’ I asked. ‘Wasn’t it just this sort of thing that your ancestors did that caused our God to bring all this trouble upon us and our city? Now you are bringing even more wrath upon Israel by permitting the Sabbath to be desecrated in this way!’” (Nehemiah 13: 17-18).

And, so the seven times over sequence had begun again. This time the prophetic march of time relentlessly continued unabated and uninterrupted. If, however, the seven times over to the 4th power represents a measurable period of time, then it must come to an end. That’s what occurred to me that night in October, 2006: Although I didn’t know where it would lead me (what year in history), I realized that God was telling Moses and the people that the seven times seven model necessitated and would, in fact, unfold according to an exact prophetic timeline. Moreover, the formula was built into the prophecy: 7 x 7 x 7 x 7. When this prophetic paradigm reached its measurable deadline, Israel’s punishment would also reach its predetermined limit; and they would no longer be under Gentile domination!

A Phenomenal Finding (Let’s do the Math)

Calculations: 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 equals 2,401 (years). Remember the premise: This prophecy is a specific time-lapse utilization of sevens that can be measured in years, in a very similar manner to the Daniel Chapter 9 prophecy. We must now convert the 2,401 years to Jewish years.

Roman to Jewish calendar: 2,401 years x 365 Roman calendar days = 876,365 days. Dividing 876,365 by 360 Jewish calendar days = 2,434 years Jewish years. (We’re rounding this off, because we’re only interested in the year, unlike the exact day(s) of the Daniel prophecy).

Jubilee Years: Again, we need to remember that the ultimate criteria that God used to preclude or preempt any excuses or rationalization of the people was the Sabbatical rest of the land. But we also need to include all Jubilee years, which was a 50-year cycle of freedom from debt, servitude, and also resting the land from crop planting. Because of space/time restraints, I didn’t cover this, but it can be found in Leviticus Chapter 25. Because the Israelites also failed to keep the Jubilee requirements, this would be a central part of God’s formula for discipline.

So we divide 2,434 Jewish years by 50 and we get 49 (rounded off) Jubilee years over that period of time.

We add 2,434 years + 49 (Jubilee) years. The sum of these two: 2,483 (years).

The Astonishing Result: 2,483 years minus 516 BC (we must subtract BC years from the total) leads us to the year: 1967! Or 1,967 years AD plus 516 years BC is a total of 2,483 years.

What makes the year 1967 so amazing? We will cover this in more detail during next week’s article, but for now I will simply say: In 1967, one of the three monumental milestones of Jewish modern history took place. In fact, many students of Biblical prophecy (including me) identify the six-day war of June, 1967 as the turning point of Israel’s future, even surpassing her statehood of 1948. For the 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 prophecy to end in 1967 is no coincidence or a mathematical fluke.

*Note: Reminder that the preceding paragraph’s reference to “next week’s article” is still part of the excerpts from the Seven Times Seven (Part II) article; thus the next week article would have been, Part III.

Significance of the (Twice Over) Double the Trouble and Double the Blessings for Israel

First Significance: Other than the seven times prophecy from Moses, the twice over from Isaiah, and two other “double their punishment” passages in Jeremiah (Jeremiah 16:18 & 17:18), the scarcity of numerical based prophecies in the Old Testament is reason alone to realize that Israel’s punishment—so noted by the model of seven times over occurring twice in Israel’s history—was meant to be understood in actual years. With the first seven times over coming to an end with the Babylonian captivity, some 700 years after the Jews entered the Promised Land.

Babylonian Empire

The reason that the otherwise continuous (in terms of years) seven times over ended and then started again during the period of Israel’s judges and kings is because there were, at different intervals, one or two entire generations of Jews that returned to the Lord.

However, with the second installment of seven times over, there was no meaningful or recognizable interruption of Israel’s unfaithfulness to the Lord, tragically epitomized by rejection of their Messiah in the first century. This national denial of their Savior led directly (less than 40 years later) to their second exile to the nations, which ever so sorrowfully lasted until the Jewish nation of Israel was reborn in 1948. Gentile domination of Israel finally ended when the Jews recaptured Jerusalem, the Holy City of the Holy Land in 1967.

Second Significance: For many, including even ardent students of the Bible in general and prophecy in particular, Isaiah’s (profound) prediction that Israel would be punished twice over for her sins isn’t exactly a prophetic headline grabber. But now that you know the rest of the story, I’m thinking you just might place this seemingly inconspicuous prophecy and the significance of the words to describe it (twice over) alongside of the seven times over prophecy; with both of them right up there with such prophecies as the miraculous return of Jews to the land promised to them by God himself.

Such as found in Jeremiah as quoted in the following excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, The Second Exodus (published 5-10-14).

The way I see it, all Bible prophecies fall into the category of amazing; if for no other reason than they were fulfilled just as prophesied. But there are some like the subject of this article that zoom right past amazing to astounding, incredible, or mind-boggling. After you read it, pick your own superlative description. Here is the prophecy:

“In that day,” says the Lord, “when people are taking an oath, they will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.’ Instead, they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.’ Then they will live in their own land” (Jeremiah 23:7-8).

Third Significance: Another considerable impact of Isaiah’s twice over prophecy is one that is both stated and implied in today’s article and previous Eye of Prophecy articles. One that can be applied directly to the deceitfully insidious hypothesis that many term, Replacement Theology, i.e. the Church has replaced Israel including the individual and national prophecies (exclusively) applied by God to Israel in the end times.

Taken from an article entitled, Why Is Support for Israel Waning among Younger Evangelicals? Written by Dr. Michael Brown, his final point #6 begins with, “The theology of preterism is rising in some circles teaching God judged Israel forever in 70 A.D. and that no national promises remain for the Jewish People as a nation.”

Time/space does not permit a long dissertation on preterism, except to say that the underlying premise of “scholars” who support this theory claim that there is no Rapture … that all of the Tribulation events predicted in Daniel and Revelation took place in the first century. Not only is this one of most absurd errors of prophetic study, but also the easiest to refute. As indicated, however, one very harmful side effect is that it reinforces the completely erroneous anti-Biblical claims of Replacement Theology.

Thus, when we grasp even tighter the fact that God’s discipline of Israel didn’t end until 1967 (Gentile domination), then compare this to the same generation when Israel once again became a sovereign state (1948), we clearly see that Isaiah’s prophecy of Israel’s national salvation (soon to come … all sins pardoned) dovetails in space and time with the end of Israel’s 2nd seven times over judgment from the Lord.

Jerusalem-Six-Day-War-19671

(IDF Paratroopers at Western Wall, Celebrating Six-Day War Recapture of Jerusalem)

Please see Eye of Prophecy articles, Replacement Theology, Part I & II, posted 7-19-14 and 7-26-14.

Things to Ponder

Double Israel’s Blessings: God, through his prophet Isaiah, proclaims that his special possession Israel is to be comforted, then comforted again. This isn’t merely a repetition for effect. Instead it is a direct correlation to the “twice over” punishment of Israel announced in the very same passage.

Time/space in this week’s article doesn’t permit an in-depth examination of Israel’s double blessing; thus, a very brief overview:

The first comfort relates to the return of the Jews from Babylon. The second comfort fast forwards 2,500 years to the permanent return of the Jews (never to be exiled again) to the Promised Land that began primarily and prominently in the 20th century. There is another verse in Scripture that fully tracks with Isaiah’s purposeful repetition to “comfort, comfort my people” (Israel). Says the Lord to his chosen people, the Jews:

“Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles” (Zechariah 9:12).

The two blessings are described frequently throughout both the Old and New Testaments: The first is even mentioned in this same chapter in Zechariah, when it says, “Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—riding on a donkey’s colt” (Zechariah 9:9).

Remember? Jesus precisely fulfilled that prophecy when he rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey, less than one week before he was crucified and exactly one week before he arose from the grave! This was the first giant blessing (comfort) for Israel—spiritual salvation through their Messiah that has continued since the first century, and which will be finally fulfilled when Jesus returns on the same Mount of Olives from which he ascended to heaven.

The second blessing is also spoken of hundreds of times in Scripture: Total physical restoration of the Jews to God’s beloved land of Israel and to its consecrated capital, Jerusalem.

A very comforting double blessing for Israel to replace her twice over punishment, wouldn’t you say!

“Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him. Tell all the nations, ‘The Lord reigns!’ … He will judge all peoples fairly” (Psalm 96:9-10).

“…He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth” (Psalm 96:13).

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

Palestinian Propaganda Is Pure Poison

Tags

, ,

The Real Poison Comes From Palestinian Rhetoric

The propaganda drums pound relentlessly from the Palestinian occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip; more so from the “moderate” Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, rather than from his heated rival, radical Hamas. Yes, you read that right. It is the Palestinians who are the occupiers, not the Israelis, as documented in a few previous Eye of Prophecy articles with the real history, Scriptural and secular, of the Middle East.

Mahmoud Abbas has stooped to new lows in his increasingly desperate attempts to convince the entire world that the Israelis are exclusively responsible for the plight of the Palestinians in Israel. Several years ago he was more subtle and less aggressive in his rhetoric, with his strategy of persuading Western nations, especially European, that the Palestinians are the “good guys” and the Israelis the “bad guys.” Even then, most of what he said was pure propaganda based on lies or half-truths.

Webster’s Dictionary defines propaganda as: “the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person. Also, “ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause.”

Thus, some propaganda can be positive and constructive. However, you can be sure that there are precious few facts and a severe shortage of accurate information presented by Mahmoud Abbas. Nowadays, when he speaks, the negative connotation of propaganda is all too evident. We hear nothing but rumors, allegations, and an abundant supply of outright lies from him.

Here is an excerpt (in italics) from the Eye of Prophecy article entitled, If You Tell a Big Lie Long Enough… (Posted 10-10-15):

Muslims in general, Palestinian Arabs in particular, and entirely too many nations and news sources have become increasingly confident of global impunity to and world-wide acceptance of what they say; to the extent that no matter how big the lie or omission, nations and peoples will now or one day soon believe them.

Moreover, it’s abundantly clear that the growing deadly attacks on Israeli civilians is a result of incitement directly from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas; who is himself becoming progressively and intensely bolder in his proliferation of big lies about Israel and the Jews. As epitomized in his recent speech of September 30th to the United Nations General Assembly, he is overtly implementing the Muslim strategy of distorting events and facts to the point of literally rewriting history. Middle East history as found in the Palestinian education system and textbooks and journalism and maps is markedly different from the real history of Israel’s existence, especially since 1948.

pa-map

(Palestinian Map of Israel)

In that article, I also quoted several parts of Abbas’ inflammatory and mendacity-laced speech to the United Nations.

In a subsequent Eye of Prophecy article, More Palestinian Lies (posted 2-20-16)), primarily on the topic of the “lone-wolf” attacks that began in October, 2015, mostly by young Palestinians, I wrote:

Just when you think that PA President, Mahmoud Abbas couldn’t possibly tell more and bigger lies, he does just that. It’s one thing for his own people to be deceived by this bombast that is designed to incite them to even more vicious attacks on innocent Israelis; it’s quite another for dignitaries all over the world to turn their collective heads away from what is really happening in Israel and stick those same uninformed heads in Arabic quick sand. Either through ignorance or deliberate distortion of the facts, even our U.S. President doesn’t truly understand the real reasons for Palestinian violence in Israel, or Muslim atrocities in the rest of the world. Mainly because he doesn’t really grasp the significance of Islamic goals of world domination, fostered by uprisings and isolated but incessant attacks on the “infidels.” Summed up in one word: Jihad.

PA President Abbas went on to say that the Palestinians were simply employing, “…all peaceful means” to “resist Israeli occupation.” This noble pursuit of a “peaceful” strategy to resist an Israeli occupation that doesn’t exist in the first place has resulted in the deaths of 30+ Israeli Jews with dozens more injured; as well as some 170 Palestinians—many of them children—who have launched these “lone-wolf” attacks to carry out the abhorrent self-fulfilling prophecy of the politically corrupt and morally bankrupt Palestinian Authority.

A Ridiculous Hoax, Yet Horrendous “Anti-Semitic Blood Libel”

PA President Abbas recently condescended to an even lower (lowest … worst) level of lies about and libel against Israel with his speech to the European Parliament on June 23, 2016; ostensibly to tell the European lawmakers that the Palestinians are still very much interested in a two-state solution in Israel.

He pleaded with EU leaders to save Palestinians from “Israeli provocations.” With one of these provocations a plot described by Abbas as, “…a number of rabbis in Israel announced, and made a clear announcement, demanding that their government poison the water to kill the Palestinians.”

In the same context of this deliberate hoax (lie), Abbas also said that he and the Palestinians, “…are against terrorism in whatever form it may take, and whoever carries it out.”

More on his “against terrorism” comment later in today’s article. For now we only need to see that he was deceitfully diverting attention away from the ongoing Palestinian acts of terrorism against the Jews by suggesting that the Israelis were, themselves, guilty of terrorist acts of violence (plotting to poison Palestinian wells).

He went on to say, “Once the occupation (meaning what he and much of the world thinks is Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories) ends, terrorism will disappear, there will be no more terrorism in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world.”

*Note: At the very least that may be the most naïve, uninformed (stupid) statement ever made, and to a group of national leaders and lawmakers, no less. At the very worst, it is a flagrantly false, malicious indictment against Israel; that, in no uncertain terms, accuses Israel of being the sole reason that terrorism (of all kinds, from all sources) exists in the world, i.e. because the Jews “occupy” so-called Palestinian territories. In case someone thinks my use of the word, stupid, is inappropriate and/or too harsh, read with me the words of the Psalmist:

“Arrogant people smear me with lies … Their hearts are dull and stupid, but I delight in your instructions” (Psalm 119:69-70).

During his insidious speech, Abbas received standing ovations from members of the European Parliament. These are supposed to be intelligent, informed lawmakers—similar in role and stature to the United States Senate and House of Representatives. The last I heard, standing ovations were reserved for speakers who are believed and revered by their audience. It’s the “believed” part that should scare us the most.

abbas-EU

(European Parliament Standing Ovation for Mahmoud Abbas)

It no longer matters to Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority, or to Hamas, or to Hezbollah, or to Iran, or to most Muslim nations how many fabrications they foist on both uninformed and informed listeners; or how belligerent they are toward Israel. Their twisted tactics have become pathetically plain. The more lies they tell and the bigger those lies, the more likely it is that some people will believe most or all of them; and a lot of people will believe some of them. With their warped objective accomplished: If enough people in Europe and Russia and the United States and other less powerful nations all over the globe believe that Israel is doing just a few of the things that they are falsely accused of, they will continue or begin to support the Palestinian narrative no matter the real history of Israel and no matter the truth of what is taking place there.

It was also an increase in the severity of inflammatory lies spread by Abbas that incited his people to begin the lone wolf attacks last year—a falsehood that the Jews were desecrating Temple Mount.

Reaction to the Blatantly False Accusation of Israel Poisoning Palestinian Water Supplies

As expected, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promptly rebuffed Abbas’ absurd accusations. Said Netanyahu:

“I think that Abu Mazen (Netanyahu often refers to Abbas by his given or original name), last week, again proved to the entire world that he is not interested in direct negotiations with Israel. Worse, he also spread abhorrent lies about the State of Israel and Judaism.”

Netanyahu was referring to two things in his rebuttal: (1) Mahmoud Abbas had just a couple of days earlier refused to meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (also in Europe at the same time as Abbas) who had invited Abbas to renew preliminary discussions of a two-state solution. Which is what Benjamin meant by Abbas not being interested in direct negotiations with Israel … which Abbas is not.

Instead, Mahmoud Abbas wants the international community to sanction Israel and force the Israelis to adopt previous roadmaps for peace, including pre-1967 territory lines that would leave the Jews virtually defenseless for much of north central and northeast Israel, not the least of which is the strategic Golan Heights.

As I’ve said periodically in Eye of Prophecy articles and by others who know what’s really going on in Israel: The Palestinians don’t actually want a state of their own. If they did, they would have had one by now … actually as long ago as 1948. What they really want is for Jews to no longer be a nation … for Israel to cease to exist as a sovereign state. Which is why, to this day, the Palestinians (and all but two Muslim nations … Egypt and Jordan) do not recognize Israel as a Jewish State.

(2) The second part of Netanyahu’s response was, of course, reference to the “abhorrent lies” about rabbis (Judaism) and the Israeli government plotting to poison Palestinian water supplies.

Netanyahu-23

(Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Press Conference in Reaction to Mahmoud Abbas’ False Allegations of Poisoning Palestinian Water)

Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, a respected and recognized historian, had harsher words for these preposterous charges. Comparing it to the blood libels against the Jews during the Black Plague of the middle Ages, current Knesset Member Oren replied:

“…objectively, empirically, and historically it was a blood libel. Tens of thousands of Jews lost their lives because of these rumors. It’s not just any anti-Semitic comment. It is an anti-Semitic comment that has deep and horrific reverberations for Europe and Europe’s history.”

*Note: Not only during and after the 14th century Black Plague that Jews were accused of starting (you guessed it … by allegedly poisoning the water in many wells), but also these same kind of lies and libels were believed by many Germans before and during World War II. Which allowed Hitler and the Third Reich to round up, impound all their property, imprison, haul off to ghettos, and exterminate six millions Jews during the Holocaust.

But some might say: “We’ve come a long way. We’re way past doing or condoning such barbaric acts.” Really? Why then is anti-Semitism slowly but surely reaching alarming proportions throughout Europe and even in the United States, especially on university campuses?

The Palestinian Authority Retraction

Fortunately, Abbas’ outrageous (poisonous) rhetoric that accused Israel and many of its rabbis of the plot to poison Palestinian water was ludicrous enough that—with exception of many of the European Parliamentary members present during the speech—there was an international outcry.

So much so that, just two days later, President Abbas retracted his appalling allegation. Actually it wasn’t Abbas himself; rather it was a statement issued by the Palestinian Authority on his behalf.

The announcement went as follows:

“After it became evident that the alleged statements by a rabbi on poisoning Palestinian wells, reported by various media outlets, are baseless, President Abbas has affirmed that he didn’t intend to harm Judaism or to offend Jewish people around the world. This is rooted in the President’s deep respect for all religions including Judaism.”

Anyone can see through this half-hearted “apology.” Of course the allegation was baseless because it was a flat-out lie. But the Palestinian Authority didn’t call it a lie or even a hoax; they called it baseless which was a euphemism implying it was merely an unsupported rumor. The reason they called it that is because it was so outrageous that many people the world over this time sided with Jews (for a brief shining moment!) and/or realized that it was sheer propaganda.

(FYI, on reliable authority from a few Muslim Imams, President Mahmoud Abbas owns a beautiful green oasis in Antarctica that he will sell you at half-price if you buy it sight unseen! Not to worry. If this alleged statement proves not to be true, I’ll ask the Palestinian Authority to print a retraction on my behalf. On second thought, for me, they may use the term, scandalous lie instead of baseless; and that I intended to harm Islam and the Muslim people).

Back to (sometimes repulsive) reality!

The retraction didn’t say that Abbas was sorry that he had broadcast such a slanderous story to (because of media coverage of his speech) the whole world. Rather, the communique simply said that it wasn’t Abbas’ intent to harm Judaism or Jewish people! Once again, anyone with even the slightest degree of awareness of what’s taking place in Israel knows that both Abbas and many of the Palestinian people have done and will continue to do everything they can to “harm the Jewish people.” Including murder.

Yet, even murder is not enough. If a Palestinian terrorist succeeds in his/her diabolical mission, they are eulogized to the extent of a monthly stipend to their family, posters of their picture throughout the West Bank and Gaza, and streets named after them. Is there any street in America named, Lee Harvey Oswald?

Regarding Abbas’ purported respect for “all religions including Judaism,” I could provide dozens of examples to the contrary if time/space permitted in this article. As it is, I will mention only one: If, indeed, Abbas harbors “respect” (which supposedly would include the modern-day emphasis on tolerance and diversity) for all religions including Judaism; then why doesn’t he allow Jews or Christians to worship, pray, or so much as do anything that looks like prayer, on Temple Mount? Why to Palestinian Arabs constantly harass Jews when they ascend to Temple Mount? Why is the presence of police even necessary on Temple Mount, if President Abbas and his Palestinian Authority “respect” Judaism and the Jewish people?

Those questions are as rhetorical as any question can be.

RTX139QI-512x341

(Palestinians Picking Up Rocks to Throw at Jews on Temple Mount)

The only positive thing about this retraction is the extremely rare use of the words Judaism and Jewish people (Jews). Seldom do Palestinians (Muslims in general) speak the words Jew or Judaism or even Israel, unless it’s something to the effect of “death to the Jews … death to Israel.” Normally they call Jews: settlers, occupiers, usurpers, Zionists, or the more ugly denigration of pigs and apes.

Mahmoud Abbas’ Hypocritical Remarks on Terrorism and Occupation

Once again, a reminder that the European Parliament gave Abbas a standing ovation. For what? We’ve already discussed the laughable but also hideous hoax that Israel was on the verge of poisoning Palestinian wells; a flagrant fabrication that the Palestinian Authority retracted just two days later. Wouldn’t it, therefore, have been appropriate for the European Parliament to have rescinded their standing ovation for Abbas? To have made a “retraction” video showing them booing instead of applauding! Not likely, if for no other reason than most European leaders prefer to believe the Palestinian propaganda machine that churns out lies as fast as the Swiss churn out cheese. European heads of state that appear to support Israel do so mostly out of left-over guilt from the Holocaust. Of course, there are a few exceptions, like the new British Prime Minister, Theresa May. Praise the Lord for that!

The European Parliament enthusiastically extended their applause for two other core statements made by Mahmoud Abbas, as quoted earlier in today’s article. As follows:

Against Terrorism?

Mahmoud Abbas’ statement that, “Palestinians are against terrorism in whatever form it may take, and whoever carries it out,” is as two-faced and double-tongued as any assertion could be.

Read again what Abbas said. He didn’t limit terrorism to just ISIS or even Hamas, which is Abbas’ chief (bitter) rival for authority among the Palestinians. No, he said, whatever form terrorism takes and whoever carries it out. What would anyone, with any trace of objectivity and with any tidbit of knowledge of what’s taking place in Israel, call the hideous slaughter of dozens of Israelis by Palestinian “lone-wolf” assassins?

Because of Mahmoud Abbas’ hatred of Israel, he has deluded himself to the point that any and all Palestinian atrocities against innocent Israelis is what he has called, “justified popular unrest.” To a large extent that is expected of him, as are the lies that he tells to support that premise. What is or should be unequivocally unexpected and immensely inappropriate are many Western nations buying into that logic as being (even half way) reasonable and justified. But that is exactly what is taking place. There is a world-wide effort to selectively pick and choose who are terrorists and what is terrorism; including but not limited to distinguishing between what is commonly called “radical Islam” versus “mainstream Islam.”

Anyone (especially Muslims themselves) who know anything about Islam and the Koran fully realize that those who are classified as radical are doing nothing more than what the god of Islam (Allah) commands. Which is: convert the infidel through coercion, and kill them if they refuse to convert or even get in the way of Islam’s ultimate objective to force all peoples and nations under the Muslim mantle.

isis daily devotion violent verses quran islam

Which is why Abbas refused to condemn the hideous murder of 13-year old Hallel Yaffa Ariel by a Palestinian youth, while Hallel slept in her bed at home. This occurred on June 30th, just one week after Abbas’ address to the European Parliament. Nor did he respond in any way to subsequent media and international inquiries as to what his reply would be to the murder of Rabbi Miki Mark, the father of ten children, killed the following day. Abbas refused even to return phone calls from media sources. Furthermore, he ordered his West Bank organization Fatah to suppress news of any Palestinian attacks against Israelis.

The following are (italicized) excerpts from the Eye of Prophecy article, Can A Murderer Be A Martyr? (Posted on 1-30-16); to further emphasize that there is no difference whatsoever between a Palestinian murdering an Israeli and a muslim member or devotee of ISIS or other terrorist cells (mass) murdering innocent people in Syria, Iraq, France, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, and the United States.

Although these murderous Palestinian assaults on Israelis are perpetrated by individuals (as opposed to known terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas), in my opinion they can no longer be classified as “lone-wolf” attacks. If for no other reason than there have been nearly 300 such incidents just in the past four months or so, resulting in the death of 30 Jews and wounding of dozens more. In other words, the sheer number of the attackers can now be classified as a concerted group of individuals in a cruel combined effort to instill terror among Jewish communities, no different than a terrorist group or grouping of terrorists with a collaborative mindset and a callous communal cause of killing Jews.

As such, this makes them vastly different from the “ordinary” murderer in the United States or anywhere in the world who kills someone for any number of different reasons, but certainly not just because their victims are Jews (or Christians). Surely the parents, families, national leaders, and fellow citizens don’t glorify the murderer in these kind of killings. Conversely, they are appalled.

Not so with the Palestinians. If they, in turn, are killed in the commission of their hideous crimes, their own people (including parents and leaders) and religion can call them martyrs to their heart’s content. But by all the universal laws of morality, of right and wrong, of good and evil, there’s no way that a murderer or would-be murderer (in case they don’t succeed) can be considered a martyr for a cause that is anything but righteous or a religion that is anything but peaceful.

Which is another compelling argument that there must be (and is) a universal standard of law and truth that can objectively define right and wrong. Moreover, these universal truths have, in fact, been given to us by the true and living God through the Bible.

Otherwise, we are left with the moral and spiritual dilemma that a murderer is actually someone’s martyr. That a terrorist is another one’s activist. If that were true then all Nazis (participating in Jewish genocide) who were killed during the Second World War or who were tried and executed for war crimes after the war could be designated as martyrs “for their cause.”

Thus, when our own President and most of his staff ignore the true history of Israel, and the acrimonious (no longer hidden) agenda of the Arab Muslims living in Israel, they also apathetically disregard the insidious (but no longer subtle) and all too real objective of Arab Palestinians and Muslims the world over: To eliminate Israel as a State and the Jews as a race. All the while, taking out as many Christians as they can.

15246

Occupation?

Mahmoud Abbas also said:

“Once the occupation (meaning what he and much of the world thinks is Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories) ends, terrorism will disappear, there will be no more terrorism in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world.”

The so-called Israeli occupation of a small portion of the “West Bank” by alleged “Israeli settlers” continues to be the biggest lie foisted by the Palestinians and the greatest misunderstanding by many Western nations, not the least of which is the United States of America, especially the current Administration. In several Eye of Prophecy articles, I’ve provided historical and contemporary documented details to demonstrate that all of Israel belongs to the Jews. Which effectively makes the Palestinians the occupiers and settlers.

In today’s article, we’ll confine our examination to Mahmoud Abbas’s senseless conclusion (I would like to use the description of “stupid” again, which is a synonym of senseless, but I won’t): That the end of (so-called) Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories will eliminate terrorism not just in the Middle East but throughout the entire world.

Poof! Just like that, there will be no more terrorism!

First, you don’t need to go beyond Israel itself to realize that elimination of Israeli housing divisions in the West Bank would have absolutely no effect on President Abbas’ chief rival (for Palestinian supremacy) which is Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In fact, the Israeli government completely removed all Israelis (sadly, some by force) from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

And what did the Palestinians promptly do? They tore down buildings and greenhouses built by the Jews that could have provided instant housing, agricultural, and commercial enterprises for them. Followed soon by several episodes of Palestinian missiles and mortars lobbed into Israel from Gaza. Followed by the obviously justified need for the IDF to intervene and protect Israeli citizens.

What planet does Abbas live on? Does he seriously think that the daily terrorism against civilians in Syria and Iraq and Muslim lone-wolf attacks throughout Europe and the United States will stop overnight just because a few Israeli settlements were disbanded in the West Bank?

The glaring fact is this: The vast majority of militant Muslim Arabs and non-Arabs (such as Iran), couldn’t care less about Jewish settlements in the West Bank. That is also true with the majority of “mainstream, moderate Muslims.” Most of them didn’t blink an eye when Israel vacated the Gaza Strip. But they danced in the streets when the Twin Towers fell. And they hand out gifts and sweets when Israeli Jews are hacked, stabbed, shot, and beaten to death throughout Israel. Excuse me, I forgot to include death by high-speed vehicles used as weapons.

In an article by one of my favorite Israeli columnists, Ruthie Blum, reprinted in Israel Hayom and also Prophecy News Watch, she cites and comments on a recent publication by ISIS in their on-line news source, Dabiq. (Yes, ISIS has their own media). ISIS gives six reasons why, “We hate you and want to fight you.” That article was given the title, Break the Cross, and was directed primarily toward Christians. Yet it’s clear: The post also includes anyone and everyone who opposes the right of ISIS to be the supreme Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East and Islam’s right to govern the globe through Sharia Law.

138978554647658386a_b.png

(Writer Ruthie Blum Also Appears on Israeli Television)

Space in today’s article does not permit quotation of the six reasons. However, rest assured that the article says nothing at all about withdrawal of Jewish settlements (occupation); or that ISIS would cease and desist from all terrorist attacks if Israel complied with Palestinian demands as Mahmoud Abbas so arrogantly and foolishly claims.

Nonetheless, I will quote the final overriding reason given by ISIS explaining why they will continue their barbaric torture, mutilation, and murder of innocent people the world over.

Here it is, ISIS talking:

“What’s important to understand here is that although some might argue that your foreign policies are the extent of what drives our hatred, this particular reason for hating you is secondary … The fact is, even if you were to stop bombing us, imprisoning us, torturing us, vilifying us, and usurping our lands, we would continue to hate you because our primary reason for hating you will not cease to exist until you embrace Islam” (italics for emphasis).

The “usurping our lands” could be stretched to include Palestinian territory in Israel, but the larger context includes all Middle East, European, and African nations/territory that were at one time partially or fully controlled by Muslims, including the Ottoman Turk Empire defeated by British and allies during World War I.

Rather than summarizing with my own editorial comments, some of which I’ve already submitted in today’s article (as also found in a few prior Eye of Prophecy articles on this subject), I’ll defer to Ruthie Blum’s observations, as they track closely with mine and several others who are ardent students of Scripture and/or Middle East events, both historical and contemporary.

She states: “But it is the response of the West, which has been suffering increasingly bloody attacks on its shores, that is both baffling and worrisome. On the one hand, Americans and Europeans view Islamic State as the world’s ultimate bogeyman—one worth defeating, even on the battlefield. On the other hand, the very same leaders and pundits who have reached a consensus on the evil nature of Islamic State remain in denial about the many other Islamist organizations and “lone wolves” who commit atrocities on their behalf.

“What those leaders and pundits choose not to see is that though Islamic State terrorists may be a bit more theatrical than competing killers, they are not worse than members of Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, al-Qaida or Boko Haram. Indeed, though their PR machine is as well-oiled as their literature is articulate, they are not more deserving of eradication than the others. Indeed, every point on Islamic State’s list could have been and is made by all jihadis.”

*Note: The “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine” (PLO) was reconfigured to become today’s Palestinian Authority currently led by the “featured guest of today’s article” President Mahmoud Abbas; who took over for Yasser Arafat, the founder of Fatah (military wing of the PLO and now the Palestinian Authority).

Ruthie Blum continues and then concludes: “Instead of separating Palestinian terrorists into a different category—of terrorists with a legitimate gripe that can be resolved with Israeli concessions—the West needs to wake up to reality… Islamic State is merely one strain of the deadly disease of jihad. An urgent antidote is needed to combat all of its manifestations and mutations…”

Summary (Shame on Our State Department)

Just a few days ago, the United States State Department issued more defamatory and inflammatory remarks against Israel, pertaining to the possibility of more settlement construction in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria by its rightful name … part of Israel proper).

In response to what he termed the State’s Department, “remarkable assault on Israel … both in tone and content, marks a new hostility and plenty of sheer ignorance,” Elliot Abrams (former deputy national security advisor to President George W. Bush) also noted that the State Department’s, “…obsession with housing construction by Israeli Jews is certainly not shared by any Arab government…”

elliotabrams-635x357

(Photo of Elliot Abrams)

With his reaction, Elliot Abrams seriously challenged the current Presidential Staff’s hostile disposition toward Israel and its aforementioned fixation on housing construction as specifically articulated by State Department spokesman, John Kirby.

Said Kirby (which he has said before as noted in a previous Eye of Prophecy article) in denouncement of the Israeli government that they were, “…systematically undermining the prospects for a two-state solution by engaging in settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace.”

Others joined in with Abrams, including Alan Baker, former Israeli ambassador to Canada, who said:

“Reading the statement (Kirby’s statement) … An average reader having landed from space, would only conclude that Israel’s settlement activity is the source of all evil in the world, and the United States is waging a massive war of Armageddon against this evil. No international terror, no ISIS, no Iranian nuclear threat, no Syria, no Hezbollah, no Hamas, no hunger, no global warming. Only Israel’s settlements!”

Things to Ponder

As terrible as it can be, it is not terrorism. As calamitous as it might seem, it is not political corruption or economic collapse. As woeful as it is, it is not war. As horrendous as it might get, it is not … well, you fill in the blanks. These are but symptoms of what has plagued the human race from time immemorial … sin.

There is no doubt: It is the debilitating and disastrous effect of sin that produces pride, greed, lust for power and pleasure, selfishness, cruelty, hatred, disobedience, lawlessness, ingratitude, and eventually death—both physical and spiritual.

The true threat, the real risk, the actual angst, and the ferocious fight facing this tumultuous world of ours—specifically for believers, but also in general extended to those searching for truth and peace—is summarized succinctly in Scripture.

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

The real battle is spiritual. The real enemy is the false belief system of those who distort, deny, and replace the universal truth of The Bible—both Old and New Testaments. The spiritual becomes physical, the mind becomes matter, and what’s in the human heart turns into action—either for good or evil.

The ultimate fight is not against Muslim terrorists and certainly not against those Muslims who do not support torture and killing of Jews and Christians as the only way to advance Islam. Rather it is against the creeds of a religion (any man-made religion) that claims good works and self-righteousness as the only way to please the god of that religion. It is also against secular humanistic belief systems that seek to silence those who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and especially those who believe in the truth of God’s salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. For the activists among such religious and secular ideologies, silencing can include actual elimination of anyone who opposes their twisted ideas.

But, there is powerful protection and profound peace against these wicked spiritual forces and mighty powers in this dark world and the billions of people who have been influenced by this evil. It is God’s protective covering given to all those who have believed and received the Prince of Peace, Messiah Jesus.

It is the belt of Biblical truth. It is the full body armor of God’s righteousness, not self-righteousness. It is the Gospel shoes shod with true peace with God and with each other. It is the shield of faith to stop Satan’s weapons from defeating us. It is the helmet of Biblical salvation freely given through the grace of God to all who believe and receive Messiah Jesus. And it is the sword of the Holy Spirit enabling us to understand and trust the Word of God that will sustain us through this wicked and weary world we live in. (Ephesians 6:14-17, paraphrasing).

a34719c53bd2c9a02576bdf2aa7d1bc6

“…His faithful promises are your armor and protection” (Psalm 91:4b).

“May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 6:24

Stand Still & Watch God Fight for Israel!

Tags

,

Universal Truth of Scripture

“For since the world began, no ear has heard, and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!” (Isaiah 64:4).

This amazing verse is one of many in Scripture that declares a universal truth for individuals, peoples, and nations whose God is the Lord (Psalm 33:12)—those who sincerely seek after God, and who believe and trust his Word as recorded in the Bible. However, like most passages and prophets in the Old Testament, Isaiah is first and foremost speaking directly to Israel, which God calls his “special possession,” and to the Jews … God’s “chosen people.”

For instance, in the preceding chapter, Isaiah writes: “Lord … return and help us, for we are your servants, the tribes that are your special possession … Sometimes it seems as though we never belonged to you, as though we had never been known as your people” (Isaiah 63:17, 19).

Then Isaiah Chapter 64 begins with: “Oh that you would burst from the heavens and come down! How the mountains would quake in your presence! As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil, your coming would make the nations tremble. Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame! When you came down long ago, you did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! For since the world began…. (Isaiah 64:1-4a).

Isaiah is referring to God’s presence on Mount Sinai and before that the Lord’s deeds in the form of mighty miracles to deliver the Jews from Pharaoh and from Egyptian slavery.

There are many things that separate the Bible and the true and living God of the Bible from all other so-called sacred texts and the man-made gods of those religions, but two features stand out: (1) Only Biblical God-given prophecies come to pass with 100% accuracy—hundreds of them. What God says he will do, he does. What God says will happen, happens.

(2) Only God’s Word (the Bible) offers salvation as a free gift by simply believing and receiving the substitutionary sacrifice of God’s Son (Messiah Jesus) to forgive our sins and pardon the penalty of those sins. All other religions promote a form of self-righteousness based on good works.

tumblr_manof8utq61rvjtt3o1_500

God Does Take Sides

History confirms the following premise: God has providentially intervened in individual battles and the outcome of wars that eventually determined the destiny of entire nations, especially the nation of Israel. There are numerous examples of divine interdiction through the accounts of soldiers, civilians, generals, and national leaders trying to explain mysterious events that led to rescue and/or victory. The ultimate (only) conclusion: there had to have been purposeful providential participation.

As an example, here are some excerpts (in italics) from the Eye of Prophecy article, The Reign of Terror (posted 9-13-14), concerning the three major wars of Israel’s modern-day history and God’s divine direction that directly led to Israel’s victories. But still, the Jews had to fight.

On May 15, 1948, the day after Israel became a sovereign state, five Arab nations led by Syria and Egypt attacked with armies that vastly outnumbered and outgunned the hastily assembled, rag-tag Jewish army. National leaders the world over, including US President Harry Truman, gave the Jews no chance whatsoever of winning; Israel would die a national death within days or weeks after its rebirth. Instead, it was the Arabs who were soundly defeated in Israel’s War of Independence. Even hardened Israeli officers and soldiers, some of whom had abandoned the notion that God any longer cared about Israel’s destiny, attributed the victory to divine intervention. The miracle of this victory was transparently obvious: there’s absolutely no way that Israel could have or should have won that war. Perhaps God was on their side after all.

The Six-Day War in June, 1967 was equally stunning. Not because Israel didn’t have (by that time) a much stronger military than in 1948; but because of the sheer brilliance of the Israeli Defense Force’s strategy and execution of those plans. Which accomplished a feat that has never in military history been achieved: A massive rout of an enemy that was still much stronger (on paper) in men and material in only six days! Strong evidence that God was on their side.

Finally, the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Because the Arab nations struck without warning on one of Israel’s high holy days (Day of Atonement), they caught Israel woefully unprepared. It was the bloodiest war with, by far, the highest casualties on both sides. Yet, Israel’s victory was no less miraculous for the very reason that such a sudden attack from an enemy that still boasted a clear military superiority should have by all rights defeated a foe that was caught completely off guard. It would be similar to the United States rebounding in a short time and actually defeating the Japanese at Pearl Harbor or soon afterward; rather than taking another four years to finally conquer Japan. There’s no doubt that God was on Israel’s side!

Although there have been a handful of battles won “without firing a shot” (such as British Field Marshal Edmund Allenby capturing Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks during World War I), invariably they were part of a larger series of local, regional, national, or international conflict (war).

With exception of three extraordinary events, there is no record, Biblical or secular, of God (alone through direct intrusion) supernaturally defeating an enemy of Gentile nations involved in a righteous justified war, without the necessary fighting and dying of those whom God helped to accomplish their worthy cause and God’s ultimate plan. Each of these three exceptions involve Israel. All three validate the Lord’s ultimate authority and power over nations. It is God’s demonstration to Israel and Gentile nations that his ultimate plan and purpose for all peoples will be accomplished despite the evil and terror that the Lord has allowed to exist for millennia.

No one can completely understand the thoughts and ways of our great God or the entire scope of his purpose for mankind.

my-thoughts-are-not-his-thoughts

We know that for believers in Christ Jesus, God causes all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28). What we don’t even come close to grasping is how he carries out this promise and many other majestic promises and prophecies in Scripture. Or how he circumvents the innumerable bad decisions we all have made and the adverse consequences of those regrettable choices, not to mention the evil in this world, to accomplish his plan for the human race. The how and sometimes the why of it all is for God and God alone to know. Our job is to simply trust and obey him.

But throughout Scripture, the Lord does give us a panoramic view of why he has permitted individuals and nations to exist despite the incessant evil that men do and the perpetual death and destruction that results.

A Biblical Overview: After the Great Flood, God gave the human race another chance (and a lengthy one at that, i.e. some 5,000 years) to follow him and his ways; OR to demonstrate that individuals, governments, and nations can bring peace and stability to this world without God. We don’t have to read much history or look very far in today’s world to comprehend the obvious: Mankind has failed miserably to establish any kind of paradise whatsoever on earth.

Even God’s chosen people/nation wouldn’t and couldn’t accomplish this noble objective. They, too, abandoned the only One who had assured them that they and all nations through them would be richly blessed and protected if they would simply love, listen to, and obey the Lord their God.

The other reason that God has allowed societies to continue on a path of apocalyptic ruin is so that many will come to a saving knowledge of God’s magnificent design of redemption through Messiah (Jesus) who came at the appointed time. Ultimately, however, God will need to unilaterally intervene in the affairs of Planet Earth on a scale that will affect every man, woman, and child. Thereby, fulfilling God’s prophetic plan and purpose for his creation; while, at the same time, saving the human race from self-extinction.

Let’s look at the three improbable exceptions and the reasons for these departures from the normal course of human events, particularly involving war; in which God fought for Israel, winning an awesome victory without his people so much as lifting a finger in battle.

*Note: I am not including God’s miracle of splitting the Sea, allowing his people to cross on dry land, and then drowning Pharaoh’s army when they arrogantly pursued the Israelites. For two reasons: The Hebrews were not yet the nation of Israel. And, they did not yet have a standing army.

redsea

The Backdrop of the First Major Exception Made by God

For the most part, Jehoshaphat was one of the better kings of Judah, which along with the tribe of Benjamin comprised the Southern Kingdom of Israel. He was the fourth king to rule Judah (872 BC to 848 BC) after the nation of Israel split into two kingdoms when King Solomon died.

“Jehoshaphat was a good king, following the example of his father, Asa. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. During his reign, however, he failed to remove all the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel” (I Kings 22:43-44).

Good News: Jehoshaphat “made peace with the king of Israel.” Bad News: That king of Israel (northern kingdom) was none other than the infamous Ahab, husband of the very wicked Jezebel.

In fact, Jehoshaphat agreed to go to war with Ahab, who enlisted Judah’s help to defeat the armies of Ramoth-gilead in particular and the nation of Aram in general. Jehoshaphat agreed but only if they first consulted a true prophet of God (Micaiah) instead of the false prophets of Baal whom Ahab preferred. Ahab agreed, but when Micaiah predicted that the combined forces of Israel and Judah would be defeated and that Ahab would be killed in battle, Ahab became furious. He ordered Micaiah put in prison. Even though Jehoshaphat had recommended Micaiah, he went along with Ahab’s decision. Bad mistake.

Nevertheless, Ahab was more than a little concerned about Micaiah’s prophecy. To the extent that he came up with a “brave” plan to lead their respective armies into battle. Said Ahab to Jehoshaphat: “…As we go into battle, I will disguise myself so no one will recognize me, but you wear your royal robes” (II Chronicles 18:29).

What a magnanimous gesture on the part of Ahab! Not! Equally pathetic is that Jehoshaphat went along with it. Many students of Scripture know the rest of the story: An Aramean soldier randomly shot an arrow at the Israelite troops and hit Ahab (disguised as one of his soldiers) between the joints of his armor. Later, Ahab died from this wound. Jehoshaphat barely escaped with his life. God was angry with Jehoshaphat for ignoring the words of God’s prophet; but also, as asked rhetorically after the battle by another prophet, Jehu, “Why should you (Jehoshaphat) help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?” (II Chronicles 19:2).

The First Exception … King Jehoshaphat & Israel’s Victory Won Exclusively by God

“After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites (Aram) declared war on Jehoshaphat. Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, ‘A vast army from Edom (Aram) is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea’ … Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance … So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help” (II Chronicles 20:1-4).

Commentary: Good response. Not only the king, but representatives from all of Judah sought the counsel and help of the God of Israel. Once again, the Bible is crystal clear on this principle: If we sincerely call on the Lord to rescue us and with equal sincerity listen to him through his Word and obey him, he will hear us. If we exclude the Lord and certainly if we expel him from the affairs of our nation, individually and collectively, then we’re on our own.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord

O that these words of Jehoshaphat speaking for the entire nation of Judah could be heard in our Halls of Congress, in the White House, in the seats of our Supreme Court Justices, and throughout the Pentagon:

“…O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!” (II Chronicles 20:6).

Jehoshaphat then goes on to honor the Lord by acknowledging and remembering (reminding the people) how the Lord stood with the Jews when they entered the Promised Land, when they were faced with “war, plague, or famine.” This prayer and others like it in Scripture could easily apply to the United States of America in our times of adversity and uncertainty. Also in our times of prosperity!

He goes on to say: “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them. Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance” (Verses 10-11).

Make no mistake: There are many in America who, given any legal and even illegal means at their disposal, would like nothing better than for all those who think and live by the Judeo-Christian values of the Bible, especially believers in Jesus Christ, to be gone from this country. At the very minimum, to relieve us of our God-given right to worship, publish, and proclaim the everlasting universal absolute truths of God’s Word.

Whether now or later—preferably now because later could be too late; whether it is those from within who recklessly abandon and ruthlessly attack all that is good and right in this country; or those from without such as China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Muslim terrorists who would gleefully applaud and (when they think the time is right) enthusiastically participate in the demise of the United States, we and our leaders need to echo the words of Jehoshaphat:

“O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help” (Verse 12).

jehoshaphat_praying_c-552

Biblical fact: Any nation, including what many think is the invincible United States of America, is powerless to help themselves if God is not with them. Period. End of story … end of nation.

Immediately, we realize that the Lord heard and honored Jehoshaphat’s plea on behalf of Judah. We know because of the astonishing miracle that followed—beginning with God’s Spirit poured out on one of the men standing nearby when Judah called out to God. This man, Jahaziel, boldly proclaimed what he knew would happen, because the people had opened their hearts to the Lord.

Said Jahaziel, “…Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel. But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!” (Verses 15-17).

Then Jehoshaphat and all the people bowed and worshipped the Lord. The next morning, Jehoshaphat said to the people as they prepared to meet the invading enemy:

“…Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed” (Verse 20).

When Jehoshaphat said, “believe in his prophets,” he was referring to all of God’s Word spoken and written down by the prophets at that time, not the least of which were the greatest prophets, Moses and Samuel.

Here’s what happened next:

“After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: ‘Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!’

“At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped” (Verses 21-24).

Stunning!

Many of us remember the wartime slogan, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.” We all know that to mean: Seek the Lord’s help for a righteous cause and praise him for all he has done and will do; but we must still fight and some will die to win the victory. That is a maxim for armies that the Lord has aided down through the years.

Not so with Jehoshaphat and his people. All they did was to praise the Lord! No bows, arrows, spears, swords, or ammunition of any kind. The Lord did it all. There have been documented cases in war when an army or militia turned on one of its allies. Yet they are few and certainly didn’t result in total annihilation of each other, before they even began to engage their real enemy. Nothing like what happened to the armies of Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Aram. All the people of Judah had to do was trust the Lord, praise him for a victory already guaranteed against a massive coalition that would have annihilated Judah, and then, “…gather the plunder” (Verse 25).

Jehoshaphat-and-the-choir-that-led-an-army-2_472_266_80

This monumental miracle of a victory ends with: “When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them. So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side” (II Chronicles 20:29-30).

You think!

Second Historical Incident … King Hezekiah and Judah

In the year 701 BC, during the reign of one of Judah’s greatest and most godly kings, Hezekiah, God on a massive scale once again delivered his people from national destruction; and did so without any fighting on the part of Judah’s army. Let’s look at this astounding event, paying special attention to the pattern and parallels of what happened with Jehoshaphat some 140 years earlier. In terms of time-comparison, think of the gap between our Revolutionary War and World War I. And once again remember: our ancestors had to fight in both of those wars (and of course World War II) in order for God to providentially guide us to victory.

As a backdrop, the powerful nation of Assyria had already conquered the ten northern kingdoms of Israel in 722 BC; this according to God’s warning of what would happen if Israel continued to abandon and disobey their God who created the nation of Israel (through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and protected and prospered her for hundreds of years thereafter. God’s patience ran out and he allowed Assyria to vanquish Israel.

The Assyrian King, Sennacherib, had already attacked and taken most of the fortified towns of Judah and had marched on Jerusalem to complete his conquest of the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Sennacherib proudly boasted in messages to King Hezekiah that no one, not even the God of Israel, could prevent him from capturing Jerusalem (that alone was a huge mistake … to blatantly and arrogantly defy the true and living God).

“When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes and put on burlap and went into the Temple of the Lord” (II Kings 19:1).

Obviously Hezekiah was distraught for he knew that Judah was no match against the mighty Assyrian army. So he sent for Isaiah (again seeking God’s Word through the voice of God’s prophet). Isaiah’s response was an immediate and emphatic promise from God:

“…This is what the Lord says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian king’s messengers. Listen! I myself will move against him, and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land, where I will have him killed with a sword” (Verses 5-7).

After a second taunting and threatening message from Sennacherib’s officials, Hezekiah went to the Temple again, spread the message out before the Lord, and prayed passionately:

“…O Lord, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. Bend down, O Lord, and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God. It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God” ((II Kings 19:15-19).

Though it hasn’t come yet to an immediate threat of another world war, the winds of war and the rattling of sabers can be heard all over the globe in today’s world. In a matter of a few weeks, precipitated by the unparalleled and virtually unmitigated civil wars, terrorism, and unrest in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States, the entire world could erupt into an international conflagration.

What would happen if either or both of our presidential candidates now or as the next President, senators and congressmen from both parties, Supreme Court justices, and other prominent men and woman (especially those who know the Lord personally) poured our hearts out to God to deliver us from our enemies and from ourselves? What if we prayed the words of Hezekiah who humbly acknowledged God’s greatness and pleaded for his sovereign intervention?

I don’t know how God would do it or how quickly; but on the final authority of God’s Word (Scripture), I can confidently say, “This nation would be great again.” Or, if you’re in the other camp, “Stay great.” For the standing of any nation is determined by God himself. Any maintenance of or return to greatness through that same divine determination is predicated on a verse quoted recently in the Eye of Prophecy article, America the Beautiful Is Getting Ugly, posted 7-9-16.

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land” (II Chronicles 7:14).

Turn from our wicked ways. Stop killing our babies while they’re still in the womb (Psalm 139:13-16). Stop worshiping creation and the god of evolution (Romans 1:21-23). Worship the Creator instead. Stop calling God a liar or that he’s outdated when he gives clear timeless warnings against same sex-behavior (Romans 1:24-32). Overturn immoral legislation and ungodly high court decisions that sanction and even fund abortion and same-sex marriage proponents.

Will we never listen? Will we never learn? Will we never turn or return to God?

The following verses are just a part of Isaiah’s second message to Hezekiah, because Hezekiah had prayed to the Lord. The second message was much longer, and repeats some of the first message.

“And this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria: ‘His armies will not enter Jerusalem. They will not even shoot an arrow at it. They will not march outside its gates with their shields nor build banks of earth against its walls. The king will return to his own country by the same road on which he came. He will not enter this city, says the Lord. For my own honor and for the sake of my servant David, I will defend this city and protect it’” (II Kings 19:32-34).

Do you remember what happened next? It is only the most mind-boggling event in the annals of warfare. It will remind you of what happened to the first-born of every Egyptian when Pharaoh’s arrogance had stretched God’s patience to the limit, which also happened at the hands of an angel sent by God. Read with me:

“That night the angel of the Lord went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When the surviving Assyrians woke up the next morning, they found corpses everywhere. Then King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and returned to his own land. He went home to his capital of Nineveh and stayed there” (Verses 35-36).

Once again, you think!

Prophet Isaiah angel Sennacherib army

Boom, just like that. Sennacherib and what was left of his decimated troops were “out of there.” And why not! This boastful king had just lost 185,000 soldiers. Scripture doesn’t give us the size of his army, but that wouldn’t matter anyway. When you lose that many soldiers in one night while the survivors slept through it, you’re not going to stick around to see what might happen next.

But there’s more, to fulfill the precise prophecy of Isaiah:

“One day while he (Sennacherib) was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with their swords. They then escaped to the land of Ararat, and another son, Esarhaddon, became the next king of Assyria” (Verse 37).

Assyria was never the same again. In a few decades, Babylon would utterly destroy the once mighty Assyrian kingdom.

Just like with Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and his army didn’t so much as shoot one arrow at the Assyrians. God did it all.

The Third and Last Event in Which God (alone) Annihilates Israel’s Enemies

Do you know which one it is? How it happens? Who is involved? If you know, then many kudos to you; because they are, in part, trick questions. Why? This final, most spectacular God-directed and God-inflicted defeat of Israel’s enemies hasn’t taken place yet. But it will, just as sure as God’s predictions for Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, the people of Judah, and their enemies came to pass.

We’re talking about the (soon to come) massive Gog/Magog invasion of Israel, which many Bible scholars have written about, including me in several Eye of Prophecy articles.

*Note: For more details on Russia, Iran, and their anti-Semitic agendas leading to fulfilment of the Gog/Magog prophecy, please see articles entitled: Beware of the Bear (posted 3-22-14); Russia & Iran Versus Israel (10-4-14); Gog, Magog & Leviathan (1-3-15); The Russians Are Coming! (11-14-15); Beginning of the End (3-5-16).

As indicated in some of those articles, I’m convinced (reasons given) that this monstrous campaign against Israel will occur within the first year or so of the seven-year Tribulation, which immediately follows the Rapture, which will happen any day now. Because you may be familiar with Ezekiel Chapters 38 & 39, and because of past columns on this subject, I will limit this week’s article to comments that fit today’s theme.

Which is to show that God’s autonomous confrontation of the Gog/Magog confederacy fits the same pattern as demonstrated in the first two incidents.

Ezekiel Chapters 38 & 39

“But this is what the Sovereign Lord says: When Gog invades the land of Israel, my fury will boil over! In my jealousy and blazing anger, I promise a mighty shaking in the land of Israel on that day … all the people on earth will quake in terror at my presence. Mountains will be thrown down; cliffs will crumble; walls will fall to the earth. I will summon the sword against you on all the hills of Israel, says the Sovereign Lord. Your men will turn their swords against each other. I will punish you and your armies with disease and bloodshed; I will send torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and burning sulfur!” (Ezekiel 38:18-22)

As we’ve seen: God’s victorious rout of Israel’s enemies in the time of Jehoshaphat and Hezekiah was nothing short of stunning. For Jehoshaphat, God supernaturally turned Israel’s enemies against each other, so completely that all of the armies of that coalition were eliminated. For Hezekiah, the Lord sent only one of his mighty angels; overnight, 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were slain.

Against Gog and Magog, the Lord doubles down. He strikes this massive alliance of several nations—what presumably will be hundreds of thousands or even millions of troops aligned against Israel—by turning the forces of nature against them and also causing their troops to turn on each other.

Yes, this will be the third time in the chronicles of warfare that God alone will destroy Israel’s enemies without the Jews needing to fight at all. As with Jehoshaphat and his people, the Israelis will simply, “stand still and watch the Lord’s victory.” As did Sennacherib in Hezekiah’s time, all of Israel will watch Gog (if he survives) flee the scene with the proverbial “tail between his legs.”

Oh, the Israelis will need to contribute, but only after the fact. Here is what they will do:

“Then the people in the towns of Israel will go out and pick up your small and large shields, bows and arrows, javelins and spears, and they will use them for fuel. There will be enough to last them seven years! They won’t need to cut wood from the fields, or forests, for these weapons will give them all the fuel they need. They will plunder those who planned to plunder them…” (Ezekiel 39:9-10).

In today’s terms think of guns, grenades, mortars, missiles, assault vehicles, tanks, and aircraft.

Things to Ponder

Twice Almighty God directly struck down Israel’s enemies without the Jews needing to fight at all. In the near future, the Lord will do so again. What is the primary reason for this departure from the normal means of God helping Israel and nations who at least acknowledge the God of Israel as God, but with the requirement that the people participate in defense of their land and freedom?

Answer: At that critical point in Israel’s history, to get the undivided attention of both Israel and their enemies; that God’s sovereignty and glory is supreme over all peoples and nations. Which requires that both Jews and Gentiles, individually, make a decision: To turn, trust, and yield to the true and living God as Savior and Lord; OR to defy and reject him at great risk and peril, both now and throughout eternity.

For Jehoshaphat and his people: “When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them” (II Chronicles 20:29).

For Hezekiah and his people: “Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God” (Isaiah 37:20).

For wicked Gog and the evil forces of Magog: “In this way, I will show my greatness and holiness, and I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:23).

And also to Israel:

gog-and-magog_lion-defends

By the time Russia, Iran, and the nations aligned with them in conspiracy against Israel are utterly crushed by God alone, all of Israel and all of the world will know beyond any doubt who was responsible for Gog’s humiliating defeat. At that point, both Jew and Gentile must decide whether to believe and follow God and the true Messiah, Jesus; or to ignore and defy the God of Israel and choose Satan’s false messiah, Nero.

First part of Psalm 83 says: “They devise crafty schemes against your people; they conspire against your precious ones. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us wipe out Israel as a nation. We will destroy the very memory of its existence’” (Psalm 83:3-4)

Then, “O my God, scatter them like tumbleweed, like chaff before the wind! As a fire burns a forest and as a flame sets mountains ablaze, chase them with your fierce storm; terrify them with your tempest. Utterly disgrace them until they submit to your name, O Lord” (Verses 13-16).

Does that sound like what takes place when God triumphs over Gog/Magog?

This Psalm closes with: “Then they will learn that you alone are called the Lord, that you alone are the Most High, supreme over all the earth” (Psalm 83:18).

The Tremendous Transfiguration of Believers!

Tags

What’s It All About?

Why am I here? What is the meaning of it all? Is there a purpose for my life? Does God have a plan for the human race? Does God really care about me and my future? Or, in today’s incredibly insecure terror-filled globe: “What in the world is going on?”

Have you thought about and even asked these existential questions, silently to yourself or aloud to others at some time in your life? It’s startling how many people seek answers from any and all sources other than the Word of God, which addresses all these anxieties and more. It’s also alarming that so many people avoid these questions because the right answers interfere with personal pursuit of power, prestige, prosperity, and pleasure.

The Bible contains a sweeping record of God’s majestic plan for the universe and mankind. Untold volumes of books and articles and commentaries have been written and sermons preached about the tremendous truths of Scripture; thus, the following is a super condensed summary that gives added meaning to the term, in a nutshell:

God created man and woman to worship him, fellowship with him, and enjoy the magnificent earth on which the human race was placed. It was, in fact, Paradise; aptly defined in Webster’s Dictionary as, “a place of bliss, felicity, or delight.”

Unlike animals, we were made in God’s image (soul and spirit) which includes the profound privilege of free will and choice. God did not create us as puppets. He wants us to willingly love, obey, and follow him because we want to; not because we have to. Adam and Eve chose wrongly. Sin entered the world, as did the revolting result of that deliberate disobedience: death, both physical and spiritual—eternal separation from God. To use the title of John Milton’s superb book, it was: Paradise Lost.

But God, through his immeasurable love and grace and mercy, offered a remedy: Salvation through the supreme sacrifice of Messiah Jesus, the Son of God (John 3:16). The just for the unjust, the righteous for the unrighteous, the innocent for the guilty.

For Adam and Eve, it was to believe what God said about disobedience bringing death to the human race. But if they listened to him and obeyed what he said, they would live forever in Paradise. It was really that simple. Then at the time of Christ, it was to totally trust the Lord by personally believing and receiving God’s ultimate plan of redemption for the human race, only possible through Messiah Jesus. A plan of salvation applicable to and sufficient for all people who have ever lived… before, during, and after his sacrificial death, and resurrection to validate the truth of so great a salvation.

God-plan

As it was in the beginning, so shall it be at the end of this age. All those who have acknowledged God’s solution for the otherwise unsolvable human predicament, and have agreed that only Messiah Jesus can bring us back full circle to what and where we were meant to be, will be (once again) given bodies equipped to live forever. God himself will bring Heaven down to the (new) earth through the (new) Jerusalem where all believers will live. Only it will be even better. In the Garden of Eden, God visited with Adam and Eve, but did not dwell with them.

Listen to the awesome promise for believers: “…Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them” (Revelation 21:3). There have been so many down through the ages and alive today that don’t want God living with or among them. Tragically for them, they will get their wish.

How will The Lord accomplish all this? What will he do in order to complete our destiny as first announced by Jesus: “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” (John 14:1-3, italics for emphasis).

The Glorious Rapture

This wonderful promise from Jesus was then revealed in more detail to the Apostle Paul in one of the most famous prophecies in all of Scripture. Before we read it, let’s look at some synonyms of Rapture: Ecstatic, blissful, joyful, elated, and euphoric.

“We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died, will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever” (I Thessalonians 4:15-17, italics for emphasis).

Compare the italicized words in the John 14 passage (spoken by Jesus) to the italicized words from the Apostle Paul. Jesus, himself, will come to take believers from the earth to live with him forever in a place he has already prepared for us.

Since this is the first article that begins the fourth year of the Eye of Prophecy website, I’d like to quote from the very first article written (July, 2013). I would encourage you to click on the July and August archives of Eye of Prophecy and read the five-part series on the What, Why, When, Who, and How of the Rapture.

From, What is the Rapture?

The Greek word translated “caught up” found in the following passage is harpazo, which literally means to seize or snatch away (quickly).

I then quote the rapture passage from I Thessalonians 4. Continuing with the excerpt from What is the Rapture:

Yet the English word “Rapture” is entirely appropriate as a one-word description of the remarkable prophetic proclamations found in I Thessalonians 4 and I Corinthians 15. Remember, the word Rapture is not a direct translation of the Greek word, although it is a very close transliteration of the Latin word; rather it is a substitute or alternative or expanded way to describe emotionally or spiritually what is taking place. One of the definitions for rapture found in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary is, “a mystical experience in which the spirit is exalted to knowledge of divine things,” and a companion definition is, “an expression or manifestation of ecstasy or passion.”

Thus, we have a captivating combination of the original Latin and Greek words, which is accurately rendered “caught up” in most English translations of the Bible. These words convey the dynamics of the actual time/space sequence involved in this literal transfiguration of the Christian’s physical body, with the spiritual joy, emotional bliss, and mental delight in what is taking place. Those who have accepted Christ as their personal Savior (both the dead and the living), will experience the highest degree of spiritual and physical euphoria possible, as we will be instantly changed and then transported to heaven, there to be with our Lord and King forever. As the sayings go, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” And, “What a way to go!”

rapture

More Spectacular Features

Just three of four years after Paul disclosed this extraordinary event to the Thessalonians, he elaborated on God’s phenomenal plan for that part of the human race who trust in the redemptive sacrificial atonement of Messiah Jesus.

In this subsequent revelation to the Corinthian Church, Paul goes all the way back to Adam, giving us more marvelous details that can answer all of the questions (and more) posed in the opening paragraph of today’s article.

Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul:

“The Scriptures tell us, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living person.’ But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.

“What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. 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. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies” (I Corinthians 15:45-53).

*Note: If you only have time to read one of the aforementioned series of articles on the Rapture, then please choose, How the Rapture (will take place), posted 8-24-13. Reason: It explains in great detail that the sequence of Rapture events described in I Thessalonians Chapter 4 (by carefully correlating I Corinthians Chapter 15 with I Thessalonians 4) will take several minutes, and NOT be over in the twinkling of an eye. The only thing that will happen in the blink of an eye is the actual “transformation” from our earthly bodies to our heavenly bodies.

The New American Standard Bible translation uses the words, “changed” and “put on” (the immortal body in place of the mortal), which is the same as “transformed” employed in the New Living Translation … only a little less emphatic.

The Greek word used in I Corinthians 15 is, allesso. Which means: altered, changed, or transformed.

Transform is defined in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary: “to change in composition or structure; to change the outward form of appearance; to change in character or condition.”

The operative description in I Corinthians 15 of transform is an action verb that further illustrates, confirms, and emphasizes God’s implementation of his divine plan and ultimate purpose for which we were created … to live with our great and glorious God and Messiah forever. But first we need to be saved from our sins and the penalty of those sins by accepting Christ as our personal Savior. When we do that, we immediately have (present tense condition) eternal life. Because we will need a body equipped to last forever, our earthly bodies must first be changed/transformed to a spiritual body like our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus who arose from the dead with the first (ever) heavenly body.

glorious-rapture-day2

Thus, the composition of our bodies will undergo an extreme makeover that will alter our appearance to a form or condition that will far surpass the most perfect of earthly bodies. Yet, we will still recognize each other and will no longer change in appearance.

We will never grow old again! No more balding, stooping, sagging, folding, wrinkling, expanding, or shrinking!

An Even Stronger Concept

“Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light” (Matthew 17:1-2, NASB).

Normally I would have quoted the above passage from the New Living Translation; all Scriptural references in Eye of Prophecy articles are from the NLT, unless otherwise designated. In Matthew 17, the NLT uses the English word, transformed, which is the same word it uses in the I Corinthians 15 passage concerning the change of our earthly bodies to spiritual bodies at the Rapture. The reason I chose the NASB (which translates the Greek word to transfigured) is because that Greek word is different than the word, allesso, found in I Corinthians 15.

Although the meanings are substantially similar (transformation or transfiguration … both are accurate and appropriate), the Greek word used in the exceptional scene we just read is, metamorphoo. Which makes the saying, “It’s all Greek to me,” not entirely true! There are several Greek words that are nearly identical to their transliterated English counterpart. This is one of those words. So what is the English word? You’re right: It is metamorphosis.

Webster’s definition of metamorphosis: “change of physical form, structure, or substance (especially) by supernatural means; striking alteration in appearance, character, or circumstances.”

Which is why the English word, transfiguration, is the better description of the astounding change in Jesus’s appearance on what most Bible scholars refer to as the Mount of Transfiguration.

Transfiguration is defined by Webster’s Dictionary at two different levels. The first level is more closely akin to transform, which is: change in form or appearance. But the second (higher) level of transfiguration is defined as: “an exalting, glorifying, or spiritual change.” In fact, Webster’s cites the transfiguration of Christ as an example. As noted, both of the definitions for metamorphosis and transfigured directly attribute this kind of “striking, exalted, glorified” change to one that is supernatural … by (the power of) God.

Which is exactly what Jesus experienced on the Mount of Transfiguration. It was a preliminary divine demonstration that Jesus was fully God and fully man. It was also a stunning “preview of coming attractions.” The greatest of which was the resurrection of Messiah Jesus in a new glorified body; one that was exalted even above and beyond the human body he was born with. It was a spiritual, heavenly body that could never die.

Although our great God and Savior, Messiah Jesus, is far above us in every way (for all the reasons found in Scripture), God has promised born again believers that we, too, will someday be graciously given the same kind of eternal, indestructible body like Jesus has; whether we have died before Jesus returns or are still alive.

How great is that!

1536-12492745612Ryn

Yes, we will be transformed at the Rapture; but at the higher level of transfigured! Immediately after the transfiguration of our mortal earthly bodies to heavenly spiritual bodies, we will be “transported” directly to heaven. The change in our bodies and in our address and living quarters will involve a “transition.”

While we’re still in Webster’s Dictionary (at least I am), let’s also define, transition: “A passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another; a movement … from one form … to another; an abrupt change in energy state or level…”

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for my transfiguration and transition! And away we go!

For a more in-depth examination of I Corinthians 15 where the Apostle Paul uses the seemingly conflicting term, spiritual bodies, please refer to Eye of Prophecy articles, Spiritual Bodies … A Contradiction of Terms? Part I & II (posted 9-26-15 & 10-3-15).

The Second Adam

Often in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), Jesus is referred to and refers to himself as the Son of Man. Whereas Jesus is the Son of God and God the Son (the main emphasis in the Gospel of John), he made it clear that he was also fully human. But in a unique way.

Thus uniqueness is readily apparent in I Corinthians 15. As we read earlier in that chapter, Messiah Jesus is referred to as the, “last Adam.” The context in that passage was a contrast of Adam’s natural body (which all human beings are born with and in which we will die) to our glorious hope of receiving an eternal spiritual body like our Lord Jesus Christ, made possible by his resurrection from the dead.

Later in the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul expands on the correlation, but also difference between the first and the last Adam. Before reading this passage, we need to remember that Adam was created physically, morally, and spiritually perfect. Not God-perfect (only God is God), but humanly perfect when created by God … “without fault or defect” (Webster’s).

The integrated body, soul, and spirit given to him was meant to be eternal. Had Adam and Eve not disobeyed God, they would still be alive today. And this wicked, weary world we live in would still be as it was in the beginning … a paradise.

“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Romans 5:12).

Let’s pause here for a moment. Granted it’s a deep subject, one that cannot be fully explained or understood, even by doctors of medicine, physics, and theology. I’m referring to the process of aging and death itself. But Scripture is clear and the record of man’s existence fully attests to that clarity: Sin is a disease of the entire person—body, soul, and spirit. It is the ultimate cause of death in every human being. We begin to die soon after we are born. God said that if Adam and Eve chose to disobey the one and only commandment given to them, they would surely die. Which is exactly what happened, although God graciously gave them and others a long life before they died.

Many have heard the expression, “Two things in life are certain: Death and taxes.”

Wrong! Some down through the years have escaped taxes, like kings and queens and others. Not so, death. Mortality is a 100% certainty. One out of every one people dies. The only exception can be made by God … when he took Enoch and Elijah directly to heaven.

Whether through the blood, genes, DNA, or all of the above, every human being has been infected with sin. It is not a result of society, culture, or upbringing. Those can be factors that contribute to the nature and extent of wrong things we do, but they are not the innate cause. Any parent can attest to that fact when the first word they hear from their two-year old child is, “No!” Followed by a temper tantrum that shock mom and dad so much that they can’t believe what they’re seeing. Not their little angel! It took less than one generation for Adam’s son, Cain, to murder his brother Abel.

Time/space only permits partial examination of the Romans Chapter 5 passage that begins in verse 12 (earlier quoted) and goes through verse 21. You may want to read the entire passage; for purpose of our subject at hand (first and last Adam), let’s pick it up with:

“…Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ … For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.

“…Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone … So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:14-21).

Adam and Jesus

Quoting from the commentator in the New Living Translation on this passage: “Adam was the counterpart of Christ. Just as Adam was a representative of created humanity, so is Christ the representative of a new spiritual humanity. We were all born into Adam’s physical family—the family line that leads to certain death. We have inherited his guilt, a sinful nature (the tendency to sin), and God’s punishment. Because of Jesus, however, we can trade judgment for forgiveness. Christ offers us the opportunity to be born into his spiritual family… To which family line do you now belong?”

The Virgin Birth of Messiah Jesus

The entire life of Christ was a miracle, if for no other reason that the numerous miracles he performed to heal horrible afflictions, dreaded diseases and inoperable conditions such as those who were leprous, lame, deaf, and blind. And also his supernatural power over the laws of physics, i.e. turning water into wine and walking on water itself.

Jesus’s entrance into this world was also a marvelous miracle. Some call it the Immaculate Conception, others refer to it as the Virgin Birth … which it was. Jesus came to us through the natural process of birth; but Mary’s conception was supernatural.

“Mary asked the angel (Gabriel), ‘But how can this happen? I am a virgin.’ The angel replied, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God’” (Luke 1:35).

*Note: Luke was a medical doctor. He knew full well how babies are (normally or naturally) born! Yet he reports the Virgin Birth as absolute fact. And why wouldn’t he, after also receiving first hand witness accounts from the Apostles (mostly Peter) and many others of all the miracles Jesus did, including the greatest of all—the resurrection!

Luke began his Gospel by citing other people who had also undertaken written accounts “about the events that have been fulfilled among us…” via eyewitness reports. He writes: “Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught” Luke 1:1-4).

God’s perfect plan to rescue the human race from spiritual death (eternal separation from God) required a sacrificial shedding of blood by a human being who had never sinned … the perfect sacrifice. Why? Because as Scripture says, “For the life of the body is in its blood … It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible” (Leviticus 17:11).

Blood and what it means to human life has been an enigmatic source of wonder and amazement from the beginning. Blood is symbolic of life, which is why we sometimes honor our fallen soldiers with words like, “they spilled their blood to keep us free.” Which is another way of saying, they died. Yet, it is much more than that: it is the literal indispensable substance of life.

That is why God gave himself, through the 2nd part of the Trinity: God’s Son who was born of a woman, but not from the seed of a man (which would have infected Jesus as a human being with sin). Because everyone in the human race has sinned, only God, himself, was qualified to be the perfect substitution to pay for our sins and pardon the punishment we all deserve.

20028fedcf0fe023e1093bbfb833e977

All true Jewish and Gentile believers (and even some unbelievers) accept this astounding but also unfathomable truth: that Jesus was (still is) God in human flesh. We believe the truth of it, although we don’t fully understand how it could be done. But then, there are myriad mysteries of life and the universe that no one comprehends completely, or even partially. Not even the scientists!

The Virgin Birth was necessary in order for Jesus to retain his Divine nature that he shared with his Father from before time began. As the prophet Isaiah tells us: Messiah (Jesus) is: “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Jesus had to remain God in order to accomplish something no mortal man could possibly do: Become the flawless sacrifice to restore man (woman) back to God; thereby, enabling us to live forever with the same kind of transfigured, resurrected body of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

There’s more … perhaps something that even some believers haven’t fully considered. We’ve already touched on this comparison; let’s examine it in more depth. I’m referring again to Paul’s representative depiction of Jesus as the second (last) Adam.

Another purpose for this correlation is to refute the notion that because Jesus is God, then, of course, he couldn’t sin. That his divine nature would automatically win out over his human nature. With this inaccurate inference: It was a foregone conclusion that Jesus couldn’t or wouldn’t sin; thereby diminishing or even discounting the once and for all efficacy of his substitutionary atonement for our sins. In other words: Though Jesus was fully man, his sacrificial death on the Cross was essentially meaningless because he didn’t have the capacity to sin. Thus, he was not a true representative of the human race. He was innocent of sin, but that innocence was predetermined by virtue of the fact that Jesus is God.

Not so!

As we know, Adam and Eve were created without sin. Evil existed, but only in the spiritual realm of Satan and his fallen angels. Not with God’s creation of man. Adam and Eve were given a choice of trusting and obeying their Creator to know and determine what was best for them, and what was required to live forever in their earthly Paradise. They chose badly. They sinned. They died. Their sin nature was transmitted to their descendants and all peoples thereafter. Which means that it is never an issue if a person will do something wrong. Rather, it’s only a matter of when. Contrary to popular opinion, a child does not enter this world with a “clean slate.” That slate is already tarnished and inevitably will bear ugly marks of outright sin.

Summary

Even though Jesus wasn’t born with the infected disease of sin (inherited by the entire human race from the time of Adam and Eve), he, nevertheless, came into this world in the same physical and spiritual condition as did Adam. Exactly like Adam, Jesus, as a man, could have chosen to go his own way, do his own thing, and seek the pleasures and power (which Satan offered him) of the world instead of the purpose for which he came. Jesus could have listened to Satan and agreed with his lies, just as Eve and Adam did.

temptation-of-christ

Although the Virgin Birth prevented Jesus from inheriting the dread disease of sin and assured the whole human race that he was the Son of God, it did not eliminate the free choice that Jesus was given as a man to obey or disobey God the Father. Thus, it was not impossible for Jesus to sin. That is why Jesus is called the second or last Adam. With one awesome distinction: Not only did he choose (as a man) to completely trust and obey God, he completed the plan and task given to him by God the Father … excruciating death on a Cross to take away our sins and pardon us from the eternal penalty of those sins.

How perfect is that? Answer: Christ is completely perfect. And so shall we, who have been made right with God, someday soon be transfigured to a heavenly body like our Lord’s. Which will complete our salvation begun when we were justified by God because we believed and received Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Throughout eternity, we will worship and serve Him, undefiled; in a transfigured body that can and will no longer sin; nor suffer any of the former consequences of sin … sorrow, pain, crying, or death (Revelation 21:4).

Things to Ponder

As the words of the song go: “Amazing love, how can it be; that you, my God, should die for me.”

To express my profound gratitude for so great a salvation because of what Jesus Christ did for me personally (for everyone who will simply place their eternal destiny in his hands), I’d like to quote an excerpt from my book, Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved? 666 concerning Satan’s temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.

“Yet, it was the temptation scene that dealt the first Messianic blow to Satan’s plans, because that was the devil’s first opportunity to create an antichrist right then and there; to, in one fell swoop, twist and turn the true Messiah into Satan’s messiah.

“Eternal praise to our God and his Messiah that this did not happen! All glory to Yeshua who did not send a legion of angels to annihilate those who had arrested him in the garden! Everlasting gratitude to our Lord for not saying I’ve had enough, and stepping down from the cross! All power and dominion to the Son of Man for arising from the grave and conquering death once and for all! Go ahead, say it aloud with me. Amen!” (page 219).

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (II Corinthians 5:17).

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

For or Against Israel?

Tags

, ,

America’s Future and the Fate of All Nations Depends on the Answer

Last week’s post, America the Beautiful is Getting Ugly, might have been one of the most provocative titles in all 156 Eye of Prophecy articles to date. There is probably not much middle ground between reactions to or support of the basic premise. Readers from other countries might be more neutral, but most Americans would be ardently in agreement with or keenly opposed to the notion that America is in a free-fall decline, morally and spiritually. Which has begun to manifest itself in economic deterioration, social disintegration, and political divisions not seen in this country since the American Civil War.

Except now, we do not have the moral resolve or spiritual responsiveness to realize what has caused the United States to become so morally bankrupt. Which is: apathy toward the Judeo-Christian precepts upon which this nation was founded. And rejection of Biblical truths that guided our ancestors through the turmoil of the Revolutionary War and the Civil War fought to defend the principles of liberty for all people and races so powerfully proposed in our Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and Constitutional Amendments. These same values fortified our determination to preserve this freedom through two World Wars.

America is a nation divided. Many of these rifts seem to be irreparable.

Republicans and Democrats are at each other’s throats like never before. No longer is it a matter of or an effort to agree to disagree; to go on with bigger and better things through whatever party and Presidential candidate wins the election. Then start all over again in four years. The checks and balances in our Federal Government is as unchecked and unbalanced as it ever has been, what with the Supreme Court handing down decisions that circumvent laws enacted by the people through their representatives in Congress. And with the Executive branch of our government issuing Executive Orders that many in both houses of Congress consider to be unconstitutional.

Racial tension has reached critical mass, through flash point confrontations between African-Americans and white police officers, as we so sadly experienced the past few days in Minnesota, Louisiana, and Texas. The BDS style attacks against God, Jesus Christ, the Bible, Christians and Jews in this country are relentless.

“And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, ‘Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand’” (Matthew 12:25, NASB).

House-Divided

There is, however, one major division that is necessary: the distinction between truth and lies, good and evil, right and wrong; absolute and relative. Unless people grasp that only God can successfully build and sustain a nation (through those who acknowledge and seek after him), and only His Word (Scripture) can ultimately and decisively determine what is true, good, right and just; then that nation is doomed to be dysfunctional. With discord, demoralization, despair, and eventually demise the inevitable result.

“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchmen keeps awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1, NASB).

On the other hand: “How joyful are those who fear (acknowledge, respect, in awe of) the Lord—all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!” (Psalm 128:1, parenthesis mine).

America Has Lost Its Moral Compass

The United States of America is in big trouble. As is the world at large. The needle of our moral compass is spinning uncontrollably in circles. We refuse to fix it so it will point to God. Our spiritual map is devoid of highways with Biblical markers that can guide us to a destination God has surveyed for us.

Which is: A nation blessed because we have made The Lord our God (Psalm 33:12).

A nation that zealously trusts God when he promises: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me” (Jeremiah 29:11-12).

A nation which defers to and depends on the supreme, universal, divine truths and standards found in Scripture, enabling us to see and do things from God’s perspective. That gives us an absolute reference point to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel of uncertainty and unrest so prevalent in this country and in nations all over the world. To fully appreciate and follow God’s instructions for right thinking and living, both personally and nationally.

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

Instead, we are in the same condition that the Jews were in during the time of the judges when, “…all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

Quoting again our first United States President George Washington in last week’s article: “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

Also from last week’s article (reproduced here in italics):

…to deliberately dismiss or distort or defame the immense impact of the Christian faith embraced and espoused by our founding fathers in both their personal and public lives is to create an inaccurate, imbalanced, and unfair perspective of American history and of the Judeo-Christian beliefs that birthed our nation.

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

It was crystal clear to many of our founding fathers: To marginalize, ignore, or certainly to reject God and the Judaic-Christian heritage that gave birth to One Nation Under God would inevitably erode the individual freedom and rights of the people on the one hand; and on the other hand imperil the nation itself if and when God withdrew his blessings and protection.

one-nation-under-god

Let’s examine another passage that confirms the Biblical premise so aptly summarized in Psalm 33:12.

But first, let’s sing the opening refrain to the famous American patriotic song alluded to in last week’s article. A poem originally written (with a couple of slight revisions thereafter) by a 33-year old English Professor Katherine Lee Bates after a trip to Pikes Peak, near Colorado Springs in 1893. With the music composed later by Samuel A. Ward, a church organist and choir director.

America the Beautiful:

“O beautiful for spacious skies

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties,

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!”

More Biblical Truths Regarding an Entire Nation

While reading the following passage from Scripture—given specifically to Israel but also meant for any people in principle and practice—try and picture everything you can think of applicable to whatever nation you live in. For those in the United States of America, think of things that the Pilgrims and Pioneers experienced in our Promised Land. Such as the Native American Indians Samoset and Squanto showing the Pilgrims how to plant and harvest corn (manna!).

Said Moses to prepare and remind them of God’s instructions, just before the people of Israel entered the Promised Land:

“Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord … Think about it: Just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you for your own good” (Deuteronomy 8:1-3, 5).

Continuing in the passage:

“So obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley, of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper is abundant in the hills. When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.

“But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees… Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness… He gave you water from the rock! … He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath” (Verses 6-18).

The passage concludes with:

“But I assure you of this: If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods, worshipping and bowing down to them, you will certainly be destroyed. Just as the Lord has destroyed other nations in your path, you will also be destroyed if you refuse to obey the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 8:19-20).

Does anyone in America today worship man-made gods and idols? If you’re thinking of carved idols of wood, stone, or metal, the answer is, no. (There are a few who do)

But many revere, to the point of worship, our celebrities—politicians, athletes, actors, musicians, wealthy businessmen, and money itself. Thereby, deliberately or inadvertently, making gods of them.

What’s the name of that TV show? Oh yes, it’s…

american_idol_top_7_perform

Above all in the last two generations, the greater populace of the United States of America has made our Federal Government their god!

They cannot imagine trusting in or depending on anyone or anything except the provisions and promises of the government, both State and Federal. They refuse to grasp the Biblical and historical reality that the well-being of any nation is directly proportional to its government’s and people’s reliance on God himself.

Based on the passage in Deuteronomy we just read, a simple (from time to time), “Thank you, Lord, for who you are and all you have done for us,” would do wonders for a nation teetering on the brink of…. (You fill in the blank)

Others stake their safety and security on the might of our military.

Anything, anyone, but regrettably: Not on the only One who can truly save them from destruction … in this life and/or in the life to come.

Is God’s Judgment on the USA Imminent?

Does that mean that God is ready to judge this nation like never before? According to the Biblical record of the rise and fall of previous nations, the answer is, yes. In turn, does that mean the judgment could begin any day now? The answer is both yes and no: (1) I believe that God began partially to withdraw his protection of the United States of America on September 11th, 2001. (9/11).

(2) However, not until the Great Tribulation when God pours out his wrath on peoples/nations all over the world, including the USA, will those left behind at the Rapture experience God’s full and final fury against evil. Nonetheless, partial preparatory judgment could be administered at any time; and the extent of that discipline could be agonizingly harsh.

Is it possible, then, that God would lessen or even withhold any pre-Tribulation judgment on the United States?

Yes! If, in fact, his people intercede just like Abraham did for Sodom and Gomorrah. God agreed with Abraham to spare the cities if only ten righteous (those in right standing with God through their trust in Him) could be found. Sadly, there were not even ten.

How many in America? Only God knows. But if we who are called by his name (born again believers, saved by the grace of God) plead with the Lord to spare our nation until the appointed time of judgment, I believe the Lord will listen and withhold apocalyptic things from happening to the United States until the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation.

“…The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops” (James 5:16-18, italics for emphasis).

ee4f9c484ddb7d0aed44ad90cc38045c

Who are the righteous?

Answer: “And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God” (Romans 4:22-25).

Let’s look at the verses that follow Psalm 33:12, which began last week’s Eye of Prophecy post, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…”

“The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—for all its strength, it cannot save you. But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone” (Psalm 33:13-22).

To summarize and conclude the first part of today’s article, which was a continuation of last week’s theme, I’d like to quote from an Eye of Prophecy article entitled, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! (posted 7-12-14).

Any nation whose corporate leaders and national laws deny, distort, diminish, or even trivialize God’s spiritual and moral laws will be a nation that God will leave to itself. The worst thing that can happen to any city, state, or nation that deliberately turn their back on God is that the Lord will withdraw his blessings and protection. It is said: Be careful what you wish for! If by our words and actions we respond to God’s Word of truth, life, justice, and peace, with, “No thanks, we’ll do it our way;” then that’s precisely what will happen. He’ll give us our own way. Then look out: We’re on our own!

Of course, that’s perfectly okay, if citizens of a country place their trust and confidence in their political, social, and economic leaders! To the extreme of making all things secular and shaping that secular humanism into a godlike status. What’s to worry? The State or Federal government will take care of us! Our military will save us! Scripture is clear on that, too. Without God’s sovereign guidance and protection, all the military might in the world is futile. God’s own chosen people did that and look what happened: Total destruction of Israel and exiled captivity at the hands of their worst enemies.

Citing another excerpt from that post, which will lead into the title theme of today’s article, For or Against Israel:

In the grand scheme of things, this wonderful Republic is just one of many nations on earth, all of which will be ultimately judged (as a nation) by our treatment of Israel…

But we mustn’t make the mistake of thinking that this country has been and still is beyond God’s discipline and even withdrawal of his protection, especially if we oppose Israel or even ignore her.

For or Against Israel: The Divine Irreversible Principle of Nations Blessing or Cursing Israel

There is a higher standard more serious and more severe than America’s acknowledgment of God in the affairs of the nation that will gauge His blessings or curses on our country.

Even if the greater populace and leaders of a nation turn to the Lord (from individual and national sin) but still refuse to support Israel in general and (especially) specifically seek to harm the Jews, God will NOT bless and protect that nation. A verse quoted often by others and by me in several Eye of Prophecy articles regarding Abraham and his descendants (the Jews) … one that bears repeating:

“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 12:3).

Why is Israel God’s special possession? Why are the Jews God’s chosen people?

For one reason: To be a conduit for God’s plan and purpose for humanity … all languages, all races, and all nations. From the Jews would come Messiah—the Mediator of the New Covenant of salvation through grace by faith. Not self-righteousness by keeping the Law of Moses which no one has ever done or ever will do, except Messiah Jesus.

1_Timothy_2_5

Thus, for people and nations to denigrate, delegitimize, demonize, and attempt to destroy Israel is an affront to and contempt of God himself. It is biting the hand that feeds us.

Quoting from last week’s article: “History is littered with the rise and demise and irreversible ruin of nations whose leaders and people defied the Sovereign God.”

That reality applies even more so to nations who have harmed Israel, including all four of the kingdoms mentioned in Daniel’s prophecy—Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome (and Assyria before them). With the Roman Empire also persecuting Christians who were inseparably linked to their Jewish heritage by our Jewish Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. In fact, most of the 1st century Christian believers were Jews … whom we call today, Messianic Jews.

One (there are others) modern nation also comes to mind. I’m not picking on that country for any other reason than to provide an example of God’s unaltered decree of his blessings to those that support Israel and retribution for those who turn on the Jews. Despite our American ancestors putting them in their proper place (stop oppressing your American colony!), I’m personally very fond of the British. Genealogy on my mother’s side is English. Plus, they’ve given us Downton Abbey! (A little humor, but not meant to in any way detract from the solemn subject of the fate of people and nations that have turned on Israel).

The United Kingdom

For sake of time/space, we can only scratch the surface of the historical details that reveal the rise and decline of England. Though the United Kingdom is still a viable force in today’s world, it is nothing like the British Empire of even one hundred years ago.

Israel and all those who love and support the Jews are indebted to Lord Balfour of England for the Balfour Declaration of 1917. This proclamation set things in motion for a partitioned Palestine (that England had just captured/won with final victory over the Ottoman Empire which previously controlled Palestine) to be jointly “occupied” by both Jews and Arabs. Although Great Britain’s worthy purpose was to restore a homeland for the Jews, she stopped short of declaring Palestine a Jewish State, for fear of antagonizing the Arabs. As it turned out, the Arabs refused to accept the terms of the Declaration as they wanted no part of living side by side with Jews.

Whether very many secular historians recognize the eventual result of England’s capitulation to the Arabs that prevented and precluded a Jewish State at the time, the historical consequences became tragically evident. Because the Jews still had no sovereign state of their own and they had nowhere to go (that wouldn’t come until after World War II), six million Jews were slaughtered by Hitler’s Third Reich.

Certainly, I’m not suggesting that England was responsible for the Holocaust. Still, the historical “what if” fact is that a good number of European Jews might not have perished had they been allowed to emigrate to Palestine or England. In that regard, other nations like the USA were also culpable by their refusal to accept many Jews wanting and needing to flee Europe.

Soon after the Balfour Declaration, England began to turn on the Jews, mostly to placate the Arabs, with whom Great Britain had fought alongside of during World War II, specifically against the Ottoman Turks. Remember Lawrence of Arabia and his Arab coalition that defeated the Turks at Aqaba? This covert animosity and overt hostility toward the Jews continued to manifest itself in several ways, not the least of which was denying weapons to Israelis and supporting the Arabs militarily before the attack of five Arab nations against Israel the day after she declared statehood, May 14, 1948.

England’s gradual rise to power began as far back as the 12th century, with wax and wane cycles. In the mid-17th century Britain rose to unprecedented heights throughout the world, thanks largely to her mighty navy and commerce on the seven seas. This prominence increased even more during the 18th and 19th centuries. During this time, for the most part, England did not display any antagonism toward the Jews … treating them fairly whether Jews living in England or elsewhere in Europe.

Great Britain’s empire started to diminish soon after World War I. Following World War II, the United Kingdom began what now appears to be an irreversible decline that will only get worse as reflected in the growing Anti-Semitism in England. Today, England is as or more so divided than the United States, as witnessed by the extremely close split of the Brexit vote … 52% to leave the European Union, 48% to remain.

Just three hundred years ago or so, England boasted that she controlled an empire, “on which the sun never set.” Meaning that her colonies and sphere of influence was so vast that the sun always shone somewhere in that massive realm. An empire so great that many historians consider it to have been the largest domain in world history—due to England’s direct or indirect control over one-fifth of the world’s population and one-fourth of the world’s land, including dozens of territorial colonies all over the globe. Today the United Kingdom has varying degrees of jurisdictional sovereignty over just 14 territories.

SNSONTBE

Although England’s diminished influence in world affairs was noticeable before the 20th century, the historical parallel of her exponential decline began in the 1920s with her mistreatment and sometimes outright hostility toward the Jews and later the State of Israel. Some strongly believe that the English empire is one on which the sun will never rise again (comparatively equating it to Great Britain’s former glory).

*Note: Some positive news is that the new British Prime Minister Theresa May appears to be pro-Israel. During her first visit to Israel in June, 2014 as British Home Secretary—similar in position to the US Secretary of State—she laid a wreath in the Yad Vashem Memorial in memory of Jews killed during the Holocaust.

Later, she said about the Jews in Great Britain: “Many Jewish people in this country are feeling vulnerable and fearful … I never thought I would see the day when members of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom would say that they were fearful of remaining here in our country … Without its Jews, Britain would not be Britain.”

Good for her and for the United Kingdom!

United States and Israel

It is absolutely no coincidence that America’s ongoing favorable treatment of the Jews and Israel bears a direct correlation with our blessings and prosperity directly from the hand of God. The United States supported Israel’s rebirth as a nation in 1948, and also have backed the Jews since America’s birth as a nation in 1776, the roots of which began in 1620. One reason is that American Jews have made many extraordinary contributions to our nation through the years. An entire book could be written on that subject.

Did you know that President Harry Truman was the first national leader to recognize Israel’s rebirth as a sovereign state in the family of nations, when he called Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to congratulate him and Israel? There are many other instances of prominent American leaders showing respect and favor to the Jews and Israel, as well as a good many of the American people.

That is, until now.

Normally, I prefer to pray for our elected officials, not the least of which is the President of the United States, rather than belittle the person in that position just because they’re not doing a good job running the country. But also realizing that constructive criticism serves a useful purpose.

Unless, that is, our President and his staff and the State Department take on Israel. That gets my dander up, if for no other reason that it also gets God’s complete attention—to the point of divine anger.

It’s no secret that President Obama politically and personally dislikes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. For example, a recent news disclosure confirmed that our Executive Staff funded a political organization to help defeat Netanyahu in the 2015 Israeli elections. Since when has or does the United States of America interfere with proceedings in a totally democratic nation? Autocratic countries ruled by tyrants, yes; but not free countries.

obama-and-netanyahu-rangling-over-iran

(President Obama & Prime Minister Netanyahu … Their Looks Tell The Story)

And that our Executive Staff and many Congressmen (mostly Democrats) are pushing strongly and relentlessly for a Palestinian State within the borders of Israel. Beginning with Israel relinquishing territory regained (the entire land belongs to Israel) in the Six-Day War of 1967 that would leave the Israelis virtually defenseless on several fronts.

Here are more divine warnings concerning Israel and the nations. First, in one of the spectacular Pre-Incarnate appearances of Messiah Jesus (this time to the prophet Zechariah).

Messiah speaks:

“…Jerusalem will someday be so full of people and livestock that there won’t be enough room for everyone! Many will live outside the city walls. Then I, myself, will be a protective wall of fire around Jerusalem, says the Lord. And I will be the glory inside the city!” (Zechariah 2:4-5).

Then in verse eight, The Lord (God the Father) speaks about Israel: “…Anyone who harms you harms my most special possession.” Or in the New American Standard translation: “…he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.”

Then Messiah speaks again: “I will raise my fist to crush them … Then you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sent me” (Verse 9).

From the prophet Joel:

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

cf4007382ad27fdacaa5c8bd92f80f3b

Things to Ponder

This week, I would like to close on a very personal note.

As indicated earlier in today’s article, this is the 156th consecutive post (every Saturday), the three-year anniversary of Eye of Prophecy web (blog) site.

In addition to the articles on the Home Page, including Archives, you might want to take a look at the About page along with the page, God’s Plan of Salvation.

Quoted from the About page:

“As stated on the home page, the major emphasis of Eye of Prophecy website is to, “give a clear witness for Jesus,” who is the very essence of prophecy. Also, that of, “…defending and confirming the truth of the Good News” (Philippians 1:7)

“The intent, form, and content of Eye of Prophecy is presented through Eschatology

P I C T U R E S

“Prophetic Inspirational Connections Through Understanding Relevant Events (and) Scripture”

And so, a very special heartfelt thanks to the 141 nations (to date) that have logged onto this website. Most visitors/readers are from the United States. In second place is Brazil; third place, United Kingdom; fourth is Canada, fifth is Australia. With two other countries surprisingly in the top ten … India and The Philippines.

Most of all thanks to my Lord and Savior, Messiah Jesus. Ultimately, all the articles are from Him and for Him.

The Lord willing and through his strength and guidance, Eye of Prophecy will continue, “…while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds” (Titus 2:13-14).

America the Beautiful Is Getting Ugly

Tags

, ,

The Beautiful Rise and Ugly Fall of America

Let’s begin with one of my all-time favorite verses of Scripture, one of several that pertain to God’s sovereign interaction with the human race, specifically applied to nations.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12, NASB).

There are also many passages that define and depict God’s relationship with individuals and with remnants of people (mostly the Jews) who seek and follow him despite most of the nation ignoring, disobeying, and even abandoning the true and living God.

When it fit the subject or thought at hand, Psalm 33:12 has been quoted a few times in Eye of Prophecy articles. Yet, I did not begin today’s post by first looking up the verse in the Bible, which would be the normal means of quoting Scripture—that is frequently done in my articles.

Instead, I was stunned to see the verse at the top of the next to last page of the Arizona Republic newspaper’s main section … Section A. Despite being the 15th of 16 pages in Section A, the page was prominently displayed; when removing the other insert sheets, this page unfolded as part of the front side. And equally amazed to see that the entire spread had been dedicated to the birth and founding of the United States of America, with famous quotes from prestigious American historical figures and sources. Such as our: Founding fathers, United States Presidents, Supreme Court Justices and Supreme Court Rulings, Congress, Universities, and Foreign Opinions.

The realty that the entire page was printed in the July 4th, 2016 (240th anniversary of America’s Independence) edition of the Arizona Republic didn’t diminish my surprise. If for no other reason than it is rare now days to find Scripturally-based articles or Christian themes in any public newspapers or on-line news sources, other than those dedicated to a conservative audience.

Without spending an inordinate amount of time checking other major newspapers throughout the United States (or the world), I can only wonder how many news sources consented to printing this page. Would even the ultra-liberal, anti-religious New York Times and Washington Post have dared to include this page in their July 4th edition this past Monday? Nah! (Well, maybe?). Did you happen to see it in your newspaper? Does anyone even read a newspaper anymore?

My aforementioned astonishment was tempered somewhat when I also observed the word, “advertisement” printed three times at the top of this page … left side, center, and right side. With the solemn realization: It’s unlikely that even the somewhat neutral Arizona Republic (leaning slightly toward the left, but for the most part editorially objective) would have printed this spread, unless someone paid for it. The very fact that a verse from the Bible is quoted, followed by several citations that referred to God, Christianity, and the Bible is rare indeed in today’s humanistic secular political, social, and literary world. Let alone Biblically based quotes from notable historical figures as Chief Justice John Jay, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and excerpts from the Student Guidelines of Harvard and Yale Universities in the early days of their founding, to mention a few.

JohnJayontheBible-300x216

(First United States Supreme Court Justice, John Jay)

Undoubtedly, you’re wondering; so I won’t leave you in suspense. The Arizona Republic page was sponsored by a successful retail company in this country … one of the most courageous defenders of Biblical and Christian principles in the business sector that we’ve seen in a long time. An organization that has not capitulated to virulent anti-Christian individuals and groups such as the ACLU. (It is right up there with, Chick Fil-A).

I’m referring to Hobby Lobby based out of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. They are shown at the bottom of the spread, just below this line:

“If you would like to know Jesus as Lord and Savior, visit Need Him Ministry at www.chataboutjesus.com. To download a free Bible for your phone, go to www.mardel.com/bible.”

*Disclaimer: This week’s Eye of Prophecy article is NOT a paid advertisement for Hobby Lobby (or Chick-Fil-A)! It’s not an advertisement at all. Rather, a simple acknowledgement to give credit where credit is due.

You knew that, yet it was still fun to say it!

Now then, let’s get to some things that are not so fun, but must be said. First, the good news: America once was beautiful. Tempered with the bad news: The United States is plunging into an ugliness that was never meant to be.

Removing God and the Bible From American History

A few decades ago, Ads like this would have not been all that unusual. Some news outlets might have published this page without requiring that the originator take out advertising space. But, most likely, the spread would have been relegated to the Religion segment of the newspaper; if, in fact, there was such a section.

For that matter, in the not so distant past, the need to publish such a column in major news sources would not have even been necessary.

Why not?

Because just in the past 50 years or so, secular humanists (mostly liberal politicians, activists, and educators … particularly university professors) have been on a hell-bent rampage to eliminate any and all vestiges of religion, specifically targeting any references to or mention of Jesus Christ (or God) in our governments, universities, secondary and elementary schools, or in any public place.

They have gone to elaborate extremes to achieve their anti-Christian agenda, not the least of which is rewriting our history books to make sure there is no reference to God, Christ, or the Bible’s astounding influence on the birth and growth of this (once) great country.

*Note: Obviously our educational curriculum is not designed to replicate religious catechism or “Sunday-school” material. However, to deliberately dismiss or distort or defame the immense impact of the Christian faith embraced and espoused by our founding fathers in both their personal and public lives is to create an inaccurate, imbalanced, and unfair perspective of American history and of the Judeo-Christian beliefs that birthed our nation.

For example (a very mild one at that): Many Americans have read and/or can quote Patrick Henry’s famous words from an impassioned message (one of many made by the forefathers of our Republic) to inspire, rally, and clarify the only option left to the American colonies … to fight for their freedom from the tyranny of England’s oppressive monarchy.

Remember his words? Of course you do.

“I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Yet, how many history textbooks contain any of the preceding text (context) of Patrick Henry’s powerful plea for a call to arms?

Here is a portion of what headed Patrick Henry’s final words:

“An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left for us! … Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power… Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us… Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Astounding! No less than four times, he dares to declare and defer to God. Way to go Patrick!

Now then, a confession is in order: I can’t recall the last time (perhaps only once) that I either read or heard all of Patrick Henry’s message. However, I have read or heard many sayings and writings, in part or in full, from several of our founding fathers.

Such as the quote from Benjamin Franklin that I posted in the following photo as part of the Eye of Prophecy article, Separation of Church and State … For or Against? Part I (posted 4-2-16). I would encourage you to read that article and the Part II sequel (4-9-16).

separation_of_church_and_state__benjamin_franklin_by_symplearts-d7zdyuy

Both Patrick Henry’s and Benjamin Franklin’s quotes were part of the Hobby Lobby sponsored page in the Arizona Republic. (However, they and others like them can’t be found in mainstream curriculum of American schools and universities).

As was a quote from George Washington: “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

From all I’ve seen, heard, and read, George Washington, Patrick Henry, and other prominent men and women who founded and served the United States of America professed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through believing and receiving him as Lord and Savior. They unashamedly and enthusiastically endorsed the Bible as the God-given source of truth, life, and liberty (beginning with freedom from the penalty of sin), through personal and national redemption.

In the context of today’s article and to understand the growing secularism in America that intends deceitfully to replace and remove God and Biblical truth from our nation’s governments (city, state, and federal), and our increasingly desperate need to return to the Biblical values and precepts upon which this nation was built, here is an excerpt from the Eye of Prophecy article, Separation of Church and State … For or Against Part II. (in italics)

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land” (II Chronicles 7:14).

Then, the Lord declares to Solomon: “As for you, if you faithfully follow me as David your father did, obeying all my commands, decrees, and regulations, then I will establish the throne of your dynasty. For I made this covenant with your father, David, when I said, ‘One of your descendants will always rule over Israel.’ But if you or your descendants abandon me and disobey the decrees and commands I have given you, and if you serve and worship other gods, then I will uproot the people from this land that I have given them…” (Verses 17-20).

Make no mistake … this beautiful land of opportunity that we call the United States of America was, in fact, given to us by the true and living God. The surest way to lose our freedoms, if not the land itself, is to as a nation (all three branches of government) abandon, reject, and mock our Creator and Savior. Ironically, this is being done by many who claim they are protecting those liberties by eliminating all things shown, said, or done that smack of religion, with practically everything they do directed against Christians (true believers). Their real agenda is to eliminate the name of Jesus and take away the rights of those who name the name of Christ, including freedom of worship, speech, press, and assembly, in say a meeting room on a high school or college campus.

I firmly believe if we and especially our presidents, senators, representatives, governors, mayors, and judges adhered to (the basic) truths and principles found in Scripture, at least acknowledging God’s ultimate authority and thanking him for all of his blessings, there would be no need to debate the issue of Church and State separation. Our leaders would fully comprehend what it means to serve both God and the people. This service would not need to in any way, shape, or form result in a man-made religion or hierarchical religious denomination or institution to impose a distorted view of government ON the people.

InGodWeTrust

One more quote from the Arizona Republic newspaper spread, this one from President John Quincy Adams:

“Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?”

Quite likely, John Quincy Adams had the following verses and others like them in mind when he said those words:

Jesus said: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

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

“For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12).

Founding Fathers

My reference (and many others who use the same terminology) to the founding fathers of our United States Republic logically and historically identifies those men (and women) who rightfully revolted against the repressive rule of England’s King George III.

In reaction to suppressive English laws imposed on the thirteen colonies, including the Stamp Act and tariffs on tea imported to the colonies, then later the “Intolerable Acts” enacted by King George III—which led to the main complaint of the colonists: Taxation without Representation—the American colonists formed the First Continental Congress. Although the very idea of a self-governing, representative body of constituents from the thirteen colonies was “revolutionary” (meaning the first time that the colonies exercised any degree of independence from their colonial benefactor Great Britain), the intent of this Congress was not armed revolt. Instead, their primary purpose was to consider response options to England’s “Coercive Acts.”

Concerned American colonists convened to discuss such things as: Presentation of rights and grievances with a formal petition to King George for redress of those grievances; also economic boycott of British trade/goods. This first “Congress” agreed to arrange another Continental Congress session if England refused to revoke the Intolerable Acts. Which, of course, King George III refused.

Essentially, the First Continental Congress was a “provisional government.”

The Second Continental Congress convened the following year (May 10, 1775). During this assembly, representatives did call for each colony to organize and train its own militia, in the event that armed resistance was the only alternative.

From there, most Americans know at least some of our history.

The Second Continental Congress led to a Declaration of Independence followed by military victory over England in what we all know as the American Revolutionary War. The Articles of Confederation for the Second Continental Congress became the foundational framework for The United States Constitution, which is arguably the greatest document of democracy and a republic (representative government) ever composed. It was signed on September 17, 1787, then ratified by all thirteen colonies (states) by 1790. It exists to this very day, modified (reinforced) only by the Bill of Rights and subsequent Constitutional Amendments down through the years.

declaration-of-independence-e1342668359736

Getting back to founding fathers: Our country has actually had two sets of men and women who established America on the same Biblical principles that would lead to religious and political freedom from dictatorial nations and rulers. The most important of which: Belief in and reliance on the true and living God for individual and national salvation, protection, and pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness afforded by the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Did you know that the Pilgrims and Puritans patterned their aspirations and actual plans and execution of those plans on Israel and the Jews? They saw themselves in the same situation as the Hebrews who were delivered by God through Moses from Egyptian bondage. Some of them equated England’s King Charles I (ruled 1625-1649) to Pharaoh. And before King Charles I came King James I … yes, the king who sponsored publication of the King James Bible. Also the same man who believed in the “divine right of kings.” That English kings were “higher beings,” far superior over the common people. Not at all unlike Pharaoh.

Although not as many colonists who initiated and participated in the events before, during, and after the Revolutionary War had expressed the parallel between America and Israel (as did the first group of founding fathers), the majority of them nonetheless acknowledged that God and Scripture could be and should be the enduring foundation for such an unheard of thing as—what Abraham Lincoln would later so eloquently summarize—a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Such a government and such a nation could not effectively begin nor successfully continue (indefinitely) without recognizing God’s sovereignty and seeking his providential guidance and protection. In that regard, they promoted the absolute truths found in Scripture.

Striking Similarities between the United States and Israel

Let’s examine some of the correlations between Israel’s birth and (what sadly became a stunted) growth to that of the United States of America.

First Comparison:

God’s deliverance of the Israelites from bondage in Pharaoh’s Egypt was a prototype parallel to the exodus of the Pilgrims and Puritans from England and other European Monarchies to America in the 17th century. They considered America as a counterpart to the “Promised Land” of Israel.

Second Comparison:

Approximately 190 years elapsed (1600 to 1790) from the time our early American settlers formulated plans to begin a new life across the sea to their actual deliverance from English autocracy, culminating in the United States Constitution with the first American President. This was nearly identical in time, form, and substance to the period after the Jews entered the Promised Land until the prophet Samuel anointed Saul as Israel’s first king (1240 B.C. to 1050 B.C.).

In the interim, Israel’s twelve tribes were governed by judges who repeatedly led the people back to God after several episodes of disobedience and rebellion against the Lord. Likewise with the colonies that were not yet states and certainly not the United States; their leaders were governors and judges. Although there was some measure of independence, the colonies were still under the general political and economic jurisdiction of England or France (hence the French/Indian Wars between France and England in the mid-1700s). Same with the Israelites during the time of the judges. During this period they were often oppressed, even subjugated by surrounding peoples that the Jews had failed to conquer—as commanded by God himself.

*Footnote: Although there were thirteen colonies at the time, only twelve sent delegates to the First Continental Congress! And, no, they weren’t trying to match or copy the twelve tribes of Israel (in number); that’s just the way it turned out. Thus, we can/should consider Divine providence at work!

th1O35ZW7O

During America’s formative stages (beginning with the Plymouth Bay Colony in 1620), our ancestors also went through tough times when many abandoned the Biblical principles that our first set of founding fathers followed during the early days. Though not as often as the Jews during the times of the Judges (cycle of rebellion and restoration), America experienced a few chapters of Biblical spiritual revival of her own. Not the least of which was the First Great Awakening in the 1730s and 1740s led by several Evangelical Protestant Ministers such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. Then a second Great Awakening that began (not coincidentally) in the latter part of the 18th century—before, during, and after the Revolutionary War.

Third Comparison:

Beginning with King Saul, but not completed until King David successfully defeated several surrounding nations, Israel finally gained their freedom and became a “United Kingdom” with each of the twelve tribes maintaining delegated and functional authority over its God-given portion of the Promised Land. However, all the tribes yielded allegiance and kingdom control of the nation/land to its central government in Jerusalem under King David, then his successor (son) King Solomon. With the Scriptures (Mosaic Law) as their constitution both in principle and practice!

This was almost identical to the American colonies achieving complete independence from their enemies (chiefly England), then establishing a Federal Constitution that governed the entire nation, but also granted a good deal of regulations and rights to individual states.

Additionally, the underlying bedrock of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution is equal and inalienable rights given to every person by our Creator—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob … the only true God. With the government’s elected mandate to protect those rights, not usurp them. It was crystal clear to many of our founding fathers: To marginalize, ignore, or certainly to reject God and the Judaic-Christian heritage that gave birth to One Nation Under God would inevitably erode the individual freedom and rights of the people on the one hand; and on the other hand imperil the nation itself if and when God withdrew his blessings and protection.

screen-shot-2013-01-18-at-6-17-39-pm

With great freedom and blessings come equally great responsibilities and requirements. To whom much is given, much is required.

Fourth Comparison:

Because Israel began to abandon the Lord their God by following after the gods of surrounding pagan countries and by refusing to believe what God had said would happen if they didn’t trust and obey him, the ten northern tribes of Israel broke away from the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin after King Solomon died. The individual and national sins and rebellion of the people finally exhausted God’s patience and he withdrew his protection from the northern tribes. In 722 B.C. Assyria utterly destroyed the Northern Kingdom, and deported the people to surrounding nations. In just a few generations, these Jews were virtually never heard from again.

It was actually during the reign of King Solomon (970 B.C. to 930 B.C.) that the seeds of individual and national disobedience began to sprout; top-dressed by Solomon himself when he allowed many of his wives to set up and worship their pagan gods. Regrettably, Solomon joined in this worship. Though Scripture does not give us the exact date(s) when this began to happen, it’s evident that Solomon and the Jews began their departure from God several years before Solomon’s reign ended.

If we split the difference and use the halfway point of Solomon’s reign, it would be the year 950 B.C. (I believe the evidence suggests that it began earlier than that). Thus, the time that elapsed from the beginning of the king’s and his people’s disobedience to God’s law and commandments (given for the welfare of the people and the nation) to the cessation of the Northern Kingdom in 722 B.C. is 228 years. If we move the date to say 962 B.C. (which very well could be historically accurate), then the intervened time is 240 years.

Where have we seen that number before?

Answer: In this article (and of course before the article through other news sources or just the math itself if you happened to think about our country’s birthday this past Monday). We the people of the United States of America just celebrated our 240th anniversary as a nation.

Although the Southern Kingdom of Judah continued for another 136 years (due exclusively to God’s mercy and patience), the Lord made it clear through his prophets that it would only be a matter of time before the southern kings and people of Judah would finally be judged. They had staked out an irreversible course, and stubbornly refused to get off that road of rebellion back to the path that God said they should travel.

When we combine the 240 years before the northern tribes met their demise with the subsequent 136 years when Judah fell to the Babylonians, we reach a total of 376 years.

The passage of time from America’s first colony to this very day (2016) is 396 years. That’s twenty more years than allotted to Israel before she ceased as a nation; then was reborn in 1948 in what is one of the greatest miracles of all time.

If our country was no worse off morally and spiritually than even 70 years ago (end of World War II) I wouldn’t be all that concerned. But we are worse off … much worse. So bad, that I’ll repeat what Billy Graham, the greatest Evangelist of our time, said over a decade ago:

“If God doesn’t punish America, then He will need to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!” (Paraphrase).

7674c0834068e5694f3ed238012be440

There is no doubt whatsoever that the Judeo-Christian heritage and values upon which this nation was built has eroded (almost—but that’s giving the benefit of the doubt) to the point of no return. And, for the most part, this has taken place almost exclusively in my generation … I was born in 1946.

Summary

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

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

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

Rather we are simply repeating God’s clear warnings found in Scripture. Such as:

“Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one. ‘Let us break their chains,’ they cry, ‘and free ourselves from slavery to God’” (Psalm 2:1-3).

Then the Lord’s response later in Psalm 2: “Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities—for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him!” (Verses 10-12).

As well calling to remembrance God’s bountiful blessings as indicated at the beginning of today’s article.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord

(George Washington Prayed in Public, Almost Always with One Knee to the Ground)

The reverse of this model of God’s blessings is equally true. The nation who does not at least acknowledge the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (the God of the Bible) will not be blessed.

Not to be blessed is not a good thing! For all practical purposes, not to be blessed is to be cursed.

History is littered with the rise and demise and irreversible ruin of nations whose leaders and people defied the Sovereign God. Including Israel during her times of disobedience. But in that regard, God promised that he would restore a remnant of Israel in the last days, which we are witnessing before our 20th & 21st centuries eyes. That has to do with the eternal covenant God made with Abraham (Promised Land of Israel belongs forever to the Jews) and with King David (Everlasting King who will rule and reign from Jerusalem … Messiah Jesus).

These specific covenants are not available to Gentiles or Gentile nations. However, the derivative benefits of God’s end-times blessings on Israel and the Jews will spill over to all those who have individually and on a national level accepted Messiah Jesus before and during the Millennial reign of Christ.

Yet, the universal conditional principles found in this verse quoted earlier is for Israel and all nations:

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land” (II Chronicles 7:14).

Things to Ponder

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

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

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

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

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

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

As we began this article, so shall we end it:

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.

Antichrist’s Dreaded Arrival / First or Second Appearance?

Tags

, ,

Antichrist … First or Second Arrival?

Many, including some notable students of Bible prophecy would say, “What kind of question is that?”

Why on earth wouldn’t the approaching arrival of the Antichrist be his first appearance? What is there in Scripture to suggest that he wouldn’t be a modern-day born man? What possible alternative is there, other than a man born in the generation that will experience the Rapture and the soon to follow meteoric rise of this man who would dare to oppose the Triune God … Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

Certainly, the most logical assumption is that the Antichrist would arrive on the scene of history no different than past dictators and tyrants, such as Adolph Hitler. Isn’t that the natural way of things?

Answer: Yes it is. But not entirely. According to the Bible, there are two exceptions, one good and one bad: Christ and Antichrist—who is the man of lawlessness (II Thessalonians 2); the composite beast of Revelation 13 & 17 who is also one of the seven heads (kings) of Revelation; the little horn of Daniel 7 and the ruler of Daniel 9.

God is Divine and Supernatural, right? Since when has he done everything the natural way of things? (Rhetorical!)

Last week’s article focused on the conclusive proof that Messiah’s soon arrival on this earth will be his second appearance—his return as the Lion from the Tribe of Judah in contrast to his first advent as the Lamb of God who died for the sins of the world. So, too, will Antichrist stun the world with his return from the grave (actually from the Abyss, Revelation 17:8). For that reason alone this deplorable man will capture the attention and allegiance of untold millions left behind at the Rapture (Revelation 13 and Revelation 17).

Several Eye of Prophecy articles have dealt wholly or partially with the Biblical evidence that the appearance of Antichrist in the final generation (The Omega Generation) will be his return to the earth, contrary to prevailing belief that this will be his initial arrival. For example, Modern-Day Antichrist? (Posted 9-7-13); followed by Antichrist … Is He Alive Today (9-14-13) which concentrates on Revelation 17. Also, The Legendary Return of Nero (published 4-4-15) that focuses on the 1st through 5th century A.D. remarkable belief by both Christians and secular Romans that Nero was still alive; or that he would return to his throne in Rome having been preserved for that appointed time.

Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved? 666, examines extensively all Biblical passages on the Antichrist and a study of 1st century history to demonstrate that he is none other than the Roman Emperor Nero.

Out of the Abyss

In today’s article, we will center attention almost exclusively on the same astounding prophecy in Daniel Chapter 9 that we examined in last week’s Eye of Prophecy post where we affirmed decisively that the exact time of Messiah’s first arrival matched the Palm Sunday triumphant entrance into Jerusalem by Jesus of Nazareth. Hence, the incontrovertible evidence that Messiah has already been to the earth—for the express purpose of being God’s final, once for all substitutionary sacrifice for our sins and the penalty of those sins. All who believe and receive this truth (Jesus is Messiah, the Son of God) will have eternal life.

For the Jews to realize that their Scriptures (Old Testament, as most non-Messianic Jews refuse to even read the New Testament, let alone believe that it, too, is inspired by God) specifically foretold the actual time of Messiah’s arrival and that Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies including Daniel’s, is of utmost importance. As is the understanding for Gentile unbelievers that Messiah Jesus is salvation’s light to the whole world.

To flippantly brush aside the tremendous truth and fabulous fulfillment of Bible prophecies is to dangerously disregard the eternal consequences of what will take place when Antichrist, then Jesus Christ returns to this earth. If Jews and Gentiles reject that Jesus is Messiah and the purpose for his first appearance, it’s unlikely that they will choose Jesus over Antichrist Nero during the Great Tribulation.

Why?

Because the stakes will be incredibly high. To refuse to acknowledge Nero as divine will most certainly mean instant death. That will be too much for most people to handle. A few years into the Great Tribulation, those undecided (at first) will choose this man of lawlessness along with millions of others who have already worshipped him as their messiah.

One generation ago, it was Heil Hitler! In the near future it will be Hail Caesar!

x-01augus-jup

(Statue of Augustus Caesar, First Roman Emperor, Depicted Here as Jupiter, Chief Roman god; Nero Despised Religion Including the Roman gods. He Fancied Himself as God on Earth)

This same prophecy in Daniel 9 also shows convincingly that the ruler (Antichrist) would arise (soon) after Messiah was killed; that the armies of this ruler would destroy the second Temple. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (as predicted by Zechariah) in April of 32 A.D; was crucified a week later, and arose from the dead three days after that. Then in 70 A.D. the Roman Legions sacked Jerusalem, utterly demolished the Temple, slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Jews, and instigated the dispersion of the surviving Jews (Diaspora) that would continue until Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948.

It was none other than Nero who personally commissioned Roman Generals Vespasian and Titus to launch the campaign to crush the Jewish rebellion that began in 66 A.D.

Daniel Chapter 9

Let’s read again this stunning prophecy, then refer in part to Out of the Abyss; to once again establish the absolutely correct application of this passage, particularly when correlated and connected to all other passages on this man of sin to show that Nero is the Antichrist.

Said the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel:

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

Exactly 173,880 days (483 Jewish years) elapsed from the time that the Persian King Artaxerxes issued the command for Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem to the time that Jesus of Nazareth rode into Jerusalem and the people acclaimed him as Messiah.

Let’s look more closely at what would happen next.

“After this period … the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple…” (Daniel 9:26, italics for emphasis).

The reason that the translators of the New Living Translation, which I quote from most often, chose the wording shown above in italics is to acknowledge that the armies of the ruler were connected in time and space to the ruler. In contrast to the modern-day (erroneous) hypothesis that there will be a revived Roman Empire restored by a modern-day born man. Hence the armies (or people) of the ruler would be those (I suppose they are referring to Italians or other Europeans) who descended some 2000 years later from the Romans.

Although there’s no evidence that the translators and commentators who compiled the New Living Translation gave much thought to the historical evidence that it was Nero who ordered his generals to attack Israel and Jerusalem, they did recognize the obvious fact that the ruler who would arise would be directly linked to the (his) armies that destroyed the Temple.

The Possessive Power of Prepositional Phrases & Pronouns!

As both a means to encourage you to read Out of the Abyss, and also to best explain the staggering significance of the possessive prepositions and pronouns (“of” or “whose”) that directly connect the ruler (Antichrist) with the armies or people of that ruler in real-time (1st century AD), I’d like to quote from Out of the Abyss: (In italics)

In some Bible translations such as the New American Standard, we read, “…and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary…” (Daniel 9:26) … The perception of a Revived Roman Empire flows from the attachment or affiliation of the Ancient Roman Empire’s armies or people that destroyed the Temple to a modern-day Antichrist. But as we will soon see, this application contextually, grammatically, and prophetically stretches the connection to the breaking point.

The Hebrew word for “people” is am, which means people(s), people of a nation, members of one’s people, kinsman, or compatriots. This word is used 1,620 times in the NAS translation of the Old Testament. And, invariably, when relating people (am) to a nation, king, ruler, or to God, the word is employed in the logical and sensible Scriptural context of possessive, immediate, or generational relationship. For example, “After this presentation to Israel’s leaders, Moses and Aaron went and spoke to Pharaoh. They told him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Let my people go…’” (Exodus 5:1). The people were none other than the Hebrews alive at that specific time, during the final stages of their Egyptian bondage.

(Note: The Hebrew word am is not the same as the English word, “am.” As in “I am going…” It is pronounced hahm or ahm … the “ah” sound with “m” at the end).

In a few Old Testament verses the Hebrew word more specifically applies to troops or armies … It’s apparent that the New Living Translation chose the word “armies” to more precisely delineate the actual fulfillment of the prophecy. (Then I refer to the Roman Legions destroying the Temple in 70 AD). In other words, “People” of the prince or ruler to come includes all of the prince’s country-men; but more exactly it was the armies (Roman Legions) of this people that fulfilled the prophecy.

But whose armies are they? Whose people are they? If you study the text carefully, there is a clear possessive correlation between the ruler and the armies or the people. The NLT simplifies the English to demonstrate this connection by stating that, “a ruler will arise whose armies.” Whose is possessive; meaning those armies or people specifically belonging to that particular ruler. Or, if you prefer the translation that says, “People of the prince,” the same possessive principle applies. The people directly affiliated, associated, or united with the prince destroyed the Temple. (Out of the Abyss, pages 254, 255).

This chapter from Out of the Abyss continues with the explanation that had Gabriel meant that the Temple would first be destroyed and then the ruler (of the people or armies that destroyed the Temple) would arrive (much later … which is now 2000 years and counting), then Gabriel would have made this clear by saying something to the effect that the armies of the ruler would have already (first) destroyed the city and Temple, then the ruler would come. But he didn’t say that; in fact he logically describes the chronological sequence the way it was sensibly intended. (First) a ruler would arise, (then) his armies would destroy the temple.

I then state that Gabriel emphatically emphasized the need for Daniel (all readers) to pay close attention: “Now listen and understand” he told Daniel. It would be the people of the prince (or more precisely, the armies that belonged to the ruler) who would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple. With the excessively strong implication that the ruler/prince didn’t live to see the conquest finished. Which, incidentally, but much more than coincidentally, is exactly what happened in 1st century history.

noifart18

(Roman Legions … One of the Most Formidable Fighting Force of All Time)

Nero ordered Vespasian and Titus to march on Israel. This campaign began in 66 A.D, but it wasn’t finished until August, 70 AD when Vespasian’s son, Titus, sacked Jerusalem and burned and dismantled the Temple stone by stone. In the interim, Nero died in 68 AD.

An amazingly exact historical occurrence to precisely fulfill Daniel’s prophecy!

Continuing in Out of the Abyss:

This is very true when reading history. Almost always, a historian (we speak in the same terms) will say that Alexander the Great conquered Persia, not Alexander and his armies. We fully understand what is meant; that Alexander the Great or Napoleon or whoever couldn’t have done it without their armies….

Yet, if a ruler dies, and his armies continue the battle or the war, we see, for example, that it was Genghis Khan’s armies or troops that did such and such after he died. “People of the prince who is to come” is a prepositional phrase that demands a possessive correlation. “People of the prince who is to come will destroy the city” neither prophetically or grammatically state nor even imply that the city would be destroyed before the prince arrived. In other words, this ruler and his armies are inseparably linked together in possessive relationship and in a real-time context.

Where have you ever read or seen or thought that a ruler of any era would be connected to armies or people hundreds or thousands of years earlier. All monarchs, both in Biblical and secular history, are linked directly with the armies of that particular time of the ruler’s life. Contextually and grammatically it makes no sense for Gabriel to tell Daniel that the ruler’s armies would destroy Jerusalem, but the ruler wouldn’t come until much later. If that were the case, then Gabriel would have told Daniel that the ruler’s ancestors (of long ago) would destroy the Temple, and then the ruler would arise. Conversely, the text clearly delineates and specifies that when the ruler comes, his people or armies would destroy the city.

And, as indicated, whenever the Hebrew word “am” is used throughout the Old Testament in conjunction with a ruler and a people, it is used to specify an immediate, real-time connection between the leader/nation and the people belonging to that leader … Why, then, should Gabriel and Daniel mean a far-off, time-warped differential between the Roman Legions and a prince that wouldn’t arrive on the scene for what is now a nearly two-thousand year gap? (Out of the Abyss, pages 255-256).

Here, I’ll condense what comes next in Out of the Abyss, by first quoting a part of our passage that immediately precedes, “…and a ruler will arise whose armies…”

“…the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing…” (Daniel 9:26, italics for emphasis).

This is another overwhelming corroboration that the ruler referenced by Daniel (Antichrist) arose shortly after Messiah Jesus was crucified (and arose from the dead). The text is emphatically evident: The ruler would arise during the time that the death of Messiah appeared to have accomplish nothing. Nero was born just 3-4 years after Christ ascended back to heaven. He would unlawfully assume the Roman throne in 54 A.D. at the age of seventeen. The Christian faith was still in its infancy; to many, the death of Jesus seemed to have been for naught.

Beginning in the latter part of the 1st century and continuing to this very day (interrupted in part by the Roman Catholic induced and dominated Dark Ages), the monumentally astounding accomplishments of Christianity are more obvious than any event or development in history. What Jesus Christ has accomplished through salvation of millions of people (true believers) and the remarkable impact of Biblical redemption personally and corporately on peoples, nations, hospitals, churches, charitable organizations, and much more is indisputable.

lakeside

(St. Luke’s Lakeside Hospital, Located in The Woodlands Division of Houston, Texas)

Thus, the ruler who Daniel said would arise (mentioned in the same verse as the death of Messiah, with the clear contextual connotation and plain understanding that it would be in the same time proximity that Messiah would be killed) had to have been revealed while Christianity was still inconsequential to many in the Roman Empire … “appearing to have accomplished nothing.”

Nero fits that 1st century time and space correlation far better than any ruler before or after him. One, because of the time-frame itself—born in 37 A.D., rose to power in 54 A.D, and died in 68 A.D. Two, because Nero instigated the first and most brutal agenda in all of history (sanctioned by his Roman Empire) to kill Christians.

His short-term evil plan: To blame the Christians for the great fire in Rome (which most historians are convinced Nero himself started or ordered it). The long-term diabolical agenda: To wipe out Christianity and put an end to worship of Jesus Christ over Nero. What better way to stop or preempt potential accomplishments of the Christian faith than to eliminate the followers of Christ.

Not only was Nero the man of lawlessness referenced by Paul (and will soon return as the Antichrist, the designation later used by the Apostle John), he was the most anti-Christ person who has ever lived. He threw huge parties in his palace gardens, with Christians hanging on poles slowly and excruciatingly burning to death (from ignited pitch or tar that covered them) to light the gardens at night. He ridiculed the Christians as they succumbed to such horrible deaths by saying, “Now you are truly the light of the world.” Which was also a malicious mockery and depraved defiance of Jesus Christ himself whom the Christians worshipped as the light of the world.

20120224-Nero torches Siemiradski_Fackeln

(Depicts Nero’s Golden Palace and Death of Christians for Entertainment)

Not until a few decades after Nero’s death did Christianity began to flourish and spread throughout the Roman Empire.

When Nero became Caesar in 54 A.D. the Apostle Paul had written only three of his epistles: Galatians and I & II Thessalonians (51-52 A.D.). It’s no coincidence that Paul only refers to the man of lawlessness (later called the Antichrist by the Apostle John and beast-king in Revelation) in II Thessalonians before Nero “lawlessly” ascended to the throne. As indicated in Chapter 21 of Out of the Abyss, I’m convinced that Paul knew that Nero was (would be) this man of lawlessness.

Later the book of Revelation would challenge 1st century believers and all believers thereafter to identify the Antichrist beast through Hebrew gematria, … the number six hundred sixty-six (Revelation 13:18). From the Greek name for Nero (New Testament was written in Greek) converted to the Hebrew method of counting by the Hebrew alphabet, Neron Kaiser (Greek for Nero Caesar) adds up to the sum of six hundred, sixty-six. (666).

Then perhaps the most astonishing passage of all concerning the infamous biography of Antichrist: John tells us the beast (Antichrist) that he just saw in another vision, “…was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he (the beast) will soon (abruptly) come up out of the bottomless pit (Abyss) … And all the people who belong to this world … will be amazed at the reappearance of the beast who had died” (Revelation 17:8, parenthesis mine).

By the time Revelation was written, Nero had already died in 68 A.D. As covered in great detail in Out of the Abyss, it was Jesus himself (at his command and providential direction) who saw to it that Nero was killed (while still a young man).

“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 who had been held in restraint by his predecessor Claudius (his step father), until Agrippina (Claudius wife and Nero’s mother), with Nero in complicity, murdered Claudius in 54 A.D. Paul knew that Nero was the man of lawlessness, but he didn’t refer to him as Antichrist. Years later, John the Apostle used that term in his first epistle. Even Revelation doesn’t use the appellation of Antichrist; rather it refers to him as a beast or one of the seven kings (Roman emperors). Paul knew that Jesus would strike down Nero but Paul did not know (wasn’t disclosed to him) that Nero would RETURN from the Abyss, as the beast-king of Revelation. That wasn’t revealed until later through John’s visions.

nero

(Bust of Nero)

To summarize Daniel’s prediction that the “rise” of the ruler would happen (soon) after Messiah was killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing (at the time) I quote again from Out of the Abyss:

To the populace of Israel, the Roman Empire, and world at large, the tragic death of Jesus of Nazareth seemed to have accomplished very little. To Jewish Zealots, Jesus’s death accomplished absolutely nothing … It took several centuries for Christians and the secular world to comprehend the increasing influence that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ had exerted on the world.

Thus, the rise of the Antichrist ruler predicted by Daniel HAD to have taken place during the first few years after Messiah (Jesus) was crucified. Just as the Messiah HAD to first appear (arrive) before the Temple was destroyed—by the armies of this same ruler … Nero.

Is all this amazing or what?!

A Few More Excerpts from Out of the Abyss:

Stating it bluntly: the Roman Legions of 70 AD could not be of, from, or belong to a ruler born some two thousand years later. This would stretch the chain that tries to bind the Roman Legions of 70 AD to a modern-day man to the breaking point. Remember again: this ruler or king originates directly from the fourth world power (Roman Empire) of Daniel Chapter 7. The ruler does not come from a future 7th empire, because there is no such empire in the book of Daniel…

The NLT translation is saying the same thing as, “People of the prince who is to come.” But the NLT precludes the tendency to forget or overlook the possessive prepositional phrase that is the linguistic and prophetic essence of this verse, in contrast to a ruler who will come long after his people destroy the city.

Daniel tells us that the ruler will come and the people of this ruler will destroy the city. He does not say that the Temple must be or is first destroyed before the prince arrives. But that’s the current hindsight application made by those who hold to a modern-day Antichrist and a Revived Roman Empire. Meaning that this “prince who is to come” must be born and rise to power after an enormous lapse of time (2000 years), with a 21st century result of an impractical and unrealistic time-capsule detachment from the armies that destroyed the city and Temple (Page 257).

Then picking up in the next chapter of Out of the Abyss:

Read again, if you will, the sequential syntax of Verse 26, which says, “…a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the Temple.” In which order do these things prophetically take place? Correct—the ruler arises, and then his armies destroy the Temple … To eliminate any misunderstanding as to when the ruler would arise, the angel would have told Daniel that when the ruler arrives, his armies would have already destroyed the city. But that’s not what Daniel says, nor did it happen that way in history.

Nor has any conquest, in ancient or modern warfare, been accomplished or even recognized by means of troops conquering a city or country, then the supreme leader (king or emperor) of that army born hundreds of years later or even a few years later. In fact, that makes no sense at all. The only way the armies can be connected to, belong to, controlled or ordered by their leader, is a direct result of the leader—by virtue of being alive—delivering commands to his subordinates; thus, for that ruler to be unequivocally associated with and attached to the people that do the conquering. Make sense?

So the angel Gabriel makes two clear distinctions in these verses. (1) Technically and actually the ruler’s armies would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple, not the ruler himself. Why: because the ruler wasn’t there to take or be given credit. (2) Even more importantly, the armies are of or belong to the ruler himself, by virtue of the possessive correlation clearly articulated in the passage. The passage does not state nor even imply a (far away) future ruler to the Roman Legions of the first century. Instead we see culpability by direct possessive association with and correlation between first century Rome and a first century Roman ruler.

The armies or people who destroyed the city and the Temple were Roman Legions that belonged to Nero, as ultimate Commander in Chief of all Roman legions. These legions are long gone, and couldn’t possibly be the people or armies of a modern-day born Antichrist. Again I will stress: the ruler and his armies of Daniel 9 are inextricably conjoined, coupled, and connectively linked by the possessive pronouns employed in the text, whether the translation is “of” or “whose.” (Out of the Abyss, page 264).

Summary

The main Biblical passages dealing with the Antichrist in order are: Daniel 7, 9, 11; Zechariah 11; Matthew 24 (false messiahs); II Thessalonians 2; Revelation 11, 13, 16, 17 & 19. With the geographical and biographical profile of the Antichrist most prominent in Daniel and Revelation 13 & 17.

To wit: He will originate from the fourth kingdom (Roman Empire), not a 7th kingdom (a so-called Revived Roman Empire). He will lead an alliance of ten Tribulation kings (nations), forcibly subduing three of these kingdoms. At the time of the revelations to John, the Antichrist had already lived and died on this earth. (Revelation 17:8). He would reappear from the Abyss; with the totally logical conclusion that he had to be first placed in the Abyss (which occurred after Christ struck him down in 68 AD).

He will make an unholy alliance with the vestiges of the Holy Roman Empire (Vatican), but will then turn on the “Woman” and pursue his malevolent ambitions with his ten-nation coalition (Revelation 17). Though hundreds of millions will give him their allegiance—including taking the mark of his name or number—there will not be a One World Religion or One World Government. Instead, many left behind after the Rapture will surrender their complete loyalty (to the point of worship) for one reason only: his apparent resurrection from the grave. They will be people from every nation, language, and race; which will be a counterfeit representation of the true Messiah (Jesus Christ) and his followers from people all over the earth—but without a kingdom as such until Messiah Jesus returns in power and great glory at the end of the seven-year Tribulation.

If you are seriously interested in knowing everything that God has given us through his Word about this man of sin (including his very identity), you need a working knowledge and understanding of these passages. And you also need at least a cursory grasp of 1st century Church and secular history, especially the Roman Emperors. All of these things in great detail are presented in Out of the Abyss … can the number of the beast be solved? Also in several Eye of Prophecy articles like this one, including most of the articles found in the category of Antichrist and/or The Rapture.

Yet, it is Daniel Chapter 9 (the focus of our attention last week and this week), that most thoroughly predicts and explains the first arrival of both Messiah and anti-Messiah at the exact time God intended. That and the fact that both would return (reappear) to complete the final epic struggle between God and Satan, between Christ and Antichrist, between good and evil.

Christ was the first to appear. Yet his Second Coming will be after the return of Antichrist Nero.

Thus, just as the Scriptures say: Messiah Jesus is The First and the Last! Alpha and Omega! The Beginning and the End!

992b3a3a270c8d84af53ce5a09ad3de9

Here is one more citation from Out of the Abyss:

Where did the Roman Legions camp and prepare for the march on Jerusalem in 70 AD? Answer: Megiddo. Who ordered this campaign against Israel? That’s right: it was Nero. Where will the final conflict of Revelation be decided? Right again … Armageddon. Who will be leading these armies against Israel, then against Messiah himself? Easy answer: Antichrist. A chilling connection don’t you think? Do you think this and all the other correlations between Christ and Antichrist (Nero) are a bit more than coincidental?

As already indicated, I’m sure that Nero’s premature death both stunned and infuriated Satan. For sure Satan had read Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians; that Jesus would kill the man of lawlessness, “with the breath of his mouth.” Yet Satan assumed that his man would first accomplish all the things that Daniel and other prophets had declared. And, of course, Satan would attempt to write his own script and execute his own version of the final act. The Revelation of Jesus Christ had not yet been given to John. Thus no one, including Satan, knew that the man of lawlessness slain by Christ must first be confined to the Abyss and be allowed to rise again as the beast of Revelation.

If you still find it difficult to let go of a Revived Roman Empire that produces a modern-day (born) Antichrist, at least consider this; whatever form or shape this coalition takes, what ultimately makes it Roman and revived is a Revived Roman Emperor (Pages 265- 266).

Things to Ponder

As touched on in last week’s article that focused on the Messianic (first advent of Jesus Christ) significance of Daniel 9, and in preparation for this week’s article, I indicated that the Antichrist portion of Daniel 9 is not a matter of “life or death” as we speak … before the Rapture.

However, I’m convinced that the Lord wants us and certainly all left behind at the Rapture to realize that there are eternal consequences to the choice that everyone alive now and those left behind will make. And if they don’t decide it will be decided for them one way or another—either by the justified judgments of God or by the unjustified deceit and ruthlessness of Antichrist.

Is Jesus the Messiah Savior? Or is the one who is anti-Christ (Nero) to be followed? It truly will be an eternal life or death decision.

Those who know now and those who will realize after the Rapture that the Bible had disclosed the identity of the Antichrist all along won’t be so amazed when they see an ancient Roman Emperor return to this earth. Hopefully they (you, if you have not yet believed and received Jesus as Lord and Savior) will see beyond any doubt that the very Word of God (Scripture) foretold this long ago.

Rest assured, the true and living God and His Messiah will prevail.

“The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven (seven years), but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him” (Daniel 9:27, italics for emphasis).

The italicized words in this verse provide more validation that the Antichrist’s (Nero) reign of terror began long ago (first century) and will finally come to a crashing conclusion when Jesus sets foot on the earth at the end of the Tribulation.

The terms, as a climax and finally, convey a long period of time. The 3 ½ years of the Great Tribulation in which God gives permission for Satan and Antichrist to wreak havoc on the earth is far too short of a time to be expressed by the term, finally.

Rather, Daniel is referring to the time when the ruler would first be revealed (1st Century) all the way to his reappearance at the end of this age; when all of the hideous deeds of this depraved despot begun in the 1st century will resume and intensify and reach a climax at the end of his forty-two month reign of terror.

Finally, after all this time (2000 years), he will be destroyed.

After all this time (2000 years), Messiah Jesus will return and finally put an end to the beast who, “was once alive but isn’t now … yet he will soon (suddenly) come up out of the bottomless pit and go to eternal destruction” (Revelation 17:8).

Paul tells us: “Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed (so he was in the first century), but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth AND (then) destroy him by the splendor of his coming” (II Thessalonians 2:8, parenthesis mine, upper case letters for emphasis).

Once you’re dead (killed) you are destroyed, right? Therefore, there would be no reason for this verse to continue by saying that this man of lawlessness will also be destroyed. That would be totally redundant and unnecessary.

Unless, that is, the Antichrist returns (from the Abyss) and then is finally destroyed (comes to his final end in the Lake of Fire, Revelation 19) by the return of the true Messiah … Jesus!

Do you see that?

Where is Messiah … Is He Already Here?

Tags

,

Messiah’s Imminent Arrival! His First or Second Appearance?

Globally, especially in Israel, both religious and secular Jews are longing for redemption.

Yet, they do not all agree on the scope of this redemption. Will it be individual, national, or both? Will it be physical, spiritual, or both? Orthodox Jews, particularly Rabbis, contend that penitence is a prerequisite to their redemption. But they differ on what constitutes repentance … to what degree or for what exactly should they repent. Most Jews simply don’t know what’s expected of them, if anything.

Tens of thousands of Messianic Jews have embraced Jesus as Messiah; they have accepted Scripture’s claim that only he can redeem individuals and nations. They believe (along with their Gentile believer counterparts) that redemption is precisely what the Bible and Jewish tradition says it is: a purchase or buy back from slavery. Which is, Biblically, first and foremost an enslavement to sin and its consequences—eternal separation from God.

It is what Webster’s Dictionary defines as: “to free from captivity by payment of ransom.”

The Bible says: “The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins, says the Lord” (Isaiah 59:20).

The major premise of this article is compressed in the verse just quoted: Isaiah is referring to the initial appearance of Messiah for individual salvation; but also his return to accomplish Israel’s national redemption.

Contrasting the Old Covenant of the Law to the New Covenant of Grace, we read:

“…For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the consciences of the people who bring them. For that old system deals only with food and drink and various cleansing ceremonies—physical regulations that were in effect only until a better system could be established. So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of the created world. With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever” (Hebrews 9:9-12, italics for emphasis).

th

Many Jews see redemption almost entirely from a more secular meaning of the concept:

“To free from what distresses or harms; to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental; to change for the better; to get or win back.” (Webster’s Dictionary).

Thus, redemption to them means freedom from the constant distress and brutal harm from Palestinian terrorist attacks. They long for peace to overcome and replace the incessant detrimental threats of entire Muslim nations seeking Israel’s annihilation. They seek to exchange the relentless BDS actions against them for a better life of personal and national well-being and security. Some want to get back all of the land that has been given to them by God, himself, some 4000 years ago—the entire Promised Land of Israel, including but not limited to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

Messianic Fervor at a Fever Pitch

There is one common dream, one prevailing hope, one unified passion: Messiah will ultimately redeem Israel and Jews the world over. And the time is near … so very near.

As touched on often in Eye of Prophecy articles, such as Great Expectations for Messiah (posted 8-8-15) and Amazing Anticipation for Messiah (8-29-15), the level of expectancy for Messiah’s arrival has never been so intense since before the turn of the first century—when time itself was changed from B.C. to A.D.

From an article in Breaking Israel News posted by Rivkah Lambert Adler on 6-20-16, we read a quote from Orthodox Rabbi Pinchas Winston:

“Today, it is so much easier than, let’s say, 10 years ago, to want Moshiach (messiah) to come, because things are out of control… If you step back and look at all the events of history, everything is so ‘Armageddon-ish.’ It’s actually quite bad. The world is actually tremendously unstable.”

*Note: At least for me, it’s of no small interest that the Rabbi would even mention Armageddon. Why? Although reference to Megiddo Valley is found in the Old Testament (Zechariah 12:11, which will be quoted in just a moment), Armageddon (Har Megiddo … literally Mount Megiddo) is found only in the New Testament, which non-Messianic Jews do not consider on par with their Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) or consider much at all! I have been to Megiddo in Israel. It is a vast valley overlooked by a fairly steep and prominent hill.

“And the demonic spirits gathered all the rulers and their armies to a place with the Hebrew name Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16, italics already in the text).

Listen to what Rabbi Winston says about the Messiah.

“And now we’re approaching the Final Redemption. Without question. Moshiach is around the corner… Without question he’s here already. I don’t know how old he is, where he’s sitting, what he’s doing, what he’s learning. But he’s here. He’s not going to be born tomorrow. We’re just too close to the end. Way too close to the end. He has to be here right now!”

Rabbi Winston is not alone in his enthusiastic expectations. Several other Rabbis have made equally strong statements that Messiah is already here … he just hasn’t shown himself yet. Such as Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky’s words to a grieving father whose son had just died. Said Rabbi Kanievsky:

“The redemption is closer than ever … Don’t be sad. The Messiah is already here. He will reveal himself very soon and your son will see his children again.”

rabbi-chaim-kanievsky

(Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, Lower Portion of Photo)

Just a few months ago, a group of rabbis led by Rabbi Yosef Berger—one of the rabbis with administrative charge over King David’s Tomb in Jerusalem—completed a Torah Scroll to present to Messiah upon his arrival. Before the project was completed, another prominent Rabbi, David Hai Abuhatzeira, told those working on the scroll:

“Write the Sefer Torah as fast as possible, you don’t have much time! … I hope you have a chance to finish!”

What Will Happen When Messiah Does Arrive?

Indeed, there will be great joy when Messiah appears, not just with the Jews but with all the surviving tribulation saints who are on the brink of Armageddon-ish destruction.

Sadly, before the rejoicing, there will be great sorrow and mourning throughout Israel and with Jews globally. I’ve sometimes quoted the following verses and will cite them again, because it is a passage that you seldom hear or see quoted by Jews, especially the Orthodox among them. It is one of several Messianic passages in the Old Testament that Judaism unfortunately ignores or tries to explain away. See Eye of Prophecy articles, Does God Really Have a Son, Part I & II (published 10-31-15 & 11-7-15) for some of these key passages.

When reading the following passage, pay special attention to the personal pronouns. The context is clearly the very last days just before and during Messiah’s magnificent appearance. Actually, his return; which is, as indicated, the main emphasis of today’s article … reappearance versus appearance.

“Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David, and on the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died. The sorrow and mourning in Jerusalem on that day will be like the great mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddo. All Israel will mourn…” (Zechariah 12:10-12).

Messiah is speaking, and he tells Israel that they will, “look on me whom they have pierced.” Then switches to the 2nd person and states, “…and mourn for him…”

The piercing was literally fulfilled when the Romans cruelly staked Jesus to a cross with spikes driven into his wrists and feet—a form of execution not yet invented (at least not like the Romans “perfected” it) when Zechariah made this prophecy.

Considering the anxious anticipation and eager expectation for Messiah and the wonderful things he will do to restore and redeem Israel, why on earth would Israel mourn when they first see him? If the Jews are right that this will be Messiah’s initial appearance, what then would produce such great sorrow, before their joy of being delivered from their enemies?

The text is explicitly clear: They will recognize that it was Jesus all along who was and is their Messiah. Their personal redemption had been purchased long ago, which is why they will mourn for him individually and separately (see the rest of Zechariah 12). Grief will flow from their (and their ancestor’s) rejection of Messiah and their decision to ignore the New Covenant that Isaiah and Jeremiah had promised would come.

628x471

(Mourning and Grief Will Be Much Greater Than Portrayed in This Photo)

However, in light of the remarkable events taking place in the 20th and 21st century, the rabbis are right about the imminent appearance of Messiah. Please see, Look up, Redemption is Near, I & II, (posted 7-11 & 7-18-15) for a list of twelve of these Biblically predicted indicators.

The rabbis are also correct that Messiah is alive today!

But they are incorrect that he is now on the earth, or that he is a man born in the generation of the last days. They are mistaken that this will be Messiah’s first appearance. As clearly clarified in Isaiah Chapter 53, they are also regrettably wrong that Messiah cannot be both the suffering servant Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world and also the Lion from the Tribe of Judah who will return it great glory and power to save the Jews, indeed the entire world from extinction.

Jesus is Messiah! Our Redeemer lives! But he’s in heaven waiting to return any day to the earth.

Remember King David’s amazing disclosure when he refers to The Lord (God the Father) speaking to David’s Lord (God the Son): “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet’” (Psalm 110:1). See also Psalm 2 that speaks of “God’s royal son.”

David continues, “The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow; ‘You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek’” (Verse 4).

The, “you,” is the other Lord, David’s Lord, who is God’s Son spoken about in Psalm 2. When God says, “Sit in the place of honor at my right hand…” the syntax and contextual meaning is crystal clear: The sitting or resting at God’s right hand is a result of something stupendous that David’s Lord had already accomplished.

Hundreds of Old Testament and New Testament passages tell us exactly what Messiah (Jesus) would achieve. He would be both High Priest and King (after the order of Melchizedek). Even more: The Son of God, himself, would be the once for all sacrificial Lamb of God.

“For God’s will was for us to be made holy (called out and set apart) by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time … But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet” (Hebrews 10:10-13).

gods right hand

Tragically, most Jews and also many (more) Gentiles either reject or ignore the indisputable historical evidence that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled dozens of specific Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah. He was seen by at least five hundred people after his resurrection from the dead (I Corinthians 15). Several witnessed his physical return to heaven (Acts 1).

Many other Gentiles allow the historical record that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (his place of birth also prophesied … Micah 5:2) and even concede the fact that he arose from the dead; but they stop short of accepting the reason he was born and the reason he was crucified. They do not personally acknowledge him as God’s Messiah Savior, the Son of God who claimed to be the only way of salvation, the only way to God (John 14:6).

Thanks be to God: There are millions on this planet (including me) who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ Jesus. For one reason only: We simply believed in Jesus and received the amazing grace of God’s gift of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus as our Savior to forgive our sins and pardon the penalty of those sins. Instead of eternal separation from God, we now have a God-given guarantee of everlasting life in heaven.

Jewish (and Gentile) Denial that Messiah Arrived at the Appointed Time in History

Most of the religious Jewish leaders of Jesus’s time refused to believe the evidence in front of them. Nor did they make any effort to match the timing of Jesus’s birth and years later his triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) followed shortly by his death and resurrection, with their Scriptures.

We’re going to take another look at one of those Scriptures. One that is the most definitive prophecy in the Bible with regard to the appointed time for Messiah to arrive on earth—precisely when the prophet said he would. A passage so conclusive in its prediction and subsequent fulfillment, that to deny or ignore it would have to be an uninformed but also deliberate effort to dispute the very truth of it. I am referring to the first advent of Messiah Jesus.

In today’s Part I article we have already and will continue to emphasize that Jesus is the Messiah and that he has already arrived (the first time). Hence, the emphasis will be geared more so toward Jewish refusal or at least reluctance to believe and receive their own Scriptures.

Next week’s article will concentrate on the extraordinary evidence as presented in the second part of this passage—the ruler who would arise (Antichrist) was none other than the Roman Emperor Nero. That he, too, will return (from the Abyss … Revelation 17:8); meaning that the Antichrist cannot be born in the generation of the Rapture and Tribulation to immediately follow, which I firmly believe is our generation. Like Christ, his counterfeit imposter will not be a modern-day born man.

Here, an important distinction needs to be made: The misapplication or misunderstanding of this passage (and a few other passages on the Antichrist, but especially the one that I’m about to quote) is unfortunate. However, this mistaken interpretation doesn’t have the serious impact or consequences that failure to recognize the fact that Messiah has already arrived has had on the majority of Jews (also Gentiles) and on Judaism itself. Although the Antichrist portion of this passage is not a matter of eternal life or death right now; it is still important to get right. Because if you’re left behind at the Rapture, you won’t be nearly as amazed as the rest of world when they see a Roman Emperor return from the grave.

On the other hand, it will be a matter of their eternal destiny if those left behind choose Nero over Messiah Jesus as savior.

Whether you’ve heard or read it directly from Scripture or from a prior Eye of Prophecy article or from my book, Out of the Abyss; or from other books or articles, or not at all, here is the stunning prophecy given to the prophet Daniel by the archangel Gabriel on direct orders from God:

“Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One—comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times. After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple…” (Daniel 9:25-26).

First, a comment on the second sentence of this passage before we examine the fabulous feature of this prophecy that predicts the actual time (dates) when the Messiah would come.

That Jerusalem would be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times, took place progressively after the Jews returned from Babylonian conquest and captivity. The rebuilding included the Temple, then the walls of Jerusalem, and eventually the entire infrastructure of Jerusalem. By the time that Jesus was born, the Romans had taken control of Israel. Although the Jews were subjects in the Roman Empire, the Romans provided them with protection from other potential enemies. Some Jews were also Roman citizens, including the Apostle Paul. The fact is that Jerusalem was a well-fortified city when this prophecy came to pass.

The Actual Time Lapse of the Sixty-nine Sets of Seven (483 years)

Four Hundred, Eighty-Three years would, “pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One—comes.”

At this point, I would like to provide some excerpts from my Eye of Prophecy article entitled, An Incredible Time-Lapse Prophecy, posted 1-18-14. That article immediately preceded and prepared the way for a trilogy of articles called Seven Times Seven (to the 4th Power), I, II, & III (published 1-25, 2-1, 2-8-14). Those articles contained a stunning disclosure from Leviticus Chapter 26; also concerning a specified prophetic time-lapse, but pertaining to Times of the Gentiles—the precise amount of time that Israel would be under Gentile domination which ended in 1967. That illumination was similar in principle to that of Sir Robert Anderson’s disclosed application of Daniel’s prophecy about the coming Messiah in his book, The Coming Prince.

anderson

In italics from An Incredible Time-Lapse Prophecy:

At the outset it is vitally important to distinguish the command to rebuild Jerusalem (starting with the walls of the holy city) from another edict/command issued by a totally different ruler to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. It was the Persian King Cyrus who issued the decree in 538 BC for the Jews to return from their Babylonian captivity and rebuild their holy Temple. In fact restoration of the Temple began a few years later and was completed in 516 BC, 70 years after Israel was conquered and exiled to Babylon, i.e. the 70-year prophesied captivity. Some Bible scholars erroneously selected Cyrus’s edict as the beginning point of Daniel’s 483-year prophecy. They mistakenly assumed that the prophetic words of Daniel’s prophecy (rebuild Jerusalem) also applied to the Temple. But, prophetically and historically we can now clearly see that the rebuilt Temple and rebuilt walls of Jerusalem were two distinct events separated by nearly 100 hundred years.

Once again notice that Daniel’s prophecy is referring exclusively to the rebuilding of Jerusalem. The specifics of his prediction came to pass generations later, through another decree; this time given by another Persian King Artaxerxes Longimanus to Nehemiah in 445 BC. The Old Testament book of Nehemiah contains the records/history of the edict and renovation of the walls.

The Anointed One is none other than the Messiah; in fact, many Bible translations actually use the term Messiah in Daniel 9:25 (Messiah means Anointed or Chosen One). Yet, Messiah Jesus was on this earth for some 33 years, so what aspect (time-frame) of his life do we select as the year/time when he would come (to the earth)? His birth, passing into Jewish adulthood (age 13), beginning of his ministry, his crucifixion, his resurrection? Answer: none of the above. The moment in time to identify the passage of 483 years can be none other than Palm Sunday, a week before his crucifixion. Why? That is the precise time when Jesus allowed others to recognize and worship him as the Messiah, which is the specific fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. Prior to his heralded ride into Jerusalem, he had discouraged even his disciples from publicly hailing him as Messiah. Why?

It wasn’t the right time yet. The time chosen by God long before was to synchronize and confirm his very identity as Messiah (Son of God) with his ultimate mission of purchasing our redemption through his death, burial, and resurrection. As indicated, Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday occurred in consecutive weeks. Nearly all Bible scholars agree that the accolades from thousands of people given to Christ as he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (historically kings would ride into a city on a donkey if the king was coming in peace … a horse if the king was coming to conquer) demonstrated public acknowledgment that he was Messiah.

In 1894, a Scotland Yard Detective, Robert Anderson, who was also an ardent student of the Bible, especially prophecy, published his book called, The Coming Prince. Through extensive study and research, he corrected and clarified previous applications of Daniel’s prophecy from such notables as Sir Isaac Newton … one of the greatest scientist of all times, but also a Christian who studied Biblical prophecies extensively. We simply can’t do justice to Sir Robert Anderson’s book in one article; therefore, we will briefly examine the two most important discoveries by him (which are really disclosures and discernment given to him by the Lord).

  • Correct Application of Biblical Years: Simply stated, every Jewish month consists of 30 days (based on the moon’s phases); therefore, every year contains 360 days, not 365 days that we use on the Julian or Roman calendar. Biblical months/years are based on the Jewish calendar. The Roman calendar came along thousands of years after the Jewish calendar. Time doesn’t permit explanation as to why we use the Roman calendar, except to say that Sir Robert Anderson fully realized the necessity of converting Julian years to Jewish years if he or anyone could accurately correlate precise dates in Biblical and secular history …. Days, months, years.
  • Pinpoint Identification of Exact Dates, via Meticulous Investigation of Historical Records: Once again, time/space prohibits extensive review of what he found, so I will highly condense his amazing discovery: Sir Robert Anderson calculated (with partial assistance from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich) the Julian date of King Artaxerxes edict to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem to have been March 14th, 445 BC. Furthermore, the Julian date for Jesus’s magnificent ride into Jerusalem was April 6th, 32 AD. By employing the Hebrew calendar, Sir Robert Anderson tallied 173,880 days had elapsed which is exactly 483 Jewish years!! Absolutely astounding! I repeat for emphasis: Incredible!!

(End of excerpts)

Two Main Reasons Why Jesus Was Rejected as Messiah and therefore Crucified for claiming to be Messiah (before the Temple Was Destroyed)

Wrote the Apostle John about Jesus: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1, Complete Jewish Bible).

Then, “He came to his own homeland, yet his own people did not receive him. But to as many as did receive him, to those who put their trust in his person and power, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12, Complete Jewish Bible).

First Reason: Although there was increasing awareness and fervor that Messiah’s time had come, both the Jewish religious leaders and nearly all of the common people expected (wanted) a Messiah who would arrive as a victorious king to deliver them from Roman oppression, to unify Israel, and restore the glory that began with King David and the successive dynasty of kings that ended when Babylon conquered Judah, the southern kingdom. They could not and would not recognize someone of less than noble birth—a carpenter from Nazareth, despite the power of the truth that he told and miracles that he performed.

They saw no purpose in the sacrificial death of anyone, particularly someone who claimed to be the Son of God … no matter that Jesus proved that claim by rising from the dead. After all, the Law of Moses was enough even though they didn’t and couldn’t keep it, and had been disciplined by the Lord through subjugation by Gentile nations for that very reason.

Second Reason: Some Jews like Simeon and Anna (Luke Chapter 2) and even some Gentiles—like the Magi who obviously had studied Daniel’s prophecy or they wouldn’t have traveled hundreds of miles to bear gifts to the Christ child—knew that it was time for Messiah to come. Whether the Jewish scribes and religious leaders had figured out Daniel’s prophecy and chose to ignore it, or whether they hadn’t even bothered to look more closely at the prophecy is anybody’s guess.

However, I’m convinced that at least some of them knew the prophecy, but simply dismissed out-of-hand the possibility that Jesus was the Messiah—mostly because the truth he spoke and the miracles he performed were jeopardizing their authority over the common people. I say this because of the previously quoted verse that they, “did not receive him.” In other words, this was a deliberate rejection of Jesus as Messiah and Savior despite the crystal clear evidence. As was their denial that Jesus was the prophet foretold by God through Moses who would mediate a New Covenant later announced by Jeremiah.

Moses writes: “Then the Lord said to me … ‘I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him. I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf” (Deuteronomy 18:18-19).

th5OVZJEOI

(Jesus Reading from Isaiah Chapter 61, as Recorded in Luke Chapter 4. His First Announcement That He Came to Fulfill the Messianic Prophecies)

Said Jesus to the Jewish religious leaders: “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).

Then later to those same leaders, Jesus proclaimed:

“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 … 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. And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face, and you do not have his message in your hearts, because you do not believe me—the one he sent to you. 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 5:33-40).

Jesus concluded with more astonishing words: “Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” (Verses 45-47).

Not just Moses, or Isaiah, or Jeremiah, or Ezekiel, but also Daniel. The religious leaders rejected Jesus because they refused to objectively and comparatively match these and other prophets—particularly Micah (a ruler of Israel would come, born in Bethlehem whose origin is from the distant past) and Zechariah (riding on a donkey into Jerusalem) and Daniel—to Jesus’s birth, life … to all he said and did.

A cursory math calculation of Daniel’s prophecy would have matched the prophetic dates to their time; the very time that Jesus of Nazareth was restoring the sight of the blind, healing the crippled and the terminally ill, setting aside the laws of physics (walking on water), casting out demons like no one had ever done before, and raising people from the dead!

Even more specifically: The very time that he entered Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah’s prophecy, Chapter 9) which was also the time-lapse fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy.

He was the prophet spoken of by Moses. Which is why Jesus said that Moses would condemn them (for their unbelief). Many Messianic prophecies were being fulfilled before their very eyes. Yet, Daniel’s prophecy alone takes away all excuses and arguments against Jesus as Messiah.

Even Less Excuse after Jesus Was Killed and the Temple Destroyed

After this period of 483 years, “…the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple…” (Daniel 9:26)

herod temple destruction 03

(Depiction of Roman Legions Destroying the Second Temple)

Daniel’s prophecy is unambiguously clear: The Messiah would appear before the destruction of the Temple, which took place in 70 AD. And that’s exactly what occurred … Jesus birth, life, death, and resurrection some 40 years before the Romans sacked Jerusalem, which irrefutably validates the accuracy of Daniel’s prophecy.

Whereas, the religious leaders and people of Jesus’s time scorned him for the reasons given thus far—most prominent of which was ignoring the plain evidence for the time of Messiah’s appearance and marginalizing or outright rejecting his teachings and miracles—all those who deny that he is Messiah after the Temple was destroyed have no grounds whatsoever to refute the Messiahship of Jesus.

Why?

Because they have the 20/20 hindsight of history, right up to the present day. The Messiah would come at the end of 483 years, exactly when Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem … hailed by the people as the Son of David, the Messiah.

Then the Messiah would be killed BEFORE the Temple was destroyed by the armies of a ruler who would arise (shortly) AFTER Messiah arrived and was killed.

According to the time-line of Daniel’s prophecy, there is no way that the Messiah could (first advent) arrive on the scene of history AFTER the Temple was destroyed.

As Zola Levitt, a well-known Messianic Jew used to say: “And that’s all there is to that.”

Don’t miss next week’s article. Although there are other passages to show that the Roman Emperor Nero is Antichrist, we’ll concentrate on this same text in Daniel and its historical fulfilment to prove that the Antichrist has already been revealed and will also return (reappear) to the earth. Only to meet his final fate at the hands of the true Messiah, when Jesus returns!

Things to Ponder

The Lord calls Israel his special possession and the Jews his chosen people. He loves them with an everlasting love. So do I, and so should everyone who cares at all about the Jewish Messiah, Jesus.

Listen to the Jewish Apostle Paul, a devout Pharisee before the risen Christ changed his heart and his destiny.

Speaking specifically to Roman Gentile Christians, he writes: “I want you to understand this mystery … so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles come to Christ. And so all Israel will be saved…” (Romans 11:25-26).

ALL ISRAËL WILL BE SAVED

There are dozens of Old Testament prophecies and New Testament fulfillment of those predictions to conclusively confirm that Jesus is the Messiah. Yet, if I were a Jew truly seeking the truth about redemption and the Redeemer, the spectacular prophecy of Daniel 9 would be more than enough to convince me that Jesus was and is the promised One.

Jew or Gentile, what about you?

Hear the prophetic voice of Messiah:

“And now the Lord speaks—the one who formed me in my mother’s womb to be his servant, who commissioned me to bring Israel back to him. The Lord has honored me, and my God has given me strength. He says, ‘You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth’” (Isaiah 49:5-6).

Thousands upon thousands of Jews and millions upon millions of Gentiles down through the centuries have experienced the light of salvation directly from the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ. Which is: “…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).

No other man in history has or will ever do what Messiah Jesus has done for me and for you!

He loves you. He gave his all for you. If you haven’t already, give Him your heart.

Call upon the Lord and you will be saved!

(Please take a couple more minutes to listen to this beautiful song written by Michael Card, sung by Amy Grant. With some stunning visuals from the movies, The Ten Commandments & The Passion of the Christ. El Shaddai means Almighty God. El Elyon, in the song, means Most High God)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers