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!)

4 Biblical Principles Regarding Israel

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We’re into week 7 of Why Israel Matters, and I hope you are enjoying our study together.  Our focus this week has been on the parting of ways between Jews and Christians.  What a sad history has passed, but what tremendous hope if we abide by the apostle Paul’s instructions to us in Romans 11!  (We studied that chapter earlier.  If you missed it, catch Has God Rejected His People? and Life from the Dead.)

Now, we move our focus back to Israel and consider 4 principles regarding Israel and the nations.

Principle of Domicile

Yesterday, we established that some of God’s promises are unconditional, but others are conditional.  Deuteronomy 29-30 provide clear evidence that Israel’s privilege of living in the land is conditional upon their reverence and obedience to God.  However, though they may lose the privilege of living in the land, it doesn’t mean they lose ownership of the land!

Even while in exile, the land belongs to Israel.

Principle of Righteousness

When faithful to God, Israel has a right to live in the land.  God desires righteousness, and He illustrated it to Joshua after leading the Israelites into the Promised Land.  Take a look at Joshua 5:13-15.

There, Joshua had an encounter with the Commander of the Lord’s Army, who told him to take off his sandals, for he was standing on holy ground.  In Hebrew minds, taking off one’s sandals was a sign of humility, respect and honor.  God desires righteousness and humility.  If the Israelites were to stand on holy ground, they must do so with sandals off.

Principle of Discipline

Our key passage is Jeremiah 25:6-11.  Here, Jeremiah prophesies of Israel’s exile to Babylon because of their disobedience to God’s command not to pursue other gods.  When they did, God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to take them into exile.

God will discipline His people when they disobey.  But we must remember: the root word of “discipline” is “disciple.”  He might use even Israel’s enemies to discipline His people, but He disciplines for their ultimate good.

Principle of Retribution

Though God may use Israel’s enemies to discipline her, those who desire Israel’s total destruction will face retribution.  God spoke this plainly through the prophet Isaiah.  Quick glances at Isaiah 49:25-26 and Isaiah 51:21-23 reveal that God Himself will contend with those who contend with Israel.

But Joel 3:1-2 serves as perhaps the clearest warning to those who would scatter His people and divide their land.  God promises to bring all nations to the valley of Jehoshaphat for the ultimate “Israel Test.”  (Click here to take the test yourself!)

So, in light of current events, Israel is in the land, but is primarily secular and, in many ways, not living righteously.  In times past, God has exiled them for lack of obedience.  Isaiah 11:11-12 indicates God exiling them, then bringing them back a second time…but not a third.  Could God exile and bring them back a third time, though it is not prophesied in Scripture?  Perhaps.

But I believe God’s plan is different now.  God’s correction will ultimately culminate in the tribulation, during which national revival will take place and all Israel will be saved!  God is intent on saving His people!

We are approaching the meat of the study, so stick with us!

Week 4: Beyond the Horizon

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Welcome to week 4, friends!  We’re engaged in a study called Why Israel Matters, and this week we will focus “Beyond the Horizon.”  What happens here on earth once the rapture occurs and Christians are beyond the horizon?  God will turn His attention back to His plan for the Jewish people, but difficult times are in store.

To recap God’s plan of the end, we’ll turn to a diagram I’ve used before.  Take a look:

Plan of the End

A full explanation of the diagram is found here, but for today’s discussion, suffice it to say that we are living in the Church Age and the next event is the rapture!  What follows, however, is the tribulation…the final 7 years of God’s plan for the Jews.  Based on Scripture, what should we expect during that time?

In regard to the tribulation, Revelation 17-18 describe the rise of the false prophet and the Antichrist to lead what we call today One World Religion and One World Government (or One World Order).  In fact, while THE false prophet and Antichrist have not yet been revealed, the spirit of the two are at work (and have been at work) in our world.  But take heart!  God says:

I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.”
~Isaiah 46:9-10

Though God will always occupy His throne, this world will be given over to evil for a season.  Revelation 17-18 (in the thick of the description of the tribulation) identify “Mystery Babylon” as the “mother of all harlotry,” and we know the domain of the false prophet (One World Religion) and the Antichrist (One World Government) will ultimately be destroyed.  But not before wrecking havoc!

One World Religion will be a catalyst to bring about One World Government.  So, how close are we, and what does it take to bring about One World Religion?

Great question…and we’ll dive into that tomorrow!  Meanwhile, never lose sight of the fact that there is no one like our God and He will, indeed, accomplish His purposes!

See you tomorrow!

Time Magazine Tags Macron “The Next Leader of Europe”

Next Leader of Europe Emmanuel Macron Time Magazine Cover

Hi friends!  We’re in the midst of a mini-study I’ve dubbed “Bring the King Home,” where we are focusing on the return of Jesus as King of Kings.  The Bible tells us that He will come again to rule and reign for 1,000 years on earth after the great chaos of the Tribulation.  We also know the antichrist will rule during that time of Tribulation.

However, this post is NOT part of the study!  (Tune in each morning [Arizona time] for those posts.)  Despite not being part of the study, I find God’s timing amazingly impeccable at times!  As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we know that one day we will be snatched from this world to meet Him in the air.  (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)  The world will then give way to the antichrist, who will make a 7-year peace treaty with Israel and the Tribulation will commence.

Some believe the antichrist could be alive in the world today.  Maybe…maybe not.  (For believers, it matters not, as we will not be here when the antichrist is revealed.)

Some believe French President Emmanuel Macron could be the antichrist.  After all, the antichrist will arise out of Europe, and the EU seems to be a fitting platform upon which he will stand.  While I am not willing to state that he is THE antichrist, he seems to be a prototype.  (Find out more about why I say that here, here and here.)

Above is the latest cover of Time magazine, and this is the second time Macron has graced the cover of a major magazine since becoming president of France less than a year ago.  Previously, he was shown walking on water on the cover of The Economist.  Furthermore, the article in this issue, At Home in the World, paints a picture of a staunch globalist (which the antichrist will be), rising from nowhere on the coattails of the world’s richest and most elite, and with agendas (such as  climate change and creating a powerful EU) intended to bring unity under the power of one man.  (Read the article and see if you find characteristics of one who hopes to rule the world.)

So, why do I share this in the middle of a mini-Bible study on the return of Jesus?  Because we see the stage being set for that very thing!  Jesus will physically return to earth to establish the Millennial Kingdom AFTER the tribulation (in which the antichrist has had his heyday)!  The rapture happens BEFORE the tribulation!  Thus, our study of the coming of King Jesus is so timely…and we see why.

As Amir Tsarfati has said, “When you see Christmas decorations appearing in stores and lights on houses…you know that Thanksgiving is just around the corner!”  Dear friends, the rapture is just around the corner because we see the signs of the tribulation!  Follow along with us as we study about King Jesus’ return.  But more importantly…be ready!  We do not know the day or the hour in which He will take us from this earth to meet Him in the air.

Live as though it is today!