The Revelation – Preliminary Remarks

I was not able to link the audio to the video presentation. I will learn to do this before next weeks study. Please review the video although – I think you can still get a lot of information from it.

Posted in Bible Prophecy, Eschatology, The REVELATION, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

The Revelation Study

revelation-jesus

UPDATED January 19, 2017

We will begin posting a group study of “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” the week of January 23, 2017. (We apologize for the delay, but unfortunately I have been down this week due to illness). Please join us in our study. This will be a legitimate study of God’s word – no date setting, no naming the Anti-Christ, no spiritualizing the word. It will be a down-to-earth Bible study. We will examine the scriptures just as we do every other book of the Bible – in a plain sense manner.

“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near” – Rev. 1:3 (NASB).

Posted in Bible Prophecy, Eschatology, The REVELATION, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

The Gospel in Genesis 5?

The Hebrew names in the Old Testament were not translated into English – they were transliterated. The names were transliterated as they sound in English. We cannot be dogmatic in what the names mean, but careful research of the best scholars give a very good idea.

It is truly amazing what the God the Holy Spirit put in the fifth chapter of Genesis. When we list the actual Hebrew names of the people listed in this genealogy, we see that the gospel of Jesus Christ in a nutshell.

Following are the names:

names

Now let us list the root meanings of the names:

name-meanings

“Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow, (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest.”¹

“Here is a summary of God’s plan of redemption, hidden here within a genealogy in Genesis! You will never convince me that a group of Jewish rabbis deliberately “contrived” to hide the “Christian Gospel” right here in a genealogy within their venerated Torah!

Some might say that this is just random or chance. There are hundreds of codes hidden throughout the Bible. And it is not just one type of code, but there are several different types of codes tucked away within the Holy Scripture. Only One who is outside of the space-time continuum could place all these codes within a book of this size – God the Holy Spirit wrote some sixty-six books over thousands of years by over forty different human authors.”²

If we were to apply statistical analysis to all the codes, man has not come up with a number large enough – it would be higher the number of electrons within the universe! And this doesn’t even include the prophecies contained within the Bible – the Bible contains somewhere between 25 to 33 percent of the scriptures! If we apply statistics to just eight of the simplest prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus, the odds of it happening by chance would be higher than all the electrons within universe!


Endnotes:

¹Missler, Dr. Chuck. Cosmic Codes (Kindle Locations 948-950). Koinonia House. Kindle Edition.
²Missler, Dr. Chuck. Cosmic Codes (Kindle Locations 947-948). Koinonia House. Kindle Edition.

Note: I do not know the original person who communicated this truth. I have read and heard it from several different books and people. I leaned heavily on Chuck Missler’s book, Cosmic Codes.

 

Posted in Bible Prophecy, Gospel | Tagged , ,

THE REVELATION – Teaching to Start in 2017

Starting in 2017, we will begin a study of The Revelation. We have wrestled with this decision for several months. I have not wanted to teach on the book, but every time that I pray the thought keeps coming back to my mind. I feel impressed to study The Revelation. So, I have surrendered to what I believe to be the Lord’s will. He has a reason and I will not question it.

I understand that there are many different methods on how to study and interpret the teaching. We will briefly go through the more popular methods over the past 2,000 years.

I have taught on the Revelation a few times and studied it many more times in the past twenty-five to thirty years, but we will go through the book with fresh eyes and depend on the Holy Spirit to teach us what He is communicating to us.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26 KJV).

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come (John 16:13 KJV).

I also know that there are many people who get very upset when one teaches this subject in a different way than what they believe. So, we will turn off the comment section so that people will not be attacked for expressing their view. Everyone will be able to send me an email and if I think that it will help in our understanding, I will publish it or address it. It is important to remember that there are many good Christians who love God and work for Him who have different views than ours. I do not believe that this is an issue that should separate us. The only separation that I see would be if one does not believe that the Holy Scriptures are inspired, infallible and inerrant!

So, please join us, follow us and STUDY it for yourself. It is the ONLY book in the Bible that promises a BLESSING to those who read, hear and keep those things written in this book.

Posted in Bible Prophecy, The REVELATION, Uncategorized

Sermon Preached 10/23/2016 – John 3:1-21 Nicodemus Part 1

Following is an audio file of a sermon I preached on October 23, 2016. The teaching/sermon is on John 3:1-21 Nicodemus Part 1.

Please forgive me for the fumbling, stumbling and the wrong choice of words – it is the first sermon I have tried to preach in about 10 years due to several chronic illnesses. I am stepping out on faith and trying to do what God has called me to do to the best of my abilities inspite of my disabilities. We are to walk by faith, not by site or feelings – I’m sure Paul suffered physically and emotionally during His ministry and who am I to do less.

My humble prayer is that God will use this to help someone. I freely give my life to the Lord so that He may help those in need… To His praise and glory is my prayer.

Posted in Uncategorized

Israel’s Rights in the Territories under International Law

Click here, Ambassador Alan Baker’s commentary.

Israel Is Not an “Occupier”

International law defines “occupation” as one power occupying the lands of a foreign sovereign. In Israel’s case, Israel is not occupying any foreign sovereign’s land; Israel entered the area known as the West Bank in 1967 and took over the authority to administer the land from Jordan, which was never considered to be a sovereign in the area.

In actual fact, Israel and the Jewish people have got claims to the area that go far back into history. Anybody who reads the Bible can appreciate the fact that there is a very solid historic legal basis to the claim of Israel with respect to the territories and therefore Israel considers the territories not to be occupied, not to be Palestinian, but as in dispute.

We appreciate that the Palestinians also have claims with respect to the territory. Israel considers that its claims are far better based and better documented than any other claims, but Israel is committed to conduct negotiations with the Palestinians in order to find a permanent settlement to the issue.

The Jordanians, who occupied the territory after the 1948 war, annexed it, but this annexation was never really recognized or acknowledged by the international community. At a later stage the king of Jordan voluntarily gave up any Jordanian sovereignty or claim to the territories to the Palestinian people. So the Jordanians came and went, and the issue remains an issue between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Palestinian Territories” Is Not a Legal Term

The international community’s constant referral to the “Palestinian territories” is a complete fallacy and has absolutely no legal or political basis. There has never been a Palestinian state, as such, and therefore the territories never belonged to any Palestinian entity. There’s no international agreement, there’s no contract, there’s no treaty, and there’s no binding international resolution that determines that the territories belong to the Palestinians.

In actual fact, even the Palestinians themselves, in the Oslo agreement that they signed with Israel, acknowledge the fact that the ultimate permanent status of the territory is to be determined by negotiations. Therefore, even the Palestinians accept the fact that this is not Palestinian territory, its disputed territory whose status is yet to be settled.

If the local population owns land, then the administrative power isn’t allowed to take the land or use it. But if the land is not private, the administering power can use the land and enjoy the fruits of the land until sovereignty has been finally determined. So Israel justifiably can use land which is not private land, which is public land, for establishing settlements as long as these settlements don’t take away the private rights of the local population. Therefore, in our opinion, the settlements are not illegitimate.

The Settlements Are Not Illegitimate

There’s one other point, the issue of settlements is a negotiating issue. The Palestinians have agreed with the Israelis that the issue of settlements is one of the issues on the permanent status-negotiating table. Therefore, anybody who comes along and claims that Israel’s settlements are illegitimate – whether it’s the EU, whether it’s individual governments, whether it is the secretary of state of the United States, who said so specifically, or the spokesman of the State Department – they’re prejudging a negotiating issue, which is clearly incompatible with any negotiating principle.

These are issues that have to be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians. Therefore, nobody can claim that the settlements are illegitimate or that they’re illegal, as such. They have to be negotiated between the parties.

There’s No Such Thing as 1967 Borders

There’s no such thing as 1967 borders. A border is a line between two sovereign entities. In 1967, there was a ceasefire line that had existed since the 1948-1949 war between the Arab states and Israel and after Israel declared its independence. The Jordanians insisted on inserting in the Armistice Agreement of 1949 a provision, which says that the armistice demarcation line is not the final border. Final borders can only be determined in peace negotiations between the parties. So “1967 borders” is a non-existent term and anybody using this term – again, including the U.S. administration and the EU – are simply being misled.

Ambassador Alan Baker is Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center and the head of the Global Law Forum. He participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, as well as agreements and peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. He served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel’s ambassador to Canada. View all posts by Amb. Alan Baker →

Posted in Israel, Uncategorized

Gog, Not Santa Claus

Those who view the Bible as literature, as history from a skewed religious perspective or as interesting fable, reckon Bible prophecy to be, if anything worth significant consideration, no more than as history already accomplished, or as symbolism or allegory that must be spiritualized away as meaningless in our present time. We who hold to the Bible as God’s inerrant Word –as the Almighty’s love letter to His creature called man, see prophecy as history already fulfilled, and that is yet to be fulfilled. Bible prophecy is the Lord of all creation letting us in on things to come . . . before they happen. And, God is accurate in his foretellings, 100 percent of the time.

The Apostle Peter wrote, under Holy Spirit inspiration, about those who would at the end time simply think Bible prophecy is –well, nonsense: “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pet. 3:3-4).

Certainly we constantly get this sort of mocking and scoffing from those who claim no relationship to Jesus Christ. The world at large might be expected to harbor such mildly veiled hostility to God’s foretelling things to come. But, it is the others –the ones who will tell you they are “Christians”–that are more troubling. These are even more virulent in their scathing rebuke of those who hold to a belief in God’s Word as literal. Belief in the pre-trib rapture is a target that is most generally fired upon from these self-proclaimed believers who hold to all Bible prophecy as symbolism or allegory.

But, increasingly, the attacks are launched at all prophecies yet future. The top stories reported by news media present overwhelming evidence that there might be something to all of this Bible prophecy stuff. But, the evidence just seems to get in the way of the scoffers’ reasoning. Rather than examine that compelling evidence, the mockers choose to lump those who believe in the rapture, and the warning God’s Word gives about the coming tribulation and Armageddon, with the likes of Iranian ayatollahs and the fundamentalist Islamics who want to help apocalyptic events along by bringing death and war upon their enemies–Israel and America. Somehow, they say we are the same as those types, even though their god tells them to send their people out to murder and maim people with suicide bombs while our God sends us out to love people and give them the good news gospel message so they won’t have to spend eternity in hell.

These who concoct and hold such falsehoods are as guilty of creating fables as they accuse us of being, who teach about the rapture and other prophecies that will come to pass according to God’s Word. However, we don’t believe in, teach, or preach fairytales. For example, a clearly emerging geopolitical situation is developing that almost certainly has prophetic implications. And it is no fairytale.

Things have been happening at the North Pole for years now, and it all involves an entity that we view as a major end-time player, according to the prophet Ezekiel. And, we are not talking about Santa Claus! An excerpt from a news item from a number of years ago explains:

“Russian explorers have planted their country’s flag on the seabed 4,200m (14,000ft) below the North Pole to further Moscow’s claims to the Arctic. The rust-proof titanium metal flag was brought by explorers traveling in two mini-submarines, in what is believed to be the first expedition of its kind… President Vladimir Putin has already described the urgent need for Russia to secure its “strategic, economic, scientific and defence interests” in the Arctic…(“Russia plants flag under N Pole,” BBC News, 8/2/07).

Ezekiel said a leader to the far north of Israel (all direction in Bible geographical parlance originates from Jerusalem) will one day lead a coalition to take “great spoil” from the region of the Middle East:

“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes” (Ezek. 38:14-16).

To see just how accurate is God’s Word in prophecy, hold a string on a globe directly upon Jerusalem. Then run the string straight up the globe (due north). You will find that the string runs upward along the same longitude and directly across Moscow in Russia. No doubt about it. Russia is the major power due north of Israel!

Just how far north Russia seeks to exert its power is seen in the preceding news excerpt. They reach as far north as possible –to the North Pole. That’s no fairy tale. We aren’t talking about Santa. It’s Vladimir Putin who currently occupies the top leadership position of the people many of us who have studied the future Gog-Magog war think will be at the forefront of the attack on Israel.

Russia’s flexing its muscles at this time seems more than mere coincidence. That nation is shrinking population-wise, and influence-wise. It has fallen far from its exalted dictatorial position as the center of the U.S.S.R. Putin is showing himself to be a man who is determined to use his experience, learned from his KGB years, to restore some of the power and prestige of the old Soviet Empire. His bellicose deportment of late fits within the end-time scheme of things. Israel is threatened by its hate-filled enemies; the EU looks to be the reviving Roman Empire out of which Antichrist will arise; China is the exponentially growing dragon which looks like it could be the king of the kings of the east found in Revelation, chapters 9 and 16.

These geographical elements are facts of life in these troubled times. We believe the prophetic elements well might also be a part of the geopolitical mix that are harbingers of end of days things, perhaps soon to come.

The preceeding is by Terry James. We follow his blog at WordPress and plan on linking to his blogs in the future. We believe that over the next several weeks, you will learn much about what the Bible tells us will happen in the end of the Church age prior to Christ’s coming and all the way up to Heaven for those who have been born again, or hell for those who have rejected Christ.

 

Posted in Bible Prophecy, Eschatology, Gog of Magog, Uncategorized

Do you know the basics of the Christian faith?

Definition: a-pol-o-get-ic     (n.) branch of theology that deals with the defense and proof of Christian doctrine.

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment” (Hebrews 6:1-2 KJV).

God tells us to grow beyond the basics of the Christian faith and to press on to maturity. Sadly, most Christians are not very well acquainted with the basics of Christianity and so linger in the milk of the word instead of going on to the meat. My interviews of Christians over the years has led me to believe that about 80% of them have a faulty understanding of justification by faith and about 90% as many couldn’t defend the deity of Christ from the Bible. In fact, most Christians I’ve encountered do not understand who Jesus is biblically, let alone defend the proper understanding of what Jesus did on the cross.

Now, I am not saying that all Christians need to be masters of theology, philosophy, and the Bible. I am saying that Christians need to grow passed the basics and onto maturity just like it says in Hebrews 6:1-2.

Following is a list of questions that are basics. The average Christian who has been a believer for, say, two years or more, should know the majority of the answers below. If you don’t know them, then you will want to follow along close for the next few weeks as we answer the questions that are basics.

I suggest that you get a notebook together and fill it with things about doctrines, who Jesus is, what He did, what salvation is, etc.  You don’t have to have them memorized, but know them. Understand them. Use them as foundations in your Bible studies. They will help.

How do you fair with these questions?

  1. Can you tell someone what the Great Commission is?
  2. Can you tell someone what the gospel is?
  3. Can you tell someone where in the Bible the gospel is defined?
  4. How many ways are there to get to God?
  5. Can you quote John 3:16?
  6. What book and chapter of the Bible has the 10 Commandments?
  7. What is the basic salvation message?
  8. Must you be baptized in order to be saved?
  9. Is salvation obtained by being good, by faith in Jesus alone, or both?
  10. Can you define the term justification?
  11. Can you define the term sanctification?
  12. Can you tell someone the difference between Mormonism and Christianity?
  13. Can you quote scripture and location that says we are saved by grace?
  14. Can you quote scripture and location that says there is only one God?
  15. Is Jesus God in flesh, a good man, or an angel who became a man?
  16. Did Jesus rise from the dead in a physical body or not?
  17. How many natures does Jesus have?
  18. Is the Holy Spirit a person like the Father and Son, or a force like radar?
  19. Can you explain what the Trinity is?
  20. Has God always been God?
  21. Can you tell anyone what some of the attributes of God are?
  22. Is Jesus going to return or not?
  23. Did Jesus bare our sins in His body on the cross or not?
  24. What is salvation?
  25. What is sin?
  26. What is damnation?
  27. What is hell?
  28. What is heaven?
  29. Is the Bible inspired or is it a good book full of good moral stories?
  30. What are the first five books of the Old Testament?
  31. How many books are in the Bible?
  32. Were Adam and Eve real people or not?
  33. What is the biblical reason that Adam and Eve cast out of the Garden of Eden?
  34. Is Satan a real being?
  35. What are some of the qualifications of an elder?
Posted in Christian Apologetics | Tagged ,

The Jewish Wedding in Jesus’ Time

What Does It Teach Us Concerning Jesus and His Bride – Part I

We are about to embark on a study of the Jewish Wedding and what it teaches us about the wedding between Jesus and His bride. Part I will take us through the courtship of the Jewish couple to the consummation of the wedding. We will then direct our attention in Part II on the teachings of the Holy Scriptures in what they teach us concerning Jesus and His Bride.

Part I

We should appreciate that the Jews had no dating or courtship as we now think of those things. Marriage to them was a practical legal matter, established by contract and carried through by exacting procedure. These customs exist in a form today in the Jewish wedding ceremony, and in Jesus’ time they were most fascinating and complex.

When the young man of Israel in Jesus’ time saw the girl he wanted (or the girl his father said he wanted), he would approach her with a marriage contract. He would come to her house with a covenant — a true legal agreement — giving the terms by which he would propose marriage. The most important consideration in the contract was the price the bridegroom would be willing to pay to marry this particular bride.

The “bride price” is still utilized today in parts of the Mediterranean and African worlds and while it seems most archaic to us now, it had some useful purposes. First of all, if the bridegroom was willing to sacrifice hard cash for his bride, he was showing his love in a most tangible way. Secondly, it was a favor to his future father-in-law. We must recall that in those days of farming and heavy labor, it was something of a liability to raise a daughter. A family with sons would prosper more because of the built-in work force; but a family with daughters would expect to “consolidate their losses” when the girls were mature enough to attract bridegrooms. And so the father of the bride was more or less paid off for his earlier expenses and for his patience and skill in raising a girl to be good marriage material.

The bridegroom would present himself to the bride with this agreement, offering to pay a suitable price for her, and she and her father would consider his contract. If the terms were suitable, the bride and groom would drink a cup of wine together and this would seal the bargain. This cup was most significant. It signified the bridegroom’s willingness to sacrifice in order to have this bride. It was offered as a toast to the bride, and of course, it showed the bride’s willingness to enter into this marriage.

Then the groom would pay the price. It should be said that this price was no modest token but was set so that the new bride would be a costly item — that was the idea. The young man had no delusions that he was getting something for nothing. He would pay dearly to marry the girl of his choice.

When that matter was settled the groom would depart. He would make a little speech to his bride, saying, “I go to prepare a place for you,” and he would return to his father’s house. Back at his father’s house, he would build her a bridal chamber, a little mansion, in which they would have their future honeymoon.

We should appreciate that this was a complex undertaking for the bridegroom. He would actually build a separate building on his father’s property, or decorate a room in his father’s house. The bridal chamber had to be beautiful — one doesn’t honeymoon just anywhere; and it had to be stocked with provisions since the bride and groom were going to remain inside for seven days. This construction project would take the better part of a year, ordinarily, and the father of the groom would be the judge of when it was finished. (We can see the logic there — obviously, if it were up to the young man, he would throw up some kind of modest structure and go get the girl!) But the father of the groom, who had been through bride.

The bride, for her part, was obliged to do a lot of waiting. She would take the time to gather her trousseau and be ready when her bridegroom came. Custom provided that she had to have an oil lamp ready in case he came late at night in the darkness, because she had to be ready to travel at a moment’s notice. During this long period of waiting, she was referred to as “consecrated”, “set apart”, “bought with a price”. She was truly a lady-in-waiting, but there was no doubt that her groom would return. Sometimes a young man would depart for a very long time indeed, but of course he had paid a high price for his bride; even though there were other young women available, he would surely return to the one with whom he had made a covenant.

The bride would wear her veil whenever she stepped out of her house so that other young men would realize she was spoken for and would not try to approach her with another contract. (Today, the Bride of Christ wears a veil — those not understanding of our covenant try to make other contracts with us that would violate the one we have with our Bridegroom. We are to resist those other offers and wait only for the One Who paid for us.)

As the year went on, the bride would assemble her sisters and bridesmaids and whoever would go with her to the wedding when the bridegroom came, and they would each have their oil lamps ready. They would wait at her house every night on the chance that the groom would come, along with his groomsmen, and sweep them all away to a joyous and sudden wedding ceremony.

Meanwhile, the bridegroom would be building and decorating with all that he had. His father would inspect the chamber from time to time to see if it were ready. If we came along the road at this point and saw the young man working on his bridal chamber, we might well ask, “When’s the big day?” But the bridegroom would answer, “Only my father knows that.”

Finally, the chamber would be ready and the bridegroom would assemble his young friends to accompany him on the exciting trip to claim his bride. The big moment had arrived and the bridegroom was more than ready, we can be sure. He and his young men would set out in the night, making every attempt to completely surprise the bride.

And that’s the romantic part — all the Jewish brides were “stolen”. The Jews had a special understanding of a woman’s heart. What a thrill for her, to be “abducted” and carried off into the night, not by a stranger but by one who loved her so much that he had paid a high price for her.

Over at the bride’s house, things had better be ready! To be sure, the bride would be surprised since the groom would try to come at midnight while she was sleeping. But the oil lamps were ready and the bride had her veil. And while she might be sleeping in her wedding dress, she was definitely surprised. It’s a wonder she would sleep at all as the year went on!

Now there were rules to be observed in consideration of a woman’s feelings. The groom couldn’t just rush in on her. After all, her hair might be in rollers! Actually, as the excited party of young men would get close to her house, they were obliged to give her a warning. Someone in the wedding party would shout.

When the bride heard that shout, she knew her young man would be there momentarily. She had only time to light her lamp, grab her honeymoon clothing and go. Her sisters and bridesmaids who wanted to attend also had to have their lamps trimmed and ready, of course. No one would try to walk through ancient Israel, with its rocky terrain, in the dark of night without carrying a lamp.

And so the groom and his men would charge in, grab the girls and make off with them! The father of the bride and her brothers would look the other way — perhaps just making one quick check to see that this was the young man with the contract — and the wedding party would be off. People in the village might be awakened from their sleep by the happy voices of the young people carrying the oil lamps through the streets, and that’s how they knew a wedding was going on. Today, we hear car horns -— back then, they saw the lamps late at night. Those looking on would not know who the bride was because she was still wearing a veil, of course. But she would be returning through these same streets a week later with her groom and then her veil would be off. At the return of the bride with her bridegroom, all the people would know just who got married and they would realize the total significance of this wedding.

When the wedding party reached the house of the groom’s father, the bride and groom would go into their chamber and shut the door. No one else would enter. The groom’s father, meanwhile, would have assembled the wedding guests — his friends — and they would be ready to celebrate the new marriage. Since the wedding was actually going to take seven days (until the appearance of the bride and groom out of the chamber), it was hard to plan for. Occasionally, the host would run out of wine, as we can well imagine. The Lord Himself graced a wedding at Cana with His presence and replenished the wine for the celebrants as told in John 2.

But the celebrating wouldn’t start right away. First, the marriage had to actually be consummated. The Jews were a most law-abiding people and the law provided that the bride and groom become one before their marriage was recognized. Thus, the friend of the bridegroom — the individual we might refer to as “the best man” — would stand near the door of the bridal chamber, waiting to hear the bridegroom’s voice. When the marriage was consummated, the bridegroom would tell his friend through the door and the friend would then go to the wedding guests and announce the good news. The celebration would then begin and it would continue for an entire week!

At the end of the week, the bride and groom would make their long awaited appearance to the cheers of the crowd. There would then be a joyous meal — a marriage supper, which we might refer to as the wedding reception — to honor the new couple. At this point, the bride would have discarded her veil, since she was now a married woman, and all would see exactly who it was the bridegroom had chosen. The new couple and the guests would enjoy a magnificent feast to conclude the entire matrimonial week.

After the marriage supper, the bride and groom would depart, not remaining any longer at the home of the groom’s father. They would go instead to their own house, which had been prepared by the bridegroom. (The Bride of Christ will spend seven years in heaven at the home of the groom’s Father, and then we shall return with our Bridegroom to occupy the Kingdom He has prepared for us.)

As the bride and groom would travel back through the village, it would be appreciated by all onlookers just who the couple was and where their permanent home would be.

And that was a complete Jewish wedding in Jesus’ time, in all its glory. Readers of the Gospel can easily see the beautiful analogies between this complex procedure and the manner in which the Lord Himself called out His chosen Bride. We will review below each of the elements of the Jewish wedding, along with the Scriptures that explain them.

Perhaps there is no happier Bible study than this one!

Posted in Eschatology, Marriage

Converging Signs

We hear so much about “converging signs” today. The Bible speaks about end-time signs that will increase like birth pangs near the end. I think we have passed the birth pang process, frankly.

Have you noted recent major stories and how they confirm the words of those of us saying that things aren’t falling apart, they are falling in place. Stories like . . .

  • Russia and Iran co-operating and conspiring (Ezekiel 38-39).
  • Gog is stirring. Russia has been relatively quiet for decades, but now Vladimir Putin is on the move.
  • With ISIS marching towards Damascus, Syria is begging Israel to fulfill Isaiah 17.
  • The United Nations, Barack Obama, the Pope, and many more, are clamoring for global government (Revelation 13). All of these men may have interesting assignments in the kingdom of Antichrist.
  • Because of the increase of wickedness, love is growing cold. (Matthew 24:12) Can you say Planned Parenthood? Have we returned to those predicted “days of Noah” where such evil as this was rampant? (Matthew 24:37)
  • How about those “perilous times” (II Timothy 3)? Who other than deluded, power-drunk men and women, would give billions of dollars and nuke capacity to the mullahs who want to bring international chaos on the world so their Mahdi can return? Why would Westerners give such power to ayatollahs who want to ignite EMPs above the free world and send us back to the 1800s? Does the Mad Hatter rule?
  • Yet world leaders are crying in a Chamberlain-esque manner, “peace and safety!” (I Thess 5:3) They are calling evil good (Isaiah 5:20). Lighting the spark for Armageddon is good. Wiping out Israel is good. Making Iran the Mid East power is good. Allowing mad mullahs to mount nukes on their ICBMs, aimed at Western capitals, is good. This is leading to world peace! And the world will be one. Strong delusion!
  • Europe is imploding. Barack Obama has dismantled America. The world is fundamentally transformed, thus it is awaiting a man, somewhere in the shadows, known as the Antichrist. He will make things right, turn darkness into day, re-distribute wealth, and more. As Paul Henri Spaak, former Secretary General of NATO, said of a future “Mr. Fix-It,” if he could lift us out of an economic morass, “be he god or devil, we will receive him.” Note the adoration of Pope Francis. This is a foreshadowing. He warranted the largest security effort in U.S. history. You would think he represented the Second Coming.
  • Apostasy is so bad in many churches that people no longer attend church (II Timothy 4:3).
  • The predicted evil is rising (II Timothy 3). The Hindu goddess Khali was beamed onto the Empire State Building at the end of last year. Perhaps she is the new matriarch of America, replacing our founders’ dream of a God-inspired America.
  • And ALL nations are having “distress with perplexity” (Luke 21:28). ALL nations have dilemmas for which there are simply no solutions which is the meaning of “distress with perplexity”.

I could go on and on but you get the point. We can’t let breaking news interpret the Bible, but we can see that a newspaper in one hand and a Bible in the other is complimentary. This doesn’t have to be newspaper exegesis.

Scripture says that when we see these things BEGIN to happen, we are to lift up our heads and know that our redemption draws nigh. That BEGAN to happen in 1948 with the re-birth of Israel. How much closer are we now?

Everyone who is watching the signs of the times has a sense of urgency. A sense that there is a countdown. A sense that things are not the same and will never be the same again.
And we don’t have a yellow brick road that leads to a fantasy-land where all the good times will resume, but we do have our Heavenly Home where all things are perfect.

Posted in Birth Pangs, Eschatology, Signs