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« Reply #180 on: August 03, 2010, 12:11:12 AM »

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


Between the Rapture, the martyrdom, the wars and the judgments well over 2 billion people will no longer be found among the living on planet Earth as Daniel’s 70th Week approaches the mid point. And yet the Bible gives no indication that the unbelievers who remain will see the error of their ways and change their minds. This is the hardest core of the unsaved, the ones who refused to believe the truth of the Lord and accepted the lie of the anti-Christ instead (2 Thes. 2:10). In their deluded state they’ll think they’re on the side of light not darkness, and right not wrong. They’ll see God as the invading enemy and Satan as their leader. Spiritually, everything will be upside down.

But at the blowing of the 7th Trumpet, the Lord’s reign will begin (Rev. 11:15). Having used every device at His command to persuade the people of Earth to change their minds and accept His offer of pardon, He will now take action to unseat the usurper from the throne that’s rightfully His and claim for Himself that which He’s purchased with His own blood, Planet Earth. Those who’ve sided with Satan will now face the worst time of judgment in the history of mankind. Were it not for a remnant of the Lord’s people among them, not a single soul would be left standing when this is over (Matt. 24:21-22).

The Bowl Judgments

The Bowl judgments make up the 3 1/2 year period of time we know as the Great Tribulation. The Seal and Trumpet cycles of judgments were partly for the purpose of demonstrating evidence of God’s existence to the undecided among the people of Earth. But that will have come to an end with the Bowl judgments. They’re strictly for the purpose of bringing judgment upon those who’ve rejected Him. In the process the Lord is going to completely destroy all the nations to which His people have been scattered (Jeremiah 30:11). Today there are nearly as many Jews in America as there are in Israel, so you know this country will not escape.

By now Satan will have been expelled from Heaven (Rev. 12:9), taken up residence in the body of the anti-Christ (Rev. 13:4) and unleashed his full fury on those who refuse to bow before him. Three angels will have delivered God’s final messages to mankind. The first one will offer one last chance to accept the Gospel, the second will announce the coming destruction of Babylon and all the city represents, and the third will warn mankind against taking the mark of the beast. (Rev. 14:6-11)

People who will have disregarded the warning against taking the mark will be treated to a dose of ugly and painful sores (Rev. 16:2) All the water on Earth will turn to blood, whether in the sea (Rev. 16:3) or in springs and rivers (Rev. 16:4). All sources of water will now be contaminated. The angel in charge of the waters reminds us that God is just in doing this because those He’s judging have shed the blood of God’s saints and prophets. Now He’s giving them blood to drink. (Rev. 16:5-7)

The Sun will go super nova at this point becoming so hot people will burst into flames just by going outside. Again they will curse God but refuse to repent. (Rev. 16:8-9)

Then the Sun will go totally dark turning day into night, and still the people of Earth will curse God but refuse to repent (Rev. 16:10-11).

The anti-Christ will gather the armies of the world to Armageddon in a final effort to repel the Earth’s “invaders”. From Heaven a loud voice will shout, “It is done!” and the full fury of God’s wrath will be loosed on Earth. Lightning, thunder, and the worst earthquake man has ever experienced will be followed by a torrent of 100 pound hail stones. (Rev. 16:17-21) The punishment for blasphemy is stoning, and the blaspheming people of Earth will suffer the most extreme form of this punishment for their behavior.

Then God will turn to Babylon, headquarters of the forces who’ve defied Him since the time after the flood. There are three components involved, governmental, commercial, and religious, and among them they have enslaved the people of Earth for several millennia.

First God will use the governmental component to destroy the religious one.

“The beast (anti-Christ) and the ten horns (ten kings who assist him) you saw will hate the prostitute (religious Babylon). They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled.” (Rev. 17:16-17)

Then He’ll turn to the commercial component. It will be so totally destroyed that Earth’s leaders will stand aghast scarcely believing what their own eyes are telling them.

They will weep and mourn and cry out, “Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!” (Rev. 18:16-17)

Finally the governmental component.

The beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. (Rev. 19:20-21)

For six thousand years God has worked tirelessly to reconcile Himself to man, even giving His own life in exchange for ours, and all of His efforts have ended in failure due to man’s unfaithfulness.  Covenant after covenant was instituted and broken. The only one that wasn’t is the one the Father made with His son to save us. But even then man, given the choice to participate as a beneficiary, refused. Soon, His patience exhausted, God will remove the remnant that chose the pardon He offers, and judge the rest. Can you blame Him? 07-31-10
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« Reply #181 on: August 09, 2010, 04:41:31 PM »

The Second Coming - Part 1 of 2
8-2010 - http://gracethrufaith.com/
This Week's Feature Article by Jack Kelley


At the time of the 6th Bowl judgment, Satan will send 3 demonic emissaries with miraculous powers to persuade all the Kings of the Earth to gather their armies at Har Megiddo, known to us as Armageddon (Revelation 16:14,) Mt. Megiddo overlooks the plains of Jezreel in central Israel, where the world's armies will come together for the battle of Jerusalem, less than 100 miles to the south. The anti-Christ will invade Israel and set up headquarters in Jerusalem (Daniel 11:41.45). According to Zechariah, the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. (Zechariah 14:2)

Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations as He fights in the day of battle (Zechariah 14:3). In Revelation 16:14 John called this the battle on the great day of God Almighty, and it will all be over in less than one day. But which day? Jesus said, "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." (Matthew 24:42) Let's see if we can piece the various scripture references together to make some sense of the chain of events.

Lights Off

He told us that "immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken." (Matthew 24:29)

480 years earlier He had Zechariah say, "On that day (the day of the battle) there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light." (Zechariah 14:6-7) That tells us this battle will follow on the heels of the Great Tribulation and occur during the time when there's no light on Earth, on a day only the Lord will know. I think this time of darkness will be a brief one, perhaps just a few days long. It only has to last long enough to make the Lord's statement that no one would know the day or hour of His return come true.

Picture the armies of Earth gathered in Israel knowing they're going up against the King of Kings in the final round of the battle for control of Planet Earth. Babylon the Great will have just been destroyed (Revelation 18 ) and you'd think they would have had enough. But obviously they've been emboldened by Satan's demonic emissaries. The miraculous signs these three display will convince them they have the necessary force to prevail. Then without warning the whole world will be plunged into absolute darkness with no Sun, no Moon, no stars to illuminate the endless expanse of the night sky. Everything will come to a standstill. Where is their enemy? Why doesn't He come out and fight?

Suddenly the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30) At that moment they'll realize their mistake, their confidence will evaporate, and they'll wish with all their heart they hadn't listened to Satan's emissaries. But it'll be too late for that.

John described the ensuing battle this way.

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. (Revelation 19:11-15)

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. (Revelation 19:19-21)

The Armies of Earth will quickly discover that their worst fears have become reality. They're no match for the Lord. The sword that comes from His mouth is obviously symbolic, standing for His Word. Having spoken the universe into existence, defeating this army with the word of His mouth will be no challenge. The armies of Heaven won't even get their robes dirty. But the Kings of the Earth will realize they've been misled by Satan once again, and this time it will prove to be a fatal mistake.

On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea (Dead Sea) and half to the western sea, (Mediterranean) in summer and in winter. (Zechariah 14:8 )

From Ezekiel 47:2 we learn that the water comes from the Temple, flowing south into a great ravine formed by an earthquake that will occur when the Lord's foot touches the Mt. of Olives (Zechariah 14:4). This ravine will run west to east from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea, forming the bed of the mighty River of Life (Ezekiel 47:1-12, Revelation 22:1-2). Splitting the Mt. Of Olives means it will go straight through the current Temple Mount, eliminating all traces of it. Since the water flows south it means the Temple built at the beginning of Daniel's 70th Week will have been located to the North of the current Mount. Last time we identified its location as Shiloh, 20 miles north of Jerusalem.
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« Reply #182 on: August 09, 2010, 04:42:59 PM »

The Second Coming - Part 2 of 2
8-2010 - http://gracethrufaith.com/
This Week's Feature Article by Jack Kelley


The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. (Zechariah 14:9)

This is a long awaited fulfillment of prophecy. Within a few short days, everyone on Earth will stand before King Jesus and agree that He is Lord of all the Earth. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11) Tragically, many will not have confessed Him as their Savior, and now it's too late. As they depart to begin an eternity of torment they'll have to admit that as Lord, He has the right to banish them. Even worse, they'll know that He died for their sins, but they refused the pardon His death purchased for them, and the time for claiming it expired with His Coming.

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. (Revelation 20:1-3)

Lights On

The anti-Christ and false prophet will have been cast into the Lake of Fire, and Satan will be bound. Finally peace will come to Earth. Zechariah said that in the evening of that day there will be light (Zechariah 14:7), but Jesus said the Sun would go dark to mark the end of the Great Tribulation. Where will the light come from?

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. (Revelation 21:2-3)

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. (Revelation 21:23-25)

Believers who died before the Church age will rise from their graves (Daniel 12:2), accompanied by Tribulation Martyrs (Revelation 20:4). Together they'll witness the Glorious Appearing of the Lord and join the grateful multitude in welcoming Him to Earth. The Creation itself will have been waiting in eager expectation of this day, when it will finally be liberated from it's bondage to decay. (Romans 8:19-21)

The Lord's first order of business upon returning will be to summon all the survivors of the Great Tribulation to determine their disposition. First the Jew,

Jesus said to them (the Disciples), "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:28 )

Then the Gentile.

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (Matthew 25:31-32)

This prophecy first appeared in Joel 3:1-2. "In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land."

The parables of the Faithful Servant, the Ten Virgins, and the Talents in Matthew 24-25 also describe this time of judgment that I believe will consume the Lord's first 30 days back on Earth. The net result of these events is that surviving Tribulation believers will be welcomed into the Millennial Kingdom, while unbelievers will be taken away to begin an eternity of torment (Matthew 24:51, 25:30, 25:41)

Next will come the business of establishing His Kingdom. The Temple, defiled by the abomination of desolation, will be cleansed and made fit for service again like its predecessor of Maccabean days. The new levitical priesthood, led by the descendants of Zadok, will be installed (Ezekiel 44:10-16) to officiate therein. The promised Land will be divided and re-distributed to the Jews (Ezekiel 48:1-29) while believing Gentiles will be sent to re-populate the nations. Governmental and administrative systems will be put into place.

This will require an additional 45 days. These two periods were hinted at in Daniel 12:11-12.

"From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. 12 Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days."

The Great Tribulation will be 1260 days long. 30 days to judge the survivors brings us to 1290 days and 45 more to set up the Kingdom totals 1335. Blessed is the one who reaches this time because he will be counted among those who've been judged worthy to inhabit the kingdom. Every one of them will be a believer.

So as the Millennium begins there will finally be peace on Earth, a peace so real they'll be able to feel it. The Lord will be King of all the Earth and His name will be the only name (Zechariah 14:8 ). More next time.
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« Reply #183 on: August 09, 2010, 04:44:25 PM »

Does The Church Come Back To Live On Earth?
Ask A Bible Teacher - http://gracethrufaith.com/
Replies From Jack Kelley


Q. You wrote last week: "The armies of Heaven will be with Him (Revelation 19:14), as will the Church (Revelation 17:14)."  So we will return to earth after the tribulation.  But your position is that we will not remain on earth for the 1000 yrs?

A. The Bible tells us the armies of Heaven and the Church are both with Jesus when He returns.  But Zechariah 14:4 mentions only Jesus actually setting foot on the ground .  The others are seen in the air.  And later, the same is true of the New Jerusalem.  It's described coming down out of Heaven, but never landing (Revelation 21:2).   It's a good thing, too.  At about 1/6th the size of Earth it's too big to put anywhere, except in a low Earth orbit.  The Church will dwell in the New Jerusalem, not on Earth (Revelation 21:27).
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« Reply #184 on: August 09, 2010, 04:45:25 PM »

Ezekiel 38, Zechariah 12, and Zechariah 14
Ask A Bible Teacher - http://gracethrufaith.com/
Replies By Jack Kelley


Q. I have thought for a long time that the even as mentioned in Zechariah 12 is describing the Ezekiel war as mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and that Zechariah 14 is about the event that will occur later during the tribulation period. However, as I read Zechariah 12:3 again where it is written, " On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations…",

I am puzzled. Zechariah 12:3 mentioned "all nations", whereas Ezekiel 38 and 39 give a list of the nations that will attack Israel. Can I use the verse in Matthew 12:30 "He that is not with me is against me…" to say that the rest on the nations do not come to help Israel during Ezekiel war thus in a sense all the  nations are against Israel? Or, is Zechariah 12 talk about a total different scenario than that is mentioned in Ezekiel 38, and 39?

A. You can't use Matt. 12:30 to modify Zechariah 12:3.  Instead, the fact that Zechariah 12:3 says "all nations"  shows that it's not the same as Ezekiel 38 but rather is part of the Armageddon scenario that continues through Zechariah 13 and ends in Zechariah 14 with the 2nd Coming.  This shows that the Jews will finally recognize the Messiah just before the end of the Great Tribulation (Zechariah 12:10), and will fulfill the prophecy of Hosea 6:1-2 to petition His return just in time to save Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14:1-3)

Also notice that Zechariah 12:3 and Zechariah 14:2 both use the phrase "all the nations" in reference to gathering them against Jerusalem. This is further evidence that both speak of the same event.
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« Reply #185 on: August 09, 2010, 04:46:36 PM »

More On The Day And Hour
Ask A Bible Teacher - http://gracethrufaith.com/
Replies By Jack Kelley


Q. Basically, I know the scriptures say no one "knows the day or hour" of Jesus' second coming, to conquer the armies of the world and set up his kingdom. I have always thought that this only applies to those of us alive before Daniel's 70th week starts. TODAY we don't know, but those who are alive during Daniel's 70th week, and understand the scriptures, only have to count the 2520 days to it's end, and during the day immediately after it, they will see Jesus and his armies coming in the clouds with great glory.

The verse I would like you to comment on, which is one verse that seems to help support this view is Rev.19:19.
"And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, GATHERED TOGETHER TO MAKE WAR AGAINST HIM that sat on the horse, and against his army."
Since the beast and the others, are there at the right time (i.e. the correct day) to fight against Jesus, they must or will have some kind of idea when Jesus will show up.

A. I know this is confusing, but if you stop to think, it has to be.  Otherwise we could figure it out and we would know the day and hour.  Remember, in His Olivet Discourse parables Jesus was speaking to the people on Earth at the time of His coming. He said in effect, "You will not know the day or hour."  It's not that we won't understand but they will, it's that they won't know the day or hour.  Whether they're gathered to do battle or not doesn't really matter.

The only place where the word immediately is used is in Matt. 24:29 where it says the sun and moon will go dark immediately after the end of the Great Tribulation.  Verse 30 begins with the phrase "at that time" or "then", not "on that day".    Zechariah 14:6-7 says the Lord will come on a day without light, but is it the first day without light?  Or will the armies of the world be left sitting in the dark for some unknown length of time, seeing only the Lord's sign in the blackened sky, before they're summarily defeated by the word of His mouth?  No one knows. The point is that man can count the days till the end of the Great Tribulation, but not to the 2nd Coming.
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« Reply #186 on: September 02, 2010, 05:33:36 PM »

Sons of Oil Part 1 of 2 By Jack Kelley

Feature Article by Jack Kelley


Then the angel who talked with me returned and wakened me, as a man is wakened from his sleep. He asked me, "What do you see?"

I answered, "I see a solid gold lamp stand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the lights. Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left."

I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?"

He answered, "Do you not know what these are?"

"No, my lord," I replied.

So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.

"What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of 'God bless it! God bless it!' "

Then the word of the LORD came to me: "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.

"Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.

"(These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range throughout the earth.)" (Zechariah 4:1-10)

The Hebrew word for plumb line can also mean chosen stone and I think both meanings are in view here.  The plumb line in Zerubbabel's hand signifies his supervision of the Temple's construction.  The chosen stone represents the Messiah (1 Peter 2:6) and the seven eyes mean He sees everything.  This tells us the Lord Himself is the project manager.

Then I asked the angel, "What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lamp stand?"

Again I asked him, "What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?"

He replied, "Do you not know what these are?"

"No, my lord," I said.

So he said, "These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth." (Zechariah 4:11-14)

What Time Is It?

It was February 15, 519 BC. Twenty years earlier the Jews had come back to Jerusalem after 70 years of captivity in Babylon, and following several abortive attempts had given up trying to rebuild their Temple.

To justify quitting, some had speculated that the reason for their difficulty was that the time wasn't right (Haggai 1:2). So God sent them two prophets, Haggai to admonish them and Zechariah to encourage them, and it had worked. On the day Haggai spoke his 2nd message to them, they had begun work on the Temple again.

But the task seemed so intimidating. The older ones could still remember Solomon's Temple, destroyed in the siege of Jerusalem  some 90 years earlier after standing in the city for nearly 400 years. In Solomon's time the nation was wealthy beyond measure and they were at peace with all their neighbors. But now they were just a rag-tag group of ex-captives, constantly harassed by their enemies. How would they ever hope to replace their beautiful Temple, so costly and magnificent?

And The Answer is …

During that long February night in 519 BC Zechariah had a series of visions, eight in all. The one above was the Lord's answer to their questions about the Temple. Yes they had possessed much wealth and had many resources during Solomon's time, and now they had precious little. But this temple would be built just the same. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit," said the Lord (Zechariah 4:6).

Three years later the Temple was completed, and while it couldn't compare to the splendor and glory of the earlier Temple of Solomon, Haggai had promised them that the glory of this Temple would exceed that of the first one (Haggai 2:9),  and he was right. It was modified and renovated beyond recognition, first during the Hasmonean period that followed the Macabbean revolt, and then again by King Herod.  Of this Temple the rabbis would say, "One who has not seen the Temple from the time of Herod has never seen a magnificent building."  But more than that, it was the Temple visited by the Lord during His time on earth.
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« Reply #187 on: September 02, 2010, 05:34:57 PM »

Sons of Oil Part 2 of 2 By Jack Kelley

Feature Article by Jack Kelley


Got Oil?

And with what symbolism did the Lord represent His Spirit in Zechariah's vision? Oil. Oil from the olive trees, sustaining the only source of light in the Temple, the seven-branched lamp stand called the menorah. It's from verses like these that oil has come to stand for the Holy Spirit when used symbolically.

Often the Holy Spirit's work is accomplished through men and women set apart for the purpose, also explained in the vision.

Then I asked the angel, "What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lamp stand?"
Again I asked him, "What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?"

He replied, "Do you not know what these are?"
"No, my lord," I said.

So he said, "These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth." (Zechariah 4:11-14)

In Israel the High Priest and the Ruler were always anointed with oil symbolizing their calling. In Zechariah's time they were Joshua and Zerubbabel.  In the Church today, we anoint with oil those we believe the Lord has called to minister to us or govern over us. The oil signifies our belief that the Holy Spirit has set them apart for this purpose and is working through them.  When we anoint the sick with oil, as instructed in James 5:14, we're symbolizing the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit to perform a healing miracle in them.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well (James 5:15).  Oil, the symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Double Vision

Frequently the messages of prophets concerned events far in the future. In those cases the Lord arranged a double fulfillment of the prophecies He gave them. The first one was only a partial fulfillment, and took place fairly soon. Its purpose was to validate the prophecy so the people would know it truly came from the Lord. This protected the credibility of the prophet (Deuteronomy 18:21-22) and verified the accuracy of the long-term fulfillment for the generation that would experience it in the future.

A good example is the prophecy of the virgin birth given by Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14). In giving it, Isaiah used a Hebrew word that could mean either virgin or young woman. This was to permit a partial fulfillment in his time that would validate the prophecy.

And sure enough, a short time later Isaiah's wife became pregnant and gave birth to a boy the Lord called Immanuel. As he had prophesied, before the boy was old enough to speak, the Northern Kingdom was overrun by the Assyrians. (Isaiah 8:1-10) The partial fulfillment had come to pass.

Six hundred years later, after Isaiah, his family, and the Assyrian invasion were ancient history, Jewish scholars translating Isaiah's writings into Greek saw the future Messianic fulfillment in the prophecy. They chose a word that could only describe a woman who has never experienced gotcha146, because they believed it spoke of a virgin birth. One hundred fifty years after that, the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus.

While both fulfillments contained specific outcomes that were important in Israel's history, a young woman giving birth was hardly the unique event that Isaiah needed to show the nation that God was with them ("Immanuel" in Hebrew). That would take nothing less than the only virgin birth in human history, which by the way also fulfilled a prophecy given to the serpent in the Garden.  The "Seed of the Woman" (a biological impossibility) would bring about his downfall.

Two More Sons Of Oil

In Zechariah 4:11-14 we have one of those double fulfillments. First the immediate one; Zerubbabel the Governor and Joshua the High Priest would be God's two anointed ones (literally sons of oil), charged with completing the Temple construction. In the vision they were the two olive trees from whom the oil flowed, signifying the Holy Spirit working through them. In the process, Zechariah's appointment as a prophet was confirmed as promised in verse 8 of his vision, since Zerubbabel, who started the project, also completed it.  "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you."

But the use of the phrase "Lord of all the Earth" in verse 14 is a clue to another later fulfillment. It's used only four times in scripture, twice in Joshua 3 where the Lord stopped the flow of the Jordan River so the people could cross on dry ground, here in Zechariah 4, and in Revelation 11:4 the only other place where it's used in conjunction with two men called by God for extraordinary service. (Four is often called the number of the earth because on the fourth day the creation of earth itself was complete.  Then it was populated. Day five brought fish and birds, and on day 6 animals and man were created.)

These men are the two witnesses who will be sent to Israel to display signs and wonders during the Great Tribulation. Performing the miracles of Moses and Elijah and preaching the sermons of Peter and Paul, they too will be "sons of oil," set apart for miraculous work, anointed with the Holy Spirit for extraordinary service, and supernaturally protected by Him till their ministry is complete.  "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the earth." (Revelation 11:4) The wording is straight out of Zechariah's vision.

Beginning just before the Great Tribulation and lasting for 1260 days, their ministry bridges the two halves of Daniel's 70th week.   Their purpose is to prepare Israel for the coming Messiah in the ultimate fulfillment of another dual prophecy.  This one appears through out the Old and New Testaments, and is the two comings of the Messiah.

When their ministry is complete, the Lord will remove His supernatural protection and they'll be killed in the streets of Jerusalem.  In the ultimate sign of contempt they'll be denied burial, their bodies left in the street where they fall.  But in one final unmistakable message, they'll rise from the dead three and a half days later, ascending into heaven in full view of an astonished world.  Shortly afterward,  the Spirit of grace and supplication will sweep over God's people and their eyes will be opened to the Messiah, the one they have pierced (Zechariah 12:10).  Once again two sons of oil will have accomplished their mission.  'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. 08-28-10
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« Reply #188 on: September 02, 2010, 05:39:02 PM »



Hezbollah says that Israel's disappearance after the next war is an established fact. Iran's President has called Israel a dirty microbe and a savage animal that will soon disappear in a flash. The commander in chief of Iran's army predicts that millions will soon receive the joyous news of Israel's destruction. Israel's chief of staff warns of a "tough ordeal" coming soon.

With all the rhetoric flying around the Middle East about a major war this summer, and with multiple countries (including the US) rapidly beefing up their military preparedness, a quick review of Psalm 83 is in order to refresh our minds on the prophetic details of this coming attack against Israel.

Psalm 83 was probably written some time after the end of King Solomon's reign (about 900 BC)  but the Bible contains no account of such a coordinated effort by all of Israel's neighbors to destroy them, either during that time or since.  A partial fulfillment may be in view in 2 Chronicles 20 when Moab, Ammon, and parts of Edom invaded Judah during King Jehosophat's reign (872-848 BC) Interestingly, Jahaziel, a Levite who prophesied Judah's victory in that battle was a descendant of Asaph, who wrote Psalm 83. Applying one of his favorite tactics, the Lord set Israel's enemies against each other and they defeated themselves. Ezekiel 38:21 tells of a future use of this same tactic.

But the Battle of 2 Chronicles 20 doesn't fully meet the requirements of Psalm 83, having many fewer antagonists, so on that basis we'll assume its fulfillment is still in the future, perhaps the very near future. If so, it could be the bridge between the current state of affairs in Israel and the conditions necessary for the Battle of Ezekiel 38 to happen.  Let's find out.

Psalm 83

O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.

"Come," they say, "let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more."

With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you- the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre. Even Assyria has joined them to lend strength to the descendants of Lot. (Psalms 83:1-8 )

The language is out of today's headlines and the countries lined up against Israel in this Psalm inhabited the lands of Israel's current neighbors. Edom and the Ishmaelites were in land occupied by southern Jordan today while the territories of Moab and Ammon make up the rest of that country. Ahman, the modern spelling of Ammon, is the capital of Jordan.   (While the government of Jordan has a peace treaty with Israel, we should remember that some 70% of Jordan's population is "Palestinian" and in fact the country was originally formed to be the Palestinian home land.) .

The Hagrites were part of Aram, whose capitol was Damascus in modern Syria.  Gebal (also called Byblos) and Tyre can still be found in present day Lebanon. The Amalekites lived in Israel's southern desert and Philistia settled in Gaza on Israel's southern border. Assyria would conquer Aram shortly after Psalm 83 was written and the descendants of Lot is another reference to Jordan.  Remember, Moab and Ammon were the sons of an incestuous union between Lot and his two daughters.

So here we have all of Israel's next door neighbors, all of them sworn to Israel's destruction, and all of them being whipped into a frenzy by Syria and Iran.

Do to them as you did to Midian, as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon, who perished at Endor and became like refuse on the ground. Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, who said, "Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God."

Make them like tumbleweed, O my God, like chaff before the wind. As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze, so pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your storm. Cover their faces with shame so that men will seek your name, O LORD. May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace. Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD - that you alone are the Most High over all the earth. (Psalm 83:9-18 )

Asaph, the Psalm's writer, can't resist telling the Lord exactly how he'd like Israel's enemies to be dealt with. In that sense he's just like you and me.

Midian was defeated by a vastly outnumbered force under the command of Gideon. It was another case of the Lord turning Israel's enemies against each other and causing them to defeat themselves. (Judges 7)

Jabin was a king of the Canaanites and Sisera was the commander of his army. The Lord lured the Canaanite army into a trap and the Israelites destroyed them.(Judges 4) The commander of Israel's army was named Barak, just like Israel's current Defense Minister. Probably a coincidence.

Oreb, Zeeb Zebah, and Zalmunna were all leaders of the Midianite army defeated by Gideon.

Asaph's prayer was that Israel's current enemies will be just as soundly defeated as were the Midianites and the Canaanites, their armies scattered and their leaders executed.

Thousands of missiles and rockets located in Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza are positioned to strike strategic targets everywhere in Israel.  As of this week, Syria has moved 800 long range missiles into firing positions, placed them on combat readiness, and given them updated target coordinates.  This was done in response to Israel's nationwide civil defense drills.  To avoid duplication in targeting, Iran has created and will direct a unified command center in Damascus to coordinate the massive simultaneous deployment of these weapons upon the outbreak of hostilities.  Their thought is that the Israelis will not be able to protect themselves against such an all out attack and will be effectively disabled.

But Israel might pick this opportunity to launch a preemptive attack against the command center, wiping out Damascus in fulfillment of Isaiah 17.  Losing their command and control abilities  could cause the enemy attack to degenerate into a confused and chaotic effort that Israel will soundly defeat just like Gideon defeated the Midianites.

Should this be the case, Israel will become larger, not smaller, with the contention over the ownership of Gaza, the West bank and the Golan put to an end. Israel will become stronger, not weaker, its military reputation restored and even enhanced. The divided land will be divided no more, and Jerusalem will remain a unified city. The controversial security fence will likely come down, since the borders on all three sides will be safe and the threat of terrorist attacks eliminated. 60 years of war will have finally ended. It will be the perfect opportunity for Israel to be lured into a false sense of security and become a peaceful and unsuspecting people living in a land of unwalled villages as Ezekiel 38 requires. And it could all happen this summer.

Meanwhile, the Russians and Iranians, who will have fought this battle primarily by proxy, will study their defeat and learn from their mistakes, lying in wait for the next opportunity to strike. It won't be long in coming. You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 05-29-10
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« Reply #189 on: September 02, 2010, 05:42:36 PM »



In the past couple of years it has become even clearer that Isaiah's prophecy of the destruction of Damascus will soon come to fulfillment, perhaps being part of the Psalm 83 scenario I've written about.  If so, it would explain why Syria is not included among the coalition of Moslem nations who will gather against Israel in the Battle of Ezekiel 38. Updating our study of Isaiah 17 seems a fitting conclusion to our recent reviews of Ezekiel 38 and Psalm 83.

Emboldened by the outcome of the 2006 Hezbollah Israel war, Syria has become ever more bellicose in it's behavior toward Israel, as if inviting confrontation.  Aggressive acts have included moving large military forces onto the Golan, opening the crossing that gives Syrians access to Israel for the first time since 1973, forming and training a Syrian terrorist force to infiltrate Northern Israel, and openly helping Hezbollah re-arm in violation of UN resolution 1701.  Now Hezbollah and Syria are building a massive fortified wall, 22 kilometers long, that promises to be one of the biggest fortified structures in the Middle East. It is designed as an obstacle against any Israeli tank forces heading through Lebanon toward the Syrian capital, Damascus.  And most recently, Syria has moved 800 long range missiles into firing position and updated targeting coordinates for specific locations in Israel in preparation for war.

It's been known for some time that Syria has one of the world's most advanced chemical weapons programs, even though such things are illegal, and is probably in possession of the bulk of Saddam Hussein's WMDs that the MSM (main stream media) delights in telling you never existed.  Recent satellite imagery suggests significant efforts to update Syria's known chemical weapons facilities.  They've also mobilized reserves, set up alternate communication centers, and moved all official historical and legal documents out of Damascus. They did this because they believe that Israel will respond to a chemical attack by destroying Damascus with nuclear weaponry. They've recalled all their citizens living in Lebanon. They've purchased Russian arms and defensive systems costing hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to protect Damascus.

Going Nuclear

In July 2007, a chemical warhead exploded at a Syrian missile facility while being fitted to a Scud missile, killing dozens of Iranian and Syrian technicians. The only likely target within range of the missile was Tel Aviv.  Then, just 2 months later, the Israeli bombing of a secret Syrian facility deep inside the country made headlines and demonstrated Israel's ability to render the Russian state-of-the-art anti-air defenses ineffective. These systems were sold to both Syria and Iran to protect against US or Israeli attacks by air. The presence of nuclear materials at the Syrian base has been confirmed, so it might have been the location of at least a dirty bomb assembly plant and perhaps even a clandestine nuclear weapons facility.  The North Koreans were heavily involved in this, and are suspected of still helping Syria to develop some kind of nuclear weapons capability.

More recently Syria has purchased even more offensive and defensive weaponry from Russia and  Iran, making every population center in Israel a viable target.  Passing a portion of this weaponry through to Hezbollah, they've all but transformed this terrorist organization into a regiment of the Syrian army, and made Lebanon their first line of defense against Israel.  In my commentary on Psalm 83 I mentioned the Command and Control center Iran has built in Damascus to coordinate rocket and missile attacks against Israel by Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas.

For all these reasons Israel has justifiable cause to consider Damascus a prime target, whether preemptive or retaliatory.  And while some of this is more than the MSM has been willing to share with you, it is a matter of public record.  My guess is that there's a lot more going on that we don't know about, making matters even more urgent.  So let's take another look at Isaiah 17, An Oracle Against Damascus, while it's still prophecy.

An Oracle Concerning Damascus:

"See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make them afraid. (Isaiah 17:1-2)

Because of the language of these verses, many scholars believe that this prophecy was only partially fulfilled when the Assyrians defeated the Arameans and overran their capital, Damascus, in 732 BC. To this day Damascus is thought to be the world's oldest continuously inhabited city with a 5000-year history and a population close to 2 million, yet Isaiah 17:1 indicates that it will one day cease to exist.

Some believe the phrase "cities of Aroer" refers to Aramean territory east of the Jordan River around the Arnon River, which flows into the Dead Sea in southern Jordan.  However, the Jewish Encyclopedia claims that this phrase in Isaiah 17:2 is probably translated incorrectly  because the geographical distance from Damascus is too great.  While they say it's possible that there may have been another Aroer near Damascus, it is more likely that the passage should be rendered "the cities thereof shall be forsaken." If that's the correct translation, it would include the Hezbollah stronghold in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, which was part of Aramean territory in Isaiah's time, and is in a direct line between Beirut and Damascus.
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« Reply #190 on: September 02, 2010, 05:44:50 PM »




The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and royal power from Damascus; the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the Israelites," declares the LORD Almighty. "In that day the glory of Jacob will fade; the fat of his body will waste away. It will be as when a reaper gathers the standing grain and harvests the grain with his arm - as when a man gleans heads of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. (Isaiah 17:3-5)

This segment speaks of the defeat of Damascus in 732BC and the destruction of Samaria 10 years later (722 BC).  Damascus continued to exist as part of the Assyrian Empire and is still here today, but the ruins of Samaria are just now being excavated out of the sandy soil of Israel.  The systematic relocation of the ruling classes to the far reaches of the Assyrian Empire is also in view here, symbolized by the fat of Jacob's body wasting away.  This was standard Assyrian policy to reduce the likelihood of subsequent rebellion among their conquered peoples.   Jacob and Ephraim are alternate names for the Northern Kingdom, and Samaria was its capital.

Yet some gleanings will remain, as when an olive tree is beaten, leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches, four or five on the fruitful boughs," declares the LORD, the God of Israel. (Isaiah 17:6)

Not all the people were dispersed.  Farmers were left behind to tend the crops and protect the harvest for their new rulers. They were joined by refugees from other parts of Assyria and their combined descendants were known as the Samaritans in the time of Jesus.  (A quick reading of 2 Chronicles 11:16 shows that all the faithful from the 10 northern tribes moved south at the time of the civil war that divided the nation after King Solomon's death 150 years earlier.  From then on, all 12 tribes were represented in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, so the 10 tribes from the North weren't totally lost.  The Lord has always preserved a believing remnant from all the Tribes of Israel.)

In that day men will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. They will not look to the altars, the work of their hands, and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles and the incense altars their fingers have made. In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth. And all will be desolation. (Isaiah 17:7-9)

This is another passage that's problematic for those who try to consign the whole passage to history. There is simply no reason to believe that the Assyrians turned to God following their conquest of Aram and Israel. And far from abandoning their cities because of the Israelites, it was the Israelites who were defeated and dispersed. The yet future Jewish attack on Damascus causing the destruction and abandonment of Syrian cities, and the eventual return of the survivors to their God is a much more likely fulfillment. And it could happen soon.

You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. Therefore, though you set out the finest plants and plant imported vines, though on the day you set them out, you make them grow, and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud, yet the harvest will be as nothing in the day of disease and incurable pain. (Isaiah 17:10-11)

Asshur, father of the Assyrians, and Aram, father of the Arameans were both sons of Shem. Aram's son Uz is the traditional founder of Damascus. (The setting for Job, the Bible's oldest book, is the Land of Uz.) The knowledge of God in the memories of these patriarchs cannot be questioned. It wasn't that they never knew Him, but that they had forgotten Him, abandoned Him in favor of the Canaanite gods of the region, Baal and his consort Ashtoreth (aka Asherah, Astarte, Ishtar, Aphrodite, Venus.) Currently Syria is almost totally Moslem.   Until they return to their Maker and Savior none of their plans and schemes will prosper in the long run, no matter how promising they seem at the beginning.

Oh, the raging of many nations - they rage like the raging sea! Oh, the uproar of the peoples - they roar like the roaring of great waters! Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when he rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale. In the evening, sudden terror! Before the morning, they are gone! This is the portion of those who loot us, the lot of those who plunder us. (Isaiah 17:12-14)

Having conquered most of the Middle East including the Arameans and the Northern Kingdom,  the Assyrians set their sights on the Southern Kingdom, Judah. Assyria's King Sennacherib brought his armies almost literally to the gates of Jerusalem, so close his commanders were within speaking distance of the Jewish defenders. On the night before they were to attack, the Lord sent His angel into the Assyrian camp on Mt. Scopus to slaughter 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. Before dawn they had packed up and fled, ending 44 years of conquest. (Isaiah 37:36-38 ) This time in Israel's history so parallels the Jewish view of the End Times that Sennacherib is seen by them as a type of the anti-Christ, while Judah's King Hezekiah models the Messiah.

But notice that Isaiah speaks of many nations raging against God's people, not just Assyria, leading us once again to consider Sennacherib's defeat to be a partial fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy.

The phrase "rushing of many waters" is often used to describe the sound of loud voices and today many nations are stirred up.   The cry of anti-Israeli sentiment can be heard around the globe.  The various Mid-East "peace" conferences combined with the Gaza war and the recent boarding of the Turkish/Terrorist flotilla  have left Israel standing alone against all but irresistible pressure to negotiate away its very existence. Syria and Iran are dead certain that Israel will attack soon, and are preparing accordingly.  Israel's other next-door neighbors are also preparing for war, and indeed many nations are taking sides.

Israel is not blind to these mounting threats, but until lately seems to have been ignoring them.  That's about to stop.  Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has told the world he will not apologize for defending his country and will continue to do so even if it results in more confrontations.  We can easily envision a scenario that escalates into the final fulfillment of Isaiah 17, the destruction of Damascus.  Once again there will be sudden terror in the evening, and before morning they will be gone.  If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.
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« Reply #191 on: September 02, 2010, 05:50:09 PM »

As It Was In The Days Of Noah By Jack Kelley

Feature Article by Jack Kelley


As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:37). The time leading up to the Great Flood was a lot like our time today in that it was characterized by a deliberate and escalating disregard for the ways of God. Finally "the Lord saw how great man's wickedness on earth had become and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time" (Genesis 6:5).

What Day Is This?

If you plot the lifespans of the patriarchs in Genesis 5 , you'll discover it was 1656 years from Adam's creation to the Great Flood.  During that time mankind had degenerated from human beings created in the very image of God who walked and talked with Him to a race whose thoughts and actions were totally depraved and bent only on evil (Genesis 6:5).  It's been about 1977 years since man was first given the choice to be re-created by events at the Cross (2 Corinthians 5:17) but most of today's world has declined.  As a result, a single look around us is all that's needed to see that from a spiritual and moral perspective life today is becoming pretty much "as it was in the days of Noah".

What Planet Are You From?

I've made mention in previous articles of the mysterious people in Genesis 6:4 called the Nephillim.   They were the offspring of marriages between angelic beings and earthlings . Would these beings with super natural strength (origin of the titans or demi-gods in mythology) be called aliens today? In many documented alien encounters there seems to be a great interest on their part in our reproductive system. Are aliens using humans to breed a super race again? In the King James rendering of Daniel 2:43 there's a curious reference to someone "mingling themselves with the seed of men" in the last days. Is the anti-Christ part alien or in command of beings that are part alien and part human? As it was in the days of Noah?

Out Of The Way

But in all my years of study comparing the days of Noah with the end of the age one insight has recently made things much clearer to me. In Genesis 6:3 God warned of the removal of His Spirit from Earth before the coming judgment. Some see this passage as capping man's life span at 120 years, but that can't be its purpose.  In Psalm 90:10 we're told that an average man's life span is 70 years, and Isaiah 23:15 supports this conclusion.  Average life spans before the flood were much longer than 120 years, and after the flood soon became much shorter.  Looking at the Genesis lifespans again shows that Shem, probably the last pre-flood man, outlived 8 of the first 9 post flood generations of his descendants, including Abraham.

The fact is that 120 years was the time God gave man to prepare for the coming judgment. He said He was going to remove His Spirit from the earth prior to that judgment.   In 2 Thessalonians 2:7 a similar warning is given concerning the end of the age (but without a deadline), and there is confusion over it's interpretation just as with Genesis 6:3. The only truly literal interpretation of this passage is that sometime before the anti-Christ can be revealed in all his power beginning the Great Tribulation, the restraining force of the Holy Spirit must be taken out of the way (literally out of the midst, or from among).

Then as I was reading Genesis 6 again, the most remarkable thing happened. In my Bible Genesis 6:3 is in the right hand column about 1 inch down the page. I've had it high lighted for years.  In the left hand column directly across from Genesis 6:3 is another verse I highlighted some time ago. It's Genesis 5:24 and reads; Enoch walked with God and then he was no more because God took him away. Seeing those two high lighted verses side by side like that caused the sequence of events to suddenly become so obvious to me, I don't know why I hadn't seen it before.  First Enoch was taken alive from earth and the Holy Spirit was withdrawn. Then in Genesis 6:5 man's behavior is described as having become unbearably wicked and in Genesis 7 the judgment came, in that order.

Enoch's name means teaching and according to Jude 14-15 he gave the first prophecy of the 2nd coming. Hebrew tradition holds that he was born on the 6th day of Sivan on the Hebrew calendar and was taken by God on his birthday. The 6th of Sivan is the day we know as Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. For these reasons Enoch is often seen as a model or type of the church, whose calling is also to teach the world the ways of the Lord and to talk about His coming.

You Promised You Wouldn't Do That

The Bible declares that the Holy Spirit is sealed within believers as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14). Paul wrote that the Holy Spirit will be withdrawn from earth sometime before the anti-Christ is allowed to trigger the judgment known as the Great Tribulation (2 Thessalonians 2:7).  Withdrawing the Holy Spirit without removing the Church would break God's promise to us since it would require "unsealing" the Holy Spirit from within us. That's something that God can't do. "What I have said, that will I bring about," He declares.  "What I have planned, that will I do." (Isaiah 46:11)

If Enoch is indeed a model of the church and if the Lord's prophecy of Matthew 24:37 is meant to describe the sequence of end times events, as seems likely, then one day soon we will be taken alive (raptured) from earth like Enoch was, and the Holy Spirit will be withdrawn. Man's behavior will quickly become unbearably wicked and the judgment will come, all in that order.  As it was in the days of Noah. Selah 08-21-10.
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« Reply #192 on: October 22, 2010, 01:53:50 PM »



And He that sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." (Rev. 21:5)

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him" (I Cor 2:9).

The Greek word translated new in Rev 21:5 can also mean renewed or restored, and includes circumstances and conditions along with appearance.  It's the same word used in Rev 21:1 referring to a new heaven and a new earth.  And Rev. 21:1 is a reference to Isaiah 65:17 where new heavens and a new earth are also mentioned, along with one of the better descriptions of life in Israel during the Millennium. The Hebrew word for new in Isaiah 65:17 comes from a root meaning to rebuild, renew, or repair.

Since Jesus described His 2nd Coming as the renewal of all things (Matt. 19:28 ), it's reasonable to interpret Rev. 21 as describing Heaven and Earth being restored to the condition they were in before the fall; refreshed, renewed, repaired and rebuilt for Messiah's Kingdom.  It will be like God hit the reset button to put everything back the way it was at the beginning, giving the Creation a fresh start for the Millennium.

The context of Rev. 20 also supports this interpretation since Rev. 20:7-15 is actually a parenthetical explanation of the ultimate destinies of Satan and the unbelieving world.  John was simply bringing his subject to its conclusion before returning to the beginning of the Millennium to describe the New Jerusalem.  We know this because John skipped forward to the end of the Millennium in Rev. 20:7 and then returned to open both Rev. 21 (Isaiah 65:17) and Rev. 22 (Ezekiel 47:12) with millennial quotes from the Old Testament.

Israel And The Church In The Millennium

Have you noticed that there's a lot more information about the nature of the coming Kingdom in the Old Testament than in the New? That's because even though Christians talk more about the Millennium than Jews do, the fact is that the 1000 year Kingdom of the Messiah is intended for Israel not the Church, and for Earth not Heaven.

Major glimpses of life in the Millennium are found throughout Isaiah (2, 4, 35, 54, 55, 60, 61, 65, 66) Ezekiel (40-48 ) Joel (3) Amos (9) Micah (4) and Zechariah (14) with other smatterings through out the Old Testament. All we know from the New Testament is found in Rev. 20-22, and even there, portions referring to New Jerusalem describe only our physical surroundings, not our life style.

In the rest of the New Testament, we find only a couple of hints, such as Matthew 19:28 and Acts 3:21, because the New Testament concerns Christian life in phase one of the Kingdom of Heaven (before the rapture), not phase two (after it). So we can read much more about life on Earth during the Millennium, than we can about life in New Jerusalem. Those passages are important because they describe the fulfillment of God's promise to Israel, a promise that includes peace (finally) prosperity, land of their own and long happy life with God in their midst, but they're not written for us.

So What About Us?

Descriptions of life in New Jerusalem are limited; no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain (Rev 21:4). Sounds great, but what do we do all day? On Earth folks will be building houses, bearing children, planting vineyards, tending sheep and otherwise enjoying the works of their hands (Isa 65:17-25). Do we just spend our time in some endless worship service?  Though it's not likely, no one knows for sure what we'll be doing.  But even though the Bible doesn't answer our questions about our everyday  activities, it does speak of our state of mind.

Become As Little Children

Jesus said that in order to enter the Kingdom, we would have to change and become like little children (Matt. 18:3).  What does that mean?  Behavioral Scientists have determined that the average child is much happier than the average adult, partly because children spend most of their time learning and doing new things, and partly because they haven't yet acquired the fears and worries of adult life. By the way, Science has also discovered that while for all practical purposes the creative potential of the human brain is limitless, the average adult uses a mere fraction of that potential working toward and achieving life goals.

A reasonably successful life in the US has always been beyond the wildest dream of most non-Americans, but even that can be reduced to such a predictable routine that once learned it's quite possible to "live the good life" without much mental effort at all. Most people  invest more of their creativity in hobbies and leisure activities than in career goals.

In short, our Creator has endowed us with limitless creative potential (Deut 8:18 ), but since very little of that potential is needed to live successfully, we become bored and unhappy, searching for something to stimulate our creativity and get us excited again. Such is life, at least on Earth.

What's The Alternative?

But suppose we were suddenly thrust into an environment filled with endless opportunities for exploration and the acquisition of new experience and knowledge without any fears or worries, just like being kids again.  Suppose each of us would see this environment as if it was created especially for us, to stimulate our unique blend of talent and creative ability, even to the extent of being designed around our favorite shapes and colors. Suppose it was a dynamic environment, growing as we grow, to provide endless opportunity for discovery without any possibility of defeat, disappointment or failure.

And suppose we were gifted with boundless energy, always feeling better than our best day on Earth, without a hint of fatigue, sickness, accident or injury. Ever.

Ever notice how curious kids are, asking all kinds of questions about what we're doing and why?  Suppose we were given full use of the dimension of time, able to observe all of history first hand and understand how everything came to be and why it happened the way it did.

Suppose we had been divested of all fear, hatred, jealousy, envy, greed and worry, our minds filled instead with happiness, gratitude, joy and satisfaction for self and others. Suppose there were no more misunderstandings, arguments, or betrayals, and that everyone around us was just as concerned for our well being as we were for theirs.  Perhaps this is what the Lord meant by becoming as little children.

Billy Graham was once asked if there would be golf courses in heaven. "If they're necessary for our happiness," he replied "they'll be there." I believe everything necessary for our happiness has been created and installed in the New Jerusalem, and that even with our supernatural abilities we'll live endless lives of exploration and realization, joy and happiness.  This is what the Millennium will be like for us.

So why doesn't the Bible go into more detail about it?  Well,  the Bible was written to and for Earth bound humankind in our natural state.  Even if there was a detailed description of what awaits us, it would be so different from what we're used to that our limited minds couldn't comprehend very much of it.  And what little we could understand would make us so miserable here that we'd do anything possible to hasten our departure. In short it would make our lives here intolerable.

As it is written "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor. 2:9).  I think we're supposed to read that literally. Selah 10-16-10
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« Reply #193 on: March 28, 2012, 08:45:41 PM »

Always without ceasing we must pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.....this is something that I personally do and totally believe in....Always. Truthfully I also pray for peace on all of the earth...though I know it wont be until His Kingdom is set up and ruling!

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« Reply #194 on: March 29, 2012, 11:23:55 AM »

Yes, the day will come when Christ Himself will establish a peace like the world has never known. I always think of these portions of Scripture:

Isaiah 2:1-5  The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  2  And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  3  And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.  4  And he will judge between the nations, and will decide concerning many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  5  O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of Jehovah.


Isaiah 9:2-7  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.  3  Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased their joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.  4  For the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, thou hast broken as in the day of Midian.  5  For all the armor of the armed man in the tumult, and the garments rolled in blood, shall be for burning, for fuel of fire.  6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  7  Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this.


Micah 4:1-3  But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.  2  And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  3  And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
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