Presentation on theme: "The Rapture & End Times. Rapture - The rapture is an event that will take place sometime in the near future. Jesus will come in the air, catch up the."— Presentation transcript:
The Rapture & End Times
Rapture - The rapture is an event that will take place sometime in the near future. Jesus will come in the air, catch up the Church from the earth, and then return to heaven with the Church. The Apostle Paul gave a clear description of the rapture event in his letters to the Thessalonians and Corinthians. "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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thess, 4:16-18). “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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:51-53). The word “rapture” comes from Paul's "caught up" remark in verse 17. The words “caught up” are translated from the Greek word harpazo, which means "to carry off," "snatch up," or "grasp hastily." The translation from harpazo to “rapture” involved two steps: first, harpazo became the Latin word raptus; second, raptus became the English word “rapture.”
There are 3 main positions on the rapture Pre Tribulation Rapture – The Church is taken by Christ before the tribulation. Mid Tribulation Rapture – The Church is taken by Christ at the mid point of tribulation. Post Tribulation – The church is taken at the end of tribulation.
My personal belief is in a Pre Tribulation Rapture! Points to consider : Many pre-trib writers cite Revelation 4:1, which says, "come up hither," as a prophetic reference to the rapture of the Church, leaving Revelation chapters 1 through 3 as a description of the Church Age. After the shout to "come up hither," the Church is not mentioned in Scripture again until Rev. 19:18 when the saints are coming with Christ from Heaven. After Rev. 4:1, the attention of Scripture switches from the Church to the Jews living in Israel. When Jesus returns (Rev. 19:18), an army follows Him. The army’s members are riding on white horses, and they are clothed in fine linen that is white and clean. In Revelation 19:8, we are told that the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. If the saints of God are returning with Christ to wage war on the Antichrist, then it is not possible to have a post-trib rapture without us running into ourselves as we are coming and going. Before the Antichrist can be revealed, Paul said a certain "He" must be taken out of the way. According to 2 Thessalonians 2:7, the "He" that must be removed is widely thought to be the Holy Spirit. It has been promised that the Holy Spirit would never leave the Church, and without the working of the Holy Spirit remaining on earth, no one could be saved during the tribulation. The removal of the Church, which is indwelt by the Holy Ghost, would seem the best explanation for this dilemma. The working of the Holy Spirit could go on as it did in Old Testament days during the tribulation, but His influence would be diminished because of the missing Church.
When Jesus returns to earth at the second coming, He will return from a wedding (Luke 12:36). At the rapture, Jesus is married to His bride, the Church. After the wedding, He will return to earth. If the rapture occurs at the second coming and the wicked are cast into hell at that time, who will be left to populate the millennium? Only people in their natural (non-resurrected) bodies will be able to have children (Matt. 22:30). With a Pre-Tribulation rapture, the people saved after the rapture who are alive at the second coming will populate the earth during the Millennium. The armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, follow Jesus out of heaven at His second coming (Rev. 19:14, Zech. 14:5, Col. 3:4). These are not angels because Rev. 19:8 tells us the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. In order to come out of heaven we first have to go in, indicating a previous rapture. God promises us we will be spared from wrath: Revelation3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 3:11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 1Thessalonians 1:9-10 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. 1Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ
As a Christian, why is the Rapture and the End Times important? There are several reasons why the Rapture and the End Times are important for Christians. Here are a few: God has told us to watch for the return of Jesus: (Mathew 24:42-47) Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Mark 13:32-37) “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” God has told us to “hope for” & “look forward to” the Rapture and being with Jesus: (First Peter 1:13) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (Jude 1:21) Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
God has told us that we will be blessed if we read and hear the prophecies of the book of Revelation: (Rev. 1:3) Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Most importantly…God gave us the prophecies and the signs of the end of the Age of Grace so that we could be the “Watchers on the Wall” for the rest of the world in order to give warning of his soon return: (2 Peter 3: 2-4) 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 3:4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (1 Thessalonians) 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. (Hebrews 10:23-25) 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. The Bible says we won’t know the day or the hour of our Lord’s return but As you see from the above scriptures, we will know the season and when it is very close. The signs (which we will get into latter) the Lord gave for us to watch for his return are all around us. Time is short and the Lord wants us to know he is coming soon so we can reach out to lost friends, family, coworkers, etc. with uregency! The time to reach out is right now! The Age of Grace is coming to an end and we may not have a next year or even a tomorrow before the lord returns! Lift your heads for your redemption draws near!!!
So how does this Endtime stuff work? It is important to understand historical events in the Bible concerning the Jews and how important they are to God. The Jews are God’s chosen people: (Exodus 4:22) 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: (Genesis 12:1-3) 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Psalms 89:33-37) 89:33 Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. 89:34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. 89:35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. 89:36 His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me. 89:37 It shall be established forever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
As you can see from the scripture, God loves Israel and the Jews. He has made a covenant with them that they will be his people forever and promises his covenant with them will stand forever. Jerusalem is where Christ will return and setup his millennial kingdom. As Christians we would not have religion/salvation if it were not for the Jews and the Grace of God: (Acts 15:1-11) 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 15:2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. 15:3 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. 15:6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 15:7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
God told us: (Genesis 12:1-3) 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Many pastors don’t teach it and many Christians aren’t aware of how important it is for us to pray for and bless the nation of Israel. Israel is God’s prophetic time piece. Fulfillment of prophetic events key off of what is going on in Israel. It is the reason for the chaos we see in the middle east today. It is the reason satan has attempted to destroy the Jewish people all throughout history. If Israel and the Jews were destroyed, then God’s promises and plans would not come to pass. It is also the reason for much of the false teachings concerning Israel that are going on in the world today!
God warns us that in the end days there will be false teachers who will twist the doctrine: (2 Peter 2:1-2) 1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2 Timothy 4:2-4) Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. A couple of the teachings that are leading many from the truth today are “Replacement Theology” and “Word of Faith Gospel”. There are many pastors today who are teaching these doctrines and people who are following them instead of testing the teachings against what the Bible really says. Here is a sample of these doctines:
Replacement Theology & Word of Faith Gospel Replacement Theology - teaches that the Church is the replacement for Israel, and that the many promises made to Israel in the Bible are fulfilled in the Christian Church, not in Israel. So, the prophecies in Scripture concerning the blessing and restoration of Israel to the Promised Land are "spiritualized" or “allegorized” into promises of God's blessing for the Church. Major problems exist with this view, such as the continuing existence of the Jewish people throughout the centuries, and especially with the revival of the modern state of Israel. If Israel has been condemned by God, and there is no future for the Jewish nation, how do we explain the supernatural survival of the Jewish people over the past 2000 years despite the many attempts to destroy them? How do we explain why and how Israel reappeared as a nation in the 20th century after not existing for 1900 years? Word of Faith Gospel - As the name "Positive Confession"/"Word-Faith" implies, this movement teaches that faith is a matter of what we say more than whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts. The term "positive confession" refers to the teaching that words have creative power. What you say, Word-Faith teachers claim, determines everything that happens to you. Your "confessions," that is, the things you say -- especially the favors you demand of God -- must all be stated positively and without wavering. Then God is required to answer. Word-Faith believers view their positive confessions as an incantation by which they can conjure up anything they desire: "Believe it in your heart; say it with your mouth. That is the principle of faith. You can have what you say“.
The Feud! Ishmael Understanding of the Endtimes start with Isaac, Ishmael, & Esau. First we will discuss Ishmael. As we all know Abraham was promised a son by God. When it seemed as if God was not going to deliver on his promise, Abraham went to his maidservant Hagar at the coaxing of his wife Sarah. Hagar gave birth to Ishmael. God foretold this lineage would be evil: Genesis 16: The angel of the LORD also said to her: "You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery. 12 He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers."
Then when Abraham was 100 yrs. Old, God blessed him with the birth of his son Isaac: Genesis 21:2-3 For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3 And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac. Isaac went fourth and became married to Rebekah. Rebekah was barren so Isaac pleaded with God for her and she became pregnant. This is where things begin to take shape for Rebekah was carrying twins: Genesis 25:22-23 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.”
Rebekah gave birth to Jacob & Esau. Esau was born first and according to Jewish tradition the first born is entitled to the inheritance from the father. Jacob however out smarted Esau and obtained his birthrights and blessings from their father Isaac. This created bitterness in Esau, so he went fourth to go against his fathers wishes and marry a Canaan: Genesis 28:8-9 Also Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan did not please his father Isaac. 9 So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife in addition to the wives he had. This union joined Ishmael and Esau and it was from this lineage that produced the Islamic religion, the Koran, Muhammad and the belief that the Jews must be destroyed. The descendants from this line are the radical Islamist that are following the teachings of Muhammad and even today are planning and attempting to remove the Jews from Israel and to spread their beliefs of Allah and the Koran throughout the world….by force if necessary! It is these same people that God is using to fulfill endtime prophecies, i.e. the Gog/Magog war of Ezekiel 38 & 39, Isaiah 17:1, Amos 1:3.
Muhammad became a prophet, and he tried at first to spread his message by peaceful means -- including attempts to convince Jews and Christians that he was a prophet in the line of the Old Testament prophets and Jesus (whom he considered a prophet, not the Son of God). When his efforts failed to bring them, along with the pagan Arabs of his native tribe, into his new religion, he became a warlord -- killing, slaughtering and beheading in order to convert others or to force them to submit to him and to the religion given to him by Allah. It is not disputed that he had a proclivity toward dreams, trances, and visions and was said to be so troubled by them at times that he sought escape by suicide. It was during one of these suicide attempts that Islam teaches the angel Gabriel called out to him, "O Muhammad, thou who art the Prophet of the lord, I am Gabriel". It is also said that when Muhammad would have a revelation sweat would pop up on his brow and he would drop to the ground, at which time Gabriel would again appear to him and repeat his instruction that Muhammad was a prophet of Allah sent to reclaim the lost people of the land. It was these visions and Muhammad's revelations from the Angel Gabriel that led to the radical teachings of Islam. When Muhammad first began having the visions, he feared that the messages were coming from Jinn, or evil spirits. It was his wife who convinced him that they were divinely inspired and that Muhammad was a true prophet. Thus he began spreading his revelations and gathering followers of the "one true religion" of Islam. We can see clearly how he serves today as an example for Muslim behavior. Muhammad addressed them (the Jews) in terms that have become familiar usage for Islamic Jihadists when speaking of Jews today …. ‘You brothers of monkeys, has God disgraced you and brought His vengeance upon you?’ The Qur'an in three places (2:62-65; 5:59-60; and 7:166) says that Allah transformed the Sabbath-breaking Jews into pigs and monkeys.
Isaac The other side of the coin is the story of Isaac! Isaac was the son God had promised Abraham. It is through the lineage of Isaac that Jacob, King David, and our Lord of Lord and King of Kings…Jesus Christ come from. Here are the promises God made to Abraham concerning Isaac, the covenant and the future of the Jewish people: Genesis 17: Then God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year." Genesis 22: The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." (Play video “Feud Between Two Families”)
It is because of these covenants that God has kept his promises to the Jewish people and the nation of Israel even though time after time they turned from him and disobeyed his commands. It was because of their disobedience that God brought what is known as the “70 Weeks of Daniel” against them. The 70 Weeks of Daniel Daniel was an old man, probably in his eighties. He'd been in Babylon for nearly 70 years and knew from reading the recently published scroll of Jeremiah's writings (specifically the part we know as Jeremiah 25:8-11) that the 70-year captivity God had ordained for Israel was just about over. The reason for this judgment was Israel's insistence upon worshiping the false gods of their pagan neighbors. Its duration of 70 years came from the fact that for 490 years they had neglected to let their farmland lie fallow one year out of every seven as God had commanded in Leviticus 25:1-7. The Lord had been patient all that time but finally had sent them to Babylon to give the land the 70 years of rest that were due. (2 Chron. 36:21)
The beginning of Daniel 9 documents Daniel's prayer, reminding the Lord that the 70 year time of punishment was nearly over and asking for mercy on behalf of his people. Before he could finish his prayer, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and spoke the words that we know as Daniel 9: Let's read the whole thing to get the overview and then take it apart verse by verse. Daniel 9:24-27 Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and your Holy City to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most Holy. Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until The Anointed One the Ruler comes there will be seven weeks and sixty two weeks. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench but in times of trouble. After the sixty two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off and have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue till the end and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one week. In the middle of the week he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the Temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. Daniel 9:24-27). No prophecy in all of Scripture is more critical to our understanding of the end times than these four verses. A few basic clarifications are in order first, then we'll interpret the passage verse by verse. The Hebrew word translated weeks (or sevens) refers to a period of 7 years, like our word decade refers to a period of 10 years. It literally means "a week of years." So 70 weeks is 70 X 7 years or 490 years. This period is divided into three parts, 7 weeks or 49 years, 62 weeks or 434 years, and 1 week or 7 years. Let's begin. (9:24). Seventy weeks are determined upon your people and your Holy City to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most Holy (place).
These 6 things would be accomplished for Daniel's people (Israel) and Daniel's Holy City (Jerusalem) during a specified period of 490 years. I've inserted the word "place" after Holy at the end of the verse to clarify the fact that it refers to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. (9:25). Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until The Anointed One the Ruler comes there will be seven weeks and sixty two weeks. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench but in times of trouble. Here is a clear prophecy of the timing of the First Coming. When this message was given to Daniel by the angel Gabriel, Jerusalem had lain in ruin for nearly 70 years and the Jews were captive in Babylon. Counting forward for periods of 7 years each from a future decree giving the Jews permission to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, they should expect the Messiah. That's a total of 483 years. Here it's important to distinguish the decree that freed the Jews from their captivity from the one that gave them permission to rebuild Jerusalem. When he conquered Babylon in 535BC Cyrus the Persian immediately freed the Jews. It had been prophesied 150 years earlier in Isaiah 44:24-45:6 and was fulfilled in Ezra 1:1-4. But according to Nehemiah 2:1 the decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given in the first month of the 20th year of his reign by King Artaxerxes of Persia (March of 445 BC on our calendar, about 90 years later). Exactly 483 years after that the Lord Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey to shouts of "Hosanna", on the only day in His life He permitted His followers to proclaim Him as Israel's King, fulfilling Daniel's prophecy to the day! The Hebrew in 9:25 calls Him Messiah the Prince, denoting the fact that He was coming as the Anointed Son of the King and was not yet crowned King Himself.
In Luke 19:41-45, He reminded the people of the specific nature of this prophecy. As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said: "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you." He held them accountable for knowing Daniel 9: We are also required to understand Daniel 9. (9:26) After the sixty two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off and have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue till the end and desolations have been decreed. First came 7 sevens (49 years) and then 62 sevens (434 years) for a total of 69 sevens or 483 years. At the end of this 2nd period their Messiah would be executed (literally destroyed in the making of a covenant) having received none of the honor, glory and blessing the Scriptures promised Him, and the people of a ruler yet to come would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple. The Israelites would be scattered abroad and peace would elude the world.
We all know that Jesus was crucified, establishing the New Covenant in the process, and 35 years later the Romans put the torch to the city and the Temple destroying both. Surviving Jews were forced to flee for their lives and in the ensuing 2000 years I don't believe a single generation has escaped involvement in a war of some kind. And then something strange happened: The Heavenly clock stopped. 69 of the 70 weeks had passed and all that was prophesied to happen during those 483 years had come to pass but there was still one week (7 years) left. There are hints in the Old Testament that the clock had stopped several times before in Israel's history when for one reason or another they were out of the land. And in the New Testament we're also given hints that while God is dealing with the Church, time ceases to exist for Israel (Acts 15:13-18). But the clearest indication is that the events foretold in Daniel 9:27 simply haven't happened yet. (9:27) He will confirm a covenant with many for one week. In the middle of the week he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the Temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.
Here is the missing 70th week, but before we try to understand it let's recall a rule of grammar that will help make our interpretation correct. The rule is this: Pronouns refer to the closest previous noun. "He" being a personal pronoun refers to the closest previous person, in this case the "ruler who will come." So a ruler who will come from among the old Roman Empire (European Union?) will confirm a 7 year treaty with Israel that permits them to build a Temple and re-instate their Old Covenant worship system. 3 1/2 years later he will violate this treaty by setting up an abomination that causes the Temple to become desolate, putting an end to their worship. This abomination brings the wrath of God down upon him and he will be destroyed. The most obvious way in which we know these things haven't happened is that the Jewish Old Covenant worship system requires a Temple and there hasn't been one since 70 AD when the Romans destroyed it. Some say this prophecy was fulfilled during the Roman destruction but most believe it's yet future, partly because of the term Abomination that causes Desolation. It's a specific insult to God that has happened only once previously. Antiochus Epiphanes, a powerful Syrian king, had attacked Jerusalem and entered the Temple area in 168BC. There he had sacrificed a pig on the Temple altar and erected a statue of the Greek god Zeus with his own face on it in the Holy Place. He then required everyone to worship it or face death. This rendered the Temple unfit for worshiping God and so incensed the Jews that they revolted and defeated the Syrians. This event is recorded in Jewish history (1st Maccabees) where it's called the Abomination that caused Desolation. The subsequent cleansing of the Temple is celebrated to this day in the Feast of Hanukkah.
Paul warned us that in the latter days a world leader will become so powerful that he will exalt himself above everything that is called god or is worshipped and will stand in the Temple proclaiming himself to be God (2 Thes 2:4). In Rev 13:14-15 we're told that he'll have a statue of himself erected and require everyone to worship it. In Matt 24:15-21 Jesus says that the Abomination that causes Desolation spoken of by Daniel will kick off the Great Tribulation, a period of time 3 1/2 years long that coincides with the last half of Daniel's 70th week. The similarities between this coming event and the one from history being so obvious, most scholars are persuaded that one points to the other since nothing in the intervening years fits so completely. Very Soon Possibly! Perhaps because of a devastating war in the Middle East, a new leader will soon emerge on the scene. With great personal charisma and a plan to end all wars, he will captivate and control the world. Since all true believers will have recently disappeared from Earth, he'll have no trouble persuading most remaining inhabitants that he is the promised Messiah, the Prince of Peace. He will astound and amaze them all with feats of diplomacy and conquest, even performing the supernatural. But when he claims to be God, all hell will break loose on Earth and 3 1/2 years of the most terrible times mankind has ever known will threaten their very existence. But before they're all destroyed the real Prince of Peace will return and overthrow this imposter. He will set up His kingdom on earth, a kingdom that will never be destroyed nor left to another. Having given His life to finish transgression, put an end to sin, atone for wickedness and bring in everlasting righteousness, and having fulfilled all Biblical vision and prophecy, He will anoint the most Holy Place and receive all the honor, glory and blessing the Scriptures promised Him. Israel will finally have her Kingdom restored and will live in peace with God in her midst, and you and I as the bride of the Christ will rule and reign with Him forever. You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.
Why do students of Bible Prophecy believe the 70 th Week of Daniel is near? Because Jesus wants us to know when he is coming and he told us we would know when it is near: 1 Thessalonians 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. Hebrews 10: Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 10:24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 10:25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Jesus told us we would know by watching the signs he gave us. So what are the signs?
One of the biggest signs and prophecies we have been given was fulfilled in 1948 and was told to us in Mathew 24:32-36, Mark 13: Mathew “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Mark “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near—at the doors! 30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. In the Bible the “Fig Tree” in nearly all cases refers to Israel. As we all know In AD 70 when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed, there had not existed any place on earth called Israel for 700 years. Israel would not exist again for another two millennia. In May of 1948 the “Fig Tree” began to put forth it’s leaves and the nation of Israel was born in one day! In 1967 Jerusalem became the capitol. Today, a Jewish state, known as Israel, populated by Jews claiming direct descendance from Abraham through Isaac, exists on the earth. That state was reborn ‘at once’, as Isaiah promised, [Isaiah 66:8]: Isaiah 8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. bringing with it the ancient customs, dietary laws, cultural traditions, even reviving their ancient language of Hebrew, a language considered ‘dead’ before Latin was developed. Zephaniah 3:9 “ For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, That they all may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him with one accord.
The Lord also told us about the rebirth of Israel in Amos: Amos 9:11-15 “ On that day I will raise up The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, And rebuild it as in the days of old; 12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, And all the Gentiles who are called by My name,” Says the LORD who does this thing. 13 “ Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “ When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, And all the hills shall flow with it. 14 I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. 15 I will plant them in their land, And no longer shall they be pulled up From the land I have given them,” Says the LORD your God. The fulfillment of this prophecy caused another reaction as well. Satan reads prophecy too, and he began exerting his influence on world leaders in his continuing effort to thwart the plan of God. As a result, Israel has fought six major wars in the last 57 years, each of them an attempt to erase the Jewish Homeland from the face of the Earth. Even today Israel is surrounded by their enemies in the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria and even Iran who are calling for the destruction of Israel and making plans to do so. It's clear that this effort will continue, with the biggest battle of all looming on the horizon, foretold by Ezekiel in chapters
Gog/Magog War of Ezekiel 38-39! Ezekiel 38 through 39 tells of a future invasion of Israel by a vast coalition of nations that surround it. As we read the headlines in the newspapers of today, and witness the conflict in the Middle East, it's not hard to imagine that this invasion prophesied over 2600 years ago, could be fulfilled in our lifetime. Ezekiel predicts a gathering of the Jews to the nation of Israel, which will be followed by this massive invasion. For 19 centuries the Jewish people were scattered throughout the world, and until May 14, 1948 there was no nation of Israel to invade. With the nation of Israel now a reality, the stage seems set for the war that will usher in the tribulation and the rise of the Antichrist; a war that will end with the destruction of Israel's enemies by God Himself, and lead to the signing of a peace treaty with the Antichrist. As you read Ezekiel 38 and 39, it isn't just the creation of the nation of Israel that makes this prophecy seem likely to be fulfilled in the near future. The nations that God tells us will form this coalition against Israel seem more likely now than perhaps ever before to form just such an alliance. To understand the prophecies of Ezekiel about this future invasion, it's important to understand who the players will be. Ezekiel 38:1-6 tells us who it is: Ezekiel 38:1-6 The word of the Lord came to me; Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army - your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops - the many nations with you.'
Before looking at the participants of this invasion in more detail, it's important to understand that the war described in Ezekiel 38 is not the same as the war that will come at the end of the tribulation when Jesus returns to defeat the Antichrist and establish his millennial kingdom. How do we know this? The war at the end of the tribulation, known as Armageddon, is a world war. Revelation tells us that this battle will involve all nations. The war described in Ezekiel includes specific nations that invade Israel. Also, Armageddon is at the climax of the tribulation, while the war described in Ezekiel comes well before then. Ezekiel 38:1-7 gives 10 names as participants in the invasion of Israel that will follow the regathering of the Jews to their homeland. First mentioned, is the land of Magog. The most common identity for Magog is in Central Asia. The Jewish historian Josephus said, "Magog founded the Magogians, called Scythians by the Greeks. Scythians were a nomadic tribe who inhabited the ancient territory from Central Asia across the southern part of ancient Russia." Today this area is inhabited by the former Soviet Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and possibly northern parts of Afghanistan. All of these nations that make up the land of Magog have one thing in common - Islam. Militant Islam has been on the rise in these countries since the fall of the Soviet Union, when Islam no longer had to be practiced secretly. Radical Islamic groups such as the Islamic Renaissance Party, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and Hizb ut-Tahrir al- Islam are working to reunite central Asian nations and ultimately the entire Muslim world. It is from this part of the world that a leader will arise to bring together a great coalition of nations to invade Israel.
Meshech and Tubal in verses 2 and 6, were the names of the 6th and 5th sons of Japheth, the son of Noah (Gen. 10:2). Ezekiel 27:13 also mentions Meshech and Tubal as trading partners with Tyre (Modern Lebanon). It's likely that Meshech and Tubal refer to the ancient Moshi/Mushki and Tubalu/Tibareni who dwelled in the area around, primarily south of, the Black and Caspian Sea in Ezekiel's day. Today these nations would be in the modern country of Turkey, parts of Southern Russia and Northern Iran. All areas with a Muslim majority. Verse 6 adds Gomer and Beth-Togarmah to the coalition. "Gomer" was the first son of Japheth. The Gomerites were the ancient Cimmerians, expelled in 700 B.C. from the southern steppes of Russia into what is today Turkey. "Togarmah" is the 3rd son of Gomer and beth at the beginning of the name is the Hebrew word for 'house' or 'place of'. In Ezekiel's time there was a city in Cappodocia (Modern Turkey) known as Tegarma, Tagarma, Til-garimmu, and Takarama. The possibility that four of the names mentioned in Ezekiel are now in Turkey makes a pretty strong argument for Turkey being a part of the invasion of Israel. Current circumstances in that country also lend this view some credibility. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, Turkey has been gaining inroads into Central Asia (Magog). It is also linked to Central Asia both ethnically and linguistically, and has a growing number of political parties that support opposition to Israel, establishment of a Turkish Islamic Republic, and the worldwide rule of Islam.
Verse 5 brings three more names into the mix. God tells us that "Persia, Cush and Put will be with them". Persia is a pretty easy one. In 539 B.C. the Persians conquered the city of Babylon. You only need look at a map of the ancient Persian Empire to see that it was centered in the nation known today as Iran. In fact Iran was called Persia until 1935 when it was changed to Iran and then to the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution. It's no secret that Iran is an archenemy of Israel and the West, and a supporter of the Palestinians. They are actively working to get other Arab countries to change camps in their cooperation with the U.S. and Israel. The ancient kingdom of Cush in Ezekiels time was the land just south of Egypt on the Nile River. Today this land is occupied by Sudan. Sudan is home to the National Islamic Front, is ruled by an Islamic military dictatorship, a strong supporter of Iraq, home to Osama bin Landen from , and harbors countless Islamic terrorist groups. Sudan would easily fit into the coalition as it is already close allies with Iran, trading military supplies for docking rights on the Red Sea shipping routes. Ancient Put was the land just west of Egypt, or what is today Libya. Libya is another sponsor of terrorism, and openly refuses to recognize Israel's right to even exist. When the coalition against Israel is formed, Libya won't have to be asked twice to join. Verse 6 adds "and many people with you." The nations listed specifically are all somewhat distant from Israel. By adding "and many people with you", God may have been indicating that those nations and peoples in closer proximity to Israel will join the Jihad. Other nations that might join the alliance are Iraq, Syria, Jordon, and Egypt. All of them are Islamic nations, and all of them would not hesitate to support the destruction of Israel were the opportunity to join such a vast coalition presented to them.
The reasons God gives us for the enemies' invasion of Israel are further proof that the attack will be an Islamic invasion. The first reason God gives for the invasion in Ezekiel 38 is a desire by the coalition to cover the Jewish land and wipe them off the face of the earth. Urged on by a hatred of the Jewish people they will seek to destroy them and the nation of Israel. This is the stated goal today of almost every Islamic nation in the Middle East. The only nations not currently in a declared state of war with Israel are Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan, yet they would certainly be glad to see Israel eliminated if presented with a willing leader and an opportunity to rid the Middle East of Islam's archenemy. God tells us that they also come to "seize plunder…and to capture great spoil". Many verses in the Quran advocated plundering for the benefit of Islam and there are several instances of this war tactic throughout the history of Muhammad's life. In fact, it is a common theme in his teachings. This invasion of Israel and attack on the Jewish people will indeed be a Jihad, but it will also be the final Jihad. Ezekiel 38:13 "Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, 'Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?'" As this invasion develops, a few countries will make a lame protest. This isn't hard to believe when you look at the indifference most nations display as Israel is repeatedly attacked by terrorists.
The specific nations who question Gog's actions are "Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish". Sheba and Dedan are not hard to identify. These were ancient names for what is known today as Saudi Arabia. Tarshish is most commonly agreed to be ancient Tartessus or the area of present day Spain in Western Europe. In Ezekiels day, Tarshish was in the farthest west regions of the known world. By referring to Tarshish and all her merchants, Ezekiel could have been indicating that Western Europe will join with Saudi Arabia in denouncing the invasion. Interestingly, Saudi Arabia is the only Arab nation to consistently side with the West against radical Islamic elements around the world. The royals of Saudi Arabia mostly side with the West out of an interest in self preservation, and at times oppose us behind the scenes, but they would most probably put on a show of opposition to radical Islam in order to maintain the support of western governments. A similar alliance has been seen once before during the Gulf War of the early 1990's. The U.S., Western Europe, and Saudi Arabia were allied against Iraq, while Russia, Iran, Sudan, Libya, and most other Middle East nations either aligned with Iraq, or against the U.S. either by directly opposing it, or by remaining neutral.
Ancient NameModern NameExplanation RoshChief MagogCentral AsiaAncient Scythians - Islamic southern republics of the former Soviet Union with a population of 60 million Muslims. This territory could include modern Afghanistan. MeshechTurkeyAncient Muschki and Musku in Cilicia and Cappadocia. TubalTurkey (also southern Russia and Iran) Ancient Tubalu in Cappadocia. PersiaIranName changed from Persia to Iran in Ethiopia (Cush)SudanAncient Cush, south of Egypt. PutLibyaAncient Put, west of Egypt. GomerTurkeyAncient Cimmerians - from the seventh century to first century B.C. in central/western Anatolia. Beth-togarmahTurkeyTil-garimmu - between ancient Carchemish and Haran (southern Turkey). Many peoples with youOther Islamic NationsPossibly Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt
The good news is that God wins. In Ezekiel 39:6,7, and 28 God says that this end-times battle will happen that "they will know that I am the Lord". This message that God's purpose is to cause Israel and the other nations to know He is Lord is repeated over 60 times in Ezekiel. God will come against the invaders Himself and destroy them. Verses say that there will be an earthquake so great that people all over the world will tremble. In the ensuing chaos, nations will begin to turn on each other. The confusion will lead to the largest case of death by friendly fire ever seen. Verse 22 of Ezekiel tells us that there will be plagues, torrents of rain, hailstones, and burning sulfur. Just as God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, he will destroy these invading forces. Once again, God will make it known to all the nations that He is the Lord. He will give the nations proof that He is the Holy One in Israel. This war against Israel will pave the way for the Antichrist's military rule over the world and his demand that the world worship him as God. With Islam defeated and the Christian Church raptured, opposition to worshipping a man as God will be greatly reduced. Those who are left would have no army with which to mount much of a protest.
The Next major sign is the emergence of the “Revived Roman Empire” in which the antichrist will rise. In the book of Daniel King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream: Daniel 2:3 And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream. The dream troubled King Nebuchadnezzar so much that he sought the interpretation: Daniel 2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to shew the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. The problem was that King Nebuchadnezzar not only wanted the interpretation, but he wanted it without telling them the dream and he threatened their death if they failed to give the dream and the interpretation: Daniel 2:5 The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
The kings people knew they could not fulfill his wishes: Daniel 2:10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king's matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean. The king became furious and sent out a decree to kill all the wise men: Daniel 2:13 And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain. Upon hearing this Daniel sought the Lord for the dream and interpretation and was blessed by the lord to receive it: Daniel 2:19 Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel recounted the dream to Nebuchadnezzar, and interpreted the king’s dream of a huge statue by explaining the 4 major components of the statue.
Most Bible scholars interpret these 4 components to represent the 4 major empires that have existed in the world’s history. Daniel confirms that the first of these empires is Babylon, ruled by Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 2:37-38 “Thou, O king, art a king of kings; for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of Gold.” Daniel goes on to identify the second and third empires that will emerge following the Babylonian empire. Daniel 2:39 “And after you will arise another kingdom inferior to you, and [then] another, a third kingdom, of copper, which will rule the whole earth.” History records the empires that followed Babylon were Medo-Persia and Greece. Daniel 5 tells us that Nebuchadnezzar’s successor, Belshazzar, was conquered by Persia. The second empire of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was established from modern-day Iran to Asia Minor (Turkey). The third empire to arise (Daniel 2:39) and rule the earth was Greece, whose reign began at the time of Alexander the Great. The fourth empire will be a revived model of this Roman Empire. Daniel did, after all, tell Nebuchadnezzar that his vision was about “what will be at the End of Days” (Daniel 2:28). The fourth empire is described as follows: Daniel 2:40 “It will be strong, yet mixed. It will be a diverse empire (part of potters clay and part of iron, the kingdom will be divided), but will be strong (but there shall be in it of the strength of iron)
1. A head of Gold 2. Breast and arms of silver 3. Belly and thighs of bronze 4. Legs of Iron & feet of iron and clay
Daniel chapters 2 and 7 reveal a strong connection between the formation of the European Union and end-times scripture. The possible fulfillment of this scripture began in 1950 when the Roman Empire began to show signs of being revived. In 1950 the European Coal and Steel Community was proposed as a means of achieving economic unification in Europe following the war. The hope was that this would strengthen economic trade in Europe. This unified effort led to the signing of the treaties of Rome in 1957, which established the European Economic Community (EEC), and the European Atomic Energy Council. That treaty was taken a step further with the signing of the Brussels Treaty in The Brussels Treaty began the process of rebuilding the old Roman Empire through reunification of European states under one political system, one economic system, and eventually under the protection of one military force. The treaty established a commission, council, parliament, and court for the union. The revived Roman Empire prophesied in the Bible was well on its way to becoming a reality. More states were added to this growing union in 1973, 1981, and 1986, making up the 10 permanent member states of today’s European Union. In 2002, the Euro was introduced as the first step toward a unified single currency in Europe. Upon adopting the Euro, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres raved, “As Peter was the rock on which the church was built, so the Euro is the rock on which the European Union will be built.” The EU today is made up of over 25 countries, however the ten nations of the Western European Alliance have a separate status as full members, while those nations who joined subsequent to the original 10 have only associate membership, or observer status. This 10 nation military wing of the EU may very well fulfill the prophecy of the beast with 10 horns from Daniel 7:7-8 and Revelations 13:1. On this beast’s back will ride the woman that symbolizes a global religious system that is to appear before Christ returns to set up His kingdom. ( Play video “Prophecy Today”)
The Sanhedrin Another sign we have seen is the re-establishment of the council of the Sanhedrin. Here are some quotes from Israeli news articles: “The Sanhedrin, a religious-legal assembly of 71 sages that convened during the Holy Temple period and for several centuries afterwards, was the highest Jewish judicial tribunal in the Land of Israel. The great court used to convene in one of the Temple’s chambers in Jerusalem. This past October, the Sanhedrin was reestablished for the first time in 1,600 years, at the site of its last meeting in Tiberias.”the Sanhedrin was reestablished Published: 01/20/05 Israelnationalnews.com _____________________________________________________ “Those behind the revival of the Sanhedrin stress that the revival of the legal body is not optional, but mandated by the Torah. “We don’t have a choice,” says Rabbi Richman. “It is a religious mandate for us to establish a Sanhedrin.” Published: 01/20/05 Israelnationalnews.com
“ The present-day Sanhedrin Court decided Tuesday to purchase a herd of sheep for ritual sacrifice at the site of the Temple on the eve of Passover, conditions on the Temple Mount permitting. The modern Sanhedrin was established several years ago and is headed by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. It claims to be renewing the ancient Jewish high court, which existed until roughly 1600 years ago, and meets once a week. Professor Hillel Weiss, a member of the Sanhedrin, told Haaretz on Tuesday that the action, even if merely symbolic, is designed to demonstrate in a way that is obvious to all that the expectation of Temple rituals will resume is real, and not just talk.” 28/02/2007 Other stunning events that go along with the re-establishment of the Sanhedrin is the completion of the sacred vessels and vestments to be used in the third temple (soon to be built)!
The sacred vessels and vestments “The sacred vessels and vestments, their purpose, their nature, and the specific dimensions and materials from which they are to be made, were all related to Moses by G-d, at Mount Sinai. The construction of the vessels and the priestly garments was overseen by Betzalel, a master craftsman, chosen by G-d to fulfill this task, as it is said: "And the L-rd spoke unto Moses, saying: 'See, I have called by name Betzalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and I have filled him with the spirit of G-d, in wisdom and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise skilfull works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all manner of workmanship.'"(Exodus 31:1-5) Assisted by Ohaliab the son of Ahisamach, Betzalel oversaw the construction of the tabernacle, and of the vessels used in the worship, and the garments worn by the priests, and the high priest. Betzalel assembled a team of craftsmen and artisans for this purpose. The Temple Institute has likewise called upon Israel's finest craftsmen and artisans, and enlisted them in the historical task of recreating the sacred vessels and vestments. Every vessel produced by the Temple Institute is done in acccordance with the precise instructions that were first handed down by G- d to Moses. The vessels you are about to view are all fit and ready for use in the Holy Third Temple, may it be built speedily, and in our days! “
Copper Laver The priest collects the blood from the sacrifice into the Mizrak, and then spills the blood onto the corner of the altar. Mizrak The copper laver and stand, which stands in the Temple courtyard between the sanctuary and the outer altar, is the first of the Temple vessels to greet the priests each morning. There the priests wash their hands and feet before proceeding to attend to the daily tamid offering.
Three Pronged Fork The three-pronged fork is mentioned in 1 Samuel 2:12. According to Rashi and Maimonides, the fork is used to turn over the offerings on the altar fire, or to lift up unconsumed portions of the offering so that the woodpile can be rearranged. Silver Shovel The silver shovel is kept on the southwestern corner of the altar. The shovel is used for the removal of ashes left on the altar, the first task performed by the priests each morning at the break of dawn.
The Blue Robe “After much hard work and research, the Techelet (azure blue) robe of the High Priest has been completed by the Temple Institute and it is hoped to be fit to be worn in the Third Temple. The blue coat, or me'il techelet as it is called in the Torah, sports 72 golden bells alternating with 72 pomegranates attached around its hem, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet wool. The project was researched and undertaken by skilled artisans over the past three years. It will join the already completed ephod and choshen (breastplate), featuring the 12 precious stones associated with the 12 tribes of Israel. They are located at the Temple Institute in Jerusalem's Old City, and it is hoped they will be found fit to be used by the High Priest in the third temple. Master weaver Yehudit Avraham wove the robe using the Navajo "two-sided" weaving technique. The Techelet dye used is the most widely accepted of the blue dyes thought to be the Biblical Blue.Techelet The commandment to make such a robe appears in Exodus 28: 31-35: "And you shall make the robe of the ephod entirely out of blue wool. Its head-opening shall be folded over within it, its opening shall have a border all around of weaver's work - it shall be for it like the opening of a coat of mail, that it should not be torn. And you shall make on its hem pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet wool, on its hem all around, and gold bells between them, all around; a gold bell and a pomegranate, a gold bell and a pomegranate, all around. It must be on Aaron in order to minister. Its sound shall be heard when he enters the Sanctuary before Hashem and when he leaves, so that he not die."
"This is the first robe woven entirely out of techelet in nearly 2,000 years," Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute told Arutz-7. "Next week we shall begin to observe the holiday of Chanukah, which marks the rededication of the Second Temple in the days when the wicked King Antiochus rose up against the Jewish people with decrees meant to separate them from G-d and His Torah. Chanukah also marks the day when the original desert tabernacle was completed. Our sages emphasize that every year on Chanukah, when we kindle the festive lights, there's a sublime illumination of holy light that is released into the world - a continuation of the original hidden light of creation and a spark of the light of the holy Menorah in the Temple. Above all, Chanukah is the time of miracles and thanksgiving to G-d. The completion of this sacred garment marks a great step forward towards the renewal of the Divine service in the Holy Temple." In the near future, the Institute plans to embark on another major project: the production and supplying of the Torah-specified white garments of the ordinary priests for every male Jewish descendant of Aaron. "Every Kohen from all over the world, will be given the opportunity to register and order his own uniform so that he can be ready to serve in the rebuilt Holy Temple," Richman said.
What other signs indicate we are in the Endtimes and nearing the rapture of the church? So far we have seen the rebirth of Israel, the prophecy of Daniel’s 70 th week, the nations involved in the battle of Gog/Magog coming together, and the revival of the Roman Empire in which the Anti Christ will rise, the reformation of the Sanhedrins, the construction of the sacred vessels and vestments in preperation for the building of the third temple, and the call for temple sacrifices to resume. That’s not all though! There are many more signs we were given to watch for. In Mathew 24:3-14 & Luke 21:12-24 Jesus told us: Mathew 24:3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?“ 4 Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ’, and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Luke 21:5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 "As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down." 7 "Teacher," they asked, "when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?" 8 He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away." 10 Then he said to them: "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.11There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
In the Gospels, the Lord gave detailed and specific predictions that would signal the approach of the end of the Church Age and the transition into the Tribulation Period. If these predicted signs are simply taken at face value, as Jesus did with Old Testament prophecy that applied to Him, they sound like today’s Fox and CNN reports. At the end of Jesus’s ministry, while looking over the temple from the Mount of Olives, He predicted both its destruction and the Jewish nation’s. Shocked, his disciples got Him alone and asked: “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3 NAS) The apostles asked three all-important questions: (1) When will these things happen? (2) What will be the sign of Christ’s Second Coming? (3) What will be the sign of the end of the age? This refers to the time of Gentile rule over the world ending and the establishment of the promised world kingdom to Israel over which the Messiah Jesus, as the Son of David, will rule. Jesus answers questions #2 and #3 in Matthew’s account. He answers question #1 in Luke’s account in chapter 21:12-24 Jesus gives a complete scenario of the signs of the end that would all begin to happen in one time frame and in concert with each other. The key that would make the signs unique is that they would all begin to occur together in the same era. The other key that would make these signs unique and recognizable is that they would develop like birth pangs. After Jesus enumerates the signs, He says of them, But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. (Matt. 24:8)
Now here are the signs he called 'birth pangs': No. 1 The Church would depart from the truth and false christ and false prophets would arise. He warned that MANY in the Church would be deceived. This has already happened -- big time. Most mainline churches do not hold to divine verbal inspiration of the Bible. Many have air conditioned hell and redefined sin to be politically correct today. For instance, the clear biblical teaching against homosexuality is now being redefined. In defiance of God’s teaching in 1 & 2 Timothy, women are now being ordained as Pastors and Priests. Jesus is no longer the only one who can bring us forgiveness of sin through his death in our place. He is now a great teacher among many other religious leaders who can show us how to work our way to heaven. Various suicide cults of this generation, from the People’s Temple to the Branch Davidians to the Hale-Bopp cult, shared the same characteristic. They all had a false christ, or false messiah figure. But worse is coming. No. 2 Jesus warned of wars and rumors of wars, but he said, see that you are not frightened for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.? The 20th century was marked by significant events that shaped its course. WW1, WW2, Vietnamn, Korea, Desert Storm, Iraq, Aphganistan, and the Cold War. Both World Wars involved virtually every nation on earth in an orgy of destruction that killed tens of millions.
The Cold War endured for forty years, without either side firing a shot in anger. The ultimate rumor of war! Historians have already named the 20th Century the century of war. But the end, as Jesus predicted, was not yet. No. 3 Along with war, Jesus warned that nation will rise against nation. The word nation is translated from the Greek word 'ethnos' which literally means ethnic groups or tribes. Ethnic unrest and tribal warfare has killed uncounted millions in this generation. There are ethnic wars within the same nations. One of the most shocking examples of ethnic hatred is the case of the Kurds. They are Muslim, yet they are scattered along the borders of the fellow Muslim nations of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran and they are hated by all. No. 4 Jesus predicted that kingdom will rise against kingdom. The word kingdom comes from the Greek word 'basliea', which means a LITERAL NATION in our modern understanding of the word.
GlobalSecurity.org states: The United Nations defines "major wars" as military conflicts inflicting 1,000 battlefield deaths per year. In 1965, there were 10 major wars under way. The new millennium began with much of the world consumed in armed conflict cultivating an uncertain peace. As of mid-2005, there were eight Major Wars under way, with as many as two dozen "lesser" conflicts ongoing with varying degrees of intensity. Most of these are civil or "intrastate" wars, fueled as much by racial, ethnic, or religious animosities as by ideological fervor. Most victims are civilians, a feature that distinguishes modern conflicts. During World War I, civilians made up fewer than 5 percent of all casualties. Today, 75 percent or more of those killed or wounded in wars are non-combatants. Africa, to a greater extent than any other continent, is afflicted by war. Africa has been marred by more than 20 major civil wars since Rwanda, Somalia, Angola, Sudan, Liberia, and Burundi are among those countries that have recently suffered serious armed conflict. There has been such warfare between nations that eventually mankind will try to do away with nations. The Antichrist will seize upon this yearning and establish a one-world government over which he will rule. But it won’t bring peace; it will bring total destruction.
No. 5 Jesus predicted in various places there will be famine. According to the world experts, the Age of Famines began in There are famines raging someplace in the world at all times now. About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every three and a half seconds. Unfortunately, it is children who die most often. According to the White House millions of people face hunger or food insecurity in Eritrea, Somalia, the Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda. At least five million Ethiopians are "chronically food insecure", i.e., unable at some time in any year to secure an adequate supply of food for survival. No. 6 Jesus predicted in Luke’s account, there will be great earthquakes. AP News reported that there were only 10 major earthquakes from the decades of 1920 through 1980, a period of 70 years. But there have been 13 major earthquakes in the last 15 years. These refer only to the monster quakes that have caused great destruction and loss of life. It’s interesting to note that according to USGS that since the birth of Israel we have seen: 1. The largest recorded earthquake in the United States with a magnitude 9.2 that struck Prince William Sound, Alaska on Good Friday, March 28, 1964 UTC. 2. The largest recorded earthquake in the world with a magnitude 9.5 (Mw) in Chile on May 22, From there were only four states that did not have any earthquakes. They were: Florida, Iowa, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
No. 7 Jesus predicted, there will be plagues. Diseases once believed eradicated from the earth by antibiotics have now developed immunity to virtually every drug we have. Now we have super-strains of them. Because of the rapid mobility of travel, a dangerous infectious disease any place on earth can become a pandemic over night killing millions. New strains of viruses that have trans-mutated from the animal kingdom to man now make pandemics of unimaginable horror possible. The latest is a bird flu named H5N1 that the World Health Organization says could kill 150 million people worldwide. This map show the current statistics as of June 2007!
Three other diseases that have recently evolved and are a concern or: 1. HIV — the virus that causes AIDS — is now considered a global pandemic with infection rates as high as 25% in southern and eastern Africa. As of January 2006, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized on December 1, 1981, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in recorded history.HIVAIDS 2. SARS - In 2003, there were concerns that SARS, a new, highly contagious form of atypical pneumonia caused by a coronavirus dubbed SARS-CoV, might become pandemic. Rapid action by national and international health authorities such as the World Health Organization helped slow transmission and eventually broke the chain of transmission, ending the localized epidemics before they could become a pandemic. The disease has not been eradicated, however, and could re-emerge unexpectedly, warranting monitoring and case reporting of suspicious cases of atypical pneumonia.2003SARSatypical pneumoniacoronavirusSARS-CoV 3. Swine influenza is flu virus usually found in pigs. The virus occasionally changes (mutates) and becomes infectious in humans. When this happens, the disease becomes a concern to humans, who have little or no immunity against it. This means the virus has the potential to spread quickly around the world. It also may be more difficult to treat than the usual, seasonal human flu viruses.flu
Pandemics we have seen since the birth of Israel are: 1. The "Asian Flu", 1957–58. An H2N2 caused about 70,000 deaths in the United States. First identified in China in late February 1957, the Asian flu spread to the United States by June The "Hong Kong flu," , [A (H3N2)], caused about 34,000 deaths in the United States. This virus was first detected in Hong Kong in early 1968 and spread to the United States later that year. Influenza A (H3N2) viruses still circulate today 3. The “Russian Flu Threat”, 1977, In May 1977, influenza A/H1N1 viruses isolated in northern China, spread rapidly, and caused epidemic disease in children and young adults worldwide. The last birth pang Jesus predicted is recorded in: Luke 21:25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. NO. 8 The Sun - Since 2000, solar eruptions have broken all standing records, both in frequency and intensity. With each solar storm, scientists warned of communications disruptions, dangerous radiation and other unspecified but dire consequences. NASA has verified that the sun is getting brighter and hotter. This is having a dramatic effect on the rise of overall temperature on the earth, and that is causing the ocean belt around the equator to heat up and cause more frequent and powerful storms
In December 2012 the Sun will reach the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. With all the planets lined up in their orbits behind it, like little chicks behind their mother. Some scientists believe this will amplify the Sun’s gravitational pull on Earth causing increased instability in its inner core. They say the increased gravitational pull combined with increased radiation from the twin polar reversals will heat the Earth’s molten core and cause it to spin faster. This could result in anything from more frequent and more powerful earthquakes to volcanic eruptions, great tsunamis and even displacement of the Earth’s crust.
The Moon – Tracking solar and lunar eclipses and comparing them with Levitical Feasts, the only time in this century when 4 consecutive full lunar eclipses, known as a tetrad, will coincide with either Passover or the Feast of Tabernacles is in the years Lunar eclipses are also known as “blood moons” because the moon often takes on a red cast during an eclipse. There will also be 2 solar eclipses during that time. In the spring of 2015 Israel’s religious year will begin with a total solar eclipse, followed two weeks later a total lunar eclipse on Passover. And then six months later the sequence will repeat itself with a second solar eclipse on Rosh Hashanna followed two weeks after that by another total lunar eclipse on the Feast of Tabernacles, all in The last time anything like this happened was in 1967, when Jerusalem became an undivided Jewish city again, and before that there were several occurrences during the years of , as Israel was becoming a nation. There were none at all in the 1800’s, 1700’s, or 1600’s, and none in the 1500’s that coincided with Feast Days.
The Stars - According to a Foxnews.com article: “ALIEN WORLDS, ONCE HIDDEN FROM KNOWLEDGE, ARE NOW BEING DISCOVERED IN DROVES, STUNNING ASTRONOMERS WITH THEIR UNIQUE FEATURES AND SHEER NUMBERS. THE DISCOVERIES ARE SO COMMON THAT MORE AND MORE DON'T EVEN GET REPORTED OUTSIDE SCIENTIFIC CIRCLES.” "IT'S PRETTY ROUTINE NOW," SAID ALAN BOSS, A PLANET FORMATION THEORIST AT THE CARNEGIE INSTITUTION OF WASHINGTON. "MOST PLANETS THAT ARE FOUND ARE NOT DEEMED WORTHY OF A PRESS RELEASE BECAUSE THEY ARE SORT OF BECOMING 'ONE MORE PLANET. The total is now more than 200 extrasolar planets confirmed”. One of the finds the Hubble Telescope discovered that is really amazing is the Whirlpool Galaxy! The Whirlpool Galaxy is one of astronomy's galactic darlings. Located 31 million light-years away in the constellation Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs), the Whirlpool's beautiful face-on view and closeness to Earth allow astronomers to study a classic spiral galaxy's structure and star-forming processes. The galaxy's massive center, the bright ball of light in the center of the photograph, is about 80 light-years across and has a brightness of about 100 million suns. Astronomers estimate that it is about 400 million years old and has a mass 40 million times larger than our Sun. Here is a look at it:
On the earth distress of nations, with perplexity – "Distress" is defined as "to cause strain, anxiety or suffering", or, "great danger or difficulty, with a need for immediate assistance.“ "Perplexity" according to one dictionary, means: "to puzzle or confuse somebody, especially causing doubt." Another defines it as "to make confusedly intricate; complicate." I am sure you are aware of the debate going on in the U.S. and around the world about global warming. It is a hotIy debated subject. Most of the debate is centered on what is causing it. Is it Happening? Yes! The Earth is showing many signs of worldwide climate change. Here are some known facts: Average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The rate of warming is increasing. The 20th century's last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a number of climate studies. And the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850.
Glaciers and mountain snows are rapidly melting—for example, Montana's Glacier National Park now has only 27 glaciers, versus 150 in In the Northern Hemisphere, thaws also come a week earlier in spring and freezes begin a week later. Italian scientists estimate that their own country’s glaciers are now 20- percent smaller than they were in1987. The ten hottest years on record have all occurred since Coral reefs, which are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature, suffered the worst bleaching—or die-off in response to stress—ever recorded in 1998, with some areas seeing bleach rates of 70 percent. An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heatwaves, and strong tropical storms, is also attributed in part to climate change by some experts. Regardless of what is causing it….Global Warming is definitely causing distress of the nations, with perplexity as evidenced by the by debate among world leaders and scientist who are scurrying around trying to decide if it’s real or not and how to handle it! Now for the last part of Luke 21:25:
Seas and the Waves Roaring – Only two words need to be spoken of this sign. They are Tsunami and Hurricane! In the last decade these natural disasters have caused the most destruction in recorded history. Let’s look at Tsunami’s first: *From , 82 tsunamis were reported worldwide--a rate much higher than the historical average of 57 a decade. *The most destructive tsunami ever recorded took place on December 26, 2004, after an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 displaced the ocean floor off the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Within seven hours of the quake, waves washed ashore on the Horn of Africa, more than 3,000 km (1,800 miles) away on the other side of the Indian Ocean. More than 200,000 people were killed, most of them on Sumatra but thousands of others in Thailand, India, and Sri Lanka and smaller numbers in Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Maldives, Somalia, and other locations.tsunamiSumatra *In the last decade alone, destructive tsunamis have occurred in Nicaragua (1992), Indonesia (1992, 1994, 1996), Japan (1993), Philippines (1994), Mexico (1995), Peru (1996, 2001), Papua-New Guinea (1998), Turkey (1999), and Vanuatu (1999).
Now lets look at Hurricanes: *According to data gathered by researchers at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the number of major Category 4 and 5 hurricanes worldwide has nearly doubled over the past 35 years, even though the total number of hurricanes, including weaker ones, has dropped since the 1990s. *The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration listed Hurricane Katrina as "the most destructive hurricane to ever strike the U.S.“ Hurricane Katrina flooded up 80% of the major coastal cities and claimed the lives of 1,604 people. Katrina was rated a Category 5 hurricane. * The top five most costly hurricanes in U.S. history have occurred since the birth of Israel: 1. Hurricane Katrina (LA, MI, AL) 2005 Category 5, Estimated Damage $76,000,000, Hurricane Andrew (FL, LA) 1992 Category 5, Estimated Damage $45,000,000, Hurricane Charley (SW FL) 2004 Category 4, Estimated Damage $15,400,000, Hurricane Ivan (AL, NW FL) 2004 Category 3 Estimated Damage $17,700,000, Hurricane Hugo (SC, NC) 1989 Category 2, Estimated Damage $15,600,000,000
Moral Corruption! In 2nd Timothy 3:1-8, Jesus told us that in the last days before his return people’s love for one another would turn cold and they would only be lovers of themselves: 2nd Timothy 3:1-8 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. Does this sound like our world today? To find out lets look at some statistics and headlines that appear daily in our newspapers:
* 11 February The real number of hate crimes in the United States is more than 15 times higher than FBI statistics reflect, according to a stunning new government report. Hate crime statistics published by the FBI since 1992, based on voluntary reports from law enforcement agencies around the country, have shown annual totals of about 6,000 to 10,000, depending on the year. But the new report, "Hate Crimes Reported by Victims and Police," found an average annual total of 191,000 hate crimes. That means the real level of hate crime runs between 19 and 31 times higher than the numbers that have been officially reported for almost 15 years. The data showed 84% of hate crimes were violent, meaning they involved a sexual attack, robbery, assault or murder. * In France, authorities reported in 2006 antisemitic offenses rose by 6.6 percent. The number of hate crime offenses overall remains extraordinarily high compared with the late 1990s. * In Germany, early estimates for 2006 on the number of extremist crimes suggest the highest level of such crimes since the current monitoring system was introduced in These figures continue an upward trend over the last several years.
* In the Russian Federation, hate crimes against ethnic, religious, and national minorities have proliferated. According to a leading monitor, there were at least 31 racist murders in 2005 and hate-based attacks on 413 individuals. Those numbers rose significantly in 2006 to 540 cases of violent hate crimes, including 54 murders, sustaining a steady trend of rising violence over the past several years. * In the United Kingdom, a dramatic surge of racist and religiously-motivated violence followed the July 7, 2005 bombings in the London Underground and a city bus. Religiously-motivated hate crimes rose by as much as 600 percent in London in the month following these bombings. Overall in 2006, hate crimes in the United Kingdom continued at a historically high rate. * An estimated 200 million believers in over 60 countries are subjected to harsh persecution, yet their stories are rarely reported in the Western media and most Western Christians seem to know little about their plight.
* The media frequently reports that 50% of American marriages will end in divorce. It appears to be reasonably close to the probable value. The Americans for Divorce Reform estimates that "Probably, 40 or possibly even 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce if current trends continue. *The last decades have shown a rise in the rate of divorce in Europe. In all European countries, the probability of divorce or separation among married or cohabiting couples has increased, although in some countries more quickly and more radically than in others. * A growing percentage of committed couples have decided to live in a common-law relationship rather than get married. * 37 Percent of U.S. Births are out of wedlock. That is nearly 4 out of every ten births. * If you add up the estimated number of surgical and chemical abortions from , the total is more than 600,000,000 babies killed in the United States alone.
* In 2005 the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) estimated that there were about 1,846,400 State and local arrests for drug abuse violations in the United States. The estimated number of arrests for drug abuse violations has been increasing. In 1987 drug arrests were 7.4% of the total of all arrests reported to the FBI; by 2005, drug arrests had risen to 13.1% of all arrests. * According to data from the 2005 National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) -- *112 million Americans age 12 or older (46% of the population) reported illicit drug use at least once in their lifetime * 14% reported use of a drug within the past year * 8% reported use of a drug within the past month. *According to the World Health Organization (WHO), someone around the globe commits suicide every 40 seconds. In the year 2000, 815,000 people lost their lives to suicide – more than double the number of people who die as a direct result of armed conflict every year (306,600). For people between the ages of 15 and 44, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death and the sixth leading cause of disability and infirmity worldwide.
As you can see the statistics are alarming and they go on and on. There are more than I can put into this study, but hopefully you see the signs. Now lets look at recent headlines that support 2nd Timothy 3:1-8. These are just a sampling of the headlines that we see almost everyday now: * Deadly shooting at Virginia Tech - school shooting comprised of two separate attacks about two hours apart on April 16, 2007, on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, United States. Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and wounded 25 before committing suicide, making it the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history * Columbine High School massacre - Tuesday, April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in unincorporated Jefferson County, Colorado. Two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, carried out a shooting rampage, killing 12 students and a teacher, as well as wounding 24 others, before committing suicide. * Police Arrest Mother, Boyfriend Who Allegedly Bit 3-Year-Old's Lip, Ear Off. * Neighbor Upset About Loudness of Fireworks Celebration Allegedly Opens Fire, Kills 3. The list goes on and on and on and on! Now for the next and final sign we will discuss:
Knowledge Explosion! Finally we have reached our final scripture and sign! Although there are many more scriptures and signs given, you have now seen some of the most obvious and well known signs among prophecy watchers. The final sign we will discuss is the knowledge explosion. In the book of Daniel, Daniel was told in verses Daniel 12:4 4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” * Consider that since the beginning of time communication had not changed much, but just before the beginning of the last century the telegraph was invented. Next came the telephone, then the TV, then Satellite, and now we can communicate with people anywhere on the globe and even astronaughts in space.
Revelation 11:3-10 says: Revelation 11:3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth." 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. 6 These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. 7 Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. 8 Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9 For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. 10 The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth. It would not have been possible for men from every people, tribe, language and nation to gaze upon the bodies of the two witnesses for 3 ½ days until the invention of satellite TV. Now we can see live events taking place anywhere in the world live!
* Now lets consider travel. From the beginning of time until approximately the beginning of the last century travel had always been the same. You traveled by foot, horse, or horse and wagon. Then came the invention of the automobile, then the train, then the airplane, then the jet, and then the rocket. Now we have placed men on the moon. A person can travel to the other side of the world in a matter of hours. * How about the field of medicine? From the beginning of time until the last century medicine had not changed much. Then came the invention of computers that advanced technology in the medical field. Now we can decide the gender of babies, keep people alive on machines way past the time they would have died in the past. Stem cell research has progressed to a point where now it is a hotly contested debate. Cloning of animals in now taking place around the world. If you open your eyes, look around, and read the word of God, it isn’t hard to see the signs all around us that Jesus gave us to watch for his return!
In 1Thessalonians 5:4-6, & Hebrews 10:23-25 Jesus told us we would know when his return was near: 1 Thessalonians 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. Hebrews 10: :23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Jesus also instructed us to watch: Mark 13:32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”
In Mathew 24:32-35 Jesus told us that the generation that saw the birth of Israel would be the generation that would see his coming. Mathew 24:32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Jesus told us in Luke 21:28 that when we see these things taking place to lift our head for our redemption draws near: Luke 21:28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." I can tell you that I am looking up for the glorious return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I felt led to put this study together by the Lord because his return is near and he wants us reaching out to the lost before it is too late. If you have loved ones, friends, or anyone else that doesn’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior I encourage you to reach out in love to them before it’s too late! I pray this study has enlightened you and that God speaks to your heart through it! See you at the Wedding Supper!