DISCUSSION FORUMS
MAIN MENU
Home
Help
Advanced Search
Recent Posts
Site Statistics
Who's Online
Forum Rules
Bible Resources
• Bible Study Aids
• Bible Devotionals
• Audio Sermons
Community
• ChristiansUnite Blogs
• Christian Forums
• Facebook Apps
Web Search
• Christian Family Sites
• Top Christian Sites
• Christian RSS Feeds
Family Life
• Christian Finance
• ChristiansUnite KIDS
Shop
• Christian Magazines
• Christian Book Store
Read
• Christian News
• Christian Columns
• Christian Song Lyrics
• Christian Mailing Lists
Connect
• Christian Singles
• Christian Classifieds
Graphics
• Free Christian Clipart
• Christian Wallpaper
Fun Stuff
• Clean Christian Jokes
• Bible Trivia Quiz
• Online Video Games
• Bible Crosswords
Webmasters
• Christian Guestbooks
• Banner Exchange
• Dynamic Content

Subscribe to our Free Newsletter.
Enter your email address:

ChristiansUnite
Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 18, 2017, 11:40:55 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Our Lord Jesus Christ loves you.
277673 Posts in 26444 Topics by 3790 Members
Latest Member: Goodwin
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  ChristiansUnite Forums
|-+  Theology
| |-+  Prophecy - Current Events (Moderator: admin)
| | |-+  THE END DAYS! - FOOTSTEPS OF THE MESSIAH!
« previous next »
Pages: 1 ... 9 10 [11] 12 13 Go Down Print
Author Topic: THE END DAYS! - FOOTSTEPS OF THE MESSIAH!  (Read 40973 times)
nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #150 on: July 12, 2009, 12:00:15 AM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 11 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Here's another look at the Great Tribulation, the Lord's promise to preserve Israel through it, and a beautiful picture of the future glory of Zion. By now you understand that this is a recurring theme in Isaiah, but each time we look at it we get some new information and this time is no exception.

Isaiah 51:17-23, The Cup Of The LORD's Wrath

Awake, awake! Rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes men stagger. (Isaiah 51:17)

This is a reference to the Great Tribulation, during which the third and final cycle of God's wrath will be poured out upon the Earth. Recall once again that the dual purpose of the Great Tribulation is to completely destroy the nations and to discipline (but not destroy) Israel. (Jeremiah 30:11)

Of all the sons she bore there was none to guide her; of all the sons she reared there was none to take her by the hand. These double calamities have come upon you - who can comfort you? -  ruin and destruction, famine and sword -  who can console you? Your sons have fainted; they lie at the head of every street, like antelope caught in a net. They are filled with the wrath of the LORD and the rebuke of your God.

Therefore hear this, you afflicted one, made drunk, but not with wine. This is what your Sovereign LORD says, your God, who defends his people: "See, I have taken out of your hand the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath, you will never drink again. I will put it into the hands of your tormentors, who said to you, ‘Fall prostrate that we may walk over you.' And you made your back like the ground, like a street to be walked over." (Isaiah 51:18-23)


None of Israel's modern day leaders will have done what is required to spare Israel from the Great Tribulation. The Lord told us that this time of judgment will be so severe that if He allowed it to run its course, no one would survive. But for the sake of His elect, He'll put a stop to it at the appointed time, (Matthew 24:22) which is 1260 days after it begins. Just before the end, the Lord will pour out upon His people a spirit of grace and supplication. They will finally recognize their Messiah, the one they have pierced (Zechariah 12:10) and that will put an end to their problems forever. By the time it's all over the unbelieving nations who have oppressed and tormented Israel will have been totally defeated.

Note: Some may wonder why I haven't included Isaiah 52 here, especially since the reference to Assyria in Isaiah 52:4 is currently being used to support the position that the anti-Christ will be an Assyrian. If you read Isaiah 52 carefully, you'll see that the context of the chapter is the Babylonian captivity, a 70 year judgment that began in 586 BC. In effect the Lord was looking back from the time of the Babylonian captivity saying, "First it was Egypt, then lately (recently) it was Assyria who oppressed my people. And now what do I have here?"(Isaiah 52:4-5)

The unspoken answer is Babylon, who would subject His people to a third round of oppression. We know this because as Isaiah was writing, Assyria was about to conquer the Northern Kingdom and 100 years after that Babylon would carry the Southern Kingdom away. And, verses 8-9 speak of watchmen standing among the ruins of Jerusalem spotting the returning captives. In Verse 10 the Lord says that because of their return all the nations of the world would see His salvation (the Hebrew word is Yeshua). Had the Lord not freed the Jews to return and rebuild their nation, Jesus could not have come to preach the gospel on the mountains of Israel (Isaiah 52:7). Finally, verses 11 and 12 refer to the newly freed captives leaving Babylon in an orderly manner with the Temple vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had taken for his museum, and that Cyrus had returned to the Jews when he released them.

To say that Isaiah 52:4 identifies the anti-Christ as an Assyrian is incorrect for two reasons. First the language refers to the nation of Assyria, not a person of Assyrian descent. And second, there is no Biblical justification for lifting that one verse out of the historical context of the chapter, and claiming it points to the End of the Age. Although Isaiah 52 was written as prophecy, it was fulfilled in history and is not meant for our future.

Isaiah 54, The Future Glory Of Zion

"Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband," says the LORD.

"Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. (Isaiah 52:1-3)


This is another indication that God's people will have no idea how far and wide they've been dispersed, nor how great in number they've become. The nation will expand to finally fill the boundaries originally assigned to them but never permanently inhabited, and in the process neighboring nations will have to move over to make room. Lebanon and Syria are examples of countries whose borders will shift, and of course the Palestinian state, so ardently desired by world leaders today but never a part of history, will not exist at all.

"Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband -  the LORD Almighty is his name - the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit -  a wife who married young,only to be rejected," says your God. (Isaiah 54:4-6)
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #151 on: July 12, 2009, 12:01:35 AM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 11 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Ever have a rift between you and a child or loved one drag on and on just because he or she wouldn't admit there was a problem? In Hosea 5:15 the Lord said He was going back to where He came from until His people admitted their sin (singular). He's been waiting for 2000 years. Just before the end of the Great Tribulation, at a point when they're on the brink of defeat, He'll finally open their minds to understand what they've done and they'll look to Him in deep mourning. (Zechariah 12:10)

In Matthew 27:25 they had accepted responsibility for the Lord's death, saying, "Let His blood be on us and on our children." Since then, all they've had to do is to admit their sin. As soon as they do, they'll be forgiven. Joel 3:21 says, "Their blood guilt which I have not pardoned I will pardon." Their sin will immediately be forgotten and they'll be restored to their former glory, like an estranged wife who's been welcomed back into the marriage.

"For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you," says the LORD your Redeemer.

"To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:7-10)


As always, when the Lord forgives, He also forgets, and the past ceases to exist. For Israel, the very sin that estranged them made possible the forgiveness that will restore them. The Blood of Jesus is sufficient to wash away even the sin that caused it to be shed, and it will be like it never happened. But more than that, His blood purchased a promise that never again will He look upon them in anger, never again will He rebuke them. Think about that, because that's exactly what God promised you when you accepted His death as payment for your sins. The New Covenant will have finally come to Israel just as Jeremiah promised. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

"O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace. In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you. If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you. (Isaiah 54:11-15)

The Holy City will be beautiful beyond description, a true work of art. They will all know the Lord and will be taught by Him personally. Their peace will be so real they'll be able to feel it. Never again will tyrannical leaders betray them. Terrorist attacks will be a thing of the distant past, to be feared no more. If anyone does dare to attack them, such as will happen at the end of the Millennium (Revelation 20:9), the result of their folly will be certain defeat.

"See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me," declares the LORD. Isaiah 54:16-17

Since the Lord controls the weapons maker, He can also ensure that any weapons made for use against Israel will not be equal to the task. True to the prophecy, this has been the heritage of the Lord's servants where Israel is concerned. Here's just one remarkable example among many.

In 1917, the British army was determined to capture Jerusalem from the Turks. General Edmond Allenby, the British commander and a passionate believer, asked the Lord to help him take the city without a battle, in order to avoid the bloodshed and destruction that would otherwise occur. In response, the Lord gave him Isaiah 31:5 "Like birds hovering overhead, the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem; he will shield it and deliver it, he will ‘pass over' it and will rescue it."

General Allenby set about to gather up every airplane he could find (in those days there weren't many) and had leaflets that said, "Surrender the city today. Allenby." dropped over Jerusalem. Unknown to him, when the leaflets were printed the Arab interpreter got the translation of his name wrong, so the message was signed Alla Bay, which to a Moslem means "Son of God." Thinking they had received a message from God, the Arabs fled the city and the British troops took it without a battle.

Over and over again the Israeli military has defeated the combined forces of their substantially larger enemies, sometimes in ways that have never been explained to everyone's satisfaction. Could it be God? Isaiah would surely say, "Yes." In the coming Battle of Ezekiel 38, Israel and the world at large will finally be certain of the identity of the Jewish nation's powerful ally.

"I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the LORD am the Holy One in Israel. It is coming! It will surely take place," declares the Sovereign LORD.

We're nearing the end of this series, but there's lots more good stuff coming before we get there. Stay with us. 03-21-09
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #152 on: July 12, 2009, 12:15:26 AM »

The End times According To Isaiah, Part 12 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

In this installment the focus is on the Holy City, and the changes the Lord will bring to Zion. Included among these are vast wealth, eternal light, and a new name.

Isaiah 60. The Glory of Zion

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. (Isaiah 60:1-2)

The word translated darkness in this passage is the same as in Genesis 1:2, before God said, "Let there be light." It was also used to describe the darkness so thick it could be felt in the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 10:21) It has spiritual as well as physical properties. The Lord Jesus spoke of this in the Olivet Discourse. He was actually quoting from Isaiah 13:10 in speaking of the time immediately after the end of the Great Tribulation. But as you can see, the language is almost identical.

"Immediately after the distress of those days" ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' (The word for "bodies" literally means "powers". This is more than falling stars. Spiritual powers in the heavens will be shaken as He returns.)

"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:29-30)


Isaiah prophesied that the 2nd Coming will bring the dawn of Israel's greatest Age. The time of separation caused by their rejection of the Messiah will have ended with their acceptance. He is the Light that brings them life. The unbelieving world will mourn, realizing too late that they've been wrong about everything, and will remain in darkness forever. Although Isaiah directed this chapter to the Holy City, the blessings will accrue to Israel as a whole.

Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. "Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. (Isaiah 60:3-5)

As we learned in a previous installment, the gentile world will pay homage to Israel. And it will be expressed in much more tangible ways than simply lending a helping hand to the returnees. As we'll see the focal point will be the Holy City, now the City of Light in every respect.

Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the LORD. (Isaiah 60:6)

Midian, Ephah, and Sheba were sons and grandsons of Abraham and Ketura, the wife he took after Sarah died. (Genesis 25:1-4) These names are all associated with the Arabian Peninsula. Like the Wise Men of old they'll bring expensive gifts as they come to praise the Lord. Gold is a gift for a King and incense (KJV frankincense) evokes images of the priesthood. Notice there's no myrrh mentioned here. Myrrh was an embalming spice and its absence indicates that God will never again have to die for man. His sacrifice was a once for all time event. (Hebrews 10:12)

All Kedar's flocks will be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth will serve you; they will be accepted as offerings on my altar, and I will adorn my glorious temple. (Isaiah 60:7)

Kedar was the 2nd son of Ishmael, and Nebaioth was Ishmael's first born. Perhaps Kedar was mentioned first because of the greater prominence he would gain as the patriarch of the line of Mohamed. In addition to sacrificial animals for the temple offerings, some see the former followers of Mohamed symbolized here, giving homage to the God of Israel and serving Him.

"Who are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to their nests? Surely the islands look to me; in the lead are the ships of Tarshish, bringing your sons from afar, with their silver and gold, to the honor of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor. (Isaiah 60:8-9)

From all around the world the wealth of the nations will pour into the Holy City, in honor of the God of Israel. Men who were previously unaware will be awakened to their Jewish heritage. God's people, once thought to be on the brink of extinction, will form a seemingly endless procession to their ancestral home in His Holy City, like flocks of migrating birds returning to their homes.

"Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings will serve you. Though in anger I struck you, in favor I will show you compassion. Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night, so that men may bring you the wealth of the nations -  their kings led in triumphal procession. For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined.

"The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the pine, the fir and the cypress together, to adorn the place of my sanctuary; and I will glorify the place of my feet. The sons of your oppressors will come bowing before you; all who despise you will bow down at your feet and will call you the City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 60:10-14)


Upon arriving at the Millennial Temple at the beginning of the Kingdom Age, God will say, "This is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever." (Ezekiel 43:7) Israel will once again be pre-imminent among nations and the Holy City will not only be its capitol, it will be the everlasting home of the God of the Universe. The nations of the world will offer their services and bring their wealth. Those who have been Israel's blood enemies for a hundred generations will come and bow down upon entering the Holy City.
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #153 on: July 12, 2009, 12:16:46 AM »

The End times According To Isaiah, Part 12 of 13
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

"Although you have been forsaken and hated, with no one traveling through, I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations. You will drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts. Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Instead of bronze I will bring you gold, and silver in place of iron. Instead of wood I will bring you bronze, and iron in place of stones. I will make peace your governor and righteousness your ruler. No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. (Isaiah 60:15-18 )


The Holy City will be the source of pride and joy for all generations of Earth's people. Wealth and favor will be accompanied by peace and righteousness, with violence, ruin and destruction consigned forever to the past. Once again the Hebrew word translated Salvation is Yeshua, but in this case the word for praise actually means a hymn or song of praise. It's absolutely fascinating to me that the walls and gates of the Holy city are modeled in the contemporary evangelical church. The emphasis is on Jesus, expressed in song after song of praise and worship.

The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. (Isaiah 60:19-20)

The promises here are similar to those given the Church. Neither will require the light of the Sun or Moon. As the Lamb is the lamp of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:23), the Father is the everlasting light of Israel. And the Glory of God illuminates them both.

Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly." (Isaiah 60:21)

The full portion of the Promised Land will be Israel's home forever, and they will spread out from there to found other nations. It's a promise from the Lord.

You may have noticed that although the entire chapter was spoken to the Holy City, not once was the name Jerusalem mentioned. Two chapters later, Isaiah explained this.

Isaiah 62. Zion's New Name

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.

The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD's hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married. As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. (Isaiah 62:1-5)


Hephzibah means "my delight is in her" and Beulah means "married". But these are not the official names of the Holy City either. For that we need to consult Ezekiel again.

"And the name of the city from that time on will be: The LORD is There ." (Ezekiel 48:35) In Hebrew it's JHVH (Jehovah) Shammah, and it means that out of the entire universe, God will have chosen to live among His people in the land He promised them, in the city they will have built for Him.

Back To The Present

In the coming days we will likely see the most intense efforts yet to divide the Promised Land. Indications are that the USA and Europe will exert almost unbearable pressure upon the new government of Israel to go along. Loyalties are shifting rapidly. It appears that very soon the US will publicly invite the Moslem world to help forge a global US-Moslem reconciliation that will leave Israel out in the cold. A Palestinian State will be their reward for peace in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, and Iran will be allowed to produce the remaining components for a nuclear weapon on the promise that they'll stop short of actually assembling them. Israel will have no say in these matters.

I first heard the phrase "prophecy on fast-forward" from Hal Lindsey a few years back. He was talking about what would happen if the US ever abandoned Israel. More and more, commentators are using it in reference to the days just ahead. We've all heard the Lord's command from Psalms 122:6. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure." It's more important to do this now than ever before.

We bring this installment to a close with Isaiah's version of the Lord's command:

You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give Him no rest till He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth. (Isaiah 62:6-7)

In the most literal form of this commandment we're being told not to be silent about this in our prayers, but to make it a constant plea, and to allow the Lord no peace and quiet until He achieves this. It's easy to become sick at heart as we see the way things are going in the world today. Our defense against this is prayer. Constant, urgent, fervent prayer. 03-28-09
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #154 on: July 12, 2009, 12:33:07 AM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 13 Conclusion
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

It's time to bring our study to a close. We do so with well known passages from Isaiah 63, 65, and 66. At the beginning I warned you this would take a while, and it has. 13 weeks to be exact. The finish will not disappoint you.

Isaiah 63:1-6. God's Day of Vengeance and Redemption

Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength?

"It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save."

Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?

"I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. For the day of vengeance was in my heart,and the year of my redemption has come.

I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground." (Isaiah 63:1-6)


Looking Eastward, Isaiah saw with His mind's eye a powerful figure striding resolutely toward the Holy City. He challenged the figure, and the response could only have come from the Lord. Who else speaks in righteousness? Who else is strong enough to save us?

And yet His garments are obviously stained red as if someone had drenched them in wine. It's the blood of His enemies. Standing alone against them He has defeated them all, powered by the wrath He has held in check for so long, now released in its full measure.

John saw Him too, and described Him this way:
His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. (Revelation 19:12-13)

Today Edom is called Southern Jordan, and Bozrah is about 25 miles east of the southern end of the Dead Sea. Its Greek name is Petra, and it will be the refuge of the believing remnant of Israel. Two thousand years ago the Lord Jesus warned them to flee into the mountains as soon as they learned of the Abomination of Desolation. (Matthew 24:15) When it happens He'll take them there, as if on eagle's wings. (Revelation 12:14) He'll protect them there for 3 ˝ years, and will defeat the enemy forces that are arrayed against them.

Isaiah 65:17-25. New Heavens and a New Earth

"Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind." (Isaiah 65:17)

John used this verse to open Revelation 21, and because of an incorrect understanding people have assumed for centuries that it applies to eternity. They've overlooked 2 details that in my opinion place Revelation 21-22:6 at the beginning of the Millennium, not at its end.

The first detail is that the context of Isaiah 65:17-25 is clearly millennial. People are living and dying, time is being measured and the effects of sin are still evident in their lives. The phrase "new heavens and a new earth" is intended to show us that all the effects of the curse have been removed, and the creation has been restored to its original condition, both physically and spiritually. (Jesus spoke of this time, calling it the restoration of all things, in Matthew 19:28.) And the second is that Revelation 20:7-15 is what we would call a parenthetical insert that John used to reveal the ultimate destiny of Satan and all of mankind's unbelievers while he was on the subject of the second death.

Briefly, at the end of the Millennium Satan will be released from his 1,000 year prison term and will mount up a final rebellion that's immediately crushed. He'll be thrown into the Lake of Fire to join the anti-Christ and the false prophet who will already be there. (Revelation 19:20) Then the unsaved dead from all ages will be raised up for judgment, and they'll be thrown into the Lake of Fire. As if to prove the point, John concluded the passage by saying that the Lake of Fire is the second death.

Then he began Revelation 21 with the quote from Isaiah 65:17 to show that he was going back to the beginning of the Millennium to give us details of our home, the New Jerusalem. Revelation 22:1-5 follows with a summary of Ezekiel 47:1-12, which gives us a glimpse of life in Israel's Kingdom Age on Earth. The Bible, which chronicles the Age of Man, ends at the end of the Millennium and offers no specific description of Eternity. It only says that there is one.

The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind."

Here's God's promise that in addition to making everything in creation new, all of the misery and suffering of this age will be erased from their minds, along with the memories of lost loved ones who refused to believe the truth and be saved. Anything they carry in their heads that would impede the steady flow of peace and joy in their lives will be taken away. It's a little like virus infected software being deleted and then reinstalled to work the way it was originally designed to. (This will have already happened for us, at the Rapture).
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #155 on: July 12, 2009, 12:34:37 AM »

The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 13 Conclusion
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Now let's read the rest of the passage and see how Isaiah saw life on Earth in Israel's Kingdom Age.

But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.

"Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands.

They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the LORD. Isaiah 65:18-25


The phrase "dust will be the serpent's food" is reminiscent of Genesis 3:14 and tells us that out of the entire creation, only the serpent will retain the effects of the curse God pronounced upon him in the garden.

Isaiah's contemporary Micah added a few details to this description of uninterrupted peace and prosperity.

Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken. All the nations may (now) walk in the name of their gods; (but) we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever. (Micah 4:4-5. I've inserted the words "now" and "but" to give you a better understanding of Micah's intent.)

It was the Lord's reference to Micah 4:4, by the way, that caused Nathaniel to exclaim upon first meeting Him,"Rabbi, you are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel." (John 1:47-49)  In effect, Jesus had said that He "saw" the perfected Nathaniel in the Millennium. Only God could do such a thing.

Peace For His People, Fury For His Foes

For this is what the LORD says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."

When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of the LORD will be made known to his servants, but his fury will be shown to his foes.

See, the LORD is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For with fire and with his sword the LORD will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by the LORD. (Isaiah 66:12-15)


If you're comparing this study with current trends in the Middle East, you realize that the Lord's plan for Israel is the opposite of what the world is pushing for. This is because the world has been duped into adopting Satan's plan, which calls for Israel's demise. It will take the full measure of the Lord's fury to convince them that they're on the wrong side of the issue. By some accounts, fully half of the world's post rapture population will die in the process.

"As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the LORD, "so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me," says the LORD. "And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."

In his book entitled "Biblical Basis For Modern Science" Henry Morris wrote, "When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle."

As the mother died, she excreted a red fluid that was used to make the crimson dye used in Biblical times. This makes a powerful illustration of what the Lord has done for us. He attached Himself to the cross, and shed his blood there as He died. Because He did we can be born again and receive eternal life. It's interesting that in Psalms 22:6 David quoted the Lord calling Himself a worm and not a man.

Perhaps Isaiah had this in mind as He wrote his last verses. If so He was saying that those who rebel against God do so by not accepting His death as payment for their sins. The "worm" they choose instead will not (can not) die for them, and there's no other way for them to be born again to to escape the unquenchable fire. They're physically dead, but their spirits have not been released, so they're trapped in their dead corpses, tormented by the fire.

It's no surprise that we learn more about the Millennium from Isaiah than we did from the chapter John devoted to it in the Revelation. It's not called Israel's Kingdom age for nothing. It's on Earth and it's for Israel. And that's another good reason to take the Church off the planet to the New Jerusalem. This way each can enjoy its own destiny without distracting from the other.

From John 14:1-3 we learn that the Lord Jesus was going away to prepare a place for us, and would come back to take us to be with Him in Heaven, where He is.  From Ezekiel 43:7 we learn that God would someday return to Israel to live among His chosen people on Earth, where they are. Both prophecies are true, making it clear that the Church and Israel are different entities with different origins and different destinies. To say that one replaced the other is to deny the obvious truth of the Scriptures. It's my closing prayer for you that this study on the End Times According to Isaiah has resolved this beyond all doubt. You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 04-04-09
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #156 on: July 20, 2009, 12:17:31 AM »

Does Ezekiel 38 Come First Or The Anti-Christ?
Ask A Bible Teacher:  By Jack Kelley

Q. I know the Rapture is next, but after that do you think the anti-christ is coming first or the Ezekiel war?

A. I think Ezekiel 38 comes first and then the anti-Christ officially appears on the scene and here's why. At the end of Ezekiel's battle, the Jews will realize that God is with them and there'll be a world wide emigration to Israel. (Ezekiel 39:28 ) As they renew their covenant with God they'll need a Temple to worship Him in the Old covenant tradition. I think the anti-Christ helps them to get permission to build it as part of the seven year treaty he confirms (Daniel 9:27) because in the middle of that treaty period he desecrates the Temple.

Until the Jews are brought back to faith, there'll be no national desire for a Temple, so the Battle of Ezekiel has to come first. It's quite possible that the anti-Christ will actually begin his official ascent to power from the victory he'll achieve in bringing peace to Israel, something no one's ever been able to do.
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #157 on: July 20, 2009, 12:25:11 AM »

The Great Pause
by Jack Kelley

Surely you have heard about the administration (dispensation) of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. (Ephesians 3:2-3)

One of the most difficult things for someone unfamiliar with dispensational theology to understand is why Israel needs to exist at all in the last days, let alone rebuild their Temple. A recent discussion with a theology professor from a well known West Coast Christian school made this clear.

We were talking about our respective views of the End Times. When I mentioned the coming Temple and Israel's re-awakening into their Old Covenant relationship, he looked at me like I was from another planet. He graduated from one of the main line denominational seminaries where he had been immersed in liberal theology, so what little he knows about the end times is all allegorical. He had never been taught anything like what I was saying.

Why on Earth, he asked, would God bring Israel back when the Church has replaced Israel in His eyes? And even if He did, why would He bring them into an Old Covenant relationship when He's told the Church that since the cross the Old Covenant no longer applies?

Good Questions


Most Christians can't answer these questions, and even among those who take the Bible literally, many can only say , "Because the Bible says so." They can't explain why it says so.

It's only when you understand that the Age of Grace didn't end the Age of Law, but only interrupted it seven years short of its allotted time, that it all becomes clear. Here's what happened.

Near the end of the Babylonian captivity the Angel Gabriel told Daniel that Israel was being given 490 years to complete 6 tasks.

"Seventy 'sevens' (490 years) are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy (place). (Daniel 9:24)

When the Lord was crucified, 483 of those years had past. Remember, that's why the disciples were astonished when He told them the Temple would soon be destroyed (Matthew 24:2). It's also why, 40 days after the Resurrection, they asked if He was was going to restore the Kingdom to Israel now. (Acts 1:6) They thought they were only 7 years away from the Kingdom Age. Ten days later, on Pentecost, the indeterminate Age of the Church began, with the Age of Law still 7 years short of its prophesied end.

After 20 years had passed the Lord's half-brother James, who was the head of the Church in Jerusalem at the time, explained that Israel had been set aside while the Lord took from among the Gentiles a people for Himself (the Church). After that he would turn again to Israel and pick up where He had left off (Acts 15:13-18 ). About 18 years after that the Temple was destroyed and has never been rebuilt. In 135 AD the nation ceased to exist in any form. The Roman Emperor Hadrian destroyed what was left of Jerusalem, built a new city called Aelia Capitolina on its ruins, and forbade any Jew from entering it. But the Lord's promise still stands. As soon as He has taken the Church, He'll turn again to Israel to complete the last 7 years of the Age of Law.

These facts from both the Bible and history completely undermine any arguments for the validity of replacement theology. They explain why Israel has to exist in the End Times and why the Jews will need a Temple.

The Great Pause

While Pentecost was the official beginning of the Age of Grace, it didn't signal the end of the Age of Law, as so many in the Church wrongly assume. It was only a Great Pause while the Lord pursued His Church, something He intended to do all along, but had only divulged in a general way in the past.

Speaking to His Messiah, the Lord said, "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6)

When you understand the Great Pause, lots of other things fall into place. We've already discussed the re-birth of the Nation and the re-built Temple. Israel had to be re-born and will have to become a covenant people again in order to complete their final 7 years. This is what makes their re-birth such a powerful sign that the Great Pause is about to end. The only reason for Israel to exist again is to complete the 7 years remaining in the Age of Law. It also explains the return to animal sacrifice during this time. This is the way things were before the Great Pause began, and the way they'll have to be after it ends. Although people have always been saved by faith, during the Age of Law their faith has to be evidenced by obedience to the Law.
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #158 on: July 20, 2009, 12:28:45 AM »

The Great Pause
by Jack Kelley

Understanding the Great Pause also helps us see why the Rapture of the Church has to precede the final 7 years. The purpose of the Great Pause is so the Lord can take from among the Gentiles a people for Himself. The Greek word translated "take" in Acts 15:14 is lambano. A look at the primary meanings of lambano reveals that the intent of the word is to describe one who takes something for the purpose of carrying it away. Once the church is complete the Lord will carry us away before turning again to Israel. This is consistent with Paul's statement in Romans 11:25 that Israel has experienced a partial blindness until the full number of Gentiles has come in. The phrase "come in" means to arrive at one's destination, as when a ship has "come in". According to John 14:2-3 our destination is Heaven. Once the church has been carried away to its destination in Heaven the blinders will fall from Israel's eyes, the Great Pause will come to an end, and Israel will complete its final seven years.

The Rapture has to happen before Daniel's 70th Week can begin, because the 70th Week is all about Israel. It's their final opportunity to be reconciled to God through the Messiah and prepare for the Kingdom He promised them so long ago. 2500 years before the fact, Zechariah prophesied that this would take place near the end of the 70th Week.

"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son." (Zechariah 12:10)

Paul confirmed this and said it would happen after the rapture.

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." (Romans 11:25-27)

And the Great Pause explains why post rapture salvation will be like it was in Old Testament times. The only difference is post rapture believers will be looking back to the cross whereas Old Testament believers looked forward to it. Speaking of the time when taking the mark of the beast will be required of everyone on Earth, the Lord said, "This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus." (Rev. 14:12) Again, people have always been saved by faith, but during the Age of Law their faith has to be evidenced by obedience to the Law.

It also explains why the 144,000 servants of God have to be sealed before undertaking their mission. (Revelation 7:3) If the church was still here they would be sealed just the way we are. But during the Age of Law believers were not, nor will they be, sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of their inheritance as we are (Ephesians 1:13-14). The 144,000 is the only group in the post rapture world that is described as being sealed. By the way, some scholars believe this means only the 144,000 will be supernaturally protected from the demonic locusts spoken of in Revelation 9.

I Can See Clearly Now

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. No other system of theology explains God's overarching plan as succinctly as dispensationalism. None gives us such a clear understanding of the connection between events before Pentecost and those after the Rapture. No other one helps us see the "why" behind the "what" described in the Bible. None other so vividly demonstrates the absolutely unique nature of the church, while maintaining the integrity of God's promises to Israel. And best of all it does so in a manner consistent with the literal, historical, grammatical interpretation of His Word. 06-27-09
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #159 on: July 20, 2009, 12:34:28 AM »

The Great Pause, More Follow Up
Ask A Bible Teacher:  by Jack Kelley

Q. Are you saying that after the Rapture, one must believe in Jesus ‘and' subscribe to the Law? The plan obviously shifts to Israel but does this mean that no Gentiles have a chance after the Rapture? What is the purpose of the sacrifices in the Temple then? Is it only for the Jew? Which blood atonement will God recognize, that of the animals for the last 7 years or that of His Son? Will there be no grace after the Rapture?

A. Just after the Mark of the Beast is introduced,  God will send an angel to warn the people of earth to refuse the mark or suffer eternal consequences.  Revelation 14:12 says, "This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus." Like it was in the time before the Church, when faith had to be evidenced by obedience, so will it be after we're gone. Remember, the Church didn't end the Age of Law, it just interrupted it seven years short of its appointed time.

There has only ever been one blood atonement for our sins, and that's the blood of Jesus.  The sacrifice of animals delays the judgment,  but doesn't eliminate it.

The only Temple will be in Israel, so as a practical matter only those living there will participate in the sacrificial system.  And even then only until the abomination of desolation makes the Temple unusable in the middle of the last 7 years (Daniel 9:27).

Although ultimately all men are saved by grace, the Doctrine of Grace as it's put forth in Ephesians 2:8-9 will expire with the Rapture. After that salvation will be by faith in Jesus as evidenced by obedience to the Commandments, whether Jew or Gentile.
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #160 on: July 20, 2009, 12:37:30 AM »

Timing Of The Peace Treaty
Ask A Bible Teacher:  by Jack Kelley

Q. Is the Peace Treaty of Daniel 9:27 before or after Israel re-builds the Temple?

A. The Bible doesn't specifically state the order in which these two events take place. Most scholars assume that one provision of the treaty of Daniel 9:27 permits the construction of the Temple. All we're told is that in the middle of the seven year period covered by the treaty, the anti Christ will put a stop to the sacrifice and offering.

I believe that the treaty puts an end to the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39. It's during that battle that the Jews are re-awakened to the presence of God in their lives. Prior to that they won't want a Temple. It would cause too much trouble. If I'm right the treaty will precede the Temple.
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #161 on: July 20, 2009, 01:27:57 AM »

Who Are The Luke Warm Christians?
Ask A Bible Teacher - By Jack Kelley

Q. I hear all the time that Lukewarm Christians will miss out on the Rapture, being left behind. Can you tell us  who are the Lukewarm Christians?  On a scale of 1-10, where is the cut-off?  Do I need to be a 10, and never sin to go?   I hear people say that Lukewarm Christians will miss out on the Rapture.  Does scripture paint this picture in your opinion?

A. The so-called partial rapture view always gets my dander up.  Just who are the luke-warm Christians, you ask?  Well let's look at what current polls say.  93% of those who claim to be born again Christians live secular lives and have a secular world view.  About 50% don't believe in the Holy Spirit or that Satan is real.  Nearly 40% have never given the first penny to Kingdom work.  The divorce rate among Christians is the same as among non-believers and so is the abortion rate.  A much better question to ask is who are the Christians who aren't luke-warm?

The partial rapture theory is promoted by "holier than thou" Christians who want to scare everybody into behaving the way they think we should. Of course they all believe they are going.  It's just the rest of us who have a problem.

There's not one word in the Bible that supports a partial rapture. According to the Bible, there is just one condition for being included in the Church.  "Believe in the One He has sent." (John 6:28-29)  Everything else you hear is some form of Pharisaical legalism invented by man in an effort to impose behavioral standards on others.  This is a control issue not a theology issue.
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #162 on: June 29, 2010, 05:01:26 AM »

A Land of Unwalled Villages
by Jack Kelley


I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record by now, but there's an enormous potential for a giant leap forward in End Times prophecy this summer, and this week we came breathtakingly close to witnessing its beginning.

After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm, you will be like a cloud covering the land.

This is what the sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages, I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people – all of them living without gates and bars.” (Ezekiel 38:8-11)

Many students of prophecy, myself included, see the battle of Ezekiel 38-39 as one of the most significant events on God's prophetic calendar. In the scenario Ezekiel described nearly 2500 years ago, a coalition of Moslem countries, armed and led by the Russians, will attack Israel and be utterly defeated due to God's direct intervention. He will use this battle to re-introduce Himself to Israel as their protector, to recall the rest of His people to their ancient homeland, and to reinstate His relationship with them.
When Will These Things happen?

All agree that this battle has not yet taken place. Following WW 2 the Jewish people began returning to the land for the first time in centuries and only since then have conditions been such that Ezekiel's prophecy could be fulfilled.

Speaking of this battle Lord said, “I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay upon them (the attacking Moslem coalition). From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God. (Ezekiel 39:22). He concluded by saying, “I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind.” (Ezekiel 39:28 )

Israel's re-gathering, officially begun in 1948, will continue to completion and will be both spiritual and physical. According to Acts 15: 13-19 and Daniel 9:27 it will result it a temple being built. That means the Jews will return to their Old Covenant relationship with God, bringing an end to the Age of Grace and causing the Church to disappear into Heaven. The 490 year clock that stopped on year 483 at the time of the Crucifixion will begin ticking again, its final 7 years (known as Daniel's 70th Week) unfolding. God's attention will again be focused on Israel.

The Jews will begin Temple construction assisted by the anti-Christ (Daniel 9:27) in what will be his first big move to establish himself as the god of this world. 3 1/2 years later he will stand in this very Temple and proclaim himself to be God, a declaration that will jump start the Great Tribulation. (Matthew 24:15 & 2 Thessalonians 2:4) So Ezekiel's battle must be inserted into the window of time between the rebirth of the nation in 1948 and the rebuilding of the Temple, still in the future. You can see why prophecy students are so interested. Israel's return to God, the Rapture of the Church, Daniel's 70th week, the Coming Temple, the introduction of the anti-Christ, the Great Tribulation and the 2nd Coming are all somehow impacted by this battle. (Although the Rapture can happen at any time, I believe Romans 11:25 says it has to happen before the beginning of Daniel's 70th Week) Can you imagine any event more critical to the fulfillment of End Times prophecies?

A Peaceful And Unsuspecting People

So what else has to happen before this battle can take place?  The participants are in place and it's no secret that they're in the final stages of preparation. Nor is their intent a mystery. Iran has openly predicted Israel's soon coming demise, and Turkey has finally taken its place in the Moslem Coalition Ezekiel described.

There's just one other condition.  Israel is described as living in safety in Ezekiel 38:8 at the time of the attack. The Hebrew word translated safety there is betach.  Of 42 Old Testament appearances, it's translated into some form of the word safety 28 times.  (One meaning of the word is careless, in the sense that the people feel so safe they're not being cautious.) To underscore the attitude in Israel at the time of the attack, Ezekiel calls them a land of unwalled villages, a peaceful and unsuspecting people, living without gates and bars (Ezekiel 38:11).

It's safe to say that none of these conditions exist in Israel today. Two thirds of a proposed 436 mile long security fence has been built to prevent Palestinian terrorists from crossing into Israel, so it's decidedly not a land of unwalled villages.  The Jewish people know there are up to 40,000 rockets and missiles pointed at them, leaving no part of Israel safe from attack.  Then there's the Gaza blockade crisis. Last week Hezbollah and Iran announced their intention to break the blockade with ships that were ready to set sail on a moments notice. Israel responded quickly, saying they'd be treated like enemy ships if they entered its territorial waters.  (As of this week both have been at least temporarily held back by pressure from the international community. Had this not been the case, we'd literally be hearing the opening salvos of Psalm 83 by now. )  For months, Israel's military leaders have been telling their troops to prepare for war this summer.

These are not the actions of a peaceful and unsuspecting people.  In fact, persistent rumors have Israel preparing to launch a pre-emptive attack against Iran.  According to DEBKAfile Israeli bombers have been secretly positioned in Azerbaijan causing Iran to declare a state of war along its nearby border and position troops there, and it has also been reported that Israeli aircraft have the green light to overfly Saudi Arabia enroute to an attack on Iran.

Observers have called this summer the time when things will change forever in the Middle East. What ever happens will not be the long awaited Battle of Ezekiel 38 but it will certainly be setting the stage for it. We've already discussed the Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17 scenarios.  A pre-emptive attack on Iran could easily trigger the fulfillment of these prophecies  and decisive victories could put Israel into the state of mind consistent with one meaning of the Hebrew word betach; feeling so safe they're no longer being cautious.  Time will tell.  But more so now than ever before, you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. (06-26-10)
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #163 on: June 29, 2010, 05:07:36 AM »

Why The Rebirth Of Israel Is A Sign Of The End
by Jack Kelley


“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.” (Matthew 24:32-33)

Many students of prophecy identify the Lesson of the Fig Tree in Matthew 24 as a reference to Israel. While the fig tree is often used to symbolize Israel, this is not one of those times.

The fig tree is one of the last trees to bud in the spring, so when it begins to get leaves people know that summer is right around the corner. There'll be no more false starts, no more cold snaps. Summer is now certain and soon. Jesus used this analogy to tell people who'll be on Earth at the time that when they see the things he described beginning in Matthew 24:15, they'll know that His coming is really near.

Earlier in Matthew 24 He had told them that wars and rumors of war will be characteristic of the age (Matthew 24:6), and that the earthquakes and famines they'll notice will be like the beginning of birth pangs, mild and infrequent at first but more intense and more frequent as the end approaches (Matthew 24:7-8 ). Then there'll be increased anti-semitism, apostasy, false prophets and deception, in the midst of which the Gospel will be preached in all nations (Matthew 24:9-14).

But when they see the Abomination of Desolation, a man standing in the Temple telling people he's God, things will begin to get serious fast and the countdown will begin on the most terrifying period of time in the history of man. This is what He compared to the fig tree getting leaves. When they see that, they know that His return is certain and soon. That's the lesson of the Fig Tree.

Now Where Do We Go?

So then, if the fig tree isn't symbolic of Israel why are we convinced that the events of 1948 marked the beginning of the end?

First of all, you don't need the Lesson of the Fig Tree to place Israel in Matthew 24. If you read the passage carefully, you'll see that Jesus gave three crystal clear signs that there would be a generation of Old Covenant believing Jews in Israel before the Great Tribulation begins, and they are the ones He was addressing.

The first clue is the Abomination of Desolation, something that hasn't happened since Jesus gave the warning. It will be seen standing in the Holy Place. (Matthew24:15) That's the Jewish Temple, a building that can only be present when Israel occupies the Promised Land.

The second clue is that the people he's telling to flee are in Judea, the name by which the Biblical land of Israel was known during the time of the Lord's visitation. (Matthew 24:16)

And the third clue is for them to pray their flight won't take place on a Sabbath. Matthew 24:20) Only observant Jews would be worried about this because they can only walk 1000 paces on the Sabbath, not nearly far enough to even get out of town, let alone into the mountains.

Some people ask how Israel's re-birth could be the sign that starts the clock running on the end times when  there's no mention of it in Matthew 24.  It's true, in the Olivet Discourse the Lord never came right out and said Israel would cease to exist and then be re-born 2,000 years later.  But there are clear prophecies of just such a thing in the Old Testament.  For example  Moses warned the people at least twice of the terrible things that would happen if they rejected the Lord.  In Deuteronomy 4:25-27 he said their disobedience would cause the Lord to scatter them among the nations.  Then in Deuteronomy 4:30 He said that in the latter days during a time of tribulation they would return to the Lord and obey Him again.

And starting in Deuteronomy 28:15 Moses listed the disasters that would come upon them, culminating in verses 63 and 64 when he said they would be up rooted from the land and scattered among the nations, from one end of the Earth to the other.   And once again, he said, even if they had been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, the Lord would bring them back (Deuteronomy 30:4), and if they agreed to obey His covenant again He would make them prosperous, and then He would circumcise their hearts (see Romans 2:28-29), put their enemies to flight, and delight in them again.  Deuteronomy 30:1-10 is a clear summary of End Times events.  They'll be brought back into the land, their enemies will be cursed and their covenant will be restored (Ezekiel 38-39), their hearts will be circumcised (Zechariah 12:10), and their prosperity will be restored (Isaiah 65:17-25). This sequence of events is coming to pass today, just as Moses said it would.

So as far back as the wilderness wanderings, the Lord had foretold of Israel's scattering and subsequent regathering in the latter days.  Because of their disobedience they would be driven from the land. After an extended period of time He would bring them back.  Their return would be a sign to all the world that the End of the Age is upon us.  We saw above that in the context of the Olivet Discourse Israel is already in the land and back in their (old) covenant relationship with God.  That's why Jesus didn't mention the re-birth of the nation among the signs He gave. The first specific end times sign He mentioned is the Abomination of Desolation, something that will happen about 3.5 years before He returns.

Are There Others?

There are other places where the Bible promises that the nation Israel will exist in its Biblical lands at the End of the Age as well, such as Ezekiel 36-37.

Beginning in chapter 36 Ezekiel shifted from his message of current judgment to one of future hope. He began writing these chapters after he learned that Jerusalem had fallen to the Babylonians and its desolation had begun. Having earlier prophesied against the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 6) he now began speaking promises to them. Reminding the mountains that he had pronounced judgment against the surrounding nations for trying to possess them, and for plundering and ridiculing the towns that had dwelt upon them, the Lord had Ezekiel say,

” But you, O mountains of Israel, will produce branches and fruit for my people Israel, for they will soon come home. I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, and I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel. The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous. I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before. Then you will know that I am the LORD. I will cause people, my people Israel, to walk upon you. They will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; you will never again deprive them of their children.” (Ezekiel 36:8-13)

While this was partially fulfilled after the Babylonian captivity, the people were driven off the land again in the first century AD, so the complete fulfillment had to begin sometime after that. Earlier, Isaiah had prophesied that there would be a second return, and his contemporary Amos said that after that one they would never be uprooted again. So that's the one we're looking for.

In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. (Isaiah 11:11)

I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God. (Amos 9:14-15)

According to history the second fulfillment officially began in 1948. Why did the Lord finally do this? What had they done to deserve it?

This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.” (Ezekiel 36:22-23)
Logged

nChrist
Global Moderator
Gold Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 60380


May God Lead And Guide Us All


View Profile
« Reply #164 on: June 29, 2010, 05:13:06 AM »

Why The Rebirth Of Israel Is A Sign Of The End
by Jack Kelley


Frequently the Lord had His prophets first give a sweeping overview statement to describe a promise and then fill in the details afterward. Such is the case with Ezekiel's next declaration.

“For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you. I will increase the fruit of the trees and the crops of the field, so that you will no longer suffer disgrace among the nations because of famine. Then you will remember your evil ways and wicked deeds, and you will loathe yourselves for your sins and detestable practices. I want you to know that I am not doing this for your sake, declares the Sovereign LORD. Be ashamed and disgraced for your conduct, O house of Israel!” (Ezekiel 36:24-32)

Clearly the complete fulfillment of this promise to Israel is yet future to us. But its magnitude is striking. God promised that Israel would be brought back into its Biblical lands, something we see is already in process. Then the people will be cleansed from all their sins, given a new heart, and the Holy Spirit will come to dwell within them. (Obviously, this hasn't happened yet, because it can only happen when one is born again.) Then the Kingdom promises will begin coming true and the people will remember their former sinful ways and detest themselves. This is another indication of the indwelling Holy Spirit's work, convicting them of their sins. This is the same way things happened for you and me. In a general sense, we knew we were sinners in need of a Savior when we first went to the altar, but we didn't understand the full extent of our depravity until after we were saved and the Holy Spirit began to reveal it to us in depth.

The Valley Of Dry Bones

Now, let's look at Ezekiel 37 where the dramatic rebirth of the nation is foretold in the vision of the valley of dry bones.

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' ” (Ezekiel 37:1-6)

Picture yourself standing in a large valley whose floor is strewn with bones. They're scattered around randomly, none of them connected to another, bleached and dry. It looks like they've been dumped there some time ago and left, as if who ever did it had no further use for them.

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. (Ezekiel 37:7-8 )

In what looks like an animator's dream, the bones slowly begin to rise and join themselves together from the feet up to form skeletons, each bone in its proper place. Tendons appear and begin to snake along the bones attaching themselves to make the bones move. As each one connects you can hear the clicking sounds of the tendons conducting tests, making the bones move on command. Muscle and flesh begin to cover them and finally skin spreads out along limbs and around torsos, enclosing the muscle and flesh and giving the bodies a finished, though lifeless, form.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' ” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. (Ezekiel 37:9-10)

The breath that gives them life comes from the four winds, used symbolically to represent a sovereign act of God. This tells us that though they are now living beings, they are not yet possessed of the Spirit of God. That will come later, as we'll see. The people would first be gathered together in unbelief, a secular nation. This is seen in their status today, brought back after a 2000 year absence by a sovereign act of God, but not yet a covenant people again. This is what God meant when He said it wouldn't be because they deserved it, but because He promised it.

Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; 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.' “ (Ezekiel 37:11-14)

Notice the Lord has Ezekiel speaking to the whole house of Israel.  There are no lost tribes.  The complete fulfillment of the Dry Bones prophecy requires two more things only God can do. He must put His Spirit in them and He must bring the faithful of their past out of the grave to join them. His Spirit will come when they're ready to recognize Him as the Messiah they put to death so long ago. Zechariah said this would happen during their final time of trial at the end of the age.

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. (Zechariah 12:10)

(In the Hebrew language, this verse reveals an astonishing secret. After the phrase They will look on me … it contains two untranslated letters, an aleph and a tau. They are the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. So the verse literally reads, “They will look on me, the Aleph and the Tau …”  In Genesis 1:1 the same two Hebrew letters show up after the phrase In the beginning, God … So it reads In the beginning God, the Aleph and the Tau …  In Genesis 1 the Father is in view, but in Zechariah 12 it's the Son.  Was God planting little clues that He and the Messiah are one? Well, look at Revelation 1:8;
Logged

Pages: 1 ... 9 10 [11] 12 13 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



More From ChristiansUnite...    About Us | Privacy Policy | | ChristiansUnite.com Site Map | Statement of Beliefs



Copyright © 1999-2016 ChristiansUnite.com. All rights reserved.
Please send your questions, comments, or bug reports to the

Powered by SMF 1.1 RC2 | SMF © 2001-2005, Lewis Media