Question # 250….(05-24-05) I read your interesting article on the 'Just War' theory on the Internet today. I would be grateful if you could be so kind as to answer this question: What is your position on the use of nuclear weapons in the conduct of what you might call a 'just war'? In the case of a hypothetical invasion of Israel by an Arab army, do you think the use of nuclear weapons or other similar weapons of mass destruction in order to defend Israel may be justified by recourse to the 'just' war theory, even if it involves the death of many innocent civilians, both Arabs and Jews? One other question refers to your belief that at the end of times Israel will be invaded but finally its enemies shall be defeated by God Himself? What exactly does that mean? Does it mean that God Himself will do the fighting, or the Messiah? Will the Jewish people be inspired and helped with God's invisible power? Does it mean that the Jews must wait for God or the Messiah to battle against their invading enemies or should they respond on their own in the face of the invasion? I would be most grateful if you could kindly answer these questions.
Answer…….This topic could easily be turned into a whole book, but let me try to give a brief and concise answer to your question. A nuclear war among the nations of the earth is something that only Satan, and his hellish minions would like to see occur. Jehovah God is not the author of warfare, of any kind, but since He is omnipotent, omniscient, and just, He has taken unto himself the art of just warfare. Satan is actually the architect of rebellion and warfare. He is the author of sin and evil, and because Jehovah is just, He must, and will destroy the rebel Satan in battle in due season. It was Satan that launched the great cosmic war in Heaven. (Hebrews 14:12-17) Because of Satan, and his evil conspiracies among the nations, warfare continues to plague mankind, as it will continue to do until the Prince of Peace comes and binds him in chains. (Revelation 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.)
In this present age, an age the Bible refers to as “the times of the nations,” (times of the Gentiles) the entire world system operates under the dominion of Satan. The prophet Daniel referred to the empires of this world as beasts, and the application of the term “beasts” is quite fitting. The Bible uses the Hebrew term, “cheyva” to describe the nature of the world’s kingdoms. It is intended to convey that the world’s nations are like brutish, ferocious wild and carnivorous animals stalking a prey. John describes the nations as being “mad,” and the intention is to relay that the nations are like diseased animals, (foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog) and as literally being infected with the venom of Satan. So, as you can see from the Bible’s description of the world’s political powers, it is an awful prospect to think of what most nations would do with nuclear weapons in their possession.
Nuclear weapons have only been used on 2 occasions in world history. The United States (the 1st country to attain nuclear power) used atomic bombs on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, Japan to end WWII. President Harry Truman agonized over the decision to use the atomic bomb then, but finally decided that its usage would end WWII much quicker, and ultimately spare many, many lives on all sides. In retrospect, that decision proved to be valid, although it did indeed kill many innocent Japanese people. Nazi Germany of the 1940’s was hurriedly seeking atomic bombs, but defections (and the providence of God) prevented the demonic principal of Hitler from acquiring them. However, in retrospect, one can only imagine what might have happened had such a madman like Adolph Hitler acquired the atomic bomb in 1945 before America. Undoubtedly he would have bombed the entire world into submission under the Nazi regime. (The possibility of this kind of frightening scenario happening in some country is even more possible today, given the nature of the covert geo-political struggle between democracies and totalitarianism.) It is often argued that democracies tend to not start wars, but rather seeks to end them. This is only partially true. Totalitarian states often place too much power in the hands of too few, and the power makes men mad. Democracies tend to be more representative of the majority, and therefore the power is distributed. But majorities do not make right anymore than does might.
Throughout the post-WWII era, America and the Soviet Union managed to avert a nuclear holocaust by virtue of the theory of (MAD) mutually assured destruction. The two nuclear powers jockeyed for strategic power around the world, but always managed to pull back from the Hot-war brink, because of the prevailing nuclear deterrent philosophy. The MAD and nuclear deterrence options worked fairly well while there were only two major players involved. But the Cold War experience taught the world power brokers that non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (or their destruction) was the only viable option to avoid an ultimate catastrophe. The UN provided the global setting for the advancement of the SALT, and NNPT (nuclear non-proliferation treaty) adventure, in which the world’s nations were lobbied to abandon the acquisition of nuclear weapons development. Yet, in spite of this effort, a few countries are known to have acquired the technology (Israel, India and Pakistan) and several more appear to be on the verge (Iran and North Korea) of mastering nuclear bomb missile delivery systems. Even more frightening is the distinct possibility of powerful nations sub-contracting out their nuclear programs (terrorists and rogue regimes) to destabilize a competing nuclear powers strategic leverage in the overall world balance of power.
The concept for the justification of going to war is simple, and is always derived from whether or not it is scripturally compatible with the Lord’s providence against the evil designs of the god of this world. It may surprise some people, but God actually does approve of war in certain situations. In an evil world, when just men and nations are confronted with evil, war is justified. The only problem with this Biblical justification process is that conniving men and apostate religious leaders redefine God’s word into whatever they prefer it to mean. (Also, in these perilous Last Days, not one single righteous nation can be found on the planet, therefore just wars are difficult to be determined) Still, justification for warfare by Christian–leaning nations always must be tempered with the creator’s providence. The Lord himself assisted the nation of Israel in certain situations that involved going to war. For instance, God himself sent Israel into battle against the Caananites, Amorites, the Anakim, and other pagan tribes in the Promised Land. Genesis 15 conveys that God is the ultimate judge of the nations, and has allotted nations a set time for repentance before He rains judgment upon them. (Psalms 89:14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.) (Exodus 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.) (Proverbs 24:6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counselors there is safety.)
The scientists that unlocked the atomic secret in 1945 were overwhelmed and circumspect about by the awesome power that they had unleashed into the hands of mankind. They envisioned the socio-political trauma and Armageddon-type nightmare that it could, and indeed has produced. Our world has sat astraddle the precipice of nuclear holocaust ever-since. Recalling that the Lord God says “the heart of man is evil” (Genesis 8:21) and that natural man (John 3:19) loves darkness rather than light, and that his deeds run to evil, it is obvious that our world can never control its own Beastly lusts. The Bible calls this inevitable super showdown, wherein the nations shall strategically come together in an evil conspiracy of Satan, and be gathered against Israel, the Day of the Lord, or the Day of Decision.
I can think of no justification at all for any pre-emptive styled nuclear attack. I can only see the justification to use a nuclear bomb if it serves to stop the advance of an evil empire and end a cataclysmic war immediately, and interrupt the annihilation of multitudes more of pending victims, such as was the case in WWII.
In the case-in-point that you mention, the defense of Israel by the usage of nuclear weapons is surreal. In Isaiah 54:17, God indicates that no weapon formed against Israel shall prosper. Israel is a unique situation in the world, having already seen 4 wars launched against her since 1948, and has had her war-nerve and national survival tested by the constant threat of terrorism. One could hardly blame Israel for resorting to an emergency nuclear response since she is constantly threatened with extinction by her neighbors. Iran has recently pledged to use nukes to exterminate Israel. The Bible seems to indicate that a nuclear event could actually occur that would involve the destruction of Damascus. Would Israel be justified in using atomic bombs in such a scenario? It is difficult to know. The better question is why would the world allow such an explosive area to descend into such a chaotic environment? This question points to the likelihood that a Global mechanism might emerge in the very near future that would place all nuclear power under a Global authority.
Yes, Bible Prophecy does indeed convey that mankind will be confronted with extreme circumstances in the Middle East in the Last Days, and that Israel will lie at the center of a world-wide firestorm. The Bible further reveals that the Lord himself will destroy the enemies that come against Israel. The Bible declares that, rather than disarm, the world will arm itself to the teeth for a violent struggle against God’s chosen people. (Joel 3:9-10 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.) God also declares that he will use fire and his own brightness to overwhelm His enemies. (II Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:) (Isaiah 66:15-16 For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.)
God will also use the natural world (Rev. 16…plagues, heat, hail, etc.) to discourage the nations of this world from contending with him on the great and terrible Day of Judgment. He will consume many places with earthquakes. (Ezekiel 38:19-20 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.)
The prophet Zechariah describes an awful scene that is striking in that it appears like a nuclear exchange. God may indeed turn the beastly nations own weapons against them, and cause them to be confused, as is alluded to by the prophet Ezekiel when he describes the great Magog invasion against Israel. (Ezekiel 39:3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.) (Zechariah 14:12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.)
God is going to allow the Jewish nation to become completely encircled by their enemies in the near future, and use that scenario to bring all nations to judgment. He will allow this for 2 reasons. He will let geo-political events work to demonstrate to Israel that their faith in the world alliances and its Antichrist was a vain path, and secondly to demonstrate to Israel that without the Lord, they would be completely annihilated, and that the world’s hatred of Israel is really a hatred of the God of Israel. Israel has been blessed of God in the fact that they have won the 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 wars of survival. God has overseen that they received tangible help and that they have developed a highly efficient military. While God has enabled Israel to be strong enough to repel her enemies in the 20th century, He also will soon demonstrate to her that military might and political expediency are not sufficient. God wants Israel to repent, and cease its whoredom with the world, and to come to know the true Messiah. Satan wants to destroy Israel, and thus he foments the anti-Semitic hatred in the world for the intent of interrupting the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise and coming unto them. (Zechariah 12:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I (God) will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.)
The greatest minds in the world are troubleshooting the dilemma of nuclear warfare and the geo-political Global Order and balance of power. The world’s experts firmly believe that’s the dissolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict will greatly lessen the threat of nuclear annihilation, and hasten a new World Order that can guarantee all nations a system of peace and security. In the end analysis, Israel will join this world covenant, but as is the case with all nations, they will prove that they are nothing but ravenous Beasts!
(I Thessalonians 5:1-3 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.)
Question # 249……(05-17-05) I have a deep and sincere love for horses, especially my own horse. I have studied the bible to locate scriptures about horses. But very little is explained about why Jesus will return upon a horse. Some people say that it is not literal. Of course I believe it is. My concern for the horse is how it has been used and abused over the years, and I guess that I'm looking for an answer to show others that the horse plays an important role in the returning of Christ and therefore this noble creature should be treated with respect. I came across your web-site and became excited. This article that you've written seems to give us a little more understanding as to why Jesus will use a horse to return on. (From A Donkey to A White Horse) Do you think that has anything to do with the bible times, because that is what was used for transportation? Or do you think that the horse holds a special place in the heart of our Lord? Jesus is certainly capable of coming back with just his self, because He ascended with just himself. I guess that I'm curious to know that Jesus uses a horse because the horse is special. Could I use your information as part of my research? I would make sure that you received rights to any of your direct quotes. (I may not even get it published!!) I just want to thank you for this article, and if you have the time, I would love to hear from you. Sincerely,
Answer…… Lest we forget, God created the Horse, and of course all the other animals. The Lord God created the Horse on the fifth day of creation, as he did all the other walking and earth creeping animals. After the creation of the animal world, God used the sixth day to created Man. This back-to-back sequence in the creation week demonstrates that God intentionally designed the animals, such as the horse to have a close relationship to mankind. It is as if God created time, space, and matter, and all the building blocks for a place for mankind on the first 4 days, then turned his attention to the finer details of daily life for mankind. (Genesis 1:24-25 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.) After creating animals like the horse, God then pronounced the entire animal world to be Good, and this included the horse. God obviously designed the horse to provide a service for mankind, as God conveyed in his word that dominion was given to mankind over the entire animal world. (Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So, God indeed created the Horse for the service of Mankind, as He gave man dominion over the cattle, Horses, etc.
In the book of Job, God asks the ancient one if he has considered HIS marvelous creation, the Horse. He asks him the following questions…..(Job 39:19-24 Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder? Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet.
All the marvelous attributes of a Horse were designed into them by the Lord God. God gave them strength, speed, pride, courage, and spirit. Obviously from reading the account in Job, God displays that He was quite proud of his design of the horse, for He pointed out the special characteristics that he had designed into him. God illustrates that the horse is brave and confident in battle, and indwelt with a god-given instinct for pride, power, and stability afoot.
By virtue of the characteristics that God designed into the Horse, and its ancient natural use in warfare, the Bible uses the Horse in symbolism to dramatize the revelation of the four horses of the Apocalypse. Since the horse has been the most logical choice of mankind for waging swift warfare down through the centuries before the advent of technological weaponry, the Horse has forever become typecast in prophecy as the figure of choice for those going into battle! And make no mistake about it, on the great and terrible Day of the Lord, The Lord Jesus Christ is coming to wage battle. The picture of Christ astride a great white horse coming in clouds of glory is a majestic scene through which God intended to show His glory. And He has chosen a horse to perform a duty in that event. Thus, apparently, there are “un-tainted by sin” horses are in Heaven.
Question # 248b (Follow Up to # 248)….(05-12-05) I appreciate your answer and it extends knowledge and extends the truths and sheds more light. Thank you. I apologize that I am not plain in my question. Please allow me to ask again and be a little plainer, I hope. I have been told that in the final end, when all is done, and after the 1000 years after the last judgment and we live with God, for all time and eternity, the following will be true:
1.) God will keep his promises to the OT patriarchs that they will inherit and live on the land on the new earth. They will dwell there forever and own it for eternity.
2.) The NT Christians will dwell in the new heaven in the Holy city. Yes we will all go here and there but the promise of the land will be kept by God forever to Abraham and the other OT patriarchs. I am very grateful for your help, thank you, Brenda in Idaho
Answer…….We may rest assured that God will keep his promises in the Abrahamic Covenant. And when God says something is going to last forever, I think he means forever! The Abrahamic Covenant was an unconditional pledge by God to grant the Promised Land unto the seed of Abraham (via Jacob) forever. (Genesis 13:15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.) It was also prophesied by Isaiah that Jesus would establish a kingdom for the seed of Israel on the Promised Land, and that his kingdom would never end. (Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.) This fact is again alluded to by Daniel and Ezekiel. (Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.) (Ezekiel 37:24-26 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. (the New Jerusalem) As we know, the New Jerusalem will come down out of Heaven to be linked up with the new earth, and provide the setting of God’s eternal residence (tabernacle) among all of his Saints. The New Jerusalem must serve as the Lord’s communion place with all of his earthly redeemed, as He has pledged in His word to dwell with all of his Saints from all ages, whether they be of the stock of Israel or from the grafted-in heritage of the Church. The Revelation also concurs with the OT prophets that the kingdom of the Lord would see him reigning over the world forever. (Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.)
The only complexity of understanding the fulfillment of the everlasting land covenant dealing with the Promised Land has to do with the concept of the time-dimensional progression. Our present world is configured with only 4 dimensions, (length, height, width, time) at least as far as modern man and cosmological science can determine. The eternal realm of Heaven is outside the scope of such physical constraints. Some scholars define “forever” as meaning only until the end of time, while others interpret it to mean evermore or everlasting, meaning even beyond the cessation of our time domain, and into the eternal state. The Hebrew word for “forever” as used in Genesis 13:15 is the word, “owlam” and refers to a vanishing point in eternity. It is a word that lends itself to the omnipotent and omniscient characteristics of the Lord God himself, who is described as the alpha and omega, the beginning and the ending. Jesus referred to himself in The Revelation chapters 1:8,11; 21:16; 22:13 as the alpha and omega, and adds that He will make all things new, (Rev. 21:5) with the former things (earth, old heaven, sea, curse of the old order) all being passed away.
The only other component of skeptical debate regarding the eternal possession of the Promised Land by Israel has to do with the questions about the eventual new earth. Within the scope of this debate is the discussion of whether or not the new earth as explained in Revelation chapter 21 is literally a new earth, or a refurbished and cleansed old earth. In the brand new earth scenario, the question must be raised as to how the Promised Land upon which the Jewish nation will dwell “forever” can be reconstituted, geographically speaking, from its old geo-physical properties on the old earth onto the new earth. On this issue, the Bible doesn’t offer much clarity, but given the fact that God will provide the redeemed of the earth with new heavenly bodies and that they still contain familiarities that allow for personal identification from the old order is evidence that God can also create a new earth with identifiable linkage to the old earth.Personally, I believe in the literal new earth and new heaven theory. Although this topic is not a doctrinal matter, and is open to conjecture, I think the Bible affirms that there will be a whole new creation, (see Isaiah 65:17-19, Isaiah 66:22, Psalms 102:25-28)
and, a literal place that equates with the prophesied kingdom of the Lord, and a country that will suit the promises made to Israel, and to the Saints.
(Hebrews 11:8-16 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
I believe this eternal better country is called “Beulah Land.” (Isaiah 62)
Question # 248…….(05-10-08) Will the OT Patriarchs inherit the land (new earth) to live on for all time and eternity, while the NT saints will live in heaven I have heard this. Please can you give me the support/explanation text. Thank you for the help. Brenda in Idaho
Answer……. I assume you are referring to the geographical distribution of land during the Millennial Kingdom of Israel. Such a major event as the second coming of Jesus Christ to this world is obviously going to cause a significant change in the order of the government of this world, and in the re-distribution of the nations. Let’s start by asserting one fact. Jesus will be the absolute KING over the whole world when He returns, reigning from his throne in Jerusalem, and He will dismantle and destroy all armies and weapons of the nations, and His law and judgments will be the absolute law of the land all around the world. (Isaiah 2:2-4 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.) Psalms chapter two further declares that the whole world shall be the Lord’s possession. (see also Psalms 72:8-11, 17-19, Daniel 2:35, 7:14, 27)
God’s divine plan to make the world into a kingdom unto the Lord begins and ends with Israel. The place of Israel and their restoration to the land and its redemption in the Millennium cannot be overemphasized, for Israel is the major player in God’s purpose to subdue the whole earth, and therefore to bless the whole world, thereby fulfilling God’s pledges in the original Abrahamic Covenant.
The OT prophet Ezekiel outlined the manner in which the land will be distributed among the 12 tribes of Israel when Jesus comes back and destroys the enemies of Israel. Jehovah has pledged to Israel that he will exalt her after he destroys her enemies. (Psalms 110:1 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.) The entire topography of the region will be altered, with the city of Jerusalem, and it’s Mt. Zion being elevated, and providing the source of a new river, symbolizing the river of life that ebbs out of the throne of God in Heaven. (Zechariah 14:8-10) Ezekiel chapter 37 reveals that Judah and Israel will be miraculously reunited as one whole nation under one king. Ezekiel 48 conveys that the Promised Land, under the Messiah’s reign will be distributed among the 12 tribes of Israel from the Euphrates River in the North down to the Nile River near Egypt for the southeastern border. This land distribution will range in latitudinal levels from the Mediterranean Sea eastward to a point just a few miles east of the Jordan River Valley. (Psalms 69:35-36 For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession. The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.)
The Revelation informs us that, as Christians, Jesus has made us kings and priests, and that together with the 12 tribes of Israel we will live and reign on the earth, in the service of the King. (Revelation 1:5-6 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Revelation 5:8-10 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.)
Human history on the present earth will end in the glorious one thousand year period in which Jesus Christ will reign supreme, in Jerusalem, and on this very planet. The Promised Land and its glorious capital city will be eclipsed in splendor only by the ultimate new earth and the New Jerusalem that will exist in eternity, as it is described in Revelation 21. There are no boundaries or land divisions in the eternal realm. The Saints of all the ages will be able to traverse the vast unimaginable reaches of God’s majestic Heavenly realm and experience the awesome wonders and handiwork of God as they wish. The Holy City of the New Jerusalem, wherein God and Christ will dwell, will have 12 gates and foundations commemorating the divine plan of God to utilize the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles of the Lamb to call all men unto the Heavenly domain, via the effectual sacrifice of the Worth Lamb! The Holy City itself will be a 1500 mile cube shaped city, which shall be suspended in space very near the new earth. (I Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him .) It is an incomprehensible thing for the mind of man to fathom the glorious Kingdom of God, and the innumerable pleasures that lay in store for a child of the Great King. John 14 conveys that the Lord has gone to prepare a place for us, (redeemed) and that He is coming back to receive us unto himself, and grant us the unspeakable privilege of abiding with him in his kingdom forever. Considering that the Lord took six days to create the wondrous world we now live in and the fascinating heavens that we can view, (Psalms 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.) they stand as a diminutive testimony of what glorious splendor the Lord over the last 2000 years has prepared for his children to inherit. (Matthew 25:31-34 When the Son of man (Jesus) shall come in his glory, (his kingdom) and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
The Kingdom of God, that grand eternal realm of the New Heaven will begin after the 1000 year kingdom of Israel has finished its course on this present earth, under the reign of the Messiah of Israel. Then the Lord Jesus Christ, after defeating the Devil and casting him into the Lake of Fire, will destroy the last enemy, the angel of death, and incorporate His kingdom unto His Father’s Kingdom! (I Corinthians 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he (Jesus) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.)
This is a very brief answer to a very deep and complex subject, but I hope it helps you to understand the basis of your question. This can be a confusing topic, but I hope that I have provided a simple, but clear answer. Thank you for contacting FOJ, and please feel free to inquire further if needed.
Question # 247…..(05-06-05) I tried to expand my faith as a Christian over the last year, but I had come to a huge road block regarding the issue of the Jews as God's Chosen People. I felt he was 'playing favorites." I looked to the bible and even asked several people for help with this concern, but never received a satisfying answer. I am going to take some time to ponder your thoughts on the issue. I think, with your help, I am beginning to understand that God did not choose Abraham, but Abraham chose God. Maybe you could also shed some light on another issue that has been concerning me spiritually. Even Abraham was a sinner, as we all are, but why would God choose to tell about the believers that were such great sinner? Noah who slept with his servant and conceived a child? Ruth? Samuel? Weren't there other believers that would have made better "heroes" for God? Thank you, EM Searching for Truth
Answer…… The lord God Jehovah CHOSE the man Abraham to become the Father of the family line/people/nation that would eventually become the vehicle (Israel) through which God would bless the whole world. This covenant (pledge of God) that was established between God and the obedient Abraham is known as the Abrahamic Covenant. (Genesis 12:1-4 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: 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: 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. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him;) The thing to notice is that God found a willing and obedient man to make a covenant with. Because of Abraham’s obedience, the lineage trail that would ultimately lead to Jesus Christ was blazed for all mankind’s behalf. Later, Abraham obeyed the Lord by offering his own son Isaac as a sacrifice, but as you know the Lord intervened to save Abraham’s son, and eventually sent his own Son as the sacrifice for all sin. We should never entertain any thoughts of ill-will towards Israel because Jehovah used them to send us His Son. For more on this topic, see FOJ’s article entitled, “Why God Chose Israel ”). Let there be no misunderstanding, the Jews are the Lord’s chosen people, as evidenced by the following scriptures: (Deut 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.) (Deut 14:2 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.) (Psalms 135:4 For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.) (Isaiah 41:8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.) (Isaiah 44:1 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen:)
All who choose the Lord’s means of salvation are his chosen people! (Have you ever noticed how Satan hates and persecutes Christians?) The question that should be asked when studying this topic is; “What if God hadn’t chosen Abraham and subsequently the nation of Israel”? If the Lord hadn’t chosen Israel, the world would be without hope, and the Christ would have never been born into this world. Had God chose another man, (other than Abraham) and his offspring had culminated in another nation that produced the Messiah, then that people would have become the chosen nation, and in light of being so chosen, the World and Hell would hate that nation, (as Israel is hated now) and inspire enmity against them.
All mankind has been guilty of sin. The Bible says: (Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:) The Lord and his salvation is so powerful that it makes great witnesses out of all rescued sinners. It has been said, those who are forgiven much make the best witnesses. But I believe that by using real life episodes of plain ordinary people (like you and I) with all our warts and imperfections, that the Bible shows more excellently the work the Lord can do in and through us when we submit ourselves to his will. The following parable spoken by Jesus is fitting for your question. (Luke 7:40-47 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.)
Question # 246…… (05-05-05) Could you please answer this question for me. Is it an accurate teaching that during the Millennial Kingdom animal sacrifices will be reinstated. I read that sacrifices would be reinstated to remind us during this period of what Jesus suffered for each of us. This is the first time I have ever heard this. Thank you for answering my question. May the Lord bless your Ministry.
Answer…….The only possible references whatsoever in the Bible that indicate that animal sacrifices will be reinstituted during the Millennial Kingdom of Israel is contained in Ezekiel’s vision of the future Temple for Israel. Ezekiel chapters 40-48 give finite details about the ultimate Temple of the Lord. This vision previews the Millennial Age Temple, wherein it is declared that the Lord himself will dwell with Israel forever. (Ezekiel 43:7) It is a fact that Israel will someday have a new Temple. The following scriptures refer to a future rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, a temple built by Israel’s Messiah. (Zechariah 6:12-13 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; (Jesus) and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.) (Amos 9:11 In that day (the Lord’s Day) will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:) (Acts 15:16 After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:)
The Temple to be built during the Millennium is to be built in relation to the re-gathering of the remnant of Jews back into the land of Israel in the Last Days, and the subsequent return of the Lord to save Israel from her enemies. (Ezekiel 37:21-28 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord Gord; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.)
It should be noted that the Millennial Temple will be the fourth temple to exist in Jerusalem. Bible Prophecy indicates that the Antichrist will permit Israel to rebuild a third temple in Jerusalem as part of the confirmation of the covenant, and peace and security package that he makes with many, in order to gain his brief empire during the Tribulation era. (Daniel 9:27, I Thess. 5:3, Isaiah 28:15-18) Apparently, the Antichrist will even allow the Jews to reinstate the sacrificial system at that time (first 42 months of the tribulation) because Daniel 9:27 further indicates that the Antichrist will stop the sacrifices at the midpoint of the tribulation, when He utilizes the 3rd temple to commit the prophesied abomination of desolation, when He enters into the new temple and literally presents himself in the temple as God. (Matthew 24:15, Daniel 9:28, 12:11, II Thess. 2:1-4)
Now then, let me emphasize this point, the future Temple of the Lord (4th) existent during the Millennium will be specifically intended for Israel (not the Church) and its ages old mission to the world. Jesus Christ himself shall build this temple according to the specifications spelled out in Ezekiel 40-48, and He, as the Prince of Israel will reside there and serve as Israel’s priestly King.
The pre-millennial perspective of eschatology maintains that the temple and its sacrifices will provide a suitable vehicle for the worship and service of God during the Millennium, and yet it is altogether for a different design than it was under the Mosaic Law. Jesus Christ will be dwelling in the Temple (exhibiting that sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary) The design of the sacrifice during the Millennium is to demonstrate to Israel a physical memorial of Christ’s finished work on Calvary. Millennium era sacrifices will probably be performed by Jesus Christ (Prince of Israel) himself to serve as a reminder to Israel of the moment they missed 2000 years ago, and as a ritual that points them back in history to the fact that it was necessary for him to submit himself as their Lamb of sacrifice. As Israel had been trained in the OT to look ahead to the sacrificial Lamb of God, then they will look back to its reality. Other scriptural references to this concept are found in the following places: Isaiah 56:7 66:20-23, Jeremiah 33:18. Zechariah 14:16-24 and Malachi 3:3-4)
But for the Church and for Christians, the Millennium era sacrifice is only a remembrance, one that finally serves only to join Christians with the redeemed of Israel. As Christians, we are the brothers of Israel, and grafted-in joint heirs of their promises, and we will exult at the prospect of their salvation and commemoration of Jesus atonement. The Lord Jesus will enact a new Covenant with Israel, (by writing his law in their hearts) (Jeremiah 31:33, 32:40; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Hebrews 8:10) and the old sacrificial system will hold no value, except as a reminder to Jews of His perfect sacrifice. The New Testament teaches that the blood of bulls and goats were no match for the blood of Christ. Christ’s One single sacrifice 2000 years ago served to expunge the sins of all sinners who apply his sacrifice to their need, and the remembrance of them, before God for all time. As the Lord’s Supper invokes the memory of Christ’s sacrifice for the Christian, so will the Millennium memorial sacrifice accomplish for Israel.
Hebrews 9:6-15 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Hebrews 9:23-28 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Hebrews 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
Hebrews 10:12-21 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God;
Hebrews 8:6-13 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Question # 245…….(04-19-05) I am just wondering, If God knew that his creation might fail him (like lucifer) and he had Jesus as his provision, could we also fail him in eternal life somehow and could he start this process all over again? I guess what I am asking is, are we assured of eternal life forever or could we fail God once we get to heaven and he would have to come up with another provision?
Answer….. I believe that when God says to us
as the “children of God” that we are the recipients of eternal life by virtue of
our faith in Christ, that He absolutely means and by no uncertain terms means
that we as the redeemed by faith will be rewarded with eternal life. (Romans
6:22-23 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have
your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is
death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)
Another promise is, that God, who has promised his children eternal life cannot
lie about the matter. (Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot
lie, promised before the world began)
Question # 244……(04-18-05) I was wondering what your perspective on the death and the selection of the next Pope was in light of end-times events.
Answer . . .
Like everyone, I am very
curious about whom the next Pope may be. I earnestly believe that Pope John Paul
II fulfilled a preparatory role for the soon to come False Prophet, and or the
Antichrist, and the culmination of the Laodicean church being conformed into the
Apostate church of the Tribulation era. This Pope (being from Poland) was unique
in that he was a Catholic Cardinal that came from behind the Cold War era Iron
Curtain, and was highly instrumental along with the political powers of the West
in bringing down the old Soviet Communist system of totalitarianism. As I ponder
the selection of the next Pope by the Vatican Conclave, I am very keen on the
prospect of the next Pope, or perhaps even another coming Pope (depending on
this current process) emerging from a geo-political and religious venue that
will have a connection behind the Islamic Curtain. Pope JPII worked masterfully
to produce a religious harmony between all the world’s religions, and his
ventures into the hotbed of the Middle East in 2000 probably set the stage for a
supernatural harmonic convergence of the 3 monotheistic faiths. (Islam, Judaism,
and Catholic/ecumenical Christianity) I think this unification will eventually
be realized with the rise of the Antichrist. As you know, we have all wondered
for a long time about the selection of the next Pope, and what his relationship
will be in the New World Order of the Last Days. But, in the field of Bible
Prophecy, we must always be careful to avoid bringing slander and discredit upon
the Word by making unsubstantiated predictions, so I will have to keep watching
the unfolding events regarding the Papacy, but to say the least, I am curious
because of the scriptural prophetic implications that are to be gleamed from
Revelation chapters 13 and 17. I noticed during the world-wide viewed funerals
that the Pope’s coffin contained an emblazoned Cross with a capital “M”
underneath which symbolized his devotion to the Queen of Heaven (Mary). The
letter "M" stood for Maria or Mary, the mother of Jesus. Pope John Paul was
devoted to Mary principally to Mary, as evidenced by his Papal motto was TOTUS
TUUS, which literally means Totally Yours. I believe that the Marian movement
that epitomized PJPII’S papacy will be instrumental in establishing the cult
worship of the Tribulation era beast, and in bringing about the universal
religion. Presently Cardinal Ratzinger of Italy is being touted as the front
runner to succeed PJPII. If he follows, (he is 78+ yrs old) then we may yet see
another Pope a little bit later. I am curious about a French/Jew named Lusitger
that is also a strong candidate, but apparently Israel is not very keen on his
selction. In my research, I also discovered that Pope JPII’s mother was a Jew.
In a book entitled, The Broken Cross, The Hidden Hand in the Vatican by Piers
Compton, it is reported that Pope John Paul II’s mother was a Jewish woman whose
last name was Katz, which was Polandised as Kaczorowska. Several times John Paul
II apologized to the Jewish people concerning the Catholic Churches’ failure to
do more in combating the Nazi’s and the extermination camps of the Holocaust. No
other Pope ever personally extended the presence of the Catholic Church to so
many countries as this one. He visited more lands than any Pope in history, and
those trips served to make the Papacy a unique global office. The media coverage
of the death/funeral of Pope John Paul II was seen on television by over two
billion people, nearly one-third of the world’s population, positioning the
deceptive doctrine of the Catholic Church as true “Christianity” and could be
vital in ushering in the end-time church that may well give rise to the
Antichrist and the False Prophet as prophesied in the Bible. By virtue of the
false doctrine of the Catholic Church and its promotion as “the” Christian
Church, the next Pope could sit in the seat of a false prophet and may be
uniquely positioned to become either the false prophet or the antichrist as the
world enters into the end-times. The basic tenet of biblical Christianity is
salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am
the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Question # 243…..(03-29-05) From reading Daniel chapter 11 the 21st verse through the 45th verse, I get the impression that the vile king introduced in chapter 11 verse 21 is the antichrist! But I don’t know who the king of the north is? Gog, I suppose, Iran, or maybe its the north country, by the river Euphrates (Iraq)? Also the beautiful holy mountain in Daniel 11:45 where the Antichrist comes to his dismay is it the holy temple in Jerusalem? Luke 21:20, when you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near! Matthew 24:15 So when you see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation spoken of through the prophet Daniel let the reader understand. Daniel 9:27 And on the wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation until the end that is decreed is poured out on him. These are just some of the things I’ve thought about while reading Daniel! What are you’re views concerning these verses?
Answer………The vile person depicted in Daniel eleven, who acts according to his own will, (John 5:44) and seeks to exalt himself as a deity, (II Thessalonians 2:4) and bring about the confirmation of the Holy covenant (Daniel 9:27) is indeed the Antichrist. However, the king of the north has parameters in history relative to the first coming of Christ, as well as the Second Coming. Daniel chapter eleven covers an entire prophetic paradigm from the geo-politics of the century before Christ’s 1st coming to the era of the Last Days and the emergence of the Antichrist, skipping from the first to the second between verses 21 and 35. The king of the north prior to the Lord’s first coming was of the Seleucid Dynasty in Syria. (hence many scholars argue that the king of the north is still a Syrian) The king of the north in the setting for the Lord’s Second Coming is likely the prince of Russia, as depicted by the prophet Ezekiel (chapters 38 and 39) as he locates this prince in the utter far north, and identifies him as the prince of Meshech. Also, Isaiah 43:6 and Jeremiah 23:8, 25:26, and 31:8 convey that the king of the north obstructs the return of the Jews to the Promised Land in the Last Days. This fact fits Russia to a tee. The king of the south in the first parameter was from the Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt, but it is quite likely that the king of the south in the Last Days will be from the royal masters of Saudi Arabia, the keepers of Islamic Mecca.
After the fall of Alexander the Great, the Greek Empire was divided up between four Greek Generals. Ptolemy took Egypt, Seleucus took Assyria, Cassander obtained Macedonia, and Lysimachus took Asia Minor. Antiochus Epiphanes IV, who reigned as the king of the Seleucid Empire from 175-163BC is cast in prophecy as a prototype forerunner of the Last Days Antichrist. Antiochus was the son of Antiochus the Great, and was a Greek Macedonian who grew up in Rome. The Seleucid Royal Dynasty, which became empowered after the fall of Alexander the Great, became embattled with the rising power of Rome for supremacy in the Middle East, and contended with the king of the south for control of Palestine. Finally, just decaeds to the arrival of Jesus, Rome gained the ascendancy through the efforts of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. In 169BC, Antiochus ordered his title to become, “Antiochus Theos Epiphanes”, which means God manifest in the flesh!(the Greek word Antiochus means to withstand, or to be a withstander) Antiochus overthrew the Jewish Temple priests and erected a statue in the Temple in his own honor, thereby establishing himself in history as the prototype for the coming Antichrist during the Tribulation. The Jewish feast of Hannukkah commemorates the cleansing of the Antiochus Temple abomination.
Daniel’s portrayal of the Last Days Antichrist in verses 41-45 clearly depict that the Antichrist will likely come into the glorious land (Israel) from the west and the north. He will confirm the covenant of Daniel (and alluded to in I Thessalonians 5:3…peace and safety) by incorporating the Arab world into a peace-craft resolution (Daniel 8:25) regarding Israel. After effectuating the peace covenant, and solidifying his power, he will permit the reconstruction of a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and move to exalt himself as god at the midpoint of the Tribulation. (the abomination of desolation) Then, upsetting news about massive invading armies out of the north (Russian-led coalition of Ezekiel) and east (Kings of the East of Revelation) cause him great concern. This setting opens the seals for the events thereafter (last 42 months of tribulation) that will climax at Armageddon. This is a subject which could easily grow into a lengthy book, but I hope this brief response will help you in studying Daniel.
Question # 242……(02-10-05) What do you think of the Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire as announced this week by Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas? Will it lead to peace? How does it play into Bible prophecy for the Last Days?
Answer…… The new cease-fire is nothing more than a goal-adjustment device that will enable the PLO-Hamas-Islamic Jihadists to regroup and re-galvanize their plans to dismantle Israel piece by piece. The Palestinians refer to cease-fires as hudnas. A hudna is a temporary truce that enables one to strengthen its position for a future attack. Mohammad was the Arab author of the concept of a hudna. He used cease-fires to tighten a noose around the necks of his enemies. Israel is agreeing to this cease-fire (hudna) out of political despair, and a genuine hope for peace, and as a result of the tremendous world pressure being heaped upon her. I would also reiterate that the term, “cycle of violence” is a misnomer. There is no such thing as a cycle of violence. There is simply the constant PLO permitted terrorist activity that requires Israel to wage war against the Palestinian perpetrators. Israel has taken immense care to single out the terrorists and their infrastructure in their counter attacks against terrorism. (remember the targeted assassinations of terrorist leaders?) The resulting decimation of the terrorists faculties by the IDF has made the numerous terrorist cells within the West Bank and Gaza see the need for a recess in their goal to destroy Israel. They are simply acquiescing to the Abbas political formula for a piece-by-piece annihilation of the state of Israel.
The new resolve of the Bush Administration to reinvest America’s clout into the Quartet’s Peace Roadmap will in effect slice Israel in half. That will in turn bring chaos upon all those who truly desire peace and it will also eventually bring the curse of God upon one particular nation. That nation is the United States. The US policy regarding the Middle East peace process (Bush Doctrine) is based upon the implementation of the 2-state solution. In truth, Bush’s 2-state solution is not a solution that bodes well for Israel, or for America. It is in fact an appeasement to a terrorist-led government (PA) that is masquerading as a new democracy, in order to mislead the Bush Administration into believing that Bush’s democracy wave is winning the day in Iraq and Palestine.
The cease-fire, and eventual founding of the state of Palestine will only serve to help establish geographical connecting links from terrorist outposts in place like Syria, Lebanon, and connect them with the Gaza sea and tunnel funneling system that comes from Iran. It will render America’s drive (war on terror) into Iraq as having been largely useless in the broad-ranging Middle Eastern war-on-terror. And lets remember the most important thing here; the war on terror is really all about Israel, and American support for Israel. New US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice recently said, “Without a viable and contiguous Palestinian state that represents the aspirations of the Palestinian people, meaning enough land to function well, there will be no peace for either Palestinian people or Israelis.” This foreign policy statement does not address the troubling problem of Jerusalem. A viable contiguous state of Palestine will lead to a dramatic war on Israel. The cease-fire will enable the terrorists to prepare for that next phase in their war on Israel.
Question # 241….(01-28-05) I have always heard that there will be crowns passed out in Heaven. Is that true, and what are they for?
Answer……The Bible indicates that there are at least five different types of crowns that will be rewarded to deserving people in Heaven. They include the (1) incorruptible crown, (2) the crown of rejoicing, (3) the crown of glory, (4) the crown of righteousness, and (5) the crown of life. The incorruptible crown will be awarded to those who have striven successfully to present themselves (physically and spiritually) as a good living testimony of the Lord in the promotion and sharing of the Gospel. (I Corinthians 9:25) The crown of rejoicing is offered to those who have excelled in leading people to Christ, personally. The joy of meeting those that you have personally led to the Lord in Heaven will be a call for rejoicing! (Phil. 4:1 and I Thess. 2:19) The crown of glory is reserved for the responsible pastors and shepherds of the flock, the churches of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 5:2-4 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.) Ezekiel 34 has dire words of warning for Pastors/Shepherds that feed themselves at the expense of the sheep.
The crown of righteousness is a crown specifically bestowed upon the portion of Christ’s Bride that excels in looking for his second appearing. Students of Bible prophecy should take comfort in the following words of Timothy. (II Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.) Loving the Lord’s appearing though involves more than just looking for him. The love for his appearing is a honing device that generates a sense of urgency in the soul of the believer. The watcher always seeks to occupy in this world, but also keeps one eye on the imminent blessed hope. The watcher knows that his citizenship is not in this world, and therefore since we are aliens in this world, we know that the god of this world seeks after our destruction. (Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.)
The fact that there will be crowns conveyed to people in Heaven by no means signifies a system of an elevated righteous hierarchy. Some people may feel insecure about the rewarding of crowns, but think about this—everyone in Heaven will receive a crown. A crown is a type of headgear that signifies a person’s high status or rightful authority. The Lord God does not want anybody in Heaven to feel embarrassed or ashamed, but he loves us so much that he wants to thank all of us for accepting His Son. In fact, once we all reach Heaven and receive our just rewards from God at the Judgement, we will all in one grand moment, in complete unison cast all our crowns at Jesus feet. (Revelation 4:10) Jesus Christ alone is worthy of adulation, and were it not for him, we would never receive the best reward of all…eternal life.