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Hate and Haters

Explosive confrontations were spawned by an Israeli crackdown because of the murder of two Jewish policeman guarding a Temple Mount entranceway.

If there is one word that can define the tumult surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem at this late hour of this dispensation, that word is hate. Hatred against the Jewish race and against Israel has again come to the boiling point. It is coming from, in addition to the usual suspects, a source considered by a large part of the world’s population to be a bastion of not hatred, but love.

Since this source is supposedly Christian–the Catholic pope–there is reason, from my point of view, to analyze the matters involved through troubled cogitation. I say this because much of the Christian world–the world to which I belong–believe the Jewish race and the nation Israel to be under satanic attack.

My view is that those who are outraged at the Jews and at Israel come not from a godly perspective, but from undiluted hatred. It is profoundly disconcerting, to say the least, that all of this vitriol comes from those claiming the Christian religion as their own.

Pope Francis is joined in his mild-mannered but sub-surface rage against Israel by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The Christian conglomerate, consisting of 13 religious bodies within the Jerusalem community, issued a joint statement condemning the violence surrounding the Temple Mount.

Although it was a condemnation of violence in general, the language reflects that of Pope Francis which, in tenor, was slanted toward support of the Muslim side. For example, the communiqué addressed all references to the sites of the area in Arabic terms rather than in Jewish or Christian terms. The statement clearly disregarded any connection of the Temple Mount area to the Jewish or Christian religions.

The statement read:

We, the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, express our serious concern regarding recent escalation in violent developments around Haram ash-Sharif and our grief for the loss of human life and strongly condemn any act of violence.

The statement, like the Pope, placed the blame for the ongoing violence on the metal detectors and cameras Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has placed in key areas to prevent further terroristic acts. Netanyahu, it is reported, has agreed to remove the metal detectors at some point, but not all safeguards. He will keep cameras and other devices in place in spite of the tremendous criticism of governments around the world and of threats of further attacks from the Arab-Muslim troublemakers.

The 13-member Latin Patriarchate stated in its declaration:

We are worried about any change to historical (Status Quo) situation in al-Aqsa Mosque (Haram ash-Sharif) and its courtyard, and in the holy city of Jerusalem. Any threat to its continuity and integrity could easily lead to serious and unpredictable consequences, which would be most unwelcome in the present tense religious climate.

We value the continued custody of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy places in Jerusalem and the Holy Land which guarantees the right for all Muslims to free access and worship to al Aqsa Mosque according to the prevailing Status Quo.

The following news item frames the “Christian” community’s condemning tone, directed toward Israel.

The statement made no mention of the Muslim terror attack that led to Israel placing the metal detectors at the entrances to the site. Nor did it refer to the horrific Palestinian terror attack on Friday.

Bishop Munib Younan, head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land, said on Vatican radio that the metal detectors are a form of “collective punishment” which should not be permitted “because of an attack by two persons.”

The bishop claimed that thousands of Muslims pray at the site during Ramadan and “everything goes smoothly”. He did not mention the murder of IDF Border Policewoman Hadas Malkah, which took place during Ramadan.

“It’s essential to find a political solution to end the Israeli occupation, which is considered illegal,” the bishop concluded. (Catholic Churches in Jerusalem Blame Israel for Muslim Violence, Deny Biblical Roots of Temple Mount, By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Israel News, July 23, 2017)

Though couched in high-sounding phraseology of religion-diplomatic speak, the hatred for the Jewish state is there. It is even more hateful in its thrust than such vitriol issued by other sources. This is because these are those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.

It is hate-speech of the most troubling sort, in my opinion.

Jesus, who is God, and, incidentally, is Israel’s Messiah, loves the Jewish people. To hate them and falsely accuse them, even though they certainly have erred greatly as have all other peoples, is to show hatred for Jesus.

The issuance of such condemnation, falling in line with all other hate-filled antagonists of God’s chosen people, invites, ultimately, the curse of God (Genesis 12:1-3).

Claiming to be “Christians”–if they are indeed so–these have no excuse for their deliberate denial that the Temple Mount as well as all the contested territory and far beyond was given to Israel in perpetuity by God, Himself.

Those who claim Christianity as their faith base should take into consideration what it means to hate that which the Lord loves. About hate and hatred, the Lord–who here was addressing Jews first, as the Church wasn’t born until Pentecost–said the following.

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me…

They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” (Jn 15: 18-21; 16: 2-3)

Haunting Prophetic Prospects

The hour is late in human history. Things–strange things—are manifesting, with frequency and intensity.

We’ve often discussed the birth pang-like convulsions prophesied by Jesus in His Olivet Discourse. They are front and center today on an hourly basis, and reported in a steady stream throughout the alternate cyberspace news outlets. Wars, rumors of wars, deceivers and deception, signs in the sun, moon, and stars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes in many places, the seas of both oceanic and human sorts roaring–for the student who observes the times from a Bible prophecy, futurist perspective, the signs are all there. We are nearing the moment of Christ’s return.

We are given very strong hints that something wicked this way will come as the end of the age approaches. Paul the apostle said, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13).

Jesus told the priests and others who came to seize him for His crucifixion that the time was their “hour, and power of darkness” (Luke 22:53b). At that moment that mystery of iniquity–of lawlessness–had arisen to the point that absolute evil looked as if it would overcome absolute goodness. The world would put Christ to death. The occult powers of Satan’s realm were intent on forever erasing the name of Jesus from human history.

Supernatural powers of darkness have arisen at various times down through the eons of earthly time. The crucifixion, the demonically inspired crusades undertaken in the name of Christ, the inquisitions, the Nazis and Communists…the dark powers perennially assault the only goodness to be found in this fallen world. Satan wars against God’s creation, man.

As we have looked at many times, Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus tells us: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). It seems that the more these forces of darkness intrude into the lateness of the age, the more humankind looks at them with increased fascination, as if mesmerized. It must have been like that when the first woman, Eve, gazed upon the serpent and wanted to know more.

Considering the successes of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Steven King’s Carrie, as well as myriad other beastly tomes such as JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the evidence appears to prove that there is an insatiable lust for things conjured from the evil fountains of the fallen mind. Zombies seem to be the latest from the dark muses that inhabit the minds of certain writers of fiction.

At this late hour on God’s prophetic timeline, it becomes increasingly obvious that the dark minions are in the process of breaking out of the fiction inhabiting the writers’ and readers’ psyches. The goblins and ghouls are presenting live–or would that be dead—presentations in which humans are active participants.

But more disturbing than the conjuring of fictional minions of the nether world is the satanic rage ignited by the 2016 presidential election. It is a hellish insanity that seems to have engulfed America, with mainstream media fanning the flames like a blacksmith’s bellows.

Again, the lateness of the prophetic hour means that the time is very near when the Holy Spirit’s restraining influence will remove from this rebellious world (2 Thessalonians 2:7). The vileness that will pour through that portal is something you don’t want to experience. Nor will you, if you know Christ for salvation (Romans 10: 9-10).

 

 

Temple Mount Movement

Rapture Ready News headlines tell the story. Things are shaking on and around Moriah, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It is the  geographical area most central to Bible prophecy yet future.

Those headlines are:

Muslim authority protests Temple Mount security measures, blocks entranceMinisters approve bill aiming to take Jerusalem off the negotiating table Arab-Israeli lawmaker warns of third intifada after Friday attack

Closing the Aksa Mosque;

Jordan’s King Abdullah calls for calm after Temple Mount attack.. 

No doubt about it, things are moving and shaking on and around the Temple Mount. Considering all the other signals taking place in the world today, the import of this activity should alert the student of Bible prophecy to the lateness of the hour.

The Temple Mount is not only the nucleus problem of the historical, Arab/Israeli ages-long conflict. That place where once sat the Holy of Holies in the midst of the Temple, housing the Shekinah glory of God within the Ark of the Covenant, is at the heart of the spiritual warfare that began with man’s Fall in the Garden.

It is where the ram was provided for the sacrifice God required, sparing Abraham’s son Isaac from serving that purpose. It is very near where God’s own Son hung suspended between Heaven and Hell as sacrifice for the sin of mankind in order to provide eternal salvation.

Mount Moriah is where the Tribulation Temple will be built and where Satan’s evil one, the son of perdition, will claim himself to be God.  

There is coming a great, planetary spiritual earthquake, and its epicenter is this very spot that is smack in the middle of our headlines today.

The rumblings from that spiritual seismic area is growing daily.

When three terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers, the latest quivering of Moriah began.

The officers were killed near the gates to the Temple Mount and the Israeli prime minister took action that infuriated the Muslims of the region and around the world.

Netanyahu closed the Temple Mount to Muslim worship at the religion’s sites on the Mount. This brought immediate anger and threats of a third intifada, or violent uprising.

The Israeli prime minister eventually agreed to gradually open some areas for worship on the Temple Mount. (Only Muslims are allowed to worship there; the Jews are forbidden to do so.)

Netanyahu, however, placed detection devices–metal detectors and specially placed surveillance cameras–to restrict possible terrorist activity.

King Abdullah phoned the Israeli prime minister to lobby for the gates to be fully opened, thus access to the worship places restored.

Before leaving on his trip to France and Hungary, Netanyahu dismissed the oft-repeated charge that the Israeli government was “disrupting  the status quo” in Jerusalem and at the Temple unt. This is a charge that has brought on violent rampages from the Arabs in the past.

“I decided that as of tomorrow, in the framework of our policy of maintaining the status-quo, we will gradually open the Temple Mount, but with increased security measures,” Netanyahu said.

“This evening, I held a discussion with the top security leadership and I instructed that metal detectors be placed at the entrance gates to the Temple Mount. We will also install security cameras on poles outside the Temple Mount… which give almost complete control over what goes on there,” the prime minister added.

The action threw the Muslim element into a frenzy of threatened violence. The crowds could be heard shouting: “Disgrace, enough with that, you are suffocating us! Al-Aksa belongs to Muslims!”

The anger is directed at the new safeguards against terrorists bringing weapons into the Temple Mount area. Apparently, the safeguards Netanyahu installed are doing a good job of keeping out those tools of the Muslim militants who plan for future such actions as took the lives of the policemen.

Tremors spawned from the rage that continues to build in and around this most critical promontory on the map of prophecy yet future are scheduled to grow stronger, not weaker. We know that it is all moving toward the time Jesus Himself prophesied nearly 2 millennia ago.

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:15-21)

Isaiah’s End-Times Earth – By Ed Wood

 

A Ravaged World

            Of all the ancient prophets of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament in the Christian version, Isaiah (circa 8th Century B.C.) was clearly the most prolific. Some of what he had written has already come to pass, perhaps the most spectacular example being this:

Isaiah {44:28 – 45:4} That saith of Cyrus, [He is] my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call [thee] by thy name, [am] the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

When one realizes that what he related here was not to happen until the 6th Century B.C., his incredibly accurate account, even to the actual naming of the Persian king Cyrus the Great, certainly gives him credibility. That being said, it is probably safe to assume that what he said about events in advance of our own time over 2700 years later will be similarly reliable – and remarkable!

Since the mid 1960’s the environmental movement has flourished, its premise being that the earth and its resources are finite. The images from space of our fragile world seen at a distance floating alone in the blackness of space have no doubt reinforced that reality. (Along those lines, take a look at Isaiah 40:21-23 and Job 26: 7-10 for a “modern view” of Earth.) All the indications are pointing to the reality that this is true and that our unwise use of our world is having increasingly pronounced consequences on all levels. Did Isaiah see this coming as well? Judge for yourself:

Isaiah {24:1-3} Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him. The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word.

In the passage above, Isaiah details a wholesale wasting of the earth that ultimately will affect everything and everyone, regardless of location or economic status. He is not alone because even a cursory reading of the book of Revelation affirms this repeatedly with graphic clarity depicting the earth as being subject to great upheavals, some due to our own actions, most, however, due to God’s direct intervention as a kind of last-ditch effort to get wayward humankind’s attention.

But at this point most of our problems seems to be the result of our own actions. God called upon us humans to take care of the planet he had made and blessed with life in all its diverse forms (Genesis 1:26-29). Quite frankly, based on the alarming rates of species extinctions in this time, we’ve done a lousy job of it. The next verse is clear enough about that:

Isaiah {24:4} The earth mourneth [and] fadeth away, the world languisheth [and] fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

            The passage above goes far beyond the idea of just breaking the physical laws God set forth under which our living world functions to a more fundamental concept – we have broken God’s moral rules as well and it is no doubt that this is the prime and underlying reason we are in trouble environmentally. Isaiah says as much below:

Isaiah {24:6-12, 17-20} Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh. The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. The city of confusion is broken down: every house is shut up, that no man may come in. [There is] a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction . . . Fear, and the pit, and the snare, [are] upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, [that] he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.

            You’ll notice there is a gap in the above. The reason for that is that the intervening verses jump ahead in time before Isaiah returns to his theme of a ruined Earth.  Also, note the concluding references to the earth being “shaken.” According to USGS data, earthquakes have increased dramatically in both frequency and intensity worldwide since 2002.

Since the Bible follows its own rules of evidence (two or more witnesses – see Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6; John 8:17), we see repeated confirmations of the world being damaged in the Book of Revelation. Some of this again is no doubt done by our own hands, up to and including what might be the deployment of a nuclear device (Revelation 8:10-11), while such “natural” disasters such as earthquakes might truly be “Acts of God” in response to evil. Jesus has said that the last days of earth would be as the “days of Noe (Noah),” [Matthew 24:37]. Then, as it will also be in the future, there was just no other remedy to human sin but God’s profound intervention.

Right now, God is restraining himself from drastic actions, but this will not last indefinitely:

Isaiah {42:14-15} I* have long time holden my peace; I have been still, [and] refrained myself: [now] will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools. * God.

Why such restraint? The answers may be found here:

2 Peter {3:9} The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

2 Thessalonians {2:7} For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he* who now letteth** [will let***,] until he**** be taken out of the way. * God ; ** withholds; *** withhold (from the Greek word katecho, Strong’s Concordance);  **** the Holy Spirit. The reasoning here is that every believer is a temple for the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 4:8; 1 Corinthians 3:16) and in the removing all believers from the earth at the Rapture, God also removes the Spirit’s present restraining influence of evil, allowing the Antichrist to come to power.

It is important to realize once again that God sent the warnings to Isaiah sometime during the Eighth Century B.C. Here we are over 2700 years later and for the most part his message has been ignored.

Yet despite the inevitability of the deterioration of Earth, I believe that we still have a responsibility to do whatever we can not to make the situation worse. God gave us this marvelous world as a gift, the only one we know for sure is capable of supporting life in this entire universe. To purposely abuse it even at this late stage in history is, to my mind, showing ingratitude. This is certainly not to say we should buy into the “new world order” philosophy that the more extreme segments of the environmental movement are currently pushing to usurp national sovereignty for their own purposes of gaining influence and power. It is more a case of having the common-sense attitude of not trashing our own “living room.”

I believe we have arrived at a unique time when the convergence of stresses in the political, religious, economic, and environmental conditions of our present day are unprecedented in human history. Yet Jesus told his disciples that what we are experiencing today is but the “beginning of sorrows:”

Matthew {24:3-8} And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all [these things] must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom*: and there shall be  famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these [are] the beginning of sorrows. *Military conflicts in the 20th Century killed more people and caused more damage than any other time in history. Revelation reveals that warfare will continue ultimately culminating at the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:12-14; 19:11-16).

            The Lord also told us what we should be doing right now:

Luke {21:28, 36} And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh .  .  . Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

 

The Light in the Darkness

As bleak as things look right now, it will soon get a lot worse. However, this is not the end of the story because with the physical return of the King of Kings, everything will begin to change:

Isaiah {11:1-9} And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

When Jesus, the Word of God through whom all things were made (John (1:10), comes back with his saints (Daniel 7:18-22; Jude 1:14-15) to put an end to the Battle of Aramageddon and initiate his rule upon the earth (Revelation, chapter 19), not only will those mortals that remain alive after the Tribulation experience true and pure justice for the first time since the Fall of Man (Genesis, chapter 3), but the planet itself will be restored to a near-Eden state. Isaiah reveals more of what life will be like on Millennial Earth:

Isaiah {35:3-10} Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them [that are] of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come [with] vengeance, [even] God [with] a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame [man] leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, [shall be] grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it [shall be] for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err [therein. ] No lion shall be there, nor [any] ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk [there:] And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

             Isaiah {55:10-13} For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap [their] hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off.

             As wonderful as life will be during Jesus’ 1000 reign on a renewed Earth, even this will pale in magnificence compared the eternal realm to follow:

Isaiah {65:17} For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

Revelation {21:1-4} And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

  

Conclusion

             It seems as if the philosophical battle between faith and science has always been a part of human culture. Until Jesus returns it is likely to remain this way. Perhaps the basic reason is the rigidity of the most zealous proponents of each viewpoint. Neither side willing to consider that maybe, just maybe, the other might have some valid points.

I have personally found that, more often than not, agreements between what the Bible teaches and what modern science expresses are much more common than one would think. Science accurately points to the incredible order and design of the universe, the Bible accurately points to the One who caused it to exist in the first place.

In short, science tells us the “How,” the Bible tells us the “Who.”

In our brief study of Isaiah’s prediction of the kind of world that will exist at the end of this present age, it seems that one indeed does complement the other. But unlike the fearful and dark future science envisions, the Bible tells us that ultimately the best is yet to come!

Global Warming Guffaws

There is a growing lament as we get more deeply into 2017. The 120-degree temperatures in the desert southwest are bringing to the surface again the sophistry of global warming/climate change. Let us revisit the topic, as I find it entertaining.

In thinking on former Vice President Al Gore’s travels in his carbon footprint-spreading private jet while he preaches the globalist gospel that has at its center “global warming,” it is impossible not to enjoy a good guffaw at his and the climate-change Charlies as the temperatures invariably fall, as does freezing precipitation wherever and whenever they hold their meetings.

I’m sorry to invoke schadenfreude here, but when one writes on topics as serious as ours usually are in these commentaries, one must take one’s laughs when one can–especially when they are handed to one on a silver platter…well…a white platter, perhaps is more to the point. Such a time of enjoyment over the misfortune of a group of Mr. Gore’s fellow ideological travelers presented itself not many years ago, as I hope you remember.

A shipload of “researchers” made its way into the summertime of the Antarctic. Strangely, mainstream news sources as of this writing still have not explained the purpose or mission of these mates as they neared their destination. I suppose it is cynical to hazard a guess as to why the mainstream media hasn’t reported the purpose of the mission, but the reason for the laxity of forthcoming journalistic honesty became obvious as the global warming hunters became landlocked–well—ice-locked, to be exact.

It seems that, like Mr. Gore, his ideological kinsmen–and kinswomen—don’t have a lot of luck in finding the elusive global warming they seek.

Could it be a curse cast by Mother Earth for their attempting to become too familiar with her intimate weather cycle doings? Mr. Gore certainly seemed during that time to have stirred some sort of irate behavior by the goddess he and his fellow environmental elitists so doggedly revere. Or, could it just be that global warming is a phony-baloney pursuit to extract from the rest of us confiscatory carbon emissions taxes to fund the one-world order they seek to build and rule over? –The scam that President Trump thankfully got America out of recently.

Hmmm…ya think?

At any rate, the following excerpted story is a hoot, in my estimation. You might remember having heard about it a number of times, but it is simply too delicious to not repeat here.

Somewhere far, far to the south where it is summer, a group of global warming scientists are trapped in the Antarctic ice. If you missed the irony of that situation, it is because much of the mainstream media have glossed over that rather inconvenient bit of hilarity. As an example, here is an Associated Press story that avoids mentioning the real mission of the scientists aboard the icebound Russian ship:

The Snow Dragon icebreaker came within 7 miles (11 kilometers) of the Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which has been stuck since Christmas Eve, but had to retreat after the ice became too thick, said expedition spokesman Alvin Stone. The Akademik Shokalskiy, which has been on a research expedition to Antarctica, got stuck Tuesday after a blizzard’s whipping winds pushed the sea ice around the ship, freezing it in place. The ship wasn’t in danger of sinking, and there are weeks’ worth of supplies for the 74 scientists, tourists and crew on board, but the vessel cannot move… The scientific team on board the research ship — which left New Zealand on Nov. 28 — had been recreating Australian explorer Douglas Mawson’s century-old voyage to Antarctica when it became trapped…

Um, there is a bit more to the expedition than merely following in the footsteps of a century-old voyage. But what that mission really is, AP won’t say. If AP is vague about the mission’s purpose, Reuters provides even less information… The expedition is being led by Chris Turney, “climate scientist”, who has “set up a carbon refining company called Carbonscape which has developed technology to fix carbon from the atmosphere and make a host of green bi-products, helping reduce greenhouse gas levels.” The purpose of the expedition is “to discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south.” It seems they found out what the “environmental changes taking place in the south are.” (“MSM Glosses Over Irony of Global Warming Scientists Trapped in Antarctic Ice,” NewsBusters, 12/30/13)

Ah, so now we see the mainstream media’s reluctance to flat out state why the scientists are in the Antarctic. Anything to avoid an inconvenient (but accurate) headline like this:

GLOBAL WARMING SCIENTISTS TRAPPED IN ANTARCTIC ICE

They were reported at the time to have plenty of heat, food, and lots of snow from which to make water, and the ship wasn’t in any danger of being squashed, apparently. Plus, a Russian icebreaker, which also got stuck, and yet another icebreaker was sent to free the global warming research vessel from the fifteen-foot-thick ice pack.

In on-going updates, reports told of how the global warmists were rescued by several carbon emission-gushing helicopters and icebreakers (yet another of one which also got stuck in the growing ice). The global warming “scientists” were soon happily on their way to less hostile environs. So, no harm done with the schadenfreude.

 

 

Heaven’s Awards Ceremony

Christians could suddenly be called before Jesus Christ in any given moment of time.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52) 

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

We have for years in our Nearing Midnight commentaries been chronicling how close the world is to that spectacular moment. We have, using God’s Word, shown over and over that the lost of the world–all who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior–will be left behind to go through suffering of unimaginable horror.

It doesn’t have to be that way for anyone. God tells all who will listen that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God gives His plan of salvation for escaping eternity in hell and the way to escape this terrible time that is about to begin on earth once the Rapture occurs. The apostle Paul writes under divine inspiration the following:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10: 9-10)

Acceptance of Christ for salvation must be made before, not after, the Rapture in order to escape the Tribulation. Now is the day of accepting Christ for salvation, the Bible says. Few who have rejected Christ before the Rapture will come to salvation after the Rapture, is how I believe the Scriptures have it.

I’m going to, prayerfully, presume you don’t want to go to that place of torment called the lake of fire, or go through the hell on planet earth called Tribulation–the last seven years leading up to Christ’s Second Coming. I’m presuming–again, prayerfully–that you will accept God’s plan of salvation as given above.

Now we will look at what God’s Word tells us is wrapped up in His plans for all who have been wise enough to humble themselves and accept His Son, Jesus the Christ, for the salvation of their eternal souls–that is, we will look at what I will term here as Heaven’s Awards Ceremony.

The great promises for Christians that follow have been put together by many astute Bible scholars and students over many years. I have long ago forgotten the sources in particular. I will just say here that mixed in with my own thoughts is the scholarship of many folks much elevated above my own. I do know that many of these thoughts on the bema are from Dr. Harold Wilmington of Liberty University.

Immediately upon the Church–all born-again believers (John 3:3)–being called into Heaven in the Rapture, all will stand before the bema (judgment seat of Christ). Jesus Christ will judge each person–not for punishment, but for eternal rewards. This judgment will be for giving awards for the ways in which the individual Christian has contributed to God’s glorious kingdom while living on planet earth.

Things on which Christians will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ:

  1. How we treat other believers.

Hebrews 6:10

Matthew 10:41-42

  1. How we exercise our authority over others.

Hebrews 13:17

James 3:1

  1. How we employ our God-given abilities.

1 Corinthians 12: 4, 12

2 Timothy 1:6

1 Peter 4:10

Add to these Scriptures Jesus’ teaching of the parables of the ten pounds (Luke 19:11-26) and the talents (Matthew 25:14-29).

Each believer has at least one talent:

1 Corinthians 7:7; 12:7-11

Ephesians 4:7

1 Peter 4: 10

 

There are 18 of these gifts:

Romans 12

1 Corinthians 12

Ephesians 4

 

It’s up to each believer to find/discern his or her gifts.

  1. How we use our money.

1 Corinthians 60: 2

2 Corinthians 9:6-7

1 Timothy 6:17-19

 

All belongs to God:

1 Peter 18-19

  1. How we spend our time.

Psalms 90:12

Ephesians 5:16

Colossians 4:5

1 Peter 1: 17

  1. How much we suffer for Jesus.

Matthew 5:11-12

Mark 10:29-30

Romans 8:18

2 Corinthians 4: 17

1 Peter 4:12-13

  1. How we run that particular race God has chosen for us.

1 Corinthians 9:24

Philippians 2:16

Philippians 3:13-14

Hebrews 12:1

  1. How effectively we control the old nature.

1 Corinthians 9:25-27

Greek word adokimos, “castaway,” means “disapproved.”

It means self is disapproved. Paul wanted to keep his old nature in check–seen in:

2 Timothy 2:15

1 Corinthians 16:3

Philippians 1:10

1 Thessalonians 2:4

  1. How many souls we witness to and win to Christ.

Proverbs 11:30

Daniel 12:3

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

  1. How we react to temptation.

James 1:2-3

Revelation 3:10

  1. How much the doctrine of the Rapture means to us.

2 Timothy 4:8

  1. How faithful we are to the Word of God and the flock of God.

Acts 20:26-28

2 Timothy 4:1-2

1 Peter 5:2-4

What will be the results of the judgment seat of Christ?

Some will receive rewards.

1 Corinthians 3:14

Bible mentions at least 5 rewards:

  1. The incorruptible crown, given to those who master the old nature.

1 Corinthians 9:25-27

  1. The crown of rejoicing given to soul-winners.

Proverbs 11:30

Daniel 12:31 Thessalonians 2:19-20

  1. The crown of life, given to those who successfully endure temptation.

James 1:2-3

Revelation 2:10

  1. The crown of righteousness for those who especially love the doctrine of the Rapture.

2 Timothy 4:8

  1. The crown of glory, given to faithful preachers and teachers.

Acts 20:26-28

2 Timothy 4:1-2

1 Peter 5:2-4

If Heaven’s Awards Ceremony sounds just a bit intimidating, it doesn’t have to be so. God’s holy view of what constitutes acceptable, even superior, service as His royal ambassadors is almost assuredly different to the way awards are given out by award-givers of the human variety here on earth.

Jesus told us that the last shall be first, and the first shall be last:

And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. (Mark 9: 35)  

A truly humble spirit in serving the Lord through serving others–putting others first and ourselves last–will bring the believer to front and center of the bema seat–in Heaven’s Awards Ceremony.

Antichrist-Jordan Foretelling in View

Antichrist is going to rule the whole world at some point before Christ returns–right? That is the thought of many who have studied Bible prophecy throughout the decades. It is not an accurate assessment of what is scheduled, however.

Much of the thinking regarding the all-encompassing rule of the beast of Revelation chapter 13–Antichrist—is based upon the prophetic passage: “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads” (Revelation 13:16). It certainly appears from this portion of Scripture–Revelation 13:12-18—and others that the entire world of earth-dwellers comes under Antichrist’s beastly rule. But this is not the case.

There is a fancy term that defines why the simple word “all” doesn’t necessarily mean “all.” The term is “synecdoche,” which, according to the World English Dictionary, is a figure of speech in which a part is substituted for a whole or a whole for a part, as in fifty head of cattle for fifty cows or the army for a soldier.

This means for our purposes here that the use of the expression “He causeth all” is a synecdoche, or representative of many people throughout the earth, but not necessarily every single individual on earth or every nation. The Bible might include a synecdoche in terms of geography, but never in matters dealing with the soul. In other words, when Paul wrote that “all” will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, he meant that literally everyone who is born again will be changed in that atomos of time that will be the moment of Rapture. When John wrote “He causeth all,” he meant “all” in the synecdochical sense.

All of that explanation is to say that Antichrist will have absolute power over much of planet Earth, but not all of it. He will not, according to Bible prophecy, be allowed to spread his tyrannical hegemony to the Middle Eastern nation of Jordan, for example. That prophecy is most interesting when considered in light of the news story released some years ago.

The Obama Administration and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan have both reportedly sided with Israel in its demand to retain control over the Jordan Valley in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians…

Israel has long insisted that, even if it surrenders the bulk of Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”), it must retain control of the Jordan Valley as a buffer against future external threats, and as a deterrent and protection against Palestinian aggression.

Jordan wants Israel in the Jordan Valley to prevent further influx of Palestinian Arabs into the Hashemite Kingdom. Jordan’s Palestinian majority has threatened the Bedouin-backed Hashemite monarchy in the past, including in the 1970-1971 Jordanian Civil War. (Ryan Jones, “US, Jordan Agree: Israel Should Control Jordan Valley,” Israel Today, 12/09/13).

There has been over the decades an almost comfortable arrangement between Israel and Jordan. The late Jordanian King Abdullah, and now his son, have always received a degree of protection from Israel, the much-hated Arab enemy.

Of course, the geopolitical reason for the arrangement is that Jordan and surrounding area gives Israel a buffer zone against attacks that could otherwise be launched, giving the Jewish state a much shorter warning time. However, the real reason for the peaceful arrangement doubtless derives from heavenly directive. Jordan is scheduled to escape the deadly Antichrist regime’s tyrannical grip during the time of Tribulation. There are interesting aspects of this apparently heaven-given arrangement we will examine momentarily.

Let’s look first at the prophesied rise of Antichrist in the region and the lead-up to the matter of Jordan escaping his murderous control. Daniel the prophet gives the beast of Revelation 13 the title “the king”:

And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. (Daniel 11:21-22)

And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. (Daniel 11: 36)

He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. (Daniel 11:41)

Daniel switches from ancient wars and conquest, as recorded in chapter 11 prior to verse 40, to suddenly bring the reader to the end of the age and the Antichrist’s appearance and rampage across the pages of end times history. This vile king of fierce countenance overtakes many nations, but Daniel foretells that Edom, Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon escape his terrible land grab.

Moab, which is in essence modern-day Jordan, it is fascinating to consider, isn’t mentioned as part of the coalition in the Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel 38 prophesied to attack Israel. It is also interesting that Edom, part of modern Jordan, is the place the Lord will come from at the Second Advent in great fury. Bozrah was that area’s capital. Here is what Isaiah said about that area when Christ returns to do battle with Antichrist and earth’s rebels:

Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. (Isaiah 63:1-4)

Another fascinating point of prophecy to consider, seeing as how Jordan and its relationship with Israel is currently arranged as it is, is that nation’s apparent treatment of the Jews as Antichrist’s full fury storms against them as given in Revelation chapter 12. The remnant of Israel will escape into the wilderness while Satan’s forces rage after them. It will be in the middle of Daniel’s seventieth week, the last half or three and a half years into the time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). All Jews are told to flee Jerusalem, for Antichrist’s full fury will come against them.

The remnant of Israel will flee, many believe to Petra, the ancient, rose-red city. And that is, guess where, in the Jordanian desert area, somewhat south of the place known in ancient times as Bozrah.

Whether the hiding place is Petra or another, it almost will certainly be in the area of the Jordanian valley, and Christ will make a stop there, as we know, to save God’s chosen people–the remnant (all) of believing Israel.

Jordan is proving to be one more indicator of this late date on God’s prophetic timeline.

 

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