The Phenomenal Thousand Years/One Day Parallel

An Intriguing Passage in Scripture

Writing to believers in the first century, the Apostle Peter said:

“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” (II Peter 3:8).

The immediate context of this passage is: “Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 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 3:3-7).

*Note: According to other passages in Scripture, the “ungodly” are one and the same as all those who are unsaved. They are not just the most wicked among us, on whatever sliding scale such wickedness is gauged. They are those who (as the Apostle Paul said): “…refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them” (II Thessalonians 2:10). Those who have spurned God’s love and grace demonstrated through the greatest sacrificial gift ever given to humanity, God’s Son—Messiah. Those who don’t believe one of the clearest expressions of Biblical salvation:

Peter explains why the Lord might delay his return. “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his 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 unexpectantly as a thief … and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment” (II Peter 3:9-10, italics for emphasis).

“…A day is like a thousand years…” (II Peter 3:8). Based on the simile existing in the passage itself (a day is like a thousand years), it would appear to be exclusively figurative.

Webster’s Dictionary defines simile as: “a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as (as in cheeks like roses).”

Indeed, this comparison of one day to a thousand years is symbolic. One that illustrates the “essential value” of time in the context of a timeless God who is outside of time and who created time itself, contrasted to humanity’s existence and experience in linear time.

But for both specific and general reasons, I’m also convinced that there is a literal association with this analogy of time. One of those (general) reasons: There are a few prophetic passages of the Bible which are both symbolic and literal. Such as Isaiah 65, which will be quoted near the end of today’s article. And in this same book of II Peter (see II Peter 2:12ff).

In II Peter 3:8, the central clue of both figurative and literal application is that he repeats the correlation in reverse. There would be no purpose to reiterate this time-dedicated comparison exclusively for the sake of emphasis, although repetition for emphasis is probably part of the reason. Still, at face value, if a “day is like a thousand years,” then it’s redundantly evident that, “a thousand years is like a day.”

What Peter says to begin with is that, “a day is like a thousand years to the Lord…” It’s, to the Lord that makes this association allegorical. It is a metaphorical measurement of the quality of time as seen by God as opposed to the linear quantity of time experienced by humanity.

On the flip side, when Peter repeats the phrase in reverse, he doesn’t end with, “to the Lord.” Granted, that alone doesn’t conclusively infer that it’s not, to the Lord. Nonetheless, I’m proposing that any question concerning a literal application of this verse (in addition to figurative) will be answered by the end of this week’s article. Meaning that the repeated paradigm with a reversal of the words to “a thousand years is like a day,” is directly for the perspective and perception of people. That a thousand years is not only “like” a day; it can be likened unto a day. In terms of historical events and near-future realization, there are certain “days” in Scripture that are prophetically fulfilled in a span of time that represents and/or lasts for a thousand years.

The Genesis Account

Peter cited the ancient principle (even in his time) of this extraordinary equivalence of time, going all the way back to the Garden of Eden. In fact, Verse 8 begins with: “But you must not forget this one thing…”

Specifically, Peter is referencing the one and only Psalm written by Moses. In the context of the brevity of life compared to the everlasting God who created time and life, Moses writes:

“Lord, through all the generations you have been our home! Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God. You turn people back to dust, saying, ‘Return to dust, you mortals!’ For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours” (Psalm 90:1-4).

Certainly, this is a figurative expression of time from God’s vantage point. Yet in the context of Genesis, the book of beginnings, Moses also knew that a thousand years was emblematic of and could be (depending on the subject or event) extended to both meanings of the word “day” in Scripture. One application is that of a literal 24-hour day, by far the most common use in Scripture. The other is that of a longer period, i.e. days, weeks, months, and years … with such Biblical terms as, “The Day of the Lord.” Or, “on that day.” Or, “in that day.”

We’ll begin by examining this one day/thousand-year parallel as found in Genesis. Prefaced with the obvious observation that the Pentateuch (what Jews refer to as the Torah) was written by Moses. The Torah is a chronological record of major events involving God’s early interaction with humanity; beginning with God’s creation of the universe, life, and time itself; ending with Moses’s death just before the Hebrews crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land.

(The Pentateuch)

Moses wrote Psalm 90 during the same span when God revealed to him an astonishing amount of information. Including but not limited to a genealogy of Adam’s descendants; Noah and the Great Flood; the Tower of Babel; selection of Abraham as the father of God’s chosen people and Israel as the Promised Land; and the lives of the Jewish Patriarchs, including a lengthy account of Jacob’s son, Joseph. Then Moses himself—called by the Lord to deliver the Hebrews from Egyptian bondage, lead them back to the Promised Land, and give them God’s Laws that would identify and separate them from evil pagan practices. Above all, God’s chosen people would be the source of the Messiah to bring light and (eternal) life to both Jew and Gentile.

As we shall see in the second chapter of the first book of the Bible, this thousand years/one day correlation was (still is/will be) a central component of God’s timeless interaction with human beings whose lives are lived chronologically, day-to-day. It is a merger of the timeless with the timed, the infinite with the finite. Although one thousand years is not infinite, for all practical purposes it is when compared to one day.

The word “day” in Scripture almost always (logically so) refers to a literal 24-hour day. For example, many times we read, “on the following day” or “the next day.”

The Hebrew word for day is Yom (pronounced yome). Have you heard the term, Yom Kippur? Do you know what it is? You already know what yom primarily means—a literal 24-hour day. Kippur is the Hebrew word for atonement. Thus, Yom Kippur (this year arriving on September 18th) is the Day of Atonement. In the King James Version of the Bible, yom is used an astounding 2,279 times in the Old Testament, 139 in Genesis. Including the following passage in which God is speaking to Adam:

“The Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17, NASB, italics for emphasis).

The Complete Jewish Bible translation interchangeably uses the word “on” (the day). Whether in or on, the face value meaning is that Adam and Eve would die “the day” when they disobeyed God’s command.

They should have died on that very day, but they didn’t. Thus, there’s a problem between what God said would happen and what happened. It is a discrepancy created by the fact that neither Adam nor Eve died “on” or “in” (during) the very day that they ate the fruit.

One alternative explanation is that Adam and Eve were also given the privilege and responsibility of procreation that would continue the human race. However, an argument against that option: the Lord could have carried out the death sentence, then have started all over again by creating another man and woman. Consequently, there must be another reason to explain what appears to be a contradiction why Adam and Eve lived beyond the very day of their disobedience. While keeping in mind that they did, in fact, eventually die.

To better understand what’s going on here, we need to (as with a few other difficult passages of the Bible) compare Scripture with Scripture. To study and apply the whole counsel of God as it were.

The Remarkable Precedent of the Thousand Year/Day Model

In keeping with the solar-day meaning of the Hebrew word yom throughout the Old Testament and used in Genesis 2:17, both Adam and Eve should have died within 24 hours of their disobedience. That is, unless we transfer and literally exchange a (the, that) day to a thousand years!

Let’s examine the evidence beginning with a question that many could answer correctly without a whole lot of mental grinding and facial grimacing.

Who is the oldest man to have lived on this planet?

Answer: Methuselah.

Next question, this one a little harder: How long did he live?

What about Adam? Nine hundred, thirty years (Genesis 5:5).

Other than Enoch (taken alive to heaven by God and spared from the Great Flood) who lived 365 years, the shortest life-span of several men identified in Genesis Chapter 5 was Lamech, who lived 777 years.

Time/space doesn’t permit elaboration on both Biblical and scientific evidence why men and women could have lived that long. Except the most basic reason: the genetic purity of people until the consequences of sin’s disease intensified, thereby shortening life expectancy to what we see in today’s world.

Biblical and secular history yield the following premise: There are certain “days” in Scripture that not only represent but literally are a thousand years, marking millennial epochs of human history.

Regarding the “last days”, this applies to the literal 1,000-year (Millennium) reign of Jesus Christ, which is the glorious part of what is called the Day of the Lord in Scripture. Preceded by the Rapture of believers and the seven-year Great Tribulation, which is (the Tribulation) the terrible phase of the Day of the Lord, described in Biblical prophecy (for example, Joel 3:14).

For now, however, to focus on the amazing fact that not even Methuselah lived to be 1,000 years old. Close, but not quite. Had he lived to be a thousand years old (more precisely 1000 years and one day), God’s pronouncement of death from disobedience (on that day … meaning a thousand years) would have been wrong. And the last time I checked, God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) has never been wrong! He is always right, because he is RIGHT. As in righteous and righteousness. Not just giving us the truth, but TRUTH itself. Not just creating life, but LIFE itself.

“In the day that you eat from it … you will surely die” (NASB) was an expression and application of the Biblical precept that a day (certain days identified in Scripture) literally encompasses one thousand years. Even if God meant that Adam and Eve would die in a more generalized unspecified period (on the day), why did none of our ancient ancestors live to be a thousand years or more? Mere coincidence? I don’t think so.

(Depiction of Adam and Eve Exiting Paradise)

Which is why Peter reminded believers of this one day/thousand-years Biblical paradigm as historical precedence but did so in the context of “the last days” and the “day of the Lord” (recall that he uses that phrase … II Peter 3:10)—Messiah Jesus’ return to earth to complete God’s magnificent plan to make all things new (Revelation 21:5). Beginning with the Millennial reign of Messiah on earth.

From Methuselah to the Millennium

Although Eye of Prophecy article, Messiah’s Millennial Reign … Incredible Changes On Earth! (posted 12-30-17) focused on what the title states, the following excerpt from that article corresponds directly to this week’s subject. As follows (in italics):

Longing for better days ahead is enhanced in multiples of ten, then hundreds, and even thousands. A new decade for years that end in zero—with the average life expectancy in most nations of the world allowing many to see eight, nine, or even ten decades in their lifetime. Some actually experience the beginning of a new century, or have lived for a century or more. However, the human race has undergone only a few transitions from one millennium to another. Including our generation! We have witnessed the first number of the calendar switch from 1 to 2!

Epochs (millennia) of time don’t necessarily take place precisely on the Gregorian calendar year ending with three zeros. Nonetheless, the pivotal milestones of God’s interaction with man—as recorded in the Bible and documented by secular history—in accomplishing his plans for the human race are pretty close to those millennial markers.

For example: God chose Abraham as the progenitor of the Jewish race—through whom the Child of Promise would come to save both Jew and Gentile—around 2,000 B.C., the third millennium. From the tribe of Judah through the lineage of King David, Messiah would descend; David ruled as Israel’s greatest king from 1010 to 970 B.C. … onset of the fourth millennium.

Two thousand years ago marked the fifth millennium of recorded human history, when the miraculous birth of Jesus changed time itself. The number five in Scripture represents God’s grace. And that’s exactly what happened: the advent of the New Covenant of Grace foretold by Jeremiah (Chapter 31). God’s grace through the gift of his Son Messiah Jesus, who died to forgive sin and pardon the penalty of our sins—eternal separation from God. And God only requires one thing of us: to believe and receive the substitutionary death of His Son as the Gospel truth.

Very close to a thousand years after King David, “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11) was born in Bethlehem. Just a few years and months before the world-changing birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, many Jews brimmed with enthusiasm for Messiah’s arrival. That same Messianic fervor—for believers the Second Coming; for non-Messianic Jews, Messiah’s first arrival—has exploded all over the world once again.

Beginning with the estimated time when God created Adam and Eve (using the Roman, then Gregorian calendar), we became part of the 7th millennium in the year 2,000. Seven, the Divine Number found throughout Scripture constitutes the conclusiveness, completeness, and providential sovereignty of God’s interaction with his creation. Beginning with the Lord setting aside the 7th day as a day of rest, remembrance, and recognition of our awesome God and his majestic creation.

The year 2,000 was also the beginning of the third millennium (A.D.). Which is a meaningful milestone correlation to the fact that Messiah Jesus arose from the grave on the third day.

I’m convinced that this one-day-to-a-thousand years model is not only a symbolic comparison, but also a literal time-measurement of and connection to the third-day resurrection of Messiah and his soon glorious return (in this 3rd Millennium A.D, also the 7th Millennium overall).

The second Millennium (marked by the year 1000) and sixth overall, was a continuation of the Age of Grace. Six represents the number of man. In the same passage we just looked at, Peter provides the reason why the Lord might (in the 1st century) have delayed his return—explained by the one day/thousand-year paradigm.

But now the time has come. We are almost eighteen years into the Third Millennium A.D. End-time prophecy is being fulfilled or is unfolding in the 20th & 21st centuries in unparalleled fashion since the first century. (See Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up … Redemption Is Near, Part I & II. Posted 7-11 & 7-18-15, for twelve Biblical prophetic signs occurring in the last 100 years).

The New Testament Third Day

The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Messiah Jesus marked (literally, from B.C. to A.D.) the inception of a new millennium. From the beginning (Genesis) it was the fifth millennium. But it was also the first millennium of the New Covenant, the Age of Grace in which the once for all time substitutionary sacrificial death of God’s Son produced the third-day prototype that will culminate in the magnificent millennial reign of Messiah Jesus in the Kingdom of God on earth. We are at the very threshold of that 3rd Day (New Covenant) Millennium, which is also the 7th Millennium from the time that God pronounced judgment on Satan that eventually would restore mankind full circle back to eternal life existence with our Creator and Savior.

Moreover, the resurrection of the Jewish Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, on the third day to bring salvation to Jew and Gentile alike would also match the Old Testament third day restoration of the Jewish nation/people, to the extent that the Lord will once again dwell among his people on earth. Two days in the grave (rising on the third day) experienced by Messiah Jesus; two days (two thousand years) until Israel collectively would be spiritually and physically reconciled and restored to the Lord God.

“Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus said, ‘Listen, we’re going up to Jerusalem, where all the predictions of the prophets concerning the Son of Man will come true. He will be handed over to the Romans, and he will be mocked, treated shamefully, and spit upon. They will flog him with a whip and kill him, but on the third day he will rise again’” (Luke 18:31-33).

That’s exactly what happened! How could Jesus have known that, and in such detail? Answer: because he knew it from the beginning, even before the foundation of the world.

Said the Apostle John of Messiah Jesus: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1, NASB).

Wrote the Apostle Paul: “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation … For God in all his fulness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself” (Colossians 1:15 & 19-20).

Continuing with the Third Day:

“But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes. The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, ‘Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day’” (Luke 24:1-7).

That very same Sunday, Jesus suddenly appeared (without going through the door) to some of his disciples who were still hiding in a locked room. Two other men were there, with whom Jesus had traveled on the road to Emmaus.

Said Jesus: “…Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do. As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet” (Luke 24:38-40).

There’s more! Jesus ate a piece of broiled fish, “…and he ate it as they watched” (Verse 43).

Proof positive: Jesus was alive in the same body in which he died, albeit a resurrected, glorified body that would live forever. Just like the bodies of believers in Messiah Jesus will be raised and transformed to immortal “spiritual bodies,” but bodies nonetheless (I Corinthians 15).

“Then he said, ‘When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, ‘Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day’” (Luke 24:44-46).

During the seven-mile walk with the two men on the road to Emmaus earlier that day we read: “…Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself … They said to each other, ‘Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?’” (Luke 24:27 & 32).

Notice that it wasn’t their ears that burned; although it could have been had Jesus scolded them any more than getting their attention with a reprimand intended not just for them but for all his Jewish brethren, especially those who had rejected him.

Here’s what Jesus said just before explaining from the Scriptures that he was the Messiah: “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” (Luke 24:25-26).

From there, the Lord compassionately proceeded to make their “hearts burn” (elation) with a panoramic review of all the Messianic prophecies. The journey to Emmaus would have taken up to three hours. That would have been sufficient time for Jesus to explain, “from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Not some of the Scriptures, but ALL of them pertaining to Jesus as the Messiah.

Such passages as Genesis 3, 12; Deuteronomy 18; Psalm 2, 22, 69, 110; Isaiah 53, 61; Jeremiah 31; Zechariah 9; Malachi 3, and more. To also include what I’m thinking is a more obscure prophecy, to even the most astute of Bible students. Which is:

The Old Testament Third Day

Read with me:

“Come, let us return to Adonai (the Lord); for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck, and he will bind our wounds. After two days, he will revive us; on the third day, he will raise us up; and we will live in his presence” (Hosea 6:1-2, Complete Jewish Bible, parenthesis mine).

By correlation with other Old Testament prophecies and Jesus’ own precise prediction of his death, this is a phenomenal prophecy which providentially links Israel’s discipline by God to Messiah’s suffering, death, and two (Jewish measured) days in the tomb that led to and corresponds with (the two days of) Israel’s final punishment because they rejected their Messiah.

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

A sacrificial death followed by Jesus’s miraculous resurrection that would seal the New Covenant foretold by Jeremiah (Chapter 31).

Question: Is Hosea referring to two literal days?

Answer: Yes, and No.

No, he is obviously not identifying two 24-hour solar days. In the context of his prophecy that is neither feasible, nor is it borne out by Biblical or secular history.

Yes, the two days are literal when transferred and applied to the Biblical premise and principle that (concerning God’s two-part plan for humanity—Israel’s birth and rebirth restoration plus salvation for Jew and Gentile alike through Messiah Jesus) a day becomes a thousand years.

Hosea was a prophet from 753 B.C. to 715 B.C. He not only was one of the prophets that warned Israel of God’s first national judgment on Israel (the ten northern tribes), he also lived to see those tribes conquered by Assyria and exiled to other nations. But Hosea’s “two-days … third day” prophecy would extend far beyond his time.

The two days (two thousand years) could not have begun during that phase of God’s discipline of Israel. Nor could it have begun or continued with the next phase of the Lord’s punishment, in which the remaining two southern tribes of Israel (Judah and Benjamin) were subsequently crushed by Babylon in 586 B.C. The reason is because that exile lasted for only 70 years followed by a return of a Jewish remnant to Israel, where they would once again live and even prosper in their Promised Land. For some 600 years Israel was a nation again and her people had (at least) some measure of autonomy, even under Roman rule. Until, that is, 70 A.D., when the Romans tore through Israel, ravaged Jerusalem, killed hundreds of thousands of Jews, demolished every stone of the Temple, and exiled most of the surviving Jews to the four corners of the earth for … how long?

Correct: (almost) two thousand years.

These are the “two days” Hosea is referring to. What else could they be? The only specific corresponding time-frame directly connected to “a day” in Scripture is that of a thousand years. If a day is (like) a thousand years, then what would two days be? They are two thousand years before the “third day” of Israel’s restoration. That’s exactly what has transpired (with the rebirth of Israel in 1948) and is continuing to unfold before our 21st century eyes.

(Jewish Celebration of Nov., 1947 UN Resolution 181 Giving the Jews the International Right to Form a Jewish State … Which Was Done in May, 1948)

Summary

The resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day is intricately linked to and an integral part of (cause and effect) God’s chosen people the Jews and his special possession Israel being raised up on the third day, just as God through Hosea said would happen. One that will result in God’s people once again (as in the days of God’s Shekinah glory in Solomon’s Temple) living in his presence. (Read Hosea 6:1-2 again).

“Though I have scattered them like seeds among the nations, they will still remember me in distant lands. They and their children will survive and return again to Israel” (Zechariah 10:9).

Never Again became the somber refrain of the Jews following the horrific Holocaust. The annual memorial of which was solemnly observed this past Wednesday on Yom HaShoah—Israel’s Day of Remembrance.

After nearly 2,000 years, never again will Israel be under the thumb of those who seek to destroy her.

God’s discipline of his people through Gentile nations began to end in 1948 and ended completely with Israel’s triumphant liberation of Jerusalem in the stunning Six-Day War of 1967.

Hardened IDF soldiers wept with joy as they touched the Western Wall at the foot of Temple Mount. Their generals strode in triumph on Temple Mount on which Jews had been forbidden to set foot for decades. Israelis all over Israel danced in jubilation and sang songs of gladness including, Hatikva (Israel’s unofficial national anthem in 1948, officially declared in 2004).

One hundred years after Hosea’s magnificent prophecy of the “third day” (following two days—two thousand years—of God’s heavy hand of discipline) restoration of Israel, another Jewish prophet wrote:

“Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! For the Lord will remove his hand of judgment and will disperse the armies of your enemy. And the Lord himself, the King of Israel, will live among you! At last your troubles will be over, and you will never again fear disaster. On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, ‘Cheer up Zion! Don’t be afraid! For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior…” (Zephaniah 3:14-17, italics for emphasis).

Things to Ponder

We are living in the Omega generation, the last generation on the threshold of the 7th Millennium, 6000 years after God promised in the Garden of Eden that one would come who would conquer evil (Satan) and death itself. And the 3rd (A.D.) Millennium, 2000 years after the promised Messiah came to earth to fulfill God’s promise of a New Covenant. The 3rd Millennium that will see a crowning completion of that Covenant, of so great a salvation purchased by the Author and Finisher of that Covenant, Messiah Jesus. Who proved who he is by rising from the dead on the third day.

Among the many spectacular changes (for the better) on the earth during the literal 1,000-year reign of Messiah Jesus (the third day), we read:

“No longer will babies die when only a few days old. No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life. No longer will people be considered old at one hundred! Only the cursed will die that young! … For my people will live as long as trees…” (Isaiah 65:20 & 22).

Sequoia redwood trees often exceed 1000 years longevity.

(Olive Trees in the Garden of Gethsemane, Israel, Reported to be Over 1,000 Years Old … I Walked The Path in This Photo During My Trip to Israel)

Regarding the above quoted verse, here is an excerpt from my book, Out of the Abyss:

“Isaiah and many other Old Testament prophetic books speak often about the complete restoration of Israel and the reign of Messiah on earth… What we see here is that mankind has come full circle, from the early creation of an unlimited lifespan that sadly was preempted by sin, to a future age of extreme longevity. And these references are only to those on the earth. Those of us in heaven at that time will have access to the earth, and we will never die!” (Page 92).

There are some days that last for a thousand years. They are God’s days and they are so very good.

“…For them (Jewish and Gentile believers alike) the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6, parenthesis mine).

It’s the year 2018. A new day is dawning!

It’s time to wake up and get ready to meet that day!

The “Right of Return” … For Palestinians or Jews?

Tags

The Middle East (News) Beat Goes On and On

Are you keeping up with the news in the Middle East? If not, then you’re missing some electrifying events that are part of end times Biblical prophecy which tells us what to expect in the last days … just before the return of Messiah Jesus.

Biblical prophecy is centered around two subjects: Israel and the Messiah. God’s purpose for humanity consists of two plans; each plan composed of two parts.

Israel: God’s selection of the Jews as his special possession to be a light to all nations, which included discipline of his people through exile to foreign nations because of their disobedience. Then final restoration of Israel as a sovereign nation, accomplished by return of the Jews to Israel, which began substantially in 1948.

The Messiah: First, to implement the New Covenant proclaimed by Jeremiah (Chapter 31) and prophetically pinpointed by Isaiah (Chapter 53): Fulfilled through Messiah’s once-for-all redemptive sacrifice that took place when Jesus of Nazareth died on the cross and rose again from the dead. Second, for this same risen (Jewish) Savior to return as King of all kings to complete Israel’s physical and spiritual restoration in the soon to come Kingdom of God on earth.

World headlines once again focused on Israel this past week. Such concentration is continuous; but some Middle East incidents—most of which include Israel—garner more press than others.

On March 30th, an estimated 30,000 Gazan Palestinians marched on the border fence separating the sovereign state of Israel from the Gaza Strip, a “territory” (nonetheless part of Israel) occupied exclusively for over twelve years by “Palestinian” Arabs.

In late 2005, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (now deceased) ordered the eviction of some 8,000 Israelis from Gaza; thereby, uprooting his own people from their homes. Although the ostensible objective was to better ensure the safety of Israelis from Palestinian attacks in the Gaza, the ulterior motive was the ill-advised “exchange of land for peace.” A strategy that has never worked in or for Israel. Not long after the Israelis withdrawal from Gaza, the terrorist enclave of Hamas took over Gaza from the Palestinian Authority headquartered in the West Bank and began to lob thousands of mortars and rockets into Israel.

(Sadly, Some Jews Had To Be Forcibly Removed from Their Homes, by Their Own Soldiers)

Because Israel has every right to defend her people, these attacks have led to three wars with Hamas, a more secure border fence, and Israeli destruction of terror tunnels. Consequently, mortar attacks and illegal border crossings from Gaza into Israel have subsided, much to the chagrin of Hamas. Not, however, from West Bank Palestinians or Israeli Arab citizens in Israel itself who continue “lone-wolf” attacks that have killed dozens of Israelis, especially in the past three years. Hamas is embarrassed that their rival Palestinian Authority (supposedly the “moderate” of the two groups) can kill more Jews that Hamas. Thus, Hamas is (at least for now) switching strategies to appease world preference for a more peaceful means of advancing their agenda.

It is an attempt to reverse the Biblical David and Goliath duel by identifying the Palestinians as/with David (a Jew, no less) and Israel (Jews in a Jewish nation) as the pagan Philistine Goliath. It is not only a perversion of history, it denies the beginning of God’s modern-day miraculous restoration of Israel to the glory years of King David when Israel was the most prominent nation on earth. A position among the nations that God has solemnly sworn will be restored; culminating with Messiah (Jesus) ruling Israel and the nations as King of all kings. We are witnessing the unfolding of this magnificent prophecy in our generation.

The “March of Return” … What It Is & What Most of the World Thinks It Is (But Isn’t)

A. What the March of Return Isn’t (About)

The phrase “March of Return” is based upon the Palestinian doctrine/demand for The Right of Return of nearly seven million Palestinians and (mostly) their descendants since the Israeli/Arab War of 1948.

The terrorist regime Hamas of the Gaza Strip isn’t being subtle as to what the march is all about. Contrasted to their rival Palestinian Authority of the West Bank led by PA President, Mahmoud Abbas—still in office 13 years after what was supposed to be a four-year election term—who usually appeals to world opinion under the softer guise of wanting “peace,” for his people. Who, however, is himself becoming more blatant in expressing his real agenda—a Palestinian State in place of Israel, not one that “peacefully” exists within Israel.

(1) It Is Not a Peaceful Protest

Despite Hamas propaganda that this “March of Return” is and will continue to be a peaceful protest of (alleged) Israeli occupation of (alleged) Palestinian territory. Which territory is, according to Hamas leaders such as Ismail Haniyeh and Yehya Sinwar, “from the river to the sea.” In no uncertain terms, they are referring to ALL of Israel … from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

This “peaceful protest” began on March 30th and is supposed to continue for six weeks cresting with Palestinian remembrance of Nakba Day on May 15th. The tactic will be constant probing of the security fence with mass demonstrations each Friday of the six-week “March of Return.”

Nakba is an Arabic term for disaster or catastrophe. What was that catastrophe?

Generally, it was the entire Israeli War of Independence to defend the reborn Jewish nation against Arab armies that attacked the Jews the day after Israel declared statehood on May 14th, 1948. More specifically, it was the humiliating defeat of all five Arab nations—Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan—by the fledgling Jewish State of Israel against all odds. Nakba focuses on one Palestinian demand more than any other: The so-called “Right of Return” of Palestinian “refugees.” With their (supported by the corrupt United Nations agency UNRWA) classification of refugee extending to all descendants of the original Palestinian refugees defined as only those who left Israel between December 1947 and January 1949.

Question: How can a protest march be peaceful, when Gazans (many of whom are members of Hamas) hurled rocks, Molotov cocktails, and other fire bombs against Israeli soldiers. Or by brandishing weapons such as hatchets and a few guns. And by firing some of those guns toward the IDF. Or by rolling burning tires into the border fence to breach it by creating a huge smoke screen? If there was a breach in the fence, several thousand “peaceful demonstrators” would have poured into Israel and even more would have been killed. Which is exactly what Hamas wants … the killing of their own people that would spark world outrage (already has) of Israel’s “disproportionate response.”

(Israeli Soldiers On One Side & Palestinians on the Other Side of the Border Fence. The IDF Didn’t Use Live Ammunition Unless Firebombs, Rocks (slingshot) or Guns Were Used by the Palestinians. Could/should the Israelis Have Just Withdrawn? No, Because Thousands of Palestinians Would Have Torn the Fence Down and Poured in Israel)

Seventeen Palestinians were killed, and hundreds injured (the number of injured grossly inflated by Palestinian sources), with Israel identifying by name and photos eleven of those killed as militant members of Hamas. Obviously, the march was anything but peaceful. You don’t bring weapons to peacefully protest anyone or anything. And you certainly don’t attempt to breach the borders of a sovereign nation. There is absolutely no country on the face of the earth that would willingly permit such an intrusion onto their sovereign soil.

This isn’t the first time such an incident occurred. The last time was in 2011, when Syrian Palestinians attempted to forcibly enter Israel and occupy the Golan Heights which Israel reclaimed in its amazing Six-Day War victory in June 1967. A dozen “protestors” were killed during that incident; which, unlike the current one, didn’t pretend to be peaceful.

(2) It Is Not About the Current Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

However, much of the world thinks it is. Worse, that Israel is responsible because of (alleged) border restrictions on Gaza Palestinians. It’s true that Israel maintains a naval blockade (from the Mediterranean Sea) to prevent Iran, Hezbollah, and other terrorist groups from smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip. However, the land border checkpoint to and from Israel is open to Gazans (for essential goods including medical supplies and for tens of thousands of Palestinians to work in Israel) at the northern Gaza border, called the Erez crossing. This includes hundreds of foreign journalists, diplomats, and international aid agencies crossing the border into Gaza throughout the year. In 2017, this border crossing was open 280 days. When Israel closes the border it’s for a legitimate reason.

In contrast, the southern Rafah border was closed permanently by the Egyptians for most of last year; opened earlier this year and then for only 2-3 days at a time. Foreigners, including Arabs, who want to help the Palestinians in Gaza are not allowed passage through the Rafah crossing most of the time.

Why, then, don’t the Gazans march on the Egyptian border crossing? Simple answer: Egypt’s reaction would be far more severe than Israel’s response. Egypt would use artillery and warplanes to indiscriminately shoot and kill as many protestors as necessary to force them to withdraw, peaceful or otherwise. Besides, world reaction wouldn’t be nearly as negative against Egypt as it is against Israel.

Leaders of rogue nations or territories contrive incidents to divert world attention from serious issues and conditions going on in those countries. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is a direct result of long-term Palestinian mismanagement and corruption, but also the recent increase in hostilities between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Including, but not limited to, Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to severely curtail electrical power (controlled by the PA from the West Bank) to the Gaza Strip until Hamas agrees to abide by the “agreement” between the PA and Hamas that includes the disarmament of Hamas’ military wing. Which, of course, isn’t going to happen. Like the P5 +1 Nuclear Agreement (deal) with Iran, the agreement between the PA and Hamas is the most disagreeable agreement possible.

($50 Million-Dollar Personal Mansion Built for PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Palestinians Are Banned From Staging Protests At This Site or Anywhere in Front of Abbas or His Headquarters)

(3) It Is Not to Reinforce The Palestinian Demand for Their Own State

Virtually all nations and their leaders, including the United States, still believe that the only viable option of peace between Israel and the Palestinians is that of a Palestinian State (Two-State solution). The world buys into this (what would be the worst solution for peace) paradigm because they still nod to the notion that Jews in Israel are “occupying” Palestinian territories.

I (and a few others) have written much about this so-called occupation and the dangers of a Palestinian State within the geographical borders of Israel itself. Including the necessity to define Palestinian and a Palestinian State. And the (unreasonable) pre-negotiation demands for such things as: East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital; all Jews expelled from the West Bank (to coincide with expulsion of Jews from the Gaza Strip); Israel’s withdrawal to pre-1967 Six-Day War cease-fire lines (including return of the Golan Heights to Syria). All of which would seriously jeopardize Israel’s line of defense against Muslim attacks from nations outside Israel and a Palestinian State within Israel.

And, of course, the Palestinian right of return, which is the main topic of this week’s article.

B. What the “March of Return” Is (About)

Unlike what this March of Return is not about—demands for more autonomy or better living conditions which Arabs in Israel enjoy far more than Arabs in Muslim countries—Palestinians leaders know better than anyone that they are responsible for the plight of their own people. To divert world attention on the real cause for the Palestinian maladies, they have ratcheted up their incessant rhetoric that Israel is responsible for all Palestinian woes. Much of the world buys into this hype.

Ultimately there’s only one purpose for such a protest march; one that represents the true Palestinian agenda.

It’s quite simple: Elimination of Israel as a sovereign state, replaced by a Palestinian State. By any means possible, including return of millions of so-called “Palestinian refugees” to flood Israel with a demographic imbalance that would be untenable for Israelis … economically, politically, socially, and logistically.

There’s an abundance of reasons why a Palestinian State is not only dangerous to Israel, but also to Palestinians. Starting with the implausible idea that there could be a single Palestinian State at all. When two bitter rivals (PA and Hamas) refuse to budge an inch on who would control that state, whether elections were held again or not. Short of a Palestinian civil war (which Israel would never allow to happen), a Palestinian State isn’t feasible.

As it stands today, both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority know that there’s no way they could conquer Israel militarily. The only possibility of Hamas and the PA agreeing to share administrative and military authority between them is if they conclude that other Muslim nations or terrorist groups might join them in an attack against Israel, from without and from within (the borders of a Palestinian State).

Thus, the biggest demand—as great or even greater than East Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital—and the one that appeals to most Palestinians (people and leaders alike) is, The Right of Return.

If some seven million Palestinians refugees (who are not refugees by any world standard or definition) were to deluge Israel from within and without (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and a few other countries), Israel would functionally cease to exist as a Jewish nation.

Why is it that a normal, reasonable person (including heads of state) won’t take seriously Hamas’ boast (supported by Hamas’s rival Palestinian Authority whose common enemy is Israel) when they both state and imply that this “March of Return” would be a clear path to destroy Israel, or at least thwart any “peace plan” proposed by the United States?

What part of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s or Yehya Sinwar’s statement that such a march would lead to “liberation of all of Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River,” don’t many world-leaders accept at face value? Not to mention incessant threats by the rogue terrorist nation of Iran (staunch supporter of Hezbollah and Hamas) to “erase Israel from all maps of the world.” And then give Iran the (time-capsule) capacity to resume manufacturing of nuclear weapons in a few years. As the title of the 1963 movie says (but much more seriously): It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. And most of this madness is directed toward Israel. Just as the Bible predicted long ago.

On What or Whose Authority Can the Palestinians Claim a “Right of Return”

Return to what? To a land that never belonged to them in the first place? To a (Palestinian) nation that doesn’t exist? By Islam, whose religious text, the Koran, never mentions Jerusalem even once, with the obvious inference that neither Israel nor Jerusalem were of any real importance to Islam or Arabs except to oppress and suppress Jews (including the number thereof) in the Holy Land? And to expel the Crusaders in the 11th & 12th centuries.

Or because that 1948 generation of Arabs fled Israel because Israel forced them to leave? As opposed to the accurate historical record that most Arabs voluntarily left Israel, and did so at the request (orders) of the five Arab nations that attacked Israel the day after Israel declared statehood on May 14, 1948? That many of them expected to return after a quick and decisive Arab victory over Israel. Guess what didn’t happen?!

This is explained in varying detail in a few previous Eye of Prophecy articles. The most recent of which is: Palestinian Refugees … Are They Really Refugees? Posted 1-27-18. And, What Is Palestine & Who Is A Palestinian? Posted 12-2-17.

Here is an excerpt from the first of the above-mentioned articles (In italics):

What we see today are Palestinians (Arabs) still alive who fought with or supported or cheered Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in these wars (and their children and grandchildren who don’t know any better or who know and don’t care) who were defeated in battle; yet, who make demands as though they were the victors in these wars. That and rewriting history itself by making preposterous claims that they were in the land of Israel first, or there the longest, or that they bear sovereign status over the Jews because for a while Arabs ruled over Israel (when it was called Palestine). When, in fact, both before and after the Arabs (beginning with Mohammed) took possession of most of Israel, it was the Romans, then the Crusaders, then the Arabs (again), then the Ottoman Turks, and finally the British who seized and maintained control of the Promised Land for varying intervals of time.

One of the indefensible Palestinians arguments is that for hundreds of years Arabs outnumbered Jews in Israel, whose name had been changed to Palestine (a territory) by a Roman Emperor in the 2nd century A.D. If, however, that rationale is used, then contemporary (facts on the ground) numbers create an exceedingly stronger case for statehood or land rights, which is the current situation of Jews outnumbering Arabs in Israel and has been for decades.

Which is what the Right of Return propagandized by the “March of Return” is all about. If millions of Arabs (erroneously designated and wrongfully detained in camps by Muslim countries as Palestinian refugees) can “return” to Israel, then the population explosion would virtually overnight make the Jews a minority in their own country. This would be unconscionable to a Jewish State that is already outnumbered by hundreds of millions of Arabs around Israel with land masses infinitely greater than Israel.

The Real Right of Return Belongs to the Jews

There are four fundamental reasons why the Jews have (always had) the Right of Return to the Promised Land of Israel. The first three will be listed in chronological cause and effect order, with any one of these ratifying why Israel belongs to the Jews. With, however, the fourth foundational principle vastly superseding the other three; in fact, rendering them (as convincingly valid as they are) irrelevant.

(1) The United Nations Resolution of 1947

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly approved Resolution 181 in which the British Mandate over Palestine would be abolished allowing for partition of Palestine into a Jewish and Arab State. The Jews accepted the resolution, the Arabs rejected it. In principle and practice, Arab Palestinians (not called Palestinians until the 1960s) have refused a state alongside Israel ever since. Although they attempt to convince liberal sympathizers to the contrary, the Palestinian objective is crystal clear: They want a state in place of Israel, not inside Israel.

It was the first time in history that the international community supported the Jewish Right of Return to their ancient homeland. It was a monumental decision by the newly formed United Nations that has changed the course of history. And for an obvious reason: Despite (irrational) Anti-Semitic persecution of Jews for thousands of years, people were horrified at the Holocaust. Six million Jews slaughtered; at the hands of a national government (Third Reich), no less.

For one brief shining moment, more nations and peoples than not knew in their individual and national heart that this must never happen again. The Jews must have their own country. And what better place than… their own county—Israel!

Sadly, the United Nations has since deteriorated into Nations United Against Israel.

Many people forget that the Arabs had a golden opportunity to create a state alongside the State of Israel in 1948. They forfeited that right by rejecting UN Resolution 181. Which was an international recognition of Israel’s right to statehood approved by the United Nations itself, no matter if the Arabs consented or not. Instead the Arabs viciously attacked the infant state of Israel the very next day. Which leads us to the 2nd reason why Israel legally and legitimately belongs to the Jews, and why the Jews alone had (still have) the Right of Return … for those still in Diaspora.

(2) A Righteous War of Self-Defense

There is an innate time-honored tradition that any nation or people have the right to reactively or preemptively defend themselves from armed attack. In fact, it’s moral common sense. This includes the prerogative, if exercised, to annex or purchase land (Jews have purchased most of the land on which Israelis reside) within the geographical boundaries of that nation. When obviously justified, it also includes adjacent territory (such as the Syrian section of the Golan Heights) from which an enemy had constantly rained down rockets, shells, and small arms fire.

As opposed to a unilateral unprovoked assault on neighboring nations for the exclusive purpose of taking over all or part of another country … an unrighteous war of aggression.

The historical record is indisputable: Israel was forced to defend herself when attacked by an Arab coalition that far outnumbered and outgunned the Jews. Against insurmountable odds, Israel won her “War of Independence.” An independence that had already been granted by a convincing majority of the UN’s member countries.

But the world at large sees it differently. To this day, many entertain the notion that the Arabs made a mistake. So, give them another chance to reconsider acceptance of the UN Resolution. Or, even that UN Resolution 181 still applies to the Arabs—which it doesn’t because the Arabs rejected it. Or, PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ farcical fantasy that Resolution 181 is invalid, much like his accusation that the Balfour Declaration of 1917 was illegitimate.

The Arabs made more mistakes, one after another. I’m referring to three more wars in which Israel was forced to fight for its very survival; Suez War of 1956, Six-Day War of 1967, and the Yom Kippur War of 1973. In the Six-Day War, Israel reclaimed ALL of what was formerly called Palestine, including the historic liberation of Jerusalem itself. Israel had every individual, national, and international RIGHT to keep those liberated lands of the Golan Heights, Judea/Samaria (West Bank), the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, and ALL of Jerusalem.

Instead, Israel relented to international pressure and has since given back jurisdictional control of Gaza, West Bank, and Sinai Peninsula to the Arabs and Egyptians. This despite the sacrifice of Israeli blood and lives to protect themselves and the land that has belonged to them for some 3,500 years.

The Palestinian mistakes continued, this time politically. On two separate occasions, the Palestinian Authority rejected massive concessions made by two Israeli Prime Ministers (Ehud Barak in 2002 and Ehud Olmert in 2008) to yield control of 98% of the West Bank to the PA. This was tantamount to and could have (probably would have) resulted in Palestinian State.

With the summary highlight of this point being: The Jews didn’t “invade, conquer, and occupy” a territory that didn’t belong to them. They defended and liberated their ancient and now modern homeland.

(3) Majority Numbers Within a Nation

We’ve already touched on this issue. Aside from the United States of America (a truly eclectic mix of nationalities from all over the world), most nations on earth have a majority population based primarily on race (nationality), religion (Muslim nations), ethnic and cultural identity, or all the above. One reason so many countries have been formed in the 20th and 21st centuries is because of post-World War I (somewhat) arbitrary creation of countries; or because an ethnic minority group or groups succeeded from the parent country and were given nation-state status.

(This Is Just a European List of New Countries After WWI. Other Nations Came Later Especially in the Middle East Before or After WWII, Such as Iran–formerly Persia–and Iraq, and Israel)

The Jews first came to the Promised Land when God called Abraham to be the father of a special people and nation, nearly 4,000 years ago. And as a nation when Joshua led them to victory after victory over the wicked Canaanite tribes, some 3,300 years ago. The Canaanites were a pagan people whom God told Abraham would be given 400 years to repent of their evil ways, during which time the Hebrews would live in a foreign land (Egypt). Then 3,000 years ago, Jerusalem became the eternal capital of Israel.

Said God to Abraham: “But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth … After four generations (400 years) your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites (representing all the tribes of Canaan) do not yet warrant their destruction” (Genesis 15:14-16, parenthesis mine).

Which leads us to the fourth reason for the Jewish Right of Return to Israel.

(4) Israel Is the Land Promised and Given to the Jews by God Himself

Absolutely no other reason is needed. If anyone disagrees, then they can take it up with the God of the Bible … the ONLY true and living God. (*Note: Whether they lose the debate now or in the next life…. Well, why debate in the first place?). He has proven this time and time again by mighty miracles and powerful (fulfilled) prophecies that no other god or prophet of any other religion has done or can do.

“Present the case for your idols (man-made gods), says the Lord. Let them show what they can do, says the King of Israel. Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we can consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what’s going to happen. Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods. In fact, do anything—good or bad! Do something that will amaze and frighten us” (Isaiah 41:21-23, parenthesis mine).

This Right of Return has been accomplished in spectacular fashion three times in Israel’s history, each one foretold in Scripture. With the last two returns after God disciplined his people by exile to foreign nations. A right of return promised and orchestrated by God himself. With the final return and/or result of that return prophesied in hundreds of Biblical passages.

“But despite all this, I will not utterly reject or despise them while they are in exile in the land of their enemies. I will not cancel my covenant with them by wiping them out, for I am the Lord their God. For their sakes, I will remember my ancient covenant with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of all nations, that I might be their God. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 26:44-45).

That covenant was none other than God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that their descendants (the Jews) would forever possess the Promised Land of Israel.

It was the right of return to Israel after 400 years of enslavement by the Egyptians. A right proven to both Egyptians and Israelites by one awesome miracle (ten plagues) after another. Miracles that humbled an arrogant and defiant Pharaoh, that terrified and devastated the entire nation of Egypt. A right demonstrated by the splitting of the Red Sea allowing God’s people to cross on dry land and drowning Pharaohs’ charioteers and soldiers who dared pursue the Israelites. Then more spectacular signs in the wilderness, like water gushing from solid rock and bread (manna) from heaven that fed God’s people for forty wilderness years.

Miracles performed by the same God who promised them the right of return after 70 years of captive exile to Babylon, during which time God spared and protected a remnant of his people. A return prompted by a decree from a Persian king whose name the Lord identified some 150 years before Cyrus was even born! During the Babylonian captivity, the Lord revealed marvelous prophecies to Daniel and Ezekiel of the end times. Such things as the Gog/Magog invasion and the Antichrist-led ten nation coalition, both of which are soon to come during the Great Tribulation.

The God who miraculously wrote on the wall of the Babylonian palace, warning the Gentile king of a pagan nation that he and his nation were about to end. A warning that applies in perpetuity to all leaders and nations who have dared defy the true and living God and attempted to enslave or destroy God’s people the Jews.

It was the right of return after 1,900 years of dispersion to practically every nation on earth. A prophetic right that was fulfilled by the miraculous rebirth of Israel in a single day (May 14, 1948).

Providentially planned and divinely orchestrated by the same Sovereign Lord who foretold such a birth: “Who has ever seen anything as strange as this? Who ever heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a single day? Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment? By the time Jerusalem’s birth pains begin, her children will be born” (Isaiah 66:8).

A final right of return that has seen Israel’s population increase exponentially in just 70 years, and the numbers are growing.

A return accomplished by more mighty miracles of God supernaturally assuring Israel of victory in four major wars against enemies that (without God’s intervention) would have otherwise overwhelmed the Jews. The same God who finally ended the discipline of his people and delivered them (forever) from Gentile domination in the phenomenal Six-Day War when the Holy City of the Holy Land was liberated.

A return made possible by preserving the Jews and their customs during their exile to foreign nations. Then restoring their all but dead language of Hebrew which is now the main language of Israel.

There is no question. The Right of Return to Israel belongs exclusively to her people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Foreigners are welcomed, but not to replace or to displace the Jews. Isn’t that true of any nation? Why, then, don’t billions of people recognize the devastating result of millions of Arabs “returning” to Israel? But you see, many do know. In fact, they would love to see that happen, especially Muslims.

Any peaceful coexistence must be through the lawful requirements of residency extended by the national rights of Israel as a sovereign nation to permit citizenship to those who qualify. Not to those who through violence and terror assert a right of return that never has and never will belong to them. A return shrouded in the sinister strategy of eliminating Israel as a Jewish state.

Things to Ponder

This Right of Return for God’s people is part of His providential plan not only for the Jews but for the Gentiles. It began when the Lord said he would bless the nations through Israel, and curse those who hold Israel and the Jews in contempt (Genesis 12, and other passages).

“This is what the Lord says: ‘I will give Jerusalem a river of peace and prosperity. The wealth of the nations will flow to her … I will comfort you there in Jerusalem as a mother comforts her child. When you see these things, your heart will rejoice. You will flourish like the grass! Everyone will see the Lord’s hand of blessing on his servants—and his anger against his enemies’” (Isaiah 66:12-14).

Said Ezekiel in the 6th century B.C., not long before God gave the Jewish exiles in Babylon (and Persia) the right of return to Israel, a prophetic promise that would begin to unfold in 1948:

“When I bring them home from the lands of their enemies, I will display my holiness among them for all the nations to see. Then my people will know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them away to exile and brought them home again. I will leave none of my people behind. And I will never again turn my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit upon the people of Israel. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” (Ezekiel 39:27-29).

Thousands of (Messianic) Jews world-wide have embraced Jesus as Messiah and Savior, and the Spirit of God has been poured in and upon them, as well as Gentile believers. Most have not, but that will soon change.

We who love Israel and the Jews echo the passionate hope of the Jewish Pharisee who recognized and accepted the risen Jesus as Messiah. Said the Apostle Paul:

“Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved, I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God” (Romans 10:1-4).

One day soon, Israel’s physical and spiritual redemption will be complete. God’s chosen people will recognize their (our) Jewish Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, as both Savior and Lord—the very Son of God.

“Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it” (Romans 11:12).

And when that day comes….

 

Fountain of Youth & Fountain of Life … Is There a Difference?

A Quick Quiz

Has anyone not heard about the Fountain of Youth?

Next question, multiple choice this time: Which famous explorer allegedly searched for this elusive fountain: (A) Ferdinand Magellan; (B) Marco Polo; (C) Rocky Balboa; (D) Ponce de Leon?

Fairly easy question, especially if you live in Florida.

Answer: Ponce de Leon. If you’re not at all interested in things historical, perhaps not so easy.

If you picked up on Rocky Balboa as a choice, at least you’re paying attention; Sylvester Stallone would have appreciated that. On a more serious note: What was the explorer Balboa’s full name? Answer: Vasco Nunez de Balboa.

Whether searching for a Fountain of Youth or not, exploring was sometimes hazardous to one’s health. At the ages of 41 and 47, respectively, in the territories they explored Ferdinand Magellan and Ponce de Leon were killed by natives. Christopher Columbus contracted either gout or arthritis (through food poisoning) that eventually caused his death 14 years later at the age of 55.

How about a harder question? Does the Fountain of Youth exist? Yes. No.

How can that possibly be harder, you ask? Because whether you answered yes or no, you would be wrong. After finishing this article, you can decide if it was a trick question.

One final question: Is the whole idea of the Fountain of Youth absurd, including anyone who would search for it? Yes. No.

Historians agree that Ponce de Leon’s search for the Fountain of Youth was a myth, though he may have half-way believed Native Americans (in Florida) who said there were springs of water in the land of Bimini that restored one’s vitality. Only problem: Bimini was a fictional place. Thus, the obvious answer to the final question is: Yes.

Or is it?

(In St Augustine, Florida)

Whether the Fountain of Youth is real or not, borders on the irrelevant. Because billions on this planet have searched for “a” Fountain of Youth, in whatever form or substance they think it exists. It all depends upon what people imagine it is or want it to be; how a fountain of youth is perceived or defined. However, one thing is undeniably clear: people want to be “forever young.” Why anyone would want perpetual life on this earth filled with incessant evil and death and all the ills of humanity is beyond me.

The idea of such a fountain goes back a long way before Ponce de Leon. For example, Alexander the Great purportedly searched for a “Water of Life.” There are known locations of springs that (seem to … perhaps the placebo phenomenon) slow (the signs of) aging or restore vitality to the body inside and out; however, there is no known Fountain of Youth to prolong one’s life and certainly none that has ever preempted death.

All Must Die, But Do We Know (Accept) How and Why?

This past Tuesday (March 27th) marked the anniversary of Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon’s first sighting of present-day Florida in 1513. Did he hope that he would discover the Fountain of Youth there? Or should such a wonder be called the Fountain of Life? Is there a difference?

Tomorrow (April 1—because Easter, fluctuating from year to year, has in the past sometimes fallen on the same day as de Leon’s sighting) is the anniversary of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, which is the greatest event in human history. One that truly gives those who believe in Christ hope of eternal life and one that guarantees the eternal life hoped for. To keep us forever young, because we will never again grow old again, once we are transfigured in the same fashion as Jesus Christ in his glorification preview on the Mount of Transfiguration. Then permanently (forever) upon his resurrection from the dead.

Eternal life is a no-strings-attached gift; the source of which only needs to be believed and received. We don’t need to literally or symbolically travel to the ends of the earth, or astrologically look to the planets and stars, or explore exotic, esoteric places to find it. Nor can everlasting life be earned through good works or self-merit.

The Problem: Billions on this earth don’t believe that anything, let alone their eternal destiny, can be as simple as Biblical salvation. And the reason for that is because mankind refuses to believe God himself and the redemptive truth found in His Word, the Bible. Just like our original parents, Adam and Eve, they refuse to concede that physical death would be (is) a direct result of disobedience to and sinning against God. Rather, death is “just a part of life.” Which it obviously is, but not why they think it is. Some go as far as to say that they don’t sin against God, or even sin at all. If they do anything wrong, it’s only against another human being; even then, it’s a “mistake in judgment.”

“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth … If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts” (I John 1:8 & 10).

Even the most brilliant of scientists still don’t know why we age to the point of death. The general idea that our body (cells, organs, tissues) breaks down and wears out is only an explanation of the symptoms, not the original root cause of death. And that’s only for those who aren’t killed by others (war or murder), or take their own lives, or succumb to life-shortening diseases and catastrophic natural disasters, or even simple accidents.

All God asked of Adam and Eve was to trust him, which included only one command not to do something—imposed because the Lord gave them the freedom to choose to obey him or not.

However, death would not be an end to their existence (oblivion). Rather death is a separation of soul and spirit from the body, plus a separation of body, soul, and spirit from God for eternity. Unless and until God’s gracious (free) remedy is accepted by simple faith in the redemptive sacrifice of God’s Son … Messiah Jesus.

So many people are confused because they look to myriad sources of explanation other than the God who created them, and his revelation of truth as found in Scripture … especially concerning salvation and eternity. Accordingly, they consider life on this earth as all that really matters, presuming that they have no final say in their eternal existence. They attempt to control and cling to their life and treasures on earth as though it and they would last forever. Nothing really matters after death, they muse; it’s all over then.

Some believe in heaven, but not hell. Others believe in neither. They wonder if existence is eternal at all.

The following is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, To Be Or Not To Be … In Heaven (A Revisit) posted on 5-6-17. In italics:

…But the fact remains: Every person is eternal. Every soul will continue into and throughout eternity.

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

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

Those (and there are many) who subscribe to good deeds outweighing bad deeds as the formula to get to heaven never know for sure on what side of the scales God will find them. How could they, when the Bible clearly shows there is no such sliding scale that measures the relative weight of good and bad as a determination of where we will spend eternity. And when there is no other religion or philosophy that can tell them just how good they must be to merit whatever paradise they think awaits them.

Whereas some unbelievers might concede to the Biblical truth that physical death is a result of original sin, they stop short of acknowledging another vital Scriptural truth: That every person is born with a dead spirit (separated from God). That both physical and spiritual death is inherited from our original parents. Physical death takes varying lengths of time. But spiritual death begins at birth, because we are born with a sin nature. Which is why we must be “born again” (spiritually)

“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” (Ephesians 2:4-5, parenthesis in the text).

The Fountain of Youth Paradigm Presumption

To unbelievers, the concept of living forever is pretty much confined to life on this earth. Many people have said something to the effect, “Well, you can’t live forever.” Which, obviously reflects their priority of this life over the next one, at all costs. They refuse or are afraid to look past their time on earth. They do so despite the inescapable truth explicitly conveyed in Scripture and indelibly planted in the human heart … there is life after death. Death is only a change of address, not a cessation of existence. Life on this earth is merely a drop in the ocean of eternity.

Their concept of eternity is that it be lived on the earth in this earthly body … a Fountain of Youth mentality. Only the pleasures of this life experienced in this earthly body are worth considering and pursuing. As expressed, for example, with another saying (paraphrased) you’ve probably heard:

(Derived from the Song, “In Heaven There Is No Beer” … “that’s why we drink it here”)

Am I saying that all pleasures on earth are bad? To be avoided or suppressed at all costs? Of course not. God created such pleasures—to be appreciated as gifts from God and enjoyed in moderation, as we all know what excess can do. Such enjoyments as food, drink (including alcoholic beverages if so preferred), reading a good book next to a warm hearth in a cozy home, transportation, sex, recreation, and so on.

Speaking of excess, there is one story after another of famous people who had all these pleasures (and more), whose life ended empty. Not to mention the Biblical principle and age-old adage: “You can’t take it with you when you die.” Or those who ended their own life despite having a surplus of everything by which the world measures success and satisfaction.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, The Right to Life? Posted 8-16-14. Written soon after Robin Williams ever so sadly took his own life. His Fountain of Youth had apparently gone dry).

We’re talking here about a Biblical PERSPECTIVE on PRIORITIES. Putting it another way: God’s viewpoint contrasted to the world’s.

All these delights (and more) will be experienced one way or another in the new earth and heavens that God will recreate (Revelation 21:1-2), to a much higher and nobler degree … with exception of marriage and matrimonial intimacy (Matthew 22:30). For that matter, we certainly won’t miss the horrendous heartache and revolting repercussions caused by infidelity and divorce; nor will there be any battle of the sexes.

At the Last Supper, Jesus said: “For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come” (Luke 22:18).

Living Water

The Fountain of Youth? People live in denial as though there was such a source of perpetual existence. We grow old but wish we were still young, in body and mind. We know we’re going to die, yet preparations we make for death are limited to this life—financial, family, and such. Why is it that most people give little or no thought to “estate planning” for eternity? Because they believe they have no ultimate control over their eternal destiny, or because they mistakenly assume that a loving God (conveniently forgetting that he is also a Holy God), couldn’t possibly send anyone to hell forever.

The Bible clearly shows that we send ourselves, because hell is simply a place where God isn’t. It is a place reserved for all who deliberately reject God’s universal truth as found in the Bible. It is a place prepared for those who don’t want (not really) any part of God, certainly not on His terms. For those who see no need to accept the greatest sacrifice ever made by the highest price ever paid to pardon us from our sins—Christ’s death on the cross and total victory over death by his astounding Resurrection. Instead, they long for and pursue their Fountain of Youth.

I repeat: Who would seriously want to live forever on this earth in its current uncertain, volatile, sin-saturated condition? A condition that is getting worse, not better. Fortunes can be lost in the blink of an eye. Families can be torn apart in a flash of unbridled passion. Cities and nations can fall with the breath of a nuclear blast or a burst of intercontinental missiles. Terrorism, war, murder, and brutality of all sorts erupt daily. In a moment of distrust, pride, anger, or frustration, we wrong others and are wronged by them. With one more heartbeat, our life can suddenly end.

An article in Psychology Today, entitled: America’s Obsession with Never Growing Old is one of many written on the subject; the title says it all. Americans, Europeans, people all over the world spend billions on rejuvenation health products … liquids, ointments, supplements, and cleansing treatments for the body (inside and out) of all kinds. What if all this money was given to alleviate poverty and hunger?

Who needs a Fountain of Youth to perpetuate life on this earth, when there’s something so much better. Something not found in “magic potions,” sparkling mountain brooks, soothing hot springs, subterranean reservoirs, crystal-clear lakes, or deep pure wells.

We’re talking about a Fountain of Life-giving, eternal-destiny altering living water that changes our heart, transforms our soul and spirit, and one day will even transfigure our bodies to live with God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As opposed to eternal death to which vain pursuit of a Fountain of Youth will lead.

The Greek word for eternal is the same in such passages as Matthew 24:41 (eternal punishment) and John 3:16 (eternal life).

Thus, it’s a matter of WHERE and WITH WHOM we will spend eternity.

Which is why eternal existence WITH God is called everlasting life. Where? In heaven and on a new earth.

And why eternal existence without God and the host of heaven is called eternal death … the Second Death. Eternal death doesn’t mean annihilation—the cessation of existence. It means eternal separation from the Lord. Where? In the Lake of Fire—whatever and however horrible that will be. (See Revelation 20).

So great a salvation (from eternal death) is freely given through the Living Waters of who Messiah Jesus is and what he has done. It’s available to God’s chosen people the Jews, also to Gentiles. The first mention of such a living fountain is when Jesus graciously spoke with the Samaritan woman (part Jew, part Gentile … whom Jews despised and vice versa) at the well.

“…Jesus said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’

“…She said to Jesus, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?’

“Jesus replied, ‘If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.’

‘But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket … and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?’

“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.’

‘Please sir … give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water’” (John 4:7-15).

A short time later, the Samaritan woman would realize that she would still need to draw water from the well, but only to quench her physical thirst. Her eternal thirst for spiritual cleansing through thirst-quenching salvation leading to eternal life would forever be satisfied. Reading on:

“Jesus replied, ‘Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.’

“The woman said, ‘I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’

“Then Jesus told her, ‘I AM the Messiah!’” (John 4:21-26).

Obviously, the Samaritan woman didn’t at first realize that Jesus was talking about eternal life-giving spiritual water, which is infinitely more lasting than physical water, as important as the elements (H2O) are to sustain life. Which is why she referred to ropes, buckets, and the physical well dug by Jacob long ago. No different than all the ropes and buckets we use to draw what we think is the satisfying source of life’s necessities and pleasures from man-made religions and philosophies. And/or by indulgent pursuit of material gratifications—systems and sources of all kinds that can never quench the innate thirst and hunger in our hearts. Things that will imprison us in and poison us with polluted waters of self-righteousness and stagnant self-reliance that make us totally independent of God, who alone can cleanse and free us from the stain and penalty of sin.

“The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent’” (I Corinthians 1:18-19).

Manna from Heaven

We’ve all read or seen or heard factual and fictional accounts of people dying from hunger and thirst. Books and movies are full of (mostly near-death) these episodes. Except for the excruciating death on a cross (the word excruciating comes from cross), experienced by our Lord and Savior (shortened because of the savage whipping he received by the Romans before being nailed to the cross), I can’t imagine a more horrific death than from thirst or starvation.

We pamper ourselves with food and drink as much or more than any other need or want. For many that’s pretty much what life is all about. We wouldn’t dream of withholding either from our daily existence, nor would we tolerate for a minute someone else who would deprive us of either.

Naturally, food and water are essentials of life. Without them, we die. Which is why Jesus also (in addition to living waters) utilized the analogy of food to illustrate the supreme need for spiritual sustenance. Without which, we also die … eternally.

The day after Jesus miraculously fed five thousand men (along with woman and children which would have doubled or tripled the number), many in that crowd hopped in their boats to look for Jesus on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had earlier slipped away from the crowd without his disciples. Later that night Jesus walked on water toward his disciples who were frantically trying to cross the lake during a fierce storm. Two mighty miracles in less than 24 hours!

Let’s pick it up with a question from the crowd when they found Jesus.

“…Rabbi, when did you get here?”

*Note: It was a reasonable question followed by (as we shall soon see) an unreasonable demand. It’s like, Okay, what’s with this … your disciples got here in a boat and we also got here in boats. But you didn’t take a boat!

The walking on water miracle was between Jesus and his disciples, so he didn’t answer the crowd’s question. Jesus often did this; a response that got to the heart of the matter, exceedingly more perceptive and profound than answering the question at hand. And almost always, it was a matter of directing people’s attention to the miracle of who Jesus is (God Incarnate … Messiah Savior), not just the miracles he performed.

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

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

“Jesus told them, ‘This is the only work God wants from you. Believe in the one he has sent.’

(*Note: Jesus’s answer constitutes the universal fundamental difference between the Christian faith and ALL man-made religions, cults, and philosophical systems).

“They answered, ‘Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! … Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat’” (John 6:25-31).

*Time out!

Seriously? They insisted on a “miraculous sign” a day after they and thousands of others had been stuffed with all the fish and bread they could eat (including leftovers) with only five small loaves of bread and two fish at the Lord’s disposal. The smallest of restaurants would become multi-million-dollar corporations with that kind of food and its preparation! Come to think of it: Farmers and fishermen wouldn’t do so well!

What if Jesus had looked up to heaven (Mark 6 … another gospel account of the feeding of the five thousand) in response to their demand? Only this time, instead of blessing the food (thereby multiplying it exponentially), he brought down huge lightning bolts that struck the ground. And before that he told them to stand still; if they moved they would be struck by lightning. Of course, some panicked and moved. (“Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings. O Israel, if you would only listen to me!” Psalm 81:8).

Or what if he had thrown his staff to the ground like Aaron did before Pharaoh? Only this time, the staff broke into hundreds of pieces, and each piece became a poisonous snake!

(After Ten Mighty Miracles (plagues), That Smirk on Pharaoh’s Face Was Gone)

As the saying goes: Be careful what you wish for…. Better yet: What more proof to you need?

Wouldn’t a miracle of love and compassion that fed so many with so little food (to begin with) be as equally convincing and so much better than a miraculous sign that might terrify them. Like God speaking in a thunderous voice from Mt. Sinai, prompting the people’s panicked plea for Moses to (please) make God stop it.

Continuing in the text, it’s clear that Jesus ignored their demand for a miraculous sign. Knowing full well the problem was not with their eyes, but with their heart.

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

‘Sir,’ they said, ‘give us that bread every day.’ (*Note—sound like the woman at the well regarding water?).

“Jesus replied, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:32-35).

He then said, “For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day” (Verse 40).

For those who have never seen Jesus in the flesh, yet believe in him, Jesus said to Thomas (and all the disciples in that poignant scene when Thomas doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead):

“You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20:29).

Scripture also tells us there’s a way to see him without seeing him.

To see is to believe, and to believe is to see. Right? Of course, right!

Birth and Rebirth

In addition to water and food, Jesus also used the illustration of birth to explain that life is more than just time on this earth. Life is eternal; where and with whom we spend that eternity depends entirely on another birth. A second birth that Jesus said was from above, of the Holy Spirit.

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

Then, “Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So, don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:6-7).

In that same amazing scene with the Jewish religious leader Nicodemus, Jesus went on to say how we are born again and the result thereof:

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

A new birth which gives us a potent position (inheritance) in the family of God. One that assures the precious privilege of everlasting life with our Awesome Creator in the Kingdom of God.

During the wilderness temptation attack against Jesus—who as the Son of Man was extremely hungry and thirsty—Satan said, “…If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.

“But Jesus told him, ‘No! The Scriptures say, People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:3-4, quoting Deuteronomy 8:3).

God’s Word(s) is found in the Bible, which also tells us about His Son, the Messiah—the Living Word (John 1:1).

Not the Koran, not the Book of Mormon, not Jehovah Witness pamphlets, not Roman Catholic catechism, or any so-called sacred writings of other religions. They all say that people must earn God’s favor. Instead, the Bible presents God’s Grace imparted through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son … doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Making us right with God! Because we have no righteousness of our own.

“We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind” (Isaiah 64:6).

“For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are … 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 underserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood…” (Romans 3:20-25).

Sadly, so many remain spiritually hungry and thirsty, a hunger and thirst that will result in spiritual death throughout eternity. All the while accumulating anything and everything they think will bring them happiness and satisfaction, by drinking deeply from a fountain of youth.

They will be born only once, but tragically will die twice.

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:25-26).

*It doesn’t get any worse than that.

Thanks be to God. Those who accept Jesus as personal Savior will be born twice but die only once. Isn’t birth so much better than death?

“…And because of his (Messiah-Jesus) experience (death and resurrection for our life-giving forgiveness), my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins” (Isaiah 53:11, parenthesis mine).

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, italics for emphasis).

*It doesn’t get any better than that!

Things to Ponder

Today’s article is posted on March 31st, 2018. Tomorrow, millions upon millions will celebrate Resurrection Day.

Just before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he said: “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die (the Second Death). Do you believe this, Martha?” (John 11:25-26).

Do you believe Jesus? Do you believe IN Jesus?

The tomb where Jesus was buried is EMPTY.

Said the angels to the women who came to the tomb taking all the spices they had prepared: “…Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!” (Luke 24:5-6).

Just what kind of miracle do we need to believe? Or how many spectacular signs? Does resurrection from the dead qualify?! Not just a resurrection in which the person must die again while on earth, as did Lazarus and a handful of others as recorded in Scripture. Rather, an ad-infinitum resurrection in an imperishable body that will live forever. Christ was the first. Those who believe in him will follow:

“…For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died (believers in Christ) will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed … into immortal bodies. Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’

“For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:52-57, parenthesis mine).

Why keep searching for fountains that will never satisfy. Enticing, but deceptive fountains that contaminate our body, soul, and spirit. Fountains that poison us with alluring pleasures, prestige, power, and possessions. Soon dried up temporary fountains that blind us to eternity.

Instead, believe the Lord: “With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation!” (Isaiah 12:3).

“…No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (I Corinthians 2:9).

Fountain of Youth & Fountain of Life. Same or different?

As for me, I will continue to drink from the Fountain of Living Waters.

Because:

He has risen! He has risen, indeed!

Conspiracy Theories … A New World Order

Tags

What is it about conspiracies? What attracts people to them? Is it the thrill of solving mysteries or exposing the shadowy systems that threaten the world? Is it saving the world from all sorts of treacherous plots, in the matrix of such heroes as James Bond or the warriors of The X-Files?

Personally, my biggest concern is that of television commercials. I’ve been known to mutter “conspiracy” when flipping channels during a commercial and finding commercials on other stations, simultaneously. Especially disturbing is when the same commercial is aired at the same time on different channels with what appears to be a synchronizing of T.V. sponsor’s watches.

Seriously, many believe that many other people belong to a certain group of people who want to do more than merely promote their own agenda. That they conspire with others of similar beliefs to disregard, disrespect, denigrate, dominate, displace, and even destroy (their character or even their person … death) those who disagree with them. We see this in all walks of life: family, ethnic groups, race, (man-made) religions, business, associations, politics, governments at all levels—city, state, national, and international.

By very definition a conspiracy is secretive, at least to begin with.

Webster’s Definition defines conspiracy as: “the act of conspiring together, an agreement among conspirators, a group of conspirators.”

Conspire: “to join in a secret agreement to an unlawful or wrongful act or to use such means to accomplish a lawful end…”

Conspiracies and conspiracy theories can be small or large, real or imaginary. All the way from those in a Homeowners Association that perceive their HO board is secretly serving its own interests at the expense of and detriment to individual owners; to a plot of conspirators to overthrow one government and replace it with another. However, invariably and inevitably, what began in (actual conspiracies) secrecy materializes into real-life situations, usually in a fairly short period of time. For example: Lenin’s communism that in short order resulted in the overthrow of the Russian Czar monarchy. Likewise, Hitler’s Third Reich fascism—a dramatically different and opposing ideology—caused a radical change in Germany’s government that affected the entire world.

This also applies to good ones like the American Revolution. The fact that the colonists “conspired” against Great Britain was predicated on the longing to govern themselves … free of tyrannical suppression, including religious persecution. This conspiratorial plan soon conceived a Declaration of Independence which gave birth to what many consider the greatest republic democracy of all time.

(The first/original Bill of Rights that amended the U.S. Constitution)

Subsequently, entire nations adopted at least in principle the American ideal of government and society. One in which kings and queens yielded their absolute or near absolute power to people-represented democracies, whether a republic or parliamentary system. However, North America and especially the United States of America was considered and called, The New World—minus the Order.

New World Order

I think most would agree: The biggest conspiracy that has captivated humanity’s attention, particularly in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, is that of a New World Order. However, this new world (order) is not the beneficially desirable kind that the United States modeled. Rather, it is sinister; borne from one or more menacing conspiracies. Those that allegedly will produce a One World Government and/or One World Religion.

Several Eye of Prophecy articles have mentioned these (perceived) threats in passing; two articles in their entirety have been dedicated to these subjects. See One World Government? & One World Religion? (posted 2-28-15 & 8-15-15, respectively).

What you will find is evidence and rationale to demonstrate that there never has been and never will be a (man-made) World Government or World Religion. Not until Messiah Jesus returns to judge the world and bring mankind full circle back to where we began in the Garden of Eden, will there be a One World Government. One with NO RELIGIONS. Rather, one that is based on God’s original design—perfect Father/child family relationship and face-to-face fellowship with and loving obedience to our Creator.

It is evident (true): conspiracies have been conceived to create a new world order. Here the emphasis is on “a” (new order), as opposed to what will be “The” New World Order—The Kingdom of God on earth.

There has been a succession of different world orders throughout history; one replacing and sometimes overlapping another. Even then, a truly global government has never been realized. God has seen to it that this won’t happen. The Lord has supernaturally intervened, whether humanity had rebelled against him on a global scale without or with governments (the Great Flood and the Tower of Babel). Then the rise and fall of world kingdoms like Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and Egypt. Each of these empires exerted extensive power in much of the known world, but never over the entire earth. Several nations and cultures did not come under the thumb of these mega-nations.

(Depiction of the Tower of Babel, supernaturally preempted by God, which led to multiple languages, nations, and national boundaries)

For sake of argument and explanation we can also use the term New World Order to identify significant changes down through the ages, which affected much of the earth’s population. Furthermore, we can place these epic events in one of two categories: Governments and Societies.

Obviously, the following is an oversimplification but nevertheless a summary categorization of epic periods of human history, with each (substantial) successive change constituting in theory and practice the idea of a New World Order. New in the sense that it would replace the previous dynamics of governments and societies on a sweeping scale.

Government:

– Tribes or city states that developed into nations when they united together in (for the most part) geographical boundaries.

– Nations that expanded (by force or by diplomacy) into uncharted land and/or into the domain of other nations.

– After the fall of Rome, it was back to mostly tribal life in those nations that had been dominated by Rome (with indigenous peoples still living in the conquered empire nations of Egypt, Assyria, Persia and Greece).

– The repeated merger of ethnic groups resulting in the emergence of nations (mostly in Europe) that were ruled by monarchies in some fashion or another. This also included African, Asian, and what is now South America countries.

– Sometimes unity, more often clashes between the Roman Catholic Church and European monarchies that produced Church States or State Churches, depending on whether the Pope or King/Queen prevailed in those nations.

– The discovery and then migration to the New World. Which gave rise to democracy; and, in turn, led to similar forms of government in Europe and westernized nations such as Canada and Australia.

Society:

– Beginning with one nation (Israel) selected by God himself, inhabited by the descendants of Abraham chosen by God to both preach and practice that which God had intended from the beginning—the truth that there is only One God, who is the Sovereign Lord over all nations. As opposed to the belief in a non-existent man-made god or gods, which was a direct product of the original rebellion against God by Satan. Although people inherently know that (only one) God exists (Romans 1), much of mankind copied Satan’s conspiratorial agenda and created gods in their image, rather than acknowledging that God created them in his image. They worshipped the creation, not the Creator.

– The First Advent of the Messiah, whose very existence and coming was first and foremost presented in Scripture (Genesis 3:15). This Messiah was clearly shown to be the Son of God (Psalm 2 & 110, Micah 5, Isaiah 7, Isaiah 9, Isaiah 53—and other passages) in the Hebrew Scriptures. Then the New Testament (Covenant) prophesied by Jeremiah recorded the miraculous Virgin birth of Jesus of Nazareth, followed by his mighty miracles. The most magnificent of which was his resurrection from the dead to prove that he is the Messiah, the Savior. And he will return as King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

(One of several passages showing Messiah would be of divine origin)

– The spread of Christianity (the true Christian faith) has impacted the world like nothing else in history. It is the only faith that has truly influenced (changed) people from every nation, language, race, and tribe. For the most part, all man-made religions are indigenous to countries and peoples of those nations, i.e. Islam mostly for Arabs and Arab nations (also including Indonesia); Hinduism for India; Buddhism or Shintoism for Asian countries; and Judaism for Jews. In fact, Messiah Jesus altered the very measurement of time itself … before (B.C.) and after (A.D.) he came to earth.

– Epic periods that have been given designations to describe (new) world developments such as: The Middle Ages (considered to be the darkest age in terms of spiritual subjugation and economic poverty); The Renaissance; the Age of Enlightenment; the Industrial Age (Revolution); the Age of Romanticism and Realism; the Age of Communication (mass media of radio, television, motion pictures); and now the Information Age (computers and digital messaging).

Each of these monumental changes in governments and transformation of societies conceivably constituted the onset of New World Orders

Major New World Order Conspiracies & Common Threads

Since we have space and time to address this only in thumbnail fashion, Wikipedia is as good a summary source as any. Beginning with Wikipedia’s article entitled, New World Order (conspiracy theory), we read:

“The New World Order or NWO is claimed to be an emerging clandestine totalitarian world government by various conspiracy theories.

“The common theme in conspiracy theories about a New World Order is that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government—which will replace sovereign nation-states—and an all-encompassing propaganda whose ideology hails the establishment of a New World Order as the culmination of history’s progress. Many influential historical and contemporary figures have therefore been purported to be part of a cabal that operates through many front organizations to orchestrate significant political and financial events … to achieve world domination” (bold print in the text).

In the following section entitled, History of the term, the article goes on to say:

“During the 20th century many politicians, such as Woodrow Wilson and Winston Churchill, used the term ‘new world order’ to refer to a new period of history characterized by a dramatic change in world political thought and in the balance of power after World War I and World War II. They all saw the period as an opportunity to implement idealistic proposals for global government … to address worldwide problems that go beyond the capacity of individual nations-states to solve, while always respecting the right of nations to self-determination. These proposals led to the formation of international organizations (such as the UN in 1945 and NATO in 1949) ….”

*Note: Former U.S. President George W. Bush also used the term new world order in a 2002 speech.

There are other 20th century developments considered to be part of or indicative of a world-government conspiracy, such as: U.S. Federal Reserve System; International Monetary Fund; the World Bank; World Health Organization; European Union; Euro Currency; and the World Trade Organization.

(Many are under the impression that all EU counties use EURO currency … not so)

Even before the 20th century and especially continuing into the 21st century, conspiracy theorists have pointed to several organizations or ideologies whose purpose they say is to create a new-world order with malevolent goals in contrast to the benevolent, noble aspirations of the Winston Churchill’s of the world. As indicated in the first part of Wikipedia’s article quoted above: A common denominator of conspiracy theories is that of a One-World Government shaped in secrecy and operated by the “elites” of society. In the 21st century the most prevalent expression of this dichotomy has been condensed to Globalism vs. Populism.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, Globalism or Populism … Which Will Antichrist Prefer? Posted 9-16-17).

Populists vs. Globalists probably depict the conspiratorial threat of a New World Order better than any other paradigm of opposing world views. However, both alleged conspirators and those claiming to be conspired against span the entire gamut of belief systems. Liberals accuse conservatives of fascism conspiracies, and conservatives rail against liberals who seek socialistic or communistic world control. There are left-wing and right-wing ideologies found among both Globalists and Populists. However, there remains one basic distinction: Populists consider Globalists to be the so-called elite, whose sinister goal is to by persuasion or by power assume the “rightful” supremacy of the informed over the uniformed. Thus, creating an intelligentsia utopia as the pinnacle of human progress on this earth, mostly by dissolving nation-states into an international (multi-national) régime.

Although there are several conspiratorial groups cited in the Wikipedia article (not an exhaustive list), the most well-known in today’s world are: Illuminati, Freemasonry, Fourth Reich, Brave New World, and New Age. With these and others supposedly working through frontrunner groups like Skull and Bones, the Bohemian Club, Trilateral Commission, and the more well-known Bilderberg Group.

Organizations like the John Birch Society both accuse and are accused by rival organizations of being conspiratorial in their existence and function.

The varying theories as to how the conspiratorial groups will accomplish their objectives are: Coup d’etat (forced takeover); mass surveillance; population control; mind control; financial systems control, and occultism. With the most common method (theory) that of: Gradualism—a systematic takeover of universities, cities, states, nations, and international organizations … that may include all the above listed strategies.

However, two common threads can be found in conspiracy theories, no matter what world-view or belief system is held by the conspirators and those conspired against:

  1. Secrecy. This component is quite evident in conspiracy theories: conspiratorial groups allegedly function in some form or to some extent in secrecy, whether through clandestine operations (such as the Illuminati) or mystical occult belief systems (such as the New Age).
  2. A Dictatorial Leader (a messiah-type figure): This second feature of a new world order (conspiracy) is not given as much weight as the secrecy factor, except by Christians. There is much more emphasis on an oligarchy elite who will progressively revamp the financial and political systems of nations to achieve their global goal of supremacy. From within that group or from without as supported by the elite, a strong autocrat will gradually arise. However, the theory (plan) is that a select few will control the rise of this man and the man himself, with the elites ultimately in charge.

Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was the first messiah-like world leader. Followed by Alexander the Great of Greece and Antiochus Epiphanes IV of Syria. Although the ancient Persian and Roman Empires consisted more of a succession of autocratic rulers, they nevertheless created and carried on dynasties for hundreds of years.

Then in more modern history: Beginning with Napoleon (France); then Stalin (Russia), Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), and the Emperor (State) of Japan, humanity witnessed the rise of dictators with global ambitions beyond their own country. None of these empires (new world orders) would have arisen without one man whom the people followed, to the point of worship. In other words, the man was the empire, and the empire was (represented) the man.

They were prototype messiahs of the Antichrist, who Scripture clearly indicates will conspire against God and the true Messiah with a treacherous goal to set up Satan’s kingdom on earth.

Therefore, I would like to propose a thesis based on Scripture that is contrary to the prevailing emphasis on conspiratorial secrecy and deemphasis on one man leading such a conspiracy as opposed to an elite group of people seeking control. This is not to say that there are currently no “elites” brandishing such authority or that they don’t operate in secrecy. But that is NOT what will transpire during the last days of the end times, to which this generation belongs.

Premise: There will be no secrecy whatsoever, nor any “gradual” rise of a world-dictator (Antichrist) from within one or more of these elitist conspiratorial groups; or from a national leader (Prime Minister or President) or international organizations that might be visible realities of these conspiracies, i.e. the United Nations or European Union.

A Summary of Eye of Prophecy Articles in the Category of Antichrist

Because time/space doesn’t permit in this week’s article, but also to encourage you to read at least some of those (48 of the 244 total posts to date) articles, we’ll examine just the flashpoints.

Beginning with the identity of the Antichrist, which was and still is (even by students of Bible prophecy) considered to be a secret until the Tribulation begins. This despite the clear challenge in Revelation 13:18 and 17:9 for the believer to (with wisdom and understanding) solve the number of the beast and, therefore—with many more clues given in Revelation 17 and other Bible passages—to know the identity of the beast of Revelation … the Antichrist.

If you’ve read Out of the Abyss or even a few Eye of Prophecy articles in the category of Antichrist; you’ll know that I’ve identified this evil despot, via an abundance of Scriptural and historical evidence.

The king and little horn of Daniel 7; the treaty-maker then treaty-breaker with Israel of Daniel 9; the (Armageddon) King of the North in Daniel 11; the evil shepherd of Zechariah 11; the man of lawlessness of II Thessalonians 2; the beast-king of Revelation; and the Antichrist of I John (the only place in Scripture where this man is labeled Antichrist) is none other than: The Roman Emperor Nero!

Suddenly & Openly, Not Gradually & Secretively:

“As I was looking at the horns, suddenly another small horn appeared among them. Three of the horns were torn out by the roots to make room for it. This little horn … was boasting arrogantly” (Daniel 7:8, italics for emphasis).

“…Then another king will arise, different from the other ten, who will subdue three of them. He will defy the Most High and oppress the holy people of the Most High. He will try to change their sacred festivals and laws, and they will be placed under his control for a time, times, and half a time (3 ½ years)” (Verses 24-25, italics for emphasis).

The following is an excerpt from Out of the Abyss to explain how and why Antichrist (Nero) will be so different (in italics):

The one thing that makes Antichrist different from the other ten kings is that he is a living miracle, and they are not. He has arisen from the underworld, and they have not. The ten kings have a birth certificate, but the Antichrist does not. Nor will anyone, including crime scene forensic investigators be able to prove that he had died a short time before he arose, as there will be no autopsy or death certificate; nor any fingerprint records or dental records, nor any evidence of a crime scene, nor a coroner’s report, nor a coffin or a grave (Page 185).

“Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea … And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority” (Revelation 13:1-2, parenthesis mine).

Commentary: The Antichrist will not gradually be promoted and pushed to power by any elitist national or international organization or government. Nor will his dominion be politically or militarily global. He will rule over ten nations (also see Revelation 17) which is not a world government. His compelling influence over tribes, people, languages, and nations (Revelation 13:7) will be mostly spiritual (of the mystical kind). Meaning people all over the world will give him total allegiance, adoration, and worship. Which is a counterfeit replication of Messiah Jesus’s world-wide influence that is not based on a physical global government (not yet … that will come later when Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God—a royal reign of righteousness, justice, and true peace).

Only One Reason That a Large Cross-Section of People Will Yield to Antichrist Nero:

“I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal would was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. They worshipped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshipped the beast. ‘Who is as great as the beast?’ they exclaimed. ‘Who is able to fight against him?’” (Revelation 13:3-4, italics and bold font to emphasize the one reason [this miracle] a cross-section of people from many nations will give their loyalty to Antichrist).

Commentary: These verses are crystal clear in refuting the prevailing hypothesis. Which is the Antichrist will be a super statesman, a powerful orator, a consummate economic, political, and military genius who will exceed all tyrants before him; thus, persuading people all over the planet to follow him. He is arrogant and boastful but not an eloquent, mesmerizing speaker in the mold of Adolph Hitler.

The False Prophet will do most of the speaking and will also cause a monstrous monument to be erected of Nero. “…He ordered the people to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die” (Revelation 13:14-15)

What is it that causes the world to “marvel” at him and “worship” him and Satan? Answer: his (miraculous in the eyes of the world) return from the dead … “the fatal wound was healed” and “he came back to life.”

From Where Does Antichrist Directly Come (Return) to Earth?

“…And yet he will soon (meaning abruptly) come up out of the bottomless pit…” (Revelation 17:8). Also see Revelation 11:7.

Commentary: Referring again to Revelation 13, John’s (first) vision of he Antichrist beast clearly conveys the fact that when John initially saw the beast, the beast has already recovered from his fatal wound … returned from the dead. This deadly wound will not be inflicted during the Tribulation. Soon after the Rapture, the Tribulation will begin with the reappearance of the beast from the Abyss (bottomless pit), not from the grave. When people die without Christ they go immediately to Hades. But Hades (hell) is not the Abyss; they are separate (and literal) places.

Only extremely wicked angels are imprisoned in the Abyss (book of Jude and II Peter 2, also see Revelation 9). There is only one man in all of history who has been confined (deposited in) the Abyss: the Antichrist (Nero), when the Lord struck him down (II Thessalonians 2:8a). To arise/appear from the Abyss, the beast-king would have had to be placed there. This is part of God’s plan to give people, who have rejected the truth of His Son’s redemptive sacrifice, an ostensible reason to choose a false messiah. It’s because they, “…refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them” (II Thessalonians 2:10).

So much so that, “…God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth” (Verses 11-12).

Yes, you read that right. God himself will assist those (who he already knows have and will continue to defy and deny him and His Son, Messiah Jesus). How will God do this? Answer: By allowing (notice in Revelation 13 that everything Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet do is permitted), Nero to return from the Abyss where the Lord has imprisoned him in Nero’s original body after reviving him from the dead. However, the world will see it as a return from the grave (resurrection) exclusively by Satan’s and Nero’s own power to do so. That’s why so many people will marvel at this miracle.

Only the Lord has ultimate power over life and death, including resurrection.

Antichrist—A Modern Day (Born) Man?

At face value, most contemporary portrayals and theories about the Antichrist are plausible, including his purported statesmanship qualities, and his gradual preparation and promotion to the most feared world leader of all time. They are logical if, in fact, the Antichrist will be a modern-day man who has already risen to a position of world prominence, which is the natural order or progression of all past tyrants. None of them suddenly appeared on the scene “out of nowhere.”

Not so the Antichrist, as we’ve already seen in Daniel and Revelation. There is much more evidence as I’ve disclosed in past articles and in my book Out of the Abyss. But I’m going to focus on the passage that “revolutionized” (not as a conspiracy!) my understanding and discernment of the Antichrist—which formerly fit with the prevailing notions of what the Antichrist would be. But not who he is; that was supposed to be unknown until after the Rapture!

There is one passage that launched my exciting and exhaustive journey on the road to accurate identification of the beast-king. It is a passage that preemptively disproves that the Antichrist will be a modern-day man. It is a passage that propelled me on an unforgettable voyage to the ancient Roman world, to the very origin and lair of the beast, to the first-century church, to the abyss and back again, to the pre-emptive death and eternal destruction (yet to come) of Antichrist, to the mesmerizing visions of John, Daniel, and Zechariah.

In Out of the Abyss and most of the articles in the category of Antichrist, I have (discernment from the Lord) exposed and declassified that which has been concealed and classified: the secret of the beast presumed to be confidential until the body of Christ is taken from the earth. Saying it with utmost love and respect for fellow believers in Christ (especially the students of Bible prophecy) and using the term somewhat facetiously, the “conspiracy” which claims the identity of the Antichrist cannot be known until after the Rapture, has been uncovered. Including a long-forgotten fact that 1st-4th century believers believed Nero was the Antichrist; that he would return (from the Abyss) soon after the Rapture. (See Eye of Prophecy article, The Legendary Return of Nero, published 4-4-15).

(Actual Gold Coin of Nero Caesar. The legend of his return believed by both early Christians and secular Romans was called the Nero Redivivus Legend)

Here is the passage that removes the mysterious veil of the beast. Then, when compared to all other passages about the Antichrist and use of Hebrew Gematria to “solve” the number of the beast (six hundred, sixty-six), leads to the convincing conclusion that Nero Caesar was and will return as the beast of Revelation. Thus, the Antichrist CANNOT be a modern-day born man. The angel is explaining John’s vision of the woman and the beast:

“…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…” (Revelation 17:7).

Let’s pause here before quoting the rest of the passage. In just these ten words, we have the incredible fact that when John saw the Antichrist (in the image of a beast) in the present tense on a Sunday from the Isle of Patmos, the angel revealed the mystery by stating something that most Bible scholars (including me at one time) missed or conveniently ignored; because the otherwise natural foregone conclusion is that Antichrist must be a modern man when he arrives on the scene.

The italicized words above unequivocally state that when (at that point in time of the 1st century) John saw the beast, the beast (a man) had already lived and died, but that… well, let’s finish the passage.

“…And yet he will soon come up out of the bottomless pit and go to eternal destruction (in the lake of fire … Revelation 19). And the people who belong to this world … will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:8, italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).

Here is an excerpt from Out of the Abyss:

“Not until the Holy Spirit riveted my attention on that pivotal verse in Revelation did I remotely consider that anyone could or would determine the identity of the beast. The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now…

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

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

“However, when I discovered that many of our first, second, third, and fourth century brothers and sisters in Christ also tagged Nero as the man of lawlessness, the beast, and the Antichrist … well it’s like underlining, italicizing, and using bold print on a sentence that already has three exclamation marks!!!

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

Mystery solved! Conspiracy cancelled and closed! No need to wonder about some elite secret organization that will prepare for and produce a utopian world dictator. No need for us or those (Tribulation saints who will even on pain of death choose Messiah Jesus) remaining after the Rapture to be amazed at the sudden reappearance of a man 2,000 later. It was all foretold in Scripture!

(One of several alleged Illuminati and/or Masonic symbols … So stop worrying already!)

Things to Ponder

For all practical purposes, it’s irrelevant whether clandestine conspiracy groups exist or not.

Concerning a World Government, the only truly global government will be the Kingdom of God.

Stay tuned … it’s coming soon!

The original conspiracy that overrides and produces copy-cat conspiracies was Satan’s rebellion against God; one based on a blatant lie.

Satan’s lie to Adam and Eve was two-fold: (1) God had lied to them; they wouldn’t die if they disobeyed his one and only command of what not to do. (An instruction given because they had been created with the tremendous freedom of choice, rather than a puppet-like existence).

(2) They would be equal to God by knowing both good and (by experiencing) evil. Therefore, they would be able to take God or leave him, listen to or ignore him as they wished. They could be their own god.

Satan’s (not so secret) conspiracy against God would spread to all generations, because Adam and Eve’s original sin infected humanity (Romans 5:12).

Said Lucifer: “…I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14). Also see Ezekiel Chapter 28.

Throughout the ages, that has been the underlying rebellious intent of people and nations. To prove to God and themselves that they don’t need him or even want him. No matter that Father Knows Best. That we can, independently of our Creator, establish governments and systems that will allow us to indulge our every whim without regard for consequences of sinning against a holy God. The historical ash heap of cultures and nations have proven us wrong. Despite spectacular technological advancements and new world orders of all kinds, have people (as a whole) improved ethically, morally, spiritually? That is as rhetorical a question as ever will be.

The real issue is not the best political persuasion or economic example or societal style or religious representation. The core issue is spiritual.

It’s a matter of the heart and will. Do we believe God (of the Bible) or not?

(Treasures are both tangible and intangible, i.e. ideologies and beliefs)

The choice before us is abundantly clear: Will we participate in Satan’s conspiracy by rejecting God’s Messiah, the Savior of the world? Or will we put our trust and eternal destiny in the hands of the true Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth; the God/Man who arose from the dead to validate so great a salvation? For those who miss the Rapture, will they choose Satan’s messiah? Ever so tragically, most will. This choice will not come gradually or secretively. There will be no hidden or gray areas during the Great Tribulation. There will be black and white, night and day decisions to make. No more fence-riding.

Listen to the words of Jesus:

“But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all … Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:26 & 28).

Governments have changed, cultures have rearranged, nations and boundaries have come and gone, conspiracies have been inflated and deflated. But the age-old problem of sin and rebellion against God remains. There is a solution, but only one.

“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 those who believe and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, one day soon our God and His Messiah’s “…home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people … He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:3-5).

Now that’s: THE New World (of) Order!!

A Government Crisis in Israel

Tags

Can Israelis Endure This Crisis?

The Palestinians certainly hope not.

While continuing his incessant rhetoric and relentless campaign through the United Nations (of which the Palestinians are not even a member) to denigrate and delegitimize Israel—the only democratic state in the entire Middle East—Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is ecstatic over the turmoil within the Knesset, the seat of Israeli government. His narrative tracks with Muslims and Islamic governments: Wouldn’t it be great if Israel would implode from within … it would save them the risk of destroying Israel.

Regarding governments, the following is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article: Kingdom of God, posted 1-17-15. (In italics).

From the dawn of human existence virtually every kind of government has been in place at one time or another. A country’s government is often a reflection of its people … their race, beliefs (religious or secular), moral values, ethnic upbringing and tribal territory. But sometimes government can be an ill-conceived and unwanted bureaucracy with leaders vying for power and supremacy. All too often, innocent people are victimized by such power struggles, both citizens of the country and residents of neighboring nations that take exception to such Machiavelli type systems.

The common people, representatives of those people, wealthy entrepreneurs, ambitious leaders (good and bad), or all of the above can determine whether a country will become a parliamentary or a democratic representative republic; an absolute (king/queen) or constitutional monarch; an autocratic ruler or state controlled (communism or fascism) dictatorship; an aristocratic or military oligarchy; a cleric-run theocracy or even a true Theocracy. The idea of a theocentric government is, “having God as the central interest and ultimate concern.” (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).

… Moreover, the destiny of nations (both good and bad) has often been determined by the benevolence or malevolence of rulers … the laws they make and enforce, the decrees they issue, decisions they make, benefits they provide, and goals they aspire to. As the leaders go, so go the people. A ruler with integrity, compassion, and wisdom can be, and often is, a moral compass to the entire nation. Conversely, a selfish, deceitful, evil ruler can bring an entire nation down.

Although our United States republic form of government is quite impressive (as are a few constitutional monarchies with parliamentary democracies such as Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and some European countries), I’m not alone in my opinion that Israel’s coalition Knesset—in principle and practice—is the optimum representative government on this planet. Though sometimes complicated, the Israeli government allows the voice of its citizens to be heard as much or more than any other nation.

(A Young Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom. Though not directly involved in England’s Parliamentary Government, The Royal Throne of England still carries considerable prestige and positional authority to balance democracy with monarchy)

(A 2012 photo of Queen Elizabeth II. Currently she is 91 years old and has reigned for 66 years)

As effective as the two-party system is in America; once a Republican or Democrat President is elected, short of impeachment we’re stuck (good or bad depending on your point of view) with that administration for four years. This was especially revealing in the past three presidential elections. Seldom in our history have Americans been so diametrically divided, so poignantly polarized. After Donald Trump’s election to the highest office in America, many democrats exclaimed, “He is not our President.” This was more than mere rhetoric; it was an expression of fermented frustration and seething hatred. Republicans effectively said the same thing when Barack Obama was elected, not once but twice.

Mid-term elections for the House of Representatives and the Senate sometimes level the playing field between a Republican or Democrat administration and Congress. However, they also can partially paralyze an administration’s platform, by refusing to cross-vote approval (bipartisan) of Presidential policies, to the detriment of the greater American populace.

Israel’s Knesset

Israel’s government is unique. Unlike America’s two-party system (sometimes a third party can influence the outcome of an election, but not often) and other democratic countries that have three, four, or five parties, the Knesset normally has ten or more coalition blocs. The current Knesset has eleven parliamentary groups each with a certain number of representatives that constitute the 120 members of the Knesset, called MKs. After an election, the Prime Minister must form a composite (minimum) 61-seat coalition consisting of any number of the parties who agree to be part of that majority. All the remaining parties (seats) constitute the “opposition.”

The current Knesset is the 20th since Israel’s rebirth as a nation in 1948. The Prime Minister and his/her government is elected for a four-year term. But when you do the math, it doesn’t add up. Israelis will celebrate their 70th year as a nation this coming May. Which means this should be the 17th Knesset (70 years of statehood divided by four-year Knesset terms). Why the discrepancy? Answer: Because Israeli law allows for any Knesset government to be dissolved, with special (between terms) elections held to form a “new” government, which may or may not retain the current Prime Minister.

In fact, the current Israeli government came into being by such a special election in March 2015. The 19th Knesset with Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister was elected in 2013 but lasted less than two years. The current administration’s term is set to expire in November 2019, with actual elections taking place earlier next year.

Theoretically, Israelis have the best of both worlds: The same (or different) Prime Minister they support as a unified whole with a new-look coalition government that still represents the entire population. One of the remarkable features (proofs) of that cross-section representation and voice is that Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beitenu party composed currently of only 6 seats.

Liberman is Israel’s Defense Minister, one of the more prominent and powerful positions in the Israeli government, appointed by the Prime Minister (just like the U.S. President appoints Department heads). You would think that the Defense Minister would come from the Likud (Netanyahu’s party) which currently has 30 of the 120 Knesset seats. Such is the political sharing of power and responsibility in the Israeli government. For example, how often does a Democrat President of the United States appoint a Republican as Secretary of State or Defense? Or vice versa?

In the United States, we have two main parties (platforms) to choose from. In Israel, each of the current 10 parties has a primary platform with several secondary agendas—all of which have potential to be implemented in some form or another. This despite the adage (paraphrasing): If you put three Jews together, you’ll get at least four opinions. I repeat this saying as a compliment to Jews and to Israel; proportionate to their numbers, they get more done for themselves and for humanity than any other race. Which is one of the reasons they have been irrationally persecuted through the ages … Anti-Semitic jealousy.

Nonetheless, whenever a special election in Israel has taken place with a new coalition government and possibly Prime Minister, it has occurred under trying times and controversial circumstances. To some degree or another, it is a crisis that can compromise Israel’s stability and jeopardize her security.

Troubling Times in Israel

Since when has Israel not had troubling times? Here, I’m referring to the more obvious turbulent trials and tests from Israel’s not-so-friendly (understatement) neighbors. Some of whom want to destroy Israel as a nation. Others stop short of threatening Israel’s annihilation, but still want Israel to become Palestine again, free of all Jewish presence. Despite the Biblical and historical fact that this land promised by God to Abraham and his descendants has been Israel for 3,000 years.

Internally, Israel is experiencing some exceptionally troubled times especially in the past few weeks. Beginning with inordinate focus by some on whether Benjamin Netanyahu should remain as Israel’s Prime Minister. Should Netanyahu call for a special election or should the Knesset dissolve itself to determine if the people want him to stay or to be replaced?

Like many leaders of free nations—as opposed to tyrannical countries whose citizens are forbidden to openly criticize their government, and whose dictator is virtually immune from legal prosecution—Benjamin has been under suspicion of misconduct (whether illegal or only unethical or neither remains to be seen). In this case, it pertains to alleged kickbacks and/or coercion in the private sector.

(Although Israel can barely been seen, by color its rating is “high.” For many reasons, Israel should be colored green on this chart. What other nation in the world allows those who don’t even acknowledge the sovereignty of the nation to serve in government? See Knesset chart above that shows the Arab party as the 3rd largest in the Knesset!)

Although these “scandals” are still in the investigative stage (much like former US President Obama’s birth certificate issue or President Trump’s supposed complicity with Russia’s interference in U.S. elections or any number of suspected improprieties of other democratic leaders the world over), there are those who have demanded that Netanyahu resign from office. Which is tantamount to admitting guilt without even being charged, let alone convicted.

These issues have been compounded by the recent threat of the (ultra-Orthodox) United Torah Judaism party (6 seats in the Knesset) to abandon the current 66-seat majority held by Netanyahu’s coalition(s), which could jeopardize not only passage of the pending national budget but would end (numerically) the coalition itself. Reason for United Torah’s threatened exit from the coalition: insisting their bill to amend IDF conscription for Jewish religious students must be voted on before the budget vote. This was countered by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s staunch support of conscription laws for ALL Jews; so that secular Jews would not bear the unequal burden of defending Israel alone.

Other parties and their leaders (each party has one main leader) were in favor of a special election or not, depending upon whether they (according to the polls) would gain or lose seats in the Knesset. For example: Opposition party, Yesh Atid, which stood to double their Knesset seats (11 current seats) and the Meretz party (would gain 1-3 seats) called for dissolution of the Knesset. Which, if approved, would mandate a special election whether one had been called for by the Prime Minister or not. By law, this special election must take place within three months. In fact, there were several bills introduced in rapid-fire succession to dissolve the Knesset. All of them have failed to pass.

Time/space does not permit extensive elaboration on the ins and outs of what was, could have been, and what still may happen in Israel. Except to say that the repercussions of an unwarranted (or if warranted through due process of law) premature removal of any free-world leader, especially someone of the prominence of Benjamin Netanyahu, could do substantially more harm to a nation than allowing the leader to remain in office until he/she is arraigned, but also convicted. At the very least, the opposition parties in Israel should wait to see if Netanyahu will be charged with any wrongdoing. This also appears to be the passionate position of most Israelis.

A premier example of such a situation was that of former US President Richard Nixon. Before and even after his illegal circumvention of the law (Watergate), he orchestrated some major improvements in America’s diplomacy with several foreign nations, particularly China. He also sent massive aid to Israel during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Without such aid, Israel would have been hard pressed to win that war. I’m not defending Richard Nixon for what he obviously should not have done. Rather, I’m putting it in a broader perspective of his accomplishments until the facts proved him complicit in/of burglary.

Here’s what Prime Minister Netanyahu said to the opposition parties, with emphasis that he wanted to keep his current six-party (66 seats) coalition intact. In my opinion, he was not boasting. Instead he was simply summarizing the current state-of-affairs within Israel and outside of Israel, including the amazing diplomatic progress Israel has made with foreign nations. Whether they like Netanyahu personally or not, Arab nations such as Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and some of the Gulf-Coast nations are beginning to acknowledge Israel’s achievements and presence on the world stage. These and other non-Arab governments also realize that Israel is the only Middle-East nation that has the military might and national courage to stand up to their common enemy, Iran.

Said Netanyahu:

“I do not think we had to get to this point. We have an excellent government that carries out its duties responsibly, with the proper discretion and with stability. This is a government that marks great achievements for Israel. I call on all the coalition partners, and chief among them (Yisrael Beitenu party) Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, to remain in the government and continue this partnership in order to ensure security, prosperity and stability for Israel.”

Netanyahu repeated the need for a “solid, stable government,” then went on to say:

“Should there be an election, we will run and we will win” (Note: that statement was based on several polls recently taken in Israel).

“But we are not there yet. The hour is late, but not too late. We have to make an effort—a supreme effort—to preserve the government in its current composition.”

Why Is This Dilemma Different or Could Be More Damaging?

Why is the current situation more acute and potentially more dangerous than difficulties experienced by past Israeli governments which did or didn’t survive their four-year term? Two mains reasons:

(1) It comes at a time when Israel’s overall posture in world affairs and global scrutiny has never been better. A time that (slowly) began at Israel’s rebirth in 1948; then its extraordinary agricultural, economic, scientific, cultural, medical, and military achievements. It is a growth phenomenon that has developed exponentially, particularly in the past few years under the superb leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has adeptly promoted Israel’s accomplishments and willingness to share (in principle and in practice …. by helping those who wants Israel’s help) these advancements with other nations.

(2) Muslims may see the current crisis in Israel as an opportunity to act more quickly … meaning in the not so distant future. Since defeat in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Islam in general and Muslim nations have been content with a patient, plodding plan based partly on the Koran, in which Muhammad (allegedly from Allah) believed that whatever Jews remained in their land would eventually self-destruct through corruption of some sort. Unlike the true and living God and God’s prophets through whom God forecasted the future, Muhammad could not have known (and probably has, as they say, turned over in his grave) the miraculous return of the Jews to and restoration of the Promised Land of Israel. And approaching a pinnacle not experienced since the glory years of King David and King Solomon.

However, in the past few years and even months, Muslims (whether Arab or not) have grown impatient. They see Israel progressing rapidly, not regressing as they had been told and hoped would happen. This impatience is fueled (mostly) by the radical Shi’ite Muslim terrorist government of Iran, embodied in its supreme leader Ayatollah, with a menacing motive that the Muslim messiah (Mahdi) will soon appear to subjugate all Jews and Christians.

(Time will soon tell who will appear as the true Messiah!)

(Please see Eye of Prophecy articles: The World Wants a Messiah … But Needs (The) Messiah, posted 1-28-17. Also, Globalism or Populism … Which Will Antichrist Prefer? Posted 9-16-17)

These are counterfeit copy-cat versions of the amazing anticipation of many Christians that the true Messiah is about to return. Many Jews also harbor great expectations for the coming Messiah, but only Messianic Jews know (believe) him to be Jesus. Obviously, there is night and day differences between the true Messiah and these false messiahs.

For example: Radical Muslims believe their Mahdi won’t appear until or unless moderate Muslims actively (instead of just passive agreement) support and expand Jihad on a greater global scale, to accomplish their sinister goal of a Caliphate (Islamic World Government).

Listen to this direct quote from Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan (keeping in mind that Turkey is a member of NATO): “The term ‘moderate Islam’ is ugly and offensive. There is no moderate Islam. Islam is Islam.”

(For an in-depth expose on “radical Islam” vs “moderate-Islam” and Islam in general, please see Eye of Prophecy articles, A Religion of Peace! Part I & II. Posted 4-11 & 4-18-15).

Now, I’m going to propose a surprising and even illogical premise:

The current crisis in Israel is a good thing.

Because it fits with another premise: Which is in the form of a covenant oath made by the true and living God with Abraham that Israel would belong to Abraham’s descendants forever. From the God of all who are his children because they (Jew and Gentile alike) have believed and received his Son’s sacrificial death for sins, by the New Covenant of Grace promised by God through Jeremiah the prophet. The Lord began his post-Noah relationship with humanity as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then after the Moses-led Exodus and subsequently the Joshua-led victory into the Promised Land, he became the God of Israel. The same God who said Israel would be a light to all the nations (through Messiah). That he would bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel.

Problem Resolved (For Now)

Following some whirlwind negotiations with the divergent parties, Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the Knesset earlier this week. He said:

“I promised to preserve the government and I kept my word. I thank my partners in the coalition for demonstrating responsibility so that we can continue to lead Israel with determination and success in security, economy, society and foreign relations.”

Alluding to the potential adverse aftermath of an unsuccessful resolution of the problem, Netanyahu went on to say with a bit of humor: “That was scary, wasn’t it? I see you have some color back in your cheeks. I know that I spared you some anguish… The public’s support for us is tremendous.”

(Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at the Knesset)

Shas (religious party with 7 seats) leader, Aryeh Deri said: “I congratulate the coalition partners for acting responsibly in the moment of truth and allowing this good government to carry on in its activities, which benefit the entire public.”

Thus, the current crisis—seemingly resolved between the involved Knesset parties, but one that could erupt again—is ultimately good for Israel. It’s good because both secular and observant Jews realize that too much disunity could adversely affect Israel’s solidarity within the nation; but also jeopardize Israel’s security with its enemies. It’s good because the secular among them will hopefully see more clearly that ultimate (optimum) uninterrupted unity is only possible by once again returning to their God, the God of Israel. For secular and religious alike to fully realize that God’s appointed Messiah (the Son of God, Psalm 2, Psalm 110) will be the only one who can (and will) redeem and restore Israel to what God intended for them in the beginning—a nation of born-again priests—who will rule and reign with Messiah in Israel. And yet who are one in Messiah (Jesus) with Gentile believers, who have been grafted in to the prophetic tree of Israel. In that regard, they will fulfill their (Israel’s) destiny.

It’s also good for the United States and other nations/peoples when we more fully appreciate the miracle of Israel itself. That against all odds, Israel has won (survived) four wars against Arab nations. And not only survived but has grown in prosperity and posture among the nations.

Despite the sometimes-debilitating disputes among themselves, Jews in Israel (and all over the world) passionately exhibit one unifying trait and defend one ultimate purpose: the survival of Israel as a people, as a sovereign democratic state, as a nation reborn from the floods of dispersion and from the fires of Nazi death camps.

Jewish citizens of Israel synthesize over one common denominator: an enemy who wants to reduce them to ashes, to drown them in the sea, to erase Israel from memory, from all maps of the civilized world.

The Final Kingdom of God on Earth … Jew & Gentile, One in Messiah

Though I love all of Scripture, I will quote (as done in a few previous articles) one of my favorite passages in the Bible; a sweeping prophecy portraying both the first and second coming of Messiah:

Here is another excerpt from the earlier mentioned article, Kingdom of God (in italics):

Paul proceeds to tell us more about God’s splendid plan for the human race. In fact, he calls it a mystery, because at the time that God gave it to him even the new Christians didn’t completely understand the eternal implications of what Christ would achieve at his first coming and would continue at his second coming. Listen to these extraordinary words:

“God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth” (Ephesians 1:9-10).

That plan is none other than: THE KINGDOM OF GOD (on earth) ….

Jesus spoke often of the Kingdom of God; for example, comparing it to a mustard seed … the smallest of seeds that when planted grows into an enormous tree. Which is exactly what has happened to the body of Christ; an exponential growth down through the ages, to now consist of believers from virtually every nation and language on earth. It is the Kingdom of Heaven in the hearts and minds of those who have been redeemed by the shed blood of Christ. Next, will come the final physical Kingdom of God on this earth; at which time all people, all governments, all nations will be brought under the authority of God’s magnificent Son. He will rule the nations with firmness, but fairness

Isn’t that what most people want? They want: law, order, equality, safety, peace. And they want someone who has the kind of authority to realize those dreams, but also someone who is kind and considerate with that authority. One who truly cares about people and what’s best for them; who can rule and judge with impartiality and kindness. A truly wise and benevolent King whose attributes perfectly reflect who and what he is: Love, Truth, Justice, Mercy.

Summary

Beginning with another excerpt, this one from Eye of Prophecy article: Israel Is Here To Stay … Forever! Published 4-15-17. (In italics)

In the first century A.D., thousands throughout Israel believed Jesus was the Messiah. Tragically, most of the religious leaders and many people did not—despite the dozens of miracles they witnessed or heard of first hand. Even after Jesus arose from the dead, most did not believe in him. Then, just as Jesus predicted, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans less than 40 years after he ascended back to heaven. This happened because God’s own people rejected Messiah, just as Jesus said would happen with these poignant words:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. And now, look, your house is abandoned and desolate. For I tell you this, you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Matthew 23:37-39).

God withdrew his protection of Israel. He would leave them to their own fate until the appointed time when the Lord would unilaterally initiate the completion (fulfillment) of his covenant with Abraham. Which was the sovereign possession of the Promised Land forever by the Jews.

That appointed time has come.

Despite 1,900 years of exile and persecution at the hands of many nations and peoples (even by Christians … with the vast majority Christian in name only, not true born-again believers), culminating in the unimaginable Holocaust perpetrated by a perverse man and his equally sadistic Third Reich, Israel is alive and well. According to the sure word of Biblical prophecy, the Jews will never again be uprooted from their Promised Land. They will never again be decimated, dominated, or defeated by Gentile nations.

I repeat with Biblical authority for emphasis: NEVER AGAIN.

Persecuted, yes. Attacked, also yes—by the Gog/Magog coalition in the first half and by the ten-nation confederation of Antichrist Nero in the second half of the Great Tribulation. But not destroyed.

Only those who oppose Israel will be soundly defeated and destroyed. That should be a cause for pause for peoples or nations that would seek to harm the pupil of God’s eye.

…Despite our many individual and national faults, I love the United States of America. And I love Israel and the Jews. They are God’s special possession, chosen to give the world God’s awesome Word, including the Living Word of God, Messiah Jesus. With the Apostle Paul (once named Saul, once a devout Pharisee and defender of the Mosaic Law who was changed forever by a direct encounter with Jesus), I also say:

“Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God” (Romans 10:1-4).

There is only one nation on earth that has been guaranteed everlasting existence … Israel. That ironclad promise is unfolding before our 21st century eyes. No more will Israel implode from within as she did before the Babylonian Captivity of 586 B.C. and the Roman Dispersion of 70 A.D. No more will she be exploited and exploded from without by nations who tried to destroy the very existence of the Jews as a race and Israel as a nation in perpetuity.

The Kingdom of God and the reign of its Messiah King will last forever.

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

The Kingdom of God will rule from Jerusalem, Israel. Thus, the eternal undivided capital of Jerusalem and Israel are also eternal.

“How great is the Lord, how deserving of praise, in the city of our God, which sits on his holy mountain! It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion (Jerusalem), the holy mountain, is the city of the great King! … It is the city of our God; he will make it safe forever” (Psalm 48:1-2 & 8).

“…I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. In that day Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this will be its name: ‘The Lord is Our Righteousness.’

“For this is what the Lord says: ‘David will have a descendant sitting on the throne of Israel forever’” (Jeremiah 33:15-17).

Quoting again from the article: Israel Is Here To Stay … Forever!

AS ISRAEL GOES SO GOES THE WORLD

Israel is alive and well!

God will fulfill his promise to Abraham. Not only to give the Promised Land in perpetuity to the Jews, but to also richly bless the Gentile nations from the land where Messiah himself will one day (soon) live and rule. We would do well as individuals and as a nation to support and defend Israel, both in word and deed.

Then later in that article:

Against impossible odds, the Jews have returned to Israel; Hebrew has been resurrected from a dead language; Israel is once again a sovereign nation among the family of nations on this earth. This has never happened to any other people or nation. There is one and only one reason for it: The sovereignty of the one and true living God. What the Lord says he will do, he does. What he says will happen, happens.

Recording and reviewing history without including the God of the Bible—a timeless book, past, present, future—is like pretending that a watch doesn’t have a watchmaker. Or that the watch was not created to measure and tell time…. The Bible is not only the measure of universal divine truth, it is also a historical timeline of timely events integral to God’s prophetic plan.

Things to Ponder

“Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! … Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty fill his sanctuary. O nations of the world, recognize the Lord; recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! … Worship the Lord in all his splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him. Tell all the nations, ‘The Lord reigns!’ The world stands firm and cannot be shaken… (unless and until the Lord shakes it himself … Haggai 2:21).

“…He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth” (Psalm 96:4-13, parenthesis mine).

Since we declared our independence in 1776, for the most part the United States of America has heeded these words of wisdom and warning. That is until the past few decades—our current (Omega) generation that I’m convinced will see the Day of the Lord, beginning with the Rapture.

Sadly, we’ve fallen into a perilous condition that the Apostle Paul graphically described as characteristic of the final generation:

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God” (II Timothy 3:1-4).

On the other hand, we’ve seen many of the wonderful positive things that would occur, not the least of which is Israel’s rebirth and an explosion of the gospel throughout the world. To include the salvation of thousands upon thousands of Jews, unprecedented since the first century. I personally know some of these Messianic Jews, one of whom I consider a good friend.

(There are an estimated 350,000 Messianic Jews–Christian Jews / Jewish Christians– in the world) 

Said the Apostle Paul: “I ask then, has God rejected his own people, the nation of Israel? Of course not! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham and a member of the tribe of Benjamin. No, God has not rejected his own people, whom he chose from the very beginning…” (Romans 11:1-2).

One day soon, “…all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26).

“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance” (Isaiah 60:1-3).

One day soon, “…the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day there will be one Lord—his name alone will be worshipped” (Zechariah 14:9).

Biblical Terms Not in the Bible … Are They Biblical?

Tags

The Importance of Defining Terms

No matter what language people speak, many have thought, heard, said, or paraphrased: “Actions speak louder than words.”

Sometimes actions or non-verbal reactions cheapen and even contradict what we say. However, without words we wouldn’t be able to fully express what we’re thinking or adequately explain what we’re doing. Or even articulate, Actions speak louder than words.

Language, especially a well-defined term, conveys processed meaning to our thoughts and transfers ideas into action. They are vital if we are to distinguish one (world) view from another, then communicate those differences or similarities with as much clarity as possible. Synonyms and antonyms can help with this clarification. Words we use in everyday life express our beliefs (and opinions), explain our actions, and expound our feelings. However, even obvious opposites like right and wrong or good and evil require a fixed reference point, which is absolute truth. A truth that originates from the God who created us, the God who Is Truth … truth that transcends human subjectivity, preferences, and man-made religions.

One thing I’ve always found intriguing (also logical) is that Webster’s Dictionary defines the words define and definition. You would think those words wouldn’t need to be defined! But they are, after all, words; and all words should be defined to some extent or another.

One of the more serious global problems that generates misunderstanding and dissension is that people don’t define terms properly, or at all. Or they arbitrarily make up their own definitions based on belief systems that, for example, deny and defy and, therefore, twist the true source of objective universal truth—the Bible. Which is why Scripture says:

Define: “1 a: to fix or mark the limits of. b: to make distinct, clear, or detailed in outline. 2 a: to determine or identify the essential qualities or meaning” (Webster’s Dictionary).

Definition: “1: an act of determining. 2: a word or phrase expressing the essential nature of a person or thing … 4 a: the action or the power of describing, explaining, or making definite and clear” (Webster’s Dictionary).

Thus, if the term being defined is a clear (objective) expression of the subject being described or explained, then the term must be given definitive significance as accurately representing the essential nature of the person or thing.

Most terms originate secondarily from the need to summarize or categorize or explain people, events, beliefs, and actions.

For instance: Long before the identifying labels of Republicans and Democrats were coined and became mainstream in the United States (and equivalent political groups in other countries), there were capitalists and socialists, conservatives and liberals, right and left. Which also are concept terms to explain fundamental differences between people’s political, economic, and social persuasions. We don’t question the creation or use of Republican and Democrat, even though these terms are generally condensed categorizations of more specific belief systems.

On the other hand, there are those who question and even criticize some Christian expressions (beliefs), especially if the term itself is not actually found in the Bible. Most theological terminology is specifically identified in Scripture, usually as a component part of the word or phrase describing the doctrinal (that which is being taught) truth itself.

For example: Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification … expressing the three separate and sequential components of God’s Biblical salvation. Which respectively represent and are defined (paraphrasing) as: Salvation through a new birth in Christ; set apart to grow in the grace and knowledge of Messiah Jesus; the glorious transfiguration of believers with new bodies to complete our redemption.

There are also:

Terms Not Found in the Bible That Are Nonetheless Biblical

We’ll look at the most prominent and extensively used terms. Though these four designations are not found in Scripture, they are credible characterizations of several passages that express the existence and state the substance of what the terms represent. They are: The Trinity; The Rapture; The Millennium; and Eternity.

Note: the word eternity is used in Scripture, but in the broader generic sense of eternal, everlasting, or infinity. Contrasted to the specific theological concept of a (the) designated age which is called, Eternity.

The Trinity

As already emphasized but bears repetition in the context of terms representing the existence or essence of someone or something; just because the word Trinity does not appear in Scripture doesn’t mean that God is not one God in three Persons. Another term used is: The Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The triune God is directly and indirectly featured in both New & Old Testaments. Directly, for example, in the scene of Messiah Jesus’s baptism.

Said John the Baptist:

“… I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God” (John 1:32-34).

Also, with Jesus’s direct reference to the Father, Son (himself), and Holy Spirit in what is commonly called, The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Which is another term not actually found in Scripture used to define a precept which is explicitly explained … the urgent need to spread the (Good News) Gospel of Messiah Jesus to the entire world.

There are other instances in the New Testament in which Jesus refers to himself as the Son of God, the Son of Man (meaning the Messiah), with testimonials to his Father (God) and to the Holy Spirit as a Person (of the Trinity).

The Trinity is indirectly, but just as convincingly found in the Old Testament … in the very first chapter of the Bible! Here, I would like to refer to the following excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, Does God Really Have a Son? Part II, posted 11-7-15. (In italics):

Read with me one of the most powerful but provocative (primarily to Judaism) passages in all of Scripture:

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’ (Genesis 1:26, NASB, italics for emphasis). Not once, not twice, but three times God refers to himself in the plural…. Jewish and Gentile Christians alike often refer to this incredible creation account to further affirm the New Testament references to Messiah Jesus and the Holy Spirit as part of the Triune God … The Godhead. That all Three in One were active in creation of man in their image.

Jewish scholars attempt to refute this obvious fact by saying that the plural (we, us) was sometimes employed by kings or other royalty to denote majesty. Whereas that is true with regard to some historical records, it is rarely true of Scripture. Almost always the kings of Israel spoke in the first person, as does God, himself. It would take considerable research (of which time doesn’t permit for this article) to determine how many times, if any, that the Lord uses We or Us when speaking to his prophets, but I can safely summarize that at least ninety-nine percent of the time, the singular pronoun is utilized.

…Up front, the Lord wants us to understand that He is the one and only God, but that He is also a Triune God. Don’t ask me or any Bible scholar to adequately explain that. It is simply too much for the human mind to grasp. But since when does human intellect alone fully explain even half of the mysteries of the universe, let alone the inscrutable concept of a Triune God. We haven’t even yet figured out gravity. We know that it exists only because it must exist to explain why heavenly bodies stay where they are and why we don’t go spinning off into space. We know gravity exists only because of what it does. We have no clue where it came from, any more than we know where wind originates.

There are analogies like the sun: God the Father is the sun itself; God the Son is the light of the sun; God the Spirit is the rays of the sun. Or the three forms of water … liquid, solid, and gas. But they are inadequate metaphors. I think the closest we can come to at least a limited understanding of this otherwise unfathomable paradigm is ourselves: The body, soul, and spirit … indivisible yet separate facets of (a human) being.

In fact, when God refers to his plurality in the Genesis account of creation, he relates to the creation of man in God’s image.

I’m sorry, but it is an extremely weak argument to suggest that the plurality of God in the Genesis account is merely a way of God underscoring his majesty. In fact, the Lord doesn’t need to stress his majesty at all, as it’s all too apparent by the very fact that he is the Creator.

The Holy Spirit (or Spirit of God) is also declared throughout the Old Testament. And, as extensively explained in the article quoted, Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 specifically refer to God’s Son. I also discussed this in last week’s article, Melchizedek … A Man of Mystery!

The Rapture

This extraordinary event is questioned even by some Christians; based, in part, on the absence of the term, Rapture, in the Bible. Once again, I trust that the introduction to this week’s article would cause concession to the (obvious) fact that a term can be justifiably created to encapsulate something; the label of which is otherwise not found in preceding books or articles or whatever.

Another example: Populist and Globalist are relatively new tags to describe those who champion the voice of the people and/or national sovereignty vs. those who would like to see international amalgamation of (at least continental) nations, such as the diehard proponents of the European Union. Literature and speeches about these opposites pre-existed the coined terms that subsequently consolidated and characterized what Populists and Globalists believe.

Time/space doesn’t permit elaboration on the two primary Bible passages that dramatically depict this glorious event which includes resurrection and transfiguration of the dead in Christ and those believers alive at the time, to our new eternal bodies. Then the snatching or catching up (harpazo in the Greek) of believers to heaven. They are found in I Thessalonians 4 and I Corinthians 15. Those who deny the Rapture, ignore or feebly explain away these two amazing prophetic passages.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, The Tremendous Transfiguration of Believers! Posted 7-23-16. Also, The Shout Heard Around the World, posted 4-22-17; along with Messiah’s Return & The Rapture (Same or Separate Events?) Posted 12-3-16. If you like, also refer to the very first Eye of Prophecy article, posted in July 2013, simply entitled, What Is the Rapture? Followed successively by four more articles on the Rapture … Why, Who, When, and How).

However, I will cite one passage, which is the first reference to the Rapture given to us by Jesus, himself. Our Lord prefaced this remarkable disclosure by saying that the episode would happen abruptly. That the world would be doing the same things that people were doing in Noah’s time, just before the Great Flood swept them away.

“That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken, the other left” (Luke 17:34-35).

The Millennium

In this and the next section (Eternity) of today’s article, we’ll focus on what is probably the most difficult feature of prophecy to ascertain: distinguishing which activities will occur and what conditions will exist in these two distinct future ages. These differences are particularly challenging to pinpoint in the Old Testament. Is the prophet referring to the New Testament revelations (which are much easier to identify) of the Millennium or to Eternity that follows the Millennium?

As indicated, the term Millennium or Millennial is also not found in the Bible. However, it’s (future 1000-year) existence is just as real as the Trinity, the Rapture, and Eternity.

Although Millennium and Eternity are (should be) capitalized when referring to them as Biblical creeds, they are used as much or more often generically in the lower case … millennium and eternity. Likewise, with rapture. Not so with Trinity—which is employed exclusively for the triune (unified) existence of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In fact, when referring to the Biblical concepts and actual terms of Trinity, Rapture, and Millennium, each should be prefaced with the definite article, the.

Eternity can stand alone without the definite article, but the better way (which hardly anyone does, including me) would be to say or write, The Age of Eternity.

Most know what millennium or millennial means. Just like year, decade, and century; a millennium is a measurement of time. There are two basic definitions of millennium in Webster’s Dictionary, beginning with the most obvious: “a period of 1000 years.”

However, the Biblical concept of the Millennium is so well-known that Webster’s acknowledges it with a second part to the definition: “the thousand years mentioned in Revelation 20 during which holiness is to prevail and Christ is to reign on earth … a period of great happiness or human perfection.”

What about the last part of this definition? Will it be a time of great happiness or human perfection?

Let’s see what Scripture tells us.

Before we look at the actual (found only in the book of Revelation) Biblical reference to the Millennium, we need to know that this one-thousand-year period is a chronological continuation of the preceding events in Revelation. Also, with understanding of certain events which are parenthetical interludes that temporarily interrupt the chronology of (for example) the consecutive seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments. Yet both sets of events (interludes and sequential) culminate with Messiah’s final triumphant return to earth to vanquish “the kings of the world and their armies” (Revelation 19:19).

Then, the Millennium is introduced in Chapter 20 by listing (defining) the parameter of time involved. From Chapter 20 to the end of Revelation, we return to a consecutive (chronological) chain of events.

“Then I saw 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).

(Regarding the above passage, you might want to read Eye of Prophecy articles, Satan in Bodily Form … When & Why, Part I & II, posted 11-12 & 11-19-16)

(One Of Several Depictions of Satan Being Bound; Not Only Is The 1000 Years Literal, So Is the Chain and Satan in Bodily Form)

There are four more citations (a total of six altogether) in Revelation 20 of this specific one-thousand-year period. Such as: “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection (at the Rapture and again when the Tribulation Saints are raised). For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6, parenthesis mine).

Despite six distinct references to a thousand years, there are those who think that the Millennium is merely symbolic of … of who knows what—perhaps a long, indefinite period which may or may not last for a thousand years. For the following reasons (and more), that simply cannot be the case; the 1000 years are as literal as they can be.

– The overstatement fact that the thousand years is mentioned six times in just seven verses is a contextual and comprehension emphasis that this is a literal span of time. It’s like, “Do you get it?” Response: “It’s repeated so often, how could I not?”

– To enhance the intended meaning of a literal period, the last reference states: “When the thousand years comes to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison” (Revelation 7:20, italics for emphasis).

– If the Millennium was merely metaphorical, John would have said something to the effect of, “a long time” or possibly “at the appointed time.” Or, “in the distant future,” a phrase found in Ezekiel 38:8.

– The 1000 years is as literal as other time-dedicated prophecies in Scripture. Such as: Seven days from the completion of Noah’s ark to the onset of the rain; 400 years (four generations) span of Israel’s time in Egypt before the Exodus; Israelites wandering in the wilderness for 40 years; all of the weekly, monthly, and annual God-ordained observances and festivals of the Mosaic Law; the 70-year Babylonian captivity; Daniel’s 490 years (70 weeks) and even more specifically the 69 weeks (483 years) from the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls to the arrival of Messiah, then the final week (seven years) which is the time of the Tribulation; Jesus’s three days/nights in the tomb.

– The list goes on. All Bible prophecies are of vital significance. But there are some in which the Lord wants us to know the duration or intervals, to realize when they will occur and/or how long they will last. It’s a bonus to the blessings of trusting God’s control of the future by comprehending the actual duration of the event. That the dynamics of these specified periods will not continue indefinitely, as God’s magnificent plan for humanity has unfolded and will continue to unfold in set periods of time … most of them quantified in Scripture.

Personally, I (and hopefully you and others) continue to be amazed at how much information and details the Lord has given us throughout Scripture … past, present, and future. In a world bloated with facts but lean on wisdom and the desire of so many to know the future, why not look to the One who holds the future in his hands. Who is everlasting to everlasting and knows the end from the beginning. The One who IS the beginning and end. The God who created time itself. As some have said: Don’t look to the stars and planets, look to the One who created them.

Activities in and Conditions of the Millennium

Even before Revelation Chapter 20 tells us about the one-thousand years (hence, the term Millennium), the Gospels and Epistles provide fascinating footage of this exceptional age. (I chose the term footage to pictorially represent what Biblical prophecy is and does. When it’s played as it comes to pass, it’s like watching film footage of the taped recorded prophecy itself).

In fact, Messiah Jesus’s entire Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Chapters 5-7) depicts the dynamic interpersonal relationships of those on earth living in the Kingdom of God, which will be ushered in during the Millennium. A kingdom that would have been established during Jesus’s First Advent if his people had only recognized and accepted him as their Messiah.

God knew this would happen. All praise and everlasting gratitude that our Omniscient, Omnipotent God had already created and subsequently carried out his magnificent plan of redemption through the rejection, crucifixion, and (of course) resurrection of His Son. The Lord circumvented and controverted the diabolical scheme of Satan and the evil of those who carried out the devil’s plans.

How fitting that the Millennium begins with Satan’s imprisonment in the Abyss. As we also read earlier, believers in Christ will “reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6).

Before that we read: “Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge…” (Verse 4).

(See Eye of Prophecy article, The Magnificent Millennial Reign of Believers with Messiah, posted 7-15-17)

What about Old Testament allusions to the Millennium? Can we identify them? If so, can we separate them from those conditions exclusively found in and during Eternity? Yes, we can … most of the time!

The most prominent clues are Old Testament references to Messiah himself. Time/space will only permit examination of two passages. However, you’ll find a generic template that will fit other Millennial passages, particularly in the context of Israel’s spiritual redemption and physical restoration that will take place during the transition between the Great Tribulation and the Millennium. A final restoration that will be completed in the early phase of the Millennium as depicted in such passages as Zechariah Chapters 12 & 14. With Chapter 14 also containing one of the amazing features of Eternity (verses 6-7).

All Old Testament end-times prophecies fall into one of four time-dedicated stages: The final generation pre-Rapture events (100 years on up); post-Rapture (seven-year Tribulation); the Millennium; and Eternity.

First Passage … Isaiah Chapter 11

Let’s begin with a (partial) quotation of a passage discussed in Eye of Prophecy article, Messiah’s Millennial Reign … Incredible Changes on Earth, posted 12-30-17.

“In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all … The lion will eat hay like a cow … The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra…” (Isaiah 11:6-8).

(Most Depictions Show a Lion and a Lamb, But It Is Actually the Wolf and the Lamb. It Is the Calf That Will Be Safe With the Lion. With the Obvious Implication That All Animals, Both Wild and Domestic, Will Cohabit Together)

Such a radical change in the animal kingdom is nothing short of astonishing. Will this take place during the Millennium or not until Eternity begins?

For that matter, what’s the benefit of knowing in which age such a remarkable transformation (and others) will occur? There are other reasons (you may have one or more of your own), but here is one answer to the question just posed: In addition to the thrill of knowing when, there is (should be) now—and will be during the Millennium—an appreciation that the Lord will do certain things in the specified 1000 years to meet and exceed our expectations (and satisfy our curiosity) while we are being prepared for Eternity. That is one of the outstanding benefits of many prophecies fulfilled during the Millennium (others waiting for Eternity): to validate one of the most well-known passages of Scripture.

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

It’s possible that the section dealing with the incredible changes in and between the animal kingdom and human beings might not begin until after the Millennium. However, like most Bible passages (not all, as some sub-passages can stand alone), context will determine the best application and greater understanding.

Isaiah 11 begins with a Messianic prophecy: “Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch… And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding…” (Isaiah 11:1-2a).

Then, “…The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked” (Verse 4b). See Revelation 19:11-21 for final fulfillment of this prophecy.

Next is the sub-passage quoted earlier: “In that day the wolf and lamb…” (Verse 6).

Followed by: “In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to bring back the remnant of his people…. He will gather the scattered people of Judah from the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 11:10-12).

The passage on the animal kingdom is tucked between and intricately linked to the coming of Messiah (first for salvation, then for judgment and restoration), which includes the final gathering of Jews, from the ends of the earth.

Although the return of God’s chosen people to Israel began substantially after the rebirth of Israel in 1948 and is continuing to this very day, Isaiah’s prophecy, including the complete return of the Jews, won’t be fulfilled until Messiah (Jesus), “will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place” (Verse 10). And as stated in verse 9: “…so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.”

It’s quite evident that these things won’t happen in finality until the Millennium; if for no other reason than the passage states, “the land where he (Messiah) lives.” Meaning, of course, when Christ returns to rule and reign from Jerusalem for one thousand years (Revelation 20).

Thus, with a good deal of certainty, we can conclude that the disposition of animals toward each other and towards people will be dramatically altered during the Millennium, most likely on a gradual basis.

Second Passage … Isaiah Chapter 2

“In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all—the most important place on earth … and people from all over the world will stream there to worship … There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths. For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion … The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares … Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:2-4).

Although the Messiah isn’t mentioned in this passage directly (as Messiah), the implication is as clear as Isaiah Chapter 11 … that “the Lord” is (the triune) God; but specifically, in the context of this passage—the Messiah (God’s Son). His sovereignty over the nations in Isaiah 2 (and other passages like it) can be equated to both Psalm 2 and Psalm 110, which explain how God’s Son will rule the nations. During the Millennium, world leaders and nations will know that it’s best to seek his counsel, rather than fighting among themselves to resolve conflicts. In fact, Messiah (Jesus) himself will settle disputes.

Does this passage and other Millennial passages like it mean—referring to Webster’s definition quoted earlier—that the (entire) Millennium will be a time of great happiness or human perfection?

No, it doesn’t nor, will it be. Which is why Messiah Jesus will rule with fairness and justice, but with tough love.

(As will believers reigning with Christ also, “…rule the nations with an iron rod… (Revelation 2:27)

As wonderful as the Millennium will be—exponentially better than the world has ever been or is now—this “rod of iron” imagery (fair but firm) wouldn’t be necessary if everything was picture perfect.

An example of the Lord’s need to discipline peoples and nations during what is clearly the Millennium is conveyed in the following passage:

“In the end, the enemies of Jerusalem who survive the plague (referring directly to the last days of the Tribulation period) will go up to Jerusalem each year to worship the King (Messiah), the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters. Any nation in the world that refuses to come to Jerusalem to worship the King … will have no rain” (Zechariah 14:16-17, parenthesis mine).

Some things will be immediately so much better than before; not the least of which is no more war.

Other things will improve more gradually. But then matters will begin to get worse toward the end of the Millennium, because many people will have reverted back to form, even without Satan’s influence and even with the very presence of Christ on earth. Which sadly testifies to the degenerate nature of men and women who refuse the heart-changing redemptive regeneration through Messiah’s salvation. Unlike man-made religions, the Lord never has and never will force anyone to “convert.” Messiah Jesus will be visibly present on earth during the Millennium yet believing and receiving him as Lord and Savior will still be a matter of personal choice.

We know this to be the case because many have already begun their rebellion toward the end of the thousand years. For this reason and to finally usher in Eternity, the Lord will release Satan from the Abyss to:

“…gather them together for battle—a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashores. And I saw them as they went up on the board plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them. Then the devil, who had deceived them (into thinking they could defy and defeat Messiah), was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:8-10, parenthesis mine).

It’s one thing to personally reject God’s grace and mercy offered through trust in and obedience to Messiah Jesus. God deals with that choice individually. It’s quite another thing to organize a vast army and dare to take on the Kingdom of God by vainly trying to conquer “God’s people and the beloved city (Jerusalem).” The Lord deals with that on a much greater scale.

Rebellion over, crushed before it barely began!

Eternity

Before Eternity begins, there will be one last monumental event at the end of the Millennium. It’s called the Great White Throne judgment of God, a term found in the passage. All those from the beginning of time who died without trusting in God and refusing to exercise simple faith to believe and receive God’s salvation (accomplished through the past, present, and future efficacy of Messiah’s redemptive sacrifice), will be judged and, “thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14 … all of verses 11-15).

Then, the very next chapter of Revelation continues the order of events with what is clearly the beginning of Eternity.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth … and the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven … I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.’

“And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:1-5a).

Some key phrases in this passage: all these things are gone forever. Look, I am making everything new!

Eternity has begun!

Here, the Lord is referred to as God … Elohim in Hebrew (plural). Messiah Jesus will have already been on earth for 1000 years. Now, God (the Father … the “one on the throne”) will dwell among people of the (new) earth, also in heaven. Just like he did with his Shekinah glory in the Tabernacle and Temple. Thus, one similarity between the Millennium and Eternity is that of Immanuel—God with us. Only during eternity (Eternity) it will be the Trinity dwelling among God’s people. But there will be no more death or sorrow or pain, which will still exist during the Millennium.

And from the new Jerusalem (the heavenly city of God that will hover above the new earth), there will be:

“…a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb…. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.

“No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him” (Revelation 22:1-3).

Things to Ponder

A few Old Testament prophecies are sweeping in scope, encompassing the Tribulation, the Millennium, and Eternity in a single chapter or passage. Some things that begin in the Millennium will continue throughout Eternity, but not all. The more you study them, the better you’ll become at matching them to the Millennium or Eternity. Including which passages apply to the Tribulation period of the Day of the Lord.

Tribulation: Another term (capital “T”) coined to identify and condense into one word all events of the seven-year treaty orchestrated by the Antichrist.

Everlasting life (eternity in the lower case), is given to us the moment we accept Messiah Jesus as personal Savior. When born-again believers die (Jew and Gentile alike), their spirit instantly goes to heaven to be with the triune God … the Trinity.

Those believers still alive when the Day of the Lord begins, as well as those who have already died in Christ, will be transformed into new (spiritual) bodies and “caught up” to heaven … the Rapture.

At the end of the Great Tribulation, believers will begin our participation in and with the majestic reign of our Lord and Savior, Messiah Jesus for one-thousand years … the Millennium.

Then, all things will be made new, even the heavens and the earth. Believers and all these new things will live forever, to infinity and beyond … Eternity.

It simply doesn’t get any better than that!

 

Melchizedek … A Man of Mystery!

Life Is A Mystery…

With perplexing twists and surprising turns, some with happy endings and others not so pleasant.

The best kind of mysteries are those that are solved. Which is why some people like to work daily puzzles. Life is complicated and challenging; but they can solve a picture, or word, or number puzzle by putting the pieces in all the right places. And why many love a good mystery novel or movie, be it romance or crime or both. The best kind of solving is done by someone who knows all about the mysterious plots and enigmatic people that are an integral part of the human puzzle. Especially the one who created the pieces.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

Although I don’t read murder mysteries, I do watch them on film. Including what is probably the most well-known, if not the most read and watched murder mystery of all time—Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Or the Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle.

On the one hand I find murder mysteries intriguing, some even fascinating. And, I fully appreciate the need for real-life detectives to solve murders and for our courts to dispense justice.

On the other hand, I flinch at the idea that we are repeatedly entertained by plots that revolve around murder. Does the sheer number of murder mysteries that saturate literary and film venues desensitize us to the ugly act of murder, couched in the exhilaration of “solving” the crime? With the satisfaction of figuring out whodunnit softening the fact that a brutal killing is the trigger point (pun intended) for such gratification.

I’m wondering if there isn’t enough engagement in and with non-fiction works—especially the Bible—or even in historical novels to stimulate our curiosity and challenge us to seek reality resolutions to life’s mysteries, including our eternal destiny.

To be sure, even the Bible records several incidents of murder; beginning when Cain killed his brother, Abel. We see the worst of what people can do: the premeditated preemption (taking) of a human life created in God’s image. God considers murder (not killing in war or self-defense) a capital crime, punishable by death. Yet, there is no real intrigue nor crime (suspect) to solve in Scripture; except to figure out such things in the greater context of the Mystery of Iniquity.

Indeed, there are mysteries in Scripture. In fact, the very idea and definition of that which is mysterious stems from the Bible. As does the fact that all mysteries mentioned in Scripture pertaining to life and death, redemption and the end times have been revealed or unveiled. That doesn’t mean we fully understand all of them this side of heaven (or hell). But we can know enough to appreciate them and to make decisions where decisions are required.

Mysterious: “1 a: of, or relating to, or constituting a mystery (the ways of God) b: exciting wonder, curiosity, or surprise while baffling efforts to comprehend or identify” (Webster’s Dictionary, parenthesis are in the text).

Notice that the first definition of mysterious relates to “the ways of God.”

Also, Webster’s primary definition of mystery pertains to God. The English word mystery is an almost exact transliteration from the Greek word, mysterion. Most know that the New Testament was originally written in Greek.

Mystery: “1 a: a religious truth that man can know by revelation alone and cannot fully understand.”

Because of the advent of crime novels, Webster’s Dictionary was compelled to include one feature of mystery as: “2 d: a piece of fiction dealing usually with the solution of a mysterious crime.”

Notice, however: Webster’s qualifies that revealed mysteries cannot be fully understood. With, I’m sure, the emphasis on “fully.” If Webster’s Dictionary had said that (any of God’s) revelations cannot be understood at all, then that would be a direct contradiction of Scripture.

The Mysterious Plan of God Unveiled

A companion definition of mystery in Webster’s Dictionary is: “2 a: something not understood or beyond understanding.”

For sure there are physical and spiritual phenomenon from the beginning of time that we cannot fully wrap our minds around. Such as the origin and dynamics of gravity. Or the magnificent Trinity of the Godhead. One God in Three Persons … Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

When the word mystery or mysterious is used in Scripture it is always accompanied by the revealing or unveiling of that secret; enough for us to comprehend it as a matter of fact and belief. Especially God’s source of salvation, acceptance or rejection of which will determine our eternal destiny.

Let’s begin with a reference to a mystery in the New Testament, with “full understanding” that the New Covenant—first revealed in-depth by the Jewish prophet Jeremiah in Chapter 31—had replaced the Levitical sacrificial system of the Old Covenant. However, comprehension of this mystery is available only to those (believers) who have believed and received the mediator of the New Covenant … the Jewish Messiah Jesus of Nazareth.

Wrote the Apostle Paul:

“And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather then using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.

“…I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to the world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.’

“But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets… no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us… But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it…” (I Corinthians 2:4-14, parenthesis in the text).

Another use of the word mystery is found in the book of Romans. In this passage Paul has just emphasized that the Lord did not completely cast off his chosen people the Jews, nor did they permanently “stumble and fall beyond recovery.” (Romans 11:11). Chapters 9, 10, & 11 should forever silence those who subscribe to Replacement Theology; the grievous error that the true Christian Church has replaced Israel concerning all Old Testament prophecies that speak of Israel’s (the nation of … Jews) physical and spiritual restoration.

Paul is speaking to the Gentile believers: “I want you to understand this mystery dear brothers and sisters, 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 comes to Christ. And so all Israel will be saved…” (Romans 11:25-26).

Although most of the early Christians were Jews and the Gospel went first to the Jew and then to the Gentile (Romans 1:16), it was a mystery to the Gentile Christians why so many Jews refused to believe in the risen Messiah, Jesus. Some of these Gentile believers had even assumed an attitude of superiority. But only because they didn’t grasp God’s ultimate (mysterious, but nevertheless revealed) plan that only a remnant of Jews would acknowledge and accept Jesus as their Messiah and Savior. That is, until the last days when “all Israel will be saved.”

(See Eye of Prophecy article: Salvation … “To the Jews First” Posted 3-26-15)

Which is why Paul also told the Gentile believers:

“…This message about Jesus Christ has revealed his plan for you Gentiles, a plan kept secret from the beginning of time. But now as the prophets foretold and as the eternal God has commanded, this message is made known to all Gentiles everywhere, so that they too might believe and obey him. All glory to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen” (Romans 16:25-27).

The Gentile Christians needed to remember: They had not replaced the Jews (Israel); rather they been added (“grafted in”) to the prophetic tree of Israel. It was through Israel and the Jews that salvation would come, just as the prophets said. Specifically, salvation was exclusively in the long-awaited Jewish Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, who said himself that salvation comes through the Jews (John 4:22).

Said the Jewish Apostle Peter: “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).

Another remarkable revelation that was no longer a mystery is that both Jew and Gentile are now one in Messiah. No more inequality or separation by status, which also included men and women, slave and free.

“…If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ … The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus… There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:21-28).

All these mysteries (revealed) were integral component parts of the greatest mystery of all so wonderfully unveiled. Said the Apostle Paul:

“Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body… (I Timothy 3:16a).

In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, we are told unequivocally that Messiah is the Son of God and God the Son. Thus, Christ (Jesus) is fully God and fully man.

The Mystery of Melchizedek

Particularly to the Jews, I don’t suppose there’s any more mysterious person in the Hebrew Bible (referred to commonly by Gentiles as the Old Testament … Old Covenant) than Melchizedek. Were it not for the New Testament book of Hebrews, the unique relevance of this man would remain a mystery. Which tracks with the oft quoted and reliable premise: The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed; the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.

Melchizedek is only mentioned twice in the entire Jewish Tanach (Old Testament); both times it is only a brief reference. Yet, the descriptive narrative of this mysterious man is stunning in scope and substance.

Our first glimpse of this exceptional man is found early in the book of Genesis.

“After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.’

“Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered” (Genesis 14:17-20, parenthesis in the text).

That’s it … just four short verses. As abruptly as Melchizedek appeared on the scene, he was gone. Not to be heard from again until King David mentions him some 1,000 years later.

A brief back story: As you may recall, Abraham had won a great battle against four kings and their armies, probably numbering in the thousands. The reason Abraham went to war (against all odds) was to rescue his nephew Lot and Lot’s family who had been taken captive when the four kings defeated five other kings in battle, including the king of Sodom.

Although not as well-known or remembered as Gideon’s victory with 300 soldiers over thousands of Midianites (Judges Chapters 7 & 8), Abraham was also victorious with only, “…318 trained men who had been born into his household” (Genesis 14:14).

This was no less a miracle than Gideon’s stunning triumph. Which is why Melchizedek said that the Most High God defeated your enemies for you. Obviously, Abraham and his men had to fight; however, unless the Lord had providentially protected and supernaturally supported Abraham, the battle would not have been won.

Who Was Melchizedek?

Abraham’s reverence of Melchizedek’s position and authority is reason enough to attach substantial significance to this man. However, if his appearance to Abraham was the only record of Melchizedek, he would remain an unsolved mystery.

Let’s fast forward a thousand years later to King David who reintroduced Melchizedek alongside (and in the greater context) of the Messiah. David begins this Messianic Psalm by saying (speaking):

“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).

This is an astonishing statement made by David, so let’s pause here for a moment. In no uncertain terms, David is saying that the LORD (Yahweh … I AM) is speaking to another Lord (David’s Lord) who would sit at the right hand of the throne of God after the enemies of David’s Lord have been soundly defeated.

Who is David’s Lord?

Believers, both Gentiles and Messianic Jews know that this Lord is the Messiah who would (historically now) arrive 1,000 years later … Jesus of Nazareth. Most observant Jews, including Rabbis, offer sparse commentary on this passage, but it’s evident that some equate David’s Lord to the Messiah. Who else could he be? It’s just that they don’t combine Psalm 110 with Psalm 2; therefore, they dismiss out of hand any such person as the Son of God.

Consequently, some contend that David is identifying the nation of Israel, despite the clear evidence that David is referring to a person, both grammatically and contextually. They make the same mistake in Isaiah 53, by saying that the suffering servant is Israel, not a person (the Messiah). Or that there are (will be) two Messiahs (See Eye of Prophecy article: More Than One Messiah? Posted 12-5-15).

So, let’s switch to Psalm Chapter 2 for a moment.

“For the Lord declares, ‘I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain” (Psalm 2:6). *Note: The king cannot be (all) Israel, nor will Israel be “placed on the throne in Jerusalem.”

Continuing with the king making a personal statement as to what the Lord promises:

“The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession’” (Psalm 2:7-8).

Now that’s a mystery! The king is the Messiah, but he is also God’s Son … both man and God. It was a mystery revealed, but also a mystery (partially) concealed until the birth and life of Jesus at God’s appointed time.

That’s affirmed later in the chapter: “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” (Psalm 2:10-12).

Messiah Jesus sometimes quoted the Old Testament when challenged by the Jewish religious leaders or when challenging and correcting their deliberate or careless (inadvertent) mishandling of Scripture. Although Israel ardently anticipated the coming of Messiah, even the observant among them missed or ignored their own scriptures as to who Messiah would be. Which is why they wanted to kill Jesus … because he claimed to be not only the Messiah, but also the Son of God, as well as God (the Son).

Jesus asked the religious leaders a thought-provoking question, directly related to Psalm 110:

“Why is it … that the Messiah is said to be the son of David? For David himself wrote in the book of Psalms: 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.’

“Since David called the Messiah, ‘Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his Son?” (Luke 20:41-44).

It was a rhetorical question. The only way that Messiah could be both David’s son (of physical lineage) and David’s Lord is for the Messiah to also be God. To any Jew of the 1st century or any century to this very day who is sincerely seeking the truth of Messiah’s identity, Jesus’s illustration should remind them of Psalms 110 (which Jesus quoted).

And, of Isaiah’s breathtaking description of the Messiah: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

And Micah’s powerful prophecy that the coming Messiah would pre-date King David by infinity: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah (where Jesus was born of a Virgin … Isaiah 7:14) are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past” (Micah 5:2, italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).

Said Jesus to the crowd: “Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.

“The people said, ‘You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?’

“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!’” (John 8:56-58).

Returning to Psalm 110 and Melchizedek

Now, David brings Melchizedek into the picture.

“The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow: ‘You (the king, David’s Lord, the Son of God) are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek’” (Psalm 110:4, parenthesis mine).

Why does David even bring up Melchizedek is this passage?

The answer is found is Genesis Chapter 14 that we already read: Melchizedek is both King and Priest! Messiah would be the everlasting Priest in/after the order (prototype) of Melchizedek. As well as the King who would rule from Jerusalem, whose kingdom would also be forever.

This is remarkable because the Mosaic Law subsequently disallowed anyone from being both a priest and a king at the same time.

Judah’s King Uzziah learned this the hard way. Although he reigned for 52 years (beginning in 792 B.C.), and God used him to prosper Judah both economically and militarily, Uzziah decided he could also be a priest.

“But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. He sinned against the Lord his God by entering the sanctuary of the Lord’s Temple and personally burning incense on the incense altar. Azariah the high priest went in after him … confronted Uzziah and said, ‘It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is the work of the priests alone, the descendants of Aaron who are set apart for this work. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have sinned. The Lord God will not honor you for this!’” (II Chronicles 26:16-18).

Uzziah became furious. It was a serious mistake for even the king to enter the outer sanctuary and take on the duties reserved for the priests. It was an even bigger mistake for Uzziah to become indignant, “raging at the priests,” with the clear inference that he knew exactly what he had done, but no one had the right or authority to tell the king how wrong he was.

Here’s what happened while Uzziah was still in the Temple:

“…leprosy suddenly broke out on his forehead. When Azariah the high priests and all the other priests saw the leprosy, they rushed him out. And the king himself was eager to get out because the Lord had struck him. So King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in isolation in a separate house, for he was excluded from the Temple of the Lord…” (II Chronicles 26:19-21).

God obviously had a purpose for the separate roles of kings and priests. The main reason was so that both king and priest could invest substantial time, energy, and God-given gifts in their respective duties. Also, to maintain a divinely designed balance between government and those governed, between the physical and the spiritual. It was NOT for total separation of church from state. To the absurd extent (for example in the United States) of removing plaques of the Ten Commandments from all public places in a nation founded on Judaic/Christian values.

However, I do agree: there should not be a (man-made) “State Church” or a “Church State.” In that regard, terms and concepts need to be defined. (For more extensive details, refer to Eye of Prophecy articles, Separation of Church and State, Part I & II. Posted 4-2 & 4-9-16).

The following Biblical principle is indisputable as borne out by the historical success and rise and fall of nations:

The New and Better Way

Although there are several New Testament passages that speak of Messiah Jesus as the final (only) bridge between God and mankind (Mediator of the New Covenant … Timothy 2:5), the book of Hebrews systematically and succinctly summarizes the resounding role of Messiah as the once for all High Priest after the priestly order of Melchizedek, who was also a King.

Beginning with: “This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him … The name Melchizedek means ‘king of justice’ and king of Salem means ‘king of peace.’ There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God” (Hebrews 7:1-3, italics for emphasis).

*Note: Based on the wording of this passage—specifically, resembling the Son of God—most Bible scholars regard Melchizedek only as a symbol or representation of Messiah Jesus. Yet, that application doesn’t go far enough.

For one reason: What these same verses (in italics above) say about Melchizedek (no beginning or end to his life) wouldn’t apply to a mortal man. For another reason: the numerous accounts in the Old Testament of the Pre-Incarnate Messiah appearing to several people such as Joshua and Gideon.

Thus, I firmly believe that Jesus was (is) Melchizedek! And Jesus’s first appearance as the Pre-Incarnate Messiah was to Abraham.

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

Continuing in Hebrews, prefaced with this observation: As much esteem as the Jews extend to Moses (and Elijah), to this day Israelis in Israel and Jews outside of Israel consider Abraham the greatest of all their ancestors. After all, he is the Patriarchal Father of Israel.

“Consider then how great this Melchizedek was. Even Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel, recognized this by giving him a tenth of what he had taken in battle…. And Melchizedek placed a blessing upon Abraham, the one who had already received the promises of God. And without question, the person who has the power to give a blessing is greater than the one who is blessed. The priests who collect titles are men who die, so Melchizedek is greater than they are, because we are told that he lives on” (Hebrews 7:4-8).

Melchizedek, who was both king and priest, preceded and exceeded the Mosaic Law in both prominence and perpetuity. Understanding this should be of vital importance especially to the Jews; the majority of whom still cling to the Mosaic Law (even without the Levitical sacrificial system of the shedding of blood for remission of sins that ended in 70 A.D.) to make them right with God. They’re in denial over the loss of the Temple and animal sacrifices because they don’t understand or refuse to believe that the Law cannot save them nor was the Levitical sacrificial system meant to be permanent. Twice, God disciplined his people … Babylonian Captivity and Roman Dispersion. Both times the Temple was destroyed. The second-time, sacrifices were ended altogether … to this very day.

Resuming in Hebrews Chapter 7:

“So if the priesthood of Levi, on which the law was based, could have achieved the perfection God intended, why did God need to establish a different priesthood, with a priest in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi and Aaron? And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it … What I mean is, our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses never mentioned priests coming from this tribe” (Verses 11 & 12-14).

*Note: As great as the Torah is (specifically referencing the first five books of the Bible), it’s also crucial for non-Messianic Jews (and Gentiles) to read objectively all passages in Psalms and the Prophets relating to the Messiah. Not the least of which are passages quoted earlier regarding Messiah as God’s Son and High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, but also from the tribe of Judah that would produce Israel’s kings. Even Moses records this as part of Jacob’s blessings (prophecies) concerning his twelve sons.

Moving on in Hebrews:

“This change has been made very clear since a different priest, who is like Melchizedek, has appeared. Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. And the psalmist pointed this out when he prophesied, ‘You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.’

“Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless. For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God…. Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God” (Hebrews 7:15-19 & 22).

As stated later in Hebrews: The (Mosaic) system of worship was only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. God told Moses to, “…Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain” (Hebrews 8:5b, quoting Exodus 25:40).

The author of Hebrews further explains how much better and more permanent (forever) the New Covenant is:

“But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore, he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him…. He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin…. The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever” (Hebrews 7:24-26, 28).

Then in Hebrews 8:1-7, we read the sweeping summary of this magnificent message: Messiah Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant between God and man.

“Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands…

“But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises. If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it. But when God found fault with the people, he said…” (the announcement of the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34 is then quoted).

Summary

With precaution not to stretch the analogy beyond its obvious limitations, we can say in one respect that the Bible (among its other literary genres) is a “murder mystery.” One, however, that certainly is not fictional.

Not long after God created Adam and Eve, they yielded to the, “Mystery of Iniquity” as lawlessness and rebellion is labeled in II Thessalonians 2:7. They believed the lie of the original source of evil, Satan, who Jesus said, “…was a murderer from the beginning … and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

(“…But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.” I John 3:8)

Even before Cain murdered his brother Abel, Adam and Eve became murderers themselves.

They killed the spirit within them, the human spirit formed by God (Zechariah 12:1) which enabled them to fellowship in and with the very presence of God in the Garden of Eden. Everyone since then has been born with a dead spirit. This is a murder mystery that can only be solved by our spirit being made alive.

Said the Apostle Paul to believers: “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world…. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” (Ephesians 2:1-5, parenthesis in the text).

Jesus explained it this way: “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water (cleansing through the Word of God) and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going (it’s a mystery), so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit” (John 3:5-8, parenthesis mine).

Things to Ponder

Many crime novels, movies, and T.V. shows initially reveal a suspect(s) who turns out not to be the killer, or the killer has an accomplice. Television dramas like Matlock and Murder She Wrote are full of these kinds of plots.

Messiah Jesus was crucified by the Romans because Pontius Pilate finally agreed to the demands of the Jewish accusers to put Jesus to death. That’s no mystery. We know who the suspects were.

And yet it was a mystery because Jesus voluntarily gave up his life. Why and for whom?

Why? Answer: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son.”

For whom? Answer: “… so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

Mystery solved. It was you, me, and everyone who ever lived that drove Jesus to his death. We were all complicit … accessories before, during, and after the fact.

The ultimate reason of God’s plan for the human race is succinctly summarized in the following passage:

“God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth…

“God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago” (Ephesians 1:9-13).

It is the greatest puzzle problem conflict resolution of all time. Christ doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are you profoundly perplexed and mysteriously maddened with so many questions that seemingly have no answers? Why was I born? Why am I here? What’s really going to happen to me when I die? Why is there so much injustice, terror, war, and murder? Is there anyone who can resolve this mess of a world we live in? Who can solve these mysteries of life and death?

“For the time is coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this will be his name: ‘The LORD is Our Righteousness.’ In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety” (Jeremiah 23:5-6).

No one else can be what Jesus is. Or do what Jesus has done and will continue to do.

He is King of all kings AND High Priest.

He is LORD and SAVIOR!

Remember December (Kislev) … A Hidden Gem of Prophecy!

Tags

Beginning with the Beginning

So many people through the ages and alive on Planet Earth today have refused to believe in the God of the Bible. Or they live as if there is no God. Others may concede there’s only one true God, yet they reject the timeless 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. And instead of worshipping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshipped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles” (Romans 1:21-23).

The Apostle Paul wrote these words nearly 2,000 years ago, and people still worship the creation instead of the Creator. Except in this hi-tech post-modern world, the “enlightened and educated” among us don’t bow down before idols as some do in less-sophisticated cultures. Instead, they embrace political pluralism, moral relativism, and/or evolution as their religion.

Among other definitions of religion, it is: “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith” (Webster’s Dictionary).

Despite the infinitely complex macro-universe and micro-biology of life (there’s no way even one cell could have come to life on its own) with the mind-boggling order of the heavenly bodies and incredible intricacy of earthly bodies, many believe that creation created itself. Or, that it simply developed by chance. As has been said: every watch needs a watchmaker; every house needs a builder. The universe and all living things are far more complicated than a watch. If anyone seriously believes in evolution or man-made gods, then they (according to God who they refuse to believe made them) are foolish.

This may be a roundabout way to introduce the main subject of today’s article. However, unless people accept the very first verse of Scripture, it’s unlikely that they’ll consider the true source and meaning of their existence, their fallen (sinful) condition, and the need for Biblical salvation through God’s Son, Messiah Jesus, and Him alone.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

Many powerful prophecies and mighty miracles prove beyond any doubt that:

The God of the Bible IS GOD and His Son IS GOD

The reason religious leaders who worship other gods can’t predict the future nor perform miracles is actually quite simple: Those gods aren’t real. They exist only in the meandering minds and hardened hearts of those who have invented their own religion. Or those who have deceitfully imitated Biblical redemption by distorting the true Christian faith in God and His Son, Messiah Jesus. Or the elite and erudite among us who implicitly trust in their “enlightened” explanations for the origin and purpose of life.

The Apostle Paul also wrote: “So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe” (I Corinthians 1:20-21).

“This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer and Creator: ‘I am the Lord, who made all things. I alone stretched out the heavens. Who was with me when I made the earth? I expose the false prophets as liars and make fools of fortune-tellers. I cause the wise to give bad advice, thus proving them to be fools. But I carry out the predictions of my prophets! By them I say to Jerusalem, People will live here again, and to the towns of Judah, You will be rebuilt; I will restore all your ruins!’” (Isaiah 44:24-26).

The “I” (am the Lord) of the above passage is the majestic Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who in that same first chapter of Genesis said: “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us…” (Genesis 1:26, emphasis added).

In plain language, King David—inspired by the Holy Spirit—tells us that God has a Son. See Psalm 2 and Psalm 110.

Also, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else” (Psalm 45:6-7, italics for emphasis).

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

That Son is none other than Jesus of Nazareth, who fulfilled in extraordinary detail all Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah. So much so that the Jewish author of the New Testament book of Hebrews (which definitively and dramatically demonstrates Jesus’s New Covenant once for all sacrifice for sin) declares:

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

Most Biblical prophecies are panoramic and/or precise (specific) predictions that describe the coming Messiah (both first and second Advents); the return of the Jews to the Promised Land; the rebirth of Israel as a nation; and Israel’s final rescue, restoration, and redemption that will take place in the last generation before and during Messiah’s Millennial Reign on earth. As a result, Gentiles and Gentile nations that survive the Great Tribulation will share in Israel’s blessings.

For example: “In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all—the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. People from many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. The Lord will mediate between peoples and will settle disputes between strong nations far away. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore. Everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear” (Micah 4:1-4).

How good is that! I, for one, can hardly wait.

Somewhat Shrouded, Yet Significant Time-Capsule Prophecies

A handful of prophecies are not as comprehensively conspicuous as the passage (and many others like it) that we just read. They require more correlation with other passages and sometimes closer scrutiny of the present and past (history). Nevertheless, they are strikingly significant in substance and scope. A handful of these prophetic hidden gems are based on time-dedicated dates of fulfillment or importance of a certain day or date.

One of these time-lapse prophecies is found in Daniel Chapter 9; the famous 70 weeks of Israel’s future (interacting with Gentile nations … the 70th week—Tribulation period). Particularly the sixty-nine weeks from the command given to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem by Persian king Artaxerxes to the coming of Messiah (Palm Sunday)—exactly 483 years on the Hebrew calendar … 173,880 days. However, not until the late 19th century did an ardent student of Bible prophecy, Sir Robert Anderson—a detective with Scotland Yard—actually calculate the dates of Daniel’s prophecy. He wrote about this in his book, The Coming Prince.

I’ve discussed this dramatic disclosure in several Eye of Prophecy articles, including one of the earlier articles, An Incredible Time-Lapse Prophecy. Posted 1-18-14. Also, the 2nd most read Eye of Prophecy article thus far: Where is Messiah … Is He Already Here? Published 6-25-16.

Not only does Daniel’s prophecy pinpoint the exact day of Messiah’s first Advent, it also reinforces that phenomenal prediction with unmistakable evidence that Messiah must be killed before the (2nd) Temple would be destroyed (Daniel 9:26).

(Also refer to articles detailing at length Daniel 9:24-27: The Most Panoramic Prophecy in the Bible, Part I & II, published recently …1-13 & 1-20-18).

Another remarkable prophecy that relates to actual years of fulfillment is found in Leviticus Chapter 26, something the Lord disclosed to me in 2006. What Daniel 9 is to the first coming of Messiah, Leviticus 26 is to the second coming of Christ. More specifically, the exact year in which (what I’ve termed) the Seven Times Seven discipline of Israel ended when the IDF liberated Jerusalem in the stunning Six-Day War of 1967; thereby, ending Gentile domination of the Jews. Which, in turn, is an integral facet of the end-times final generation that will see the return of Messiah.

Once again, I’ll refer you to the articles of Seven Times Seven (to the 4th Power) I, II, & III; followed in summary fashion by, The Omega Generation (1-25, 2-1, 2-8 & 2-15-14).

Regarding calculation of the actual years involved, here is an excerpt from Seven Times Seven (to the 4th Power), Part II (in italics):

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 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.

*Note: I certainly didn’t start with the year 1967 and work backwards. Initially, I had no idea in what year the seven times seven paradigm would end.

Another Date-Dedicated Pearl of Biblical Prophecy (Main Subject of This Week’s Article)

It’s found in a two-chapter book of the Bible; a book that even believers seldom study, compared to other books of the Bible read more often. We’ll begin with:

“On December 18th of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the Lord sent this message to the prophet Haggai” (Haggai 2:10).

The backdrop is a delayed interruption of some ten years (530 B.C. to 520 B.C.) during construction of the 2nd Jewish Temple, which began in 536 B.C. after Cyrus issued the decree in 538 B.C. for the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. On March 12th (3rd day of Adar—12th month of the Hebrew calendar), 515 B.C., the Temple was finally completed. The more complete account is found in the book of Ezra.

Haggai and Zechariah were the two prophets appointed by God to both warn and encourage the Jews to get back to the task of rebuilding the Jewish Temple.

Several Old Testament prophets record the exact day or month, or both day and month in which they received a message from the Lord. Some will then identify the year of the ruler’s reign … be it a Jewish king, or a Gentile king. Thus, in most Bible translations like the KJV, New American Standard Bible, or Complete Jewish Bible, Haggai 2:10 reads: “On the twenty-fourth of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius…”

If you have a study Bible, the footnotes may sometimes identify the number of the month by its Hebrew name. In this case, the Hebrew month (ninth) is the month of Kislev, which overlaps parts of November and December on the Gregorian calendar. The first Jewish Biblical (religious) month is Nisan (March/April). Subsequently, the month of Tishrei (7th month of the religious calendar) became the first month of the civil year … Rosh HaShana (New Year Feast of Trumpets).

(Periodically, the Hebrew calendar has 13 months … Nisan is moved up a few days … to account for the 29 1/2 days of the lunar cycle, which over time balances the years out 30 days per month. The solar Gregorian calendar adjusts its precision by adding leap years)

However, a few Bible translations (such as New Living Translation that I quote from unless otherwise noted) make it easier for the reader by citing the Gregorian calendar date, in this case December 18th. In a footnote, the study Bible will then identify (through historical records) the precise year. In Haggai it was December 18th, 520 B.C.

Twice more the date of December 18th is mentioned, which emphasizes and enhances its significance, as we shall soon see. There are at least two other times in Scripture where God’s repetition, such as the one (date) we read in Haggai, actually depicts two events of the same nature. With the first reference applicable at that time or soon thereafter; the second fast forwarding to the end times.

For detailed explanation of one of these double descriptions concerning Israel’s two separate exiles and two returns to Israel, please see Eye of Prophecy article, Double Israel’s Troubles & Double Her Blessings! Posted 8-13-16.

Another dual emphasized event: “Babylon is fallen, Babylon is fallen” (Revelation 18). The first taking place when Persia conquered it the 6th century B.C.; the second when Rome (encoded by the name of Babylon) is destroyed during the Great Tribulation.

Continuing in Haggai:

“Think about this eighteenth day of December, (and also) the day when the foundation of the Lord’s Temple was laid. Think carefully. I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you” (Haggai 2:18-19, parenthesis mine).

*Note: The Complete Jewish Bible reads, “…keep this in mind, from this day on, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day the foundation of Adonai’s temple was laid, consider this…” (Haggai 2:18). The Lord is not saying that the foundation of the temple was laid on the 24th of Kislev; rather, from this day onward (24th of Kislev) AND also (going back) to when the foundation was laid … “I will bless you.”

In fact, the foundation of the Temple was actually laid nearly 16 years earlier.

As explained in Haggai 2:14-17: Before the people began to lay the foundation (they had reconstructed the altar and resumed sacrifices but had not actually begun the Temple construction, as recorded in Ezra), their crops yielded only a portion of what they should have.

The Lord is telling Haggai that he would now begin to bless them in a way he hadn’t since years before they were conquered by Babylon, their exile in Babylon, and after they had stopped work on the Temple. But also they needed to, “get (back) to work” (Haggai 2:4). Consequently, they should pay special attention to that 24th day of Kislev, which (nearly 20 years after they first did anything about rebuilding the Temple) would be a memorial milepost in their history. But also their future! The Lord wanted his people to grasp the “back to the future” significance of that day.

Before we read further in Haggai what the Lord would do, we need to place the Lord’s promise “from this day onward, I will bless you” into a broader Biblical perspective of other prophecies. The Israelites were still under the blessings and curses of the Mosaic Law. Scripture clearly demonstrates that the spiritual revival of God’s people was short-lived after the Temple and walls of Jerusalem (in that order) were rebuilt. The books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Malachi confirm this.

Not long after Nehemiah returned to Israel to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, the Lord ceased all communication with his people for 400 years. Until John the Baptist, there were no more prophets in and to Israel. During this time Judaism split into different sects, such as the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Zealots, and Essenes. The Jews became more legalistic than ever, especially through extra-Biblical interpretations of the law … subsequently written down in the Talmud.

The Jews would continue under Persian, Grecian, Syrian, and Roman domination for the next 600 years. However, because of God’s reinstated blessings as stated in Haggai (also Zachariah) they still prospered as much as a nation could under foreign control. In fact, the Lord miraculously delivered them from the rule of the Seleucid King Antiochus Epiphanes IV in 167-168 B.C. That’s what the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah is all about to this very day! And until Nero Caesar ordered the Roman Legions to march against Israel in 66 A.D., the Jews had maintained (comparatively speaking) a thriving community and economy under Roman rule.

Not until God’s people made their biggest mistake of all, did they suffer a second even more catastrophic loss of their nation and subsequent dispersion that would last for some 1,900 years. They rejected God’s New Covenant and their Messiah who brought (purchased with his life’s blood) that covenant to them and also to the Gentiles.

Thus, when the Lord said he would bless Israel from that day forward (Kislev 24th) he was contrasting it to the withdrawal of his protection and blessings before and during the Babylonian captivity. Until God’s end time’s sovereign design to finally redeem and restore Israel as a nation, the blessings would be conditional and comparatively limited. Yet, even during the Diaspora, right up to and through the Second World War, the Lord blessed and prospered many of his people throughout the world. The main reason that many Germans—especially the Nazis—and also people from other nations despised the Jews was because many Jews were successful in business, arts and entertainment, science, and specialized professions such as law and medicine. Sadly, Anti-Semitism has once again reared its ugly head in the 21st century.

*Note: Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not minimizing the horrors of the Holocaust and other terrible persecution of the Jews during their Diaspora. Yet with exception of only a few Jews (including some Rabbis) most are in denial or don’t realize why the Diaspora took place. Not until the Great Tribulation to come will both Israel and the Gentiles fully understand.

Here’s what the Lord says after he completely crushes the Gog/Magog coalition:

“And from that time on the people of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. The nations will then know why Israel was sent away to exile—it was punishment for sin, for they were unfaithful to their God. Therefore, I turned away from them and let their enemies destroy them … Then my people will know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them away to exile and brought them home again. I will leave none of my people behind” (Ezekiel 39:22-23 & 28).

A Remarkable Correlation of the 24th day of Kislev in Haggai’s Time to the Beginning of the Omega Generation

Perhaps there is one (temporarily overlooked), but I know of nowhere else in Scripture where God instructs his people to reflect on a specific date in this fashion, except one—Passover. Later, through Moses, the Lord established precise days/months of the year for observance of the Sabbath and Festivals. However, the Lord didn’t actually tell them to observe the 24th day of the 9th month. Kislev. Rather he told them to think about it … then and in the future.

It’s crystal clear that the 24th of Kislev in Haggai’s time was also prophetic, beyond the immediate day when the Lord gave him the two messages. Here’s why:

“On that same day, December 18 (24th of Kislev), the Lord sent this second message to Haggai: ‘Tell Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, that I am about to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overthrow royal thrones and destroy the power of foreign kingdoms…” (Haggai 2:20-22).

This was also the second time in Haggai Chapter 2 that the Lord said: “I will shake all the nations…” He goes on to say, “…and the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory…” (Verse 7).

Both Biblical and secular history demonstrate that this first “shaking of the nations” took place with the fall of Persia, Greece, and then the Roman Empire. Moreover, the splendid improvements to the Ezra built temple accomplished by Herod the Great, included “treasures” from nations other than Israel. And the filling of the Temple with God’s glory was achieved by and through the presence of Messiah Jesus (glory of the Son of God) during his many visitations to the Temple.

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

If the Lord placed a repetitive emphasis (high regard) on that momentous day by expanding or extending it to the future, there should be a subsequent event that fits the end-time’s generation. Not until a recent article about Jerusalem’s first liberation in the early 20th century, did the Lord show me the relevancy.

The Startling Connection

The article written by a Messianic Jew, Mike Evans (fairly well-known … a good friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) was simply a brief summary of Jerusalem’s deliverance (the second liberation taking place in 1967 by the Israelis themselves) from the Ottoman Empire. Although I’ve read about Great Britain’s victory over the Ottoman Turks during World War I (1917), I didn’t pay that much attention to the fact that it took place in December until I read Mike’s article. Even then, not until I read Haggai again just a few days later.

December? I thought. I wonder if….!

Mike Evans focused more on the day of December 11th, 1917, when the British General, Sir Edmund Allenby walked through Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate to officially announce the end of Ottoman rule over Jerusalem. Evans focused on that date because this past December 11th he met with President Trump at the Oval Office to present him with the Friends of Zion Award. This to recognize the President’s declaration on December 6th, formally acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In attendance were most members of the Faith Advisory Council, appointed by President Trump. Such members as: James Dobson, Jack Graham, Greg Laurie, Robert Jeffries, Robert Morris, Ralph Reed, and James Robinson.

Regarding the British victory over the Ottoman Turks, it was actually two days earlier that Jerusalem’s Muslim Mayor, Haj Amin Hashashibi, surrendered Jerusalem to the British … without a shot being fired!

December 9th, 1917: The Ottoman 7th army and some German soldiers and advisors fled Jerusalem rather than continue fighting bloody battles with the British, the most recent of which had taken place on November 25th. On December 8th, the British began their final march on Jerusalem; however, the Turks and Germans already had enough. The following day, December 9th, the city was handed over to the British.

With a combination of anticipation and apprehension (what are the chances), I proceeded to look up December 9, 1917 on a Hebrew calendar converter. What do you suppose I discovered? Having asked that question, you already know the answer. If what was found wasn’t found, you would be reading some other Eye of Prophecy article this week!

That’s right. The 9th of December, 1917 was the 24th day of Kislev!

Stunning!

Hello Haggai. From this last day’s generation we want you to know: We’ve thought about it!

Such is the sovereignty of our Almighty God. Once again in the second (end times) fulfillment of the Lord’s prophetic reminder (through Haggai), he began to “overthrow royal thrones and destroy the power of foreign kingdoms” (Verse 22). The word foreign is used because they would be foreign to Israel. That’s exactly what happened to the Ottoman Empire, to Germany and its allies in World War I. And in World War II. And again during the soon to come Gog/Magog alliance led by Russia, Iran, and (that’s right) Turkey! And finally when Messiah returns in power and great glory to destroy the Antichrist-led coalition in the final battle of Armageddon.

Not only that: Just a little over a month earlier (November 2, 1917), the Balfour Declaration had been approved by England, to facilitate what would become the Palestinian Mandate for the Jews (and Arabs if they chose, which they didn’t) to reclaim Israel as their own, and begin the process for statehood. As stated in several Eye of Prophecy articles, the Balfour Declaration was the launch-pad preparation point for fulfillment of last day’s (generation) prophecy. (See articles, The Balfour Declaration … Beginning of the Omega Generation Part I & II, posted in May, 2017).

However, unless the British had conquered the Ottoman Turk Empire and ended its 400-year control of Jerusalem, the Balfour Declaration would barely be worth the paper it was written on. And had the Turks not joined Germany and other nations aligned against Great Britain, France, and their allies (which eventually included the United States joining the war in 1917), the First World War probably would have been confined to Europe. The Ottoman Empire would have continued, and Jerusalem would not have been liberated.

It wasn’t an easy victory over the Turks, including the fierce battles that led to Jerusalem’s emancipation. Most of us recall something about the epic battle at Gallipoli (more than one movie has been made of this famous battle) where the British and Australians suffered a crushing loss to the Turks. And there would be mop-up skirmishes in other towns of Israel (Palestine at the time) such as Jaffa—that would prolong the inevitable British victory for three more weeks, until December 30th, 1917.

There’s more!

The Effective Origin of Zionism

Just like the foundation of the Temple was laid 16-17 years before the Lord’s emphasis on the 24th of Kislev (in Haggai’s time and also in the future), then finally finished some 20 years after the foundation was laid; so, too, there was another event in Jewish history that marked the beginning of the beginning of the final generation.

Twenty years earlier (1897), Theodor Herzl, an Austrian Jew, persuaded many influential Jews and some Gentiles to meet at the First Zionist Congress in Switzerland. From that first ever gathering to discuss restoration of a Jewish homeland, the World Zionist Organization was created, with Herzl as President. Theodor Herzl is considered the father of Zionism, which is simply the return of Jews to Israel as so powerfully and prevalently predicted in Scripture.

Thus, Herzl laid the foundation that would result in the liberation of Jerusalem, just like Jerusalem was freed (at the decree of Cyrus) enough for the Temple to be rebuilt by those Jews who returned from exile. Unfortunately, Herzl died from pneumonia in 1904 at the early age of 44. Obviously, his visionary dream for Israel’s restoration lived on.

Frankly, I think this otherwise obscure passage in Haggai is amazing. Yet, it’s just one of many fulfillment of prophecy that continue to unfold before the watching eyes of the world. For that matter, all of the Bible is amazing. Which is why it also never ceases to amaze me that so many people disregard and disrespect Scripture, because it’s so old. Therefore, outdated. Consequently, irrelevant.

Seriously? It’s no more outdated than today’s news flashes online and offline. It’s no more irrelevant than the staggering rapid-fire changes in the world’s geopolitical, economic, and cultural scene caused by and continuing since both World Wars. Even more so by the global obsession with Israel, beginning with the Balfour Declaration, implementation of which was made possible by the transfer of Jerusalem from the Turks to the British on the 24th of Kislev 1917. Then the rebirth of Israel in 1947-48. Then the reclamation of Jerusalem by the Jews themselves in 1967.

So, let’s think about it!

Not to mention the fact that the absolute spiritual truths of Scripture are universally timeless, no less than the God of the Bible who is from everlasting to everlasting. But I’ll mention it anyway!

Things to Ponder

This week’s Eye of Prophecy article is number 240 written since this labor of love project began in July, 2013. One each week, always posted on Saturday. The correlation (symmetry) between that number (the first two digits) and the 24th day of Kislev caught my attention. But nothing like the superb symmetry and synchronization of Scripture; God-breathed inspiration to 40 authors of the 66 books of the Bible, in three different languages, throughout a 2,000-year span.

There is another significant (somber) event in Biblical and Jewish history; one that also happened twice, incredibly on the same Hebrew calendar day. I’m referring to the 9th of Av … July/August. At the time, it was the worst day in Jewish history, the day that the Babylonians completed their conquest of Judah and destroyed Solomon’s Temple. Afterward, the Jews annually set aside that awful day as a national day of mourning. Then it happened again, when the Romans demolished the second temple. God’s people were incredulous that the temple would be destroyed a second time, let alone on the 9th of Av.

Although no one knows the day of Messiah’s return, perhaps it might be on the 9th of Av. To finally and fully demonstrate that he is, indeed, the Messiah, the Author and Finisher of the New Covenant of Grace. That salvation is exclusively through faith in his once for all substitutionary sacrifice for sin, not the Levitical sacrificial system that had to be repeated again and again.

In a trilogy of Eye of Prophecy articles, Where is the Temple? (Posted 11-29, 12-6, & 12-13-14), the primary premise was as follows:

No Temple, no sacrificial offerings. No sacrifices, no atonement forgiveness of sins. No forgiveness, no redemption. No redemption, no right standing with God.

One more fascinating fact concerning the month of Kislev.

As indicated earlier, it was December 6th (2017) when President Trump made the historic announcement that the United States would officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and also confirmed his previous promise to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem?

No, December 6, 2017 was not the 24th of Kislev.

It was, however, the 18th of Kislev!

Though not as important as the 24th day of Kislev in Haggai’s time—with God’s blessings on Israel magnified 2,437 years later when Jerusalem was liberated from Ottoman control on that very same day of the Hebrew month—it does bear significance when you juxtapose the Hebrew and Gentile calendars.

Remember that the first significant 24th of Kislev in Haggai equals the 18th of December on the Gentile calendar. Combining the two on the day when the United States validated Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital, we have the 18th Jewish day (of Kislev) in the confines of the (Gentile) month of December.

Also recall that the 24th of Kislev is mentioned three times in Haggai. The first time in the context of that particular (present) day in Haggai’s time, the other two in the broader future context of the Lord blessing Israel. A blessing that would intensify and then culminate with the onset of Israel’s final restoration and redemption accompanied and facilitated by the Lord’s shaking the earth, overthrowing royal thrones, and destroying the power of foreign kingdoms.

“I will strengthen Judah and save Israel; I will restore them because of my compassion. It will be as though I had never rejected them, for I am the Lord their God, who will hear their cries” (Zechariah 10:6).

God’s people have, indeed, gone to Israel, and are still going. This time to stay!

**A special tribute to Billy Graham, who died this past Wednesday (2-21) at the age of 99. Such a great evangelist who proclaimed and defended the Gospel of Jesus Christ to over 200 million people of 195 cities in 185 countries and territories for some six decades.

He was born on November 7, 1918, a little over a year after the Balfour Declaration and less than a year after Jerusalem’s liberation.

He was born in the month of Kislev (3rd)!

My father came to know Messiah Jesus through one of Billy’s messages.

Thank you Lord for sending us Billy Graham.

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

The Terrible Trio of Gog and Magog

Tags

Iran’s Direct Attack on Israel … A New Strategy

“Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran are on a collision course, a leading expert said on Sunday in the wake of Saturday’s clash between the Jewish state and forces loyal to Iran in neighboring Syria.”

These are the opening words of an article written by Benjamin Kerstein originally posted in the Israeli online news source, Algemeiner.com on February 12, 2018.

Before and especially after the outrageous Iran Nuclear Deal (finalized in April, 2015 … see Eye of Prophecy article, A Deal That Will Live in Infamy, posted 8-1-15), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Iran directly and the world-at-large secondarily that Israel cannot risk and will not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. Nor will Israel condone the transfer of precision-guided Iranian missiles (sold by Russia to Iran) through Syria into Lebanon. For several years now, Israel has launched strikes into Syria against these armament convoys. It’s clear that the IDF’s surgical strikes have been a deterrent to an even greater build-up and deployment of missiles in Syria and Lebanon.

This past Saturday (February 10th), in the early morning hours, an Iranian “stealth” drone was launched from a caravan near the T4 (Tiyos) airbase in the central desert of Syria, not far from Palmyra. The “elite” Iranian Quds Force took over this airbase some time ago and operates it to transport and release drones and missiles throughout Syria. In the past (it’s been several years), Hezbollah has fired rockets into Israel, but Iran itself has not.

Until now.

(Iranian Drones & Iran’s Ayatollah)

The article by Benjamin Kerstein continues: “There is a ‘major strategic clash on the horizon,’ said Amos Yadlin, the former head of IDF Intelligence and Executive Director of the Institute for National Security Studies. ‘We are speaking about an attempt that has never been made before,’ Yadlin said of the drone infiltration, and added that the motivation was Iran’s desire to prevent Israel’s ongoing attempts to prevent weapons transfers to the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon.

‘The Iranians … wanted to show Israel that it is also capable of attacking (Israeli) territory,’ Yadlin commented. The Iranians hoped that Israel would not respond to the escalation, but were quickly proven wrong.”

*Note: The more immediate motive for Iran’s unprecedented action was retaliation for Israel’s raid on an Iranian/Syrian weapons production facility near Damascus a few weeks earlier. Yet, in the past Iran had not responded to Israeli raids on Syrian weapons facilities. Therefore, this was Iran’s audacious attempt to directly strike a blow against Israel, and to test Israel’s resolve.

The article concludes with, “Yadlin stated in a conference call that the ongoing conflict is born of ‘Iran’s determination to build a force in Syria, and Israel’s determination not to let them.’

“A former IAF pilot, Yadlin took part in 1981’s legendary Operation Opera, which destroyed Iraq’s nuclear facility in Osirak.”

Note: That daring Israeli attack into the heart of Iraq was subsequently acknowledged by the United States and most Western nations as the main reason why Saddam Hussein never developed nuclear weapons.

Iran’s Futile Scheme to Surprise Israel

As though the Iranians thought they would catch Israel off-guard or outwit Israeli defenses, they directed the flight-path of the drone through Syrian airspace into Jordan, with the drone then manipulated suddenly into Israeli airspace. After monitoring the entire course of the drone, Israel waited 90 seconds to determine if the drone would remain in Israeli territory. When the Israeli Defense Force concluded that the drone was heading deeper into Israel, an IDF Apache helicopter shot it out of the sky.

Slightly over an hour later, eight Israeli F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to deal with the original source of what could have been several Israeli casualties had this drone fired on whatever target the Iranians may have selected in Israel. Even if it was just a “spy” drone, there’s no excuse for entering Israeli airspace.

Not only did the IDF destroy the caravan that carried this drone to its propulsion point, it also took out nearly half of Syria’s air defense installations including Iranian military sites. Some of these targets were destroyed in the first wave of Israeli F-16 air attacks; others in a second wave after a surface to air missile brought down one of the fighter jets, which crashed in northern Israel. Fortunately both the pilot and navigator survived, albeit the pilot sustained serious injuries. This was the first fighter jet lost in battle by the Israelis since 1982 … the Lebanon War.

Said Ammon Ein Dar, head of the Israeli Training and Doctrine Division, “We carried out a wide-scale attack on the aerial defense system: radars, missiles, batteries, and posts.”

Here is the count of Israel’s swift and stunning damages to Iranian and Syrian fortifications, a total of twelve separate sites: Syria’s largest airbase, with 54 runways and a control tower destroyed; 3 weapons depots; 6 Syrian military installations; 2 Iranian military bases.

In an article posted on February 11, 2018 in the online news source Jewish News Syndicate (JNS), Yaakov Lappin writes: “The escalation is the latest in an epic struggle building between Iran, which is trying to turn Syria into a forward Iranian military base, and Israel, which is determined to prevent this from happening at all costs. Iran is now trying to set a new ‘rules of the game’ and limit Israeli defensive operations in Syria.”

Lappin concludes his article by saying, “The Israeli strikes hinted at an ability to do far more significant damage should Iran decide to escalate further. Iran has no assurance that its own territory would remain immune to Israeli firepower in the event of a future conflict. The stakes of this struggle remain very high. Iran will have to decide if it will again try to challenge Israel’s freedom to operate over Syrian airspace. The situation remains explosive. Israel does not seek war, but the signals coming out of Jerusalem indicated that it has no intention of backing down from its red lines.”

Meanwhile, the Syrian civil war is anything but over. In fact, fighting has intensified once again, including the recent killing of over 200 civilians by Bashar Assad’s Syrian government forces aided by Hezbollah troops, Russian airstrikes, and Iranian missiles. The humanitarian crises is getting even worse. In all, nearly 500,000 have lost their lives in this woeful war of attrition.

(Homs, Syria … Shows Massive Damage to Just One of Many Cities in Syria. See Eye of Prophecy Article, There’s No Place Like Homs; Posted 3-12-16)

Will Things Continue as Usual?

The Apostle Peter told believers that there would be many in the last days who would scoff at the very truth of Scripture, and would mock the idea that Christ would return anytime soon, if at all.

“This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome (healthy, sensible, practical) thinking and refresh your memory. I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles.

“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 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’” (II Peter 3:1-4, parenthesis mine).

Keep in mind that 1st century Christians (first and foremost the apostles) eagerly expected that Messiah’s return would happen in their lifetime. With, however, the Holy Spirit inspiring Peter to also remind believers of God’s perspective of time: “A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day” (I Peter 3:8).

Jesus arose from the grave in the very early morning hours on the 3rd day. It’s been two thousand years since his resurrection. Might the 3rd millennium A.D. that began just 18 years ago be the early morning hours of the 3rd day that will see his return?!

(See Eye of Prophecy article, Just How Imminent is Messiah’s Imminent Return? Posted 11-18-17)).

Jesus himself said:

Day or hour is literal (no one knows the specific day or hour) and also expressive or indicative of years; but not an indefinite period of time. In fact, Jesus narrows this down to a generational time-span in his lengthy and fascinating end-times discourse (Matthew Chapters 24 & 25). That’s why he said, keep watch. Watch for what?

Answer: The signs of the “birth pains” (Matthew 24:8). Which prefaces Peter’s advice to know and understand the end-time signs predicted by the Old Testament prophets (remember what the holy prophets said long ago).

Continuing with the Apostle Peter: “They deliberately forgot 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 the earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed” (II Peter 3:5-7).

No different, said Peter, than the generation of the Great Flood. Like so many today, they were oblivious to or in denial disregard of the ark built right in front of them. They ignored Noah’s preaching for 120 years regarding the (obviously implied by Scripture) reason the ark was being built, including what they must do to survive God’s judgment of a world filled with evil and violence. In contemporary times, we have far more markers than just one ark. Indicators that are (should be) as obvious as an ark being built with no body of water nearby.

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

Thus, Peter said: “I want you to remember … I want to remind you.” Not the least of which was Jesus’s profound time-dedicated prediction: “…this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place” (Matthew 24:34).

Despite the extraordinary events of the 20th & 21st centuries and the ominous developments in the Middle East, most unbelievers and those Christian in name only continue to do what Jesus and the Apostle Peter said they would do in the last days. Sadly, in fact, many evangelical Christians have sometimes said pretty much the same thing, but not with a “mocking” mentality. Nonetheless, they are skeptical that the return of Messiah Jesus is very near, citing the constant chain of events in the Middle East and around Israel as an ongoing conflict with no end in sight. With a vague view that it could be decades or hundreds of years longer. That and they’ve forgotten the “generational” time frame that Jesus himself said would constitute the beginning (birth pangs) of the end.

As mentioned in several Eye of Prophecy articles, there are two time-parameters of a generation in Scripture: One hundred years and seventy years. One of the most prevalent prophecies of the Old Testament is the return of the Jews to Israel (including Israel’s rebirth as a nation), many of which were linked to Messiah’s coming to earth (his return) to rescue Israel from the godless Gentile nations. Two of these staggering predictions were the Gog/Magog invasion (Ezekiel 38 & 39) and the final assault led by the Antichrist such as found in Daniel 7, 9, and 11.

So, will things continue as usual? Answer: Yes and No.

Yes. The preponderance of people on this globe continue with (reckless) abandon their pursuit of the partying mentality at all cost, disregarding the “Arks” going up in plain sight around them. Signs that will affect their eternal destiny. For them, it is business as usual.

(Lasting Two Weeks, It’s The Longest Annual Celebration in the US. The Last Day of Mardi Gras Was This Past Tuesday, 2-13-18, Known as “Fat Tuesday” From the French: Mardi … Tuesday and Gras … fat).

Jesus isn’t saying there’s anything wrong with (in moderation) banquets and celebrations and business as usual. Messiah’s first miracle (along with dozens of other subsequent miracles) proving that he was the Son of God and God the Son took place at a wedding in Cana … turning water into wine.

What is wrong and eternally risky is to ignore obvious signs that the return of Messiah Jesus is drawing so very near.

Thus, the answer to the question is also, No. These amazing 20th & 21st century prophetic arks (end-time indicators) are anything but ordinary. When compared to the 18 centuries before (the 1st century A.D. was exceptionally uncommon) they are as unusual as it gets.

Things Are Different Now!

Considering Bible prophecy and its dramatic fulfillment, I don’t get how anyone could trivialize let alone ignore the notable end-times implications of events in the last 100 years. Our grandparents, parents, we and our children have seen or read about 20th & 21st century occurrences unprecedented in the annals of the human race.

Beginning with the First World War ever. One that, before it was even over, saw the mighty British Empire endorse Lord Balfour’s declaration that the Jews had a right to return to Israel, because it was their land to begin with. Then another World War, vastly more destructive than the first. Which, if it hadn’t (through God’s sovereignty) ended when it did, would have resulted in the success of Hitler’s diabolically malicious plan to exterminate the Jews. Then the rise of the United States to superpower status. A nation originally founded on Biblical Judaic/Christian principles, predicated on and patterned after the nation of Israel—God’s chosen and special possession. Then only three years after World War II, the miraculous rebirth of Israel as a sovereign nation, just like the Bible predicted long ago. Followed by a remarkable return to Israel of Jews from all over the earth.

Also the establishment of a United Nations; a European Union; a Russian-led hub of socialist countries; an Arab League of over 50 Muslim nations; the awakening of a sleeping giant (China—kings of the East); and two rogue-nation governments (Iran and North Korea) that threaten world security like no others. All of which have been inordinately focused for decades on the tiny nation of Israel … mostly in a negative way. With this spotlight increasing exponentially to the point where you can hardly pick up a newspaper or click online without more news of what’s happening in the Middle East, particularly in, around, and to Israel.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, Global Obsession with Israel … In Biblical Proportions! Posted 1-6-18)

ALL of these extraordinary new developments intricately tie in with old Bible prophecies. The old has become new again. It is more relevant now than ever before. It is an unusual interruption of business as usual. To include the amazing advancement of transportation, communication, and knowledge that has reduced the Global community to the size of the town where you live.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, The Seal of Approval, Posted 11-15-14)

Things are certainly not the same as they were before the 20th century, especially after Israel’s rebirth as a sovereign nation that set the last day’s wheels in motion. These dramatic developments are not only a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, they are also sovereignly (God’s plan) suggestive of Israel’s original birth as a nation, then their fall from God’s favor and protection when they abandoned the Lord. And now the beginning of Israel’s final restoration and redemption.

To become a nation the Jews had to fight against countries that were Israel’s immediate neighbors—in Joshua’s time, during the time of the judges, and finally when the twelve tribes were united under King David with Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel. Nations like Egypt, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Philistia, and others that Israel defeated in war. And peace treaties reached with a few nations either after Israel defeated them or instead of war.

However, when the Lord disciplined Israel beginning some two hundred years after the split of the twelve tribes when King Solomon died, he used powerful Gentile nations far away from Israel. Nations whose people had strange (wicked) practices and spoke strange languages as indicated in the Old Testament. Countries whose people were not descended from Lot or Ishmael or Esau nor who were Arabs. Nations like Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and finally Rome.

Remarkably, this paradigm resurfaced after Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948. The day after statehood was declared, Israel was attacked by modern-day versions (representations) of those enemy nations adjacent to Israel before the Jews were conquered by far away nations beginning in 722 B.C. (Assyria), then Babylon in 586 B.C., then under rule of Persia, Greece, and Rome for hundreds of years.

These nearby 20th & 21st century nations are Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and (to a lesser extent) Iraq. Against all odds, Israel defeated her Arab neighbors in the 1948 War of Independence. Likewise in the Suez War of 1956, the Six-Day War of 1967, and finally the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

The Arabs of these nations, including Palestinians living in Israel, realize they cannot defeat the Jews in a conventional war. Thus, they have resorted to terrorism, BDS, writing their own (false) history of the Middle East, and persuading the UN to pass (false, unjustified) resolutions against Israel.

(Height of Ignorance, Not Only Flying in the Face of God, But Boycott of Israeli Businesses Hurt Many Palestinians Employed By These Businesses)

(Good For You, New York!)

But now Israel has a peace treaty with Egypt and Jordan, and an implied understanding with Lebanon (it is the terrorist group Hezbollah who threatens Israel, not necessarily Lebanon itself). Iraq is no longer a viable threat because of its civil war, nor is Syria for the same reason.

In terms of national military threats, who are Israel’s main enemies now?

General Answer: Nations much further away from Israel, just like when the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Romans conquered Israel and dispersed the Jews. With Persia and Greece exercising control over the exiled Jews.

In the end times, things would be reversed between Israel and her enemies. God would use Israel (directly and indirectly) as a source of punishment for nations that would seek to once again destroy Israel. Rather than the Lord using those nations to punish Israel.

Which leads us to the more specific answer of who are Israel’s main enemies today?

Specific Answer: Russia, Iran, and Turkey, three non-Arab countries who will constitute, by far, the largest and most powerful components of the Gog/Magog coalition. Do you see this precedent and pattern?

In years past Russia, Iran, and Turkey have desired a dominant foothold in the Middle East nations surrounding Israel. And now all three have their wish. When the appointed time arrived, God would accommodate the warped wish of these nations, even to the extent of enticing them to march against Israel.

Said God to Ezekiel: “Son of man, turn and face Gog of the land of Magog … prophesy against him. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord … I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws to lead you out with your whole army…” (Ezekiel 38:2-4).

He also told Ezekiel that this would happen “in the distant future” (verse 8).

Does over 2,500 years qualify as the distant future? I certainly believe it does! That’s exactly what is transpiring before our 21st century eyes. Moreover, the global balloon full of war and rumors of war and threats and counter threats is far too full, not to burst in the near future. The chain of current events has been stretched so tight and so fast that there’s no way it can keep from snapping.

Revisiting Gog/Magog

In just the past two years or so there have been dramatic developments in the Middle East involving the three major nations that will comprise the Gog/Magog confederacy, Russia, Iran, and Turkey. As we’ve seen, the most recent is Iran’s first direct intrusion into Israel via the drone—a test of Israel’s resolve and a measure of Israel’s response. Also a demonstration that the Iranians not only intend to remain in Syria, but will continue to enlarge their surrogate sway over Lebanon (Hezbollah) and perhaps even a greater influence over Bashar Assad’s Syrian government than their partner in crime, Russia.

With a practical and predictable rule-of-engagement result: Israel dealt both Iran and Syria a devastating blow, inflicting massive damage to twelve military and weapons sites in Syria. Which has undoubtedly led to Iran’s realization (now or soon) that it cannot accomplish its treacherous boast of eliminating Israel from the face of the earth without Russia and (more reluctantly) without Turkey. That mindset is precisely what will lead to the formation of the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel in the near future—but after the Rapture.

In the past few weeks, Russia, Iran, and Turkey have bolstered their tenuous political, military, and diplomatic ties as a (terrible) trio, each nation with the other. Not all that long ago they were at each other’s throats. What originally brought them together?

Two-part answer: (1) ISIS … a common enemy. However, Turkey is known to have actually assisted ISIS, mainly because Turkey hates the Kurds based in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey much more than it fears ISIS. The Kurds have inflicted more damage on ISIS than all other freedom fighting groups in Syria battling both ISIS and Bashar Assad’s government troops.

(2) Syria’s Civil War. Russia and Iran have supported Assad’s troops, mostly with air support and missiles, respectively. Also, both nations have advisors and Special-Ops in Syria. Here again, President Erdogan of Turkey doesn’t like nor directly supports Bashar Assad; nevertheless, Erdogan is more than willing to overlook this animosity if Turkish relations with Iran and Russia are enhanced.

One huge advantage of Turkey cozying up to Russia and Iran: both of those countries extending carte blanch authority to and approval of Turkey’s latest incursion into Syria in the past two weeks to do battle with the Kurds. As a reminder or if you didn’t know, the United States supports the Kurds both militarily (air strikes and military advisors) and, to a lesser extent, politically.

It just may be the strangest, most complicated war (several wars into one) of all time. Even a simplified version of it is mind-boggling: A is fighting B who is fighting C who is fighting A … often wondering who they will be fighting today. All of them fighting D (ISIS). With the United States (and its allies) and Russia actually coordinating their bombing raids with each other!

With, however, fulfillment of Biblical prophecy an absolutely direct result. Which as alluded earlier: Russia, Iran, and Turkey cooperating not long after each was a staunch opponent of the other two.

Concerning Israel: Iran’s hatred of and overt animosity toward Israel is the most obvious. By establishing military bases in Syria and now attempting to build missile factories in Lebanon—through their puppet regime of Hezbollah—Iran is nearing the threshold of Israel’s northern border.

(“Come, they say, let’s wipe out Israel as a nation…” Psalm 83:4. The Modern Day Threat to Eliminate Israel Is Yet Another Fulfilled Biblical Prophecy)

Russia’s design for Israel is more subtle as currently demonstrated by its friendly approach toward Israel; nonetheless a shrewd scheme to take over the newly developed Israeli oil and gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea. (See Eye of Prophecy: Gog, Magog, and Leviathan posted 1-3-15).

Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin is clever. He understands this strategy of diplomacy will take him much further and more quickly than outright hostility toward Israel. Plus, he knows that the United States would instantly come to Israel’s aid should he (with or without Iran and Turkey) decide to do something about Israel now. Which is one reason the Gog/Magog attack won’t begin until after the Rapture—when millions taken from the United States will cripple America’s superpower status. That and the fact that Antichrist’s treaty with Israel will give the Jews a false sense of security; enticing Russia, Iran, and Turkey to take advantage of this peace treaty while Antichrist (Nero) is still forming and consolidating (forcing three nations … see Daniel 7:8) his powerful ten-nation coalition during the first half of the Tribulation.

Turkey is somewhere between Russia’s olive branch approach to Israel and Iran’s malicious motive to eliminate Israel altogether. Turkey’s President Erdogan loathes Israel; however, he, too, realizes the folly of taking on Israel alone. On the other hand, Turkey will jump at the opportunity to invade Israel, should Russia and Iran invite Turkey to join them.

At Putin’s incentive, three times in the recent past these three nations have convened to discuss and devise a partition type map of Syria, with the assumption that Assad will win the war against Syrian freedom fighters. Although a measure of agreement was reached to establish four demilitarized zones (no military operations), by and large these meetings have failed in their objectives. The latest was held in Sochi, Russia called, “A Congress of the Syrian People.” It failed miserably. Pending is another tripartite meeting called by Putin, with a date not yet specified. Ironically, it’s the failure of these resolution meetings that will keep Russia, Iran, and Turkey that much more entrenched in Syria.

(One of Several Recent Meetings Between Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu)

The signs of the times are mounting with incredible frequency and intensity. Here again is a list of twelve major indicators of the Omega Generation (the last generation that will lead directly to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Millennial Reign of Messiah Jesus) originally summarized in Part II of Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up, Redemption is Near (posted July 2015):

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

Looking Back to 2016

The following excerpts are from one of several Eye of Prophecy articles about Gog/Magog, entitled: The Gog/Magog Countdown Has Begun! Posted 9-10-16. Since then, the terrible trio of Russia, Iran, and Turkey have tightened their ties and proliferated their presence in Syria that much more.

Russia and Iran

*Note: The first paragraph is an excerpt within the excerpts … from an earlier article, entitled. Beginning of the End, posted 3-5-16. As you read these excerpts (in italics) remember that they date back to 2016.

The two most powerful nations referenced in Ezekiel’s predictions are Russia, by clear inference, and Iran, by actual name. Once enemies by virtue of the Iranian’s (Persians) national adherence to Islam, directly opposed to Russia’s atheistic communism, Iran is now an ally of Russia. They have set aside their differences for the common cause of establishing a footing in the region, under the pretense of supporting Bashar Assad and his Syrian government. Russia’s main agenda is to take over the gas fields off the coast of Israel and newly discovered oil reserves in Israel. Iran’s objective is much less subtle. Their hatred of Jews and Israel has been repeatedly voiced by their leaders with genocidal threats to: Wipe Israel from the face of the earth.

To demonstrate how much stronger this unlikely alliance between Russia and Iran is getting: Less than a month ago, for the first time ever, Iran permitted a foreign nation’s (Russia, of course) fighter bombers and jets to take off from Iran’s Hamedan Air Base. If you’ve kept up with just a little of what’s happening in the Middle East, you’ll know that this military liaison between Russia and Iran pretentiously serves the purpose of striking ISIS targets in Syria. Because both Iran and Russia support the Syrian Government still led by Bashar Assad, they also bomb and strafe Syrian rebel militia fighting against Assad. These freedom fighters are supported by the United States and some Western nations. Although Iran subsequently restricted Russia’s use of the air field to refueling only, the sure fulfillment of the Gog/Magog prophecy will eventually lead to unhindered cooperation between these two nations. Their anti-God (of the Bible) and anti-Israel agenda will override any differences.

Turkey and Iran

In that same article, Beginning of the End, I also wrote about an improbable joint military exercise (war games) between primarily Saudi Arabia and Turkey that took place this past February, called Northern Thunder. It was meant to be a show of force directly against Syrian President Assad and indirectly against Iran, which supports and subsidizes Assad in Syria and Iran’s puppet regime Hezbollah in Lebanon.

…Just like Erdogan of Turkey and Putin of Russia have cozied themselves and their countries together; in just the past three weeks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif (the same Iranian official who met with the P5 + 1 nations to seal the Iranian nuclear deal last year) met with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu. In a joint press conference, Zarif announced that Iran has every intention of resolving all remaining disputes with Turkey.

Emboldened by its sudden reconciliation with Russia and Iran, Turkey just a few days ago sent tanks and soldiers into Syria, to ostensibly strike at ISIS targets. However, as any of us who monitors the pulse of the Middle East knows: Turkey’s main interest was to attack the Kurds who seek their own independent state.

Turkey’s incursion into Syria and the Turks newfound affinity for the Russians pleases Iran to no end. In his Gatestone Institute article published August 26th, Burak Bekdil quotes Meira Svirsky at the Clarion Project: “Not only will Turkey have to digest that (Russian-Iranian-Syrian) line, it will have to join it, entering into a pact with Putin and the ayatollahs. Clearly this is where Erdogan has decided is the best place to pledge his allegiance.”

*Note: A current reminder that in just the past couple of weeks Turkey reentered Syria to intensify its war on the Kurds.

Russia and Turkey

Next, is the unimaginable reconciliation between Turkey and Russia? It was only last November that Turkey shot down a Russian warplane that allegedly strayed into Turkish airspace. The infuriated Russian President Vladimir Putin immediately leveled economic sanctions against Turkey, which cost the Turkish economy billions of dollars. The sabre rattling of the two nations against each other was heard around the world, to include absurd boasts by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Russia was no match for Turkish military power!

In the article, Beginning of the End (March, 2016) I made this observation:

Although diplomatic relations between Turkey (the third most prominent nation in this Gog/Magog confederation) and Russia are currently strained, that will change dramatically…. In the classic mode of “if your enemy is also my enemy,” Turkey will go all in with Russia and Iran if it means conquering Israel.

Since that article was posted, the strained relations between Russia and Turkey have, indeed, changed dramatically. This past July, (once again, this would have been the year 2016) Erdogan apologized for shooting down the Russian warplane; in August he flew to Russia, and shook hands with Putin as a prelude to normalizing diplomatic relations between the two (former) rivals. Subsequently, they have set aside their differences to the point where the Russians not only didn’t oppose Turkey’s entrance into the Syrian civil war just a couple of weeks ago; they welcomed Turkey’s sudden and direct participation.

Things to Ponder

Essentially, we can dismiss the pretentious reasons that all three nations are establishing a foothold in Syria! Ultimately, it is not because Russia and Iran want to keep Assad in power or that Turkey wants to keep the Kurds from declaring an independent state in Syria and Iraq, next to the Turkish border.

Their ultimate goal: Israel. They all have Israel in their sights.

Which is the biggest (final) mistake they and the other nations joining Gog and Magog will ever make. For to do so is to make an enemy of the God of Israel.

“Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: Gog, I am your enemy!” (Ezekiel 38:3).

“It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

The Lord told Israel: The result of their refusal to enter the Promised Land because they didn’t trust the Lord to give them victory over the Canaanites, would be painful. Read with me what God said:

“Because your men explored the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years—a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins. Then you will discover what it is like to have me for an enemy” (Numbers 14:34)

If the Lord (temporarily) made his own people an enemy, how severely will he deal with those nations who deny and defy him and who seek Israel’s destruction?

“O Lord, pay back our neighbors seven times for the scorn they have hurled at you. Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever, praising your greatness from generation to generation” (Psalm 79:12-13).

Scripture’s repeated predictions that Israel would be reestablished as a sovereign nation—with Jerusalem as its capital and return of exiled Jews to Israel—has taken place in our generation. And they have returned to stay, as exemplified in the following passage:

Nearly all of the Old Testament prophetic books (Isaiah through Malachi) contain warnings of Israel’s punishment and also God’s wrath against godless Gentile nations, especially those that participated in or condoned Israel’s destruction. Correlating secular history (dates) with Biblical history, one phenomenon you’ll find is that, for the most part, once a prophet first forecasted what would happen to Israel if they didn’t return to the Lord their God, the event normally occurred within 100 years. As the time of punishment (whether Assyria’s or Babylon’s conquest of Israel and Judah, respectively … or other events) drew closer, God’s warnings through his prophets increased in frequency and descriptive severity. In principle and pattern, that’s exactly what’s happening in and around Israel in our generation.

The Balfour Declaration of 1917, followed by Israel’s rebirth in 1947-48, then Israel’s liberation of Jerusalem in 1967 (when Gentile domination of Israel ended) have all occurred within a 100, 70, and 50-year generational time span.

The big difference, of course, is that the current events will lead to a totally different result. In our time, “…the Lord will make you (Israel) the head and not the tail, and you will always (from now on) be on top and never at the bottom” (Deuteronomy 28:13, parenthesis mine).

Although there are other indicators of the last days, the frenzied pace of the Gog/Magog formation in which the three most prominent nations of that confederacy have a foothold right next to Israel, can only mean that it’s a matter of just a short time before Russia, Iran, and Turkey cooperatively conspire to invade Israel. Which, in turn, means that the Rapture is at hand like never before!

Moses & Elijah vs. Antichrist & The False Prophet

Tags

The Powerful Prophecies & Miracles of the Bible

The Bible is an amazing book. And why wouldn’t it be. Through God’s sovereign inspiration and preservation, the Bible is sixty-six books written over some 1,300 years, made into one.

Scripture reveals to us the true and living God who or whose angels appeared and spoke directly to prophets, priests, scribes, kings, apostles, and ordinary people like Gideon (Old Testament) and Mary (New Testament) who went on to do extraordinary things. Everything we need to know about creation; the fall of mankind; everlasting life through redemption that reconciles men and women back to their Creator; and the Messiah who would purchase that salvation through the greatest sacrifice ever made by the highest price ever paid.

It is a historical book containing numerous details about people, places, and events. It is a timeless living book that imparts universal truth. It is a prophetic book that presents hundreds of predictions that have already come to pass and others awaiting fulfillment. The God of the Bible unequivocally claims that he is the only God. There are no other gods, except those mankind has invented. He backs up this claim with mighty miracles, the greatest of which is the resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ, from the grave.

Has anyone ever taken the time to actually count the number of miracles in the Bible? I suppose someone has; there isn’t much that hasn’t been done in this mind-boggling age of pursuit and publication of fact upon fact (knowledge, not necessarily wisdom). Perhaps someday I’ll take on that task and count them. But, rest assured, there are dozens, if not hundreds. And these are just the ones recorded for us.

Regarding Jesus alone, we read: “The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name” (John 20:30-31).

For sake of illustration, let’s say there were only ten recorded miracles in Scripture … perhaps the ten plagues of the Exodus. Armed with only those ten, I would dare any man-made religion (including Islam) to list ten miracles performed by the god or prophets of that religion. Likewise, show me ten (or five or two) prophecies that have come to pass. Actually, all other “sacred texts” are virtually devoid of miracles and prophecies.

As an introduction to this week’s article on two of the greatest prophets portrayed in Scripture and the exceptional evidence to confirm that they will engage Antichrist and his false prophet in an epic struggle during the Tribulation, we’re going to begin with one of the many astounding miracles recorded in the Bible. In fact, these two prophets are part of the miracle itself, long after they left the earth. Perhaps a better way to describe this scene is to say that there were two miracles happening at the same time.

The Powerful Pre-Resurrection Glorification of Messiah Jesus

Not long after Jesus plainly told his disciples that it would be necessary for him (just like another prophet had written hundreds of years earlier … Isaiah 53) to “…suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law … be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead” (Matthew 16:21), we read:

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

“Peter exclaimed, ‘Lord, it’s wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I’ll make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’

“But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.’ The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.

“Then Jesus came over and touched them, ‘Get up,’ he said. ‘Don’t be afraid.’ And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus” (Matthew 17:1-7).

Later, Peter wrote about this incredible scene in which they witnessed first-hand a preview of Jesus’ glorious eternal imperishable body, even before Jesus arose from the dead. A spiritual body (I Corinthians 15) that also will be given to believers at the miraculous resurrection of the dead in Christ and equally amazing transfiguration of believers alive at the Rapture.

(See Eye of Prophecy articles: Spiritual Bodies … A Contradiction of Terms? Part I & II. Posted 9-26 & 10-3-15. Also: The Tremendous Transfiguration of Believers. Posted 6-23-16. And based on Daniel 7:13-14: Messiah’s Ascension & Coronation … Seen Long Before It Happened. Published 5-27-17).

Said the Jewish Apostle Peter:

“For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, ‘This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.’ We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain” (II Peter 1:16-18).

In Luke’s account of this magnificent scene, he writes, “Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem” (Luke 9:30-31, italics for emphasis).

Not until Jesus left the earth and returned to heaven would the Kingdom of Heaven arrive; spiritually signified and sealed by the Holy Spirit who would now indwell the hearts of believers on the earth. Not until three foundational things took place would the Kingdom of God be established physically on the earth: (1) World-wide spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (2) Final return of exiled Jews from the four-corners of the earth to once again possess the Promised Land of Israel. (3) God’s second and final judgment of evil to prepare the way for Messiah’s Kingdom on earth.

Moses & Elijah Preparing the Way for Messiah’s Return

Moses and Elijah will be part of that end-times preparation, as the two mighty prophets (witnesses) so dramatically described in Revelation Chapter 11. Just as Christ and Antichrist will return in the same bodies in which they left the earth, so would Moses and Elijah … twice. The first time on the Mount of Transfiguration, the second time on Mount Zion (Jerusalem).

Their presence will be a direct affront and threat to Antichrist Nero and the False Prophet, who will do most of the speaking for and perform wonders on behalf of Antichrist (Revelation 13). Next to the final showdown between Messiah Jesus and the combined armies of Antichrist and kings of the east at Armageddon, the clash of Moses and Elijah with Nero and the False Prophet will be the most titanic struggle ever witnessed. It will affect hundreds of millions on Planet Earth for 3 ½ years.

Although I wrote extensively about these two prophets in an Eye of Prophecy trilogy, The Two Witnesses Part I, II, III (posted in June, 2014), those articles focused primarily on extensive evidence in the Old Testament to demonstrate convincingly that the two witnesses of Revelation 11 are, in fact, Moses and Elijah. Among other details, those articles explained how and why both prophets appeared in their earthly bodies on the Mount of Transfiguration, and will so again during the Tribulation.

In this week’s article, we’ll review some of that material in summary fashion; however, our main focus will be the monumental impact that these two mighty prophets will have on Antichrist and the False Prophet, and also on the world at large.

With, however, a special emphasis on their respective roles during the Tribulation that you may not have considered, even if you’re quite familiar with their Old Testament biography. To wit: Moses will be God’s chief challenger to Antichrist. Elijah the key opponent of the False Prophet.

It was Moses who confronted the Gentile ruler Pharaoh. As we will see, Pharaoh is a generic prototype of Antichrist (Nero).

Pharaoh was the most renowned monarch of the mightiest nation on earth at the time. Antichrist Nero—by means of his amazing reappearance from a 2000-year old grave (Revelation 17:7-8 and Revelation 13:3-4)—will be the most revered and feared leader of the Tribulation period. To even exceed his popularity (especially with the common Roman citizen) during his 14-year reign as Caesar … 54 – 68 A.D.

It was Elijah who challenged the Jewish King Ahab, and exposed the prophets of Baal for what they were … false prophets.

The Lord prepared both Moses and Elijah for their colossal conflict with the political and religious forces of evil, respectively, by means of a miracle. Moses at the burning bush; Elijah fed and kept from starvation (near the end of a 3 ½ year devastating drought and famine in Israel) by ravens!

After we look at a summary of Moses vs. Pharaoh and at Elijah vs. the false prophets, we’ll focus on the amazing scene in Revelation 11, in which these two prophets will perform the same kind of miracles as they did long ago.

Since Moses came along before Elijah, let’s begin with him.

Moses vs. Pharaoh

Most Christians, Jew and Gentile alike, and non-Messianic Jews are conversant with the Biblical account of Passover and deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. I would also venture to say that billions of people have at least heard of the Exodus and God’s powerful miracles before, during, and after the Exodus. Even if some have never actually read the book of Exodus (and other books of the Bible that mention the Exodus …mostly the Psalms), many in the 20th & 21st centuries have seen or at least heard about the epic movie, The Ten Commandments.

First, Moses (and Aaron) had to assure their own people that God had truly sent them to deliver the Israelites from 400 years of Egyptian bondage.

“Aaron told them everything the Lord had told Moses, and Moses performed the miraculous signs as they watched. Then the people of Israel were convinced that the Lord had sent Moses and Aaron. When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshipped.

“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…’

‘Is that so?’ retorted Pharaoh. ‘And who is the Lord? Why should I listen to him and let Israel go? I don’t know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go’” (Exodus 4:30-31 & 5:1-2).

As we say nowadays: “Famous last words!”

The next thing Pharaoh and all of Egypt knew, they had blood instead of water to drink.

“Then all the Egyptians dug along the riverbank to find drinking water, for they couldn’t drink the water of the Nile. Seven days passed from the time the Lord struck the Nile” (Exodus 7:24-25).

Pharaoh’s heart grew harder with each successive plague. Yet, several times he begged Moses to take away the plagues. His pleas began with the second plague. Already he had begun to realize that, this Lord he didn’t know just might be the true and living God.

“Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and begged, ‘Plead with the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the Lord” (Exodus 8:8).

After the seventh plague of destructive lightning and hail, here’s what Pharaoh (Ramses II) said:

“…This time I have sinned. The Lord is the righteous one, and my people and I are wrong. Please beg the Lord to end this terrifying thunder and hail. We’ve had enough. I will let you go; you don’t need to stay any longer” (Exodus 9:27-28).

We know that Pharaoh reneged again on his promise. It would take a calamity of locusts and total darkness and the most devastating of all—death of Egypt’s firstborn sons—for Pharaoh to finally acknowledge the universal sovereignty of the true and living God.

After God struck down the oldest male child of all Egyptian families, including Pharaoh’s son, Pharaoh knew beyond all doubt that the God of Israel is God … the Lord of heaven and earth. He even called God by name … the LORD. Whenever you see LORD capitalized in Scripture, it is identifying the name God first disclosed to Moses at the burning bush. Yahweh! (I AM). Initially, God called himself, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Listen to Pharaoh as he commands the Israelites (though desperate, he was still an arrogant autocrat) to leave after the greatest disaster that had ever befallen Egypt:

“Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron during the night. ‘Get out!’ he ordered. ‘Leave my people—and take the rest of the Israelites with you! Go and worship the LORD as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you said, and be gone. Go, but bless me as you leave.’ All of the Egyptians urged the people of Israel to get out of the land as quickly as possible, for they thought, ‘We will all die!’” (Exodus 12:31-33).

Seriously? This powerful, proud ruler actually asked Moses to bless him before leaving!

Then we read: “That night the people left Rameses and started for Succoth. There were about 600,000 men, plus all the women and children” (Exodus 12:37, italics for emphasis). *Note: Many Biblical historians place the total number of Israelites in the vicinity of 2 million.

I italicized Rameses in the above passage for a reason. It is first mentioned in the first chapter of Exodus:

“So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king” (Exodus 1:11).

Rameses was a name of some of the Pharaohs and a city built to honor that name.

Pharaoh Ramesses II (also spelled Rameses and Ramses)

Many historians and archeologists consider Ramses II one of the most powerful, if not the greatest Pharaoh of all. In fact, he was known as Ramses the Great. Born in 1303 B.C. he lived to be ninety years old. He ruled as Pharaoh from 1279 B.C. to his death in 1213 B.C. However, his father Seti appointed him Prince Regent while Ramses was still in his teens, meaning that he probably ruled with Seti for a few years.

Ramses II is one of, if not the most, remembered Pharaohs, especially in the 20th & 21st centuries. Whether you realized or recall it, you’ve probably seen a picture of his mummified remains or the colossal statue he had built for himself. Or perhaps you recognize the name of his favorite and most famous consort, Nefretiri.

(Sculptured Statue of Ramses II)

(Remarkably Well-Preserved Remains of Ramses II)

Other than the Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Egypt—erected hundreds of years before his time—Ramses II is considered to be the most prolific builder, unprecedented in Egyptian history. Throughout his reign, he was worshipped as the god above all gods … on equal footing with the chief Egyptian sun-god, Ra.

Many historians believe there is more evidence than not to select Ramses II as the most popular (historically accurate) candidate for the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Although there are two possible historical time-lines of the Exodus, most scholars (including me) place it at or very close to the year 1280 B.C. That would have been the very beginning of Ramses II’s reign as Pharaoh, or perhaps in the last couple of years when he was the Prince Regent.

The blockbuster movie The Ten Commandments was based heavily on the book of Exodus and also books by Dorothy Clarke Wilson and J.H. Ingraham. Producer and director Cecil B. De Mille chose Ramses II as the Exodus Pharaoh, which tracks with the preponderance of the historical evidence and time-line. For the most part, his classic film is an accurate portrayal of the book of Exodus … factually and sequentially. His imaginative pictorial splitting of the Red Sea and the finger of God imbedding the Ten Commandments in stone are reliable reproductions of the actual text in Exodus.

The fulfillment of prophecy as recorded both in the Bible and secular history plus the absolute truths of Scripture demonstrate that God, in his ultimate sovereignty, providentially controls (allows or disallows or actually causes) the rise and fall of rulers and nations.

For example: “It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall” (Psalm 75:7).

In fact, the first Pharaoh encountered by the Jews was most favorable toward them, complements of the Lord giving Pharaoh two dreams that eventually led to the very survival of Egypt and Jacob’s family. You remember the story of Joseph! By the time we get to the Exodus, the current Pharaoh (Ramses II) had forgotten all about Egyptian history, i.e. God’s divine rescue (through a Jew … Joseph) of Egypt and surrounding nations from a devastating seven-year famine.

I believe there are at least three reasons why God allowed his people to remain in Egypt for so long. One reason he gave to Abraham: to give the Canaanites plenty of time to repent—which, of course, they didn’t. Another reason was to allow the Israelites to grow in great numbers to prepare them for nationhood. Third: to wait until it was (God’s) time for the greatest Pharaoh of all to assume the throne; for the express purpose of God displaying his stupendous power to prove that he alone is God. The Lord wouldn’t do this while some weak, short-tenured, soon to be forgotten ruler was in place.

In case you’re wondering if God would refer to some rulers that way, here’s what God told Isaiah to tell King Ahaz of Judah: “Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah” (Isaiah 7:4, italics for emphasis).

Elijah vs. Baal’s False Prophets

Moses confronted Pharaoh, a great Gentile ruler of his or any time, in order to deliver God’s people from a pagan nation.

On the other hand, God used Elijah to deliver the Jews from themselves … from worship of false gods, the most conspicuous of which was Baal.

Scripture’s introduction of Elijah is swift and succinct, just as Elijah himself was often abrupt and boldly to the point, particularly when facing Israel’s (Northern Kingdom) wicked King Ahab.

“Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, ‘As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!’” (I Kings 17:1).

Then we read:

“Later on, in the third year of the drought, the Lord said to Elijah, ‘Go and present yourself to King Ahab. Tell him I will soon send rain!’ So Elijah went to appear before Ahab. Meanwhile, the famine had become very severe in Samaria (capital of the Northern Kingdom)” (I King 18:1-2, parenthesis mine).

However, before the Lord would end what was the worst drought in Israel’s history (after they became a nation), the Jews would first need to abandon their despicable worship of Baal and turn back to God.

What follows is an event almost as well-known as the Exodus. Time/space doesn’t permit a complete recitation of the episode. You may recall that the 450 prophets of Baal tried all day long to persuade their (pathetic) god to meet Elijah’s challenge and bring down fire from heaven to burn their offerings. For purpose of this week’s article and the comparison between Elijah’s classic confrontation with the false prophets of Baal and his epic battle with the False Prophet of the Tribulation, we’ll go directly to Elijah’s turn in this contest; whereby, he exposed the fraudulent prophets and their futile, non-existent god of fertility and harvest.

(Worship of Baal, Included the Depraved Practice of Child Sacrifice)

Let’s read Elijah’s powerful prayer and God’s astounding answer. First, as a reminder, Elijah daringly raised the stakes by drenching the animal sacrifice, the wood on which it was placed, and even a trench around the altar with four large jars of water … a total of three times! Each jar was equivalent in those times to 25-30 gallons of water.

“At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, ‘O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.’

“Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!” (I Kings 18:36-38).

Do you remember what the people said and did when they saw this magnificent miracle?

“And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, ‘The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!’” (Verse 39).

We know that the prophets of Baal weren’t among the Israelites who stunningly returned to the Lord that day. Because the people seized the false prophets, and Elijah proceeded to execute them. Being a fake prophet was a capital offense under the Mosaic Law. False prophets, corrupt priests, and wicked kings would lead directly to the downfall of Israel and then Judah.

There is no greater source of evil in the world, even today, than perversion of God’s truth … the truth that leads to redemption and eternal life. False religions—including cults, evolution, communism, and fascism which are man-made belief systems—have led more people to hell in the proverbial handbasket than we can possibly fathom. Which is exactly what the False Prophet will attempt to do by presenting and promoting his boss, the Antichrist, as a (the) messiah. By directly challenging their hero, the False Prophet, Elijah will help convince some unbelieving Jews to turn to the true Messiah during the Tribulation.

Incidentally, Mount Carmel (where this spectacular incident took place) wasn’t the only time Elijah brought down fire from heaven. See II Kings, Chapter 1.

If you didn’t know, or as a reminder if you did know, it is Elijah whom the Jews ardently anticipate will reappear to pave the way for what they believe will be Messiah’s first arrival on earth. (See Matthew 17:10-13—the Transfiguration chapter—where Jesus clarifies that it was actually John the Baptist who prepared the people for Messiah’s first arrival).

As opposed to his Second Coming, which is precisely what Malachi is referring to.

(The Day of the Lord Hasn’t Begun Yet, But It Will Soon!)

Now let’s fast forward to the Tribulation, which will be immediately preceded by the imminent Rapture of believers from this earth. We’ll see how precisely the two prophets of Revelation correspond to Moses’ and Elijah’s fabulous feats of long ago.

The Two Tribulation Prophets (Witnesses)

Instead of the New Living Translation, from which I quote most often, let’s read the amazing account of these two prophets from the New American Standard Bible.

“And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth” (Revelation 11:3-4).

*Note: Once again I would encourage you to read the trilogy of articles, The Two Witnesses, mentioned earlier. In those articles, you’ll find extensive Scriptural documentation to persuasively match Moses and Elijah to the two prophets of Revelation, including the fact that they stood before the Lord of the earth during their era.

Moses specialized in plagues; Elijah’s sphere was that of stopping the rain, and bringing fire down from heaven! Only next time the enemy will be Antichrist (resembling Pharaoh) and the False Prophet, who I’m convinced will (unfortunately) be a Jew just as the false prophets of Baal were. (You may also want to read Eye of Prophecy articles, The False Prophet Parts I & II, posted 5-24 & 5-31-14).

Continuing in Revelation 11:

“And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

“When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified” (Revelation 11:5-8).

*Note: Rather than fire coming directly from the mouth of Elijah (and perhaps Moses), the imagery here is similar to the sword in the mouth of Messiah when he returns to earth for the final time and strikes down the massive military coalition at Armageddon—Revelation 19.

The fire is literal, but it will come down from heaven when Elijah speaks the word. Also, Sodom and Egypt represent Jerusalem, signifying and reinforcing the fact that some of the Jews in Israel and Jerusalem have followed Antichrist, and also the Gentiles who have taken over the outer court of the Temple—Rev. 11:2).

Continuing:

“Those (some, a cross-section) from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth” (Verses 9-10, parenthesis mine).

That emphatically underscores just how much the entire world has been traumatically affected by this epic battle of Antichrist Nero & the False Prophet vs. Moses and Elijah. Can you imagine people from all over the world clapping and cheering and probably dancing in the streets over the death of these two mighty men of God? Let alone giving gifts to each other!

Their brief ecstasy turns to serious shock.

“But after three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them” (Revelation 11:11-12).

Summary

Moses and Elijah will work in tandem as the ultimate dynamic duo! Yet, as alluded earlier, the plagues including turning rivers into blood will most likely be from Moses. Drought and fire from heaven will come through Elijah.

Moses will be to the Antichrist what he was to Pharaoh. Ramses II was the greatest Pharaoh; he ruled in the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egyptian kings. Nero was the fifth and final Caesar in the first dynasty of Roman emperors, considered by many to be the most glorious of the Roman Empire.

Elijah will be to the False Prophet what he was to the false prophets of Baal.

In addition to the spectacular seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments; for at least 3 ½ years, the Gentile nations will be subjected to awesome plagues and judgments at the hand of Moses. And unbelieving Jews will once again see God’s power over a false prophet as God’s true prophet Elijah rains down fire from heaven by merely speaking the word. The obvious implication in Revelation 11 is that this fire will greatly exceed the fire that the False Prophet is allowed to bring out of nowhere (Rev. 13).

Through the testimony of Moses and Elijah backed up by mighty miracles, I’m convinced that many Gentiles and Jews will be redeemed by trusting in Messiah Jesus during the Tribulation. It will be New Covenant redemption based in principle and pattern on the physical deliverance of God’s people in the Moses-led Exodus. And spiritual revival akin to the Jews returning to God after Elijah’s powerful victory over the false prophets of Israel.

Until God’s specific purpose and time for Moses and Elijah ends during the Tribulation, they will be untouchable. Just like God protected them from what could have been a swift death for Moses at the hands of Pharaoh and Elijah at the orders of Ahab and his false prophets, who outnumbered Elijah, 450 to 1. (There were also another 400 prophets of Asherah present, whom Jezebel had recruited.) Yet, the odds were all on Elijah’s side. With God, one man or woman is a majority. The false prophets didn’t stand a chance!

In Eye of Prophecy article, Major Earthquake in Israel … When & Where It Will Strike (posted 11-25-17), I began one section with: Ten Intriguing Observations of the Earthquake and the Two Witnesses.

Here is an excerpt from that article that lists points 3 and 4 (in italics):

(3) Revelation Chapter 11 begins with an (interlude) introduction to the two witnesses; however, it also chronologically continues the set of trumpet judgments ending with the 7th trumpet. Because the two witnesses are killed after 3 ½ years of their time on earth and this occurs between the 6th and 7th trumpet judgments, I believe we can determine what part of the Great Tribulation during which they testify.

(4) I would encourage you to read Eye of Prophecy article, Stunning Catastrophes of the Tribulation / Their Timing and Purpose, recently posted on 11-4-17. As explained in that article: Based on the chronological sequence and evidence of all twenty-one judgments (actually twenty plagues as the 5th seal depicts slain tribulation saints, not a judgment as such) in Revelation, we can accurately estimate the approximate time duration of or gap between the judgments. The projected time between a preceding and successive judgment will be 4-5 months. Because the two witnesses are killed (and come back to life 3 ½ days later) between the 6th and 7th trumpet judgments, that would place their time of death at 48-50 months into the tribulation. They would have begun their mission 3 ½ years earlier (42 months) or about 6-8 months after the tribulation begins. Which, in turn, would be the same time-frame as the 2nd to 3rd Seal judgements (Horses of the Apocalypse).

An interesting side note: Moses did battle with the Gentile ruler Pharaoh about 400 years before Elijah took on the Jewish King Ahab and the false prophets of Israel. Then another 400 years or so between Elijah and Zechariah’s vision of two lampstands … the two prophets who stand before the Lord of all the earth. There are several 400-year epics in Biblical and secular history that are integral intervals in God’s magnificent plan for the human race. For the four most prominent, including the last days of the current 400-year era, please see Eye of Prophecy article, Countdown to Armageddon … End of the Fourth 400-Year Era. Posted 7-29-17.

Things to Ponder

Messiah Jesus is the Second Person of the majestic Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Thus, Jesus is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end (Revelation 1:8 & 17). He is the express image of God in human form, fully God and fully man (Colossians 1:15). He is the living Word of God (John 1:1). He is the light of the world (John 8:12). He is the resurrection and the (eternal) life (John 11:25). He is truth itself and the only way to the Father (John 14:6).

It’s all about Jesus.

During the Tribulation, there will be 144,000 dynamic Jewish witnesses to proclaim so great a salvation purchased for the human race by Jesus Christ, to those who believe and receive him as their personal Savior. (Please refer to Eye of Prophecy articles, One Hundred Forty-Four Thousand Messianic Jews Part I & II … posted 4-23 & 4-30-16).

Let’s also remember two of God’s mighty servants, Moses and Elijah, whose earthly bodies the Lord has kept preserved in heaven. First to appear with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Then to reappear in those same bodies during the seven-year Tribulation. For the express purpose of fighting the good fight of faith; demonstrating to the entire world that the incomparable power and authority of Messiah Jesus far exceeds and will ultimately prevail over Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet.

When the angel blew the 7th Trumpet which immediately follows the death and resurrection of Moses and Elijah in Jerusalem, it signaled the last of the very last days. At the sound of that trumpet, the host of heaven shouted:

“…The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever … We give thanks to you, Lord God, the Almighty, the one who is and who always was, for now you have assumed your great power and have begun to reign … It is time to destroy all who have caused destruction on the earth” (Revelation 11:15-18).

Following that will be seven incredibly powerful bowl judgments that target Antichrist, the False Prophet, and their unrepentant followers. With Messiah completing at Armageddon what Moses and Elijah began in Jerusalem by preparing the way of the Lord.

“He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!

“Amen! Come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).