A Voice in the
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Mt23:37)
"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness [reeling] to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it." (Zech12:2-3)
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken." (Mt24:29)
"I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth. I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were broken down At the presence of the LORD, By His fierce anger. For thus says the LORD: "The whole land shall be desolate; Yet I will not make a full end. For this shall the earth mourn, And the heavens above be black, Because I have spoken. I have purposed and will not relent, Nor will I turn back from it." (Jer4:23-28)
In these days, as world events and posturings change on a daily (almost hourly) basis, it is not possible to lay out any concrete news facts that won't likely have changed by the time you read this. But we can make some fleeting observations, and understand the times in which we live as we enter a New Millennium.
On one hand we see Israel's neighbors, continually posturing themselves, desiring to "heave away" (Zech12:3) Israel into oblivion. There was a recent news tidbit about one of the major map/globe manufacturers whose recent release does not label "Israel" on their globes. It is "Palestine". Saddam Hussein has been moving armored divisions back and forth next to Iraq's western borders, just chomping at the bit, wishing all the Arab nations would gang up on Israel, and he, of course, would lead the charge. Even without an imminent ground invasion, there are now renewed concerns that he may start lobbing missiles across, into Israel.
On the other hand, there was a little news item with the following quote, "Dec 21,2000 -- A science fiction conference entitled Armageddon 2001, which was to have featured a countdown at Megiddo at midnight on December 31, has been cancelled because the majority of the speakers will not make the trip to Israel...due to the security situation.."
Armageddon (Zech12:11, Rev16:16, Joel3:12) is "science fiction"? A matter of make-believe? Something to scoff at and make light of? They have said, "..When the overflowing scourge passes through, It will not come to us, For we have made lies our refuge, And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves." (Is28:15b) They apparently don't believe in the coming of God's judgment.
While we might shake our heads at such a 'conference' and laugh it off as being crazy; what is Israel's leadership doing? As this is being written, they are continuing the scramble to get 'something' to agree to. Arafat, of course, we know what he is after, ultimately; Israel's total annihilation. Barak has his own political reelection agenda uppermost; not Israel's security interests. And Clinton is trying to establish at least -one- 'positive legacy' for his administration as he leaves office. There has been a rumor recently that he would like to become a 'world negotiator of nations' when he leaves office. A success here could put him on a fast-track for such a position. In the process, out of the desire to get a "peace agreement" at any cost, it is looking like Israel's borders will end up going back to their pre-1967-war lines, and the Palestinians will have major control over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount again. In fact, it seems many in Israel are so sure of this that they have already begun plans for fences and walls where these borders would revert back to.
[12-28-00 update: While tonight's news indicates the Palestinians seem to be rejecting the "Clinton Plan", there seems to be guarded acceptance of it by Israel... "subject to Knesset approval". What will the situation be by the time you read this..??]
God gave Israel some of His land back to them in 1967, but they are not trusting in Him regarding their security and sovereignty over it. He clearly commanded that "The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine.." (Lev25:23) But this is what they are doing. Selling "land for peace". Taking what God gave them, and throwing it away. But what is happening is "Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, saying 'Peace, peace!' when there is no peace. Were they ashamed..? No! They were not at all ashamed.." (Jer6:13-15)
Whatever is going to happen in the current round of negotiations needs to be summed up by Inauguration Day (Jan 20), as Bush's ideologies regarding the middle east do not seem to be turning out to be very pro-Israel. It has been said that he seeks to reunite his father's old "Arab coalition"...which, by definition then, is "anti-Israel". One cannot be 'friends' with Israel's avowed enemies, and still claim to be Israel's friend! One cannot "serve two masters" (Mt6:24) He may not be a Hindu tree-hugging baby-killer, but his stance towards Israel may end up not being all that different from what his opponent's would have been. Let us not forget, as we reminded ourselves during this past year, that the agenda his father coined was the "New World Order", and he is surrounding himself with many of the same advisors. In fact, Bush's new appointee, Colin Powell, was recently heard saying that Bush would just as soon that Clinton continue on as the Israel-PLO mediator to "wrap up the loose ends" even after he leaves office and Bush is sworn in. Bush doesn't seem to want to be bothered by the Israel-PLO 'mess'. He seems to have other fish to fry..! And... what do you suppose that any 'peace' agreement they do end up with, will require something on the order of 3 1/2 years to implement...before -it-, too, falls apart in the "middle of the week"? (Dan9:27)
Well, this is the political leaders. What about Israel's 'religious' entities? The "..prophet even to the priest.."? Surely, if Israel's religious spectrum of society is seeking God, God will honor, and bypass its political leadership and their decisions..?? Surely??
Possibly one of the most activist-ly devout entities in Israel today is the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful movement. They continually, for the last several years, at each Jewish Feast, drive the truck with a 'cornerstone' around, stopping at various significant locations, offering prayers. They have been preparing various implements and utensils for worship. Making plans with the desire to "rebuild the temple". Their leader, Gershon Salomon, continually speaks and sends out mail, quoting O.T. Scripture, and saying how -now- is "G-d's time" to rebuild.
But does he, even, know the Lord? During this past Chanukah they followed the path of the Maccabees. [Ed: not going to give a history lesson at this point on 'who' the Maccabees were.] As they started their Chanukah trek they stopped at the tombs of the Maccabees. And, in his own words from a recent e-mail, "..During Hanukkah we are going to Modi'in and to the tombs of the Maccabees to be with their spirit, to thank them for their godly revolution which they made in Israel which completely changed the dangerous history of their time and brought it back to the G-d of Israel and His holy Book.." Mr. Salomon also says, "More than at any time in the past, Israel needs the Maccabees, their values and their spirit.."
What did God say about those who went after the spirits? "And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people." (Lev20:6)
Israel may be in the land of God's promise, but they are yet in unbelief. I do not judge them. They are known "..by their [own] fruits.." (Mt7:20) And they are behaving as prophecy says they will. Their redemption is yet at least seven years away. The prophet wept over Israel in his day, as I do often today, "Oh, that my head were waters, And my eyes a fountain of tears, That I might weep day and night For the slain of the daughter of my people! ... And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies. They are not valiant for the truth on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil, And they do not know Me," says the LORD." (Jer9:1,3) As Jesus wept over Jerusalem, He desired to gather them under His "wings", but they "were NOT WILLING". (Mt23:37)
Mr. Salomon's group would like to build the temple. Many "christians" think God's prophecies are "stalled out" -until- the temple is rebuilt. That.. the 'need' is, to get the temple built. That 'then', prophecy can proceed. Apparently they have fogotten that "Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain." (Ps127:1) The TMF movement seeks after the "spirits of the Maccabees", but God said to Zerubbabel, "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of Hosts." (Zech4:6) Pretty much every pro-Israel "christian" carries the notion, like the Reconstructionists, that -man- must build the temple, for the Lord to come back. The 'Kingdom-now' people think that -man- must clean this world up, and many of them think that Bush is a "fine christian" to be stepping into the presidential slot to that end, in order for Christ to return; that Christ won't return until -man- has cleaned up the world and made it righteous by their efforts. They miss the fact that Scripture records that "the Man whose name is the BRANCH! ..shall build the temple of the LORD" (Zech6:12-13)
For a review of a recent writing and Q/A on this please see: "Temple Rebuilt"
When is the Lord going to come? His Second Coming can be calculated based on when the "covenant [treaty]" is "confirmed" for seven years. (Dan9:27) And we know about 3 1/2 years, 42 months, 1260 days. (Rev11) and 1290 & 1335 days (Dan12:11-12) But the "man of sin" isn't revealed until the Holy Spirit indwelt Church "comes out of the midst" (2Th2:3-8) When is that to happen? And when is the covenant to be confirmed?
To His own disciples, Believers, Jesus says, "..you do not know what hour -your- Lord is coming" (Mt24:42) to "..receive you to Myself.." (Jn14:3) You see, all these things which eventually -can- be calculated are waiting for the event of the "hour" which we "do not know".
Jesus said, further, that "..the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him." (Mt24:44) What is the nature of such 'unexpectancy'?
While everybody noticed the 'partial' solar eclipse over Washington, D.C. and New York City (where the UN, the world's government, is located) on December 25, as we observed a couple weeks ago that it was predicted and calculated; how many people noticed that on the 24th, a "50-yard [meter] space rock travelled over London" missing earth by a -mere- 480,000 miles. This piece of space rock that, had it hit earth, would have left a 3/4-mile crater, and destroyed an entire city at one go.
And... the news source said it appeared "WITHOUT WARNING".
Eclipses often portend God's wrath. God has often used from-space asteroids and ice balls to accomplish His will (Ex9, Josh10:11), and astronomical bodies coming within close proximity of earth while executing His wrath. (Lk23:45)
This time it was a "partial" eclipse. This time the space rock only flew "by". A warning? Just like an armed official will fire "warning shots" before the real conflict gets underway? There were many published speculations about the "coincidence" and possible "significance" of the "Christmas eclipse".
Remember that Biblical prophecy is centered on Israel. Yes, there is a certain "fulness of the Gentiles" (Church) which needs to "come in". (Rom11:25) But the other (primary) entity which needs to be 'positioned' correctly for the next events of prophecy to commence is -Israel-.
"Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, It will not come to us, For we have made lies our refuge, And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves." Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily. Also I will make justice the measuring line, And righteousness the plummet.." And notice... "..The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, And the waters will overflow the hiding place." (Isa28:15-17)
While NASA and astronomers are busy trying to 'map' all the objects flying through the solar system, God has special items designated since creation "for signs and seasons" (Gen1:14) which they know nothing about. When you first see that 'surprise' asteroid starting to burn in the upper atmosphere, if you even 'happen to' be looking in its direction to 'see' it coming, headed towards you travelling at 20 miles/second; 2-3 seconds (until impact) will not be enough time for you to 'take cover', before you have been destroyed.
Almost seven years ago God 'gave notice' to humanity when mythology's premier 'god', Jupiter, was was hit by comet fragments. We have recently had more shots "across-the-bow". Next, they will be coming straight for unregenerate man.
Israel, in unbelief, is on the brink of selling out God's Holy City, Jerusalem, to God's enemies, and giving away the land God covenanted to Abraham and his seed, "Isaac and Jacob". (Gen13:17, 28:13, 35:12, Ex33:1, Deu1:8,etc) When that happens, God will not stand idly by. They will suppose they have "peace", then. But that is -just- the conditions under which Gog/Magog come down upon her. (Ezek38:8,11) But God is "..zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great zeal" (Zech1:14) He says, "..with great fervor I am zealous for her" (Zech8:2)
Dear Believer: are you "purifying" yourself in anticipation of the "hope" of Christ's appearing? (1Jn3:2-3, Tit2:13)
Dear Unbeliever: you need to reject your pride and self-sufficiency. You need to lay aside your unbelief of God's promises that judgment -IS- coming. God has shot "across the bow" several times over the last few years. He "commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts17:30) While you can find all the doctrines related to Salvation at the website, the simple 'condensed' version is, "..whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.." (Joel2:32, Rom10:13)
When Christ is "revealed" as He calls up His Believers to join Him "in the clouds" (1Th4:17) -- that also begins the countdown to the "revelation" of His "wrath" (Rom1:18, Rev1:1, 6:17) Armageddon WILL come; it is not "science fiction". When the asteroids start honing in on planet earth; if man cannot even reliably shoot down an incoming ICBM, that he knows about and launched on purpose with a known trajectory, in anti-missile defense tests; how does he intend to shoot a rocket at a space rock to blow it up; especially when they pop up "out of nowhere"?
The article which began this ministry almost seven years ago, "Jupiter Today.. Tomorrow the Earth" closed with the paragraph, which we close with again here:
"If you wait til the comets and meteors are bombarding earth, it may be too late. "Behold, now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation." (2Cor 6:2)