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« Reply #165 on: June 29, 2010, 05:17:34 AM »

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


“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

The original language of the Revelation is Greek where the first and last letters of the alphabet are Alpha and Omega. Now let's read the words of Jesus in Revelation 22:13;

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Aleph and Tau, first and last in Hebrew.  Alpha and Omega, first and last in Greek.  Both languages referring to both the Father and the Son.  Someone's trying to tell us something.)

Daniel 12:1-2 says that following the Great Tribulation Daniel's people will come out of their tombs, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt. This is the Bible's first mention of two resurrections, one for the faithful and one for the damned.  Jews who are resurrected to life will dwell in Israel during the Millennium, the final fulfillment of Ezekiel 37:13. From Rev. 20:11-15 we learn that the resurrection of the damned will happen 1000 years later at the Great White Throne judgment.

When Will This Happen?

So it's clear that the End Times began when Israel became a nation again in 1948.  The testimony of Moses, Isaiah, Amos, Ezekiel and others all confirm this.  But how long will they last?  Remember, the Disciples had asked Jesus, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the End of the Age? (Matthew 24:3).  Giving us the timing of their beginning  doesn't fully answer the question.  We have to know the time of their end as well.  The Lord was clear that the sign of the 2nd Coming would appear after the end of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:30).  Then He said “This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened” (Matthew 24:34).

There are three possible views of the phrase  “this generation”.  Some believe it refers to the generation alive when Jesus spoke.  Their contention is that the Olivet Discourse prophecies were all fulfilled by 70 AD.  I can not find any way to make this view conform to a literal interpretation of Scripture.  At best it's only a partial fulfillment, which means it confirms the fact that there will be a complete fulfillment in the End Times.   Others use a secondary meaning for the Greek word translated generation and say it refers to the Jewish race.  To them the verse says the Jewish people will not disappear from the Earth until all the End Times prophecies are fulfilled.  While linguistically possible this interpretation isn't really a legitimate sign.  It's not the existence of the Jewish race that's important, it's the existence of the nation Israel.  Without Israel, End Times prophecies simply can not be fulfilled.  That leaves the third alternative, that Jesus was speaking of the generation alive at the End of the Age.   But even this is not a pertinent sign unless by the phrase “all these things” Jesus was speaking of everything that followed the re-birth of the nation.

Think about this for a moment.  When Jesus said “This generation will certainly not pass away”  he was referring to the life time of one generation of people, saying in effect that all the End Times signs would be fulfilled within the lifetime of the people being born when they began.  According to Psalm 90:10 and Isaiah 23:15 this means a 70 year period of time.  From a timing standpoint the signs Jesus listed in Matthew 24 can be split into two groups, neither of which fit that criteria.  There are the general signs of Matthew 24:4-14 that are either characteristic of the entire age or of indeterminate duration (like birth pangs).  And there are the specific signs of Matthew 24:15-31 that all happen with in 3.5 years. Why would He say all these things would happen within a lifetime when Daniel was already on record giving their duration as 3.5 years (Daniel 12:7)?  It doesn't make sense.

There's only one End Times sign that meets the criteria and that's the one that began the End Times, the re-birth of the Nation.  (The reunification of Jerusalem in 1967 can't be considered for 2 reasons.  First, according to Zechariah 14:2 it will be divided again, but more importantly the Lord's prophecy about Jerusalem being trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24) won't fully come to pass until the 2nd Coming.)

Israel officially became a nation again in 1948.  If that event began a 70 year countdown to the 2nd Coming and the End of the Age, then the increasing number of predictions in the secular world of coming social and economic upheaval, electromagnetic storms and other natural disasters, combined with wars in various places should not come as any surprise to us.  You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. (06-19-10)
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« Reply #166 on: June 29, 2010, 05:22:25 AM »

Psalm 19:1-6
By Jack Kelley


The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.

In Romans 1:18-20, Paul gives us the simple test to prove there's a Creator. Look at the creation. It couldn't have come to be in any other way. Even some of the staunchest advocates of evolution agree that something had to jump start the process. The so-called Big Bang wasn't enough. There had to be an external accelerator, “tweaking” things at just the right moment. So there's an almost frantic effort to find some natural cause that helped things along so they don't have to admit that, “it was God Who made us and not we ourselves.”

But David had something even more specific in mind in Psalm 19. Looking at the heavens may convince you that there's a God but it won't necessarily lead you to Jesus. Not unless you know the Hebrew names of the 12 constellations of the Zodiac, that is. You see, David knew that from the earliest times God had written His Gospel in the stars. According to Hebrew tradition, Adam, Seth, and Enoch first named these 12 constellations for just this purpose. We know them today by their Babylonian names, a perversion begun just after the Great Flood that has survived to this day as astrology. It's likely that the Tower of Babel was an observatory devoted to the study of astrology. It was a capital offense to consult the stars in Biblical Israel, but today no self respecting newspaper would be without a daily column devoted to this blasphemy from the past.

Psalm 19 describes one of the earliest manifestations of God's Grace and that's why Satan worked so hard to pervert it. In order for the ancients to avoid losing hope altogether during those endless generations when the promised Redeemer didn't come, and lacking the written Scriptures we're blessed with, God literally wrote His gospel across the sky. That way every young boy could learn the Plan of Redemption as his earthly father taught him the names of the stars during those long nights in open country watching their flocks.

You see, even though the Redeemer was close to 4000 years away, they only had to believe He was coming to die for their sins in order to be saved. (Just like we only have to believe He came to die for ours.) And soon this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14) This time he'll use the miracle of satellite communications. But either way, it's written in the stars.
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« Reply #167 on: August 02, 2010, 11:46:48 PM »

A Tale Of Two Brides - Part 1 of 2
7-24-2010
Last Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley


Whenever I get several questions on the same subject within a few days, I assume someone is trying to give me a topic for the feature article. This is especially true if it’s unrelated to anything I’ve recently written about, as was the case this week.

The questions this time concerned a view taught by some that Israel is the bride of God and the Church is the bride of Christ. In the Bible, God often describes our relationship with Him in terms of a marriage. He does this for our edification, to help us understand Him better. For example, when Paul said he wanted to present us to the Lord as a pure virgin (2 Cor. 11:2), he meant that just as a virgin bride has never been defiled by any sexual relationships before being joined to her husband in marriage, he didn’t want us to be defiled by any false doctrine or idolatry before being presented to the Lord at the rapture.

As for Israel, one of the most intimate portrayals of the way God felt toward His people can be found in Ezekiel 16.

The Bride Of God

‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says to Jerusalem: Your ancestry and birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised. (Ezekiel 16:3-5)

When God called Abraham, He was creating the Israelites out of the idol worshiping Gentile world. Right from the beginning the world seemed to be at odds with them.

” ‘Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, “Live!” I made you grow like a plant of the field. You grew up and developed and became the most beautiful of jewels. Your breasts were formed and your hair grew, you who were naked and bare.

” ‘Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign LORD, and you became mine. (Ezekiel 16:6-8 )

This is reminiscent of the night Ruth came to the threshing floor and asked Boaz to spread the corner of his garment over her (Ruth 3:9). It’s a sign of promise and protection. You could say this was the point at which Israel became the bride of God.

” ‘I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you. I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put leather sandals on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was fine flour, honey and olive oil. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen. And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD. (Ezekiel 16:9-14)

God treated Israel like a king treats his queen, lavishing her with blessings the likes of which the world had never seen. But as the rest of the chapter shows, Israel became unfaithful and used these blessings to court the surrounding nations with their pagan gods, showering the gifts God had given her upon them to win their favor. Finally He had enough.

” ‘You adulterous wife!” He shouted. “You prefer strangers to your own husband! Every prostitute receives a fee, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favors. So in your prostitution you are the opposite of others; no one runs after you for your favors. You are the very opposite, for you give payment and none is given to you.” (Ezekiel 16:32-34)

In His anger God gave Israel over to the nations to be stripped and cut to pieces, but promised that after they were done with her, “Then my wrath against you will subside and my jealous anger will turn away from you; I will be calm and no longer angry. Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you. So I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 16:42, 60, 62)

And so Israel went from being an innocent bride to becoming an adulterous wife. About 150 years before Ezekiel wrote this, the prophet Hosea had been raised up to act this story out in his own life, a live action parable of God’s relationship with Israel. At God’s direction he married a prostitute, and when she left him and returned to her former profession, Hosea provided her lovers with gifts. When she was no longer desirable and was sent to the slave auction, Hosea bought her back and took her home. It’s the story of Israel’s rebellion and redemption.

Shortly before the 2nd Coming, Israel will discover that one like Hosea has purchased her out of slavery with His own blood, the price of redemption. (Hosea and Yeshua, the Lord’s name in Hebrew, are both derived from yasha, which means to save.) And so, the adulterous wife will yet be reconciled to her Husband, and He’ll renew His vows with her. The Old Covenant will be replaced by the Everlasting Covenant (Jer. 31:31-32). Isaiah described it for us.
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« Reply #168 on: August 02, 2010, 11:47:54 PM »

A Tale Of Two Brides - Part 2 of 2
7-24-2010
Last Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley


In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. (Isaiah 4:2-6)

The word for branch is tsemach, and refers to the Messiah, who made the reconciliation possible. With the curse gone the land will flourish like never before. After the end times judgments that follow the 2nd Coming, only believers will remain on Earth, and everyone left in Jerusalem will be holy. The pillar of cloud by day and fire by night remind us of when the Lord sheltered the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21). The Hebrew word for the canopy is chuppah, the wedding canopy, and the one for shelter is sukkah, the booth each Israelite builds on the feast of Tabernacles to commemorate the time the Lord spent with them in the wilderness. The entire creation will rejoice at this long overdue reconciliation.

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. (Isaiah 35:1-2) You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.(Isaiah 55:12)

The Bride Of Christ

During the time of Israel’s rebellion, the Lord turned to the Gentiles once again to take a people from among them for Himself (Acts 15:13) called the Church. He loves the Church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word to present her to Himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Ephes. 5:25-28 )

Right from the beginning the Lord determined to do everything necessary so that the Church’s exalted position could never be lost. Before the Church was ever born, the Lord compiled a list of every one of our sins and carried it to the cross with Him where He forgave all of them in advance (Colossians 2:13-14). This allowed Him to always look upon us as if we’ve never sinned at all (2 Cor. 5:17), as if we’re just as righteous as He is (2 Cor. 5:21) having been made perfect forever by His once-for-all-time sacrifice (Hebrews 10:12-14). God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even while we were still dead in our transgressions and has already seated us with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephes. 2:4-6).

Having prepared the way, the Lord went to His Father’s house to make a home for us, promising to return and take us there to be where He is (John 14:2-3). On a day no one could have predicted in advance He’ll meet us in the clouds and in a flash we’ll be gone, our old sin infested bodies replaced with new immortal ones, specially designed for eternal life with Him. The place He’s preparing for us will be enormous and made entirely of gold and precious gems, its radiance such that it will light the world (Rev. 21:24). The Kings of the Earth will bring their splendor into it and we will take our place in the Royal household of God, the place He’s seen us in since before the foundations of Earth were laid.

What’s It All About?

Of course all this marriage terminology is metaphorical. God doesn’t marry humans in the sense that we think of marriage. And how could God marry Israel and Jesus marry the Church when God and Jesus are one and the same? Jesus is what God looks like when he wants to take on a physical appearance. (Hebrews 1:3)

I believe the sense in which we’ll be married comes from the closeness we’ll feel, the intimacy that can only by achieved through a long term committed relationship. It’s really how two become one. Our hearts are knit together. In our present fallen state this is difficult to achieve even in marriage. Untold numbers of husbands and wives can speak of the loneliness they feel because instead of growing closer they’ve drifted apart.

New believers often experience a closeness with the Lord they’ve never felt with another human, and those who no longer conform to the pattern of this world but allow themselves to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2) can retain much of that closeness. Yet even then we come to understand how our sin nature prevents us from becoming as close to the Lord as we’d like to be.

We can only imagine how it will feel when that barrier to intimacy is finally removed. During the entire beating and crucifixion ordeal the only suffering that was too great for the Lord to bear in silence was when He took our sins upon Himself and the Father had to turn away, unable to look upon Him (Habakkuk 1:13). We’ve never had His kind of intimacy with the Father, but He had never been deprived of it and when He was it caused Him more pain than anything else they (we) did to Him. Paul said when the barrier comes down we’ll know as we’re known (1 Cor. 13:12), and John promised that when the Lord appears we’ll be like Him because we’ll see Him as He is (1 John 3:2). We’ll finally have the kind of intimacy with Him we’ve always craved.

The comparison of the adulterous wife to the virgin bride is meant to symbolize the difference between Law and Grace. The former shows what we can make of our selves, an adulterous wife, and the latter shows what God can make of us, a virgin bride. Speaking of this in Ephesians 5:32 Paul said it’s a profound mystery, and believe me that was not an understatement.

The truth is that the Church has been no better behaved than Israel. Before the first Century had ended the Lord was complaining of neglect.

“Yet I hold this against you, you have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen. Repent and do the things you did at first.” (Rev. 2:4-5)

And from the 4th Century until the 16th the Church was worse than dead, it was a force for evil in the world. There have been several major revivals since then, yet today only a small percentage of born again believers holds to a Biblical world view.  Most cannot be distinguished from the unbelieving world. Even so, because of God’s grace, Jesus continues to see us as His radiant bride, holy and blameless.

At the End of the Age the Lord will pour out His Spirit of Grace on the people of Israel like He has on the Church (Zechariah 12:10). As they realize that Jesus also died for their sins, they too will experience the immense benefits of His Grace. The blood guilt they’ve borne since the crucifixion (Matt. 27:25) will be finally pardoned (Joel 3:21) and they’ll truly be one with the Lord.

Both Israel and the Church will have amazing, not-to-be-believed relationships with the Lord in the age to come. They will be of a different nature and in a different location, at least for the first 1000 years, but neither group will envy the other. The adulterous wife will be reconciled with her husband, her sins forgiven and forgotten, just like ours. The bride will be among those rejoicing, and they’ll both be looking with heartfelt gratitude to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). 07-24-10
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« Reply #169 on: August 02, 2010, 11:50:06 PM »

Defending The Pre-Trib Rapture (Again) 1 of 3
8-19-2006
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley


Some body asked me a great question the other day. “Does Scripture actually promise a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, or is it just an opinion passed along from teacher to student?” Then he challenged me to cite even one Bible verse that would lead a person to believe the Pre-Trib position if they hadn’t already heard about it from some Bible teacher. He said that in all his studies he’s not been able to find one. Let’s see if he’s right.
First, Some General Points

The Rapture is not another name for the Second Coming. As 1 Thes. 4:15-17 and John 14:1-3 explain, the Rapture is an unscheduled secret event where Jesus comes part way to Earth to meet His Church in the air and take us to be with Him where He now is. I say unscheduled and secret because its specific timing will remain unknown until it actually happens. On the other hand, The Second Coming is a scheduled public event where Jesus comes all the way to Earth with His Church to establish a Kingdom here. I say scheduled and public because the general time of His coming will be known on Earth over 3 1/2 years in advance, and public because everyone on Earth will be able to witness His arrival. Matt. 24:29-30 says it will happen shortly after the Great Tribulation has ended and all the nations will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds in the sky. Membership in the Church and therefore participation in the Rapture is contingent upon having personally accepted the Lord’s death as payment in full for your sins. While His death actually purchased full pardons for everyone, we each have to personally ask to have ours activated. Everyone who asks for salvation receives an unconditional, irrevocable “Yes!” (Matt. 7:7-8, John 3:16, Ephes. 1:13-14) For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. (2 Corinth. 1:20)

It’s Greek To Me

And finally, although cynics can truthfully say that the word Rapture doesn’t appear in any passage of Scripture, the statement is not correct in its intent. Rapture is a word of Latin origin, not Hebrew or Greek, the languages of the Bible. (One of the earliest translations of the Bible was into Latin, and the word rapture comes from there.) Its Greek equivalent is harpazo, which is found in the Greek text of 1 Thes. 4:17. When they’re translated into English, both words mean “to be caught up, or snatched away.” Harpazo, the word Paul actually used, comes from roots that mean, “to raise from the ground” and” take for oneself” and hints that in doing so the Lord is eagerly claiming us for Himself. So while the Latin word doesn’t appear in our Bibles, the event it describes certainly does. There’s a similar situation with the word Lucifer, also of Latin origin. It doesn’t appear in any of the original texts either, but no one would be naive enough to deny the existence of Satan on such a flimsy basis. With that introduction, let’s go first to the best known of the Rapture passages.

According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thes. 4:15-17)

Most of us are very familiar with these verses. But notice they don’t tell you when the rapture happens, only that it does. Notice also that the Lord doesn’t come all the way to Earth. We meet Him in the clouds and then according to John 14:1-3 go back with Him to where He came from. If this was the 2nd coming, He would be coming here to be where we are, not coming to take us there to be where He is. Paul described the same event in 1 Cor 15:51-52. In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye the dead in Christ will rise and the living will be transformed. There he said that he was disclosing a secret, but the resurrection of the dead was not a secret. It can be found through out the Old Testament. The secret was that some would not die, but be taken alive into the Lord’s presence following an instantaneous transformation. The rapture happens fast. In one instant we’re walking on Earth and in the very next, we’re in the Kingdom. Don’t try to use the trumpet reference in verse 52 to pin the timing down. There are several “Last Trumpets” in the Bible and Jewish tradition. This verse just means it’s the last trumpet we’ll hear before we’re changed. Since both the Corinthian passage and the one from Thessalonians describe the same things, it’s safe to assume that this trumpet is the same one mentioned in 1 Thes. 4:16 and is not pointing us toward any other event. So these two references both say that one generation of humans won’t die but will be suddenly changed from our earthly form to our heavenly one. And since both Matt. 24:31 (they’ll gather His elect from one end of the heavens to the other) and Rev. 17:14 (with Him will be His called, chosen, and faithful followers) say that we’ll be with the Lord when He returns, this has to happen sometime before the 2nd Coming. And it can’t be just the resurrected believers coming back with Him because the Rapture passages above say that we’ll be changed at the same time as the dead are raised.

So When Does This Happen?

In the New Testament, the clearest indication we get in the timing department is found in 1 Thes. 1:9-10. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. The Greek word translated “from” in this passage is “apo.” Taken literally, it means we’re to be rescued from the time, the place, or any relation to God’s wrath. It denotes both departure and separation. This is supported by 1 Thes. 5:9 that declares, “God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Some folks are fond of pointing out that you can’t use God’s wrath interchangeably with the Great Tribulation. They’re not the same, they say. And they’re right, the two terms are not synonymous. The Great Tribulation is 3 1/2 years long and begins in Rev. 11-13. God’s wrath is much longer, beginning in Rev. 6, as verse 17 explains. Post-trib. and pre-wrath rapture advocates try to deny this but the Scripture is clear. The time of God’s wrath begins with the Seal Judgments. The Bowl Judgments that come later don’t begin the time of His wrath, they conclude it. (Rev. 15:1) Being rescued from the time, the place and any relation to God’s Wrath means the Church has to disappear before Rev. 6, and that’s why we believe the Rapture takes place in Rev. 4 and the Church is the group of believers in view in heaven in Rev.5.
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« Reply #170 on: August 02, 2010, 11:52:44 PM »

Defending The Pre-Trib Rapture (Again) 2 of 3
8-19-2006
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley


You Be The Judge

Now let’s apply my questioner’s litmus test. Could a believer, sitting alone on the proverbial desert isle with nothing but a Bible and with no pre-conceived ideas, conclude that there’s a pre-trib Rapture just from reading about it, or could he only be led into this position by first hearing someone teach him about it? Well, From Isaiah 13:9-13 and Amos 5:18-20, he would have learned that God is going to judge the Earth for it’s sins in a terrible time called the Day of the Lord when He’ll pour out His wrath on mankind. Reading Matt. 24:21-22 would have told him that this time of judgment would be so bad that if the Lord didn’t put a stop to it no one would survive. But the Lord will put a stop to it by returning in power and glory. Since he would know that the Lord hasn’t returned yet, he would know that God’s wrath is still in the future. When he got to 1 Thes. 1:9-10 he would see a pretty clear statement. Jesus rescues us from the coming wrath. In the “who, what, where, when, and why” methodology of the investigative reporter he would have the Who, (Jesus) the what, (rescues us) and the when (the time of the coming wrath). Reading on he would come to 1 Thes. 4:15:17 and get the where (from Earth to the clouds) and in 1 Thes. 5:9 the why (because we’re not appointed to wrath). From there he would logically conclude that since we’ll be rescued around the time of the coming wrath and since we’re not appointed to wrath, our rescue has to precede it. He could also answer another of the investigative reporter’s questions in 1 Thes. 4:15:17 and that’s how it would happen. The Lord himself will come down from Heaven into our atmosphere and suddenly snatch us away from Earth to join Him there. In chapter 5 he would learn that he would never know the exact timing of this event but only that it would precede the coming wrath. Of course there are many more passages I could reference but I think I’ve made my point and answered the question. In fact I’ll go one step further. I believe that since our hypothetical reader has no one to persuade him differently, he would assume that what he’s reading is to be taken literally. And if that’s the case, then the pre-trib position is the only conclusion he could logically come to, because every other position requires a moderate to massive re-interpretation of Scripture. I contend that left alone to work this out with only the Holy Spirit as his guide he would expect to be raptured before the wrath of God begins in Rev. 6. You see, God didn’t write the Bible to confuse us, but to inform us. It’s mankind that’s gotten everything all mixed up. If you give the Holy Spirit a clear minded student, uncontaminated by man’s opinions and prejudices, He would bring that person to the understanding of the rapture that’s most consistent with a literal interpretation of Scripture. And that requires a pre-trib rapture.

But Wait, There’s More

While we’re on the topic, there’s another issue that points to a pre-trib Rapture and it comes to us in the form of a clue in 1 Thes. 4:15, right at the beginning of the Rapture passage. Verse 15 opens with the phrase “According to the Lord’s own word.” There simply is no place in the New Testament where Jesus speaks of some being resurrected and some others being transformed to meet the Lord in the air. He never said anything like that, nor does he even imply such a thing. Those who believe they see it in Matt. 24:40-41 first have to ignore the fact that Jesus was explaining events on Earth on the actual day of His return, which would place the Rapture after the 2nd Coming, something no one believes. They also have to ignore the fact that in Matt. 24:40-41 both believers and non-believers are sent somewhere, believers being received unto Him, while non-believers are sent away. You have to research the Greek words translated “taken” (paralambano) and “left” (alphiemi) to realize this, but when you do you’ll see that the English is misleading. No Rapture view includes the disposition of non-believers, nor does it even mention them. By the way, this is a great example of why the literal, historical, grammatical interpretation is so important. Our Bible was mostly written in Hebrew and Greek. Every translation relies on the movement of words from one language to another. This process doesn’t always produce a perfect fit, and so learned men have to make allowances for this and exercise their own judgment from time to time. But men are not perfect. We all have our biases. When it’s an important issue where you want an exact meaning it’s always a good idea to double-check their work. Fortunately we have an incredible tool in the Strong’s Concordance. It contains every Hebrew and Greek word in the Bible with their primary and secondary meanings, how often each word appears in the Bible and what meanings are used in each appearance. You can compare these with the meaning the translators used and see if you agree with their treatment of the passage. By doing this with Matt. 24:40-41, you’ll find that the primary meaning of paralambano is to receive and the primary meaning of alphiemi is to send away. People with a post-trib disposition read 1 Thes. 4:15, and then turned to Matt. 24:40-41 where they saw one group being “taken” and another group being “left” after the end of the Great Tribulation. Assuming that these were the Lord’s own words Paul was referring to, they stopped there. They had seen what they wanted to see. In actuality Matt. 24:40-41 is most likely a preview of the Sheep and Goat judgment of Tribulation survivors. The word taken (received) refers to believers going live into the Kingdom, and the word left (sent away) applies to non-believers who are sent to the place prepared for the Devil and his angels. (Matt 25:31-46) Of course none of this pertains to our desert island reader above. The verses I used there are clear enough that they don’t require any research into the original language. So he wouldn’t need a Strong’s Concordance, just his Bible.
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« Reply #171 on: August 02, 2010, 11:54:00 PM »

Defending The Pre-Trib Rapture (Again) 3 of 3
8-19-2006
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley


What’s Your Point?

So if Jesus never taught about the Rapture, to which of the “Lord’s own words” was Paul referring? Some dismiss the phrase, saying that Paul was speaking of a conversation he had with the Lord that doesn’t appear in Scripture. But I think we deserve a better answer than that. Remember, 1st Thessalonians was probably Paul’s first written communication, undertaken in 51AD. Depending on whose opinion you accept, Matthew’s Gospel was either just being written or was still nearly 10 years away. Those who give it an early date say it was written to the Jews in Jerusalem and may even have been written in Hebrew. In any case neither it nor any other Gospel was yet in wide distribution. (Mark’s Gospel, the other candidate for earliest one written, doesn’t contain an equivalent to Matt 24:40-41.) So if Paul was referring to Scripture, as I believe he was, it had to be the Old Testament. Yes, like everything else in God’s plan, you’ll find hints of the Rapture even in the Old Testament. Look at this passage from Isaiah 26:19-21. But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. Notice how the pronouns change from second person when God speaks of His people to third person when He speaks of the people of the Earth. It means the two groups are different. Those called “my people” are told to “enter your rooms” (the rooms of John 14:1-3?) because the others, called “the people of Earth” are going to be punished for their sins in a period of time called His Wrath. Sound familiar? (Note: the Hebrew word translated “go” in the phrase “Go my people” is translated “come” in some translations, recalling the command to John in Revelation 4, “Come up here!” But the word has another primary meaning and it’s my favorite. It means vanish. “Vanish, my people!” Yes we will.) Not by any stretch of the imagination has this passage been literally fulfilled. It’s an End Times prophecy that promises a resurrection of the dead and hiding of God’s people while God’s Wrath is unleashed on the people of Earth for their sins. And it was written 2750 years ago. The hiding of the Jews in the desert on Earth at the beginning of the Great Tribulation (Rev. 12:14) cannot be considered as a fulfillment of this passage because no resurrection accompanies it. (The resurrection of Old Testament believers takes place at the end of the Great Tribulation. (Daniel 12:2) Of course, no one knows for sure that this is the passage Paul referred to, but as evidence of its influence on him, let’s compare it with what Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4-5. Isaiah : But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. Paul: The dead in Christ will rise first . Isaiah : Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. Paul: After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Isaiah : See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. Paul: While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. The wording is a little different, but it sure looks to me like they’re describing the same event.

And Still More

There are other sound theological reasons why the Church will be raptured before the End Times judgments begin. One is that the Lord seems to keep Israel and the Church separate, never dealing with both at the same time (Acts 15: 13-18 ) If the primary purpose of Daniel’s 70th week is to finish fulfilling the six promises to Israel in Daniel 9:24, then the Church has to disappear. Another is that the Church was purified at the cross at which time all the punishment due us was born by the Lord Himself. From that time forward the Church is considered by God to be as righteous as He is (2 Cor 5:17 & 21) The idea that the Church needs to undergo some discipline to become worthy to dwell with God is unscriptural and denies the Lord’s completed work on the cross. And third, the stated purpose of the Great Tribulation is twofold, to purify Israel and completely destroy the unbelieving nations. (Jeremiah 30:1-11) The Church isn’t destined for either of these outcomes. There are also several subtle clues that on their own can’t be used to support the pre-trib position, but which underscore the validity of the clear passages I’ve just cited. Take for instance the fact that Enoch, who bears a great similarity to the Church, disappeared before the Great Flood, that the angels couldn’t destroy Sodom and Gomorrah until Lot and his family were clear, and that Daniel was missing from the story of the fiery furnace, a model of the Great Tribulation. When the Lord described His coming in Luke 17:26-29 He said that it would be both like the days of Noah (some will be preserved through the accompanying judgments) and the days of Lot (some will taken away before them). And what about the promise He made to the Church in Philadelphia that he would keep us out of the “hour” of trial coming on the whole world. (Rev. 3:10) Is that the same as the “hour” of Babylon’s destruction in Rev. 18? But being asked to cite verses that didn’t require any prior knowledge I picked two that are clearest to me, 1 Thes. 1:9-10 and Isaiah 26: 19-21. And so by the testimony of two witnesses, one in the Old Testament and one in the New, we see the physical separation of believers from non-believers preceding the time of Judgment. And by the testimony of two witnesses a thing shall be established. (Deut. 19:15) Of course some won’t be convinced until we show them a verse that says the rapture will precede the Great Tribulation in those exact words. Obviously, such a verse doesn’t exist. I guess we’ll just have to wait and explain it to them on the way up. 08-19-06
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« Reply #172 on: August 02, 2010, 11:55:30 PM »

The Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 - Part 1
By Jack Kelley



I first began studying Ezekiel 38 in the 1980’s and have watched with great interest as our changing world conforms more and more to Ezekiel’s words.  As the time of the end draws nearer the insights we gain from the changes around us give us a better understanding of Bible prophecy in general and Ezekiel 38 in particular.  In this update of our study we’ll apply these insights to Ezekiel’s 2600 year old prophecy.

What Time Is It?

First of all, let’s get some kind of time frame settled. Ezekiel’s prophecies are chronological.  Falling between the prophecies of Israel’s modern re-birth (Ezekiel 36-37) and the Millennium (Ezekiel 40-48 ),  the battle of Ezekiel 38-39 has to take place during a time of peace after 1948 but before the 2nd coming, and all agree it hasn’t happened yet. This has led some to see the passage as a description of Armageddon, but as we’ll see there are many prominent nations missing from this battle whereas Zechariah 14:2 prophecies that every nation will join the battle of Armageddon.  That being the case, the time frame narrows to sometime between 1948 and the beginning of the Great Tribulation, after which no place in the world will be at peace, especially Israel.

Ezekiel prophesied that the Lord would use this battle to turn Israel back to Him and to complete the return of Jews from all over the world to Israel, not leaving any behind (Ezekiel 39:28 ). This leads us to believe that the battle of Ezekiel 38-39 is the event that re-starts the clock on the 490-year period of time spoken of by Daniel, the famous 70 weeks of Daniel 9:24-27. 69 of those weeks (483 years) had come when the Messiah was crucified and the Temple destroyed, stopping the clock one week (seven years) short of fulfillment. I believe the dramatic victory the Lord wins over Israel’s enemies in Ezekiel’s battle will convince them to officially re-instate their Old Covenant relationship with Him to fulfill the remaining seven years of Daniel’s prophecy.  This will require two things to happen.  First they’ll need a Temple for worship. It’s this Temple that’s later desecrated by the anti-Christ, kicking off the Great Tribulation.

And second, the Church will have to disappear. Paul wrote that Israel had been hardened in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in (Romans 11:25). That means as long as the Church is around Israel won’t be able to recognize God’s involvement in their national life.  But the Battle of Ezekiel 38 will be such a miraculous victory that it will re-awaken Israel to God’s presence. This means the Dispensation of Grace will have come to an end and the Church will be gone by the time this battle comes to an end.

With all this in mind, let’s begin a careful study of Ezekiel 38-39, to prepare us for these events should they become reality soon.

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army-your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops-the many nations with you. (Ezek. 38:1-6)

In another study, I made the claim that Gog is a supernatural figure (perhaps Satan’s counterpart to the Archangel Michael) and the behind the scenes commander of this event, while Magog is listed in Genesis 10 as one of Noah’s grandsons, a son of Japeth. Over 130 historical references demonstrate that Magog is the father of today’s Russian people. (For a more detailed treatment on the modern names of all the nations mentioned in this passage, click here.)

The phrase “hooks in the jaw” comes from the equestrian world where a special bridle is used to make a rebellious horse obedient to its rider’s commands.  It symbolizes God forcing Russia to become involved in this battle to assure that His will is done. Persia is the ancient name for Iran, Cush and Put represent the North African nations, Gomer was Magog’s brother and settled along the Danube River in what would become Eastern Europe, and Togarmah, a son of Gomer, inhabited what’s now known as Turkey. The characteristic all these nations have in common today is their religion. They’re all Moslem.

“Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. 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. (Ezek. 38:7-9)

The fact that Israel is the target in this passage is self evident, but a controversy rages around the Heberew word betach translated “in safety” in verse 8. A secondary meaning, “carelessly” could mean that they’re not really safe but just think they are and so their guard is down.   To achieve either of the conditions this word implies would require a truly miraculous change in Israel’s current situation and for many years scholars were uncertain as to how this could ever happen.

But a little known prophecy in the Psalms might have the answer.  According to Psalm 83 all of Israel’s next door neighbors will unite in an effort to wipe Israel completely off the map.  But Israel will soundly defeat them and capture their lands as well. Enemies like Hezbollah, Lebanon, the Palestinians, Hamas, etc.  will cease to exist, and the lands they now occupy will once again belong to Israel.  (Many people don’t realize that even the land of Lebanon was originally given to Israel and will belong to Israel again in the Millennium.)

It’s also beginning to look like the Isaiah 17 prophecy of the destruction of Damascus could be fulfilled at the same time.  Israel has officially declared that they’ll hold Syria responsible for any attack by Hezbollah, and will retaliate accordingly.  High Israeli officials have recently said that the Syrian government will not survive such a retaliation and its infrastructure will be destroyed.  This is a direct threat against Damascus.

If the fulfillment of Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17 precede the Battle Ezekiel 38, it helps explain how Israel could be taken by surprise when the Moslem coalition attacks and why none of Israel’s next door neighbors are mentioned in Ezekiel’s line up.

Next time we’ll look at the other nations that are not involved in this battle and you’ll see why it can’t be referring to Armageddon.  We’ll also see how the Lord chooses to reveal Himself to the nations. See you then.
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« Reply #173 on: August 02, 2010, 11:57:02 PM »

The Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 … Part 2
By Jack Kelley



Conditions are quickly falling into place for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38-39.  Turkey has all but declared itself part of the Moslem coalition after years of being one of Israel’s most reliable allies.  As for Israel’s great protector the USA, our current leaders have withdrawn their support to a point where no one can say for sure how we would respond in case of an attack on Israel.  Jewish officials suspect our recent pledges of support are just empty words, meant only for public consumption.

If so, all that remains for Ezekiel 38 to happen is for Israel to become confident enough in their military prowess to believe no one would attack them.  The fulfillment of prophecies in Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17 could prompt such a careless state of mind, and some informed sources are predicting that these battles could take place as early as this summer. Time will tell.  But in the meantime, to freshen our prophetic perspective, we’ll continue our review of Ezekiel 38-39.

” ‘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 walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?” ‘ (Ezek. 38:10-13)

Israel is described here as a country at peace in the idiom of Ezekiel’s day, a land of unwalled villages.  In Biblical times villages only built protective walls if  they were concerned about being attacked.  Israel won’t be expecting war.  When this enemy coalition suddenly and unexpectedly attacks, other countries not involved will take notice. They won’t know what’s going on either.

Sheba and Dedan are first mentioned as grandsons of Cush in Genesis 10:7. Later, in Genesis 25:3, we read of grandsons of Abraham named Sheba and Dedan as well, born to Jokshan, a son of Abraham and his 2nd wife, Keturah. From the passage it’s not clear which pair of grandsons is being referenced, but commentaries none-the-less identify these two as representing the nations of the Arabian Peninsula, notably Saudi Arabia. According to archaeologists W. F. Albright and Wendell Phillips, Sheba was on the southwestern edge of the Arabian Peninsula across the Red Sea from present-day Ethiopia. Sheba is known in history as Saba in Southern Arabia, home to the Sabaeans of classical geography, who carried on the trade in spices with the other peoples of the ancient world. Dedan was probably the habitat of the Arabs in the northern part of the Arabian Desert, which is modern-day Saudi Arabia. The ancient capital of Saudi Arabia is still called Dedan on many maps today.

Tarshish was a son of Javan, who settled the area of Southern Greece. Some see his name as a reference to ancient Tartessus, a seaport in southern Spain, near Gibraltar. Others recall the sea going navies of the Phoenicians who sailed “the Ships of Tarshish” out of nearby Cadiz as far north as England for tin, a metal used in the making of bronze and other alloys, which they mined in Cornwall. Some believe that the name Britannia is actually derived from a Phoenician word meaning “source of tin.” If so, since the ships of Tarshish brought tin to the ancient world, this reference could be to Great Britain making the “lions” (KJV) or “villages”(NIV) of Tarshish Great Britain’s colonies, of which the US is the most prominent today. The fact that the Lion is a symbol of the British Empire lends support to this view.

This is the main reason I don’t believe this battle is the Armageddon of Revelation 16:16. There are too many significant countries that aren’t involved, when according to Zechariah 14:2 all the nations of the world will be gathered against Jerusalem for the final battle.

“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. (Ezek. 38:14-16)

Here the Lord makes His intent unmistakably clear. He’s orchestrating this event to reveal Himself to the world once again. The years and years of debate over God’s existence, begun with the German School of Higher Criticism in the 1800’s and continued in the modern rationalism of the 1950’s will be put to naught as God uses this battle to poke His head through the fabric of the sky and shout, “I’m still here!”

” ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel? At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD. In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign LORD . Every man’s sword will be against his brother. I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.’ (Ezek. 38:17-23)

When the Moslem coalition attacks Israel, God will say, “You’re the ones I had Ezekiel warn my people about so long ago.” With signs reminiscent of all the Heaven-fought wars of the past, the Lord is aroused in anger to execute judgment against the invaders of His land and enemies of His people. And as He has done before, He sews confusion in the hearts of Israel’s enemies so that they commence attacking themselves while He unleashes the classic weapons of divine retribution. Earthquakes, plagues, bloodshed, rain, hailstones, and burning sulfur; these are His signature signs. Neither Israel, nor the enemy coalition, nor those watching from afar will fail to interpret them correctly.

So ends chapter 38. Next time we’ll see why some think this battle goes nuclear and get another good reason why it’s not the last battle of the Age of Man. See you then.
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« Reply #174 on: August 02, 2010, 11:58:56 PM »

The Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 … Part 3a
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley


Part 3 of our study begins with the first verses of chapter 39.

“Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel. Then I will strike your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand. On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals. You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coastlands, and they will know that I am the LORD.

” ‘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. This is the day I have spoken of. (Ezek. 39:1-8 )

The King James has the more accurate rendering for the beginning of this passage. The phrase translated I will turn you around and drag you along in the NIV and others, literally reads I will turn you around and leave but the sixth part of you which means that 5/6ths of the Moslem armies will be destroyed. The Hebrew concept is roughly equivalent to the one behind the English word “decimate.” Although decimate originally described the punishment requiring that 1 in 10 soldiers in a mutinous Roman Legion be executed, figuratively it has come to mean that something is all but totally destroyed. Synonyms are “annihilate” or “wipe out.” So it is with the Hebrew. When the Lord brings this Moslem coalition into the mountains of Israel, He will also wipe them out.

And don’t be confused by the reference to bows and arrows. Ezekiel was just using terms he knew. The same Hebrew words could be translated launchers and missiles today.

Some interpret the idea of sending fire on Magog and those who live safely in the coast  lands as warning of a nuclear exchange. Magog refers to Russia of course, but the identity of the coast lands is less clear. The Hebrew word implies that they’re a distant land, and in Isaiah the phrase “beyond the sea” is used to help locate them, the sea being the Mediterranean. This reference could easily be pointing to Europe, and some even believe the US is in focus here. But  we’ll have to wait and see.

Also the Hebrew word translated in safety is the same one that’s used to describe Israel’s state of mind in Ezek. 38:8. Again it denotes a sense of carelessness, this time on Europe’s part, as if they don’t believe this kind of thing could happen to them and therefore aren’t prepared for what’s coming.

And once more the Lord explains His real purpose. He’s going to use this battle to announce to one and all that He’s Israel’s Protector and Champion. The nations of the world are being told that to get to Israel, they’ll have to go through Him.

” ‘Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up-the small and large shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and spears. For seven years they will use them for fuel. They will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut it from the forests, because they will use the weapons for fuel. And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them, declares the Sovereign LORD. (Ezek 39:9-10)

In Ezekiel’s day people burned wood for heat and so that’s the idiom he used to describe the situation. In fact, the passage indicates that all of Israel’s energy needs for 7 years will be met by converting the energy from the weapons the enemy leaves behind to peaceful use. I can’t imagine the enemy carrying in enough wood (or any other conventional fuel for that matter)  to supply Israel’s power and heating plants for 7 years, so a more modern application is in order. Many observers say this is a reference to nuclear power.  The old Soviet Union converted submarine reactors into power generating plants to provide electricity for whole communities so the notion isn’t that far fetched. And as you’ll see, the clean-up procedures for this battle are remarkably similar to today’s nuclear decontamination process. Why only 7 years then, when a nuclear reactor could theoretically supply energy needs for much longer? If, as I believe, this battle will introduce the 70th week of Daniel, 7 years worth of energy is all they’ll need. After that, the Lord will supply their needs. (Rev. 22:5)

” ‘On that day I will give Gog a burial place in Israel, in the valley of those who travel east toward the Sea. It will block the way of travelers, because Gog and all his hordes will be buried there. So it will be called the Valley of Hamon Gog.
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« Reply #175 on: August 03, 2010, 12:00:09 AM »

The Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 … Part 3b
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley


” ‘For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. All the people of the land will bury them, and the day I am glorified will be a memorable day for them, declares the Sovereign LORD .

” ‘Men will be regularly employed to cleanse the land. Some will go throughout the land and, in addition to them, others will bury those that remain on the ground. At the end of the seven months they will begin their search. As they go through the land and one of them sees a human bone, he will set up a marker beside it until the gravediggers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog. (Also a town called Hamonah will be there.) And so they will cleanse the land’ (Ezek 39:11-16)

The King James version says  this valley is east of the Dead Sea.  If so it would be in Jordan, not Israel, and even in Ezekiel’s day would have been outside Israel’s borders. Yet verse 11 clearly locates the burial place in Israel. Therefore I believe it’s more likely the one traditionally called the Valley of the Shadow of Death (Psalm 23:4) that was part of Israel during Ezekiel’s time. If so, it’s at the bottom of the old Jericho Road that still connects Jerusalem with Jericho and is on the way to the Dead Sea. And remarkably it’s in territory occupied by the Palestinians today, another hint that due to the fulfillment of Psalm 83 they will have lost any claim to the West Bank before Ezekiel’s Battle begins.

It will require the combined efforts of all Israeli citizens for 7 months to bury the enemy dead. After that they’ll hire professionals, some to decontaminate the land and some to search for any bodies the people may have missed. They won’t touch any bones they find, but will set up markers and call the professionals to come take them away. This approach fits modern Nuclear Biological Chemical Warfare decontamination procedures to a tee. Did the Lord have Ezekiel write this to show us the type of weaponry being used? Between this and the energy reference above, it sure looks that way.

“Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Call out to every kind of bird and all the wild animals: ‘Assemble and come together from all around to the sacrifice I am preparing for you, the great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. There you will eat flesh and drink blood. You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth as if they were rams and lambs, goats and bulls-all of them fattened animals from Bashan. At the sacrifice I am preparing for you, you will eat fat till you are glutted and drink blood till you are drunk. At my table you will eat your fill of horses and riders, mighty men and soldiers of every kind,’ declares the Sovereign LORD. (Ezek. 39:17-20)

The carrion birds and scavengers will have a field day due to the carnage left behind on the battlefield. Earlier the enemy force was described as being a great horde, like a cloud covering the land. Now that it’s been decimated there are dead bodies everywhere. This is not unique in Israel’s history. Josephus wrote that after the Battle of the Galilee in 68 AD there were so many dead bodies floating in the Sea that you couldn’t see the water.

“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. From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God. And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them.

“Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will now bring Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD.” (Ezek 39:21-29)

Following this victory the Lord will complete the return of His people Israel to their land, begun in the early 1900’s and made official in 1948. Though He caused them to be scattered all over the world, He’ll now bring them back, not leaving any behind. Since about 55% of the world’s Jewish people currently live outside of Israel this will be some homecoming. But having witnessed His defeat of their enemies, Jews from all over the world will flock to Israel and to Him, yearning for a reinstatement of their Old Covenant relationship. And after waiting for nearly 2000 years for them to return, He’s not going to refuse them now.

Because of a peace treaty enforced on their behalf by a coming world leader, they’ll soon build a Temple, Old Covenant worship being impossible without one. If they follow the instructions from Ezekiel 40-48 as I believe, they’ll build the Temple in Shiloh, about 20 miles north of Jerusalem. This is the Temple that will be made desolate by the anti-Christ and later cleansed at the beginning of the Millennium, just as the second Temple was first made desolate and then cleansed in the time of the Maccabees. (Read The Coming Temple for all the details.)

And so this battle will permit the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week, the last 7 years of human history before the Millennium. Having given this prophecy to Israel, Ezekiel doesn’t get into any detail on its aftermath, especially as is relates to the world’s subsequent reactions. But for we who are the Church today, the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 carries more significance in what Ezekiel didn’t say than in what he did. And that’s the topic of our concluding episode, next time. See you then.
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« Reply #176 on: August 03, 2010, 12:01:43 AM »

The Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 … Part 4, Conclusion
5-15-2010
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley


From our studies you can see that for the past 20 years or more the battle of Ezekiel 38-39 has been on hold just on the verge of fulfillment.  There have always been the same few preceding conditions left to be met.  For the most part they’ve been Turkey switching sides, the US being taken out of the picture, and Israel living in an assumed state of peace with its neighbors.

Within the past year or so we’ve seen Turkey do a major about face, aligning itself with the Moslem world and taking an ever more public stand against Israel.  We know this is due to Turkish President Erdogan’s vision of leading the Moslem world by restoring the Ottoman Empire to its former glory.

Now there’s the way the US has gone all wishy-washy where Israel is concerned, saying the absence of peace in the Middle East is costing both blood and treasure and is against the national interest. This is a reference to the Obama administration’s view that if we could achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would quickly wind down, Iran would become more reasonable, and even al Qaeda would relax a little.   Therefore they’ve have pretty much said it’s up to Israel to either make the Peace Program happen by the end of the year or face an imposed settlement.

That leaves the biggest one, Israel becoming a peaceful and unsuspecting nation.  Could an imposed settlement somehow make that happen? Time will tell.

In the sixty years of Israel’s modern existence, there really hasn’t been a day when this condition has been met, although enemy sneak attacks in 1967 and especially 1973 did take the country by surprise as to timing. The simultaneous invasion by Egypt and Syria on Yom Kippur 1973 brought Israel perilously close to defeat. Historians report that due to “a rare moment of flabbiness in Israeli intelligence and in the government, Israel did not expect any attacks from its neighbors just at this point in time.” (Both the Jewish Yom Kippur and Moslem Ramadan Holy Days forbid waging war during their observance, and in October 1973 as the attack began these two observances overlapped.)

It took a week for Israel’s forces to recover and go on the offense. Two weeks after that the war was over, cease-fire arrangements having been negotiated by the UN. In the ensuing agreements Egypt regained control of the Suez Canal and the Sinai Peninsula lost in 1967 and Syria got back a small portion of the Golan Heights, although had the UN not stepped in, Israeli forces would have soon entered both Cairo and Damascus.

Those Who Don’t Learn From History …

Not since then has there been such a relaxed state of preparedness by Israel and indeed it’s hard to see how one could happen in the future. In fact the Bible mentions only two possibilities for a time of peace in the End Times, and neither fits the bill. The first occurs at the outset of Daniel’s seventieth week when the anti-Christ makes his initial appearance. By means of peace he will deceive many, Daniel 8:25 (KJV) tells us.

The other time is the 1000 years of peace known as the Millennium or Kingdom Age. Let’s rule that one out right away. First of all it’s an unparalleled time of peace personally administered by the Prince of Peace. No enemy of Israel’s will dare attempt a sneak attack until right at the end when Satan is freed from his 1000 years of captivity to lead them.

And second, the end time prophecies in Ezekiel are sequential, first the latter days re-gathering of the Jews to Israel in chapters 36-37, then the battle of Ezekiel 38-39, then from chapter 40 on it’s their Kingdom Age, aka the Millennium. The Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 has to follow the modern re-gathering but precede the Millennium. It can’t happen at the Millennium’s end.

So let’s go back to the first possibility, the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week. Daniel 9:27 reveals that the anti-Christ will begin his reign by enforcing  a seven-year covenant with Israel that includes permission to build a Temple. (This seven year period is called Daniel’s 70th week.) But because of the controversy it would stir up, the Jewish leadership today doesn’t want a Temple and won’t want one till the Creator of the Universe dramatically reveals Himself to them. According to Ezekiel 39:22 He does so in this battle , and after that they’ll be clamoring for a Temple, regardless of the consequences. Old Covenant observance requires it. So it appears Ezekiel’s battle has to precede Daniel’s 70th week.

Also, the fact that the anti-Christ emerges as a peacemaker implies that some parts of the world will have recently been at war. Perhaps even a war involving a nuclear exchange, which will have left the world in shock, desperate for a plan that would prevent that ever happening again. Satan’s “man of peace” with his seven year covenant will have just the thing to put the world at ease and allow him to begin his meteoric rise to world dominance.

Have You Reached A Verdict?

As we see, circumstantial evidence weighs heavily in favor of the anti-Christ revealing himself on the heels of the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 to kick off Daniel’s 70th week. And so neither of the Bible’s identified possibilities for peace will take place in time for this battle. That means that some dramatic chain of events, similar to those that led to the “sudden” fall of the Soviet Union, will have to occur soon to place Israel in the vulnerable state necessary for Ezekiel’s prophecy to be fulfilled.  It’s still too early to  see if the US can really impose a peace treaty that will lull them into a false sense of security.  More likely, fulfilling the prophecies from Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17 will create the circumstances.
So What’s The Point?

Now why is all this so important to us? Well, we’ve already made a case for the anti-Christ to appear right after the battle of Ezekiel 38 and we know from the passage itself that the Lord uses it to reveal Himself to Israel and draw them back to Him.

We’ve also seen that for the final seven years of the dispensation of Law to be completed the Dispensation of Grace, which interrupted it, has to first come to an end.  That means the Church has to disappear before Daniel’s 70th Week can begin.  This is what Paul meant by saying Israel had been hardened in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in (Romans 11:25).  This same idea was first put forth by James at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15:14-18 ) when he said that before returning to rebuild David’s fallen tabernacle the Lord would first take from among the Gentiles a people for Himself.  Both passages speak of the Lord taking His Church away before turning His attention to Israel again.

So if the Church has to disappear before the Lord turns again to Israel, and if this is the outcome of the Battle of Ezekiel 38-39, you can see why it’s so important to us.  The Rapture has to precede Ezekiel’s battle.  You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. Updated 05-15-10.
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« Reply #177 on: August 03, 2010, 12:05:20 AM »

Who Are The Overcomers? 1 of 2
8-9-2008
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley


In this study, we’re going to deal with a new definition that’s coming into the Christian lexicon. The word being re-defined is overcomer and the new definition is that an overcomer is someone who lives a Christ-like life, as opposed to just talking about it. They have died to self and now live a life that’s holy and blameless. Some who embrace this definition claim that only those who meet its requirements will be the Bride of Christ while all other believers will spend the millennium in the “outer darkness” learning the sanctification that they failed to learn on Earth, so they’ll be ready for eternity when the 1000 years are over.

The fact that the Bible never uses the word in this context doesn’t seem to be a problem for advocates of this new definition. It’s like the word repent, which is never used in the Bible to describe a change in behavior, only a change in attitude. Because they’ve never been taught that, its intended meaning has never entered most peoples’ minds. The common understanding of overcomer is facing the same future.

But to set the record straight, let’s see just how the Bible does define an overcomer. The word overcome first appears in connection with believers in John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Even though this world isn’t a perfect place, we can have peace in our lives knowing that Jesus has overcome the world. No matter how bad life is for us here, in Christ we’re assured of a better one to come. Jesus is the overcomer, and He told us this to encourage us. (Imagine how you’d feel about this word of encouragement if you arrived in Heaven only to discover that you had to complete a 1000 year indoctrination program before you were deemed worthy for the Kingdom.)

Paul said that we should overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21) But while he admonished us over and over again to go beyond salvation and achieve victory over the sin nature in order to win the crowns available to us for doing so, he never once said that our participation in the kingdom depends on it. This is the only time he ever used the word relative to our behavior.

Of all the New Testament writers, John used the word most often, saying that those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God are overcomers.

I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one. (1 John 2:14)

Every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:3-4)

Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4-5)

We’ve overcome the evil one, the spirit of anti-Christ, and the world, and how did we do that? Through faith, by believing that Jesus is the Son of God. As is always the case, it’s our faith that makes us appear holy and blameless not our behavior, which could never qualify us.

In Rev. 2-3 the word is used in each of the seven letters to churches to describe those who resist or reject the religious sin for which the church is being criticized and/or remain true to the gospel.

Overcomers In Ephesus

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. (Rev. 2:4-5,7)

By the end of the first century the Church had already become so busy doing religious works that they had forgotten that the work was done and our primary purpose is to worship the Lord and give Him thanks. The relationship He gave His life to have with us was already becoming another religion. Those who changed their attitude and overcame the human tendency to earn our position with God, and rested in the fact that Jesus did it all would meet Him at the Tree of life in paradise. The overcomer was the one who rested in faith and worshiped God.

Overcomers In Smyrna

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death. (Rev. 2:10)

The ten days referred to here are the reign of 10 Caesars, which lasted for 250 years, through the third Century. During this time Christians were persecuted relentlessly. Many were called upon to give their lives for their faith. The Lord offered no escape from this except that which comes from death. But those who remained faithful in believing His promise of everlasting life, received it. The overcomer died in faith and received life.
Overcomers In Pergamum

Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it. (Rev. 2:14-17)
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« Reply #178 on: August 03, 2010, 12:07:12 AM »

Who Are The Overcomers? 2 of 2
8-9-2008
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley


In the 4th Century the church was married to the pagan Babylonian religion, and practices that were not only un-Biblical but detestable to the Lord became common. The Lord threatened to fight these practices with the sword of His Mouth, which is his Word. The overcomers were those who stayed true to the unadulterated Gospel and lived by faith in its promises. They received the Bread of Life, and a token that would commend them to the Father in the name of the Son.

Overcomers In Thyatira

Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): Only hold on to what you have until I come. To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations. (Rev. 2:20-26)

The illicit marriage of the Church to Babylon produced four children, all alive on Earth today. Thyatira represents the Catholic Church, the first child. It became wealthy by confiscating property through false accusation, like Jezebel had, and also instituted the sale of indulgences that authorized licentious practices for a fee. But to those who hold Jesus in their hearts and reject the traditions that would add to what He accomplished on the cross, Jesus promises salvation. They haven’t learned Satan’s secrets of Jesus plus Mary, Grace plus works, Scripture plus sacraments, and have overcome, living by faith alone.

Overcomers In Sardis

Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. (Rev. 3:2-5)

The Protestant Church, represented by Sardis, carried out the Lord’s threat to judge the Church’s practices by the Sword of His Mouth. The call of the reformation was “Sola fides (only through faith), sola gratia (Only by grace), solus Christus (only with Christ), and sola Scriptura (Only His Word).” For the first time, the Bible was available to all who could read it. Great seminaries were founded to teach pastors the Word of God. But into these seminaries the devil crept, and the authority of God’s word was challenged. It was all in the name of intellectualism so it was thought to be good, but soon the Gospel had been robbed of its power, the light of faith had gone out, the Spirit was quenched, and the people had been lulled to sleep.

Many still are asleep, but there are a few who remember the Gospel and cling to it. They’ve repented of the Documentary Hypothesis, Modern Rationalism, and all the rest. They’ve overcome what Walter Martin called the Cult of Liberalism and have retained the power of the Gospel. They’ve been washed in the Blood of the Lamb and been given clean clothes. Their names have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and He will never blot them out.

Overcomers In Philadelphia

I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. (Rev. 3:8,10-12)

“Hold on to what you have,” the Lord commands the Evangelical Church, “because I’m coming soon. And because you’ve waited patiently for me, I’ll keep you from the hour of trial that’s going to test the whole world.”

And what do we have to hold on to? We have His Word, His name, and His promise. He’s coming soon. There are 5 crowns mentioned in the New Testament, to which believers should aspire. But here the Lord mentioned only one. Which one? I think it’s the one described in 2 Tim. 4:8, the Crown of Righteousness, for those who’ve longed for His appearance. Who but the Bible believing, prophecy studying Evangelical Church can even qualify for this crown, and which one is more descriptive of the yearning in our hearts?

Overcomers In Laodicea

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne. (Rev. 3:15-16-20-21).

Here’s the fourth child, the End Times Apostate Church. Prosperous and in need of nothing. They like to call themselves followers of Christ, not just believers, and the focus is definitely on doing. Hardly anyone hears His knock on the door, which means He’s standing outside trying to get in. To those who overcome this mad rush to conquer a world beyond saving, in the name of a Jesus many of them don’t know, in the hope of accomplishing something He doesn’t want, to those who hear the knock and invite Him into their heart to kindle the fires of faith, He will give the right to sit with Him on his throne.

These seven letters give us seven examples to show that we overcome by faith alone. From the church in Ephesus we see that we overcome by worshiping the Lord and thanking Him for doing all the work of our salvation. From Smyrna we see that it’s by remaining faithful to the point of death that we overcome and receive life. The overcomers in Pergamum rejected the pagan rituals of Babylon that obscure and pervert the Gospel Story. Those in Thyatira refused to add to the simplicity of gospel, while in Sardis they refused to let its power be taken away. Overcomers in Philadelphia hold on to His Name, His Word and His Promise, and Laodicean overcomers are admonished to listen for His knock at the door, and open their hearts to him when they hear it.

While it’s God’s will that we be conformed to the image of Christ in our behavior, and that we go beyond salvation to achieve victory, it’s clear from Scripture that we overcome by clinging tenaciously to our child-like faith in the Lord’s completed work on the cross. The seven churches were just that, churches. Yet for the most part they introduced gospel obscuring, faith destroying doctrines that over the generations have kept untold millions off the path to eternal life. Only those who overcome by faith survive.

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (Rev. 21:6-7)

The Book of Revelation ends as it began, by telling us that eternal life is provided without cost to those who walk by faith in Him alone, believing that the work is done, that the Lord is the beginning and the end of their quest for eternity. These are the overcomers. Selah 08-09-08
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« Reply #179 on: August 03, 2010, 12:09:49 AM »

Judging Planet Earth - Part 1 of 2
7-31-2010
This Week’s Feature Article by Jack Kelley


The combination of the Rapture and the Battle of Ezekiel 38 will fill the world with anguish and uncertainty as Daniel’s 70th Week begins. Where did all those Christian people go? How did Israel so utterly destroy that massive invasion force all by itself? Who caused the nuclear exchanges in various places? How did all these things happen so suddenly?  Why didn’t somebody see this coming and do something to prevent it?

The Seal Judgments

In the midst of the chaos and confusion a man with an incredible ability to restore the world’s hope for the future will emerge, promising to bring peace. (Rev. 6:2) The frightened populace will listen and will quickly persuade themselves to follow his lead. He’ll agree to Israel’s demand for a Temple, not because He wants to help them honor God for securing their victory but because he has plans of his own for the Temple. (Daniel 9:27)

From their own Scriptures (Ezekiel 48:1-10) he’ll show Israel why their new Temple shouldn’t be built where the old ones had stood. Instead it should be located a few miles north, in ancient Shiloh, where the Tabernacle had been located. This will leave the Moslem facilities intact for a time on the current Temple mount. After the disappearance of the Church Islam will fast become the dominant religion of the world and they believe their third most holy place is on that mount. With this bold stroke he’ll bring a semblance of peace to the region, demonstrating that Jew and Moslem can live in peace as neighbors in a brave new world (Dan 8:25). The people of Earth will breathe a collective sigh of relief.

But all too soon wars will start to break out in various places (Rev. 6:3) because this leader’s ultimate goal is world domination and some nations will resist. He’ll convince people it’s only a necessary inconvenience and assure them that everything will soon be all right again. But the combination of wars, food shortages, and runaway inflation will begin taking their toll (Rev. 6:6). The deadly effects of this combination will be felt across one fourth of the Earth (Rev. 6:8 ).

Though it’s often called a religion of peace, Islam offers the world only two options, submission or death, as the martyrs among believers of other faiths will soon learn. For the multitude of new Christians who witnessed the disappearance of friends and family in the rapture and know from first hand experience the truth of the gospel, conversion to Islam will be impossible and the number of those who will die for their faith will mount rapidly and steadily. (Rev. 6:9) They’ll cry out to the Lord for vengeance but He’ll caution them to be patient for a little while longer because many more will die just as they have (Rev. 6:10-11).

A great earthquake that will be felt world wide will trigger volcanic action spewing millions of tons of ash into the air, blotting out the Sun and bringing the Blood Moon (Rev. 6:12-14). Some will blame the earthquake on a unique planetary alignment predicted by the Mayans long ago. Others will say it’s due to the return into the Solar System of a long lost planet. The upper atmosphere will literally burst into flame because of the simultaneous magnetic polar reversals on the Sun and Earth.

The world’s leaders will run for cover, some intuitively knowing that the Wrath of God they were warned about by the Christians who’ve all disappeared has already begun and they’ll be shown no quarter. (Rev. 6:16-17)

The Trumpet Judgments

As if to confirm the worst fears of these leaders, a storm of hail, fire, and blood will rain down upon the Earth burning up a third of it. A third of the trees and all the green grass will go up in smoke. (Rev. 8:7) A meteor-like object the size of a huge mountain will crash into the sea. The resulting contamination will turn a third of the world’s oceans to blood killing all the marine life in the affected areas. The tsunami this causes will capsize and destroy a third of the ships in the world. Over 50,000 commercial ships will disappear in a single day. (Rev. 8:8-9)

Then another star will fall to Earth and when it does a third of the fresh water will be contaminated. It will be toxic and foul tasting and many people will die from drinking it. (Rev. 8:10-11)

Both the day and the night will lose a third of their light due to the smoke and ash from the fires and volcanos. Through the smoke and haze a messenger will bring a warning from the Lord, “The worst is yet to come.” (Rev. 8:12-13)

A fallen angel will open the shaft of the Abyss and smoke will billow forth, further contaminating the already toxic air. Creatures resembling locusts will fly from the smoke and for 5 months will inflict scorpion like stings on the people. These stings will be so painful people will wish they could die, but there’ll be no escape (Rev. 9:1-11). The only people on Earth who will be immune from their venom will be the 144,000 evangelists the Lord will have commissioned from among 12 named tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:1-8 ).

Four angels who’ve been bound at the gateway to the East (the Euphrates) will be released to kill one third of the Earth’s remaining population with plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur. (Rev. 9:13-19) The East is far different from the West and because of Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Eastern religions the Far East will be the most difficult to bring under the Islamic one world banner. Since 40% of the world’s population lives there the number of casualties will be enormous.
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