Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Is America Babylon the Great? - Pastor Mike Taylor -
3 "So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth." (Revelation 17:3-5)
As the hour and days of this age show signs of coming to a close, many are wondering "who is the Great Whore mentioned in this passage, identified as the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth" I have had many people ask me that question and have explored several possibilities of who this end time abomination actually is. One asked me if I think that America is actually Babylon the Great in Revelation. So is she? It is a great question that needs to be looked at again.
"And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all." (Revelation 18:21)
As you read the words found in the prophecy written in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Christ our Lord shows John the Apostle using elders and angels what will come upon this earth in the final days of man's rule on this earth. When you interpret what is written, it sure sounds like America could indeed be this Mystery Babylon, as it gives a detailed word picture that could be describing what our culture has fallen to.
We all have read or seen individuals that have succumbed to the multi-billion dollar illicit drug industry, or the one country who is responsible for 60% of all pornography that floods the rest of the world. Let us not forget the complete addiction to the need for black gold, which is oil to run our cars and our factories that gives us the need to appease evil empires that are completely opposed to the Constitutional Republic this country was founded upon. Then we look at lawlessness that is trying to flood our shores, and the murders of the innocents in schools and places where people gather to feel safe, and has cries of taking away our God given freedom that I explored in my last message, that when gun control is completed (and mark my words, it will come to pass and when it will be completed is unsure, whether this side of the rapture or the other side), then it will lead the the complete takeover of this nation by the powers that desire a New World Order and the rise of the Anti-Christ.
Revelation chapter 17 describes a great scarlet whore, a word picture of decadence, debauchery and prostitution of religious Christianity upon the earth.
This is where I have to get off when this description speaks of religious prostitution. America was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles that formed this nation based on the Ten Commandments. But obviously, this once great nation has fallen far from where she began. But when you talk of religious prostitution, my mind reverts to another author of this abomination that qualifies her only, as the Harlot of Revelation.
6" And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is." (Revelation 17:6-8)
As the above verses show the two are distinct from one another. There is only one dominating world power that could be accused of fulfilling the previous verses 3-6 and part of verse 7 that once ruled with an iron fist in the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire. Their history is over-whelming with the death and the destruction of whole classes of people who would not bow their knee to their one-religion rule. This is not to disparage anyone's beliefs of their interpretation of what the Bible says, but to point out that there is one religious system that has perverted the bible in about every aspect based on "traditions and/or rituals" that were derived from the imagination of mortal men.
WHO IS THE BEAST?
The better question, is who is the beast that this false religion supports and rides the beast in Revelation 17:7? They are in collusion with one another, for one purpose and that is complete rule of this earth.
Historically, we know that there were four world Empires that Daniel the prophet spoke of and is alluded to in this chapter of Revelation 17. Those empires were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. The Apostle John speaks of seven, and then speaks of an eighth...
10 "And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
11And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast." (Revelation 17:10-13)
Reading verse 11 above, the passage is quite confusing....Who is the eighth, and is of the seven and goes into perdition? I had a brother hypothesize that it speaks of popery that the sixth pope will abdicate for the rise of the seventh, and then retake the title of Pope, but also becomes the new "Caesar" of Europe, as that is why he left to become president of the European Union. Then he comes back and reclaims his title as both pope and Caesar of the European continent. Is he right? We may wonder, but we'll never see it fulfilled, but we may have a good idea before Jesus comes for His Church. . I find it interesting, as the Popes will be involved in the New World Order, and have a place at the table of power when this One World Government is set up.
A LOOK AT THE HISTORICAL EVIDENCE
History records six great empires; two before Daniel (Egypt, Assyria) and four afterwards (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome).
Checking history once more, we know that five have fallen and as John says one is. The one in existence when John wrote this prophecy was the Roman Empire with its Caesars and cruel dominating Roman soldiers who did the Caesar's bidding to conquer all that was in front of them.
John says the next empire, the seventh, which is not yet come, will be short-lived. John appears to say that the seventh is also the sixth, and simultaneously the eighth. It may sound confusing, but not really as the above hypothesize sounds most reasonable.
As we look at what John wrote in this chapter he identifies that the beast will have 10 horns which will be 10 future kings, not during John's days, but in the end of days. They have not, as of yet, received a kingdom, but as the days grow closer to the coming of our Lord, the ten regions become more clear and who the leaders of those ten regions will most likely be. These future 10 kings that have control of a region of this earth will each submit their power to one central dictator who will demand complete worship and obedience of his power to rule.
"And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows." (Daniel 7:20)
John pictures the beast as an empire. Daniel's horn had eyes and mouth speaking great things. Which is right? Actually, both are right.
The beast is a system, personified by a man, but actually administered by two men, separated according to specialty. They are two systems. One is political and the other is religious that deceives the whole world by doing miracles (although false miracles by the power of Satan) to fool those who have the desire to continue in their sinful, unrighteous behavior.
REVELATION AND THE BEAST FROM THE SEA
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast." (Revelation 13:1-3)
This is but one of the beast that rules the entire world during the end of days, at least for the LAST 3.5 years. The next part of the passage introduces the religious aspect of this unholy alliance.
11 "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." (Revelation 13:11-15)
Note this religious beast speaks like a dragon, but tries to appear like a lamb. I can quote many, many departures from the faith of a central religious leader who has even said "there is no hell". This is but one of his outrageous quotes and proclamations that even says that atheist will make heaven just by doing good. Then one wonders, did he ever know the Jesus is the Only Way to heaven?
6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him." (John 14:6-7)
This second beast, who looks like a lamb, but speaks like a dragon, as Satan moves him to apostasy within the central faith in God. He derives his power directly from Satan, which is the dragon and promotes the first beast that all should worship him.
In the Apostle John's day, the seat of secular authority was Imperial Rome, but by the 3rd century AD, Rome had become the seat of the religious authority when Emperor Constantine declared "Christianity" the state church of Rome and the Emperor, now Constantine declared to be Pontifex Maximus of this so called "Christian church". This title was transferred to the Bishop of Rome as Imperial Rome was imploding from outside influence and debauchery from within.
It is as I have described it, the Caesars took off their royal robes and armament and took on the robes of the clergy and wore a "Miter's hat" in the shape of a fish's head (promoting the god Dagon) that the priest of pagan Philistines wore.
"Pontifex Maximus" literally means "the greatest bridge builder" and was the title conferred on the high priest of the College of Pontiffs in ancient pagan Rome.
The College was ancient Rome's most sacred priesthood of advisers to the Roman Emperor-god.
This title of Pontifus Maximus has been applied to the Roman popes since at least the 3rd century. When the rule of pagan Imperial 'Rome collapsed in the 5th century, much of its political power was transferred from the state to the religious found in the Pontifus Maximus or the Roman popes.
The Roman Empire which was in John's day was the present tense (the beast that is) that became the beast that was and is not, and yet is.
The Roman Papacy ruled Western European Christendom from the early 4th century until well after the French Revolution and was the most powerful political, yet "religious" ruler that had no problem with destruction of anyone who stood in their way of complete dictatorship in the name of their "church". That is until a general of Napolean's army captured the pope from Rome and imprisoned him, so the beast received a wound that was not healed until the early 20th century.
So the question comes down with just these points that describe the Roman shift of pagan to religious authority, is the Roman Catholic pope the False prophet? Nobody can be 100% positive on that claim, but the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree, and the statements and actions by the modern popes during the 20th century leading into the 21st century and this present pope, gives ones to wonder if we are not looking at either the false prophet who is alive and will live through the coming tribulation, or a precursor to the man, as this pope is growing very old at this point..Just how long will he live? You may think this is Catholic bashing, but the evidence says that we have to look at what is going on and what the bible says will be evident at the end of days and not let our prejudice blind us.
I believe the Rapture takes place before either the political Anti-christ or the False Prophet shows up.
What is a Church after all the Christians are gone?
WHAT DO WE MAKE OF THIS?
Whether one wants to take issue with me probing the possibility of the Roman Catholic pope is the false prophet, is not the issue. The issue is the Catholic church the seat of the coming beast power, the religious half that rules the whole world?
We come back to the question to answer the complete question. Is the Beast power, the secular, political aspect of the coming world power ruled by one man, be centered in 'America?
Right now, the center of economic power in this world is the United States of America. She has come to be the lone super-power on earth with the fall of the Soviet Empire. Many have tried and are attempting to knock her off this seat and bring her into submission to a One World Government. We have in our shores an institution that was formed during the end of the last World War, and the United Nations has promoted the political objective to be the central power of this world. No other political organization has attempted to usurp the sovereignty of the USA other that that of the United Nations. Only the United States stands in the way of complete world control by the seat of lesser powerful nations. But change is coming, and may be on the road to complete fulfillment. When America falls, (if she falls) then this whole economic world will be in chaos.
"And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
"And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived." (Revelation 18:22)
I have spoke of in the past, and must speak of again, that they have put into their political objectives what is called Agenda 2030 that all nations will proclaim allegiance to which is the complete control of every man and woman on this earth that will be enduring the coming Tribulation. (Mark of the Beast?) Why the coming Tribulation? Because I don't believe it will come into force until the Church is removed and the spirit of Anti-Christ comes into full power, as Satan will have full sway over this earth and its inhabitants. In this Agenda 2030 is the nefarious belief of Sustainable Development that advocates that the earth's population must be adjusted downward to approximately 500 million people. They will start with making everyone equal financially, then politically, and throw in religiously, as it will be the mechanism to make those who are left follow their demands. Think of this..we have nearly 7 billion people give or take after the rapture, and to eliminate the population to a "manageable" 500 million will be the extermination of 6.5 Billion people in 7 short years. That will be genocide that only war can ultimately achieve or state extermination of entire races of people. Jews and Tribulation saints will be prime subjects for extermination.
Remember, and I want to call your recollection that the mouthpiece of this new World Order, was the present Roman Pontiff who spoke gloriously of this coming Sustainable Development and Agenda 2030, for the good of the planet. Maybe he has a different idea of what is good for the planet, and what is good for mankind, than what God has got planned for mankind in the coming Millennium. The difference is night and day...evil vs. good.
SO IS AMERICA BABYLON?
Now to answer the question "is America the Babylon of Revelation?" As we have noted, Babylon is in two parts, religious and political as described in Revelation 17 and 18, both concerning economic and political power. The fall of economic Babylon could easily be interpreted as America, as the center of economic might in this modern world we live in, the bread basket to the world and the greatest merchant of all the earth is America. All wealth flows from within America , or through America's economic heart, which is New York City and how it branches out all over this nation and the world. If she ever declines, the world will decline with her. In her ashes, will arise a new world power that "never lets a crisis go to waste". To see America fall would have to be a crisis so powerful, that she implodes from within, as no nation will be able to conquer her from without. But if she continues to rule the economic world, she could fulfill the secular portion of this coming Beast political power. Because of the evils that permeate her culture, as one could line up America with the deception of " sorceries" (Greek, pharmakea, or the use of drugs), pornography, murder and evil desires of every kind. But, it is just as difficult to find a major role for America during the Tribulation Period as it is to find a role for the Church. The Bible makes it clear that during the last days, all eyes are on the battlefield.
God's attention will be turned to Israel and Satan's attention will be focused on Europe. America isn't the religious Babylon of Revelation or the Harlot of Revelation 17. She might qualify for the main member of the church of Laodecia. But as far as what the Bible describes as the religious beast, this is where American does not qualify for the other half of the beast that rises to rule using religious power, much as it was done in the Dark Ages.
"And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." (Revelation 18:24)
America has not slain or split the blood of prophets. Only one power has done such, and she is still alive today. That "honor" belongs to Rome, and she will return to her ways of the Dark Ages when she rises to promote the one man who take control of the ten regions and the ten kings that transfer their power to him.
America conceivable could rise to be the Beast power, but we won't know for sure, as I believe the church won't be here to know.
My belief is in another power that will rise to the table of power, as she has done in the past and will rise again to be the religious half of this unholy alliance.
America could be ready to implode from within, as I see one event that could decimate her. The sudden removal of million of people from this planet, that will remove people even from centers of power, or seats of government, and will leave this country in utter chaos....Even if a tenth to 20 percent of the people of 350 million people disappear from this nation, it will effect near every home on this planet, and the disappearance of whole families from every walk of life, from the highest positions in the land to the lowest. America, even with her faults, is the last haven for those who believe in Jesus Christ. How many of your friend or relatives that you have laughed at for believing such "religious nonsense" cause you to re-evaluate your position of eternal destiny? How many of you will fall on your knees with your face in your hands and know that you had heard the message of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and never accepted Jesus as Lord for yourself? What will you do when you realize that you had the truth right in your grasp and you neglected so great a salvation?
2 "For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;" (Hebrews 2:2-3)
But you don't have to be part of those who will be sorely surprised and faced with the horror that is coming. If you have read any of my messages on the coming Tribulation, not to mention the Great Tribulation that both cover 7 years where 80% of all mankind will be eliminated from this planet by evil men, and Divine wrath that will nearly wipe this planet clean of all life, then your salvation is only a prayer away.....believe these words found in your bible, and you shall BE SAVED!
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)
Then confess to others around you what God has done for you, and witness to your family and friends the change of mind concerning God that Jesus has wrought in you, and God says, "you shalt be saved".
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 10:9-11)
Jesus is coming soon. Before you complete reading this message, a trumpet could sound and millions could be disappearing....maybe even from your own family. Then you will be convinced that what I say is true. Then you will see with all the other condemned souls on this earth that will be slated for death by whatever means comes to pass. Don't wait for that end. Believe the Gospel, (Good News) that Jesus died for sinners, of whom I am chief.
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." (1st Timothy 1:15)
This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying for your own salvation, that you may join the church in glory at the coming of our Lord. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at email@example.com , or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , God bless you all.
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Gaza Protests Show the 'Land-for-Peace' Concept Has Failed - Martin Sherman -
The mass demonstrations that took place over the weekend on the fence separating Gaza from Israel underscored two points of grave significance. The one relates to past decisions made by Israel; the other to future ones it will have to make.
With regard to the past, it is clear that the formula of land for peace has failed dramatically, disastrously, and definitively.
Land for Peace Has Failed Both Jew and Arab
After all, it was in Gaza that the misguided experiment of attempting to foist self-rule on the Palestinians was initiated with Yasir Arafat's triumphant return to the coastal enclave in July 1994, amid fanfare and international acclaim.
The events of last Friday have proven just how unfounded the high hopes of peace and prosperity, back then, were. For the process that was set in motion in mid-1994 has - predictably - brought only trauma and tragedy to Jew and Arab alike.
However, although it has imposed several serious security challenges on Israel - such as suicide bombing, overhead rockets, underground terror tunnels, lone-wolf knifing, and ramming attacks - what it has wrought on the Palestinian-Arabs is far worse - particularly in Gaza, where it all began.
With frequent and extended power outages, soaring unemployment, pervasive penury, undrinkable water, polluted beaches and awash in flows of raw sewage, the largely destitute Gazan population has been the real victim of two-statism and the ill-conceived initiative to grant them political sovereignty. To make matters even worse, the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, locked in a fierce power struggle with Hamas that (mis)governs Gaza, is threatening to make the situation of the hapless Gazans even worse by further cutting off funds to reduce electric power, food, and medical supplies.
So after almost a quarter century after the Oslo Accords were signed, allowing self-rule to the Gazan-Arabs, and well over a decade after Israel completely evacuated the Gaza Strip, removing any remnant of Jewish presence, hordes of Gazans, tens of thousands strong, massed at the border, egged on by their leaders to obliterate Israel - within the pre-"occupation" borders - in what was dubbed the "March of Return."
A March to Destroy Israel
This was clearly articulated in the fiery proclamation by the head of Hamas, Yahya Sinwar, who vowed: "The 'March of Return' will continue. It will not stop until we remove this transient border. Friday's protests mark the beginning of a new phase in the Palestinian national struggle on the road to liberation...and the return of the Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes inside Israel..."
He continued, declaring, "The 'March of Return' affirms that our people cannot give up one inch of the land of Palestine ... The protests will continue until the Palestinians return to the lands from which they were expelled 70 years ago."
The reference to erasing the "transient border" between Gaza and pre-1967 Israel, to the "return of the Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their former homes inside Israel and...the lands from which they were expelled 70 years ago" removes any doubt as to the purpose of the so-called "March of the Return."
For this clearly indicates that the sense of "grievance" that the March is intended to address is not any alleged injustice due to the "Occupation" (which began in 1967 just over 50 years ago) but the existence of Israel as a Jewish state (established in 1948, i.e. 70 years ago).
Thus as Gatestone's Bassam Tawil aptly points out in his "A March to Destroy Israel": "Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Yehya Sinwar... did not hide the real goal behind the 'March of Return' - to destroy Israel."
"We Will Eat the Livers of the Jews"
Israel can ill-afford to treat the "March" as anything less ominous - especially in light of the manifest resolve to continue - indeed, escalate - the hostile rally on the border. Indeed, recent reports suggest that the participants will attempt to obscure the vision of the IDF forces with smoke screens produced by burning huge quantities of old tires and blinding IDF sharpshooters with mirrors and lasers, to allow rioters to breach the fence, undetected.
One need little imagination to picture the ghastly consequences were a tiny fraction of the frenzied mob, pressing against the fence were to burst through and overrun a single Israeli community close to the border, butchering the residents, ravaging the women, and razing the homes. After all, it was none other than Sinwar himself who unabashedly pledged publicly that the invading Gazans would "eat the livers" of Israelis they encountered.
Clearly, Israel cannot afford to treat this initiative to launch a popular invasion of its sovereign territory with anything other than zero tolerance. For even the perception of partial Palestinian success is likely to ignite similar mass marches in Judea-Samaria, on Israel's northern border and even among Israeli Arabs in the Galilee, the Ara Valley and the Negev.
"March" Is an Act of War, the Participants Enemy Combatants
The sustained specter of large, potentially violent - even lethal - mass demonstrations will inevitably draw off and pin down large numbers of troops, which will disrupt other IDF activities. This could obviously be used as a distraction or a diversion to facilitate perpetration of other terror activities.
Accordingly, Israel must convey, unambiguously, that it will consider the continuation of the "March of Return" an overt act of war - and all the participants in it, enemy combatants - who must expect to face all the risks that entails.
Trouble in the Holy City - By Sean Gooding -
"Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle.
"And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, for the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah."
When it rains it pours, I have heard many say over the years. Right now, Israel dwells in relative peace. But the time is coming when peace will run from them and they will wish for it and not find it. Some will make a claim that this event occurred in 70 AD when the Romans sacked Jerusalem. Now there may be a reference to this event that is well-recorded in history, but as we can see in verse 3, there has been no deliverance by the Lord to make this a fulfillment event.
Thus, we are looking for a future fulfillment of this prophecy. We are looking past the events of 70 AD and to a time when the nation will be under true invasion from a multinational force. The battle will be real; millions will die. As bad as it gets, Jerusalem will not fall to the enemy, and a small remnant will be left to defend the city and witness the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus.
At the time of the end, there will be two major battles. One will be the nations of the earth against the nation of Israel as recorded here. The second will be the nations of the world led by Satan himself attacking Jerusalem when Jesus is the king of Israel. These attacks are 1,000 years apart, and this needs to be noted.
Make no mistake; Satan knows that whoever rules from Jerusalem is the one who rules the world. The resurrection of Israel is one of the greatest attests to the validity of the Bible in the history of man.
The mere fact that the world is still focused on the nation of Israel, and in particular the city of Jerusalem, is the reminder that we should be looking for the emergence of the New World Order. It is running rampant in the USA, it is technically running Europe, and we are seeing the Globalization of the world come to life right in front of us.
There are two attacks that will come on the nation of Israel. The first will come from the surrounding armies; they are Iran, Ethiopia, Libya, Russia, Turkey and others. We are told that 'thoughts' will come into their minds and they will decide to collectively invade Israel. Man, what a bad idea! God will show up, not like Jesus does in our text, but God will mess with their minds and they will turn on each other. Ezekiel 38: 21 tells us,
"I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,' says the Lord God. 'Every man's (invading soldier's) sword will be against his brother (ally) [in panic and confusion]'" (AMP).
God did this at least once before with the invading armies of Sennacherib in 2 Kings 18-19. This massive army surrounds Jerusalem, and God turns them on each other; and overnight, an army of 185,000 men is decimated.
People just will not learn. This great war will change the landscape of Israel; there will be earthquakes and maybe even a volcano, in the understanding of some commentators. Nevertheless, the end result will be the total destruction of Israel's enemies.
This is the second of the two attacks. This one will come closer to the end of the Tribulation. The governments of the world will enter into a treaty, we are told in Daniel, with the nation of Israel, driven by some factor - either the Rapture or the defeat of the previous military endeavor. The nations of the world will enter into a 7-year treaty with Israel. We see this in Daniel 9: 26-27.
"And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate."
Each day of the weeks mentioned above represents a year. So, as we see in verse 27, the 'he' - the Anti-Christ, the leader of the world after the Tribulation - will sign a treaty that lasts 7 years (a week) with the nation of Israel that will allow them to rebuild the Temple and will appear, on the surface, to offer lasting peace with their enemies.
Halfway into the treaty we are told, he, the Anti-Christ, will defile the Temple by declaring himself to be god and defiling the Temple. He will set up an image or an idol that will require worship, similar to what Nebuchadnezzar did in Daniel 2. This will open the eyes of the Jews to the fact that the man they think is the Messiah is an imposter; and the whole world will turn on them as they begin to run back to God and begin to call for a deliverer like they did in the days of Moses. God will hear their call; but before Jesus shows up, they will go through a period of great suffering, and then Jesus will show up.
Make no mistake; the entire period of the Tribulation is about Israel and God. First, they will turn to a false messiah like they have for thousands of years; and they will then repent and turn to the Lord God of Israel, who will show up and rescue His people. And, what a rescue that will be!
Revelation 19: 11-16
Jesus in all His Glory will split the eastern sky, flanked by the armies of heaven. We were introduced to them in 2 Kings 6:16-17.
"So he answered, 'Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.' Then Elisha prayed and said, 'O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.' And the LORD opened the servant's eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha."
God allows Elisha's servant to see His armies surrounding the enemies of Israel. There is constant war in the heavens. Michael, one of the Archangels, is mentioned in fights in the books of Daniel and Jude; He fought over the body of Moses. We are literally surrounded by spiritual war all the time. It will flow over into the sight of man that day in Revelation 19.
Every eye will see the Lord Jesus step foot on Jewish soil for the first time in 2,000+ years. He will cause a great earthquake, and the battle that ensues will be gruesome for the enemies of Israel. Millions will die, bodies everywhere. Blood and human remains will scatter the hillside of the Mount of Olives as the King of Israel and then of the World will come to claim his rightful Kingdom. See Revelation 19:11-16.
"Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
"And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
"KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."
Zechariah has been right about every prophecy so far. He talked about Jesus being betrayed for 30 pieces of Silver, he talked about Him being pierced, and He talked about the fact that Israel would be restored in the last days. He is right about this war as well. It is coming. We can see the hatred for Israel in places like the UN. Imagine what that hatred will be like when it is fueled by the spirit of delusion that God will allow, according to 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12.
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
There is a horrible time coming, a time sent by God that will allow lies to prosper and grow at such a rate that the whole world, for the most part, will believe the lies of Satan. The world we live in is being conditioned for this. There are false churches set up to teach the doctrines of deception. Truth is being outlawed as hatred; and all that we have known to be true for millennia, even to the gender of people, is being questioned, and lies are being legislated into law by the 'enlightened.'
The buildup to this has begun; it has been in place for hundreds of years with a determined group of persons who are as committed to the kingdom of darkness as the New Testament church should be to the kingdom of Light.
The day of the Lord is coming. Be ready to meet Him.
Will You Recognize Jesus? - Nathele Graham -
The events of the final hours of Jesus' life on earth were horrific. The abuse inflicted upon Him at the hands of the Roman soldiers would have killed a lesser man, but Jesus wasn't ordinary. After the beating, Jesus was still able to carry His cross to be crucified. Roman soldiers pounded the nails into His already bloodied body and lifted Him up for onlookers to ridicule and mock. After it was all over, His body was placed in a tomb which was securely sealed and Roman soldiers were dispatched to guard it. This was done so the small band of men who had followed Him wouldn't be able to remove Jesus' body to make it look as if He had risen. This wouldn't have happened because the men who followed Him were hiding in fear. By human terms it was all very secure and escape-proof. Jesus' Jewish followers were bound by Jewish Law, and it was the time of Passover and Sabbath so they weren't able to tend to His body until the first day of the week, which was three days away. What a surprise awaited them. On the first day of the week a group of women went to the tomb at the first light of day the took spices to care for the body. "And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus." Luke 24:2-3. Who had moved the heavy stone? Where were the guards? They were soon to discover that Jesus had risen! He had conquered death and no stone nor Roman guard could possibly hold Him.
The women were understandably upset and confused, but saw two men (angels) there who began speaking with them. They reminded the woman that Jesus had spoken very clearly about what was going to happen. As Jesus travelled with the 12 disciples and others who also followed Him, He taught many lessons. As the time drew near for Him to offer Himself as the final sacrifice to take sin away, He began to speak of that event openly. "Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: and they shall scourge him and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again." Luke 18:31-33. If you had been there and heard these words, would you have understood? Jesus spoke very clearly, but those who heard the words just didn't understand. Don't be too hard on them. Experience had taught them that when someone dies they don't just come alive again. I can hear their thoughts: "He said He will rise from death on the third day, but what does He really mean?". Jesus meant exactly what He said. Too often we read Scripture that clearly describes events, both past and future, but instead of believing God's word we try to figure out what He "really" means by using human understanding.
When someone dies we know that their body is put into the grave and we certainly don't expect to see them walking along a road. That's exactly what happened to two disciples. They heard the story the women told of the empty tomb. Then Peter and John had also seen that it was empty. They were understandably perplexed and had a lot to talk about as they walked to Emmaus that day. "And it came to pass, that while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him." Luke 24:15-16. How could these two men not recognize Jesus? Some say they couldn't recognize Him because He still bore the wounds of the beating He had endured. Maybe, but if He looked that bad it seems they would have offered Him medical attention. Why couldn't they recognize His voice? They were blinded by "facts" of human understanding. He had died. He had been buried. He can't be walking and talking. Their eyes were "holden" (held back) from recognizing Him. They needed to hear the Bible study He gave as they walked, and so do we. First He asked what had happened and they summarized what had taken place. "But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive." Luke 24:21-23. They just couldn't put the things they saw together with the prophecy that He would rise on the third day and understand that Jesus was alive. This blinded them from recognizing their Lord and Saviour. Would this stop you from recognizing Jesus? We mere mortals tend to put God into a box that fits human understanding and we miss the greater things He has done and is still doing.
Jesus didn't leave them in confusion. He walked with them and began opening their understanding of Scripture. "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." Luke 24:27. We're a lot like these two disciples. Things we've been taught may not line up with Scripture and we become confused. When that happens we often decide that God is wrong and that causes confusion and doubt. Lots of people think there are many paths to Heaven. There aren't. Some religions teach that Jesus was just a nice man and a prophet, but Allah (or some other demon) is god. He isn't. Some religions teach that Jesus and Satan are brothers. They aren't. Some secular humanists would have us believe that Jesus didn't create all things in six days. He did. When we finally come to the place where we're willing to let go of the things we "know" to be true, we can then learn the real truth. Jesus is God, He conquered death, and only faith in Him will give you eternal life. If you're willing to allow Him to teach you, the Holy Spirit will open your eyes and allow you to see Jesus as the fulfillment of all the Jewish Law and the prophets. You will see Him as your only way of salvation.
Mary Magdalene had been one of the women who found the empty tomb and she went and told the disciples. Peter and John went with her to see for themselves. After Peter and John left, Mary was alone and filled with grief. She looked into the tomb and saw two angels "And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him." John 20:13. Mary knew Jesus as Lord, but had yet to meet her Saviour. Jesus had cast seven demons from her and she had followed Him ever since. The things she thought she knew as true were blinding her to what really was the truth. Mary was about to have her eyes opened. She was weeping and with tears in her eyes she turned away from the tomb. "And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus." John 20:14. Mary's grief was genuine and through her tears she saw Jesus but didn't recognize Him. She thought He was the gardener. She knew that when someone died they couldn't be seen standing in a garden. Was it the tears that blinded her, or the "facts" that she supposed were true? Then He spoke to her. "Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master." John 20:16. She heard Him call her name. That's when she knew that her Master was indeed alive.
Mary told the disciples what she had seen but they had their doubts about her story. That evening Jesus removed all doubt. The door was locked and fear filled the room. The disciples were in danger because of their association with Jesus and now somehow the heavy stone that sealed the tomb had been rolled away, the Roman guard had failed in their duty, and the body was missing. The danger for Peter, John, Andrew, and the rest was real and they hid in fear. Then Jesus appeared to them in that locked room. Did they recognize Him? "And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord." John 20:20. It was only after they saw the scars of the crucifixion that they accepted that Jesus had indeed been resurrected and had entered the locked room to stand with them. Don't ever think that if you see a loved one who has died that it's a good thing. You can be sure that Satan and his minions will try to convince you that Uncle Joe has come back from the dead with a special message for you. Rebuke that satanic spirit in Jesus' name. The reason Jesus met with them was that there were some lessons these men had to learn in order to spread the Gospel. First they had to understand that the tomb was empty because Jesus had been resurrected, not because the grave had been robbed. "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost" John 20:21-22. They had to receive the Holy Spirit and understand His power. Their doubts had to be put to rest and God's truth had to be understood.
Nobody alive today has actually seen Jesus and walked with Him. How, then, can we recognize Him? The place to start is God's word. When Jesus walked and talked with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He began with Moses (the first five books of the Bible) and then the prophets (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel, Zechariah, etc.) and showed them that these Scriptures were all about Him. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16. All scripture is there for a purpose and we learn from all of it. The Old Testament is the foundation for the New Testament and needs to be studied to gain a deeper understanding of Jesus. When Mary Magdalene saw Jesus in the Garden, she recognized Him when He called her name. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" John 10:27. She had a personal friendship with Jesus and knew His voice. She couldn't be deceived by a false shepherd. We need to study Scripture and make friends with Jesus. This will help us to hear His voice and recognize Him.
Probably the most important thing is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. A person who hasn't accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour isn't indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Therefore Scripture is confusing. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14. When various Scriptures confuse you, the Holy Spirit will lead you to find the correct answers. The Holy Spirit will help you to discern truth from false teaching and as you grow in your understanding, deeper truths will become clear. Remember, the Bible isn't a novel to be skimmed over, but God's truth that is to be understood and applied to our life.
When He calls your name, will you recognize Him? You will, only if you know Him.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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Daily Jot: The prophetic harvest of Arab Spring - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Osama bin Laden's son Hamza is trying to lead a new al Qaeda movement to overthrow Saudi Arabia's monarchy and establish what he calls true Sharia Law. PJ Media reports that Hamza wants to revive jihad, and redistribute the riches of the country to the poor. It is reported that he is inspired by Arab Spring. There are riots on the border of the terrorist state Gaza and Israel, as the terrorist-inspired masses are trying to invade Israel demanding a "right of return." Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Muslim countries to force Israel to "retreat toward the point of demise." The seeds sown by the previous White House-supported Arab Spring in 2010 continue to reap a deadly prophetic harvest.
The immediate past "president" created a game changing prophetic leap in the Middle East by not only supporting, but engineering Arab Spring. Christian and Jewish eschatology speak of the Day of the Lord where the Bible plainly prophesies that Arab/Islamic nations attack Israel and Israel is saved by the Messiah, the Christ, in an end time battle that ushers in the Millennial Reign of Christ. There are many current events that point to this eschatology being set up by the actions of leaders of many nations. The support by the previous White House of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2010 is a major prophetic and eschatological milestone that has had tremendous consequences as current events play out.
The Muslim Brotherhood's advance to establish a worldwide Sharia-based caliphate was catalyzed by the previous White House. The previous "president" threw support behind the Muslim Brotherhood in Arab Spring resulting in Islamists using a false democracy to take over Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen. Additionally, there was strife in Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia that resulted from either a direct or a collateral affect of advancing the Muslim Brotherhood plan. This destabilization of the Middle East created an even more hostile environment for Israel by energizing Islamic terror groups in Israel--Hamas, al Qaeda, Hezbollah and others. The Islamic State was birthed as well. And the effects continue.
Islamic eschatology has its Mahdi returning to earth to establish a seven-year worldwide rule of Islamic peace. Islam's version of Jesus (Isa) is to be the Mahdi's prophet in leading Jews and Christians to Islam. Islam's eschatology is strikingly similar to the Biblical antichrist. Indeed, Islam denies the deity of Christ. 2 John 7 says, "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist." And Zechariah 12:9 speaks of the day of the Lord, "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." America has played the eschatological catalyst with its Middle East policy. Its final place in prophecy is yet to be determined, but thankfully, the current President is trying to reverse that disastrous course.
Daily Devotion: Stall, and You'll Fall - By Greg Laurie -
As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby. -1 Peter 2:2
Not long ago I tried stand-up paddleboarding. I think I caught seven waves, which is being generous. But here's what I discovered about paddleboarding: When the momentum of the wave stops, you slow down. That's when I always fall, and that's when I had to keep paddling.
What's true of stand-up paddleboarding is also true of the Christian life: stall, and you'll fall. The Christian life is one of constant growth, constant learning, and constant transformation. The problem is that some are willing to take Jesus as their Savior, but they are not necessarily willing to take Him as their Lord. They're willing to take on Christ as their friend but not necessarily as their God. As a result, they're stalled in a baby-like state.
Now, babies are cute when they're babies. But it would be sad if someone were still behaving like a baby when he's in his twenties. Spiritually, we all start out as babies. We start out with a hunger for the Word of God. There's no shame in that, because that very hunger for spiritual truth is an indicator of spiritual health. In fact, the Bible says, "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" (1 Peter 2:2 NKJV). A healthy person is a hungry person.
If you're hungry for God's Word, if you want to hear God's Word, that's good. It's something you should desire. The objective is to go from getting your food in bite-sized pieces to learning how to read the Word of God, process its truth, and learn how to think and live biblically.
Christian discipleship is all about growing up. It's about going to the next level. It's about really living the Christian life to its fullest, as it was meant to be lived.
FROM THE HEART
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