Saturday, March 5, 2011

Get Your Thoughts In Order--Trouble For The Neighbors

It is important to remember that all of the prophets addressed problems in their day while also speaking to future generations.  Many of these books have dual fulfillments.  Parts of their prophecies have been fulfilled while some  speak specifically to the last days.  Zephaniah is no different.  To him the Day of the Lord was that day when God judged Judah for the sin in the land by Babylon's hand.  However, it was also that day when the finality of God's judgement brings complete redemption to the land forever.  This has not happened, so Zephaniah is also pointing to the time shortly before the Great Tribulation and the ensuing return of Jesus Christ.  Much of the first chapter deals with Judah's transgressions; nonetheless, when did God destroy all of the animals and people and strip the surface of the earth.  Revelation informs us that this will happen in the Great Tribulation.  We will look at chapter 1 in depth later.

Yesterday, we established the warning that the Day of the Lord is near.  Zephaniah gives us hints about the earth just before Daniel's Seventieth Week begins. God used Babylon to partially fulfill judgment on the neighbors of Israel then.  Yet, not all that was mentioned about these lands has happened.  When looking at prophecy it is important to see where these lands are currently.  What we find is another dual fulfillment.  These same lands are causing Israel problems again today.  They will incur a future justice that will completely fulfill God's judgment on them for their treatment of His chosen.

Notice the present day location of Gaza (grey), Ammon (purple), and Moab (dark mustard).  The Gaza strip is one of contemporary Israel's constant threats.  Who currently holds IDF soldier Gilad Shalit?  Who lobs rockets and mortar fire at the Negev region of Israel constantly?  Who has a terrorist organization as their government elected as a result of a "democratic" process?  Who is funded like mercenaries by Iran itself?  Give yourself a cookie if you answered "Gaza".  

Notice Zephaniah 2:5, "Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites!"  The word Cherethites has an interesting history.  King David had a group of men that worked under him called the Cherethites.  They were "executioners" for him as they inflicted capital punishment. They were from Gaza.  Cherethite means executioner!  Hamas has boobytrapped civilian homes and children's toys in their skirmishes against Israel.  They have fired at Israeli soldiers from elementary schools and from mosques.  They have executed many Christians and opposition leaders.  One journalist entitled them, "Hamas, jihad mad executioners."  The Cherethites were also paid mercenaries and in a way so is Hamas.  Today, Hamas receives funds and direction from Iran.  Soon they will find themselves under the Heavenly Executioner's justice.  For their crimes against God's purposes the land of Gaza will suffer utter destruction. "I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant." (v.5) An American plan caused Israel to give this land up, but a battle near the Day of the Lord will see God giving this land back to Israel.  "And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity."

"I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border."  Zephaniah 2:8  What a verse!  It speaks of a people who are trying to redefine the borders of Israel.  What is all of the fuss in the news about today anyways?  The same border that this verse speaks of--well sort of--is part of our current news.  The point is that these jealous tribes were trying to steal covenant land from Israel then and the same thing is happening again now.  These countries, Moab and Ammon, are part of present day Jordan. Look at this attached article.   Abbas calls for full Palestinian membership in the UN  What about this article?  More nations will recognize Palestinian state, PA says  The nations of the world are bending backwards over themselves to redefine the borders of Israel.  They want to turn the West Bank into a Palestinian state.  A thorough study of the problem shows that there was already supposed to be a Palestinian state in the region.  It was Jordan.  The Palestinians were given the land of Jordan and the Jews were to receive the current land of Israel.  Here is a Wiki link to the history behind that.  British Mandate for Palestine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Both of these nations will be crushed shortly before the Tribulation.  Not only will the issue of the West Bank be solved, but the nation of Israel will increase its borders to include the East Bank.  This land was originally part of Israel anyways as you can see from the map above.  It was the land of Reuben, Gad and half of Manasseh.  It appears that a war will devastate this region shortly before the Day of the Lord.  Its destruction will be so massive that it will leave Jordan looking like Sodom and Gomorrah.  Israel will suffer also, but a surviving remnant will possess this land. "This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts."  Zephaniah 2:10 

We have a couple of other nations to talk about another day and we also want to confirm this from other prophetic texts.  That will be coming soon.  Should this all happen suddenly how is your relationship with Jesus Christ.  Time is quickly fading.  Look to Jesus now!  There is a "too late"! 

As In The Days of Noah--Godlessness in the Last Days

Israel and the Middle East

Friday, March 4, 2011

Get Your Thoughts In Order

"Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger."  Zephaniah 2:1-3

There are few serious students of the Word that doubt the coming of the Lord is near.  There is a general understanding that the Day of the Lord is upon us.  The Day of the Lord is that time when God removes all doubt as to His existence, yet men will still reject Him.  In the end, Christ will return, renew, restore, and reign for a thousand years.  Jewish days, however, begin at evening.  Before the dawning of that precious day the night of the tribulation will fall across the world and God's wrath will be poured out against the rebellion of men and angels.  Zephaniah gives us some details which happen shortly before the darkness of the Tribulation that envelops humanity.  "Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand:"  (1:7a)

"The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly."  (1:14)  Can you hear the warning sirens of the Holy Ghost screaming that the time is near?  Zephaniah is clearly telling his readers about the nearness of the Lord's day.  There are several signs that will herald that event; signs that can be seen forming around us as clearly as ominous storm clouds on the horizon.  God wishes men heed Him before that time so He issues one last warning before the onslaught begins.  Notice in the text above the repeated use of "before".  Notice the recurring admonition to "seek" before you cannot find.

"Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together," God pleads.  The Hebrew word for "gather" can mean to get your thoughts in order.  Come to your senses!  Wake up!  Pay attention!  God is yearning for mankind to understand their nearness to His justice.  He is extending grace still; even so, the decree that sends destruction is about to be issued.  BEFORE it comes, BEFORE God's anger and wrath abound, BEFORE the deluge of judgment come to your senses and repent!  Why is God seemingly shouting this warning?

"Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired."  Not desired? Kacaph--to turn pale, to blush, to have shame.  He is calling to a people not blushing at their sin.  Folks who do not have shame see no reason to repent.  They can't discern their guilt.  They don't understand that they are on a collision course with the holiness and might of an omnipotent, incensed God.  They have spurned His love and mocked the sacrifice of His Only Begotten.  God is emitting a clarion call to all so a few will repent and turn, but the majority will not turn!  Sad, isn't it?  Is this not the very thing we see in our day?

"It may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger."  For those who heed the call there is a hiding.  Those obeying the pleading voice of God will be sheltered from the storm.  They will not be present when the gavel of righteousness smashes against man's rebellion.  This is one of several Old Testament promises that parallel 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

There is still time!  It is still "before".  Hurry!  Make a decision!  There are many indicators that the hand of grace is about to be withdrawn.  We will look for those in Zephaniah soon!  Repent!  He is soon2come!

End Time Technology

Bug-sized spies: US develops tiny flying robots

External security cameras coming to 'real time crime center' - Standard-Examiner

Is the Navy Trying to Start the Robot Apocalypse? | Danger Room |

Christian Persecution

Taking Liberties: Taxing Church Attendance? -

Why does the West cave in to the lies and demands of Arab leaders? | San Diego Jewish World

PAKISTAN Punjab: Christians fear more massacres after churches and tombs are desecrated - Asia News

Pajamas Media » Mosques Flourish in America; Churches Perish in Muslim World

Ethiopian Muslims Burn Down Five Churches, More Attacks Feared

Israel and the Middle East

Obama 'Considering Every Option' On Libya - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

'PM told Abbas Israel demands to hold 40% of W. Bank'

Draftees' Motivation for Combat at Record High - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Pro-Shariah Rally in D.C. Postponed Amid Opposition -

Why does the West cave in to the lies and demands of Arab leaders? | San Diego Jewish World

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Blessings of Repentance

I thought that I would share the chiastic structure of the book of Joel.  God has a central message that is extremely important.  We are nearing the Day of the LORD and he wants to pour out His blessings on us but they are all contingent on repentance!  

 a.  Devastating locust invasion—(1:2-14) (Locusts are a type of demons) 
·         Four locust species are devouring the land
·         There is a destruction of grain—new wine and oil  (I am sure you know these types and shadows)
·         The trees are withering
·         Theme: dried up, empty, withering, destroyed, wailing, mourning
     b.  Suffering of all creatures due to the invasion—(1:15-20)
·         Short unit
·         Topic-The coming day of the Lord
·         “I will call on you, O LORD
·         All creatures, including animals, are suffering due to judgment
          c.  The LORD is the bringer of the locusts (He has withdrawn His protection) (2:1-11)
·         The Day of the LORD is near; destruction of agriculture
·         Locusts are warriors and soldiers
·         The earth and the heavens shake
·         The sun and moon are darkened
·         YAWEH thunders at the head of His army (2:10-11)
·         Judah becomes a desert waste
               D.  CENTER: God calls for repentance! The stress is on repenting to bring  the blessing (2:18-27)
a.  The promises that the devastation will be reversed—(2:18-27)
·         Reversal of the devastation of the four species that devoured
·         A restoring of the grain, new wine, and oil (Remember—Gospel types!)
·         The trees are rejuvenated (Psalm 92:12)
·         Theme: rains, watering, renewal, refreshing, filling, rejoicing, gladness
     b.  In the future all of Judah will experience God’s blessings (2:28-32 & 3:1-5)
·         Short unit
·         Topic-The coming day of the Lord
·         Everyone who calls  on the name of the Lord shall be saved
·         All will experience God’s blessings
          c.  In the future, The Lord will bring armies (remember the locusts of Revelation) to Judah to be  utterly destroyed by Christ
·         The Day of the Lord is near, blessing on agriculture
·         Warriors and soldiers gather
·         The heavens and the earth shake
·         The sun and the moon and the stars are darkened
·         YAHWEH thunders against the nations
·         Edom will become a desert waste

Today's News!  Can you see that the Day of the Lord is near?

Israel and the Middle East

Strange News--Rapture Cover Up?

As In The Days Of Noah--Wickedness In The Last Days

Christian Persecution

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Rushing of Nations

"Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us."  Isaiah 17:12-14

Much of this section of Isaiah reads like today's newspapers in so many ways.  While some of the prophecies here have been fulfilled by the diaspora of Judah brought about by the Babylonian Captivity, they also parallel events today as the diaspora returning from the destruction of 70AD continues.  Some of the prophecies of this section were never fully fulfilled after The Babylonian Captivity such as the oracle concerning the destruction of Damascus found in verse one of this chapter.  "The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap."  Could we be near the fulfilling of this destruction?  We certainly see how modern weapons systems such as nuclear weapons could bring this to pass.  Let's look at some indicators from this portion of scripture to see if a massive war on the horizon could bring the fulfillment of this verse and section.  Remember, unlike other so-called prophecies, the Bible has a 100 % accuracy rate; therefore, these things will happen?  They seem to be looming on the horizon now!

Could it be close because Israel is back in the land as this section of Isaiah describes? "For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land:"  Isaiah 14:1  This is important. Most of the tribes had already been sent away from their land by the Assyrians before the Babylonian Captivity.  They have not bee back in the land in a recognizable form since.  The return from Babylon predominately set Judah back in their land but the lands of the Israelites were not restored to completion.  Today, we have Israel returning to their land.  Remember the articles recently about Manasseh?   Lost Tribe of Manasseh Returns Home 

Could it be close as we have Egyptians at each others throats?  "And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom."   Isaiah 19:2  We just watched events similar to those explained here on the nightly news and they are still continuing today.  

Could it be a when the verses we began with from chapter 17 begin to unfold.  Surely, there is a rushing of nations.  There seems to be distress everywhere including the streets of our own nation.  We had better be ready because there appears to be a rush towards war and rage while we clamor for peace and safety.  The chapter ends not with safety but swift and sudden destruction.

Keep your eyes Christ-ward regardless!  

"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." 1 Thessalonians 5:3

Israel and the Middle East

New Defense System Foils Anti-Missile Attack from Gaza - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Iran Adopts Bill Clinton's 'New Middle East' Phrase - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Americans: War is Coming, Cut Off Aid to Arabs - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

IDF Retaliates for Sabbath Rocket Attacks - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

Downturn in Jewish-Arab Relations in Israeli Cities - Inside Israel - Israel News - Israel National News ***

Iran: We Have the Right to be in the Mediterranean - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

As In The Days Of Noah--Godlessness In The Last Days

British Doctors Told to Advise Women Abortion Safer Than Giving Birth -  Such a shame!  This is the mindset of those who wish to willfully reject the Bible.  They seek to push their godless agenda at all costs.
Homosexual America: Obama attacks nation's bedrock family values

Md. Gay Marriage Opponents Prepare for Referendum, Christian News, The Christian Post

Weird News--Rapture Cover-up? - 'UFO' Lights Up Brazil Skies