Prophecy Watch: December 10 2013 Tuesday Tevet 7 5774 Vol.1 No.1

 

10 Dec 13

VOTERS DISAPPROVE OF OBAMACARE
Half(50%)of voters disapprove of the President’s healthcare law,or Obamacare. Just 40% approve of the law. Intensity is strongly against Obamacare, as 43% strongly disapprove, while only 25% strongly approve.  

The Most Homeless Children In New York City Since The Great Depression
At a time when Wall Street is absolutely swimming in wealth, New York City is experiencing an epidemic of homelessness. According to the New York Times, the last time there was this many homeless children in New York City was during the days of the Great Depression.  

Nuclear war would 'end civilization' with famine, study says
A nuclear war between India and Pakistan would set off a global famine that could kill two billion people and effectively end human civilization, a study said Tuesday. Even if limited in scope, a conflict with nuclear weapons would wreak havoc in the atmosphere and devastate crop yields, with the effects multiplied as global food markets went into turmoil, the report said.  

NSA morale reportedly hits rock bottom after Snowden revelations
Employees at the National Security Agency aren’t happy that we now know to look out for their trash-talking elves that they’ve created in World of Warcraft. The Washington Post reports that officials at the NSA are feeling depressed and demoralized by the constant stream of revelations being leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden and are also feeling hung out to dry by a White House that has spent most of its time trying to contain political damage caused by the Snowden leaks.  

Write wrongs! Over 500 world-famous authors sign anti-surveillance petition
More than 500 renowned authors – including five Nobel laureates - from across the globe have signed a petition demanding an end to ‘mass surveillance’. It follows the revelations over the last few months of the US and other countries spying.  

Killer winter storms for next THIRTY years
Many people could die as extreme weather becomes common. There will be more freak winds like the October storm, which killed four people. Heatwaves will be lethal and the sea level will rise, leaving coastal towns at risk of being swamped by storm surges.  

Snow falling. In Australia. In summer. That is all
A day after we posted images of fresh summer snow falling across the Australian Alps, we've updated our original story with new images that show the ground getting whiter... and whiter... and whiter.  

Cold rewrites Oregon history books
The record cold temperatures throughout Oregon continue to rewrite the history books, or at least add new chapters to them. The city of Portland has not had a day with temperatures in the single digits since 1989 -- a quarter-century ago. KOIN 6 News meteorologist Sally Showman said Portland stands a good chance of dropping into the single digits early Sunday morning.  

Xbox Live among game services targeted by US and UK spy agencies
Online gaming is big business, attracting tens of millions of users worldwide who inhabit their digital worlds as make-believe characters, living and competing with the avatars of other players. What the intelligence agencies feared, however, was that among these clans of elves and goblins, terrorists were lurking.  

US, Jordan Agree: Israel Should Control Jordan Valley
The Obama Administration and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan have both reportedly sided with Israel in its demand to retain control over the Jordan Valley in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians.  

Do Christians and Muslims Serve the Same God?
Does God care what we call Him? Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? These are questions many Christians are asking these days, and for good reason.  

Iranian foreign minster warns Geneva nuclear deal is 'dead' if US passes new sanctions
Iran's foreign minister has warned that the historic nuclear deal agreed in Geneva will be "dead" if the US Congress moves ahead with threats to pass new sanctions. Javad Zarif told Time that any new sanctions would show a "lack of seriousness" by the US, breaching the terms of last month's interim deal and scuppering hopes for a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear deal.  

Record Number Of Volcano Eruptions In 2013 – Is Catastrophic Global Cooling Dead Ahead?
Have you noticed that this December is unusually cold so far? Could the fact that we have had a record number of volcanoes erupt in 2013 be responsible? Certainly an unusually calm solar cycle is playing a significant role in producing all of this cold weather, but as you will see below the truth is that throughout human history volcanic eruptions have produced some of the coldest winters ever recorded.  

China-Japan Conflict Could Lead to World War III, Warns Former UN Ambassador
Former Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Sha Zukang has warned that the dispute between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands could lead to World War III. ...“If China started a war with Japan, it would be much larger than both the Sino-Japanese War and World War II, said Sha. The United States and Japan should cooperate with China to maintain regional peace,” states the report.  

Darpa’s Giant Folding Spy Satellite Will Dwarf All Other Space Telescopes
Spying could become much easier if a new lightweight, folding satellite concept gets off the ground. Darpa, the military’s futuristic research agency, says it has plans to “break the glass ceiling” of space telescopes by shooting a new design into orbit that’s made of plastic and unfolds into a mammoth satellite that would dwarf the world’s most famous telescopes.  

Rosetta: Anxious wait for comet chaser wake up
Scientists say they are in for an anxious wait as they prepare to wake a comet-chasing probe from deep-space hibernation. In January, they will attempt to bring the Rosetta spacecraft back online so it can journey towards Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Once it has reached the huge mass of ice and rock, the team will try to deploy a lander on the comet's surface.  

US Senate votes to ban plastic guns for 10 more years
The US Senate has approved a 10-year extension of a ban on plastic guns invisible to metal detectors but has rejected tougher restrictions called for by gun-control advocates. The bill was approved by a Senate voice vote one week after it passed the House of Representatives. Democrats had aimed to require a gun's firing mechanism to contain at least one undetachable metal piece.  

Mid-East governments sign Red Sea-to-Dead Sea water deal
Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have signed a water sharing pact aimed at one day replenishing the rapidly drying Dead Sea. The agreement will build a pipeline to carry brine from a desalination plant at the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, while providing drinking water to the region. The Dead Sea is dropping by as much as 1m (3.3ft) a year as the River Jordan is depleted for use in irrigation.  

Christians Are Being Burned Alive Beheaded Crucified Tortured To Death And Imprisoned In Metal Shipping Containers
The “coming persecution of Christians” has already begun. It is already here. So why is the mainstream media in the United States almost totally silent about this phenomenon? When some politician somewhere around the globe inadvertently offends homosexuals or Muslims, it instantly makes headline news  

US vet held in N. Korea says statement was coerced
The 85-year-old U.S. Korean War veteran who was detained for weeks by North Korea said Monday that the videotaped confession in which he apologized for killing North Koreans during the war was given involuntarily and under duress.  

UN: Israel to allow some materials into Gaza again
The United Nations said Monday that Israel has agreed to again allow imports of construction materials into Gaza after a two-month clampdown following the discovery of a tunnel dug by militants from the coastal strip into Israel.  

Purge sends chilling message to NKorea's elite
While the rest of North Korea's top brass leaped to their feet before Kim Jong Un, clapping wildly in a requisite show of respect at high-level meetings, his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, often seemed nonchalant, at times even bored. Once considered the force behind the young leader, he displayed a bold insouciance that seemed calculated to show he was beyond reach.  

There's Almost No Difference Between PG-13 And R-Rated Movies
Researchers have criticized the rating system of the Motion Picture Association of America after finding that violent film characters tend to glorify "risky behaviors" like sex and drug use, regardless of the rating a film has been granted.  

 

Dec 9, 2013 

The Demonic Knockout Game

Our nation is in the grip of an epidemic of black-on-white crime. The latest trend in this problem is a practice called the “knockout game.” It involves assailants (mostly young black males) attempting to “knock out” an unsuspecting victim with a single sucker punch to the head.

Calling this a game is a sick joke. You would have to be a hate-filled psychopath to find this entertaining. Striking someone in the face as hard as possible can be fatal. Attempted murder is the only proper way to label this type of attack.

In just the city of Syracuse, the “knockout game” is blamed for two deaths:

Michael Daniels, 51, was beaten to death, outside the Los Amigos Market. Ander Grady, 16, was found guilty of manslaughter and his 13-year-old co-defendant pleaded guilty to assault.

Jim Gifford, 70, was punched and kicked after he was knocked unconscious outside a 7-Eleven in September, dying four days later at Upstate University Hospital. Romeo Williams, 18, has been charged with first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault.

There is no national record of how many of these knockout attacks have occurred because the liberal media is doing everything possible to cast doubt on the problem. Not a single major-broadcast has run a story on the trend. I did find that John Stewart of The Daily Show made a quick reference to the “knockout game,” saying it was equal to the fictitious war on Christmas.

How can there be any doubt about the intentions of black ruffians randomly punching someone of another race in the face? It has happened at least a hundred times. The only thing to disbelieve is the depth of depravity required to carry out such an attack.

It’s easy for the liberal media to ignore attacks on whites (they don’t count in a politically correct world). However, the news of attacks of Jewish residents in Crown Heights has forced them to give some secondary coverage to the matter. There is a long history of tension between the black and Jewish communities.

Councilwoman-elect, Laurie Cumbo was just elected to represent Crown Heights. Since the problem is occurring in her district she obviously felt compelled to express her concern in a letter to supporters. She started out by calling the “knockout game” an epidemic, but then she offered one excuse after another for why young blacks are attacking Jews:

“In many ways governmental neglect, outside uncontrolled influences and failed leadership have led to the breakdown that so many young people of color are currently facing.”

Nowhere in her 1,200-word letter did Cumbo directly condemn the youths who have been carrying out the vicious attacks. By blaming the problem on economic disparities she evoked what the Anti-Defamation League calls: “Classic anti-Semitic stereotypes.”

These attacks are disastrous for the social standing of blacks in America. If you’re a youth of any African decent, it would be very disheartening to have the majority of the people you encounter on the street taking a defensive stance as you pass by them.

The “knockout game” is rocket fuel for hate groups. Already websites that track race-related crimes are popping up all over the Internet. If you go to any news story on the “knockout game” offering a reader-comment section, you’ll find them full of statements that reflect the growing feeling of persecution on the part of whites.

I think we are on a hopeless collision coarse with racial unrest. The liberal media is fanning the flames by ignoring the dangerous trend. Many blacks think they live in a state of total oppression, and whites—who are in a position of responsibility by their majority status—prefer to cowardly bite their tongues and do nothing until something forces them to act.

The collapse of the welfare state will likely be the event that uncorks this brewing volcano. When the EBT cards go void, people will go mad. I guess the only question is this: Will there be so much black-on-black violence that anyone will notice the black-on-white hostility?

I see this breakdown of racial harmony as just one more reason for us to hope for our deliverance in the Rapture. In heaven, there is no racial strife, because in Christ, we are all brothers and sisters.

“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:27-29).

--Todd


Israel Forever!

I am writing this piece this morning, the first day of the Pre-Trib prophecy conference in Dallas--the 23rd such conference, according to Dr. Tim LaHaye, the founder of the forum. This year's conference is on Israel and that nation's destiny.

We have addressed this subject on a number of occasions on Rapture Ready, but it is one that never grows stale--at least not with me. And, the insights gained so far while listening to Dr. David Hocking made the trip worthwhile, even if I didn't plan to sit through another session. Israel is the prophetic signal--if one were to choose just one--that should prove to any rationally oriented mind that: 1) God's Word is true, and 2) This generation is very near the end of the dispensation of grace.

Dr. Hocking, one of the most knowledgeable scholars and speakers on Israel, spent 45 minutes or so laying out the case for Israel being the one nation that is guaranteed to be such forever. In the process of his presentation, he, without having to say so, built the foundation to show that the God of the Bible is the one and only God.

He told how he had opportunity to witness to a cabbie who had driven him from the airport to the hotel. He said the cab driver made the mistake of asking what he was doing in Dallas. Dr. Hocking told him he was speaking at a conference. The cabbie, a Muslim a native of the Middle East, asked him what he was speaking on, and the conversation that followed was one of great interest. The shuttle van's driver said something about Allah being in charge of everything, and Dr. Hocking went into depth--for the brief duration of the ride from DFW to the hotel, how there is only one God and His Name is Yahweh. He didn't say--or I don't remember him reporting that he did so--how the conversation ended. But, David spoke the following morning with his head still attached, so I presume the driver didn't consider the infidel's offense of sufficient magnitude to take jihad action. Or, maybe Dr. Hocking didn't mention Mohammed, which seems to be the redline for employing the scimitar, like in the case we remember involving the writer Salman Rushdie from some years back.

Again, David Hocking's presentation was on Israel and her destiny. That topic is at the heart of what is going on, prophetically, in the world today. One question Hocking addressed was the question of whether Israel today is fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Is the modern state of Israel a literal fulfillment of Bible prophecy?

The more academic of Bible prophecy scholars--the seminarians--mostly hold that Israel being back in the land God gave the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is "preparation" for fulfillment of prophecy, in their view, but not literal fulfillment of any specific prophecy. I was rather surprised, and pleasantly so, to learn that David Hocking considers it literal fulfillment, not merely preparation for fulfillment of prophecy from the futurist point of view.

Dr. Hocking certainly fits into the fold of academia, but his overwhelming, evidence-laden exposition on modern Israel being prophecy fulfilled in our time proved, to me, at least, that the academic purists within the pre-Trib view of eschatology camp are out of sync with what God predicts for Israel.

Now, for a commercial. That's what my book, Cauldron: Supernatural Implications of the Current Middle East, is about, in its essence. It is a treatment--and, if I may say so, a very reader-friendly treatment--of why Israel is at the center of world geopolitical controversy and has become a nation blamed for the threat of global nuclear war--thus, even though it is that tiny Jewish state, itself, that is constantly threatened with destruction from its enemy neighbors.

The book covers the current, precarious state of world peace. It goes back to the book of Genesis to find the beginning of the supernatural hatred being waged against modern Israel at this very hour. It deals, often in minute detail, with some of the international intrigues being plotted for the wind-up of human history.

The bottom line is summed up scripturally with the prophetic words, "He who keepth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps." To put it another way--"Israel forever!" -


***Cauldron: Supernatural Implications of the Current Middle East***

This most relevant book for these closing days of the age is scheduled for release in early March 2014. We will announce the exact publication date and information as the time of the book's release nears.

-- Terry

 

The End Times According To Daniel … Part One, Chapters 2 and 7

 


 

(I first posted this three part study in 2006.  Here’s part 1 of an updated version. Parts 2 and 3 will be posted on Nov. 23 and Nov. 30)

From about 1,000 to 900 BC Israel had been the most feared and admired nation on Earth. Then, following Solomon’s death and the civil war that ensued, the nation had fallen from its exalted position into a kingdom divided over idolatry. Israel’s enemies saw their chance and took it. First the Northern Kingdom was conquered in 721BC by Assyria and then the Southern Kingdom was carried away into slavery 100 years later at the hands of the King of Babylon.

Thus began The Times Of The Gentiles. Also known as Gentile Dominion, it will span over 2600 years from the Babylonian Captivity to the Millennial Kingdom as one gentile empire after another has had a hand at ruling the world, often subjugating Jerusalem in the process. Jesus said, “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24) and so it has been. Israel’s recapture of the entire City of Jerusalem in June of 1967 and the events of our time are signs that the end of Gentile Dominion is upon us, but I don’t think the Lord’s prophecy will be completely fulfilled until He comes back.  InRev. 11:2 we’re told the Gentiles will be trampling on the Holy City until the end of the Great Tribulation.

Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 give us two different overviews of Gentile world government during this period, man’s and God’s. As you can imagine they’re substantially different. We’ll look at things from man’s perspective first.

Our study opens in chapter 2 as Daniel, having been taken hostage to Babylon as a teenager and groomed to become an adviser to the King, finds himself fighting for his life. If he can’t interpret the King’s troubling dream, he and his friends will be brutally executed. There’s just one catch. The King won’t tell him what the dream was.

Fortunately there is One who will. Let’s look in.

Daniel 2:26-49

The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?”
Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you lay on your bed are these:
 (Daniel 2:26-28)

Daniel had prayed that God would reveal the dream and its interpretation to him. Reasoning that God would not have brought him to a place of influence in the court of Israel’s conqueror just to be executed, he has committed himself to meeting the king’s impossible challenge and asked for God’s help. Now it’s show time.

“As you were lying there, O king, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen. As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than other living men, but so that you, O king, may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind. (Daniel 2:29-30)

The King’s motives are revealed. He had refused to disclose the dream’s contents because he didn’t trust his advisers. Someone who can tell him both the dream and its interpretation will have proven himself both knowledgeable and trustworthy.

“You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth. (Daniel 3:31-35)

I can imagine that the King was on the edge of his throne staring intently into Daniel’s eyes as he came to the realization that Daniel had just described his dream to the last detail. In fact, I’ll bet that Daniel had the entire court’s full attention, because one look at the King’s face told them all that he was saving their lives as well as his own. Now for the interpretation.

“This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold. (Daniel 2:36-38)

Babylon was the country we know as Iraq today. Jeremiah, a contemporary of Daniel’s who wrote from Jerusalem, had told envoys from each of Israel’s neighbors that God was giving them two choices; surrender to the King of Babylon and live, or fight and die. God had chosen King Nebuchadnezzar to punish Israel’s enemies for their past treacheries at the same time that he brought the judgment God decreed against Israel because of their idolatry (Jeremiah 27:1-11).  As a result, Babylon has wound up ruling the entire Middle East.  But Daniel has just informed the King that any place on Earth that he desires will be given into his hands. Even the animals have been made subject to him. Nebuchadnezzar, representing Babylon, is the statue’s head of gold.

“After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay. (Daniel 2:39-43)

Knowing our history makes accurately interpreting this passage possible. Babylon was conquered by a coalition of the Medes (today’s Kurds) and the Persians (Iran) at the end of the seventy-year period set aside for Israel’s captivity. They’re the chest and arms of silver. The Greek armies under Alexander conquered Persia and are represented by the belly and thighs of bronze. The legs of iron are the Eastern and Western divisions of the Roman Empire that displaced the Greeks, and from this point on we’ve switched from history to prophecy. The Roman Empire was never really conquered, but collapsed under the weight of its own decay, transforming itself from a political entity to a religious one in the process. The Holy Roman Empire held sway over the known world well into the middle ages. Since then several of its components have had their time in the sun; Spain, England, and most recently England’s former colony, the USA.

That leaves the 10 toes, a kingdom not yet in power, whose arrival on the world scene will be characterized by a coming together and splitting apart of groups uncomfortable with each other, as symbolized by the mixture of iron and clay.

Remember, in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream the statue had two legs, pointing to the Roman Empire’s two divisions. The Eastern leg is currently represented by the Muslim countries of the Middle East, while the Western leg is called the European Union today.  The nations of both legs are having problems that prevent them from uniting with each other.  In the west the problems are financial, pitting richer countries against poorer ones,  and the east they’re religious, with Sunni and Shiite Muslims at odds.  Since each leg is having trouble, you can see why any attempt at unifying the two legs will be imperfect at best.

The clay in the mixture refers to pottery made of the recycled shards or broken pieces of different kinds of pottery ground into dust again and mixed with water to make a clay like substance. When dried, it was very brittle and easily broken. In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream it’s meant to dramatize the difficulty the end times Empire represented by the ten toes will have in staying together.

“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

“The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy.” (Daniel 2:44-45)

During the time of the 10 toes, the Lord will bring His greatest and final judgment upon the Earth. Every last vestige of the Gentile kingdoms will be destroyed, and the Lord Himself will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. Nor will it ever fall into the hands of others.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”

Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court. (Daniel 2:46-49)

And so begins Daniel’s remarkable career as chief adviser to first the King of Babylon, and then the King of Persia.

I said earlier that this vision represents man’s view of Gentile Dominion as a mixture of shiny and precious metals. While each metal is less valuable than its predecessor, indicating a decline in the quality of its rule, each one is also harder and therefore stronger, showing it to be more powerful than the kingdom it replaced.

Next we’ll look at these same four kingdoms from God’s perspective, and as I told you, it’ll be way different.

Daniel 7:1-14

Daniel’s Dream of Four Beasts

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.

Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea. (Daniel 7:1-3)

The vision in Daniel 7 occurred 50 years after Daniel 2. Belshazzar was Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, and Daniel was now an old man. The four winds of heaven symbolize a sovereign act of God, and the fact that these beasts come up from the sea hints that they represent the wickedness of Gentile Dominion. (Isaiah 57:20-21)

“The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it. (Dan. 7:4)

Babylon’s symbol was the winged lion. Being made into a man makes it represent the King.

“And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’ (Dan. 7:5)

The bear symbolizes the Medo-Persian coalition. Though Media was the senior partner Persia became the stronger one, which is shown by one side being raised above the other. The three ribs are Persia’s three major conquests, Lydia in 546BC, Babylon in 539, and Egypt in 525.

“After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule. (Dan. 7:6)

The leopard is Greece. The four wings represent the speed with which Alexander conquered the known world. It took him only 10 years. The four heads are his four generals who took the kingdom upon Alexander’s death and divided it among themselves.

“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns. (Dan. 7:7)

This beast is so strange and terrifying to Daniel that it didn’t look like anything he’s seen before. It’s iron teeth recall the legs of iron from Daniel 2:40. Rome was a powerful Empire that brooked no resistance. In the reference to the 10 horns we again jump from history to prophecy, from the ancient Roman Empire to its revival in our times.

“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully. (Dan. 7:8)

Here’s the origin of one of the anti-Christ’s titles, the Little Horn. Notice that he’s not one of the original 10 horns, but comes from among them. A horn symbolizes power or authority when used symbolically. To me this means that the anti-Christ doesn’t start out as part of the official leadership, but comes from a less significant status outside the centers of power to depose three of the existing leaders and assume their authority. If I’m correct, look for the anti-Christ to burst on the scene suddenly from a previously unimportant segment of the Empire rather than from among its current leaders.

Daniel saw an angel in the vision who was also observing things. When he asked him about the fourth kingdom and the little horn, he was given this explanation:

‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. (Daniel 7:23-25)

It’s obviously an End Times reference and includes the 3 ½ year duration of the Great Tribulation (time, times and half a time) during which the Little Horn will gain control of the entire world, taking over from the 10 kings. As Paul later confirmed he will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped. (2 Thes. 2:4).  Revelation 13:7 tells us he’ll make war against Tribulation believers and overcome them. Revelation 17:13 says the ten kings will give their power and authority to him during the time of the Great Tribulation  These clues all point us to the anti-Christ, who will be different from the other kings in that he will be indwelt by Satan himself.

“As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. (Dan. 7:9-10)

But while the anti-Christ consolidates his power on Earth, a Greater Power is advancing His plan in Heaven. The phrase “Ancient of Days” is a title used of God that only appears in Daniel 7.  The lines are being drawn for the climactic battle for Planet Earth. The “thousands upon thousands” attending Him likely represent the angelic host. Ten thousand was the biggest number they had in those days, so Daniel used that number multiplied by itself to describe a multitude no one can count, perhaps a reference to the raptured Church. John borrowed this illustration to describe the scene before the throne in Rev. 5:11.

And notice the plural thrones. Daniel was having a peek at the End Times and saw a hint of the thrones of the 24 elders. None of the other Old Testament views of God’s Throne mention the additional thrones because they all occur in real time, and these thrones were not in view until Rev. 4. This little insight argues against the opinion of some theologians that the 24 thrones are occupied by an otherwise unidentified order of angels who assist God in governing the Universe. The fact that they don’t appear in Old Testament accounts, but do appear when the End of the Age is the context implies that another level of government has been added since the cross. It could only be the Church.  In Ephesians 1:20 Paul said Christ has been raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of God, and inEphesians 2:6 he said we’ve been raised up with Christ and seated with Him there, too.

“Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.) (Daniel 7:11-12)

Rev. 19:20 tells of the anti-Christ and false prophet being thrown into the lake of fire, and their armies being destroyed.  Remember, in Daniel 7 the horn is the anti-Christ and the beasts represent empires.  Babylon, Persia, and Greece no longer enjoy dominion over the world, but their modern counterparts are still around and will be destroyed during the Great Tribulation.

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14)

And finally, the culmination of human history. Dominion over Planet Earth, which Adam lost to Satan, has been regained by the Son of God, never to be lost again. He’ll rule and reign with His Church forever.

A period of history seen from man’s perspective as a beautiful statue of shiny and precious metals in Daniel 2 is described by God as it really is, a series of voracious beasts who oppress and devour mankind and oppose every effort by God to free us.

 

You and I have come in on the tail end of this. We weren’t here to see it’s beginning like Daniel was, but because of his description we’re better able to recognize our world for what it is and correctly identify the signs that tell us that the end is near. Next time, Chapters 8 and 9 and another model of the anti-Christ. See you then. 

MONDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2013

US, Jordan Agree: Israel Should Control Jordan Valley

 

Ryan JonesBy Ryan Jones 
Israel Today 

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The Obama Administration and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan have both reportedly sided with Israel in its demand to retain control over the Jordan Valley in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians.

In a new proposal to both Israel and the Palestinian Authority last week, US Secretary of State John Kerry is said to have suggested that the Jewish state be permitted to maintain a military presence in the strategic Jordan Valley.

The new American position on that matter could be the result of reported Jordanian pressure. According to Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv, Jordan coordinated with Jerusalem to convince Kerry of the crucial importance of continued Israeli army control of the border region.

Israel has long insisted that, even if it surrenders the bulk of Judea and Samaria (the so-called "West Bank"), it must retain control of the Jordan Valley as a buffer against future external threats, and as a deterrent and protection against Palestinian aggression.

Jordan wants Israel in the Jordan Valley to prevent further influx of Palestinian Arabs into the Hashemite Kingdom. Jordan's Palestinian majority has threatened the Bedouin-backed Hashemite monarchy in the past, including in the 1970-1971 Jordanian Civil War.

Yasser Abed Rabbo

PEACE PROCESS ON THE VERGE OF "TOTAL FAILURE"

As expected, the Palestinian Authority responded to the news with outrage.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Yasser Abed Rabbo told France's AFP that Kerry had put the entire peace process on the verge of "total failure" by backing the Israeli demand. Rabbo later told Palestinian media that the Obama Administration was aiding Israel's "expansionist agenda" on the pretext of "security" as a means of appeasing the Jewish state following the West's nuclear deal with Iran.

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Israel Radio that Rabbo's assertions were incorrect, and that Washington had made no linkage between the Iran deal and the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

 

 

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

Critiquing R.C. Sproul's Preterist Interpretation of Prophetic Passages

 

Tony GarlandBy Dr. Tony Garland 
SpiritandTruth.org 

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Q. Tony, I really appreciated your rebuttal of RC Sproul's last days teachings.

I listened to several of his earlier teachings on this and have searched the scriptures more than ever since my former preterist pastor accused me of leading people to lose their faith if I told them I believed in the imminent return of The Lord. Your conclusions are the same ones I had. My pastor could never explain his preterism biblically either. Good to understand how to address their beliefs since there is a turn in this direction by so many. So blessed by this ministry!

R. C. Sproul

CRITIQUING R. C. SPROUL'S INTERPRETATION OF PROPHECY

A. I am blessed to hear that our teaching resources are helping believers such as yourself "keep the things written" within the Book of Revelation—and the rest of Scripture—until His return.

As you know, I share your concern regarding the preterist interpretation of prophecy and its popularization by influential teachers such as R. C. Sproul and Hank Hanegraaff (the "Bible Answer Man"). I wasn't originally planning to critique Sproul's teaching, but after listening to a series of his audio teachings on a driving trip, I felt compelled to respond to point out the numerous problems with his interpretation of various prophetic passages.

UNDERSTANDING THE TIMING TEXTS

Preterists believe they are removing obstacles to belief in the reliability of Scripture by interpreting all timing texts as requiring a 1st century fulfillment: thereby upholding the face-value meaning of "soon," "quickly," and the like. As you pointed out, they tell futurists that we are undermining acceptance of the Scriptures because even though Jesus said these events would occur "soon," we hold that most of the events spoken of have not yet taken place. This, they believe, is a stumbling block to belief that the Biblical predictions were accurate. To rectify this situation, they assert a 1st century fulfillment and proffer a host of "explanations" which don't match the Biblical predictions. If we take their approach to understanding "soon," "quickly," and the like, we may gain a simpler interpretation of the timing texts, but at the cost of denying plain fulfillment of the predicted events. The ironic result, it seems to me, is an interpretation which does more to undermine a belief in the accuracy of the Scriptural predictions than the original problem they are attempting to respond to.

The preterists seem concerned to answer the skeptics which Peter warned about: "scoffers will come in the last days saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming?'" (2 Pe 3:3b-4a). These scoffers would complain that the Scriptures predicted a soon return of Christ and yet He hadn't shown up. While moderate preterists believe the bodily return of Christ is still future, they worry that many other passages concerning imminent events must have already transpired or else Scripture must be broken. [1]

It also seems inconsistent or disingenuous for moderate preterists to say that all the timing texts require a 1st century fulfillment when some of the timing texts concern the literal, bodily Second Coming of Jesus—which moderate preterists themselves hold as awaiting future fulfillment (Rev. 22:20). I believe one key to understanding the timing texts is found in what Peter says after addressing the scoffers: "with the Lord, one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Pe. 3:8). Although this text is often abused to teach long days in creation or to deny the thousand year period of the millennial kingdom, in context it is actually saying that God's perspective concerning 'soon' is greatly different than man's.

It is my prayer that my critique will help people understand the inconsistencies of preterism. More than that, to discern the ways in which teachers can go astray when an incorrect interpretive decision dictates everything else that follows—even holding to such an interpretation when it fails to match the details of Scripture.

Maranatha!

Endnotes

[1] Full or consistent preterists respond to the scoffers by stating that the Second Coming of Jesus was only spiritual and must have already taken place even though nobody seems to have been aware of it.


 

 

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2013

International Harmony Under the Messiah According to Isaiah 2:1-4 (Part 1)

 

Michael VlachBy Dr. Michael J. Vlach 
Theological Studies 

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I would like to offer a two-part entry on Isa 2:1-4, a passage that describes international peace among nations under the rule of Messiah in His kingdom. These conditions are not taking place in our present age but will when Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom.

Isaiah 2 addresses the coming kingdom and the roles of Israel and the nations in it. The message predicts international harmony among nations as a result of the Messiah's reign. The sons of Israel that God raised up "revolted" against Him (Isa 1:2). They were a "sinful nation" and "people weighed down with iniquity" (1:4). The once "faithful city" became a "harlot" and justice was not found in it (1:21). But a reversal of fortune will occur as "Zion will be redeemed with justice" (1:27). This is explained in Isa 2:1-4 where a glorious kingdom is presented and nations stream to Jerusalem to worship God. [1]

Isaiah says, "The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem" (2:1). The Israelite connection here must not be missed. What is discussed in 2:2-4 concerns the geographical areas of "Judah and Jerusalem." Alexander is not correct when he states, "the Prophet sees the church, at some distant period, exalted and conspicuous, and the nations resorting to it for instruction in the true religion...." [2] This does not do justice to what Isaiah is saying and introduces a spiritualizing element that is not warranted from this passage or the New Testament. Isaiah is addressing international harmony that will occur among nations in the kingdom that has Jerusalem as the center of it. The kingdom truths of Isaiah 2:2-4 read:

Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.

This section highlights four key elements:

  1. The preeminence of Mount Zion.
  2. Gentile pilgrimage to Mount Zion.
  3. The LORD judging the nations.
  4. The removal of weapons of warfare. [3]

All of this is in regard to "the last days," which in the Old Testament prophets refer to the days of Messiah and Israel's restoration. In the New Testament "last days" has significance for both the first and second comings of Jesus the Messiah. [4] Since what is described in Isaiah 2 has not occurred yet in regard to "Judah and Jerusalem" the fulfillment of this text awaits the second coming of Jesus.

The term "mountain" refers to Mount Zion in Jerusalem, the mountain on which God's temple sits. The "house of the LORD" is the temple. Mount Zion in Jerusalem will be exalted and elevated above the mountains and hills around it. In Isaiah's day, Mount Zion did not tower above other mountains but in the "last days" it will. But is this a reference to changes in Mount Zion's physical elevation or is this an elevation in the sense of prominence? We see no reason why both cannot be true. A physical entity can also convey a figurative meaning. Thus, Mount Zion can be elevated physically and in prominence. Zechariah 14:4-8 indicates that when Jesus returns to earth there will be massive geographic changes that affect the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, and the land of Israel.

As Isaiah continues, this kingdom is centered in Israel, but it is not only for Israel. There is a universal element since "all the nations will stream to it" (2:2d) and "many peoples will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD'" (2:3a). The rest of verse 3 indicates that the Gentile nations desire to go to the temple in Jerusalem to learn how to walk in God's paths and follow His law. Such positive statements concerning Gentile nations is striking since the nations of Assyria and Babylon are imminent threats to the nation Israel and Israel is not thinking fondly of the Gentile nations at this point. Nations are often the enemies of Israel. In fact, the era of the "times of the Gentiles" continues until this very day (see Luke 21:24). But during this kingdom era, the nations, as Grogan puts it, "come, not for plunder, but in peace, not to rob, but to learn." [5]

Diligent Jews often would make pilgrimages to the holy city as part of their worship. But in the last days, "what had been Israel's experience in the past would one day be that of all the nations." [6] There are also implications concerning the Exodus and Mount Sinai here. At the time of the Exodus the Hebrews went to Mount Sinai to receive God's law, but during this messianic era the nations are streaming to Mount Zion to learn God's law. [7]

Verse 4 details the LORD’s reign at this time. He will "judge between the nations" and "render decisions for many peoples." Several things are worthy of note here. First, literal geo-political nations exist in the days of the kingdom. And these nations are doing real activity. Second there are political judgments and decisions being made by the LORD for these nations. The word "judge" (shaphat) means to "govern, vindicate, or punish." According to Brown-Driver-Briggs the term here in Isa 2:4 concerns "decid[ing] controversy" in regard to "civil, political, domestic, and religious questions." [8] Thus, the LORD will make executive and judicial decisions in regard to the nations that are in need of righteous judgments. These nations, which appear to disagree at times or have conflicts of interests, will accept His announcements peacefully without taking matters into their own hands.

The need for settling disputes among nations points to an intermediate kingdom since these conditions do not fit the present age or the coming eternal state. As Saucy writes, "That sin is present during the Messiah's reign is evident in his settling disputes among the nations (cf. Isa 2:4).... " [9] This is not occurring today. But it will be in the latter days. This combination of conditions is found in Zechariah 14 where the LORD who is present on earth after His coming (see Zech 14:9) will bring "punishment" on nations who do not act as they should (Zech 14:18-19).

According to verse 4, universal peace will exist. The money and materials usually poured into military might and war will be devoted to peaceful pursuits. Swords will be hammered into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks showing that there is no longer a need for weapons of warfare. Whether there will be a literal transformation of swords and spears is a secondary issue. The main point is that weapons for warfare are no longer needed. When one considers how much money is poured into military purposes by countries today, it is staggering to think of the good that can be accomplished when valuable resources are no longer used for warfare. Such will be the case when the Lord is reigning upon the earth. Also, human ingenuity will no longer be used for weapons of destruction. As Bultema notes, "All military science, which today has reached such terrifying proportions, will then belong to a dark past." [10]

Endnotes

[1] The language here closely parallels that in Micah 4:1-3 highlighting the significance of this message.

[2] Joseph A. Alexander, Commentary on Isaiah (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1992), 96.

[3] See Sailhamer, "Evidence from Isaiah 2," 85.

[4Hebrews 1:2 indicates that "in these last days" God "has spoken to us in His Son." Yet the New Testament also speaks of many eschatological events that have not been fulfilled with the first coming of Jesus and await future fulfillment (see 1 Thess 4-5; 2 Thess 1-2; 2 Peter 3, etc.). The interpreter will need skill in deciphering which aspects of OT eschatology apply to Jesus' first coming and which apply to His second coming.

[5] G. W. Grogan, "Isaiah," in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 6 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986), 35.

[6] Sailhamer, 90.

[7] I agree with Sailhamer that the nations are not under the Mosaic Law but the New Covenant law predicted for the latter days in Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36. He says, "The translation 'law' in Isaiah 2:3 in the NASB rather than 'Law,' then, accurately reflects the emphasis of this passage away from the Sinai Law per se. The 'law' as used here in Isaiah is the internalized law of passages such as Jeremiah 31:33 and Ezekiel 36:27" (Sailhamer, 91).

[8] F. Brown, S. Driver, and C. Briggs, "fpv," The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Hendrickson, 1906, fifth printing 2000), 1047.

[9] This is Saucy's view, The Case for Progressive Dispensationalism, 234.

[10] Bultema, 56.


 

 

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2013

Who Should I Vote for in the 2016 Elections? (Part 7)

 

Andy WoodsBy Dr. Andy Woods 
Sugar Land Bible Church 

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WILL MY CANDIDATE SUPPORT ISRAEL?

(The Word on Politics)—Last week I interrupted our series because certain abortion laws were being challenged. You can read about it here. We now continue in our series asking the important questions, "how do I know if the person I am voting for as he or she pursues public office properly represents a biblical worldview?" How do I determine who, among the various competing political candidates, better reflects biblical values?

For purposes of organization, these issues can be categorized under the following headings: economic issues, social issues, and foreign affairs matters. My previous post in this series ended the topic of social issues. Having completed our discussion of economic and social matters, we now examine the topic of foreign affairs.

With each issue I have included some parenthetical Bible verse references in order to demonstrate to the reader that these preferences are not uniquely mine, but rather are derived from the pages of God's Word. While these issues are often irrelevant to the thinking of modern man, they are extremely important to God.

Global government

FOREIGN AFFAIRS MATTERS

Because the concept of the individual nation state originated with God in the wake of the first globalist power grab at the Tower of Babel (Gen. 10:3211:1-9Deut. 32:8Isa. 2:4Acts 17:26Rev. 22:2), will the candidate favor submitting the political freedom and sovereignty of national governments to electorally unaccountable trans-national or international political entities all in the name of global governance?

A related issue involves national borders. Since God has established national entities and their existing borders (Gen. 10:3211:1-9Deut. 32:8Acts 17:26), will the candidate enforce our borders or will he instead leave America vulnerable to domestic terrorist attacks through a porous border policy? Does the candidate favor a pathway to citizenship for those who have entered the country illegally? Although legal immigration is part of the rich American tradition, amnesty, on the other hand, grants citizenship to those who have never sworn allegiance to our American Constitution. They have never vowed to protect and defend America against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Because of the avoidance of mandatory national training required of all legal immigrants, such illegal immigrants often know very little of America's unique and exceptional heritage and culture. Moreover, if someone enters the country illegally, what confidence can we really have that they will abide by, as well as obey, all of America's other laws?

In addition, God has promised to bless the world through national Israel (Gen. 12:3bIsa. 42:649:6). Consequently, He promises to bless those who bless Israel and conversely vows to curse those who curse her (Gen. 12:3aJoel 3:2b). Therefore, another important foreign policy question entails whether the candidate favors reducing Israel's existing and defensible borders toward indefensibility in exchange for the illusory promise of peace from Israel's sworn enemies? Such a "peace process" and "two state solution" makes Israel more vulnerable to aggression and attack by her surrounding hostile neighbors whose very charters in many instances call for Israel's eradication and annihilation. After all, it is Satan's ambition to eradicate the Jewish people and state (Rev. 12:113-17, cf. Gen. 37:9-10). Thus, a candidate’s view on Israel largely tells me whether He is cooperating with God's agenda or the devil's.

(To Be Continued...)



Read more: http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/#ixzz2n7A1lC00 
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    SHREVEPORT, La. — Shreveport City Council is expected to vote on Tuesday on a proposal that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to its list of protected classes. While Shreveport Mayor...
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  31.  
     
    A stronger Iran, a weaker America and a region teetering on the brink
    endtimeheadlines.wordpress.com
    Three years ago, in May 2010, the Islamic Republic News Agency of Iran – IRNA – published a stern, if flowery, warning following a series of incidents involving the Gulf states. “There is no lion i...
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  32.  
     
    Scientists Remain Baffled By Huge Mystery
    endtimeheadlines.wordpress.com
    A planet-hunting NASA spacecraft has detected no sign of moon-size black holes yet in the Milky Way galaxy, limiting the chances that such objects could make up most of the "dark matter" that has m...
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