Thursday, May 28, 2009

Prophetic Run Down Part 1

I realize that I haven't posted much yet on this blog, and I've kind of gone all over the place here so far, so in this post, and the next few, I'd like to just do a run down on the prophecies which have come to pass already, those which are happening now and the ones still to come. I'd like to put a little more order to those which we are seeing and looking for to come. Hopefully this will help put things in a little better order.

When I first "restarted" this blog, I mentioned that most of this material is from my old blog when I was on AOL Blogger. Much of it was written about 4 or 5 years ago, and because things have changed so much since then, I have had to go through my notes and make many changes. I'm sorry for the "jumbling" around up until now, and the fact I haven't posted much lately as I've been so busy.

OK. Here is a list of some of the Biblical prophecies which have already come and are happening now:

The rebirth of Israel, "the dry bones".
Ezekiel 37
Matthew 24:32-34, "the fig tree"

We know that the Jewish people came back to their homeland in 1948, and won the
6 day war in June of 1967, just as God told His prophets concerning His never breaking the covenant with His people. In Ezekiel, this prophecy is actually in parts, but some haven't happened yet. yes, God's people are back in the land He gave to them, but they are still in spiritual "blindness" concerning their Messiah- Jesus, thus, verses 13 and 14 state: "I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "

God has not put His Holy Spirit in His people yet. That will not come until after the rapture and during the tribulation time, which we will look more closely at in a later post.

The budding fig tree which Jesus speaks of here is to show that once you see the beginning signs start, we know the time is soon when He comes again. The fig tree is one of the last trees to bloom in the late spring/early summer- so when the buds appear, people knew that summer was right around the corner- as it will also be with His coming.

Exiles returning to Israel
Ezekiel 37:21

There have been Jewish people immigrating continuously to Israel since the rebirth of the State. They are still going, many times, leaving relatively "safe" homes in the west- to go to Israel which is under threats nearly daily from her enemies. God is calling His people back Home!

Israel becoming fertile and blossoming
Isaiah 27:6

Mark Twain once described "Palestine" in this way: "A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds - a silent mournful expanse.... A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action.... We never saw a human being on the whole route.... There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country."

We have seen how Israel has been transformed into modern cities, fertile country sides and farmlands. Israel is a huge exporter of flowers and fruits and vegetables. We have seen how the people have built up farms and
greenhouses in a land which when they came was nothing but sand and rock.

The Roman Empire reviving
Daniel 2:40-43

We know that the European Union is comprised of much of the same area which was once under Roman rule. Interesting enough, is that out of the greatest empires of the ages, the Roman Empire was the only one which was not overpowered by any other. All proceeding empires such as the Babylonian, Persian, Assyrian and Greek were eventually conquered. Rome dissolved- it was never conquered.

Russia rising military power
Ezekiel 38:1-12

Almost daily we can read or hear the news about Russia- "the Giant Bear" waking up. Russia after the cold war and the trial of democracy was mild and no threat. With the rise of communism again and the return to the leaders desire to be dominant again, we are hearing more and more of Russian exploits such as supplying war hardware to enemy states and invading neighbors. Even in the world of oil exploration, Russia is at the forefront, wanting to claim the North Pole and everything under for their own oil resources. Russia- ancient Gog, is a country to keep our eyes and ears on.

The City of Babylon being rebuilt
Isaiah 13:1,6,19

Back in my AOL days, I wrote a post about Babylon, and how it would be rebuilt. It's no secret that Saddam Hussein started rebuilding this ancient city- which began and will end in superstitious "mystery" religion. The fact is, now that Iraq is being stabilized by the American and allied forces and beginning to take control of many of their own areas, the Iraqi government will be looking into making Iraq the next "hot spot" vacation destination. Some day soon, the Antichrist will expand and modernize the city of Babylon, make it a marvel of the modern world, and have it as his capital city.

Global arms race
Matthew 24:6,7

Again, one only has to read or listen to the news and see that despite the willingness of soft politicians wanting to do away with the world's nukes, more and more rogue countries are wanting or already possessing them, and testing them. North Korea, Iran, Syria, Pakistan and others all have dangerous situations which could lead soon to a genuine launch and nuclear war.

Worldwide communications
Revelation 11:9,10

In this verse describing the death of two witnesses (whom we will learn about at a later time) it is describing something that only within the last few decades where it would be possible for every man to be watching at the same time- such an event. With CNN and other global news feeds continuously running 24/7.

Israel surrounded by enemy nations
Psalms 83:4-8

This is another no brainer really. One only has to think of 1 enemy, Iran, but think about how even the west, and under the present occupying administration in Washington, is rethinking any possibility of continuing friend and ally status with Israel. Just in case you missed it,
I did a post on Israel a few weeks ago which shows just how alone this country is in this world. This is to set up a time soon where God will intervene and save Israel from her enemies, as written about in Ezekiel.

Many false prophets and apostasy
Matthew 24:24

I will be doing a detailed post on apostasy in the Church very soon, which will cover this prophecy which is coming to pass now.

Asia/2 million man army
Revelation 9:14-16

A few decades ago (not to mention in the days of John!) the prospect of an army being so vast would been extremely frightening. We know that China alone has a standing army of 2 million!

Those are just some of the Bible prophecies which have already happened and are happening right now. Stay tuned for the next part- more prophecies which are happening now, and more to come.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Rapture

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. -Romans 15:4

In the last post, I promised I would post about a time which is written about in the Bible- an event popularly called the rapture. There's a lot to cover, and I'm sorry to make it so long!

I know there are people who don't believe in a rapture, there are some who don't understand it, and still others who believe in the event, but aren't sure when it will happen. I'm not an expert on this, but I will try and lay out the basic understanding of it- so let's get on with it.

First of all, the word "Rapture" is not in the Bible. There are certain verses which suggest a time when Christ will come and take His church (meaning His followers) back to heaven, allowing us to miss the worst of the end time tribulation period. Theses verses talk about being "caught up" or being taken away in the "blink of an eye". The English phrase "caught up" translates the Greek word harpazo, which means "to seize upon with force" or "to snatch up." The Latin translators of the Bible used the word "rapturo," the root of the English term "Rapture."

As with all of the Bible prophecies, there are certain events in History, which is recorded in the Old Testament which point to the present or future prophecies of the New Testament. In the Old Testament, there were 2 cases of harpazos or raptures in the cases of Enoch and Elijah. Enoch is one of the most interesting guys in the Old Testament.

Enoch had a son named Methuselah, who in turn had a son named Lamech- the father of Noah. Interesting, that Methuselah died the same year as, but before the flood. Anyway, Enoch was 365 years old, and the Bible tells us that he walked with God. This means that he didn't only live a Godly life, but he was close to God, pleased and obeyed and was God's friend. A very special relationship! The Genesis verse reads: Altogether Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more because God took him away. This literally means Enoch never died a physical death, but was taken to the presence of God. What is interesting here, is that in Jewish Tradition, Enoch was said to have been born on the day that Jewish people observe Hag Shavout- the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost. (which is coming up at the end of this month by the way!) And that he was "caught up" to heaven on his birthday. So, born on the day of Pentecost, and raptured on the day of Pentecost 365 years later. Interesting that the Holy Spirit visited the Apostles and the church was "born", on the day of Pentecost.

There were three groups of people facing the judgement of the flood of Noah: those that perished in the flood. Those that were preserved through the flood - Noah and his family. And those that were removed prior to the judgement of the flood- Enoch. It is interesting that Enoch might be a foreshadowing of a removal prior to judgement, in contrast to Noah and his family who were protected through it.
Elijah as we know was a prophet of God. He was carried to heaven with a whirl wind in a fiery chariot, with Elisha as the witness. Elijah never died a physical death either. Interesting too, is that the first raising of the dead happened (see 1Kings 17:17-24) by God through Elijah.

As I posted some time ago about the rapture, God never leaves His people to suffer His full Judgement. As with Noah and his family, who God preserved by having him build the ark, we also see that Lot and his family were warned by the Lord to get out of Sodom and Gomorrah before those cities were destroyed. Rahab the prostitute was saved from the destruction of Jericho (see Joshua chapter 2 and 3).

Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger. - Zephaniah 2:3

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. -Psalm 27:5

These 2 verses don't come out and say that God raptures, but they suggest what happened in the Old Testament preservations and "salvations" of Noah, Lot and Rahab, and of being caught up to escape the Day of the Lord.

Before we go on, I want to repeat about the time when the rapture will take place. Some people believe it will happen before the Tribulation begins, before the Antichrist comes on the world scene. This is referred to as the Pre tribulation Rapture. Some people believe it will happen half way through the tribulation- at the time of the false peace between the world and Israel, but just before the Antichrist breaks the peace treaty- 3 1/2 years into it. This is called mid tribulation, and the last group believes the church will be raptured just before Jesus comes back at the end of the Tribulation, to fight the final battle at Armageddon. This is the post tribulation view. I've posted before why I believe in the pre tribulation view, some of which is what I just spoke of, where God gets His people out before a time of full judgement.

Now, onto the New Testament. It's interesting too that in the New Testament we see Philip, Paul, John and Jesus all raptured, but with the case of the 3 Apostles, they were "transported" to be given messages and/or prophecies, and came back to earth to write down or tell about what they had seen.

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. -Luke 21:36

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,-1 Thessalonians 5:9

The removal of the church is also the event which will take away the present blindness of Israel. Many Jews are wary of Bible believing Christians- many, do not believe in Jesus as their Messiah- and many find the whole end time prophecy ideas as offensive and degrading. Many Jews feel that by the end times, they must believe in Jesus or they will go to hell, and they, as with many non religious and people with other philosophies, find that to be a very narrow minded and judgemental thing to say. Unfortunately too, there are some Christian groups who believe that the nation of Israel has failed and been replaced as the chosen people of God, by the Christian Church. The latter views are clearly mistaken, and contrary to what the New Testament scriptures tell us about Israel. I won't go into all the details, but one only has to read much of Paul's writings, Hebrews is a great example, to see that the Jewish People have yet a huge place in all things, and as I've written before, Israel is in the thick of everything.

Now, The Jews were chosen by God through the covenant to protect and preserve the purity of the original manuscripts of the Holy Scriptures- they received it and wrote down by divine inspiration of God and took that message to the rest of the world. The Old Testament contains more than 300 prophecies about the first coming of Jesus, yet when He came, many of those who prophesied about Him, rejected Him. During the history of the Jewish people, God has kept His promise of eternal blessings. They have been scattered through out the world only to be brought back to the land that God gave them. While God loves them and has a special place for them, He has also allowed for a "spiritual blindness" to have come over them, as so many have not believed in Christ as the Messiah.

In each generation since Abraham however, there have been some Jews who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, and are commonly referred to the believing remnant. But, because of those Jew's who have not received Christ as the Messiah, God has blinded their eyes. Someday, the whole nation of Israel will come to join the remnant and be restored to the position of special favor. Someday, the whole nation of Israel will come to join the remnant and be restored to the position of special favor. The rapture of the church is a prelude to the Nation of Israel's "scales" being removed from their eyes.

"Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded....that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in" (Romans 11:7, 25). For more on this, please visit:

"In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness" (Zechariah 13). The Lord will wash away "the filth of the daughters of Zion" (Isaiah 4:4). He will put His "law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts" (Jeremiah 31:33). Their iniquity will be forgiven (Jeremiah 31:34). God will put a "new spirit" within them (Ezekiel 11:19). He will "sprinkle clean water" upon them (Ezekiel 36:25). The Deliverer "shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob..." (Romans 11:26). "The Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left..." (Isaiah 11:11; 43:5, 6)

Another way we can learn about the rapture, is by looking at Jewish Traditions, such as weddings.All through the Gospels, Jesus relied on the ancient Jewish wedding pattern for many of His parables.

In the Ancient Jewish Wedding , the bridegroom took the initiative and negotiated the price (mohair, which is much like a dowry) he must pay to purchase the bride. Once the bridegroom paid the purchase price, the marriage covenant was made, and the young man and woman were regarded as husband and wife. From that moment on, the bride was declared to be set apart exclusively for her bridegroom. As a symbol of the covenant relationship that had been established, the groom and bride drank from a cup of wine over which the betrothal had been pronounced. After the marriage covenant was established, the groom left his bride at her home and returned to his father's house, where he remained separated from his bride for approximately 12 months. This gave the bride time to prepare her for married life.

During this period of separation, the groom prepared a place in his father's house to which he would later bring his bride. At the end of the period of separation, the bridegroom came - usually at night - to take his bride to live with him. The groom, the best man, and other men in the party left the father's house and conducted a torch-light procession to the home of the bride. Although the bride was expecting her groom to come for her, she did not know the time of his coming. As a result, the groom's arrival was preceded by a shout, which announced her imminent departure to be gathered with him. After the groom received his bride, together with her female attendants, the whole wedding party returned from the bride's home to the groom's father's house, where the wedding guests gathered.

Shortly after their arrival, the bride and groom were escorted by the other members of the wedding party to the bridal chamber. Before going into the chamber, the bride remained veiled so that no one could see her face. While the groomsmen and bridesmaids waited outside, the bride and groom entered the bridal chamber alone. There, in the privacy of that place, they entered into physical union for the first time, consummating the marriage that had been delayed nearly one year earlier.

After the marriage was consummated, the groom came out of the bridal chamber and announced the consummation of the marriage to the members of the wedding party waiting outside. Then, as the groom went back to his bride in the chamber, the members of the wedding party returned to the wedding guests and announced the consummation of the marriage.
Hearing the news of this, the wedding guests remained in the groom's father's house for the next seven days, celebrating with a great wedding feast.

During the seven days of the wedding feast, the bride and groom remained hidden in the bridal chamber (Genesis 29:21-23, 27-28) for the seven days. Afterwards, the groom came out of hiding, bringing his bride with him, but with her veil removed so that everyone could see her.

The New Testament portrays the Church as the Bride of Christ in Ephesians 5:22-33, and 2 Corinthians 11:2 . In the opening verses of John 14, the marriage covenant is confirmed. Paul continually reminds us of the purchase price and the covenant by which we, the Bride, are set apart, or sanctified.

Jesus is the Bridegroom, who has gone, and His return to gather His Bride is imminent. He has gone to prepare a place for His people- His Bride. The idea of imminence is taught throughout the New Testament and there is no event which is a necessary condition for His gathering of His Bride.The Bride of Christ, the church, is made ready to come with Christ to earth (Revelation 19:7-8, 14) before the Second Coming, but how could this happen if the church is still on the earth awaiting the Second Coming? If the Rapture isn't real, then how does the Bride (the church) also come with Christ at His Return?

We can also look at the various Jewish Observances as well. Coming up this year at the end of May, (the 6th of Sivan) Israel will celebrate Hag Ha Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost. This is based on Leviticus 23:15-22, which points to "the day after shabbat after Passover" (the Feast of First Fruits) plus 50 days--in Greek, Pentecost. Pentecost is one of only three of the seven feasts of Moses which was mandatory for every able male to attend. This seems to show that these three were very important. The Feast of Weeks is associated with the birth of Israel and the giving of the Law in Exodus. It is also called the Feast of Revelation.

The seven Feasts of Moses are not only for remembrance, they are also prophetic. The first three, in the month of Nisan, show the First Coming of Jesus. The last three, in the month of Tishri, are associated with His Second Coming. It is this one, Pentecost, in between, which is related with the Church, by which it was pointed out earlier, the church was born on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit visited upon the Apostles, as promised by Jesus. The Birth of the Church appears to be a fulfillment of the Feast of Pentecost. Jesus predicted it, and it was also fulfilled precisely on the Feast of Pentecost. It's interesting that this is the only Feast of Moses in which leavened bread is allowed, which seems to give it a Gentile influence (Leaven is shown in the scriptures to be a "type" of sin. Jesus and Paul both used it this way. It corrupts by puffing up.)

Another name for the Feast of Weeks is Hag Ha Kazir, The Feast of Harvest, since it is celebrated at the time of the "first harvest." Jesus often used "the harvest" to refer to the ingathering of believers.In the Seventy Week prophecy in Daniel 9, where the Angel Gabriel outlines God's plan for Israel, we see four interesting verses: 9:24 tells of the scope of the prophecy. 9:25 tells of 69 weeks (of years) which ends with the Messiah the King. 9:26 shows an interval before the 70th week. And 9:27 tells of the 70th week. In Daniel 9:24 it shows that all 70 weeks are for Israel. The church must depart prior to the 70th week, before the final seven-year period.We see in Daniel the "Second Coming" is preceded by a "week" of seven specific years which includes an interruption in the middle of the "week".
From a view of 2 Thessalonians 2, we learn that the removal of the church is a necessary condition to the appearance of the Antichrist. Since there is a definite seven-year period immediately preceding the Second Coming, it would seem that there could be up to as many as 33 years (40 - 7) between the rapture and the beginning of the seven-year period for the Man of Sin to appear, rise to power, and position himself to enforce the covenant that Isaiah calls the "Covenant with Hell." These years could also include the rebuilding of the Temple, the rebuilding of Babylon, and other anticipated positioning for the event of Christ's final return. With all of the things happening in the world, and which will be coming on the horizon, it suggests that the circumstances anticipated for the seven-year period are moving right along, and these support the view that the Rapture is getting closer and may closer than we know.

One more point on the Day of Pentecost is the Book of Ruth. The Jewish observance of the Feast of Weeks has always included the reading of this book. What is interesting, is that this story parallels events relating to the Church. This is one of my favorite Books in the Old Testament. It is a love story which shows the role of the kinsman-redeemer. As we look at Boaz, we notice that he, in many ways, pre-figures Jesus Christ. Through his act of redemption, Boaz returns Naomi (Israel) to her land, and also takes Ruth (a Gentile) as his wife. This suggests a parallel with the Church as the Gentile bride of the kinsman-redeemer. The similarities between Boaz, Naomi, and Ruth with Christ, Israel, and the Church, have been widely recognized, but it's so interesting to think- who first introduces Boaz to Ruth? An unnamed servant! (John 16:13)

It seems that the events regarding Israel directly is interrupted for a period of time. This interruption appears to be associated with Israel's rejection of the Messiah and God's program for Israel is resumed at the completion of the Church. The completion of the church is at the time when the church age is finished- at the rapture. Paul tells us that the Church is a mystery not revealed in the Old Testament and if we read the scriptures carefully we can find this "interruption" throughout the scriptures. The day is approaching when the Church is "complete" and God will remove it and again continue with His program with Israel. Is it possible that His "clock" will restart on the 6th of Sivan, the day of Penticost, the day that it was inturrupted?

Paul mentions the "Trumpet of God" in connection with the rapture. It is interesting that this term appears only twice in the Bible: at the giving of the Law at Sinai and at the rapture. This isn't the "Trumpet of God" with the temple trumpets or the shofar. We need to realize that these trumpets continue during the Millennium, so they aren't "the last trump."

OK. I know this is long, but there is just a little more. Some have the view that the "Second Coming" of Christ and the "Rapture" are somehow the same. There seems to be a number of things in the scripture which shows that these are different and separate events. The event known as the Rapture is most clearly shown in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, which encourages the Christians that, at the time of the "snatching up" they will be reunited with those who have died in Christ before them.

There are also scriptures which show a "time of trouble", which has never been seen before, that Jesus called the "Great Tribulation." Many hold to the view that the Rapture of the church will occur after that period of time, closely associating it with the Second Coming. This is known as the "post-tribulation" view.

The Rapture is characterized in the New Testament as a "translation coming" (1 Corinthians 15:51- 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17) in which the Lord comes for His church, taking her to His Father's House (John 14:3). At Christ's Second Coming with His saints, He descends from heaven to set up His Messianic Kingdom on earth (Zechariah 14:4-5; Matthew 24:27-31).
Paul speaks of the Rapture as a "mystery" (1 Corinthians 15:51-54), that is, a truth not revealed until it is told of by the apostles (Colossians 1:26). The Second Coming, on the other hand, was predicted in the Old Testament (Daniel 12:1-3; Zechariah 12:10; 14:4). In fact, the oldest prophecy told by a prophet was given before the flood of Noah and was of the Second Coming. It was given by Enoch, quoted in Jude 14-15.

The Rapture is the believers going from earth to heaven; at the Second Coming it is from heaven to earth. At the Rapture, the Lord comes for His saints (1 Thessalonians 4:16), while at the Second Coming the Lord comes with His saints (1 Thessalonians 3:13).

The rapture is the only prophetic event that is both unspecified and imminent.
So. Will the church go through the time of Tribulation? With the signs pointing to a time of the church's "disappearance", it doesn't seem so. Will the church suffer though at all? Most definitly. Jesus said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. -John 16:33 What He is saying, is while we will have trials and tribulation, it is different than going through the "Great Tribulation" as described in the end time prophecies. The true believers of Christ are suffering in different degrees all over the world, and the persecution will keep happening until Jesus takes His people up to Him. These triblations and trials are inspired by Satan, and they will get worse because he knows his time is short.

This is differnt than what will be the full wrath of God during the end times. The Great Tribulation involves more than the wrath of the world or the wrath of Satan: it involves the righteous wrath of God. But the Church has these promises:

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. -Luke 21:36

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,-1 Thessalonians 5:9

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour [time] of temptation [trial], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. -Revelation 3:10

While things are pointing to the immenance of the rapture, we can't try and set a date for it to happen.

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. -Matthew 24:36

While we know the time is near, we also have to be ready. We are commanded to "go about our Father's business" while we wait, and "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. -Matthew 24:44

We need to sense urgency, that the time is nearer than we know. We need to be prepared for persecution. We have, in the west been "sheltered" from any real persecution so far. Time may come soon, where we will begin to suffer as much as our brothers and sisters have in other areas of the world have been suffering. We must remember the existence of organized evil; not just good and bad individual choices. We also need to remember spiritual warfare and be prepared for it. We have to understand the worldviews of today and how Biblical Christianity is different from that, and even different from many of the liberal church and emergent church philosophies. We have to stay in constant teaching of the Bible.

The differences between a Bible believing Christian, and a liberal person who professes faith, is in their view of Scripture, the end times, and especially the Cross and Resurrection. Do they take the Word of Jesus literally? Many may focus on the love of Christ, which is good- but we need to believe on ALL His word, not just those which make us feel warm and fuzzy. Is Christ the only way or not? If you believe in Christ, are you willing to follow Him, wherever it leads, to pick up your cross, to die?

If you don't believe in Jesus, I hope you can see some of the things written, not only here, but in so many places, and more importantly, ask the Holy Spirit to Show you the Scriptures. If you don't know or think God exists- ask Him to show you.

Next time, we'll look more at the church, and more closely at what is in store for Bible believing Christians until the rapture.

Note~ Much of the material on the facts about the Jewish observance of The Festival of Weeks and the relation between the Festivals and the Rapture and facts of the Rapture was from Koinanoia House.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ezekiel Coming?

My last topic on No Apologies was concerning Israel, and specifically, the Ezekiel 38 and 39 prophecy. I won't repeat the whole verse here, but it talks about the time when Israel's enemies will surround them, and God will intercede in such a way which the whole world will know that God is real, and that Israel was saved by His mercy for His people, and because of His judgement on those who have come against His people.

There are a two huge things which I've thought about this prophecy, and how it just may be the puzzle pieces which fit into place concerning the coming of the one world religion, and the spiritual awakening of Jews around the world.
I find it amazing how the events going on in the world are giving Bible believing Christians more and more of the puzzle, which are the Bible prophecies!
First of all- the things I'm talking about in this post are only my thoughts and ideas of what may happen. This is not a series of predictions, and I still claim that I am no prophet by any means. All I am is a simple person who has been learning about the Bible prophecies and the Word of God. Please keep this in mind as I go through the scenario in this post.

First of all, there is no argument about the fact that Israel is facing some extremely deadly threats- not only from Iran, which is the obvious. Russia, Libya, Syria and even Turkey are showing signs of power plays which all only lead to eventual conflict against Israel. Now, what is the common denominator with all of these countries? They are all either predominantly Islam nations, or have a large population of Islamic people.

When the Ezekiel Prophecies happen, and they will happen, what do you suppose will be the outcome of all of this? I mean, not only will these countries be severely stricken militarily, but it is my belief that Islam will be no more.
What I mean, is Muslim people will be looking at the beginning war against Israel from their religious perspective. They see this as one of the last important battles in jihad- the destruction of the Jews, and the taking of the land for Islam. They will have every belief that allah will give them victory and they will be watching the war very closely, as will the rest of the world, non Muslims included.

When The God of Abraham, Isaac and Joseph destroy the armies of the Muslim countries who come against Israel, what will the Muslims have left to believe in? They will recognize enough of the miraculous happenings to know that God indeed was present in the battle- not allah, but God Almighty. They will, in the Words of the Scriptures, "Know that the Lord is God." It is my sincerest belief that Muslims will turn from belief in allah, and search the true God.
I'm not claiming that every Muslim will automatically become a Christian, but many, millions of them will realize that the Muslim faith is an empty faith, and search Scripture for the True God.

Consider also- the timing of the Ezekiel Prophecy. If this happens before the Tribulation time, and before the Rapture of Christ's own, many Muslims may end up being raptured along! All over the middle east, right now, thousands of Muslims are turning towards Christ. Many are having visions of Christ, and dreams concerning Him. It is straight out of Joel! There will be millions of former Muslims being raptured, so this idea is not so far fetched.

If this war happens at the beginning of the tribulation time, but after the rapture, this will be the removal of 2 of the World's largest and most prominent religions. The Bible believing Christians will be removed by the rapture (Next time I will be talking only about the rapture), and Muslims defeated by war, and the rest, turning to the True God of their brothers through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The Jews will be "awakened", that is, the scales that have kept them blinded about the Messiah will have fallen from their eyes. Israel will continue to be the "stumbling block" for the Antichrist. (I'll get to this in a minute).

When Biblical Christianity and Islam is no longer in the world religious picture, the vacuum will be filled quickly with the new one world religion of the liberal, watered down ear tickling, man centered (at first) feel good theology. This is something the atheists and agnostics can accept, because much of it is man centered and based on evolution ideas. It is something the new agers can accept because it is based on everyone on the path that suits them best, which all lead to the same place. It suits the humanists, socialist government because it is not seen as a threat, or a dangerous brain altering religion. It will be at first the accepted religion of the Antichrist, because it will lead into a time where the rest of the world will see the "miracles", they will "feel" the spirituality of this new charismatic, peaceful man.

All which will stand in his way, is the "stumbling block". Israel. By this time, Israel will have a new Temple, and they will have rededicated it and offering the daily sacrifices. The Antichrist will have to appease the Israelis for a little while- 3 and a half years to be exact. We'll learn more about that another time. Next time, as promised, we'll look at the Rapture of the Bible believing Church.

Until then, I just wanted to add, that one of the main reasons why I am doing this series, and keeping it out there is so Christians can see things a little more clear, if they have never read or heard of these prophecies. Also, for non believers, so they can watch and wait- seeing how world events coincide with the prophecies. I pray for those, that they will see God's hand in all the happenings, and see that He is in control- no matter how out of control things may be. He is a loving God who is waiting, has waited for millenia for everyone to come to Him.

The other reason I am keeping this series alive, is so when someday soon, the prophecies come to pass- people will remember not only my series, but search other sources as well and come to know Jesus Christ as their savior- and be able to, through the Holy Spirit, recognize the Antichrist for who he is, and who he belongs to. They will hopefully gain knowledge and faith, peace and strength to resist the Antichrist and persevere until the end when Jesus will come to make all things New.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Prophecies Part 2- As in the Days of Noah

One note I want to make here before I go on with the series. I will be posting them in different orders than when I first posted the series. Before, I tried to keep all of the prophecies in order as they come. While I could do that again, I have so much to talk about and so many notes from my original series, that it would take more months to reassemble everything. I'm not trying to be lazy, just posting each as they come to my mind in what I am seeing. God Bless!

From Matthew Chapter 24
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

I know that most have heard about the story of Noah and the ark- how animals came two by two and Noah and his family were safe from the flood, but there is so much more to the story than that. If you've ever read the account of Noah you know that Noah built that ark on direction from God, and that people who knew Noah laughed at him and mocked him. You can only imagine the types of things that people shouted at him, calling him stupid, or ridiculous. Telling him to forget that boat- live your life, and have fun. Do whatever you want. Be happy. They must have thought he was nuts. A fanatic. Sound familiar? Noah went through years and years of this, and I think he must have wondered more than a few times if what he was doing was really worth it. Well, he found out one day, as those first few rain drops fell, that yes, he had followed God through good and bad, and now, God was being faithful to him by saving him and his family from destruction. Not only though, did Noah have to listen to mockery and insults, no, he also implored his neighbors to turn from their wickedness, and help him- also to trust in God and be saved.

Yes, Noah did his share of evangelizing while he was building that ark. But the people would have none of it. As just like these days, people went on living their own lives, ignorant of what's to come. Not ignorant because of stupidity- but ignorance out of either ignoring the message so many have been telling them, or because they refuse to believe. People are buying and selling, giving and taking, getting married and raising kids. People are working and living. People are busy living. Is that wrong? No, of course not. It was God's command for us to scatter, be given in marriage and to populate the earth- as well as living His commands. It's this last part that so many have refused to follow.

With things political and things social, this world has come to the same place of society in Noah's day. So many things contrary to the laws of God- people not listening, but going on following their own way or the ways of whatever feels good for the moment- people are living contrary to God's commandments. People have, as in Jesus' day, ignored the message of the Messiah, the Savior, and gone on with their own thing. Those of us who are Bible believing Christians know that Jesus first came to save and show His love in sacrifice for our sins, but we also know that there will be a day when He comes back to judge the world for their non repentance for sins- those who have not asked Him to save them from sin. This is the great Judgment that most people who claim to know Jesus as a good teacher do not believe- that He is the one all who refused His salvation will have to come before some day in judgment.

People refuse to acknowledge that He will someday come to sift the wheat from the chaff- and those who denied Him, will be denied everlasting life with Him. These same people also think we're nuts because we believe that before the battle at Armageddon, or, as in the case of the Department of Homeland Security- we are dangerous because we believe in this. The body/church of His true followers will be raptured- that is taken away to Him, to leave the rest of the world to deal with the sin and wickedness of the Antichrist until Jesus comes for the final battle. I'm sure there will be many excuses from those who remain on this earth for the mass disappearance of Christ's faithful ones. Anything from sudden annihilation, or that we all got taken away by aliens to be reprogrammed or something. Even after warning after warning- they will still refuse to know that we are with Him, and they, unless they grasp the truth during the end of times, will be away from Him for eternity.

When I was not a Christian, I used to hear of people talking about this rapture business, and I thought it was a pile of hooey. I didn't understand it at the time, but since I've been born again of the Holy Spirit. I have come to see the verses myself which tells of the day- just not the hour, when Jesus will call all believers to Himself. The time is drawing steadily closer folks. Now is the time for decisions to be made. Will you put your trust in Him who declared Himself as the Only Way to God the Father, or will you still deny, even after the rest of us have been rescued as Noah was rescued from God's judgment?

I will talk more on the Rapture next time, as I know not everyone believes in this or some folks may not understand the meaning of the rapture.

End Note- you'll notice that in the above verses, Jesus calls Himself 'son of man'. Some claim that by calling himself that, He is not God in the flesh, but a perfect man born through man. Actually, in calling Himself this, He was declaring his deity. In verses such as this, you will also notice that the pharisees- went to pick up stones to kill Him- as they thought it was blasphemous- they knew exactly what He meant by calling Himself son of man. He is actually referring to one of the visions of Daniel in the old Testament, where Daniel says "I saw one 'like a son of man' coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the ancient of days and was lead into His presence. He was given the authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." Now this is describing a person who is in the very presence of God Almighty's throne, and given supreme dominion, authority and is to be worshipped. Throughout scriptures, it is only God Himself who is to be worshipped. Therefore, Jesus as one like a son of man, is not meant as for his humanity, but as One to be exalted.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The End Time Prophecies Part 1

While this series were written about 4 years ago, I am updating them- so there is new content added to each part. Even over the past few years, so many things have been happening, which make it important to update these.

The Chinese is said to have a curse- 'May you live in interesting times'. I would definitely say these are interesting times we live in- but it's all in the way you see things if you think this is a curse or not. We are coming to the end of an age. It's not only Bible believing Christians that believe this. If you pay attention to world happenings, you will know that some sects of Islam believe this, some Jewish people believe this, and even non religious people believe something is going to happen in the near future- anything from global warming disasters to an over populated earth and mass starvation putting this human race in deep troubles. Does anyone remember the song Age of Aquarius from the hit play (and movie) Hair? It's actually playing again on Broadway this summer. "This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius" according to those who practice such things as the New Age - another group that believes we are coming to a new age.
One of the prophecies outlined in the Christian Bible is not only a one world government, but also a one world church- an apostate church, one that will be ushered in at the time of the Antichrist.
Now, whether you are a Christian believer or not, or even a 'moderate' Christian who thinks the Bible is maybe a moral book, one full of good stories, likened to Aesop's Fables or one that is not relevant to our times and is full of symbolism, not to be taken literally, I would like you to sit and read for just a little while.
So many religions in this world- how can it be possible that someday they might all join to be one. There are the major world religions of Christianity- from Baptists to Catholics, Islam- from Sunni to Shi'ah and Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, not to mention all the rest- Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Christian Scientist, Baha'i, Unification Church.....the list goes on and on, and it seems that new cults are popping up every few years. What would it take for all these religions to be called together- when they are of such different, and often polar beliefs? It would seem to take a miracle. Well- the Bible does speak of a time when all religion will be a world wide same belief.
When the Bible talks about the Antichrist, it mentions also the false prophet and the beast. Now, I realize that for some who aren't totally religious, or not Christian, these terms might sound a little far fetched. I can understand that, but please bear with me. When the man called the Antichrist comes, he will be caused to become a world leader, but I'll get into that at some later post. He will however, institute a world religion- under a guise of peace, that will bring all the world together in agreement, and this religion will be considered the only legal religion. The Book of Daniel in the Old Testament talks about this time- "The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard of things about the God of gods.....He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all." Daniel 11:36-38 In Mark, Jesus talks about it in the New Testament-"When you see the abomination that causes desolation standing where it does not belong (In the Israeli Temple).... At that time if anyone says to you,'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'Look, there he is!', do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect- if that were possible." Mark 13:14, 21-23. In the Book of Revelation, he is described this way, "One of the heads of the beast seemed to have a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast and they also worshiped the beast and asked, 'Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?'" Revelation 13:3-5 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf and made the earth and it's inhabitants worship the first beast whose fatal wound had healed... He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast so it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. Revelation 13:11,12, 14b, 15
There are other references to the unholy trinity, but I won't go into those right now either. Now I realize again, for those who haven't read the Bible, or who might disregard the above verses as nothing but symbolic- this all might seem like foolishness. It is really necessary to read the full chapters to grasp what message this was telling us. From these few quotes though, it is clear that there will be, some day in the near future, a man who is given supernatural powers to endear himself to the population of the world, who is also seen as god- one who is able to bring world wide peace, solve all the problems and bring all religions into one through his being worshipped. This really doesn't seem so far fetched when you can see how the election of Barack Obama was so popular all around the world. Now, I'm not saying Obama is the Antichrist. All I am trying to point out is the fact that with our global information, people all around the world are more aware (maybe not so informed) but definitely more aware of things going on all over the world. It was this awareness and the workings behind the scenes of things which brought a relatively unknown Senator from the State of Illinois to the world stage- even before he was elected to be President of the United States.
It will happen again with another smooth, intelligent, articulate and seemingly compassionate man. One man who will appear out of nowhere, when the world is in worse messes than it is now. Someone who will seem to be the answer to all problems. Just as many Americans are looking to Obama to solve all of their problems- the world will turn and look to another false "messiah" to solve the world's problems.
In the next part, I'll go into more detail of what is happening in the religious world today- things that show that certain religions are being diluted so they will be more acceptable to each other. Until that time- think about how acceptable the world is now to have a global community- one that is accountable to each other- all trying to achieve peace through diplomatic means- through the UN, EU, and other worldwide agencies that have direct involvement in each continent. It isn't that much of a stretch to believe that one person could be that which the Bible talks about- to unite the world.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Reason for this Blog

A few years ago when I was blogging on AOL, I did a series on the Biblical Prophecies of the end times. The purpose was not only to tell people who had never known of them about the Biblical prophecies, but also for Christians who have never quite been able to understand the prophecies.

I have been studying the prophecies for over 10 years now, and have, over the years seen people who have tried to set dates for the return of Christ, have read and heard many other people's thoughts and interpretations of the prophecies, and have studied the prophetic verses in the Bible.

While I don't claim to be an expert or even a scholar, my purpose for writing the series was and always is to share everything I have learned, and am continuing to learn from the Bible.

It is amazing to me, that watching the news daily, seeing the changes over the past decade- I am seeing the pages of the Word of God being made reality in the world. His word is coming to pass, and I know I am only one of millions who are more and more looking to the soon second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am not intending to go through apologetics here on this blog- arguing for the Inerrant Truth of the Bible. You can go to the side bar for other websites for more information on how to know if the Bible is True. For anyone who disagrees with what I am writing on this blog- whether you are not a Christian, or whether you don't have any real religious beliefs, I welcome you. All I ask is that if you leave a comment, please be polite and courteous. I have no problem discussing anything and answering questions, but I will not bother answering to mean spirited people.

I do welcome any constructive feedback, and any questions.

For all who come to read, it is my hope that you may recognise the reality of Biblical prophecies coming to pass right now. I pray that anyone searching for more meaning of this life, anyone who is curious or contemplating Christianity- that God will let His Holy Spirit direct you in your search.

It is always my greatest prayer that anyone who visits any of my blogs would come to know Jesus Christ- His absolute perfect love for you, and recognize your need for Him as your Lord and Savior.

God Bless and Maranatha (Come, O Lord) !