Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign - Alf Cengia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=8514
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. When will Christ return? What are the signs of His premillennial coming? What's taking Him so long?
When I first expressed interest in prophecy I was quickly reminded that people have been watching for Christ's return for centuries, and it hasn't happened yet. We've all the seen mocking cartoons of a man with long hair and beard holding up a sign reading: The end of the world is nigh.
If we're looking for signs of Christ's premillennial return (in contrast to the rapture), look to Israel. That's the surest sign I can think of. Unfortunately Replacement Theology (or whatever one prefers to call it) consistently imposes a different meaning over passages such as Jer 31:31-37 and Zech 14:2-4. Christians are discouraged from taking it seriously.
The study of prophecy is often treated like that old eccentric uncle no one in the family wants to talk about. One reason cited is the long list of failed prognostications. But it's more than that. The "New Testament" Christian bias against prophecy is related to national Israel's prominence within it.
Israel has become a nation again after centuries in oblivion, and has survived numerous attacks by Arab nations. However, this doesn't impress prophecy skeptics. To them, literal prophecy can't be true because the church is the "New Spiritual Israel."
Pro-Palestinian activists like Gary Burge, Colin Chapman and Stephen Sizer attribute modern Israel's existence to Zionist interference, rather than God's sovereign intervention. They say the Balfour Declaration was a disaster which led to the Arab-Israeli conflict we still see today.
In fact Jews experienced existential threats long before Balfour. Europe was in conflict with Islam well before Israel became a nation. And if Zionist meddling brought statehood to Israel, then why can't pro-Palestinian activists do the same for Palestinians?
One answer is that God is in the works. The other is that the Palestinian people have been hijacked by Islamic hatred of the Jew. They've found excuses to consistently reject statehood because they want a One-State solution - sans Israel.
If you want to debunk prophecy, get the world to love Israel and stop anti-Semitism. As it stands, irrational animosity against Jews and Israel is itself a prophetic fulfillment (Deut 28:37; Psalm 44:14; Zech 12:3). And many in the church are helping it along.
I don't like hammering daily news items into prophecy slots. But a broad prophetic picture appears to be forming. It's one we shouldn't ignore.
Hal Lindsey was once excoriated for his prediction of a Russians involvement in an attack on Israel, especially after the Soviet Union fell. His association of Russia and several ME nations to Ezekiel's Gog-Magog alliance was ridiculed. Scoffers tend to be people who deny a future prophetic fulfillment of Israel's promises. See, for example, Preterist Gary DeMar's book End Time Fiction.
Yet today we see Russia in a strong leadership position among a Northern Coalition of nations which share the desire to destroy Israel. While some pundits considered Putin to be a wannabe-Czar. He's now been accused of fixing the American election. Moreover, under his leadership, Russia is giving Europe the jitters via his war games. See also Joel Rosenberg's Blog. Not bad for a pretender.
The Gog-Magog prophecy is found in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. A great online summary by Mark Hitchcock can be read HERE. I also recommend reading Ron Rhodes' 2008 book Northern Storm Rising, and Hitchcock's more up to date (published in 2017) Russia Rising.
Hitchcock notes that one of the first ingredients for a Gog-Magog conflagration was Israel's re-establishment as a nation in 1948.
"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD," declares the Lord GOD, "when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Ezek 36:22-25
While there are some chronological backward looks to Ezekiel 36 & 37, the gist is the final restoration and purification of Israel in the sight of the nations. Note also that God will do this for His name's sake. He will deliver on His promises to Israel in the sight of the nations.
So far we've only seen the restoration portion of this process. The Gog-Magog invasion is likely the next step. When will it happen?
Ron Rhodes favors the possibility of an invasion occurring after the rapture but before the 70th week (p 193). Mark Hitchcock envisions it occurring in the first half on the tribulation. Notably, he also sees the possibility of it happening at any time (p 135).
It's interesting that they closely agree on timing, and virtually agree on the identication of the players. Hitchcock's book mentions the fact that, forty years ago, Charles Ryrie predicted Turkey's move into the sphere of Russian domination (p 86). How did Ryrie know?
Even more remarkable is the fact that these players are currently on the board. What this strongly implies to me is that Jesus' premillennial return cannot be far away. If this is correct, then the rapture of the church is even closer. Are we ready?
More things to ponder:
Barring God's supernatural intervention, can these spiraling Middle East events can be turned around? Can North Korea be safely neutralized? How will Europe react to the Russian war games? And what about the changing face of Germany and France because of its immigration policies?
Finally, how do the recent natural disaster factor into all of this? Is this God talking to us? It's notable when even secular people see the spate of hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and begin to wonder about the end of the world.
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign - there seems to be a convergence of signs. Should we be paying attention?
I think so.
Yom Kippur War: When the Nation Of Israel Was Judged and Nearly Failed - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You." Psalms 139:12 (The Israel Bible™)
On Yom Kippur, October 6, 1973, while Jews around the world were praying for God to redeem their souls, the still young State of Israel went through a trial of fire which it came very close to losing. For the first three days of the Yom Kippur War, Israel's fate hung in balance while overwhelming Arab forces advanced almost unopposed into the heart of the tiny country. Only the heroic acts of a few individuals saved the tiny State of Israel from total annihilation.
Exactly 44 years ago, a coalition led by Syria and Egypt and supported by the former Soviet Union, launched a surprise attack on Israel. The enemy attack focused on the Golan Heights and the Sinai, territories gained in the 1967 Six Day War that gave Israel a strategic buffer zone necessary for its survival. Israel, with 400,000 troops supported by 1,700 tanks and 440 combat aircraft faced a combined force of almost one million enemy soldiers supported by 3,600 tanks and 450 combat aircraft.
32,000 Egyptian troops crossed the Suez Canal in a massive but meticulously planned operation, advancing almost unopposed into the Sinai Peninsula. They quickly overwhelmed the Bar Lev Line, a series of fortifications that Israeli military experts had claimed was impenetrable.
Even more threatening was the Syrian attack in the north. While most of Israel was fasting and praying, Syria opened fire on Israel's northern border with 140 batteries of artillery as 1,260 Syrian tanks began to advance on the Golan Heights. Under cover of brutal anti-aircraft batteries and deadly SAM's, the Syrians were impervious to the notorious IAF. The Israeli Air Force initially lost 40 planes from Syrian anti-aircraft batteries. The next day, Israel began to counterattack, but their attempt failed. The lauded Israeli Air Force was nowhere to be seen in the skies over the Sinai desert since air-support was needed in the north, and Russian SAM missiles in Egyptian hands proved devastating. Crippled due to President Nixon withholding a promised full-resupply, Israel reluctantly accepted a ceasefire on October 12, but Egyptian President Anwar Sadat refused.
After the overwhelming initial success, 28,000 Syrian troops, 800 tanks, and 600 artillery pieces began their offensive push forward. The only thing standing between the massive Syrian army and Israel were 160 Israeli tanks, outclassed and outnumbered almost 10 to 1. The Syrian tanks were equipped with night vision, an innovation the Israeli tanks lacked. This forced the Israelis to use a daring tactic: the Israelis had to allow the Syrians to advance to ranges close enough for night fighting before opening fire. On October 9, only six Israeli tanks remained in action, defending a clear path into northern Israel. After the brigade's tanks were down to their last few rounds, they began to pull back. However, right then, a force of some 15 tanks which had been scrambled together arrived. Although the group was, in fact, a scratch force of repaired tanks which had injured men among their crews, the Syrians believed that the Israeli reserves were now arriving, and began to retreat.
With the Syrian attack repulsed and the threat removed from the heavily populated northern half of Israel, Israel was now able to turn its attention to the south. By the end of the war, a newly reinstated General Ariel Sharon had surrounded the Egyptian Third Army, crossed the Suez Canal, advanced to positions some 101 kilometers from Egypt's capital, Cairo, and occupied 1,600 square kilometers west of the Suez Canal.
The victory was spectacular but it came at a horrifying cost. 2,500 Israelis had been killed and over 8,000 wounded. 293 IDF soldiers were captured and Egyptian and Syrian atrocities perpetrated on unarmed prisoners of war were discovered. The IDF was crippled, with 400 tanks destroyed and 100 IAF's combat aircraft shot down
A UN ceasefire brokered by US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was signed, with Israel pulling back from all territories it had conquered west of the Suez Canal, and other territories in the Golan.
This was the closest Israel had come to defeat at the hands of the Arabs. After the sustained euphoria that still remained after the victory of the Six Day War, the painful victory of the Yom Kippur War just six years later made it clear that there was no guarantee that Israel would always dominate the Arab states militarily. The dismay and disappointment in the government after the war led to the dissolution of Golda Meir's government.
Below is just one example of the multitude of individual heroic efforts that saved the Jewish State:
Zvika, a 21-year-old lieutenant, was visiting his parents at Kibbutz Lohamei HaGheta'ot (ghetto fighters) near Haifa for the holiday. It was a short leave from the army before he began a company commander course. When he heard that war had broken out, he hitchhiked to the Nafah base in the Golan. All of the tanks were on the battlefield, engaged in holding back the enemy wave, so Zvika helped with the wounded that were flowing into the base. When two damaged Centurion tanks were repaired, Zvika jumped at the chance, taking command of random soldiers and unfamiliar tanks.
His first encounter with the enemy was the 51st Syrian tank brigade that had broken through. In the first moments of battle, Zvika's tank accounted for six kills. In the darkness, the Syrian tanks had approached to within ten meters of Zvika, which in tank-terms is point blank. The exploding enemy tank knocked out his radio, and in the heat of battle, he jumped from his tank and took command of the second tank. Night fell and the two Israeli tanks, with no radio, lost each other in the dark.
Zvika was alone when he faced the 452nd tank battalion. A long line of Syrian tanks, with better fighting ability and night vision, came at him. He dodged the enemy, shooting and moving, using the cover of dark to his advantage. In frustration, the Syrians turned on their searchlights, making Zvika's job easier. Ten Syrian tanks were either damaged or dead when the Syrian forces pulled back, convinced they had encountered a large Israeli force.
Afraid the enemy was listening in on radio communication, Zvika did not want to give away the desperate situation and the fact that he was fighting alone. He identified himself to the Israeli high-command as "Zvika Force". Colonel Yitzhak Ben-Shoham, the brigade commander, assumed it to be at least company strength.
Later that night, Zvika Force joined up with two platoons of reserve tanks. They encountered a large force of Syrian tanks. In the first moments of the engagement, Zvika's tank was hit, injuring his crew and leaving him badly burned. He leapt from the tank, his uniform on fire, and commandeered another. For the rest of the night, he battled the Syrians, changing tanks several times, fighting on despite his injuries.
By morning, "Zvika Force" was winning the battle against the Syrian 51st tank brigade, but they got a desperate call to pull back. Nafah, the command center for all the Israeli forces in the Golan, was being threatened by 80 T-62's, the most advanced tanks at the time. Zvika arrived with the 679th Reserve Armored Brigade in time to see IDF forces abandoning the base as Syrian tanks smashed their way in.
When the IDF forces finally repelled the Syrian attack, Zvika climbed out of his tank and collapsed, mumbling, "I can't anymore." He had been battling the enemy for 20 hours non-stop, changing tanks six times as they were shot out from under him, meanwhile claiming at least 20 kills. Other estimates put that number at 40.
Israel had destroyed over 900 Syrian tanks, while only seven Israeli tanks remained operational at the end of the fight. Over 2,600 Israeli soldiers were killed and 9,000 wounded, making it the second bloodiest war in Israeli history, after the War of Independence.
At the end of the Yom Kippur War, the IDF awarded Zvika Greengold the Medal of Valor for his extraordinary heroism. He is one of only eight soldiers to have earned the medal.
Quiet on settlement activity, Mideast Quartet calls for PA control of Gaza - By Michael Wilner -
The statement omitted any reference to Israeli settlement activity - a rarity for the Quartet.
The Middle East Quartet, a working group on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict comprised of Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, issued a statement on Thursday addressing the growing humanitarian crisis plaguing Gaza following conversations between envoys from the four players.
Notably, the statement omitted any reference to Israeli settlement activity - a rarity for the Quartet, which in its last report on the conflict offered detailed and scathing criticism of the government's construction efforts.
An official familiar with its drafting told The Jerusalem Post that Thursday's statement naturally focused on Gaza following recent meetings in New York between Egypt's President Fattah el-Sisi and Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Those meetings centralized on Palestinian Authority efforts to reclaim control of the coastal strip from Hamas.
The Quartet encouraged efforts from Egypt and other regional powers "to create the conditions for the Palestinian Authority to assume its responsibilities in Gaza," it said in a joint statement. "They urge the parties to take concrete steps to reunite Gaza and the West Bank under the legitimate Palestinian Authority."
Reunification of the Palestinian territories under PA control "will facilitate lifting the closures of the crossings, while addressing Israel's legitimate security concerns, and unlock international support for Gaza's growth, stability, and prosperity, which is critical for efforts to reach lasting peace," they continue, calling on "the international community to act accordingly" in response to the "grave" humanitarian challenge facing Gazans.
The statement echoes a speech delivered by the US special representative for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, to a UN committee earlier this month, in which he squarely blamed Hamas for the crisis.
"The Quartet envoys stand ready to engage with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the region in support of this process," they continued.
This time last year, the Quartet was lambasting the Israeli government over its construction work in Area C and east Jerusalem.
"The Quartet emphasized its strong opposition to ongoing settlement activity, which is an obstacle to peace, and expressed its grave concern that the acceleration of settlement construction," the group's September 2016 report read, referring to Israel's building in east Jerusalem as "settlement activity" to its ire.
The Trump administration says that settlement activity is "not helpful" to the pursuit of peace between Israelis and Palestinians - a top priority for President Donald Trump. But the Obama administration, which was in power and at the table when the 2016 report was drafted, took a harder and more vocal line against settlement construction.
"The retroactive 'legalization' of existing units, and the continued high rate of demolitions of Palestinian structures, are steadily eroding the viability of the two state solution," the 2016 statement continued.
Do Advocates for Palestinians Ever Listen to Palestinians? - By Mitchell Bard -
If you pay any attention to advocates and supporters of the Palestinians who live outside the Middle East, you would think that the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are mostly interested in settlements, boycotts, "occupation," savaging Israel and achieving a two-state solution.
You have to wonder if these activists ever speak to Palestinians who live in the territories -- because when pollsters ask for their opinion, it becomes clear that their actual views are quite different.
The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) conduced its latest poll this month, and found that "an overwhelming majority of the Palestinian public is worried about the future of liberties in Palestine."
Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, and Hamas in Gaza, both deny Palestinians their basic civil rights: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly. Women's rights are virtually nonexistent.
As I've written before, advocates who claim to care deeply about the welfare of the Palestinians never stand up for the Palestinians' rights when they're abused by the Palestinian Authority (PA), or criticize the authoritarian rule of Abbas.
When was the last time that the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Arab American Institute, Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, CAIR or any other pro-Palestinian group spoke out against the abuses? They only find their voices if they can find some way to blame the Jews -- because they prefer anti-Israel propaganda to aiding the Palestinians.
But the Palestinians oppressed by their leaders know better. While advocates abroad are free to speak out -- but do not, journalists and activists in the territories are routinely arrested. More than 80% of respondents said that the PA does not have the right to detain activists such as Issa Amro, who was arrested and reportedly beaten for criticizing the PA's detention of Palestinian journalist Ayman al-Qawasmi. Most Palestinians admit, however, that they are afraid to criticize the Palestinian Authority.
When asked what they consider to be the most serious problem confronting Palestinian society, the public ranks poverty and unemployment, and the spread of corruption in public institutions, as their top two concerns. Only 23% say that their top priority is the continuation of occupation and settlement activities. But when was the last time that you heard a Palestinian activist talk about poverty and corruption?
While Abbas periodically threatens to disband the PA in response to Israeli actions, as if this would somehow punish the Israelis, 50% of Palestinians wish that he would -- because they consider the PA "a burden on the Palestinian people." A whopping 67% of the public also want Abbas to resign (80% of Gazans), and 65% are dissatisfied with his performance as president.
We hear a lot from Israel's detractors about the blockade of Gaza, which was precipitated by Hamas terror attacks, but Gazans are increasingly angry with Abbas. According to the survey, "Gazans are moving away from Fatah and the Palestinian leadership in an unprecedented way," because of sanctions that Abbas imposed on the Gaza Strip to try to pressure the people there to turn on Hamas.
Given the conditions in the PA, it is not surprising that 43% of Gazans and 22% of West Bank Palestinians say that they want to immigrate to other countries. Note too, how you never hear Palestinians or their supporters calling for people to move to the PA territories to build the state or fight for independence; this is one of many contrasts with the Jewish people's commitment to their homeland.
Advocates for the Palestinians who tend to be hostile toward peace talks and a two-state solution are more in tune with the Palestinian people in the territories. Nearly three-fourths of the Palestinian public don't think that the Trump administration is serious about reaching a peace agreement, and 55% are opposed to accepting an invitation from the administration to resume negotiations with Israel. A slim majority- 52%-47% -- support the two-state solution; 31% favor a one-state solution.
One positive development in the survey was an increase in support for non-violent resistance (still only 26%), which the pollsters attribute to the success in forcing Israel to remove metal detectors from the entrance to the Temple Mount.
The survey also found, however, that support for violence had increased, and that 35% of the public believes that violence is the most effective means of achieving independence. More ominously, 45% support a return to an armed intifada in the absence of peace negotiations.
One interesting finding is that the Palestinians seem to have developed a more realistic view of the importance of their cause to the Arab world. While some advocates (and Arabists) perpetuate the myth that the Palestinian issue is central to the stability of the Middle East, 77% of Palestinians believe that "the Arab world is too preoccupied with its own concerns, internal conflicts, and the conflict with Iran, and that Palestine is no longer the Arab's principal or primary issue or cause."
Advocates for Israel are sometimes accused of blindly supporting the Israeli government when, in fact, there are no shortage of Israeli critics of the state's leaders and policies. The same cannot be said of our Palestinians' friends.
The selective outrage and morality of advocates for the Palestinians is apparent from their silence when it comes to the mistreatment of Palestinians by their own leaders. This hypocritical obsession with Israel's real and imagined sins highlights their insincerity, and reveals that most care less about the welfare of the Palestinians than the demonization, if not destruction, of Israel.
The Messiah in Yom Kippur - David Pepe -
Believers in Messiah know that Yeshua (Jesus) has provided our atonement: "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:23-24). God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. Yeshua's (Jesus') death surpasses and replaces the atonement ritual of the Jewish Temple. The book of Hebrews explains the ceremonies of the Day of Atonement as a pattern of the atoning work of Messiah. Yeshua (Jesus) is our high priest, and His blood shed on Calvary is seen as symbolized in the blood of bulls and goats. As the high priest of the Old Testament entered the Holy of Holies with the blood of his sacrificial victim, so Jesus entered heaven itself to appear before the Father on behalf of His people (Heb. 9:11-12) (Killian n.d.).
The Old Testament tabernacle was designed, in part, to teach Israel that sin hindered access to the presence of God. Only the high priest, and he only once a year, could enter the Holy of Holies, and then not without taking blood offered to atone for sins (Heb. 9:7). Hebrews notes that the levitical offerings could effect only the purification of the flesh. They ceremonially cleansed the sinner, but they could not bring about inward cleansing, the prerequisite for fellowship with God. Just as the high priest had to be sinless to enter the Holy of Holies and live, so Yeshua had to be sinless to live after He entered the grave.
But Messiah being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb. 9:11-14).
The high priest had to offer sin offerings each year for his own sins and the sins of the people. This annual repetition of the sacrifices served as a reminder that perfect atonement had not yet been provided. Jesus, however, through His own blood effected eternal redemption for His people (Heb. 9:12).
The Old Testament offerings served as a pattern and a prophecy of Yeshua (Jesus), who, through His better sacrifice, cleanses the conscience from dead works (Heb. 9:13-14). God always determined what was an acceptable offering and what was not. He finally provided His Son, the Lamb of God, as the sacrifice for the sins of the world (John 1:19; 3:16). The moment Yeshua died, the veil of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom (Matt. 27:50-51). The earth quaked beneath men's feet. This event is important because it established Jesus as being the new High Priest and Lamb of God. No longer must there be an annual sacrifice for sin on our behalf; instead, He has made payment for us once and for all. Yeshua (Jesus), through a new and living way has entered heaven itself, the true Holy of Holies, where He ever lives to make intercession for His people. The believer need not stand afar off, as did the Israelite of old, but may now through Messiah approach the very Throne of Grace! Yes, it is now possible for each of us to have direct access to God through the blood of Yeshua HaMashiah (Jesus Christ)!
The Two Goats
After purifying the holy place and the altar of burnt offering with the mingled blood of the bullock, the High Priest went to the eastern side of the court in front of the Temple. Facing him were two identical goats. Nearby was a lottery box especially designed for this ceremony. In the box were two tablets (lots). One bore the name "For God," the other "For azazel" (the scapegoat). The high priest shook the box and withdrew the tablets, putting one tablet in front of each goat. The goat labeled "for God" was sacrificed. The priest laid his hands upon the goat's head labeled "for azazel" and confessed over it the sins of Israel. The scapegoat symbolically bore the sins of the nation of Israel away from the people. This goat, commonly called the scapegoat (i.e. escape goat), was then driven into the desert. In the same way Jesus was brought before Pilate and stood before the people just as He was about to be led forth, bearing the iniquities of the people. These two goats were required for one sacrifice (Lev 16:17, 21-22). Both sacrifices were fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua. How can resurrection be portrayed in a sacrifice? By using two animals, one killed, the other set free, representing Yeshua's (Jesus') death and resurrection. And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness (Lev. 16:7-10).
And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about. And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness (Lev. 16:18, 22).
Tradition states that a cord of red wool was tied on the horn of the scapegoat, before it was let go in the wilderness. When the red wool turned white, it was a sign that God forgave the people's sin. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isa. 1:18).
The Priests used to bind a shining crimson strip of cloth on the outside door of the Temple. If the strip of cloth turned into the white color, they would rejoice; if it did not turn white they were full of sorrow and shame (Tractate Yoma 67a). Jewish literature explains the Shekhina glory of God left the Temple forty years prior to its destruction. Three signs occurred to show evidence of this:
1.) The western candle of the menorah refused to burn continually.
2.) The doors of the Temple would open of themselves.
3.) The red wool no longer turned white supernaturally.
This is especially significant because it indicated that God was no longer forgiving the sins of His people. The people were sorrowful because they began to realize more and more that the sacrifice of Yom Kippur did not have the power to cleanse their sinful hearts. That very year Messiah Jesus started His ministry, the very year that the blood of bulls and goats was no longer accepted as a sacrifice for the atonement of sin!
The Second Coming or Judgment?
The entire ten days from the first day of the Feast of Trumpets through the Day of Atonement are known as Days of Repentance or Days of Awe. These days are possibly a picture of the Rapture (Feast of Trumpets), the Tribulation (days in between), and the second coming (Day of Atonement). Another theory claims these are a picture of the Second Coming (Feast of Trumpets), the Judgment (Day of Atonement). Second Coming?
Our Messiah made two promises before He returned to our Father. He would send the Comforter (Pentecost) and He would come again. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:3). The Day of Atonement just may be the day of the Second Coming when Jesus will physically return to earth! The Bible clearly states Jesus will return immediately after the great tribulation. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory (Mark 13:24-26).
Day of Judgment?
The apostle Peter wrote about this awesome day of judgment. He declared, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming."
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (2 Peter 3:10-13).
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:31-34).
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10).
In the coming judgment, there is forgiveness and mercy and grace to those who have already received Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, Who gave His life as a ransom for us! Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Rom. 5:1-2).
Written by Robin Sampson
This article was well done and we wanted to share it with our readers. This article is from biblicalholidays.com. Please visit this insightful website for more insight into the Biblical Feast Days.
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey -
In Matthew 24, the Lord's disciples asked Him for signs of the end of the age. He began His answer with these words: "'Take heed that no one deceives you.'" (Matthew 24:3 NKJV)
There is no denying that we live in an age of deception: fake news, false advertising, viral lies, clickbait, and mainstream media propaganda, to name just a few examples. And it gets worse every day.
But Jesus also mentioned other "signs" of the end of the age. He included "rumors of war." The world's stand-off with North Korea may qualify as a "rumor of war" on steroids!
Jesus noted "earthquakes." In the last 30 days, two massive earthquakes have hit Mexico alone! So far, the death toll from last week's is over 300. And they've not even begun to tally the monetary damage! Many places in Mexico City still don't have electricity or constant running water.
In 2 Timothy 3:1, the Apostle Paul says that, "In the last days perilous times will come...." Then he enumerates a list of perils.
But notice that the list does not mention a single natural disaster. No floods, famines, pestilences, or earthquakes. That's because the greatest perils of the last days are the dangers of moral decline.
Look at this list. It is stunning how it mirrors -- with amazing precision -- today's America (even down to the NFL stadiums!): "In the last days perilous times will come, For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power." (2 Timothy 3:1-5a NKJV)
Is that not a rundown of a single day's headlines on America's news channels?
Jesus also warned of the moral decay near the end of this age. He said it would manifest itself in several ways. He warned of a rise in lawlessness. That doesn't necessarily mean train and bank robberies and raping and pillaging! It also means a general rise in disregard for the laws and order of the nation. Even by its government and business and political leaders!
Speaking specifically of the end times, Jesus said, "Then they will deliver you (His followers) to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name." (Matthew 24:9 NASB)
In its annual report, The First Liberty Institute found a dramatic rise in hostility toward people of faith. The Institute's Jeremy Dys said, "This year's survey represents a 15 percent increase in just the last year. And an alarming 133 percent increase in just the last five years."
But, thank God, not all signs of the times are negative. In Matthew 24:4, still speaking of these days, Jesus said, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations." Jesus is adamant that this will include every part of the earth. He emphasized "the whole world" and "all the nations."
Author Joel Rosenberg notes that, "Amidst the worst persecution in the modern history of the Church, we are seeing the greatest advance of the Gospel and the greatest harvest of souls in the Middle East in the history of the Church."
When both China and the Soviet Union finally opened up to the West, we found far more Christians than anyone thought possible. And there are many reports by other Christian ministries that the Gospel is sweeping the Middle East -- thanks in large part to the internet!
The worldwide preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of the major signs that Jesus will return soon.
Most people, Christians included, think of October 31 as Halloween. That's understandable since business and the media begin pounding it home as soon as we say goodbye to Labor Day.
But October 31 is also the day we annually celebrate something far more important and uplifting than Halloween. It's "Reformation Day!" It is the day we celebrate Martin Luther nailing his "95 Theses" to the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany.
October 31, 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of that monumental event.
In 1997, LIFE magazine called Martin Luther the third most important figure of the last millennium, behind only Christopher Columbus and Thomas Edison.
Though Luther undeniably had many flaws, at his best, he returned the Word of God to the center of Christian thought. He renewed the Church's understanding of Christ as the author and perfecter of salvation. He brought salvation by grace through faith back into focus. In a very real sense, he reintroduced Christianity to Christ.
Retailers say that Batman will be the most popular costume this Halloween. I'm guessing there won't be very many Martin Luther trick-or-treaters. Maybe it's time to teach our kids about real people who truly changed the world!
Finally, have you ever wondered why conflict always seems to surround the city of Jerusalem?
Napoleon called Jerusalem, "...the hinge of history."
Mohammed said that those who dwell in Jerusalem will be in a constant "state of jihad until Resurrection Day."
Even the Berlitz Pocket Guide to Jerusalem notes that, "This is sacred ground and has had more blood spilled on it for its own sake than any other place in the world."
Jerusalem does not possess the traditional assets of a great city. It is great because it is a spiritual city.
In Isaiah 45:13, God calls it, "My city." In 2 Chronicles 33:4, He said, "My name shall be in Jerusalem forever." (NASB)
To this day, the nations of the world are in turmoil over Jerusalem. Just as the prophets predicted.
As Jason Greenblatt, President Trump's Middle East envoy prepares to return to the region in an attempt to restart the peace process, let's remember to do what the Psalmist admonishes: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem." (Psalms 122:6 NASB)
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Check your local listings.
It saddens me to say goodbye this week to Carolyn Deibel. She has been a faithful part of our production team as our show's script transcriptionist. This will be the first show in seven years that she has not transcribed. But Carolyn is suffering no longer. And I know we'll see her again very soon. Goodbye, Carolyn. Thank you.
Daily Jot: The ancient paths - Bill Wilson -
Given the already nasty nature of politics and the media and the mind-boggling issues facing the United States, the outcome of upcoming elections will have a pivotal impact on the future of our nation and our families. The general mindset of the elected official is globalist. There are a few, such as Alabama Senatorial Candidate Roy Moore, who will stand up for what is right, and when they do, the news media and their political opponents severely demonize them. It is arguable that we have become a nation where morality and financial responsibility have been replaced by moral relativism and politically correct fiscal models. We indeed face immense challenges as a people.
Jesus said in Matthew 12:25, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." He later says in verse 39. "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad." Politicians and the leftist media are trying to consolidate their power by pitting class against class, conservative against liberal, have not's against haves, women against men, children against parents. They are trying to divide rather than unite. If you do not understand, just look at any news coverage and listen to the politicians of both parties. Little is being said about how to unite together to fix problems. But there's a lot of finger pointing.
Many think this nation is on the verge of a civil war. Trouble is, few really care, but everybody has an opinion. The ones who do care are marginalized as hate mongers or extremists or both. This kind of divisive speech only further drives wedges into disagreement. But the problem is far deeper than the ranting of political opponents. Informed citizens should be able to discern between truth and lie. The real problem is what Jesus said, "he that is not with me is against me." The nation as a whole is not with Jesus. The nation tolerates sodomy, abortion, covetousness, idolatry, lies, and false teachings as "judging not lest we be judged," using the Bible to justify tolerating abomination.
We need to get back to finding what God wants for us. The first part of Jeremiah 6:16 says, "Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask about the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls..." This is good advice. If we as a people could find it in ourselves to find the good way on the ancient path, we would be on the way to healing ourselves, our families, our communities, and our nation. Unfortunately, like in Jeremiah's time, our nation is so divided, the resolve of the people is as in the second part of Jeremiah 6:16, "But they said, We will not walk in it." Meanwhile, enemies of the state gather like vultures, and America remains divided and separated from Jesus.
Daily Devotion: Keep a Sharp Sword - By Greg Laurie -
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. -Hebrews 4:12
Temptation is definitely going to come your way and mine. When we know the Word of God, we can deflect the blows that come against us and strike out offensively.
For example, the devil will come to us when we have sinned and say, "You failed. There is no forgiveness for you."
So we pull our sword out of its sheath and say, "It is written in 1 John 1:9: 'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.'" TouchÃ©!
The devil says, "You are wrong. God condemns you."
So you strike back with your sword and say, "You are wrong, because Romans 8:1 says, 'There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.'"
Then the devil says, "Now wait. You are going to fall again. I am going to take you down."
You can reply, "No. You are wrong. In John 10:28, Jesus said, 'And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.'" And you thrust your sword again.
This is why it is important for us to commit Scripture to memory and to keep our sword sharp.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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