ISRAEL’S FUTURE FORETOLD

There are many prophecies in the O.T. where God reveals to His prophets the end of the story for the nation He created. The book of Jeremiah is just one where we learn that God is going to restore both Israel and Judah back to their promised land but only after a period of trouble greater than anything they have experienced in the past.

For behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the Lord, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall take possession of it.” These are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah:
“Thus says the Lord: we have heard a cry of panic, of terror, and no peace.
Ask now, and see, can a man bear a child? Why then do I see every man
with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor? Why has every face turned pale? Alas! That day is so great there is none like it;
it is a time of distress for Jacob, yet he shall be saved out of it.Jeremiah 30:3-7

Can it be said that any previous times of trouble fulfil the requirements of the prophecy here in Jeremiah 30 and 31 and answer to “the time of Jacob’s trouble”?

It does not seem that they do, for the simple reason that the prophecy before us clearly defines a time of trouble from which Israel is saved by Yahweh. This saving then brings about a spiritual revival. It is because of the saving of the people that they turn to God once again and are acceptable in His sight. This outcome cannot be said to have been accomplished in the past events of Israel’s history.

Could there be a gap in time between the trouble and salvation and the spiritual revival? By simply reading the text it is clear that the troubles from which Israel are saved and the spiritual revival are directly correlated – meaning that they have to occur together.

Consider what the prophecy says about the final outcome of the time of Jacob’s trouble: “For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.” Ezekiel 30:8-9

The two aspects are inextricably linked. Because Yahweh had saved Israel, therefore they serve Him. It is not only Yahweh that is served though – the spiritual revival causes Israel to serve Yahweh and “David their king, whom I will raise up unto them”. This is interesting – who is “David their King”? Is this not a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ? The one who the Lord God shall give “the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:32). The one who will “restore again the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6). “David” means “beloved” and this is a term applied to Jesus in Matthew 3:17 where, after his baptism the Father says “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Therefore, due to these connections it is reasonable to conclude that the outcome of this prophecy is the Kingdom of God being restored again on earth under the rulership of the son of Almighty God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

END TIMES PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:9-13

ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS BEHEAD IN MOZAMBIQUE REIGN OF TERROR

Islamic extremists have unleashed a reign of terror in northern Mozambique leaving churches burned to the ground, people beheaded, and tens of thousands displaced and traumatized. There have been reports that the militants beheaded 15 people in one week. Earlier in Holy Week, 52 young people who refused to join the Islamic terrorists were killed. Since 2017, more than 1,100 people have been killed in attacks after extremists launched a violent campaign to persecute Christians and recruit young soldiers.

OVER 8,000 MEMBERS OF ONE NIGERIAN CHURCH KILLED

One church in northeast Nigeria has revealed extremist group, Boko Haram, has taken the lives of 8,370 of its members. In a press conference, Reverend Joel Billi, from the Church of the Brethren, stressed the far-reaching and systematic persecution by Boko Haram.  “Over 700,000 members have been displaced, with only seven out of 60 District Church Councils not directly affected,” he said. According to Rev Billi, 300 branches of the church have either been burned or destroyed. As well as countless homes and properties. This has forced at least 25,000 church members into refugee camps in neighbouring Cameroon.

POLICE SHUT HOUSE CHURCHES IN CHINA AND ORDER CHRISTIANS TO STOP BELIEVING IN GOD

House churches across China have experienced intensified persecution in recent months. Bitter Winter, a publication produced by the Centre for Studies on New Religion which covers human rights issues in China, documented numerous instances where Christians were threatened by Chinese Communist Party officials. Recently a group of officials in the city of Leiyang, in the central province of Hunan, raided a house church. The Religious Affairs Bureau in Yongzhou city shut down a house church for “holding illegal gatherings without permits” and confiscated computers, a photocopier, and Bibles. Police in Dengzhou city raided a house church, confiscating its Bibles and hymnbooks, and took 8 members away for interrogation. Officers warned them that they would be sentenced to 3 to 5 years in prison if they gather again. “The government wants to eliminate all religions and force us to give up our belief.” Christian churches that refuse to register with the government, known as “house churches,” are illegal. However, even Three-Self churches, those registered with the government, have also experienced an uptick in persecution in recent months. Regardless, according to estimates, there are more Christians in China than Communist Party members.

COVID 19 STOPS CHRISTIANS FROM ESCAPING NORTH KOREA

With borders closed and security increased, COVID-19 has made it harder than ever for North Korean refugees to escape. Between April and June 2019, 320 refugees fled to South Korea. In 2020, the number of those who made it across the border amounted to only 12. According to South Korea, these numbers are the lowest ever.

AMERICA MOVED AWAY FROM GOD YEARS AGO

Monday, June 25th, 1962 U.S. Supreme Court removed government-endorsed prayer from public schools.

Then in the 1963 Murray v. Curlett case, the Supreme Court expanded on its 1962 decision to ban mandatory Bible readings in schools, thus finishing the government’s drive to remove the Christian faith from the nation’s education system.

First executive director of the Christian Coalition during the early 1990s

Monday, June 22nd, 1973 U.S. Supreme Court made abortion legal in all 50 states

Pro-choice and pro-life signs at 2005 march in Washington, DC.
60 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. since the Supreme Court decision.

Friday, June 26th, 2015 U.S. Supreme Court Legalises Same-Sex Marriage

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People gather in Lafayette Park to witness the White House being lit up in rainbow colors in commemoration of the Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize same-sex marriage Friday, June 26, 2015, in Washington. Gay and lesbian couples in Washington and across the nation are celebrating Friday’s ruling, which will put an end to same-sex marriage bans in the 14 states that still maintain them

The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the US Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry in a historic triumph for the American gay rights movement.

The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. With the ruling, gay marriage will become legal in all 50 states.

Like marriage and like existence, the rainbow is a sacred vessel. Hence on that day in June, the sign given by God, the rainbow, was likewise taken from its sacred purpose and became a vessel lifted against the sacred and against the purposes of heaven. Also, it was not only the Supreme Court that sanctioned the change; it was the king . . . the president. Final evidence the nation is at war with God.

August 8th, 2015 Goddess of Death Kali Projected on Empire State Building

“As with ancient Israel, the nation that turns from God will always turn to the gods, to idols. The images of the gods will appear in the land. It was not that they were worshipping the image. It was that the image was a manifestation, the sign of a nation that had turned away from God and was now serving the gods, the names of which it would never utter. Do you know what day the image appeared?” It was a Sabbath day and the word appointed to be read that day was:

“Take careful heed to yourselves . . . so you do not corrupt yourselves and make an idol in the image of any figure, the representation of male or female, the representation of any animal on the earth.

It was the warning of God against idols, against the worship of false gods, and the making of their images. And it was appointed for that very day of the image.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING TOWARDS ?

Jesus came once to atone for sins, and He’s coming again to restore all things—and that Day is when we will see His Kingdom in fullness on earth. That’s what we wait for and work towards: the return of Jesus to rule and reign on this earth for 1,000 years because we rule and reign with Him.

They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:5-6

God’s nation Israel, will complete its mission as prophesied.

WHY ESCHATOLOGY IS IMPORTANT TO US ALL

The following article is by Michael J. Vlach, Professor of Theology, at The Master’s Seminary. The Master’s Seminary opened its doors in 1986 to provide post-graduate theological training on the campus of Grace Community Church. He specializes in the areas of Systematic Theology, Historical Theology, Apologetics, and World Religions.

It is concerning that some churches today don’t take eschatology seriously. The very fact that God has revealed so many details about events to come in both testaments tells us that it is important. At the center of biblical eschatology is the blessed hope of the appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). Not only should we be interested in prophetic events to come but, we are also looking for our Savior, with whom we will spend eternity.

Why do some churches neglect serious study of eschatology? One issue is complexity. There are many eschatological details in the Bible to work through and harmonize. So there is hard work to do in this area. Also, when we see godly men disagreeing on prophetic issues, it can be disheartening. Another reason might be that some don’t want to be linked with those who have abused eschatology. There are those who have become obsessed with the end times by offering a date for Jesus’ return, or treating many current events as fulfillments of biblical prophecy. Thus, some have swung from the abuse of eschatology to no interest whatsoever.

But these are not good reasons to avoid the study of eschatology. Here are 7 reasons churches should take eschatology seriously:

1. Eschatology is a major part of the Christian storyline

Eschatology is a major part of the Bible’s story. By “story,” I’m not talking about fiction. I’m talking about the narrative of the Christian worldview. Since Christianity is rooted in history and real historical events, God’s story includes past, present, and future events. All should be taught. We simply should not ignore prophetic events that are future from our standpoint—events such as the Rapture, the Day of the Lord, the Second Coming, the Millennium, and the Eternal State. We must also talk about heaven and hell, and the coming New Earth. To avoid discussion of eschatology is to avoid an important part of the Christian worldview.

2. We are called to preach and heed the whole counsel of God

There are large sections of Scripture devoted to prophesy, many of which still need to be fulfilled from our current standpoint. For example, the events of Ezekiel 36–48 still need to occur. In the New Testament, passages like Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, much of Luke 21, 1 Thess. 4-5, 2 Thess 1-2, 2 Peter 3, and Revelation 6-22 describe events that still need to happen. We cannot ignore these passages. Paul says in Acts 20:27, “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.”

If your church does not teach what the Bible says about the future, the whole counsel of God is not being taught.

3. People are interested in the future

Christians are interested in what the future holds. But if we do not teach eschatology, we are denying important biblical information for those who want to know what the Bible has to say about the future. We are also withholding a major source of the hope that the Scripture wants us to have.

4. Eschatology is a motivation for believers

Eschatology changes our lives because what we do now impacts our future. Paul viewed everything he did in light of his standing before Jesus someday. In 2 Timothy 4:7-8 Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

5. Eschatology has a purifying effect on the believer

Eschatology is meant to transform our lives in the present. Why should we live sensibly, righteously and godly? Because Jesus is coming again. 1 John 3:2-3 states, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

James 5:8-9 also says, “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord, is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.”

The study of biblical eschatology is a motivation for godly living

6. Eschatology gives perspective to the troubles and trials of this age

We live in a fallen and tragedy-soaked world. We are all physically decaying and dying. Evil seems to triumph. Without Jesus, there is no hope, only despair. But for the Christian, there is the hope of resurrection and the restoration of all things (1 Cor. 15:20-28; Acts 3:21). Romans 8:18 states, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

The sufferings of this present time are real, but they are not comparable to the glory that is to come.

2 Peter 3:13 says, “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”

The coming of Jesus and the restoration of all things are future realities that give Christians hope and the joyful realization that the turmoils and trials of this age will not last forever. Righteousness and goodness win in the end. Christians need that message.

7. Eschatology warns the unbeliever of coming judgment

Biblical eschatology does not teach that the story ends well for everyone. It exists as a frightening warning to those who have not believed in Jesus. Eschatology warns all people that there is eternal punishment and banishment from God’s kingdom and the presence of God for those who do not repent. We should do what John the Baptist did—warn people to flee the wrath that is to come (Luke 3:7-8). Just as there is both judgment and resurrection for the righteous, there is also resurrection and judgment for the unbeliever.

In sum, biblical eschatology is an important part of Christianity. For these reasons, all true churches should embrace the importance of biblical eschatology and share its truths with Christians and unbelievers alike.

8. I would add to Michael’s reasons, an eighth, Apocalyptic Evangelism.

There are more prophecies about Jesus second coming than there were of His first coming and yet there were many of those. Christians who understand the prophetic events that are to unfold prior to Jesus return, first to rapture the church, and then after God’s wrath has been poured out on the earth with the Scroll, Trumpet and Bowl judgements, He will return to this earth and rescue Israel. He has unfinished business with His nation. All the O.T. prophets prophesied their Messiah would rule the nations from Jerusalem. Jesus will rule and reign with the resurrected saints on this earth for 1000 years. Obviously, we are in a unique position to use this knowledge in evangelism. To explain to unbelievers what is unfolding in our day and to warn the church of the coming tribulation, even great tribulation. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.Matthew 24:8-13. Jesus spoke these words and Mark recorded them as follows ” For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. Mark 13:19-20

END TIMES FAMINES AND PESTILENCES

MILLIONS OF CHILDREN FORCED INTO LABOUR AS COVID 19 CREATES GLOBAL HUNGER CRISIS

There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences.” Luke 21:11

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused at least 110 million children to go hungry and pushed 8 million others into child labour and begging, according to assessments in 24 countries across Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia by evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization World Vision. Other international groups like the United Nations and World Food Programme have warned that the economic impact of the new coronavirus is bound to increase child hunger, violence and poverty at alarming levels, and those predictions were confirmed by World Vision’s assessments.  “COVID-19 is already affecting parents and caregivers’ ability to meet the needs of their children,” says the World Vision report, titled “Out of Time: COVID-19 Aftershocks.”

Millions in India facing hunger due to Covid19

“Without urgent action, this will only get worse given that every second child, out of 2 billion children in the world, is living in poverty,” it adds. The report shows that a third of the 14,000 households in nine countries in Asia have already lost jobs or income since the coronavirus outbreak. “Sixty percent of these families depend on casual (daily) labour as a crucial source of income,” it says, adding that a quarter of all families surveyed did not have any food stocks on hand, and one third had only one week’s supply left. In Cambodia, 28% of households facing loss of jobs and income were sending children out to work, and in Bangladesh, 34% were sending children to beg, the assessment found.  In urban slums in India, 40% of respondents reported a spike in domestic violence due to travel restrictions and a reduction in family income.

In Africa, 59% of respondents from communities World Visions works with reported spending less on healthy and nutritious food. In Latin America, refugees are severely affected by the loss of income, and one-third of children are going to bed hungry, the report says. “In Chile, 82% of the interviewees reported having serious problems obtaining food, and in Venezuela, 70% have no access to food, which means that children under age five are at high risk of being malnourished. The report also shows 28% of the children surveyed are at risk of eviction from their homes, with seven percent already having been evicted.” According to a projection by the United Nations, up to 66 million more children could fall into extreme poverty because of the pandemic, adding to the estimated 385 million children who were already living in extreme poverty as of last year.

MORE ON IRAN AND TURKEY IN THE END TIMES

Is Bible Prophecy happening right now in the Middle East? When most see the recent actions of Iran and Turkey they think the Middle East is falling apart. But is it actually falling into line with what the Bible has predicted right from the start? Has the prophecy in Daniel 8 started to be fulfilled? What are the implications for the near future of the Middle East?

To learn even more about what the Bible says about Middle Eastern nations in the end times watch Nelson’s series on the book of Daniel.

GENOCIDE OF CHRISTIANS IGNORED

A genocide expert and former Congressman Frank Wolf have warned that violence being committed against Christians in Nigeria and the U.S. government’s “failed” response to it could lead to another genocide like the ones that occurred in Rwanda and Darfur. 

“When the world and the U.S. ignored genocide in Rwanda, hundreds of thousands of people died. History, I believe, is repeating itself,” Wolf contended. “Almost daily reports show increasing violence and death in Nigeria. An implosion of Nigeria will destabilise the surrounding countries and send millions of refugees into Europe and beyond.” 

The conversation comes as estimates show that thousands have been killed and millions displaced since 2015 due to attacks carried out by predominantly Muslim Fulani militias against mainly Christian farming communities in the Middle Belt of Nigeria as well as Islamic extremist attacks carried out by Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province in northeast Nigeria. 

Christians in Nigeria take part in funeral march in April 2019

“Boko Haram has committed genocide in Nigeria. They have killed over 27,000 Nigerians, more than ISIS killed in Iraq and Syria combined,” Wolf stressed during his opening remarks. “The Fulani militants are also committing genocidal massacres against Nigerian Christians.”

“Our own embassy is still denying that this is genocide, that the Fulani militias are committing genocide,” he said. “So have human rights groups. Human Rights Watch, for instance, thinks of it that way. The International Crisis Group thinks of it that way. These are very distinguished organizations and I have great respect for them. But they are dominated by what I would call conflict-prevention narrative.”

“In essential terms, the U.S. embassy’s policies on this violence have been what I call conflict resolution policies. They try to get the groups together and they try to have sort of ‘Kumbaya’ moments in which people talk to each other and everybody is hunky-dory and they get along.

Stanton argued that the problem with those types of policies is that they “do not reach the terrorist groups.”  “They also don’t reach the army and the police and others who need to be really conscious of this huge problem in their country,” he said.

Just further evidence that fits “last days” Biblical prophecies which should be a wake up call to the church to get on with Jesus command to reach out to their communities with the good news of Jesus and His soon coming return. His Kingdom will come. Jesus and the saints will rule the nations with a rod of iron.

“From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Revelation 19:15-16

“The one (saints) who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” Revelation 2:27

She (Mary) gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne…Revelation 12:5

FINANCIAL RESET INEVITABLE

How many of you read my post “Covid 19 Coupled with a Major Debt Crisis – What’s Next?” dated June 15th 2020? I thought this to be one of my most important posts for 2020. If you have not read it, can I suggest that you do.

In that post some of the best qualified economic/political pundits gave their views on the likely outcome of Covid 19 coupled with the existing debt crisis of most countries. Debt levels are so great that even with interest rates barely above zero, countries cannot pay down the debt. It also means their currencies are next to worthless.

A FINANCIAL RESET IS INEVITABLE WAS THEIR CONCLUSION

In Australia debt is rising fast. No government can stop the inevitable financial crash.

As you would expect, the combination of failing revenue and runaway spending has resulted in a boost to government debt with total government liabilities at $1.3 trillion by the end of May – $300 billion higher than expected.

Net debt has hit a record $463.7 billion compared to $373.6 billion in the previous financial year, virtually destroying the Morrison Government’s stated aim of clearing all government debt by the end of the decade.

The Finance Department numbers are sobering but few are arguing that the Federal Government has been spending too much – indeed much of the economic commentary is urging them to ramp up spending now that interest rates have effectively reached their lower limit and the economy still needs stimulus.

The key to how the Federal Government will react to such calls will be announced by Treasurer Frydenberg in an economic update in late July, with the 2020-21 budget now due to be released in early October.

This is all part of God’s end times scenario. If your trust is in governments, yourself, or anything other than God then it is misplaced. Only He can give you true peace, the peace that comes from realising that He is in control, He has revealed the truth about the world and us in His Word (BIBLE) and we know the end of the story. Jesus will return first to rapture His church and then to rule and reign 1000 years from Jerusalem.

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
“when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus… when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS ESCALATES IN LAST DAYS

Over 4,000 people were killed in Islamic extremist attacks in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali in 2019, according to the U.N.’s envoy for West Africa and the Sahel Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

Since 2016, extremist groups including the Islamic State West Africa Province and Ansaroul Islam have carried out attacks throughout the Sahel region of West Africa. But attacks increased fivefold in 2019 — deaths rose from 80 in 2016 to 1,800 in 2019.

A Nigerian organisation claims that more than 350 Christians have been killed across the West African country since the start of 2020 and estimates that about 11,500 Christians have been killed since 2015.  “Nigeria has become a killing field of defenceless Christians,” the non-governmental organisation, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Intersociety, said in a new special report.”

IS and al-Qaeda's JNIM are both active in the Sahel region where they compete for power
IS and al-Qaeda’s JNIM are both active in the Sahel region where they compete for power

Jihadist violence has now spread from the country’s north to the western Boucle du Mouhoun region where rice and maize are produced and transported to other areas, resulting in a food shortages and might cut off food for millions more in the region, according to the Associated Press.

It is feared that the COVID-19 pandemic might exacerbate the situation at a time when 2 million people in the country are already facing food insecurity.

“If production goes down in this area and if movement restrictions due to the coronavirus drive up food prices in the markets, it could push numbers of severely vulnerable people to double or triple,” Julia Wanjiru, communications coordinator for the Sahel and West Africa Club, an intergovernmental economic group, was quoted as saying.

According to the U.N., the number of people displaced in Burkina Faso rose 1,200 percent in 2019. There are about 600,000 internally displaced people in the country as it is becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing humanitarian crises. 

Authorities in the Borno state of Nigeria said Wednesday that at least 81 people were killed in an attack on a nomadic community believed to have been carried out by militants aligned with the Islamic extremist groups Boko Haram or Islamic State West Africa Province. 

Signs of the End of the Age

Jesus said, “And when you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.” Luke 13:7-8