Endtimesencouragementnews

Encouragement for End-Times Endurance brings you a look at current events around the world from a biblical perspective, including how they might be connected to Bible prophecy.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tennessee Massacre

In the wake of yesterday's tragedy in Chattanooga, my heart is filled with many things, so this post may be longer than most. Some Christian newsmen/writers/bloggers whom I respect have followed for the past 17 years how uncanny it is that every time our nation (government) does something to advance: 1) the pro-choice agenda, 2) the LGBT agenda, or 3) the endangerment of Israel, some sort of tragic event has hit this country. It may be a natural event, such as fire, flood, tornado, etc. It may be financial, or it may be of human origin (often terrorists). These men (and I agree with them) feel that God has been using this pattern to warn us. Thus far the warnings have not been heeded, and the murders in Chattanooga could very well be a harbinger of... Jeremiah 51:14, "I will fill thee with men, as with locusts; and they shall raise a battle cry against thee."
 
My heart is heavy and sorrowful (Roman 9:2) when I think of the lives lost yesterday and of the friends and families left to grieve. I also sorrow over the fact that Kuwaiti-born Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, as despicable as his acts were, was created in God's image, and God is not willing that any should perish, desiring that all come to repentance. I have read that the Islamic gunman attended UT Chattanooga, where he received a degree in electrical engineering. In the diversity section of their web page they state: "Christian groups have a large presence on campus. They often have meetings, free food, and live music on campus." I can only speculate as to what interaction there was (if any) between these groups and Abdulazeez.

Built upon the foundations of prayer removal from schools and the introduction of the theory of evolution as science in the 1960's, followed by the infamous Roe v Wade decision in 1973, most governmental decisions (executive, legislative, or judicial) have only proven to be foolish, futile, or fatal. If God is removed from the equation (as many are prone to do) the wounds to our nation seem to be self-inflicted. And somewhere in the midst of it all, the church has been self-absorbed to the point where post-modernism has crept in, carrying in its wake the follies of progressive socialism, Marxism, and Fascism.

These are just a few of the things I weep about. Not all the time, and not even every day. Even these things can stir up a joyous expectation in me, knowing that Jesus said that lawlessness, apostasy, and godlessness would increase before His return. The Christian community at UT Chattanooga did not effectively reach Abdulazeez with the Gospel for some reason. So while I say, Come Lord Jesus," I pray that this message will result, directly or indirectly, in at least one person being lead to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus. That will turn many tears into much rejoicing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

State of the Union

State of the Union 2015

I believe Jesus is looking at the United States of America and weeping. He takes no pleasure in judging an individual or a nation, but judgment does come when grace has been spurned. The Scriptures declare:
"But he who did not know, yet committed things  deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."   (Luke 12:48)

The United States of America has certainly known the way of righteousness; not that she was ever perfect. In days gone by, biblical morality was spoken of freely and expected in both public and private life. Today we have reached the point where that expectation has been replaced by a militant disdain for anything godly. Evil has been labeled good and good has been labeled evil. The Bible says "Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people."  (Proverbs 14:34 ) The state of the union in 2015 is that it is in crisis, on the brink of judgment. Why?

1. For 55 years we have been on an unrelenting mission to purge God from the public square.

      It began with the removal of prayer from our public schools. Not only was this an affront to God but it was a clear violation of the First Amendment provisions. Teachers and children praying in the school house had nothing to do with a religion having been established by congress. The camel now had his nose in the tent and he won't be satisfied until he is the sole occupant of the tent. Prayer and other expressions of faith have come under attack in virtually every area of public life, and in recent years the attacks have spread to private life... like whether a Christian photographer can refuse to photograph a same sex wedding. We need to repent and return to the place where "In God We Trust" is a fact and not just a slogan (which has also been attacked). "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance." ( Psalms 33:12)

2. We suffer from a lack of godly leadership



     Somehow the majority of voting America has bought into the idea that character has nothing to do with performance. There is a failure on the part of the church to declare the fallacy of such a notion and to hold up the truth of God's word.  "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan." ( Proverbs 29:2) So it could be said that we get what we ask for or we don't get what we don't ask for. It is a Christian duty to obey those in authority (Romans 13:1) yet in this country we the people are the ones responsible for placing "those in authority." When the church ceases to be salt and light, this is what happens.

3. We are reducing our military to pre-WWII levels

     Before King Solomon had strayed into taking for himself many wives, including their foreign gods, this was the state of his kingdom.
"For he had dominion over all the region on this side of the River from Tiphsah even to Gaza, namely over all the kings on this side of the River; and he had peace on every side all around him. 25 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, each man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan as far as Beersheba, all the days of Solomon. 26 Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen."  (1 Kings 4:24-26) Weakness invites war. When you combine moral weakness with military weakness, you have a prescription for disaster. The purging of our military, the poor level of aftercare provided for those who have served, and an eroding of the moral foundation for any just war has been nothing short of a betrayal to our military.

4. Our government is no longer willing to defend our borders

     God made a unilateral covenant with Abraham, promising a land to him and his descendants. It had specific borders (Genesis 15:18-21). Israel never did fully possess the land they were promised, and as ungodliness from the leadership down became the norm, the borders they did defend became smaller and smaller. In the end the once proud nation was reduced to little more than the city state of Jerusalem which was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586 B.C. To not defend our borders is to treat as profane the wonderful gift of this land that God has given to a people whose chief aim initially was to please Him. "O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain..." is no longer seen as the place upon which God has shed His grace, but as a place to be exploited and turned over to infidels, as criminals take advantage of our porous borders.

5. We refuse to balance our budget

     Figures don't lie; all the while liars figure. We are told over and over again what our deficit is (currently over 18 trillion dollars), but very few will remind us of the 100 trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities that needs to be added to that. We are told that the deficit has been reduced when in reality that means that the deficit is still increasing, only at a slightly slower rate. Things are labeled as free while somebody always has to pay for them. Inflation is stated at artificially low numbers because essentials such as energy and food have been removed from the calculation. Unemployment is said to be at the lowest point in years, yet the millions who have stopped looking for work are not included in the figures. In the background, the stock market is kept propped up by an Federal Reserve system that prints money at will. The debt can is constantly kicked down the road for the next generation to bear. All the while, two principles are all but forgotten;
    
      "The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender."  (Proverbs 22:7)

      "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day."  (Deuteronomy 8:18 )

6. We have created and fostered a welfare state

     Government gets bigger and bigger, caught up in the perverted notion that it must play Robin Hood, forcing some to pay double while creating multiple programs where others get a free ride. This has extended WAY beyond the notion that a righteous people will care for the truly needy. True religion involves caring for widows and orphans (James 1:27), and such provisions should always begin at home (1 Timothy 5:8). The entitlement generation in this country now equals the entire population of Spain. Exacerbating the problem is the fact that in the last 42 years we have killed off and equal number of people through the genocide of abortion. Fewer and fewer are being asked to provide for more and more, creating a house of cards which shall surely fall. The idea of dreaming, and pursuing a dream has been crushed for so many by the indoctrination of welfare. This biblical admonition needs to be restored.  "For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat." ( 2 Thessalonians 3:10 )

7. America is rejecting Israel

     The rhetoric of support is still there, but gradually, over the past 25 years we have been distancing ourselves from Israel and their right to live in the land as a national people. We have gone against God's promise of a particular area as an inheritance to Abraham's descendants and have instead tried to force them to give up a large portion of the little they do possess. We have often painted Israel as the bully when all they do is (with great restraint) defend themselves. As we continue to ignore God and His word, we will run headlong into this... "I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."  ( Genesis 12:3)

8. Counterfeit Christianity has exploded in the land

     One prominent leader of the Pro-Life Movement has said, "Abortion will end in America when the church says so, and not one day sooner." So much of the visible church has accepted abortion as a fact of life (!!!) and has either gone silent on the issue or has actually embraced the abomination. Abortion is murder of the most egregious kind - the killing of innocent babies who do not even have a voice. The church needs to be their voice and deliver a mandate to congress to grant personhood status under the 14th Amendment to babies in the womb from the moment of conception - no exceptions.

     Much of the church has strayed from sound doctrine. God is no longer portrayed as a God of justice, and hell is declared to be a myth. The sanctity of marriage has been perverted to include that which God calls abominable. Sin is no longer called sin but an alternate life style or sickness. Repentance is seldom mentioned when presenting the Gospel. Ecumenicalism is growing by leaps and bounds, paving the way towards a one world religion. The church (and that includes me) bears much of the responsibility for the state of our union. We can't blame it all on the folks in Washington DC. Let us remember...  
    "For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?" ( 1 Peter 4:17)

























Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CONVERGENCE

Convergence: 1) the act, fact, or condition of converging; 2) the point at which things converge.

Converge:1) to come together or tend to come together at a point; 2) to move or be directed toward each other or toward the same place, purpose, or result. (Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition)

A check of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible reveals that neither "convergence" nor "converge" appear in the Bible; yet I contend that the principle has been there all the time. With the benefit of hindsight (which is not always 20/20 but is usually clearer than present or future sight) we can see that Galatians 4:4 speaks of a moment of convergence. "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law," Galatians 4:4 (NKJV)

The New Living Translation says, "But when the right time came..." From God's perspective, the right time was a time when many things converged. At the top of the list there is the matter of prophecy. Without delving too deeply into the subject, the following Scripture gives us a clue.

25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.
26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Daniel 9:25-26 (NKJV)

From the time that the decree was issued to rebuild the walls and streets of Jerusalem (Artaxerxes Longimanus in 445 B.C.) until Messiah was cut off (crucified) there would be 69 weeks of prophetic (360 day) years, or 483 years. While this does not pinpoint the time of Messiah's birth, it comes close. Interestingly, the prophecy of the 70 weeks of years (the afore mentioned 69) plus the final week, which is 7 years yet to come, was given to Daniel. Daniel was a righteous Hebrew lad, taken into Babylonian captivity by Nebuchadnezzar in 605 B.C. Daniel, for about 70 years, would maintain his integrity while serving under several kings as both an administrator and as a Magi. As the time of the Savior's birth approached, who were the people who realized what was about to happen? It was the Magi.

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,
2 saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." Matthew 2:1-2 (NKJV)

Not only did the prophetic calendar converge with the time of Jesus' birth, but with most of the known world under the rule of Rome, there existed a time of relative peace (Pax Romana), a well developed system of roads was in place, and many peoples were united by a common language. At just the right time Jesus was born, which meant also that at just the right time He died and rose again. The world was in a state that made the spread of the gospel.

All of that leads to my simple conclusion for today. Just as the First Advent of Jesus the Christ occurred at a time when many things in the world converged, so will it be at the Second Advent of Jesus the King. This may help to explain some of the many things which are currently happening on planet earth. Most of the politicians and the pundits would have us think that either things are spinning out of control or that man can fix things if only ____________. The truth is that nothing is out of God's control, including the fact that soon there will appear on the world stage a man who deceives many into thinking that he has the solution.

Next time we will look at some of the things that seem to be converging on that point in time. Until then, keep looking up, for your redemption draws near (Luke 21:28).







 






Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Nation in Disarray

Government Shutdown ... Debt Ceiling ... Sequestration ... Weapons of Mass Destruction ... Syria ... Israel ... Palestine ... Iran ... Afghanistan ... Iraq ... Obamacare ... The LGBT Agenda ... Women's Right to Choose ... Islam ... Terrorism ... Benghazi ... NSA Spying ... 1st Amendment ... 2nd Amendment ... Democrat ... Republican ... Rhino ... Tea Party ... Progressive Liberal ... Conservative (fiscal or moral or both) ... The UN ...

Any one of the above topics (and many) will certainly wind up the pundits of every stripe and color, so I wish to talk for just a minute about a topic that is not all that dear to the hearts of many people. I have chosen to do so on a blog site because I do not have much access to the shakers and movers inside the beltway. I am forever grateful that I do have access to the One who will have the last shake (Hebrews 4:16; 12:26-27).

In any event, this is an open letter to the President of the United States, to every member of his cabinet and staff, and to every senator and congressman. You will spend a lot of time, energy, and money trying to resolve the many problems facing our nation, the above list being just a sample. I can tell you, based not on any personal expertise but on the unchanging Word of God, that all of that effort will be wasted until you first restore righteousness to the foundations of our country. We have lost our moral bearings as a nation, and until those are regained, all of our efforts will be in vain. For it is written:

"Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people." Proverbs 14:34 (NKJV)

"If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?" Psalms 11:3 (NKJV)

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance." Psalms 33:12 (NKJV)

Someone might ask, "Even if I agreed with you, where should we start?" I do not believe for a second that God requires a complicated answer to that question. Our own instincts agree with the Word of God that life is sacred, and comes from God. We wrote that into our Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life ..." That certainly agrees with ...

13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. Psalms 139:13-16 (NKJV)

We MUST, as a nation, pass laws granting personhood status, under the 14th Amendment, to all humans from the moment of conception. God has given us 40 years to remove the stench of blood-guilt from our land and we have not yet done it. We MUST do so before it is too late; before the problems listed above (and worse) consume us. You, as leaders of this once great nation, have a responsibility to put the ship of state back on the right course.

And we the people have a responsibility to communicate to you our desire that you do so. Therefore, this letter is also to all the people. You can become active participants in something called the 3.1.10 Initiative. Call your 3 congressmen at least 1 time per month and register your strong desire to see Personhood/Life at Conception legislation (H.R. 1091 and S. 583) passed into law just as soon as possible, and urge at least 10 of your friends to do the same.

The amazing thing about getting this message out on the world-wide web is that it can either sit there in cyber-space or it can go viral. Without righteousness being restored to the foundation of our nation, we will continue to be a nation in disarray. It's up to you.













Friday, February 15, 2013

World News Through the Third Lens: The State of Our Union

In the president's state of the union address last Tuesday.........

Why bother to go over that speech, the contents of which, if they become reality, will push the United States of America further into the abyss? There was not one mention of the connection between our moral decline and our fiscal problems. The proposals to "fix" our economy not only miss this connection - they lack one shred of common sense as shared by Dr. Ben Carson at the National Prayer Breakfast. President Obama should have been taking notes rather than looking for a hole to crawl into.

Rather than taking apart the President's agenda, which includes (in this writer's opinion) much that constitutes impeachable offenses, I would rather focus on just one sentence in Senator Marc Rubio's rebuttal speech. "But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them."

Every time I read that, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I think those are symptoms of hysteria, so you can consider this blog as written by an hysterical man on a mission. While I appreciate Senator Rubio's pro-life statement, I can't help but wonder why his name was not listed as a co-sponsor on Senator Wicker's bill: S.91 Life at Conception Act introduced at the beginning of the 112th congress. Why was this bill allowed to languish in committee without, at least, a real battle? Why hasn't a version of S.91 been introduced to the 113th congress by either Sen. Rubio, Sen. Wicker, or either of Tennessee's two "Pro-life" senators, Corker and Alexander? Could it be because of the state of our union is actually disunity?

Through the third lens of Scripture.................

Ephesians 4:1-6 (NKJV)
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Our country is most definitely not exceptional because of a belief that every life, at all stages, is precious. If that were so, we would not be a nation that has allowed the legal murder of over 55 million babies in the womb over the past 40 years. I also think that the church of Jesus Christ has lost its exceptionalism by allowing this to happen in our beloved country. How has this happened when the majority of people in this country say they believe in the sanctity of life? I think it is because we are not united in what we mean when we say we are "pro-life."

There is no claim that any of the numbers hereafter are accurate, but I do believe that they are accurate in what they represent.

Of the 200,000,000 or so people in the USA eligible to vote, approximately 150,000,000 of them are registered to vote. Of the registered voters, over 80,000,000 say they are pro-life. Let's just go with the 80MM and break that down further.

Let's say that 50%  (40MM) think that abortion should be banned, but with exceptions (i.e., rape,incest, health of mother, etc.)

Let's say that the other 50% (40MM) think that all abortions should be banned; no exceptions.

Out of either group there have sprung various and sundry pro-life organizations, but they often refuse to work with one another because of disagreement regarding the exceptions.

Out of each group there have sprung many mercy ministries (i.e., Care-net) which focus most of their attention on helping those in crisis pregnancy situations, with very little effort directed at going up-stream to prevent the crisis. As such, they have staff and budget needs to be met.

A considerable portion of the pro-life movement is devoted to keeping people abreast of current events in this arena. As such, they have staff and budget needs to be met.

A very small percentage (probably less than 1%) of the people who say they are pro-life actually take their theology out to the streets. These people operate with next to nothing for a formal budget. Most of the workers are strictly volunteers and any funds collected go directly to alleviate the needs of families who choose life - right at the gates of the abortion mills. Even the seasonal efforts to go to the streets attract a very small percentage of the evangelical church. In the Bible Belt part of Tennessee where I live, only about 15 of the 1000 churches in the area will be participating in 40 Days for Life.

I have kept this numbers game to a minimum because my purpose is not to divide, but to unite. I am willing to accept the fact that many different approaches have been taken by the pro-life community, and that pro-life commitment varies from person to person. I am not suggesting that the various efforts of organizations like Personhood USA, Care-net, Operation Save America, Operation Rescue, Life News, 40 Days for Life, et al should cease. God forbid! What I am suggesting is that everyone who calls him/herself "Pro-Life" should take the minimal steps granted to every citizen of the USA to end abortion in this country. This can be done without having to fund a staff or a budget; it can be done without engaging in endless speeches.

Personhood is the answer............

The 14th Amendment of the US Constitution states, "...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Because, as a nation, we seem to have lost our ability to recognize that a baby in the womb is a person from the moment of conception, there is a need for congress to act, under section 5 of the 14th Amendment, and extend the protections thereof to each born and preborn human person.

Our duly elected congressmen (senators and representatives) need to know that the will of the people is to define personhood as beginning with the moment of conception. Let's not engage in endless debate regarding exceptions; the need to attack this state by state or restriction by restriction. Let's just tell congress that we believe that human life begins at conception and that equal protection under the law should apply at that point. We demand a law that guarantees this. Once this is the law of the land, and only then, will Sen. Rubio's statement ring true.

Join the 3.1.10 initiative. 3 - the number of congressmen you should contact; 1 - the number of times to contact them per month requesting passage of Life at Conception/Personhood legislation ASAP; 10 - the minimum number of friends you should urge to do the same.

The Spirit, which is Life is calling us to unity.....................

 

 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

World News Through the Third Lens: The Peace of Jerusalem

 

PM Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with a number of foreign leaders over       the weekend, telling them he would be prepared for an immediate, comprehensive ceasefire with Hamas if the latter agrees to halt all rocket fire from Gaza. Meanwhile, Hamas on television announced a list of its own ceasefire demands, none of which included a cessation of the constant rocket-fire on Israeli civilians that led to the Pillar of Defense Operation. (INN/Ha’aretz) At the present moment it seems like a ceasefire is wishful thinking, much less peace.
 
In the USA, it is difficult to comprehend what life would be like with 850 rockets being launched across our borders within the space of a few days. Yet this is just an intense display of the terror that has been plaguing the nation of Israel for the past 64 years. Some times it has come in the form of attacks on many fronts from many nations (1948, 1967, 1973); other times disguise as a young man innocently passing through a shopping mall or taking a seat on a crowded bus, who detonates the bomb strapped to his chest shouting, "Allahu Akbar!" The last effective ceasefire was the end of the Yom Kippur War on October 25, 1973. Since then virtually every ceasefire arranged with the PLO, PA, Hamas or Hezbollah has been broken. Despite the hope and promise of The Camp David Accords in 1978, the Oslo I Accord of 1993, or the Wye River Memorandum of 1998, peace has remained as elusive as nailing jello to a tree.
 
Throughout these past six decades, Christians have been exhorted time and again to pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 'May they prosper who love you." Psalms 122:6 (NKJV) This exhortation has come from Zionists (those who believe Israel has a just claim to the land) and from evangelicals who just take the Bible seriously. The understanding of what peace in Jerusalem means varies with ones view of eschatology (end-times events).
 
Through the Third Lens of Scripture: The peace of Israel and Jerusalem is a topic spoken of frequently in the context of end-times. The angel Gabriel gave Daniel insight into this matter over 2500 years ago. "Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate." Daniel 9:27 (NKJV) Without going into detail, this speaks of a 7 year peace treaty confirmed by one who, after 3-1/2 years will break the covenant, will enter the (rebuilt) temple and commit "the abomination which causes desolation."
 
Jesus speaks of this event (remember it takes place 3-1/2 years into the last 7 year period, often referred to as the Tribulation) during His discourse on the Mount of Olivet. 15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." Matthew 24:15-16 (NKJV) In Matthew 24, Jesus answers His disciple's questions concerning the end of this present age and the Second Coming pretty much in chronological order. Note that He speaks of the days following the "abomination" this way: 21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened." Matthew 24:21-22 (NKJV) Following the words of Jesus, we discover that the event which will cut short the Great Tribulation is His Second Coming, which is  immediately preceded by signs in the heavenlies. You can track all of this in Revelation 6, which culminates with signs in the heavenlies, and the declaration that the "great day of their wrath has come." (v.16)
 
As Revelation continues, we see that two classes of people are protected from the wrath of God in two different ways. 144,000 Jews will remain on the earth during this time and are protected by a seal on their foreheads (Revelation 7:3), while the saints of God will be taken from the earth via the Rapture (Revelation 7:14). Paul is inspired by the Holy Spirit to write about these events also. Again, this is just a summary of some of the headlines. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 he writes about the Rapture and the Resurrection (other details are provided in 1 Corinthians 15). Paul continues in 1 Thessalonians 5 reminding us that while the Rapture (immediately followed by the Day of the Lord's wrath) will occur during times and seasons of which the prepared Christian is aware, it will come upon the unbelieving world as a "thief in the night." (v. 1-2) The believer is encouraged with the words "For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ," 1 Thessalonians 5:9 (NKJV)

Paul continues to give us insight in his writings to the church in Thessalonica:
1 "Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,"
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 (NKJV) 1950 years ago people were trying to distort the clear teaching of Jesus concerning the end-times. Paul makes it clear that the Rapture/Day of the Lord had not already come (v. 1-2) and would not come until two things happened: 1) a great apostasy or rebellion against God and His truth, and 2) the revealing of the man of sin (Antichrist) spoken of by Daniel and Jesus (see above).

The next peace to come to Israel and Jerusalem will be a false peace. How it comes about will probably be unknown to most of the world, but they will be grateful for it. That peace will be short-lived and will be followed by a time of unprecedented persecution. Those days will be cut short by the Resurrection/Rapture/Day of the Lord, after which Jesus will set up His Millennial Kingdom. Then the Prince of Peace will sit upon David's Throne and the government will be upon His shoulders. Then our Psalm 122:6 prayer will be answered. I just wanted you to have a good idea of what needed to happen before it would come to pass.





 










 
 
   

Monday, September 3, 2012

World News Through the Third Lens: Israel On Her Own

US IS UNDERMINING MILITARY THREAT AGAINST IRAN:


Israel’s Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon said Friday he feared the Islamic Republic did not believe it faced a real military threat from the outside world because of mixed messages from foreign powers, including the US. "We have an exchange of views, including with our friends in the United States, who in our opinion, are in part responsible for this feeling in Iran," he said. "There are many cracks in the ring closing tighter on Iran. We criticize this." Ya’alon also censured UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for traveling to Tehran last week. (Reuters)

DEMPSEY DOESN’T WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH ISRAEL IN A STRIKE AGAINST IRAN: Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey said late last week he did not want to be "complicit" if Israel chose to strike Iran's nuclear program, positing that a premature attack would dissolve the international pressure on the Islamic Republic. Speaking to UK journalists, Dempsey said an assault would clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran's nuclear program. He explained the international coalition pressuring Iran could be undone if it was attacked prematurely. "I don't want to be complicit if the Israelis choose to do it," he said. Dempsey’s harsh language may very well be understood by Israeli decision makers as a shot across the bow that cannot be ignored, while the popular interpretation will be that Israel cannot rely on the US and needs to take matters into its own hands. (J.Post/Ha’aretz)
 
NETANYAHU: SUMMIT IN TEHRAN IS A DISGRACE TO HUMANITY: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Thursday he will address the UN General Assembly next month in New York. "In Tehran today, the representatives of 120 countries heard a blood libel against the State of Israel and were silent," Netanyahu said. "This silence must stop. Therefore, I will go to the UN General Assembly and, in a clear voice, tell the nations of the world the truth about Iran's terrorist regime, which constitutes the greatest threat to world peace." The prime minister on Wednesday strongly condemned the Non-Aligned Movement summit taking place in Tehran. "Today, over 120 countries are meeting in Tehran, while the regime there denies the Holocaust, and works to destroy the Zionist state. This is a disgrace to humanity," the prime minister said. Netanyahu continued that the presence of these 120 states in Iran is a sign that the world's pledge "never again" after the Holocaust, is hollow. (J. Post)

These are just three of many headlines which have appeared around the world in the past three days (although most of them probably were missed by the main stream media). This post may seem, at first blush, like a rehash of one from a month ago, but I believe it is necessary. What is happening on the world scene with respect to Israel should be viewed as ticks on God's prophetic clock as we come ever closer to the End of the Age.

THROUGH THE THIRD LENS OF SCRIPTURE:

I would first like to refer the reader back to the post made one month ago in which the 12th Chapter of Ezekiel was used to sound a warning to any nation that would , as some headlines have recently phrased it, "Throw Israel under the bus!" The headlines cited above indicate that many nations, including the USA, have ignored the warning. Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney, has promised to reverse that course if he is elected president. However, the concept of a "two state solution" to the land referred to as Palestine is still a plank in the Republican platform. That should be enough said, without even trying to explore any of the mystical relationship between Mormonism and the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel.

Suffice it to say that Israel has biblical, theological, legal and practical claims to the Land. Liberal theologians, Muslims, ultra-orthodox Jews and Christian groups embracing replacement theology all say otherwise, which complicates the matter for many.

As the messianic prophesies start out very broad and general ("And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." Genesis 3:15 (NKJV) and over time become more and more specific (Abraham's seed, Genesis 12:3, through Isaac, Genesis 22:18, His tribe, Genesis 49:10, His place of birth, Micah 5:2, et al), so it is with the promises concerning the nation and the land.

The land promises which begin in Genesis 12 are repeated to Abraham in Genesis 13, 15, 17 and 22. The promise is confirmed with Isaac in Genesis 26, with Jacob (Israel) in Genesis 28, and assumed in the predictions to Jacob's 12 sons in Genesis 49. God fulfilled His promise concerning the exile of Abraham's descendants in a strange land for 400 years, followed by a return to the land (Genesis 15:13-16). The boundaries of the land are described in Numbers 34, Deuteronomy 28-30. The Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:4-17) promises that a descendant of David will sit on the throne forever - assuming not only a king, but a kingdom over which to rule. This promise has been interrupted because of Israel's unfaithfulness, but never abrogated.

Theologically, it is important to remember that when God ratified His covenant with Abraham, it was a unilateral covenant; an unconditional covenant. Abraham prepared the sacrificial animals, but then he fell asleep and God alone performed the ritual binding of the covenant. Repetition of key elements of the covenant throughout the Old Testament, and Paul's teaching in Romans 9-11 makes it clear that the church has not replaced Israel in God's program "for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Romans 11:29).

Legally, there is a maelstrom of disagreement surrounding the existence of the modern state of Israel. To access a good overview of this complicated topic, I recommend Fast Facts on the Middle East Conflict by Randall Price. It's important to note that "legal" here does not mean a mis-application of biblical and theological from above. God will fulfill that in due time. Suffice it to say that the restoration of Israel as a nation in 1948, while accomplished by God's behind the scenes sovereignty, took place while Israel was yet in unbelief (see Romans 11:23). It was a socialistic, irreligious segment of Jewish society that pioneered the the modern state. And as flawed as it is, it has been a series of legal decisions dating back to the 1922 British Mandate, which has resulted in legitimate claims to the land today.

Practically speaking, just consider the plight of so-called Palestinian refugees. In the 20th century, more Jews were dispossessed of lands and possessions in Arab lands than ever before. Yet tiny Israel has taken in over 700,000 disposed Jews from around the world since 1948. Consider the sad fact that the oil-rich Arab world surrounding Israel has done precious little to offer havens of relief for Palestinian refugees. Consider the fact that Palestinian refugees in the Israeli controlled portions of the West Bank live at much higher standards than the refugees in PLP/PLA portions. The entire Gaza strip fell into social and economic squalor once 9000 Jews were forcefully evacuated.

I will conclude this by encouraging those who read this to keep your eyes on Israel, and even further on Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. I believe that Joel Rosenberg correctly labeled these as "Epicenter" in his book by the same title, written in 2006. The political battles here at home seem to focus on the economy, with virtually no one connecting our economic plight to our national views towards the sanctity of life from conception, the sanctity of biblical marriage and family, and the blessings and curses associated with national dealings towards Israel. Pray, pray, pray! Vote as the Holy Spirit dictates. Be about the Father's business and keep looking up, for your redemption draws near!