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“The Paradigm” Book of the Month

Is it possible that this ancient paradigm has determined and is determining not only the American presidency but also the timing of current events, in some cases even down to the exact dates?

Could a mystery from the ancient Middle East have foretold the course of current events more accurately than any poll or pundit?

Could the ancient paradigm have pinpointed the exact date of the 9/11 attacks before anyone had any idea? Could the paradigm have determined the exact years of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Osama bin Laden, Donald Trump, and others?

And what does the ancient paradigm say about what is yet to come—our future? Could the paradigm even contain a warning critical for this hour and crucial for all to hear?

Be prepared to never see the world in the same way again. The Paradigm  contains a revelation that will challenge your very understanding of the issues we face today.

Click here for FREE sample chapter

 

Dr. Larry Bennett

This book is a must read for every pastor and should be read by every Christian. The writer, Jonathan Cahn, is giving prophetic insight into the ends times and he shows a parallel between the Old Testament story of Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings 16-18). The conclusions he makes parallels the story in the Old Testament to how things are shaping up on the world scene today.

 

 

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Dr. Larry Bennett writes from the perspective of an experienced warrior on the front lines, not one of an armchair observer. He has a strong apostolic/prophetic anointing and Dr. Bennett has served in many facets of ministry giving him the experience to share his knowledge to other leader’s. He has a strong anointing for marketplace ministry and wants to see the church rise to the new movement of releasing church members into the marketplace.
If you wish to contact Dr. Bennett you may do so through his email which is ch.larrybennett57@gmau/il.com, or call him at 863-206-2567.
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Cain, the First City, and the Mystery of Head Shaping

Life after Eden must have been a crushing disappointment for early humans, especially the First Couple. Forget about the burden of living under the cursetoiling to coax enough food from the ground to survive, the pain of bringing new life into the world, and all the rest. The realization that they had disappointed their Creator and condemned their children and their children’s children until the end of time to lives apart from Yahweh must have been nearly unbearable.

The Bible gives us very little on the rest of their lives. We only know the names of three of their children: Cain, Abel, and Seth. There must have been others and at least two of them were girls, because Cain and Seth both married and had children of their own. (See? The old question, “Where did Cain find his wife?” isn’t that hard to answer.)

It’s understood that secular archaeologists and historians won’t agree with much of what we believe about human history. That’s okay. We Bible-believing Christians don’t reject science when we interpret data through a biblical lens. Science is the process by which we collect and record information to test theories about the way things are. Analysis is what we do with that information after it’s collected. It’s not the science we often question, it’s the analysis.

Scholars do agree, however, that civilization emerged in the Fertile Crescent around 10,000 B.C. (Note: We’re using dates that are generally accepted by a consensus of scholars so we don’t get bogged down arguing about the timeline. That’s outside the scope of what we’re trying to do here.)  Agriculture, cities, writing, trade, science, and organized religion all developed in a broad arc that stretched from Egypt through the Levant and down into Mesopotamia.

This civilization is called the Ubaid culture by scholars. That’s not what the people who lived in it called it, of course; we don’t know what they called themselves because they never invented writing. The Ubaid civilization got its name from Tell al-`Ubaid, a small settlement mound in southeast Iraq where famous archaeologists Henry Hall and Sir Leonard Woolley dug up the first bits of pottery from those people between 1919 and 1924.

Map of Ubaid civilization sites in Sumer. The first city, Eridu, is on what used to be the shore of the Persian Gulf. (credit John D. Croft / CC-BY-SA-3.0).

This happens a lot with prehistoric cultures. The names of their entire civilizations are accidents of discovery, coming from wherever the first archaeologist, bored shepherd, or greedy tomb raider found the first bit of evidence from people we’d never heard of before. Let’s just hope when archaeologists 8,000 years from now discover the remains of our civilization, it’s not by stumbling across the shell of a Wawa or a Piggly Wiggly.

Archaeologists who study the Ubaid culture agree that it spread from Eridu in southeast Iraq, eventually going as far as what is today northwest Iran, northern Syria, southern Turkey, and the Levant (Syria/Lebanon/Jordan/Israel). The Ubaid civilization was typified by large unwalled villages, rectangular multi-room mud-brick houses, high quality pottery, and the first public temples. Crop irrigation developed by about 5000 B.C., so cereals and grains could grow in the dry climate that again dominated the region. The first city in Mesopotamia, and therefore the oldest city in the world, appeared around 5400 B.C. Although agricultural settlements like Jericho (c. 9000 B.C.) and Jarmo, east of modern-day Kirkuk in Iraq (c. 7100 B.C.) are older, Eridu, located in what is today southeastern Iraq, was remembered by later Sumerians as the first city, with a degree of specialization among its citizens not seen before in other settlements.

The Sumerian King List, dated to about 2100 B.C., records it this way:

After the kingship descended from heaven, the kingship was in Eridu. In Eridu, Alulim became king; he ruled for 28,800 years.1

Interestingly, the Bible may support this account.

Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech.

Genesis 4:16-18 (ESV), emphasis added

Some scholars, such as Egyptologist David Rohl, believe it’s possible that the “he” in the second sentence refers to Enoch, not Cain. The last word, Enoch, might be a later addition. In that case the builder of the city was Enoch, and the city was named for his son, Irad—hence, Eridu.

To speculate a little further, we can apply a rudimentary translation to the name Alulim and come up with “fourth man” (A = prefix + lu = “man” + lim, a contraction of limmu = “four”). Again, this is speculative and it may be way off base so don’t take it as gospel. But if it’s correct, then Alulim might have been Irad, the “fourth man,” or fourth generation, after creationAdam, Cain, Enoch, Iradand the first king of the first city on Earth, Eriduthe city which bore his name.

Regardless of its origins, what is most interesting about Eridu is that besides being the oldest city in Mesopotamia, and possibly the world, is that was also the home of the oldest and largest ziggurat in Mesopotamia. This was the temple of one of the most important gods of the ancient Near East. He was known as Enki to the Sumerians and Ea to the later Akkadians and Babylonians. Enki was the god of the sweet waters needed for life. He was depicted with two streams of water flowing from his shoulders that represented the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the main sources of fresh water in Mesopotamia.

Along with An (or Anu) the sky god and Enlil, the god of the air, Enki was one of the three most important gods in Sumer. He arrived very early in Sumer from Dilmun, probably the island of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. In fact, the Sumerians believed Enki personally created Eridu, elevating it from the marshy ground on what was then the shore of the gulf.

Enki was the god of magic, craftsmanship, and wisdom. Although Enlil was the king of the gods, Enki was the keeper of the mes (sounds like “mezz”), decrees of the gods that formed the fundamental concepts and gifts of civilizationeverything from religious practices to social interaction to music.

The Babylonian creation myth, the Enuma Elish, describes how everything on Earth came into being through the defeat of the chaos goddess Tiamat by Marduk, son of Enki/Ea, the chief god of Babylon. However, the older Sumerian story credits Enki with giving life to all things, including mankind, and names Enlil the slayer of Tiamat.

The differences in the story are at least partly due to the ebb and flow of power over the centuries. Each city in Mesopotamia had a patron god or goddess. The importance of a deity was, as you’d guess, tied to the fortunes of its city. Just as Eridu was the home of Enki, Enlil was chief deity at Nippur, Inanna (Ishtar) was supreme at Uruk, the sun god Utu was the patron deity of Sippar, and so on. To give you an idea of the incredible amount of time we’re dealing with, Enki ruled in Eridu for about 3,500 years before Marduk replaced Enlil at the head of the Mesopotamian pantheon, an event linked to Babylon’s emergence as the region’s dominant power in the 18th century B.C.

That’s about the same amount of time that’s passed between Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt and you reading this sentence.

This essay is not in any way a thorough review of life, culture, or religion in ancient Mesopotamia, but there is one more aspect of life in the ancient Near East to call to your attention. It’s something we usually only hear about from fringe pseudo-scholars who blame the phenomenon on extraterrestrials. Scholarsarchaeologists and sociologists—have known at least since the late 1940s that people throughout Mesopotamia, before they learned how to write, figured out how to turn their children into coneheads.

It appears, based on human remains dated to between about 10,000 B.C. and 3500 B.C., that cranial deformation was widespread in the Ubaid culture, and Eriduthe world’s first city, possibly built by Cain or his sonwas Ground Zero for head shaping. An archaeological dig at Eridu just after World War II discovered about a thousand bodies that were buried during the Ubaid. Of the 206 sets of remains the archaeologists exhumed, “all of the crania had been deformed in one fashion or another.”2

Got that? 206 out of 206. Not a few, and not just the elites. It appears that everybody from every strata of the Eridu culture had a deformed skull.

Deformed crania from the Ubaid culture site at Seyh Höyük in Turkey (photo by Kirsi O. Lorentz).

Now, instead of asking why, the lead archaeologist decided “earth pressure” after burial was the cause2even though none of the skulls were cracked or broken, which would be expected if the deformations had occurred after death.

Evidence of head shaping has been found at sites all over Iraq, southwestern Iran, eastern Turkey, the valleys of the Zagros mountains, and the western shores of the Persian Gulf, dated from 7500 B.C. to about 4000 B.C. After that, the practice seems to disappear.

Hmm. If we place a global flood sometime between 4000 and 3500 B.C….

 

1 Black, J.A., Cunningham, G., Fluckiger-Hawker, E, Robson, E., and Zólyomi, G. “The Sumerian King List: Translation,” The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/section2/tr211.htm), retrieved 12/24/16.

2 Coon, C.S. “The Eridu Crania: A Preliminary Report,” Sumer 5, 1949, p 103.

To go much deeper with author and Biblical History Researcher Derek Gilbert read his recent book “The Great Inception”

 

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Derek Gilbert Bio

Derek P. Gilbert hosts SkyWatchTV, a Christian television program that airs on several national networks, the long-running interview podcast A View from the Bunker, and co-hosts SciFriday, a weekly television program that analyzes science news with his wife, author Sharon K. Gilbert.
Before joining SkyWatchTV in 2015, his secular broadcasting career spanned more than 25 years with stops at radio stations in Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Little Rock, and suburban Chicago.
Derek is a Christian, a husband and a father. He’s been a regular speaker at Bible prophecy conferences in recent years. Derek’s most recent book is The Great Inception: Satan’s PSYOPs from Eden to Armageddon. He has also published the novels The God Conspiracy and Iron Dragons, and he’s a contributing author to the nonfiction anthologies God’s Ghostbusters, Blood on the Altar, I Predict: What 12 Global Experts Believe You Will See by 2025, and When Once We Were a Nation.

Mount Hermon: Secret Abode of the Gods

It is significant that the phrase translated “cast them into hell” in 2 Peter 2:4 is the Greek word tartaroo, a verb meaning “thrust down to Tartarus.” This is the only time in the New Testament that the word is used, meaning it requires special attention.

Tartarus was separate from Hades, a place of torture and torment even lower than Hades in Greek cosmology. It was believed to be as far below Hades as Earth is below Heaven. And Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, chose that word to describe the punishment reserved for the angels who had engaged in illicit sexual relations with human women. Stick a mental bookmark there because we’ll have to come back to this.

The extra-biblical books of Enoch and Jubilees expand on the story, adding detail and context that’s not in the Bible. Mount Hermon is where two hundred Watchers, a class of angelic being mentioned in chapter 4 of the book of Daniel, descended and began cavorting with human women. From these unions came the Nephilim, the giants of Genesis 6.

The Watchers, according to Enoch, were led by Semjâzâ, who was apparently worried that he’d take the fall for what they were about to do:

And Semjâzâ, who was their leader, said unto them: ‘I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.’  And they all answered him and said: ‘Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.’  Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended ⌈in the days⌉ of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon…

The Book of Enoch 6:3-6a (R.H. Charles translation)

The trade offered by the Watchers was knowledge, just as it was in Eden. In exchange for the pleasures of the flesh, Semjâzâ and his minions offered charms and enchantments, astrology, the art of making weapons, cosmetics, and writing, among other things—presumably arts humans would have developed or discovered over time rather than downloaded on society all at once.

However, the giant offspring of these unholy unions, the Nephilim, pillaged the Earth and endangered humanity. They consumed everything men had. When that wasn’t enough, they began eating people and even each other. Enoch describes the giants as creatures of insatiable desire who threatened to terminate the bloodline of the future Messiah by violence—and, apparently, by corrupting the human genome.

The Book of Jasher suggests that the transgression of the Watchers and the Nephilim went beyond corrupting humankind, including “the mixture of animals of one species with the other” (Jasher 4:18).

We can only speculate as to what that was about. Was this where the legends of chimeric beings like centaurs and satyrs began?  Or were they legends at all?  But we do know that Yahweh sent a flood that rid the earth of all flesh except for the eight people and the animals aboard the ark. The Watchers who started it all, according to Peter and Jude, are chained in Tartarus, and they’ll stay there until “the judgment of the great day.”

But Mount Hermon’s role in history didn’t end with the flood of Noah. Another group of fallen bene elohim set up shop on the mountain after the showdown at Babel.

According to Belgian scholar Edward Lipinski, Hermon was known to the ancient world not only as the secret dwelling place of the Anunnaki, it was the mountain of the divine assembly of the northwest Semitic god El, the creator god of their pantheon. [iii]Mount Hermon is where El held court with his consort Asherah and the “seventy sons of El.”

Remember that number. We will see it again.

El was a name that came to be used in Hebrew as a generic term for “god”—El, Elohim, El Elyon, etc. It’s possible that the epithet El Shaddai, possibly meaning “god of the mountain,” was applied first to El. Another Mesopotamian god, Amurru, was called “Bel Šade,” or “lord of the mountain.” (The š sounds like “sh.”) This was another PSYOP by the Fallen—appropriating a name by which Yahweh identified Himself to confuse things. In Exodus, Yahweh told Moses that it was by the name El Shaddai, usually rendered “God Almighty” in our English Bibles, that He introduced Himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 6:3). That’s why Jacob became Isra-el, not Isra-yahu.

Of course, skeptics take this to mean that Jews and Christians are confused about who we worship. It’s El, they claim, and the followers of Yahweh are so dense we’ve gotten it wrong for the last 3,500 years. In point of fact, however, it’s the skeptics who have fallen for another PSYOP by the Enemy, who don’t care what we believe as long as it’s not the one thing that’s true.

But make no mistake: El of the Canaanites was not Yahweh of Israel, and Yahweh was not El. In the Canaanite pantheon, El was a figurehead. Real power was wielded by Ba`al, the king of the gods. In the Canaanite myths, there was a power struggle between the gods over who would hold that title, and El didn’t seem to have the power or the will to just pick a winner. Neither did he seem all that interested in ruling himself. If you had to pick a word to describe El, it would be “semi-retired.”

That is definitely not the God of the Bible.

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One of the fascinating aspects of the story of Gilgamesh is that archaeologists generally consider him a real, historic character. In 2003, a team digging at the site of ancient Uruk believed they’d found the tomb of Gilgamesh beneath what was the former course of the Euphrates River—but their discovery came a month after the United States military invaded Iraq in 2003, which put a stop to the dig.

Scholars have known for years that there are parallels in Mesopotamian legend and the biblical accounts of the patriarchs. Enoch is similar to an antediluvian king named Enmeduranki, and Noah is variously called Utnapishtim (Babylon), Ziusudra (Sumer), and Atra-Hasis (Akkad), depending on which culture wrote the story. But even those accounts are part of a supernatural PSYOP. For example:  The accounts from Mesopotamia portray Gilgamesh as a mighty warrior, a hero, two-thirds god and one-third man. He has adventures and slays monsters, notably Humbaba, or Huwawa, the defender of the faraway cedar forest who’d been assigned to terrorize humans by the god Enlil.

Scholars believe Humbaba might also have been pronounced “huwawa.” Dr. David Livingston, founder of Associates for Biblical Research, points out that Huwawa sounds a lot like Yahweh. If he’s right, then it’s possible we’ve discovered another Enemy PSYOP:  The real mission of Gilgamesh, as the Fallen wanted Mesopotamians to understand it, was to kill the monstrous guardian of the secret home of the gods—Yahweh.

In our first article, we showed how the anointed guardian cherub of Eden, the nachash who lured Adam and Eve into sin, was cast down from God’s holy mountain to become lord of the dead. We will show in a future article in this series why Jesus chose Mount Hermon for several very specific incidents—strategic events aimed at the rebellious bene elohim. So to avoid repeating ourselves, we’ll hold some information back until later in this series. But we’ll share this: The people who lived in the Levant in the ancient world knew that Bashan, the kingdom of Og at the base of Mount Hermon, was known as the literal entrance of the netherworld.

Consider this: Is it possible that the foul reputation of Mount Hermon and the region of Bashan grew out of an historic event—the literal fall from Eden, God’s holy mountain, by the rebel who was cast down by God?

Many scholars have noted the similarities between Eden and the garden of the gods sought by Gilgamesh, the secret dwelling place of the Anunnaki. If Hermon was Eden, it could explain why the rebellious gods who want to establish their own mount of assembly have been drawn to it—to defile it—since the beginning of time.

[i] Lipinski, Edward. “El’s Abode: Mythological Traditions Related to Mount Hermon and to the Mountains of Armenia,” Orientalia Lovaniensa Periodica 2, 1971, p. 19.

[ii] Heiser, Dr. Michael S. “The Nephilim,” Sitchin is Wrong.com (http://www.sitchiniswrong.com/nephilim/nephilim.htm), retrieved 12/16/16.

[iii] Lipinski, op. cit., p. 69.

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Derek Gilbert Bio

Derek P. Gilbert hosts SkyWatchTV, a Christian television program that airs on several national networks, the long-running interview podcast A View from the Bunker, and co-hosts SciFriday, a weekly television program that analyzes science news with his wife, author Sharon K. Gilbert.
Before joining SkyWatchTV in 2015, his secular broadcasting career spanned more than 25 years with stops at radio stations in Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Little Rock, and suburban Chicago.
Derek is a Christian, a husband and a father. He’s been a regular speaker at Bible prophecy conferences in recent years. Derek’s most recent book is The Great Inception: Satan’s PSYOPs from Eden to Armageddon. He has also published the novels The God Conspiracy and Iron Dragons, and he’s a contributing author to the nonfiction anthologies God’s Ghostbusters, Blood on the Altar, I Predict: What 12 Global Experts Believe You Will See by 2025, and When Once We Were a Nation.

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Sons of God, Fathers of Giants

While the early Sumerians were figuring out how to grow crops without rain, interesting things—historic things—were happening far to the northwest. The second peak in our chronological list of spiritually strategic holy mountains is Mount Hermon.

Hermon is the highest, most majestic peak in the Levant. At 9,200 feet above sea level, it dominates the Golan Heights on the border between Israel and Syria, anchoring the southern end of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains. It has been considered sacred for most of human history.

Mount Hermon was a holy site as far back as the old Babylonian period, nearly two millennia before Christ, and probably even earlier. In the Old Babylonian version of the Gilgamesh epic, which dates to the 18th century B.C. (roughly the time of Jacob), “Hermon and Lebanon” were called “the secret dwelling of the Anunnaki.” The Ninevite version of the poem, written about 600 years later, describes the monster slain by Gilgamesh, Humbaba (or Huwawa), as the guardian of “the abode of the gods.”[i]

The Anunnaki were the seven chief gods of the Sumerian pantheon: Anu, the sky god; Enlil, god of the air; Enki, god of the earth; Ninhursag, mother goddess of the mountains; Inanna (the Babylonian Ishtar), goddess of sex and war; Sîn, the moon god; and Utu, the sun god. They are mentioned in texts found in what is today southeastern Iraq that date back to the 27th century B.C. So the more recent versions of the Gilgamesh story from Babylon and Nineveh may remember more ancient traditions.

The name Hermon appears to be based on a root word that means “taboo,” similar to the Hebrew word kherem, or “devoted to destruction.” The word is often translated into English as “under the ban.”

The first appearance of the word in the Bible is Exodus 22:20: “Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction (kherem).” But the ban wasn’t just invoked against disobedient Israelites. Some of the inhabitants of Canaan were also declared kherem by Yahweh—specifically those that were known to be giants, or at least descended from giants.

That begs the question:  Where did the giants come from?  A curious episode is recorded in the first four verses of Genesis chapter 6:

When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.”

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

Genesis 6:1-4 (ESV)

Scholars have debated the meaning of the term “Nephilim” for millennia. Most believe it comes from a Hebrew root, napal, meaning “to fall” or “cast down”—literally, “fallen ones.”

However, Bible and ancient language scholar Dr. Michael S. Heiser, author of the excellent book The Unseen Realm (highly recommended) and the new book Reversing Hermon (ditto), contends that this cannot be correct:

The form nephilim cannot mean “fallen ones” (the spelling would then be nephulim). Likewise nephilim does not mean “those who fall” or “those who fall away” (that would be nophelim). The only way in Hebrew to get nephilim from naphal by the rules of Hebrew morphology (word formation) would be to presume a noun spelled naphil and then pluralize it. I say “presume” since this noun does not exist in biblical Hebrew — unless one counts Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33, the two occurrences of nephilim — but that would then be assuming what one is trying to prove! However, in Aramaic the noun naphil(a) does exist. It means “giant,” making it easy to see why the Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) translated nephilim as gigantes (“giant”).[ii]

In short, the Jewish scholars who translated the Old Testament into Greek about two hundred years before the birth of Jesus clearly understood that the Nephilim were giants, not just men who “fell away” from God.

Likewise, the Hebrew words translated “sons of God” in the passage, bene elohim, refer to divine beings, not mortal men. Now, that hasn’t been the consensus among Christian scholars since about the 5th century, thanks to the great theologian Augustine. He popularized the “sons of Seth” theory to explain away the weird supernatural element of the passages above. In short, the Sethite view is that the sons of God were men from the godly, righteous line of Seth who began intermarrying with women from the corrupt, wicked line of Cain.

Frankly, this defies logic on several points:

  1. How likely is it that all the Sethite men were good while all the Cainite women were bad?
  2. We’re supposed to believe Cainite men never married Sethite women?
  3. Why would these unions produce Nephilim, understood to be giants by Jewish rabbis and early Christians alike?
  4. Why would these unions lead to wickedness so great that God had to wipe out everything that walked the earth except Noah, his family, and the creatures in the ark?
  5. Every other use of bene elohim in the Hebrew scriptures refers to divine beings.

Problems with the supernatural understanding of the text usually focus on whether angels and humans could successfully produce children.  Proponents of the Sethite view often point to Jesus’ teaching on the resurrection of the dead:

For in the resurrection [people] neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

Matthew 22:30 (ESV)

The key words are “in the resurrection” and “in heaven.” Noah’s neighbors were flesh and blood, not resurrected, and the angels who “came in to the daughters of man” were most definitely not in heaven.

There are several examples in the Bible of divine beings interacting with humans in physical ways—eating, drinking, and even engaging in a dustup in front of the house of Lot (Genesis 19:5-11). Why couldn’t they procreate as well?

The final nails in the coffin of the Sethite view are the references to this event in the New Testament. Both Peter and Jude refer to the only example in scripture where angels transgressed:

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

2 Peter 2:4 (ESV), emphasis added

And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Jude 6-7 (ESV), emphasis added

If there was any doubt about what the angels did that deserved punishment, Peter and Jude clarified things. They specifically identified the sin of the angels as sexual by linking it to the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Crossing the species barrier between angel and human is just as taboo as the barrier between human and animal.

 

[i] Lipinski, Edward. “El’s Abode: Mythological Traditions Related to Mount Hermon and to the Mountains of Armenia,” Orientalia Lovaniensa Periodica 2, 1971, p. 19.

[ii] Heiser, Dr. Michael S. “The Nephilim,” Sitchin is Wrong.com (http://www.sitchiniswrong.com/nephilim/nephilim.htm), retrieved 12/16/16.

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Derek Gilbert Bio

Derek P. Gilbert hosts SkyWatchTV, a Christian television program that airs on several national networks, the long-running interview podcast A View from the Bunker, and co-hosts SciFriday, a weekly television program that analyzes science news with his wife, author Sharon K. Gilbert.
Before joining SkyWatchTV in 2015, his secular broadcasting career spanned more than 25 years with stops at radio stations in Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Little Rock, and suburban Chicago.
Derek is a Christian, a husband and a father. He’s been a regular speaker at Bible prophecy conferences in recent years. Derek’s most recent book is The Great Inception: Satan’s PSYOPs from Eden to Armageddon. He has also published the novels The God Conspiracy and Iron Dragons, and he’s a contributing author to the nonfiction anthologies God’s Ghostbusters, Blood on the Altar, I Predict: What 12 Global Experts Believe You Will See by 2025, and When Once We Were a Nation.

Bagel and Lox Judaism

A rare opportunity to share with Jewish people

A majority of Jewish people are secular. One rabbi defines secular Judaism as a “Bagel and Lox Judaism.” Many Jewish people eat bagels and lox, except for those of us who don’t like fish; we eat bagels and cream cheese instead. And many Jewish people watch “Fiddler on the Roof” and Charlton Heston play Moses in the movie “The Ten Commandments.”

Many Jewish people identify with other Jews by the things they do and share in common, which too often does not include a pursuit of God and the Hebrew Scriptures. But there is a time of the year when the door cracks open and Jewish people think about spiritual things.

Every year in September, many Jewish people celebrate the High Holy Days (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). More often then not, these are the only days they attend religious services. These days are very serious and offer us a rare opportunity to engage Jewish people in spiritual conversations.

In the next two articles, I will give you different questions you can ask your Jewish friends. These are questions that can provide you with an opportunity to share the Good News that Yeshua has provided atonement for our sins.

I can list the questions, and share a little about them, but these articles will only wet your appetite for more. I want to encourage you to invite me to speak at your congregation to share these questions, and to teach people how to answer them from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).

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Rabbi Ron Goldberg is a Messianic follower of Yeshua and he teaches the importance of understanding the Hebrew roots and heritage throughout the world. He speaks regularly to all denominations and faiths about his life journey growing up as an orthodox Jew and how he came to trust Yeshua as the Messiah.
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The Great Falling Away and The Days of Lot

In our last article, I addressed the most common question that I am asked by people who are curious about Bible prophecy, “why prophecy?  Why now?” How do we really know that we are living in the “last days?” For myself, the answers can be found in the words of Jesus in Luke 21. In this passage Jesus gave us two very specific events that we know have happened in human history.  The first was that there would come a day when Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed and all the Jews would be dispersed throughout the world. This was primarily fulfilled in 70 A.D. when Rome did just as Jesus predicted.  The second part of what Jesus said, “Jerusalem would be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles is fulfilled.”  In other words, there would come a day when Jerusalem would no longer be controlled by Gentiles.  

Israel became a nation again in 1948, but it wasn’t until 1967 that Jerusalem came back under Jewish control.  This recent event is the direct fulfillment of the words Jesus spoke almost 1900 years ago.  Let’s be honest, after 1900 years we just might need a little help in making a case that Jesus could actually be coming soon.  Then in the same passage Jesus says, “When you see these things happen, then stand up and lift up your heads because your redemption draws near.”  As Christians we are called to know our Bibles and to know what is happening in the world today.  When we see these two things converge, then we must begin to try and wake up the world to the impending return of Jesus. I believe that the church today as a whole is either not aware of the prophetic parts of the Bible or they are not aware of what is happening in the world today.  To this end we will use this series of articles, along with the clear cipher given to us by Jesus, to show that the Bible and our newspapers are converging like never before.

As we begin searching for the convergence, I want to bring the following passage to your attention:  

  • 2 Thes 2:1-4 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first (rebellion / apostasy / departure / revolt), and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition/Apollyon; 4 Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. KJV

While we are not going to take on all of this passage on right now, I do want to make it plain that before Jesus comes, there is going to be a great falling away.  Other translations use rebellion, apostasy, departure and revolt. While there are certainly other theories about the full extent of what this word means, I am going to cover this from the more traditional perspective.  Just for another perspective, there was an interesting article in “Prophecy Watchers” on 05/2017 by Dr. Andy Woods where he outlines that historically “falling away” could also be translated departure. Dr. Woods believes that this departure is likely to refer to the rapture. While the article represents an interesting possibility, the problem for me is that the entire passage is emphatically trying to show that there are going to be some pre-requisites to the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.”  Dr. Woods does not include the first two verses, but they are unique in that they directly address two separate events. Whether they happen on the same day is up for debate, but neither of them can happen until the man of sin is revealed, sitting in the temple of God and showing himself to be God.  Since this “Abomination of Desolation” happens in the middle of the tribulation, many have used this passage to justify their belief in mid-tribulation rapture.  For most of us, the idea of the church being gathered to Jesus is typically thought of as the Rapture of the church. So if the rapture cannot happen until the departure — which is the rapture — then this passage just doesn’t make any sense.  Why can “the rapture” never happen until the rapture happens? Unless the gathering, like the one mentioned in Mark 14:27, is not the rapture or there is more than one rapture. Stay with me on this as this next point as it gets a little tricky. Some have asked the question just how the first rapture, which resurrects the dead and provides an escape for the church, wouldn’t also be necessary for those who are killed or survive the tribulation. Nonetheless, this is a can of worms that I am not willing to open up right now. If you are interested in examining the rapture further, then I recommend the series “Introduction to Prophecy,” which you can find on my website at prophecydays.com. When it comes to the rapture, I believe God has simply left us to debate these things and I would never break fellowship over something like the rapture.  Gary Stearman of “Prophecy Watchers” seems to agree that even though there is a great deal of disagreement over the rapture, that we shouldn’t separate further based on this issue.  See the article by Gary titled, “Things Hard To Be Understood, Peter, Paul And The Church.” For myself, I believe that God did not give us prophecy to predict the future, which even includes the rapture. I believe God gave us prophecy so that we would know that God knows the future.  This means there is a heavy veil over prophecy and that we may not know some things are going to happen until right before or sometimes after they happen.  For now, let’s proceed with the idea of a great falling away of the church as being a sign of the soon coming of Jesus.  

When I think about other passages that might give us some more information about exactly what this coming great decline in faith might look like, I think about 2 Timothy 3:1-9.

  • But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. NKJV

While I do think this passage speaks for itself, I do want to point some things out.  The first is that this passage tells us when this situation will happen, “in the last days.” While the laundry list of evil is certainly impressive, I tend to run through most of them thinking, “exactly what is specific to the last days?”  It seems like most of this could be said about many eras in human history.  But then comes several very interesting details – “having a form of godliness, but denying its power.”  For me this is so definitive of the New Age Movement because they are so pushing for all this good in the world without acknowledging the presence of God because they are attempting to turn all of us into gods.  Of course, this is the signature temptation of the Devil and as such we would expect his children to continue to use it.  Since the time of Christ, I don’t believe that we have ever had a time where mankind is so obsessed with being good, but then they turn around and deny that there is a God.

The next phrase that sends me into some serious contemplation is, “always learning, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.”  This is a direct reference to the educational system that is in place in the last days and it matches the education system of higher learning that we have today. Never has there been a time where knowledge has increased like there is today, and yet, morally and socially we are going backward everywhere in the world.  The world has gone literally crazy!  The last morsel of deeper truth that is likely to present in this passage about the “last days” is the mention of Jannes & Jambres.  This is a clear reference to when Moses opposed by the evil magicians in Pharaoh’s court when he demand that the children of Israel be let go. (Exodus 7:10-12)  These magicians were able to cause their rods to become snakes, and they represent powerful unseen entities that are warring against God.  What I am saying is that along with this decline of the church, there is going to be a corresponding surge in evil. This may be linked to the opening of the Abyss in Revelations 9.  

The idea that we could face this kind of demonic resistance again or that there could be one last “golden pagan age” that happens just as we head into the “last days” should be somewhat shocking or at least a foreign idea to most of us.  This is something that the church just hasn’t really faced since its early history.  I honestly believe that the reason for this is because when Jesus came out of the grave, He took dominion over this unseen realm.  Wherever the church and the gospel have encountered occultism around the world, it has dried up to the point that people really wonder if there is anything supernatural in the world today.  As modern Christians we have trouble understanding how Jesus cast out demons left and right or that people really worshipped gods of wood and stone, but our Bible says that it is real with real power behind them.  More importantly, as we get closer to “last days” that we are likely to see a return of occult power that will fascinate people and entice them in.  This is why more women leave the church these days to join Wicca than any other organization.  Paul tells us exactly the same thing in Ephesians 6:12, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Funny how we quote this verse so often, but we don’t actually act like anything else is going on or that we are involved in a spiritual battle.  As the time of Christ’s return gets closer, I believe we will continue an ever growing amount of demonic activity causing many to resist the truth, corrupting young minds and becoming quite adversarial to those who have faith.

A great falling away must also mean that there are going to be a great many false churches that are preaching a false Gospel that glorifies a false god. Some of these false churches that we see today are preaching a religion of works, but the Apostle Paul is quick to point out the folly of such ideas.  

  • Gal 3:1-4 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? NKJV

Even in the church, the ecumenical movement is now in full swing and the number of players is growing.  The one world religion of those who are “spiritually enlightened” is gaining ground as we speak.  A religion is actually seen as the enemy and we must form a one-world religion in order to bring the world together as one. Chrislam (the fusion of Islam, Christianity and Judaism) is real as mankind tries to bring the danger of religion back under some kind of control.  No longer can Jesus be the only way.  In fact, we don’t need saving, just as long as we aren’t actually bad compared to someone else. I mean, as long as we weren’t Hitler right?  Any religion will get us there as long as it isn’t the God of the Bible.  The problem is that the Bible tells us that there would come a day when pastors and teachers would give to the people what their itching ears so long to hear.  

  • 2 Tim 4:3-8 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. NKJV

This passage confirms something what I have turned into one of my rules for evaluating any given doctrine or teaching.  “Be careful of anything that is exactly what you want to hear.”  Our false-self, our false-dreams and desires are huge motivators for our beliefs.  This verse is telling us that if preachers preach what people want to hear, then people will flock to them. Sometimes this even makes me leery of large churches for just such a reason.  If there is one thing that is sure about all of us, we can deceive ourselves. Masses of people can deceive themselves even easier because we get the peer pressure affect.  The Bible is full of warnings not to be deceived and it may be the signature condition of the “last days.”As if all of this does not cause us to wonder just how far the church can go in the wrong direction, then there are the examples of the seven churches in Revelations.

Church #1 – The Loveless Church (Rev 2:1-4:1)

  • “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:  2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for my name’s sake and have not become weary.  4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.  5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place — unless you repent.  6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.  7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”‘

This church is very bright and extremely discerning because they know their Bibles so well that they can sort out the false prophets left and right.  Honestly, they sound a little like the Pharisees.  Their works abound and from the surface they look like the perfect church because their patience is amazing!  However, they have completely forgotten that Christianity is a “love relationship” with God.  They have lost the context of Christianity, which is to simply be in love with Jesus. They have reduced the gospel to the gospel of Martha instead of sitting quietly at the feet of Jesus and basking in His presence like Mary.  When was the last time you just delighted in utter quiet of the Holy Spirit as the still small voice overwhelmed you with His love? When was the last time your church did this?  If our motivation for all we do does not go back to the fact that we love Jesus, then in the end it will fall void and be perceived as a big gong – think “Gong Show.”  (1 Corinthians 3:1) Works are great, but we cannot let works or the knowledge of the Bible replace our faith and our deep relationship with Jesus. Repent and fall back in love with Jesus by spending time with Him every day.  If the church will do this, then the joy of the Lord will become our strength again and bring a fresh wind of revival to the church.

Church #2 – The Persecuted Church

  • “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:  9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.  10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.  11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”‘  

While the persecution of the church is finally getting some attention, the year 2015 was a record year in modern times based on the sheer number of Christians that were killed for their faith. Last year, 2016 also saw a tremendous number of murders as well.  This situation has been near and dear to my heart. As a result, I have joined joshuacord.org in raising money to make a documentary about the extent of Christian persecution around the world. Currently we raised enough money to have a filmmaker visit 6-7 countries. We also saw a miracle happen when we received a visa to visit Syria. You know, the country we just bombed. Persecution is a reality of the  “last days.” The passage that I find the most interesting is the description of the beheaded Saints in heaven, who are continually asking God “how long will it be before you avenge us?” (Revelations 6:10)  Unfortunately, we are literally in a situation where the Christian population is very close to being wiped out in the Middle East and unfortunately we can expect this to only worsen around the world. I believe that we are all supposed to join together and help our brothers and sisters as much as possible. As Paul has said, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith.” (Gal: 6:10)

Church  #3 – The Compromising Church

 

  • “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘these things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:  13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to my name, and did not deny my faith even in the days in which Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.  14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.  15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.  16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.  17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”‘  

 

While there is some debate about the Nicolaitans, the consensus is that there may have been sexual immorality involved, which also ties into the story of Balaam who seduced the children of Israel in a similar manner. There are those who believe that there may have even been actual ritual prostitutes involved.  This is entirely possible, as we know this was a major problem part of some pagan cultures where Christianity had spread to. The real bottom line here is that the deeds of this church were something that God hates and that means it was sin.  Today there are many churches that are literally enticing people to sin and this is yet another sign of the fallen church. The church needs to repent and to call sin for what it is instead of celebrating it. Only then can the Holy Spirit lead us to be a witness to those around us.

Church # 4 – The Corrupt Church

  • “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:  19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.  20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.  21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.  22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.  23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.  24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.  25 But hold fast what you have till I come.  26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations —   27’He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ — as I also have received from My Father;  28 and I will give him the morning star.  29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘

There are those who use this to say that women should not lead at all in church. While I believe this issue is not decided in this passage, we do have to remember that during the history of the early church, female occult priestesses were common in the pagan / occultic world.  As we know, Jezebel through a false type of prophetic spirit actually lead Israel into this type of sin. Here again the Bible clearly warns us against this type of situation.  Sadly, any recent survey of Christians in America shows little if any difference on most of what the Bible would clearly call sin.  Christians simply don’t score much different on pre-marital sex, pornography, abortion, divorce and most other moral issues. This is exactly the type of situation that Revelations is warning us of.  As the true church we must hold fast till Jesus comes without compromise knowing we are not the author or the finisher of our faith.

Church # 5 – The Dead Church Revelation 3

  • “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.  2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.  3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.  4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.  5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.  6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘  

There are several interesting items that are brought up here.  The first is that we are told that the faith of a church is dead unless there are also works that go along with those who have heard, received and held fast to their faith.  This is exactly the same conclusion that the Apostle James makes in James 2:14-26. There is only one solution for a church that has works that are inconsistent with the faith of Christ. They need to hold fast or repent! The other thing that jumps out at me about this church is that Jesus wants them clothed in white, which happens to be just like a bride.  The other thing that may be shocking for some is that there are those in this church who are in danger of having their name blotted out of the Book of Life. The implication here is that this type of church might end up being quite common as we get closer we get to the “end times.” While this disconnect between the walk and the talk of Christians is getting worse, we know this faith devoid of works has been in full bloom since 1998.  That was the year that George Barna published “The Second Coming Of The Church.” This was the first time that we realized that there appeared to be no difference between Christians and non-Christians in the morality department. This is exactly what Revelations describes as characteristics of the Sardis and the Thyatira church.

These kind of statistics leave many of us asking, how is it possible that when it comes to divorce, adultery, drug use, pornography and, gambling that the church doesn’t score any differently that the rest of the population?  While I really do preach the gospel of grace the best I can, I have to admit that something is also very wrong with the church.  The modern church seems to keep sinning so that grace may abound, which something that Paul expressly forbid. (Romans 6:1)  Furthermore, I am not one to espouses the doctrine of a salvation of works, but I have to say it sure would be nice to see more of them coming out of the church.  The truth is that there are times that we need to examine our faith and now is one of those times.  We need to see if we are really in the Lord or are we just fooling ourselves.  (2 Corinthians 13:5) I believe that Revelations may be saying that this is exactly what is going to happen to the church, as we get closer to the end of human history.  The sad truth presented here is that such a fruitless church just might miss out on the rapture or return of Christ because of the clear warning to always be watching for the “thief that comes in the night” is a direct reference to Matthew 24, where Jesus is referring to how people are caught completely off guard by his return.

Church #  6 – The Faithful Church

  • “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:  8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept my word, and have not denied My name.  9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.  10 Because you have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial, which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.  12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.  13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘  

This church is not the biggest church or the strongest church, but they have persevered!  In fact, when it comes to worldly riches, they just might be the poorest around.  Everyone likes to ignore them or discounts them because they are so counter culture. They just don’t care what the world thinks. When all is said and done, the world will know that this church was spiritually wealthy beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.  Why? Because they remained at the feet of Jesus worshiping Him and not the world.  Indeed, the world will do the same to them and they will know just how much Jesus loves this church! I love this particular passage because God gives this church a promise that if they persevere, they will be kept from the “hour of trial, which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  If this idea of being kept from an “hour of trial” is speaking about the rapture, then you could also argue that many of the other types of churches in Revelations could potentially miss the rapture.  A sobering thought to say the least, but none-the-less this is the only church that the Holy spirit makes this promise to. These are the over comers and they also appear to be the ones who will be reigning and ruling with Jesus in heaven. Clearly, they are the bull’s eye of what God wants His church to be and the anti-thesis to the next church on the list.

Church # 7 – The Lukewarm Church

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘these things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  17 Because you say ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.  20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘”  NKJV

Of all the churches talked about here, for me this is the one that especially rings true of America.  The earthly riches that we have here are astonishing compared to other areas of the world.  When you consider that someone making $30,000 / year is in the top 1% of the moneymakers in the world, and yet no one in America would be happy making such a small amount. Unfortunately, earthly riches can be just like the thorns in the parable of the sower. The cares, riches and pleasures of this life can choke the good seeds that God is planting in our lives, so that there will be no heavenly fruit. This church does not know that they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked because they are so distracted by their wealth and need for nothing.  However, be careful when you judge them too harshly.  Then there is the political climate change that has developed here in America and around the world bringing in a new day of political correctness. No longer can we speak the truth because it might offend someone. All the while, no one is more offended by political correctness than Jesus. He wants to spit them out of His mouth.  Nothing is good or bad and nothing is hot or cold. For me it is astonishing that the Bible so correctly describes what is wrong with political correctness 2000 years ago.  

The solution that God presents here is a little puzzling at first.  God wants us to buy into the real treasure, which is a gold refined by fire. God wants us to be in white garments, so that we will be properly clothed when we meet Him. God does not want the shame of our nakedness to be exposed.  None of this can happen unless our eyes are anointed and rededicated to see things as Jesus sees them.  Then comes this amazing God that is so relational and makes a promise we can all take to heart.  God says that if we will hear His voice and open the door to our lives, then He will come in and dine and fellowship with us. His presence in our lives is what will help us to discard the treasures of this life and be an over comer of the thorns.  In the same way that Jesus will come into our lives, He will later invite us into His, to the point that we can even sit with Him on His throne.  The choice between the wealth of the world and the riches of a relationship with Jesus will determine our fate. Why is Jesus telling the politically correct he will spit them out of His mouth?  Because Jesus loves them and He doesn’t want that to happen to them.

State Of The Church

There are a few things about all of these passages that we need to contemplate.  The first thing is that these are all churches. The Bible doesn’t call them false churches or fallen churches, and yet none of them are perfect. Each church is told something different because each church has it’s own set of problems.  This is encouraging because I believe God sees all of His children this way.  It doesn’t seem to matter what character of the Bible you look at, the Bible records the good, the bad, and the ugly all in the same breathe.  God sees us as we really are, we would all be naked and ashamed if it were not for the cross and that needs to be kept in mind here.  In Christ, there is no more condemnation, but there is a clear reality that God is calling us to maturity in Him. When we look at God’s motivations behind His dealings with these churches it is clearly one of profound love. Discipline from God comes out of love and that is why God has to say some very confrontational things to all of these churches. Some may call it tough love and I think that may be a fair assessment because for the most part each of these churches is given a fair amount of warning.  The goal of the message to each church is to wake them up and to move them towards a deeper relationship with God.   It is also hard to miss the clear promise of rewards that will be given to them that overcome just as Christ overcomes.  This is the final encouragement that the Holy Spirit gives each of these churches and we like Paul need to press on to the mark of the high calling of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14-15)

After finishing this brief examination of the 7 churches of Revelations, I cannot think of a more adequate message for the churches that are in existence today.  Sure human nature doesn’t change and the problems of mankind are age old, but the amazing relevance of these churches to the modern churches amazes me. Though many will argue that the church has gone up and down in the sliding away from or towards God, what I am saying here is that when Christ returns for His church, it is in decline. There is no exact finishing or defining point for this slide of the church, but there are many who believe that the false prophet of revelations, will lead a false religion that will ultimately worship the beast / anti-christ.  To this end, we have seen this same decline in the modern church and it has not escaped the attention of the previous generations.  For example, William Booth, the man who started the Salvation Army, was asked by a Bishop what he though were the biggest threats to the church were in the 20th century? This is what he said:  

 

  • The church without the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. Christianity without a price.
  2. Forgiveness without repentance.
  3. Salvation without regeneration / transformation
  4. Politics without God (AKA – Communism)
  5. Heaven (reward) with no hell (consequences).

This statement certainly does stand as a thought provoking assessment of the modern church and how they have fallen away from our true calling as the body of Christ.  As we continue to see the church falling away, I believe that we will come to the point that there really is no difference between Christians and the rest of the world and this is almost true now. We are told that this falling away is one of the signs of the times that we are supposed to look for. End times or not, now is the time where we need to sound the alarm and issue a call towards repentance.  As a church, we need to return to our first love. We need to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying and walk in a different direction that may be politically incorrect.  Unfortunately, the church is more worried about what some people will say than what the Lord says.  The church is openly embracing immorality, lifting up false gods and espousing false gospels. The church, like God’s people Israel, can be caught up in a great decline. During one of these declines and falling away from God, the Bible makes this statement.  “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6) Plain and simple, Jesus has ceased being the King of the modern church and now everyone does whatever they want. What kind of church will we be if we no longer look like Christ, who is the author and finisher of our faith? How do we wake them up?  I personally believe that prophecy is specifically designed for this purpose! People may have become dead to the cry of “wolf,” but they are obsessed with the supernatural!  I believe there is no more relevant or accurate book in understanding our world and the geopolitical circumstances facing the world today.  Just as prophecy proved who the Messiah was the first time, so prophecy in these times of great deception will prove that the Bible is true and that God knows the end from the beginning.  

Three More “Last Days” Clues In Luke 17

  • Luke 17:20-29 – Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
  • 22 Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 Men will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
  • 26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. NIV

When you look at the first part of this passage, there are those who believe that the only Kingdom of God that we will ever see one earth is the one inside us. They don’t believe in the literal return of Jesus and the literal Kingdom of God being here on earth.  The idea of the Kingdom of God being inside us is difficult to take in one breath and appreciate the true significance of this statement. Consequently, I do not want to take anything away from it by arguing against it because it is real and many books on this subject could easily be written.  However, I believe there will also be a literal fulfillment as well.  I go back to Daniel in the 2nd chapter when I think about the literal Kingdom of God. When God comes, He breaks in two all the other kingdoms of the world and fills the whole earth with peace so that everyone has a place to nest. This just hasn’t happened. The kingdoms of the world are going along just fine and so many people have no portion in this world. The other way I look at this is that if we believe that Jesus was a literal person, who was literally sinless, who literally died for our sins, who literally took away our sins both past present and future, who literally rose from the grave, who literally spent time with His disciples after His resurrection, who literally predicted the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, who literally predicted the dispersion of Israel into all the nations until one day when Jerusalem would no longer be trodden down of the Gentiles, but now we are supposed to switch gears and believe that there is no literal return of Jesus. What about the warning to those who would miss it?  The truth is we have no reason to suddenly believe that Jesus is speaking allegorically about His return. This is the same Jesus that His own generation missed Him because He came as the suffering servant instead of the reigning and ruling Messiah that had come to set up His Kingdom. This is the Jesus that I believe is coming and a Mr. Rodgers He is not.

Many Anti-christs

The next part of this passage tells us many things, but the first is that many anti-christ’s will present them selves claiming to be the Christ. In other passages, we are also told that they will deceive many believers, but this passage goes on to confirm that Jesus will return in a very specific way.  Jesus will come in the sky and flash like lightning from one end to the other.  Fairly easy to see how this would be good way to differentiate the return of the real Jesus from any false ones.  Nonetheless, this is our first of the clues about the return of Jesus is that there will be a good number of counterfeits.  Of course, the greatest of these will be the anti-christ himself, along with the false prophet that leads the world into accepting and worshiping the beast /anti-christ. While there may not be that many currently in the running for a false christ, there are a lot of groups running for false religions that run counter to Christianity. The biggest candidate for this is Islam. Not only does Islam say the opposite of the golden rule, but also the founder of Islam is nothing like Jesus. Still, Islam is soon to become the world’s #1 religion.  (For more information on Islam, go to prophecydays.com and see the teaching series with the same name.)  While Islam may be a possibility of where a false christ might come, the current best candidate for the anti-christ or false prophet is the Pope.  One doesn’t need to be a Protestant to believe this, because many Catholics have predicted the same things throughout history.  According to the prophecy of the Popes, we are on the last one. In troubling fashion, the current Pope has called for global governance and departed from the morals held by Christians for 1000’s of years. Still, this passage warns us of the coming delusion in the form of false religions and false christ’s, so we need to be on the lookout. This same warning is repeated in Matt 24:21-25 and Mark 13:22. The detail that these passages add it that there will be “signs and wonders” that accompany these false christ’s. This is the Jannes and Jambres scenario that we have already talked about.  I like to point this out to people as often as I can, because it means that there has to be an increase in supernatural occult power for this to happen. This will be an astonishing thing for most people because they don’t even believe in anything beyond what they can see, taste, smell, and touch. How will people explain this and how will these entities explain who they are?  For now, I will move on, but we will explore more about this in our article next month.

The Days Of Lot

The next clue given here is that the return of Jesus will have something to do with what was happening in the “Days of Noah.” Next months article will be fully devoted to this subject, so for now we will move on here to the next clue, which is stated as being the same as the “Days of Lot.”  Certainly, there are those who believe the Days of Lot and the Days of Noah were very similar, but I am going to take a more traditional view of what we know was obviously happening in Sodom. For our purposes, the Days of Lot are also the Days of Sodom and Gomorrah.  The idea of rampant sexual immorality being the case here goes back to the story of what happened to the angels when they came to visit Sodom and how Lot protected them from the crowd outside his house that had come for them.  The reality is that this is fast becoming the case around the world as sex trafficking is in our own back yards. Furthermore, the changing of the definition of marriage in America has not only further damaged the first institution founded by God (the family), but it has also opened up all Christians and Christian organizations to persecution because they cannot accept the law of the land. This will allow the far left to discriminate and eventually separate Christians and Christian organizations from any kind of government support, tax exemptions, involvement and even accreditation. This would have devastated the Christian community and made us outlaws.  On the other hand, God as never let a little fire or persecution on His church go un-used.  This may exactly what the Holy Spirit meant in the earlier passage about buying gold refined by fire.  

Speaking of one of the sins of Sodom, for many of us it may feel difficult to not want react differently to the sin of homosexuality. However, it is important to note that this sin did not specifically make the 10 Commandments. Yes, it is an abomination, but so is a proud look. (Proverbs 6:16-19) Unfortunately, I wonder if I have ever made it a day without committing this sin.  It is Jesus who said that we shouldn’t attempt to pick something out of our brother’s eye when we have something even bigger of our own that we aren’t dealing with.  Now I’m not trying to minimize the impact here of this movement. The family is the first institution that God founded and the whole success of our society is based on it!  I recognize that homosexuality, along with divorce, adultery, drug use and pornography, may literally destroy the family and our society. Consequently, we must stand against this movement the best we can.  However, what I mean by the best we can is that we must try to continue to love the sinners, but stand against the sin.  The challenge is to not forget that the cross was necessary for all sin, including our own. This is why we, as a church, need to be transparent about our own sin and humble ourselves before the world, so that we can share the good news that Jesus has died for all of our sins. While we may feel led to refuse to bake a cake for their wedding, we should feel compelled to make them a cake for any other reason we can think of.  We must try to kill this movement with kindness, so that the love of God can make it to their hearts. We must not let the devil take the open arms of Jesus on the cross and turn them into hate. We need new and creative ways to still show the love of Christ, while we stand firm on the foundations that God has provided in His word. This will be the challenge as we move forward into a world that is increasingly hostile towards the church and our message of hope and redemption.  

Remember, we just had a presidential candidate (Bernie Sanders) who does not believer that any born again Christian or a Christian who believes that Jesus is the only way should be in any public office.  Unfortunately, this unprecedented persecution is also another sign that we are truly living in the last days. As we end this discussion, I hope that you can see that we are truly living in a time where the church is falling away from following God. This in and of it self is not proof that we are in the last days, but as we continue to show the great convergence, the case becomes quite compelling. Thus far we have determined that we are living in the days where “Jerusalem is no longer trodden down by Gentiles.”  The geopolitical situation has progressed to the point that Jerusalem has become a “burdensome stone” for the whole world. We are living in the days where the world is starting to persecute the church in unprecedented ways and finally, we are once again living in the days of Lot. Hopefully God has gotten your attention by now, because we are just getting started!

I hope you will be able to rejoin this series next month as we look at the “Days of Noah”, but please take a few minutes to look up some of the articles listed here.  Remember, the cipher that Jesus gave us says, “when you see these things happening, then stand up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near.” This means that part of our goal is not just to show you what the Bible says prophetically, but to show you that what the Bible says is really happening around the world. It is to this end that we believe you will begin to see the convergence and stand up for Jesus. After 1900 years of sleeping, maybe we need quite a few alarm clocks to wake us back up to the fact that one day Jesus is really going to literally return!

For more information on see the prophetic series, “The Convergence” please go to prophecydays.com where you will find the video, audio and notes from the series.

The Falling Away

Study Compares Christian and Non-Christian Lifestyles

Do Non-Christians and Christians Live Different Lifestyles? – https://www.christiantoday.com/article/american.study.reveals.indulgent.lifestyle.christians.no.different/9439.htm

STUNNING CLAIM: U.S. AT POINT WHERE ‘ELECTIONS DON’T MATTER’

http://www.wnd.com/2016/08/stunning-claim-u-s-at-point-where-elections-dont-matter/#AmOAbd6pTdmyHE6w.01

Of Abortion, By Abortion, For Abortion

https://www.frcaction.org/updatearticle/20160727/of-abortion

Ben Carson Ties Hillary Clinton to Lucifer at Republican Convention

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/ben-carson-hillary-clinton-lucifer-republican-convention-rnc-gop-trump-166725/#2UWT7PHMWgbeEqvZ.99

Caught on Camera: Obamacare Architect Admits Deceiving Americans to Pass Law

http://dailysignal.com/2014/11/09/caught-camera-obamacare-architect-admits-deceiving-americans-pass-law/
California Steamin’: HHS Gives Abortion Rule a Pass

Welcome to a Bernie Sanders Wiccan ritual

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-sanders-prayer-circle-20160514-snap-story.html

Bernie Sanders’s Religious Test for Christians in Public Office

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/bernie-sanders-chris-van-hollen-russell-vought/529614/

California to ‘punish’ faith-based colleges for ‘holding wrong views’

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/06/california-to-punish-faith-based-colleges-for-holding-wrong-views/#VmObV2qGcohbk3TZ.99

Canadian Christian Law School Fights Accreditation Ban Over Opposition to Homosexuality

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/canadian-christian-law-school-fights-accreditation-ban-over-opposition-homosexuality-164764/#DHxfbE2GwiforW1F.99

Obama’s Foreign Policy Guru Boasts of How the Administration Lied to Sell the Iran Deal

http://www.weeklystandard.com/obamas-foreign-policy-guru-boasts-of-how-the-administration-lied-to-sell-the-iran-deal/article/2002252#.V07nw9j_rDU.facebook

Planned Parenthood Will Not Face Justice Because There Is No Justice In America

http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/planned-parenthood-will-not-face-justice-because-there-is-no-justice-in-america/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=ShareButton

Obama Can Force Coverage of Birth Control and Abortion Drugs on Churches, Admin. Lawyer Says

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/obama-force-churches-cover-birth-control-abortion-drugs-lawyer-tells-supreme-court-160019/#XLxazjeoM2tk13Ph.99

United Methodist Church Bans Intelligent Design Group From General Conference

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/united-methodist-church-bans-intelligent-design-group-general-conference-creation-evolution-155368/#kEqUZ5o27zTBqhzS.99

Justice Scalia warns that the US Supreme Court is causing the ‘destruction of our democratic system’

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/justice-scalia-warns-us-supreme-203000305.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=fb

POPE INVOKING GLOBALIZATION – Pope tearing down Christianity in bid for One World Religion

http://www.infowars.com/pope-invoking-globalization/

Bow Down, Witches: Pagans Flock to New York City for Festival

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/bow-down-witches-pagans-flock-to-new-york-city-for-festival

I put a spell on you, Mr. President – LA Times publishes an article about how to hold a spell on Donald Trump to curse him and our country.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-wagman-put-a-spell-on-donald-trump-20170523-story.html

Planned Parenthood Chief Is Asked What Should Happen ‘If a Child Survives an Abortion Attempt.’ Here’s Her Response.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/09/29/planned-parenthood-boss-was-asked-what-should-happen-if-a-child-survives-an-abortion-attempt-heres-her-response/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=ShareButtons

Pope Says Having A Personal Relationship With Jesus Is Dangerous And Harmful

http://www.godfruits.tv/pope-says-personal-relationship-jesus-harmful/

Obama can kill you with a drone!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/05/us-drone-strike_n_2813857.html

Obama Plans To Reduce Deficit By Cutting Tax Exempt Status Of Christian Churches

http://nationalreport.net/obama-plans-reduce-deficit-cutting-tax-exempt-status-christian-churches/

VIDEO: This Rabbi Just Issued a Chilling Warning to America… And It’s Going Viral

http://conservativetribune.com/rabbi-chilling-warning/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=WesternJournalism&utm_content=2015-06-22

Persecution Of The Church

Francis Chan: Christians Will Be Relevant If They Become Rejects, Stand With Jesus

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/francis-chan-together-2016-christians-relevant-rejects-jesus-166599/#X93BrsDhDmb7yS5C.99

7 Signs That America Declared War on Christianity

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/signs-america-declared-war-christianity-163165/#lB72zEl3xBizcCJY.99

Obama Can Force Coverage of Birth Control and Abortion Drugs on Churches, Admin. Lawyer Says

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/obama-force-churches-cover-birth-control-abortion-drugs-lawyer-tells-supreme-court-160019/#DfBguOtve33DvAxU.99

Report: 2015 Saw ‘Most Violent’ Persecution of Christians in Modern History

Wyoming School Tells Students They Can Only Pray in Private — Here’s How Well That Went Over

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/12/21/school-cafeterias-are-not-religion-free-zones-wyoming-school-reverses-prayer-ban/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=ShareButtons

Vatican rejects “chosen people” claim, calls on Israel to end “occupation”

http://yalibnan.com/2015/06/25/vatican-rejects-chosen-people-claim-calls-on-israel-to-end-occupation/

From Pakistan to America, Christ’s Prophecy of Christian Persecution Coming to Pass

https://signsofthelastdays.org/pakistan-america-christs-prophecy-christian-persecution-coming-pass/

The Days of Lot

FEDERAL COURT BLOCKS OBAMA’S TRANSGENDER-BATHROOM ORDER

http://www.wnd.com/2016/08/judge-blocks-obamas-transgenders-schools-mandate/#dlT4u6D4YVIzUMcP.01

Christian baker takes ‘compulsion of speech’ case to Supremes

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/07/christian-baker-takes-compulsion-of-speech-case-to-supremes/#DKs9ZxSBjiI1hx0s.99

Churches Can’t Have Sex-Segregated Bathrooms, Make Transgender Feel Unwelcome, Unless Closed to Public, Iowa Commission Says

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/churches-sex-segregated-bathrooms-transgender-feel-unwelcome-closed-to-public-iowa-commission-166167/#j4F2JmqAlTEFKHou.99

Canadian Christian Law School Fights Accreditation Ban Over Opposition to Homosexuality

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/canadian-christian-law-school-fights-accreditation-ban-over-opposition-homosexuality-164764/#qIDluKWiaJq73gI0.99

BISEXUALITY STUDY: 1 in 3 American Young Adults Identify on Bisexual Spectrum

http://www.advocate.com/bisexuality/2015/08/20/.V0uM8LHxIQg.facebook

Canada May Ban Anti-Transgender Speech With 2 Years in Prison

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/canada-may-ban-anti-transgender-speech-with-2-years-in-prison-164382/#14qLCLmsmZ95BgCt.99

Obama Orders All Public Schools to Apply Transgender Bathroom Access Rules; Texas Ready To Fight

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/obama-order-public-schools-transgender-bathroom-access-rules-texas-163852/#5sRysz6oWYeg9iRP.99

American College of Pediatricians Says Teaching Children Transgenderism Is Normal Is Child Abuse

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/american-college-of-pediatricians-says-teaching-children-transgenderism-is-normal-is-child-abuse-159772/#8VokGWYYLRFxwhsV.99

Tom DeLay: Justice Dept. Wants to Legalize 12 ‘Perversions

Breaking News at Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newsmax-Tv/Tom-DeLay-Justice-Department-perversions/2015/06/30/id/652929/#ixzz4Ih8vLPVK 

Canada Legalizes Most Sex Acts With Animals

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/canada-legalizes-most-sex-acts-with-animals-165053/#tR2IdSQZZArUS0KA.99

Rubio: Gay Agenda’s ‘Next Step’ is to Define ‘Mainstream Christianity’ as ‘Hate Speech’

http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/rubio-gay-agendas-next-step-define-mainstream-christianity-hate-speech

Want more?  Visit us at prophecydays.com for the complete series.

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Dr. Kevan Kruse has been practicing Chiropractic in the Bay area since 1992. Educated at the University of Tampa and Life University, Kevan received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and a Doctorate of Chiropractic. Kevan was born in Florida, but he was raised with down to earth Midwestern values. These values translate into an office that is dedicated to serving patients in a surprisingly relaxed atmosphere. Each patient is evaluated on an individual basis and treated appropriately.

Dr. Kruse is also open to multi-disciplinary approaches to health care, with his focus being primarily chiropractic and nutritional ways to help solve health problems. His fascination and extensive participation in sports makes his treatment of automobile accidents, work related injuries and sports injuries especially on-target. Dr. Kruse is married to Alexandra and they have two sons named Wiatte and Whestan. Dr. Kruse supports many local charities and attends Bell Shoals Baptist church, where he occasionally teaches classes on various topics.

Why is the church important? The church is where the friends of Jesus meet and grow. It is a hospital for those who admit they are sick and who want to get better. The church is not a building or an organization, it is just people. The church is also part of your spiritual family. Does anyone you know have a perfect family? Good, because that won’t happen in church either. You won’t like all the people there, but you will grow to love many of them. You may have to visit around some to find the right church for you, but if you work at it, you will be better for it. My church friends are one of my greatest sources or encouragement and joy.

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The Cherubim: Throne Guardians of God

Now, since you’re paying attention, you’ll remember that the divine rebel in Eden, the nachash of Genesis 3, was called a guardian cherub in Ezekiel 28. As we just showed you, nachash and saraph, the singular form of seraphim, are interchangeable terms. But if the rebel in Eden was one of the seraphim, how could he also be one of the cherubim?

Good question. Cherubim are mentioned more frequently in the Old Testament than the seraphim. They are usually referenced in descriptions of the mercy seat on top of the Ark of the Testimony or carved decorations in the Temple built by Solomon. The exceptions are the cherubim who guard the entrance to Eden and the four cherubim Ezekiel saw in his famous “wheel within a wheel” vision by the Chebar canal.

The modern image of cherubim has been shaped by artists in the Middle Ages—cute, chubby little boys with dinky wings who filled up the empty space in religious paintings. Nothing could be further from the biblical and archaeological truth. Cherubim are seriously bad dudes you do not want to mess with. For more, see Josh Peck’s book Cherubim Chariots.

The cherubim of the mercy seat are usually shown as a matched pair of plainly recognizable angels perched on top of the ark with their outstretched wings touching in the middle. The Bible doesn’t describe these cherubim, telling us only that they have wings and faces. Why? Apparently, everybody in the 15th century B.C. was familiar with what a cherub looked like, and they knew it was right and proper for them to serve as Yahweh’s throne-bearers. You see, God appeared to men above the mercy seat “enthroned on the cherubim.”  (See Numbers 7:89; 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2: Psalms 80:1 and 99:1; and Isaiah 37:16.)

But the cherubim that Ezekiel saw looked like something from a nightmare:

…this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze.

Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus: their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went.

As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle.

Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went.

As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.

Ezekiel 1:5-14 (ESV), emphasis added

While these living creatures aren’t identified as cherubim in these verses, they are specifically called cherubim in Ezekiel 10.

So how do we read this? These creatures sound nothing like the shining serpentine seraphim. What’s even more confusing is the description Ezekiel gives of another type of angelic being, the ophanim—the wheels that UFO hunters love to call spacecraft. They seem to be related somehow to the cherubim:

And I looked, and behold, there were four wheels beside the cherubim, one beside each cherub, and the appearance of the wheels was like sparkling beryl. And as for their appearance, the four had the same likeness, as if a wheel were within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went, but in whatever direction the front wheel faced, the others followed without turning as they went. And their whole body, their rims, and their spokes, their wings, and the wheels were full of eyes all around—the wheels that the four of them had. As for the wheels, they were called in my hearing “the whirling wheels.”

And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of the cherub, and the second face was a human face, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

Ezekiel 10:9-14 (ESV), emphasis added

Wait—the ophanim had the face of a cherub and the face of a human? What’s the difference? Why a cherub instead of an ox for the fourth face? Is there some connection between the cherub and the ox?

Well… maybe. The word cherub probably comes from the Akkadian karibu (the “ch” should be a hard “k” sound, although we English speakers don’t usually say it that way). It means “intercessor” or “one who prays.” The karibu were usually portrayed as winged bulls with human faces, and huge statues of the karibu were set up as divine guardians at the entrances of palaces and temples. This is like the role of the cherubim placed “at the east of the garden of Eden… to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:24, ESV)

This is speculation, but the divine rebel in Eden, the anointed guardian cherub, might have protected the tree of life once upon a time.

Cherubim were the gold standard for guarding royalty in the ancient Near East. In Assyria they were called lamassu, and the Akkadians called them shedu. They were sometimes depicted as winged lions rather than bulls and they were often incorporated into the thrones of kings.

So the function of the biblical cherubim, guarding the tree of life and carrying the throne of God, was entirely consistent with what the neighbors of the Israelites knew about these beings. Based on archaeological finds in the Levant (modern-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel), the cherub was probably more like a winged sphinx than a humanoid with wings.

In other words, the presence of the cherubim in the Bible wasn’t something the Hebrew prophets just made up. The cherubim were known by different names by the other cultures of the ancient Near East, but they served a similar role in all of them. The cherubim were supernatural bodyguards for the throne of Yahweh, and their imagery was appropriated by earthly kings. A bit of hubris, no doubt encouraged as a PSYOP by the Enemy. Remember, “you shall be as gods.”

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The consequences of the rebellion in Eden were immediate and harsh:

The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” […]

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”

[T]herefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

Genesis 3:14-15, 22-24 (ESV)

For centuries, well-meaning Christians have pointed to Genesis 3:14 as the moment in history when snakes lost their legs. That misses the mark entirely by desupernaturalizing the story. God didn’t amputate the legs of snakes; He was describing the punishment the nachash would suffer in figurative language. Even casual observers of the animal kingdom know that snakes don’t eat dust.

What happened was this:  The nachash was cast down from the peak of the supernatural realm, “full of wisdom and perfect in beauty,” to become lord of the dead.

What a comedown! Isaiah 14 makes a lot more sense when you keep a supernatural worldview in mind:

Sheol beneath is stirred up
to meet you when you come;
it rouses the shades to greet you,
all who were leaders of the earth;
it raises from their thrones
all who were kings of the nations.

All of them will answer
and say to you:
‘You too have become as weak as we!
You have become like us!

Isaiah 14:9-10 (ESV)

Remember these verses because we’ll come back to them later in this series. The “shades” referenced by Isaiah are the Rephaim (root word rapha), a mysterious group mentioned several times in the Old Testament. The Rephaim weren’t an invention of the Hebrews, either. They were well known to their neighbors. We’ll examine them more closely a forthcoming article in this series.

For Adam and Eve, the banishment affected the two of them and all their descendants through the present day. Instead of living with God as members of His council, we humans have struggled for millennia to make sense of a world that often seems to make no sense. The memory of our brief time in the garden of God has echoed down the centuries, and it may be the source of our belief that mountains are somehow special, reserved for the gods.

Here’s the main takeaway of this article:  Eden was a lush, well-watered garden “on the holy mountain of God,” which was where Yahweh presided over His divine council. The council included the first humans. They walked and talked with the supernatural “sons of God” who, based on clues scattered throughout the Bible, were beautiful, radiant beings. At least some of them were serpentine in appearance.

The long war between Yahweh and the sons of God who rebelled is not just about control of the spirit realm, it’s also about whether humanity will be restored to its rightful place in the seat of the gods—among the divine council on the Holy Mountain of God.

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Derek Gilbert Bio

Derek P. Gilbert hosts SkyWatchTV, a Christian television program that airs on several national networks, the long-running interview podcast A View from the Bunker, and co-hosts SciFriday, a weekly television program that analyzes science news with his wife, author Sharon K. Gilbert.
Before joining SkyWatchTV in 2015, his secular broadcasting career spanned more than 25 years with stops at radio stations in Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Little Rock, and suburban Chicago.
Derek is a Christian, a husband and a father. He’s been a regular speaker at Bible prophecy conferences in recent years. Derek’s most recent book is The Great Inception: Satan’s PSYOPs from Eden to Armageddon. He has also published the novels The God Conspiracy and Iron Dragons, and he’s a contributing author to the nonfiction anthologies God’s Ghostbusters, Blood on the Altar, I Predict: What 12 Global Experts Believe You Will See by 2025, and When Once We Were a Nation.

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Rebel on the Mountain of Eden!

The long war between God and the lesser gods who rebelled began on a mountain, and it will end on a mountain.

First things first: The rebel gods are real. That’s not something you’re likely to hear in church. Not only have we been taught that the pagan deities of the ancient world were imaginary, most American Christians today don’t even believe in Satan or the Holy Spirit.

That’s not an exaggeration. The Barna Group found in a 2009 survey of American Christians that only about one in three believes Satan is real and not just a concept. Likewise, nearly 60% of American Christians said they didn’t believe the Holy Spirit is living entity. So it’s not surprising that when we think of Baal, Asherah, Moloch, Dagon, Chemosh, Marduk, and the rest of the pagan pantheon mentioned in the Bible (if we think of them at all), we assume they were nothing more than lifeless blocks of wood and stone.

We couldn’t be more wrong.

The true story begins on a mountain: Eden.

But wait, you say. Eden was a garden! Yes, it was. A garden on a mountain.

In Ezekiel 28, God tells the divine rebel from Eden:

You were an anointed guardian cherub.
I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God;
    in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.

Ezekiel 28:14 (ESV), emphasis added

If you read the Old Testament carefully, you’ll notice many references to God’s holy mountain. The prophets knew that the war between the rebellious fallen gods and the Creator was all about who would establish their holy mountain—the “mount of assembly” or “mount of the congregation”—as supreme. The most obvious reference is in Isaiah 14, a section of scripture that scholars generally agree is a parallel to Ezekiel 28:

“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit.

Isaiah 14:12-15 (ESV), emphasis added

Over the course of this special five-week series, we’ll dig deeper into the conflict between God and the rebels and explore the importance of cosmic mountains. We’ll identify key battles in the long war and lay out a prophetic scenario for the final battle of this age.

Above all, we’ll show you a glimpse of this long war in the heavenlies, and where you can find it in the Bible. It’s a conflict that the prophets and apostles knew was real, but over the last two thousand years our churches have teaching us about it. With this war stripped out out of the Bible, we’re left with an incomplete story of God’s plan to save us from the gods who want to kill us and destroy everything we love.

So let’s start at the beginning. What do we know about the enemy? Was it a talking snake?

In a word, no.

So who or what was the serpent? Most of us assume it was Satan, but maybe not. The serpent isn’t named in the book of Genesis. In fact, Satan wasn’t even a personal name in the Old Testament.

Satan means “accuser,” written ha-shaitan in the OT. It’s a title, the satan, so it really means “the accuser.” Think of it as a job title, like prosecuting attorney.

The adversary in the Garden is the nachash, which is the word translated into English as “serpent.” It’s based on an adjective that means bright or brazen, like shiny brass. The noun nachash can mean snake, but it also means “one who practices divination.”

In Hebrew, it’s not uncommon for an adjective to be converted into a noun—the term is “substantivized.” If that’s the case here, nachash could mean “shining one.” And that’s consistent with other descriptions of the satan figure in the Old Testament.

For example, in Isaiah 14, the character called Lucifer in the King James translation, based on the Latin words chosen by Jerome (lux + ferous, meaning “light bringer”), is named in Hebrew Helel ben Shachar—”shining one, son of the dawn.”

Interestingly, Šahar was a Canaanite deity, so a better translation of the verse is “Day Star, son of Dawn.” And that leads to some interesting speculation about the nature and origin of Helel. Were Helel and Šahar two of the fallen gods who rebelled against Yahweh? But I digress.

Now, consider this in Daniel 10:

I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude.

Daniel 10:5-6 (ESV), emphasis added

Obviously, “shining one” is a pretty good description of the angel who battled the prince of Persia, another supernatural being, to bring his message to Daniel.

About 900 years before Daniel, when the Israelites started complaining on their way out of Egypt (see Numbers 21:4-9), God sent saraph nachash (“fiery serpents”), to bite them. Saraph is the root word of seraphim, which roughly means “burning ones.” But the key point of these verses in Numbers 21 is that the Hebrew words saraph and nachash are used interchangeably. So rather than “fiery serpents,” the translation should read “saraph serpents”.

Deuteronomy 8:15 praises Yahweh for bringing Israel through “the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents,” reinforcing the interchangeability of saraph and nachash.

Now, if the mental image of flaming snakes isn’t weird enough, the prophet Isaiah twice referred to flying serpents (saraph `uwph, in Isaiah 14:29 and 30:6). And in his famous throne room vision, Isaiah saw:

…the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.

Isaiah 6:1-2 (ESV), emphasis added

Again, the root word of seraphim is saraph, the same word translated “serpent” in Numbers and Deuteronomy. In fact, aside from the Isaiah 6 passage above, every single mention of seraphim in the Old Testament refers to serpentine beings!

The flying serpent was a well-known symbol in the ancient Near East, especially in Egypt. It would have been very familiar to the Israelites. The uraeus, a cobra standing on its coil with its hood extended, was a royal symbol of protection used by pharaohs and Nubian kings. Tutankhamun’s death mask is an excellent example; the uraeus’ hood is depicted with six distinct sections that look a lot like wings.

Of course, some scholars cite this as evidence that the Hebrews’ understanding of seraphim was influenced by, or borrowed from, Egyptian cosmology. That’s a common message from skeptics—Israel copied its religion from its neighbors. We’ll deal with that later.

The bottom line is this: What Adam and Eve saw in the Garden wasn’t a talking snake, but a nachash—a radiant, divine entity, and one that very likely had a serpentine appearance.

Next month – The Cherubim: Throne Guardians of God

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Derek Gilbert Bio

Derek P. Gilbert hosts SkyWatchTV, a Christian television program that airs on several national networks, the long-running interview podcast A View from the Bunker, and co-hosts SciFriday, a weekly television program that analyzes science news with his wife, author Sharon K. Gilbert.
Before joining SkyWatchTV in 2015, his secular broadcasting career spanned more than 25 years with stops at radio stations in Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Little Rock, and suburban Chicago.
Derek is a Christian, a husband and a father. He’s been a regular speaker at Bible prophecy conferences in recent years. Derek’s most recent book is The Great Inception: Satan’s PSYOPs from Eden to Armageddon. He has also published the novels The God Conspiracy and Iron Dragons, and he’s a contributing author to the nonfiction anthologies God’s Ghostbusters, Blood on the Altar, I Predict: What 12 Global Experts Believe You Will See by 2025, and When Once We Were a Nation.

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God’s Word is a Treasure “part one”

God’s Word is a treasure (Part 1)

Some people celebrated the Feast of Shavuot or Pentecost in early June. Christians generally call this feast Pentecost, while Jews call it Shavuot. The first thing which probably comes to mind for Christians who celebrate this Feast is that God gave His Ruach or Spirit to the disciples in Jerusalem on this Feast of the Lord.

This is true, but on this very feast day, God also gave His instructions or Torah to Moses at Mt. Sinai. God gave us both instructions for knowing Him, and how He wants us to live on the same day He gave us His Spirit. This makes sense because Yeshua (a.k.a. Jesus) said that the Spirit will teach us all things, and because the Spirit is the One who enables us to live according to God’s Instructions.

Dead Sea Scrolls

Since God’s Word is at the heart and soul of this Biblical Feast it is a great day to honor and study God’s Torah (Instructions). Between 1947 and 1956 the Dead Sea Scrolls (ancient manuscripts) were discovered in eleven caves near Qumran, near the Dead Sea. These manuscripts are approximately two thousand years old. Most of the scrolls were written in Hebrew, with a smaller number in Aramaic or Greek. … The vast majority of the scrolls survived as fragments – only a handful were found intact. Nevertheless, scholars have managed to reconstruct from these fragments approximately 850 different manuscripts of various lengths. Today you can go to the Shrine of the Book Museum in Jerusalem to view some of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other rare ancient manuscripts. (http://www.english.imjnet.org.il/page_1348)

Some people who do not want to surrender to Yeshua say that since there are so many different translations of the Bible we can’t be sure if God’s Word is accurately translated today. But thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls, we can compare Bibles printed today with manuscripts printed 2,000 years, and be certain that the Bibles we read today declare the same wonderful truths they declared many years ago.

Sofer

Another reason you can be certain that we are reading the very same words in the Bible today that have always been printed in the Bible, is because Jewish people still have specially trained scribes called a sofer who copy the Torah word by word, and letter by letter. They write the Torah by hand and do so directly from a Torah Scroll that was written the very same way several hundred years ago. Since a sofer writes the Bible this way we can be absolutely certain that the words written in Torah Scrolls are the very same words that have always been written in the Torah.

It takes a scribe about a year to pen the 304,805 letters found in each and every Torah. A sofer must know more than 4,000 Judaic laws before he begins writing a Torah Scroll. God’s name is so holy that a scribe must bathe in a mikvah (ritual pool) before writing the Lord’s four-letter (Hebrew) name. This shows the deep reverence and respect God’s people have for God’s Word, and that they are committed to making sure that our Torah Scrolls are accurate.

Torah Processional

In a Jewish Worship Service the Torah is processed around the Sanctuary. During the processional, we are encouraged to take our tallit (prayer shawl), Bible or finger and touch the Torah and then bring it to our lips. We do this to express our desire that we want God’s Word to always be on our lips. It can also be seen as a reverse kiss so during Shabbat Services we have an opportunity to kiss God’s Word. Millions of people kiss the Blarney Stone when they go to Ireland. After a bumpy plane or boat ride, some people kiss the ground to express how grateful they are to be safely on the land. People kiss people and things they love, so shouldn’t we express our love for God’s Word in some way?

Torah is a Treasure

(Psalm 119:72 NIV) The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

King David was a very wealthy man and he felt that God’s Word was more precious than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. What about you? How much do you treasure or value God’s Torah?

(Psalm 119:11 NASB) Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.

In verse 11 David gives us one very important reason he treasured God’s Word. He laid up God’s Word in his heart so that he would not sin against God. We pursue things that are dear to our heart, and avoid things that we do not value or treasure. For this reason, David placed God’s Word in his heart so that God’s Instructions would direct him in how he lived his life. What have you treasured and stored up in your heart?

 

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Rabbi Ron Goldberg is a Messianic follower of Yeshua and he teaches the importance of understanding the Hebrew roots and heritage throughout the world. He speaks regularly to all denominations and faiths about his life journey growing up as an orthodox Jew and how he came to trust Yeshua as the Messiah.
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The Great Inception! The Introduction

You’re standing on a battlefield. A war rages around you, although you can’t perceive it—not directly, anyway.The combatants are supernatural. On one side, the Creator of the universe: God. Yahweh, or YHWH, if you prefer. On the other, evil intelligences who chose rebellion over service long ago.

In former days, people were closer to the conflict than we are today. Or maybe they were just more sensitive to the struggle. Three thousand years ago, if the Bible is to be believed, people understood that nations were under the rule of gods. While people might believe in a pantheon, nations in the ancient Near East were championed by national deities—Chemosh for Moab, Molech for Ammon, Marduk for Babylon, Ashur for Assyria, Hadad for Aram, and so on.

Today, Christians have a cosmology that’s been, well, dumbed down since the apostolic age. For the last 1,600 years, we’ve been taught that since God is the only true god, then the gods of the nations around ancient Israel were just imaginary beings represented by carved images.

That is spectacularly incorrect.

The authors of the books of the Bible understood that there were many small-G gods. They knew that these supernatural entities had been assigned to the nations, but that Israel had been reserved for Yahweh. Their writings reflected this. It’s in the Bible. We just haven’t heard about it in church. For example, when God told Moses:
For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord.

Exodus 12:12 (ESV), emphasis added
Or later, when we read:
They set out from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month. On the day after the Passover, the people of Israel went out triumphantly in the sight of all the Egyptians, while the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the Lord had struck down among them. On their gods also the Lord executed judgments.

Numbers 33:4 (ESV), emphasis added
Now, are we supposed to believe that God inspired Moses to write about His righteous judgments on lifeless bits of wood and stone?

The conflict between Yahweh and the gods who chose to rebel is most clearly seen in Psalm 82:
God has taken his place in the divine council;

in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
“How long will you judge unjustly

and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;

maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;

deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
They have neither knowledge nor understanding,

they walk about in darkness;

all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
I said, “You are gods,

sons of the Most High, all of you;

nevertheless, like men you shall die,

and fall like any prince.”
Arise, O God, judge the earth;

for you shall inherit all the nations!

Psalm 82:1-8 (ESV), emphasis added
Traditional analysis explains away the use of the word “gods” in this psalm as references to human rulers. This makes less sense than a straightforward reading of the text.

Yahweh presides over a divine council that is tasked with carrying out His orders. Some of these supernatural beings disobeyed orders and were informed by God that their punishment would be to die “like men.” That makes no sense if God was addressing a human audience.

The divine council concept is not new, although it may be to you. (It was to me when I first encountered it ten years ago.)  Rather than build a case for it here, which would cover territory that’s already been explored in greater depth by better minds, I recommend Dr. Michael S. Heiser’s excellent book The Unseen Realm: Recovering the Supernatural Worldview of the Bible. In a nutshell, a group of seventy bene elohim (“sons of God”) were assigned to supervise the nations after God divided mankind at Babel. (You’ll note that seventy ethnic groups are named in Genesis chapter 10, the Table of Nations.)  They apparently decided to present themselves as gods to humankind, which required God’s counter-move—reserving one nation for Himself that would someday produce the Savior.

Mountains have always been key in this drama. People have known since our earliest days that mountains are sacred, the abode of the gods. Why? Is it the mystery inherent in locations that are remote and inaccessible? Is it the awe inspired by their size and beauty? Is it simply that primitive humans noticed that mountains were tall and closer to heaven than where they lived?

No. Mountains are sacred because the original location of the divine council was on a mountain. The original home of humankind was also on that mountain. After rebellion broke out, the Fallen chose other mountains to call their own. And all of history is a chronicle of the long war that broke out on the original cosmic mountain, Eden. (Yes, it’s a garden, but it was also on a mountain.  See Ezekiel 28.)

But the accounts of this war aren’t just contained in the Bible. Secular history records important information about this conflict, although most scholars don’t see it for what it is. The war between God and the gods has been fought in the supernatural realm and in our time-space domain by human agents of the warring parties. In the months ahead, we’ll look at some well-known events in the Bible in a way you probably haven’t before—acts of war by God against gods that you’ve been told were imaginary.

We’ll examine one of the people groups Joshua and the Israelites had to fight to claim their new homeland in Canaan. We’ll document the connections between this group of people and the shadowy race of giants called the Rephaim, the occult center that was Babylon (past and future), the king of Egypt who was forced to let God’s people go, and the mythical race of old gods called the Titans.

You read that right: There are links between the Titans of Greek mythology, ancient Egypt, Babylon, and Canaan, and the prophesied Babylon the Great.

We’ll also examine the roles of two divine entities that have been particularly resilient in the long war, appearing again and again at key points in history. And we’ll present what we think is a plausible scenario for the end times that’s best described as a cosmic double-cross, a PSYOP that exploits our human biases and weaknesses—nationalism, racism, and a desire to take onto ourselves a role that God has reserved for the Messiah.

This all sounds like what skeptics call “woo,” but it’s not. These claims are based on documented history, theology, and linguistics. No fringe research, and only a little speculation—although the scholars whose work I cite would probably disagree with my conclusions. That’s to be expected. We’ll apply a supernatural filter to offer an analysis of why history happened the way it did, and to demonstrate that the historical record supports the biblical account if you look at it the right way.

But mainly we want to emphasize that the supernatural war that’s been fought since Eden is more obvious than you think. If you read the Bible with your spiritual eyes open, you’ll see stories you’ve known since Sunday School a whole new way.

The command centers of this long war are mountains. The prophesied climactic battle at the end of history will be fought for control of one specific mountain. We will identify the key mountains of history and lay out a prophetic scenario that the Enemy may use to deceive the world into accepting their man as a savior.

Sadly, most American Christians don’t believe Satan is real, much less end times prophecy.

To confuse things even further, the Fallen have introduced other religions into the end times mix, most significantly Islam. Muslims will play a significant role in the unfolding drama. Sadly for them, their end won’t be victorious global jihad. Their most likely future is as sacrificial victims to draw Jews and Christians into the greatest double-cross in history.

Jesus didn’t warn us of a great deception for nothing.

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Derek Gilbert Bio

Derek P. Gilbert hosts SkyWatchTV, a Christian television program that airs on several national networks, the long-running interview podcast A View from the Bunker, and co-hosts SciFriday, a weekly television program that analyzes science news with his wife, author Sharon K. Gilbert.
Before joining SkyWatchTV in 2015, his secular broadcasting career spanned more than 25 years with stops at radio stations in Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Little Rock, and suburban Chicago.
Derek is a Christian, a husband and a father. He’s been a regular speaker at Bible prophecy conferences in recent years. Derek’s most recent book is The Great Inception: Satan’s PSYOPs from Eden to Armageddon. He has also published the novels The God Conspiracy and Iron Dragons, and he’s a contributing author to the nonfiction anthologies God’s Ghostbusters, Blood on the Altar, I Predict: What 12 Global Experts Believe You Will See by 2025, and When Once We Were a Nation.

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The Convergence-Why Prophesy? Why Now?

To help me explain why most of my motivation for teaching hinges on prophecy, I need to tell you about my family and my experiences when I was growing up. Sure, sometimes my heartstrings are pulled in other directions with respect to God’s infinite kingdom, but I keep coming back to prophecy as the thing that the body of Christ seems to know the least about.  My grandfather F.C. Kruse was a Pentecostal minister for 40 years and he was quite the influential person in my life and of course my father’s life.  He was a very “old-school” church planter starting evangelical churches across this America. F.C. was also considered progressive in some ways because he frequently referred to himself as a “Bapti-costal.”  My father Jonn Kruse traveled and sold Christian educational materials for more than 50 years.  It is because of these two influential men in my life, along with years of sitting in pews, I have heard more than my share of prophecy. I have also been through many of the date-setting fiascos that have temporarily stirred up the Christian community. Of course, over the years I have definitely formed my own opinions and I am not afraid to chime in on many of the debates and talking points of Bible prophecy.

Most people are uncomfortable with prophecy and find it to be just wild speculation. Other people are so afraid of some of the pictures that prophecy paints, that they just avoid the subject entirely.  So when I teach prophecy, I start with the simple things that will later form a foundation for other possibilities.  While the whole point of prophecy is not to predict the future, there are still some things that we absolutely know.  For example, my father was visibly shaken and felt impacted when Israel became a nation again in 1948. He had been told that this would have to happen in order for the real “end times” to commence. The idea that Israel had to become a nation again was not necessarily that popular. When the prophetic parts of the Bible had gone mostly “silent” for almost 1900 years, people tended to start  making up theories about possible end time scenarios.   People couldn’t make sense of prophecy and that is why many churches just “washed” Revelations and other prophetic passages right out of the Bible.  During this time many began to step away from a literal interpretation of prophecy and they began to see it as allegorical or symbolic. Even some of the best theologians advocated for something called Replacement Theology, which says that God is finished with Israel. In fact, it goes on to say that the church has replaced Israel. So everywhere we see Israel in prophecy, we are really just talking about the church.  The problem is that there is a centricity to prophecy. Bible prophecy revolves around the nation of Israel, the Middle East and the children of Abraham. The fact that Israel had become a nation again especially fascinated my father because now he could look at prophecy in a more literal way. Since that time he has hardly ever stopped studying prophecy.  He is always reading some prophetic book or talking about a prophetic show that he saw on Christian television.

Back when I was a teenager, my father told me how one day the whole world would go to war over Israel. (See Zechariah 12:1-3) I called him out for being quite out of touch with reality.  “There is no way that would happen. No one cares about that little country over there.” Well, we can all laugh now can’t we? Obviously based on the geo-political situation in the world, this event could happen any day!  On the other hand, maybe you don’t realize that we really are on the verge of WWIII, but Vladimir Putin has warned the world on multiple occasions within the last few years of just such a scenario? Just how much time do you think is on God’s time clock? Why has there been so much time from when Jesus disappeared into the heavens? Why has God waited 1900 years to start fulfilling some of His prophetic promises?  I find that the answer to that question is that God is very merciful! God wants to save as many people as possible during the times of the Gentiles. Unfortunately, the times of the Gentiles are coming to a close and I will share that with you as you read on.

Even though there are many who are starting to wake up to the season that we have found ourselves in, the amount of skepticism in the world and the church is very palpable. Prophecy is even being censored in the church.  Peter directly warns us of this kind of attitude.

 

  • 2 Peter 3:3 – First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4“Where is the promise of His coming?” they will ask. “Ever since our fathers fell asleep, everything continues as it has from the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately overlook the fact that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world of that time perished in the flood. 7 And by that same word, the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

 

In the same way that we can count on God fulfilling His promises to us about our salvation, we can depend on Him to also fulfill His promises found in the prophetic parts of the Bible.  Unfortunately, the world really is in a situation much like in the story of the “boy who cried wolf.” Christians have been talking about the return of Jesus for 1900 years. Some of this is because they did not understand a very clear cipher that Jesus has given us so that we would know when we are really close.  For that entire time the church has taught the world, that Christ could come back any minute.  To the world, this sounds like the makings of a good old- fashioned fairly tale, but to the church and the bride of Christ, this is our great hope. What Peter is saying in this passage is that there will be scoffers all the way up to the last second before Christ returns.  Peter is also saying, that just as surely as there was a flood, there will also be a fire upon the earth to judge and destroy the ungodly. Still, the scoffers these days don’t even believe in the flood, so how can we wake them up?  The question is, can we wake up the church?  Is there really a way to know that we are in the end times?

 

What I want to share with you in this article is how we absolutely know that God’s time clock has started ticking again and why we are in a season called the “end times.” For myself, it all starts with what Jesus says in Luke 21. This passage is considered part of the Olivet Discourse and therefore it is linked to similar passages in Matthew 24:1- 25:46 and Mark 13. For the record, there are many who believe that Luke may be speaking about different events than the other two. It also is possible that this discourse was given on the temple mount, where as the other two passages were given on the Mount of Olives. Nonetheless, the integrity of the text is unquestioned! The reason I use Luke 21 is because it conveys something that is not included in the other texts and it is stunning!  The first thing that happens as Jesus is spending time with His disciples is that Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple.

 

  • 5 Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, 6 “These things which you see—the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”

 

From our perspective, it is important to note that the total destruction of Jerusalem and Israel actually occurred around 70 A.D., which makes 70 A.D. the first anchor point in history as to where chronologically this passage starts.   To His disciples, this bold statement by Jesus caught them off guard! This was like telling them that everything they know and loved was going to be destroyed, so naturally they were going to be asking Him a lot more questions.

  • 7 So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things is? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?” 8 And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore, do not go after them. 9 But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.” 10 Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. 13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. 14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head shall be lost. 19 By your patience possess your souls.

The Destruction of Jerusalem

 

  • 20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

 

I have highlighted verse 24 because I believe it is the key verse to establish another anchor point in human history, but this time it is on our timeline. This is the statement that is not included in Mathew 25 and Mark 13. In other words, Jesus literally told His disciples that Jerusalem and Israel would be destroyed, that many would fall by the sword and the rest would be led away captive into all nations. This dispersion would go on until there would come a day when Jerusalem was no longer trodden down of the gentiles. That day happened in 1967 in the six-day war. Israel finally took control over the city of Jerusalem for the first time in almost 1900 years! What is even more important is that all of us have seen this fulfilled in our lifetime! This simple reality is what even now controls the fate of the world. This statement by Jesus gives us another anchor point on His scale of things yet to come. There are many other passages that don’t just talk about Israel becoming a nation again, but specifically focus on the city of Jerusalem.  This is why for me 1967 is the most prophetic year we have ever seen in our era. This is not to say that the year 1948, when Israel first became a nation again, is not also very significant. However, it is the taking back of Jerusalem in 1967 that has put us back on Jesus’ prophetic map with only a few things still left to occur before His coming.  

What also begs the question is what exactly is going to happen from here on out?  This is where the Son of Man is going to enter human history once again. We are only given a few more details about this time period and they come in verses 25-28. I do want to mention that it is very possible that verses 8-11 also happen after 12-24, because it says so at the beginning of verse 12. This means that we may still need to be looking for false Christ’s, wars and commotions. We are also looking for “nation to rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.” Verse 25 further describes the situation leading up to the coming of the Son of Man. These are the things that we can expect to occur after the year 1967.

  • – And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

 

We are specifically told that after Jerusalem is under the control of Israel, then we will see signs in the sun, moon and stars.  We have certainly seen this with the blood moons / eclipse phenomenon’s. Now think back to how much interest in “end times” was generated leading up to year 2012. It is important to remember that the whole 2012 phenomenon all started with NASA talking about how the earth might be hit with an unprecedented amount of solar flares, which could create an end of the world, as we know it scenario.  We also clearly have many nations in perplexing situations, especially the Middle East where no one in the world has any plausible solutions for a 4000 year old family feud about who is God’s chosen people that has the world in it’s grip. Not only can it not be a coincidence that the exact same people are still controlling the world 400 years later, but the free world is being held hostage because God put all that oil underneath the Arab world.  We have also seen record setting waves and tsunamis devastating many parts of the world, but there is clearly more travail coming. Very soon we may see men’s hearts failing them for fear from what they see coming on the face of the earth. Soon the heavens and the spiritual powers therein may begin to shake our reality. All of this means that we may be very near to actually seeing Jesus split the clouds with power and great glory!

In verse 28, Jesus gives what I believe to be the definitive Biblical cipher for interpreting all of Bible prophecy. “Now when you see these things,” what things do you think Jesus is talking about?  Well, the things He just got done sharing in this passage, but I also believe this applies to all the prophecies in the Bible. When you see the things in the Bible happening and especially with regard to this sequence of events, then stand up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.

This statement by Jesus proves that we cannot use the Bible to primarily predict the future, but we can know that we have entered into a specific season of human history known as the “end times.” Sometimes we don’t even realize that something prophetic has happened until after the event has already happened. God purposely keeps a heavy veil over prophecy, but why?  I believe this is because the purpose of prophecy is not to predict the future, but to prove to us that God is in complete control of the future.  This experience of reading our Bibles and seeing it happen in our newspapers has a way of producing faith in very difficult times that nothing else does.  A sincere belief that God knows the future also means that God knows your future. You can trust Him with your life. My father’s sharing this information with me and then seeing this exact scenario develop is why I believe my Bible more today than I did then. This new faith is why I teach prophecy today because it proves that we have a God that we can trust.

I firmly believe that prophecy can prove that God is true to the “Generation Next.” My dad may have offended many of my sensibilities when I was young and naive, but God’s word was found to be true! I had another similar experience about another passage my father shared with me around the same time.  Just about 5-6 years ago, I nearly fell out of my chair, when I read another article about how Russia had made a “NATO” like pact with Iran. This was exactly what my father had explained to me was a likely possibility based on Ezekiel 38 & 39. Most of the world had already been watching what was going to happen with Iran.  You could literally say that maybe the biggest security threat in the world was a nuclear Iran and here we have the Bible chiming in from 3000 years beforehand!

There are many other ways that I could go on to show that prophecy is one of the main ways God has proven that we can trust Him. However, there is no greater purpose of prophecy than to reveal Christ Himself. If Jesus didn’t fulfill 300 prophecies in the Bible, then we would have never known that He was unmistakably the messiah. Still, the Scribes and Pharisee’s of the His day, who knew the Bible possibly better that almost anyone today, were somehow able to completely miss Him. A study of Daniel’s 70 weeks reveals that Jesus literally road into Jerusalem on a donkey, declaring to the world that He was the Messiah, on the exact day that the Bible predicted that He would.  No wonder Jesus stood outside Jerusalem and wept saying, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matt 23:37) Knowing that prophecy is the bedrock of our faith helps me understand an imperative for those who are alive just prior to Christ’s return. There is literally 8 times as much prophecy about when Jesus comes the second time as when He came the first time. When you understand that deception and unpreparedness are the hallmarks of the world at His return, I honestly believe that Christ is weeping yet again in heaven.  He longs to gather the world to Himself. Each day is yet another extended mercy towards reaping a harvest of souls for His kingdom, but knowing Him and his prophecies is the key to recognizing the season, as well as the counterfeit christ’s that are to come.

Now think about the modern church. Is the church really standing up for Jesus and the God of the Bible?  Are we really lifting up our heads in expectation of the return of Jesus?  Well, in many parts of the world the answer is yes.  Persecution of the church is happening around the world on an unprecedented level! This persecution is coming with signs and wonders of God’s miraculous deliverance along with stories that are truly horrifying. Yes, many Christians are wide-awake, but here in America the church is largely asleep.  Yes, there has to be some amount of awakening that occurred with the recent presidential election. I honestly believe America received a miracle and a stay in our execution. Like Jonathon Cahn has preached in our capitol and in his books (The Harbinger), every nation that abandons God and does not heed God’s warnings is going to be judged.  When I talk about waking up to the reality that we are in the final season of human history or that we are the “terminal generation,” then I thing about the Parable of the Fig Tree.  As it turns out, this is exactly what Jesus brings up next.

  • 29 Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation (the generation that saw the end of the times of the gentiles) will by no means pass away till all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

The traditional interpretation of the fig tree is that it represents Israel.  Again, Jesus is talking about seeing one thing, the flowering of a tree, and then knowing through inference that summer or a season is near.  This is also why we have been able to infer that one-day Jerusalem would not be trodden down of the Gentiles and that those who had been dispersed would some day return.  While we know from Mathew 24:36 that “no man knows the day nor the hour,” this passage tells us that we can know the season.  Like two little children on a long trip always asking “when are we going to get there,” Jesus also knows ahead of time that we are going to be asking these type of questions. When we think of a season with regard to 6000 years of human history, the timing is obviously still a mystery.   Consequently, we are still left wondering just exactly what does ‘near’ mean? Then Jesus gives us something quantifiable when He says, “this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place.”  This is why we use the phrase, “terminal generation.”  Gary Stearman does a whole study on just everywhere this term is used in the Bible and it is very interesting. For general purposes, a generation in the Bible can be up to 70 years.  If we add 70 years to 1967, the years that Israel took back the whole city of Jerusalem, we come up with the year 2037. We are clearly in this time frame!  The final part of the passage talks about another important part of the purpose of prophecy, and that is to reinforce the importance of watching.

  • 34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

In the same way that the Bible warns us of the thorns, which represent the cares of this world, in the parable of the sower, this passage warns us of the fact that we all can get so entangling in life that we are literally unaware of the eminency of God’s time clock.  I absolutely believe that this applies to the church, and especially in America.  The warning of prophecy stands for all generations, but especially for the terminal one.  This also makes me think of the Laodicean Church in Revelations 3, which is also known as the lukewarm Church.

  • 14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

Not only does this match the “wealth prosperity gospel” found here in America, but it also matches the politically correct church here as well. No longer is the church willing to stand up for what the Bible clearly says.  Sure Jesus is all right, but so is abortion, gay marriage or being a man trapped in a woman’s body. The politically correct church paints Jesus as Mr. Rodgers and surely Jesus would never offend anyone.  The church is also especially afraid of becoming political. Maybe that is because they are afraid of their tax status being revoked.  Either way, these two issues with where the church stands today are in stark contrast with the fact that religious and political leaders for religious and political reasons killed Jesus! Then Jesus told us that they would do the same to us.  This kind of attitude from a church or even when it comes from myself is very frustrating. I want you to notice what God does next.  God sends his love message to this politically correct church in the form of a rebuke and a call towards repentance. I believe just like the foolish virgins, they do not know what time it is and that is why they are sleeping or simply following after other god’s.  The warning of prophecy can play a major part in this awakening because the warning of prophecy is real.

As we look back over this passage, I feel that Luke 21 validates the Historical view of scripture because it literally covers 1900 years without blinking. Yes, many of the things that Christ mentions in this passage have absolutely happened. The destruction of everything Jewish in 70 A.D. along with the dispersal of God’s people throughout the whole world are good examples.  This fact proves that the Preterist viewpoint can be real possibility because some things in this passage have clearly happened.  On the other hand, there are many things in this passage that are yet to be fulfilled like the actual physical return of Jesus.  This idea of an actual physical return of Jesus makes perfect sense with the rest of scripture.  Think about all of these literals. Jesus: was a literal person; was literally crucified; was literally raised from the dead; literally rose into Heaven; literally predicted the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, which was literally fulfilled; literally predicted the death of so many Jews and the dispersion of the survivors into the whole world, which literally came true. If we believe all of these literals, then why would we suddenly look to His return as symbolic or figurative? Why is the coming of Jesus purely limited to our hearts? This type of reasoning shows without a shadow of a doubt that the futurist viewpoint of prophecy can make perfect sense. If it didn’t, then why is Jesus telling us to stand up and lift up our heads because our redemption is drawing near?  Without the literal return of Christ, the only redemption we will ever receive is when we die?

The truth is that we need all of these viewpoints to get a balanced view of prophecy. Still, the point of this entire article is that we have seen Jerusalem come to a place where it is no longer trodden down of the Gentiles.  Christ Himself has told us explicitly, that when we see these things, we are to lift up our heads in expectation of Christ’s return.  When we see the convergence of Bible prophecy with our newspapers, then something and someone is getting very close.  Israel is indeed the super sign! Israel is a modern day miracle and each day that it exists is against all odds! This is why I recommend the movie narrated by Leonard Nimoy by the same title.  The more people know about Israel and what is happening in the world, the more I believe that the real church is going to stand up for what we believe. Prophecy can help us lift up Jesus to a whole new generation that needs faith like never before?

One of the last things I will share about Luke 21 is that it gives a contrast to the two types of people that find themselves in the last days.  The ones, who know their Bible prophecy and know what is happening are the ones who are fulfilling the purpose of prophecy, which is to given expectancy to the return of Christ. Reading God’s word and seeing it happen have an effect on our faith like nothing else. This building of faith is what all scripture is about, but the miracle of prophecy is that it can build faith even in prophetic times and in the face of persecution. This is why the people that know prophecy are able to stand up for their faith even unto death. They are excited to see the things in the Bible happen because they know that their faith is true and that the one in whom they have believed is true. There are many purposes of prophecy, but this definition is the one I like the most.   Prophecy was not given to us in order to predict the future, but so that we would know that God knows the future.  If God knows the future, then I can trust the He knows my future.  Knowing that our fate is secure helps us become even more persuaded that the God of the Bible is able to keep His promises.

This kind of faith is in stark contrast to the other people groups in this story. The one’s who did not know their Bible, saw the very same things happen and they are struck with fear to the point that their hearts literally failed! This kind of loss of heart will make them easily prey for the deception that Satan has waiting for them during this perilous time in history. Now let’s ask a different question. What if these two groups of people were to meet? One is afraid and the other one is excited. Now can you imagine how someone who is genuinely afraid of something might react if they see their neighbor who is excited about the same things?  I really cant imagine it, but this is going to be one of those times in history where people of faith can have a great witness because everyone is going to be searching for answers.  Those answers are all found in the prophetic parts of the Bible. If we, as a body of Christ, do not know the whole Gospel, then how can we proclaim the good news of Christ’s soon return for the entire length of history? Paul when he was speaking to the elders and pastors of the church says, “therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel /purpose of God.” (Acts 20:25&26) Now consider that up to 30 percent of the Bible was prophetic when it was written. The Bible is also clear that every generation has been called to know and preach the whole counsel of God, but one generation is actually going to see all these things happen. They are the generation that end times prophecy was made for and it would be a tragedy if they missed it.  

As I read Luke 21, I cannot help but realize that Jesus brought this whole subject up to His disciples on purpose. Jesus knew just how difficult their road was going to be and He was trying to prepare them for it.  The disciples literally saw these things happen and I am sure that they not only remembered these words, but they wrote them down and read them often. When the day came where their entire city, country and temple was destroyed, I can’t imagine how hard that must have been. But it would have been a lot harder if they had not been warned. It would have been a lot harder if they had no hope of ever returning. When many of them were led away captive, just as they were in the days of Daniel, I believe this prophecy gave them hope.  Hope that one-day Jerusalem would no longer be trodden down of the gentiles and that the times of the Israel might one day come again.  This same passage has shown that the God of the Bible knows the beginning from the end. We are and we are going to see more things that are going to make other men’s hearts fail them for fear, but Jesus has given us prophecy to give us a hope and an excitement about His return. We have seen most all of this passage come to pass and now there are only few things left before Jesus is to return.  

Now is the time to preach the whole gospel and to let the world know that the things in the Bible are happening.  As I have had more opportunities to speak about prophecy, it has also affected my witness to those outside the church.  I am a chiropractor by profession, but for a while I would tell people that I taught classes on prophecy.  To my amazement, not one person looked at me funny.  In fact, all of them seemed to be interested in talking a bit more.  One day I was working out next to a guy, and I had my t-shirt that says “Jesus Saves.”  There is also a picture of Jesus that has Him wearing a goalie uniform and standing in front of a hockey net.  He couldn’t resist picking up a conversation.  I told him that my wife loves hockey and I love Jesus.  We laughed and then I went on and told him that I taught prophecy classes.  He was very nice, but I could tell he was thinking about everything I said more than the average bear. I could also tell by his questions that he clearly knew more than he was leading on.  About 25-30 minutes into the conversation he finally told me what gives.  He told me that he was a pastor and that he had to be careful whom he told that to because sometimes people would just end the conversation and walk away.  I was kind of shocked, but I responded immediately.  You should just tell them that you teach prophecy and then I went on to tell him that I was actually a chiropractor.  

It’s amazing how Christians have the most relevant and best-documented book in the world, but the world is shutting us out. Meanwhile, every TV network has a show on ghosts or aliens because the world is obsessed with them. The world is crying out for the supernatural and we have the only book that tells the whole truth. Somehow we stayed too close to the lines and failed to show the world what an amazing book the Bible is.  I cannot tell you how many history channel shows I have seen about the prophetic works of Nostradamus or Edgar Cayce, but not one show talking about just how accurate the Bible’s predictions are. What if I told you that more people around the world and even in America believe in Aliens than God? When was the last time anyone talked about that subject in church?  Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has said that if aliens show up they will baptize them. No, I am not kidding.  What I am trying to say is that when I see the apostles in the New Testament, I see them standing at the cross roads of society and engaging the people on every level.  When Paul taught about the un-known God, he was being “all things to all men, so that some might be saved.”  The Bible talks about all of these subjects, but we don’t do it in the church.  Men’s hearts are already filled with fear and we need to share with them why we can have hope. Not just by sharing the gospel, but also by showing them that the God of the Bible can be trusted because He knows the future.

The Bible is still relevant and sharper than a two-edged sword.  More importantly, the Bible is happening and the world is helpless to see it unless we tell them! During the course of the upcoming year, I will use this same Biblical cipher given by Jesus to show that there is indeed a convergence of Bible prophecy like never before. If you are hungry for more and want to begin learning and sharing the prophetic things of the Bible, I have developed a completely free reference website called www.prophecydays.com.  There are many different series on the site and each series lists the links for the YouTube videos.  You can also download the audio version of each session in mp3 format, as well as the notes in Microsoft word. After hearing the classes and reading the notes, I hope that you will be able to teach the class yourself.  The sooner we begin to share the incredible and undeniable proofs of the Bible, the more that we will be able to give the world a supernatural relationship with the one and only true God that knows their future.

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Dr. Kevan Kruse has been practicing Chiropractic in the Bay area since 1992. Educated at the University of Tampa and Life University, Kevan received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and a Doctorate of Chiropractic. Kevan was born in Florida, but he was raised with down to earth Midwestern values. These values translate into an office that is dedicated to serving patients in a surprisingly relaxed atmosphere. Each patient is evaluated on an individual basis and treated appropriately.

Dr. Kruse is also open to multi-disciplinary approaches to health care, with his focus being primarily chiropractic and nutritional ways to help solve health problems. His fascination and extensive participation in sports makes his treatment of automobile accidents, work related injuries and sports injuries especially on-target. Dr. Kruse is married to Alexandra and they have two sons named Wiatte and Whestan. Dr. Kruse supports many local charities and attends Bell Shoals Baptist church, where he occasionally teaches classes on various topics.

Why is the church important? The church is where the friends of Jesus meet and grow. It is a hospital for those who admit they are sick and who want to get better. The church is not a building or an organization, it is just people. The church is also part of your spiritual family. Does anyone you know have a perfect family? Good, because that won’t happen in church either. You won’t like all the people there, but you will grow to love many of them. You may have to visit around some to find the right church for you, but if you work at it, you will be better for it. My church friends are one of my greatest sources or encouragement and joy.