“The Mystery of the Rapture” from the Mount of Olives

Got time for a good teaching this weekend? If so, how about settling in with a cup of coffee to take in Amir Tsarfati’s The Mystery of the Rapture, taught live on the Mount of Olives!

If you have been to Israel, you are sure to be taken back to that memorable place overlooking Temple Mount from the other side of the Kidron Valley. If you have never been to Israel, this is the next best thing! Think of Jesus sitting on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24) when the disciples ask Him what will be the signs of the times. It is from a spot right there on the Mount of Olives that He answered their questions…and it is upon this very mount Jesus’ foot will touch down at His Second Coming (when He physically returns to earth following the tribulation).

But before that, the Bible tells us He will descend from heaven to receive us (believers in Christ) unto Himself, and we will be taken up to meet Him in the air. We know that as the rapture, and we obviously will not all be at the Mount of Olives or any other single place, but will be taken up from wherever we are. However, the Mount of Olives is such a vivid place to picture Jesus when He walked this earth, and to consider that place to which we will return with Him at His Second Coming!

Our time is coming! Enjoy the teaching!

Israel Facing Worst Drought in Almost 100 Years

Image result for sea of galilee droughtIsrael is entering the 6th year of a major drought, with no relief in sight.  As a result, the Sea of Galilee, Israel’s primary source of water, is approaching a 100-year low.  In fact the water level is dangerously close to the level in which intake pipes of water pumps will be above the water line, making it impossible to pump needed water out of the Galilee to neighboring farmland and orchards.

Fortunately, about 70% of Israel’s drinking water now comes from desalination plants along the Mediterranean Sea.  If not for that fact, Israel would quickly be out of water.  Regardless, water needs are such that authorities are warning residents that water consumption may be limited within a year or so.

I am reminded of a time when water will not be an issue!  Zechariah 14 describes that glorious day when, after gathering the nations against Jerusalem, Jesus steps foot on the Mount of Olives to take care of business!  A mighty earthquake will split the Eastern Gate wide open and He will enter.  Then, notice:

And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.
~Zechariah 14:8

Plenty of water will flow from Jerusalem (of all places!)

However, today’s drought is real, and I hope you will join me in praying for the Lord to bless Israel with significant rainfall.  But there is a greater need.  Jesus described Himself as “Living Water” in John 4:7-14.  Then, in Revelation 22:17, He says:

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

A greater drought is occurring in the heart and soul of the Jewish people.  Spiritually, they are thirsty, and we (the bride of Christ) join with the Spirit of God, saying “Come…drink from the Living Water!”  God will take care of physical drought conditions, but only Jesus can rid the spiritual drought.

As we’re “about our Father’s business” in these last days, let’s engage in the task before us.  Let’s pray for Jews and Gentiles alike, who are experiencing spiritual drought.  We know the solution!  Are we sharing it?

Jesus: David’s Offspring

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Ok, here we go, gang!  More cool stuff today.  Have you enjoyed this week’s study so far?  It is my favorite (until next week)!  Seriously, we are discovering incredible things about God’s covenants, and their fulfillment in the ultimate one: the Davidic Covenant.

How will Jesus fulfill His ultimate purpose?  Well, let’s consider what Scripture has to say!  Open your Bible to Mathew 16:15-17 and Luke 22:66-71.  Do you find seemingly contradictory terms for Jesus?  (Son of man/Son of God)

Now let’s  complicate it just a tiny bit more.  Who does Jesus say He is in Revelation 22:16?  Yes!  He is the Root and Offspring of David, and He will come to introduce the Davidic Covenant.  He is also coming to reign forever!

Is David a forerunner of Christ?  We find interesting parallels in 2 Samuel 19, such as David lamenting the death of his son Absalom in battle.  The victory was won, but a son was lost.  (Sound familiar!?!)  Joab came to David and told him to face the people, but when he did, they rejected him…right there in the City of David.

So, grief drove David from the city, over the Mount of Olives where he wept.  Jesus was also rejected in the holy city of Jerusalem, and grief also drove Him to the Mount of Olives where he also wept.  In David’s case, the people scattered to their homes and were left kingless.  Likewise, in Jesus’ case, the people were scattered (70 AD) and left without a king.

David did not return until he was invited back by his people.  Amazingly, Jesus will not return until He is invited back by His people!  Israel has come home, but they haven’t invited King Jesus to return!

In 2 Samuel 19:12, David asks his people, “Why are you the last to bring me home?”  Is it far-fetched to believe Jesus is asking the same thing?

Once invited, the Davidic Covenant will be fulfilled!  We know this as the Messianic Age, the Millennial Kingdom and/or the Feast of Tabernacles.  At that time:

  • Jesus will reign from Jerusalem
  • Nations will come to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Jeremiah 3:17, Zechariah 14:16)
  • God will bring His eternal purpose to conclusion
  • Israel’s spiritual recovery will finally follow their physical recovery!

But, we’re still awaiting one key thing to trigger that!  Come back tomorrow and we’ll dive right in the middle of it!

Is the Eclipse a Sign of End Times?

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Solar Eclipse: sign of the times?

There is a popular theme racing through cyberspace right now: that the unusual celestial happenings have some supernatural message from God wrapped up in them, and that they somehow confirm the end of the age.  Today’s eclipse is said to be a precursor of the “grand” celestial event of September 23, when the greatest alignment of planets in the modern age takes place.  One of the “proof texts” (there are others) regarding these magnificent celestial events as signs is Acts 2:20:

…the sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
    before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.

Is God really trying to tell us something?  Are these signs truly revealing the last days?  If so, does it make sense that some of these events (including today’s eclipse) are not seen in Israel (the land of the Bible)?

While I do believe that Israel is God’s timepiece in many ways, I have difficulty confirming celestial signs such as blood moons (which are lunar eclipses), solar eclipses, or aligned planets, in and of themselves, as Biblical signs of anything specific to what the Bible describes in this day and age.  (During the Tribulations, those things will accompany the shaking of the heavens, but we are not in the Tribulation at the moment!)

I’ll let a brilliant Christian astronomer, Dr Danny Faulkner, explain why I find it difficult to view those things as signs of the times today!  He has written at least two very well-done articles: Will Lunar Eclipses Cause 4 Blood Moons in 2015-2015? and Do Total Lunar Eclipses Qualify as Great Signs for Biblical Prophecy? True, they deal with lunar eclipses, not solar eclipses, but I think his points are pertinent.  (Skip to the Conclusion of each article if you lack the time to read the articles all the way through.)

What I do find in Scripture is that God has set forth a chronological course of events in the Jewish feasts.  (See Jewish Feasts: God’s Calendar of End Time Events)  Israel, not celestial events, seem to be God’s time table.

I find something else very interesting.  When the disciples sat with Jesus on the Mount of Olives and asked, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)  Jesus didn’t tell them about celestial signs or wonders in the skies.  He told them specifically what they would see:

  • Coming of false teachers
  • Wars and rumors of wars
  • Nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom
  • Famines and earthquakes
  • Abomination of Desolation

By including the abomination of desolation, which happens during the Tribulation  (when the antichrist takes his seat in the Temple and demands to be worshipped), we can surmise that Jesus was referring not only to the time of the rapture, but also to His glorious appearing at the end of the Tribulation.  So, if we are to relate eclipses and celestial events of today to end times, do they refer to the time of the rapture…of which Jesus Himself said NO ONE knows, or to His glorious appearing?  (Only false prophets would dare to predict when the rapture will occur!)

So, let’s shift gears from the skies to God’s Word! God WANTS us to know and understand His plans, and He speaks to us through His Word.  He wants us to trust HIM for guidance…not the sun and the moon!  We have direct access to HIM, so we don’t need “signs” from Him.  I’m not saying signs have no place, but for the most part, signs are for unbelievers who don’t have direct access to Him, as we do!  In fact, the Bible is very clear that He desires to share secret things with those of us who know Him!  Need some evidence?  How about these passages:

  • Luke 8:17:  For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
  • Deuteronomy 29:29: The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.
  • Jeremiah 33:3: Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
  • Daniel 2:22: It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things…
  • Amos 3:7: Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.
  • Epistles: many mentions of revealing mysteries…mystery of His will, mystery of salvation, mystery of Christ in us, etc
  • John 15:5: “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

So, go out and enjoy today’s eclipse for what it is: sure evidence of God’s mighty power and creative design.  But look to Him to tell you the secret things He wants you to know about end times and His coming!  He longs to share His secrets with us!

Be blessed today, my friends!