Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
- By Sally Law - http://www.raptureready.com/2018/04/28/four-horsemen-apocalypse-sally-law/
First and foremost, I just have to say that the word "apocalypse" is overused in the mainstream media. It can define anything from the government of the United States of America having to shut down because of funding approval, or having to close your favorite big box store-or worse, your morning coffee shop! (No judgment here; I drink about 5 cups of coffee a day, decaf of course.)
This word has become an emotional expression to use when something happens; and we feel it will alter life as we know it. Other terms such as Armageddon, the Antichrist, and even today's article title is used in oh so many colorful ways!
I wonder as I am writing this if the average person really understands this word in the biblical sense. Let's see what this word actually means.
Apocalypse - an uncovering, a disclosure of knowledge or revelation. Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse
A bigger concern is the Christian. I call myself a Christian, and I have believed and received the gift of salvation in the sacrificial gift of Jesus Christ and His grace, imparted to me when I first put my faith in Him.
My favorite book in the Bible as a new Christian was John. It did not take me long to venture into the other books of John, and finally the book of Revelation. I was sixteen years old. I was told by friends, neighbors and other Christians that no one understands or ever will understand the book of Revelation. Someone also told me it should not have been included in the Bible at all. Pity that!
I am so glad I did not believe any of those bad reports on the book of Revelation. This book is one of the most important books in the Bible to me and to the entire world today. We are quickly approaching the events described therein, written down long ago. I feel they are at our doorstep!
Do you know what the book of Revelation is really all about?
The answer is very simplistic. It's astounding to me that some of the most educated people in the world stumble over it. But I am a simple person; and if I can understand it, anyone can that really wants to.
Of course, I'm going to make you wait a bit for the answer.
Let's start today with an opening scene in Heaven, in the book that uncovers these things and reveals them to us: Revelation.
The apostle John was on the island of Patmos in the year AD 95 as a prisoner before he receives the revelation.
"After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, 'Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.' Immediately, I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald" (Revelation 4:1-3).
John is now in heaven. He was called to:
A) come up here, to the throne of God;
B) behold with his own eyes the things that must take place in the future.
Now, he sees the expanse of the heavenly realm - things and creatures he has never seen before. He identifies God the Father in the verses above as the one who sits on the throne. He also sees Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who was slain. As a scroll is handed from God with seals upon it, a search is started with great lamenting to find someone worthy to take the scroll and open the seals. Finally, only one is found, the only one who is worthy to do this.
"And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
"Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying:
"You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open the seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation'" (Revelation 5:6-9).
God's judgment is in the scroll, and it is sealed up-sealed up tight. These are no ordinary seals; each one when broken has irreversible actions that will be set in motion associated with them. John observes that the scroll has seven seals.
Jesus opens the seals, beginning with the first one; thus, God's judgment begins with the four horses and their riders.
Breaking of seal number one and release of the first horseman: The Antichrist
"Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, 'Come and see.' And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer" (Revelation 6:1-2).
I've heard people ask if this was Jesus on the white horse. This is not Jesus; this is the Antichrist. But he will fool many into thinking that he is Jesus Christ. (Notice that Jesus, the Lamb, is the one who is opening the seals of the scroll.) He (the Antichrist) is given a crown, symbolic of his newly acquired rulership or authority; and now he is going out to conquer. God gives him this authority.
Also, notice he has a bow, but no quiver with arrows loaded inside. This symbolizes his limitations and the constraints that are placed upon him by God. He only gets this crown for seven years. When the time is up, that will be the end of him and his kingdom.
This seven-year period was prophesied long ago in the book of Daniel, sometimes referred to as the seventy weeks of years, or seventy sevens of Daniel. I believe when the four horses of the apocalypse leave heaven and head for earth, this will commence the final week, also interpreted as the final seven years. See Daniel 9:24.
After three-and-a-half years, the Antichrist has complete control over the new Jewish temple in Jerusalem and continues with his blasphemy against God. He persecutes and overcomes those who have believed in Jesus Christ and have not taken his mark on their right hand or forehead.
"He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time" (Daniel 7:25).
Breaking of seal number 2 and release of the second horseman: War, Violence and Killing
"When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, 'Come and see.' Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword" (Revelation 6:3-4).
Peace will be removed by this horseman; and with it comes war, violence and killing. This horse is red - symbolic of worldwide bloodshed - and his sword is great, which means many will die.
Breaking of seal number 3 and the release of the third horseman: Famine and Want
"When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, 'Come and see.' So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, 'A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine'" (Revelation 6:5-6).
This horse follows the war horse-and running rampant with war is shortage of food and supplies. There will be such great famine and want that a loaf or two of wheat bread will cost a full day's wage. Hyperinflation will be felt worldwide. I think the oil and wine warning is there, as it is a mainstay for living in just about every country and diet, even amongst the poorest populations. In this judgment, it could be that mercy is extended so that oil and wine are spared.
Breaking of seal number 4 and release of the fourth horseman: Death and Hades
"When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, 'Come and see.' So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth" (Revelation 6:7-8).
This is massive worldwide destruction. I site this horseman in my article, "The End Times Landscape." Approximately 1.875 billion people die at the release of this horse if it were to happen right now. This seems to me to be the most devastating of all the horsemen.
God begins His Judgment of the earth starting with these four horsemen. But why is God judging the earth at this point in the future?
God has one Son, only one. He sent Him, the perfect God-man to be the substitute for our sins and to take the sin of the world upon himself. He arose from the grave in victory to give us eternal life with himself and God; restoring our broken fellowship with God that sin had once separated.
A response to what Jesus did for us is required, to believe or refuse Him.
What is the book of Revelation really all about?
It's about one last chance to believe in Jesus Christ.
One last chance to believe for the Jewish nation that missed their Messiah the first time.
One last chance for the person who maybe even warmed a church pew or two in their lifetime, but was never really motivated to need a Savior. But now here they are, living in hell on earth during the tribulation. This person knew a few real Christians, and they have all of a sudden gone missing-millions of them at the same time! This is your last chance; you need the Savior now!
Last chance for the one who loves their life of sin and now sees what the consequences will be for all eternity. The Antichrist wants you to take his mark! Say no! Time to repent and turn to Jesus Christ!
One last chance for the person who finds themselves living during this time - and they are not going to miss Jesus Christ again - no matter what. They read the left-behind letter! They are reading the Bible and meeting with other tribulation saints trying to survive without having taken the mark of the beast. They are so thankful we left extra food in the pantry. I hope you like black beans and brown rice if you're at my house. My husband and I have prayed for you!
The book of Revelation is a kindness. It lets you know what is coming if you choose to reject God's only begotten Son as Savior and Lord. It is foretelling of a time when God will carry out His divine judgment and display these things in full living color-giving the earth a woodshed experience, as if He were to ask them "are you sure you want to reject my only begotten Son?"
"And they said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?'" (Revelation 6:16).
God is giving the Jew and the Gentile unbelievers one more chance to change their final answer.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:16-18).
End of Days Expert on Iran: 'Things Are About to Get Biblical!' - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz - https://www.breakingisraelnews.com
"Therefore prophesy, O mortal, and say to Gog: Thus said Hashem: Surely, on that day, when My people Yisrael are living secure, you will take note." Ezekiel 38:14 (The Israel Bible™)
As Iran and Israel come into direct conflict in Syria and world leaders wonder what to do about Iran's nuclear program, Rabbinic authorities look to prophecy to find clear answers for a developing situation that one end-of-days expert says is "about to get Biblical."
The gravity of the rising tensions between Israel and Iran was described by an unnamed senior US official in an interview with NBC News.
"On the list of the potentials for most likely live hostility around the world, the battle between Israel and Iran in Syria is at the top of the list right now," the official said.
Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific author on end-of-days subjects, agreed with that assessment though he expressed it in Rabbinic terms.
"Things are about to get Biblical," Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News. "Some people thought the Bible was dead. They thought they could sit back and relax. That is clearly not the case in Syria and soon, that will be clear to everyone."
The concern that Israel and Iran may become enmeshed in a war in the near future is due to recent escalation of Israel's conflict with Iran from indirect aggression to direct confrontation. Previously, Iran's aggression against Israel was expressed as one of the world's leading state sponsors of terrorism with Israel, the primary target of Islamic terrorism. Iran supports Hamas in Gaza and provides missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
This proxy aggression was suddenly transformed into direct confrontation in February when an Iranian drone armed with missiles sent out from a Syrian military base was shot down by the IAF over Israel. Israel retaliated with an airstrike against the T4 base from where the drone originated, killing seven Iranian military personnel.
The confrontation between Israel and Iran is heating up even more. On Sunday, an airstrike allegedly carried out by the Israeli Air Force against a military base near Hama in Western Syria killed over 20 military personnel and destroyed a shipment of arms recently delivered from Iran to forces of President Bashar al-Assad. The Iranian ISNA news agency reported that 18 Iranians including a commander, were killed in the airstrike. This is the second time in one month that Israel has reportedly struck a Syrian base manned by Iranian personnel.
Iran is establishing military bases in war-torn Syria in an apparent attempt to create a land bridge to the Mediterranean that will allow them to dominate the region. According to the US officials cited by NBC News, Russia is now running the air war for Assad while Iran is running the land war.
Iran now has a substantial military presence in Iran to support its leadership role in the Syrian civil war. On Friday, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, told the UN Security Council that Iran has gathered more than 80,000 Shiite jihadists in Syria. In the past two weeks, military flights from Iran to Syria have increased drastically, supplying the Assad regime with weapons and materiel.
In what seems to be political preparation for a war with Iran, the Knesset passed a law on Monday giving the prime minister authority to declare war or to order a major military operation after consulting with the minister of defense. Before this law was passed, a vote by the full cabinet was required to initiate such military actions.
According to Rabbi Winston, Iran's military presence in Syria is the match that will set off an even greater explosion in Syria.
"It is important to remember that Syria was once part of Israel," Rabbi Winston said. "King David instilled a level of kedusha (holiness) into the land when he conquered it. Iran is attacking specifically any holiness in the world and they are beginning in Syria, which was the fringe of Israel's sanctity. Of course, their ultimate goal is to wipe out all of God's holiness in the world."
Rabbi Winston cited a prophecy in the Yalkut Shimoni, a compilation of rabbinic commentary on the Bible believed to have been composed in the 13th century, that mentioned Persia (known today as Iran) as the catalyst that will set off an apocalyptic multinational war.
"Rabbi Yitzchok said: The year in which Melech Hamashiach (Messiah king) will be revealed, all the nations of the world will be provoking each other...The king of Persia will provoke the King of Arabia. The King of Arabia, will go to Edom to take counsel and the King of Persia will threaten to destroy the entire world. The nations of the world will be outraged and panic. They will fall on their faces and will experience pains like birth pangs. Israel too, will be outraged and in a state of panic ask, "Where do we go?" (Yalkut Shimoni, Isaiah, 60:499)
Persia is also explicitly identified by the Prophet Ezekiel as an end-of-days foe of Israel.
I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws, and lead you out with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all of them clothed in splendor, a vast assembly, all of them with bucklers and shields, wielding swords. Among them shall be Persia, Nubia, and Put, everyone with shield and helmet; Ezekiel 38:4-5
"The conflict with Iran isn't like a normal political crisis such as the Cuban missile Crisis or even North Korea," Rabbi Winston explained. "Kim Jong Un was afraid and in his political maneuvering, he was just looking for a good way to back down. This isn't the case with Iran. This is a Biblically based, prophetic crisis."
"It is important to remember that Iran is actually the modern-day incarnation of Biblical Persia and Israel is the result of God's covenant with the Jews," the rabbi said. "You have one country whose existential drive is to stay alive in order to bring God's word to the world. And set against us you have another country whose existential drive is to watch the world burn so they can move on to the next stage of their destiny."
Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the nascent Sanhedrin (an initiative to reinstate the Biblically mandated court of 71 elders), insists that due to the Biblical nature of the conflict, there are alternative outcomes.
"Iran is a thin veneer covering Persia, a nation with an ancient heritage that appears in the Bible," Rabbi Weiss said. "In the story of Purim, we see that Persia set out to destroy the Jews. In the end, Persia initiated the building of the Second Temple. In the same manner, the current situation can turn around. If Iran returns to its Persian roots, they can play a major role in bringing the geula (redemption)."
Towards this end, the Sanhedrin and the Mikdash (Temple) Educational Center are minting a special edition coin specifically aimed at reawakening this Temple mandate among the Persians.
Nearing Midnight: The Leftist Bias has Corrupted America's Legal System - Todd Strandberg -
A key reason why liberty in America is faltering is because the Democrats have decided that politics is a higher priority than the welfare of our nation. For them, it has now become a giant, ongoing political battle where their agenda always comes first in any decision.
When President Trump needs to go to the Senate for approval of a new cabinet officer, he can't expect any vote from the left. Someone may be highly qualified for a job, but because he is a Republican, the Democrats automatically vote against him.
Last week, Mike Pompeo, whom Trump nominated to be the Secretary of State, received the cold- shoulder treatment. Despite being highly qualified for the job, the Democrats came up with lame excuses for not voting for him.
When Obama nominated Hillary Clinton for the same job, she was confirmed in the full Senate by a vote of 94-2. Only Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana and Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina voted against her confirmation. Far more Republican Senators had a personal dislike for Clinton, but they voted for her because they knew the nation needed a Secretary of State.
This unfair treatment of people on the right has extended to all areas of life. A woman named Lindsey posted this comment on Twitter, "I love working in the admissions office at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, and putting every conservative student's college application through the shredder." When someone said her action was "probably illegal," her post was deleted.
I think the most amount of damage is occurring in the judicial system. When you go before a judge in a legal matter, his or her ruling should not be based on their political party affiliation. It is increasingly becoming clear that Democratic judges have already decided on how they will rule in cases related to politics.
The reason why supporters of illegal immigration ran to the Hawaiian Ninth Circuit Court was because they knew that Judge Derrick Watson, an appointee of President Barack Obama, would give them a temporary restraining order. In another case, they went to the Northern District of California in San Francisco and received another restraining order.
Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is another example of how corrupt our legal system has become. Muller and his team of leftist lawyers are not after information on Russian interference. They are out to get Trump. Because they can't link Trump to any crime, they are going to investigate everyone around him to find something to charge him with.
There is a rapid desensitization to what is clear violation of basic rights. When President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was raided, there should have been massive uproar from the public. Cohen is trying to defend Trump against Mueller. It's like someone being charged with a crime, and the police arresting his lawyer. These are Soviet-style tactics.
The injustice with Cohen just keeps rolling on. When he went before Judge Kimba Wood in New York to get back his documents, she forced Cohen to reveal that Fox News host Sean Hannity was a client of his. This is a clear violation of legal guidelines. Unless a person is involved in a dispute, a judge has no right to give out someone's name. This judge should be disbarred for her action. Since the rule of law is now void, any move is fair game.
I've reported many times before that the liberal media is just an extension of the Democratic Party. I was surprised to learn that the press has its own involvement in the legal system. At Cohen's hearing were two lawyers for the New York Times and CNN. They were there to do the devil's bidding. Trump was right in saying they are the enemies of the state.
People don't care about the corruption of the legal system because it doesn't affect them. When you have a breakdown in natural law, it's only a matter of time before the whole nation suffers the consequences of lawlessness. The Bible says we "instinctively" know what is lawful, and our collective inaction makes us guilty in suffering the punishments.
We believers have the hope of escaping this mess by way of the rapture. We are to expect a timely rescue from God, but it's important for us to be fighting to the very end.
"For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, since they show that the work of the Law is written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts either accusing or defending them" (Romans 2:14-15).
The Great Pause - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley -
Surely you have heard about the administration (dispensation) of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. (Ephesians 3:2-3)
One of the most difficult things for someone unfamiliar with dispensational theology to understand is why Israel needs to exist at all in the last days, let alone rebuild their Temple. A recent discussion with a theology professor from a well known West Coast Christian school made this clear.
We were talking about our respective views of the End Times. When I mentioned the coming Temple and Israel's re-awakening into their Old Covenant relationship, he looked at me like I was from another planet. He graduated from one of the main line denominational seminaries where he had been immersed in liberal theology, so what little he knows about the end times is all allegorical. He had never been taught anything like what I was saying.
Why on Earth, he asked, would God bring Israel back when the Church has replaced Israel in His eyes? And even if He did, why would He bring them into an Old Covenant relationship when He's told the Church that since the cross the Old Covenant no longer applies?
Most Christians can't answer these questions, and even among those who take the Bible literally, many can only say , "Because the Bible says so." They can't explain why it says so.
It's only when you understand that the Age of Grace didn't end the Age of Law, but only interrupted it seven years short of its allotted time, that it all becomes clear. Here's what happened.
Near the end of the Babylonian captivity the Angel Gabriel told Daniel that Israel was being given 490 years to complete 6 tasks.
"Seventy 'sevens' (490 years) are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy (place). (Daniel 9:24)
When the Lord was crucified, 483 of those years had past. Remember, that's why the disciples were astonished when He told them the Temple would soon be destroyed (Matt. 24:2). It's also why, 40 days after the Resurrection, they asked if He was was going to restore the Kingdom to Israel now. (Acts 1:6) They thought they were only 7 years away from the Kingdom Age. Ten days later, on Pentecost, the indeterminate Age of the Church began, with the Age of Law still 7 years short of its prophesied end.
After 20 years had passed the Lord's half-brother James, who was the head of the Church in Jerusalem at the time, explained that Israel had been set aside while the Lord took from among the Gentiles a people for Himself (the Church). After that he would turn again to Israel and pick up where He had left off (Acts 15:13-18). About 18 years after that the Temple was destroyed and has never been rebuilt. In 135 AD the nation ceased to exist in any form. The Roman Emperor Hadrian destroyed what was left of Jerusalem, built a new city called Aelia Capitolina on its ruins, and forbade any Jew from entering it. But the Lord's promise still stands. As soon as He has taken the Church, He'll turn again to Israel to complete the last 7 years of the Age of Law.
These facts from both the Bible and history completely undermine any arguments for the validity of replacement theology. They explain why Israel has to exist in the End Times and why the Jews will need a Temple.
The Great Pause
While Pentecost was the official beginning of the Age of Grace, it didn't signal the end of the Age of Law, as so many in the Church wrongly assume. It was only a Great Pause while the Lord pursued His Church, something He intended to do all along, but had only divulged in a general way in the past.
Speaking to His Messiah, the Lord said, "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6)
When you understand the Great Pause, lots of other things fall into place. We've already discussed the re-birth of the Nation and the re-built Temple. Israel had to be re-born and will have to become a covenant people again in order to complete their final 7 years. This is what makes their re-birth such a powerful sign that the Great Pause is about to end. The only reason for Israel to exist again is to complete the 7 years remaining in the Age of Law. It also explains the return to animal sacrifice during this time. This is the way things were before the Great Pause began, and the way they'll have to be after it ends. Although people have always been saved by faith, during the Age of Law their faith has to be evidenced by obedience to the Law.
Understanding the Great Pause also helps us see why the Rapture of the Church has to precede the final 7 years. The purpose of the Great Pause is so the Lord can take from among the Gentiles a people for Himself. The Greek word translated "take" in Acts 15:14 is lambano. A look at the primary meanings of lambano reveals that the intent of the word is to describe one who takes something for the purpose of carrying it away. Once the church is complete the Lord will carry us away before turning again to Israel. This is consistent with Paul's statement in Romans 11:25 that Israel has experienced a partial blindness until the full number of Gentiles has come in. The phrase "come in" means to arrive at one's destination, as when a ship has "come in". According to John 14:2-3 our destination is Heaven. Once the church has been carried away to its destination in Heaven the blinders will fall from Israel's eyes, the Great Pause will come to an end, and Israel will complete its final seven years.
The Rapture has to happen before Daniel's 70th Week can begin, because the 70th Week is all about Israel. It's their final opportunity to be reconciled to God through the Messiah and prepare for the Kingdom He promised them so long ago. 2500 years before the fact, Zechariah prophesied that this would take place near the end of the 70th Week.
"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son." (Zech. 12:10)
Paul confirmed this and said it would happen after the rapture.
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." (Romans 11:25-27)
And the Great Pause explains why post rapture salvation will be like it was in Old Testament times. The only difference is post rapture believers will be looking back to the cross whereas Old Testament believers looked forward to it. Speaking of the time when taking the mark of the beast will be required of everyone on Earth, the Lord said, "This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus." (Rev. 14:12) Again, people have always been saved by faith, but during the Age of Law their faith has to be evidenced by obedience to the Law.
It also explains why the 144,000 servants of God have to be sealed before undertaking their mission. (Rev. 7:3) If the church was still here they would be sealed just the way we are. But during the Age of Law believers were not, nor will they be, sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of their inheritance as we are (Ephes. 1:13-14). The 144,000 is the only group in the post rapture world that is described as being sealed. By the way, some scholars believe this means only the 144,000 will be supernaturally protected from the demonic locusts spoken of in Rev. 9.
And finally, it explains why, even after Israel receives the New Covenant and enters the Kingdom Age, there will still be a Temple in Israel, with a Levitical priesthood, and daily sacrifices for sin (Ezekiel 40-46). This has been God's way from the beginning, and it will continue until the end. Only the Church has been exempt.
I Can See Clearly Now
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. No other system of theology explains God's overarching plan as succinctly as dispensationalism. None gives us such a clear understanding of the connection between events before Pentecost and those after the Rapture. No other one helps us see the "why" behind the "what" described in the Bible. None other so vividly demonstrates the absolutely unique nature of the church, while maintaining the integrity of God's promises to Israel. And best of all it does so in a manner consistent with the literal, historical, grammatical interpretation of His Word.
Daily Jot: The whirling winds of prophecy - Bill Wilson -
The prophets of the Bible speak of a day when the traditional enemies of Israel will come against the country "like a cloud to cover the land (Ezekiel 38:9, 16)" and God will rebuke the nations that rush against Israel "like a rolling thing before the whirlwind (Isaiah 17:13, 41:16)." Revelation 13:7 speaks of the beast, "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them." These are end time prophecies that indicate there will be nations led by the beast (Gog, the Assyrian, King of the North, the prince that shall come, little horn, etc.), against Israel. The world political stage elevating Islam in the recent decade has emboldened these players as the whirling winds of prophecy are forming up.
Gog of Magog (Turkey), chief prince of Meshech (Turkey) and Tubal (Turkey) leads Persia (Iran), Libya, Ethiopia (Sudan), Gomer (Turkey), Togarmah (Turkey), Sheba (Saudi Arabia) and Dedan (Saudi Arabia) against Israel to "take a spoil and to take a prey (Ezekiel 38:12)." This coalition originates and is led from areas which are currently in Turkey. Turkey is becoming increasingly radical. The Gatestone Institute reports that at an April 11 event to unveil the 2017 European Islamophobia Report, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on European governments to criminalize criticism of Islam as "a hate crime and a form of racism." In essence, If adopted in Europe, Jews and Christians could be killed or incarcerated for their belief in the Bible, as they are in many Islamic nations today.
The leader of the terrorist-backed Palestinian Liberation Organization/Palestinian Authority singled out Jews as the cause of growing anti-Semitism in Europe. AP reports "In rambling remarks that were part of a lengthy speech to the PLO parliament on Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said it was the Jews' "social function," including money-lending, that caused animosity toward them in Europe, citing what he said were books by Jewish authors. He also portrayed the creation of Israel as a European colonial project, saying "history tells us there is no basis for the Jewish homeland." His remarks prompted an immediate response from the US Ambassador to Israel, "To all those who think Israel is the reason that we don't have peace, think again."
These are just two examples of what is happening around the Middle East to influence Europe (the West) against Jews and Christians. They are stirring up trouble and trying to establish a narrative that is friendly to the end time beast system and diabolically against Jews, Christians, and Israel. Interestingly enough, the very countries that are listed as coming against Israel are part and parcel to this stirring. Turkey's leaders are very vocal about those who resist Islam. Also remember that Turkey and Iran both are ardent supporters of the "Palestinian" movement to divide the land of Israel and to drive the Jews into the sea. These two events, while seemingly unrelated, are part of the whirling winds of prophecy.
Daily Devotion: Cross the Finish Line - By Greg Laurie -
You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? -Galatians 5:7
The Bible is filled with the stories of so many people who had tremendous potential but crashed and burned in the spiritual race. There was King Saul, the namesake of Saul who later became the apostle Paul. King Saul was handsome, tall, brave, and anointed by God to be the king of Israel. He even prophesied. Saul had incredible potential, but he disobeyed God repeatedly. He allowed pride into his life, giving way to paranoia and jealousy, which ultimately consumed him. He met a tragic end on the battlefield. What a wasted life.
Then there was Samson. Talk about power. He had an incredible ability to vanquish his enemies. He would kill them left and right on the battlefield. On one occasion Samson killed a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. Yet Samson went down in flames. Because he played around with sin, sin ultimately played around with him, and it culminated in his own death.
There was Gideon, who had such humble beginnings and was mightily used by God to defeat his enemies. But as Gideon's life came to an end, he lowered his standards and fell into immorality and pride.
All of these men started well, but they didn't finish well. They ran fast in the beginning, but they didn't get across the finish line as they should have.
The apostle Paul, however, wanted to be in the company of those who finished the race, joining the ranks of those who did so in God's winners' circle-men like Caleb and Joshua who finished well. He said, "I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful" (2 Timothy 4:7 NLT).
If your life were to end today, would you be able to say, like Paul, "I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful"?
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