Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 8

Day #8

At breakfast we witnessed another beautiful sunrise, a red rubber ball rising over new Jerusalem.  This is Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath – no work is done.  Our breakfast was made from food prepared on previous days.  Not even scrambled eggs could be prepared.  Talk about straining gnats.

Israel is made up of hills, valleys, hamlets, and towns.  Mountains abound all around the Jordan Valley.  We descended toward the Dead Sea and traveled the mountain, desert road, which is also rocky, hilly, craggy and lonely – between Jerusalem and Jericho.  We descended over four thousand feet and once again, entered a different climate.  This, as you probably realize by now, was the road used by the Good Samaritan.  Our ears popped.  What a beautiful land of endless variation!  We saw many Bedouin camps and tents, goats, and sheep along the way.  Israel really opens up the past.  We passed through the wilderness of Judea, just north of Neger, and the wilderness of Beersheba.  We passed deep gorges and narrow mountain passes, and canyons (Wadi) on the way toward Jericho.  In the distance we saw Mount Nebo, Jericho, and the Wilderness of Temptation.  We descended rapidly to the Dead Sea which was once a desert, but now, with water available, tomatoes, onions, strawberries, etc. are raised.  We saw a Greek Monastery – the site of Biblical Gilgal.  We also saw the place where Joshua crossed the Jordan River and laid down twelve stones.  The Dead Sea provides Israel with minerals, power and electricity.  We turned south towards En Gedi and Masada.  We passed the mountains at Qumran, where later today, we will see the caves where the Bedouin shepherd boy discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947.  Our ears kept popping.  Now we went by the actual caves which hid the scrolls.  What a desolate place is Qumran, home of the Essenes.  The Dead Sea is 20% salt, and right next to a fresh water spring.  The residents of Qumran depended on this fresh water supply.  We saw possible Essene farms and a community near Qumran.

After proceeding south along the Dead Sea for awhile, away from the spring, the land again turned into a desert.  The Dead Sea is shrinking and getting smaller.  The water line is moving back.  What beautiful terrain – the desert, mountains, and the Dead Sea – it has to be seen.  We drove south a long way, passing caves where rebels hid from Greek and Roman authorities.  The Dead Sea was four shades of blue, surrounded by lush, green vegetation, and towering red and brown mountains and cliffs.  Leopards and ibex dwell in these forlorn mountains.  We kept proceeding south toward the oasis of En Gedi.  As we passed through En Gedi, we immediately saw an oasis filled with beautiful palm trees.  En Gedi, of course, is where David hid from Saul in a cave and cut Saul’s garment.  I can see why David stayed here.

We then passed a health resort where a sulfur spring bubbled from the ground.  Finally we approached our first destination of Masada.  What a majestic site in the distance.  The ramp that the Romans built in order to capture Masada could be seen.  The Romans, under Titus, took three years to capture it through siege (70-73 A.D.).  We also saw Mount Sodom south at a distance.  An oasis was at the bottom of Masada.  What a beautiful drive, Jerusalem to Masada.  One may ascend Masada in one of two ways:  1) by cable car or 2) by the “snake path” which takes about forty five minutes.  There is no rain here, and we saw one large cistern on the way up.  It was a large man made quarry, turned into a cistern.  Masada means stronghold, rock, or fortress, and was built by the paranoid Herod.  There are three separate levels to King Herod’s Pleasure Palace, connected by staircases.  The top level of Masada is twenty acres.  Many of the Roman encampments could be seen below.  The Roman encampments were square shaped and very easy to see.  Masada had water, swimming pools, gardens, and just about everything to make it a paradise.  A Roman wall crept all around the base of the mountain in order to keep the people captive.  After three years, over nine hundred zealots committed suicide.  Masada was discovered only one hundred years ago.  When the Romans laid siege to Masada, they probably got their water at En Gedi.  When the Romans attempted to build the earthen ramp, the zealots threw rocks down on them.  We passed a stone quarry that was used by Herod in order to build.  The walls of all the rooms at Masada were once beautiful, painted, and covered with plaster.  There were saunas, hanging gardens, bath houses, pillars, storage rooms with a nine year food supply (the food was near Herod’s quarters).  There were beautiful mosaics.  There was even a hot room, and the floor was supported by small columns – underneath the floor were coals and hot water which created a sauna.  Tile was on some of the walls.  As mentioned, the pleasure palace of Herod had three tiers, and was located in such a way as to catch the breeze at the end of the mountain.  The outline of the Roman encampments could be seen all around the mountain.  The General’s Quarters could be seen inside the encampments at the corner of each.  Water came to Masada all the way from the mountains near Jerusalem and was collected in cisterns.  There were holes in the base of Mount Masada which collected the water runoff from the mountains nearby.  The force of gravity pushed the water up, because even the top of Masada is below sea level!  The top level of Masada features the Northern “pleasure” Palace.  Next, I visited the lowest tier of the pleasure palace, the third level down.  This tier gave Herod shade and breeze.  There was a hidden stairwell which was built into the rock, that Herod used to go up and down.  There were no trees in the area, hence the Romans had to haul a battering ram for a long distance.  Then I saw the middle terrace of the pleasure palace (Northern Palace), and observed the remains of a narrow, circular stairwell built into the rock.

Back on the top terrace was the oldest synagogue in the world at the time of the Second Temple.  Ezekiel, Chapter Thirty Seven, “The Vision of Dry Bones,” was found in the synagogue.  Nearby, there was a chamber for the scrolls, or library.  We observed the Roman ramp of earth closeup from the top of Masada.  There were many towers posted along the outer walls.  We left the “leisure” Northern Palace, and entered the Western “working” Palace.  This was the Administrative Palace.  A woman  and her daughter were the only ones who did not commit suicide in 73 A.D.  They hid themselves in an empty water cistern.

Now we will head for En Gedi.  The Dead Sea has no fish or seaweed.  The sulfur smell is very strong.  En Gedi comes from “En” or spring, and “Gedi” or goats.  We came to Wadi David – the springs and water source for En Gedi.  We observed the ibex wandering on the cliffs, the mountain animal of Israel, from which we get the word “Gedi.”  En Gedi features a beautiful waterfall.  At En Gedi, the water originates at a spring and goes underground.  The water is warm.  On our walk back from the waterfall, we saw a “coonie” which looks like a groundhog.  We also saw about twenty ibex walking along a high ridge.  We saw many other ibex amid the rocks.  They are very coordinated for the mountains, and they change the position of their feet to land square on the rocks.

Now we went to the Dead Sea at En Gedi for a swim.  One can float there with no effort at all.  Salt deposits were left all over our bodies.  Since I shaved the previous night before swimming, my neck stung.  You could smell the sulfur, and clay deposits were left everywhere.  The clay is used for cosmetics, facial treatments, and other vain pursuits of man.  Since the Dead Sea is the lowest place on the face of the earth, and tropical, and unseasonably warm, and has many mineral deposits, one feels that God did something special here – such as rain fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gomorrah, and dropping the entire valley below sea level.

Onward to Qumran.  We passed an oasis filled with palm trees along the way.  (By the way, it just came to mind that there were no problems on the trip which had to do with the recent P.L.O., Gaza Strip and Bethlehem developments).  Qumran was settled by the Essenes in the eighth century B.C.  We visited the remains of the community, observing a water channel, a cistern, scrolls stored in a Scriptorium, and a cemetery.  Many scrolls have been located in these mountains nearby.  Observed in the Essenes Community were homes, pottery, stables, flour, a dining hall, a pool and a cistern.  Every remaining artifact gives evidence of a simple life style.  The Essenes left Qumran and went to Masada.

We left Qumran to go back to Jerusalem.  On the way home, our guide mentioned that Bedouins still trade camels for wives.  They love their simple life style.  We passed a military camp.  Now we went back to the road which goes from Jericho to Jerusalem.  We passed another military camp.  Many Bedouin Camps were seen on the way back to Jerusalem.  We passed through today’s Bethany and stopped at Lazarus’ tomb.  It was deep and dark and seemed very real.  We had to duck and crawl in order to enter the crypt area.  It appeared to be a real possibility of genuine authenticity, like the tomb of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem.

We again entered Jerusalem.  We visited Jesus’ Garden Tomb, mentioned in the paragraph above.  It too, seemed authentic because of 1) the trough where the stone rolled, 2) and the window where the Bible seems to indicate light came in (John 20: 4-8); when John and Peter saw the linen clothes in the tomb, a source of light would have been needed for them to see the clothes after running into the tomb – the window, of course, would have provided the light.

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2015 Second Orlando Prophecy Summit, Part 66

This article represents the final installation of this prophecy conference.  It was a lot of work to listen to every speaker, but what a blessing to finally complete this monumental task!  If you read and peruse the 66 articles, you will glean the main topics and teachings from each and every instructor.  In Christ, Pastor Steve

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Dr. Kevin Clarkson   ~  Interview / Hagmann & Hagmann, Followed By The Closing Ceremony

Pastors are shepherds but we are also sheep.  We need to come apart and be fed also.  Many pastors are there but they are not engaged.  Some are angry or discouraged.  The Bible says:  “Strike the shepherd and the sheep scatter.”  Pastors leave the ministry every week, and that leaves the sheep without a shepherd.

Pastors need to abide in Christ, through the Word and in prayer.  The Spirit of God and the Word of God is an explosive and volatile combination.  A lot of pastors get busy and sidetracked, and fail to get alone with God.  The key to overcoming depression or burnout in ministry is to get with God and wait upon Him and you will mount up with the wings of eagles.

Dr. Kevin Clarkson stands on the shoulders of J.R. Church who founded Prophecy In The News decades ago.  The feeling in this ministry is that time is short and we must be serious in light of what is going on in the world.  Kevin’s vision is to pray for the persecuted church around the world.  Americans have lived in a religious liberty bubble which is unique in all of history.  The rest of the church throughout history has been hunted down, persecuted and martyred.  America has been the exception and not the rule.  Christians are being threatened in America as of late and we need to rise.  We need to run for office, be a voice, and defend our freedoms.  Bill Federer:  “Our most important job is to preach the Gospel.  Our second most important job is to defend our right to preach the Gospel.”  Billy Graham use to say he had the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other hand.  We must look at the Bible in the lens or prism of our time.  Christ is coming.  He could come before this broadcast is over.

Christians in America are being labeled as extremists.  The human rights campaign is saying that sexual liberty is more important than religious liberty.  Sexual liberty is making America go down.  We are being set aside by the Lord because of our sin.  China has passed us economically, and Russia has risen above us militarily, through the number of nuclear warheads they have.  There seems to be a desire to make worship a private issue for people in America.  The separation of church and state has been a misunderstood issue in our times.  The idea behind it is to keep the government out of the church, and NOT to keep the church out of the government.  We need to be strong with resolve and courage, and we also need to be gracious.  We were founded as a Judaeo Christian nation.  The church has been tax exempt, but with an 18 trillion dollar deficit and counting, our government will pursue every source of revenue they can find.  Churches are a rich target.  We must support Prophecy in the News.  Winston Churchill saved the world when he refused to surrender in World War II, and Benjamin Netanyahu is a similar leader today.  Bibi would like us to stand with him but even if we do not, Israel will never give in or surrender.

Kevin Clarkson stated that Western Civilization would fall to Islam in a matter of years if everything stays the same and the Lord does not return.  It may be that the torch of Christianity has been passed to Africa and Asia, where they are already persecuted – they are a lot more serious about their faith.  Everyday, over 8,000 people receive Christ in the underground church in China.  The Chinese Christians want to march back to Jerusalem with the Gospel.  This is the power of the Gospel and the Spirit of God.  In America, we must lose our indifference and become on fire for the Lord.  We need to get in our closet and pray.  George Washington said in the Revolution:  “Trust God to keep your powder dry.”  Let us do all that is humanly possible, and trust God to do all that is divinely possible.

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Closing Ceremony

Dr. Kevin Clarkson thanked the audience for their hunger, thirst and zeal for the Lord.  The United States is not going to stand with Israel now, and we are going to suffer for that.  God will curse those who curse Israel.  Israel may soon strike her enemies.  Noah prepared for the flood.  We need to prepare for the end times.  Be HOT.  Be HOLY.  Be HOPEFUL.  Be Spirit filled.  Abide in the Lord and be close to Christ – be in the Word and be in prayer.  Be HOLY.  We do not want to be ashamed at His coming.  Be HOPEFUL.  Be looking for the blessed hope, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

An amazing feature of this prophecy conference was the spiritual oneness of the speakers.  The Pre Tribulation Rapture was believed by all of them.  They all recognized the errors of the emerging church.  Their mutual spiritual discernment put them all on the same page.  Interestingly, these men all came from totally different backgrounds and did not know one another in nearly every case.  Their oneness is the oneness that all true saints who are born from above experience together.  It is a God thing.

Maranatha, Pastor Steve

2015 Second Orlando Prophecy Summit, Part 63

Bill Salus    ~    The Roots Of Mideast Conflict

There are 26 speakers and 54 messages in this prophecy conference.  We are living in fascinating times.  We are living well within the end times.  The greatest sign that we are living in the end times is that all these signs are converging rapidly upon us.  Christ’s return is very immanent.  Bill has a website that updates prophecy on a daily basis:  ProphecyDepot.com   Jeremiah 49:34-39 deals with prophecies that have been overlooked.  There are prophetic implications regarding Iran and nuclear armaments.

The Roots Of The Mideast Conflict

What Believers Need To Know

Why Americans Need To Prepare

The hostilities experienced in the Middle East between the Arabs and Jews go back nearly 4,000 years to God’s covenant with Abraham.  Due to the inherent blessings contained within this covenant, the infamous Bible characters Hagar, Ishmael, Esau, Moab, Ammon, and Amalak coveted the rich contents of this covenant.  They came to hate the Hebrews, who were heirs of this blessed covenant.  Ultimately, they conceived a cleverly disguised religious package giving it license to unleash itself in a holy war.  The Jihad, as it is often labeled, presently underway in the Middle East, finds its justification in Islam, but its roots are in this longstanding hatred.  There is a spiritual nature to this conflict.  When diplomacy fails, wars begin, and diplomacy has failed.  Psalm 83 (written by Asaph, King David’s worship leader) will resolve the Israeli Arab conflict.  Asaph was also a prophet and a seer.  Psalm 83 tells us that the nations around Israel will form a confederacy against them, and their goal is to destroy Israel.  This Psalm refers to the Edomites, Ammonites, Amalakites and Assyrians.  Isis could also be part of Psalm 83.  Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, which means one who wrestles with God and prevails.  Esau fathered the Edomites in southern Jordan.  Olam Ebah  Ancient Hatred – Perpetual Enmity.  This is a hostility that will not go away.  The Edomites originated this hatred, referred to in Ezekiel 35:5.  The Edomites felt cheated in the Abrahamic Covenant.  Genesis 12:1-3  Abraham was promised an innumerable amount of descendants.

Father Abraham

the Fountain of Blessings

1)Great Nation

2)Great Name

3)Descendants

4)Promised Land

5)Eternal King

6)Eternal Law

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Family Feuds

The Mothers  –  Sarah vs. Hagar

The Sons  –  Isaac vs. Ishmael

The Twin Brothers  –  Jacob vs. Esau

The Cousins  –  Israelites vs. Ammonites & Moabites

The Great Grand Kids  –  Hebrews vs. Amalakites

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Ishmael is the father of the Arabs and those in Saudi Arabia.

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Esau Despised God’s Plan of Redemption for Man

1)Great Nation

2)Great Name

3)Descendants

4)Promised Land

5)Eternal King

6)Eternal Law

The perpetual enmity between Edom and Israel is mentioned again in Numbers 20:20-21.  Jeremiah and Obadiah prophesied that Edom would be despised among men and small among the nations.

Islam renews the ancient hatred of Israel. Israel is born as a nation on May 14, 1948.  The Arabs fight them immediately.  The Arabs fight them again in June, 1967.  The third transgression was the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  Perhaps the fourth and final transgression will be in Psalm 83.  Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran.  Zechariah 12:2  “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.”  Israel will have initial success against their enemies.

Psalm 83 Confederacy-

Lebanon

Isis

Hezbollah

Syria

Iraq

Hamas

Jordan

Palestinians

Muslim Brotherhood

Egypt

Saudi Arabia

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The eternal blessings come through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, leading up to the Son of the Highest, Jesus Christ, and in His kingdom there will be no end.

The Abrahamic Covenant will complete God’s plan for the redemption of man.

 

 

 

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 7

Day #7

The rabiis, or Orthodox Jews, wear their hair very short with a long, long strand near the ear.  It would be interesting to find out why.  They are probably trying to fulfill a law of theirs.  On the way to our first stop, Pastor Grimes told us that it hardly ever rains at the Dead Sea.

Our first stop entailed a visit to an Israeli shrine in commemoration of the Jewish Holocaust.  The question remains, was the Holocaust God’s push of the Jews into the Holy Land?  First of all, we saw the Israeli military cemetery.  We saw many stones representing the war in 1948, when 650,000 Jews had a six month war with the Arabs and lost 6,000 people.  The Israeli national movement is called the Zionist Movement, named after Mount Zion, or Jerusalem.  Other stones were from soldiers who died in 1967.  (the Six Day War).  Next, we proceeded to the Memorial to the Holocaust.  One and one half million children were killed.  Seventy two hundred (7,200) Jewish people escaped from Denmark to Sweden.  We saw pictures of gas chambers in Poland.  Death and Concentration Camps were all over Europe.  The hair and gold teeth were extracted from the Jews and used in the war effort.  The Holocaust is one reason the Jews go to Mount Masada and vow they will never surrender, but fight to the death,  This entire Memorial is a good reminder of the wretchedness of the heart of man.

Next, we looked at the Dead Sea Scrolls.  We saw part of the book of Isaiah in the Hebrew Aramaic.  It was discovered Qumran in 1947, and it dates to about 100 B.C.  It was made by the famous Essenes.  Then we saw the Temple Scroll.  The Temple Scroll is God teaching the Torah in the first person.  We saw the Manuel of Discipline – the regulations of the Essenes.  We saw the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness.  The biggest blessing, however, was to see a scroll of Isaiah dated 100 B.C., and filled with the prophecies of Jesus Christ!  (examples:  Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, chapter 53, etc.)  We saw the Nahum Commentary which identified the Essenes.  We saw the scrolls of forty one of the Psalms, including the apocryphal One Hundred and Fifty First Psalm.  We saw the jars which held the Dead Sea Scrolls.  We looked at the old marriage contract, a divorce bill, business letters (selling dates and fruits), and a social letter.  The Bar Kokhba revolt of 132-135 was the last revolt of the Jews against the Romans.  This was mentioned in a social letter.  Over seven hundred scrolls and parchments have been found around Qumran.

Now we proceeded to Hezekiah’s Tunnel.  We entered the Hinnom Valley, filled with olive trees.  Then we came to the Kidron Valley.  Hezekiah’s Tunnel is almost one half a mile long, and is a tremendous engineering feat.  There were many residences right outside the tunnel, where donkeys worked right at the tunnel site, and children rode the donkeys.  The tunnel consisted of two parts:  1) The original Canaanite Shaft and 2) Hezekiah’s Tunnel into David’s city.  We saw the entrance to Hezekiah’s Tunnel – dated 750 B.C.  Then we saw where David found the shaft, near the tunnel, which he used to enter Jerusalem around 1000 B.C.  We walked up Mount Ophel – David’s city was a steep hill which was surrounded by valleys, the Kidron and Tyropoeon Valleys.  The shaft and the tunnel diverted water from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam at the south end of David’s city.  When David took Jerusalem, Joab went up the Canaanite Shaft in order to open the gate for David and his men.  Because of what he did, Joab received one of David’s daughters in marriage.

We noticed that Muslims paint their doors in relation to their “status” in faith.  A red door, for instance, means they went to Mecca.  There is no end to the customs and oddities in this land.

From our location in Hezekiah’s Tunnel, the ancient walls of the city of David could be seen.  We observed the Pool of Siloam, which was the water receiving area for David’s Jerusalem.  Swimmers were seen who entered the Pool of Siloam, having gone through Hezekiah’s Tunnel.  Nearby, are the traditional sites of the tombs of both Jehosephat and Zedekiah.  They are not one hundred per cent positive about the authenticity of these tombs.  There is more certainty however, about the tomb of Absalom.

Today is Friday, the Muslim Holy Day, and the soldiers were equipped with sticks and riot gear.

Next, we saw Zedekiah’s Cave or Solomon’s Quarries, a mountain where rock and stone was cut out for the temple.  It was a hollowed out mountain, a huge and vast cave opening into an amphitheater.  It kept going down deeper and deeper.  Ton upon ton of rocks were removed.  The traditional site of Golgotha or Calvary was seen across the street from Zedekiah’s Cave.  This was a Muslim area and we could not go there.  We noticed military halftracks and troops in the area.

On the way to Bethlehem, we passed another of Herod’s fortresses in the distance.  It was the Herodium, a man made mountain where Herod flashed signals from, way out in the desert.  (Because of his paranoia over assasination attempts, King Herod slept in a different place every night).  His tomb could be in this fortress which is noted for its flat top, looking like a volcanic mountain from a distance.  We passed Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem off the main street.

For lunch, we went into St. George’s Arab Restaurant in Bethlehem.  An Arab waiter attempted to take away my salad while I was eating it.  Pastor Grimes was seated next to me and quickly took the waiter to task, straightening out his decorum.  We had lamb shiskabob, and it was good.  Speaking of Arab and custom, I would like to mention that the Arab toilet we saw near Petra, was in a large room, and on the floor.  I was totally mesmerized when I first saw it.  One would perform their bodily functions before a crowd.  Unbelievable.

We walked over to the Church of the Nativity after lunch.  This is the traditional birth place of Jesus Christ.  The church is built on a cave.  The only entrance, the front door, was short so camels could not walk in.  The cave was charcoal black, due to many people bringing in torches and candles.  The 1)Greek Orthodox, 2)Armenian, 3)and Roman Catholic all control this church, each with their own section.  A Greek Orthodox Priest, dressed in black, rang bells filled with smoky incense all over the church – making it “holy.”  Many of us gagged and coughed because of the smoke.  The church goes back to the 5th Century and is rugged looking, like a fortress.  The church has the original Byzantine 5th Century floor, Muslim columns, and Crusader decorations on the walls.  Another cave or manger was on the other side.  After leaving the Greek Orthodox Church, we entered the Catholic section.  This was a very ritualistic church.

Now we proceeded toward the shepherd’s fields.  There was a natural cave in these fields, and there were many shepherd’s fields to be seen in the area.  These fields were similar to, and may have actually been, the fields that Ruth worked in and Boaz owned.  Beth-lehem means “house of bread.”  There are wheat fields and shepherd’s fields all around the town, hence the name.  From Bethlehem, we had a breath-taking view of the mountains of Moab, across the desert and the Dead Sea.  Moab, we know, was where Ruth came from, and the country originated between Lot and one of his daughters.

We then saw a beautiful panoramic view of Jerusalem from the south.  We could observe David’s city at Mount Ophel up the middle, the Mount of Olives was seen on the right, and Mount Zion was on the left.  The valleys are as follows:  the Kidron Valley bears off to the right, the Tyropoeon Valley goes to the left, and the Hinnom Valley can be found in the middle.  We could oberve the ever present Dome of the Rock in the middle also, above the Hinnom Valley.

Next, we went through the Hinnom Valley in Jerusalem – also called Gehenna because it was a trash dump where “the fire never went out.”  The word Gehenna, of course, refers to burning.  The never ending burning of hell.

We went to a store in Jerusalem belonging to a gentleman named Was-Was.  Along the way we smelled the aroma of many good Arabic foods.  Haggling is common place in Jerusalem, as you can bargain with people.  For a reasonable price, I bought two brass candlesticks for my wife, and an olive wood donkey to add to our collection of over twenty donkeys at home.

 

2015 Second Orlando Prophecy Summit, Part 42

Jim Fletcher    ~    Interviewed By Doug Hagmann & Joe Hagmann

Jim Fletcher blogs about prophecy on a regular basis and has his own radio show.  Jim was a Christian editor who took a trip to Israel in 1998 and the trip had a profound effect on him.  Jim was fascinated how everything in Israel was Biblical.  When one visits Israel, they will observe a chain of places and sites from ancient times until now.

Now we observe antisemitism in Europe, Germany, the Middle East and even in America.  Why is this?  We seem to be advancing faster and farther than we thought we might.  Zechariah tells us that all nations will come up against Israel and Jerusalem, hence we should expect this.  It hurts us to see America treating Israel this way, yet Bible prophecy tells us plainly that this is what we should expect.  There is more persecution recently against Jews, and even vandalism and destruction against their synagogues.  Jews are erroneously blamed by many as the great problem in the world, just as they were in Germany in the 1930’s.  It is amazing that the Jewish people are blamed for all the problems in the world when they themselves are the ones in the cross hairs.

In the American church, we do not see the leaders stepping up and supporting Israel.  Some even cozy up to Muslim groups so these are strange times that we find ourselves in.  There is a move away from the support of Israel even among top evangelical leaders.  These are peculiar circumstances that have taken us by surprise.  Benjamin Netanyahu was recently snubbed by President Barack Obama.  President Obama is a totalitarian and acting like a totalitarian.  This is unsettling for us to see the president treat Israel this way, and we probably have not seen the last of it.  We pray that a friendly administration towards Israel would follow this administration.  Nonetheless, Jim Fletcher does see the government of the United States of America one day abandoning Israel.  At the end of the day, however, Israel is NOT the nation in trouble- it is everyone else!  The Lord has promised to preserve them and fight for them, and He has done that consistently.  Israel has won many major battles since their inception as a nation in 1948 that do not make sense in the natural.  That trend will continue.  Jim Fletcher agrees with Bill Salus, that the Psalm 83 war will pit a confederation of nations against Israel.  There will be a miraculous intervention by the Lord.  Jim Fletcher expects a coalition to attack Israel just as we are told in Ezekiel.  A third temple will be built in Israel.  The temple coalition have the materials to do so.  It could happen within our lifetime.  Once this happens, events will move quickly.  Why do the Arabs believe they own the land on the temple mount?  The Koran even says the land belongs to the Jews.  Still, the Muslims believe they must conquer this land.

Jerry Falwell and Adrian Rogers  were staunch pro Israel leaders.  Since their passing, a vacuum has been left and filled with leadership that is not pro Israel.  Jim Fletcher does not believe we have seen the end of this trend.  We are seeing this happen at an alarming rate, and we will be even more separated from Israel.  Palestinians bring in propaganda and lies to American churches about Israel.

 

 

Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur consists of three famous films:

1)The 1925 silent epic which was “state of the art” for its’ day.

2)The 1959 classic, winner of 11 academy awards.

3)Just released-

Image result for ben-hur
Ben-Hur
PG-13

2016 ‧ Drama film/Action ‧ 2h 30m

 
Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) loses everything after his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), now an officer in the Roman army, returns to Jerusalem and accuses the young prince of treason. Stripped of his title and separated from his wife (Nazanin Boniadi) and family, Ben-Hur must endure years of slavery on a galley at sea. When fate brings the estranged brothers to an epic and deadly chariot race, Ben-Hur finally gets the chance to exact vengeance on the man who destroyed his life.
Release date: August 19, 2016 (USA)
Budget: 100 million USD

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I saw the recent release of Ben-Hur and I thought the movie was very good.  I have also seen the 1925 silent film version and the classic (11 Academy Awards Version) 1959 film with Charlton Heston.  The recent release had different slants in the story line which is always refreshing.  The movie went into detail about Judah Ben-Hur and his adopted brother Messala’s boyhood.  Messala helped save Judah’s life when he was thrown from his horse.  Messala felt he did not fit in with the Ben-Hur’s aristocratic family and went to Rome to find his fortune.  Upon Messala’s return, he imprisoned the entire Ben-Hur family.  In the 1959 epic film, a loose tile on the roof of their home fell near the marching Roman leader by accident.  In the new film, the harbinger that lead to the families’ imprisonment was a Jewish Zealot who deliberately shot an arrow at the Roman leader and just missed him.  Once again, the Ben-Hur family was falsely accused of the crime.  Judah Ben-Hur  had no relationship with Quintus Arrius in the new film and did not save his life, leading to Judah’s freedom.  I do not recall Quintus Arrius in this movie at all.  Judah broke free from the chains while the ship was sinking, and ended up on the shore where the Arabian lived, whose horses he ran in the Jerusalem chariot race.  He won the race as well as his freedom.  Judah saw Jesus a couple of times prior to His crucifixion, and this movie emphasized Judah’s conversion much more so; and unlike the ’59 version, Judah was at the cross while Jesus was crucified.  Judah’s salvation was much more personal and highlighted.  The characterization of Jesus Christ was very good, and different from the previous movie.  [Jesus, the God man, is always a challenge to portray, and both movies did a great job].  The chariot race was a technological marvel.  The Jerusalem amphitheater was built into a mountain and the race was extremely brutal.  The graphics were spectacular.  The Roman blood lust was really emphasized!  Unlike the ’59 version, Messala did not die after the race, full of hate.  He observed Judah’s conversion, and he too, laid down his sword and hatred.  The Ben-Hur family was reestablished in their Jerusalem home along with Messala rejoining them.   It was called a box office bust by the critics, but I thought it was a very good movie.  I would encourage Christians to see this classic movie, remade once again.  I will purchase the DVD once it is available.

Pastor Steve  <><

 

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 6

Day #6

While eating breakfast at the Shalom we observed a beautiful sunrise over Jerusalem.  While eating breakfast I looked around and observed the Israelites, thinking what a stubborn people they were, and how the Lord still has His hand on them, even though they do not believe in Jesus and the New Testament.  Our hotel gave us a beautiful view of Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is a melting pot with all kinds of people.  All of the people in Israel, the men and the women, must serve in the army for two years and take their vows on Mount Masada.  I found the people in Israel to be friendlier, more courteous, and more respectful (especially the children) than Americans.

Today, our first stop was at the model of Jerusalem (The “Model City”).  The model depicted Jerusalem at the time of the Second Temple (the time of Jesus).  The Model City displays the many walls, the residences, Herod’s Palace, the Fortress of Antonio, the Temple, and many other things.

Next, we went towards the Mount of Olives.  On our way, we observed an Arab kiss his camel, and give our pastor a ride.  We went up the Mount of Olives to the temple of Ascension which is now a Mosque.  (refer to Acts 1:4 through Acts 1:11).  There is an “alleged footprint” where Jesus ascended from, inside the small temple upon a rock.  Next, we went a short distance away and took several pictures of Jerusalem from this panoramic view.  From our location on the Mount of Olives, we had a view of Jerusalem over the Kidron Valley.  Also observed was David’s City, the Dome of the Rock, as well as the northern end of Jerusalem.  It is interesting to note that the current city walls are only five hundred years old, and built by the Ottoman Turks.  Mount Ophel is David’s old city, and Mount Zion is above David’s City, outside the wall.  We saw Absalom’s tomb in the Kidron Valley.  As we departed from the Temple of Ascension, a burro blocked our path on our way to the Garden of Gethsemane.

We went into the Garden of Gethsemane (“semane” means olive oil).  Gethsemane may have been near John Mark’s home.  We entered the Church of All Nations where the alleged rock is that Jesus prayed at.  This is located next to the Garden of Gethsemane.

We drove up to the Old City of Jerusalem and entered Stephen’s Gate, which is also known as the Lion’s Gate, with a lion on each side of the gate.

Next, we observed a fine site of archaeology – the Pool of Bethesda.  The pool has five porches where people were healed, and is dug out very deep.

The streets of Jerusalem are very narrow.  The women wore robes, and carried large objects on their head.  Beggars and cripples lingered on the street corners.  Walking in the “Old City” is like walking into the past.  Burros carrying loads walk in the streets.  Flutes, and other eastern instruments can be heard.  Muslim people can be heard wailing over microphones.

Next, we arrived at my favorite archaeological site in the whole city – we entered the Judgment Hall at the Fortress of Antonio.  There was a cistern and a water supply here.  We observed areas cut by Herod, which was originally the moat of the Fortress of Antonio.  Next, we went deep into the beautiful, large, and open Strutheon Pool.  Water runs down into the pools from the mountains.  We approached other cisterns and lithostrotos pavement that Jesus walked on.  The pavement was made up of large stones with wedges to prevent slipping.  A church was built above this pavement.  Jesus was tried and judged near here by Pontius Pilate.

We walked down today’s Via Dolorosa, where Jesus is supposed to have carried His cross to Calvary.  The actual road, however, would be many feet underground.  The Via Dolorosa featured an arch overhead, this is an original arch left from the Fortress of Antonio.

The business district was bustling – people commonly walk up to you in order to sell you just about everything.  There are money changers today in Jerusalem just like in Christ’s time.  Many people wear cloaks, robes, togas, and turbines.  Conservative Muslim women wear veils.  We stopped and looked at a Muslim water trough.

We approached the Western “Wailing” Wall and we were frisked on the way into this area.  The wall is near Mount Zion and the Tyropoeon Valley.  The Tyropoeon Valley, filled over the years, is right in front of the wall.  The wall is very long, and is the last part of the temple that was not destroyed – hence the Rabiis, Orthodox Jews, etc. wail there.  We observed the same wall nearby extending underground.  The entire original wall is 150 feet high.  When the rabiis pray – they read their Tora, and they chant, buck their head backwards and forwards, and side to side.  They shake their knees.  Loads and loads of prayers were stuck in the cracks of the walls.  The rabiis wore prayer boxes (Phylacteries; Matthew 23:5) on their foreheads and arms, and were dressed all in black.  In essence, they are modern day Pharisees.  They are very, very zealous.  If they were converted, their zeal would turn the world upside down (like Paul of Tarsus).  When we entered, we put on “cardboard beenies” or Kippurs, like everyone else.  A head covering, they feel, is needed in a holy place.  Orthodox Jews of the law, modern day Pharisees, were seen everywhere.

We observed the excavated Tyropoeon Valley (Old Jerusalem) near the Wailing (Western) Wall.  We passed a Byzantine, Muslim Mosque and approached the Dome of the Rock.  It was built in the eighth century.  Abraham offered the sacrifice of Isaac at the rock in the Dome – the rock inside is the ONLY part of Mount Moriah that Herod left exposed after all of his building.  The best marble available was used to build it.  There is a hole in the rock, and a drainage area below for all the blood sacrifices.  Blood would run underneath, all the way down the mountain.  The Dome of the Rock is surrounded by a Muslim Mosque and worship area.  From this area, one can see the Tyropoeon Valley, the Western Wall, and David’s City beyond.

Jerusalem is a melting pot of cultures, beliefs and different people’s religions.  At lunch time, a man on the tour (Steve Abbott) was drinking a milkshake for lunch and was told to leave – this is NOT KOSHER.  Dairy products cannot be eaten with meat products.  The religions of Jerusalem are 1) Islamic (Muslim) 2) Jewish 3) Christian and 4) Armenian (preceded by Greek Orthodox).  All believe in one God and are monotheistic, and all of them go back to Abraham.

We observed the remains of Byzantine shops.  The shops were Roman streets with columns (pillars), and stores on both sides of the street.  These shops were part of Jerusalem after 70 A.D., when Titus destroyed Jerusalem.  Farther down the row of shops, modern shops are built in the original shops.  We then passed a display revealing the Maccabean, Hasmonean ruins and walls.  These dated from 100 B.C. to 700 B.C., the bottom stones were from the time of Hezekiah and the first temple.  Next, we saw an area where the Israeli and Hasmonean walls joined together.  We passed a Byzantine mosaic map, revealing Jerusalem in the sixth century – showing even the streets with the shops that we previously observed.

In Jerusalem, the people bargain and haggle over everything – nothing has a set price.  The people are friendly and get satisfaction in helping you.  A boy gave me an olive branch, expecting nothing in return.  I bought film from a boy, and he brought down the price for me.

Next, we entered the upper room on Mount Zion.  A Muslim Arab altar was put there when they took over.  This is just the traditional location.  The upper room is traced  back only to the Byzantine period, hence it cannot be real.

We went to Mount Zion, King David’s tomb.  Muslim and Byzantine architecture was observed here also, hence this location is probably also traditional.  We observed the Hinnom Valley off in the distance.

We entered Caiphas’ Palace, which was located below a Catholic Church.  We saw a prison where prisoners were dropped through a circular hole.  Could Jesus have been kept here?  More prisons and dungeons were located below.  This was definitely the main prison of the House of Caiphas.  There were even holes in the walls where the prisoners were strapped into place when they were whipped and beaten.

Caiphas’ Palace was a great archaeological site.  Wonderful views were observed of the Kidron Valley, the Tyropoeon Valley in the lower city in Old Jerusalem, and the ruins of Caiphas’ Palace located outside the Catholic Church.  David’s city is located on Mount Ophel, the original Canaanite stronghold of Jerusalem.

Note:  Since traveling to Israel nearly thirty years ago, there is another school of thought regarding archaeology in Jerusalem.  The “Wailing” Wall is now thought to be from the Fortress of Antonio rather than from Herod’s Temple.  Bob Cornuke’s book Temple is the watershed book regarding this new discovery.  I believe Bob is correct in his assessment.  

 

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 5

Day #5

In Galilee we had cheese and fish for breakfast.  Ramat is located on the north end of the Sea of Galilee, on the northwest corner of the Golan Heights.  Gadara is at the northeast corner of the Sea of Galilee.  [We left Gadara by boat and crossed the Sea of Galilee.  The previous evening, my pastor Bill Grimes, assigned me to preach the Gospel on the boat as we crossed over the Sea of Galilee.  I selected the title:  “Jesus Walking On The Water, A Challenge To Our Faith.”  Matthew 14:22-33.  12/30/1987.  Interestingly, our Jewish boat and tour guides, peeked around the corner and took in every word I said.  The Jewish people from Israel are often curious about the Gospel, observing firsthand how born again Christians drop millions and billions of dollars in order to visit their land!  This caption is typed in red because it was not in my original journal.]    As we left our hotel and entered our boat, we proceeded clockwise around the Sea of Galilee, to the east, and we encountered a rocky area full of cliffs.  It came to mind that Jesus sent the swine over the cliff in an area that must have looked like this- where the Gadarenes lived.  Sure enough, we were approaching Gadara!  Every place we come to matches up perfectly with the Bible, and it should, because the Bible is God’s Word.  When we went out on the Sea of Galilee, we looked around and could see the following:  Gadara, Chorazin, Bethsaida, Magdala, Capernaum, the Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha the seven springs church (location of the feeding of the five thousand), and Tiberias.  Our boat left Gadara and arrived in Capernaum.  Capernaum may have been the village of Nahum the prophet.  Simon Peter, of course, was from Capernaum.  Capernaum is best known perhaps, as being the home base or headquarters of Jesus’ ministry in the Galilee region.  We saw another ancient olive press here.  Capernaum was owned by the Romans.  We were blessed with the opportunity to observe three different time eras of the town.  There was Capernaum at the time of Jesus.  Another time era was represented by a Muslim Synagogue in the city.  Finally, further archaeological remains depicted Capernaum at a later time, the 5th century under the Byzantines.  We left Capernaum and passed through Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene.  Now, we left the Sea of Galilee, and headed for the boyhood home of Jesus- Nazareth.  Along the way, we passed another of the many Crusader strongholds which were taken over by the Muslims.  The drive towards Nazareth was very scenic, with rocky gorges and mountains.  We drove through lower Galilee.  We passed through Cana, where Jesus performed His first miracle in His ministry, turning the water into wine.  Cana kept its name for two thousand years.  The Roman Catholic Church has the “alleged pot” which Jesus used to perform this miracle.  In a postcard I have of the “pot,” it looked in very good shape for its age.  We then passed through Reina, a suburb of Nazareth, near Gath-hepher, the home town of Jonah.  We arrived in Nazareth, which has a population of forty five thousand Arabs, Muslims, and Christians.  There were many crowded streets.  Remember Nathaniel’s comment:  “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”  We visited the Nazareth Baptist Church whose pastor was of Arab descent.  The Baptist Church had a dynamic Christian School, and ALL of the many, many students, like the pastor of the church,  were converted Arabs.  Next, we visited the Greek Orthodox Church in Nazareth.  It reminded one of a Catholic Church with all the icons, paintings of Mary, the candles, etc.  “Mary’s well” was inside.  This was the only water source of the city.  This church dates to Byzantine times.

Water is always the bottom line in any potential dwelling area:  1) Where Moses smote the rock near Petra, 2) Where Elisha turned the bitter waters sweet at Jericho, 3) Mary’s well in Nazareth, 4) At the Megiddo tunnel, 5) In Jerusalem at the Canaanite Well, and Hezekiah’s Tunnel which empties into the Pool of Siloam (in Jerusalem is also the Pool of Bethesda), 6) And at En Gedi – the spring where David hid from Saul, also known as David’s Spring or David’s Wadi.

We passed the cliff where Jesus disappeared from the angry people.  Then we came to the eye catching Valley of Jezreel or Valley of Armageddon (Revelation 16:14-16).  Some people think the battle will actually be fought here, such as Hal Lindsey and other literalists of Bible prophecy.  Personally, I believe that “Armageddon” is a symbolic term due to all the battles fought there, just as “Sodom” is symbolic of homosexuality, and “Babylon” is symbolic of spiritual whoredom.

We passed Mount Tabor, where Barak and Deborah the judges had their military base.  Next we approached Megiddo, the strategically located fortress where many famous men died, among these was Josiah.  We were also approaching Mount Carmel.

We observed other fruits in Israel in this area, namely strawberries, grapes, olives, oranges, avocados, cantelopes, etc.

We went by picture perfect Nain, a pretty hamlet on a hillside.  Then we went through Afula.

We came even closer to Megiddo and Mount Carmel (Megiddo is actually a part of the Carmel Mountain Range).  Megiddo is a tell of   about twenty towns which were destroyed.  As mentioned, Megiddo was in a strategic place – blocking the Carmel mountain pass.  Megiddo goes back to 1500 B.C., and Canaanite kings before Joshua.  There is a model of the Megiddo tell on the scene.  The importance of Megiddo lies in the fact that it is the only pass through the mountain range, for the invasion of Jerusalem from the west.  Ancient Megiddo goes back from 4000 B.C. to 500 A.D.  The source of water was an underground tunnel and spring which was camouflaged so the enemy could not poison it.  Mount Carmel is easily scene from Megiddo.  The Catholic “Elijah Church” is seen on Mount Carmel, and is the alleged place where Elijah called down fire from heaven and slew the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal.  From Megiddo, one can see the mountain of Ahab’s Palace to the west, the Gilboa mountains, Mount Tabor, and the Nazareth mountains.  The oldest feature known in Megiddo is a center for Baal worship which dates back to 4,000 B.C.  There were many huge grain silos at Megiddo from the time of Jeroboam.  Ahab had a “chariot city” at Megiddo in the 9th Century B.C.  Also featured in Megiddo are horse stables and a feeding trough from the time of Solomon and/or Ahab.  We went through the water tunnel which leads to the spring, the water source of Megiddo.

Upon leaving Megiddo, we noticed anti-aircraft, Israeli tanks, and military installations everywhere.  We went down the narrow Megiddo pass upon exiting.  We passed one of the largest Israeli Arab settlements in Israel.  During our travels, Pastor Grimes and our Jewish guide Naphtali were talking about King David.  Naphtali said he came from Bethlehem.  In response, Pastor Grimes said that David HAD to come from Bethlehem because he was a type of Christ.  It seems that the best way to witness to Jewish people is to reveal prophetic truths in the Old Testament, show them how the Old and New Testament fit together, show them how the New Testament completes the Old Testament, and show them how Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the entire Word of God, and the law, the psalms, and the prophets (Matthew 5:17, Luke 24:44).

We approached Caesarea where Philip the evangelist lived with “his four daughters who did prophesy.”  Caesarea, as you can probably tell by the name, was a Roman settlement.  The town featured all of the attractions of Roman life – an amphitheater, race tracks, administrative buildings, and a regular theater in the round.  Our guides informed us along the way that the Byzantines took over the east after the time of the Roman Empire; the Byzantines came out of Turkey.  This brought to my mind the many empires that have risen and fallen during the ancient history of man.  Here is a list of just a few of the empires that I thought of:  1) Sumerians 2) Babylon 3) Assyria 4) Syria 5) Egypt 6) Neo Babylon 7) Medo-Persia 8) Greek  9) Roman 10) Byzantine 11) Muslims (Arabic) 12) Crusaders 13) The Ottoman Empire of the Turks in 1500.  All of the aforementioned empires had a heavy influence on Israel in the past.  If we thought even more, we could probably add several more to the list such as the Canaanites, Philistines and others.  It is no coincidence that Israel is a “land bridge” where many nations crossed in the past.  In this way, other countries could learn the gospel, and Israel could be humbled by other nations when she stepped out of line.

Herod built Caesarea for the Romans only.  Augustus Caesar made Herod “King of the Jews,” hence Herod named the town Caesarea in honor of the emperor Augustus.  On the way to Caesarea, we passed through the large, modern, contemporary Israeli city of Tel Aviv, where Naphtali our guide is from.

Caesarea was built in the first century by Herod the Great.  We observed an aqueduct built by Herod.  It had two large ducts on top in which to transport water.  The water came nine miles from Mount Carmel and into Caesarea.  We passed the hippodrome (hippo means horse), or Roman race track.  Caesarea also has a “Crusader City” or castle.  The thirteenth century Crusader’s castle is complete with walls and a moat.  The castle was in very good condition.  Caesarea, like many places in medieval times in the Holy Land, changed hands several times between the Muslims and Crusaders.  We stopped and looked at the semi circular Roman theater in Caesarea.  Next, we looked at the remains of the Herodian Palace.  (How many palaces and fortresses did Herod the Great have?)  All of the statue heads were hacked off by Muslims, who despised Roman pagan practices of nudity.  Caesarea is still one gigantic tell – most of which is still uncovered.

We passed through Hadera, on our way to Tell Aviv.  As we again approached Tell Aviv, we observed a beautiful sunset.  Tell Aviv was built in 1909 by Jews from Istanbul.  It is the largest city in Israel, and very modern.

We passed through the city of the Ottomon Empire, which was 500 years old, founded by a Turkish Sultan – New Joppa.  We then arrived in the older part of town, Old Joppa.  This, of course, is the home of Simon the tanner (Peter).  Jonah also went to Joppa, attempting to flee from God’s will.  It is interesting that when we tie Joppa in with Peter and Jonah, with both men the city is significant because it had to do with their respective commissions of taking the gospel to the Gentiles.  There were many narrow streets and shops near the water.  Excavations revealed the third century B.C. Greek occupation of Joppa.  It is a very quaint and pretty town, it reminds one of a fishing port.

Onward, for our one hour drive to Jerusalem.  On our way south, we passed the place where the sun stood still for Joshua’s army.  As we went towards Jerusalem, we gradually ascended.  Hence, even though we were going south, we were going “up” to Jerusalem.  The ONLY way to Jerusalem is a narrow, rocky canyon road.  The Arabs blocked this road in 1948.  Jerusalem is a town of vast hills and valleys.  Jerusalem is over 3,000 feet high and has a population of 450,000.  It has an old city and a new city – our attention will be focused on the old city.  When we arrived for the night, we stayed at the Shalom Jerusalem Hotel in the new city.

 

2015 Second Orlando Prophecy Summit, Part 31

Billy Crone    ~    Why Won’t My Pastor Preach On Prophecy?

Unfortunately, the trend in the church today is they do not want to touch Bible prophecy with a ten foot pole.  Why would you want to hide such great news from your congregation?  Pastors and many churches refuse to teach Bible prophecy.  Studying Bible prophecy is one of the greatest blessings to the church.

Revelation 1:1-3  King James Version (KJV)

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

King James Version (KJV)by Public Domain

Revelation is about Jesus Christ.  Why would you not want to read and share that?  We are blessed to read the words of this prophecy, and to hear it and take it to heart, because the time is near.

Why has all this been twisted around in the church and people have been taught that there is no blessing?  The naysayers  tell us they do not want to hear that message of doom and gloom.  God calls Revelation a blessed message.  Certainly Satan is behind the lie about the book of Revelation.  This is spiritual warfare.  Secondly, pastors are not faithful to preach the entire counsel of God when they omit Bible prophecy.  Bible prophecy covers about one third of the Bible.  In the last days the church will be given over to apostasy and tickling the ears of the parishioners with a false feel good Gospel.  They will only preach pleasant things and myths (stories made up).  90% of the American churches are like this, proving that we are in the last days.  How about God’s wrath?  What about His hatred of sin?  What of His holiness?  What happened to repentance?  These doctrine do not tickle people’s ears.  If your pastor does not teach on Bible prophecy, he has been duped and seduced, and believes the lie.  But if you are a faithful shepherd, you will preach the whole counsel of God whether people like it or not.  Do not be a people pleaser.  Preach the Word!

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Three Reasons Bible prophecy is a blessing:

1)It reminds us that we are going to heaven.  Revelation 21:1-4.  This is exciting and the future inheritance of every Christian who is born from above.  We will receive new imperishable bodies!  We should look forward to going to heaven forever.   [There is no doom and gloom for the Christian.  Do you see how the enemy has twisted the message?]

2)We are going to the millennium.  Satan will be bound.  Revelation 20:1-4.  The government will be a theocracy, with the Messiah, Jesus Christ, ruling and reigning as King in Jerusalem.  The twelve tribes will be assigned to rule.  Judges will be raised up and will demonstrate the Theocratic power of Christ to rule with inflexible righteousness and justice.  War will be a thing of the past.  Jerusalem, known for war, bloodshed, and international tensions, will at last become the city of peace and the capitol of the world.  There will be religious peace with Jews and Gentiles worshipping the Lord together.  There will be a just economy for everyone, and no longer will wealth be monopolized by only a few privileged families.  Nature will cooperate with man again and productivity will return.  Earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, etc., will be absent.  Isaiah 65:20-  We will once again experience longevity and a long life.  God is going to turn things back to the Garden of Eden.  Isaiah 11:6-9-  We will have peace with nature.

Why would you want to hide this from your church?  Why would you not want to study this as a Christian? 

3)I’m going to see my Lord Jesus Christ.  Revelation 19:1-9.  The wedding of the Lamb has come.  All of heaven is excited about the return of Jesus Christ.  Are we excited?  He will put an end to all of the evil and suffering in the world.  He died on the cross, forgave us for our sins, and will bless us with heaven- an existence beyond our wildest dreams.  He rescued us from eternal torment in hell.  Jesus Christ is our King!  The rapture can happen at any time and then everything mentioned above begins.  This is truly exciting.

Let us encourage ourselves with Bible prophecy, and remind ourselves how close His return truly is!  Maranatha, the Lord is coming!

“Watch therefore.  For you do not know the hour your Lord is coming.”  Matthew 24:42

 

 

 

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988

Introduction

 Many entries will appear in this category because I kept an extensive journal on this trip.  This particular venture was designed as a sight seeing tourist excursion, but wherever our pastor went, by default it became a mission trip.  He would share Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation with anyone who breathed air, including our tour guides and fellow travelers.  If there was only one country that I could go to and see during my life, it would be Israel.  

If you are contemplating a trip to this locale, I would recommend that you study the Bible and the land of Israel extensively before you go.  The more you know, the more you will be blessed when you arrive there.  One who is new to the faith will not be able to connect the dots nearly as well.  Israel is a land that is surreal.  Every square inch represents something big in Biblical history and is an archaeological site of some sort.  If you are a shutter bug and enjoy taking pictures, this is the place for you.  For instance, a short drive from the Mediterranean climate of Jerusalem will take you to the tropical atmosphere of Jericho, and then to an even warmer area, as well as the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea, where you can float on top of the water while reading a newspaper.  The entire country is like this- a land of sudden contrast and beauty.  A chronological account of this mission trip will be given.

Blessings, Pastor Steve

Note:  A lot of prayer must be given prior to any mission trip in our day.  Our world has suddenly become a much more volatile place.  Each nation is unique and the circumstances change rapidly through new regimes coming to power, rogue terrorists asserting themselves, etc.  The State Department gives updated advisories, dealing with the safety or the lack thereof, regarding different countries around the globe.  The Holy Spirit gives the born again Christian an even better warning!