Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’


Todd BakerBy Todd Baker
B’rit Hadashah Ministries

Secular historians generally write history from an anthropocentric view. That is how it relates and centers on Man and his development and various achievements in a closed universe. But the Bible concentrates on the historical fulfillment of God’s covenantal relationship with the nation of Israel leading up to the first coming of the Messiah and His second coming to Israel in a supernatural fashion whereby God freely and arbitrarily intervenes in the affairs of man. In fact, the Bible says God determines the national boundaries and demographic habitations of humanity with the intent that the children of Israel could live in the land of Canaan in an area that would perfectly accommodate their numbers and allow for this. For Deuteronomy 32:8 says:

“When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel.”

And all that the Bible has predicted about Israel’s divine history thus far has literally come to pass.

So then it is only reasonable and natural to conclude that the prophecies about Israel’s future will also literally be fulfilled. Bible Prophecy predicted as a super sign and precondition for the return of Christ the regathering of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland as the nation of Israel. That took place on May 14, 1948. The rest of this article will explore and explain how the modern nation of Israel is fulfilling this role as the super sign to indicate the coming of Christ is close at hand and could very well happen in our generation.

The Bible predicts in Deuteronomy 30:1-3 that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ will occur sometime after the regathering and return of the Jews from world wide dispersion into the land of Israel. God gave this prophecy through Moses and the Jews just before God brought them into the land of Canaan. The Authorized Version of these verses is most telling:

“And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey His voice. According to all that I commanded thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.”

Notice the chronology or sequence of prophetic events here:

  1. God will bring the Jews back to the land of Israel from the nations of the world where they were scattered abroad by Him for their disobedience.
  2. During this regathering the Lord Himself “will return” and complete the restoration of all Israel back into the land.

In others words, when God begins to bring the Jews back into their land He gave them, Christ will return! The phrase “will return” is omitted from most modern translations of the Bible since the Masoretic text (upon which the majority of modern translations of the Old Testament are based upon) and the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) do not include it. But the Dead Sea Scrolls copied some 150 years before the birth of Christ and over 1,000 years older than any previously discovered manuscript of the Bible includes this very phrase! The passage reads as follows:

“…then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will return and gather you from the peoples, [from] where the Lord your God has scattered you…” (Martin Abegg,Jr., Peter Flint, and Eugene Ulrich, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, p. 187).

Thus, the phrase has good precedent for being included as from the original. And the prophecy given in Deuteronomy 30:3 foretells that when the Jews return to their ancient homeland from the Diaspora (the scattering of the Jews to all Gentile nations of the world after the Babylonian exile in 586 B.C. and the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.), the Lord Jesus Christ will return. If we just had this prophecy alone in Scripture concerning the return of the Jews to Israel and the return of the Lord following it, this would be adequate alone to believe in His word that He would regather the Jews back to Israel and subsequently return at the second Coming. This unquestionably means in the words of author Homer Duncan that:

“For centuries, the prophecies concerning the regathering of Israel lay dormant in the Word of God. There was no outward indication that they would be fulfilled, but they are now being fulfilled before our eyes, and this can mean but one thing: THE COMING OF THE LORD DRAWS NEAR.” (Homer Duncan, Israel: Past, Present, Future, p. 16)

Related Links


Tunisian Jews flee upheaval for Israel – JTA
Introduction to the Biblical Covenants: Land Covenant – SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)
The Modern State of Israel in Bible Prophecy – Ariel Ministries (Arnold Fruchtenbaum)
Federations launching $5.5 million campaign for Ethiopian aliyah – Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Is Modern Israel Fulfilling Prophecy? – Pre-Trib.org (Thomas Ice)


Todd BakerBy Todd Baker
B’rit Hadashah Ministries

Part of the reason for the return of Israel’s Messiah will be to enforce the everlasting decree of God’s land grant to the Jewish people and to overthrow the nations of the world in league with the anti-Christ who will violently attempt to take the land away from them (Zech. 12-14; Ezekiel 47:13-48:35). In fact, the boundaries God gave for the Promised Land stretch from the river of Egypt (Wadi el-Arish) to the Euphrates River near the Syrian/Iraqi border (Gen. 15:18-21) — an area yet to be occupied by the Jewish nation that well includes the two presently disputed areas of Gaza and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

The covenant God made with Abraham not only would produce the Jewish people from his posterity (“seed”) with a land to live in, but their presence in the world also would greatly benefit and bless Mankind. The Lord said:

“And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).

Indeed the Jews have brought the world immeasurable blessings. They wrote and preserved the Scriptures (the Bible), which is the number one best-seller in the world and were the people through whom the Messiah came to redeem humanity from sin (Romans 3:2; 9:5). The Jews wrote the Bible and the Messiah Jesus is a Jew.

God subsequently reaffirmed this covenant with Abraham to his son, Isaac, and Isaac’s son, Jacob (Genesis 25:5-6; 35:9-15). From these three patriarchs, God eternally promised the land of Israel to the Jewish people. From a divine and biblical perspective then, the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. And so God chose this Land and the Chosen People to play a central role in His plan of redemption for the world and mankind that naturally involves the past, present, and the future.

The plan of redemption for Israel and the world focuses around two epochal events — the first and second comings of the Messiah Jesus Christ. In both advents, Christ has and will personally come again directly to Israel. The covenant God made with Abraham plays a special significance and role in end-time Bible prophecy. The fact God guaranteed the people of Israel a national existence and homeland forever that brought the material and spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ to the Gentile nations basically defines and determines the primary focus of the whole eschatological program of God. The covenant of Abraham with the provisions of a land, nation, Messianic descendant, and blessing to the world is the building base and foundation upon which the plan of God is built and enlarged through the other covenants.

The creation of the Jewish people and the bestowal of a national homeland via the Abrahamic covenant were preparatory for the first coming of the Messiah. Gentiles who come to faith in Him are adopted into Abraham’s family and receive the blessing promised through that covenant (Galatians 3:8; 14-29). And just as the establishment of the Jewish people as the nation of Israel was crucial to the first coming of Christ, so too Scripture indicates that the regathering of the Jews into their ancient homeland, after being scattered throughout the world for nearly 2,000 years, and the reestablishment of the nation of Israel are necessary for the second coming. In fact, it would serve as a super-sign that will set the stage for the prophesied series of events that will culminate in the return of Christ to Israel. Without the reconstitution of the nation of Israel in our generation, none of the events of End-time prophecy could occur or be possible.

Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy articulate and underscore this point well when they write:

“God’s plan for history always moves forward in relation to what He is doing with Israel. Thus, the fact that Israel has been and continues to be reconstituted as a nation is prophetically significant, so significant that it makes Israel God’s super-sign of the end times. Were Israel not a nation again it would be impossible for events of the end times to occur since so many of them take place in that tiny country or in reference to it. But it has returned and so it is that all other aspects of Bible prophecy are also being prepared for the grand finale of history.” (Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, Prophecy Watch, p. 61.)

Related Links


Israel Through The Eyes Of Scripture – SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)
Are Israel and the church the same thing? Does God still have a plan for Israel? – GotQuestions.org
Christian Israel supporters urge Rand Paul on aid – Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Israel: The Super Sign of the End-Times (Part 1) – BPB (Todd Baker)
Soros blames Israel, encouraged by Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt – American Thinker

 

I came across this video a long time ago and it touched me very deeply then. Several years have gone by since I have seen it when I happened on it today. With out surprise I found myself watching it again with the same joy and wonder I was filled with when I first watched it. It is with that joy that I share it with you today! Enjoy!


Ed HindsonBy Dr. Ed Hindson
World Prophetic Ministry

Q. What was the significance of miracles in the Bible? Do miracles still happen today?

A. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines “miracle” as “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs” or “an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment.” When we consider the miracles of the Bible, we note that they give validity to the reality of God’s dealing with mankind, and with the messenger whom God has chosen to use to transmit His truth.

For example, when John the Baptist inquired from prison whether Jesus was indeed the Messiah, Jesus told John’s messengers:

“… Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them,” (Matthew 11:4-5).

In keeping with this idea, miracles are often called “signs,” a term which the Apostle John used towards the end of His Gospel to validate Christ’s role as the Son of God:

“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name,” (John 20:30-31).

Although miracles are recorded throughout Scripture, there are three main times in which they were particularly prevalent. These were times when God was dealing with Israel in a unique way and wanted their full attention in the process. The first was during the Exodus, under Moses and Joshua, when He was bringing His people out of Egypt and back to the Promised Land. The second was under the ministry of Elijah and Elisha, when Israel, now in the Promised Land, had fallen into apostasy and was in danger of God’s judgment, which later came in the form of the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. The third was during Christ’s earthly ministry, to announce to Israel that their Messiah had come.

Another such period is coming, during the Tribulation. The activities of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:3-13, particularly their resurrection in verses 11-12, certainly come under the heading of the miraculous, as do the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments throughout that book. In addition to serving as judgment on an unrepentant world, these events will also be God’s last attempt at bringing mankind into a saving relationship with Himself.

Do miracles occur today? Sometimes they do! Some people hold that the age of miracles is over – that it ceased when the Bible was completed. Others take the opposite position and say miracles are available to everyone today if one only has enough faith to believe they will occur. Either extreme serves to place God in a “box” and attempts to define the parameters of His sovereignty. The truth is, God can do what He chooses, when He chooses, for whom He chooses, and for whatever reasons He chooses.

Meanwhile, let us not forget the greatest miracle of all – and this happens every day, all over the world. That miracle is when a sinner accepts Christ and passes from an eternal death sentence to eternal life with Him, because of what He did on Calvary so long ago. If we have experienced this miracle, we should thank God for it. If we have not, we should make it a priority to appropriate it rather than seeking any miracles of a more temporal nature.

Related Links


Does God still perform miracles? – GotQuestions.org
Revelation 11 – SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)
Confirmation of Jesus’ Messiahship – BPB (Doug Bookman)
Miracles – C. S. Lewis (Book)
Biblical Inspiration Validated by Miracles – Grace to You (John MacArthur)
Revelation (Twenty-First Century Biblical Commentary) – Edward E. Hindson (Book)


Terry JamesBy Terry James
Rapture Ready

I must preface what follows by saying that I use Hal Lindsey in this look at the future because I and so many others hold him in high regard as the most widely recognized apologist for the pretribulation Rapture view of Bible prophecy. His book, “The Late, Great Planet Earth,” is of course the work that vaulted him into prominence. His continuing efforts over the decades to forewarn of things to come – with his current TV program serving as an excellent Bible prophecy platform – puts him at the top level of those who watch for Christ’s return, in my view.

Lindsey has indicated on his television program, The Hal Lindsey Report, that he believes America and all other nations of the world are headed into the darkest of socioeconomic times. American Christians, he believes, face persecution unlike any that believers in the United States have experienced. He recommends, as does Glenn Beck, that people store food and make other preparations against possible hyper-inflated times to come.

While Lindsey advocates – as does Beck—that we strive to be good citizens and fight the staunch, patriotic fight through the ballot box in order to return the nation to one centered in morality and freedom, he says in practically the same breath that this world system is doomed. There is no hope, apart from the hope that is in Jesus Christ. His seeming dichotomy of thought evokes concerns that must be addressed.

We began looking into prospects for the near future by considering an email I received from one such concerned Christian. Again, he wrote the following, in part:

I watched the Hal Lindsey Report yesterday in which he said that he believes before the Rapture that Christians were going to be persecuted. After reading your “Nearing Midnight” article today, I can see that Christians becoming more and more isolated for their support of Israel is just another sign that he is right. If Hal is right, with the Rapture being as close as it is, then persecution for Christians has to be very close. What is your take on this?

This writer’s perspectives carry much weight. It is Dr. Lindsey’s view of things that impressed the emailer to write. Since I am asked for my “take” on Hal’s position regarding severe persecution for believers being imminent, I must be true to my study of prophecy and risk going somewhat counter to his stated belief that Christians in America are necessarily going to suffer such intensive, satanically engendered travail.

I mean no disrespect for this man, certainly a special servant chosen for the Lord’s prophetic ministry for these closing hours of the age. However, my assessment differs from his forecast to an extent that I sense it needs to be presented here.

We have spent time thus far looking into the eerie, troubling changes taking place across the socioeconomic landscape of America and the world. Mostly, we have tried to get our brains around the apparent insanity of our leaders and why they have created crises then printed trillions of dollars to throw at those crises – all of this sleight-of-hand chicanery done to stave off supposed national and world cataclysm those leaders warned would otherwise destroy civilization as it has been known. Their supposed attempts to preempt economic Armageddon now threaten to bring about the collapse of every economy on the planet.

The foundation had to be laid thusly in order to begin answering the question so many people want to know. Our emailer framed well the fears of many who worry what the near future might hold. Since world conditions are in configuration that includes issues and events much like those for the Tribulation given in Bible prophecy, will Christians in America face severe persecution before Christ returns to this desperately wicked planet? That is among the most expressed concerns in email correspondence I receive these days.

Hal Lindsey, like Glenn Beck, states that he believes there will be a cultural and societal breakdown due to an economic collapse that is surely about to take place in the United States. I infer from his strongly stated position that he believes Christians in America will face severe persecution as a part of the social and economic upheaval about to erupt in this nation.

In the final analysis, however, whether I accurately understand and expound upon Dr. Lindsey’s thoughts in these matters is of minor consequence to the treatment at hand. The fact is that many Christians who do observe these times from a prophetic perspective need answers to questions like the one posed by the emailer. Trying to look at what lurks just ahead in the foreboding mist and haze of the coming days is the proposed objective of what follows.

Next time we will attempt to accomplish this, staying within the confines of what God’s Word actually has to say about the very end of the age.

Related Links


Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 1 – BPB (Terry James)
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 2 – BPB (Terry James)
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 3 – BPB (Terry James)
Scanning a Fearful Future: Part 4 – BPB (Terry James)
The American Apocalypse: Is the United States in Bible Prophecy? – Terry James (Book)


Thomas IceBy Dr. Thomas Ice
Pre-Trib Research Center

As I continue to deal with the questions of the disciples in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 21), I want to look more closely at the first question. After observing the Temple, Christ said to the disciples, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here shall be left upon another, which will not be torn down” (Matt. 24:2). The disciples ask Jesus, “Tell us, when will these things be, . . .” (Matt. 24:3). Thus, the first question relates to the destruction of the Temple in a.d. 70.

Preterist Literalism

Preterist Dr. Kenneth Gentry says, “The context of Luke demands a literal Jerusalem (Luke 21:20) besieged by literal armies (Luke 21:20) in literal Judea (Luke 21:21) – which as a matter of indisputable historical record occurred in the events leading up to a.d. 70.”1 This demonstrates that preterists take Scripture literally, unless it contradicts their presupposed system of theology, at which time they usually come up with a more pliable, deeply spiritual meaning of the text. But since both preterist and futurists, like myself, believe that Luke 21:20-24 literally refers to Jerusalem in a.d. 70, then this can be used as a template as to how Scripture speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem in the first century.

Christ’s Prophecy of A.D. 70

Before we look at Luke 21:20-24, I will examine the prophecies that Jesus gave specifically referring to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple that were indeed fulfilled in the first century. Note the following prophecies by Christ:

“Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!” (Matt. 23:36-38; see Luke 13:34-35 for parallel passage).

And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you when your enemies will throw up a bank before you, and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:41-44).

Christ speaks clearly about the coming Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in this prediction. Jesus clearly describes a siege in verses 43 and 44 because the nation of Israel “did not recognize the time of your visitation.” They rejected Jesus as their Messiah. Notice that not once does Jesus describe this as a “judgment coming” as do preterists.2 In fact, coming is not used in any of these prophecies relating to a.d. 70, as it is used of Christ’ s future return.

Luke 21:20-24 and A.D. 70

When we look at the words of Jesus’ prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple, He uses words and phrases that clearly denote what the Romans did in a.d. 70.

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city; because these are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people, and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:20-24).

Note how the following words and phrases support the notion of judgment upon Israel in the first century:

  1. Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand
  2. flee to the mountains (The admonition to flee would indicate that Jerusalem will be destroyed. If the Jews were to defeat the Romans, then the safe place to be would be inside the walled city.)
  3. these are days of vengeance
  4. there will be great distress upon the land
  5. wrath to this people (Israel)
  6. they (Israel) will fall by the edge of the sword
  7. (Israel) will be led captive into all the nations
  8. Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles

There is not a single phrase in the above passage that suggests a future understanding because the a.d. 70 destruction of Jerusalem was clearly a judgment upon the Jewish people for their national rejection of Jesus as their Messiah (Luke 19:44; Matt. 23:38). This passage is our Lord’s undisputed answer to the disciples’ first question about when there will not be one stone of the Temple left upon another. Yet when compared with other sections of the Olivet Discourse, this kind of language referenced above is totally missing (see Matt. 24:4-31; Mark 13:5-27; Luke 21:25-28). Instead, in general, the language of the Olivet Discourse, except for Luke 21:20-24, does not speak of Israel under God’s judgment, but of Israel under threat from the Gentile nations and God’s intervention that rescues the Jewish people. This overall thrust of the passage is even clearer when one looks at the parallel passage of Zechariah 12-14.

Until

Luke 21:24 ends by saying that Jerusalem will be under Gentile domination “until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” The little word “until” clearly denotes that there will be a time when the current domination of Jerusalem by the Gentiles will come to an end. The current “times of the Gentiles” in which we currently live will indeed come to an end in the future. Thus, the end of verse 24 serves as a transitional period between the prophecy that refers to the past a.d. 70 event (Luke 21:20-24) and the prophecy that looks to a future fulfillment at Christ’s second coming (Luke 21:25-28). We now live in the “times of the Gentiles.”

A clear connection is established between Luke 21:24 which speaks of the current era of “the times of the Gentiles” being fulfilled and coming to an end and Romans 11:25 which speaks of “the fullness of the Gentiles” having “come in.” Both passages speak of Israel’s redemption (Luke 21:28; Romans 11:26-27). When we consider that the Old Testament pattern which says that Israel will pass through the tribulation, repent toward the end when they recognize Jesus as the Messiah, experience conversion, and then the second coming will occur to rescue them from their enemies, it follows that “all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26) in connection with the tribulation. This is exactly the pattern of Luke 21:25-28. Preterist Ken Gentry believes Romans teaches a future conversion of Israel, yet he does not associate it with the tribulation as Scripture repeatedly does. Dr. Gentry declares, “The future conversion of the Jews will conclude the fulfillment (Rom. 11:12-25).”3 Yet only a futurist interpretation does justice to a harmonization of these passages that are clearly connected.

Luke 21:25-28 and the Future

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:25-28).

J. C. Ryle says of this passage the following:

The subject of this portion of our Lord’s great prophecy is His own second coming to judge the world. The strong expressions of the passage appear inapplicable to any event less important than this. To confine the words before us, to the taking of Jerusalem by the Romans, is an unnatural straining of Scripture language.4

The focus of Luke 21:25-28 reveals a distinct shift from the first century description of 21:20-24. The differences include the local focus of Jerusalem in the first century judgment verses the global perspective of the future tribulation. The tribulation will involve heavenly and global events that did not literally occur in a.d. 70. If preterists like Dr. Gentry would interpret verses 25-28 in the same way they did verses 20-24 then the events of 25-28 would be understood to be clearly global and if global then they did not occur in the first century. Since they did not occur in the first century then they must take place in the future. These are future tribulation events that are prophesied by our Lord in this section of the passage.

The basic thrust of Luke 21:25-28 is the opposite of God’s judgment upon Israel as stated in Luke 21:20-24. Instead verse 28 tells Israel that, “your redemption is drawing near.” This is all the difference of night (judgment) in verses 20-24 and day (salvation and deliverance) in verses 25-28. William Kelly describes some aspects of the differences in the following:

Hence, to, the reader may notice that, in spite of a considerable measure of analogy (for there will be a future siege, and even a twofold attack, one of which will be partially successful, the other to the ruin of their enemies, as we learn from Isaiah xxviii, xxix, and Zechariah xiv.), there are the strangest contrasts in the issue; for the future siege will be closed by Jehovah’s deliverance and reign, as the past was in capture and destruction of the people dispersed ever since till the times of the Gentiles are full. Accordingly we hear nothing in this Gospel of the abomination of desolation, nor of the time of tribulation beyond all that was or shall be; we hear of both in Matthew and Mark, where the Spirit contemplates the last days.5

Conclusion

When one examines the entire Olivet Discourse as recorded in Matthew 24 and Mark 13, there is no reference to wrath or judgment upon the nation of Israel. Instead, Israel is delivered from its invader as noted in Matthew 24:31, “And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other” (see also Mark 13:27). The question arises, “When was Israel rescued in a.d. 70?” They were not! The events of Matthew 24 and Mark 13 (also Luke 21:25-28) will all be fulfilled in the tribulation, which will take place in the future.

So the first question of the disciples to Christ in the Olivet Discourse relates to the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. The record of its fulfillment is recorded only in Luke 21. Matthew 24-25 and Mark 13 deal only with the last question, which are a prophecy of events that are still future to our day. Maranatha!

Endnotes


1) Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1989), p. 176.
2) Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 1999), p. 72.
3) Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology (Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1992), p. 206.
4) J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke, 2 vols. (Cambridge: James Clarke & Co., [1858] n. d.), vol. II, p. 374.
5) William Kelly, An Exposition of the Gospel of Luke (Oak Park, IL: Bible Truth Publishers, 1971), pp. 332- 333.


Jack KelleyBy Jack Kelley
GraceThruFaith.com

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. (Luke 2:21)

Before the Lord ordained the ritual of circumcision for males, He arranged for the coagulating pro-enzyme called prothrombin to be at 130% of normal adult levels on the eighth day of life, and for natural analgesic enzymes in the blood to be at lifetime highs as well.

Circumcision on any other day can be a painful and bloody event, but on the eighth day of life it’s remarkably less so. Of course, this is a fact the medical profession has only learned in the last century. Back then people just knew that everything worked better when they were obedient to God’s commands.

When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” (Luke 2:22-24)

It was 33 days after Jesus had been circumcised. Since Joseph and Mary could not afford a lamb for Mary’s purification, the Law permitted them to use the two birds instead. (Exodus 12:8)

The Visit of the Magi

“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel … (Numbers 24:17)

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.

“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’” (Matt. 2:1-6)

The Magi were Parthian Priests, descendants of the priesthood the Prophet Daniel had organized in Persia some 500 years earlier, upon learning the timing of Messiah’s coming (Daniel 9:25). Knowing the time was at hand, these priests had been searching the heavens for the promised sign of His coming, a new star in the Eastern sky.

Parthia was a powerful kingdom north and east of Israel, a remnant of the Persian Empire that had recently defeated the Roman Legions, and the Magi were among Parthia’s most powerful leaders. No Parthian ruler could ascend to the throne without their blessing and indeed their political influence was felt through out the Middle East.

Contrary to the popular Christmas Carol they were king-makers, not kings, and they were many more than three. Since Israel was under Roman control, the Magi technically represented an enemy country. Aware of this, but not intimidated, they traveled in a huge caravan with lots of guards, and their arrival in Jerusalem set the whole city a-buzz.

Herod would be called a Jordanian today. He was appointed King by the Roman Senate. In short he was a pretender to the throne in Israel, and now these Parthian King-makers had come seeking the one born to be Israel’s King. No wonder he was disturbed.

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. (Matt. 2:7-12)

The three gifts are symbolic of the Messiah’s three present offices in His Kingdom. Gold is the gift for a King, frankincense points to the Priest, and myrrh, an embalming spice that foretold His death, represents the Prophet.

The Magi didn’t arrive on the night the Lord was born. The text indicates that by the time they did arrive, Joseph and Mary had found a house to stay in. And as we read above, they had already had Jesus circumcised and dedicated at the Temple on His eighth day of life, and Mary had completed her 33 day time of purification as required by the Law.

If Jesus was born on Rosh HaShannah as seems likely, the family would have stayed in the Jerusalem area for Yom Kippur and the Feast of Tabernacles as well, since Joseph’s attendance, as with all able bodied males, was mandatory.

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” (Matt 2:13-15)

Too poor to buy a lamb for the purification only a few days ago, Joseph and his family suddenly had the means to travel to Egypt and stay there until Herod died. How can this be?

Tradition has it that because of his lifetime of service at the highest levels of Babylonian and Persian governments, Daniel had become a wealthy man. Since he was most likely castrated by Nebuchadnezzar he had no heirs, and so after he formed the Magi, he left his fortune in their care to be given to the Messiah upon His birth. If so then the Magi’s gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh came from Daniel’s estate, and were delivered to the Holy Family just in time to fund their escape from Herod’s soldiers.

This is what the LORD says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.” (Jeremiah 31:15)

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. (Matt 2:16)

The Magi had been watching for the star. When they first saw it they made preparations for a long journey and once prepared, set out to follow it. We don’t know exactly where they set out from, when they first noticed the star, or how long it took them to get ready, but their journey could easily have been several hundred miles long. The only clue we get as to the time of their arrival is that after asking them when they first spotted the star, Herod ordered all the boys in Bethlehem below the age of two years killed.

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” (Matt. 2:19-20)

When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. (Luke 2:39-40)

Home at last. A journey of several days had lasted several years. And just about every day of it a reminder to our Lord that the world He came to save held no place for Him.

“Foxes have holes,” He would later say, “And birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58)

It’s always fascinated me that after reading Micah’s prophecy of the Messiah’s birthplace, Herod and the chief priests sent the Magi to Bethlehem in search of Him, but didn’t go to see for themselves. Did they think they were sending the Magi on a futile search, certain they wouldn’t find anything? If so, why did they consult their Scriptures for an answer to Herod’s question, and why did Herod have all those children killed?

Maybe Herod can be excused for not going. He wasn’t even Jewish and probably knew very little of Messianic prophecy. But the Chief Priests were reading from their own scriptures, and with evidence of the star the Magi had followed to confirm the prophecy, they should have been the first to investigate. After all, Messianic prophecy was being fulfilled right before their very eyes. What I’d give to have overheard their discussions on this.

The nature of the Lord’s life on Earth had been predicted long before, and right from the start there prophecies were proving to be all too true.

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:2-3)

The only ones who even had a clue as to Who He was were given their understanding through a direct revelation from God. They included Joseph and Mary of course. The Parthian priests had learned of Him through Daniel’s revelation, and the shepherds witnessed the angelic visitation. Two others, Simeon and Anna, had both received direct revelations about the baby and gave eyewitness testimony that He was the Christ child (Luke 2:25-38). This was a fulfillment of Deut. 19:15, A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

And that’s it. Having looked for the arrival of the promised Messiah for nearly 4000 years, when He came only a hand full of His people understood. There’s no indication that either the priest who performed the circumcision or the one who received the obligatory sacrifice of the firstborn had any idea who this child was.

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)

And yet He had come for the sole purpose of healing the incredible rift in our relationship with God, (Colossians 1:19), delivering us from the unspeakable horrors of the destiny due us (Romans 5:9) and elevating us to the highest position in His Kingdom (Ephes. 2:6). Not because we could ever earn or deserve it, but because He loved us enough to do it, and had promised He would.

Thank you Lord Jesus. We owe you our eternal lives. Blessings and honor and glory, love and worship, devotion and adoration be to you. For you alone are worthy.

Related Links


The Christmas Story (Part 1) – BPB (Jack Kelley)
The Star of Bethlehem – Probe Ministries (Raymond G. Bohlin)
Who Were the Magi? – Koinonia House (Chuck Missler)
Christ in the Old Testament – SpiritandTruth.org (Andy Woods)
Events Surrounding The Lord’s Birth – GraceThruFaith.com (Jack Kelley)
Children’s Stories of the Bible The Adult Version – Jack Kelley (Book)


Al GistBy Al Gist
Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries

We are now living in the most blessed time that has ever been experienced in human history. Not only are we in that wonderful Age of Grace when by simple faith in Jesus Christ one can receive the glorious gift of eternal life ( Matt.18:3-4, John 3:16, Eph. 2:8-9, Rom. 10:13), but we are obviously living in the last days of that age and are witness to the abundant signs and “stage-settings” that tell us we are very near the conclusion of the Church Age. Although none of today’s signs point directly to the concluding event of the Church Age, the Rapture, they DO point to the nearness of the day of the Tribulation and to our Lord’s glorious Second Coming following the Tribulation. And since we believe the Rapture will precede the Tribulation, our hearts leap with joyous anticipation at the thought that we will soon see our Lord coming in the air to receive us unto Himself that where He is, we might be also (John 14:3).

In this wonderful Church Age in which we now live, our Lord, by the power of His Holy Spirit, is gathering out from among the population of the world a very special people (Acts 15:14) called “The Church” or “The Bride of Christ” (II Cor. 11:2). And when the last person is “born again” (John 3:3) into The Church and “The Bride” is complete, The Bridegroom (Jesus) will come suddenly and snatch us away unto Himself and we will never be separated from Him again! (I Thess. 4:13-18) Hallelujah!!! Thus, the Church Age in which we now live will conclude with the Rapture of the Church.

After the Rapture, the seven year Tribulation will begin. But will it begin immediately after the Rapture? In other words, will the Rapture mark the end of the Church Age and the first day of the Tribulation? Or, will there be a space of time between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation? First of all, Daniel 9:27 makes it clear that Daniel’s Seventieth Week (the seven year Tribulation) will start when the Antichrist “shall confirm the covenant with many for one week”. Many Bible scholars believe this means he will accomplish something that the last eleven presidents of the United States have not been able to accomplish. He will establish a seven year peace agreement in the Middle East that will require the Arab nations to accept Israel’s right to exist in peace within secure borders. On the day that peace agreement is signed, the clock will start on the seven year Tribulation.

So, it is NOT the Rapture that marks the beginning of the Tribulation. It is the “confirming” of the peace covenant with Israel. And will that signing of the covenant happen exactly on the same day as the Rapture? Probably not. It appears from the Scriptures that there will be a short period of time (maybe no more than a few weeks or months) after the Rapture before the Tribulation begins, although it’s impossible to specify the exact duration of this interval time period. We might call it the “Pre-Trib Preparation” time though, since it will allow for certain events to happen in preparation for the signing of the peace treaty.

This idea of a “Pre-Trib Preparation” time may come as a surprise to some, but it’s really not such a hard idea to accept. God’s prophetic revelation of various events in history are rarely, if ever, accompanied with details on the specific timing of those events. So, we tend to line up the last days scenario of events in an uninterrupted sequence. But it is very possible that there are “time breaks” between some of the events.

For example, if we lived in Daniel’s day, we would likely have thought that when God said He was going to deal with Daniel’s people for another 490 years (Dan. 9:24), it would be 490 successive years. But of course, from our present perspective in history, we realize that the entire Church Age (already about 2000 years) falls between the first 483 years and the last seven years of that 490 years. When the Church Age is finished and Jesus comes for His Bride in the Rapture, then God will resume His 490 years of dealing with the Jews; that last seven years, the “seventieth week of Daniel” (the Tribulation) will commence. So, at this time, there has been a very long (almost 2000 years) break between the end of the first 483 years and the beginning of the last 7 years.

But what makes us think that there will be a “Pre-Trib Preparation” time between the Rapture and the Tribulation?

Daniel 7:8 tells us that the Antichrist (the little horn) will rise to power by “subduing” three of the “kings” in a ten-king power block. These ten “kings” (probably a ruling committee of some sort) will have power over the last days empire (Dan. 2:33,41-45, 7:23-24) until Antichrist comes to power by overthrowing three of them, then replacing those three and making himself the supreme leader over all ten. (We know that according to Rev. 17:12-14, the ten-king setup will still be in place as subordinates of the Antichrist when Jesus returns and destroys them.)

Also, II Thess. 2:1-3 tells us that the “man of sin” will be “revealed” (make his rise to power) BEFORE the Tribulation begins. Obviously, Antichrist will have to be in power to negotiate and sign the “peace covenant” with Israel. And even though we don’t know this for sure, it is likely that his rise to power will come AFTER the Rapture. The Rapture will create a short time of world chaos and confusion, the perfect environment for the man of sin to step forward as the man with all the answers to the world’s problems. People will be looking for someone to restore order and prosperity to the planet. And he will appear to be just the man for the job.

So, the Pre-Trib Preparation time will allow for the Antichrist to rise to power, get established as a world renowned political leader and then negotiate and sign the covenant with Israel.

The Pre-Mill Preparation

Neither will the inauguration of the Millennial Kingdom commence on the last day of the Tribulation. There are some things that must happen AFTER the Lord returns in preparation for His Millennial Kingdom on earth:

  • Antichrist and False Prophet are thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20)
  • Satan is locked up in the Abyss (Rev. 20:1-2)
  • There must be the coronation of the King of Kings on Mt. Zion (Isa. 24:23, Micah 4:7)
  • There must be time for the restoration of the earth to its Edenic beauty (Isa. 65:17)
  • There must be the “Judgment of Nations” to determine who is qualified to enter the Kingdom (Matt. 25:31-46)

Of course, our Lord is not limited by time, so He will be able to accomplish all of this in short order. But, as with the Rapture and Tribulation, we should not automatically think that the Tribulation and Millennium are successive. There will definitely be a “Pre-Mill Preparation” time.

This time will probably be fairly short in duration also. The closing scriptures in the book of Daniel seem to refer to it when it speaks of a period of 30 days after the Tribulation and also 75 days after it:

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up [According to Dan. 9:27, this happens at the midpoint of the Tribulation], there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” (Dan 12:11-12).

The Tribulation is seven years of 360 days each (7 x 360 = 2520 days). Counting from the midpoint when the Abomination of Desolation takes place to the end is 1260 days (2520 divided by 2 = 1260). So, when verse 11 says that “there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days”, that’s 30 days past the end of the Tribulation. However, the Scripture doesn’t tell us what the significance of that thirty days is.

Likewise, the 1335 days past the midpoint mentioned in verse 12 would be 75 days past the end of the Tribulation. The fact that this verse says that “blessed” is the one who makes it that far is probably because that will mark the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom and anyone not already condemned to Hell in the Judgment of Nations (Matt. 25:31-46) by that time will be allowed to enter the kingdom. They will certainly be blessed!

Of course, this is all speculation about the meaning of those first days after the Tribulation. The Bible simply doesn’t explain to us the significance of the first 30 days or 75 days post-Trib. However, it does support the idea that there will be an intermediate time of some length between the end of the Tribulation and the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. And somewhere in that time, Jesus will return to earth as the King of Kings! But no one will know the exact day and hour of His coming (Matt. 24:36).

Related Links


Israel Close to Confirming Antichrist’s Death Covenant! – BPB (Bill Salus)
A Study of Daniel 9:24-27 – SpiritandTruth.org (Charles Ray)
A Gap Between The Rapture and the 70th Week? – GraceThruFaith.com (Jack Kelley)
Charting the End Times: A Visual Guide to Understanding Bible Prophecy – Tim LaHaye/Thomas Ice (Book)
The Millennial Kingdom — Part I: The Prophetic Context of the Millennium – Bible.org (John F. Walvoord)

Answer: Very sadly, there is a higher percentage of suicides during the Christmas season than any other time of the year. Whether you are contemplating suicide, or know someone who is, or just want to know how to minister to someone who is considering suicide – we hope this article is helpful to you.

Our hearts go out to those who have thoughts of ending their own lives through suicide. If that is you right now, it may speak of many emotions, such as feelings of hopelessness and despair. You may feel like you are in the deepest pit, and you doubt there is any hope of things getting better. No one seems to care or understand where you are coming from. Life just is not worth living…or is it?

If you will take a few moments to consider letting God truly be God in your life right now, He will prove how big He really is, “for nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Perhaps scars from past hurts have resulted in an overwhelming sense of rejection or abandonment. That may lead to self-pity, anger, bitterness, vengeful thoughts, or unhealthy fears that have caused problems in some of your most important relationships.

Why should you not commit suicide? Friend, no matter how bad things are in your life, there is a God of love who is waiting for you to let Him guide you through your tunnel of despair and out into His marvelous light. He is your sure hope. His name is Jesus.

This Jesus, the sinless Son of God, identifies with you in your time of rejection and humiliation. The prophet Isaiah wrote of Him in Isaiah 53:2-6, describing Him as a man who was “despised and rejected” by everyone. His life was full of sorrow and suffering. But the sorrows He bore were not His own; they were ours. He was pierced, wounded, and crushed, all because of our sin. Because of His suffering, our lives can be redeemed and made whole.

Friend, Jesus Christ endured all this so that you might have all your sins forgiven. Whatever weight of guilt you carry, know that He will forgive you if you humbly receive Him as your Savior. “…Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you…” (Psalm 50:15). Nothing you have ever done is too bad for Jesus to forgive. Some of His choicest servants committed gross sins like murder (Moses), murder and adultery (King David), and physical and emotional abuse (the apostle Paul). Yet they found forgiveness and a new abundant life in the Lord. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Why should you not commit suicide? Friend, God stands ready to repair what is “broken,” namely, the life you have now, the life you want to end by suicide. In Isaiah 61:1-3, the prophet wrote, “The LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

Come to Jesus, and let Him restore your joy and usefulness as you trust Him to begin a new work in your life. He promises to restore the joy you have lost and give you a new spirit to sustain you. Your broken heart is precious to Him: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:12, 15-17).

Will you accept the Lord as your Savior and Shepherd? He will guide your thoughts and steps—one day at a time—through His Word, the Bible. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8). “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure” (Isaiah 33:6). In Christ, you will still have struggles, but you will now have hope. He is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you in your hour of decision.

If you desire to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, speak these words in your heart to God: “God, I need you in my life. Please forgive me for all that I have done. I place my faith in Jesus Christ and believe that He is my Savior. Please cleanse me, heal me, and restore my joy in life. Thank You for Your love for me and for Jesus’ death on my behalf.”


Stan GoodenoughBy Stan Goodenough
Jerusalem Watchman

Christians – Bible-based and believing Christians – believe neither in luck nor in fate. We do not believe in yin and yang – darkness and light counterbalancing each other. We do not believe that our world and our lives are caught up in a war of good versus evil, with the sides evenly matched and the outcome up for grabs.

We believe what the Bible teaches. And yes, it really is quite straightforward.

There is one God, one Creator. He has numerous rivals but He has no equal. There is no one and no thing that can come even close to competing with Him.

God is good. God is love. God created man so as to fellowship with him – to love man and to be loved by man. God also created the angels. They may be different in character and nature from man – may operate in a different dimension – but they are as much creatures as we are. Angels are not sub-gods or mini-gods; they cannot win promotion to god status.

One of those angels – Lucifer – led a rebellion against the LORD God. Naturally he was defeated – for he is only a creature and he was trying to overthrow the Creator. He was not destroyed, and remains God’s sworn enemy, committed to spoiling and tearing down everything good that God made. His first goal was to win the allegiance of man – marring and destroying the relationship between man and God.

In this Lucifer – aka Satan/the Devil – had partial success; he turned man against God. Man, of his own free will, chose to join the ranks of the rebels. Nonetheless, God still loved man, loved him enough not to eradicate his kind; loved him enough to set in motion a rescue plan, a plan of redemption that would restore the broken relationship to what it was.

From that day there have been two sides to the conflict. God and those who choose to love God on the one side; Satan, and those who choose to remain in rebellion against God, on the other.

There is no middle ground. We are both with and for God, or we are against Him.

Central to the outworking of God’s salvation plan was the selection, by God, of a specific and particular nation through which He would reveal Himself. Via this nation He would pass His oracles on to mankind. And to and through this nation – exclusively – God would send His Messiah to save all mankind – people from all the nations of the world, including this specially-tasked nation itself.

Abraham’s offspring – explicitly through Isaac and Jacob (and explicitly NOT through Ishmael and Esau) – became the nation of Israel. God made a covenant with Israel, making Israel a holy nation. That is to say, Israel as a nation was set apart or sanctified by God, becoming His special treasure.

What was special about Abraham, what made him stand out when God was looking for someone from whom to create this nation, is that he believed in God. He believed in God and he chose to submit his will to God’s, pledging his allegiance to the Lord.

As far as the nation of Israel itself goes, however, it was not because of any special inherent national attributes that she was chosen. On the contrary – ths was (and is) one stubborn, stiff-necked people. Rather, Israel was made special BY God’s selection of her. (By way of an imperfect illustration: Kate Middleton – born to a middle class British couple, like tens of millions of other middle class British girls – has been made special by Prince William’s act of choosing her to become his wife. As regards her future position and role, she has not been made special by who she is but by dint of her selection.)

From the moment God chose the man from whom He would bring that special nation into being, that man’s seed became the focus of all Satan’s efforts to thwart God’s plan.

Also from the start, God would keep a close eye on Israel. He would watch over her, fight for her, protect and defend her, discipline her, even allow her to experience the cursed consequences of her disobedience – but only in order to turn her back to Himself. He determined that their relationship would survive. He would never completely abandon or wash His hands of her. He had covenanted with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to bless mankind through the nation they would father and, for the sake of His great and holy name, He has and will keep His covenant to do so.

We are in a war. Israel is in a war and we, Christians, are in a war. Ultimately it is one and the same war. And it is a war to the death.

What it is not is a war between two equally matched sides. Our side – God’s side – is guaranteed victory. Satan’s side has already lost and will soon be vanquished forever. Which makes the battle even fiercer for, knowing his days are numbered, the enemy is resolved to take as much of the hated Creator’s beloved creation down with him.

We Christians should note that it is not just that we have to be alert, on our guard, ever sensitive to an imminent attack. This war is not about to break out. It is already raging all around us, and has been from the moment we entered life. It may be that, in our different lands, cities and circumstances, we experience moments of quiet between the battles. But battles are always raging somewhere, and one front where the battle is incessant – where in reality it is just one, unending war – is Israel – the people and the land.

Know and understand this, Bible-believer, and you will less easily be seduced by the wiles and strategies of the Devil. A master tactician with millennia of warfare experience in which deception is his most potent weapon, he wants to dupe and mislead us concerning this battle.

He may even get us to fight, without realizing it, on his side.

We need to know that there’s a battle. We need to know that there are two sides. And – and this is crucial – we need to know whose side we’re on.

Related Links


The Source of Anti-Semitism – SpiritandTruth.org (Andy Woods)
US-Israel tiff on security and Iran. US envoy denied direct access to generals – DEBKAfile
Israel Through The Eyes Of Scripture – SpiritandTruth.org (Tony Garland)
Is Lucifer Satan? Does the fall of Lucifer describe Satan? – GotQuestions.org
Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology – Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum (Book)