Middle East Prophecy Update: January 2015

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Adbul Aziz, 90,  died early Friday, and was succeeded by his brother, Crown Prince Salman, 79, according to state television. That put the region’s most important Sunni power in the hands of Crown Prince Salman to run this country of 28 million people at a critical moment in a region mired in crisis.

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Most recently Salman served as defense minister, but he is better known in the kingdom as the governor of Riyadh province, a position he held for 4 decades. He is one of the forty five sons of the kingdom’s founder, Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, and the sixth son to inherit the throne following the deaths of his predecessors.

His brother Crown Prince Moqrin, next in the line, is ten years younger.

What are the prophetic implications of this? What I am about to say is not what will happen but what may happen next:

I mentioned in the previous post that Sunni Saudi Arabia now has Shi’a enemy states on two sides, plus a Shi’a fifth column within its own borders. At the same time it has to fend of Islamic State attacks on its Iraqi border. Could it be that the death of the most recent King may trigger internal strife throughout Saudi Arabia.It is allegedly being prorated that the Desert Kingdom is rife with struggles from within and armed threat from without. Furthermore, How long will Salman last? Will his tenure and his passing be quick and efficient or will it last longer? Will it be a successful regime or will it be marked by indecision and chaos? The possible shortness of Salman’s leadership could mean that Saudi Arabia’s enemies may strike quickly and decisively.

It is also being reported that Shi’ite Iran continues to encircle Saudi Arabia by controlling Shi’ite Iraq to the north and Shi’ite militants in Yemen to the south. That being said, it is probable that very soon Iran may coordinate a rebellion in the Shiite-majority Eastern Province where 90% of the country’s oil is located. Just south of Saudi Arabia is Yemen. It has been reported that Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi resigned less then 48 hours ago, just days after Houthi rebels battled their way into his presidential palace, plunging the unstable Arab country deeper into chaos.

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The Houthi rebels are Shi’ite Muslims and are completely supported by Iran.

Ultimately, the next step would for an Arab coalition to be formed and Syria to be invaded, and after this would be for Jerusalem to be captured by the Iranian-led forces. According to Shiite Islamic Eschatalogy at this point, the Mahdi is to reappear. Many Shiite Muslims believe that the rise of Imam Mahdi is imminent.

Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been cited by various news sources as not only believing in the eventual return of the Mahdi, but that the return is very near and that it is the responsibility of the Iranian government to prepare the country for his return.

middle-east-ground-zero-bible-prophecy.jpg.crop_displayAlthough Shiites and Sunnis often battle against each other, as is currently the case in Iraq, a common denominator is the destruction of Israel, which is a critical part of Islam taking control in the world and thus ushering in the Mahdi. It is important to note that Iran and Israel are only several hundreds of miles apart, so it is very likely that Iran may attack Israel as soon as it is militarily advantageous to do so.

Many Shiite Muslims see the Mahdi as a savior who will lead a global revolution and establish a worldwide Islamic empire. The Mahdi will rule the earth as the final Caliph of Islam. In their traditional writings (Hadith) it is stated that armies carrying black flags will come from Khurasan (Iran and Afghanistan), no power will be able to stop them, and they will finally reach the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem where they will erect their flags. In Islamic tradition, black banners symbolize violent conquest, and Muslims await the Mahdi’s conquest of Jerusalem, when he establishes his reign from the Temple Mount.

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According to the Ezekiel Chapters 38-39 in the Bible, a defining battle will take place around Israel called the War of Gog and Magog. Persia (present day Iran), along with Russia and other neighboring countries will be the attacking force, converging on Israel in an attempt to attack Israel and seize the country’s riches. (Again, please see previous 4-part post on War of Gog and Magog.) In these posts it is clearly suggested that the United States of America and Saudi Arabia do not participate in this war at all.

Having studied the Bible and Eschatology for almost two decades, my inclination to post this update is simply in response to observing the acceleration of prophetic events unfolding in rapid succession. Keep in mind that we are only three weeks into the month of January in the year 2015.

Generally speaking there are 23,145 verses in the Old Testament and 7,957 verses in the New Testament. This gives a total of 31,102 verses, which is an average of a little more than 26 verses per chapter. (This may vary due to different translations.)

The Bible contains 8,362 predictive verses – yet prophecy is one of the most neglected subjects when it comes to Bible studies.

Revelation 19, verses 6 thru 10 states the following:

6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Jesus said in John 14:6-…..I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Furthermore, John 1:1 states: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Remember this one thing: TRUTH AND TIME GO HAND IN HAND. The clock is ticking…….

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Next Major War Imminent???

155441-israel-general-warns-mid-east-on-brink-of-warIn Matthew Chapter 24, Jesus answered His disciples with signs they could expect to see indicating that the end of the age was near:

Matthew 24 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Jesus went on to state that there would be wars in the future and that all the nations of the world would be in conflict. This has been happening for some time now. I want to focus on some very current events in the Middle East that may be indicative of where we may be today in relation to the very end of the age as described in Matthew 24.

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It has been allegedly reported that Iran has been developing a nuclear bomb and has promised to destroy the nation of Israel.

Yesterday, the Israeli Air Force executed an airborne strike against Hezbollah in response to reports by Israeli intelligence which allegedly indicated that Iran and Hezbollah have been planning a series of major attacks against civilians along Israel’s northern border. Now, Israel appears to have taken pre-emptive action and as a result, an Iranian general and several of his top operatives’  lives were taken as a result of the airstrike. Iran and Hezbollah are vowing revenge.

Just recently, Russia initiated a provocative invasion of the national boundaries of Ukraine, as well as provoking NATO and the United States by entering their international boundaries in the air and sea. Gas prices in the US have plummeted as Russia’s economy is imploding as its people desperately exchange the ruble for any other currency.

Also, Russia and Iran have signed an agreement to expand their military ties and the new agreement includes expanded counter-terrorism cooperation, exchanges of military personnel for training purposes and an understanding for each country’s navy to more frequently use the other’s ports.

The deal provides for joint exercises and military training, as well as cooperation in peacekeeping, maintaining regional and international security and stability, and fighting against separatism and extremism. Ezekiel 38-39 coming to fruition??? (Please read previous posts on War of Gog & Magog parts 1-4)

Linked to that, OPEC and other oil-producing nations are becoming very nervous about falling oil prices that threaten their defensive posture. At the same time Saudi Arabia has to be concerned with protecting its own borders. Sunni Saudi Arabia now has Shi’a enemy states on two sides and at the same time it has to fend of Islamic State attacks on its Iraqi border. Remember that Saudi Arabia (Sheba/Dedan) does not participate in this war. (Again, please refer to War of Gog & Magog Part 3)

While all this has been happening in the far east China is preparing for universal recognition as “the” major superpower by quickly building an offensive navy and air force. Kings of the East?? The Kings of the East seem generally acknowledged to be an Oriental Confederacy, which includes the 200 million man army of China. China is now considered to have the most powerful army ever assembled in world history.

We may have another major war prior to the Rapture of the Church. Then again it is entirely possible that the rapture of the Church may take place prior to this war. The world as we know it may not be ready for this war, and it will come as a surprise to those not looking, even though all the signs are definitely here.

Suffice it to say just weeks into the month of January, the year 2015 looks like it will indeed be a year with profound prophetic implications. Stay tuned…..

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Ezekiel 38-39: The War of Gog & Magog (Part 4–Conclusion)

When we see these things beginning (that were spoken of  by the prophets in the Old Testament) to take place, we are not to be troubled, If anything, we should be excited, and in awe of the truth of God’s Word. 

Biblical-prophecy

See one of the mistakes made when trying to study Bible prophecy is instead of following God’s Word, many tend to “speculate,”. How many know that God says what He means and means what He says. I always felt in my heart that after Y2K, there was a massive turning away from Bible prophecy for the most part. 

II Peter 3:1-10—This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: Thermo Nuclear7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

4) A Pre-Imminent Reason:  He will make Himself known among the heathen and He will sanctified before the eyes of the entire world. Also he will make himself know to the nation of Israel

Ezekiel 39:22–So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward. 23 And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. 24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them. 25 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; 26 After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. 27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; 28 Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. 29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.

Let me conclude with the results of this invasion of Israel. There are four things that happen as a result of this war:

1) Bible Prophecies Will be Fulfilled:

If you read  the books of the prophets Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah,  etc. they all prophesied about Armageddon and the 2nd Coming of the Messiah. Ezekiel also prophesied what now appears to be this prophetic declaration of a war with Russia and its allies against Israel. Once again what God spoke in the Holy Writ will indeed come to pass…

2 Timothy 3:16-17—All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

2) God’s Power is Going to Displayed in a Remarkable Way:

  • Gog and his armies will fall in the mountains of Israel; Several months will be required to clean up the aftermath of this battle.
  • His power will displayed in the fire upon the land from where Gog came and all the islands. (Ezekiel 39:6-10); Also note in the above mentioned Scripture, II Peter 3:10 in Greek alludes to thermo-nuclear terms.
  •  The massive burial (Ezekiel 39:11-16—-7 verses describing the burial of the defeated armies.) It will take Israel 7 months to clean up all the carcasses & debris from this war.
  •  The fowls eating the flesh (Ezekiel 39:17-20) You talk about a gory scene. By the way, over the last decade or so, massive flocks of flesh-eating vultures that normally did not inhabit the Kidron valley area (where the Battle of Armageddon will take place) have begun to populate that valley.

There are many passages in Ezekiel that are mentioned in the Book of Revelation .The consistency of God’s Word gives us all the answers we need.   Bible & Clouds

As I bring this post to a close, it is clearly evident that the stage is being set for this battle to to take place. I also urge you to be a “Berean,” and study this on your own to see if it is so.

Acts 17:11— These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

So, if this “Magog” Invasion is on the horizon, and if Armageddon & the 2nd Coming of our Lord is near, then how much closer are we to the Rapture of the Church? I have not even said one thing about the Rapture of the Church in this teaching. (Stay tuned for upcoming posts on the Rapture of the Church.)

But let me submit this possibility to you: WHAT IF IT PRECEDES THE EVENTS DISCUSSED OVER THE LAST SEVERAL POSTS!!!

Eternity may a a moment away. I urge you to read the suggested prayer of salvation on this website. If you are saved, then………

Luke 21:28– And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

 

Ezekiel 38-39: The War of Gog and Magog (Part 3)

ezekielLet us now focus on the very reason for this invasion….

Ezekiel 38:7-16—Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. 8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. 9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. 10 Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: 11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, 12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. 13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? 14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? 15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: 16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

Why is this invasion going to take place? Let me give to you 4 possible reasons:

1) The Prophetic Reason: (Ezekiel 38:1 says, And the Word of the Lord came unto me. It’s a prophetic reason. It’s God’s word being fulfilled. By the way the phrase, “The Word of the Lord came unto me..” is used 92 times in the entire Bible. Out of those 92 references, over half (47) are in the Book of Ezekiel alone! Also, the phrase “Thus saith the Lord…” appears 415 times in the Bible. 127 of them are in the Book of Ezekiel alone!

There is no prophet that who so establishes the fact that this is God’s Word; a direct Word from the Almighty God, a revelation from God. So there is obviously the PROPHETIC reason.

 2) The Personal Reason (verses 10-13): The personal reason for this invasion is to receive a material and financial reward. Notice that the opportunity to invade comes when Israel has a false sense of peace and security. (verse 11 says that they dwell safely.)

Interestingly, in all the peace negotiations that is the major issue, at least from the Israeli side. The Israelis have said that over and over again recently that they have never had more security then they have now, yet they are well aware that there are 27 Islamic countries currently that are calling for their destruction! Again the media paints this picture as if the nation of Israel is a war zone and that there is so much turmoil taking place there.

Ezekiel said that there will be prophets and leaders in Israel who will seduce the people into believing that there is peace when there really is no peace. (Ezekiel 13:16). So the opportunity to invade comes when Israel has a false sense of peace and security.

Is there anything in Israel worth taking? ABSOLUTELY!

Currently Israel has become a major player in the foreign markets. There wealth is well-known. There ability is well-known. Israel is on the verge of becoming the next “Silicon Valley” of the world. There is a common –used joke in Israel: “When you put on your clothes, make sure you put on your cell-phone!” There are more cell-phones per person in Israel than anywhere in the world. They of course, have a security reason for that. Even the little children take cell-phones with them to school.

In Ezekiel 38:13, we see something very interesting regarding any opposition to this invasion. We see some nations questioning this invasion. (Sheba and Dedan)

Genesis 10:7—And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

According to Genesis 10:7, Sheba and Dedan are the grandsons of Cush. But they are also the same names used of the grandsons of Abraham by his second wife Keturah. And they are the fathers of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is not necessarily from the lineage of Ishmael. They come from Sheba and Dedan who were the sons of Keturah, the 2nd wife of Abraham.

Genesis 25:1-3—Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. 2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.

Haven’t you noticed recently that there seems to have been a sort of drift or separation between Saudi Arabia and the more fundamentalist Islamic countries? There are reports indicating that Saudi Arabia is very concerned about Isis making their way towards Saudi Arabia as well.

Most Muslims are divided into two major camps with many side issues. The two sides are Shiite, who are more fundamentalist and the Sunni, who are not as radical. The Saudi Arabians are Sunni and they control the holy sites of Mecca & Medina. There is another sect which is based in Arabia (Wahabi) which we won’t discuss now.

According to verse 13, they are merely questioning this invasion and not confronting it militarily.

Now we are about to enter some touchy territory:

13   …and the merchants of Tarsish, with all the young lions thereof,…

Actually it’s the the word means to plant. As in planting villages. Let me explain. Hebraically speaking, it means the merchants of Tarsish planted villages somewhere in the world. In your Bible, the merchants of Tarsish are mentioned 24 times. Several of those passages connect them with ships. Thus, they are a seafaring people.

Psalm 72:10—The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.

Psalm 72:10, refers to the kings of Tarsish and of the islands.

Ezekiel 27:12-–Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs.

Ezekiel 27:12 refers to a multitude of riches that they have including silver, iron, tin and lead.

Kind of interesting that the name Brittania, from which Great Britain gets its name, means a land of tin, and it is an island beyond Tarsish. Now in the ancient world, Tarsish was thought of being at the tip of Spain. The area we know as Gibraltar.

Recent archaeological finds inspired the book, America, B.C., by Professor Barry Fell of Harvard University. With an estimated date of 700-600 B.C., the findings suggest that voyagers were probably not explorers but rather merchants trading with the New England Celts who, by that dates, were already well established fur trappers and very likely also mining precious metals from those sites where ancient workings have been discovered. If the findings of Professor Fell are accurate, large colonies of Celts had been brought by ship from Tarshish, Spain, to mine for ore and trap for furs and thus to establish trading posts deep within the American continent. They must surely be recognized as belonging to Ezekiel’s “merchants of Tarshish.”

Now the Book of Ezekiel was written around 500 B.C., during Babylonian captivity. 300 years prior to that we have evidence that there were people here in America. All the way in Iowa as well as all over in New England they have found inscriptions. These have now been deciphered. And guess what, there in glowing terms unmistakable, we have the name merchants of Tarsish, who were here in America.

Apparently as a seafaring people , they had planted themselves in “the islands far away from Europe.” And these people, may have been apparently as far away as the British Isles. They had a vast network of economy and shipping that was taking place hundreds of years before Jesus Christ walked the face of the earth. This means that when Ezekiel wrote this, he would have known about them!

This is not a new revelatory “prophecy point.” There is accurate evidence that can prove its authenticity. You can do the research yourself. But we have an even greater accurate and authentic proof and that is the Bible itself.

So then this reference to merchants of Tarsish could not only refer to the British Isles, but it may also allude to The Unites States of America! And if that is true, then all we are doing is the same thing that Saudi Arabia is doing, which is not intervening in this war.

Recently , it seems as if we have been doing a lot of work with Saudi Arabia, who apparently have been very friendly with us.   Nonetheless, it seems as if even the U.S. is just questioning about this invasion and not doing anything about it. This seems to indicate that there will be no deliberate military action engaged by any of these nations in opposition to Russia.

Note that Ezekiel refers not just to Tarshish, but to “the merchants of Tarshish with all its young lions” (KJV). This phrase is a Hebrew idiom meaning nations that have come out of Tarshish. The young lions of Tarshish are a reference to the colonies that emerged from Britain and Europe – including the USA. Out of the Merchants of Tarshish came the colonial Empires. The most successful of these was Great Britain. The symbol of Great Britain is a lion. That symbol exists to this day and no other empire had more young lions than Great Britain. The present young lions are the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Commonwealth. These young lion nations that came out of the British Empire have generally been pro-Israel.

Therefore, ‘the young lions of Tarshish’ describes the USA in the last days joining in with her European and Saudi allies to lodge a formal protest against the Russian-Islamic aggressors.

My concern is when the U.S., who currently seems to be the only ally of Israel, ever decides to turn its back on Israel and side with the Arabs due to the Arab oil, watch out! It is very possible that the stage is being set for this to happen. Only time will tell. However, I gauge my view based on the Word of God. Jerusalem will a trembling cup to ALL nations. ALL nations will gather to fight against Jerusalem. 

We do know that the personal reason for this attack on Israel will be for material and financial rewards.

Ezekiel 38:17–Ezekiel 39:9  —Thus saith the Lord God; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them? 18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face. 19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. 21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. 22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord. 

Chapter 39: Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: 3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. 4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God. 6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord. 7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken.

As you read the above passages, this brings me to the next reason for this wars and that is:

3) The Providential Reason: “Providence,” refers to the control of God behind everything. The providential reason is to see that the Lord’s hand is behind it all. God Himself states, “I will turn thee back,” “I will bring thee forth,” etc.

The same thing is said about Armageddon, by all the Hebrew prophets that it is God who will bring the nations against Israel and will unleash His judgments and fulfill His plans

Ezekiel 39:10-21—So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog. 12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. 13 Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord God. 14 And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. 15 And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog. 16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land. 17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. 18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. 19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. 20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord God. 21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.

You see, there is a providential reason, that we would see the hand of the Lord behind it all.

Now I know Jesus said that when you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be not troubled. Again if one is not reading their Bible, or living right, they may panic when hearing this.  (The conclusion to this series will be in the next post….)

 

Ezekiel 38-39: The War of Gog & Magog (Part 2)

Ezekiel 38:5-6—5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: 6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

  1. The involvement of other nations involved in this invasion 

Here we find that there are 5 nations listed. First let’s look at Persia. It is interesting that when you confront most Iranians who come to the west and want to assimilate and live their lives here, they all refer to themselves as Persians. They want Americans to know that they are not a part of the Islamic militants, or a part of the Shiite fundamental Islamic Movement. Persia is Iran. Persia is mentioned 29 times in the Bible. Most of these references can be found in Esther, Ezra and Daniel.

persian-empire-map

 

Persia has been a major political power in the past. It is now becoming a major player in these times. If you talk to the Israeli military officials, they are not as concerned about Egypt or Saudi Arabia or Syria, as they are concerned about Iran. The United Nations has now accepted the fact that Iran is pushing to develop nuclear weapons. Although they are prominently Moslems, Iranians are NOT Arabs. They are Persians.

The actual name of Iran is Persia. When did it change to Iran? It changed to Iran in the 1930’s. Iran comes from the word Aryan. Aryans were Indo-Europeans who invaded northern India in the 2nd Millennium B.C., displacing the Dravidians and other aboriginal peoples.

They are not Semitic peoples like Jews and Arabs. They are a Germanic people. Persians are of the same anthropological origin as Germans and Austrians. They settled in the near east and their influence from Northern India by the Indus River to the Fertile Crescent.

Scripturally speaking, we must be cognizant of the fact that there are 3 things that can push back principalities over nations:

  • The Holy Spirit convincting men of sin; He restrains. (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
  • Human government. The Bible tells us to pray for those in authority. (I Timothy 2:2). If leaders of nations are not influenced by our prayers, then they can be influenced by something else.
  • The preaching of the Gospel.

Thus, Iran will somehow become a threat to the very existence of Israel prior to the return of the LORD. The stage is being set for this. Even France who for the most part seemed to drag their feet in international affairs is now more     prominently involved. (Interesting to note the recent shootings that took place in France.)

This is and always has been a spiritual battle. Satan is trying to destroy Israel and prevent the return of Jesus Christ and Satan is now using Iran to destroy. Now if you look at what is taking place in the Ukraine and notice this involves Russia, the stage is being set for the prophetic fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39!

Russia:Ukraine crisis

Iran may very possibly be the head of the Pan-Islamic empire that is forming. Russia is a co-signer to that as well as nine of the 15 former Soviet republics and most of their populations are Islamic. It is interesting that as this Islamic alliance is forming, Persia is mentioned first in this verse.

Secondly, we have Ethiopia which appears 20 times in the Bible. It first appears in Genesis 2:13, where the river Gihon (the Nile River) goes over the land of Ethopia. In Hebrew it is the word “Cush.” Cush was the son of Ham.

Table of nations Gen. 10

 

Genesis 10:8-11–And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. 10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

Cush had a son named Nimrod whose kingdom began as Babel or Babylon in the land of Shinar. And out of that land went forth Assher (Assyria) and built Nineveh and many other cities. Ezekiel 38 puts Ethiopia with Libya, Lydia & Egypt, Ethiopia being the main player.

Most Bible scholars and experts in geography hasten to add that the ancient Ethiopian Empire covers a lot of land which is south of Egypt today. As a matter of fact, its primary territory is not the little country of Ethiopia that we see on our maps today. The primary territory is actually the country we know today as Sudan, that has slaughtered over 2 million Christians over the past few years.

The third country is Libya, which is mentioned 3 times in the Bible. Some translations refer to it as “Put.” It is the modern country of Libya where which was part of the “Arab Spring,” which occurred last year. Notice the very nations that are mentioned here have recently experienced all kinds of economic/governmental upheaval in the last two years alone!

It is also  interesting to note that these three countries opposed all peace negotiations as it relates to the current Middle East Peace Process.

We have 2 more nations. One is Gomer. Some people because they see the “G” immediately think its Germany. However in the Babylonian Talmud, Gomer refers to the Cimmerians and is rendered “Germania.” It is mentioned 6 times. He too is the son of Japheth according to Genesis 10:2.

Genesis 10:2–The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

We do not know much about him although Israelis refer to him is being north, quite possibly from Europe.

Then we have Togarmah, who is the son of Gomer. Togarmah is used four times

Ezekiel 27:14–They of the house of Togarmah traded in thy fairs with horses and horsemen and mules.

This refers to them as those who traded in thy fairs with horses and horsemen and mules. Many Bible scholars relate them to both Turkey and portions of Georgia, the areas between the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea.

One obvious conclusion that can be made when one studies this from both a Jewish perspective and from Gentile Christian preachers is that:

It is coming from the North & it apparently represents what today we know as countries that are aligned together by Islam. Israel considers radical Islam, which calls for the utter destruction of Israel as the greatest of all of its enemies. Currently Islam is the 2nd fastest growing religion in the world and 1 out of every 5 people in the world is muslim. I want to emphasize it is the radical or fundamental doctrine of Islam which is against Israel. I say this with sincere respect for many people I have known and love dearly who are muslim and do not follow that brand of Islam. In the next post we will examine the reasons why this invasion will take place……..(To be continued)

 

 

Ezekiel 38-39: The War of Gog & Magog (Part 1)

 

Jerusalem-Cup-Of-Trembling-640x380
Israel is the apple of God’s eye; the center of God’s prophetic program; they have been brought back as a nation beginning in 1948. This is a miracle in itself in terms of natural history. No nation has ever experienced this. Especially since 1967, when Jerusalem was recognized as a city in Israel a plethora of miraculous fulfillments of Bible prophecy regarding the nation of Israel have come to pass and are continuing to come to fruition even as I am writing this post! What is also noteworthy is how this small nation seems to be in the forefront of the global media as events in the Middle East are now being showcased before the entire world. This was also written in the book of Zechariah (which is a complimentary book also referred to as “The Little Apocalypse”)as compared to the Book of Revelation:

Zechariah 12:1-3— 1 The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. 2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. 3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

Gog Magog WarAccording to Ezekiel 38 & 39, we see that Gog and Magog are going to invade Israel.

The first thing we need to know is that Gog and Magog are mentioned in the Book of Revelation:

Revelation 20.7-8—And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Some say that this coming war prophesied in Ezekiel will occur after the thousand year reign of Christ according to these verses. That is not true. This will be a minor rebellion in the eyes of God and it will be dealt with rather quickly. Not with the magnitude of what was described in Ezekiel 38-39.

There are four major views regarding this war. Now in reference to what is currently taking place in the Middle East, what we will examine in the next few posts is of extreme interest.

View # 1: The war will happen after the Millennium (unsupportive view)

View # 2: It will occur in the Middle of the Tribulation period. This would be 3-1/2 years into the final 7 years on this earth prior to the return of Jesus Christ to set up His Millenial kingdom.  

View # 3: The war will occur before the rapture of the church, preceding the seven year tribulation period. One of the reasons for believing this is found in Ezekiel 39:4-12:

4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God. 6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord. 7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken. 9 And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: 10 So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog. 12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.

Many Bible scholars find it difficult to see the fact that weapons being burned for seven years occurs during the Millennium. They also notice in this passage that it takes seven months to bury the dead. Again they don’t see this happening during the Millenium. They also believe that Gog & Magog refers to Russia and its allies consist of a Pan-Islamic Empire that will be defeated before the tribulation begins. (e.g. during this seven years the weapons are being burned.)

Thus, this is different then the Battle of Armageddon.

View # 4: This war takes place during the Battle of Armageddon. This is the view that is believed by most Jewish rabbis :

Zechariah 14:1-3– Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. ( I suggest you read this chapter in its entirety.)

There is no difference between this and what the other Hebrew prophets spoke about. This is the great Final Battle which occurs at the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ at the end of seven year tribulation period.

THESE ARE THE FOUR COMMON VIEWS HELD BY BIBLE SCHOLARS. LET US NOW EXAMINE THE SCRIPTURES…….

Ezekiel 38:1-6— 1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: 6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

In the opening six verses of Chapter 38 we have a recognition of those who will invade Israel. I want to break this down into 2 categories:

  • the identity of Gog (verses 2-3)
  • the involvement of other nations involved in this invasion ( verses 5-6)

So in order to see who invades Israel let’start with the identity of Gog:

  1. The identity of Gog.

The land of Magog means simply “from Gog.” So Magog is the land where Gog has his Empire or throne perhaps. The reason this became of great interest is due to the research of a Hebrew scholar named Gasinius. In examining the Hebrew words used in this text, Gasinius identified the words “chief prince,” which in Hebrew means “rosh” or “the head leader.” He identified the word “rosh,” and its phonetic equivalent with the modern country of Russia. He then proceeded to use the same method of phonetic equivalent of the Hebrew terms compared to their Russian meanings. Therefore, “Meshach” becomes “Moscow” and “Tubal” becomes “Tobolsk.”

Many scholars in the past have identified Gog and Magog with the ancient Scythians. The Scyths were early mounted Nomads; unequalled in their archery skills. Aiming backward, riding at a gallop, they could kill birds in flight—right or left handed! The Scythians are mentioned in Colossians 3:11 in the N.T. Many believe that they were the ancestors of many of today’s Russian people. Or at least those of the former Soviet Republic. They dominated the vast steppes of Russia from Ukraine to the Great Wall of China.

An eight century reference refeered to the great Wall of China as “ Sud Yagog et Magog.” Or the rampart of Gog and Magog. A rampart is a high, elevated protection or defense. The Quran makes reference to it as Vadjudj wa madjudj. They were known to be very Barbaric, and even cannibalistic. They were known to eat the remains of their deceased relatives (according to Tertulian, one of the early church fathers.) Also, they were also identified as being “north” of Israel.

In order to identify Gog from a biblical perspective, we will look at three categories 1.

1.  A Historical Connection:                                                                                                   

Genesis 10:2–The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

 Here it lists Gomer, Magog, Tubal and Meshach as the sons of Japheth. (Remember that after the flood of Noah, it was his three sons that re-populated the earth: Shem, Ham and Japheth.) By the way the name Togarmah, which is mentioned in Ezekiel 38 was the son of Gomer, or rather the grandson of Japheth.

Now the term Gog can be found 11 times in the Bible. However, 9 of the 11 times it is mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39. I Chronicles 5:4 ( in the genealogical tables) list Gog as a descendant of Reuben of the tribes of Israel. So there is a historic connection to this name:

I Chronicles 5:4–The sons of Joel; Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son,

It comes from the Japhetic nations. Japheth was promised that he would be dominating the world scene. Thus, world empires were sprung from Japheth. According to the Jewish rabbis, the Japhetic nations would always be involved in Armageddon. They saw the “Semitic” peoples of Israel being attacked by the Japhetic peoples who would primarily be dominating the world in the days of the coming of the Messiah King.

2. A Geographical Connection: In verse 6 of chapter 38 we read north quarters.”

magog-map   In verse 2 of chapter 39, we read “north parts.” Now Magog is mentioned in the Bible 5 times. In I Chronicles 1:5, we see Magog as the son of Japheth. All we know is that it is north of Israel. When you look at a map, and you go the furthest direction upward, it appears that that nation is Russia. Some say it could mean Turkey. In what is referred to as the “Fertile Crescent,” all countries are north of Israel. This is regarded so by the Bible and it is still regarded so today. For example, although Iran appears east of Israel, (see map) one must still travel north. You can’t cut across the Saudi Arabian desert, you must go north. Now first you go through Syria and then Iraq which is always north. Isn’t it interesting that Syria and Iraq are being targeted by ISIS as they attempt to re-establish an Islamic Caliphate in the Fertile Crescent! As I am studying the current crisis with ISIS and the Levant, it is clear that these events are a pre-cursor to a possible war (perhaps Psalm 83) that will ultimately lead to the War of Gog and Magog and the appearance of Anti-Christ.

Psalm 83–1 Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. 2 For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. 3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. 4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. 5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: 6 The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; 7 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8 Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah. 9 Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: 10 Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth. 11 Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna: 12 Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. 13 O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. 14 As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; 15 So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. 16 Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O Lord. 17 Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: 18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth.

The ancient Assyrians were always referred to as a Northern power. Even ancient Babylon was always referred to as a Northern power. So even as we read our maps, we are not necessarily viewing them from a Hebraic background. So it is probable that Gog and Magog, although they are referred to as a Northern power, can stretch out as far as Iran, when you study this from a Hebraic perspective. We do know that Iran in fact is mentioned here.

3. A Political Connection: In 38:2 Gog is referred to as the chief prince, or leader of Meshach and Tubal. It does not say that he is the chief prince of Magog, although he is from the land of Magog.

So what does the Bible have to say about Meshach and Tubal?

Meshach appears 8 times in the Bible. He is listed as a son of Japheth in I Chronicles 1:5. Interestingly, the name Meshach is also referred to as the son of Shem. So Meshach also descends from the Semitic nations.

I Chronicles 1:17–The sons of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech.

 He is also called the brother of Elam and Asher, which today is Iran and Iraq by the way. Both Meshach and Tubal are listed together as merchants. They apparently are very active in trading with other countries.

Tubal is listed 8 times in the Bible. Tubal and Meshach are listed in the Bible as among the nations whose graves are seen as the result of God’s judgment. The other nations are Asher (ancient Assyria/modern Iraq), Elam, (modern Iran), Egypt, and Edom (which is Jordan.)

Ezekiel 32:17-29– It came to pass also in the twelfth year, in the fifteenth day of the month, that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 18 Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down, even her, and the daughters of the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth, with them that go down into the pit. 19 Whom dost thou pass in beauty? go down, and be thou laid with the uncircumcised. 20 They shall fall in the midst of them that are slain by the sword: she is delivered to the sword: draw her and all her multitudes. 21 The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword. 22 Asshur is there and all her company: his graves are about him: all of them slain, fallen by the sword: 23 Whose graves are set in the sides of the pit, and her company is round about her grave: all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which caused terror in the land of the living. 24 There is Elam and all her multitude round about her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which are gone down uncircumcised into the nether parts of the earth, which caused their terror in the land of the living; yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit. 25 They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword: though their terror was caused in the land of the living, yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit: he is put in the midst of them that be slain. 26 There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword, though they caused their terror in the land of the living. 27 And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living. 28 Yea, thou shalt be broken in the midst of the uncircumcised, and shalt lie with them that are slain with the sword. 29 There is Edom, her kings, and all her princes, which with their might are laid by them that were slain by the sword: they shall lie with the uncircumcised, and with them that go down to the pit.

God says those are the graves which will result from God’s great judgment in Armageddon. It is very interesting that Tubal and Meshech are among these nations. ( To be continued….)

 

 

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Part 4-Conclusion)

But then, back in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Luke there were also some shepherds:

shepherdsLuke 2:8-18—And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

The Hebrew word for “shepherd” and “pastor” is the same word; the same applies in Greek. These are shepherds who watch their flock – not hirelings. There is a great spiritual darkness which I believe has already descended upon this earth as we are fast approaching the end of the age; but at the same time God has a plan for the Church, because the darker it gets outside, the brighter the light of the true church must shine:

sheep-with-shepherd

  • “Watchman, watchman, how far is the night?” (Is. 21:11)
  • “Is He coming in the second watch of the night or the third?” (Mk. 13:35)
  • “He is coming like a thief in the night.” (1 Th. 5:2)
  • “Work while you have the light, for night will come when no man can work.” (John 9:4)

Proverbs 27:23  Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.

Acts 20:28—Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

You have 3 types of pastors: true pastors, who are willing to even lay down their lives for their sheep; just like a true husband is willing to lay his life down for his wife; Marriage is the closest thing to fellowship with God that He created (i.e. Israel-wife of Jehovah, Jesus the bridegroom for his Bride the Church)

Then you have hirelings- their just working on a salary; and finally you have wolves in sheep’s clothing. (Much more can be said here but I will save this for a future post.)

wolf in sheeps clothing2

A dear friend of mine brought to my attention that according to recent statistics, 6 out 10 pastors quit within their first year of pastoring! God knows how urgent it is for true men of God to be raised up to rightfully divide the Word of God and to feed the flock and build them up spiritually. Lets look at the rest of the chapter in Acts 20:

Acts 20:28-31a—Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

The apostle Paul warned the church of what was to come. He went on the write to Timothy as to how bad it would get prior to the return of the LORD:

I Timothy 4:1-2—Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

II Timothy 3—This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.

wolves-in-sheeps-clothing1

 

I am of the conviction that apart from the many prophecies being fulfilled as harbingers to the advent of Ant-Christ, one of the most profound indicators is the false teaching that is being propagated as truth in may of our pulpits today.

Yet despite this, God has raised true messengers of His Word.

Hebrews 13:17–Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Once again, there will be those faithful shepherds who watch over their flock no matter how dark it gets.

It’s a dark place and it’s getting darker, but there are true shepherds. That is the kind of Jew who was ready for Jesus to come the first time, and that is the kind of Christian who will be ready for Him to return.

Who is not going to be ready? “Herod mourned, and all Jerusalem with him.” The Sanhedrin were troubled. The theologians were pulling their hair out. They won’t be ready – people like that rarely are.

In contrast, the individual clergy like Zacharias and his faithful wife, or Joseph the adoptive father of Jesus – a man who was just, or a teenage girl who said, “I am in need a Savior”, or the shepherds who faithfully watched their flocks, or an elderly woman whose whole life was spent in prayer and serving God and telling others about Jesus, or an elderly man who longed for the Messiah to come and was filled with the Spirit of God – they tell a different story.

They were the kinds of Jews, who were ready for Him to come the first time, and I assure you, they will be the kinds of Christians who are ready for Him to come the second time.

As I bring this series to a close, my prayer for all of you, for your families, for myself and for my family, when I look at these Jews who were ready for His first coming, is that by the grace of the God of Israel we will be among the faithful who will be ready the second time. My dear brother and sisters in Christ, I urge you to take heed……It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Part 3)

What about those who say, don’t worry about His coming?

Acts 1:6-7 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

I have recently come across many a Bible teachers who use this verse to emphasize the notion that Christians should not be concerned about events leading up to the return of the Lord.

Another Scripture used is:

Mark 13:32— But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father

However, the Bible clearly informs us that although we may not the exact day of His return per se, that we would not be caught unaware as to when the season of His return may be upon us. It is critical to read God’s Word in context and not take things out of context. Furthermore, when rightfully divided, the Bible explains itself.

I Thessalonians 5: 1-9–But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:1- —This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 

The chapter ends with the following verse:

18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Part of growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ includes being able to discern the times we are living in.

But what kind of Jews were ready for Him to come?

Luke 1:26-47–And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. 39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. 46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

The angel Gabriel – whose name means “mighty one of God” – came and told Mary that she was the greatest woman who ever lived. “Blessed are you among women – God Almighty is going to be physically incarnated inside of you.” Her name was not Mary, but Miriam, the same as Moses’ sister. The Hebrew root of “Miriam” is “bitterness”. She did not have blonde hair or blue eyes, but rather dark, Semitic features. She has also never been to Medjugorje, Guadalupe, Fatima, or Lourdes. Her name is Miriam, and she was probably no more than mid-teens in age when Gabriel gave her this momentous announcement.

What does the greatest woman who ever lived say in response to being told that that is who she is? Verse 46 and 47:

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.'”

The greatest woman who ever lived called God her Savior, stating that she needed to be saved from her sins. If the greatest woman who ever lived needs a Savior, where does that put me? None is righteous, no not one. (Rom. 3:10) All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23) The word Theotokos”, “Mother of God”, is not in the Greek New Testament.

She is told that she would be the mother of the Messiah, who would save His people from their sin, and she responds by saying “I rejoice in God my Savior”. God Almighty is going to be incarnated inside of her, and all she can say is that she needs to be saved!

If the greatest woman who ever lived states that she needs a Savior, I believe her. I do not believe that she would lie, and even if she did, God certainly would not put that lie in His Word. So, whom should I believe?

Mary herself or the lie of the Immaculate Conception which claims that she was conceived without sin? (Acts 17:11Be a Berean.) What has happened is that you have the pseudo-Christianization of Minerva, Diana of Ephesus, etc., and the application of these to Mary in fulfillment of the prophecies of Ezekiel and Jeremiah.

The Madonna with the baby was originally derived from Tammuz-worship, which Ezekiel contended with. Jeremiah warned of the worship of the Queen of Heaven.

Miriam said she needed a Savior. God would become a Man, take my sin and put it on His Son, the Messiah, and take His righteousness and put it on me. Why should God become a man to take my place?

When I used to hear the phrase “Jesus is my personal Savior”, I did not really understand all of what that meant. I thought it meant that He was my personal Savior because I personally accepted Him; but that is only half of what it means. What “personal Savior” means in its totality is that if I was the only person who ever sinned, He would have had to be born of Mary and gone to that cross and risen from the dead just for me.

The religious people did not think they needed a Savior; they had rituals and celebrations. The devil gets more people into hell with religion than he does with all the dope, all the immorality and gambling and alcohol abuse put together. The Gospel is not religion, it is relationship!

“I need a Savior”; that is what Mary said. She was a teenage girl who was not concerned with Hannah Montana/ Justin Bieber videos on MTV or with her own personal vanity. Her response was to state her need of a Savior. That is the kind of person who was ready for Him to come the first time.

Miriam had a family and let’s read about them:

Luke 1:5-6–There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

Now, remember that the Sanhedrin, the clergy, were corrupt – it was a racket. Yet despite the popular corruption and hypocrisy of the clergy, there were individuals within it who were righteous.

As bad as it is, and as bad as it is going to get, there will be people like Zacharias who are righteous, devout, and godly. No matter how corrupt the system and its clergy become, they will not go along with it. There may not be many of them, but they will be there. That is the kind of Jew who was ready for Jesus to come the first time, and that is the kind of Christian who will be ready for Him to come again.

Let’s look still further:

Luke 2:25–And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

The Sanhedrin did not want Jesus to come; all Jerusalem was troubled, but Simeon was longing for Jesus to come. In fact, it was his only reason for staying alive – verse 26:

“And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”

Under the old Covenant, the Holy Spirit was only for certain people at certain times – high priests, kings, prophets, and certain other individuals. Only they had the Holy Spirit in some sense; not until after Pentecost was He for all who believed. The gifts of the Spirit then operated only in a primordial sense in and through those who had them.

 Verse 27:

“So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law”

 verse 28:

“he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said, ‘Lord, You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”

 This man, Simeon, was filled with the Holy Spirit and had been promised that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. He was old, his hair and teeth and eyesight were going, but he knew he would not die until Jesus had come. He had what we call in New Testament terms the gift of faith.

The New Testament does tell us that we all have a measure of faith. We’re saved by grace through faith, (Eph. 2:8) without faith it is impossible to please God, (Heb. 11:6) and anything not done in faith is sin (Rom. 14:23), Scripture tells us.

Separate from this, however, is the gift of faith (1 Cor. 12), which not all of us have. It is the capacity to trust God absolutely for things that are not specifically written in Scripture, which the Holy Spirit has revealed to you. Most people with this gift are intercessors. Hebrew and Greek both make a distinction between prayer and intercession.

People who have this gift can truly intercede in prayer, believing and knowing – not wishfully thinking, or trusting in the futility of their own minds – but holding on to a promise they know by faith that God has truly given them.

Not only was there a little old man, there was also a little old lady.

Luke 2:36-38–And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

For years and years and years all this little old lady did was pray, fast, and serve God in His house. Then she just couldn’t stop telling people about Jesus – all those who were looking for the redemption of Israel.

Here was this little old lady, whose whole life was spent in prayer and service to God, and finally in telling people about Jesus.

That was the kind of Jew who was ready for Jesus to come the first time; and that is exactly the kind of Christian who will be ready for Him to return.

The final post will take a look at faithful shepherds then and now. (To be continued…)

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (Part 2)

Before we look at what kinds of Jews were ready for Jesus to come the first time, let’s look at Jews who were not ready. When we see what kinds of Jews were not ready, we will know what kinds of Christians may not be ready. A is to B as B is to C.

new-star1

Matthew 2:1-6–Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. 5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

What we see here is that some of the people who were ready for Jesus to come the first time were people whom one would not have expected to be ready. These Magi, or wise men, were from Persia.

You see, those wise men understood how to interpret the signs of the time. Sadly, there are born-again Christians who cannot see the significance of contemporary events in the Middle East. They are blind to it, as if the book of Revelation or the book of Zechariah were not in the Bible. They are oblivious to what is happening in the world – they don’t quite understand any of these other signs, as wise men do. No matter what happens in this world, our eyes should always be fixated on Jesus Christ, and ultimately on His Word.

Daniel 12:8-10–And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

So the wise men, or the Magi came to see the Messiah, non-Jews, people you would not have expected, because they saw the Star in the East. Here we see that they come to Jerusalem, where Herod heard them and was troubled – and all Jerusalem with him. This was the city where David said that the Messiah would come. This was where the Temple was; the focus of their identity and their Messianic hope, yet almost nobody who lived there wanted Him to come.

You will find many churches with the same attitude; drive up the road, look at the churches you pass, and ask yourself how many of them really are anticipating the Return of the Lord?

All Jerusalem was troubled; oh, they had the rituals, the liturgies, the festivities and the holidays, but when it looked like He was showing up, they were all troubled. Ironically, the most troubled were the national and religious leaders.

Now think about this for a minute. It gets even more frightening, however – these guys knew the Scriptures!. Herod wanted to know where the Messiah would be born, and they told him what Micah 5:2 said, that He would be born in Bethlehem.

They had head knowledge of the Scriptures, but not heart knowledge. (Speak to the heart vs. Speak to the mind.)When He showed up, it was the last thing in the world that they either expected or wanted. Do you think it will be any different when He returns?

sons-of-issachar

1 Chronicles 12:32–And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.”

Issachar – The meaning of this name is “he will bring a reward, man for hire” (Strong’s Heb3485 and Holman Bible Dictionary).

  • Men – a person, people (Strong’s Heb582)
  • Understanding – to separate mentally, to distinguish, be cunning, diligently, deal wisely, be prudent (Strong’s Heb998)
  • Times – fortunes, occurrences (Thayer’s Lexicon Heb6256).  Fortunes means success, prosperity, estates, possessions, wealth (Webster’s Dictionary).  Occurrence means an event, an incident, happenings, circumstance.

Know – to know or ascertain by seeing.  The Hebrew word know in this verse is yada, which is a word that means God gives the personal understanding and revelation, and is not a knowing that comes from reading a book for example. (Strong’s Heb3045)

By virtue of the name Issachar, we see that those who walk in the character and calling of Issachar bring a sure reward to the Lord as well as a reward to the vineyard in which they are working or are a part of.

Matthew 24:42-51—Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Their mind is cunning, able to mentally distinguish between that which is wise and unwise.  They diligently pursue the understanding needed to live well before the Lord.  Issachar men and women receive understanding from the Lord Himself, because they know God in an intimate manner.  Because they are wise and prudent, Issachars are able to perceive and seize opportune times of success and wealth. They are able to provide meat in due season.

Issachar was dead to himself and alive only to his God.  When we move into a place of being dead to self and alive to God, we move into understanding the times because those times are IN God. 

Jesus spoke about discerning the times:

Matthew 16:3–And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

When Christ rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees it was because they were not abiding in the Lord, but they were operating in the midst of unrighteous governmental and religious systems.

They did not yada” –(Know) God, and therefore were without understanding and lacked the ability to discern the signs of the time.

Matthew 7:21-23–Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  How are we to know what those seasons are apart from knowing God?  Jesus said I do what I see My Father in heaven doing.

John 5:19: Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

Issachar possessed tremendous fervor, a passion and drive for His God which caused him to glow with redness, just as it was said about John the Baptist: “He was a burning and a shining light” (John 5:35). 

For those who operate in that place of obedience and giving themselves over to God, men are prompted to follow and obey them, just as it is said of the children of Issachar, “all their brethren were at their commandment.”

What about those who say, don’t worry about His coming?…..(To Be Continued)

 

It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas……. (Part I)

The Christmas season has come and gone as we brace ourselves in eager anticipation for a new year in 2015. If you are reading this, you may be wondering, “Perhaps this was posted too late.” I invite you to read on……

The word for “Christmas” in Hebrew is “Hag Ha nolod – literally “The Festival of the Birth”.

Ecclesisiastes 1:9-10 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

Ecclesisistes 3:15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

What does Christmas, the Nativity, have to do with the Last Days? This may surprise you, but the answer is everything.

A thorough study of the Scriptures will reveal that we may never understand the Second Coming of Christ until we understand His First Coming. What happened in His First Coming is recapitulated in His Second Coming. When Jesus was born, the Roman emperor was Caesar Augustus – formerly Octavius. Caesar Augustus was the first Roman emperor to be deified in his lifetime.

Thus, there was a Roman emperor presiding over the Roman Empire and being worshiped as a god when Jesus arrived the first time. This emperor took a census, ascribing numbers to people – not actually putting numbers on them, but ascribing one to every person in the known world. There were actually two censuses taken by Augustus, both for this purpose: that he might gain financial control of the world. When Jesus comes back, the same thing will happen: we will have a resurrected Roman Empire headed by someone who is virtually deified.

This demi-god or Anti-Christ will number people’s heads in order to economically control the world. What happened at Jesus’ First Coming will happen again at His Second. Christmas is not just a past event; it is a future event, a prophetic event. The testimony of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10)

Jesus’ First Coming teaches about His Second. Christmas is neither here nor there; the Nativity, however, is very important. If we do not understand how He came the first time, we will not understand His return. There are differences, of course, but one is a picture of the other.

As I have prayerfully studied the Scriptures over the last 14 years or so, I have asked myself this question: How could it be, with 2,000 years of history preparing for the Messiah to come, being in a covenant relationship with God and having the Scripture, that so few Jews were ready for Jesus to come the first time?

Paul tells us that the devil blinded their eyes. (Rom. 11:25) There were 2,000 years of preparation for Jesus to come, Israel had a covenantal relationship with God, and they had the Scriptures. Yet in spite of all this, only a remnant was ready for Him to come.

The same thing will be true when He comes back, only it will not only be Israel, but also the so-called church.

What kinds of Christians are going to be ready for Jesus to come again in the Last Days? If you want to know the answer to this, look at the kinds of Jews who were ready for Him to come the first time. If you want to know what kinds of Christians are not going to be ready for Him to come back, take a good look at the kinds of Jews that were not ready for Him to come the first time.

His First Coming teaches about His Second. At His first coming, he was born of an earthly mother. He will not come as a baby the second time, being born of an earthly mother. There are differences between the two comings, but essentially one prefigures the other. (To be continued…..)