Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“His power will be mighty, but not by his own power, and he will destroy to an extraordinary degree and prosper and perform his will; he will destroy mighty men and the holy people. And through his shrewdness he will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; and he will magnify himself in his heart, and through peace he shall destroy many. He will even oppose the Prince of princes, but he will be broken without human agency” (Daniel 8:24-25). According to Wikipedia, “Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence.” This understanding of peace is passive in nature. It is the absence of war or other hostilities. Peace like this often seems elusive. Even when countries agree to peace terms, those terms often hang by a thread with the smallest misunderstanding resulting in a loss of peace and a return to hostilities.
Christianity affirms God alone is the source of true peace. The Bible teaches peace is possible but only through Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus and His finished work of redemption we can have spiritual peace with God (Romans 5:1). But the Bible also speaks of peace in the Age to Come. This peace will be achieved through Jesus Christ at His Second Coming when righteousness and justice will prevail for one thousand years (Revelation 20:4). Final judgment and the eternal state will commence shortly thereafter (Revelation 21). Leading up to His return to this earth, Jesus reminds us there will be “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:4). The Bible further predicts there will be hostilities and other unrest in that part of the world the biblical prophets were concerned about—Israel and the Middle East. Peace for this region, according to Bible prophecy, would seem elusive but a false peace would come at some future time when a man more cunning than anyone imaginable comes on the scene and seemingly brokers peace between Israel and her enemies.
Once again, the Bible bats one thousand when it comes to predicting the future. This time, the evidence points to two categories of events I like to call the anticipation for peace in the Middle East and addiction to Jerusalem. Consider this article that appeared in The Jerusalem Post on October 17, 2022—Israel slams Australia for revoking Jerusalem capital recognition—“The Australian government cited its belief that the status of Jerusalem should be resolved through peace negotiations.” No one seems to be concerned about the status of any other city on the planet except Jerusalem. Amazingly, this is exactly what the Bible predicts for the last days.
The quest for an elusive peace in the Middle East and the refusal to recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people not only indicates the biblical prophets got it right. It also indicates things are falling right into place on the road to Daniel’s Seventieth Week (Daniel 9:24-27). Again, from the article: “Australian Foreign Ministry Penny Wong said, “Jerusalem is a final status issue that should be resolved as part of any peace negotiations [and] recommits Australia to international efforts in the responsible pursuit of progress towards a just and enduring two-state solution.”
The quest for an elusive peace in the Middle East points to a future time when a man comes on the scene who will seemingly broker the greatest peace deal the world has ever known. This peace deal, however, will end in destruction—“Through peace he shall destroy many” (Daniel 8:25). Furthermore, the Bible predicts the utter destruction of those who concern themselves with trying to tamper with or otherwise change the biblical status of Jerusalem as it relates to the Jewish people and God's everlasting covenant with them—“Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around… It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured” (Zachariah 12:2-3). World leaders are drunk over the status of Jerusalem, and it will not end well for them—just as the Bible predicts.
Finally, are you ready to see Jesus face-to-face? He’s coming soon for His bride—the church. Come to Jesus, confess your sin, and receive His free gift of forgiveness and eternal life. I recently preached about Jesus' promise to return for His church. You can hear it at https://youtu.be/0zr7qkU5O4c.
“You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land” (Ezekiel 38:16). Synchronicity is defined as the simultaneous occurrence of causally unrelated events and the belief that the simultaneity has meaning beyond mere coincidence. The Bible predicts a last days alignment of nations in the world in general and the Middle East in particular. In fact, the Bible is so specific about this and other last days predictions that any honest observer would have to admit we have moved beyond mere coincidence to synchronicity. Something is definitely up. Current events suggest that the 2600-year-old prophecy of Ezekiel 38 may very well be on the near horizon.
The Jerusalem Post is reporting The Russia-Iran drone axis is now a global threat. The Post notes, “Russia’s use of Iranian drones in Ukraine is growing and it is clear that the threat now must be taken seriously not just in the Middle East or Ukraine, but on a global scale.” By itself the Post’s analysis might be categorized as just another article. When we consider the multitude of prophetic trends occurring in our world today, it’s almost uncanny how current headlines seem to leap right out of the pages of Scripture. Think synchronicity.
Are we really this close to the end-time scenario predicted by the biblical prophets? If the answer is yes, how much closer then are we to the next great event on God’s calendar—the Rapture of the Church.
Yes, we are really this close to the end-time scenario predicted by the biblical prophets. As we consider current events and prophetic prediction, I believe it would be naïve to draw any other conclusion. The stage is being set and it is the speed at which it is being set which causes me the most pause. The Bible is true. Things are unfolding just as the Bible predicted. Jesus is coming soon. Make peace with God now through Jesus Christ before the clock runs out. And, by the way, the prophetic clock notwithstanding, your clock could run out at any moment. “O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days” (Psalm 39:4).
The Russia-Iran drone axis is just another indication the world is right on track for the fulfillment of the 2600-year-old prophecy of Ezekiel 38. Fifty years ago, the idea of a Russia-Iran economic and military alignment would have seemed laughable. But here we are.
This is not to suggest these things will happen in the next few weeks. Only God knows the exact timing for the fulfillment of all these things. But any honest observer would have to conclude their fulfillment is on the near horizon. Coupled with every other last days prophetic trend the timing picture becomes clearer—soon, a whole lot sooner than most folks are willing to believe.
Consider Ezekiel’s prediction for a particular end-times alignment of nations. But also consider other prophetic trends—Israel’s return to the Land and Jewish immigration to Israel; the search for peace in the Middle East; the movement to rebuild the Jewish Third Temple; worldwide addiction to the Jerusalem problem; the movement towards a global governance and economic system. Conclusion—The Bible is true, and the end-time scenario is quickly coming into focus. Think synchronicity.
Finally, are you ready to see Jesus face-to-face? He’s coming soon for His bride—the church. Come to Jesus, confess your sin, receive His free gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, ‘This is the statue of the law which the LORD has commanded, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel that they bring you an unblemished red heifer in which is no defect and on which a yoke has never been placed’” (Numbers 19:1-2). What’s going on in Israel? A few weeks ago, a passenger flight from the United States touched down in Israel. This is not unusual because several passenger flights from the U.S. arrive daily in Israel. What made this particular flight unique was the special passengers traveling in the cargo hold—five potentially pure and unblemished red heifers.
What is the significance of the red heifer (red cow)? Numbers 19:1-10 describes the sacrifice of the red heifer and specifies the sacrificed heifer must be red, without defect or blemish, nor can a yoke ever have been placed upon it. This is the only instance where the color of the animal to be sacrificed is specified. Furthermore, the sacrifice was to occur away from the entrance to the tabernacle, “outside the camp,” according to Numbers 19:3. The Mosaic Law further describes this sacrifice is for purification purposes. But what does this have to do with the Jewish Third Temple?
According to Bible prophecy there will be a third Jewish Temple in Jerusalem during the last days just prior to the return of Christ. We do not know exactly when it will be built but we do know it will be in full operation by the midpoint of Daniel’s Seventieth Week (also known as The Tribulation) when the Antichrist will put a stop to sacrifices, enter the Holy of Holies, and declare himself to be God, and demand the whole world worship him, thus desecrating the Temple (see Matthew 24:15). In fact, Jesus referred to this event as the singular event signaling the beginning of the latter half of Daniel’s Seventieth Week which the Bible also refers to as The Great Tribulation (see Matthew 24:21). But what does all this have to do with the red heifer?
The Jews are ready to rebuild their Temple, but they cannot do so without sacrificing an unblemished red heifer for the purposes of priestly and temple ritual purification. Without the red heifer, the Temple service cannot be reinstated! Many believe the arrival of these five red heifers brings with them the very strong possibility for the first time in nearly 2000 years that the Temple can be rebuilt, and Temple service restored. Anything is possible, I suppose, but there are some (myself included) who lean towards the requirement for the red heifer used for this purpose must be born in Israel. I cannot point you to chapter and verse for this requirement. I draw my conclusions from Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s teaching on the subject and his assertion concerning rabbinical law making it more stringent in that the red heifer must be born in Israel. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Regardless of how things unfold in the coming days the arrival of potentially unblemished red heifers in Israel shows us just how accurate Bible prophecy for the last days is, how close to the start of Daniel’s Seventieth Week we are, and how much closer to the Rapture of the Church that puts us. The time to come to Jesus is now!
“Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My plan will be established, and I will accomplish all my good pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10). I have not written much lately concerning prophetic trends occurring today. A few reasons include things are happening so fast I can hardly keep up, there are Bible teachers a lot smarter than me writing and talking about these things, and life has simply been too busy to leave much time to write. But I am going to try to do a better job writing about these and other biblical subjects. Maybe this will satisfy the handful of people who have asked me to do so.
Major world events continue to take place further setting the stage for the end-times scenario found in age-old Bible prophecy. Most of the world—and many in the church—remains oblivious to the reality of what’s happening. But for Christians who believe and understand Bible prophecy, the only real surprise is seeing it occur in our lifetime. Some call these major world events prophetic signs, but I prefer the phrase prophetic trends. I believe we are witnessing all the prophetic trends the Bible predicts for the last days just prior to the return of Jesus for His bride, the church. I also believe these trends are rapidly converging. I classify these trends under six categories.
Over thirty years ago, when I first began studying Bible prophecy, we had maybe two or three of these prophetic trends in play. Today, they are all to one extent or another in play. Here are some recent prophetic trends related events that help us to see just how close to the Seventieth Week of Daniel (Dan. 9:24-27) we are, which can only mean the Rapture of the Church is likely a whole lot closer than most are willing to believe. Consider these recent news items:
Aliyah, on Sept. 29, 2022, The Jerusalem Post reported 55,000 Russian Jews eligible for Aliyah were impeded by flight shortage. The article reports about 40,000 Russian Jews have received immigration visas and about 15,000 are in the middle in the process of making Aliyah. “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’” (Isaiah 43:6).
Anticipation, on Sept. 22, 2022, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid joined other world leaders at the United Nations where he endorsed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in his address in front of the UN general Assembly. Current U.S. President Joe Biden later tweeted, “I welcome Israeli Prime Minister Lapid’s courageous statement at the UN General Assembly.” Not to be out done, Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau tweeted that a two-state solution “with Israelis and Palestinians living in peace, security, and dignity—is in everyone’s best interest.” It seems the predicted covenant with death is approaching. “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week” (Dan. 9:27).
Alignment, on Sept. 23, 2022, The Jerusalem Post reported on changes that have occurred in the Middle East this year. According to the article, Iraq is in chaos, Israel confronts Iran, and Turkey grows closer to Russia, and there have been continued advances concerning the Abraham Accords. The phrase from the article that captures my attention concerns the Turkey-Russia-Iran alliance: “One major trend in the past year has been the continued integration of Turkey into an alliance and partnership with Russia and Iran.” Let me put that into biblical terms for you: “One major trend in the past year is the continued integration of the Ezekiel 38 countries of Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah (Turkey), Rosh (Russia), and Persia (Iran). “And the word of the LORD came to me saying, ‘Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meschech and Tubal, and prophesy against him” (Ezek. 38:1-2).
Arrangements, on Sept. 19, 2022, several news organizations reported the arrival of five unblemished red heifers in Israel from the United States. The Temple Institute tweeted “exciting news to share about a major advance in efforts to raise a red heifer whose ashes can be used for purification—a huge step toward the building of the Holy Temple!” It remains to be seen whether these five red heifers will remain unblemished, and it is my understanding the actual red heifer, whose ashes will be used in the purification of the future third Temple, will have to be born in Israel. See Numbers 19-21 for more about the ritual of the red heifer.
Addiction, on Oct. 5, 2022, The National reported, “The British foreign secretary has been urged to ‘refrain from taking any illegal action’ by the head of the Arab League after the UK’s proposal to move its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.” A day earlier, Palestinian leaders were on the record condemning a proposal by British Prime Minister Liz Truss to move the UK’s Embassy to Jerusalem. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said, “Any change in the status quo in Jerusalem would undermine the two-state solution and will be considered a tacit recognition of the city’s annexation to Israel, which will encourage the occupying state and the settlers’ radical groups to continue their aggression toward our people and toward the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.” Let the reader note he did not mention the Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem. “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around… It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured” (Zech. 12:2-3).
Austerity, on Sept. 29, 2022, The Jerusalem Post published an analysis, “Nord Stream [pipeline] sabotage will permanently shift global trade.” The article noted the damage to the Nord Stream pipeline is “important and symbolic and will also likely usher in a new global economic order.” It is still not clear who damaged the pipeline. Some have suggested Russia is behind it while others suggest the U.S. is behind it. Regardless of who is behind the sabotage, it is certainly causing a shift in the world economy and may very well be just one more event that is moving the world closer to the predicted one world government and economic system for the last days. “And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark” (Rev. 13:16-17).
It is clear to me the prophetic trends pointing to the end-times scenario predicted by the Bible are all in play and are rapidly converging. The Seventieth Week of Daniel (aka the Tribulation Period or the Great Tribulation) where God shifts His attention back to Israel and the Jewish people and pours out His wrath upon an unbelieving world is close at hand. The message is clear. Come to Jesus so that you can escape all these things which are coming upon those who dwell on the earth. Although some believe the church will go through part or all of Daniel’s Seventieth Week, I believe the Bible is clear in teaching that Jesus will return for His bride—the church—before this time comes upon the world. I recently preached about this event—the Rapture of the Church (our Blessed Hope as believers) and you can hear it at https://youtu.be/6rgIwMelLrk.
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