Saturday, August 5, 2017

JESUS GAVE HIS LIFE FOR US WILLINGLY



- By Grant Phillips -



I think it is very important that mankind understands this one fact; no one overpowered Jesus and killed Him, not the Romans and not the Jewish nation.
Some religious people, and others who are religious about nothing, have been stating that "Jesus was a nice man. He taught many good truths. He is a great example to follow. Too bad 'they' murdered Him."
For hundreds of years the Jewish people have been ostracized, hated, tormented, tortured, murdered, run out of their homes, enslaved, and most anything else demented minds can come up with because they "murdered" Jesus, a good man.
For some reason, the Gentiles by Roman proxy have never taken any credit for the same thing the Jews are hated for, even though they, the Romans, were the ones who actually carried out the crucifixion.
Prior to the Church there were only two classifications of people on earth; Jews and Gentiles. Since the Church came into existence at Pentecost, there are now three classifications of people on earth; Jews, Gentiles and Christians. Yet still, only the Jews are found guilty by the world court for "murdering" Jesus. Now that's really "the pot calling the kettle black."
However, I return to the opening sentence, "no one overpowered Jesus and killed Him," and this is important to know. Jesus made this very clear.
"As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." (John 10:15, 17-18)
Jesus said three times that He alone laid down His life. He said that no one took His life. He went on to say that He has the power to lay it down and twice He said He has the power to raise it up.
Now is there any possible way to be clearer than that? Of course not. No one overpowered Jesus. No one took His life. He freely gave His life for us.

Maybe we should ponder on that for a moment and really let it sink in. No one but Jesus has the power and authority to be in absolute control of their life. We haven't the power or authority of preventing our death or resurrecting our own person, but Jesus does. To me this emphasizes the fact that no one took His life. He gave His life for our sake, and was raised on the third day, just as He prophesied.
When reading the Gospels, we see over and over that He knew where He was headed. His gaze was fixed on a Roman cross. There were times the mobs tried to take Him, but they couldn't do so because it wasn't His time. It is most obvious that no one was able to apprehend Him if He didn't allow it. When His time did come, He allowed them to take Him.
Isaiah tells us that when His time had come He didn't even open His mouth to object as He stood before His accusers.
"He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth." (Isaiah 53:7)
The Apostle Paul tells us that Christ died for the ungodly. He says someone just might die for a good person, but it's rare anyone would die a for righteous person. However, Jesus Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Read his words yourself.
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, while we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11 NIV)
Think about this now. It's rare anyone would die for a good person, but Jesus died for us even though we were His enemies. He reconciled those to God who look upon Him and believe in Him. All of this is because He freely chose to. No one made Him. He chose to die for us in order that we would have a path, the only path by the way, to God.
Jesus Himself said,
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)
All who come to Him in belief are His friends. He is our God and He is our friend, not just in time of need, but all the time.
No one could love us more than Jesus Christ, not even our own family. We can know that love by asking Him to come into our lives. He will never turn anyone away.

"All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away." (John 6:37 NIV)

You may ask, "How do I know I'm one the Father gives to Him?" The answer is obvious, if you come to Him, the Father has given you to Him, and He will not turn you away.
Jesus gave His life for all sinners, and that certainly includes all of us.

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (1 Timothy 2:5-6)



If you really desire to know how Jesus feels about you, just remember that He GAVE His life for you and me. No one took it.

JERUSALEM, A BURDEN TO THE NATIONS, PART 1




By Bill Salus



I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby (Arab) nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone, a burden for the world. None of the nations who try (to intervene) to lift it will escape unscathed.” (Zechariah 12:2-3, NLT; emphasis added)

Zechariah the prophet predicted that a future day would come when the Arabs would besiege Jerusalem and the international community would intervene and become burdened by the Arab-Israeli conflict. This two-part article looks at Zechariah 12:1-6 to see if that day has arrived. Part one will deal mostly with the warnings to the world, especially as it relates to America, whereas part two will narrow the focus down to the surrounding Arab nations that share common borders with Israel. Part-two will explain how the Arab-Israeli conflict concludes prior to the seven-year Tribulational Period. Historical Setting of Zechariah’s Prophecy Zechariah’s prophecies in chapter 12:1-6, concern Israel generally, but Jerusalem and Judah more specifically.

At the time Zechariah issued these predictions, sometime between 520-518 BC, the Israelites were returning from seventy years of exile in 2 Babylon to re-inhabit the territory of Judah, rebuild Jerusalem and reconstruct their Second Temple. According to 2 Kings 25:8-9, the Babylonians had burned the first Jewish Temple, the king's house, and all the houses in Jerusalem. In this post-exilic period, Zechariah’s generation was given the monumental task of the temple’s rebuilding and the city’s restoration. JERUSALEM and JUDAH are Sovereign to the JEWS (Zechariah 12:1) The burden of the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: i This sovereign declaration serves as the Lord’s certificate of authenticity concerning Zechariah’s prophecy. This acknowledgment was first made by the Isaiah who prophesied between 740-701 BC. Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: (forms the spirit of man within him)

I am the LORD, Who made all things, who stretched out the heavens alone, who (laid the foundation and) spread out the earth—Who was with me. Who confirms the word of His servant, And performs the counsel of His messengers;” (Isaiah 44:24)

Portions from Zechariah 12:1 are inserted within the above Isaiah verse to evidence that Zechariah was specifically drawing our attention to Isaiah 44:24. Isaiah 44:24 and Zechariah 12:1 are the only two verses within the Bible where the Lord has the prophets in tandem acknowledge three specific miracles. That the Lord;
  1. Stretches out the heavens
  2. Spreads out the earth,
  3. Forms the spirit of man within him.

    These bold collective claims are intended to add credibility and provide authority to Isaiah’s predictions that follow. Who says to Jerusalem,
    You shall be inhabited,’ (by Jews) To the cities of Judah, ‘You shall be built,’ (by Jews) And I will raise up her waste places; Who says to the deep, ‘Be dry! And I will dry up your rivers’; Who says of Cyrus, (King of Persia 600-530 BC) ‘He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” (by Jews) And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid. (by Jews)”’ (Isaiah 44:26-28; emphasis added)
    This Isaiah prophecy was issued well over a century before Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians around 586 BC. Isaiah essentially stated that, as sure as the Lord single-handedly stretched out the heavens, spread abroad the earth and created mankind, the JEWS would rebuild JERUSALEM and JUDAH. Isaiah anticipated the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians and the subsequent need to restore it. Isaiah 44:26 prophesied that JERUSALEM would be inhabited with JEWS and the cities of JUDAH would be rebuilt by JEWS. Isaiah 44:28 proclaimed over 150 years in advance, that King Cyrus of Persia would issue the command for the restoration of JERUSALEM and JUDAH! In 539 BC, the Persian King Cyrus conquered the Babylonians and according to Ezra 1:2, he immediately commanded the Jews to return to Israel to rebuild the Jewish Temple and restore the devastation in Judah. Zechariah’s generation was the living fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Thus, his repeat declaration of Isaiah 44:24 in Zechariah 12:1, is intended to leave no doubt that what he is about to prophesy will surely find fulfillment!
    The question is when? The Arabs Contest Israel’s Rightful Claims to Jerusalem and Judah
    Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 12:2; KJV)
    Zechariah 12:1, which called to remembrance Isaiah’s prophecy about King Cyrus, clearly declared that the JEWS possessed God given sovereignty over all of JERUSALEM and JUDAH! King Cyrus commanded the JEWS, not the Arabs, to return to Israel and restore their homeland. Zechariah 12:2 foretells that someday Israel’s rightful claims to these areas would be falsely and forcibly contested by the surrounding Arab peoples.
    Jerusalem becomes the center of the controversy and it causes the Arabs to tremble as long as they place a stronghold over the area. The Hebrew word for “siege” is “matsor,” which can also be translated as hemming in. As this study will point out, this appears to be dealing with the current Arab-Israeli dispute over portions of these territories, namely the West Bank. During Zechariah’s time, these regions were called Judah and Samaria. Presently, the Arabs claim that these areas are under illegal Israeli occupation, but Zechariah’s claims make it clear that it is the Arabs that are trespassing into these lands.
    During the Jewish Diaspora, which essentially began about 70 AD, many Jews abandoned Jerusalem and Judah. In 135 AD, the Romans renamed the land as Palestine and over the centuries, the Arabs began to homestead the Holy Land. Jeremiah 12:14-17 anticipated this problem, and revealed God’s compassionate end time’s plan to remedy the predicament. Thus says the LORD:
    Against all My (surrounding) evil (Arab) neighbors who touch the inheritance (land of Israel) which I have caused My people Israel to inherit—behold, I will pluck them (evil Arabs) out of their land and pluck out the house of Judah (Jews) from among them (evil Arabs). Then it shall be, after I have plucked them out, that I will return and have compassion on them and bring them back, everyone (Jews and evil Arabs) to his heritage and everyone to his land. And it shall be, if they (evil Arabs) will learn carefully the ways of My people, (the Jews) to swear by My name, ‘As the LORD lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they (evil Arabs) shall be established in the midst of My people. But if they do not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that (evil Arab) nation,” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 12:14-17; emphasis added)
    Today, these evil Arab neighbors are out of compliance with God’s compassionate Mideast peace plan. They are worshipping Allah, not Jehovah, and they are cursing the Jews and staking false claims upon Jerusalem and Judah. As a result, the Lord will be left no other choice than to “utterly pluck up and destroy that (evil Arab) nation.” The evil Arab nations likely represent the inner circle of nations depicted in the Psalm 83 map image. Correlating verses that seem to identify them and their participating role in Zechariah 12:2 are, the Arab confederacy of Psalm 83:6-8, the evil neighbors in Jeremiah 12:14-17, the despisers of Israel in Ezekiel 28:24-26, the plunderers, mockers and trespassers of Ezekiel 36:1-7 and elsewhere. It is interesting to note that the word “trembling” in Zechariah 12:2 is the Hebrew word “raal,” and it is only used this one time in the entire Old Testament.
    Some Bible versions translate it as trembling, reeling, or drunkenness. Moreover, the Hebrew word for “cup” is “saph” and it differs from another Hebrew word for cup, which is “kos.” “Kos” is used to depict God’s wrath contained in a cup for divine judgment purposes in Isaiah 51:17, 22 and Jeremiah 25:15. I point this out, because some biblical scholars believe that this mention of cup is dealing with God’s wrath or judgment, but this does not appear to be the case. Zechariah’s cup of trembling contains a concoction, which when ingested, results in a reaction of reeling and intoxication. The point Zechariah is making to the Arabs is, abandon your erroneous claims upon Judah and Jerusalem because they are causing you to behave like a violent drunkard.
    The International Community Intervenes on the Status of Jerusalem And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. (Zec. 12:3, NKJV)
    And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples; all that burden themselves with it shall be sore wounded; and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it.” (Zec. 12:3 ASV)
    This verse predicts that when the status of Jerusalem is contested by the Arabs, “in that day,” the international community will intervene. Zechariah 12:1-6 uses the term “in that day” three times in (Zechariah 12:3, 4, 6). The adage, “in that day,” appears over 100 times in the Bible and it mostly refers to the correlating progression of events that occur within the same general time period. Like, a domino effect, with one event prompting the succession of a sequence of other interrelated scenarios. For example, in the future prophecy of Ezekiel 38 a formidable coalition of nations invades Israel and Ezekiel says that, “in that day,’ the Lord becomes furious and then proceeds to supernaturally destroy this confederacy in the events described in Ezekiel 38:14-23. Zechariah 12:3 makes a clear distinction between, “all the surrounding peoples” in verse 2, with “all nations of the earth.” In verse 3, Zechariah seems to intentionally omit the word surrounding from the prior verse. Thus, now the prophet is referring to the international community, “all the nations of the earth”. Part two of this article will further explain this difference. The word Zechariah uses for burden can also be translated as to “impose a burden.” What the prophet appears to be stating in verse 3 is; When Israel’s surrounding Arab neighbors attempt to besiege and possess Jerusalem, “in that day,” the international community will attempt to intervene and “impose a burden” upon the city.
    Zechariah warns that this is a bad idea because the burden will boomerang back to “sorely wound,” or “cut to pieces,” those nations. Before I comment on how Zechariah 12:3 seems relevant today, it’s important to note that most Bible prophecy teachers connect this verse with the gathering of the nations in Joel 3:2 and Zechariah 14:2. They believe that this verse finds fulfillment during the campaign of Armageddon near the end of the Tribulation Period. For example, the Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, authored by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck reads, “That day,” (alluding to Zechariah 12:3), refers to the future Battle (or better, Campaign) of Armageddon, in which the nations’ armies will gather against Jerusalem.” My belief is that the meddling of the international community spoken of in Zechariah 12:3 began on November 29, 1947, with the passage of UN Resolution 181, also called the Partition Plan. November 29, 2017 marks the seventy year anniversary of this event. On “that day” the United Nations imposed a severe burden upon Israel’s sovereign claims to Jerusalem by turning the city into an international zone. The “Partition Plan” partitioned Palestine into a state for the Jews and one for the Arabs, but Jerusalem was segregated from both into an international zone. (Map image shows Jerusalem in blue as an international zone. Image was taken from this website: http://www.mideastweb.org/unpartition.htm) 

     The evil Arab neighbors of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon were among the 13 nations that voted against the passage of the Partition Plan. Jordan was not admitted into the UN until 1955, so they aren’t listed in this elite group. Unsurprisingly, these are the primary nations that went to war with Israel in 1948. These Arabs lost that war and Israel’s Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared Jerusalem as the “Eternal Capital of Israel.” However, in the Armistice Agreements of 1949, the United Nations again imposed a burden upon Jerusalem by drawing a green line of demarcation that separated Jerusalem into two parts. Only West Jerusalem was allotted to the Jews.


     This 1947-1949 map image evidences that the international community intervened again on the status of Jerusalem by dividing the city.
    This marked the first time in history that the city of Jerusalem had been divided. The dividing of Jerusalem is not biblically endorsed. Nowhere in the Bible does it mention an East or West Jerusalem. Then, in the Six Day War of in June of 1967, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) left the Arabs “reeling” again by defeating them in another war. As a result, Israel gained control of East Jerusalem and the West Bank (from Jordan), the Gaza Strip (from Egypt) and the Golan Heights (from Syria). 

    In the aftermath of their victory, Israel made the unwise choice of allowing the Waqf based in Jordan to maintain control over the Temple Mount.
    The West Bank & Gaza map depicts the current condition of the status of Jerusalem. Lo and behold, Israel presently has control over the entire city, apart from the Temple Mount. What’s observable as we look at the border changes in Israel since the Partition Plan of 1947, is that the biblical claims that Jerusalem belongs to the JEWS is prevailing over the geo-political efforts of the Arabs and the international community. The US Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 Over the past three decades, the US has been at the forefront of dealing with Middle East peace and the final status arrangements of Jerusalem. On his presidential campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, on June 1, 2017, US President Donald Trump signed a presidential waiver that prevented the move. Relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem is not just a friendly gesture to Israel, rather it is an act of compliance with the US Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995.
    On October 23, 1995, the 104th Congress passed The Jerusalem Embassy Act. It was passed for the purposes of initiating and funding the relocation of the Embassy of the United States in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, this was to be accomplished no later than May 31, 1999. However, the move never took place because on the 6-month anniversary date, US President Bill Clinton signed a presidential waiver suspending the move. Like Clinton, Presidents George W. Bush, Barrack Obama and now Donald Trump, have all continuously signed this waiver. Some of the important points from the 17 congressional findings contained in Section 2 of the legislation are below.
    Finding #1: Every sovereign nation, including Israel, may designate its own capital.
    Finding #2: Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel.
    Finding #7: Since 1967, Jerusalem has been a united city administered by Israel,
    Finding #9: Congress ‘‘strongly believes that Jerusalem must remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected.” This is reaffirmed in finding #10.
    Finding #17: In 1996, the State of Israel will celebrate the 3,000th anniversary of the Jewish presence in Jerusalem since King David’s entry. (This finding acknowledges that Israel’s presence in Israel pre-dates any Arab claims to the city in modernity).
    What the Jerusalem Embassy Act acknowledges is that America believes that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel and this is validated by the historical fact that the Jewish presence in Jerusalem predates all Arab claims to the city. This means that moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem would be in alignment with the Bible’s similar claims. Should Donald Trump serve a full first term, he will have several more opportunities to make good on his promise to move the embassy. If he does,
    1. it will signal that the world’s greatest superpower supports Israel’s rights to Jerusalem as its undivided capital,
    2. Further undermine the international control and oversight of Jerusalem,
    3. Pave the way for other nations to move their embassies to Jerusalem.
    These three things are problematic for the Arabs claims over Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:2 informed that the surrounding Arabs are intoxicated over Jerusalem. If the world’s greatest superpower moves its embassy to Jerusalem, it could create uproar within the neighboring Arab states and a firestorm throughout the greater Islamic world, which considers Jerusalem as its third holiest city. What Donald Trump and Americans need to be concerned about is the warning of Zechariah 12:3. Imposing a burden upon Jerusalem, like asking Israel to relinquish control over an area with the city of Jerusalem or territory of Judah (Judea), will have consequences. It will “break to pieces,” or “sorely wound” America.
    White House correspondent Bill Koenig of www.watch.org points out in his book called, “Eye to Eye, Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel,” that dividing the land of Israel results in adverse consequences to the nation(s) directly involved. He cites the case of Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005. He correlates the evacuation of the Jews from Gaza at that time to the devastation caused during the category 5 hurricane. Former president George Bush had influenced Israel to withdraw from the Gaza and the Lord responded swiftly by slapping America with its most costly disaster in its history. The lesson to the nations is do not divide the land of Israel. If Donald Trump dares to separate the Jews from their land, especially Jerusalem as specified in Zechariah 12:3, then the warning is that America could suffer severely.
    On May 24, 2017, The Times of Israel reported; “US President Donald Trump is said to be pressing Israel to transfer parts of the West Bank to Palestinian administrative control as a goodwill gesture to help revive peace talks between the two sides. Specifically, they have asked for areas in the northern West Bank to be transferred from Area C to Area B, according to the report.” 12 Area A is under full civil and security control by the PA (currently governed by Fatah). Area B is under PA civil control but Israel and the PA are cooperating to provide security services. Area C is fully Israeli in all but name.iv Zechariah 2:8 says that “he who touches Israel,” referring to the land and / or the people, “touch the apple of God’s eye.”

    If Trump plans to make America great again, he will need to make wise decisions concerning Israel and the future status of Jerusalem. He needs to tread lightly when it comes to Israel so as not to poke God in the eye. Perhaps it’s best for him to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and then just keep his nose out of God’s business concerning the final status of Jerusalem.

    NEWS FLASH! THIS JUST IN! As I’m preparing to publicize this article, Israel National News declares on July 27, 2017; Report: Netanyahu offers major land swap with PA “PM reportedly told Trump envoys he is prepared to surrender large swath of pre- 1967 Israel to PA in exchange for 'settlement blocs'.” Stay tuned for part two, which explains how the Arab-Israeli conflict concludes! “In that day, says the LORD, “I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider 



JERUSALEM, A CUP OF DRUNKENNESS TO THE ARABS

By Bill Salus






In Part one of this two-part study, Jerusalem was explained to be a burdensome stone to the nations. Part two will address what happens to the surrounding Muslim nations in Zechariah 12:2. These Arab states falsely and forcibly contest Israel’s biblically endorsed sovereignty over Judah and Jerusalem.

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness, (or trembling), to all the surrounding (Arab) peoples, (on the right hand and on the left), when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.” (Zec. 12:2, NKJV; emphasis added) ………………………………………………………………………………………………
Land for Peace Deals ARE NOT Biblically Endorsed! On August 3, 2017, the Haaretz Newspaper in Israel reported the following,

Jared Kushner Warns 'There May Be No Solution' to IsraeliPalestinian Conflict’ 2 “President Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, expressed hesitancy at the United States' ability to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians…We’re trying to work with the parties very quietly to see if there's a solution. And there may be no solution.”

The 36-year-old Jared Kushner, who President Trump appointed as his lead Middle East peace envoy, has discovered what the former US Presidents, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barrack Obama were forced to realize; that finding a diplomatic solution that ends the Arab-Israel conflict is virtually impossible. These former US Presidents and their appointed envoys have tried trading the biblical Promised Land for Mideast peace to no avail, and Donald Trump’s team is thus far following in the same failed footsteps.



Land for peace deals are not biblically endorsed! The only diplomatic solution available to resolve the present Mideast conflict is described in the prophecy of Jeremiah 12:14-17, which was explained in part one of this two-part article. 3 Jeremiah 12:16 requires Israel’s Arab Muslim neighbors to abandon their worship of Allah, the god in the Koran, in favor of worshipping Jehovah, the God of the Bible. Under the present Mideast religious environment, this will not happen!

Jeremiah 12:17 declares, “But if they do not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that (Arab) nation,” says the Lord.”

Diplomacy Will Fail and Middle East War Will Prevail.
Jared Kushner’s assessment of the problematic Mideast peace process, “And there may be no solution,” is incorrect! Historically, when diplomacy fails, which it likely will in this case, wars typically prevail to resolve world and regional conflicts. This is what the Bible predicts will happen in Zechariah 12:4-6 and elsewhere.

In that day, says the LORD, “I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in the LORD of hosts, their God.’ In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place—Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 12:4-6)


As a result of the sequence of events detailed in Zechariah 12:2, “in that day,” the prophet foretells how the Arab-Israeli conflict will conclude in the above verses. It ends very badly for the surrounding Arab nations and terrorist populations within them. The Arabs were duly warned in Zechariah 12:2 to abandon their siege upon Judah and Jerusalem. Zechariah declared that their struggle to control Jerusalem would cause them to tremble and reel like a violent drunkard. However, they persisted in their unbiblical pursuit of homesteading this holy land. It is safe to presume that these verses deal with the Arabs, because in both verses 2 and 6, Zechariah identifies the enemy as the surrounding neighbor nations. He uses the Hebrew word, “sabiyb,” to distinguish them. This is the same Hebrew word used in Ezekiel 28:24-26 and 36:3-7 to describe the neighboring Arab nations that share common borders with Israel. Zechariah 12:4-6 describes a battle strategy that can never be incorporated into any nations military manuals except for Israel’s. It involves a joint military campaign that combines supernatural intervention with conventional warfare. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) will unleash their superior firepower upon their Arab enemies, while they simultaneously witness their God Jehovah miraculously weaken the enemy forces.

The IDF are depicted as a fiery torch that easily ignites a field of sheaves. By the time the IDF goes to battle their enemies are supernaturally reduced to mere kindling for the furnace, “like a fire pan in the woodpile.” The New Living Translation equates it to being, “Like a flame that sets a woodpile ablaze.” The International Standard Version (ISV) translates Zechariah 12:6 as follows;

“‘At that time, I will make the leaders of Judah like a brazier filled with blazing wood, or like a torch setting fire to harvested grain. They will devour all the invading armies, both on the right hand and on the left. As a result, Jerusalem will again be inhabited in its rightful place—as the real Jerusalem.’”

The Supernatural Sequence of Events that Ends the Mideast Conflict

The sequence of battle events flows as follows. Please note that my interpretations modernize the military scenario. Some commentaries suggest that the world abandons modern day weaponry and regresses back to the medieval times when wars were fought with horses with riders who utilized bows and arrows. When Zechariah prophesied there were no fighter jets flown by pilots, rather, there were horses arrayed for battle with riders saddled upon them. Thus, these are the terms he used to describe this war. • First, it appears that the Lord causes the Arab artilleries, tanks and armored vehicles to malfunction.

I will strike every horse with confusion,” (Zec. 12:4a) This supernatural battle tactic was proven effective around 3500 years ago when the Pharaoh of Egypt and his armies were attempting to attack the Hebrews at the Red Sea crossing. The episode is recorded below.

Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the Lord looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians. And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the face of Israel, the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.”” (Exodus 14:34-35)

Second, these malfunctions apparently create hysteria among the enemy soldiers like it did to the Egyptians in the above example. “and its rider with madness;” (Zec. 12:4b) This same result happened in Judges 7 when Gideon’s 300-man army battled against 120,000 Midianites and prevailed.

Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army, (120,000 Midianites), ran and cried out and fled. When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every (Midianite) man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the (panic-stricken Midianite) army fled to Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.” (Judges 7:20-22, NKJV; emphasis added)

This same hysteria will overtake the Ezekiel 38 invaders in the future according to Ezekiel 38:21. -Third, the Lord will turn His favor toward the IDF and somehow the radar capabilities of the enemy’s tanks, jets, rockets, etc. will become disabled. “I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every (enemy) horse of the peoples with blindness.” (Zec. 12:4c)

-Fourth, the IDF will become emboldened to battle as they witness the enemy’s equipment malfunction and the Arab armies panic. They will gain courage as they focus on their fight to regain sole sovereignty over Jerusalem.

And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in the Lord of hosts, their God.’” (Zec. 12:5)
The Hebrew word for “governors” is “alluph.” It can also be translated as captain or chieftain.”

-Fifth, the IDF seem to slaughter the beleaguered and spooked Arab armies on all sides.“In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding (Arab) peoples on the right hand and on the left,” (Zec. 12:6a)

-Sixth, in victory the Jews will end the Arab-Israeli conflict and regain sovereign control over their holy city of Jerusalem. “but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place—Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 12:6b) The Zechariah 12 and Psalm 83 Connection Zechariah 12:2, 4-6, appears to be a minor peripheral prophecy that is intended to find application to the more major prophecy described in Psalm 83. Zechariah seems to provide some of the important details that take place during the fulfillment of Psalm 83.
Psalm 83, which was authored by the Hebrew prophet Asaph over five centuries before Zechariah prophesied, predicts that a war between the Arabs and the Israelis will be what resolves the Middle East conflict. Due to the striking similarities between Psalm 83 and Zechariah 12, it appears that these two powerful prophecies are interrelated. Some of these similarities are identified below.



(Map superimposes the ancient names of the Psalm 83 nations over their modern-day equivalents. They represent “all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left” of Zec. 12:2,6), The Arabs form an alliance against Israel - Zechariah 12:2 says the surrounding Arab states ally together to lay siege upon Judah and Jerusalem. Psalm 83: 2-8, 12, predicts the same neighboring Arab states will confederate and devise crafty counsel to destroy Israel to take possession of the Promised Land. In modernity, we see that this devious Arab plan has incorporated conventional warfare, as in the cases of the wars of 1948, 1967 and 1971, and It has also included a propaganda war that has propagated the myth that the Palestinians have just claims to these Israeli territories. This hype has successfully gotten the International community to refer to these lands as “Israeli occupied” territories.

The Bible endorses Israel’s sovereignty over these areas, but the Arabs, the Muslim world and the international community opposes Israel’s rightful claims. This campaign of misinformation has caused the international community to meddle in the sovereignty of these areas, which was predicted to occur in Zechariah 12:3. The Arabs go to war against Israel – Zechariah 12:4-6 describes an Arab-Israeli War. Psalm 83:4 informs that the Arab’s purpose for this war is the final elimination of Israel. They say,

Let us go and erase them as a nation so the name of Israel will not be remembered anymore.” (Psalm 83:4, ISV)
The Arabs are soundly and supernaturally defeated – Zechariah 12:4-6 declares that the IDF are supernaturally empowered to slaughter the surrounding Arab armies. Psalm 83:9-11 petitions the Lord to do this very thing. These Psalm 83 verses recount the historical battles that were fought in Judges 4-8. One of these battles was the underdog victory of Gideon’s 300-man army over the 120,000 strong Midianite army. Like the Lord intervened and empowered the IDF to victory in that historic Gideon battle, Zechariah 12:4-6 will be somewhat of a repeat performance. Asaph petitioned for this in Psalm 83:9-11 and the Lord honors this specific request according to Zechariah 12:4-6.

Another striking similarity is between the following verses. “In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left.” (Zechariah 12:6, NKJV) “O my God, make them like the whirling dust, Like the chaff before the wind! As the fire burns the woods, And as the flame sets the mountains on fire,” (Psalm 83:13-14, NJKV)

CONCLUSION:
This two-part article has taken a different approach to interpreting Zechariah 12:1-6. The traditional teaching has mostly associated these verses with events that take place during the 9 campaign of Armageddon. If that’s the best interpretation, then what we see taking place in the Middle East is simply setting the stage for events that happen near the end of the seven-year Tribulation Period. However, if my view of these verses is correct, then the world is about to witness the Lord’s supernatural intercession, rather than America’s diplomatic intervention, to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. I believe that Zechariah 12:1-6 and Psalm 83 are Now Prophecies, which are prophecies that lack preconditions and could happen presently. My view is supported by the premise that the IDF is involved in defeat of the surrounding Arab nations in both prophecies. The IDF currently appears to be prepared to tackle this monumental task. Thus, it appears that soon land for peace diplomacy fails and war prevails to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.


Moreover, this Mideast conflict will likely conclude prior to the seven-year Tribulation Period for the following two reasons. 1. During the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation Period, Israel is living in a pseudo peace, which results from the ratification of the covenant in Daniel 9:27. This implies that the IDF will be mostly inactive and not warring against the surrounding Arab states. 2. In the second three and one-half years of the Tribulation Period, the Israelis are being persecuted in the genocidal attempt of the Antichrist. This infers that the IDF will be fleeing from the Antichrist, rather than fighting against their Arab neighbors. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

MAN CANNOT PRODUCE UTOPIA

 
by Grant Phillips


The next big event on God's calendar is the Rapture, and then the seven-year Tribulation followed by the one-thousand-year Millennium when Jesus will rule the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.
 
God has dealt with man via six different dispensations (so far), and in each one, man fails. Over and over it is proven that the natural man cannot please God. The seventh and last dispensation is the Millennium, and once again, man will fail to live in a manner pleasing to God. Only in eternity, will mankind (those who have inherited eternal life through Jesus Christ) and the angels never again have the desire or ability to disobey God.
 
The seven dispensations are:
 
  1. The Age of Innocence: from Creation to the Fall
  2. The Age of Conscience: from the Fall to the Flood
  3. The Age of Human Government: from the Flood to Abraham
  4. The Age of Promise: from Abraham to Moses
  5. The Age of the Law: from Moses to Jesus
  6. The Age of Grace: from Pentecost to the Rapture and
  7. The Age of the Kingdom: the 1,000 year Millennium following the Tribulation
 
The Age of Innocence - Man is created without ever knowing sin, but then falls to its temptation in rebellion against God.
 
The Age of Conscience - Man lives by his own conscience of right and wrong, and fails miserably in his rebellion against God.
 
The Age of Human Government - As mankind forms into groups and human governments are formed, man quickly reverts back into sin, continuing to rebel against God.
 
The Age of Promise - Even though God always keeps His promises, man cannot, and does not have the patience to wait on God. His rebellion against God continues.
 
The Age of the Law - Even with clear and strict guidelines, man corrupts the Law of God by disobedience in rebellion.
 
The Age of Grace - Even in the most coveted dispensation prior to the Kingdom age, man as a whole refuses the riches of God's grace. The grace of the cross is spurned for the works of man.
The Age of the Kingdom - The Kingdom age will originally be comprised of all those who know God as Savior and Lord through Jesus Christ. All will be without sin and the ability to sin because of the saving grace of God. What could go wrong? Will mankind still rebel against God?
 
We all know that when the Tribulation ends Satan will be bound for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3). So throughout the Millennium, Satan and none of his followers will be around to seduce mankind. Jesus will reign from Jerusalem. The Church will reign with Him, and the surviving saints from the Tribulation will repopulate the earth.
 
So, at the beginning of the Millennium everyone will be a child of God. The earth will be restored. Nature will be at peace. Prosperity will abound. The life expectancy will be extended to a thousand years. Everything will be perfect.
 
Have you ever considered just how long a thousand years is? A lot can happen in a thousand years. Think about this. As of this year, America is 241 years old. That's not even a quarter of 1,000 years. If you go on back to when Columbus headed our way, it's still only 525 years.
 
I was born when Harry S. Truman was President. Since then we have had twelve more Presidents. I can assure you, a LOT has happened over that short period. Many, many things have drastically changed over that very short period of time.
 
Remember, when the Millennium begins everyone is saved at that point. Everyone belongs to the Lord and He rules the earth. But ... the Tribulation saints who were not murdered will enter the Millennium and bare children. Those children, and all those born after them will have the ability to sin because they will be born with that sin nature we all have today.
 
A population explosion will inhabit the millennial period. Billions will be born from those original Tribulation saints that will have the same choice mankind has today; honor God or rebel.
 
When the Millennium ends Satan will be released and lead billions against Jesus and His rule (Revelation 20:7-8). How did it ever get to the point that Satan could find that many followers in a world that is perfect?
 
Even though Satan is bound and cannot deceive anyone during that time, those billions born in the Millennium will have the ability to follow Jesus or reject Him. They will all be born with the same nature that is currently within us.
 
It is my opinion that even though the Kingdom age (the Millennium) will have so many blessings, rebellion will begin to rise in the hearts of those born into the Millennium. The Scripture says in Revelation 12:5, "And she bore a son, a male, who is going to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and to His throne." This male son is none other than Jesus Christ, and He will rule during that time, "with a rod of iron."
 
There will not be an outward uprising until the end of the Kingdom age (the Millennium), but rebellion will rise and continue to rise in the hearts of many. By the time Satan is once again unleashed, they will be revealed for what they really are.
 
If you'll think about it, God has allowed all of us to have freedom of choice, even the angels. Satan made his choice. The angels that followed him made their choice, and one third of the angels followed Satan. Adam and Eve made their choice, and every individual throughout each dispensation has made or will make a choice either to obey God or not to obey Him.
 
Since sin entered the world through our original parents, Adam and Eve, mankind has been in rebellion. Some have decided to call upon God, but most do not. God clearly demonstrates that no matter how He deals with us, as long as we have a sinful nature, there will be those who will always rebel against Him.
 
Today's society practically wears out the phrase, "God is love." Yes He is, and He is no less "just" than He is "love." We tend to forget that God cannot deny His justice any more than He can deny His love. We want His love in letting us "do our own thing," but not His justice in judging the sin(s) we wallow in.
 
He has proven through six dispensations that we cannot save ourselves, and the seventh and last dispensation will corroborate the others. Only He can save us, and He can only do so through our belief in His Son, Jesus.
 
Mankind began in a perfect world (Garden of Eden) and we failed. Mankind will close out the ages in a perfect world (Millennium) and we will fail again. Sin and its consequences must be judged and totally eradicated, and the world must be filled with the righteousness of God before there can ever be peace between mankind and his Creator God. This can only be accomplished by the grace of God in the sacrifice of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. All those who come to God through the Son will be saved (rescued) from judgment and adopted into the family of a Holy God. Only those who come through Jesus will live with Him for eternity in absolute righteousness, never knowing sin again. All those in Christ know God not just as our Creator, but also as our Father, because our faith rests in the saving work of Jesus Christ.
 
In each age, man attempts to produce the perfect world, as he sees utopia in his own mind. Thankfully, God has seen fit to save us from our own delusions.
 
So to recap:
 
  1. Innocence cannot save.
  2. Conscience cannot save.
  3. Government cannot save.
  4. Promises (ours) cannot save.
  5. The Law (or law) cannot save.
  6. Grace (if rejected) cannot save.
  7. A perfect world cannot save.
 
Each dispensation proves that no one can be saved apart from the cross. The cross is offered each time, but only the few choose wisely. Most try an alternate route, but only those who come via the cross go into eternity as children of the eternal God to reign with Him forevermore. All those who reject the cross will spend eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

SUMMER RAPTURE FEVER? THREE EARTH SHATTERING SIGNS THE TIME MAY BE NEAR!!

by Bill Perkins



 
The Jewish Feast Rosh Hashanah (AKA The Feast of Trumpets) is September 20/21, 2017. We wrote an article a few years back defending Rosh Hashanah as the most likely time of the year the Rapture would happen(1), regardless of the year. So each summer it's always interesting to see how the prophetic signs are shaping up...could this be the year of our exhilarating departure?
 
 Several other ministries ARE predicting it will happen during Rosh Hashanah this year. One guy has a whole website talking about Revelation 12:1 and the Rapture.
 
"A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;" Rev. 12:1
 
Supposedly, on September 22 (Tishri 1/Jewish New Year begins) the stars in the sky will point to the Rapture. In this fanciful prediction, the "woman" in Revelation 12 is the constellation Virgo. The nine stars of the Constellation Leo plus the planets of Mercury, Mars and Venus are the 12 stars around her head and the moon is at her feet. And somehow Jupiter represents Jesus' birth.(3)
 
You can buy the book that explains all this in a digital download for a mere $25. But if he really thought the Rapture was in September, why would he be selling the info instead of just giving it away?
 
Don't waste your money trying to understand HIDDEN signs few people know about. If this were truly a sign from God, it's doubtful He would hide it in a constellation from 99.99999% of the world. No, God does things like parting the Red Sea or raising Lazarus from the dead, for ALL to see and ponder.
 
Can we even know beforehand?
 
Before we go any further, the logical question we should ask is, "Can we know ahead of time when the Rapture will take place?" The answer is "not exactly."
 
For those who are new to Compass, we loathe those who set hard, absolute dates for The Rapture or 2nd Coming. But we believe the Bible teaches that we can, and should, observe any and all OBVIOUS signs to determine if we're getting close. Consider this verse:
 
"For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 1Th. 5:2-6
 
That verse tells us that the coming of the Lord at Rapture will come without warning only for non-Believers. But Believers are encouraged to be alert to the OBVIOUS signs because we have the discerning light of God's Holy Spirit.
 
Therefore, it's incumbent on Believers to be alert to OBVIOUS prophetic signs that the current Church Age dispensation, the Biblical time period in which we live, is coming to a booming close.
 
The Rapture of the Believers on the earth will make way for the next dispensation to begin-a horrific 7-year period referred to as "Tribulation," "The Time of Jacob's Trouble" or "The 70th Week of Daniel." (Matt. 24:21; Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:24-27)
 
So how's everything stacking up this year?
 
Sign #1 Israel
 
It's an exciting time to be alive as we're living in the generation that saw God, as prophesied, begin bringing the Jews back to their homeland. So our first gauge is to look at Israel. We've written many articles about their God ordained return to their homeland.
 
The main reason to watch Israel is that soon after the Rapture, the Jews will again be in the prime-time of God's earthy dealings-God will come out of His Self-imposed slumber and the entire world will know it. The heaven and earth will be shaken to its core as He lets the world know that He is the Creator God and Israel is His chosen nation.
 
Watching Israel being primed for this change is fascinating. We can also observe the prophesies regarding her latter-day enemies. Ezekiel 38 and 39 discuss, among other things, the last-days invasion by those from the areas of Russia (Gog), Iran (Persia) and others.(4)
 
'Thus says the Lord GOD, "It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, and you will say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods,...' Ezek. 38:10-12
 
The stated purpose for the invasion is to capture riches in the land of Israel-which begs the question, "What spoil? What riches?"
 
When Israel became a nation in 1948 she had no known natural riches for which a hostile sovereign nation would invade. In fact, Golda Meir, Israel's Prime Minister in 1969-1974, often quipped that Moses wandered the desert for 40 years and unfortunately settled in the only place that didn't have oil.
 
But recently that's changed. A couple of years ago Israel discovered massive gas reservoirs just off her coast.(6A) And within the last year or so Israel discovered a massive oil reservoir To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, within her borders!(5) And there are other oil exploration companies are currently drilling there.(6)
 
It's possible Israel's government has put out the word to their media not to publicize these oil and discoveries so as not to give the surrounding Arab nations another reason to come after them. But the oil discovery within Israel's borders was described as huge.
 
BTW-All that Middle Eastern Oil is another proof that the Bible is 100% accurate. The massive amounts of oil in the Middle East is obviously due to Noah's flood burying the lush and plentiful plants in-and-around the Garden of Eden. These buried plants naturally turned to oil (11) and today Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, etc., and now Israel, benefit from the destruction of Noah's worldwide flood.
 
So, because of Israel's relatively close proximity to the original Garden of Eden, it's not surprising that Israel also has massive oil reserves under its land. The question is simply "how much?"
 
Some oil experts have theorized that Israel has more oil under her land than all the other middle eastern nations combined. And looming in the future is the prophesied Russia/Iran invasion to come after her riches-an invasion that takes place, we believe, within a few days after the Rapture.(4)
 
The Israeli oil and gas discoveries mean the prophecy of Israel being so dog-gone wealthy in the latter days is being fulfilled right under our noses.(7) And when the Rapture takes place, and the Holy Spirit Restrainer is removed from the earth, Russia will obviously "devise an evil plan" and invade Israel.
 
All this is detailed in Ezek. 38 and 39. The result of this invasion is that Israel is miraculously protected by God, Russia/Iran/others suffer a humiliating defeat and the Jews are awakened out of their spiritual slumber.
 
Sign #2 Signs In The Skies
 
"Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;" Gen. 1:14
 
The first reason the Lord gave us for His creating the sun, moon and stars is to be for "signs." Throughout the Bible He has used the sun for miraculous signs- i.e. The long day of Joshua, three hours of darkness when Jesus died on the cross, etc. (Joshua 10:12-14; Luke 23:44)
 
One of God's signs is a solar eclipse where the sun's light is blocked by the moon. It's interesting that if the earth and moon were .04% further apart, or closer together, there would be no eclipses to view.(8)
 
On August 21, 2017, there will be a solar eclipse on the earth. This full eclipse of the sun's light will only be seen in the United States, cutting a path from the Northwest to the Southeast.
 
This is the first time in the history of the United States that a total eclipse will touch only the United States.
 
But what makes this eclipse raise even more eyebrows is that another eclipse will do the same thing-exactly seven years from now, again seen ONLY IN THE UNITED STATES. Seven years-how interesting!
 
But rather than NW to SE, in seven years the eclipse will be from the SW to the NE, creating a big X on our nation.
 
We already know the United States is the prophesied nation in the Bible that is destroyed in an hour(6). Does this big "X" mean God is trying to "give us a sign"? Maybe.
 
Scientists have recently been studying the link between the sun, moon and earthquakes.(10) So it's most interesting that the eclipse will cross through the two main earthquake zones in America: Cascadia Subduction Fault Zone in the Coastal Northwest and the New Madrid Fault Zone in the heart of the Midwest.
 
Most people are aware of the West Coast's affinity for earthquakes. But the middle of the U.S. has also had its problems. The last time there was a big earthquake in the New Madrid Fault Zone, in 1812, the land movements were so severe it caused the Mississippi River to run backwards for several hours!(12) Over 1200 miles away in Boston, MA, it rattled plates off the walls and caused church bells to ring.(12)
 
Of course, in 1812, the New Madrid Fault Zone area was sparsely populated. Today it is estimated that a similar earthquake would be twice the problem of Katrina.(13)
 
The eclipse also cuts across volcanoes in the northwest like the recently active Mt. St. Helens and the unbelievably large, but long-time dormant, caldera in Yellowstone National Park. The Lord may have used the numerous volcanoes around the world as water portals for the flood of Noah.(16) So hope those things stay put for now!
 
We're not predicting anything. Just pointing out that the paths of these eclipses, this year and seven years from now, are quite unique and interesting. So buy some approved glasses and watch this amazing eclipse! More eclipse info at the bottom of this article. (17)
 
Sign #3 The Corrected Jewish Calendar
 
For all my Christian life I've wondered why the Jewish Calendar was so far off. The Jews, always trying to keep the letter of the Law, are so precise in everything Biblical that they do. But the Jewish calendar says we're in the year 5777. And common sense says that's off by some 200+ years.
 
James Ussher, an Irish bishop, wrote an incredible book on biblical chronology in the early 1650s. Using Biblical lineage, he sets the date from the Garden of Eden to Jesus' birth to be 4004 BC. So by simply adding 2017 since Jesus' birth to the 4004 years before Jesus' birth, it totals to 6021 years from Adam to today.
 
6021 is an interesting number because Jesus died in 30AD. And if you add seven years for the Tribulation, we're within a couple of years of completing two thousand years of the Church Age.
 
We wrote an article back in the 1990s suggesting that the seven-day creation week was God's template of all time, James Ussher one 24-hour day equaling 1000 years. After 4000 years, Jesus came in the 5th and 6th day, bringing life.(14)
 
But the Jewish calendar shows we're in year 5777. So, being that far off I never paid much attention to it. Until now!
 
It turns out, according to an interview I watched of Michael Norten at a Texas prophecy conference last week, that in 160 AD a Jewish rabbi named Yose Ben Halafta first created the Jewish calendar. But he strangely subtracted some 200+ years from his total years counting from Adam.
 
Purportedly, the reason for the change was that Ben Halafta realized that dating the calendar using a literal method would point to Jesus being the Messiah. He apparently saw that the prophecy in Daniel 9-483 years from the beginning of rebuilding Jerusalem's walls to the coming Messiah, would point directly to Jesus as the Messiah. Oh dear, can't have that!
 
So the theory is that Ben Halafta subtracted some 200+ years from the Jewish calendar so the Daniel 9 prophecy would not point to Jesus' Triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
 
When you add back 200 years to 5777, you get 5977. Add 7 years for Tribulation and you get 5984, which is getting close to 6000 total years.
 
And who knows how many total years he subtracted! Norten believes it was 214! That would mean the Jewish calendar should be 5998. And in September, Tishri 1, the Jewish new year, it will be 5999!
 
Why is 6,000 years so interesting?
 
I've taught for over 30 years that God's creation week of six 24-hour days and nights and one 24-hour day and night of rest is His divine template of earthly time.(13) In other words, when the Lord created time, He created 7000 total years from beginning to end.
 
It's called the "Day-Age" theory and it fits like a glove. God created time and everything He does is perfect. So how many total years would He create? It would obviously be a multiple of seven, His number He uses all through the Bible for completion.(15)
 
Not to mention that there are two verses where God pointedly refers to one day being "like" a 1000 years.
 
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 2Pet. 3:8
 
For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night. Psa. 90:4
 
Therefore, the first four days of creation would be a template the first 4000 years of human history. No life was created in the first four 24-hour days.
 
Then, after 4000 years of recorded history, Jesus came to earth and brought "life," in day five of the template.
 
"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10b
 
Therefore, on the 5th day of the divine template (Five is God's number for grace) Jesus arrived bringing "life."
 
The 5th and 6th days of the template are referred to in scripture in several places. In Hosea, there's an odd and unfulfilled prophecy:
 
"Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him." Hos. 6:1-2
 
This remarkable unfulfilled prophecy states that Israel would be wounded and torn for two days, but that God will raise them up on the third day and they will live in His presence. No one seems to be able to explain this verse.
 
But if you apply this verse inside the 7000-year template, the prophecy states that for 2000 years, Israel will be wounded and torn, but not destroyed. And after the 2000 years, God would raise Israel up to live in His presence for one day, which equals 1000 years.
 
Well, that's what happened. We know for a fact that Israel rejected her Messiah and for almost exactly 2000 years, Israel has been scattered around the world, torn and bruised. Israel is waiting for the "third day" where they will live in His presence.
 
God is currently gathering the Jews once again in their homeland where they will soon begin living in their Messiah's world-ruling presence for 1000 years. "Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years." Rev. 20:6
 
The 7th day of the Creation Week, God rested. This equates to the 1000-year reign of Jesus on the earth. 4000 + 2000 + 1000 = 7000 total years.
 
There are also other verses that fit this 7000-year template theory. For instance, when Jesus was on the earth, the only time period recorded in the Bible that He went to the  non-Jews, the Samaritans, was specifically for "two days."
 
"So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days." John 4:40
 
"After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee." John 4:43
 
Applying this to our 7000year divine template, the "two days" would be the 2000 years of Jesus going to the Gentiles. And after that 2000 years, He would return to the Jews for "one day," or 1000 years, which is, of course, the Millennial reign of Christ with Jesus living and reigning from Jerusalem.
 
Another fascinating example is Exodus 19.
 
The LORD also said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Ex. 19:10-11
 
This one gives me chill bumps. Buried in the Old Testament is a direct reference to the Church Age and the Millennial Reign of Christ.
 
"Today and tomorrow" are days 5 and 6 of our template- the Church Age, where we are "washed" or cleansed by the blood of Jesus. The "third day" is, of course, the 1000-year Millennium where the Jews will live with Jesus on the throne in Jerusalem-"in the sight of all."
 
So we believe God laid out 4000 years of time before Jesus came and brought life for 2000 years, 6000 total. We still have remaining 1000 years of rest, which is Jesus' reign as King of the Earth.
 
This 7000-year Divine Template makes the end of 6000 years of human history quite interesting!
 
As for the timing of the Rapture being this year-we may not know the day nor the hour, but it sure is fun watching for the season! It WILL happen one day in the future!.