Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Revelation Part 10: The Holy City - By Pastor Mike Taylor -
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:1-4)
Finally, the end of this present world passes away. We have seen down through the ages of the reign of mankind, that it has been fraught with evil and mankind's inability to rule themselves with any given success. Jesus came to rescue those who would believe on His Name and come to Him in faith for Him to apply mercy and grace.
This lasted for 2000 years or the Age of Grace, until the Tribulation started and the finishing of the age of the law, known as Jacob's trouble. We have believed that God will separate His chosen Bride away from His coming wrath and bring us to heaven. We have seen the destruction and the rebellion of mankind against God's Anointed, God's Only Son. Until mankind was given a brief respite from all the evil found in this world for a Millennium. As we saw in the last study of Revelation 19 and 20, Jesus came and was victorious over the Beast power, the last dictator of the world, the false prophet who deceived the whole of the nations, and laid waste to the vast army gathered into the Valley of Jehoshaphat or commonly called Megiddo/Jezreel and blood rose up about 5-6 feet deep and 184 miles long and 5 miles wide.
But that was not the end of it, because Satan was loosed for a little season and deceived those who just could not stand to be ruled, even righteously by a sovereign Lord God on earth and came against the Holy City of God's Throne in Jerusalem and fire came down and destroyed them all. We saw where Satan was again grabbed by strong angels and cast into the Lake of Fire, no more to deceive mankind, and God has changed all who dwell on the earth found in Jesus Christ into Spirit being of flesh and bone, just as was when He appeared to His apostles nearly 3000+ years ago and from this point we start the coming chapters that speak of the glory that is coming for all who have received grace through faith from God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
THE NEW HEAVENS AND THE NEW EARTH
If you read the above verses slowly and meditate on what the word picture John is attempting to convey, it is beyond the scope of our imagination and no one at this point in this mortal life can fully comprehend the spectacular view the apostle John sees and witnesses, and now becomes real to all who stand back and watch God in action. Can you even envision the power that will be displayed, when God wipes away this old rock we have lived on for many ages in the past, and rolls the heavens back like a scroll, and creates everything brand new?? The earth was made for mankind, and the Garden of Eden was a paradise, but this coming New World and heavens are for the Saints of God, including His bride and all who have believed on our God, in faith, and the glory is beyond anything we can fully comprehend. The prophets down through the ages have spoken of this time in particular that we will see with our own eyes.
For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create a Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. (Isaiah 65:17-19)
"Of old, You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; yes all of them will grow old like a garment, like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will have no end. (Psalm 102:25-27)
"Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat . . . Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:12-13)
It's worth remembering that the new heaven referred to doesn't mean the heaven where God is enthroned. The Bible uses the word heaven in three senses. The first heaven is the earth's atmosphere, the "blue sky." The second heaven is outer space, the "night sky." The third heaven is the place where God lives in glory. When the Scriptures speak of a new heaven, they mean a new "blue sky" and a new "night sky," not a new heaven where God dwells.
WHAT IS THIS NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH?
New heaven . . . new earth: The ancient Greek word translated new here (kaine) means "new in character, 'fresh'." It doesn't mean "recent" or "new in time." This isn't just the next heaven and the next earth; this is the better heaven and better earth replacing the old (the first earth had passed away).
There are those who disagree, thinking this old earth will never pass away, but God says that He will make all things brand new, not revise it, but completely burn up with fervent heat of what was, so that He may bring to pass what the ancient Hebrew word for "create" (bara) means to "create out of nothing," instead of re-fashioning existing material that the Old Testament prophets spoke of.
THE SAINTS FUTURE HOME
John sees the Holy City, the New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven, and the city is adorned in glory, as a new bride before her husband. Never has God the Father been on this earth since, at least I believe, Adam and Eve committed sin, but now that is all changed. The Tabernacle of God comes down from heaven, and the Ancient of Days, our ABBA Father takes His place among His adopted children and there will be no more pain, suffering, sorrows or tears, as all things of this mortal age has passed away.
5 "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." (Revelation 21:5-7)
God the Father and God the Son, will reign eternally from the New Jerusalem, and both are of the beginning and the end. Remember that Jesus said that God the Father and the Son "Are ONE"....They have always been and the mortal mind cannot comprehend the infinite with the finite mind, but we will some glorious day coming. I have contemplated the Divine and tried to understand how God and the Son were One from eternity. It's to me, and I could be totally wrong, as I am limited just as you are, but mankind is body, soul and spirit, just as God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit but as we are one within ourselves, He is One within Himself. I am reminded of what John wrote in the Gospels concerning who Jesus is and was..
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1:1-3)
What are we to make of this? Jesus who is God everlasting, was with God and they both were God. Note that God is Spirit and it speaks of the seven spirits of God meaning in its completeness. God spoke and it was done. God stepped out of eternity and His spirit became flesh lowering Himself to be a servant for the suffering of death for our salvation. Jesus was a brand new man when He arose from the dead. He was not like Adam to be perishable and mortal, but an entirely new "prototype" of a New Man that we will be as well. And when He returned to the Father who sent His Spirit to indwell inside Mary and live till He died at 33.5 years old on Roman cross of torture and death, then Jesus returned to be what He had always been, but different, as He now was a Spiritual "Man" who was fully God and reclaimed His glory that was from the beginning. Like I said, it is beyond my scope and ability to fully comprehend. As the Prophet Isaiah wrote under Holy Spirit direction:
8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
That is my feeble attempt to comprehend God the Father, God the Son who is God the Holy Spirit and they are ONE, but three. We can't make heads or tails of the belief, but God said it, and He will explain it in the sweet by and by.
8 "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God," (Revelation 21:8-10)
Verse 8 is self explanatory, as there will NEVER be evil on the new earth or the new heavens, as they have all been cast into the Lake of Fire and will never be let out of their separation from God or their torment. It is their second death.
But here the angels that were responsible for unleashing the wrath of God in the bowl judgment beckon John to show him the New Jerusalem. The text speaks of the Lamb's wife, but to me, it is a metaphor of the glory that it shines as a New Bride on her wedding day. She will be the home eternal of God's children and the Bride of Christ.
11 "Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." (Revelation 21:11-14)
The description is beyond belief, as the city is adorned with jewels of the color of the rainbow, and is laden with gold. The gates are one huge pearl each, that is mostly like pure white and the foundation the names of the twelve apostles who started where Jesus left off and spread the Gospel far and wide where it spread as a wild fire over the whole earth. This is the Jerusalem of hope (Hebrews 12:22), the Jerusalem above (Galatians 4:26), the place of our real citizenship (Philippians 3:20).
15 "And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.
19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;
20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst." (Revelation 21:15-20)
The size of this city of God is, for a lack of a better word, HUGE. It is 1500 miles long, 1500 miles wide, and 1500 miles high. Some say it would be covering the land mass from Florida to Maine, and Charlotte to St. Louis, if they were still present, and rise 1500 miles high. Some have suggested that it will be a low flying satellite to orbit the new earth, but we don't even know how big this new earth will be, and there will be no more land divisions of seas. And we don't need oxygen to breath, as we are spirits and the universe will by our oyster. What a glorious thought. John attempts to describe the beauty that will be present and the colors of precious stones will adorn the walls, line the streets of pure gold and the gold will be so pure that it will be near transparent, like crystal.
"This is the greatest glory of heaven, and the ultimate restoration of what was lost in the Fall. "I do not think the glory of Eden lay in its grassy walks, or in the boughs bending with luscious fruit-but its glory lay in this, that the 'Lord God walked in the garden in the cool of the day.' Here was Adam's highest privilege, that he had companionship with the Most High." (C. Spurgeon) So shall we, the children of God and we will inherit all things.
21 "And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:21-29)
John continues with the description of this Holy City, trying to impress on the reader the grandeur, the glory, and the eternal nature of this city. It will be a new star in the heavens, as the light of God will be its light that is brighter than many suns. It is done! God's eternal purpose in Jesus is now accomplished. Ephesians 1:10 has been fulfilled: that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; in Him. At this point, all things have been resolved or summed up in Jesus - it is done!
This city is beyond earthly description. She has room for everyone that ever believed on the Name of our Lord. That is how big she is. There will be no temple, no church, no place of worship, save the throne of God as the Father and the Lamb of God are the glory within this city and their light shines to the end of the universe and back.
CHAPTER 22: THE RIVER OF LIFE AND THE TREE OF LIFE
"And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads." (Revelation 22:1-4)
The description of what is in store for the children of God is beyond glorious. Here the river of life, and the tree of life, that was in the Garden of Eden is restored to God's people.
A pure river of water of life: Through the Old Testament, prophets used the picture of a river as a powerful expression of richness, provision, and peace (Isaiah 48:18, Zechariah 14:8, Ezekiel 47:1-9).
Or, as expressed by the Psalmist in Psalm 46:4-5: "There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn."
From the throne of God and of the Lamb: This river of provision comes right from God's throne. Because it comes from God, it cannot be anything other than pure and abundant.
Ezekiel saw a glorious river (Ezekiel 47) flow down from the temple in Jerusalem and into the sea, but that river belongs to the millennial earth. It is perhaps the final preview of this heavenly river. This is a better river with better trees.
"One of the gladdest things on earth is water. There is nothing in all the world so precious to the eye and the imagination of the inhabitant of the dry, burning and thirsty East, as a plentiful supply of bright, pure, and living water." (Seiss)
Matthew Poole wrote that this idea of this river was "To let us know, that in heaven there shall be no want of any thing that can make the saints happy."
Verse 4 reveals that sin will be eradicated, as there is no more tempter of the people. And we will not have the ability to sin and submit to the will of the deceiver or to our prior evil ways.
"Henceforth, eternal praises to his name, the throne of God is the throne of the Lamb. It is a throne of righteousness, but no less a throne of grace. There, on the throne of the Almighty, mercy reigns. According to the merit of the sacrifice and the virtue of the atonement all the statutes and decrees of the kingdom of heaven are issued. The altar and the throne have become identical. From that throne no fiery bolt can ever again be hurled against the believer, for it is the throne of the Lamb as well as the throne of God." (Spurgeon)
We will gladly submit to the will of God. And God will be among His people and His name shall be in their foreheads. Does this mean that it will be a brand, or that the thoughts of God and His glory will be foremost in our minds?. Everything will and always has been about Him. Here we will concentrate all our efforts to be the children, the obedient children of a wise and Living God as we will see His face, and we will have a personal one on one relationship with Him. NO barriers, no limitations, and no hindrances to come into His presence, as He will never tire, and since He never tires, neither will we. We will be as Paul said:
16" The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Romans 8:16-19)
As John describes what he sees, it is something hard to understand and visualize, as the street has a river going down it, much as the canals of Holland have flowing water, but this water will be beyond anything we have seen in this life. There will be trees lining this street that will produce fruit every month. I see them be diverse and being better than apples, plums, or orange trees. Etc., but a fruit that will make the people of God gloriously happy and the water will be clear as crystal and we will never thirst. Some people wonder if we will eat in heaven. The best answer is that we can eat, but will not have to. In His resurrection body, Jesus enjoyed food (Luke 24:41-43, John 21:12-14). Angels ate with Abraham (Genesis 18:6-8). The great heavenly reunion between Jesus and His people is described as a marriage supper (Revelation 19:9). Even though man fell by what he ate, God will still allow us to eat in heaven.
Like the golden table of showbread which ever stood in the ancient Tabernacle and Temple for the priests to eat, so the Tree of Life stands in all the golden streets of the New Jerusalem, with its monthly fruit for the immortal king-priests of heaven.
We shall be able to enjoy food, because we will be flesh and bone, just as Jesus was, as He had no blood and needed none, as His life force was the Spirit of God. It will be the new source of our life as well.
5 "And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." (Revelation 22:5-7)
The world we will live on will be totally different than the one we see now. There will be no sun for heat and light, as God will be the Light of our world and our universe. We shall reign with God forever and ever and one would unable to even imagine what our duties will be in this new world. We will be able to go from planet to planet, or star to star in a flash. The universe will be our oyster and I don't believe there will be any limits to what we as God's Children will be able to accomplish. Who knows what other worlds there are out in the cosmos. Does anyone think that an eternal God has only created one species of life found only on our planet? God has always been and is always creating. Will He also allow us to help Him create and manage the affairs of other worlds?? This is questions that cannot be answered just yet, but God will not be idle, and neither will we. The idea of sitting on a cloud strumming a harp is foolishness, as we will never tire and we will live forever. What can be accomplished in all of eternity. Does that make anyone get a little excited about the promise of our future? I know it does me.
8 "And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand." (Revelation 22:8-10)
Thus God is closing down this apocalyptic book and gives warning and admonitions to those who read these words. John falls down to worship the one who is showing him these things, as just as he had before, this elder admonishes him not to do so, as he is a fellowservant and of they brethren the prophets. This elder is a glorified man who has been showing John what is in store for those who believe on Jesus Christ and are adopted into the the family of God and it is almost too much for him to handle and he worships out of turn, and the elder says "Worship God".
11 "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." (Revelation 22:11-12)
It is a warning to all those who read this book, no matter what part of time they inhabit and when and how they come to read this passage. But God says that He is coming quickly and will reward all those who have done works for the Kingdom of God and for His Son, Jesus Christ. It reminds me of the Bema Judgment seat of Christ when Jesus gives rewards for those things done in His Name and they stand forever. But everything else will be burned up. (1st Corinthians 3:11-15)...Each man and woman will receive reward for service in His Name, and some will rule many cities, and some just a community based on their service. But we all we be rewarded eternal life and would not anyone think that is a reward enough? The rest will be gravy and beyond our scope of understanding. It will be that glorious that no one, not even John could fully use the words enough to describe what is in store for us. The Amplified Bible uses adjectives that flesh out the King James version to describe this:
"But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]." (2nd Corinthians 2:9)
13 "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." (Revelation 22:13-16)
As Jesus told John at the very beginning, it is He who is doing the revealing of what will be the final reward of the righteous, right along with the wicked. God will eradicate from His presence all wickedness and separate them from Him for all eternity. Some call that hell, or the Lake of Fire. But to have no hope, and nothing that anyone can call good for all eternity, is beyond the description of hell. It is the second death. Jesus is the bright and morning Star and He has revealed to all of us what is coming. From the beginning of the Tribulation, to the Millennial reign, to the beginning of eternity that will have no end.
I find the closing verses of this chapter most revealing of who it is that Jesus speaks to and who will be preeminent in the New World. As The Bride of Christ along with the Spirit of God beckons to all who read this message.
17 "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." (Revelation 22:17-21)
The Bride of Christ is already in heaven, even before the foundation of this world. God knew who would be His bride, who would love Him and come to Him, and who would do His commandments, because of this love for our Bridegroom and our Savior. Each beckons to all who will not be the bride YET, but can be part of that heavenly body before the end of this Age of Grace which is close at hand. Would you like to experience all the blessings that I have described in these last two chapters? Or would you rather experience the horror, the wrath, and eternal destruction from a God who takes vengeance against all unrighteousness? The choice is definitely up to each individual. No one can coerce anyone to accept anything, as each of us have our own free will. Choose today who you will serve. Either the gods on the other side of the flood, (paganism), or serve the Living God? As Joshua said "
15"If it is disagreeable in your site to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day who you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)
The choice is yours, my friend, but the ability to choose life is so easy that a child can do it...it comes down to two simple passages, not counting all the others that say the same thing.
16" For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
Let that confession flow into all the world and make others know that Jesus has become your Lord. As God will proclaim those who do not deny His Name to the Father in heaven, but deny those who do.
8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 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.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." (Romans 10-8-11)
This is pastor Mike Taylor, witnessing to you that this earth in its evil form is about to be consumed. Do not be left behind when Jesus comes for the Church, as the alternative is fraught with pain and suffering. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a friendly listening ear, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or vist me online for more biblical lessons that proclaim the nearnes of our Lord. God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Ancient Prophecy: Convergence of Lunar Eclipse With Tu B'Shvat Signals End of Ishmael's Reign - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"He shall be a wild ass of a man; His hand against everyone, And everyone's hand against him; He shall dwell alongside of all his kinsmen." Genesis 16:12 (The Israel Bible™)
A unique and rare convergence of a blue blood supermoon eclipse with the Jewish holiday of Tu B'Shvat this Wednesday evening is described in several prophecies from Jewish sources as heralding the end of the era of Ishmael's dominance over the Temple Mount.
This upcoming super blue blood moon will be the third and final one in a series that began on December 2. Rabbi Berger, the Rabbi of King David's Tomb on Mount Zion, noted that the confluence of Tu B'Shvat and a lunar eclipse was explicitly described in the Yalkut Moshe, a book of kabbalistic insights written in 1894 by Rabbi Moshe ben Yisrael Benyamin in Munkacs, Poland.
"A lunar eclipse in the Hebrew month of Shvat is an especially bad omen that will bring harsh natural phenomena," Rabbi Berger said to Breaking Israel News, quoting the 124-year-old source. "The eclipse will usher in a period of intensified earthquakes around the world."
This dire prediction also has its source in the Talmud, in which it is written that a lunar eclipse is a bad omen for Jews as the Hebrew calendar is partially set in accordance with the lunar cycle. But Rabbi Berger explained that this lunar eclipse is exceptional and although it is indeed an omen of harsh judgments, Israel will not be affected. Rabbi Berger noted that since the eclipse will not be visible in Israel but will be seen in surrounding Arab countries because the celestial event portends something negative for them and not Israel.
Rabbi Berger said this was taught in a lesson on Tuesday night given by Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the most prominent rabbis of this generation. Rabbi Kanievsky also suggested that the lunar eclipse on Wednesday night will not be bad omen for the Jews.
"A lunar eclipse is indeed an evil omen, but since it falls on the holiday of Tu B'Shvat, the harsh judgments cannot fall on Israel," Rabbi Berger explained, paraphrasing Rabbi Kanievsky's teaching. "They will be deflected and fall on the nearby Muslims, who figure their calendar exclusively by the lunar cycle."
Rabbi Berger explained that the current series of lunar eclipses will end with a second total lunar eclipse on the night of July 27, five days after Tisha B'Av ( a major fast day commemorating the destruction of both Jewish Temples).
"This lunar eclipse signals the beginning of a harsh period for the Bnei Ishmael (the sons of Ishmael,i.e. the Arab nations) which is necessary for the beginning of Moshiach (Messiah)," Rabbi Berger said.
Rabbi Berger explained that the connection between the downfall of the Arabs and the arrival of the Messiah was taught by Rabbi Jacob ben Asher, a 13th-century Biblical commentator known as the Baal Haturim, in his explanation of a verse in Genesis.
These were the years of the life of Ishmael: one hundred and thirty-seven years; then he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his kin. Genesis 25:18
Rabbi Asher explained in his commentary, "This verse, relating the death of Ishmael, is adjacent to the verse describing Isaac's life, in order to teach that when Ishmael falls, it will be the end-of-days, and the Son of David (the Messiah), who is from the descendants of Isaac, will flourish."
"Just as the Exodus to freedom required a harsh judgment to fall upon Egypt for oppressing the Jews and prevented us from serving God, the same is true today," Rabbi Berger added.
"For the Jews to return to the Temple, the Arabs who treated the Jews badly and prevented us from serving God must have a judgment brought upon them."
What Does Islam Believe About the End Times? - Nathan Jones - www.lamblion.com
The following is what Islam teaches concerning the end times, primarily understood from the Hadith, which has incorporated elements of the Torah, New Testament, and Zoroastrianism. Not all Muslims believe in every, or even some, of these eschatological elements, just as in Christianity there are widely divergent views concerning the last days. But, whether these elements are believed or not, this is basically what the Hadith teaches.
Bear in mind there are elements in Islam that were taken from other religions, so we are going to recognize some things that are familiar from the Bible. Don't forget, though, Islam is a made-up religion. Satan doesn't know how the end times are going to turn out except from what he reads in the Bible. So, as we go through Islam's end time views, please don't be concerned that any of what you are about to read is going to happen.
The Mahdi versus the Dajjal
Islam generally believes in a savior called the Mahdi. He'll arrive during a time called "The Hour."
There will be a number of very interesting signs that follow his coming. Women will outnumber men 50 to 1. Men will eat with their tongues like cows. Time will contract. Wild beasts will speak. And, the Euphrates River will uncover a mountain of gold. When that happens, the Mahdi will come.
They also have an Antichrist called the Dajjal. Of course, since Islam hates the Jewish people, he's supposedly going to be a Jew. The Dajjal is prophesied to be born in Iran. He has one eye and the word "Infidel" actually tattooed on his forehead. He will lead a Jewish army.
In response to the Dajjal, the Mahdi shows up. Some Islamic sects call the Mahdi the Twelfth Imam, who was a kid that supposedly fell down a well centuries ago, yet he comes back. The Twelfth Imam directly descends from Mohammad.
Jesus also plays a part in Islamic eschatology, and is sometimes confused with the Mahdi. The Mahdi will lead Muslims, along with Jesus, against the Dajjal. Islam teaches that Jesus will return to the Mount of Olives, which they clipped from the Bible, and he will defeat the Dajjal near Tel Aviv. He also defeats the Gog-Magog invaders. Jesus then converts the world to Islam, breaks all the crosses, kills all the pigs, and he marries, has children, and then he dies.
The world during these battles will endure many natural disasters and dangerous beasts will appear. Smoke will engulf the world. There will be landslides. The sun will begin rising from the west. Fire will round up all the people in Syria.
Resurrections occur in Islamic eschatology. There are three to be exact: The Trumpet of Terror, The Trumpet of Swoon, and The Trumpet of the Resurrection.
The Day of Reckoning
That brings people up to the Day of Reckoning. For a Muslim, the Day of Reckoning is like Purgatory. Even if a Muslim is the most devout teacher of Islam, no matter what kind of Muslim you are, you know you are going to end up suffering for at least a little while. A Muslim must suffer as it's a works-based religion.
Allah then judges each person based on their works. Each person was assigned two angels, and your deeds, they were recorded and placed on scales. If you are found worthy, you cross a bridge. Those who are unfaithful will fall off the bridge into Hell, though there are still some chances to be saved after that and so later be rescued from Hell.
Islam has a Heaven called Paradise. Sura 4:56-57 explains:
"But those who believe and do righteous deeds, we will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide forever. For them therein are purified spouses, and we will admit them to deepening shade. But those who believe and do righteous deeds, we will admit them to gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide forever. For them therein are purified spouses, and we will admit them to deepening shade."
Those who are slain in life for the advancement of Allah are promised 72 voluptuous virgins. Seven levels exist in their Paradise. Unlike Christianity, though, it's not a heaven of spiritual delight and communion with God. Allah is off in the distance. You don't get to talk to him. Paradise is all physical, all sensual; really it's all sexual. Why would any woman be interested in becoming a continual concubine throughout their eternal stay? They say it's because they gain eternal youth.
For those who go to Hell, Sura 4:56-57 says:
"Indeed, those who disbelieve in our verses [the infidels], we will drive them into a fire. And every time their skins are roasted through we will replace them with other skins so they may taste the punishment. Indeed, Allah is ever exalted in might and wise."
Hell in Islam also has seven levels. Did you know there is a level of Hell reserved just for Christians? We've got our own level of Hell! And, of course, there's also a level of Hell reserved for the Jews.
In keeping with Mohammad's disdain for women, there's a level of Hell primarily reserved for ladies. Not many women are going to make it into Paradise, unless you are one of the virgins. Although, at a 72:1 ratio, I'm not sure how that works. Unfortunate for the Muslim female, Hell is primarily for women.
We Are Summoning Up Demons - By Jan Markell -
Late last year I started to become aware of a phenomenon known as "artificial intelligence" or "AI."
The first troubling headline I saw stated, "Ex-Google Executive Anthony Levandowski is Founding a Church Where People Worship an Artificial Intelligence God."
The second headline read, "Why Humans Will Happily Follow a Robot Messiah."
I started watching videos online of robots who look human and who "think." They answer questions and seem to process real thoughts. Developers of these robots say someday they will solve society's problems. Such men also believe that it is possible for artificial intelligence to be a billion times smarter than humans. Try to process that!
Various leaders in the field of "AI" have made some of the following statements:
* "The human era could be ending and machines will take over."
* "He who develops AI rules the world. We aren't going to be able to control it."
* "We are summoning up demons."
* "We are playing with fire."
* "This is one of the dumbest things we can do."
* "Soon robots will walk among us. They will play with us, teach us, and they will truly be our friends."
* "AI will be smarter than humans and will become a god."
* "AI could become the worst event in the history of civilization."
* "In the end, the machines will win."
Maybe this new religion isn't the promise of paradise after all. Some promoting AI are evangelists and some of them offer a new Promised Land. But some of the very movers and shakers of the artificial intelligence industry are sounding serious warnings.
This is really not the wave of the future as it is all being employed now! Outfits like Google have every bit of information on us they need: Address, e-mail, occupation, history, photos, our family, our interests, our searches. Simply stated, they have all our vitals.
So how will this play into Antichrist's agenda? Will this manage all buying and selling? We want tech companies to work for us but we end up fitting into their plans and purposes! Dare I say, we are almost their useful idiots.
We're all aware of the biblical prophecy found in Daniel 12:4 that knowledge will increase in the last days. But machines smarter than people? Surely God would never allow that to happen. He created mankind in His image and He didn't create them to be superseded by computer chips. That is not stopping man from trying!
In 1948 there was a milestone event as it concerns "signs of the times." That was the re-birth of Israel 70 years ago. Are we in the generation of a more current sign that could involve end-time technology, the "image of the beast," "mark of the beast", etc? Could this wave of technology be as relevant as the stirring of the dry bones? We look at that 1948 happening in a rear-view mirror. Technology is a 21st century fulfillment.
Viewing one now-famous robot, Sophia, is a bit unnerving. YouTube loves to feature her and has introduced her to millions. She is attractive, clothed, looks you in the eye, and answers your questions. She can be your friend, companion, problem solver, and perhaps someday, your spouse. At the very least, she will run your errands and put away your groceries. In the wrong hands, she will be dangerous.
Young people are particularly drawn to artificial intelligence. Some will tell you that they can get an answer more quickly from Google or Alexa than they can from God. Who needs God in an age of artificial intelligence? Who needs an invisible God? And Google or Alexa may tell you what you want to hear in Technicolor, 3-D, and instantaneously!
Don't brush this off as silliness. It's our world today. Welcome to the brave new world.
Google admits that they want to be like the mind of God and suggests we will be "godlike." They are grabbing bundles of data from us. There is a "home invasion" going on by the world of technology. If you think you have privacy, think again! We are being monitored and this is not crazy talk. It is not sensationalism. It is not kooky conspiracy language.
The world of "Big Brother" exists and will be in full bloom during the Tribulation from which the Church is absent. And as I quoted above, an inventor admits, "This is one of the dumbest things we can do." It has a very dark side.
In late January I featured artificial intelligence expert Pastor Billy Crone on air for a two-week series on AI. You can access the programs from January 20-21 and January 27-28 here or here.
You may not be skilled in technology and you may think this doesn't affect your life but it does. And it's a guarantee that younger people in your world are captivated by all of this.
Things are falling into place.
AI cannot speak anything into existence or give anyone eternal life. It cannot give anyone comfort, guidance, or offer anyone peace or hope. It cannot still the wind or calm the sea. It is more like Frankenstein than like God. It is trying to be like God but will fall far short! We are fearfully and wonderfully made. AI is fearfully fraudulent.
Stay ahead of the game and become informed. Events of the Tribulation are casting a shadow today. The shout and the trumpet are close. He is coming soon! God sits in the Heavens and laughs at these people (Psalm 2).
He will allow them a short season of notoriety and then will crush the evil doers at His Second Coming.
Daily Jot: Of unity and division - Bill Wilson -
President Donald Trump lit it up last night with his State of the Union address. So much so, that amid "USA" chants in the House chamber, a Democrat congressman got up and left. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) frowned at the call to work together and remained sitting during a rousing ovation. Black Democrats who were sitting together remained stone-faced when Trump said that unemployment was at its lowest rates in 45 years and that black unemployment was the lowest on record. The news media continued to criticize Trump with snide remarks about his wife's dress. ABC went so far as to say the speech was divisive, gloomy and stoked racial tensions. The real cap on the night came from CBS.
A CBS poll following the speech showed that 75% of those who watched the speech approved of it, only 25% disapproved. Interesting, though, about this rating is the demographics of those who watched the speech. Some 42% said they were Republicans, 33% were Independents, and 25% were Democrats. This could indicate that no matter what a Republican says, no matter what the facts are about the good things that are being done, no matter if people have jobs who never had them before, no matter what-Democrats are going to disapprove of anything and everything a Republican does. This is not unity. This divisiveness coming from Democrats and the media is not even American.
The sides of this coin are drastic for our nation and its people. We need to learn how to work out our problems with respect and civility. Those who are openly hostile obviously have another agenda. That would be the case with the mainstream media and the leadership of the Democratic Party. Notwithstanding, those polled who said they were Democrats, appear to agree with their party's leadership-at least 25% of them. This radical, visceral approach to politics is destructive. Jesus said in Mark 3:24, "And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand." We are a divided nation as evidenced by the disrespect and ignorance shown by those who refuse to agree on the good that has been accomplished.
President Trump said, "If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything. ...All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family. We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag. Together, we are rediscovering the American way. In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is "in God we trust."... As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail." Who can disagree with this? -- Those who neither share these values nor trust in God. That is the difference between unity and division.
Daily Devotion: Don't Be Fooled - By Greg Laurie -
You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ. -Galatians 1:7
We can be so dazzled by the supernatural. If someone does a miracle, the assumption is they must be from God. But are they? Should we believe anyone who can do a miracle?
Satan has his counterfeit Christians. He probably operates by the old adage that says, "If you can't beat them, join them." He loves to counterfeit the genuine. Whatever you have in the Christian life, you will have a devilish counterfeit somewhere else in this world.
There are people who will lie and say that something is a miracle when it really is not a miracle at all. Then there are miracles that can be done by the hand of the devil. The Bible warns us about lying signs and wonders that will be brought about by the Antichrist and the false prophet who will work in connection with him in the last days. So we don't want to believe someone just because they supposedly have a "miracle" ministry.
In addition to counterfeit miracles, there are counterfeit believers and a counterfeit gospel. The apostle Paul wrote, "I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not" (2 Corinthians 11:26). And writing to the believers in Galatia he said, "I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ" (Galatians 1:6-7).
How do you know if someone is from God? Listen to what they are saying. And if what they are saying does not correlate to what is taught in the Bible, don't listen to them.
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