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The End Times According To Daniel ... Part Two, Chapters 8 And 9 - A Feature Article by Jack Kelley -
Two years after Daniel's vision of the four beasts that we described in chapter 7, he had another vision, this one of a ram and a goat. As we'll see, it was intended to give both him and us more detail on the things to come, because the vision has a dual fulfillment. For Daniel this vision was all in the future. But for us the first fulfillment is now history, assuring the final one, which is still in our future.
Daniel's Vision of a Ram and a Goat
In the third year of King Belshazzar's reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me. In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. I watched the ram as he charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against him, and none could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great. (Daniel 8:1-4)
The year was 551 BC. It was 16 years before the fall of Babylon to the Medo-Persian coalition. Susa was 230 miles east of Babylon in modern day Iran and would become the capital of the Persian Empire. Both Daniel and Nehemiah lived there, as did Queen Esther. Today it's known as Shush. An unusual white cone shaped stone there marks the traditional resting place of Daniel. In addition to the Persian Jews, many Shiite Muslims who also revere the prophet visit his grave to this day.
The King of Persia wore a ram's head crown into battle, so the ram with two horns represents Medo-Persia. The longer horn that grew up later is the Persian component of the coalition that eventually became dominant. (The Angel Gabriel will confirm the identities of both animals for us later in the chapter.) As we've noted before, Media was home to the Kurds of today while Persia has become Iran. Together these two conquered an area extending from Pakistan in the East to Greece in the West and to the shores of the Black and Caspian Seas in the North and ruled it for 200 years, until about 330 BC. A Royal Road ran from Susa all the way to Sardis in Western Turkey bringing goods from the Mediterranean to the capital city.
As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between his eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. He came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at him in great rage. I saw him attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering his two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against him; the goat knocked him to the ground and trampled on him, and none could rescue the ram from his power. The goat became very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven. (Daniel 8:5-8)
The one horned goat was the symbol of Phillip of Macedon, father to Alexander the Great. The Persians had humiliated Phillip, and Alexander built a powerful army to exact revenge. To unite the warring factions of Eastern Europe against the Persians, Alexander invented a new language, called Common Greek, so they could all speak together and settle their real and imagined grievances. Showing the Persians no mercy, he soundly defeated Darius III's 200, 000 man army at the Battle of Guagamela in 331 BC with only 35,000 troops of his own. He was 22 years old. Seven years later he died in Babylon leaving the empire to be divided among his four generals, Cassander (Macedonia and Greece), Lysimachus (Thrace and Asia Minor), Ptolemy (Israel and Egypt) and Seleucus. (Syria, Lebanon and Jordan)
Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low. Because of rebellion, the host of the saints and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.
Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, "How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled-the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, and the surrender of the sanctuary and of the host that will be trampled underfoot?"
He said to me, "It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be re-consecrated." (Daniel 8:9-14)
Now we fast forward to 175 BC and a descendant of Seleucus named Antiochus IV, called another horn here, who gave himself the name Epiphanes, or Divine One. By now the Seleucid Empire had grown substantially and included Israel (the Beautiful Land) taken from descendants of Ptolemy. Antiochus Epiphanes hated the Jews and swore to wipe their religion off the face of the Earth. He almost succeeded.
Arranging to have Israel's last legitimate High Priest, Onais III, murdered, he began selling the office to the highest bidder, a money-maker that the Romans later adopted as well. He invaded Israel and took control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. He banned circumcision, the speaking or reading of Hebrew, and possession of the Hebrew Scriptures, burning every copy he could find. He converted the Temple into a pagan worship center, erecting a statue of Zeus (Jupiter) with his own face on it there, requiring the Jews to worship it on pain of death. He slaughtered a pig on the holy altar and ordered the priests to do likewise.
This defilement of the Temple rendered it unfit for use by the Jews. It became known as the Abomination of Desolation and triggered the Maccabean revolt, a successful 3 ½ year long guerrilla action led by Judeas Maccabeas (Judah the Hammer) to oust the forces of Antiochus from Israel and restore the Temple for worship. Because of it, Antiochus Epiphanes has become the clearest type of the anti-Christ, with the Maccabean revolt a model of the Great Tribulation. For 1150 days (2300 evening and morning sacrifices) the sanctuary lay desolate until it was consecrated again in a ceremony celebrated today as the Feast of Hanukkah.
The Interpretation of the Vision
While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. And I heard a man's voice from the Ulai calling, "Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision."
As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. "Son of man," he said to me, "understand that the vision concerns the time of the end."
While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.
He said: "I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king. The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power. (Daniel 8:15-22)
The Angel Gabriel now comes to explain to Daniel that he's going to expand the vision to show that there will be a repeat of these events on a much larger scale at the time of the end. We'll see that the "Little Horn" of Daniel 7:8 is the end times fulfillment of the one called "Another Horn" in Daniel 8:9, the one we know as Antiochus Epiphanes. He begins with the identification of the Ram and Goat and describes the distribution of Alexander's Kingdom to his four generals. Then he heads straight for "the time of wrath."
"In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. (Daniel 8:23-25)
Remnants of these Empires will endure until the End of the Age when a king like Antiochus will arise, but this one won't be acting in his own strength. In Rev 13:2 we're told that the Dragon will give him his power. And unlike Antiochus, who had suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the upstart Romans and was forced to leave Egypt in shame, this king will succeed in everything he does and will be admired by all. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?" (Rev. 13:3-4)
He'll come on the scene as a peacemaker, but will wind up with most of the world under his authority, even thinking to go to war against the armies of heaven. Like his predecessor, he'll have an unnatural hatred for the Jews and will attempt to wipe them off the face of the Earth. He too will erect a statue in the Holy Place (Rev. 13:15), calling himself God and demanding worship (2Thes. 2:4). Yet his end will come at the hand of the One who really is the King of the whole Earth.
"The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future."
I, Daniel, was exhausted and lay ill for several days. Then I got up and went about the king's business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding. (Daniel 8:26-27)
Gabriel concluded his interpretation of the vision by implying that the 2300 evenings and mornings will surely come, but the vision's ultimate fulfillment is for the End Times. This has been verified in history. The Temple's desolation by Antiochus Epiphanes fulfilled the prophecy of the evenings and mornings. This distinguishes the Macabbean revolt from the Great Tribulation, where the coming Abomination of Desolation is said to last 1260 days (Rev. 12:6), and shows that for us it's a historical model of a future event. Jesus made reference to this when He warned the Jews living in Judea at the end of the age to flee when they see the Abomination of Desolation again (Matt. 24:15-21).
Fast forward 13 years to 538BC. Daniel is an old man by now, probably in his eighties. He's been in Babylon for nearly 70 years and has learned from reading Jeremiah's account of the Babylon's conquest that Israel's period of captivity was nearly over. God had told Jeremiah that it would last for 70 years, and then Babylon would be defeated and the Jews would be set free to rebuild their country. (Jeremiah 25:11-12)
The reason for this judgment was Israel's insistence upon worshiping the false gods of their pagan neighbors. Its duration of 70 years came from the fact that for 490 years they had neglected to let their farmland lie fallow one year out of every seven as God had commanded in Leviticus 25:1-7. The Lord had been patient all that time but finally had sent them to Babylon to give the land the 70 years of rest that were due it. (2 Chron. 36:21)
While praying one day, confessing Israel's sins and reminding God of His promise to restore them, (Daniel 9:1-23) Daniel was visited once again by the Angel Gabriel, who interrupted his prayer to reveal more of Israel's future, once again expanding the visions of chapters 7 and 8 with a four verse overview of things to come.
Many believe that Daniel 9:24-27 is the most important passage of prophecy in all of Scripture. Almost every mistake I've run across in studying the various interpretations of End Times Prophecy can be traced back to a misunderstanding of this passage. Let's read the whole thing to get the big picture and then take it apart verse by verse.
Seventy weeks are determined upon 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. Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until The Anointed One the Ruler comes there will be seven weeks and sixty two weeks. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench but in times of trouble. After the sixty two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off and have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue till the end and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one week. In the middle of the week he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the Temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation until the end that is decreed is poured out on him (Daniel 9:24-27).
No prophecy in all of Scripture is more critical to our understanding of the end times than these four verses. A few basic clarifications are in order first, and then we'll interpret the passage verse by verse. The Hebrew word translated weeks (or sevens) refers to a period of 7 years, like our word decade refers to a period of 10 years. It literally means "a week of years." So 70 weeks is 70 X 7 years or 490 years. This period is divided into three parts, 7 weeks or 49 years, 62 weeks or 434 years, and 1 week or 7 years. Let's begin.
Seventy weeks are determined upon 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).
These 6 things would be accomplished for Daniel's people (Israel) and Daniel's Holy City (Jerusalem) during a specified period of 490 years. I've inserted the word "place" after Holy at the end of the verse to clarify the fact that it refers to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.
Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until The Anointed One the Ruler comes there will be seven weeks and sixty two weeks. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench but in times of trouble. (Daniel 9:25).
Here is a clear prophecy of the timing of the First Coming. When this message was given to Daniel by the Angel Gabriel, Jerusalem had lain in ruin for nearly 70 years and the Jews were captive in Babylon. Counting forward for 62 + 7 periods of 7 years each from a future decree giving the Jews permission to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, they should expect the Messiah. That's a total of 483 years after the decree is issued.
Here it's important to distinguish the decree that freed the Jews from their captivity from the one that gave them permission to rebuild Jerusalem.
When he conquered Babylon in 535BC Cyrus the Persian immediately freed the Jews. It had been prophesied 150 years earlier in Isaiah 44:24-45:6 and was fulfilled in Ezra 1:1-4. But according to Nehemiah 2:1 the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given in the first month of the 20th year of his reign by King Artaxerxes of Persia (March of 445 BC on our calendar, about 90 years later).
Exactly 483 years after that the Lord Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey to shouts of "Hosanna", on the only day in His life He permitted His followers to proclaim Him as Israel's King, fulfilling Daniel's prophecy to the day! The Hebrew in Daniel 9:25 calls Him Messiah the Prince, denoting the fact that He was coming as the Anointed Son of the King and was not yet crowned King Himself.
In Luke 19:41-45, He reminded the people of the specific nature of this prophecy. As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you." He held them accountable for knowing Daniel 9:24-27.
A few days later He extended that accountability to us. "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel-let the reader understand- then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. (Matt 24:15) We are also required to understand Daniel 9 in reference to the Great Tribulation and 2nd Coming.
After the sixty two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off and have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue till the end and desolations have been decreed (Daniel 9:26).
First came 7 sevens (49 years) and then 62 sevens (434 years) for a total of 69 sevens or 483 years. At the end of this 2nd period their Messiah would be executed (literally destroyed in the making of a covenant) having received none of the honor, glory and blessing the Scriptures promised Him, and the people of a ruler yet to come would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple. The Israelites would be scattered abroad and peace would elude the world.
We all know that Jesus was crucified, establishing the New Covenant in the process, and 38 years later the Romans put the torch to the city and the Temple destroying both. Surviving Jews were forced to flee for their lives and in the ensuing 2000 years I don't believe a single generation has escaped involvement in a war of some kind.
And then something strange happened: The Heavenly clock stopped. 69 of the 70 weeks had passed and all that was prophesied to happen during those 483 years had come to pass but there was still one week (7 years) left. There are hints in the Old Testament that the clock had stopped several times before in Israel's history when for one reason or another they were out of the land. And in the New Testament we're also told that while God is dealing with the Church, time ceases to exist for Israel (Acts 15:13-18). But the clearest indication that this is the case is that the events foretold in Daniel 9:27 simply haven't happened yet.
He will confirm a covenant with many for one week. In the middle of the week he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the Temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation until the end that is decreed is poured out on him (Daniel 9:27).
Here is the missing 70th week, but before we try to understand it let's recall a rule of grammar that will help make our interpretation correct. The rule is this: Pronouns refer to the closest previous noun. "He" being a personal pronoun refers to the closest previous person, in this case the "ruler who will come." So a ruler who will come from some part of the old Roman Empire will confirm a 7 year treaty with Israel that permits them to build a Temple and re-instate their Old Covenant worship system. 3 1/2 years later he will violate this treaty by setting up an abomination that causes the Temple to become desolate, putting an end to their worship. This abomination brings the wrath of God down upon him and he will be destroyed. This is the Little Horn of Daniel 7:8 and the end times fulfillment of the one called "Another Horn" in Daniel 8:9, first fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes.
The most obvious way in which we know these things haven't happened is that the Jewish Old Covenant worship system requires a Temple and there hasn't been one since 70 AD when the Romans destroyed it.
Some say this prophecy was fulfilled during the Roman destruction of 70 AD but most believe it's yet future, partly because of the term Abomination that causes Desolation. As Gabriel told Daniel, in the time of wrath there would be a second, greater fulfillment of the prophecies from his vision of chapter 8. Another king would arise and repeat the things Antiochus had done, one of which would be to stand in the Temple and declare himself to be God, and demand that the people worship a statue of him on pain of death. Both Paul (2 Thes. 2:4) and John (Rev. 13:14-15) confirmed these things.
Jesus said that this event would kick off the Great Tribulation (Matt 24:15-21), and Paul said the anti-Christ would be the one to do it (2 Thes 2:4). The blasphemies of Antiochus had not been specifically repeated when the Romans destroyed the Temple, and there hasn't been another Temple since. The similarities between this coming event and the one from history being so obvious, most scholars are persuaded that one points to the other since nothing in the intervening years fits so completely.
Soon And Very Soon
Following a devastating war in the Middle East, a new leader will soon emerge on the scene. With great personal charisma and a plan end to all wars, he will captivate and control the world. Since all true believers will have recently disappeared from Earth, he'll have no trouble persuading most remaining inhabitants that he is the promised Messiah, the Prince of Peace. He will astound and amaze them all with feats of diplomacy and conquest, even performing the supernatural. But when he claims to be God, all hell will break loose on Earth and 3 1/2 years of the most terrible times mankind has ever known will threaten their very existence.
But before they're all destroyed the real Prince of Peace will return and overthrow this imposter. He will set up His kingdom on earth, a kingdom that will never be conquered nor left to another. Having given His life to finish transgression, put an end to sin, atone for wickedness and bring in everlasting righteousness, and having fulfilled all Biblical vision and prophecy, He will anoint the most Holy Place and receive all the honor, glory and blessing the Scriptures promised Him. Israel will finally have her Kingdom restored and will live in peace with God in her midst, and you and I as the bride of the Christ will rule and reign with Him forever. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.
The End of Mahmoud Abbas, The Phony Pacifist - By Fiamma Nirenstein - http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2557
There's not a day that goes by now when Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) doesn't denounce through words and deeds the decline of his power, or rather, doesn't express his agony while other events occupy the Palestinian scene and its eventual, albeit difficult, development.
During a meeting with Israeli peace activists in Ramallah, Abbas repudiated for the umpteenth time his rejection of any peace plan that comes from the United States--from hated U.S. President Donald Trump, who dared to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
And it's understandable because this, more than anything, demonstrates his bankrupt policy. He hasn't achieved any historical gains, instead insisting on refusing every agreement, every possibility for his people.
He has tried to evoke a decent and pacifist image of himself abroad, managing with determination through the allocation of a great deal of money (aid coming from all corners of the world, including from you, dear reader) and the continuous push towards terrorism. He hasn't left room open for a successor, and now he is besieged by his worst enemies.
In a recent statement, Abbas condemned the idea that the Palestinians and Jordan should form a confederation--an old topic that has never been confirmed by the Americans as part of a peace plan, but which could soon be on the horizon given that it is full of economic promises and public interest.
It's a reasonable aim, and therefore hated by the unreasoning chief of the Palestinian Authority. But he sees the American plan as part of the conspiracy--one of the many he constantly talks about--to destroy the Palestinian national cause.
This, however, is not the case. Here is a possible answer to Palestinian politics, his politics, inherited by the former chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization Yasser Arafat. But he doesn't want that. The ongoing declarations of terrorism have finally been laid bare through a series of moves by the Trump administration and its U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
There are two main issues that have emerged in the last several days: the dialogue that hangs over Abbas's head, with the bizarre use of Qatar as a bridge and, above all, Egypt, in order to neutralize Hamas and thus avoid another war in Gaza.
It's a far-sighted strategy that could limit deaths and injuries, and leave Jerusalem able to concentrate fully on a task that is dear to the entire Sunni world: to drive Iran, which currently besieges the whole Middle East, out of Syria.
For now, there is no war. Hamas certainly hasn't become Zionist, but it was stopped. And Abbas remains very angry, declaring that the only one with the right to make an agreement with Israel is him, and that if Hamas wants to join him, it must hand over its territories and militias. Of course, that's not going to happen, and Arab peace efforts move forwards, leaving him isolated as he continues to say no to Egypt, Qatar, Trump ... and as usual, to Israel.
Abbas's allegations just keep flying. They continue to do so following another momentous choice: The United States has decided to stop recognizing as refugees those Palestinians who for 70 years declared themselves to be so after the end of Israel's 1948 War of Independence.
Those children and grandchildren, increasingly numerous, have acquired not only all the rights, but also the status of Palestinian refugees (given only to them, among all other refugees in the world), which the very benevolent United Nations has bestowed upon them. While the definition of refugee is reviewed, the ad hoc organization of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) will no longer receive the annual $300 million allocated by the United States.
The so-called Palestinian refugees have, in the meantime, increased from 500,000 to 5 million. UNRWA not only impedes them from embarking on a life of normal learning and professional advancement, but has also, more than any other actor, made it its policy to prevent any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
UNRWA has prevented the relocation of refugees, and so they stat, forever classified as such, and their children stay, going to school in structures that adopt textbooks that are full of hate and incitement to commit terrorism, and associating with extreme groups that call for Israel's destruction.
The deconstruction of this system cancels one of the main tenets of Abbas's prevailing Palestinian policy, which is the so-called "right of return." Every reasonable attempt at an agreement has sought to highlight the notion of inviting a tide of 5 million people into Israel--for all intents and purposes, bringing about the demise of the Jewish state.
From the moment he became head of the Palestinian Authority in 2005, Abbas failed to maneuver a single strategic victory, despite the fact that Israeli leaders (one after the other) have repeatedly invited him to the negotiating table for peace talks and offered him several possibilities. Now his tetragonal, angry wall has worsened.
His legacy has been stained with blatantly anti-Semitic and Holocaust-revisionist statements, and his defense of salaries to imprisoned terrorists immediately after America cut funds to the P.A. over such payments leaves observers utterly speechless.
He's a leader who can't lead, beaten by the changing political landscape and providing nothing but the wrong answers.
Holy Cow - J.L. Robb -
There has been a push since Israel's rebirth in 1948 to rebuild the Jewish Temple, referred to as the Third Temple, Solomon's Temple and the Holy Temple. The movements, pushed by Jews and Christians, has a few impediments to overcome; but the movement continues.
Solomon's Temple was the First Temple and was built in 953 BC according to biblical archeologists and scholars. At this point in time, that is the best estimate and relics of Solomon's Temple have been discovered. King David, Solomon's father, had a great desire to build the House of God but was forbidden by God because of David's continued warring, the murder of Uriah and the affair with Uriah's wife, Bathsheba:
1 David summoned all the officials of Israel to assemble at Jerusalem: the officers over the tribes, the commanders of the divisions in the service of the king, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of all the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the warriors and all the brave fighting men.
2 King David rose to his feet and said: "Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. 3 But God said to me, 'You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.'" 1 Chronicles 28:1-3 NIV
So the task of building the House of God was passed on to David's son.
King Solomon, blessed in so many ways, built a magnificent Temple (Beit haMikdash-Hebrew) in the ancient capital of Israel, Jerusalem. Adhering to his father's great desire, the Temple became the permanent home of the Ark of the Covenant containing the Ten Commandments. The Holy Temple was dedicated with the sacrifice of a cow, but not just any cow. The requirement was for the Temple to be dedicated with the sacrifice of an unblemished red heifer that had never been yoked. Unblemished and unyoked red heifers were few-and-far-between.
King Solomon's Temple was sacked and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar's troops in 586 BC, on the 9th of Av. Av is the fifth month of the Jewish calendar. The Temple lasted 367 years.
Nebuchadnezzar killed millions of people during the Siege of Jerusalem and enslaved the rest, until the Persian King Cyrus II rescued the Jews 70 years later and sent them back to the land of Israel and his blessings for the Jews to build another temple. Ten tribes of Israel disappeared during that reign of terror, and the Second Temple was completed in 516 BC.
All the dedication needed was an unblemished red heifer calf, about 4 years old.
The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, again on the 9th of Av. They have longed for a Third Temple ever since, and the month of Av has become the Month of Mourning for the Jewish people.
There is an active movement in Israel to rebuild the Third Temple. There are a few issues to resolve, like what do they do with the Muslim Dome of the Rock, a shrine like the Ka'ba in Mecca.
The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement in Israel has several thousand Orthodox Jews working diligently toward the rebuilding, assuming that God will make it happen since it was predicted. The Jews today see the Third Temple as a sign of the coming Messiah; and Christians see it as a sign of the return of Messiah, the one that most of the ancient Jews missed 2,000 years ago. The Jews who did not miss the Gift, made it available to the world.
In a Ha'aretz poll, more than a third of Israelis think the Third Temple should be built on the Temple Mount, sooner rather than later. Of course that will cause the War at Armageddon since the Islamic Dome of the Rock shrine now sits on the mount where Solomon's Temple once stood, plus they do not have an unblemished red heifer. Or do they?
There is another movement, the movement to find an unblemished red heifer for the Temple dedication.
The Temple Institute is located in Jerusalem and they are determined to build the Third Temple and have decided to raise the perfect red heifer in the laboratory. From their web page:
The Temple Institute is dedicated to every aspect of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, and the central role it fulfilled, and will once again fulfill, in the spiritual wellbeing of both Israel and all the nations of the world. The Institute's work touches upon the history of the Holy Temple's past, an understanding of the present day, and the Divine promise of Israel's future. The Institute's activities include education, research, and development. The Temple Institute's ultimate goal is to see Israel rebuild the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, in accord with the Biblical commandments.
Last week, The Temple Institute announced the birth of an unblemished, flawless red heifer. Reportedly, the calf was born August 28, 2018, and "is being raised in accordance of the Torah."
Jewish belief stresses that their Temple cannot be purified according to Jewish ritual until a flawless red heifer can be sacrificed, burned and the ashes sprinkled like water on the people in a rite of purification from uncleanliness as spelled out in the Bible.
1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 2 "This is a requirement of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke. 3 Give it to Eleazar the priest; it is to be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence. 4 Then Eleazar the priest is to take some of its blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the tent of meeting. 5 While he watches, the heifer is to be burned-its hide, flesh, blood and intestines. 6 The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool and throw them onto the burning heifer. 7 After that, the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water. He may then come into the camp, but he will be ceremonially unclean till evening. 8 The man who burns it must also wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he too will be unclean till evening. Numbers 19:1-8 NIV
Many evangelical Christians are also pushing for The Third Temple and believe it would be symbolic for the second coming of Christ.
Here is part of the press release statement:
The Temple Institute
September 4 at 9:02 AM ·
RED HEIFER CANDIDATE BORN IN ISRAEL
On the 17th day of Elul, 5778, (August 28, 2018), a red heifer was born in the land of Israel. The red heifer candidate is being raised and specially cared for under the auspices of the Temple Institute's 'Raise a Red Heifer' program.
One week after its birth the heifer underwent an extensive examination by rabbinical experts, who determined that the heifer is currently a viable candidate for the Biblical red heifer (para aduma) described in Numbers, chapter 19, and will be examined again in three months time to determine whether it continues to possess the necessary qualifications for the red heifer, a necessary prerequisite for the renewal of the Divine service in the Holy Temple.
There have been unblemished red heifers born before and carefully examined, 9 in the last 2000 years; but all were later found to have a hair that was not red.
The timing of this birth, the push to rebuild the Holy Temple and the United States recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the embassy is significant. If the red heifer has to be groomed for 4 years and the Temple dedicated, the next year should be interesting.
I would keep paying attention and looking up. I would also be thankful that we, as Christians, do not need a red heifer. Our unblemished, flawless and final sacrifice also provided a lot of red and died on a cross 2000 years ago.
What Do You Know? - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
It doesn't take long after we're born to begin gathering knowledge. Is your tummy hungry? Cry and someone will feed you. Smile and the adults around you will smile back. That's just the beginning of knowledge. Soon the child will learn to read, eat properly, and to discern right from wrong. We gather these bits of knowledge as we move through life. The most important knowledge we can gain is knowledge of God. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7. The fear of the Lord is something we often ignore. We like His love for us, but too often we think that love means we have the freedom to sin all we want and He will just overlook it. When you fear the Lord you'll respect Him and follow His ways. The more you know of Him the more you'll respect Him and desire to please Him. You'll come to understand that God's laws are for our protection and following those laws is a wise choice. Scripture is filled with examples of men and women who either feared the Lord or defied Him. We can learn from both examples.
Job was a man who had been blessed with a large family and much wealth. He also feared the Lord and was obedient. That's why Satan made him a target. Because of Satan Job lost all of his children, all of his wealth, and his health failed. Then some friends came to sit with him in his misery. They weren't at all comforting and in fact said some awful things to Job. That can happen today. Every one of us will face tragedy and failing health, but if we study Job we can learn from his troubles. After listening to his friends point out his supposed sin and how he deserved the sorrow he was going through he indulged in self-pity. That pity party didn't last long because Job knew God. When he stopped listening to his friends and began to rely on God he was able to say "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me." Job 19:25-27. Though Job lived centuries before Jesus walked this earth he still knew that his Redeemer lived. This knowledge didn't stop the heartache and health problems he faced, but he still knew his Redeemer. As Job's story unfolds, we learn that through his struggles he came to know God better than he did prior to the problems. "I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee." Job 42:2. We'll always get through the trials of life much better if we know our Redeemer lives and that God can do everything. As we go through life we'll face many things that can draw us away from God. Public schools and colleges plant seeds of doubt in young people and those who haven't been grounded in God's word, and even some who have, will be drawn away. If you know that your Redeemer lives you won't be deceived.
Adults often have a double standard of living and live like the world for six days each week then play church on Sunday. That's not fearing God and if you're only a Sunday Christian then you really don't know God. Many things can get in the way of knowing God if we allow them to. God is always there but it's us who can become blind to His glory. When doubts begin to muddle our minds and we question if God is really there, that's when we need to think about all He has done. Amid all the turmoil in life we need to keep God in our hearts and our minds. In fact, the Psalmist encourages us to find refuge in the Lord when things are at their worst. "Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10. When you know God you'll know peace in spite of trouble.
Many people have heard of God, but don't know Him. Try asking your co-workers what they know about Jesus and the answers may surprise you. Some might say He was a nice man who started a religion and others may say He is the brother of Satan. If they aren't born again Christians they won't be able to give the right answer. Jesus is God and He created everything. When Jesus was ministering on this earth He met many people. Many of the people just followed Him because they liked His miracles and the religious leaders had no idea who He was. They didn't really know Him. One day He encountered a Samaritan woman. The Samaritans had a mixture of beliefs which were partly Jewish and partly pagan. Although their belief in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob wasn't pure they had some basic knowledge of God. This woman was living a life of sin, but Jesus reached out to her. This woman knew some things about the Messiah, and that knowledge was enough for Jesus to change her life. He didn't condemn her, but pointed out her sin. She was surprised that He knew that she had been married numerous times, but was not married to the man she was living with. "The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things." John 4:25. If you follow the example of Jesus you just might help to change someone's life. Start with what they know about Jesus, then lead them to the truth.
Once your life has been changed by Jesus you'll never be the same. You'll know that you know that you know the truth that Jesus is the Christ. When that happens nobody will be able to change your mind. You may lose friends and family may turn against you, but you'll know the truth. Even religious leaders may try to confound your knowledge of the Living God. This happened to a man who had been born blind. One day Jesus healed his blindness but those religious men who despised Jesus questioned this man. Instead of rejoicing over the miracle they only sought to condemn Jesus. This man knew what Christ had done for him and wouldn't be influenced by the religious Pharisees who wanted him to deny what Jesus had done."He answered and said, "He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." John 9:25. If Jesus has removed your blindness to Him and you know that He is the Christ, don't deny Him. Draw nearer to Him and get to know Him better.
Knowing about Jesus isn't enough to bring you salvation. You may know who He is and a Scripture or two but that isn't what salvation is based upon. Jesus said that there would be false prophets who would spread a false Gospel. Even though they know who He is they haven't accepted Him as their Saviour. "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:22-23. These false prophets lead many people astray. They haven't placed their faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but use their false faith as a magic wand to do marvelous things. They say the right words in order to impersonate a Christian but they have no true faith. Their choice will condemn them. The best way to avoid being duped by one of these false prophets is to study Scripture. Know it and write it on your heart. Then when you encounter false teaching you won't be turned from the truth.
What does Jesus know about you? He knows a lot more than you might want Him to. He knows whether your faith is real or if you only give Him lip service. A good example of Jesus' knowledge of ones who were very religious but had no faith is found in almost every conversation He had with the Pharisees. Jesus was God incarnate, but they just wouldn't believe Him. They loved the power they had over people, but they didn't love God."But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you." John 5:42. Jesus knew the truth of their hearts, and He also knows the truth of your heart. He knows if your faith is real or just a show. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:" John 10:27. Jesus is the Good Shepherd and knows who truly follows Him and who is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Even among the men who were closest to Him there was a traitor. Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him. This betrayal fulfilled Scripture. Judas had the same opportunity as the others to know Jesus, yet he chose betrayal. "I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me." John 13:18. Is this something that Jesus knows about you? Do you pretend to follow Him but are only fooling yourself or others? You haven't fooled Jesus because He knows.
Even demons know things about you, like if you have authority in Jesus to command them. Scripture tells of some men that the King James translation calls "vagabond Jews" These Jewish men had seen Paul cast demons out in Jesus' name and thought they could do the same. "...We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth." Acts 19:13b. They only knew of somebody who knew Jesus and the demons knew their faith wasn't real. They didn't know Jesus and therefore had no authority to use His name. "And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?" Acts 19:15. This didn't end well for those pretenders. The demon attacked them and they ran away "naked and wounded". Without Jesus you have no protection against evil.
"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." 2 Timothy 1:12. Do you know whom you have believed? Is that faith real...heart knowledge and not just head knowledge? Salvation comes when you realize that you're a sinner and the only way for your sin to be forgiven is through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you don't know Him, then it's time you do.
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 Information War - Bill Wilson -
Both overseas and in America, CNN is in almost every airport. When you want to look something up on the Internet, you "Google" it. If you want to keep in touch with family and friends, you "Facebook" it. If you want to show something to someone you might "Snapchat" or "Pinterest" it. If you want to make a brief statement or comment about something, you "Tweet" it. These and other brands of technology are social or communication platforms that leave the impression that they are open and honest forms of information exchange. We may use them as tools to get our news, communicate with family, even conduct business. But the information provided by these outlets is being proven to be deceptively biased.
Breitbart news has obtained an extraordinary hour-long video of a corporate meeting at Google just after the Trump election. In the video, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, VPs Kent Walker and Eileen Naughton, CFO Ruth Porat, and CEO Sundar Pichai express resolve that they will use the power of the company to undermine the Trump agenda and the populist movement worldwide. Brin says that the election of Trump was "deeply offensive," and it is "a very stressful time that conflicts with many of our values." He said that "apparently so many people don't share many of the values we have..there have always been people that apparently feel that way, but certainly confronting it firsthand, is pretty upsetting."
Brin compares Trump voters to "extremists," correlating their economic background with voters who back extremist movements. Senior VP for Global Affairs Kent Walker said of Trump voters: "fear, not just in the United States, but around the world is fueling concerns, xenophobia, hatred..." CEO Sundar Pichai said Google will develop machine learning and A.I. to combat "misinformation" shared by "low-information voters." After Breitbart published the story about the video and posted it, a Google spokesperson issued a statement saying, "Nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products. To the contrary, our products are built for everyone...to be a trustworthy source of information for everyone, without regard to political viewpoint."
Do you see the deceptive propaganda in all this? These communist coup-makers disparage the political beliefs and values of conservative Americans, plot ways to use their means to undermine the elected US government and then issue a statement that says they didn't do that. These are representatives of companies that control information. And by controlling information, they control thought. Can you see the significance of Christ's warning to his disciples in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." Deception can be subtle. It can be outright. It can be so unbelievable that you have to suspend your disbelief to believe it. How many have family members or friends who take this progressive/communist drivel as fact, and are angry about it? This is the Information War, being waged on your mind. Don't buy into it.
Daily Devotion: What Stops Prayer Short - By Greg Laurie -
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. -Psalm 139:23-24
To pray and then to live in known sin is like hanging up the phone to Heaven. All the praying in the world won't help us if we are living in sin.
God said in Isaiah 59:1-2 (NKJV), "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear." Also, the psalmist said, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear [me]" (Psalm 66:18 NKJV).
For personal revival to take place in our lives, there must be repentance from all known sin. This includes not only the sins of commission (doing bad things), but sins of omission too.
You may say, "I'm living a clean life. I don't lie. I don't steal. I don't get drunk. I'm faithful to my spouse." God bless you for all of that. But you could be guilty of a sin of omission. The Bible says, "To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (James 4:17 NKJV).
If the Lord is prompting you to share the gospel and you say no, if the Lord is asking you to share freely of your finances and invest in His kingdom and you flat out refuse, if the Lord is nudging you to pray more and you don't want to, this can be a sin of omission.
God wants to change your life and forgive you of all your sins. Is there something you are doing that you know you should not be doing as a follower of Jesus? If so, you need to turn from it. You never will experience personal revival until you do.
FROM THE HEART
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