IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Last Trumpet of the Rapture - By Randy Nettles - https://www.raptureready.com/2021/05/26/the-last-trumpet-of-the-rapture-by-randy-nettles/
There are two types of wind instruments or air horns mentioned in the Bible that the Hebrews used for religious ceremonies and as a signal for the congregation to assemble, or as a call to battle. One is the trumpet and is first described in Numbers 10:2-4. “Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work, you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movement of the camps. And when both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the entrance of the tabernacle of meeting.” The Hebrew word for trumpets is ‘chatzotzerah.’
The silver trumpets could only be blown by priests (vs.8) and were used to call the people to gather at the door of the tabernacle of meeting (vs. 3) or for setting the camps in motion to move out (vv. 5-6). They were also to be used in war against their enemies as an alarm or warning system, and to alert God for His help. “And you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies” (Numbers 10:9). Also, they were to be blown in their appointed feasts (Feasts of the Lord) and at the beginning of their months (new moons) when they offered their burnt offerings and peace offerings (vs. 10).
Here are a few examples of silver trumpets (chatzotzerah) being blown in the Old Testament: “Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests regularly blew the trumpets before the ark of the covenant of God” (1 Chronicles 16:6). “And when Judah looked around, to their surprise the battle line was at both front and rear; and they cried out to the Lord, and the priests sounded the trumpets.”
The second trumpet or bugle is known as the ram’s horn and is actually made from the horn of a ram. The Hebrew word for this horn is ‘shophar’ or ‘shofar.’ This horn makes a loud blasting sound that is guaranteed to get one’s attention. The first undoubted use of the shofar in Jewish ritual is found in Leviticus 25:9 and was used to declare the year of Jubilee (50th year of redemption).
“Then you shall sound the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet throughout all your land” (New King James translation). As you can see, in the NKJ translation (and many others), the word is translated ‘trumpets,’ but in other translations, the word is translated as ‘ram’s horn’ or ‘shofar.’ For instance, here is that same verse in the Complete Jewish Bible translation (and others): “Then, on the tenth day of the seventh month, on Yom-Kippur, you are to sound a blast on the shofar; you are to sound the shofar all through your land.”
So, did the sound come from a trumpet or a ram’s horn/shofar? Which translation is correct? To be precise, you must look at the Hebrew word since that is the language that Leviticus and the Old Testament were written in.
The actual Hebrew word that is used for this horn is ‘shophar’ and is described as a cornet or curved horn. In this instance, the CJB is the best translation, and the horn that is used on Yom-Kippur is a ram’s horn or shofar and not an actual silver trumpet. Also, in Hebrew (as well as Greek), nouns and adjectives are classified as feminine and masculine (sad news for the woke crowd, Lol). Without going into all the details, in the Old Testament, a trumpet is classified as feminine, and a shofar is classified as masculine. In the Greek New Testament, every horn (air blown) that is mentioned is called a trumpet, and the word is feminine. The only translation (out of 53 different ones) that calls it a masculine shofar is the Complete Jewish Bible.
In the Old Testament, both the shofar and trumpet were used for various functions or events, sometimes by themselves, and other times together. Here is an example where they were both used: “Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn (shofar), with trumpets and with cymbals, making music with stringed instruments and harps” (1 Chronicles 15:28). Shofars were also used in battle as a call to arms and in religious ceremonies. One of the main differences between the shofar and the trumpet is that while everyone could blow the shofar, only the priests were allowed to blow the silver trumpets.
The most famous example of man-made trumpets/shofars used in war was at Jericho when the Israelites first entered the land of Canaan. I wrote in detail on this matter and the Biblical significance of the number 7 in my article, Seven: God’s Perfect Number and its Biblical Significance :: By Randy Nettles – Rapture Ready, so I will just add a few more thoughts.
The Lord instructed Joshua and the men of war to march around the city once for six days. “And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day you shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. These trumpets are actually shofars (ram’s horns). The 7th and last time around the city, it happened exactly as the Lord told Joshua, “And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him” (Joshua 6:2-5).
The wording of Joshua 6: 5 has always intrigued me. It reminds me of the rapture verse of 1 Thessalonians, although it is not a rapture event. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). However, they are both great victories for the Lord and His people.
This great victory at Jericho occurred at the last trump (by the priests’ 7th and last time around the city), and there was a great shout (by the people and not by Jesus and the archangel – although I think the Lord might have shouted at Jericho also) which brought the walls down (the walls of gravity will come down at the Rapture). The warriors of Israel go up into the city of Jericho (like the army of the Church will go up into the city of New Jerusalem) every man straight before him.
The first mention of a trumpet (according to many translations) in the Bible is in Exodus 19, which describes the children of Israel’s encounter with God at Mount Sinai. This miraculous event occurred in the third month after the Israelites had gone out of the land of Egypt. “On the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai” (Exodus 19:1).
They left Egypt on the 14th day of the first month of Nisan, so they must have come to Mount Sinai on the 14th day of Sivan. The Lord told Moses to get the people ready, for in 3 days the Lord would come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people (vs. 11). The Lord said, “When the trumpet (chatzotzerah/shofar) sounds long, they shall come near the mountain” (Exodus 19:13). This was no man-made trumpet but was the supernatural trumpet of God. In this chapter and verse, the “trumpet” is actually a shofar.
On the third day (Sivan 17), Moses obeyed the words of the Lord and brought the people out of the camp to meet with God at the foot of Mt. Sinai. “There were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain, and the sound of the shofar was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled” (Exodus 19:16). Mt. Sinai was completely in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly (vs. 18). Exodus 19:19 describes the shofar of God sounding long, and it became louder and louder, and God spoke to Moses and gave him further instructions.
Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and then he built an altar and offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded with, “All that the Lord has said, we will do, and be obedient” (Exodus 20:7). Of course, we know this didn’t last long. Moses took the blood from the sacrifices and sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words” (Exodus 20:8).
On Mt. Sinai, God sounded His heavenly shofar to summon the people so they could witness His power and glory. The children of Israel would then truly realize who they were making a covenant with, and they would realize the consequences of disobeying the Law and His statutes.
To be sure, this exposure to God, with the shofar sounding and the smoke, fire, thunders, lightnings, and shakings was a terribly frightening experience for the children of Israel. Although the shofar was a call for the people to assemble, it was also a warning not to come up the mountain or even touch its base. They could only come near the mountain and not up the mountain lest they be killed. Only Moses was allowed to go all the way up the mountain to meet with God “face to face” (actually face to backside). This experience at Mt. Sinai was the first time humans have heard the trumpet call of God, but it will not be the last.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul lists three last things – the last enemy to be defeated (death), the last Adam (Jesus), and the last trump (trumpet). The first trumpet of God, as recorded in Exodus 19, was for the purpose of assembling God’s people to establish His Law, which Paul called a ministry of death (2 Corinthians 3:7-9). The last trumpet of God, as described by 1 Corinthians 15:52, is for the purpose of calling Jesus’ people to Himself by way of resurrection and translation. This calling by the last trumpet of God is a ministry of life. “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
This contrast is made in Hebrews 12:18-24: “For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet (shofar) and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. (For they could not endure what was commanded: ‘And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned or shot with an arrow.’ And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, ‘I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.’)
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men (Old Testament saints) made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.”
People throughout the ages have wondered why this trumpet of God at the Rapture is called the last trumpet. Many post-tribulation adherents justify their views because they think this last trumpet of 1st Corinthians 15:52 is the same trumpet blown by an angel in Revelation 11:15 at the 7th trumpet judgment during the Tribulation period. This is wrong on many levels. In Revelation, the trumpet is blown by an angel and not God/Jesus. The Rapture will precede the Tribulation by at least 7 years.
Will there be other trumpets of God that are sounded after the Rapture?
Yes, there will be more trumpets that are blown by God, such as in Isaiah 27:13, Zechariah 9:14, and Matthew 24:31.
So why is this particular one in 1 Corinthians called the last trump?
The last trump doesn’t necessarily mean it is the last trumpet to ever sound by God. It could be the last trump blast of a series of blasts, maybe two or more. Also, there could be two trumpets that are used, and the second one that is blown could be the last trumpet.
Remember in Numbers 10, God commanded Moses to make two silver trumpets, and when they were both blown, the congregation was to assemble at the entrance of the tabernacle (worship center). This could be a typology of the trumpet call of God at the Rapture. Numbers 10:4 doesn’t specify that both trumpets were blown simultaneously. Perhaps they had different sounds and were blown separately, one after the other. When the second or last trumpet of God sounds, the congregation of Christian saints will gather at the entrance (in the air) of their new worship center (the New Jerusalem).
However, I believe the main reason the Rapture trump is called the last trumpet is because it occurs on the last day (as mentioned in the book of John) of the Church. The Church began on the day of Pentecost and will end on the day of the Rapture. It will be the last day for Christians on the earth in our earthly bodies and the last day for Christians in heaven without a body. It will be such a magnificent and joyous event that even Jesus and the archangel will give a great shout of victory.
The “last day” (not last days) is mentioned 7 times in the New Testament, all of them in John. Many scholars believe John is referring to the Rapture (in most of these verses) and not Jesus’ 2nd Coming. John wrote the book of Revelation in 95 AD and later wrote his Gospel titled John. The last books of the Bible to be written were 2 John and 3 John between 96 and 98 AD. John was familiar with the teachings of Paul and his writings and letters, such as 1 Corinthians, which was written in 56 AD, so he would have also been familiar with the concept of the Rapture. John’s audience was not limited to one nation or people (Israel and the Jews); rather, he presents Jesus as the Christ and Lord over all nations and peoples. Here are the 7 references to the last day (rapture):
So, I know what you’re wondering. Is the last trumpet of God, at the Rapture, a shofar or an actual trumpet?
I don’t know for sure, but I have my opinion and the reasons for it. If you ask a Gentile Christian, he/she would probably say a trumpet. If you ask a Messianic Jew, he/she would probably say a shofar. The New Testament was written in Greek. The word for the air horn used in 1 Corinthians 15:52 is ‘salpingi,’ which is described as a trumpet and not a shofar. It is also a feminine noun, which is a good reason for it to be a trumpet. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. What really matters is that you hear it and assemble with the group.
The last day for Christians at the Rapture is not the last day for the rest of the non-believing world. The remaining population of the world will have to experience the horrors of the 7-year Tribulation before the 2nd Coming of Jesus to the earth. Here is how the Old Testament Zechariah describes His return. “Then the Lord will be seen over them, and His arrow will go forth like lightning. The Lord God will blow the shofar and go with whirlwinds from the south. The Lord their God will save them in that day, as the flock of His people” (Zechariah 9:14-16). Once again, God’s shofar will sound; only this time, it will be a call to war. Zechariah tells us who wins the war in Zechariah 14:9. “And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be – The Lord is one, and His name one.”
The Jews have always required a ‘sign’ (supernatural) before they would acknowledge God. Jesus declared this fact in John 4:48, and Paul did likewise in 1 Corinthians 1:22. The Jewish people asked Jesus twice to show them a sign so they could believe in him, once in John 2:18 and again in John 6:30. I don’t know what kind of a sign they were looking for because Jesus performed many miracles during his earthly ministry. John recorded 7 (perfect and complete) signs in his Gospel that proved Jesus’ deity. They are called (anonymously, as far as I know) THE SIGN. Here they are:
T – turning water into wine (John 2:1-11)
H – healing the official’s son in Capernaum (John 4:46-54)
E – elevating the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-19)
S – supper for 5,000 near the Sea of Galilee (John 6:5-14)
I – interim on the sea (walking on water – Sea of Galilee (John 6:16-21)
G – giving sight to the blind man in Jerusalem (John 9:1-7)
N – notification of Lazarus to “come forth” from the grave… perhaps Jesus’ greatest miracle (John 11:1-45)
After all the miracles and signs Jesus accomplished (and His own resurrection), the majority of the Jewish people still did not believe He was their long-awaited Messiah. Even to this day, they are still awaiting the Messiah’s arrival. Before Jacob’s trouble begins, Jesus will oblige them with one last great sign – the Rapture of the Church.
The Rapture is the supernatural sign that the Messiah (Jesus) is coming (again) to establish His Millennium Kingdom and to fulfill all the prophecies written about Him and the Kingdom of God. Let’s hope and pray the Jews recognize this sign and finally accept Him as their Messiah and call for His return. “I will go away and return to My place until they (Jews) acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me” (Hosea 5:15).
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28). While you are looking up, you might also want to listen for the sound of a trumpet.
10 Takeaways from the Latest Conflict Between Israel and Hamas – Alex Traiman - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=4746
Over this past weekend, Arabs were shooting fireworks in the sky, supposedly in celebration of holding Israeli population centers hostage for 11 days with more than 4,000 rockets. Fireworks shooting upwards represented a dramatic improvement over the previous week, during which the celebratory projectiles were being shot horizontally at police within Israeli cities, and Hamas rockets and Israel missile defenses lit the night skies.
If sending Israelis in and out of bomb shelters for nearly two weeks is a victory for Palestinian factions, so be it. Israelis came out virtually unscathed.
1. Israel's military is among the world's best
The star of the latest conflict was Israel's Iron Dome. While Hamas placed their military fortunes in unsophisticated rockets fired indiscriminately towards Israeli population centers, Israeli missile defense demonstrated just how deep the gap is between fighting units. Israel's Iron Dome system shot down nearly 90 percent of the rockets identified in real time as flying toward Jewish civilians.
Meanwhile, Israel pounded Hamas infrastructure day after day, striking at 1,000-plus strategic targets with precision accuracy. Such strikes could not possibly have occurred without superior intelligence. Included in those targets were Hamas intelligence and operational centers, rocket caches, missile-launchers, drones, naval installations and a sophisticated underground tunnel network.
Israel brilliantly manipulated Twitter and mainstream media to announce a ground invasion early on into the Gaza Strip to serve as a decoy to lure Hamas fighters into the tunnels. With terrorists inside, Israel destroyed the entire tunnel network before alerting the media that the announcement had been a mistake.
The number of Palestinian civilian casualties at the hands of an Israeli military that struck those 1,000 targets was unmistakably and near-impossibly low for wartime conditions. Unlike previous operations in 2006 in Southern Lebanon and 2014 in Gaza, the 2021 operation was not highlighted by any lack of preparedness, military miscues, cross-border infiltrations, kidnappings or killing of Israeli soldiers.
Despite what critics of Israel's government might state, the Israel Defense Forces did its job admirably. Malign actors across the region from Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran are sure to have taken notice. The military achievement is a continuation of ongoing successful Israeli airstrikes in Syria, as well as covert operations inside Iran.
2. Hamas suffered a military humiliation
Well more than 4,000 rockets and 62 miles of tunnel networks that took years of development and cost hundreds of millions if not billions to construct killed a grand total of 12 people in Israel before being utterly decimated. Furthermore, some 650 of the rockets fired at Israel landed inside the Gaza Strip.
It is believed that at least 60 of the casualties inside Gaza were caused by Hamas rockets, including an entire family of eight. To put it into better perspective, Hamas killed more Gazans with their rockets than they killed Israelis.
Despite the celebratory fireworks, Hamas was completely humiliated. In terms of military strategy, Hamas is an unmitigated disaster. Israelis know it, as do Palestinians. It will take Gaza and its terror gang Hamas years to recover.
3. Gaza is not the most dangerous Palestinian battlefront
While Israel did all it could to focus attention on Hamas inside Gaza, the southwestern Palestinian enclave is only one front in a larger battle against the Jewish state. Gaza is relatively easy to bombard from the air, while Gazans beyond a border fence cannot commit individual acts of terror inside Israel.
In the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of the West Bank--known in Israel as Judea and Samaria--factions including Fatah and Hamas are jockeying for power, as aging kleptocrat Mahmoud Abbas continues to lose his grip on a fed-up Palestinian street. One tried-and-true method for gaining popularity among the Palestinian public has been launching terror campaigns against Israel.
Within Israeli territory, more than a million Arabs hold Israeli identity cards. Many are registered voters. Yet with the exception of a few mixed cities, most live in segregated enclaves, as is the situation in Jerusalem.
Rioting and lynching attempts in cities such as Lod, Bat Yam, Jaffa, Ramle, Akko, Haifa, Tiberias and Jerusalem leading up to and during the Gaza conflict demonstrate that internal hostilities remain a risk.
Though incidents have not reached top headlines, there has been an increase in attacks, including a recent drive-by shooting that killed one and seriously wounded two other Israelis two weeks ago in Samaria. Two Israelis were stabbed during a terror attack at a Jerusalem light-rail station on Monday.
Just because a ceasefire has been declared in Gaza does not necessarily mean all Israeli-Palestinian hostilities are over. Cooler heads may prevail and calm may be restored, but a new intifada may be lurking around the corner. The IDF and an understaffed police force may not be as well-equipped to handle a surge in urban domestic terror.
4. Narrative warfare: It all started when he hit me back
Regardless of measures Israel may have futilely attempted to reduce and avoid hostilities, Hamas--with aid from Western media--had already constructed its narrative: Hamas had no choice but to fire rockets from Gaza once Israeli police had "stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque."
It makes no difference in the narrative war that Israeli police entered the complex to break up riots, where Arabs were tossing Molotov cocktails, shooting fireworks and throwing stones at Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall prayer complex some 70 meters below.
The narrative claims that an annual Jerusalem Day parade is now a "far-right nationalist" event that "stoked tensions." Similarly, the narrative insists that a war was necessitated over the eviction of 13 families from the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. The neighborhood is also home to the Jewish holy gravesite of "Simon the Righteous" ("Shimon HaTzadik").
The property dispute in question was about to be heard in Israel's left-wing Supreme court, had been circulating through the court system for 30 years, and the hearing was ultimately postponed. Either way, according to the narrative, any eviction is the justification for war.
Nobody seems concerned that Israel evicted as many as 10,000 Jews from 21 fully-developed Israeli communities in the Gaza Strip in 2005 specifically in an attempt to avoid future wars and has evicted Jews from their homes on several other occasions. According to the narrative, evicting Jews is appropriate, while evicting Palestinians, even in the case of outright private property theft, is not.
As long as Hamas can sell a narrative--one that most Western media can easily parrot--then there can be justification for an attack. This has happened countless times in the past and will undoubtedly happen again in the not-too-distant future.
5. Narrative warfare: The battle for hearts and minds
The reason that Palestinians claim victory has nothing to do with the exceedingly minor physical damage inflicted on Israel. Rather, it is because Palestinians perceive that they scored points the greater battle fought in the minds and hearts of Israelis, Palestinians and the international community.
Palestinians are convincing themselves and others that Israel has been weakened in an era in which facts, details and context are less relevant than ever before; truth and lies are regularly interchanged in the media; and opinions and buy-ins are what matter most.
Israelis don't necessarily see it that way. Anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian sentiments, and accusations from the international community, are nothing new. Israelis are among the thickest-skinned citizenry in the world, and well-versed in overcoming biases and handling adversity. The opinions that matter most to Israelis are those of Israelis themselves. The only doubts that Israelis have about the recent flare-up is whether they inflicted enough damage against Hamas before the world begged them to stop.
Israelis watched from afar with amazement as violent riots enveloped American cities this past year under the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Race became the most important issue. Members of the anti-Israel community in the United States had long ago linked up with progressive causes--an irony considering how far from progressive Palestinian society is.
It appears that Palestinians have successfully adopted the BLM mentality and are being welcomed in with open arms. It doesn't matter that Israel is the most liberal country in the Middle East by far and one of the most liberal in the world.
According to the narrative, Israelis are the white, oppressive colonialists, regardless of the fact that more than 50 percent of Israelis are of Middle Eastern descent (meaning brown-skinned) whose families were forcibly evicted from their homes out of nearly every Muslim country in the region after living in those countries as second-class dhimmi citizens.
Plus, there are a sizable number of Ethiopian immigrants (black-skinned), many of whom arrived as refugees. Among the remaining Israelis of European descent, a large portion are descendants of survivors of the Holocaust--an actual genocide.
Yet as long as Palestinians will succeed to remain the step-sister of #BlackLivesMatter, Israel will be in for a bumpy period in the court of public opinion.
7. Does the Democratic Party still support Israel?
For decades, Democrats were the party that supported Israel--n large part, because Jews, with roots as an immigrant minority class in America, have overwhelmingly supported Democratic candidates. Israel, however, pushed to make support for its defense a bipartisan issue and largely convinced Republicans to begin supporting Israel as well. Evangelical Christians began increasing their support for Israel, further encouraging Republicans to be increasingly supportive.
But America has become polarized. In age where there are virtually no bipartisan issues, Israel found itself in a bad spot. With religious evangelical fervor behind support for Israel, Democrats have all but dropped the baton.
And while the old guard of the Democratic Party has long supported Israel, the younger, more progressive group does not hold Israel in the same regard. They know Israel only through the prism of the failed Oslo Accords. This young guard has taken over the momentum of the party to the fear of the old guard losing their seats (see: Eliot Engel) in upcoming primaries to younger, more progressive upstarts.
As such, even some members of the old guard were hesitant to back Israel with the same intensity that they have in the past, if at all. It's not clear if Israel will be able to count on Democrat Party support in future conflicts.
8. The money trail: towards peace or violence?
The Trump administration was charting a new course toward peace in the Middle East. The principles were simple: punish malign actors with sanctions, financially incentivize peace and solve the Middle East conflict from the outside-in.
Iran was sanctioned harder than any nation in history. The Palestinian Authority, as well as U.N. agencies that supported their agenda, such as UNRWA, was defunded. And normalization agreements were signed between Israel, and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.
The approach worked. The four years of the Trump administration were by and large among the quietest years in Israel's modern history. Yet the approach was a slap in the face of the U.S. State Department establishment that has long posited that there can never be peace anywhere in the region until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is solved.
The latest flare-up puts the Israeli-Palestinian issue back on center stage in the familiar territory of the authors and supporters of the Oslo Accords, who are beginning to come back to the forefront after a now-brief four-year exile. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is now headed to Israel, in part to renew ties with Palestinian leaders. The international community is now pledging funds to "rebuild Gaza."
When funds were being withheld from malign actors like Iran, the P.A. and Hamas, and financial incentives were being given to moderates in pursuit of normalization, peaceful conditions were prevailing. Now that the flow of funds has reversed, terrorism is back on the agenda.
9. Iran, Iran, Iran
Iran has played a key role in the current conflict. In the past several years, months and weeks Israel has been covertly striking Iranian nuclear infrastructure, attacking commercial vessels and striking Iranian-made weapons transferred into Syria. Iran has tried repeatedly to strike back, recently targeting Israeli commercial sea-bound vessels.
Despite recent Israeli airstrikes, Iran has already succeeded in stockpiling more than 150,000 rockets and missiles pointed at Israel by Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon. And unlike Hamas's rocket arsenal in Gaza, many of the missiles held by Hezbollah are long-range and precision-guided.
In a "victory speech," Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh publicly praised Iran for its support during the conflict, stating: "I cannot but thank those who brought forth money and weaponry to the valiant resistance, the Islamic Republic of Iran; who did not hold back with money, weapons and technical support. Thanks."
A recent report in The Wall Street Journal noted that Hamas rockets are made from Iranian designs, and Iranians have provided Hamas with additional assistance. Almost all malign activity in the Middle East today has Iranian fingerprints.
Iran is attempting to negotiate a return to the nuclear deal with the United States and Western powers. This just-ended conflict should give the West pause regarding Iranian ambitions. Tragically, it likely will not.
10. A Jew is a Jew is a Jew
Over the past several years, the American Jewish communal establishment has been increasingly critical of Israeli policies in private and in public. The community is overwhelmingly liberal and supportive of Democrats, and less religious than ever before. Many Jewish leaders jumped on board to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Now that BLM appears to be siding with Palestinians, American Jews are being pushed into a choice. Side with BLM and Palestinians, or with Israel--the sole liberal democracy in a often-violent and illiberal region. Sadly, there are signals that many American Jews are not choosing Israel.
To those anti-Israel activists now wreaking havoc in Jewish communities across America, disappointing statements by American Jews alienating Israel may not matter. To the enemies of Israel, who are committing violent antisemitic acts at an alarming rate, a Jew is a Jew is a Jew.
Israel must do more to repair rifts with the American Jewish community and to fully activate those American Jews who stand proudly with the world's only Jewish state.
Antichrist a Reincarnation? - By Terry James - https://www.raptureready.com/2021/05/26/antichrist-a-reincarnation-by-terry-james/
My just-released novel, MICHAEL: Last-Days Lightning, which all too briefly, but nonetheless, thankfully, went to number one in Christian fiction on Amazon, has sparked the beginning of a follow-up novel. I’ve tentatively given the next novel the title MESSIAH: The Prince That Shall Come.
The story will build on the protagonist’s experiencing Bible prophecy fulfillment while in a state of having dreams and visions as the result of a serpent bite he received while he was on the Island of Patmos. MESSIAH will deal with Antichrist coming to power as the world’s greatest deceiver. This understanding is based upon Jesus’ words:
I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. (John 5:43)
Lord willing, the novel will be the third of the books that began with REVELATIONS: The Rapture Generation, in which Tyce Grayson received that snake bite.
The purpose of mentioning all of that—along with, of course, admittedly hoping to promote the novels—is that while researching for writing the third novel, I cogitated on some things about the Antichrist I’ve often wondered about over the years.
One of the primary things that has piqued my thinking—and imagination—is that there are two people in God’s Word who are given the title “son of perdition.”
British theologian Arthur W. Pink (1886–1952) more or less framed the idea that provided impetus for my thinking.
As we have seen, in John 17:12 Christ termed Judas “the Son of Perdition,” and 2 Thess.2:3 we find that the Antichrist is similarly designated—“That Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition.” These are the only two places in all the Bible where his name occurs, and the fact that Judas was termed by Christ not a “son of perdition,” but “the Son of Perdition,” and the fact that the Man of Sin is so named prove that they are one and the same person. What other conclusion can a simple and unprejudiced reader of the Bible come to? (from The Antichrist, by A. W. Pink, https://www.ccel.org/ccel/p/pink/antichrist/cache/antichrist.pdf )
Pink went on to write that he believed Antichrist, the son of perdition, will be a reincarnated individual. There isn’t sufficient space in this commentary to totally explain his thinking, but I recommend that you read at the link given above if you’re interested in why he believed this.
I can’t fully embrace this notion because of my bias against the belief in reincarnation by those held by Hindus in India and other places, and the fact that God’s Word says it is appointed unto man once to die, then comes the judgment.
That steels the notion against reincarnation in my mind, but leaves open the possibility for a return from the dead in the case of this one man—Judas Iscariot, who was apparently lost from the beginning, according to Jesus Himself in His prayer as recorded by John:
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (John 17: 12)
I, nor anyone, can fully explain to my satisfaction why Judas went to “his own place” upon death, or why he was apparently instructed by Jesus to do what he was supposed to do at the Last Supper—i.e., go betray the Lord to the Judaizers and the Romans. We see these strange things in the following verses:
And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. (John 13: 27)
After Judas committed suicide, the disciples sought to replace him as the twelfth member of their group with one of two other men. They wanted the now resurrected and ascended Jesus to tell them what to do.
And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. (Acts 1:24–25)
We come then back to Arthur Pink’s statement that both Judas Iscariot and the one who will be Antichrist are called not “a” son of perdition, but “the” son of perdition. These are the only two who are so-designated as this evil individual.
Pink goes on, in depth, to point out that Judas was called by Jesus “devil.”
Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve. (John 6: 70–71)
This, Pink believed, meant that Judas was so possessed by a supernatural evil spirit–by Satan himself—that he was lost without chance of redemption. This certainly seems to be the case, considering the total context of what we know about Judas Iscariot and about salvation as given in God’s Word.
The key word in the matter seems to me to be the word “men.” Was Judas a “man” at the time of his accepting the sop given by Jesus,? Or was he something other?
We look again at the Scripture verse about death and judgment:
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. (Hebrews 9: 27)
Yet Judas Iscariot died, by his own hand, and went to “his own place.” Still, he is “the son of perdition”—same as Antichrist’s designation. Not “a” son of perdition, but “the” son of perdition.
Further, Pink writes the following.
It is hardly necessary to say that in the Greek there are two different words for “Devil” and “demon.” There are many demons, but only one Devil. Further, in no other passage is the word “devil” applied to any one but to Satan himself. Judas then was the Devil incarnate, just as the Lord Jesus was God incarnate. Christ Himself said so, [as recorded in John 6:70–71] and we dare not doubt His word. (Ibid.)
Pink then refers to the following Scripture to round out his thinking on the matter of Judas Iscariot being one and the same as the future Antichrist—a reincarnation, of sorts.
The Beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the Bottomless Pit, and go into perdition. (Revelation 17:8)
He points out that most expositors of his time held that Revelation 17:11 referred to the final form of Rome as the last world empire over which Antichrist will rule. But his implication was that they denied that an actual being will come from the bottomless pit as that Antichrist character (verse 8). Pink maintains that it is Judas Iscariot in a reincarnation. But it is a supernatural man, indwelt by an evil spirit like no other.
In Matt.12:43 the Antichrist is called “The Unclean Spirit,” not merely an unclean spirit, but “the Unclean Spirit.”…
[In] the writer’s mind there is no doubt whatever that none other than the Beast is here in view. If this be the case, then we have further evidence that the coming One will be no mere man indwelt by Satan, but a fallen angel, an evil spirit, the incarnation of the Devil. (Ibid.)
I’m not at all sure about the term reincarnation in this case. There certainly is something profound connecting Judas Iscariot and the one who will be Antichrist, however. This “beast” will be wounded as unto death, then supposedly brought back to life at the midpoint of the Tribulation—another strange element to consider.
My own thinking revolves around the prophecy that foretells the first and second beasts of Revelation being thrown directly in the lake of fire. They apparently get no time of judgment before the Great White Throne as do men of the human sort. These are apparently already judged. This, to me, means they might not be or any longer have human, redeemable traits, so are summarily cast into that final place of the damned. Nephilim? I don’t know, but it’s interesting to contemplate.
Bottom line is that if you don’t know Jesus Christ for salvation of your soul, you will end up in the place where these two beings, the Antichrist and the False Prophet, will spend all of eternity.
Here’s how to avoid their fate as well as the fate of Satan, who will be the third being thrown into that place of eternal punishment.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9–10)
The Insidious Agenda Of The Global Elite Is Moving Forward Very Rapidly - by Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/the-insidious-agenda-of-the-global-elite-is-moving-forward-very-rapidly/
The global elite have an entirely different perspective on things than most of the rest of us. Most people are not focused on “global issues” because they have enough to deal with just trying to run their own day to day lives. But the global elite have so much money that they don’t have to endlessly work long hours in order to “make a living”, and others take care of mundane daily tasks for them. So the global elite are able to pour an inordinate amount of time and energy into the issues that they consider to be important, and population issues are right at the top of the list for many of them.
There is a consensus among the global elite that climate change is the number one threat to our planet by a wide margin, and that humanity is doing far more to cause climate change than any other source. They endlessly push this narrative through the news and entertainment companies that they control, and most people have bought into their propaganda on at least some level.
The global elite would like all of us to radically alter our behavior in order to combat climate change, but they also acknowledge that this will not nearly be enough. The long-term solution, in their view, is to dramatically decrease the size of the human population until it has reached a level where climate change is no longer a major threat.
Throughout the 20th century, the population of the globe absolutely exploded. It is now over 7 billion, and the global elite needed to find a way to slow that down. So their news and entertainment companies started to encourage women to wait longer in life to have children and to have fewer children when they finally did decide to have families.
In addition, the toxic environment that has been created by the products that their corporations endlessly produce has made it more difficult for couples to have children. As I have detailed in previous articles, male sperm levels in the western world have declined catastrophically in recent decades.
Of course if a pregnancy does occur, the global elite have worked very hard to promote abortion as a “choice” all over the planet.
They aren’t doing this because they care about women. They are doing this because they want to keep the population in check.
All of these measures are really starting to work. In fact, the fertility rate in the U.S. has now been consistently below replacement level since 2007…
The U.S. total fertility rate, which estimates how many babies a hypothetical group of 1,000 women would have during their life based on data from a given year, remains far “below replacement” – meaning there wouldn’t be enough babies born for a generation to exactly replace itself.
“The rate has generally been below replacement since 1971 and has consistently been below replacement since 2007,” according to the agency, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And the global elite have got to be thrilled that the fertility rate in the U.S. for 2020 was lower than ever…
The number of babies born in the U.S. dropped by 4% in 2020 compared with the previous year, according to a new federal report released Wednesday. The general fertility rate was 55.8 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, reaching yet another record low, according to the provisional data.
We are witnessing similar patterns throughout most of the rest of the industrialized world.
As of 2017, fertility rates were below replacement level in nations that account for nearly half of the entire global population…
According to the most recent UN estimates (United Nations 2017), almost one half of the world’s population lives in countries with below replacement fertility (BRF), i.e. with a total fertility rate (TFR) below 2.1 births per woman. Of these, one-quarter have TFRs close to the replacement level, i.e. between 1.8 and 2.1; the other three-quarters have really low fertility, below 1.8 births per woman. Low-fertility countries are generally grouped into clusters. The main clusters are in East Asia, Southern Europe, the German-speaking countries of Western Europe, and all the former socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
Of course, there are other areas of the world (such as Africa) where the insidious population control agenda of the global elite is not working nearly as well, and this distresses them to no end.
Needless to say, the global elite will continue to try to come up with more ways to “encourage” population control, because they truly believe that time is running out for our planet.
They don’t respect life because they believe that humanity itself is a “plague”, and that has resulted in a tremendous lack of respect for life throughout our entire society.
Over the past year, millions of people have been dying during this pandemic, and this week we learned that the very first man that got a COVID vaccine has died…
William Shakespeare, the first man in the world to have an approved Covid jab, has died in hospital aged 81 after suffering a stroke.
Bill, as he was known, made global headlines on so-called V-Day on December 8 when he received the Pfizer/BioNTech jab at the University Hospital Coventry.
The former Rolls Royce employee and parish councilor passed away from a stroke last Thursday, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust said, after a period of illness at the same hospital where he famously received his vaccine.
There have been so many needless tragedies that have been popping up in the news lately. When a 35-year-old mother named Anne VanGeest suddenly dropped dead recently, it made the local news…
Anne VanGeest, 35, died April 19 at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s hospital in Grand Rapids.
“It is with profound sadness that we share the news of Anne’s passing Anne (Annie), who was 35, was a loving mother, wife, sister and daughter,” according to a statement from her family provided Lambert, a Grand Rapids-based public relations firm that is providing its services to the family pro bono.
Those that have passed away deserve to be remembered, but the vast majority of them will be quickly forgotten as the death toll grows.
Unfortunately, what we have witnessed so far is just the tip of the iceberg. As humanity plunges into a very apocalyptic future, the death and destruction that we will see will be off the charts.
But for now, the total population of the world is still above 7 billion, and the global elite will continue to try to find creative ways to keep that number down.
Unfortunately, most people out there still assume that the global elite are looking out for their best interests, and that is a tragic mistake.
Daily Jot: Stupidocrisy: Two-state solution – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Nearly every president since Jimmy Carter has supported a two-state solution for peace between Israel and people who call themselves Palestinians. As recent as last week, Joe Biden told the news media, “There is no shift in my commitment to the security of Israel. Period. No shift, not at all. But I’ll tell you what there is a shift in. The shift is that, we still need a two-state solution. It is the only answer. The only answer.” This whole idea of a two-state solution was defined very succinctly by President George W. Bush as two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. But there is a catch. The Palestinian state needs to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and trying to get terrorists to admit that has been impossible.
Ronald Reagan, in September 1982, spelled it out: “The time has come for a new realism on the part of all the peoples of the Middle East. The State of Israel is an accomplished fact; it deserves unchallenged legitimacy within the community of nations. But Israel’s legitimacy has thus far been recognized by too few countries, and has been denied by every Arab state except Egypt. Israel exists; it has a right to exist in peace behind secure and defensible borders, and it has a right to demand of its neighbors that they recognize those facts.” Reagan further stated that there should be a five year period “which would begin after free elections for a self-governing Palestinian authority is to prove to the Palestinians that they can run their own affairs, and that such Palestinian autonomy poses no threat to Israel’s security.”
None of that ever happened. Negotiations with terrorist Palestinian Liberation Organization chairman Yassir Arafat yielded no peace. While Carter and Bill Clinton and others tried to put lipstick on a pig so the PLO terrorist organization would be more acceptable under Mahmoud Abbas, still no peace. George W. Bush helped force Israelis out of Gaza and turned it over to the Palestinian Authority in what would be a similar test of peaceful elections and self-governance outlined by Reagan, only showed us that there is no peace. Somehow, Israel always gets the blame, but at the crux of the issue is that the terrorists, including the PLO, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, Hezbollah and others refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist and want ALL Jews exterminated, wiped from the face of the earth—it’s in the terrorists’ mission statements.
Donald Trump was the only American President who recognized the common sense of the situation—that you can’t negotiate with the terrorists and therefore, until there is a change in their hearts, there is no use trying to bribe them into accepting Israel’s right to exist. History tells us that a terrorist state cannot coexist in peace with Israel. Prophecy tells us in many places, like Zechariah 12:3 that Jerusalem is a burdensome stone and “all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” But Joe Biden is back at it again, back at promoting a two-state solution as the only solution. And he says it’s the only answer. And he tries to get Israel to quit defending itself when the terrorists attack. Trying the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Say it with me…Stupidocrisy.
Daily Devotion: Not Owners, but Stewards - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. —1 Timothy 6:17
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/not-owners-but-stewards/ - Listen
Most of us wouldn’t think of ourselves as rich compared to the world’s wealthiest people. Yet even Americans on the lowest rung of the economic ladder still are wealthy in comparison to the standard of living in most of the world today.
Today if you have a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, and some form of transportation, then compared to many people around the world, you’re rich. Of course, you can enjoy what God has blessed you with. That isn’t a sin.
However, the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17 NKJV).
We’re not owners, but stewards, of what God has put into our possession. Along these lines, Paul told the believers in Philippi that their financial gift to him would result in a reward for them: “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account” (Philippians 4:17 NKJV).
Paul was saying, “When you give to me or to the ministry I’m involved in, it will result in fruit to your account. God will credit you for that.”
That’s an incredible thing for us to think about. You will leave behind whatever you have on this earth, which will be divided among your relatives or whomever you choose.
On the other hand, whatever you’ve invested in the work of God’s kingdom—every dollar you gave for ministry, every cent you contributed for the preaching of the gospel or for the support of your church—will result in spiritual fruit to your account.
So don’t put your hope in wealth. Instead, use what God has given you for good.
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