UPDATE: Israeli Air Strikes on Latakia

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Following up an earlier report today about an attack on Latakia, Syria, reports are confirming major airstrikes on advanced Iranian weapon systems there.  Syrian and Russian defense systems were activated against what is believed to be an Israeli airstrike.  There are also reports of other warships (perhaps France) participating in the strike.

Russia is said to be very angry.  To make matters worse, US officials believe Syrian anti-aircraft systems may have inadvertently shot down a Russian naval aircraft over the Mediterranean while attempting to shoot down Israeli missiles targeting Latakia.  (That aircraft is believed to have carried 14 Russian soldiers.)

As a result of the action in Latakia, many Russians are demanding war with Israel.

It is too early to determine whether or not this activity has lit the fuse that will ultimately lead to Russia’s invasion of Israel (along with Iran, Turkey and others), described in Ezekiel 38.

However, even if the fuse is not yet lit, never in the history of the world have world events aligned so closely with end time prophecy.  We are living in exciting times, and we may very well be the generation that is taken up in the rapture.

Are you ready?

Meanwhile, keep an eye on Damascus (Isaiah 17:1), as well as on the “big three” (Russia, Iran, Turkey) who will spearhead the War of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38).  God seems to have set the hook in the jaw (Ezekiel 38:4), and has brought them down to the Israeli border.

If you missed Amir Tsarfati’s message, The Generation that Shall not Pass Away, given at Calvary Chapel Tustin Sunday morning, I encourage you to find it here (9/16/2018) and listen to it.

Keep looking up, my friends!  Our redemption is drawing near.  (Luke 21:28)

…and the Shofar Blows!

 

This evening at sundown the shofar will blow, signaling the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish civil New Year.  Jewish people around the world will celebrate one of the most joyful days of the year.

Biblically speaking, though, it is the Feast of Trumpets…also a most joyful time!  If you follow this blog, or have heard Biblical teaching regarding the seven major feasts of Israel, you know that each feast points to Jesus, the Messiah…and Jesus fulfills each one.

But consider this: the four spring feasts…Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of First Fruits and Pentecost…have already been fulfilled.

  • Jesus was the Passover Lamb, sacrificed for our sins.
  • Jesus was striped, bruised and pierced for our transgression, symbolized by unleavened bread.
  • Jesus was the First Fruit, raised from the dead to redeem us from the curse of death.  We will follow Him in resurrection.  (Keep reading to understand!)
  • Jesus ascended to heaven, leaving us the Holy Spirit to guide us.

Yes, Jesus has fulfilled those feasts!  However, the feasts of Israel are God’s calendar, so we need to examine what comes next.

The Feast of Trumpets, the celebration of which begins at sundown, is highly significant.  The Bible tells us:

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
~1 Corinthians 15:51-57  (Emphasis mine)

Dear friends, when that trumpet sounds, we (believers) will be snatched out of this world to meet Jesus in the air. (That is called the rapture.)  Death has no reign.  Just as Jesus was raised from the dead, so we who die before the rapture will be resurrected to eternal life.

God’s calendar is 100% accurate.  Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb, He was pierced and bruised for our transgressions, He was the first to raise from the dead (preparing the way for us), and He left the promised Holy Spirit to guide us.  We are awaiting the next event…the trumpet, signaling the rapture!

If you are reading this and do not know Jesus as your savior, today is the day.  We don’t know when the rapture will occur, but it could literally be any moment.  It is the next thing on God’s calendar, and those who miss it will be left to endure the tribulation…hell on earth, followed by eternal hell in a place beyond what can even be imagined.  Don’t miss your opportunity.

The Bible says:

There is someone reading this RIGHT NOW who is struggling to find meaning in life.  If that is YOU, stop what you are doing and read each of the verses linked above.  Then, pray this simple prayer, inviting Jesus to be your Savior:

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.  Amen

Those words are not magic, but if you prayed sincerely, asking Jesus to do those very things, you ARE now a child of God!  Welcome to the family….and keep your ears open for that trumpet sound!

PS: The best thing you can do now is tell a Christian friend, or go to a Bible-teaching church and let them know that you prayed that prayer.  We all need help to grow in our new lives and that’s where you will find it!

Be blessed my friend!

Russian War Games, Iran Cuts a Deal with Syria, EU Cooperation with Turkey and Russia

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You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
~Matthew 24:6-8

Signs of the time.  The birth pangs are intensifying once again.

Reuters has reported that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russia is set to commence the largest war games since 1981.  Vostok-2018 (East-2018), involving 300,000 troops and thousands of aircraft and naval vessels, will take place in central and eastern Russia next month.

For what purpose?  Are they suddenly ramping up unprecedented levels of training just to stay sharp, or is there an ultimate objective they are working toward?  I suspect the latter.  With a tumbling economy and oil riches at stake, could it be the shark-like czar smells blood in the water?

Meanwhile in Syria, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami has signed an agreement stipulating Iran’s assistance in rebuilding the Syrian military.  He also issued a warning against “foreign aggression,” seemingly in defiance against America’s stance on Iran’s support of the Assad regime.

Saber-rattling, or are Syria and Iran up to something?  Signs of the times…

Beyond that, French President Emmanuel Macron is pressing for an EU defense project in cooperation with Russia and Turkey.  Seemingly, his plan is to abandon NATO policy, in preference to a stronger EU.  (Think: revived Roman empire!)  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host a summit in Istanbul in September, where France, Germany and Russia will send representatives.

Friends, we know for certain that Damascus will one day be utterly destroyed (Isaiah 17:1), and that Russia, Iran and Turkey will lead a coalition of others in an attack on Israel (Ezekiel 38-39).  Jesus Himself told His disciples that war and rumors of wars, and nations rising against one another, will happen in the last days.  (Matthew 24:6-8)

Verse 8 says these things are the beginning of birth pangs.  Matthew 24:14 tells us that, ultimately, the end will come.  We are watching the birth pangs happen right before our very eyes!  Thus, the question: How long before we are called to meet Jesus in the air?

It’s coming!

The King Awaits His Invitation

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Hold on to your hats, study friends, as we’re taking a whirlwind ride today!

Recall that after Jesus lamented over Jerusalem, He proclaimed they will not see Him again until He hears “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”  (Matthew 23:39)  Jesus, a gentleman, is not going to barge on to the scene, but rather will wait for that special invitation, signaling His people are ready to receive Him.

But, before we get there, let’s talk briefly about the immanency of His return.  This week’s study is focused on the return of Jesus to His people.  That occurs after the tribulation, which means at least 7 years after believers in Jesus are taken out by rapture.  Thus, while we see signs pointing to that, we must be reminded that our departure via the rapture is indeed very imminent.

Here are some signs of the times, some of which will happen before the rapture, some of which will happen later.  All of which we see lining up right now!

  • Prophetic signs of Jesus.  Example: Matthew 24 warns of false messiahs, wars and rumors of wars and natural disasters, all of which have greater prevalence now than ever before.
  • Prophetic signs of Paul.  Try reading 2 Timothy 3:1-5 where Paul leaves a laundry list of moral failures that characterize the last days.  We’re living in that time!
  • Prophetic signs of Isaiah.  There are many, but perhaps none making today’s headlines more than Isaiah 17:1, indicating the destruction of Damascus.  How much longer can Damascus stand?  Almost the entire city is destroyed right now.
  • Prophetic signs of Ezekiel.  It is likely no one needs to remind you that the Ezekiel 38 coalition of forces that will attack Israel is now firmly in place on Israel’s northern border.  The stage is set.

Luke 21:28 says:

But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

The King is coming, and He is awaiting the Matthew 23:39 invitation.  However, I believe there is another invitation that pleases Him also.  It is found in Revelation 22:17:

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.

This is a wedding scene where the Spirit of God and His bride (believers!) join together in a chorus of “Come!”  Can you even imagine what heaven will sound like when God brings His family together as one to wed His Son!

It doesn’t hold a candle to it, but perhaps the imagery in your mind is kindled with this:

 

Indeed, the grandest wedding celebration of all time will occur when God establishes His family and brings us all together in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant…the Millennial Kingdom!

Meanwhile, we keep looking for the Blessed Hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13)!  (That is the topic of our last week of study together, so be sure to stick with us!)